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Automotive quote of the day: Toyota Hilux

Now here’s a compliment that is hard to put a positive spin on: “[The Toyota Hilux] is the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47”. Sure, the Hilux is reliable and durable, but to compare it to a Kalashnikov machine gun that has claimed millions of lives over the past decades might be a bit harsh.

http://europe.newsweek.com/why-rebel-groups-love-toyota-hilux-74195?rm=eu

 

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Brussels bomber conveniently left a laptop behind

You guys, I need a sanity check. What is your first impression when you read the following facts:

  • One of the Brussels bombers left a laptop behind in a bin at the site of the attack
  • The laptop was not encrypted
  • The laptop contained a folder called ‘Target’
  • This folder contained documents describing locations and contacts for future strikes
  • The documents were in English

http://europe.newsweek.com/laptop-brussels-bomber-brahim-el-bakraoui-reveals-new-information-plan-attack-447315?rm=eu

 

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The binary century: no more grey

Radicalization, a word used so frequently in the news that we’ve become desensitized to it. It’s something that happens to Muslim youngsters, we’re told on a daily basis. They are isolated and immersed into radical views by persons they respect and look up to. In the end they develop a radical world view that all but consumes them. That could never happen to us, we’re cultured and have a wide view on the world, right? Wrong. In a world were all news outlets are continuously looking for the next sensational headline, that one-liner that gets the most clicks, we are collectively going through the process of radicalization. Muslims are bad. Electric cars are good. Everything is either black or white, 0 or 1. We’re losing the art of civilized and constructive discussion. I do miss grey.

binary code in black and white

binary code in black and white

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Brussels protests: misunderstandings and confusion

Yesterday, a lot of digital ink was spilled on social media, discussing what happened with the hooligans in Brussels. Today, a youtube video by Daniel Demoustier surfaced that might put what happened in perspective. The camera follows the Casuals walking the streets of Brussels heading to the Terror Attack wake. The Casuals are seen trying to get the message across that, even though they are adversaries in different circumstances and have mixed ethnicity in their ranks, they have united to pay their respects and take a stand against terrorism and IS. Where they failed was in their approach to the wake, yelling We are hooligans, which clearly intimidated (and even scared) the people that were already there, triggering defensive and aggressive responses. Things slightly escalated from there, with Casuals disrespecting the shrine and making neo-nazi salutes. After Police intervention, things rapidly settled down. In my opinion, the Casuals need to send out a press release, explaining their intentions and asking the Belgian audience for a peaceful second chance. #justmytwocents

Hooligans Riot in Brussels

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Word of the day: ‘grim’

While reading the news about the protests in Brussels today, one word clearly jumped out: ‘grimmig‘ (or ‘grim‘ in English). Nearly all Flemish articles spoke about a ‘grim athmophere’ (‘grimmige sfeer’) and even international media used the word ‘grim’ often. Don’t you think it is remarkable that all these talented journalists used the exact same expression? Were they reading each others articles? Were all articles based on the same source document (a Belga press release?)? #justasking

wordoftheday-grimmig

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Paris attacks suspect suing France … wait, come again?

In another surrealist turn of events, Salah Abdeslam (the prime suspect of the Paris attacks) is suing the French prosecutor, because the latter publicly announced that Abdeslam said that he meant to blow himself up but backed out, during questioning. Wasn’t that sort of a given!? I agree that all defendants have the right to the best legal council they can get, and procedure needs to be followed. But this is a bit audacious, to be honest. How did he get one of the best and most expensive lawyers in the country, is what I’d like to know.

https://www.rt.com/news/336365-terrorist-lawyer-sue-prosecutor/

 

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Terror quote of the day

Yesterday, a secret memo was leaked to the media, warning the Thai police forces that Russian secret service intelligence had indicated that late October 10 ISIS-related Syrian militants may have entered the Kingdom, possibly planning an attack. With the Erawan bombing in mind, the vigilant police is to be commended. Today, the police commander minimized the treat (quote) “Right now, there are less than 20 [Syrian nationals] here, and these 20 people, once their visas expire, they will have to go home anyway.”. Case closed, I guess.

erawan-bombing