Monday, July 31, 2006
We haven't heard from you since the forum in Estonia. Is everything okay? Where have you been all this time?
Looking for Aino
Why don't you go home and look for your personality? Then you can join BBC News, Johnny Ace. Was I where, you ask? I busy making soup and being dead. But I eat soup -- now I'm A-Okay, bucko! Soup cure everything, even stupid questions. Hope you cross-ex better than you write letter to Aino. Okay, you go jump off balcony now -- be fast! You cannot jump slow, I know. Now worry, if you fall and make ouchy mess, bear will eat you like good times on vacation. Excuse me, bimbo, busy lady woman Aino need to step on baby rabbit now.
Do you think viewing porn can make you blind?
Hey monkey, maybe you change your name to loser, no? Every time Aino read your question, she die a little inside. Of course, porn make you blind, can’t you see, Aino wear thick glasses. But still, Aino love porn. Aino addicted to porn and handguns. Aino love porn so much, Aino puts lots of butter and salt on her porn. Porn give good vitamins, but be careful, never stick porn in your eye, then you need glasses. Here Aino advice: change your name to Benjamin Franklin, then maybe somebody like you. Oh no, it’s time for Aino to polish her spoons – later, playa hater.
Have you noticed the beautiful landscape in the mountains? It is truly marvelous. After the rain today, I noticed a rainbow, and it was just divine.
Thank you for saying nothing, MisterYouWasteMyTime.com. Sing Song Time! “Ding Dong, the witch is dead! Bookcase go BOOM on your head.” Listen, Dr. of Dumbass, Aino no like rainbows. When Aino see rainbows, she chokes, because Aino allergic to rainbows. Recess is over – time for school. Learn your facts, backwards boy. Logic is everybody’s friend, but yours. Bows of rain no go in hair, so they no bows. Plus, when rain elbow come, there no rain, so, in factuality, they just curvy colours in wet sky. If Aino want see curvy colours, she take LSD. Aino no wait for rain. Aino old. Aino see curvy colours when she want see colours. You can’t tell Aino what to do! Keep it up and down go your pants – got it? You think you’re better than me? Aino eat dirt! What you eat? Spaghetti? Go back to planet loser lips and flush face down bowl de toilet. I almost forgot: must tell doctor to punch your face. Maybe then, you no waste Aino time. Ooops, Aino lost her teeth. Now Aino must go spit on happy dogs, bye bye!
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Mfubu was humble in victory, greeting Princess Catalina in a gentlemanly manner. However, not too long after medieval night was over, scandal has broke out. Princess Catalina is PREGNANT!
When informed of the news, the brave knight, for the first time in his life, was in a state of terrible fright, muttering, “All I did was touch her shoulder.” Well Popo, a touch is all it takes nowadays.
Will Prince Popo pop the marriage question? That’s not certain. For now, all he’s been popping is his eyes. Bewildered, Popo was heard saying, “Oh my goodness, my mom’s gonna smack my bottom for this!” Fortunately, the distraught Popo is being comforted by his mixed team.
Things are working out much better for Princess Catalina. Just this morning, Catalina gave birth to a healthy, three ounce baby teddy bear. The cheerful mother smiled, “This is truly a blessing. My husband Popo and I are very happy.”
Prince Popo interrupted, “Husband! I just touched your shoulder, lightly brushed it really – accidently.”
Well Popo, that’s all it takes in Romania.
“But I thought it was just a game?” pleaded Popo.
Popo, there are no games in Romania.
But there are baby names. During the baby shower (an all girl party for mother and child), Princess Catalina named the lucky baby, PoCa, after Popo and Catalina. “PoCa, like the dance, but spelled differently,” giggled Catalina to a room full of her jealous girlfriends, which included Barbie and a poster of Hermione from Harry Potter.
Despite Popo’s shock, reluctance, dismay, facial ticks, and panic attacks, it looks as though the regal Princess will carry the new family through all of this. True to her royal elegance, Princess Catalina is a beacon of calm and strength. Catalina promises, “In a few days, when he is strong enough, our baby PoCa will be released into the wild.”
