Friday, February 29, 2008

Saratoga Springs Girl’s Writing Has a National Audience

Amelia Vinsel of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a published writer in an international award winning publication at age 12.

Amelia’s feature article, “Get Groovin! From Radios to Ringtones” is published in the March/April 2008 issue of New Moon ™: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams. New Moon is an advertising-free, bi-monthly magazine that brings girls’ voices to the world.

Amelia lives in New York with her parents and older brother. In her free time, she likes to write, read, ride horses, listen to music, and daydream. She also loves to laugh with her friends and eat Twizzlers. She wants to be an Olympic horseback rider and write novels when she grows up.

The New Moon Girls Editorial Board—made up of fifteen girls ages 8 – 12 selected Amelia’s article for the March/April issue titled, “Listen to This! (The Music Issue)”. The Girls Editorial Board chooses the theme, articles, artwork and cover design for each issue, and girls from around the world contribute 80 percent of the magazine’s content.

Celebrating its 15th year of publication, New Moon is a six-time winner of a Parents’ Choice Foundation Gold Award for “Best Children’s Magazine” and the 2006 winner of the Golden Lamp Award from the Association of Educational Publishers

Around The Blogosphere 29 February 08

Blog of the Day: Excellent!

My friend Mia Mäkilä has posted some Coollusions...

Youtube Political Post Mike Nelson of Rifftrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame riffs on six political ads.

The BBC posted an interview with head of Reporters Without Borders Leonard Vincent commenting on the decline of press freedom in Africa over the past year. Ugandan blogger, Ugandan Insomniac, was the first to discuss the interview.

“The Chinese community in the Caribbean is small, but…the region’s culture would be poorer without them”: Trinidadian blogger Can Cook, Must Cook examines the influence the Chinese have had on Caribbean food and posts a recipe for one of her favourite delicacies.

The family of a California teenager who committed suicide has sued MySpace in state court in Texas, charging that the company was negligent for enabling an alleged sexual predator to victimize their daughter, reports Online Media Daily.

Korea: Companies that check how many times you go to the toilet a small portrait of Hyejin Kim
Hyejin Kim
· Global Voices · East Asia
Companies that are counting ... What do you think? A post on a Korean blog about companies that monitor their employees every move, has received interesting responses. · »»


Bacon Cups are sure to make your next party a hit...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Visitor

Guest Post by Bettina Perroni

This post is about the ideology that some cultures have about night birds such as an Owl. Certain cultures consider this a "bad luck bird" associated with the dead or witchcraft, while other cultures believe it is a wise and special creature. What do you think?

February 25, 2008 at 05:45 PM., I leave the office, get home and try to post one of what I perceive to be the most romantic writings of my recent times.

Entro, enciendo mi Laptop y en eso suena el interphone.
I get in, turn my Laptop on and at that moment the intercom sounds.

Por más que me apresuro a contestar no llego a tiempo.
Even though I hasten to reply I'm not in time.

Nuevamente regreso a mi Laptop y ahora suena el timbre de la entrada.
So I return to my Laptop and now the bell rings.

Me pregunto ¿que pasa? , me asomo por la ventana y he ahí el vigilante quien señala hacia una de las esquinas de la casa y me grita que no me asome.
I wonder Why? I look out of the window and see that the watchman is pointing to a corner of the house, shouting at me not to come out.

Sin pensar mal en ese momento, bajo corriendo a toda prisa no sin antes tomar mi cámara.
Without thinking I hurried to get my camera.


Llego junto a el y le pregunto: - ¿que sucede? ....vuelve a señalar hacia el mismo lugar.
I went outside, ran up to him and asked - what happened? .... Again he tried to draw my attention to the same place.


Sería una mentirosa si dijera que no me incomodó descubrir al visitante.
It would be a liar if I said that I was not disturbed when I saw the visitor.

El señor se limitó a decirme que tuviera cuidado no fuera a colarse por la ventana, que si quería, iba a intentar atraparlo para dármelo.
The watchman told me to be careful because the creature could get into the house through the window, and that if I wanted, he would try to catch it for me.

Volteo a verlo y le pregunto: - ¿Y que voy a hacer yo con ese animal? - mientras por mi mente pasaba la palabra zoológico-.
I turned and asked him: - And what I am going to do with that animal? - All the while thinking the word "zoo."

Justo al terminar la frase, el visitante en questión gira la cabeza y me clava la mirada.
I just finished that thought when the visitor's head turned and it gazed at me.

Primero sentí una gran admiración por su belleza, pero segundos después su mirada me intimidó tanto y me hizo sentir tan insegura que entre nervios saqué la cámara del estuche y sin pensarlo la disparé.
First I felt a great admiration for its beauty, but seconds after felt intimidated... I felt so insecure that with shaking hands I positioned my camera and shot without thinking.

Si, fue una toma oportuna porque inmediatamente extendió sus alas y voló ¡saber dios a donde!.
Yes, it was a timely because seconds later the visitor spread its wings and flew ...

En eso me dice el señor con cara de preocupación:
In that moment the watchman, very concerned, said to me:

- Disculpe pero... dicen que esas cosas son malas .
Excuse me but I know that these animals are bad.


Y le contesto:

And he continued:

- Bueno, es cierto que en muchas culturas es considerada un "ave de mal aguero" (mala suerte)... sobre todo aquí en México . --
Well, it is true that in many cultures it is considered a "bird of bad agüero"
(bad luck) ... especially here in Mexico.


Y me responde:

And I replied:

- Pues... -- Well ... solo vino a visitarle a usted y se fue . He just came to visit and now he's gone.

