Chris is requesting the Korean hostages be freed. Will you?

I thought you would like to know about this urgent campaign to free 23 South Korean aid workers, most of them young women, who have just been taken hostage by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The Taliban are threatening to execute them this week, an action that could trigger a mass evacuation of life-giving humanitarian aid from all of Afghanistan.

The situation is desperate, but there is hope. The Taliban are all from the ‘Pashtun’ ethnic group, and observe a strict code called Pashtunwali. This code demands, above all else: “hospitality to all, especially guests and strangers”. There are rumours of infighting among the Taliban over these kidnappings, because they clearly violate the code.

A global outcry for the Taliban to follow their own code would certainly be covered by media in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Taliban are based – creating massive local pressure on them to free their prisoners. But these hostages are living under a 24 hour death sentence. We have seconds not minutes to act. Sign the petition below and then forward this email:

the petition


Apple creeps me out.

I might be looking over my shoulder for the next couple of days. See, I just installed iTunes® on my work computer because I was curious to see how it compares to Windoze Media Player®. I’d only experienced very limited exposure to iTunes in the past, and didn’t expect much user-friendliness. I was accustomed to the Media Player interface, so I didn’t want to learn something different. Well, I’ve actually been somewhat satisfied with my iTunes experience, so far. (I haven’t tried to sync my non-iPod mp3 player with it yet, so we’ll see what happens when I go there.) Once iTunes loaded all 18,178 songs (89.9 days, 104.04 GB) from our network drive into its library, I decided that I’d prevent myself from becoming bored with hearing the same music all the time by playing all of that music on shuffle. It should take me three months to hear a song twice, if I work 24/7. If I hear something that I really just don’t like, I can delete it from my library without removing it from the network drive (same feature was available in WMP). Good times.

After two or three days of this random music, I’ve been enjoying it. I hear a little bit of weird stuff every now and again that I otherwise wouldn’t listen to (currently: Bop ’til You Drop by the Ramones), but I enjoy most of it. This afternoon, between songs, I could vaguely hear music from the office across the hallway…sounded like “I can see clearly now the rain is gone…” Then, my iTunes cues up the next song, “I Can See Clearly Now.” I looked across the hallway. Was that song just playing? I asked my neighbor, I’ll call him Tom, what song was playing. He confirmed. Then the ground beneath us began to rumble, and the sky parted…

Well, not really. It was just weird. That’s all. Random synchronicity and quantum mechanics are fun.