Friday, June 29, 2007

What Does Your Blog Say About YOU? (Blog Improvement 101)

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As evidence mounts that online social networks are split along class lines, Robert Colvile looks at what your choice reveals. []

Colvile's piece made me stop and wonder: what does my blog say about me? I found a great article every blogger should read by Valeria Maltoni. You might alos take a look at this.

Now, let's take a tour of some very well-built blogs:
A Través De Mi Ventana is a beautiful blog with a perfect layout. I've always been a fan of 3-column blogs but could never get a left sidebar to display properly here. Here's another great 3-column blog.

Carolina Crespo gives a nice presentation with a standard 2-column blogger template.

What NOT to do: I like Julie Reyes' pictures and content. I had to remove her from my blogroll after readers emailed complaining to ME (it's not my blog, I responded) that Julie's blog either froze or crashed their computers!

On the other hand, Little Tech Girl keeps it cutting edge but easy-to-load!

Sometimes you must TEST TEST TEST: Myriad of Thoughts blog is currently running with a Shrek 3 template.

Let's not forget WordPress! Isabella's template is perfect, but Michelle Malkin's is a bit confusing: not quite user-friendly, it takes a bit of "getting used-to."

Starship Albany

Starship SeenPhoto in story
Were you Seen at Riverfront Park in Albany Thursday night for Jefferson Starship's Alive at Five concert? Nice photo gallery from TU Blogger Casey McNulty.

New Blogger Tools

Try out new Blogger features before they're published!

Blogger in draft is a special version of Blogger where we try out new features before we release them to everyone. Come in and see what we're up to! Learn more

Direct Link


Trade Winds: The Spice Girls have announced the dates of their reunion tour: The group said the shows would be in Los Angeles on Dec. 7; Las Vegas on Dec. 8; New York on Dec. 11; London on Dec. 15; Cologne, Germany, on Dec. 20; Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 23; Beijing on Jan. 10; Hong Kong on Jan. 12; Sydney, Australia, on Jan. 17; Cape Town, South Africa, on Jan. 20; and Buenos Aires, Argentina on Jan. 24.

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Are you in LOVE? If so, Roba blogs "Well if you are, then good news; according to this video clip/song/”nasheed”, your beau will probably pop the question if you turn hijabi. Hilarious, especially as it was followed by a video of the self-proclaimed “first au naturale promiscuous Arab popstar”"[post]

On TV: Xiaxue reminds us that Episode 4 of the Wendy & Ros Road Show is available! Meantime, Hannah Montana kicks network ass big time - "CBS’s “Without a Trace” came closest to “Hannah,” averaging 6.52 million viewers, or nearly 1 million fewer than the Disney show. Nearly every network was down from the previous week."

Illyrian Gazette, Julia Gorin and Balkan Baby write about the controversial Croatian singer Marko Perković Thompson and his recent concert in Zagreb:
"On the 17 June 2007 at concert on Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Thompson in front of 60 000 people stated that he is not fascist. (translation- 'I'm often attacked and accused, that we are fascists, nazis, and by this you also who listen my music and follow. And we here by say to them that we are not fascists, nazis, but Croatian patriots. We tell them that there are values that we live for. There were people that we will never forget. And there are dreams that we will never give up. Because this country was made, our Croatia, on the blood and suffering of this generation, victorious generation.')"
Video Scandal in Latin America: involving Puerto Rican singer Noelia. From Edy's post El vídeo de Noelia:
La cantante puertorriqueña Noelia ofreció hoy disculpas a sus seguidores por un video en el que aparece teniendo relaciones sexuales con un ex novio y acusó a su padrastro Topy Mamery de difundirlo.

"A las personas que me han apoyado en mi vida y mi carrera les ofrezco disculpas por este desagradable momento que están pasando. Gracias por su respaldo y mensajes de cariño y amor" , señaló la cantante en un mensaje.[more]
If you haven't heard of Noelia yet, you will soon: Noelia presents her new look to the world as she performs in Long Beach, CA. Noelia will be releasing a new CD to accompany her new look and her new career launch in America. Noelia, who is currently dating producer and manager Jorge Reynoso, looked amazing with her straight & longer hair with fuchsia highlights.

Speaking of video: Proud owners of Apple's new uber-device the iPhone can peruse a variety of cheesecake content, courtesy of Playboy, which is calling the new service iPlayboy. With the announcement, Playboy appears to be first out of the gate with mobile content developed specifically for the iPhone. - Read the whole story...