No sin antes lanzarle una mirada amenazante que le digo:

I think I gave him a menacing look and told him:

- ¡Oiga Usted, no me diga eso!! -- You Listen, don't say that again!

Bueno, aqui les dejo la foto que tomé a ver que opinan.
Well, here is the picture I took of the visitor..
.
Hasta combina con el color de mi casa...
He sort of matches with the color of my house ...
¿no creen? What do you think?




Like Bettina, I once had a "visitor" and managed to snap a picture of the raptor before he flew away. In the hot below he is on my neighbor's roof, and he is easily 3 feet tall!



Around The Blogosphere 28 February 08

Blog of the Day: Leila Abu Saba writes about how readers find their way to her blog.

Whitney Matheson: And the title of Madonna's new album is ... Hard Candy? Maxim has apologized for publishing a Black Crowes review without listening to the album. The new Morcheeba album is streaming online. Whitney writes "... just spent way too much time on SongTapper, thanks to Pop reader Britt, aka wordsNtricks.
"You can use the spacebar on your keyboard to tap out the beat of a song," she explains. "I gave it a try and tapped out Billie Jean -- sure enough, MJ was in the list of possible songs."
I must've tried 10 tunes before SongTapper finally recognized what track was in my head. Of course, the lucky song had to be the most embarrassing one: Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).
YPulse: Celebrate Teen Tech Week, Hip-hop writing contest and International Children's Digital Library (an impressive non-profit trying to save and digitize the world's children's literature).

Miss Info Exclusive: Back together again, Weezy F. Baby and Nivea : )

Emirati Ben Kerishan blogger (Arabic) provides a concise, humorous and insightful summary of the history of development of Salafist Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, one of the most dangerous evils in our present world, writes Iraqi blogger Abbas Hawazin in this post.

Politics, Facebook and journalism. Zeinobia, from Egypt, draws a link between them in this post.

Taiwanese aboriginal group Hunter Motion calls for an action (today) 28 February to defend their right to preserve their hunting life style in their own land. The group established an advocacy blog for documenting their activities.

Jordanian blogger Abbas Hawazin has a new crush: She looks so dumb, but I can't take my eyes off her...

MediaWatch 28 February 08

Do music labels still need expensive A&R staff when they can simply listen to works of any band with over 50,000 MySpace friends? "Music 2.0, welcome to Web 2.0." Music exec: "Music 1.0 is dead."

Everyone all over the world is being asked to wear a sweater Thursday, March 20 to honor Mister Rogers of PBS, says the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Mister Rogers can be seen weekday afternoons at 1 on WEDW channel 49 Bridgeport - Connecticut Public Television.

William F. Buckley Jr., the erudite Ivy Leaguer and conservative herald who showered huge and scornful words on liberalism as he observed, abetted and cheered on the right's post-World War II rise from the fringes to the White House, died Wednesday. He was 82.

WNET: Long Island has well over 40 commercial and noncommercial FM and AM radio stations. This Saturday Long Island Radio Day is being held by the Long Island Wireless Historical Society and WCWP-FM 88.1 at the Tilles Center on the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University on Northern Boulevard (Route 25A) in Brookville, Long Island. On display will be exhibits of Long Island radio memorabilia, antique radios, vintage telephone equipment, a demo of a wireless spark-gap transmitter, several operating ham radio stations, tours of WCWP radio, and radio-controlled trains and airplanes. The exhibit area opens at 10 a.m. A lecture by Dr. Alex Magoun, Director of the Sarnoff Library in Princeton, "The History of Television" will take place at 11 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign to be president of the United States has led people to ask, is the US actually ready for a female president? But what about the Netherlands? Is this country ready for a female prime minister?

The Brazilian IndyMedia site is reporting about a new book by the Brazilian journalist Natália Viana about the political murders of human-rights activists in Brazil in the last decades. The report says the entire book is available to be downloaded here. NOTE: .:All the links in this roundup are in portuguese:.


Reporters at Newsday on Long Island are jittery, as they await to hear about the number of job cuts at their paper, with the recent takeover of their parent company, the Tribune Co., by Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell. The New York Observer reports.

"For Your Protection" - Nigerian Scam Surfaces in Capital Region

I want to pass along this important message to readers in my local area. A friend of mine in the city told me about an emerging scam with roots in Nigeria. Thanks to her, I instantly recognized it when it happened to me, not far from my home, this week! Here's how it works:

You go into a neighborhood shop (in my case it was a well-respected, regionally-based convenience store chain - I won't publish the name because they were victimized too, and co-operated with me every step of the way through the complaint process), select items for purchase (in my case it was milk and a small can of coffee), and go to the counter. I presented my debit/credit card for payment. The total was about $5. I'm a regular at the store, and up until that moment all was normal.

The clerk (the Nigerians employ individuals who are trained to have 'photographic' memories - they can zero in on your driver's lic # or SS# and transfer it to paper before you know it), who is legitmately employed at the store, swipes my card, THEN demands to see my I.D. I ask why. She says "for your protection." I refuse. "I was here earlier and used my card and no one asked for I.D." "It is for your protection." THE BUZZWORD IS 'PROTECTION." The other clerk on duty was laughing nervously, obviously intimidated by the Nigerian agent. I noticed the nervous clerk allowed customers to use plastic without batting an eye OR asking for I.D. When I again refused, the scamster took my items and said I couln't have them. The nervous clerk said "I'm not getting involved in this" when I asked her if I had gone to her register, could I have passed un-hassled.

