February 3rd, 2007

The other flood

Jakarta, Indonesia, is divided by 13 rivers. Most have risen beyond control due to heavy rainfall in the last couple of days. 40.000 people have fled, the water is in may area’s 6-7 feet high, and at least 5 are left dead. Why aren’t we hearing much?

Update feb 4th: 200.000 homeless now, at least 20 fatalities.

Update feb 5th: 270.000 homeless now, at least 25 fatalities.

Update feb 6th: 340.000 homeless now, at least 36 fatalities.

Update feb 10th: Fear for cholera rising, at least 5680 fatalities.

February 2nd, 2007

The superbowl (added Italian soccer)

An outside perspective with a few disclaimers

Next sunday is the superbowl.

Money: I understood about $2.500.000 (looks nicer in a full figure huh?) is payed per 30 second commercial. Given 4 times 15 minutes play and, as I assume about the same time for commercials that adds up to $300.000.000. Not bad.

Sports: I understood it is about sports but by the time the 3rd quater is played, it is about time to i.e. start playing monopoly or something, hehe.

Socializing: More than here for sure, sports is a social thing, getting together with friends & family, commenting, yelling and screaming. Our national sport, soccer (which we call football [voetbal] btw), is something I wouldn’t want to take my kids to. All to often it’s overshadowed by violent so called “supporters”. No thanks (see addition below).

Traffic: A friend of mine made an appointment to go to a hard-to-reach (because of traffic problems and distance) friend Sunday, as they both don’t care about the superbowl and the roads will be a blaze, hee hee. Smart thinking.

Crazyness: Here we would call it all American crazyness, but let me tell you this. This same weekend, the WorldEuropean Championship Ice skating (fast track) is done in Italy. I won’t bother you with our heroes, but your guy Chad Hedrick is there too. The event is broadcasted live on Dutch TV. If you explain that to, for heaven sake, an Italian he will look at you and shake his head.

Conclusion: We’re all entitled to our own madness.

Addition: Yesterday evening, as I was writing the above, in Sicily, southern Italy, soccer country #1, a policeman was killed when a home made fireworks-bomb was tossed in his car during riots outside the stadium. Mind you 1500 policemen were there for crowd control. What is totally uncalled for, the national league has been cancelled for this weekend, including interlands, with some forces suggesting to postpone all professional soccer games for a year. I couldn’t care less for soccer or most sports actually, but I respect it is a huge thing for many. A sad day.