Five by 8 – 7/20/10: Time to relax

1) I don’t know about you, but this weekend seemed particularly stressful. This looks like a nice place to cool off, assuming the weather doesn’t get overwhelmingly hot again.

2) As attention shifts from Iraq to Afghanistan, the New York Times brings perspective back towards Iraq. Many stories have come out of Iraq depicting Iraqis working for the US and the hardships they endure, but not one so explicit and heart-wrenching.

[Hamid Ahmad] spoke good English and believed in America. He got a job, his family says, with the United States military. Late last month, he wound up dead at the hands of his 32-year-old son, who had turned into an insurgent who sought money and purpose in fighting the Americans.

President Obama’s efforts to withdraw American soldiers from Iraq has been front and center in the media — this vantage point displays the amount of influence our presence has had on an already delicate country.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Middle East is focused on the Kabul Conference, where world leaders hope to direct funds, and possibly expedite, the supposed power shift from the Western powers to the Kabul government being. From the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan website:

The Kabul Conference is a critical stepping stone in a “Kabul Process” of transition to full Afghan leadership and responsibility, building on previous international commitments including the London Conference and outreach activities of the Afghan Government.

Maybe throwing money at Afghanistan’s problem can help — obviously throwing soldiers at their neighbor didn’t.

3) Chicken nugget thief.

The Police Department has withdrawn a theft ticket issued to a Shorewood High School student who was handcuffed, photographed and fingerprinted after being accused of stealing a chicken nugget meal from the school cafeteria…

The charges were from March. Wait… the March that came and went FOUR MONTHS AGO?? Good thing we spend time and money on important things.

2908577653_5e21169dbb.jpeg

Photo from Flickr user donjd2

4) Something that might help alleviate (or aggravate) stress levels has just been unveiled. Mod-blog Lifehacker tells us more:

Plug in the price tag of an item you’re interested in, along with the APR, balance, and your current monthly payment on your credit card, and it’ll figure out the true damage. Once you’ve got a more accurate picture of the price, then you can decide if it’s worth it.

Of course, you could always try to educate yourselves using the New York Time’s incredibly comprehensive credit and debit card guide, at which point, after filling your head with words you don’t even think are in the dictionary, you ask yourself “why did we give up the barter system?”

5) Finally, one last way people seem to be relaxing, despite political turmoil with their neighbors to the north.

Boryeong Mud Festival.jpeg

Photo from Gregory Curley

Extra relaxation technique This guy looks like he needs to relax… there’s something about that smile that just doesn’t look honest.

  • http://www.skyseastone.net/jvstin/ Paul

    The last time I was in the area, the Japanese Garden at Normandale was occupied for a wedding. I keep meaning to find an excuse to go down that area of the twin cities and see it…

  • Tyler

    I’m starting to feel like Afghanistan and Iraq can’t be the U.S.’s burden to shoulder any more. If the people living in those countries don’t want to get along, let ‘em.

  • Michael

    The Normandale Japanese Garden is a really nice place — Can’t say it any plainer. Find a chance to go down and contemplate life for a while — There’s nothing ‘to do’, but that’s the point.

  • Nate

    I’ve been to that mud festival. Korea’s town festivals are like our county fairs but with different themes such as mushrooms, mud, and an ancient game of tug of war (my favorite).

    We’re probably more alike than we think.