Published on February 28 2007

16 to 18 INCHES OF SNOW???? Think I'll stay home and paint my fireplace. With the curtains closed.
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Published on February 27 2007

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Please wish us all luck, k?

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Published on February 27 2007

We got next-to-nothing out of last weekend's monster blizzard (sticking my tongue out at the central Wis. relatives); only about 5-6 inches of new snow in those horrendous winds. It makes me a little nervous when the blurb scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen mentions that there "might be a lull" in the blizzard coming our way late Thursday afternoon. Here it comes. A foot predicted, so far. Sigh. I used to go through weather.com or other weather sites, when I discovered this simple shortcut to the National Weather Service forecasts. You type "weather.gov", then a /, and then the zip code. Works great, and easy enough for even a memory-challenged babe like me to keep in mind. Now where did I put the snow shovel?

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Published on February 26 2007

UNs top court clears Serbia of genocide during Bosnian war
THE HAGUE AFP - The UNs top court on Monday cleared Serbia of direct involvement in genocide during the war in Bosnia, but said Belgrade did breach international law by failing to prevent the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. "The court finds that Serbia has not committed genocide," ICJ president Rosalyn Higgins said. The ICJ found that "massive killings" and atrocities occured throughout Bosnia with Bosnian Muslims being the victims in many cases. However, it stressed most events did not amount to genocide because "the evidence did not show that these terrible acts were accompanied by the specific intent to destroy a group that is the required proof of genocide," Higgins told journalists after the judgement. The ICJ found only one act of genocide -- the massacre at Srebrenica of nearly 8,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serb troops -- and said there was not enough evidence to suggest Belgrade was directly responsible. However, it ruled that Serbia had failed in its responsibility under the 1948 genocide convention to try and prevent the killings.
Let me see if I have this right. Lots of killings happened, but it was just a coincidence that most of the victims were a particular nationality and religion? After all, the ICJ found only one act of genocide. It was only one little massacre. ICJ President Judge Rosalyn Higgins said the court concluded that the Srebrenica massacre did constitute genocide, but that other mass killings of Bosnian Muslims did not. I never knew there were "levels of genocide".
While the ICJ ruled that Belgrade had given "considerable military and financial support" to the Bosnian Serb leadership, the court found it did not mastermind the slaughter in Srebrenica. "The decision to kill the adult male population of the Muslim community was taken by some members of the main staff of the Bosnian Serb army but without instructions from or effective control by Serbia," the court said. But Higgins stressed the case had also "conclusively proved" that the Serbian leadership, and former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in particular, "were fully aware ... that massacres were likely to occur".
The court found that Serbia supplied "considerable military and financial support available" to the Bosnian Serbs but that it had not known they had genocidal intent. They "were aware" it was "likely", but there ends their responsibility. Ahhh, I understand now. Blame it on the military. Who can control them, after all? They have guns! I had wondered aloud during class what the reaction of the Muslim world would be if the decision happened to go Serbia's way, considering the reaction to a few cartoons and a comment by the Pope. Surely, if Serbia was found not guilty, the reaction would be incredible, wouldn't it? My prof forwarded the question to one of his TA's in another class, who happens to be a Muslim from Bosnia. Her response follows:
Dr. K, this is a difficult question, and I am not sure if I can help with it. I am willing to try, though. First of all, there is a problem within the question. Bosnia is not predominantly Muslim - before the war Bosnia had about 44% of Muslim population; now it must be either close to that or even less, after so many people left, and many were killed. So, even though, Bosnia has high percentage of Muslim population, it is usually not considered Muslim. More than fifty percent of Bosnian population is Christian, mostly Eastern Orthodox, but also Catholic. We also have a Jewish minority. Even though, some Arabic countries have tried to be involved in rebuilding Mosques in Bosnia, and have tried to finance some religious schools, etc., most of the Bosnian Muslim population is not religious in the sense that they follow some of the most sacred Muslim traditions. Very few Bosnian Muslims pray five times a day, and it is very difficult to find a Bosnian (regardlss of religion) who does not drink!!! (I am still looking to find one). Even though the Muslim world, so to say, did sympathize with Bosnian Muslims during the genocide, I doubt that the decision would bring about any type of radical reaction within the Muslim population. And lastly, in my mind, there is honestly no way that Serbia can be found not guilty on all counts - the evidence is overwhelming. Overall, I do not think that decision (whatever it might be) will carry much importance for the Muslim world, and most likely than not, Serbia will be found guilty on at least some accounts.
Will be interesting watching the news over the next few days, I think.

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Published on February 26 2007

This week February 26 through March 4 Libra The week begins with good news on the job. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the tension begins to mount as the week progresses. On Wednesday, a friendship or love affair may end. Your friend or lover may have issues that need to be dealt with before you can resume your old relationship. Saturday's Lunar Eclipse may bring to light a relationship secret. If you're seeing someone and don't want anyone else to know, you could be found out. Another possibility is that you will discover something about your romantic partner that he or she has been trying to keep hidden from you.
Like..... his IDENTITY, perhaps?????????

