The funk of 40,000 years hits the Philippines

It's easy to see globalization at work in the Philippines, as long as you just add a couple decades and throw in 1,000 orange jumpsuits. Nearly 24 years after the premier of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, prisoners in the central Philippine province of Cebu groove out during their morning exercises by re-enacting the zombie dance moves that became so famous on MTV.

The jailbirds also perform to Queen's "Radio Ga Ga" and don nuns' habits when dancing to "Hail Holy Queen" from the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg movie "Sister Act." Warden Byron Garcia introduced the choreography to the prisoners last year, but only uploaded the videos recently. They've been tearing up cyberspace ever since.

I want the prison system to learn from this," Garcia told Reuters. "The inmates are after all human beings and the inmates after all, once inside, know that they have committed mistakes, let them enjoy their stay."


Pakistan's tribal badlands take to the Internet

Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been in the news lately, what with the death of a relapsed Guantánamo alum in Baluchistan and the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that points to the tribal regions as al Qaeda's new safety zone.

But did you know that FATA has its own website? That's right, you can go to to register your complaints or suggestions with the regional government, view job listings, and even look up the phone numbers of local officials. There's even a link called "whats up" [sic] that purports to take you to the latest hot news. (Instead, the linked page just says "NO NEWS FOUND". Anyone looking for insider tips on Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts will be sorely disappointed.) has many of the trappings of a friendly local government page, but there's a major red flag: It's all in English. Granted, Pakistanis living in the tribal areas speak a number of different languages, including Pashto, Baluchi, and Urdu, so perhaps English is the best option. And most people who don't speak English probably don't have Internet connections anyway. Still, the FATA site looks suspiciously like one of those wasteful, useless development projects that people like Bill Easterly keep warning us about. I'd bet that al Qaeda's websites are much more engaging and in tune with local sentiments.