The laughing clerk was obviously troubled: she did not offer any assistance, such as "I know this customer" or anything like that. She's seen me and collected my payment a bazillion times. Scared into silence, perhaps? Working WITH the scamster?

I contacted the management of the chain the very next day. They assured me that NO ONE should be asking to see I.D. "for your protection," because --- think of this --- at the chain's stores that have self-serve gas pumps, people swipe cards through and then pump $20 to $30 or more in gas, and nobody's out there asking to see I.D. "for your protection."

Most of all NO ONE SHOULD EVER DEMAND I.D. AFTER PROCESSING YOUR DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD. They didn't see my I.D. and I stood there and watched the transaction reversed. If this happens to you, call for help. (The only time you need I.D. is if you have not signed your credit card or you've written something stupid like "Ask for I.D." instead of signing your name.) I was at a great disadvantage because I was out after 5pm, caught in an evening snowstorm. The roads were really bad and I had to travel another store to get my items, but guess what? Because the Nigerian processed my transaction and I was down to my last few bucks before direct deposit day, my card was DECLINED.

Be CAREFUL!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bonanza

Good things come to those who wait---

There are many people who are waiting in the wings for their chance to get a piece of American Pie. Friends, time is near. News leaked last night by oil company plants is being broadcast this morning on radio and tee-vee. "Gas prices will be up to $4 a gallon by summer...another nail in the economy's coffin...Anericans have cut considerably back on gas consumption, but the demand is higher than ever in foreign markets..." So. fellow-Americans, while you've scrimped, saved, taken the bus, bought the Prius and unloaded or parked the SUV, people everywhere else have been ENJOYING life! Joke's on you--- but the joke's not halfway over yet.

You're losing your homes in record numbers as you can't pay your mortgages. The cost of healthcare taking bigger, bigger, bigger chunks of your paycheck. And now you're being rewarded with HIGHER gas prices, which means more ethanol, which means corn and dairy products prices will be rising.

But let's get back to life's understudies: men, women and families who will be scooping up and moving into those abandoned homes. Folks who will live within walking distance of work. People who don't need an SUV to feel happy and complete.
When will it actually happen? It's beginning to take place already, but look for a slow spread across the country and throughout the economy, over a two to possibly three year timeframe.

What about the men, women and families who have LOST everything? The strong, resourceful ones will begin again. The ones who didn't belong "at the top" will simply sink to the bottom.

See YOU at the top!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Borders None: (Roam If You Want To...)

commonsensemom said:[in 'comments' on Michelle Malkin's blog]

What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, no?

in response to Letter of the morning

Here's another side of the "illegals" - Growing Up Unwanted In America...

New Today: The van driver who authorities said gave them a fake name following a fatal bus crash has been identified as a 24-year-old woman from Guatemala, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday.

Olga Marina Franco is the woman who allegedly ran a stop sign, hitting a bus in a crash that killed four children near the southwestern Minnesota town of Cottonwood, authorities said. Franco had told authorities she was 23-year-old Alianiss Nunez Morales and that she was from Mexico.

Lyon County Attorney Richard Maes on Friday charged the woman with four counts of criminal vehicular homicide, driving without a license and a stop sign violation.

Also read:
Joys of a Borderless World
Community says good-bye to brothers killed in Cottonwood bus crash

Around The Blogosphere 26 February 08

Eduardo Avila: Mi Voz Móvil (My Mobile Voice) is a project in citizen journalism from the newspaper Ultimas Noticias in Quito, Ecuador. The mobile van travels to neighborhoods where they conduct workshops for aspiring citizen journalists. (Video report)

YPulse: Miley's YouTube channel, Saudi hip hop and Atoosa's alpha kitty ...

MissInfo: Erykah doesn’t put any hoodoo voodoo on her men….but she can...

Michelle Malkin: Enviro-zealots and animal rights terrorists run amok

Blogger of the Day: Nicholas Laughlin - the author, editor, art enthusiast, activist and "occasional" blogger, has dreams bigger than life for his hometown in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and writing projects and engagements which make him wish the day was longer than 24 hours... Amira Al Hussaini has more...

At the tail-end of U.S. President George Bush’s six-day, five-country farewell tour of Africa came the announcement the Pentagon’s plans for a second U.S. military base on the continent of Africa are dead. Questions flew from the blogshpere - What exactly are U.S. interests in Africa? Global Voices' John Liebhardt provides the answer in his post entitled The groundswell of opposition to AFRICOM from African bloggers

Popular university professor / blogger, Pr. Mohamed Drissi Bakhakhat, decided to stop blogging out of fear for his safety after what happened to Fuad Mourtada, writes A Moro in America.

Cuban bloggers' responses to news that Raul Castro has been appointed President of Cuba…Babalu Blog: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”; Child of the Revolution: “The appointment of a 76-year-old hardliner…as the effective number two rather than younger apparatchiks…has surprised everyone”; Uncommon Sense: “For those who think his ‘election' is a harbinger of real change in Cuba…the reality is, not so much.”

Can Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn help your career? At the suggestion of a few colleagues, and with an eye to keeping up with the times, Jeannine Ayres, a life coach in Huntington Station, Long Island, signed on several months ago to MySpace. The social networking sites are now also major business networking sites. Newsday reports.

Several bloggers including Schrr have reported[Fa] that in Sadeghyeh ,Tehran, while security forces attempted to arrest a young girl, many people came to help her. Here is a video film about this event where people chanted “we do not want Islamic State”.

