Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bringing A Great City Back To Life

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This is how it should be... after decades of layoffs and job cuts in the City of Schenectady, a 39-Million Dollar Makeover for building 53 on the General Electric campus, and the announcement that 500 new engineering jobs are being created. With the ghosts of Edison and Steinmetz certainly wandering the grounds, it was eerie to witness warm exchanges and handshakes between Governor Eliot Spitzer and Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco.

The Buzzword at the event - "non-partisan."

Imagine all of the political players united on a single page when it comes to revitalizing the once "Electric City." Now it will be again, and more, with wind and solar figuring into the power mix. Well done, with extra kudos to Mayor Brian Stratton who, as leader of Schenectady has proven, you can take a struggling, desperate, given-up on has-been of a city and restore it to it's former glory.

Around The Blogosphere 31 October 07

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Some believe there may be trouble a-brewin' for US Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton: Liz Benjamin offers The Damage That Eliot Wrought and $1,000 Reward For A 'Yes' or 'No', while Michelle Malkin goes for the jugular with Hillary’s big blunder!

Meantime, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, a libertarian, is running his first TV ads of the race - in New Hampshire. Associated Press reports.

Lucia Lai invites Malaysians to attend a solidarity get together in Penang this weekend.

Details of the Penang event appear below.

Event : Malam Bangsa Malaysia

Date : 3rd November, 2007

Time : 8.00pm (forum starts at 5.00pm)

Venue : Room A, Dewan Sri Pinang, Pulau Pinang.

There will be a charge of RM10 per person to cover rental and refreshment costs.

The organising team has also put together a forum entitled ‘One People, One Nation’
which is open to all who are registered to attend the get-together later that night.

The forum is scheduled to start at 5pm. Registration will start at 4.30pm.

Speakers for the forum are :

1. Dato Lim Chong Keat

2. Khoo Kay Peng - independent political analyst

3. Malik Imtiaz Sarwar - human rights lawyer

4. Haris Ibrahim

5. P. Ramakrishnan - Aliran president

Matt Drudge: NATIONAL ENQUIRER: Shock audio tape of Dwayne "Dog The Bounty Hunter" Chapman set to be released with A&E cable star spewing foul-mouthed racial slurs... Chapman uses 'N-Word' repeatedly while telling son to dump his black girlfriend... 'I'm not goign to take a chance ever in life of losing everything I worked for, for thirty years, because some f*@#ing n------ heard us say n------ and turned us into the ENQUIRER'... Civil rights leaders already calling for A&E to dump cable net's top rated show... Developing...

African American Opinion Blog asks "What is the preferred term for blacks in America? Black Americans? Black, African American, African-American, Afro-American , Free Slaves, Field Negros, House Negros, X? What do you call yourself to identify your nationality? Are you a black American? African American, Black, or just your name? Do you think it's important what people call you other than your name? What does your birth certificate say? Remember Roots?" On bloggers roundtable, Farai Chideya talks racial identity with bloggers Ambra Nykol, Jim Collier, a AfroSpear member, and Liza Sabater.

Iraqi blogger Raed Jarrar posts a video of an interview conducted with him by Think Peace.

Sokari: Umoja: A community of women in Kenya

Ola Eliwat from Jordan appeals to readers to dig deep into their pockets to help a family whose house in Baqa'a Camp was destroyed in a fire. For more information, Join the Facebook group.

Karel Mc Intosh is excited about social media, and the opportunities it creates for communications and creating relationships. Currently, she authors the Caribbean Public Relations blog, where she focuses on media and communications in the Caribbean. Karel is based in Trinidad. She also works in Trinidad and Tobago’s tourism industry, and holds the rank of Corporate Communications Coordinator. Karel was interviewed by blogger Geoffrey Philp.

Also from Trinidad and Tobago,
Jeremy Taylor blogs that he can’t find copies of Doris Lessing’s work – in fact, “no one had even heard of her…what's going on here? Has the Nobel Prize become irrelevant, even to today's frenetic marketeers?”

DownWithTyranny!: REPUBLICAN PROPAGANDA NETWORK, OUT TO KILL SPRINGSTEEN'S MAGIC?

More than half of Americans surveyed oppose further consolidation of ownership of media outlets, reports Reuters.

Whitney Matheson: The legendary Robert Goulet has died. He was 73.

I've discovered yet another wonderful photography blog...

Wanna be famous? Bash Islam, writes Bahraini blogger Esra'a. Snip: "Insulting Islam is how the mainstream media and the right-wing blogosphere defines bravery. Anyone who hates the faith and is outspoken about it has a much higher chance of getting air time than let’s say, an honest activist somewhere in Afghanistan or Iran who actually maintain their faith." Note the comments on this post.

Egypt Guy from (where else?) Egypt posts this video by fellow-Egyptian Ahmed Sharif which calls for the freedom of women from religious associations.

The issue of sex and politics is examined by the Washington Post.

A global effort is underway to invent a better way of finding things on the Web. Could Google be vulnerable? Newsweek reports.

Meebo wants to 'bring chat back'

Google and some of its friends are taking on the new kid on the block, the social networking site Facebook, says the New York Times. Microsoft has bested Google in the Facebook race, says the Los Angeles Times. Take a look at Facebook follies? Google is in talks with Verizon to work together on mobile phone software and services, says Bloomberg News.