Music: The story of Serhiy Taftay's guitar

Alain Mabanckou writes about famed Cameroonian musician (Fr) Manu Dibango, whose Soul Makossa has “all the rhythm, all the atmosphere” of Michael Jackson’s album Thriller, although it debuted 11 years before.

Dallas Penn: "In a few days we will kick off another round of the infamous DP Dot Com cRap Music Fantasy League. This game gives all of us regular rap fans the chance to make moves like music industry moguls for a few months. The rules are really simple and the registration is free so why wouldn’t you play? What? You don’t really listen to a lot of the new rap music on the radio so you don’t know who the players are? That doesn’t matter. Play anyway. The winner gets a pair of choice select NIKE Dunks. Take a peek at the joints that the Q1 winner got in the mail." Try this on for size too:

Barbados Free Press celebrates the outstanding achievement of Jamaican-born Barington Irving, who has become the youngest pilot and the first black person to fly solo around the world - and they’re even more impressed to learn that he built his aircraft himself!

Missing, not forgotten:
BALLSTON SPA - Mary and Doug Lyall hope that someone in the audience at Saturday's RUSH concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center might have information about their daughter Suzanne, who has been missing since 1998.

Check out the artwork on OBRA 2.

Une cigarette géante sur un camion (publicité Ogilvy)

Just for laffs:"Big Booty" VS. The "No Booty" ((Dream))

More Laffs: Not even worth linking to is the Albany Times Union's "Best of 2007" readers poll. If the tally of "Best Blogs" is any indication, you can't trust this poll. They have the newspaper's own blogs at #1, Ed Dague (who barely posts and has not posted since June 7th) as #2, and The Albany Eye (which hasn't posted since the Phish fiasco) as #3. The newspaper should EXCUSE it's OWN BLOGS from the poll, and any blog considered should have to be an ACTIVE blog, with a MINIMUM of at least one post a week! Or are the readers absolutely that STUPID that they don't know what a blog is unless it's a Times Union blog?!?!?!

48 Rules of Power

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Time to revisit a post from my old Xanga blog. Unlike blogspot, where you can type in a word or phrase and find a blog that was created and abandoned in a single day in the year 2003 (while some other bloggers who post faithfully on a regular basis get their blogs deleted for no apparent reason), most of the early Xanga blogs have vanished.

The 48 Rules of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers is a book, which on initial inspection seems to make sense. It reminds blogger Emerizal Jaafar of Chairman Mao. But how does it play out in real life? I've found two bloggers who have written about their experiences applying the 48 rules to their lives: Martin Aquino and Pearl.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's A Mashed Up World!

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ProgrammableWeb, a site that tracks new mashups, says more than 50% of its applications somehow integrate Google Maps.

Want to add a new Google username to existing one?

Tom Owad at used a map and some publicly available data from Amazon user profiles to identify and locate customers with possibly "subversive" attitudes — those with too many Michael Moore DVDs or books about Greenpeace on their Wish List are hereby warned: Someone might be watching., one of the more established mashups, has logged and plotted three years' worth of crime data from the Chicago Police Department, broken down into hundreds of categories, from homicide to obscene phone calls.

The peeps at have overlaid pre-owned vehicle data from EBay onto Google Maps to help you easily find all the jalopies for sale in your neighborhood. The more civic-minded Unfluence ( uses information from a campaign finance database to diagram the web of crisscrossing donations between candidates and various industries. And if you go to, one glance at the map reveals that numerous people in the Los Angeles area are reporting runny noses.

Sources: L.A. Times.

Free Bike Helmet Fittings (NYC Readers)

While supplies last, as part of the GET FIT-TED program, the official New York City bicycle helmet will be fitted and distributed free of charge at New York City Department of Transportation Safety City locations.

In Manhattan at 222 W. 134th Street, Room 113:
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, July 3rd

In Manhattan at 672 W. 158 Street:
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM, June 27th -29th

In Staten Island at the Michael J. Petrides Education Complex on 715 Ocean Terrace:
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, June 28th and 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, July 3rd

In the Bronx at 837 Brush Avenue, at Lafayette Avenue and Westchester Creek:
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM on June 27th

In Brooklyn at the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, 760 Broadway, Main floor:
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM June 29th and July 3rd

In Queens at 107-02 Myrtle Avenue at Park Lane South :
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM July 2nd

To receive a helmet, you must wait to be fitted, sign a waiver for the helmet, and be present to get one (a parent or legal guardian must accompany children under age 18).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Around The Blogosphere 27 June 07

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A blogger's look at building a career in Rap music from the inside out: check out GEN-SI.NET "C'est suivre jour après jour mon évolution dans l'industrie du disque, mes concerts, mes tournages de clip et la réalisation de mon 1er album." Oh yeah, it's in French, as is Pointblog's post about The Grand Prix of Blogs.