Sandra Paulsen writes[PT] from Stockholm at Blog do Noblat[PT] about Swedish sexual tourism in Brazil and Tailand and sad stories about Brazilian women that travel back with their “boyfriends” to their home Sweden, just to face a hard and bitter break-up and illegality in a foreign and lawful land. Blog do Noblat is a famous Brazilian blog written by Ricardo Noblat, Brazilian mainstream journalist, and some collaborators.

A byline strike at the Honolulu Advertiser has extended to the newspaper blogs, says the New York Times.

Feb 22 was Japanese Cat Day and Mari has a round-up with links to cat photos and paintings.

5roofa, from Kuwait, posts the art works of students from the class she teaches to mark her country's National Day.

Whenever you read a blog - any blog - always look for what is hidden. Great blogs are chock full of surprises. Drag your mouse around - click through pictures or drawings - check sidebars - you never know what you'll find!
I've gotten a few emails from people who say they'd like to see "Around the Blogosphere" and "MediaWatch" as seperate blogs. I thought about it. Decided against it. This blog is very free form and thus flows freely. I like adding these features when the spirit moves me. If it were something I "had" to do on some kind of schedule, I think there would be a loss of quality.

The thing that always distresses me as a blogger is the fact that many visitors are coming in via search engines, landing on one particular page, and never get to experience the other articles that are posted - especially ones on the topic they're looking for. Whenever you visit a blog, ALWAYS check out that blogger's main page! And let me once again praise MyBlogLog... great move by Yahoo! acquiring MBL, but what if Microsoft grabs Yahoo!? There ARE other similar services out there, and if MBL gets a little too technical, that might be where I'll head. I have noticed that MyBlogLog has a new display box that some bloggers use. I see that the box is totally static on SOME of the blogs that have employed it. I like the old box, and if they decide to force change upon me, I'm gone! I've had a great relationship with MyBlogLog, but...sometimes you just gotta let go...

The Road To Election 2008 26 Feb 08

“It's not that Obama threatens to be another MLK. It far worse than that. It's that he threatens to be another JFK”: Jamaican Marlon James asks “the one question about Obama that dares not speak its name in polite public discourse.” And if you're black and have never thought of this question you're lying...

CNN reports Ralph Nader lashed out at the Democratic presidential candidates Monday after they said he could hurt their chances of taking back the White House. In a blog post, Atlantic writer James Fallows called Nader's latest announcement a farce because it suggests a detachment from political reality.

'Just Great!': Hillary Clinton Wants to See 'Bitch is the New Black' SNL Sketch

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama engage in another Democratic presidential debate tonight in Ohio with Brian Williams and Tim Russert on MSNBC.

'Hope of the Entire World': Nation of Islam's Farrakhan Sings Obama's Praises

Obama campaign hits Drudge report on circulated photo of senator dressed as Somali elder.
Photo: AP


Statement by Maggie Williams, Campaign Manager for Hillary Clinton: “Enough... If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.

We will not be distracted.”

Fiji-American Jonathan Segal blogs about his views on the current American election. “If I was living in the US, I’d be sick and tired of hearing about the elections all day… While in Fiji, however, I can explore in my own time without experiencing the political-fatigue commonly associated with listening to candidates speak.” He also makes a good review of how each candidate uses digital media to convey their message across.

MediaWatch 26 February 08

Behind the scenes: MICROSOFT prepares workers for YAHOO takeover...

Europe's antitrust chief Neelie Kroes is challenging Microsoft and defying critics, says the Wall Street Journal.

Pakistan is blocking YouTube, reports the BBC. iFaqeer: The suspicions on the part of the grapevine is that this blocking/censorship happened when it happened because of videos that were ending up on YouTube of vote rigging--both in Karachi and Lahore and elsewhere. Though the brunt of the suspicion is about videos of rigging in Karachi, and pro- the MQM.(Article)

A byline strike at the Honolulu Advertiser has extended to the newspaper blogs, says the New York Times.

Two of the biggest media companies in Brazil are currently involved is court cases that similarly raise the issue of freedom of speech and press even though the media finds itself on opposite sides of the issue in the two cases. Blogs are uniquely pointing out the similarity and contradictions revealed by the connectedness of both situations. More from Global Voices Blogger Jose Murilo Junior.

Folk singer Pete Seeger is profiled on American Masters on New York's Channel 13 WNET Wednesday evening at 9: see the Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and Fremont, Nebraska Tribune.

The Evolution of Chelsea Clinton



NY Magazine's Cover Story

Chelsea’s Morning
After years of emphatic silence, the erstwhile First Daughter emerges—and demonstrates that, not only is she a natural, but the Clinton dynasty could span generations if she's up for it.
Plus:
A time line of Chelsea's life in pictures.

Chelsea Clinton didn't just ripen and "turn cool" overnight - it's a process, a metamorphosis, and young Miss C is just beginning to "ride the wave." What's that? It's learning to develop and make the best of your talents, something taught in the Bible. Anyone can do "it" - some just master "it" sooner than others and others never master it - you know all those people who flocked to "The Secret"??? They thought "it" was the key to making life "better." Riding the wave is similar. You must take care of yourself, grow to love yourself, be comfortable with yourself. You "get out there and knock 'em dead." Easier said than done? Yeah, if you're not ready to "just do it."
“She has her mother’s character and her father’s energy.” Somehow, this product of two of the most adored and loathed politicians in recent history turned out well-adjusted and yet also incredibly, unmistakably like her parents. Like her father, Chelsea is, in fact, a big flirt (not something her mother is known for). Approached by a tall model-handsome college jock at the University of Utah, she literally batted her eyelashes at him. “Hell-o!” she said in a Mae West tone before posing for a snapshot with him.

