Link roundup

1. Invading Afghanistan in retrospect.

2. "If your [washing] machine is functioning well, all pre-rinsing does is waste as many as 6,000 gallons of water per year."

3. Modernizing Mecca:
The Saudis Wahhabi faith decrees that “revering structures with ties to the Prophet can lead to idolatrous practices.” So, only days after soldiers of King Abdul-Aziz al-Saud conquered Mecca in 1924, the destruction of buildings associated with the Prophet began, including his presumed birthplace and the house of his wife Khadijah. A 221-year old Ottoman fortress that stood a few hundred feet from one of Mecca’s gates was demolished in 2002. A Turkish minister described this action as “no different from the pulling down of the Buddha monuments in Afghanistan.” Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud is at work on another project that will enlarge the space around the Kaaba by demolishing the Ottoman portico and older pillars surrounding the courtyard of the Grand Mosque, which Peer calls the most beautiful parts of the mosque.

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