A cold front moves through hell

Did anyone else notice that the Op-Ed in The New York Times, “The Road to Hell Is Clogged With Righteous Hybrids“, is essentially an restatement, in editorial form, of the libertarian think tank Cato Institute? They even linked to the Cato position paper below the article.
That is great. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Well, he’d better be

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey.has an Op-Ed in today’s WSJ, “Turkey Is Committed to the New Iraq“.
Which makes sense, despite the disgraceful posturing that Turkey performed before the invasion of Iraq. You see. Turkey has about 14 million Kurds. That is a greater population than the roughly 5 million Kurds who live in Iraq. The Kurds have been making noise about getting their own country (Kurdistan) since about WWI. If the democratization project in Iraq falls apart, Kurdistan is expected to emerge from the wreckage, perhaps with American help. Further expect most of Turkey’s Kurds to try to join them, and Turkey to shudder with civil war. So no wonder they are cheering for Iraqi success.

Skiing in the desert?

Treehuger reports on a new project in Dubai to build an indoor skiing park. Let me play the devil’s advocate on this.In the middle of the Arabian Desert, it seems insane to make a big block of ice and maintain it year-round. But not all is as it seems.
First, snow is a good insulator. Since energy costs major Dirham, they have the incentives to heavily insulate the walls. The closed environment also allows the recycling the water. Maybe they could even think of something clever to do with that waste heat. Maybe it could be less expensive run that keeping a block of ice solid in the desert.
Second, grant for a movement that many wealthy middle easterners are going to ski anyway. Keeping them local avoids all the energy costs associated with transporting those skiers.