People spend way too much time worrying about what other people think. Look at Bill and Hillary Clinton from "then" until "now" and you'll see a couple who have been through it all and came out the other side right side up, on two feet. Scandals, rumours, accusations, laughs, love, hatred - they've had it all, experienced it all. "Where's the beef?" Read the Clinton's books and learn from the mistakes they made. Learn from the hunches they took. I read somewhere that a person is only a failure when he or she gives up. Think TEFLON (like Ronald Reagan) - don't let any of the crap "they" throw at you stick. To thine own self be true. I hate sermonizing!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Make Way For McCain!

The man who many believe cost Al Gore the last Presidential election is baaack... perennial candidate Ralph Nader injecting himself into the mix... popular opinion holds Nader will cut just enough votes away from whoever the Dem nominee is to propel the GOP to another victory. Aside to boomers: you should have voted for Pat Paulsen when you had the chance!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Adolf der Illustrater

Snow White characters Bashful and Doc, which museum director William Hakvaag believes were drawn by Hitler, along with a sketch of Pinocchio...

Before he plotted to kill the Jews and Gypsies, he dreamed of drawing cells for Disney pictures? Maybe: the director of a Norwegian museum claims to have discovered cartoons drawn by Adolf Hitler during the Second World War. Hitler tried to make a living as an artist before his rise to power. While there was no independent confirmation yesterday that the drawings were the work of the Nazi leader, Hitler is known to have owned a copy of Snow White, the classic animated adaptation of a German fairy tale, and to have viewed it in his private cinema. He told pals it was "the best movie ever made."

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MIchelle Obama: Outsider by Choice

As the mainstream media champs at the bit, dying to report the annointing of Barack Obama as the Democrat of choice to run for the U-S presidency, Jeffrey Ressner pops open a Pandora's Box, blogging in the knick of time that "During a presidential contest in which the term "transparency" has been frequently bandied about, candidates have buried a number of potentially revealing documents and papers." He goes on to post:

Last week, commentator Jonah Goldberg remarked on National Review Online, "A reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama's 1985 thesis, titled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community"... is unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008, at the Princeton library. I wonder why."

"Why a restricted thesis?" asked blogger-pastor Louis Lapides on his site Thinking Outside the Blog. "Is the concern based on what's in the thesis? Will Michelle Obama appear to be too black for white America or not black enough for black America?"

Ressner on Politico has posted Mrs O.B.'s complete thesis here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
"I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second."

The thesis, titled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community" and written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, in 1985, has been the subject of much conjecture on the blogosphere and elsewhere in recent weeks, as it has been "temporarily withdrawn" from Princeton's library until after this year's presidential election in November. Some of the material has been written about previously, however, including a story last year in the Newark Star Ledger.

Obama writes that the path she chose by attending Princeton would likely lead to her "further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant."
Sorry, dear Mrs. O. If you want to be on the outside looking in, that's the choice YOU have made. That this was withdrawn speaks VOLUMES for what the Obamas may be really all about.. I'll leave that up to you to think about.

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Around The Blogosphere 24 February 08

Blogger of the Day: Adaure Achumba (The World According To Adaure )

Onarieta is Nigeria's youngest painter: “Carrying her lunch box and dressed in her signature look - tiny head scarf covering her beaded, braided hair, a contemporary top and a long african print skirt to match her scarf - it's hard not to notice how artsy this cute little girl is...”

Remember the furor over those Danish cartoons? Black Looks has posted about a Racist Obama cartoon...

Two from Sheylara: Are you a slave to your blog? and On scantily-clad women and prostitutes...

Marenda asks Are You One of 50 million Americans Without Health Insurance?

Joe Horn: LEGO Ferrari F1 Racer 1:8 完工 其實,這個玩具我哈很久了。 樂高在 Ferrari F1 Racer 這個系列中,有兩組商品: Ferrari

Check out the photos: 美国爸爸也有钉子户

Talking about fotos - see Alvin Lim's post Edison Chen has more photos than what was previously speculated!

Tze Yin: TY's boob watch part2 - Photo provided by Lee Lian...taken when she went to China.....speechless....

Hannamitsuki: 第一次上班  我也不諱言了,我現在正在上班!不過別說我摸魚啊!我一直很認真的,除了昨天因為上吐下瀉而遲到以及前天在公司完成Case之外,目前我正在努力的學習當中。   第一次坐在辦公室上...

Sara Emily Lin: 分享--林韋良,扯出一片天
法國明日節,世界雜技大賽盛會之一,就在二月初,第一位代表台灣參賽的

Ever wonder
How the Japanese Really Learn English?

Weekend Media

UPDATE - (Sunday AM) Best of the borrowed: The Dixie Chicks, hands down! Great little rockumentary that chronicled events which shook the popular singing group to its core, resulting in a riveting trailblazer of an album that not only attracted a new audience but debuted on BillBoard at NUMBER ONE - pop charts AND country charts - without a drop of Radio airplay after Clear Channel and company vowed they wouldn't program any DCX music! Spectacular feat!
Springsteen, Vedder, Neil Young Join Anti-War, Anti-Bush All-Star Soundtrack...
Second best: Underdog

Way Way Way behind, TRex (turned out to be a yawner - I would have liked to see more biodata regarding Marc Bolan and the love of his life who accidentally killed him, Gloria Jones). The Trex-mania that hit England never materialized in the U-S and we can only recall "Bang It On" as Bolan and TRex's contribution... Gloria Jones had a few low-charting tunes, and I do remember cover art from one TRex album displayed in the window of a local bookstore several years back. And as for FUSE? Forget it!
With the arrival of the weekend, and my regular junket to NYC postponed for now, I went to the Main Library branch in downtown Albany to pick up a few books and DVD's. I made a great find in the old books' "giveaway" bin: it must be one they picked up at an estate sale because it has no library stamps or markings on it. "The Big Broadcast" is a reference work with information (and some pictures) of American radio porgrams that aired between 1920-1950. In the video department, I was curious about "Born to Boogie" the story of Marc Bolan and TRex. "Fuse" is a Bosnian comedy about a small town preparing for a visit from U-S President Bill Clinton. "Shut Up And Sing" is all about the Dixie Chicks' "fall from grace" and then the collector's edition of "Underdog" rounded out my selections.

