Monday, January 23, 2006

Broken promises

"Yet as governments prepare for the 2005 UN summit, the overall report card on progress makes for depressing reading. Most countries are off track for most of the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals]. Human development is faltering in some key areas, and already deep inequalities are widening. Various diplomatic formulations and polite terminology can be found to describe the divergence between progress on human development and the ambition set out in the Millennium Declaration. None of them should be allowed to obscure a simple truth: the promise to the world’s poor is being broken."

From the overview to the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report 2005

Friday, January 20, 2006

Things to do in Mazatlan

Three things to do in Mazatlan:

1. Mountain-biking with Fernando Kelly. Fernando sells and rents bikes from Kelly's Bicycle Shop, Av. Camaron Sabalo #214 Local 16. He has built some very nice trails in the hills to the east of Mazatlan, and does a guided tour for 275 pesos. Email

2. Kayak to Isla de Pájaros. Ocean kayaks -- the unsinakable plastic ones -- rent for US$10/hour. There's a rental place on the beach outside of the Pueblo Bonito hotel, towards the north end of Camaron Sabalo. It's maybe a kilometer across the strait.

3. Hike to top of Isla de Venados. There's an operation just south El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel that will take you over to the island for about $10 and pick you up at a pre-arranged time later. Once on the island head south from the beach and find the trailhead towards the top. I'm not sure if you can get to the very top (I couldn't find a path), but you can get pretty close. Don't forget to take water with you on the hike. When I went they sent a jet ski to pick me up. Take a plastic bag with you to collect trash.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Good science

Apropos to yesterday's post on the practice of science, the problems in Dr. Hwang Woo Suk's stem cell research came to light after questions were raised by young Korean scientists online. Per an article by Nicholas Wade in the Dec. 16, 2005 New York Times, "Although the new disclosures are being presented as a blow to Korean science, they can also be seen as a triumph for a cadre of well-trained young Koreans for whom it became almost a pastime to turn up one flaw after another in his work. All or almost all the criticisms that eventually brought him down were first posted on Web sites used by young Korean scientists."

The Korean news website OhMyNews selected the Korean scientists as "Netizens of the Year" to acknowledge "the role played by the online scientific community in South Korea to support honest and collaborative scientific research." The article points out that as a result of South Korea's investment in broadband technology "broad-ranging access to the Internet in South Korea has helped to make possible this scientific discussion and commentary, it is the netizens of the scientific community who have demonstrated a new form of scientific review appropriate for the 21st century."


[See also Rhonda Hauben's post "Korean Cloning Hero Deconstructed Online" on the Telepolis website. I came across the above via her post to nettime-l.]