Crosstown Traffic: 62 Pictures of gas stations set ablaza plus a traffic jam in Iran... Armenia Blog has photos of prestigious license plates.

Anastasia Goodstein, Totally Wired: Managing Online Identities

What do you do when someone takes your online identity, i.e., your blog, and re-posts your articles, plugs in a little adsense, and calls it their own? Here are two must-read posts for all bloggers: Blog Plagiarism - web infringement! and A good example of bad blogging technique.

LaShawn Barber blogs she'll be plenty busy over the next 48:

Today and tomorrow:

Ms. Barber is also on the case of a young black woman who has vanished: Stepha Henry was in South Florida, down from New York, and was last seen leaving a club with a group of people. Her family’s on the case, but somebody needs to help them get national attention. Spread the word.

Kym Platt on Black Looks: African-American Women and HIV By the way, today is National HIV Testing Day in the U.S.

Dino Chocoholic, a Palestinian blogger living in the UAE, thinks she has been cast with an evil eye.

Alliance pour la democratie et le progres interviews an NGO worker (Fr) on the situation in Darfur.

From the newspaper: RIP Daniel Pujdak. ABC's Good Morning America had an in-depth look into the murder-suicide Chris Benoit case. Most tragic: the body of Benoit's 7-year old son scarred with needle marks. They said he was very small for his age and suspect he'd been given Human Growth Hormone Injections. WNBC has a slideshow of wrestlers who died young.

Today's trip down memory lane: If I had a hammer…

iPhone envy

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So, how desperate are you for that iPhone? For $100 to $300, you can pay someone to stand in line for you outside a local Apple or AT&T retail store... [more]

The iPhone will go on sale Friday. There are two versions, one for $499 and the other for $599. Service plans will start at $59.99 a month. The $59.99 plan will give users 450 minutes. More minutes will be available with monthly $79.99 and $99.99 plans.

All three plans include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll-over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling.

Although the first reviews of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone were glowing (see links here and Josh Quittner's review of the reviewers here), all agreed that there were features that were either missing or not quite up to snuff. Not to fear. If past behavior is any guide, Steve Jobs is likely to start filling in those missing pieces...

PC World offers "iPhone Versus Your Phone: Tips to Avoid iPhone Envy" --- here's a crunch:

Your phone already has a few iPhone features, you just need to know how to hotwire your mobile! Sign up with CallWave, a free service that sends copies of your messages to your e-mail. Alternatively, you can try the Web-based GotVoice, which grabs your new voice-mail messages, records them as MP3 files, and sends them to your chosen e-mail address.

NormSoft's PocketTunes, a $38 application for all Palm Treo phones, not only handles music downloads from Yahoo Music Engine, Napster To Go, and Rhapsody To Go (among other subscription services) but also enables Internet radio reception and can be pimped up with dozens of downloadable skins.

If you have a Windows Mobile-based smart phone from any mobile carrier, Mercora's M music player can give you remote access to songs stored on your PC and let you tune in to Internet radio broadcasts; all you do is download a small app to your phone and PC. The service costs $5 per month or $50 per year.

For live streaming of real-time television and radio, get MobiTV for any Java-enabled phone.

MobilePanda's freeware MobilePhoto is a small PC program that lets you manipulate photos you want to transfer to your phone for viewing or to use as wallpaper. Just choose your phone model from a list, and it properly resizes shots to suit your handset's screen size.

Google Maps offers a mobile version for any Internet-enabled cell phone. And while iPhones can view only the static maps, many other phones from the major carriers offer GPS mapping with traffic updates. Telenav, the leading GPS app, is available for most Java-enabled phones.

Also check out The Free Site's Mobile Phone Freebies. The site is filled to the brim with programs that work on lots of phones, just not the iPhone.

Hey kid! You'll run the bill up! [Aussie teens overusing mobiles]

Start Mobile is a new "widget site" with mobile content.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

RIP Cara Liuzzi

Yesterday I put the finishing touches on a radio story about bicycle safety. Yesterday evening I helped a couple of neighborhood kids adjust their bike helmets. This morning I read this heartbreaking story.

