Friday, May 26, 2006
I ask whether I should seek any god besides God--when he is the Lord of all things. All people will reap the harvest of their own deeds; no one will bear another’s burden. Ultimately, all of you will return to your Lord, and he will resolve your disputes.
-Qur'an, Al-An'am, Surah 6:163-164
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The third stage of the race is the swimming and competitors swim must swim across the Shin Derayace, a one-kilometer swim. Racers emerging from the water immediately are in the 4th and final stage of the New Kurdistan badlands marathon. The 300-kilometer foot race through dangerous desert terrain.
The temperatures in the New Kurdistan Badlands can shoot up to 40c and plunge to –4c at night. Nor does bad weather stop the race. In the 178 years the race has been run flash floods have killed 27 racers.
The race starts every year after Eid-al-Fitr. In fact the first non-Kurd to win the race Abdulrahman Muhammed of New Malaysia, arrived on New Kurdistan two days before the start of Ramadan and walked the course twice before Eid. Many series competitors now do this; even some non-racers will do it. Walking the course during the day and reading Quran and performing Tarawih prayers at night. They call this performing Abdulrahman’s quest.
Some racers have started to pick up the tactic of running at night, navigating by the stars and sleeping during the day. Some racers from new Tajikistan, whom lay out during the day allowing their skin’s chlorophyll to rebuild their bodies’ energy reserves, have used this tactic very effectively. A tactic made even more effective by the fact that the racers must carry all their own food and water. There are only four water stations along the racecourse, not including the lake they must swim.
The entire race is broadcast 24 hours a day for the entire 15 days it normally takes the last runners to make it to the finish line, on New Kurdistan channel seven. During the race much of the planet will be glued to the coverage cheering on their favorite runners. All along the racecourse you can see the channel seven monitoring drones hovering above the ground. They also allow race officials to monitor the race for safety concerns and to make sure there are no rule violations. On occasion racers have tried to bury food and water supplies in violation of the race rules.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
We went to the Planetary zoo. It was Huge. They have a Monorail to help visitors get around. We saw the pair of Lupursus that they have there. The male is the black one with the green stripes and the female one is the pink and black one. They can run up to 80 kilometers a hour and they weigh 300 kilos. The most dangerous thing about them is they have no fear of man.
We also saw a really nice Walid Monkey habitat. It donned on me while we were looking at it that I have never seen Walid Monkeys outside a zoo, even back home. So Inshallah, when we get back as soon as I can I am going to take the mag-train down to the southern Hutan park and observe some Walid Monkeys in their natural Habitat.
Give everyone our Salams and Inshallah we will be Home in 3 weeks.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Well we just got back from our fishing trip. It was great. We caught a lot of the local fish, one of which has tentacles. I even hooked this massive thing called a horned trout. It must have weighed a hundred kilos, almost pulled me off the boat. After fighting it for 45 minutes, seemed like days, it managed to tear out of the hook.
We fished in an area called the southern teeth. It is called that cause of the shape of the little islands that that dot it, and it is in the southern ocean. The Captain said that if we had been fishing out there in the winter we would have seen chunks of ice in the water. But while we were there it was warm and plenty of sunshine. Oh and I am 2 shades darker now.
Alhamdulillah, we saw the giant floating fishers, in my last picture you can see two of them. They were enormous, the size of those advertising zeppelins you see flying at sporting events back home. The captain told us that they suck up water in drinking tubes that they drag in the water and that special bacteria that live in them break the water down into hydrogen and oxygen. The floaters absorb the oxygen into their blood and that the hydrogen goes into their balloon sack. I ask about storms and apparently the lower themselves into the water during storms. Also their skin has some special property, which redirects lighting strikes down into the water.
Well Jamila and I are going to go to the new Benjarmasin Zoo and Aquarium tomorrow. Should be a blast, the hotel clerk told us that they have a mated pair of Lupursus there.
Oh yeah, last night we went out and had a local dish which was battered fish served over rice with some sort of yogurt sauce. It was delicious, so we bought a cookbook. So when we get back we will be cooking a big dinner for everybody.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Then on the Planet Kalimantan Prime in the year 1837 A.H. all of this changed. Professor Hassan Nashashibi of the university of New Benjarmasin completed the greatest invention in transportation science since the wheel, the Nashashibi Worm drive or as it is more commonly known as Worm Drive. The Worm drive powered by a Sun burst fusion reactor allowed man to travel distances in mere hours that had taken years by opening up a worm hole between two points in space.
The first trip was to the nearby star system of New Malaysia. The Authorities on New Malaysia were amazed by this new star drive. The First Citizen of New Malaysia, Zainab Muhammed, quickly got the crew of the ship to agree to carry back several representatives of New Malaysia, who upon arriving on Kalimantan Prime negotiated a trade agreement and a mutual defense pack. This was followed several months later by a technology exchange program. This was the beginning of the Confederation of Islamic Worlds.
