Archive for August, 2012

Berkeley News-and Wine!

I think most American’s I know associate UC Berkeley and the general area of Berkeley California as one of the most liberal areas of the country and perhaps the entire world.  Having lived there for a while myself, I don’t think it is really that liberal, but changing perceptions takes years doesn’t it?

I recently wanted to send wine gift from Berkeley to one of my uncle’s who happens to live in Texas.  As you might expect, it was largely a joke.  He’s ultra conservative, doesn’t drink wine, only beer and hates everything that California stands for.  Well, at least when I sent him his wine I was able to include a few choice bumber stickers for his amusement.  My current favorite is the “Department of Peace”  I understnad the meaning, do you?  Since the United States has always had a department of War, why was the diplomatic wing never the department of peace?  Or don’t we care enough?

A Swim That Thawed the Cold War

In 1987 the cold war between the USA and the Soviet Union was at it’s worst.  An American swimmer named Lynne Cox, braved the ice cold waters of the Bering Strait to swim from the USA to the Soviet Union.  At one side of  the strait was Little Diomede Island part of Alaska and just over 2.5 miles away was Big Diomede Island which was in the Soviet Union.

The water though between the two countries was very, very cold.  Cox recollects how the instant she stepped in the water she lost her breath –

“The cold was like a vampire pulling  the heat from my body. I looked down at my fingers and they were totally grey like the hands of a cadaver.”


There were more problems – permission from Moscow was only allowed at the very last minute.  Her guides across the strait got so excited about seeing their relatives across the water spent the night celebrating and overslept.  Both military had demonstrated the air of mistrust by mobilising jet fighters, MIGs and Naval ships.

In the end the permission granted and the Straits were calm – it was that very cold was the main enemy.  In fact her medical team urged her to finish quickly by just touching the cliffs rather than the longer swim to the beach and the Russian delegation.  She bravely decided for the beach as the point was to promote world peace and it seemed much more relevent to shake someones hand rather than touch a piece of rock.

The Russians in the end came up trumps, even organising a beach party with tea and biscuits on the other side. A soviet doctor caller Rita Zakarova covered her with hot water bottles and a sleeping bag and embraced her to warm her up.

This brave swim actually turned her into a Cold War celebrity in both USSR and the USA.  It was said that Gorbochov talked to Regan about Jenny when signing a Nuclear Arms treaty – mentioning how her courage demonstrated how close people actually were to each other.

There have been a series of documentaries about Lynn Cox on American TV stations.  You should be able to find them on NBC and possibly Hulu if you’re lucky.  If you don’t live in the USA then you’ll need to connect via a USA Proxy in order to access them.

Further Reading

The Most Peaceful Places on Earth

We all know what the world’s most dangerous places are. This is solely based on what we see on the local and world news channels. People would immediately conclude that the countries under war are the most dangerous places in the entire world. This is true since a country involved in war involves a lot of killings, misunderstandings, chaos, hunger and every negative aspect you can ever think of. Most people would never want to visit these countries again. The question is, are there still parts of the world that are considered to be safe places? In this world we live in today, it seems very impossible to have such places. But actually, there are safe places on Earth. Let us take a look at the safest and most peaceful places on Earth.

And the most peaceful place on earth goes to… Iceland. This small country, with only 320,000 residents has been considered as the most peaceful country all over the world for two straight years now. Iceland is considered the most peaceful place on Earth based on the homicide rate, weapon importations, and the likelihood of any violent demonstrations.

Denmark and New Zealand are tied for the second most peaceful place on Earth. Now only are these two countries very peaceful, they also have good economies. This is one factor that decreases the levels of crimes and conflicts among the people. If a nation has a bad economy, then there is a high tendency that it would become chaotic. Denmark recognizes freedom of speech. They value each and everyone’s opinions. New Zealand on the other hand has a small proportion of inmates. New Zealand also has good ties with Australia which helped it achieve the number two spot for the most peaceful country of 2012.

According to the study that was made to determine the level of peacefulness a country has, Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan were found to be the least peaceful places. The terror levels are extremely high on these countries. Although they may be at the bottom rank when it comes to the peacefulness, there is still hope. It just takes time to improve for the better. To improve or develop something, we just need to do a lot of work, just like using your favourite hair removal device. It takes time before you can achieve the results you want. A hair removal device is an amazing invention but it is not a magic wand. You can’t really get the results you want in just a single use. The purpose of hair removal devices are to eliminate unwanted hair and keeps the skin silky smooth. If we expect to achieve or acquire these benefits in a couple of days, then we would just end up being disappointed. Visit to learn how the device works.

Peace is not something that is given; it is a product of hard work and determination to make things more orderly.

Will There Ever Be Another World War?

Even after the great World War II ended, there were still tensions between nations that intensified as times goes by. There are still nations today that are not in good terms. As soon as the war was over, another war has been initiated. The war actually never ended. In fact, a new war had just begun.

One of the world’s concerns today is the territorial claims among Asian countries. China is doing everything it can just to acquire the said territories. The Chinese government strongly believe that the territories under dispute are theirs since they believe that everything in the region of the China Sea is China’s properties. Because of these territorial disputes, the United States is again trying to involve itself to resolve the issues. Of course, China thinks it is an outrage that the US should get involve since it is an issue between some Asian countries.

It is believed that the territories under dispute are rich in natural resources. If these islands or territories are to be owned by a country, then it would make that country very rich. This is one reason why there are so many claimants to these unexplored islands. That is why nobody wants to give way. This involves money; therefore, these countries will do everything to acquire the said territories.

Recently, the tension between China and Japan has just been escalated. This is because some Chinese fishermen crossed the Japanese boarder leading to their arrests. China said that the fishermen did not violent anything since they are still in China’s boarders. Japan disagrees with China saying that the said sea territory is theirs. And now both power nations are under a heated argument.

These territorial disputes are only causing more divisions between countries. What’s worse is that power nations are involved. And when two or more power nations are pushed to their limitations, then it would mean war. Hopefully, everything would be resolved soon. It does not have to result to war. Visit Stop the War Coalition for more anti-war news.

There is a solution to every problem and there are other options too. Even hair problems have many solutions. If you can afford a fast and reliable treatment, then go for the laser hair removal clinical treatments. If you’re on a tight budget, there are also home hair removal devices specifically designed for consumer self-treatment purposes. Hair removal devices are cheaper than the clinical procedure but they are also very effective. Check out this websites to learn more about this product. Or if you prefer the more traditional and convenient way, then razors will do. Or if you can live with those body hairs, then it’s your choice. The only point is, there are so many solutions to solve a problem. If these countries that are fighting over certain islands and territories can only handle the situation in a more diplomatic and mature way, then the world would be less chaotic. It is basically our choice on how we want the problems to be resolved.