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June 2005
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August 2005

Setting some fonts in GMail

Well, I was happy to find a simple CSS hack to make GMail display messages in a monospace font. Safari allows you to use a personal CSS file. But, the message composition text box was still variable width, making it truly annoying to format messages nicely. Finally discovered that it’s pretty easy to change that: just set the textarea style to use a monospace font in your personal CSS file.

Go, Brazil!

Brazil has decided to turn down a US offer of $40 million for AIDS programs because the money comes with a stupid ideological string: the aid is contingent upon Brazil condemning prostitution. So, Brazil decided to go with their empirically proven program of handing out condoms to prostitutes, and give up the $40 million. All I can say is, “Bravo!”

Experts here and abroad say the disagreement over how to deal with prostitution is symptomatic of a larger conflict between Brazil and the United States over AIDS policy. Brazil, which spends more than $400 million annually on what is regarded as the most successful AIDS program in the developing world, is taking a pragmatic approach in combating the global epidemic, the experts say, while the United States, increasingly, is not.

“It’s not as if you’re choosing between two neutral policy programs,” said Chris Beyrer of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Brazil has good data to show that their approach works, and to ask them to change that, even if they get the additional money, to one for which there is no evidence, just because of moral squeamishness in the United States, is an extraordinary position to take.”

“Obviously abstinence is the safest way to avoid AIDS,” Dr. [Pedro] Chequer [, director of the Brazilian government's AIDS program,] said. “But it’s not viable in an operational sense unless you are proposing that mankind be castrated or genetically altered, and then you would end up with something that is not human but something else altogether.”

“If we increasingly focus the prevention of AIDS along these lines, we are generating carnage, a slaughter,” he said. “It's not a realistic vision, and the epidemic is going to grow larger and larger.”

Listening to Chillout Session Ibiza

London bombing

London’s been hit by a set of four bombs, though these are much smaller than the ones from two weeks ago. Authorities report one casualty, and no fatalities. The BBC has live continuing video and audio coverage.

OK. Allow me to gripe a bit about the blogosphere. In particular, the “alpha blogs” like BoingBoing. Here is their post about the bombings. Note, that they link to Flickr, Wikinews, the Guardian News Blog, and the London Metblog. No mention whatsoever of one of the leading news producers, viz. the BBC, which has live audio, video, as well as eyewitness images and reports, which, despite the similarities to blogging, is not called that. If you compare the Flickr, Wikinews, Guardian News Blog, and London Metblog coverage, you will find vastly less organized information about ongoing developments. At least the London Metblog links to the Beeb, the Guardian News Blog, and ITN News. I don’t dispute the interest value of the popular blogs, but I do think that they could at least link to arguably the best news coverage.

In other news, China floats the yuan.

Listening to Krazeee from the album “Krazeee” by Sylvie Marks & Hal9000

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