Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bits: Nepal's Elections, Sailing with Words, G Train Blues & Celebrating Israel's Anniversary


Photo by Brian Sokol, from the New York Times

1.

"Nepal's Maoists Prepare for Elections," shot by Brian Sokol for the New York Times

South Asia's getting a lot of attention lately, what with the protests and violence in Tibet and now with the upcoming elections in Nepal. Sokol took pictures in Nepal during the days leading up to those elections and the results are amazing.

2.

"Ving, Vang, Vong. Or, the Pleasure of a New Vocabulary," editorial observer by Verlyn Klinkenborg, from the New York Times

I tend to like Klinkenborg's editorial observers because he writes about things I like, like the outdoors and middle-of-nowhere. First, the title caught me because it sounded like something I'd write. Second, the lede caught me because, of course, he mentioned sailing. I like the concept: picking out those things people tend to not notice. It's wonderful.

I know what he means about sailing (or, for me, boating) terms. I still get confused by port and starboard. (I invented my own little device to remember it: port is left if you're rowing, because they both have four letters. It takes me a couple seconds to remember this while I'm coxing though.) I end up calling everything "thingie," because I'm more about the feeling of rowing and being out there.

3.

"At Last, Some Attention for Subway Line Less Traveled," by Anthony Ramirez, from the New York Times
I hate the G train. With a passion. Along with the brown line (J, M and Z), it's the worse train in New York. Yet, I rely on the G train--it takes me to both my jobs (the Rail at Greenpoint Avenue and the Gazette at Nassau) and it's the only Queens-Brooklyn train line, which is ridiculous anyway. It's sad that the city isn't going to try to improve the line.

What's funny about this article is the relationship between the G and the V train. The V train came about into existence while I was junior in high school in 2001. It changed my route (Instead of taking the F to Queens Plaza for the R to 59th Street, I had to transfer at Roosevelt Avenue.) and also changed the G train. In order to create the V trains, the MTA took cars from the G train, thus creating the short G trains we have today. However, in the article, when someone brought that up at the meeting, the MTA denied it. Why? That's such a petty thing to deny.

4.

"Cynicism trumps pride for Israel's birthday party" by Isabel Kershner from the International Herald Tribune

How much should a country spend on its anniversary and how extravagant should it be? Considering the state of Israel and the area now, the government hopes to cheer everybody up with a huge blowout, but Israelis aren't agreeing. Already, 90,000 Israelis signed a petition asking the government to use the money for better things, like actually helping people through education and other public services.

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