Like you, I have dozens of motion pictures on VHS, VideoCD's and DVD's kicking around the house, but just a handful that I've watched more than once (and continue to watch every now and then):

- Van Helsing

- Hairspray (the GOOD one with Divine and Debbie Harry)

- The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

- The Ninth Gate

- A Clockwork Orange

- anything "Charlie Chan"

- RENT

It came to my attention today that Buffalo NY native Jesse Martin is set to star in Marvin Gaye biopic. His character will leave Law & Order this spring.

Since 1999, Martin has played New York police detective Ed Green. Industry trade paper reports say after he leaves the show, he will begin filming the title role in "Sexual Healing," a movie biography of Marvin Gaye.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dangerous Rides

In the wake of two recent incidents, I feel it is time to take school districts to task and demand they re-evaluate screening methods for employees before any more lives are shattered, or lost.

Rescue workers are seen at the site of a deadly bus crash Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008 in Cottonwood, Minn. (AP Photo/ Marshall Independent, Rae Kruger)

In the Capital region, parents of schoolchildren were stunned to learn that schoolbus driver Douglas Conrad’s name is on a state child abuse database that would prevent him from adopting a child or working for a day care center. The database wasn’t accessible to Saratoga Springs school officials who hired him as a school bus driver.
School districts and most employers can’t access the State Central Register compiled by the state Office of Children and Family Services, said office spokeswoman Pat Cantiello (to the Schenectady Gazette).

Cantiello and other officials named in various accounts in several area papers wer either "not available" or REFUSED to speak on tape when asked to do so for a radio news report. Are they embarassed? Don't want to be held accountable? More likely they fear legal action from irate parents. (Such is the case already in the Cottonwood incident referenced below - "If this tragic incident becomes an issue in the debate over the presence of illegal immigrant workers in the United States, there is an opening for a fresh discussion of the responsibility of management.")

The Gazette report continues: School districts do criminal background checks on prospective employees through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, but criminal charges weren’t filed against Conrad when allegations were made against him in 2002. He was not arrested until earlier this month, when city police charged him with four counts of misdemeanor forcible touching of two 14-year-old boys at his city apartment.

Conrad is on administrative leave with pay pending the results of an internal investigation at the Saratoga Springs School District. He is free on bail. Conrad’s roommate, James Wiley, 60, also was charged with a felony count of criminal sex acts with a minor. Arrest papers said Wiley attempted to perform two sex acts on a 16-year-old boy the afternoon of Jan. 15 at his apartment.

What a disgrace! What a letdown for parents who TRUST that school workers are "checked out" - well, so much for background checks, eh folks? Remember that when it's time for school board elections and when school districts beg for more money.
QUESTION: Why does the mainstream media seem to protect illegal aliens? Here's a link pointing to a Capital Region case:
"Washington County, where a 51-year old Hudson Falls man was killed when an SUV filled with illegals turned into his path on State Route 4Daniel Irwin of Hudson Falls had just picked up a new 2005 Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle from a North country dealership. An experienced motorcyclist, Irwin was hours away from going on a dream vacation planned by his soldier son who had just come home from Iraq. Irwin died last night at Glens Falls Hospital from injries he sustained in the 6:20pm collision. Police identified the driver who hit Irwin as REYER ARUERO, a Mexican in the US illegally, who initially gave police a driver's licencse bearing the name David Zavala...Interesting to note that the Post Star newspaper didn't bother to mention Aruero is an illegal alien until the end of the story, which in the print version was BURIED way in the back of the paper!"
Below are photographs of the four children killed in this week's Cottonwood, MN schoolbus crash where an ILLEGAL ALIEN was at the wheel:

* Hunter Javens, 9, Cottonwood.
* Jesse Javens, 13, Cottonwood (Hunter & Jesse were brothers)
* Emilee Olson, 9, Cottonwood
* Reed Stevens, 12, Marshall.

Memorial Fund for Families of Bus Crash Victims
United Southwest Bank
P.O. Box 288
Cottonwood, MN 56229

Please keep the families of these children and the 14 injured in your prayers.

You ask: What kind of cheap "background checks" are schools performing? Maybe it's time the Feds stepped in and forced state agencies to open their records so school districts can perform accurate, responsible checks.

Alianiss Nunez Morales, female age 23, of Minneota, Minnesota has been booked into the Lyon County Jail on the charge of Criminal Vehicular Operation. Morales was driving the van involved in the Cottonwood, Minnesota school bus crash that killed 4 children.
From COTTONWOOD: At the news conference, officials did not provide answers to questions about a 2006 incident in Chippewa County in which a woman who gave the name Alianiss Nunez Morales was arrested. According to the state courts system Web site, a woman with that name pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license in that case.

