2017年3月3日 星期五

gunboat diplomacy, inexplicable, helicopter gunship, weirdos reconvened, inaction, tailgate party


And he burst out laughing. The petitions for Re- 
form, which had been signed at the quarters of the 
National Guard, together with the property-census of 
Humann and other events besides, had, for the past six 
months, led to inexplicable gatherings of riotous crowds 
in Paris, and so frequently had they broken out that 
the newspapers had ceased to refer to them. 

If you don’t watch for the feats of athleticism and strategy, you should at least watch for the spectators, who are notoriously nuts. Thousands of people line the roads hoping to catch a glimpse of the world’s most elite riders. But they also just want to party. Think of it like the world’s longest tailgate party. People dress up like weirdos, drink too much and often attempt to run along with the riders until the riders either gain speed or, more hilariously, push them away.

Richard Pulga died on Friday in the Philippines. What killed him was essentially a broken leg - a sign of the incompetence and inaction that have plagued relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan.


Top 10 Toy Crazes

Zhu Zhu Pets are just the latest inexplicable fad to take over kiddie stores. From Tickle Me Elmo to Tamagotchis, TIME looks back at some of the most baffling toy trends of holidays past

Pakistan Claims to Retake Town

Published: April 29, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — After a week of strong criticism here and abroad over its inaction, the Pakistani military claimed on Wednesday to have reasserted control of Daggar, a key town just 60 miles from the capital in the strategic district of Buner which was overrun by hundreds of Taliban militants last week.

The development came one day after the military deployed fighter jets and helicopter gunships against the insurgents. It was not immediately clear what level of resistance the Taliban had offered.
Pakistan also agreed to move 6,000 troops from its Indian border to fight militants on its western border with Afghanistan, according to a Pakistani official who did not want to be identified discussing troop movements in advance.
But American officials, who welcomed the redeployment, said Pakistan was still not doing enough to fight the insurgents, who are tightening their hold on the country. The Americans expressed frustration that Pakistan was still rebuffing their offers to train more Pakistanis to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
News reports on Wednesday quoted an unidentified military spokesman as saying government troops dropped from helicopters near Daggar, the administrative center of Buner, to link up with other government forces in the region. There was no immediate word on casualties.
The campaign in Buner began Tuesday after government forces completed a two-day operation against Taliban militants in Dir, a neighboring district, said a military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Ather Abbas.
The Taliban advance into Buner has brought heavy pressure on the military from the United States and other Western countries. It has also fortified a growing consensus among Pakistani politicians and the public that the Taliban have gone too far and that the military should act to contain the spread of the insurgency.
Under threat of military action, the Taliban staged a show withdrawal from Buner at the end of last week, General Abbas said. But he said the militants were trying to expand the space they controlled beyond the Swat Valley, which borders Dir and Buner.
At a news conference, he played three tapes of what were described as telephone intercepts of the main Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah, talking to one of his commanders about making a show withdrawal for the news media while telling the fighters to put away their weapons and lie low.
“In Buner, people are living under coercion and in fear,” General Abbas said. “There was no reason to intimidate people in Buner, and the militants started intimidating people and forcibly recruiting young people to take them back to Swat for military training.”
“The government acted with patience,” he added, “but eventually there was no other way except to launch an operation.”
Earlier in the day, the new interior minister, Rehman Malik, said the Taliban had ignored repeated requests from the government of President Asif Ali Zardari to leave Buner. “I warn them to vacate the area,” Mr. Malik told reporters. “We are not going to spare them. Action will be taken if anyone tries to block our efforts to re-establish the writ of the government in Buner and other areas.”
Several events contributed to the shift among politicians and the public. Video of the flogging of a 17-year-old woman in Swat by the Taliban several weeks ago shocked many in the country. A radical cleric who helped negotiate the peace deal in Swat, Maulana Sufi Muhammad, said recently that Pakistani institutions like Parliament and the high courts were un-Islamic, a comment that angered politicians from all parties.
Finally, the militants’ move into new districts last week impelled the Pakistani Army to move against the Taliban.
The 6,000 troops to be shifted had originally been on Pakistan’s western border but were sent to the Indian border in December, after the terrorists’ attack in Mumbai in which 163 people were killed the previous month. India had responded to the attack, which Indian and American officials concluded was planned in Pakistan and carried out by Pakistanis, by massing troops on the Pakistani border.
The promised redeployment, which will essentially return Pakistan’s military presence in the northwest to pre-Mumbai levels, comes as American and Pakistani officials are preparing for what are likely to be tense meetings in Washington next week between President Obama, President Zardari and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.
American officials have alternately criticized and praised Pakistan, in the hope of goading it into taking tougher action against the Taliban, and on Tuesday they engaged in both strategies.
Early in the day, a senior military official, one of several American officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the security strategy of an ally, expressed anger about what he saw as Pakistan’s fecklessness in trying to combat militants within its borders.
“It is reasonable for Pakistanis and Americans alike to ask why there has not been a more robust, sustained and serious response to elements that assassinated Benazir Bhutto, blew up the Marriott Hotel, attacked a visiting cricket team and assaulted a police academy,” the official said, ticking off a series of violent events that began with the killing of the former prime minister. He said it was “inexplicable” that the incidents had not “galvanized the Pakistani military and civilian leaders to link arms in a comprehensive, sustained campaign to fight back.”
But later in the day, after the United States received word of the troop movement, the official took a different tone. “It’s too soon to say how it’s going to turn out,” the official said. “But it’s a promising sign that they finally recognize the existential threat to their country.”
American officials said they were continuing to press Pakistan to accept more American trainers, an issue likely to come up in the meetings next week. More than 70 American military advisers and technical specialists are already working in Pakistan to help its armed forces battle militants in the lawless tribal areas, but the United States would like to expand the effort.
Pakistan has balked, American officials said, because it does not want a large American presence in its country.
“There’s a red line about our advisers and any foreign boots on the ground in Pakistan right now,” a senior administration official said. He said that the United States was “doing everything we can within the constraints that are currently placed on our engagement to be as helpful as we can.”
The Pakistani military may have a difficult fight ahead. The Taliban have already been digging trenches and fortified positions, General Abbas said.
There are indications that the fighting in Dir has been heavier than Pakistani officials have acknowledged, and that the civilian cost has been high. The military said some 70 militants had been killed in three days of fighting.
But more than 30,000 civilians have fled their homes in the region, and some of them reported seeing bodies lying in the streets and the fields as they fled, Amnesty International said Tuesday.
“Neither the Taliban nor the government forces seem to care about the well-being of the residents of Lower Dir,” Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director, said in a statement.