The last they were seen together, the stunning Princess Catalina was explaining traditional Romanian ways to the handsome knight, Prince Popo. Appropriately, things seemed to end happily ever after, when the royal couple finally embraced in a friendly hug.
This just in: Catalina is expecting three more children, PoCalina, CoPo, and Copa Cabana.
Albert was rushed to a nearby hospital. Ten hours later, Albert reached the hospital, to find that it was closed for a Kitsch party. Fortunately, a skilled janitor opened the door and poured some poisonous bleach into Albert’s wound, and began the surgery.
When Albert awoke, he was back in his room at Hotel Belvedere. “At first, I felt normal, but when I stood up, I noticed a sharp object sticking out of my bummy.” Upon inspection, Albert noticed that he had grown a giant bee stinger. “I tripped over myself, but with a few jumps, soon, I was flying above the entire forum.”
Ever since being bitten, Albert is highly attracted to flowers, spending hours licking them, instead of preparing for the water topic. “I have no time for preparation,” said an upset Albert, “I have honey to make.” Upon saying this, Albert squatted and then jumped back up, revealing a jar of all natural, non-pasteurized, honey.
“Want to try some?” asked Albert.
Upon trying some, I gasped, “What’s in this?”
Albert smiled, “Just my honey, and so it’ll keep well on the shelves, some hydrogenated oil.”
I collapsed to the floor, as volunteers contacted the hospital.
Buy fresh Albert Honey for only 9.99!
After a day of hard work on the water topic yesterday, debaters took a break from Karl Popper Debate with some electives in the evening. Participants signed up for one of four workshops: "British Parliamentary Debate," "How to Get a Scholarship to Debate in the United States," "Impromptu Speaking," or "Effective Delivery."
Kajar explains the basics of British Parliamentary Debate
Trainers and coaches debate the resolution: "This house would bring back Vlad the Impaler"
Debaters view clips of American Policy debate and learned about how to land a debate scholarship at a university in the United States
Saturday, July 29, 2006
1. What does Hardin mean when he says that there are problems which have "no technical solution"? What are some of these problems?
2. Why does Hardin bring up the game of tic-tack-toe?
3. What does Hardin say he will attempt to prove in his essay?
4. What does Hardin mean when he says we need to "exorcise the spirit of Adam Smith"? ("exorcise" means to drive out, as in a demon).
5. Why does Hardin call his theory the "tragedy of the commons"?
6. Why, in Hardin's theory, would a herdsman continue to graze the land even though it would be bad for the commons?
7. Explain what Hardin means when he says "freedom in a commons brings ruin to all." How might this analysis be used to formulate a negative argument for our debate resolution?
8. Explain what Hardin means when he says that the "oceans of the world continue to suffer from the survival of the philosophy of the commons." Can you think of specific examples?
9. List several options Hardin suggests for avoiding the "tragedy of the commons" in the US National Parks. Can any of these be used as potential negative counterproposals to affirmative plans? How?
10. What does Hardin mean when he calls pollution a tragedy of the commons in reverse? What does he mean when he says that pollution can be solved through coercion?
11. What does Hardin mean when he says that "the morality of an act is a function of the state of the system at the time it is performed"? Why does Hardin include this key insight? How might this idea be used to critique rights-based affirmative cases?
12. How does Hardin critique the welfare state as it concerns the human population? How does he end up delivering a "painful" critique of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights? How might this critique be employed in a debate round?
13. What does Hardin mean when he says that "conscience is self-eliminating"? In other words, what is the problem with appealing to people's conscience to "constrain their actions for the greater good"?
14. What are the two messages a man receives, according to Hardin, when society appeals to his conscience?
15. Explain the following: "What is the meaning of the word conscience? When we use the word responsibility in the absence of substantial sanctions are we not trying to browbeat a free man in a commons into acting against his own interest?"
