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When one of the world’s against-all-the-odds most economically-successful nations, South Korea, reveals an obsession with the smallest room in the house, one oughtn’t be too sniffy; rather, has to take notice.

For example, imagine the look on your favorite architect’s face when you say that you just have to have a house that looks, well, exactly like this!

The explanation is very brief and here:

If this does not play, my apologies.  Please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNW8pJFLbrI

Radically unlike both the robust democracy of South Korea and that nation’s standards of living, when you’re almost all the way down, just how far up is up?

A colleague in Zimbabwe just noted that some local political hack had made great noise about progress.

Progress? I asked.  What progress?

It seems that the CIA World Factbook now has Zimbabwe sharing the second-to-the-bottom of the cellar ranking for the world’s nations.

Which is co-second-to-dead last? Liberia.

The very worst-off economy in the world is now The Democratic Republic of the Congo with a per capita earning of $400 (£249, €309, ¥32,857) per year versus Zimbabwe’s $500.

(Is there a larger or more abused irony in the world than that adjective democratic?)

In any case, my chum summed it all up by saying “Zimbabwe’s still in the toilet!”

Suddenly, he laughed, and said, “Well, actually, we can’t even do toilets right!”

He sent me this:

Toilet-flushing symphony in Zimbabwe

City authorities in Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo, are appealing to home owners to flush their toilets at a specific time, in order to unblock sewers after days of severe water rationing. The ‘big flush’ time has been set for 7:30 pm.

The Bulawayo City Council has asked its 1.5 million residents to flush their toilets simultaneously when water supplies are restored. City officials say ‘‘synchronized flushing’’ is needed to clear waste that would have accumulated in sanitary facilities – which will have been affected  by days of water outages.

The hope is that if everyone flushes together there is less chance of sewer blockages and pipe bursts, officials claimed.

Simela Dube, the city’s director of engineering, said:

“We need to flush our toilets at the same time to push all the waste that will be just under the surface, as residents would be using little water to flush toilets during water shedding hours.”

Bulawayo’s two main dams, supplying water to the city, have been drying up due to severe droughts in the southwestern part of Zimbabwe.

After expelling many but not whites, Zimbabwe’s formerly first-world infrastructure has been crumbling.

Agricultural production has also plummeted, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange and funds necessary for maintaining essential services.

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My friend can describe that chapter and verse.  He’s living it, still, and barely hanging on.

During the height of the celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, a pal of mine who knows my fondness not only for Her Majesty, but also the late iconic English composer, Sir Edward Elgar, sent me a clip honoring the great man (well, almost) or at least with bits and pieces of Nimrod mixed in.

Have a look for yourself and enjoy Adagio In Avocado” (from The Bathroom Suite)

If this won’t play, my apologies.  Please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMYGQzWW1m4)

For those readers to whom Broken bog means absolutely nothing, allow me to explain that in the least exclusive British-English usage, a bog is a toilet.

To soothe the souls of all, to introduce this particular piece of Sir Edward’s oeuvre  to those who don’t know it, and as a bulwark of optimism for those in Zimbabwe who actually give a damn about re-building their country, perhaps this will bring them some wee bit of optimism, a sense of application, and inspiration.

If this does not play, my apologies.  Please click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgcwdpu09VQ&feature=related

Mind you, when the so-called more elite, or at least, the (relatively?) developed neighbors to the south in the Government of the Republic of South Africa are publicly acting on behalf of and espousing both a Communist takeover and countrywide extermination — literally, a genocide  — of the white population, as confirmed by the non-partisan Genocide Watch, perhaps Zimbabwe’s 2nd-to-last-place world ranking is made even more fragile.

In an earlier posting, I noted that, literally, almost the only lights turned on in Africa south of the lights south of Cairo alongside the short strip of the River Nile appear when one reaches South Africa.

Is it only a matter of time before those lights are extinguished as well?

Before our eyes, The Dark Continent darkens ever more steadily from the Mediterranean to the Cape, from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

In that darkness, hearts harden; wickedness explodes.

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Hat-tips to: 

The Toilet Museum and Park is located about an hour outside of Seoul, Korea in the city of Suwon, the home of Samsung Electronics.  The museum centers around a toilet-shaped museum building that was once the home of the late Mr. Sim Jae-duck, founder and first president of the World Toilet Association.

The Non-Governmental Organisation Pro-Afrikaans Action Group (PRAAG): http://praag.org/?p=1892  Twitter: @pro_afrikaans

Genocide Watch, Inc. is a non-profit public charity under section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, and is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.  The effective date of its exemption was October 30, 2002.   Their relevant report is here: http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html   Twitter: @genocide_watch