Friday, May 30, 2008

Fulbright Seven Denied!

How to fix "stupid": Protest.

"U.S. Withdraws Fulbright Grants..."

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bonding through Pain

Listen to Robi Damelin, a Mother, expressing the universal pain of a Mother losing a child. Universal. Not Israeli. Not Palestinian. Universal. Wall Street Journal Video.

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Friday, May 23, 2008 a few years.

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.

- Bertrand Russell, 1872 - 1970

Monday, May 19, 2008

Twitter outage: 5/19/08: approx 12:47 PDT?

Symptoms seem to indicate true. Darn. Wishing for federated fail-over. Bring it on Dave Winer. I know you can do it.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008



What you leave behind
is not what is engraved
in stone monuments,
but what is woven
into the lives of others.

- Pericles


Absence makes the heart grow stronger. Oh, twitter...please come back home. We miss you. And we love you. :)
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Friday, May 9, 2008


Go figure...


100% coverage.

Iridium complies with US embargo restrictions and as a result the following countries may not permit the use of Iridium Satellite phones or coverage may not be available: Myanmar (formerly Burma), Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, North Sri Lanka (temporarily opened for disaster relief), and Syria.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

U.S. Cities with Population Around 100,000

Berkeley, California
Burbank, California
Waterbury, Connecticut
Pompano Beach, Florida
Athens-Clarke County, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Springfield, Illinois
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Topeka, Kansas
Lafayette, Louisiana
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Manchester, New Hampshire
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Norman, Oklahoma
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Beaumont, Texas
Waco, Texas
Portsmouth, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2006

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Myanmar / (Burma)

Country Profile

Name: Myanmar

Capital: Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon)

Population: 45,059,000

Age structure:

0-14 years: 29.8% (male 15.2%; female 14.6%)

15-64 years: 65.5% (male 32.5%; female 33%)

65+ years: 4.7% (male 2.1%; female 2.6%)

Area: 676,580 sq km

Language: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages

Currency: 1 kyat (K) = 100 pyas

Border countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Thailand

Religion: Buddhist 89.1%; Christian 4.9%; Muslim 3.8%, other 2.2%

Human Development Index :*128

*The human development index includes measures of mortality, education and economic activity, three of the most important components of human development. It includes the classification of 174 countries.

National Council of YMCAs

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1897

Full/Associate/Related Membership in the World Alliance of YMCAs: Full

Full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs since: 1953

Brief YMCA History


The YMCAs in Myanmar started as early as 1897 in Rangoon. As it was started during the British regime, most of the YMCA programs were to serve the British communities. Almost all the leaders at that time were European. The National Leadership started around 1940s before independence. The Mandalay YMCA and Taunggyi YMCA were also established. Then Pyinoolwin YMCA and Myitkyina YMCA followed.

The National Council of YMCAs was started in 1951 with leaders from Taunggyi, Yangon, PyinOoLwin, Mandalay and MyRkyina.

The early YMCAs

The early part of the YMCA movement was based on YMCA traditional programs such as hostel programs, sports and recreation programs and educational programs. Some of the early YMCAs were too much westernized and eventually strayed away from the local communities. One of the local YMCAs was totally disintegrated as it was empha-sizing too much on western culture. The hostel programs cre-ated a lot of legal problems and could not serve the urban young people as intended. Sports and recreation pro-grams served only a minority. Only people who could afford attended the YMCA educational classes.

YMCA became more and more institutionalized rather than advancing as a movement. Some even thought that the YMCA was a colonial device.

Nevertheless, the YMCA leaders tried their best all these years to meet the needs of the local people by all means. They were able to buy big compound in Taunggyi, Yangon, PlyinOoLwin and Myitkyina. These YMCAs located in key places have large buildings and properties. They have left enormous amenities for the YMCAs.

Recalling the Past

The YMCAs in Myanmar have to come across many difficulties. Taunggyi

YMCA was nationalized by mistake in 1965 and was returned in 1976. Mawlamyaing YMCA was donated to the social welfare department and therefore, the YMCA there became defunct. One of the buildings belonging to Yangon YMCA is being occupied by the Hotel and Tourist Department.

Mission Statement

1. To exert the truth and teachings of Christ as basic principles in its work and programs.

2. To lay down programs and plans for the youth to play a major role for the total development of the youth.

3. To promote devoted leaders who have the will to sacrifice their whole life for the progress and advancement of the people and the community.

4. To cooperate with other faiths, G0s, NG0s, and social organizations in implementing the YMCA's program and agenda in every possible way.

5. To lay down programs for the expansion of love and setting peace among people and preservation of the nature and environment.

6. To maintain the good tradition, culture and values of Myanmar and to encourage contextual development of the culture and traditions.

7. To work for equal opportunity for both men and women in all programs and agenda.

8. To lay down programs for the development of the marginalized men, women and young people.

Main Programmes

National Council

The National Council is serving its local YMCAs and local people as much as possible. The National Council has three major programs :

1. Training and Seminars

2. Development Programs

3. Appropriate Technology Program

National Council is conducting the following training and seminars:

1. Lay Leadership Promotion Seminars

2. YMCA orientation workshop

3. Secretary's Training

4. Women's Forum

5. Publication on YMCA trends and issues

6. Management Training

7.Training on HIV.

