Thursday, November 24, 2005

Latin America faces year of change

Interesting times for Latin America

Twelve presidential elections are due to take place in Latin America between November 2005 and the end of 2006. They include seven of the region's eight most populous countries: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile and Ecuador. ...continues here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

George Papandreou Next President of Socialist International

This is a piece of news that made me very happy and proud.

Having known G. Papandreou as a politician and as a person for almost 30 years, I consider this as an international recognition of his political agenda. George is not a conventional Greek politician and certain Greek political “experts” doubt his ability as a leader. I hope that his election in January as the President of the Socialist International will make a lot of them reconsider their views. ...continues here!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Open access to scientific books

The following opens new avenues to free access to scientific books. Luc Devroye should be congratulated for it! (Visit his web page for more. )

...continues here!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The net and mobile phones are giving us the power to change politics for the better

This is an interesting opinion.

Mociology refers to how mobile and wireless technology has changed the way we do things: downloading music on to a mobile phone, for example, or getting the football scores texted through on a Saturday afternoon. To Trippi, however, its potential lies in how it can be used for political purposes - just as he saw and exploited the possibilities of blogs for political campaigning while running Howard Dean's unsuccessful bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. ...continues here!

Caution over HIV 'cure' claims

Doctors say they want to investigate the case of a British man with HIV who apparently became clear of the virus. Scotsman Andrew Stimpson, 25 was diagnosed HIV-positive in 2002 but was found to be negative in October 2003. Mr Stimpson, from London, said he was "one of the luckiest people alive".

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust confirmed the tests were accurate but were unable to confirm Mr Stimpson's cure because he had declined to undergo further tests. A statement from the trust said: "This is a rare and complex case. When we became aware of Mr Stimpson's HIV negative test results we offered him further tests to help us investigate and find an explanation for the different results.

Bacteria modified to combat HIV

Scientists have genetically modified bacteria living in the human body to produce chemicals that block HIV infection. Although the research is still at an early stage, they hope it could eventually lead to a practical and cost effective new way to combat the virus. As of December 2004, there are 39.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS. The research, by the US National Cancer Institute, is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Most HIV transmission occurs on the surfaces of the gut and reproductive areas which are normally coated with a layer of bacteria. The researchers modified one of these bacteria - a form of E.coli - so that it began to secrete proteins that block HIV from infecting its target cells.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Private Education: Is it worth the money?

The other side of the story. Not everything is rosy.

Sunday November 13, 2005
The Observer

There are as many different accounts of private schools as there are children who went to them. ...continues here!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

O'Reilly on open source software.

The BBC web site has a very interesting interview with O’Reilly. Some of it follows. (For the full article go to the link at the end).

Tim O'Reilly: Proprietary software grew up, starting really in the 1980s, as an alternative and that became the dominant model with the rise of companies like Microsoft and Oracle and the like.

But then a set of people said, we like it the way it was where we just gave our stuff away. So you had a bit of revolt against the commercialisation of software which started with Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation which was founded in 1984. ...continues here!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Music and Mathematics

A very interesting event that I attended last Saturday.

Christopher Taylor in Conversation with Bob Osserman

MSRI invites you to attend a free public event at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 5, 2005, which presents acclaimed pianist Christopher Taylor and mathematician Bob Osserman in a discussion that explores how harmoniously music and math inter-relate to each other. Taylor, who majored in mathematics, graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1992. The following year he entered the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and became the first American to receive a medal since 1981. He has gone on to become a leading representative of 20th century piano music. ...continues here!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

BBC: Nominate most important political protest

Rosa Parks
Parks was arrested and charged for violating segregation laws

BBC, on its web page, has initiated an interesting project. It is seeking the opinion of its readers to nominate most important political protest. I thought that this initiative should be supported, that is why I am adding a post for it. Below, some info from the site. All the details in

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