Thursday, April 30, 2009

Roxana Saberi Timeline & Updates

May 16 - Roxana safe in Vienna with her Mom & Dad!

April 30 Hostage Diplomacy: Roxana Saberi and the Three jailed Iranian Diplomats

April 30NPR holds discussion on Roxana and Iran

Timeline of The Saberi Case
- 31 January : Roxana Saberi is arrested.
- 1 March : The US public radio network NPR breaks the news of her arrest (after being alerted by her father on 10 February).
- 2 March : Foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi says Saberi was working “illegally” in Iran.
- 3 March : Judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi says she has been “arrested on the order of the Tehran revolutionary court and is being held in Evin prison.”
- 9 April : Saberi is charged with spying by deputy prosecutor Hassan Zare Dehnavi. This charge is often used by the Iranian authorities to arrest journalists and tighten the muzzle on freedom of expression.
- 13 April : Saberi is tried in a closed-door hearing on a charge of spying for the United States.
- 18 April : Saberi is sentenced to eight years in prison.
- 20 April : Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi announces that she will join the Saberi defence team.
- 21 April : Saberi begins her hunger strike.
- 25 April : Her lawyer files an appeal against her conviction.

Officials in Iran need to know your concern for Roxana Saberi and your desire to return her home, and while she is in Iran to have a fair appeals process.

Write to:
His Excellency Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee,
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Ave.
New York, NY 1007

To read samples of Roxana's reporting, click here.

To contact the White House, use this link/URL:

More Links:
Free Roxana Saberi
Roxana Saberi Blogburst
Blog Rally

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Around The Blogosphere 30 April 09

Pictures: Bloggers Miss Izzy and Geoffrey Philp!

Who are YOUR five favorite bloggers? Not just favorites, but bloggers YOU would like to meet in person, maybe over coffee or a light dinner... Here are mine, in no particular order:

1 - Geoffrey Philp
2 - Wendy Cheng
3 - Isabella Chen
4 - Bobby Revell
5 - Michelle Malkin

CHECK OUT: The Printed Blog-the first Daily Newspaper made entirely of blogs and other user-generated content. Check it out!!!

Would you like to go visit the Sahara desert and read for children living in the refugee camps? Bubisher is a mobile library being driven across Western Sahara refugee camps. Renata Avila reports.

Via MediaBistro: On Tuesday afternoon, we were lucky enough to catch a live performance of Soundcheck with John Schaefer at WNYC's new downtown performance space, The Greene Space. The show -- featuring a discussion between the host, Santi "Santigold" White, Lou Reed, and Mary Rowell from the string quartet Ethel -- and performances from the latter two artists -- was the first live broadcast in the room's history. It kicked off a 10-day festival celebrating the new venue, which got a nice write-up in The New York Times last week. Additional live radio shows in the near future include The Brian Lehrer Show (with guest Paul Krugman) and The Leonard Lopate Show.

Prince on Tavis Smiley: Cured by Angels, Governed by Prophecy

The Lilith Fair will return next year.

Text and ye shall receive!

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is now tweeting as @AKGovSarahPalin

Check out NY Mags' Twitter Approval Matrix

Capital Region readers: An area bookstore needs our help! This may be a good place to visit this weekend!

Jim Lesczynski blogs "Cannabis Shows Promise as Treatment for Swine Flu!"

Possible swine flu in Albany, Schenectady counties

Article Slideshow Video Biden: Stay Off Subways During Swine Flu Panic!

CBS News Interactive: Swine Flu


I know we're going digital and all that, but I take some level of comfort in cassettes, VHS, phonograph records and old-school hardwired Bell System telephones. Yeah yeah digital is good but analog makes for a reliable back-up. I found a neat little device at a garage sale. I think of it as a sort of "anti-GPS" because it doesn't depend on a satellite. It cost me $2, and while it may lack complete accuracy due to the passage of time, I'm going to keep it in the glove compartment.


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Through The Past Darkly

For those of us in the news business there,s no shortage of material. The infamous Zodiac Killer re-surfaces as a woman comes forward claiming to be his daughter. And the girlfriend of the Craig's List Killer pays him what one TV network called "her first and probably last visit to him in prison." If you've never done so, make it t point to watch a few eps of CBS tv's "Criminal Minds" which often tracks down fictional serial killers while offering authentic insight into why people do the things they do. (Except for former co-star of the series Mandy Patankin. No one can explain why he does the things he does!)

Article Slideshow No Wedding Bells for Craigslist Murder Suspect

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mexiflu - Pandemic Phase 5

The WHO has raised the threat level for the new flu... Phase 6 is the highest level...while it is unfortunate that the virus "started" in Mexico, we must not blame the people there. A friend of mine believes the flu strain is on the second leg of its global tour. He suggests that entertainers Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes died when the disease made its first pass through the USA. Makes you wonder, yeah?

Dr. Margaret Chan, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) is quoted on the WHO website saying:
"On the positive side, the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.

Preparedness measures undertaken because of the threat from H5N1 avian influenza were an investment, and we are now benefitting from this investment.

For the first time in history, we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real-time."

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The CDC confirmed the "first death" from the H1N1 Mexiflu virus. (Please don't call it swine flu, out of respect for the pork industry, and so as not to comfort Islamic militants.) Still, this flu is not half as scarey as Polio must have been for Americans before the Salk vaccine. My late uncle once told me how much he suffered in silence every summer, hoping and praying his kids would stay healthy. They never did, but a little girl on their street woke up one morning paralyzed. But I digress...keep an eye on flu and the economy. Keep an eye on government...that NY City flyover that scared thousands was done behind President Obama's back, which makes one wonder what else might be done without our leader's knowledge or approval.

