Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Tuesday, November 1, 2005day link 

 Buy an underground city
A previously secret underground installation is for sale in England.
WELCOME to Cold War City (population: 4). It covers 240 acres and has 60 miles of roads and its own railway station. It even includes a pub called the Rose and Crown.

The most underpopulated town in Britain is being put on the market. But there will be no estate agent’s blurb extolling the marvellous views of the town for sale: true, it has a Wiltshire address, but it is 120ft underground.

The subterranean complex that was built in the 1950s to house the Conservative prime minister Harold Macmillan’s cabinet and 4,000 civil servants in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack is being thrown open to commercial use. Just four maintenance men are left.

Property developers looking for the ultimate place to get away from it all need not apply. The site has a notional value of £5m but there is a catch. It is available only as part of a private finance initiative that involves investing in the military base on the surface above.

I don't have 5 million pounds to spare, but I'd really like an underground city.
[ | 2005-11-01 15:52 | 9 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Kiva third world micro-loans
picture Kiva is an organization that facilitates that individuals can provide micro-loans to people in third world countries. A reader on BoingBoing says:
"Kiva.org is the world’s first peer-to-peer, distributed microloan website. A great idea where PayPal meets Gates Foundation. The site allows you to lend a small amount of money, say $25, to needy microenterprises in developing countries. You receive repayment at the end of the loan period (normally 6-12 months) without interest. If they default on the loan, your loan becomes a donation – though none of the businesses have defaulted yet. A great low-risk, high-reward idea."

And on the Kiva front page is an example from Uganda of how it might look:
This bussiness is now using the loan money that they received from Kiva. They received loan money worth $500. They have bought 3 Bulls and 2 cows for their first sells in the cattle market in Tororo Town. I will keep you posted immediately after the firt sells is done. Thanks alot for supporting this bussiness with the loan monwy. These are the poorest of the poor people living in desparete stuation in the village. Yours Moses Onyango.

It is a good thing. Great idea to make it possible for individuals to contribute to the venture. High-reward, indeed. You get no interest, but you get the satisfaction of helping small business people off the ground, for very little money.
[ | 2005-11-01 21:42 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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