16. What does the author mean with his bank robber analogy? What point about conscience and responsibility is he trying to prove?
17. What does Hardin mean by "coercion"? Why is it better than an appeal to conscience?
18. Hardin says "An alternative to the commons need not be perfectly just to be preferable." What does he mean? What are some of the potentially unjust, yet preferable, alternatives to the commons?
19. Brainstorm three separate negative arguments (independent of one another) based on "The Tragedy of the Commons."
20. What kind of a definition of "common property" would a negative need to use in order to win a debate on a "Tragedy of the Commons" critique?
21. List 5 Affirmative cases which would link to a Hardin-based negative case.
Well, this continued for years, until Tuesday, when suddenly, all the empty plastic bottles had no where to biodegrade. “What’s biodegrade?” asked the jug.
“It takes thousands and thousands and thousands of years for plastic to dissolve into the earth,” said the trash bin, who could only count up to a thousand. “Amongst other things, like gas and boy band music, the earth is being poisoned by plastic.”
At that moment, the water jug looked at the earth, whose water was quickly drying up. “Help me,” said mother earth, “I only have a little bit of water left.”
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer jumped in, “I can save you, I will carry your water in my antlers!”
“That won’t work,” said Snow White, “We must collect the water with our hands and put it into this here jug.”
The last bit of the earth’s water dripped into the jug.
“Now go,” said Queen Latifah, “Go and water those plants, so you will evaporate into the air, condense into the clouds, and fall back down as rain.”
“Or precipitate,” said the water jug, “That’s the earth’s natural water, or hydrologic, cycle. Evaporation, Transpiration, Condensation, and Percipitation!”
“Yes it is, smarty pants,” said Shrek. “Although I love dirty swamps and even dirtier princesses, I too need clean water to live. That’s magical water you got there. It will clean and replenish the earth once and for all.”
“If I do this,” said the little water jug, “will mother earth live?”
“What, can’t you hear?” said Shrek, “I said it’s magical, but you must hurry.”
“I think I can, I think I can,” said the jug, wobbling over to some dying plants. How can I pour myself out, it thought? But then, the jug remembered that it was in a fairy tale, where anything could happen, if you believe. So, the jug believed in herself. “I’m proud to be me,” she said, clicking her ruby red slippers. Then, up she went, tilting, tilting, tilting, she was about to pour onto the flowers . . .
. . . but then, someone snatched her handle and poured her into two bottles. The smelly man blew his nose into one bottle, sealed it, and labeled it no bubbles. Then, the man farted and farted and FARRRR-Rat-a-tat-tat-RRRTED! into the other bottle, quickly sealing it, and then, labeling it bubbles. “There we are,” he laughed, “I can make some sweet money off of this!”
At lunch time, eager diners quickly snatched up the plastic bottles. “Smooth and refreshing,” said one, while the other took a sip and said, “Mine tastes like fart.”Moral: Exploit the earth while you can make a buck, so you can buy a Porsche.
The days finished with the Medieval Party, which combined a traditional party with a teambuilding activity for the new lab groups. Each lab competed in 10 different heroic challenges to win the hand of Princess Catalina.
A few highlights below...
The Reason: Many EU nations are developing anti-smoking laws, but several Romanians refuse to give up their cigarettes, claiming, “When you are surrounded by wolves, thieves, and debaters, you get nervous – you have to smoke.”Smoky Mountains: Our mountain air is ionized, which means that the ions in our cigarettes fill the air.
Health Problems?: In Romania, our only health problem is bears. Bears are afraid of fire, so it is a necessity to walk around with a stick in your mouth that is on fire. In the past, we used to impale and burn visitors on giant stakes, but that wasn’t good for the tourist industry. So, in actual fact, the new method of smoking is much more humane. Plus, you can make clouds come out of your mouth, just like the sky!