The Star Tribune reported that, in the 2006 incident, the driver’s car jumped a curb and came to a stop about 12 feet from a Montevideo woman’s house.

Officials said Friday they did not know if the woman from 2006 was the same as the woman involved in the bus crash, or if another woman using that identity was involved in the 2006 incident.

They were asked questions about why the driver in 2006 was not flagged as an illegal immigrant, and whether data from that arrest — such as fingerprints or a photo — were available. Peterson and Arnold said they could not answer those questions.

“We have no prior history of arrests for her through ICE or Homeland Security,” Arnold said. “By fingerprints, we have no record of prior arrests.

“I can’t speculate what direction we will take to establish her name.”

They also said they could not provide information on the whereabouts of the person with the actual identity of Alianiss Nunez Morales.

RIP Emilee Olson

Nov. 2, 1998-Feb. 19, 2008

Emilee LaVanche Olson, 9, of Cottonwood, died Feb. 19, 2008, as the result of a school bus accident.

She was born on Nov. 2, 1998, in Anhui Province, China. At 10 months old, she was adopted by the Charlie and Traci (Poffenberger) Olson family in Cottonwood.

Emilee was in the third grade at Lakeview Elementary School in Cottonwood.

She was a very happy, energetic and fun-loving kid who made friends wherever she went. Her laugh was contagious. She loved singing, playing and performing piano and was scheduled to participate in an upcoming piano festival.

Emilee loved her horse, Barbie, and belonged to the Ponies of America Club. She was chosen to be the 2008 South Dakota P.O.A. Sweetheart. Emilee also loved her two cats, Cuddles and Cloudy. She belonged to the Swan Lake Skippers 4-H Club and enjoyed their activities.

Emilee was a wonderful daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin and friend. She loved playing with, spending time with and bugging her siblings in good fun.

She is survived by her parents, Charlie and Traci Olson, and siblings Bailee, 14, Sidnee, 11, and Rilee, 6, of Cottonwood; grandparents Dale and Dorothy Poffenberger of Detroit Lakes; Stan and Shi Aamodt of Cottonwood; aunts and uncles David and Terri Hutchinson of Detroit Lakes, Jay and Amber Poffenberger of Big Lake, Jon and Karen Poffenberger of Dana Point, Calif., Gary and Sharon Olson of Aurora, Ill., Rick and Honna Olson of Esko, Tim and Marcia Amdahl of Fulton, S.D., Craig and Denise Aamodt of St. Louis Park; many cousins; her Lakeview elementary classmates; P.O.A. friends; 4-H friends; Sunday School mates; and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Robert Olson and first pony, Scoop.

Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Christ Lutheran Church in Cottonwood.

Visitation will be Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a parish prayer service at 9 p.m. at the church and Sunday one hour prior to the service at church.




There Is No Secret...

Some very deep words of wisdom from The Muslimah: "...we don’t appreciate what we have until it is gone. It has also given us a clear lesson that nothing that we have in this life is ours. If Allah decides to take it from us, it’s gone." [link] Now that's real, clear as crystal advice.

Have you heard of Tony Robbins or the 48 Rules of power? Robbins is a motivational speaker with a powerful message that is themed similar to the core rules of "The Secret." The 48 Rules is what it is, and it's up to you to interpret and maximize it to fit your lifestyle. There is truth in both methods, and probably some in "The Secret." Some folks get a lift from reading religious material... this stuff is more, er, secular.

So what's all the huff about "The Secret?" Maybe you just heard about it --- it's been around for about a year or so now, it's an Opriate. (This was pre-Obama: Salon wrote "By continuing to hawk "The Secret," a mishmash of offensive self-help cliches, Oprah Winfrey is squandering her goodwill and influence..." maybe Hillary's people should bring this up...)

Author Rhonda Byrne's "discovery" of The Secret began with a glimpse of the truth through a 100 year old book. Aha... re-imagining a work whose copyright has likely expired... hmmm... she's sold over a half a million DVD's. You can watch the first 20 minutes of the movie via YouTube.

Here are some snapshots of what caught blogger Hannie's ears:
"You can change things around you by your thoughts
The power of gratitude stand above everything else, use it until it becomes a way of your life.
Think positively and you'll get positive results. Focus on what you want like if you want to loose weight, focus on your perfect weight instead of "I need to loose weight".
It is about frequency of thoughts. Maintain a good mood and happy thoughts, good things will come your way. Your visualization becomes real..
Start your day with good thoughts like I'm going to have good things happening to me today, or simply, I'm going to get a parking today, or there is always parking for me, I'm always lucky. And you will!
When you make believe, the result comes by."

Here's what happened to Slate's Emily Yoffee when she followed The Secret's advice for approx. two months:
"...I vowed to follow Byrne's simple rules for abundance and see what happened. The book encourages one to start big: "It is as easy to manifest one dollar as it is to manifest one million dollars." But I thought starting with the million-dollar manifestation was like saying, "I love you" on a first date; I didn't want to scare the universe into not taking my calls. I came up with three things I thought the universe would find reasonable: a kitchen floor, unclogged sinuses, and a new desk..."
See Also: The Secret, The Law of Attraction and Artists

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Around The Blogosphere 22 February 08

Even with our extra leap day this year, next Saturday brings — and this may surprise you — March.

For most of us, New Year’s resolutions are long gone and the countdown to spring has begun. But before April showers turn into May sneezing fits, there is at least one more important financial task (for U-S residents) to do: the income tax return.

via TechCrunch: Cloudo is the new Xindesk and looks like shaping up to be a good looking WebOS, if and when it launches.

