Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mankind's Search For God

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I love books, especially books dealing with philosophy, science, culture and religion. There is an excellent little red book that graces my shelf entitled "Mankind's Search For God." It's put out by Jehova's Witnesses and covers the gamut from mythology, magic and spiritism right thru Judaism, Christianity, Islam --- it's all there. The end pages are basically JW religious propaganda. I think it is good for one to explore all of the 'secrets' that surround the world's religions. Indeed, in Catholicism there were some very scarey situations: like the time when it was decided priests could not marry and the ones who had wives and children saw their loved ones taken away and sold into slavery. Or the fact that less than a hundred years ago, adults were discouraged from reading the Bible. Or the recent rumours that certain Popes may have been Euthanized. In my personal quest for truth and peace and guidance and hope, I have found great comfort in a variety of teachings which have proven to me that the "thread of Allah" is sewn throughout various cultures and beliefs.

September through January there are many "high holy days" of different origins within the major religions here in the United States. I'll wrap this post with words from two local religious leaders.

The first is an excerpt from an article written by Rabbi Aryeh Wineman of Congregation beth El, Troy. Writing about Sukkot and the sukkah in "The Jewish World" - "A sukkah lacks a strong roof. It has spaces between the branches on top to allow us to be able to see the stars at night, to be open to the light even to tiny points of light shining from an unbelievable distance. It suggests to us that we must not be so totally encompassed in our strong walls with sturdy, solid roofs, that we are not open to the presence of mystery and marvel, and that we not shield ourselves from even a tiny glimpse of the ultimate that goes beyond everyday day thoughts or cliches."

The second comes from AnNur Islamic School Principal Tammy Din, who tells the Times Union "An Islamic or Catholic or Jewish school lays a religious foundation and instills a sense of pride in a child. In order to be productive members of a community, people should have a sense of pride in their religion and their community."

I always find it interesting to note that the major religions popular today all originated in the Middle East, and that basic religions in general all have associations with Egypt.

Counterpoint: Using Jesus as a Crutch
"You canNOT petition the lord with prayer!" - Jim Morrison

Clintons Wanted

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While stopping by the Drudgereport Friday evening, I noticed an article with a photo and a caption or headline "Bush, Clinton, Bush Clinton" which said: should Hillary Clinton win the Presidency in 2008, most Young Americans will not have known a President who wasn't a Clinton or a Bush.

Some say this could be a case of people tending to stick with the "devil you know" - and, while "trust in Bush" may now be irreversibly shaken, we tend to "trust" the Clintons because we "know" the Clintons. We watched them in the White House before: regualr, human folk with regular, human flaws. I still have the FOX Clinton Christmas special on VHS somewhere around here...

The obvious benefit of having the Clintons back is the years of experience and presidential know-how.

IMHO, Hillary launched her campaign at the right moment. History, in it's unquenchable thirst to be written, is calling, and Mrs. Clinton has picked up.

BarCamp

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So, what is BarCamp? BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants. Here's what to expect at a BarCamp. The name BarCamp was inspired as a complement to FooCamp.

Here are videos that capture the essence of BarCamp. Take a look at video summaries from BarCamp SF, What is a BarCamp , BarCamp Austin andBarCampOrlando.

Join the BarCamp Mailing List or read the blog.

Nico: "I’m at the Wixi presentation at Barcamp Buenos Aires. It’s an online application that allows you to store all your media. First thing I thought when I saw it was “this is the google OS!”. The desktop is very similar to a desktop in your computer, with the added value of being able to embed media, and even complete folders, to other websites. Sounds extremely interesting. I hope they give us beta invites :)"

Read about... organizing, hosting and then get familiar with the rules. If you write code at BarCamp, consider licensing it under the BarCampLicense.

Upcoming BarCamp events:

Oct, 5th-6th - BarCampSanMarcos San Marcos, TX USA
Oct, 9th - FacebookCampToronto2 - Toronto, ON, CA
Oct, 12th-13th -
BarCampAtlanta - Atlanta,GA,USA
Oct, 12th-13th - BarCamp for Digital Imaging and Video (aka DIVcamp)
Oct, 13th-14th BarCampMilwaukee2 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Oct. 13th-14th- HackmeetingSanFrancisco - San Francisco, CA, USA
Oct. 13th-14th-
InfoCamp Seattle - Seattle, WA, USA
Oct. 19th-21st -
BetaThetaPiCamp - Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
Oct. 27th - ArbCamp - Ann Arbor, MI
Oct. 28th -
MobileCampLA - Los Angeles, CA, USA
Nov. 1st -
Hispanic Barcamp - Miami, FL. -
Nov. 3rd- 4th - BayAreaDrupalCamp - UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

FooCamp - barcamp.org/FooCamp
minibar - barcamp.org/minibar
BarCampTokyo - barcamp.org/BarCampTokyo
More Google results from barcamp.org »

BIFF Free Screenings

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The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) will once again begin the monthly free screenings with the showing of the sold-out selected shorts including Berkshire shorts, 'Trigger Finger' by Marc Maurino and 'The Rest of the Time' by John Whalan which premiered during the film festival last May. The special showing on Sunday, October 7 at 11:00 a.m. and will be the first in a series of films shown the first Sunday of every month at the Triplex Cinema.

Other shorts include 'Cycle Unknown' by Jessica Daniels, 'The Dig' by Joshua van Praag, 'Naturalized' by Julia Kots, and 'Small Boxes' by Rene Hernandez.

The films will be shown at 11: 00 a.m. and are free to the public. The Berkshire filmmakers will be in attendance. For further information, please visit the website at biffma.com or thetriplex.com.

The next film in the series is the award winning documentary 'M.C.Richards; the Fire Within' The film will be shown Sunday, November 4.

In the box of Pandora…

Post by Bettina Perroni

I got down on my knees and carefully I raised the cover of my "Pandora's Box."