Even though training sessions for the mixed team tournament is well under way, many participants are wondering why they must debate a topic on the world’s fresh water supply? Certainly, there are many other, much tastier beverages that are in scant supply. Because of this, and due to the forum’s respect for democracy and voting, Al Gore’s next film and the IDEA Youth Forum Romania new mixed team’s topic is: "We gotta protect the world’s fresh beer supply, man." Research is to begin immediately.
This is a great game that anyone can play, but it requires keen powers of observation and a strong stomach. Gather all of your roommates. The more, the merrier. The game is called “Guess whose hair is on the soap?” Whoever guesses the quickest, gets to vomit first!
Romania has a long and luxurious history, having been inhabited since 2000 BC, by rocks and mountains. Since 513 BC, some people settled here to throw rocks at or “thrash” one another. Because of their “thrashing,” they became known as Thracians to the ancient Greeks. Historically, the Romanians worshipped Dionysus, the god of wine and hard partying. The Greeks liked this aspect of Romanian culture so much that they decided to join the partying and worship Dionysus as well. As guests, we must politely remember: when in Romania, do as the Romanians. In order to respect the culture of Romania, it is extremely important that each debater thrash one another with wine bottles, partying well into the night, doing the dance of Dionysus. Romaniacs, Come one, Come all: at 21:00 tonight in the front lobby, there is a mad orgy, followed by a brief snack (of pig ears in jello), and then, the customary invasion of Brasov. Bring your spears!
Friday, July 28, 2006
To the field of gree, gree, ee, ee, eee,
Look around to the field of green.
into a trophy stand by Prof. Robert Trapp
You see, for the first time in forum history, you can be spoiled like royalty. Volunteers here are willing to not only take your money down to get exchanged, but are also willing to do your shopping for you!
Yesterday, while debaters enjoyed a trip to the city, a volunteer was seen giving his much beloved kidney to a needy coach. Thank you slave donkeys, I mean volunteers.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Currently, I am wetting my pants, but that’s a personal medical condition. As for the bears, in all honesty, I am frightened, especially when I discovered the origins of this town’s name. Predeal comes from the Latin, for “Pray” and “deal,” when Greek historian Herodotus observed: “Pray for your sweet lives, a great deal of bears roam these woods!”
Although he is long dead, Herodotus is very wise, for who wants to be eaten by a bear? Not me, that’s for sure – I’m vegetarian. That would just be too ironic of a fate.
Rather than being eaten, it is best to take the necessary precautions around bears. Stick to the trails, walk in groups, and don’t go frolicking into the trees. Bears don’t like noise, but that shouldn’t be a problem whenever two or three debaters get together. While you walk the trail, just debate something. Here is a topic: Let it be resolved, the bears will eat you.
Like trainers, bears are attracted to free food, so don’t walk into the woods carrying food. Also, it’s not a good idea to throw food in the woods either, because the trainers will chase after it, and bears don’t like that.
If you happen to see a bear, it is best to remain still and speak in monotone. Don’t make any sudden movements. In other words, act like a judge. While the bear is deciding to attack you, just tell the bear about the Convention for the Rights of the Child. The bear should understand how wrong it is to eat a teenager and then proceed to devour your coach.
What do you do if a bear attacks you? Well, according to the experts, first you have to determine what type of bear it is. During your eight minutes of prep time, determine whether you are facing a grizzly bear or a black bear. If it is a grizzly bear, you should play dead, but understand that even a gentle swipe by a bear’s paw can kill a human being. If it is a black bear, you should fight it, but understand that even a gentle swipe by a bear’s paw can kill a human being. In conclusion, according to my research, even a gentle swipe by a bear’s paw can kill a human being. Thank you experts for your guidance of our safety.
The locals call bears “Aaaah!” If you hear anyone saying that, run. While all this talk about bears surrounding you may be frightening, there is something positive. If you must miss a lab or debate, there is no better excuse than being eaten by a bear.
