Monday, January 14, 2013

Link roundup

1.  "BioWare wants to take you to a gay bar. Or rather, a gay planet. Star Wars: The Old Republic is being updated to include a rather inelegant solution to its lack of gay characters -- a planet called Makeb where all the homosexual elements of the galaxy can be found."

2.  Smart diplomacy done cheap:
For years, the United States tried to stem the spread of Islamic militancy in the region by conducting its most ambitious counterterrorism program ever across these vast, turbulent stretches of the Sahara. 
But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials. 
“It was a disaster,” said one of several senior Malian officers to confirm the defections. 
Then an American-trained officer overthrew Mali’s elected government, setting the stage for more than half of the country to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.
3.  "[T]he worst thing in life—worse than losing a limb—is an unpredictable commute. Because a lost limb you can adjust to mentally, and humans are good at adjusting. But if you never know how something will be and it will often be bad, you have no ability to mentally adjust to the bad situation."