Bruno on TV

NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno will appear as the featured guest on the Lou Dobbs Show on CNN, tonight, Wednesday, October 31, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

October 31


Scariest music videos ... Best monster ads ... Cinematic pumpkin carvings

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Budget, Spave, Paycheck to Paycheck

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How to Budget and "Spave" - Some tips and tricks on how to survive on less than $30,000 a year.

Imagine that you have a certain amount of extra cash. How should you spend it? Gretchen shares eight tips for how money can buy you happiness. “The secret to using money to buy happiness is to spend money in ways that support your happiness goals.”

Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck: (October 24) Jonathan Clements wrote a column two days ago that remains one of the most popular at WSJ.com. The column, “You’re Not Super Rich? You Lucked Out,” is Mr. Clement’s reflection on his children’s reaction to seeing the material display of wealth by others. Like most children, they are impressed at the big house and the fancy car. But he is not. In fact, Mr. Clements is outright concerned about how his children interpret OPS (other people’s stuff)... Truth is, unless you open the bank and billing statements of those who you envy, you have no idea as to their wealth. Read the rest of They may be rich . . . but should you envy them?

Michelle (Malkin) Shocked

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Michelle Malkin: Shopping at Party City last week for my toddler, I saw a “Mack Daddy,” blinged-up costume for three-year-olds (!!!) amid the Diego and Thomas the Train outfits. Mercifully, my son was too distracted choosing Ninja Warrior gear to ask me what exactly a “Mack Daddy” was. This Washington Post piece on the travails of Halloween shopping has become a staple every October: Parents express outrage at pornified costumes. Girls pout at fuddy-duddy parents. Social critics bemoan oversaturation of sexed-up teens, pre-teens, and tots. Collapse of civilization continues.
AND THERE'S MORE...

Around The Blogosphere 30 October 07

Blog of the Day: Dina Mehta! Dina's old Radio blog was called "Conversations with Dina". Her blog motto: "Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" - Guy de Maupassant

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From Liz Benjamin's Blog: The Daily News' Joe Mahoney writes

A brutal Albany County rape case is being cited by some supporters of Gov. Spitzer's plan to give illegal immigrants licenses as an example of how law enforcement could benefit by expanding the pool of drivers listed in state Department of Motor Vehicles computers. Upon closer inspection, the relevancy of the case to the controversial plan turns out to be urban legend. [continued]

Halloween: Imeem and Palm Pictures are presenting a free horror movie in the spirit of the holiday. The Eye, a 2002 Hong Kong thriller, will be streamed here from Oct. 30 through Nov. 4. 10 religious Halloween candies

PingMag: How to survive this Tokyo Design Week 2007!

Goodwill 2.0 (the thrift store incorporates blogging, YouTube and MySpace into its strategy to reach young thrift store bargain hunters): The Washington chapter of the international nonprofit organization has launched a campaign to recast itself as a source of vintage and high-end fashion in an attempt to expand its customer base to young, professional women. It has hired Hall to blog about stylish merchandise found in its stores and uploaded a video of its annual fashion show to YouTube. Its new eBay store has featured a fur stole and beaded evening gown by Oleg Cassini, who designed clothes for Jacqueline Kennedy.

Can the Internet be a substitute for a significant other? A survey shows 24% of those questioned said yes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sacred Media Cow on how the Junta controlling the internet may have actually helped the Burmese monks. “The little fragments of information that did manage to get through got elevated to a level of ennunciative power that would not have existed had the internet not been shut down.”

The Bajan Reporter discovers a wonderful new song recorded by Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian David Rudder in support of the people of Burma.

Ambiome: Et elle est pas toujours très belle à voir, la vérité… Ci-dessous, un extrait d’un reportage sur les coulisses de la fameuse émission de Bataille et Fontaine. Ce reportage n’a pas été diffusé, mais @rrêt sur images a mis la main dessus et diffuse aujourd’hui cet extrait...

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11 issues and 11 CDs (roughly 220 songs) covering the best in music, film and culture—and we even made it easy for you to give gifts.

For more about the Paste Magazine, including previous covers, CD samplers, awards and more, visit our overview.



Monday, October 29, 2007

Racism, Spanish Style

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A 16-year old immigrant girl from Ecuador was attacked by another passenger on the Barcelona metro. I don't notice anyone coming to her aid... The attack by Sergi Xavier Martín, 21, was recorded by security cameras.




Las reacciones en blogs

  • “Es increíble lo que sucede en un país “civilizado”: comentarios en blogs de Periodista Digital con fuerte debate
  • Cobarde agresión racista de español a una joven de 16 años (Blog de la Tele (España)
  • La bestia xenófoba le dijo -entre otras cosas- “zorra” e “inmigrante de mierda”, y la invitó a irse a su país. Es brutal, es vergonzoso. Es infamante, es bestial: (España) http://reflexionesdelaerazp.blogspot.com/

Sergi Xavier Martín, el agresor de la adolescente ecuatoriana en un vagón de los Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat (FGC), fue denunciado por otro ataque mientras crece el debate por su libertad y se reiteran las peticiones de su inmediato juicio.

Nueva denuncia

La joven, que utilizó el nombre de María para proteger su identidad, aseguró ante a la cadena Cuatro que fue agredida de manera casi similar por
Sergi Xavier Martín, a quien reconoció en el video del ataque grabado por las cámaras de seguridad.