Within several years the Confederation had all the ethnic Malay worlds and had devised a standard treaty for each world to ratify to join the Confederation. Afterwards The Confederation sent representatives to New Kurdistan, Turkmen Prime and dozens of other predominantly Muslim star systems. The urge to reconnect with humanity and the prospect of trade and new technology and all but a very few joined.
Soon ships with worm drives were sliding into star systems nearly everywhere that Humanity had settled. At first the Confederation exclusively had the worm drive, but this was not to last for more than a dozen years. Scientists on New Guangxi by carefully monitoring star ships every time they activated their worm drives were able to conclude how the drive worked and in seven years they successfully tested their own worm drive. The leaders of Vert were not so subtle and simple seized one and reversed engineered the worm drive. Later agents of Nuevo Amazonas were able to steal plans for the worm drive from Vert Prime. With the Genie out of the bottle scientists and engineers were able to compare notes and even more powerful and efficient worm drives were built.
This of course also led to the formation of the Celestial Alliance, the Frankish Empire, the Nuevo Federation, and numerous smaller interstellar groups like the Shiite systems Alliance, the Unity of Saints and the Federation of Free Worlds.
The invention of the worm drive also led to a huge amount of trading in technological and scientific information and the 3rd expansion of humanity into space.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Just got to New Samarinda, The Hotel here is great, I actually have a whirlpool in my bathroom and the view from my balcony is of the Imam Hassan Memorial flower garden. The Garden looks spectacular from up here. Your Mom would love it. Remember when we were in school, all those times she had us digging flowerbeds and planting flowers.
Well here are some pictures I took while on my extreme backpacking group trip. We were in the Kalimantan Prime northern national park. There are no facilities at all in the park, not even trails. If trails start to form the park officials will put that area of the park off limits until it recovers. That and they only let five thousand people into the park every year. We got to spend two weeks hiking and camping.
The park is over 20,000 square kilometers and the terrain was formed by glaciers that pushed through the area over ten thousand years ago during New Kalimantan’s last ice age. Most of the fauna that we saw was bipedal, kind of neat huh. We saw a herd of Kiki deer must have been three or four hundred of them, they were so graceful, we all just watched them run by nobody remembered to pull out a camera. There is also a species of predator called a Lupursus that lives in the park, but we never saw one.
Part of our gear were these neat collapsible kayaks, they were so cool. We used them to cross a couple of lakes and we went down a river in them and rode some small rapids.
Thinking of buying one for myself.
Of course the park is closely monitored and if we would have found ourselves in any real danger we just have to activate our emergency transponder and one of the park ranger spheres would have swooped down and rescued us. I got a few pictures of them as well, they are the big gold globes in the pictures. They were cool o watch to as they simply glide through the air silently. They are silent as no to disturb any of the wildlife.
We are going to do some shopping and sight seeing in the city but next week we are going deep sea fishing. And get this the captain of the boat is giving us a discount cause we are from off world. I love this planet.
PS give my Salams to your family and tell Aisha that Inshallah she should be getting a post card from me soon.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Yet most military historians agree that it was not the size of the force that caused the failure of the assault but the botched landing. In an attempt to render ineffective the Frankish mobile surface to air missile batteries, It was that while armor would go down on traditional landing craft, that the infantry would use the new I.A.D.P. or Individual Assault Drop Pods. The I.A.D.P.s were nearly invisible to radar and as each one only contained one soldier the use of Surface-to-Air missiles would be cost prohibitive to the Frankish defenders.
Unfortunately not all the kinks had been worked out of the guidance system so they would land anywhere within a kilometer of their landing target. So when the landing zone was picked many believe that deciding on Dracheufer could be a mistake and they were correct. While Dracheufer was only 20 kilometer from New Berlin and appeared on the map to be flat it turned into a disaster. For the Appearance on the map was correct except for a massive cliff, which separated the beaches from the fields above. So while many drop pods only missed their target-landing zone by a few meters, they landed on the beach. This trapped over half of the infantry troops whom had dropped, as they faced a 200-meter cliff, which they had to climb to be able to link up with the rest of the assault force.
When Frankish reconnaissance drones discovered this, the Franks were quick to dispatch every naval vessel they had in New Berlin and these ships chewed up the Confederation troops trapped on the beach. Over 30,000 died in a matter of hours.While The Confederation troops found themselves tangled up in this combat and unable to make the rapid assault on New Berlin. The Frankish defenders put into action a new mine laying machine which in short order turned every field between New Berlin and the Confederation Invasion force into a mine field.The light Confederation force found itself engaged in heavy combat and moving forward through mine fields that soon decimated its ability to fight. General Mustafa Abdulqadir was forced to offer surrender after only 120 hours of landing on the planet or face complete annihilation.
After the War a monument to those who died at the battle of Dracheufer was erected.