There will always be things we cannot explain and things we cannot change. We all make spot decisions that in retrospect were foolish. How many times have you went for a short drive and didn't buckle up, didn't bring your ID along? How many times have you or someone you know gotten behind the wheel drunk, thinking "I'll make it, I'll be okay." Cara Liuzzi was just doing the same thing you or I might do, just living her life. How many kids (and parents) have you seen WITHOUT bike helmets. While most of them will arrive safely at their destination, there's always that wild card out there, waiting to be drawn.

RIP Chris Benoit

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"For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one." - Kahil Gibran

Don't even get me started when it comes to Pro Wrestling: not the Vince McMahon brand, the "real" wrestling form the days of the NWA and AWA... but those days are gone forever.

Autopsies are scheduled for later this morning for Chris Benoit, 40, his wife Nancy (who was a manager in WCW in the 1990's as Woman) and his son Daniel, 7, all found dead in different rooms in their home. The bodies found by the sheriff's department in Peachtree City, GA, after WWE officials contacted them because they were unable to reach Chris.

"Woman" with Ric Flair.

Benoit was found dead in his weight room. Nancy was found dead in the living room. Daniel was found dead in his bedroom, according to an unnamed source in the department.

Lt. Tommy Pope told ABC News "the instruments of death were located on the scene," but didn't specify what those were or where they were found. Pope said the department was not actively searching for any suspects outside the house.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Will Hip Videos Play In Peoria?

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A ridiculous rant by a ridiculous woman: columnist Kathleen Parker's "Will hip videos play in Peoria?" appears in the Weekend Times Union. First of all, don't be fooled by the old "Ask Abby" style photo: I've posted one from 2005.

Parker swoops down on Hillary Clinton's popular Sopranos-spoof video.
"Everyday people, in other words, are too busy getting to work, raising children and going to their respective houses of worship to monitor the virtual world where Gravel (who is running for president, by the way), Clinton and other presidential candidates have posted about 900 political videos."
Really? Get with the times, Parker! EVRYBODY I know, from tweens to seniors, are ONLINE on a regular basis. I and a few colleagues follow politics on the net, and we've never heard of this "Gravel" individual. I asked around, and not too many of the net-savvy people I know were familiar with Gravel. (They ALL had heard of and many had viewed the Clinton video.)

Here is Parkers BIGGEST mistake:
"'So what's the winning song? ... My money is on Smash Mouth,' says the former prez.

No cheating: Who or what is Smash Mouth? Even if you know, this pop reference is clearly aimed at younger folks who are the primary audience and producers of YouTube. Translation: The Clintons are cool." Duh... everybody knows "Smashmouth" (except YOU, Parker!) And we all knew already that the Clintons ARE cool!
Parker: "It's all rather insider stuff and has not much to do with the real world in which most Americans dwell."

Me: Wow, are you missing it! The video hits home and has EVERYTHING to do with the real world in which most Americans dwell."

Parker's off on the Gravel thing for the rest of the article, an indicator that, in true style, she's using Gravel as a tool to cast Hillary in an unflattering light.

"Candidates can't afford to ignore either, but ultimately they're forced to present two different faces to two different audiences -- the plugged and the unplugged, the hip and the un-hip." The Clintons appeal to both sides of the fence Parker built.

Parker sums it up by writing "Come Election Day, it may not be so cool to be so cool."


OOoops, did we borrow the title of our article from another?

DVD Repair

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Forget those dollar store repair kits! I found this little tip on Sharon Harvey Rosenberg's PF blog:
Scratches on DVDs and CDs and glass can instantly be removed via polishing with toothpaste due to its mild abrasive power. Our tester-- Maya Jaffe-- personally tested the power of toothpaste on a scratched movie scene from The Notebook. The DVD returned to its tissue-grabbing self after applying toothpaste in circular motions, Maya reports.
This works on CD's too! H/T SHR!

Swoon Kitchenbar Launches Blog

Anyone who's tasted the menu at Swoon Kitchenbar, Jeff and Nina Gimmel's brasserie-style restaurant in Hudson, knows their creative skill at interpreting international cuisines. But what they may not realize is that while the dishes may be global, the ingredients are mostly locally grown and made.