El jueves pasado, el juez dictaminó una serie de medidas para mantener al agresor controlado, pero lo dejó en libertad sin fianza, ante lo que recurrirá la Fiscalía de Cataluña, confirmó la vicepresidenta del Gobierno, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega. La declaración de la vicepresidenta se produce en un clima de rechazo a la puesta en libertad de
Sergi Xavier Martín.

Related:
Bigots are exploiting the Internet to spread hate, according to the head of the Anti-Defamation League. Newsday reports.

Clear Channel Communications radio executives in Cincinnati, Ohio are quietly putting together the community advisory board demanded by local Hispanic groups it offended on two separate occasions this year. The League of United Latin American Citizens proposed the panel in May, when WLW-AM 700, the city's No. 1 station, put up the "Big Juan" billboards with a Mexican man and a donkey. The league's national office repeated the demand to Clear Channel's corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas in August, after the station broadcast a promotion offering "helpful phrases" to speak to illegal aliens, with Spanish music in the background. Cincinnati Enquirer.

Native American groups are upset with the announcers at KQRS-FM 92.5 Minneapolis after the announcers described members of two Sioux tribes as "ignorant," reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chinese BOBS Nominees!

The colourful world: It's original blogger Liu Xiao Juan passed away because of lung cancer earlier this year. Now the blog is updated by her husband. It is one of 15 nominees for the BOBS!
娟子,1994年的冬天我们开始筹办我们的婚礼。
要 办婚礼,首先是要照婚纱照了,每个女孩子都盼望了这一刻,你也不例外。其实我是有点烦这事的,因为长得矮,对于靠形象的一切都有点不自信,有点逃 避。想想要到婚纱店整一天,完全象傻子一样被摆弄来摆弄去,我跟你一起拍婚纱,肯定是要为我垫上很多块木板的,那种感觉很让人受侮辱。而且拍出来的照片, 那是自己吗?再丑的人也能被拍成天仙,这还有什么意思?当然我不能说不拍婚纱,我们还是去一家一家的转婚纱照片店,一家家对比价格的感觉。看看转得差不多 了,我带你去看了一次人像摄影艺术展。完了问你,我们还要去照那种俗不可耐的婚纱照吗?

  正感受了艺术的冲击,你也没法接受这种千篇一律的婚纱照了,而且还不少花钱呢,想想,不照了,我们高高兴兴拉了手坐公共汽车回家。

  娟子,结婚,对于1994年的我们来说,还是一件压力很大的事,那时我才毕业一年多,你才毕业几个月,我们还要供着小强上大学的部分费用。找家里要 钱?我们俩从来没有想过,我们都已经大学毕业了,结婚当然不应该由家里出钱。没照婚纱照,也没有首饰,没有戒指,甚至没有一件新衣服,我们就自己给自己办 了我们的婚礼。

  没有首饰、戒指没有关系,结婚不能没有房子。那个年代,对于才大学毕业的我们,房子还是极端奢侈的奢侈品,我们在人大校园里租了一个房间,东风楼的一 间,那是一个筒子楼,每间房十多平方米,公用厨房、卫生间,我们这一间是一个老师的,他们多出来的住房,租给了我们,屋内还堆着他们不用的杂物。属于我们 的天地只是一张桌子,一张单人床。

  娟子,原来我们是12月7日去办手续的,到了登记处,不知是说我们哪个证明有问题,反正没办成,第二天,12月8日,我们去办了结婚手续。这一天是我们定情整整两年。

  一大早,我们坐了公交车,倒地铁,再换公交去中山公园领结婚证,登记的大姐问我们是不是自由恋爱,我们相视一笑,说,当然是,问我们怎么认识的,我们 回答,我们是校友呀。领了红红的结婚证,你把它们小心装在自己的大衣口袋里,我们就是夫妻了。我们出来,你把手伸进我的口袋里,攥了你的手,好温暖,好踏 实。到中山公园的五色土那里,你立在那里拜了拜五色土,我想你是祈祷我们的婚姻永远幸福吧?

  12月8日,就是我们的结婚纪念日。

  你一直说,我们的婚礼是我们两人的婚礼,只有我们两人,我们把我们的小屋子点满红烛,放着柔柔的音乐,我们开一瓶红酒,慢慢一点点地喝,一个晚上,只 有我们任何人来我们也不开门,拥着你,慢慢把喝着那瓶红酒,在音乐的笼罩下,我们亲吻着,悄悄地说着傻话,从这天你做了我的新娘。没有酒宴、没有戒指,可 是我们有红烛、音乐和美酒,我们有那个完全属于我们的长长的,美好的夜晚。我们一直认为,我们的婚礼比任何一对新人的婚礼都不逊色。我们的幸福感一点不比 别人差,我们好幸福![comments]

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15 Chinese weblogs are Best of Blogs nominees: Three hail from Bullog.com which mysteriously shut down last week. Nothin' like backups, you've seen me write! All three bullog bloggers backed up their sites: Lao Lou’s backup is at Sohu. Drunkpiano from Love Letters has a space in my1510 and some of his archives can be found at blogcn. As for the Eight Continents, it has been respectively nominated for the Best Weblog and the Best Chinese Weblog and its backup is here.