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Published on February 25 2007

Indonesia drops balls into mud volcano There. is. no. possible. comment.

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Published on February 25 2007

Tomorrow's news will provide the last paragraph to the short case report I wrote for the last class. After all the reading I did on the case, I am *really* interested in seeing the final ruling and how it will affect Serbia's application to the European Union, in light of the Copenhagen Declaration laying out the requirements for membership. World Court to deliver genocide ruling
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Can a state commit genocide? Should an entire nation — not just its presidents, generals, and soldiers — be held responsible for humanitys worst crime? In one of the most momentous cases in its 60 years, the U.N.s highest court will deliver its judgment Monday on Bosnia's demand to make Serbia accountable for the slaughter, terrorizing, rape and displacement of Bosnian Muslims in the early 1990s. If it rules for Bosnia, the International Court of Justice could open the way for compensation amounting to billions of dollars from Serbia, the successor state of Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia, although specific claims would be addressed only later. It also would be a permanent stain on Serbia in the eyes of history, regardless of any effort by Belgrade to distance itself from the brutality of those years.
One of the criteria in the Copenhagen Declaration is that country must have achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and, protection of minorities. Considering that the Serb province of Kosovo is still a UN protectorate, ya gotta wonder if that stability is achievable, especially when nationalists in the country are calling for leaving the UN, abandoning the EU application process, and sending troops into Kosovo should that province gain independence. Nationalists urge Serbia to abandon EU plans, quit UN if Kosovo gains independence
BELGRADE, Serbia: Serbia's ultra-nationalists said Friday the Balkan country should quit the United Nations and abandon its efforts to join the European Union if Kosovo becomes independent. The comments illustrate the pressure nationalists are putting on Serbia's pro-Western leaders, who have promised to participate in the final U.N.-brokered talks on Kosovo currently being held in Vienna, Austria, although they have rejected the possibility of independence for Kosovo, which is considered the heartland of Serbian statehood and religion. Serbs and Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians are discussing a U.N. plan for the Serb province which envisages internationally supervised statehood. Although it does not directly mention independence, Belgrade believes the plan would eventually lead to Kosovo becoming a separate country, and has rejected the document.
But then, we can always fall back on rewarding behavior. Carrot and stick. Sometimes it works.
Fearing that the extremists could return to power in Serbia because of the possibility of Kosovo's secession, EU officials have hinted that they would consider offering Serbia a shortcut to EU membership if it reconsiders its staunch opposition to Kosovo's independence.

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Published on February 24 2007

And just for the record, it was sent to me by a rabid Democrat.
A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on US 95 south, just outside Washington D.C. Nothing is moving north or south. Suddenly a man knocks on his window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What happened...What's the hold up?" "Terrorists have kidnapped Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Ried, and John Kerry. They are asking for a $100 million ransom. If their demands are not met, they are going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection." The driver asks, "On average, how much is everyone giving?" The man replied "about a gallon"!!
Discuss amongst yourselves. I'm going to work.

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Published on February 24 2007

‘Embarrassment before dishonor’ | MetaFilter On recommendation from #1 child, I've been peeking into Metafilter more frequently. I've seen everything from recipes to "how-to's" on anything you could think of. There are also occasionally just plain ole' good discussions on issues of the day. This particular discussion is on a story out of Oconomowoc (bonus points for non-Cheeseheads who can pronounce that) last week.
OCONOMOWOC, Wis. - A man said he broke into an apartment with a cavalry sword because he thought he heard a woman being raped, but the sound actually was from a pornographic movie his upstairs neighbor was watching. “Now I feel stupid,” said James Van Iveren, who has been charged in the case. “This really is nothing, nothing but a mistake.”
I read about it the other day, but I'm sorta trying to keep the blog PG-rated, and there was just no possible way to comment on that story without crossing WAY into R-rated territory. MetaFilter, on the other hand....... I only wish I could come up with some of the things their commenters say. This, for example:
"Oh god. I saw the dateline of 'Oconomowoc, Wis' and read 'breaks down door armed with a cavalry saber', and I just kept thinking Please don't be someone I know, Please don't be someone I know... And fortunately, I don't know him. But the fact that it was even a possibility suggests that Oconomowoc is an odd place. That's what we do in WI; beer, cheese, Harleys, serial killers, and crazy. It's the weather. It turns us all a little mad, doncha-know?"
I have to admit when I read "Oconomowoc", I also thought immediately of someone I know who lives there, but relaxed when I remembered that the saber is safely in northern Wisconsin. "Beer, cheese, Harleys, serial killers, and crazy". Yep, pretty much sums it up.

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Published on February 24 2007

One of my favorite bloggers is The Anchoress. I've loved her take on current affairs since I discovered her blog a couple of years back. The other day, she posted a series of images of math problems and the creative solutions students had come up with. Scary thing is-- most of them look like my math tests from days gone by. Here's one example:
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Not only eloquent, but simple and elegant, as well. Go take a peek at the rest--I especially feel for the student working on the problem in the very first image.The Anchoress » Eloquent Solutions to tough problems

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