phiffer.org

Dan Phiffer Dan Phiffer is an Internet enthusiast based in Troy, NY

My friend almost got eaten by a bearwww.carfreerambles.org

I am very glad she was not eaten by a bear.

And then around 10:15, I woke up, suddenly, to a crunching noise. Crunch, crunch, crunch. I opened my eyes to the five inches or so of space between the ground and the vestibule of my tent, and — woah. Four big paws. Interesting. I was still fighting my way out of sleep and halfway processing those paws when I looked up to the wall of my tent, which was lit up from the almost-full moon. And there, silhouetted perfectly against the fabric, was a bear head.

Also, I can’t help but think of this Far Side cartoon (sorry Stasia!).

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Dutch soldiers on bicycle patrol in Afghanistanwww.ft.com

This story from Financial Times in November seems to have swapped in a new photo, so it’s fortunate that I saved a copy of this one to my hard drive. I was reminded of it after hearing this morning that the Dutch coalition government has collapsed over its Afghanistan withdrawal.

The Dutch have gone to considerable lengths to gain the confidence of locals with carefully calibrated patrolling of the province. “We recently started doing patrols on bicycles in Tarin Kowt,” said a senior Dutch official. “The population was surprised but they reacted positively. It is much easier to come into contact with people on a bicycle than sitting on a Bushmaster [protected mobility vehicle].”

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