From family meals made with clams and oysters foraged from the beaches of Rhode Island during childhood vacations, to his stint as executive chef at Michael's New York, where he honed his focus on indigenous and seasonal ingredients, Jeff Gimmel has spent a lifetime practicing a culinary philosophy of ingredient-driven cuisine. "Local seasonal ingredients drive our menu," explains Gimmel. "Whenever possible, we buy from artisanal farmers and purveyors, focusing on natural and organic products. For us, the culinary, economic, and environmental benefits of sustainable local agriculture are undeniable - the food is tastier and healthier, the local economy benefits, and there is less negative environmental impact. Everyone wins."

Now Jeff and Nina are giving everyone a peek behind the kitchen door with their newly launched blog, SwoonKitchenBlog.

In the spring and summer growing seasons the Gimmel's visit their supplier's farms weekly to stock up on the fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses that are the ingredients for the sumptuously prepared dinners and lunches the restaurant serves. They have even been known to trek out to local creek beds in search of ramps, a delicacy with a short growing season, but a big following among gourmets. The blog allows readers to follow the Gimmels on their forays and track the food's journey from farm to plate.

A recent posting illustrated, in words and pictures, the making of a pork chop, from the purchase of a slaughtered 137 pound hog from North Wind Farm in Tivoli, through the 24 hour brown sugar brine in the Swoon kitchen, to the succulant pan-roasted pork chops served that week.

The blog will feature Jeff and Nina's postings and photos covering their trips to area farms, and discussions about what is in season and how these fresh ingredients are transformed into an ever changing delicious menu. "What we want to do is start a conversation about what we eat, how we live, and how those two ideas are connected," said Jeff. "We hope people not only read the blog, but participate in the ongoing dialog as well."

Swoon Kitchenbar is located in Hudson, New York at 340 Warren Street. Reservations can be by made by calling 518-822-8938. For more information about the Swoon menu, visit

Gag me with a spoon!

The top "news" story Sunday on WRGB and WTEN: the Graduation at Albany High? Hello! Isn't that what kids are supposed to do? Graduate from high school and go on to college? Oh, that's right, it's Albany High, so it must be a miracle. The TV jubilation was short-lived, as a 15-year old was shot Sunday night. The TV reports said there was a "roving band of 30" individuals "looking for graduation parties." They were "dispersed once" by police, but returned. QUESTION: Why did the Police choose NOT to maintain a "vigilant presence" the rest of the night? You know what I mean: if the neighbor burned some leaves, somebody would call the cops, they'd give him a ticket and you'd see police cars zooming up and down the street the next 4 to 6 hours or so. You can't tell me they thought they had "everything under control."

Guess Ken Screven, Michelle Marsh and Rene Marsh all the had the day off at Channel Six. With nobody around to "ask tough questions" the Monday morning lead story had to be attributed to the Times Union!

The other "big story" over the weekend was the woman who got the free house. I think hard-working people are sick and tired of seeing these Oprah Winfrey-style handouts. Howzabout free houses for the rest of us?

By the way, shouldn't Ed Dague be writing about stuff like this?

From the T-U:
"Cancer said they called the police twice. The police told the boys to disperse, but the boys came back when the officers left, she said. Minutes later, shots were fired, she said.

"I feel like kids these days don't care about themselves and they are willing to destroy a family in a heartbeat," Cancer said.

The victim of the shooting lived in the neighborhood, Miller said. There was no sign that anybody from the graduation party was involved in the shooting.

As Cancer spoke to a reporter, a group of males in their teens and early 20s gathered outside a closed business at the corner of Quail Street and Clinton Avenue.

Though police officers were 50 yards away, one of the young men boldly moved toward the graduation party, where young people had spilled into a nearby gas station parking lot.

The teenager mouthed off and grabbed at his waistband and crotch, gesturing like he had a weapon. The young men from the graduation party moved toward him, ready to take him on, but police officers appeared and became serious about setting up a perimeter and moving the crowds away."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Failure to Compete

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As reported by the light-years ahead Times Union:

"Twelve employees were laid off by The Daily Gazette today because of what General Manager Dan Beck called difficult business conditions. The laid-off employees worked in various departments, including editorial, advertising, circulation and production."

Oh well! The Times Union pays a lot of attention to its website and BLOGS... matter of fact, I know people who went out and bought the paper AFTER seeing something the paper put online. The Gazette laughably makes people PAY for content! " The Gazette's Online Edition also has a convenient search feature and you can access the last seven days.

