Reader Mail: Melting Glaciers and Global Warming

Well, Thanksgiving was great. My brother arrived from La Paz and a bunch of us cooked all day yesterday and we had one hell of a feast. I believe I’m suffering, at this moment, from a lingering food hangover. Turning to the world of Ecuador news, I received an interesting email message that touches on […]

Let Your Freak Flags Fly

Three oddballs are in the news today: 1) The BBC provides this excellent headline and amazing story: “Fasting fakir flummoxes physicians: Doctors and experts are baffled by an Indian hermit who claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for several decades – but is still in perfect health.” 2) Another BBC report says “Stroke […]

Lucio Gutierrez: “Mortally Wounded”

The wire services and the mainstream US media outlets have been slow to pick up the story of Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez’s new scandal (see my previous dispatch for details). But this afternoon Reuters ran two articles describing the crisis–and people are beginning to say Lucio’s in very serious trouble. (I’m reminded of when Bolivian […]

Ecuadorian Prez: Stepping Down?

A big story’s gaining momentum here at latitude zero: Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutierrez is facing a scandal that could prove to be his undoing. Gutierrez is denying allegations that he received a $30,000 campaign contribution from Cesar Fernandez, a suspected drug trafficker. And, as VOA News reports: President Gutierrez’s brother-in-law, Napoleon Villa, has quit as […]

I’m Off into the Great Unknown

Or at least into the wilderness of nearby Cajas National Park (sample photos here and here; description here). I’m heading up there with some friends to do some hiking and camping. (Given the park’s altitude of over 13,000 feet, I’m hoping we’ll do more camping than hiking.) I’ll be posting again on Sunday or Monday.

Wanted: A Fleet of Frigates for Future Diplomatic Missions

The BBC says: A US frigate docked in Vietnam on Wednesday, becoming the first US warship to visit since the Vietnam War. The USS Vandegrift sailed into Ho Chi Minh City with some of its 200 crew recording the moment on video cameras. “The US and Vietnam are showing the world that former foes can […]

Blogs Worth Mentioning

I’ve come across some excellent new (to me) Weblogs in the last few weeks (and I’ve listed them on the left-hand side of this page). These must-reads include: Maud Newton: “Occasional literary links, amusements, politics, and rants.” (Thanks to Nick M. for the heads-up) Number One Hit Song (AKA twinkle twinkle blah blah blah etc.): […]

Burness Communications: Officially A Great Place to Work

I’m glad that Washingtonian Magazine has included Burness Communications, my former employer and one hell of a PR firm, on their annual list of 50 “Great Places to Work” in the DC area. The company, headed by my visionary ex-boss Andy Burness, truly is exceptional.

“The Dancer Upstairs”

The other night, I saw “The Dancer Upstairs,” a movie about The Shining Path (El Sendero Luminoso), the Maoist revolutionary movement that plagued–and, to a certain extent, continues to plague–Peru. The film was directed by John Malkovich; it’s an interesting look at the events surrounding the capture of The Shining Path’s leader, the enigmatic Abimael […]