One man's meat ...
Wars are fought over doctrinal differences, yet I say vive la difference
. It's what keeps me here in Indonesia, with one eye on the world out there.
Indonesians suffer from minor ailments unlike any ever diagnosed in the west. They regularly take sick days because of something called masuk angin
. This translates as 'air coming in', or, as you and I would say, breathing.
Another rarely fatal symptom, probably because of the vast array of cures, is panas dalam
. A rough translation of that is 'hot inside'. I really can't understand that one because if we were dingin dalam
(cold inside) we'd be dead and unable to imbibe elixirs, to nose out nostrums (nostrii?) or to partake of panaceas such as:
So, what are we to make of a technology claimed to produce free, clean and constant energy?This means never having to recharge your phone, never having to refuel your car, to a genuine solution to the need for zero emission energy production. A world with an infinite supply of clean energy for all.
is making three claims for its technology:1. The technology has a coefficient of performance greater than 100%.2. The operation of the technology (i.e. the creation of energy) is not derived from the degradation of its component parts.3. There is no identifiable environmental source of the energy (as might be witnessed by a cooling of ambient air temperature).
Jakartass is noted for being blinded by science, but all this does sound too good to be true. If the claims are verifiable, why hasn't the company been subsumed by a major oil company or the USA Defence Department?
Some, well James Randi
, are sceptical. "Steorn is in a long line of scam artists who have been selling these free-energy devices for more than a hundred years.
But supposing that there are forces out there which we have yet to discover. Abdurizal Bakrie, for one, hopes there are because having failed to stop the mudflow at Sidoarjo
with the technology at his company's disposal, a competition has been organised for paranormals.After midnight, a site near the center of Sidoarjo's mudflows remains busy -- not with workers trying to stop the constant gray streams, but with mystics attempting to use their supernatural powers to end the disaster for a Rp 100 million (US$10,869) prize.
"Some of the psychics are scary-looking, but there are also those who are gentle and polite. But none of them have stopped the mud," said Titus, the contest's coordinator.
He said the competition had received such a large response that the committee had to limit the number of participants and separate them into several groups. The committee has not set a deadline for contestants to end the flows.
In a screening process, each psychic had to pass a test: turn off a water faucet left on by the organizer with only their supernatural powers.
"With the test, many candidates had to go back home. How can they stop a mudflow if they can't even shut off a faucet," Titus said.
This is one episode of the TV cinetron
(soap opera) about the disaster (10,000 homeless, 2,000 jobless) reputedly in production that I'd like to watch.Bali Bomb survivor rebuilds her life, and others.
"One of the things an experience like mine teaches you, in a big way, is that life is short
." She laughs at the inadequacy of the cliché.
Polly Miller founded Dan's Fund for Burns
in memory of her husband and her friends who were killed four years ago in the Sari Club bombing.
I wonder if Polly has read Martin Amis' trenchant critique of the grotesque creed of extreme Islamism and the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.