Man who predicted USSR collapse unconfident of US

The same guy who predicted collapse of USSR, is predicting the collapse of U.S. That’s a horribly truncated title, I hope you can understand it. Well, didn’t want to break my layout’s look and feel. πŸ˜‰

As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

MOSCOW — For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument — that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. — very seriously. Now he’s found an eager audience: Russian state media.

In recent weeks, he’s been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. “It’s a record,” says Prof. Panarin. “But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger.”

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it’s his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin’s views also fit neatly with the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories. (Source: WSJ)

But… US is too big to fail right?

It’s Christmas time of the year again

I went to church yesterday evening. The turnout rate was pretty decent but I was expecting more people, I guess the economy has sorta recovered. Christmas is the time where Christians tend to bring their non-Christian friends to church. That day the sermon would roughly be the same. Slightly more welcoming to new visitors. It would defer from the heavier sermon topics such as the collective histories of the middle eastern empires. Which, by the way, does have its interesting bit if not for the rather bias interpretations of Christian “adversaries”.

Christmas’ sermons are typically about the gift, the one true God and savior. It’s quite the same year after year. And in a way, it’s perhaps the most proven formula. Today’s religion is a lot of complicated. It doesn’t work well when you place fear in people.

A Christian often says to a non-Christian that God is the savior and how He created the world. There’d be a little dispute and so on. But the topic always go on to the non-Christian saying he or she would have to think about it or maybe it’s not the time. To which a couple of Christians would state that you shouldn’t wait. And if you’re a non-Christian, you should not ask why you shouldn’t wait because the answer is typical of what a Prudential insurance agent would tell you (i.e. what if something happen and so on). This may work on some people; it doesn’t work on all people.

Today religion has revolved, it’s rather need-based to some. I’ve got a feeling Christians spend quite a bit of time proselytizing. The new way of convincing people to be a Christian is to be extremely welcoming to our new friend, to care for him and her. I often “study” this method of religion spreading. It works rather well I think. People may need emotional support and sharing (during Sundays) is quite a good way.

And since it’s easiest to bring a non-Christian to church on Christmas, sermon speakers would deliver milder topics. But what happens when you bring your friend to church next Sunday? It likely would revert to History 101.

Ruby on Rails and Merb will merge

Yay. We always see opensource branch and branch. Rarely do we see them come together.

Merb is an open, ever-changing project, and some its best ideas have come from not-core regular-Joe community members. It’s gotten where it has because of the community, and the community will get us even further in the future. Your ideas, feedback and even complaints will be 100% welcome in the future, just as they have been in the past. I believe in the tremendous value an open community and just generally open attitude bring to the table, and am counting on those things to continue ushering in the future of Ruby.

On to the news: beginning today, the Merb team will be working with the Rails core team on a joint project. The plan is to merge in the things that made Merb different. This will make it possible to use Rails 3 for the same sorts of use-cases that were compelling for Merb users. Effectively, Merb 2 is Rails 3. (Source: Yehudakatz)

I don’t use Rails by the way. I use more of CakePHP. But anyway, I think the merger is a good direction. Of course this is arguable since the merger would mean one less competing Rails framework. But this is software, not business. Merger means greater understanding. I believe there are many ways of doing one same thing, but one way that would be most efficient in most given situations and that’s why people build frameworks.

How to enable Apache mod rewrite in Ubuntu

Actually this probably works for all Linux distributions with Apache 2. Okay enabling mod_rewrite is really easy, you just have to use a2enmod (Apache 2 enable module):

[code lang=”bash”]sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart[/code]

To disable an Apache 2 module, you can run:

[code lang=”bash”]sudo a2dismod rewrite
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart[/code]

That does the reverse.

With mod_rewrite enabled, you can use the .htaccess file.

By the way in your directory permissions, you must set AllowOverride to “all” like this:

[code lang=”ini”]
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride all
Order allow,deny
allow from all

Hope it helps.