Aside from bullog, there are other collective efforts in this year’s nominees list:

Memedia : a weekly magazine on blogsphere, collectively written via its wiki function. (Best of Chinese Blog)

Inmediahk.net: a most active citizen journalism site in Hong Kong. (Best of Chinese Blog)

Minjian: a webagzine on social and political development. The motto of the group is “social action can change our existence” (Reporter without Borders award)

Ge zhi : a collective blog on science topic. (Best of Chinese Blog)

Other nominees in the best of Chinese blogs are:

Kaku’s blog: a student blog

Peasant Worker’s blog: the blogger comments on social issue from the perspective of rural migrant worker.

Zola Zhou : a blogger journalist who gained his fame via the Chongqin nail-house report. However, recently he was criticized by many local bloggers for getting reward from his report.

Princess Remy has been nominated for the Best Podcast. As for the Best Videoblog, there are two Chinese nominees, the Chopsticks brother’s videoblog and Cat’s Ear Baby’s Videoblog. The Blogwurst Award Chinese nominee is the Very True Man.

Sources for this post include Global Voices Online.

Hanky PRanky!

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Over the weekend, bloggers have been dealing with some fresh new Google PageRank stats. It's obvious SOMETHING is going on, we just don't know what exactly. Right after I congratulated Bobby Revell on a nice PR score, I was checking the PR finders (see the two badges in my sidebar near my picture) and suddenly Revell's PR was back to O as in ZERO. Huh??? It returned to "4" later the same day. There's a TechCrunch article you may find interesting HERE

Revell is guarding his new rating:

"Notice how I “cashed” up my blog to celebrate my new found status as a aristocratic page rank 4 site? That’s right…I’m gonna be rich. If you have a page rank of 0, please leave!"
ProBlogger, incredibly enough, LOST PR! Here's what he blogged:

"ProBlogger’s page rank is currently at a 4 - and so is Digital Photography School.

I’d heard blogs had been penalized in their page rank recently for selling text links - bizarre thing is that neither of these two blogs sell links. I’ve never sold text links at DPS and haven’t on ProBlogger for months now - perhaps I was penalized for taking them off!

Both had page ranks of 6 yesterday and previously ProBlogger was a 7. Even jobs.problogger.net has been hit and it’s on a subdomain. Looks like something’s going on over at the Googleplex..."
Googlelady wrote an article for bloggers concerned about PR.

Willy Sudiarto, blogging out of Indonesia, writes: Some sites have reported that there's a possibility that Google has changed their Page Rank algorithm, resulting some decrement to their page rank point, including YouTube from 8 to 3 (From Googlified). From SitePoint, i got this new update:# Boing Boing: Was 9, now 7.# Engadget: Was 7, now 5.# Forbes.com: Was 7, now 5.# New Scientist: Was 7, now 5!

Pesta Blogger 2007

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Some 200+ of the most popular bloggers from across Indonesia gathered in Jakarta on Saturday at an event called Pesta Blogger 2007 (Blogger Party 2007).

Photo set: Pesta Blogger 2007


Selamat untuk para pemenang Blog Favorit Pesta Blogger 2007! Mereka dinominasikan oleh para bloggers, dan dipilih lagi sebagai yang terfavorit oleh para bloggers yang hadir pada Pesta Blogger 2007 kemarin.
Dan para pemenangnya adalah:
Kategori online marketing dan sales: Media Ide Bajing Loncat
Kategori women’s issues: Fashionese Daily
Kategori blog teknologi: Ilmu Komputer.com
Kategori blog personal: Istri Bawel
Kategori blog selebriti: Jennie S. Bev
Kategori current issues: Perspektif. net
Kategori bridge blogging: Enda Nasution
Kategori pendatang baru terbaik: Lidya Wangsa
Pemenang untuk kategori pendatang baru terbaik mendapatkan hadiah berupa Nokia N73 Music Edition.
Sebelum meninggalkan panggung setelah acara talkshow selesai, Menkominfo Muhammad Nuh sempat mengatakan bahwa siapa pun yang mendapat suara terbanyak dalam pemilihan nanti berhak atas sebuah laptop dari Depkominfo. Ternyata, di akhir acara, yang mendapatkan suara terbanyak dalam pemilihan tersebut adalah Enda Nasution (48 poin), tetapi ia menyerahkan kemenangannya itu kepada blogger yang meraih suara kedua terbanyak, yakni Media Ide Bajing Loncat (41 poin).
Selamat untuk para pemenang!

Noelia - Everything You Need To Know!

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NOTICIA! If you like this post, you'll love The 10 Hottest Blogging Babes

Ever since the first "sex tape" of Jayne Kennedy was clandestinely released (to a much smaller audience because there was no internet at the time) there has been a parade of internet sex tape "stars" including the likes of Paris Hilton, Tammy Nyp, Wanda Nara, Melayu Bogel and now Noelia.

