If you need diapers, better stock up now . . .

. . . because they may be in short supply for a while.  The Telegraph reports: The world could face a shortage of disposable nappies [diapers] after an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Japan responsible for as much as one fifth of the global market. . . . Nippon Shokubai controls the largest share of the world market for super-absorbent polymers, which is used in the production of nappies, and has been expanding its international sales network to keep up with demand. According to the company, demand is so high that its production facilities have been required

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A balanced perspective?

I don’t know what’s wrong with some of Google’s sites tonight, but I can’t access Picasa for photographs or Google Advanced Search for some article research I need to do.  I’ll try again in the morning, and put up more posts if things are working again. Until then, to keep you occupied, here’s a video clip of what must be the world’s smallest bicycle. How he manages to keep his balance on that thing, I just don’t understand . . . Peter

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So that’s why she wants me to be happier!

I note with interest a report in the Telegraph about a Norwegian survey of modern couples. Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found. . . . The figures clearly show that “the more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” [Mr. Hansen] went on. The reasons, Mr Hansen said, lay only partially with the chores themselves. “Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity

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Salvaging the ‘Costa Concordia’

I’m sure readers remember the ‘Costa Concordia’ disaster last January.  Salvage operations to refloat the cruise liner prior to dismantling her are now under way.  Der Spiegel reports: On the island of Giglio, they are currently preparing the most spectacular shipwreck towing maneuver in maritime history. Never before has such a colossal cruise ship been raised to an upright position. The vessel is 290 meters (951 feet) long and 36 meters (118 feet) wide. It has a displacement of 50,000 metric tons. To make matters worse, it’s lying in a precarious position on a rocky slope and is in danger

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Centenary congratulations to the Royal Norwegian Air Force

The Royal Norwegian Air Force celebrated its centenary with an air show on September 1-2, 2012, in Oslo.  Back in July we showed an F-16 of the RNoAF that had been given a special paint job to celebrate the anniversary.  It was part of a large number of aircraft taking part in fly-pasts to commemorate the occasion.  Here’s a video of the fly-pasts, featuring aircraft ranging from historic to contemporary. Flight Global has an account of proceedings, including the photo below (cropped for display here) of a giant screen portraying Per Waaler. He was “one of the Norwegian pilots who

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Getting a handle on things . . . literally!

As many readers know, I’m now engaged in full-time writing, after a disabling injury prevented me from continuing to work in the ministry.  I had a book published back in the 1980’s (now long out of print), but the civil unrest in South Africa worsened to such an extent that it blocked my hopes of being able to continue writing for publication.  Thereafter things just didn’t seem to work out that way . . . but when you’ve got nothing else to do except lie in bed and hurt, writing takes on a new impetus!  I hope to have my

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The Obama administration has been caught lying in its teeth . . .

. . . but you wouldn’t know much about it, to judge from the (lack of) coverage in the mainstream media. It’s been clear from the very beginning (as we’ve pointed out before) that the attack on US diplomats and their building in Benghazi, Libya, and the co-ordinated demonstrations and assaults on similar installations in other Islamic countries, were not isolated incidents, nor where they ‘spontaneous demonstrations’ against an anti-Islamic film (as initially alleged by the Administration, even as late as Tuesday this week).  Instead, they were carefully planned and well-executed attacks by trained terrorists.  Despite this reality, blindingly obvious

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Not your average trucks – or truck drivers!

I was amused to discover that in Eastern Europe, there are competitive events to test the ability of drivers and trucks to cross rough terrain.  Having done this as a matter of routine in parts of Africa from time to time, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to willingly subject themselves, or their expensive trucks, to the same hammering just for fun . . . but perhaps I’m too much of a realist sometimes! Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a look at how they go about it (and sometimes fail).  Here are a few videos portraying their trials

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Theory versus practice in a combat zone

The Marine Corps Gazette has published an interesting article titled ‘What Color Are Your Socks?: It’s time To Leash Your Dogma‘.  The author argues: Those leaders who emphatically state that there is no difference between the rules and expectations for Marines between the continental Unites States (CONUS) and a combat zone exhibit a shocking lack of situational awareness. To equate the conditions and realities of Camp CONUS with camps, outposts, and bases in Afghanistan is to disregard reality. In CONUS there is no enemy doing his best to kill Marines on a daily basis, there are no improvised explosive devices

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I absolutely could not believe this story!

Even after reading and re-reading this story, I still can’t wrap my brain around it.  It seems that in Thailand, cosmetic companies are marketing creams to lighten the vulva. Why? What on earth could justify so frivolous and pointless an expenditure?  What’s wrong with leaving your organs the color God and nature made them?  What sort of man would base his attraction for a lady on the color of her genitals, for heaven’s sake? On the other hand, I suppose a world that accepts the concept of anal bleaching might actually find this worthwhile.  Sometimes I think I was born

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