- October 6, 2015
As schools here in Malaysia remain closed for a second day due to 'the haze' -- a rather soft euphemism for toxic pollution coming from burning rain forest -- the new issue of TIME Magazine quotes NASA as proclaiming this current event as among the worst in history. United Nations have declared this thing "an ecological disaster for the world."
In my last post I pointed out that the fires are occurring in Sumatra, an island in Western Indonesia. This rain forest, the third largest in the world, is being set afire to clear land. All of the blame is falling squarely at the doorstep of palm oil companies and their apparent friends in government.
- September 24, 2015
Here in Malaysia the skies have been heavy with smoke-haze and even the most smoghardened veterans of L.A. on our crew are finding it daunting. The haze, what the locals here call Jerabu, is a direct result of C0-2 rich peatland burning out of control on the island of Sumatra (western Indonesia and Borneo).
As we wake up each day and check the haze index -- anything over 200 is unhealthy -- no one seems to really look beyond the haze to question just what's going on over there in Sumatra. I didn't at first either. I was somewhat satisfied, even if annoyed, with the report of fires burning somewhere over in Indonesia. But as the Platters once sang, "Smoke gets in your eyes" day after day and you start to think "this is too damn unnatural."
- September 21, 2015
This September 23rd marks the 800th birthday of Kublai Khan, greatest of the Mongol rulers (after his grandfather Genghis), brilliant statesman, founder of China's Yuan Dynasty, and, as historian John Man puts it bluntly 'the greatest CEO in world history.'
It's been a privilege to bring this larger than life historical titan to the global attention he deserves (with thanks to the genius performance of Benedict Wong), presently out there in more than 50 countries, moving into Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan, South Korea, and streaming farther and wider every day . The Great Khan himself once said it was the Mandate of Heaven that he should conquer the entire world; if the aspirations of Netflix come to fruition, he shall finally reach that goal by 2017.