Noelia’s ex-boyfriend has denied reports he has been making money from the former couple’s Leaked Sex Tape, condemning the person responsible for posting the video online as despicable. Fans of the Puerto Rican singer were stunned when the extremely graphic clip appeared on the internet. She has since called in lawyers to deal with her ex, Jorge Reynoso. Reynoso insists he is not responsible for the explicit footage ending up in the public domain, despite Noelia's stepfather, Topy Mamery, tracing the registered address of website
noeliashop.com [as of 10/28 returning "Unable to resolve URL"] back to his Los Angeles residence. The site displays a
picture of Noelia with the title Original Version XXX: The New Queen of Porn and allows visitors to see "Noelia on video naked and in action" for a limited period of time for just $4.99 (GBP2.50). But he claims the 30-year-old is entitled to any cash others may have made from the video. He tells People En Espanol, "Noelia has the right to claim the profits
that this despicable act has generated."

Noelia's stepfather reportedly gave the FBI the okay to investigate the leaking of the video. (Lossip)

Spanish article about Noelia in Primera Hora about Noelia's cover shot on Maxim magazine.

Noelia Lorenzo Monge, mostly known as Noelia (born August 31, 1979 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican pop singer and actress who rose to fame in 1999; her first appearance (debut) on Puerto Rican television was in Voces en Función on that same year. She has a MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/noeliamusic

During her career she has had nine Latin Billboard Top 40 hits, and has eighteen worldwide gold and nine worldwide multi-platinum certified albums, along with one RIAA-certified Gold record in the United States. Aside from her musical career, Noelia has guest starred in multiple Latin American TV shows, recently beginning to work as an actress.

Noelia is the first daughter of Puerto Rican singer and actress Yolandita Monge and Alfredo Lorenzo from Uruguay.

Music by Noelia

1. Ya No Eres El Mismo
2. Candela - (radio edit mix)
3. Enamorada
4. Clavame Tu Amor

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Around The Blogosphere 27 October 07

Blog of the day: FLOCK!

Flock is a consumer Internet business which has developed a free, next generation web browser. The company is focused on fundamentally evolving the browser, and bringing a refreshing new approach to how people use and participate on the web. Flock simplifies social and web-based applications by bringing them one step closer to the user and integrating them directly into the browser. People can easily discover, access, create and share videos, photos and comments across social communities, media providers, and popular websites. Click here when you're ready to harness the full power of Flock across your connected life!

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Social Networking is hot. I've been seeing reports all week that Facebook is overtaking MySpace. You can "SocNet" on a smaller scale like Bobby Revell does. You can join the "SocNet" movement on a grander scale like CBS TV did. I'm a little P.O.'d at MySpace. I kept a page for years, kinda parked, used to keep in touch with a couple old friends and a dear loved one, but without warning, they wiped out my page and now some guy in england has it! Bummer!

Like so many of us, WriteousSister has been wondering if her blogging has any meaning or bears any purpose. To everything, there is a purpose, under Heaven. Read Writing as Suluk Part 2.

I've written a few tips concerning blogging, traffic and stats.

Kroush Ziabari has written a letter to Yahoo:”Yahoo mail has recently removed “Iran” from the list of world countries in its signup page!We, therefore, ask Yahoo! to add Iran to the mentioned list again.”

Be careful where you are when you hit Street Luxe' post La chaussure sexy, nouvel agent provocateur... and Lip Dub 2 in Heaven

Ypulse: Playhut (the latest toy company to create its own virtual world. Plus Imbee is now CARU certified BTW - Zwinktopia just wrote and said they had 10 million active users!? And...psychologists are using virtual worlds to help patients overcome their fears) (News.com) (BBC)

More on Soulja Boy's 2.0 marketing genius (from Idolator. I swear I can watch those imitation videos for hours. Plus video from the Hip Hop Chess tournament on Geek TV)

Making the most out of 'Hannah Montana' (the Disney marketing machine kicks into high gear) (Dallas Morning News)

Planetargonautes: Marcus chez Borat ??? Ké-Sa-Ko Soleil Levant...

Where In The World

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I get a kick out of bloggers using Twitter and similar services to post those little "what I'm doing right now" texts to their blogs. Unless you're liveblogging from a big event or a disaster or episode of meteorological significance, nobody cares that the bus is late or the wind is blowing. Twitter and liveblogging have their places. It's okay if you're Liz Benjamin liveblogging from a press conference at the NY State Capitol or if you're Michelle Malkin providing blow-by-blow commentary of a presidential debate. It's not okay if you're Susie twittering while you're on the bus to the Mall or Randy and Mary providing blow-by-blow commentary of a sexual encounter. Get a life! To me that's as bad as being the designated family member charged with making video of every vacation minute. "I'm not a camera man!"

Facts & Figures

This isn't exactly Twittering or Liveblogging: I'm going to take you for a little stroll through this morning's webstats for the blog. Some blogging platforms have statistics gathering tools built-in. There are about 5 or 6 FREE ones you can sign up for and easily install on your blog. Some run silently, some are visible via little badges you stick in your sidebar. Get at least two. You'll be surprised when you see how often they don't agree--- i.e., you'll notice a visitor from x.com at 6pm on one and that same visitor doesn't show up on the other. And vice-versa. So, let's see who may have been here today. I ususally check the stats once or twice a week, and haven't looked at them today, until right now.

Where are they now?