I began to poke around and found so many things! I was surprised to find some objects that I had already forgotten... and then applying my philosophy by which a lightening the burdens of the past makes for a better present, I decided to purify some things.

First I took in my hands a few photos from my childhood, lingered a little bit admiring them, remembering my childhood, then my adolescence came to my mind.
I did not need or lack anything in those stages...

As if the box was a magicians' trunk, there appeared unexpectedly a Christmas card that I never delivered. I remembered that I should have sent it only last year. I thought: "He
will never read the words that I dedicated to him,..." sadness came over me, but with the pain, this card goes away.

Then the photos of my trips - ahhhh my trips! I took a lot of time looking at those photos one by one. So many photos!!!. When I was here, when I was there. There were duplicate photos - you know that thing about "that if this one doesn't come out well I'll take another" - it doesn't matter - I kept them all. I also found a book that was to have served as a diary of my trips, but there were so many pages without labels that anyone might think that it is nonsense or garbage.

Ah, next a book entitled "The women who love too much" by Robin Norwood. This book came into my posession at a "delicate moment" and to hold it again transmitted the pain of that year. When remembering, I dropped it, but I took it into my hands again and decided with coldness that it remains.

Ahhh, my collection of postcards - another hour taking delight with these postcards - The curious thing: Labeled as if I was sending them to someone more. Why did I do that? ... Madness, madness that I still keep them all.

Uyyy a book of Italian recipies: mmm this goes to where it belongs, to the kitchen.

And here, a letter in my handwriting. It remains, some day I will publish it in my blog.

Broken sheets, made bits in those moments of anger, annoyance, lies, tears auntil s perfume - I had forgotten this aroma - I will forget it forever in the passage of time... It goes away!.

Maps, guidebooks of cities, train tickets, ohhh 10 dollars jajaja and a few coins God knows where ... they are korunas Czech!! They will remain here...

And then, the best preserved treasure: One, two, 10, 20, I do not know - I've lost count - I do not know all the letters with blue, black, green letters, words of love, words of delivery, dreams that never came true, unfruitful desires, I held them close against my chest... I closed the eyes - there is no reason to keep them, no reason to throw them away.

A Diploma that says: " Bungee jumping Jumping, jump to the pacific" - this one remains!

"Requisites for the MBA at Queensland University" ... this hurts, but I have no regret... I believe I made the right decision... to resign to it is to dismiss the dream forever - ufffff ...: it goes away!.

Scarcely I could explore the half of my forgotten memories, with already obsolete memoirs that do not apply to me today - scarcely the half and all that has changed my life! Incredible that my Pandora's box contained a good critique of my life !

God!: what more will I find? ...:S

Saturday, September 29, 2007

How To Build A Blog And Attract A Following

From her basement office, Ashley Qualls has made Whateverlife.com a destination for millions of teenage girls.

You’ve seen him on ABC's late night Jimmy Kimmel Live: the kid with the youtube video, extremely gay Britney Spears fan “Chris Crocker” crying his eyeballs out and looking like a nut job while he defends Britney’s super poor performance at the recent VMA’s. Here's an INSIDE look...

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While there is no silver bullet that will launch any one blog, there are many different "formulas for success" that work in slightly different ways. One of my favourite examples of a blogger rocketing from obscurity to stardom is Wendy Cheng (XiaXue), who appeared on everyone's radar after being featured in a special blogspot profile. It was a tremendous boost for her, and she continued ascending: eventually landing sponsors, endorsements and a TV show. There've been other "star" bloggers, some have faded away. Some of us rely on search engines to bring readers in, others on social networking tools like digg. Others gain a good foothold after being featured in a magazine or newspaper, or on a news website or after being linked to by an "A-List" blogger.

Some bloggers dwell on links, posts and rankings while others simply blog. One thing that works very well: leave your footprint when you visit a website or blog. By that I mean, add the URL of your blog when you leave a comment or visit a forum or website. Put your URL in your email signature file. Join a group like MyBlogLog. Eventually, your star will rise. WARNING: if you play with fire, you'll get burned. Don't be greedy and try to tweak your pagerank or technorati ranking. You may find yourself as one blogger did: Monday he was highly ranked, highly placed in search engines, racking up hits... by Thursday he was stripped of his rankings and the search engine bots were programmed to ignore his blog. Why?
Somebody from yahoo found out that his little "link empire" was a house of cards, and pulled the plug, and they all came down.

Even the self-proclaimed experts have difficulty interpreting site ranking data. Read No. 1 In Search, How Come P.R. of 6?

Principles and Practical Media Lessons [Posted by Karl Carter] under the heading "What the Jena Six Protests Mean for Us" demonstrates how a news event links to and affects marketers:
"While we're busy trying to figure out how to get to the next trend first, how to best service our clients, or how to sell stuff better, our community is standing up and building an intergenerational movement. And while the movement they're building is about justice, it's a product of its own place and time.

How does this relate to us? Because the organizers are using viral marketing and media – tools of our trade -- to build a movement. These activists are equipped with video cameras, Blackberries and social networking. Up until about two-three weeks ago most people had not heard of the Jena Six. What happened?"
When you read Karl's article you come away with a better appreciation and understanding of the power in that keyboard in front of you! Now, how to parlay it into blogging...

Looking to "grow rich with adsense"??? BVWG [fr] blogs the strategy... There's a companion piece [fr] Le MFA ou comment devenir riche sur Internet. English speakers, break out your French-Englisg dictionaries and translating software!

Now, there's another important point: develop an international following for your blog! Many bloggers, like my friend Bettina Perroni and myself employ translating links / badges / widgets. If you plan serious international blogging, you need transkating software of your own--- Rosetta Stone DVD is awesome-- AND an English-Other Language cross-ref dictionary. A little basic understanding + effort goes an incredibly long way!

