Archive for December, 2011

Arab spring News of the day : Dec 31, 2011

UN chief wants to ensure democracy sought in Arab Spring is sustained in his
Washington Post
UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his second term as chief of the United Nations, wants to help people who rose up in the Arab Spring attain and sustain freedom and democracy. As he embarks on a new five-year term starting New Year’s
Arab Spring becoming an Islamic Revolution
Vancouver Sun
But the overall picture is very different from the promise of the Arab Spring, which saw hordes of educated young people organizing themselves through social media links and taking to the streets demanding western-style democratic reforms. (more…)

The Food of Morocco


The Leonard Lopate Show

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Paula Wolfert talks about her new cookbook, The Food of Morocco—from tender Berber skillet bread to spiced harira, from chicken with preserved lemon and olives to steamed breast of lamb stuffed with couscous and dates. She explains the essential elements of Moroccan flavor and tells where to get hard-to-find ingredients.


Paula Wolfert


2012: The Year Of Counter-Revolution?


Leon T. Herder
The outgoing 2011 is the Year of the Protester, according to Time magazine. The insurgency targeting the ruling political elites, first in Tunisia, and then in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, has not been confined to the Middle East. Protests have taken place in Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Britain and Israel. And in the United States, the Occupy Wall Street protesters began demonstrating first in New York, and then in Washington, Chicago, and in other cities across the country.

The 2011 global uprisings against the status quo have been compared to the revolutions that swept through Europe in 1848, when working-class socialists and middle-class liberals in Paris, Milan, Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Berlin tried to bring down the old regimes. (more…)

Surfing Trooper Is Riding a Geeky Wave Around the World



By Max Castera

Image: SurfingTrooper,

Surfingtrooper, Bali

As a native of South West France, surfing — the original, water-based kind, not the kind you’re doing right now — has been one of my favorite hobbies for quite some time. My move to the Netherlands and (to be honest) my questionable surfing skills have now made my practice of the sport somewhat challenging!

In any case, I still keep an eye on the surf scene, even if not as much as I do on the geek scene. You can imagine how happy I was when I recently witnessed those two worlds crossing paths! Some anonymous surfer is currently traveling the world, looking for the best waves and visiting geek sanctuaries … Oh, and he also wears a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet the whole time. (more…)

Sarkozy's Moroccan New Year


New York Post

French President Nicolas Sarkozy won’t be spending New Year’s Eve in France. He won’t even be in Europe. The stealthy head of state was spotted “jetting out last night to Morocco to spend New Year’s with wife Carla Bruni and King Mohammed VI at the new royal palace in Marrakech.” Sarkozy, Bruni, and their new French baby are guests “the king and his wife, Princess Lalla Salma” along with other friends and family members who are royal personages. Everyone’s staying in “the new palace” which King Mohammed IV built just after taking the throne in 1999 and is quite proud of. According to a witness on the ground, the mere fact the king and his whole family (and the Sarkozys) are inside has led to widespread hoisting of “The Royal Standard of the King, the red flag with the green star in the center,” which as of this morning is apparently “flying all over Marrakech, a sign the king and his family are in the new palace.” And, again, the Sarkozys (more…)

Morocco's new cabinet held up over key jobs


* New cabinet uncertain a month after polls

* Justice and foreign affairs are main points of disagreement

By Souhail Karam

RABAT, Dec 30 (Reuters) – A bid by the moderate Islamist party PJD to finalise the line-up of a power-sharing cabinet in Morocco has been held up, mainly by opposition from King Mohammed’s circle, sources said on Friday.

PJD (Justice and Development) won most seats in a Nov. 25 election which the king had brought forward by nearly a year in an effort to stave off the revolts sweeping the Arab world.

King Mohammed then appointed PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane as prime minister-designate, allowing him to start talks with coalition partners for a new government. (more…)

The hottest party: Britain warmer than Morocco as country set to enjoy record New Year's Eve temperatures


Mail Online


Britain will enjoy near-record New Year’s Eve temperatures tonight – with parts of the country warmer than Iraq, Morocco and Spain – capping the second-warmest year ever recorded.

Forecasters said today will be as warm as average peak temperatures in May, with a balmy New Year the ‘icing on the cake’ after a year of ‘exceptional’ weather.

The Met Office said mild Atlantic breezes mean many places will see temperatures today 6-8C warmer than yesterday, with all of the UK will enjoying the mercury in double figures.

Waving the year goodbye: Two surfers took advantage of the warmer weather today to catch the last of 2011's surf at Tynemouth Longsands, Tyne and Wear

Waving the year goodbye: Two surfers took advantage of the warmer weather today to catch the last of 2011’s surf at Tynemouth Longsands, Tyne and Wear (more…)

Scientists Hunt for Meteor Crash Clues in 200-Million-Year-Old Murder Mystery


By Aaron L. Gronstal, Astrobiology Magazine | – 4 hrs ago

Mass extinctions are a relatively common theme in the history and evolution of life on Earth, and the most famous one is the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A plethora of research has been conducted to determine how the dinosaur era ended, generating theories of massive volcanic eruptions, catastrophic climate change and giant impactors from space.

However, much less is known about another remarkable extinction event that occurred roughly 135 million years earlier — an extinction that may have set the stage for the age of dinosaurs .

The mass extinction that occurred just before the boundary between the Triassic and Jurassic periods wiped out much of the life on land and in the oceans, leaving the world ripe for dinosaurs to plunder. For astrobiologists, the causes of this extinction comprise one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time. (more…)

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