Many readers got here this morning (actually overnight) by searching for Wanda Nara, Melinda Duckett, Mia Henderson or Claire Godfrey. Puzzlingly, the Wanda Nara post is one that I really didn't think all that much of when I uploaded it. It sat for weeks until somehow it got noticed, and it's taken off since then! Nara is not well-known in the U.S. and 99% of those looking for that article are from elsewhere. Duckett is a kidnap - murder - suicide story of a girl who moonlighted as a porn star. I don't think her young son was ever found. Mia Henderson is the American Indian girl murdered by her dormmate on the UofA Campus. Godfrey is the Florida Doctor caught up in Albany County DA David Soares' Steroids case.
Every once in a while there's a burst of traffic regarding Deysi Benitez, the Maryland woman whose family was murdered... she's been missing.

Blog, just blog.

Sometimes it's not what you post but what you say in your post that gives it legs. Thousands of bloggers wrote about CSI-NY incorporating Second Life in a recent episode. It was my choice of words about people interacting with avatars that gave stickiness to that article, which I didn't design nor did I expect it to generate any traffic. I've read blog entries this week where the blogger feels he or she has nothing to say or has hit writer's block. I read somewhere that you should NEVER post something that mentions that, and you should NEVER post something like "I'm going to be away until Tuesday." Aside from tipping off burglars, hackers, cyberstalkers and other interested parties that you won't be home, your regular readers may "forget" to comeback on Wednesday. Suppose you don't go or find something fascinating you want to share? You'll find a computer to post from. Trust me. Even worse, "I'll be away and I'm going to (insert destination here)" is too much information, again benefitting the unsavory listed above. I've recently blogged from New York City at 5am, Albany at 3pm and Montreal at 9pm in a single day, and you never knew it!

Another good bit of advice: put a little "Home" link someplace on your sidebar or header so it will appear on specific post pages visitors arrive at directly via search engines or links from other blogs. This will give people who may want to re-visit your blog in the future an actual anchor link to your most up-to-date material!

Fear No Google

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Kudos to blogger Bobby Revell, who has achieved a PageRank of 4! We're not exactly "bosom blogging buddies" because I disagree with Revell's methods of gathering ratings points, but having said that, he's proven himself as a serious humanitarian blogger. He's done his fair share of networking and has made many friends, who have come together in sort of a little "mini-cimmunity." Funny thing is, he recently posted how much he hates Google! All you Google-fearing people take note! Now here's the link to Bobby's main blog... if you're into "communities" he's also a MyBlogLog member and a Facebooker. From time to time he writes some amazing stuff, and when he does, comment on it, link to it, and maybe we can get him up to a PR6 in spite of himself!

Friday, October 26, 2007

California Burning

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16 active fires continue burning from Los Angeles County to the Mexican border. More than 500,000 people evacuated at height of fires, largest number in California history! Thousands of evacuees have returned to parts of California devastated by wildfires - some finding their homes no more than smouldering heaps.

Teen Lab at Alcatel-Lucent reports one of the most powerful and useful tools available to all affected areas is the Twitter/LA Times page with nearly constant updates, advisories and information. Users can have Twitter updates sent to their phones via SMS.

Social networking sites, like MySpace, are watching groups come together where friends are checking in and letting each other know they are safe and where they are staying.

On Flickr, users are posting personal photos showing the damage and progress of the fires. Users are connecting with friends to see exactly what is going on or sharing how much their life has changed. On Technorati, California wildfires is a top search term as bloggers tell their stories (and the associated debates about the situation rage on)

from Crooks and Liars: Bush visits California, takes a shot at Louisiana and Oh, Are We Boring You? Cheney Naps As California Burns- Apparently, your garden variety natural disaster isn’t enough to keep VP Cheney awake during a Cabinet meeting!

outFOXed or FOXedOUT?

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Ever since that Geraldo spitting on Michelle Malkin thing, I've been wondering about FOX. This is your brain on FOX:

Jeff Jarvis: Fox fights free speech: Incredible. Fox goes after John McCain’s campaign to cease and desist use of a clip from the last debate that has the Fox logo on it.

It would be shocking enough for Fox to go after a citizen who put this online — and we should all fight for that citizen’s right to do so.

Crooks and Liars has the You Tube Question of the Week: In other, better news, friend of C&L Davis Fleetwood’s video calling for college protests against the war was number one for ALL of YouTube this week, and with over 1.9 million views, is the number one politics video for the month.