Ultra-serious bloggers / writers / reporters should consider joinging associations or networks: these can be in-person organizations or on-line groups. Karel McIntosh: "If there was ever a career bible, one of the first chapters would be devoted to professional associations. In many industries, the professional association is a group that lends credibility to the profession, creates standards that members abide by, and ensures that due recognition is brought to the field. Members often benefit from its effectiveness as a career development tool."[more]

South African blogger, Vincent Maher, has been shortlisted as one of the ten finalists for the IT Personality of the Year Awards.

Want to build a successful blog? Don't get so wrapped up over how popular your blog is that you publish misleading information. Don't go off the map trying to "cheat" your way via link manipulation to what some perceive as the "top" of the blogosphere.

Right: ProBlogger hits one out of the park! This dude does his homework!

Wrong: Here's a tale about a blogger apparently so concerned with rankings and ratings he failed to check his source: the equivalent of when a Chinese newspaper lifted a story from the Onion! Just in case he pulls his post, here are the basics: we have a blogger who craves links and female readers. My guess is he read the post and because the blog's author is female, assumed it was true. Here's part of the post:

"I just read a post from my friend at Adsense Tracker. I have been reading her truly amazing blog and was shocked to see she has the story of the year! She would not reveal how she got this information but if this is true, she broke it FIRST! Here is an excerpt:

In a nod to Web 2.0 and in an effort to make the Google experience more user-centric, Google will end the system of assigning each web page a Page Rank based on an algorithm of links, quality and popularity. Instead, each page will have a Page Rate assigned by the readers.

Have you read her blog? This girl is simply amazing and I love the fact that a female has the STORY OF THE YEAR in my opinion ...Adsense Tracker ROCKS!!!!!"
Yeah, it sure does! (And she sure fooled that blogger!) In another post the same blogger tries to manipulate his blog's rank. That's not all! This fellow spammed other blog's comments sections with his "news" about Google! Some people just don't get it!


Wilder, Willower @ Java Jazz Delmar

Coming October 11th to the Java Jazz Coffee House, 318 Delaware Ave. Delmar NY, the Java Jazz Jamboree! It runs from 7:00 – 9:00pm - an evening of music and adult storytelling featuring singer / songwriter Blue Wilder and storyteller Bob Willower. Free admission. Sandwiches, baked goods, coffee and other hot and cold drinks available.

Java Jazz Jamboree is a monthly event at the Java Jazz Coffee House. The Jamboree will feature local and regional performers whose work goes beyond the traditional topics of love, relationships and daily life to address the need for peace and social change. The performers are talented and exciting and use those talents to provoke listeners to laugh, learn and question the challenging issues we face as we try to build a more just and peaceful world.

More information...

Pep Talk

Now for your dose of Satutrday morning "conscience clearing" -

Mistakes are the "outtakes" of our lives. We all make them from time to time. It's how we handle them that counts. Think back on your life. What are the things that you wish you could go back and change. What could you have done differently? Reflect on this a moment by closing your eyes, then come back.

Now that you're back you've no doubt realized and understand there is no going back. No undoing what has been done. That doesn't mean you can't do new things, make new decisions that can change your life in a positive way. I recently met a man I'll call Willie. He's around 77 years old and just spent the last 40 years of life in prison. For a murder. But he is not hardened: he IS changed. He's an activist now for prisoners in New York, and I could tell by his "aura" that he indeed was sorry for what he had done, and wanted to spend his remaining time helping others who are now enduring what he had endured.

Okay, so you can't fix every mistake, commit the crime and you do the time. There are other mistakes men and women make. They don't seem to start out as "mistakes," but things happen and go wrong along the way. Breakups are okay, but divorce is the rough way out. Nobody wins (especially if children are involved.) How to cope? First understand that we are all just plain human. Don't enter a relationship expecting that your partner will make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Don't enter a relationship thinking your partner will "take care" of you. Take care of yourself: an old boss once told me "look out for number one." I didn't get that at first. Now I do. It wasn't meant to be taken and applied in a bad or selfish way. if you and your partner can acknowledge and accept each other for who and what you are, unconditionally, and not expect the other to "take care" or "make me happy" you'll get along.

Sometimes we err. To err is human. If you made a mistake and you didn't mean it, you didn't harm anyone, and gee whiz you feel stupid... let it go. Don't talk about it with anyone. Get over feeling bad about it. The only thing you can do is mark time. The more time that fills the space between that mistake and you, the better off you'll be. Never let them see you sweat. Cover your tracks by aspiring to do something outstandingly spectacular that will surely steal attention away from your error. (Politicians are masters of timing when it comes to this!) Should you still get called on, say something like, "oops, my bad" or "barin fart" and don't dwell on or try to justify or otherwise explain what happened. It happened, move on, get over it. Convince yourself and you'll convince others.

The biggest mistake of all is when you look in the mirror and wonder "why didn't I..." It's too easy to second-guess or play monday-morning quarterback. That's why you should always, always, always ALL-ways think before your speak, and, wait a minute, think AGAIN before you speak. Practice this and you'll find at least a few times each day you'll be delighted that you kept your mouth shut. This advice works in many situations. Don't understand how to do something at work or school? Don't blurt that out right away. The instructor may be planning to go over it again in a minute, or you may be ableto figure it out all by yourself or get a hand from a co-worker. Life is all about action, but you have to pause a moment to consider what will happen beyond the next thing you say or the next move you make.

Are other people hurting you or calling you names? If you're a family member "stuck" in a family situation, consider if it's worth sticking it out and trying to make changes. This goes back (sometimes) to what others want or expect from you. If somebody is putting you down because you're not "making them happy" the problem may not be all yours. But think back a minute: did you once promise them that you would indeed "make them happy?" Remember, words mean things. Different things to different people. Be careful what you say. Be careful what you promise. Be careful what you wish for.