Carlotta Gall reported from Islamabad, and Elisabeth Bumiller from Washington. Helene Cooper, Mark Mazzetti and Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington. Alan Cowell contributed from London.

Return of the '70s Microsoft Weirdos
Slashdot - USA
Almost 30 years later, as Bill Gates prepares to depart from Microsoft, the group (looking older, but better) reconvened for a retake. ...

Return of the ’70s Weirdos

Courtesy Microsoft
The term gunship originated in the mid-19th century as a synonym for gunboat and also referred to the heavily armed ironclad steamships used during the American Civil War.[1]
Today, the term gunship refers to aircraft armed with heavy guns primarily intended for attacking ground targets.

in·ex·pli·ca·ble (ĭn-ĕk'splĭ-kə-bəl, ĭn'ĭk-splĭk'ə-bəl) pronunciation
Difficult or impossible to explain or account for.

inexplicability in·ex'pli·ca·bil'i·ty or in·ex'pli·ca·ble·ness n.
inexplicably in·ex'pli·ca·bly adv.

very strange and unusual, unexpected or not natural:
He was sitting alone by a window with a weird contraption on the bench in front of him.
Her boyfriend's a bit weird but she's all right.
That's weird - I thought I'd left my keys on the table but they're not there.
There is nothing to rival the weird and wonderful things that come out on the streets at carnival time.

noun [C] plural weirdos INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who behaves strangely:
What did he mean by that? Weirdo!

tr.v., -took (-tʊk'), -tak·en (-tā'kən), -tak·ing, -takes.
  1. To take back or again.
  2. To recapture.
  3. To photograph, film, or record again.
n. ('tāk')
  1. A taking again.
  2. The act or an instance of photographing, filming, or recording again.


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈakʃ(ə)n/
Translate inaction | into Italian


[mass noun]
lack of action where some is expected or appropriate: future generations will condemn us for inaction