Some of the development programs are:

1. Basic Electrical and Advanced Electrical

Training for Women

2. Basic Plumbing Training

3. Basic and Advanced Carpentry and Masonry


4. Revolving Loan Fund Program

5. Food Preservation and Technology Training

6. Book Binding Training

7. Hair Cutting and Dressing Training

8. Battery Repairing

9. Interior Design

Appropriate Technology Program is also under the development program and the main objective is to obtain sustainable development. This program is supported by EZE. Under this program the following programs are being implemented in the whole country :

1.Constructing hydro power plant

2. Making of Economic Stove Moulds and Stoves

3. Training on SALT Farming

4. Training on Low Cost Housing

5. Wind Mills

6. Solar Dryers and Cookers

7. Training on Water Purification Methods

Local Y's Activities


It started in 1989 just after the political turmoil in Myanmar. During the uprising in 1988 some of the Church leaders worked closely to help the poor and the needy. After the turmoil they felt that they need a more concrete association to work for the poor and needy. Hence they formed the Bago YMCA in 1989. Bago YMCA has two successful programs.

1. Sewing Classes

There are about 20 to 30 women in this class every month. Most of the ladies graduated from those classes get jobs in garment factories in that area. As the tuition fee is very low, most of the poor ladies can afford to attend these classes.

2. Community Development Program

Bago YMCA is also doing community development programs in nearby 30 villages. These villages are always flooded in rainy season and all the wells dry up in summer. Bago YMCA is now completing digging 300 tube wells in 30 villages and also helped the villagers to make 1200 economic stoves under the Appropriate Technology Program.

Yangon YMCA

Yangon YMCA is now 102 years old and con-tinues to render social services to the young people in all aspects. Some of the community-based pro-grams are:

1. Night Study Program

Yangon YMCA started this program since 1987. The main objective is to help the poor children from uneducated families. YMCA volunteer teachers help these children with their home works. YMCA also provided clean rooms with bright light whereas their homes are small with no electricity. After ten years of this program, the children from YMCA night study group passed their exams with flying colors. This program extended to a nearby new satellite town called Hlaing Thayar. They have started with 50 children and, at present, there are more than 400 children regularly coming to YMCA study rooms.

2. Social Committee

Yangon YMCA also tried to change the ratio of consumer members and service members. The instructors come to YMCA to earn their living by using YMCA facilities. YMCA tried to utilize their strength by forming a committee Galled Social Committee consisting of some Board members and YMCA instructors. They are assigned to orga-nize participants of their classes to participate in helping the needy. This Committee meets regularly by helping blind families, hearing handicaps, lepers families and chronic patients.

Yezin YMCA

Yezin YMCA has a program called "Mobile Clinic". This mobile clinic is a moving clinic emphasizing on health education rather than curing. The health workers have moved around nearby villages. They are bringing videotapes on health education, posters, pamphlets and charts together with some basic medicines. The dominant disease in this area is malaria. There are also malnutrition and toxemia in pregnancy cases. Yezin YMCA is successfully implementing this program with the support of the Yokohama YMCA for almost 6 years,

Mandalay YMCA

Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar. Mandalay YMCA was revived in 1986 under the leadership of committed and dedicated lay and professional leaders. When Mandalay YMCA re-operated its programs in 1986, the major portion was a "Daycare" program. Today there are eight daycare centers in Mandalay and using Montessori methods and catering best services to the children in Mandalay. Bangkok YMCA is helping daycare programs in Myanmar by sending its trained staff to Myanmar to give advanced training. Mandalay YMCA has a big cultural and language center.

Mogaung YMCA

It is located in Kachin State and started as a branch of Myitkyina YMCA. Mogaung YMCA is also known as the gateway to HpaKant, the famous jade mine. Large forest area has been destroyed as a conse-quence of mining. Mogaung YMCA has appointed a community organizer to help the local people on reforestation and to make use of the economic stove.

Myitkyina YMCA

Myitkyina YMCA is actively taking part in pre-venting HIV/AIDS among young people. YMCA has also ap-pointed volunteer PEER educators by giving edu-cation to youth in co-op-eration with NGOs like AZG. Myitkyina YMCA also has a very dynamic environmental program.

There is one full time staff to conduct programmes on environmental issues. A seminar on preservation of forest, wildlife and nature was convened last March and it was very successful. It also receives full support and recognition from the local authorities.


Haka is a capital of Chin State that is bordering with India. To maintain their Chin cultural identity, Haka YMCA is conducting Chin language classes and holds competition on traditional dances occasionally. This YMCA is also helping the nearby villages in setting up small hydro-power plants. Haka YMCA, together with National YMCAs and EZE, have installed two small-scale hydro-power plants.

Lashio and Kutkhai YMCA

These two YMCAs located in Northern Shan State are only 40 miles away from each other. These two YMCAs are emphasizing on Sloping Land Agricul-ture Technology known as SALT farming so as to prevent large deforestation because of traditional way of farming, "slash and burn" method. KutKhai YMCA will start a vocational training program soon supported by the Asia Alliance of YMCAs.

Facts and Figures

At present, the National YMCAs is formed with eleven local YMCAs. Namely;

a. Bago YMCA

b. Haka YMCA

c. KutKai YMCA

d. Lashio YMCA

e. Mandalay YMCA

f. Moegaung YMCA.

g. Myitkyina YMCA

h. PyinOoLwin YMCA

i. Taunggyi YMCA

j. Yangon YMCA and

k. Yezin YMCA

Partnership with:

1. Osaka YMCA is our long comrade YMCA which is supporting us financially and spiritually for long time in the leadership development programs.

2. Toronto YMCA is also supporting us for long time in giving vocational training to young people and a special support for women to convene "women's forum".

3. Yokohama YMCA is supporting one of our local YMCAs in the health sector.

4. EZE is supporting us in Appropriate Technology which can be used as tools to achieve sustainable development.

Friday, May 2, 2008

700Mhz Band and Public Safety

Numerous articles on what's going on in the 700Mhz space. Sheesh...politics. Meanwhile real people in real crises need real help to avoid real pain, suffering, death.

Read this document on scribd at: Public Safety 700Mhz Band

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Conversation Ecosystem

For me, this sums up Twitter...quite elegantly.
"Conversation Ecosystem"

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