Your responsibilities are these: first, to thine own self be true. To your belief system, to your gut feeling, to your conscience. To your parents and children, instructors and employers. Keep yourself clean and neat. Make sure you are properly attired for your school or job. Have a set of "dress up clothing" for those very special times. Say your prayers (whatever prayers you choose to say according to the belief system you subscribe to) and always be pleasant, patient and kind to others (no matter how much they piss you off). Not only will you perk up some poor soul's day, you'll gain a little karma. That old saying about "what comes around goes around" is pretty true. Ah well, enough sermonizing! If you have any "life lessons" you'd like to pass along, the "comments" section is your ticket...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Schenectady County Public Library Used Book Sale

If you're into used books, or you're an Amazon.com bookseller: There is a sale featuring thousands and thousands of books, records, tapes, and more!

COMBINES RECYCLING, LITERACY, & FUND RAISING!

Saturday, September 29, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Schenectady County Public Library
99 Clinton Street, Schenectady

The sale continues on Sunday with a Bag Sale – Fill a bag with books for $2.00 a bag on Sunday, September 30, 2007 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

This is a volunteer endeavor put on by Friends of the Schenectady Public Library

Free Fall

Tonight say a prayer for Carlos Gamboa, a popular blogger in the Spanish-speaking blogosphere who lost his 12 year old daughter in an terrible accident in Colombia on Wednesday. His wife and 5 year old child are now in the hospital. Bettina Perroni has posted Caida-Libre on her blog [es]. She says "Carlos is very popular in our community, many bloggers are very sad for this fatality." and dedicated the post to Carlos. Below is the English translation.

"In silence, in solitude... standing on the rocky cliffs where the sea crashes
In a free fall without any doubt to be with you dear friend".

I didn´t want to believe it,
I just close my eyes, my hand and I pray for your strength.
my deepest sympathy "

With all my respects dedicated to my friend Carlos Gamboa.
-Bettina Perroni

Bad Times in Burma

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As Myanmar's regime cracks down on a growing protest movement, "citizen journalists" are breaking the news to the world...

The Torrent of Bad News - Even Children Are Not Safe

Michelle Malkin: Several popular dissident blogs had already gone dark the past few days before the “damaged underwater cable” shut down Internet accesss.

The fate of one prolific Burmese blogger, Moezack, is unknown. The entire blog has been wiped.

› China: Bloggers side with Burmese monks
> Photo of Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai as he lay dying… HotAir has video here.

Preetam Rai: DVB.no has posted news (in Burmese) about soldiers from #33 battalion allowing the monks to continue the protests in Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar... Kaduang has posted an eyewitness account of yesterdays happening in capital Yangoon... KaDaung - Yangon Messages from CBox

The Latest:

Most of the latest news (real + unconfirmed rumors) are dropped into the comment boxes or Cboxes.

Ever since blogspot domain is being blocked, the Myanmar netizens are making an excellent use of CBox as their news reporting medium.
Many bloggers' Cboxes have been filled with various news especially Niknayman's Cbox.

Now someone has created another CBox ie. http://burmanews.cbox.ws/
to translate all those messages from Niknayman Cbox in english for international outlookers. Currently they are asking for translators for newly created CBox to post in english.

Latest news: http://niknayman.cbox.ws/
Translated news from niknayman cbox:

Blog of Nyein Chan Yar writes that internet, landline and mobile connections are going down in Myanmar.

Cambodian blogger Mean Lux has posted images from a vigil they held in front of Myanmar embassy this morning.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bench warrant issued for Cindy Sheehan

A bench warrant was issued Thursday for antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who did not appear for arraignment Thursday in a Washington, D.C., courtroom to face charges related to her Sept. 10 disorderly conduct arrest at the Capitol.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Michael McCarthy issued the order to Sheehan around noon, a court spokeswoman said. The warrant means she is to be taken into custody and brought before the court. She also faces one count of unlawful assembly.

Online Petition Urges Spitzer to Reverse NY Driver's License Policy

ALBANY, NY (09/27/2007; 1502) (readMedia) -- New York Republican State Committee Chairman Joseph N. Mondello today announced the creation of an online petition on the state Republican website, www.nygop.org, where people can express their opposition to Governor Spitzer’s decision to offer driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

***MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION TO CHANGE THIS POLICY!***

“There has been a groundswell of opposition across the state to Governor Spitzer’s dangerous plan to give driver’s licenses to undocumented aliens,” said Chairman Mondello. “Our online petition will give people the opportunity to have their voice heard on this issue, and I encourage people to join our fight to reverse the Governor’s ill-conceived plan.”

Governor Spitzer’s change in policy has been cited as being dangerous, costly, a threat to the integrity of voter registration and possibly illegal. Governor Spitzer changed the policy in a unilateral decision without consulting elected representatives or holding public hearings.

“Given the importance of the issues surrounding homeland security and immigration, Governor Spitzer’s unilateral order to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens is a mistake. Hopefully, the Governor will listen to the public and reverse this decision right away,” concluded Chairman Mondello.




Getting High on Lark Street

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I wonder how many people knew about this before CapNx9 tipped them off?

We wanted to find out just how easy it is to get your hands on the drug, so we came to a shop on Lark Street. And in a few minutes, we had it in our hands. The bag says “for incense use only.” But when the store clerk was asked if it could be smoked, he said, “don't underestimate it just because it's legal."

Incense, peppermints...

Nets Basketball Tickets Presale & Offer

WFAN and the Nets are offering WFAN listeners this Nets Ticket Presale & Special Offer.

It's your chance to get your Nets individual game tickets to the 2007-08 season before
they go on sale to the general public on Saturday, September 29th!

For access to the best seats and the hottest match-ups, take advantage of this special
online presale beginning Thursday, September 27th at 10 a.m. through Friday, September
28th at 5 p.m.

PLUS - SAVE on tickets to games throughout the entire season!