Now,off to the islands! The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, as part of its new focus as a digital media training center, has developed an introductory course to digital journalism that it will offer for the first time from March 3 to April 4, 2008, to journalists living and working in Caribbean countries. Caribbean Free Radio reports.

Geoffrey Philp's Blog Spot presents "Boat People by Felix Morisseau-Leroy ." I love Geoffrey's blog! (that's him in the accompanying foto) He's introduced me to many wonderful authors whose works I may have not other wise known. Thank-you, Geoffrey!

Karel Mc Intosh writes a splendid blog entitled "Caribbean Public Relations" - but it's so much more than that! Some of my favourite posts on Karel's blog include Work and personal life – the online connection and Profiling Caribbean Public Relations: Interviewing Barbados. One of the most recent posts, Recognising the value of magazines as media channels - the disconnect with corporate communicators, was contributed by guest poster Laura Dowrich-Phillips. Even though Karel targets the Caribbean, anyone anywhere can learn valuable information from her blog.

Next, from some very faraway islands, Filipino blog Postcard Headlines presents The Rise of Free Online Books, and I have a snippet for you:
Paulo Coelho (pictured) gives us an innovative example on how to get rich as an author. He’s been “pirating his own work for years, spreading electronic versions of his novels over the BitTorrent filesharing network for potential readers to download.” He even established the blog The Pirate Coelho for this purpose, the Guardian Newspaper Book Blog reports:
…giving away free digital copies of books makes a lot more sense that giving away free digital copies of music. Downloading a couple of chapters allows you to see how much you might like an author unknown to you. The point being that most of us who like what we read are then likely to go on and purchase the physical copy of the book, because so few of us have the stamina to read an entire book from a screen. Whereas music downloads, free or paid-for, are conveniently portable and these days more and more preferred to traditional media.
Review of Cuban-American Blogs wonders whether or not Fidel Castro's resignation should be taken at face value:
"...It is as if the Queen of England had abdicated her titles as Defender of the Faith and Head of the British Commonwealth but forgotten to include her queenly title."
via Ambiome, a ridiculous "must-see" photo: Kitty Wigs, ça décoiffe !

Retrocrush has compiled a fun list of the 25 greatest duets of all time, w/video.

VIDEO: Ted Kennedy Sings En Espanol for Texas votes...

Can I Sit With You? (Send your painful childhood memories to these editors and they will publish it on their blog and in a new book published via Lulu.)

More than 4000 netizens have already signed a petition against Google Earth: “Dear Administrators of Google Earth, we, the undersigned, through this letter, protest your irresponsible, unscientific actions, and demand an immediate and unconditional deletion of “Arabian Gulf” from Google Earth.”

Sweet Technology

Photo of Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, the adjutant general and commander of the New York National Guard, Courtesy The Troy Record.

Bliss! If you're a guy who can't get enough technology, remote control devices and various electronic toys, you'd certainly adore the National Guard's new Command Center in Latham, New York. They invited the media out to visit the facility on Thursday... I was among the reporters gathered there... talk about a home theater setup... this place is my model! Gimme some hard cash and point me in the direction of the nearest hi-tech electronics store! If I had one of these at home, you would only see me at mealtimes... ;)

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The Road To Election 2008 22 Feb 08

Roseanne Barr (yes, THAT Roseanne) blogs anti-Obama anti-Oprah on a huffpost. Reading the comments makes me wonder if the USA hasn't completely lost its socks over Obama...

Time to once again ask "Is Obama the Mabus Nostadamus wrote about?" It might be too early right now for "Mabus" to exit, stage left:
"Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.

The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on."[complete article]
RJ Eskow: Who Won Last Night's Debate? The Answer Is Clear.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber “chose not to run the New York Times story on John McCain” in his paper even though it subscribes to the New York Times News Service. He explains.

MediaWatch 22 February 08

First thing I heard this morning - twins, a boy and a girl for JLo! Congrats! She must be one extremely happy lady today! Several big magazines ('People' for one) are offering big bucks for photographs of the babies... let's hope she doesn't have to resort to donning the kiddies in burkas a la Jacko...

Twas a mild, cordial, almost warm and friendly debate between Hillary and Barack last night. I could not help but see that "Clinton-Obama" dream ticket happening. Maybe it still could...

Obama's campaign proves that good old-fashioned public speaking, a tack that got its first big play in ancient Greece, might still work better than all the newfangled campaigning tricks put together. Inevitably, it's prompted a style-over-substance debate in recent weeks. Sure, the guy can talk, but is there any real substance behind all that eloquence? And how important are good speaking skills to being a good leader? Dorothy James, professor of government at Connecticut College, notes that very few speeches we remember were particularly detailed: "What they conveyed was vision and a sense of authenticity of the individual speaking and the sense that this individual could be trusted to carry out that vision." [more]

Iran has sentenced a journalist to death, accusing him of being a member of a terrorist group in Iran’s southeast, the judiciary says. The New York Times has details.

On the site of Canada Intruders TV, you can find an interview with Philippe Leroux, president of VDL2 (Montreal). This gives us his vision of the evolution of the media sector. A vision very rewarding that underlines the increasing power of the Internet and the decline in advertising revenue from the traditional press.

The bus of the future has arrived in San Francisco, and while it doesn't drive itself or necessarily even arrive on time, it does offer free Wi-Fi access, touch-screen maps on the walls and connecting transit information. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A woman has discovered snapshots marked "private" on Flickr have been viewed thousands of times, according to the Washington Post. An upstate New York woman whose abuse was filmed is suing ABC, reports Associated Press.

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