Kidnapped: Syrian blogger Roukana Hamour

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Global Voices received an email that appeared to come from someone who witnessed the kidnapping of the Syrian blogger Roukana Hamour, that took place yesterday, 25 October 2007. Roukana is believed to have been taken in front of her home, in Damascus, by a group of six who spirited her away to an undisclosed location. Kidnapping of blogger Roukana Hamour is confirmed by the Organization for peace and liberty (OPL). This is the letter translated by Syrian blogger, Golaniya:
خطفت اليوم ركانة حمور من أمام منزلها
لدى عودة ركانة حمور مع اطفالها ( خمس سنوات و سبعة سنوات و تسعة سنوات ) و لدى توقفها بسيارتها امام باب البناية و انزال اطفالها هجم عليها حوال ستة رجال قاموا بدفع أولادها عنها بوحشية و قاموا باغتصاب حريتها بقوة و دفعوها بعنف الى داخل سيارة مدنية ذات نمرة طرطوس و منعوا احدا من الاقتراب منها و انطلقت السيارة بسرعة دون التعريف عن مكان التوجه او مصدر الاشخاص و يذكر انها قد تلقت منذ يومين تقريبا تهديدا من قبل الامن السياسي الفرع الداخلي بدمشق انهم يريدون التحقيق معها و لما رفضت الذهاب الى التحقيق دون ان تتسلم بطاقة استدعاء قانونية و نظامية قاموا اليوم باختطافها باسلوب العصابات
Syria: Roukana Hamour has been Kidnapped!
As Rukana Hammour was parking the car in front of her place and helping her children (5 years, seven years and 9 years old) to step out, six men came out of nowhere and attacked her, violently pushed her children away from their mother, and aggressively pushed her into a car whose number tells it's a Tartossi car. The men prevented someone from approaching Hammour and rapidly ran away not knowing who they were or where they were taking her.
و معلوم ان ركانة حمور تتعرض للتهديد بسبب مطالبتها بحقوقها المالية التي سلبت بيد اشقائها و بالتعاون مع ضباط كبار و مسؤزلين حيث ان ثروة والدها المرحوم محمد مطيع حمور وكيل الخطوط الجوية السعودية تبلغ المليارات تبخرت كلها من المصارف السورية بواسطة التزوير
It is worth noting that Hammour received a call couple days ago from the Political Security Interior Branch in Damascus demanding her presence for interrogations. When she refused to go due to the lack of legal and systematic motion, they came today and kidnapped her like gangs do.
fr: Syrie: La blogueuse Roukana Hamour a été enlevée...
Related: Bush Administration Might Weigh in on Yahoo Human Rights Case

Around The Blogosphere 26 October 07

Blog of the Day: Ed Dague

Just in time for the weekend, veteran newsMaster Ed Dague has posted to his Times Union blog. The topics are local, and HOT: WRPI, NYSUT, and the state of Talk Radio in the Albany - Schenectady - Troy market! Good job!

Could You Walk Away From This?
Commenters say "Can’t seem to get this image out of my head" and "Combined with the background of the story, this could be one of the most disturbing images that I’ve ever seen."

Geoffrey Philp blogs how he recently had the pleasure of reading Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories to the children at the Reading Learning Center at the North Campus of Miami Dade College.

Sonia Faleiro posts congrats to (along with a picture of) blogger Amit Varma,
Winner of the Bastiat Prize 2007.

Izzy is off on some sort of X-rated poetic rant...

It's almost time for another National Novel Writing Month. Are you up for the challenge?

Each year writers sign up to pen a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. The event has grown each year, and this year it looks like several kick-off parties are scheduled around the country. During the month, several celebrity writers will offer pep talks, and participants can track their progress on the website. (I participated back in 2001, and it was a fun experience.)

An alternative to NaNoWriMo is NaNoMangO, which challenges participants to create a 30-page comic book during November. The website may be a little less fancy, but the end products require just as much (if not more) hard work.

Bosnia Vault reviews two books on Auschwitz.

One of my favourite bloggers, Dina Mehta, has signed off Radio. She, like me, is employing the occasional use of the aggregate style or format as evidenced with links for 2007-10-25

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When Angels Cry (Cuando los ángeles lloran)...

In recent weeks there have been several marine accidents in the Gulf of Mexico associated with operations in the Oil Fields. There have been a number of fatalities, the latest this week at the Drilling Marine Platform named "Usumacinta" caused by a collision due to bad weather. There were 86 people working on this platform and according to the last report there are at least 20 victims. Bettina Perroni has posted on this [es] and offers an English translation below.

Last night, before I turned off the light and try to sleep, I built in my mind hundreds of words and deep phrases that I could not recall today.

The first thing that I wanted to do was to write all these feelings that I have, to raise my voice in a prayer instead of a sorry cry… look at the sky to find a response for the thousands of questions I have about situations that I don't yet understand.

These times frighten me, as this season moves forward sad news, with alarming and mysterious situations that I cannot believe. It is the first time in a long time that I admit in a humblest way that I am afraid, I am very afraid.

On my right side I have scared people, on the left side I have people working to give relief to other side. I can smell the indescribable odor of death in my environment. I know that smell very well. I suffered it last year, again this year in a brief time, so short that couldn't even give me the opportunity to say good bye not just one, nor two, or three but four family members that passed away.

It is a high cost to live in a paradise; the sea that I love so much sometimes gets angry to the point that it keeps us living under a permanent Emergency Response Plan. Yesterday it was not a rain or the rage of the sea… but the sea increasing its volume in a passive way as if filling a glass of water. In that incomprehensible way, the disaster begun.

And I have to be always available on the phone in case of any situation that should occur. It is not easy to work for the Oil Industry. Yesterday something tragic happened onboard one of those marine platforms where thousands of people work long days between the sky and the sea, where they only can see the horizon in their free time… that horizon that makes them dream about returning home with money in their pockets to fulfill their family's need.

I think a lot of them risk their lives just to have a better life. I think about my own brother who now must be looking at the same horizon wishing to return home soon. I look at my husband and I remember the latent fear I had due to his constant absence.

I get nervous when my cell phone sounds at night. I am afraid to answer it, I am afraid to do not be prepared to receive those news that don't let me fall asleep, that takes out the hunger from me and scare me a lot.

Today the environment is gray, sad and heavy that makes me feel very scared.

The news speaks about many deaths and missing people. Many people come to me asking for information. Voices that I know… family, friends and partners. Believe me that I do my best to provide good information. I dial phone numbers trying to get the truth, I relieve them but my experience also taught me to do not give false hopes.