- SAVE $10 per seat for games on: 10/31, 11/6, 11/8, 11/12, 11/27, 12/11, 1/4, 1/29, 2/12,
2/28, 3/19, 3/29, 4/15. Excludes $10, $15, $20 seats.

- SAVE $5 per seat for games on: 11/2, 11/16, 12/1, 12/7, 12/18, 12/22, 12/26, 12/28, 1/9,
1/14, 2/10, 2/20, 2/23, 2/26, 3/2, 3/15, 3/21, 3/26, 4/1, 4/5. Excludes $10, $15, $20
seats.

PRICE LEVELS/LOCATIONS:
LOWER LEVEL
US $78.00 – US $205.00

UPPER LEVEL
US $36.00 – US $72.00

Get your tickets now!

Log in to Ticketmaster

http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/805983

Enter code: WFAN into Special Offers Box.

Around The Blogosphere 27 September 07

Blog of the Day: :: SachaL :: E-Business, Innovation & Open spirit in Elsass
Vendredi dernier, le Best-Café a été envahi par quelques 30 à 40 bloggeurs pour la seconde rencontre de la Blogosphère Strasbourgeoise. Je suis très content car la soirée s’est très bien passée. J’ai eu beaucoup de réactions positives le soir sur place, mais aussi par email et sur d’autres blogs. J’en déduis que le concept plaît et c’est tant mieux. [more...]

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Bettina Perroni: “La palabra no es necesaria para expresar lo que siente el corazón”- Nadie podría demostrarlo mejor que el legendario mimo francés Marcel Marceau. [continues]

Yes I did watch last night's episode of Kid Nation... Lindsay Robertson - "I wrote about this week's Kid Nation again for NY Mag's The Vulture: Kid Nation: Fresh Meat. I can't believe they left in my description of Greg. Awesome.
Kid Nation’: Fresh Meat

via Bloguer ou ne pas bloguer ? - Joyeux anniversaire, Google ! Où Horacio répondrait à la question que semblait poser le PetitDragon dans Anniversaire Google : c’est quand ? Le 9e anniversaire de Google est aussi chez Pointblog.

Global Voices: A demonstration will be held in Cairo, Egypt, at 9pm on Friday in protest against the jailing of journalists and in solidarity with the workers on strike, reports Abna Masr (Ar). The demonstration has been called for by opposition movement Kifaya.

The 23-years old Polish computer programmer Marek W. might face up to three years in prison for having created a Googlebombing software linking Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s website to the word “kutas” meaning penis in Polish.

It’s “hunt-the-editor” season! In two weeks 5 editors-in-chief and 3 journalists working for opposition newspapers have been arrested and sentenced to jail and/or a big fine, reports Hatshepsut from Egypt.

Freddy Deknatel takes a look at how a blogger is covering Egypt's workers strike in this post. Global Voices Online earlier reported the unrest here.

Caribbean Free Radio snags the first-ever interview with the secret blogger claiming to be the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago.

and Bahraini blogger Mahmood Al Yousif reports about two girls in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, who sprayed the notorious religious police with pepper spray.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Around The Blogosphere 26 September 07

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Blog of the Day: Living Dominica posts VIDEO of street musicians in the island's capital...

Veracia takes us on a trip down Memory Lane, reminiscing about S Club 7:
"...it's the first ever band that i loved. and the first ever CD i bought. they had great voice and really nice pop moves back then! like High School Musical to the kids nowadays la, last time we had the british-accented S club 7. they had a drama over in Hollywood and i would catch that every saturday."
Meanwhile, Off The Meatrack blog is holding an S Club 7 contest of sorts, one that has attracted International attention!
¡Ventiladores españoles del “S Club 7″ de los saludos! via Off The Meatrack

I’ve noticed a bit of traffic this past week from a Spanish S Club 7 fan-forum, seemingly drawn here by my exclusive competition to win an a limited edition S Club 7 single. I would like to formaly welcome you all to my little corner of the internet, I hope you enjoy it and hang around. Remember, the competition is still open, having only had 3 entrants. You never know, it could be you!

Off The Meatrack. Come for the S Club 7-based competitions, stay for the poorly written rants.

Two from Liz Benjamin: {1} Today's Q poll found Hillary Clinton is running nearly neck-and-neck with Rudy Giuliani (44-45) in the Garden State and has widened her lead over Democratic rival Barack Obama to more than 30 points. {2} Talk show host Bill O'Reilly caused a ruckus (again) when he said he was surprised by how "civil" the clientele was at Sylvia's in Harlem during his dinner there with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Global Voices'Amira Al Hussaini: "With the month of Ramadan halfway through, bloggers in the Middle East are still tapping away at their keyboards, reflecting on different aspects of the Islamic month of fasting. This week we make stops in Yemen, Palestine, Kuwait and Israel to see what bloggers have to say." Sadiq Alam rounds up posts on personal experiences during Ramadan on the blogosphere.

Meanwhile, Talasim, from Jordan, posts this picture, sent in by a contributor in Egypt.

Words from Isabella: "...it’s starting to become a red ocean and they just put this web 2.0 thing to make people think the ocean’s still blue..." [more]

Ambiome: Beauty and the Geek

Teenlab: iPod Touch: Tween says “mine!?!”

Anastasia Goodstein offers a variety of wonderful links: Everyone wants to be Webkinz (including Hasbro) (via Izzy Neis)

- You know you've made it in tech (when you get snarked on Valleywag. Congrats to Ashley and the team at Whateverlife, who is also exhibiting at the Tween Mashup!)

