Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures

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  • February 2006
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Archive for February 4th, 2006

W Union Ends Era Stop

Posted by glasscastle on 4th February 2006

The following
notice
appeared today on the web site of Western
Union
:

Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram
and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may
cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service
representative.

For quite a few years now, using the Boston Globe in our classes,
when we describe
the style of English used in headlines as "Telegram English" we are met
with blank stares.  In today’s world of email, personal chat, instant
messaging,text messaging and whatnot, there is scant need for quickly
hand-delivered hard copy.

Today, for example, we exchanged text messages with our son, who was
on the beach in Puerto Chicama, Peru. I was in bed watching the rain
run down the windows, and he was
drinking a cold beer under a thached roof with his feet in the warm sand,
looking out at the longest left-handed curl in the world.

It cost me a quarter and was free for him. The messages took all of
five seconds to get from our phone to his.  Hard to compete with
that.

We are, however, old enough to remember, and to mourn the passing of,
the venerable, pay by the word telegram. During our childhood, they always
seemed to bring bad news – the passing of a distant relative, news of
an accident
or a
desperate plea for help. But as we grew older, the telegram moments grew
less frequent
and more festive – marriage, the birth of our first son (born very near
the beach he was calling from today).

Of course, Western Union has not closed up shop.  When we teach
business classes we use it as an example of a comany which has completely
remade itself as technology made its original service redundant. Today,
the business of moving money from place to place is doing quite well,
for
Western Union and others.

We wonder if they will still let us send messages along with our occasional
remittances to Peru….

Posted in Technology | Comments Off on W Union Ends Era Stop

There is No God but Allah, He Just Goes by Different Names

Posted by glasscastle on 4th February 2006

Syrian
demonstrators protest outside the burning Danish embassy in Damascus
February 4. Hundreds of Syrian demonstrators set the Danish embassy
on fire on Saturday to protest the printingof
cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Furious Syrians set fire to the Danish and Norwegian
embassies on Saturday as protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad
showed no signs of abating despite calls for calm.

Oil giant Iran, already embroiled in a dispute with the West over its nuclear
program, said it was reviewing trade ties with countries that have published
such caricatures.

Chanting "God is Greatest", thousands of protesters stormed the
Danish embassy, burned the Danish flag and replaced it with a flag reading "No
God but Allah, Mohammad is His Prophet".

from Reuters

Is there an oxymoron in the world more perversely tragic than "Religious
War"?

Posted in Serious News | 1 Comment »