Stranger In An Even Stranger Land - blog by Gurdur

 




A blog of random jottings on events, science, renfairs, travel, reading, music, humanism, religion, atheism, and even the odd spot of gardening.

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The Garissa terrorism attack by Al-Shabaab in Kenya, and its context

Posted 08-Apr-2015 at 03:23 PM (15:23) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Six days ago, Al Shabaab gunmen entered Garissa University and murdered at least 148 people. The initial death toll was reported as 147, thus the hashtag #147NotJustANumber, which was created by Kenyans to honor the murder victims. The terrorists had taken over 700 as hostages, then let most of the Muslim students go, and ended up murdering 149, mostly Christian students aged between 19 and 23. At least one Muslim was also murdered by the Al Shabaab terrorists.

Al Shabaab is an Islamist,...
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Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.

When I invited a Duchess down Edgware Road for some qat (khat)

Posted 22-Sep-2011 at 10:01 AM (10:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 22-Sep-2011 at 11:14 AM (11:14) by Gurdur

Not all that many people will invite a real true Duchess out for khat (qat) on meeting her for the first time, so all this demands quite a bit of explanation. When I arrived in London on Wednesday 31th August this year, preparing to go to the Science Online London event (#SoLo11) in the next days, and I found the hotel where I was staying, suddenly it was like all my Christmases had arrived at once. The hotel proved to be just across the road from the British Library convention rooms where #SoLo11...
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Thoughts on ethics and so on about the first recent tourist to Mogadishu, Mike Bown

Posted 24-Mar-2011 at 05:02 AM (05:02) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 24-Mar-2011 at 05:32 AM (05:32) by Gurdur

So the other day I blogged in whimsy on a bloke, Mike Spencer Bown, who claimed to have been the first recent tourist to have visited Mogadishu (as a tourist), Somalia. And that particular case of course brings up one hell of a lot of ethical questions surrounding it all; and I am going to lay out why it's all a very mixed bag with no one single simple answer or judgment.

First off, there's one (relatively at least) rich boy swanning off to a desperate region only so he can say he's...
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Someone even more foolhardy than I am; Mike Spencer Bown claiming to be first recent tourist to Mogadishu, Somalia

Posted 20-Mar-2011 at 07:05 PM (19:05) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

I've just come across a case of someone being blithely irresponsible and foolhardy to such a degree that he even surpasses me in that (look, there's a lot of true stories I never tell). This guy - Mike Spencer Bown - alleges he has visited Somalia as a tourist; it sounds in a way exactly the kind of thing I would do, except for the bit where he talks about:

Quote:
"They tried four times to put me back on the plane to get rid of me but I shouted and played tricks until the plane left without
...
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