We have a special introductory offer - buy 5 weeks for just $14.75 ($2.95 a week) and we will give you an additional 2 weeks at no charge"

Thanks but no thanks, I'll read the TU, the Post, the Daily News... for FREE!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Net Stops

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NetPower 101: Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka, aka Aly & AJ, are two of the most successful teenagers in the world today. But unless you have a child between the ages of eight and 14, you've probably never heard of them. Their two albums to date have sold more than 700,000 copies worldwide without mainstream radio airplay or coverage in newspapers and magazines ... [more]

Business Week: "Children Of The Web" - How the second-generation Internet is spawning a global youth culture--and what business can do to cash in.

Indystar: High school students Nick Anderson and Ana Slavin of Gill, Mass., knew they could raise some money at their school to help the people of Darfur. But they knew they could raise a lot more by enlisting the help of high school students all over the country.

They didn't have friends at every school, but they did have a powerful tool for reaching out to young people - social networking sites. [High school students use the Internet to help Darfur]

Where there's WEB there's a way: Reaseau sida Afrique writes about HIV-positive women who have been abandoned [Fr] by their husbands or families, and are left to raise their children on their own.

Summer Dance with Spice

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It's here... SUMMER! What does Summer do? It brings DANCE music forward! One of the hottest dancetrax from last Summer was Alice Smith's "Love Endeavour" Re-Mix... NPR has an Alice Smith Concert you can listen to... and there's an interview with Alice Smith! Click here to watch. Perhaps you'd rather groove with a podcast...

Funny pics courtesy yazerty: Astuce pour dormir au bureau (pub pour le café Suplicy)…

via Amaldo: The biggest announcement in the history known to man will be given next week. The Spice Girls are coming back! Yes, Sporty, Posh, Baby, Ginger and Scary will reunite to make a new album and a tour.

Mash up music (in Habbo Hotel. Plus, where to find indie music in Second Life) (press release) (Subterranean Blog)

In their first concert in an Arab country, Palestinian hip hop trio DAM, rocked Amman last night as part of the Fete De La Musique (Music Day) series of concerts that took place across the city. Black Iris Blog shares VIDEO.

Moroccan hip hop music is here to stay, bloggeth The View from Fez.

Arjanwrites is offering a Free Download: Justice "D.A.N.C.E." Remixes

German trio The Dance have new stuff out: "Don't Run To The Suburbs" can also be downloaded FREE courtesy Arjanwrites!

Guess What! Arjan's not just all about music: "Click here to read a fun interview I did with FilmExperience blog about my taste in film."

Try on some ShoutOutLouds music.

Listen to Vanessa Paradis "Divine Idylle"

Listen to Justin Timberlake "LoveStoned' (DJ Don Zee Refix)

Bahraini blogger emoodz posts his weekly podcast - in Arabic and English here. Enjoy!

from Global Voices - Colombia: Pixelazo New Media Urban Lab and Medellín Blogger Meetup This is a Video post


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White Anti-Racist Parent is hosting the 14th Erase Racism Blog Carnival...

“It’s damn easy to assume stuff about the world, history, other people. What is hard to do — and to accept — is listen to other people’s realities.” Nicolette Bethel encourages dialogue on the topic of race in the Bahamas. Bethel maintains that productive discussion about race cannot happen “without understanding, and making peace with our past”. And Rick Lowe at joins the debate.

Ten Questions about "Racism"

A better (but not perfect) world

Beware of the Jumbies that hold you down...

Dinner With Obama

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via NY DAILY NEWS blog: Obama Girl, eat your heart out

Room 8 blogger Haile Rivera of the Bronx is one of four winners of a nationwide "Dinner with Barack" contest.

Rivera, who works for the Food Bank for New York City, will be breaking bread with Obama at an unspecified Washington, D.C., restaurant sometime in July.

He'll be joined by a Nevada miner, the wife of an Iraq soldier from Louisiana and a former Republican firefighter and paramedic from Florida. All were selected after submitting personal stories (and a donation of at at least $5) to

Read the details here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Google Public Policy Blog

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Google has given a mouthpiece to its public policy efforts with the launch of a company blog. On its new blog, Google makes its case for net neutrality. I have to admit, I love Google. I'm thankful for what they've done to the search engine, thankful for the great blogspot platform, thankful for gmail! What say others?

Dan Gillmor: Google has launched a Public Policy Blog that is a model of the genre. A principal author is Andrew McLaughlin, the company’s director of public policy and government affairs (and a Berkman Fellow to boot).
This is the kind of thing Google should do to excess, because the its growing clout — and knowledge of what so many people are doing — is making a lot of folks nervous.