- Old Navy is about to get cooler (Todd Oldham is now the creative director) (Brand Noise)

- The queen (of R-rated teen chick lit, Cynthia Eagan) (New York Observer)

- Hey! Nielsen (yes, Nielsen has launched its own pop culture social network where YOU can rate your favorite entertainment)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Around The Blogosphere 25 September 07

Blog of the Day (NSFW) Hairong Tiantian [Hexun][Tom] Chinese blogger Hairong Tiantian (following in the footsteps of Mu Zimei, Sister Furong JieJie, MuMu et al) recently staged a nude performance art piece entitled "99 Tents, 99 Dreams." Related links:
Shanghaiist: Chinese Internet Idol of the Day: Hairong Tiantian
Shanghaiist: Hairong Tiantian turns heads (and raises them, too?)


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Liz Benjamin: Koch On Ahmadinejad

Michelle Clarke, blogging from Capetown, tells us about an underwater hotel...
The world's first underwater hotel is currently being built! This resort looks incredible just from it's designs and one can expect to pay a mere $5,500 per day just to visit this amazing place. The Cresent Hydropolis Resort allows the world to sleep underwater and their logo is "taking mankind on a journey under the seas."


One Laptop Per Child "Give One, Get One" - Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home. If you're interested in Give 1 Get 1, click here.

Heard It On the Radio: Most Americans Still Listen

Stop the violence (congress holding a hearing into demeaning media images of women and African Americans)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miley Cyrus is NOT pregnant... and other news!

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Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) is NOT pregnant ...
According to several articles I've come across, A rep for Miley Cyrus issued a strong denial on Monday after a fake teen magazine article began making the celebrity blog rounds claiming Cyrus is pregnant.

J-14 Magazine claims that a 'photoshop expert' doctored an earlier article featuring the fifteen year old Disney star.

My question: don't these "celebrity blogs" research anything? How much time does it take to do a little googling? The 'expert' obviously worked from material that was available online, which means these blogs could have found the REAL article, and spared everyone (esp. young Ms. Cyrus) from reading malicious gossip!

Before I post an article I check various sources to try to make sure it is credible. Oh, yes, I've made a few mistakes: the most recent involving an ezine scam, but considering the blogger who was championing the service, I shoulda known better!

Listen to SANGOnet ICT Services Manager, Matthew de Gale talking about their Citizen Journalism project, which aims at promoting the use of Web 2.0 by rural communities in Africa.

RSF (Reporters Without Borders) and Iranian blogger Necas,criticised [Fa] the closure of the offices of the hardline website Baztab.com.Baztab was highly critical of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Time to Take a Stand for Free Speech

or, if you're just feeling silly, why not take The Muppet Personality Test (written by TheLadyEve on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test).

Cuomo, Facebook, Face-Off

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New York state's attorney general is investigating the social networking Web site Facebook. Andrew Cuomo says his preliminary review finds that the site doesn't protect its users from sexual predators well enough. His investigators set up a sting and they say they caught adults seeking to have sex with 12- to 14-year-old children.

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Monday his office is investigating Facebook, accusing the social networking site of not keeping young users safe from sexual predators and not responding to user complaints.

In a letter accompanying a subpoena for documents, Cuomo said a preliminary review revealed defects in Facebook's safety controls and in its response to complaints. He said these shortcomings contrast with assurances made by the company.

In recent weeks, investigators conducted undercover tests of Facebook's safety controls and procedures, posing as underage users. The investigators found they were solicited by adult sexual predators and could access pornographic images and videos, Cuomo said.

A spokeswoman for Facebook, based in Palo Alto, California, said the company was aware of the subpoena and is preparing a statement.

In the last year, social networking sites such as Facebook and larger rival MySpace, owned by News Corp (NWSa.N: Quote, Profile , Research), have come under fire from several U.S. state attorney generals concerned that the sites fall short in protecting young users from sexual predators.

In July, the Connecticut Attorney General told Reuters his office had learned of "at least three" convicted sex offenders on Facebook's site and said that may be the "tip of the iceberg."

Facebook has seen a rapid expansion of users since it opened up the site beyond its origins as a college student network to now include older users and high school students.

The New York Attorney General's letter, which was addressed to Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old founder of privately held Facebook, accused the site of failing to match its improvement in safety measures with its expansion ambitions.

"It appears that Facebook has not significantly altered its representations about safety and inappropriate content on the site," said Cuomo.

"It does not have the right to represent that its site is safe and that it promptly responds to complaints when such statements are not accurate." (Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone and Yinka Adegoke in New York, and Eric Auchard in San Francisco)

I have to hand it to Andrew. The man knows his stuff. He's on the case!

[Video, Capital News 9]

Around The Blogosphere 24 September 07

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Here's today's required reading: "The Naked Generation."
We're not the only ones getting naked. A few months ago, Wired magazine had a cover story about corporate transparency, featuring The Office star Jenna Fischer on the cover--literally naked, with the dual aim of personifying bare-it-all business practices and selling more magazines to its largely male reader base. Transparency, like the candid blog put forth by billionaire Mark Cuban, isn't new to the marketing buzzword scene. But pure "corporate transparency" is often a strategy to put a new spin on a culture that wore a particularly negative mantle in the earlier part of this decade (hello, Enron). But last time I checked, no one thought 20-something journalists were evil. (Are we? Am I missing something?) The Naked Generation doesn't get naked to save face. It's a way to create face.
Palulo documents in detail (with video) how he unlocked an iPhone [ES] for use with local Ecuadoran cell phone providers.

Check out 'Switch' - a raft of new multi-platform content strands aimed at 12-16 year olds, launched by the BBC.

Making headlines today: Ahmadinejad in New York (my 2cents here)... A renewed interest in whatever happened to Deysi Benitez, and still red hot in blogosphere searches, particularly from Malaysia, Melayu Bogel. Closer to home, Liz Benjamin blogs that today should be verrrry interesting in New York Politics:
Spitzer administration aides reportedly had a hand in writing Albany County DA David Soares Troopergate report and pressured him to release it on their timetable - charges both the DA and the governor's spokeswoman reject.

