Gay Muslims and the CIA--Bin Laden Connection

Let’s start this week’s column in the toilet. Literally. Pick your receptacle of pleasure, or merely send someone a great toilet-related postcard from the Toilet Museum.

Next, their political party is world famous and consists of surreal, crazy and occasionally drunken people having a LOT of fun, their planning meetings are often done in a bar, and they’re a good example of democracy in action. No, I’m not talking about the diet-challenged party animals of the ANC - I’m referring to a party we need locally. Go see The Official Monster Raving Looney Party!

You always thought rocks are inanimate objects, right? Well, you’re wrong. Take a look at a fascinating study done on a whole series of rocks that are definitely moving by themselves—sometimes uphill—in the area known as Death Valley in California. Go to the Sliding Rocks of the Racetrack Playa.

Seeing as the war has now begun, let’s cruise through some of the areas online to provide an interesting and alternative background to the whole scenario. First off, consider the problems faced by gay Muslims at Queer Jihad! Then, via the pages of the UK Islamic Party, read a frightening (if true) interview with Ariel Sharon, at Profile of a Terrorist.

And then, for a lot of info on how the CIA themselves set up Osama Bin Laden with money and weaponry to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan prior to just walking away from him once the Soviets withdrew, go to The CIA-Bin Laden Connection. Just to prove that the above CIA connection is no idle conspiracy theory, browse through the always-excellent PBS site, Hunting Bin Laden.

Tired of spending money on magazines? Why not go take a look at the possible future of magazines online, fully downloadable in one or many pieces, completely free. There’re back issues to download, as well as a small WTC 911 special issue. Go browse through the great reading to be found at The Spook.

Gear change. Just to open you up towards belief systems that you otherwise might not look closely at, try an online exhibition detailing elements of Hindu devotion: Meeting God.

Then for other ways of meeting your favorite Deity, you could always be the focus of fear and envy at your next dinner party by having done some online studying at Nuclear Weapons-Frequently Asked Questions.

ZDNet seem to have had enough of Microsoft’s Mob-style tactics of making its customers pay repeatedly for the same piece of software. Before you run out to invest in the new XP OS, first - read what gets said at ZDNet.  And for examples of how the new ‘shakedown’ techniques actually will be done by Microsoft, go to Tech Report (where a direct Tony Soprano reference is pointedly made, about MS’s new racket).

So you think you know who’s President of the USA? Well, you could be wrong. The recount info seems to be finally in, but the various agencies and journalists concerned aren’t saying a word. Presumably the current rise in patriotism and belief in the previously total nonentity, GW Bush, means that the truth will stay on the shelf for a while longer, if not forever. Tuck into the story at The Florida Recount.

Local site time. It’s a site filled with interesting articles by students at Rhodes University on aspects of the Internet, and Media in general. It may seem to be somewhat academic at first glance, but trust me, there’s a lot of cool learning info to be gained here. Go browse at Rhodes University New Media Lab!

Finally, some free stuff. Why pay a fortune for classic Jazz CDs, when you can listen to a ton of goodies of pre-1930s vintage straight off the Net? (And if you do a search for a Killer App called Total Recorder, you can quietly record everything you’re listening to.) Whether you intend to be nasty to copyright or not, pay a thorough visit to the crammed archives of The Red Hot Jazz Archives!

Until the next time, if George W. Bush or local music distributors don’t get me.

Ian Fraser is a playwright, author, comedian, conspiracy nut, old-time radio collector and self-confessed data-junkie. Winner of numerous Vita and Amstel Awards, he’s been an Internet addict and games-fanatic since around 1995, when the Internet began to make much more sense than theatre.

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