Saturday Notes

* Any fans out there of NPR’s This American Life? Well, now you can create your own This American Life story!

* In Pictures: The Strangest Sights in Google Earth

* Joe at MF identifies one of the worst travel pieces written on Japan in a major magazine thus far this century, and commenter Jade OC provides a comparison for uninitiated American readers.

* A youtube/wiki-style breakup… wow.

* Japan’s exports collapsed in January, a drop of a whopping 45.7% in the year to January. Says one Japanese analyst: “The economy already seems to be falling apart…”

From the Economist:
* Harry Nicolaides, an Australian jailed in Thailand for writing a novel that broke local lèse-majesté laws, was granted a royal pardon.

* Uzbekistan confirmed it agreed to allow America to transport (non-military) supplies through the country for its troops in Afghanistan. Curzon comment: If that public assurance is as linked to relaity as the public assurances of Pakistan of late, we would assume that Uzbekistan will actually let us do whatever we want.

* In our ongoing posts on Mexico’s total breakdown, the police chief of Ciudad Juárez, a Mexico-US border town, resigned after drugs gangs murdered his deputy and threatened to kill one of his officers every 48 hours until he quit.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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