Starting A Brand New Week

Mistakes are the "outtakes" of our lives. We all make them from time to time. It's how we handle them that counts. Think back on your life. What are the things that you wish you could go back and change. What could you have done differently? Reflect on this a moment by closing your eyes, then come back.

Now that you're back you've no doubt realized and understand there is no going back. No undoing what has been done. That doesn't mean you can't do new things, make new decisions that can change your life in a positive way. I recently met a man I'll call Willie. He's around 77 years old and just spent the last 40 years of life in prison. For a murder. But he is not hardened: he IS changed. He's an activist now for prisoners in New York, and I could tell by his "aura" that he indeed was sorry for what he had done, and wanted to spend his remaining time helping others who are now enduring what he had endured.

Okay, so you can't fix every mistake, commit the crime and you do the time. There are other mistakes men and women make. They don't seem to start out as "mistakes," but things happen and go wrong along the way. Breakups are okay, but divorce is the rough way out. Nobody wins (especially if children are involved.) How to cope? First understand that we are all just plain human. Don't enter a relationship expecting that your partner will make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Don't enter a relationship thinking your partner will "take care" of you. Take care of yourself: an old boss once told me "look out for number one." I didn't get that at first. Now I do. It wasn't meant to be taken and applied in a bad or selfish way. If you and your partner can acknowledge and accept each other for who and what you are, unconditionally, and not expect the other to "take care" or "make me happy" you'll get along.

Sometimes we err. To err is human. If you made a mistake and you didn't mean it, you didn't harm anyone, and gee whiz you feel stupid... let it go. Don't talk about it with anyone. Get over feeling bad about it. The only thing you can do is mark time. The more time that fills the space between that mistake and you, the better off you'll be. Never let them see you sweat. Cover your tracks by aspiring to do something outstandingly spectacular that will surely steal attention away from your error. (Politicians are masters of timing when it comes to this!) Should you still get called on, say something like, "oops, my bad" and don't dwell on or try to justify or otherwise explain what happened. It happened, move on, get over it. Convince yourself and you'll convince others.

The biggest mistake of all is when you look in the mirror and wonder "why didn't I..." It's too easy to second-guess or play monday-morning quarterback. That's why you should always, always, always ALL-ways think before your speak, and, wait a minute, think AGAIN before you speak. Practice this and you'll find at least a few times each day you'll be delighted that you kept your mouth shut. This advice works in many situations. Don't understand how to do something at work or school? Don't blurt that out right away. The instructor may be planning to go over it again in a minute, or you may be able to figure it out all by yourself or get a hand from a fellow student or co-worker. Life is all about action, but you have to pause a moment to consider what will happen beyond the next thing you say or the next move you make.

Are other people hurting you or calling you names? If you're a family member "stuck" in a family situation, consider if it's worth sticking it out and trying to make changes. This goes back (sometimes) to what others want or expect from you. If somebody is putting you down because you're not "making them happy" the problem may not be all yours. But think back a minute: did you once promise them that you would indeed "make them happy?" Remember, words mean things. Different things to different people. Be careful what you say. Be careful what you promise. Be careful what you wish for.

Your responsibilities are these: first, to thine own self be true. To your belief system, to your gut feeling, to your conscience. To your parents and children, instructors and employers. Keep yourself clean and neat. Make sure you are properly attired for your school or job. Have a set of "dress up clothing" for those very special times. Say your prayers (whatever prayers you choose to say according to the belief system you subscribe to) and always be pleasant, patient and kind to others (no matter how much they piss you off). Not only will you perk up some poor soul's day, you'll gain a little karma. That old saying about "what comes around goes around" is pretty true. Ah well, it's Monday morning... enough sermonizing! If you have any "life lessons" you'd like to pass along, the "comments" section is your ticket...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York

Ahmadinejad leaves for UN amid controversy

Sunday, 23 September 2007 15:24 (RTÉ ) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has left Iran for the United States, where he is due to address the UN General Assembly in New York.

Mr Ahmadinejad's trip has already created controversy over his calls for the destruction of Israel and his questioning of the scale of the Holocaust.

Columbia University was urged to withdraw a speaking invitation to the Iranian president during his trip to New York... the University's website says the forum aims to foster public debate on key economic, political and social questions.

New York police have denied Mr Ahmadinejad's request to visit the World Trade Center, site of the 11 September attacks.

Mr Ahmadinejad has he was amazed by the reaction to his proposed visit to Ground Zero and he would try to go if he have the time and the conditions are conducive.

Asked in an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes if he would press his request, he said that if local officials could not make the necessary arrangements, he said he would not insist.


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What is this thing we carry around inside, that something that gives off subtle vibes about someone we encounter on life's pathways. It is an enigma. I've always been outside the O.J. Simpson case: never sure if he did or did not "do it." One thing I am sure of, that little gut feeling tells me to beware of Ron Goldman's father. Something about "Father Goldman" that just isn't right.


Oddly, that same gut feeling tells me the Iranian President may be secretly wanting to make friends with the United States. WHAT!?!Yeah, seems odd, but then again, this guy is very puzzling. On her blog, Michelle Malkin writes "He’s ready for take-off. Are you?" Are we? He wants to meet with war critics and 9/11 families. He wanted to see Ground Zero at the WTC site. Why shouldn't he? Is he reaching out, asking to be "moved?" Who wouldn't be thrilled if he turned Iranian politics upside down? This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Watch us blow it. In a follow-up post, Michelle writes about Americans against Ahmadinejad. MM notes "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reaffirmed his support for the Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip." Earlier this year I interviewed two men working hard to bring peace to the Middle East. One of them, a fromer Israeli soldier, admitted Israel is part of the problem. Israel needs leadership that's not afraid of saying "ok, we were wrong on this or that." Admitting a mistake is not a sign of weakness.

