In case you missed it, UNESCO released a new list of CD-rom titles now available
to the public a fee. They include:
- "North American Sea Cucumbers: Expert Information on over 90 species of
sea cucumbers found throughout the Pacific,"
- "Lobsters of the World: Describing more than 140 lobster species with their
corresponding world distribution maps,"
- "Etymological Dictionary of Grasses: Eight years of research were required
to compile this elaborate interactive glossary of more than 13,000 terms,"
- "Linneaus Protist: Complete information on 312 protist species from the
Some new book titles include: "Basic Education in Prisons" and "Phytoplankton
Pigments in Oceanography." Order now while stocks last!
** Are people on edge around town? Ask the attendees of the farewell party
on April 8 for the last Blue Beret in Cambodia, Major Jan Wanderstein. When one of
the balloons put up for the occasion suddenly popped, the stunned silence was deafening,
followed by some very, very, very nervous laughter.
** The Phantom of the Cambodiana, who has been known to turn up at whatever
reception happens to be taking place there, is a bit worried that with the opening
of the Inter-Continental Hotel he may have to hoof it all the way across town just
to get a free drink and a bit of inside gossip.
** Has anyone ever wondered why the firing off weapons on Khmer New Year is
legal? The however many thousands of rounds fired from AK-47s, M-16s, and assorted
pistols in just about every corner of Phnom Penh into the night sky have to come
down somewhere. Hopefully not on your head!
This year's free-for-all which lit up the night with tracers seemed a bit more than
in previous years, according to many observers. Mused one diplomat in the capital:
"It must have been a warning, a rehearsal or a cover-up for some other sinister
At the very least, those who ran for cover when the revelry started can take some
solace that there are that many fewer bullets left which could be used to fire at
someone directly. Though that will be no comfort to the one woman killed and five
people injured, according to the military police, in this New Year's rain of bullets.
** Is it at all possible to retain some sense of humor when one is caught
in a grenade attack against unarmed demonstrators? American Ron Abney of International
Republican Institute, who was wounded in the mid-section, when asked by a hospital
administrator at Calmette what his profession was said: "Idiot.....professional
** The U.S. Embassy had some folks in last week from their Bureau of Diplomatic
Security in Washington, DC to brief embassy staff and American business representatives
on how to stay safe. Here's their advice on grenade attacks:
If one comes your way, DON'T FREEZE! If it lands next to you, kick it away, turn
in the opposite direction, take one giant step and hit the deck as fast as you can.
DO NOT keep running. The blast range for a grenade is about 30 meters in all directions.
If you are standing upright within that range, your chances of getting severly wounded
are much greater than if you are prone on the ground, even - if when lying down -
you are closer to where the grenade goes off. Fuse times are between 4 and 8 seconds
Lie down on your stomach, with your nose smack on the pavement and cross your legs
- keeping them straight - with feet pointing towards the grenade. DO NOT put your
hands/arms over your head, but keep them straight by the side of your body (If you
put your arms up over your head, you expose key vital organs like heart and lungs,
assuming your feet are pointed at the grenade).
The bottom line, even if you follow the above, is that it is likely you will get
wounded, but the above instructions, say the experts, is the best way to minimize
** Some amateur non-experts have come up with their own security advice for those
who want to attend any future demonstrations:
- Stand behind the cops and take pictures of anyone who looks suspicious
because if anything happens the evidence may prove useful in solving the case.
- If the demonstration has extremely poor security, be on your toes. The grenades
may be on their way.
- Don't stand next to Rainsy. Whoever was trying to kill him failed. They may try
- If you see a well-known businessman carrying a pistol, be careful. He may have
had luggage problems that day.
** Is the United Nations going to come in with big money in support of
the next elections, assuming they are allowed or asked to do so? No way, says an
inside source. When asked how much the UN would be willing/able to spend for another
round of elections in the Kingdom, the reply was $15 million. When compared to the
$2,700,000,000 spent on the '93 polls, that's about .0055 percent of what UNTAC doled
** This from the NGO sector. What's the difference between a specialist and
an expert? A specialist knows everything about nothing and an expert knows nothing
** With all the idle banter about who's a communist, one academic reports
that the writings of Marx, Lenin and Mao have never been translated into Khmer.