Pointblog: Google a ouvert officiellement un blog qui donne sa position en matière de gouvernance, de régulation, et de politique : le Google Public Policy Blog dont la démarche est expliquée par un billet de Andrew McLaughlin, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs. La démarche se veut ambitieuse puisque McLaughlin dit que ce blog s'adresse aussi aux gouvernements et autres législateurs aussi bien américains qu'étrangers. Une manière comme une autre de répondre à la mode du Google bashing (qui accuse régulèrement Google de tous les maux, de manière plus ou moins précise et justifiée).

Bien que les sujets traités soient plus que stratégiques, le blog est quand même ouvert aux commentaires. On y trouve des billets publiés en interne sur cette thématique de la loi, et de la politique des pouvoirs publics, depuis le mois d'avril de cette année.

What Do We Mean By "Net Neutrality"?

Google’s Stance on Network Neutrality

Microsoft To Change Desktop Search After Google Complaint

Now, what say YOU?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pixelazo:Festival de Nuevos Medios y Redes Creativas

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Pixelazo is the Colombian node in the Pixelache festival network. Intermundos and Pixelache are working together to develop more exchange between Colombian artists and the international electronic art scene.

Esta semana hay unos eventos interesantes que tendrán lugar en la ciudad de Medellín. Como producto alterno al festival Pixelache en Finlandia, viene la segunda edición del Pixelazo:

Los Pixelazos son festivales que promueven las artes o expresiones audiovisuales nacidas de las nuevas tecnologías y los nuevos medios. Tienen un fuerte componente pedagógico, el 80% de las actividades son foros, conferencias, talleres y conversa torios.Pixelazo pretende masificar en la ciudad de Medellín y sus alrededores, el conocimiento sobre las nuevas formas de expresión, nacientes de las nuevas tecnologías. El objetivo es Informar sobre este movimiento “cultural” o “artístico” que se esta desarrollando a nivel mundial e invitar a la ciudadanía a apropiarse de los nuevos medios y las nuevas tecnologías dentro del contexto de la vida cultural de la ciudad.
Todavía hay más, click para seguir leyendo »

See Also: To Pixelazo!, El maravilloso mundo de las interficies interactivas and Responsables: Ricardo Cubides y Tatiana Avendaño


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How is it that your mind is capable of handling new situations you’ve never previously encountered? How do you solve a problem you’ve never solved before? Is this just the magic of consciousness, or is there an underlying process — or algorithm — your mind uses behind the scenes to deal with the unique experiences you encounter each day? And if there is a process, how can you use it to improve your ability to think? Steve Pavlina has the answer...

Not your cup of tea? Well then, how about a review of Steven Shaviro’s book Connected (Or, What It Means To Live In The Network Society)

NEWS: WEBSITE OF THE DAY - A valiant attempt to establish some order to Web 2.0! Speaking of which, Isabella has posted an article about 2.0 "I bumped into J, the person behind Spice Up Your Life at Raffles City yesterday. We yaked for 5 seconds about web 2.0 and he said it was bullshit, and I thought about it, and it dawned on me that perhaps Web 2.0 was just a buzzword invented by entrepreneurs to get the VC money flowing." [read the complete post] Look for Izzy on NPR? According to her Twitter "I am going on the NPR. A friend of mine, Kris LeBoutillier of introduced one of their hosts to me."

Edward Burtynsky’s stunning photographs manage to be both beautiful and simultaneously horrifying, and film director Jennifer Baichwal has managed to capture both the aesthetic and concept behind Burtynsky’s ground-breaking photography in her recently-debuted documentary film Manufactured Landscapes.

Who Killed Who?

Kimberly Vaughn was found shot to death last week in the family's SUV in rural Will County along with her kids: Abigayle, 12; Cassandra, 11, and Blake, 8. Kimberly's husband, 32-year-old Christopher Vaughn, was wounded in the leg during the shootings, which he told police were committed by his 34-year-old wife -- though investigators have said little publicly about the deaths.

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Take the awful case last week that left an Oswego mother and her three children dead on the side of the highway in their SUV and her husband the prime suspect... Christopher Vaughn implicated his wife... The May 8 episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has TV cops trying to determine why a mom shot her kids to death in their home, wounded her husband, then shot herself. The NBC show takes a dramatic twist and ends with the husband being arrested for the murders of his wife and children.