It is hard! I would like to have special power that relieves the pain of others, pain that is not strange for me. I would like to touch heaven's door and claim that the souls return to earth… I get down on my knees and apologize for not accepting, for not understanding this destination.

... I want to cry but I must not cry… I must cry and I cannot,

I feel like a prisoner in the middle of the extremes and I do not know how long I will be able to resist.

"We are in the peak of the Pyramid"

God, help me...

- Bettina Perroni

Hot Tuna Hits the Road...

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Back on the road for a continuation of their stellar 2007 tour, HOT TUNA is coming to a town near you. After a staggering summer tour in which the band played everywhere from Bonnaroo to the haloed Fillmore, the boys are back at it in all their electric glory.

Founding Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady are joined by the seminal multi-instrumentalist Barry Mitterhoff and drum kit wizard Erik Diaz. The fall 2007 tour lands HOT TUNA at the following venues:

11/10/07 Fur Peace Station-SOLD OUT, Pomeroy, OH
12/08/07 Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA
12/09/07 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
12/11/07 The Egg Albany, NY
12/12/07 Lebanon Opera House Lebanon, NH
12/14/07 Quick Center for the Arts Fairfield, CT
12/15/07 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
12/16/07 The Tabernacle-SOLD OUT, Mt Tabor, NJ
12/17/07 Stephen Talkhouse Amagansett, NY


Background: Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady discovered guitar when they were teenagers. They played, and they took in the vast panorama of music available in the nation’s capital, but found a special love of the blues, country, and jazz played in small clubs.

Jorma went off to college, while Jack sat in with professional bands and combos before he was even old enough to drive, first playing lead guitar, and then electric bass. In the mid-1960s Jorma was invited to play in a rock’n’roll band that was forming in San Francisco; he knew just the guy to play bass and summoned his old friend from back east. The striking and signature guitar and bass riffs in the now-legendary songs by the Jefferson Airplane were the result.

The half-decade foray into rock music was for Jack and Jorma a detour, not a destination. They continued to play their acoustic blues on the side, sometimes performing a mini-concert amid a Jefferson Airplane performance, sometimes finding a gig afterwards in some local club.

Almost from the beginning of the new millennium, Hot Tuna’s acoustic and electric concerts have featured the brilliant mandolin virtuoso Barry Mitterhoff. In the last few years, the band has included sharp young percussionist Erik Diaz in its electric sets. What has not changed is Hot Tuna’s commitment to the music and to increasing their own proficiency. Fans remark how the Hot Tuna of today sounds astonishingly like the Hot Tuna of 30 years ago -- and even better!

Around The Blogosphere 25 October 07

Like pictures? You'll love the Blog of the Day: Aileen Apolo's Lakwatsera Ako!

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XiaXue had a close encounter of the reptilian kind...

If you're going to be scammed by a ticket scalper, make sure you ask for his MySpace page...

Surely you must visit The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

The Whinery 2.0 posts videos for Day of Action for Darfur.

Oh crap! Just when airport security line delays couldn't get any longer: Michelle Malkin has dropped Another shoe bomb alert.

Jawa Report: Good News: al Qaeda Video Game Teaches Kids Fun of Killing Americans, Nuclear Bombs!

Before The Blog is a major exhibit of pre-Internet era propaganda techniques from around the world, reports the Miami Herald.

Newspapers are down but not out, and there remains much to cheer about in the newspaper business, says Fortune magazine.

Rose Lu from my1510 compares the various arrangement for reporting on China space travel (zh).

Gen-Si fans take note: CONCERT PRIVÉ AVEC GENERATIONSLIVE JEUDI 1 NOVEMBRE 2007

Purple Rain, Prince's 1984 soundtrack to the film of the same name, has been voted Hollywood's greatest soundtrack by the editors of Vanity Fair. Other soundtracks that cracked the top 10 include A Hard Day's Night, Pulp Fiction, The Graduate, Trainspotting, and Saturday Night Fever.

CSI: Second Life

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Did you happen to catch Wednesday night's episode of CSI New York (CBS-TV)? The program blended live actors with avatars in the virtual world Second Life.

Now, CBS has built a CSI crime lab in cyberspace. The murderer episode will escape into Second Life and not return until February for the story's conclusion. In the meantime, viewers are invited to help track down the perpetrator. Television and Internet moguls have been struggling to integrate the two mediums for some time, with mixed success. This could be the icebreaker. The show was VERY well done, and even I hopped on over to Second Life for a looksee!

Now, *hint* howzabout someone like Wendy Cheng creating a XiaXue avatar in Second Life?

Damon Taylor: Here you have one of the most popular franchises of all time. These shows are only seen once a week. CBS, led by Anthony E. Zuiker, the creator of the franchise, has 16 million plus viewers who watch CSI:NY, and now they get the opportunity to interact with the franchise every day if they feel like it. For CSI:NY, this gives them the opportunity to put the franchise in front of the fans as much as the fans want. For Second Life and Linden Labs, these 16 million viewers of CSI:NY can be used as a vehicle to to bring new users to Second Life and give them the opportunity to understand and grapple with the benefits and value of playing and living and doing business in virtual worlds.

More from Henry Jenkins...

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