Here is surprising news: Hilton International plans to build a five-star hotel on the moon. It is interesting that the owners of Hilton have such surprisingly long-term vision. Developing plans to build a five-star hotel on the moon! Walking on the moon is an old idea, gone with the era of long hair and unruly mustaches, but Hilton plans to update the concept away from the smoke-filled dreams of the sixties into hard reality.
Of course, we can all go to the moon anytime, given access to a good computer. Anyone, including home-loving couch-potatoes, can walk into virtual reality, cruise to the moon in seconds and create their own adventures once there.
But Hilton has gone one step further and plan to ask people to make actual hotel reservations, eat airline food on the way, and pack a bag. The bag, by the way, will get lighter en route as the Earth's gravity is left behind. Of course the moon is a wonderful place to lose weight - once there, we will weigh only one-sixth of our Earth weight.
The trip will be available to a select few before opening to the general public. We have to take adequate steps to avoid possible pollution. One major problem Hilton will have with selling this scheme to the public is giving people something to do on the moon. Lots of rocks and a fantastic view of Earth will not keep the average tourist busy for long. Where are the theme-parks, beaches and friendly local natives selling exotic curios? The plan needs to be clarified further.
However, the brighter side of the plan is that we would surely have a spectacular view of Earth.
If you need an Earth-facing room in the Moon Hotel, please book in advance!
Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, the architect of Cambodia's "killing fields" regime who is held responsible for the deaths of about two million Cambodians during his 1975-79 rule, died of a heart attack last week. According to Khmer Rouge, it was a natural death at the age of 73.
Few will grieve his passing. But many will regret he was not brought to trial for his crimes against humanity and against his own people. His regime killed two million people, or 30 per cent of the total population of Cambodia. He wanted to introduce an anarchistic, archaic egalitarian system that had no possibility of working in the 20th century.
It now seems totally incomprehensible that Pol Pot and his henchmen could eradicate much of the ancient history and learning of Cambodia. But that is what they did, imposing an authority that was feared throughout the land and has become synonymous with the phrase "killing fields." During Pol Pot's regime, millions of Cambodians, forced to do hard manual labor continuously for 16 hours a day, subsisted on a starvation diet and were subjected to relentless humiliations, beatings and other torture.
Now, with the death of Pol Pot, it is time to put aside differences. He can no longer be brought to trial, for which many of his supporters, nationally and internationally, will be grateful as it saves considerable embarrassment.
Pol Pot is no longer able to cast a giant shadow over Cambodia. A new beginning can be made with the fresh elections scheduled for July this year. Without Pol Pot and the feared Khmer Rouge to threaten voters, all that is needed is free and fair elections. But in Cambodia anything is possible. Cambodians will pause to reflect on Pol Pot's passing, but now they pray that the ensuing elections will take place peacefully.
We can only wait and hope for the election results.