06 September 2010

fitful wanderings from the web

OUTER SPACE: Monster in the dark! Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are among the most energetic phenomena astronomers regularly observe. These events are triggered by massive explosions and a large amount of the energy if focused into narrow beams that sweep across the universe. These beams are so tightly concentrated that they can be seen across the visible universe and allow astronomers to probe the universe's history.
     Read the whole story on Universe Today.

VIETNAM: At the Bureau of Public Secrets a published excerpt from Ngo Van's IN THE CROSSFIRE: Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary.
     Although the Vietnam War is still well known, few people are aware of the decades of struggles against the French colonial regime that preceded it, many of which had no connection with the Stalinists (Ho Chi Minh's Communist Party). The Stalinists were ultimately victorious, but only after they systematically destroyed all the other oppositional currents.
     This book is the story of those other movements and revolts, caught in the crossfire between the French and the Stalinists, told by one of the few survivors.
     Ngo Van was born in a peasant village in Vietnam in 1912. As a young man he moved to Saigon and became involved in underground struggles against the French colonial regime. In the aftermath of World War II, as most of his comrades were being murdered by Ho Chi Minh's Communist Party, Van escaped to France, where he became a factory worker, a painter, and a historical scholar. Following his retirement in 1978, he devoted the remainder of his life to researching and writing a series of books on the history of modern Vietnam. He died in 2005 at the age of 92.
     UNSOLICITED PLUG! You can order the complete edition of this book from A K Press

CORRUPT COPS: Oh, temptation, such a torment for the weak-willed. A South Carolina cop peddles his drug dog's training dope, an Iowa cop gets caught with a bunch of coke, and a Florida trooper is profiling out-of-state pain patients and stealing their medicine. Read the details at Stop The Drug Wars.
IMAGE CREDITS: 1- Universe Today ~ Ultra-luminous Gamma Ray Burst; 2- WIKIPEDIA ~ Map of Vietnam

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