Not to be outblogged, earlier this year on his blog, Ahmadinejad put up a post where he writes that he received a letter from an American woman whose son was sent to Iraq. "I am sorry to say that the American people are kept in an absolute censorship concerning the outside world by their government. I am certain if the American people know where and on what, their tax money are spent, even the strong supporters of the government would not stand it and rush to the street to show their opposition in regard to that issue."

From Haaretz: Let Ahmadinejad speak, Bradley Burston's article leaves doors open. That is wise. Ahmadinejad is shrewd, with a Rubik's cube personality. Who knows? He might even make peace with Israel. If you read some of the things the man has written (and said) you will wonder about him too! Quotations from President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Libby Spencer is among bloggers saying Let Ahmadinejad speak!

University President Lee Bollinger has said the Ahmadinejad invitation is in keeping with “Columbia’s long-standing tradition of serving as a major forum for robust debate.” The visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York has stirred up a lot of controversy and emotions. It has forced Americans answer some hard questions about what kind of country we are.

Americans against Ahmadinejad; Update: Planning to meet 9/11 families and ‘war critics’?!
After having been rejected by the United States administration to visit the site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is now planning to meet the families of the 9/11 victims, Fars news agency reported. Fars, which is close to the presidential office, further reported that Ahmadinejad would also meet US war critics.

Fed Rate Cut

All the ballyhoo about the Fed rate cut, means nothing: A Friday morning financial report on TV showed that interest and mortage rates were slightly UP. So, how will that help or spur anyone to holding out a little hope? It won't.

Milk is way high. Why? The same reason BREAD and rolls and all baked goods are about to go UP: the farmers who once grew wheat have switched to CORN. Why? To supply corn, not for feed for cattle (Beef is UP) but to make ethanol, the gasoline additive / alternative. OIL is going to get us no matter what. The price of crude is at a record high.

So now we have the staples of our lives and economy, essentials, GAS, CORN, WHEAT, MILK all going UP UP UP, all thanks to the sudden demand for ETHANOL! What should have been a blessing is the curse that will continue dragging the American economy. I hold out NO HOPE that the Fed rate cut will make any difference. With Milk up to $4 a gallon, CORN more than double what it was last year (last year in late summer you could get 12 ears for $1 at Price Chopper, now it is 6 ears for $2!), and everything baked...crackers, cookies, cake mix: all products containing wheat are about to RISE in price, you are kidding yourself if you think the economy is going to change. The people scrimping so they can pay their mortgages are gonna have to scrimp more and more and more.

The Donuts are Different...

I started off my day with a trip to Dunkin' Donuts. Big Mistake! Have they already switched to that "no trans-fat" formula for cooking the krullers? If so, they need to switch back. Those donuts tasted like cardboard! I remember for years, every Sunday morning, my friend Larry Family would bring a big box of DD's to da job... oh, so delicious! What shocked me about today's experience was the fact that the woman in line ahead of me cleaned out the glazed variety on the display rack, so when the clerk went to get MY glazed, I figured, hey, these will be really fresh! But that was not to be... I even telephoned the shop later on and asked the manager what was going on. She said she had NO idea if they'd switched formula. She did say the donuts were baked elsewhere and trucked in. Maybe that was the problem... Larry always brought fresh donuts from the Latahm shop (maybe they bake their own). I guess now that DD no longer has to worry about Krispy Kreme in these parts, they don't care about the product. A lady in the customer line was telling her friend that the Coffee Rolls don't taste as good as they used to, and she faulted DD's coffee "...thanks to that gxx dxxx Starbucks they think all we care about is coffee." I agree. Give me a fresh perked pot over store coffee any day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Around The Blogosphere 22 September 07

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A LOT of material on Michelle Malkin's blog: check out Something brewing in Pyongyang, A lesson before dying and The Jena Six and racial narratives; Update: No bail for beating suspect. Moroccan Blogger (and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside) Laila Lalami shares her opinion on the ongoing Jena 6 case in her post "Jena is America."

Prolific Moroccan blogger Larbi (fr) was recently honored as one of “100 who move Morocco” in TelQuel magazine, writes the blogger himself.

On September 13 the Socialist Party opened Blog of the Restoration (fr). pointblog.com has details:

Le 13 septembre le Parti Socialiste a ouvert le Blog de la Rénovation qui compte une demi-douzaine de billets avec des vidéos de responsables socialistes. Les réactions au débat ainsi ouvert sont maigres, pas un seul commentaire pour l'instant.

La discussion est un peu plus animée sur les Forums de la Rénovation, l'un sur le thème Les leviers de la croissance (190 contributions), l'autre sur le thème Comment refonder l'école républicaine. L'équipe de modération a tenu, hier, à rapeller quelques principes...

On the Texas suit against Virgin and Creative Commons

Israeli blogger Yael discovers a treasure on her way home.

DoubleLeaf blog on getting the hang of using a BlackBerry: 老 早就听说黑莓手机,上次在南京亲眼见到zola用,心痒痒的很。在下定了决心之后,终于花了320大洋,买了部黑莓7230.我是在淘宝上买的,选择的 店铺和杨远骋的是一家。事实上,我就是根据他买了黑莓7230,而且还没见抱怨,才在他推荐的那家店买的。有时候,博客的口碑是很重要的。

本来我是买包邮费300的那款9成新的,结果我钱付了才被告知没有货。不得已要了台所谓全新的。300+20邮费

货是昨天上午到的,折腾了一下午终于让它能上网了,但今天把里面软件卸载後又不能上了,现在还没好。我挺郁闷的。

总体感觉,太大,在公交车上单手不能用,反映慢。最大的优势就是看上去比较酷,屏幕较大了。
黑莓7230入手

BoyGenius offers T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8320 Unboxing Part 2 / Giveaway

Whenever stock traders gossip, there's usually a lot of disinformation, and there's always an element of plausible deniability: both are the case here, with stories about a possible buyout of Sprint by British firm BT apparently circulating. read more... »


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