Bear Safety Links:
posted by Dalbir
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Slovakia (Matej Cibik, Lubomir Svacina, Vratko Strmen)
In a spellbinding semi-final round, Korea 6 (with a 4-3 decision against the Czech Republic), made Youth Forum history by becoming the first team from Asia to become finalists. Tomorrow, in Brasov, they will be trying to take that a step further and take the KPD World Championship Trophy for a first ever journey to Korea. However, it won't be easy! Slovakia (with a 5-2 decision against Croatia) will be trying to claim its second Championship title since their win in Slovakia Youth Forum 2002. The final certainly promises to be a tense and excellent debate.
On a sidenote, neither team will be prepping too much, given the annual country expo that is planned for tonight. Aside from the kitsch party, the country expo may just be the most anticipated social event of the Forum. International food, drinks, music, and debaters singing national songs, is there a better way to relax after the World Championships? I know this blogger is excited to see what the new attending countries have brought to share. I hear the Netherlands has brought samples of what makes them a most popular tourist destination . . . I was talking about clogs of course. What were you thinking about?
Top 25 Ranked Teams
|4||Romania ARES 1||3||10||802.00||961.00||8|
|6||Romania ARES 2||3||9||797.00||956.00||8|
Many were excited to have their airplanes finally land in Romania. Too bad you didn’t know that the bus ride up the mountain is longer than most airplane trips. Speaking of speed, visitors must have been especially excited to notice that road construction here is as quick as in any country. Road construction truly is an international language. It’s a very slow language, filled with lots of bodily scratching, but it is a language nonetheless.
What was longer and more embarrassing than the plane trip and the bus ride? Trying to open up my door. You have to slide the card in the right direction and at the right speed for it too work correctly. Don’t get too distracted by the flashing green light, like I did. I would swipe my card and then giggle at the wonderful green light. “Look, look, green means go!” I would say, clapping my hands.
It looks like a door knob, it smells like a door knob, and it tastes like a door knob, but you cannot turn it. No matter how hard you try, the door knob refuses to turn either right or left. Instead, bathroom door knobs in Romania prefer to be slapped on the top of their door knob heads. Cultural differences truly are what make us unique.
By the way, did you know that before the start of the camp, trainers were debating what is more confusing here, the water topic, or how to use the cutlery on the tables?
For those of you who have just arrived and are especially tired, no worries. Labs have already begun today, so you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on your sleep.
Many of you may not be able to sleep, after experiencing the most difficult and nervous part of the camp: carrying your bowl of soup. If you can survive this lunch time test of skill and coordination, then you can survive anything at the camp.
This is a great place for exercise. You can run around your hotel room, balancing your laptop in your hands, as you try to get the wireless signal. I noticed three people on their balconies yesterday, holding their laptops in one hand and hanging on for dear life with the other. For those interested in illegal gambling, bets are already being placed as to when the computer system will crash. For those interested in prophecies, bets are being taken for when the electricity will go out, a plague of locusts will swarm the building, and Armageddon will be upon us. I say Tuesday. In other words, the first day of the Karl Popper World Championships – good luck!
Dalbir S. Sehmby
Romania Ares 1
Romania Ares 2
This year's tournament has adopted slightly different judging and tabulation policies than those used at forums in the past. You can review the additions here.
Debates will occur on the resolution: A policy should be adopted to promote global compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which also served as the topic for the Mixed Teams Tournament at last year's Youth Forum in Macedonia. Background information about the topic can be found on the Forum website here.
Check this blog over the next few days for up to the minute information on tournament news and results.
Monday, July 24, 2006
The opening assembly was hosted by Catalina Secreteanu (pictured left), who introduced the organizers of the Forum and representatives of IDEA. A representative of the local police force also addressed the group, warning participants to exercise caution in their surroundings, where bears have been sighted after dark. Most importantly, the 31 participating countries were officially welcomed to the Forum. Special notice was given to Burma, which is participating for the very first time!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
At left, debaters, coaches, and trainers share a profound cultural bonding experience: a game of Lunch Money, the card game in which you accost other children on the playground. This should get everyone warmed up to discuss the rights of the child in tomorrow's lab sessions!