Police investigating the deaths of the Vaughns have reportedly viewed the episode. The Vaughn children died of multiple gunshot wounds. Kimberly Vaughn died after being shot once in the head -- with the gun apparently fired under her chin.

Illinois State Police were at the home of the Vaughn family Wednesday afternoon, as an investigation into the shooting deaths of Kim Vaughn and her three children continued.

Neighbors said investigators were at the home in the 700 block of Mansfield Court for more than an hour, starting at about 3 p.m., and removed what looked like several computers and computer parts.

Growing up in St. Charles

Kimberly and Christopher Vaughn met at a miniature golf course in St. Charles, according to her mother, Susan Phillips.

Kimberly Vaughn graduated from St. Charles West High School in 1991, and Christopher Vaughn graduated from Francis Howell High a couple of years later. They married a year after they met, lived in St. Peters and had three children.

Christopher got a job in Washington state in the computer field, and about four years later, they settled in a 3,500-square-foot home in Oswego, a small town near suburban Chicago.

Dolores Lopez, one of their neighbors in Oswego, says she saw Kimberly walk her eldest daughter to the school bus every morning and wait with her.

"I would think to myself, 'Wow, what a great mom,'" Lopez said.

The two jobs Kimberly had worked since having children allowed her to keep a protective eye on them at the same time, her mother said. She worked at the subdivision clubhouse near the pool and at their school as a substitute paraprofessional.

She had just earned a degree in criminal justice from an online university with a 3.8 grade-point average and wanted to work with juvenile offenders, her mother said. She was the type of person who would rake an elderly neighbor's leaves and had a bubbly, outgoing personality.

"She abhorred guns," Phillips added, saying her daughter wouldn't even let her children play with water guns. "She was a loving, compassionate person."

Go to Open Thread Tuesday: The Vaughn Family
and I just want to tell you folks that anytime you're looking for posts or new information on any crime dominating the news, Steve Huff is the man, and Steve, I'd like to welcome you to Blogspot... it's not as shabby as you may have been led to believe! I've seen many incredibly done Blogspot blogs...

Milblogger project: Send an email of support

Grim at Blackfive interviewed Col. Simcock of Regimental Combat Team 6. The colonel asked Americans to send letters of support to RCT-6:

GRIM: I promised a group of Marine wives I would ask you this. They tell me that the Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund has had to lower its ceiling on grants and that the Marine Corps has had to cut back on the per diem they can give to families to fly out to be with injured Marines. That being said -- and of course, we understand the reasons for that -- we would like to know what more we can do to help the regiment and the units keep in touch with their injured Marines, help them out and kind of serve as a bridge between the regiment, the injured Marine, his new unit and the family.

COL. SIMCOCK: I can't comment on the per diem being reduced as far as families being supported to come out and see their injured Marines. But I will tell you this -- my wife volunteers for the wounded Marines program. She's a certified public accountant by trade, and I know that she gets -- because she is the accountant, she takes care of the books. We get a tremendous amount of donations that are made to support this organization, obviously tax-deductible type donations, and it's been a very, very successful operation for us in supporting what needs to be done.

Now, I would just say, to get the information regarding your question, if you call Headquarters - Marine Corps Public Affairs, they can give you details on how family members or anyone interested in supporting this very, very successful program -- what they can do to help out in that regard.

GRIM: Is there anything that you and your Marines need that we could send you?

COL. SIMCOCK: (Chuckles.) I’ll tell you what, the one thing that all Marines want to know about — and that includes me and everyone within Regimental Combat Team 6 — we want to know that the American public are behind us. We believe that the actions that we’re taking over here are very, very important to America. We’re fighting a group of people that, if they could, would take away the freedoms that America enjoys.

If anyone — you know, just sit down, jot us — throw us an e- mail, write us a letter, let us know that the American public are behind us. Because we watch the news just like everyone else. It’s broadcast over here in our chow halls and the weight rooms, and we watch that stuff, and we’re a little bit concerned sometimes that America really doesn’t know what’s going on over here, and we get sometimes concerns that the American public isn’t behind us and doesn’t see the importance of what’s going on. So that’s something I think that all Marines, soldiers and sailors would like to hear from back home, that in fact, yes, they think what we’re doing over here is important and they are in fact behind us.

Due to the Blackfive team’s efforts more than 1,700 e-mails arrived.

Help them out. There are 6,000 members of RCT-6. Send your email of support :

Direct your letters to this address.

Check out the combat team’s blog here.

So Much For Juneteenth

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I'll bet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is hanging his head in shame.

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