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Payday Loan Consolidation

I almost drove off the side of the road when I heard this come across the car radio. Are we that bad off? We need a company to negotiate our payday loans? People, never ever ever take out a payday loan for any reason. Beg, borrow, steal and/or take charity, but please don't get a payday loan!

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Free comics, including stories of Wolverine and Green Lantern, will be available at comic book stores throughout the world on Saturday, May 2.

Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, encourages fans to visit local comic book stores in a YouTube video from Diamond Comics Distributors.

"Now, we all know comic books are fun," Jackman says in the video.
"But they're also a really fantastic way to captivate the attention of young readers, and send them off on a lifelong love of reading."

These comic-book heroes don't just battle villains, they battle illiteracy.

"Help join the fight against illiteracy, and recommend to kids to just go into a comic book store, and grab their free comic," Jackman says.

The Comics Professional Retail Organization (ComicsPRO), the independent comic book retailers trade association, encourages readers of all ages to experience the diversity of entertainment found in comics by visiting a participating member store on Free Comic Book Day.

About 2 million free comic books are expected to be given away at more than 2,000 participating locations. Comics to be given away include Disney/Pixar's Cars, Archie, Star Wars, and G.I. Joe.

In the Hudson Valley, these comics can be found at:

Main Street Comics
157 Dolson Ave
Middletown, NY 10940

Please check with them for more details about their Free Comic Book Day event!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pop Clips 28 April 09

+230498234 for Chuck telling Nate that instead of moving in with Blair to mark his territory, he should just "pee on her." Come on, best line of the night!!!

Georgina Sparks returns to "Gossip Girl" in the best possible way: as a born-again Christian!

Gawker's Richard Lawson deconstructs last night's Gossip Girl.

Fashionistas were "super excited to see Serena van der Woodsen (played by the lovely Blake Lively) dressed in Vena Cava."

May 11 is bound to be a really big day for our beloved Upper East Siders -- not only are they getting a potential spin-off starring Brittany Snow and Krysten Ritter, but No Doubt (Snowed Out) is gracing the show!

Grazia previously made Chace Crawford look like something of a fool on video when he said he thought beige was a dark color. Ed Westwick didn't fare much better when given a similar fashion quiz.

Dallas Penn blogs War Is Insane… - The pandemic that America needs to fear is not the Swine Flu from Mexico, but the brain damage zombie-itis from the troops returning from Iraq.

Are Newspapers going down in flames?

Ambiome: I heart () Velco Dojcinovski

Article Slideshow Snoop Dogg Testifizzles The rapper is being sued by a fan who was injured at a show near Seattle.

Children can often be the most vulnerable members of refugee communities. The group Ancla2 is working to provide more opportunities to these children through a photography and creative writing workshop in a community called El Nula along the Venezuelan-Colombian border teaching them how to appreciate the details of daily life and to communicate that through images and text. More from Global Voices' Laura Vidal.

Via Alas, a blog - Fox’s “Glee,” the stereotyping of fat black women, and making friends with the loser kid in the wheelchair.

Lil Kim & Derek Hough Top 'Dancing' Leaderboard "Dancing With the Stars" produced one of its most drama-filled episodes on Monday...

Exciting new technology.

Video: Dr. Hibberd: Swine Flu: Doctors Up Against The Wall

President Barack Obama takes in a deep breath of swine flu while in Mexico recently, just to show it who's boss.

Sarah Smith: Our Democratic president, Barack Obama, is more popular than his policies, while the Republican leadership abounds with dull, unpleasant nitwits. [*article]

Interview: Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo. Photo Credit: Geraint Lewis

Monday WAMC aired my interview with Oxford-trained economist Dambisa Moyo, who says western aid is a waste of money because it has made Africa poorer. Dambisa is very engaging, and we chatted away on the phone pre and post interview as if we'd known one another for years. I would imagine after all the interviews she's given, she's just automatically comfortable discussing her book!

Dambisa Moyo

At least one country is ready to scrap aid: Rwanda.

Dambisa Moyo: Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa, 208 pages, Allen Lane.
Related: Le Pangolin writes about Teriya Bugu, a model village on the Niger river, in Mali, “proof that Africa has every opportunity to advance so long as it invests in people, especially farmers. Hope is a value Africa should invest in” [Fr]

BBC's Gavin Esler is joined by the Nobel Peace Prize winner and pioneer of microcredit, Professor Muhammad Yunus, and by the economist Dr Dambisa Moyo author of Dead Aid, to debate the scope and benefits of micro finance.

Alternate LINK

Last fall I interviewed Jessica Jackley Flannery co-founded kiva-dot-org with her husband Matt - the micro-loan organization took the globe by storm. In the same report I spoke with Neelam Mehta, a 1993 graduate of Emma Willard School (Troy, NY) who founded ClickAid in 2002. ClickAid is a nonprofit organization that collects and organizes obsolete and unwanted computer technology and donates the equipment to groups and charities in underdeveloped nations.

Here's a local Zambian book review of "Dead Aid". Pp. 1 and 2. Pagescans courtesy Zambian Economist.

In her book "Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa", Dambisa Moyo cites entrepreneurship and job promotion as solutions toward a better way for Africa. An example of this is in Rwanda where two businesswomen who own salons have come together to start a beauty school to provide a vocation and a future for Rwandans. Go to this site to learn more about the school and how you can help get it opened The two entrepreneurs, Jeanne and Sylvie, are being helped by the Business Council for Peace (Bpeace) - a New York based international network of business volunteers that help women entrepreneurs in post-conflict countries expand their businesses, create employment, and build a peaceful future for their communities. For more information on Bpeace, go to

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CDCemergency on twitter

America's newest scapegoat is "swine flu," so much so that it's a hot topic on twitter. Of course, the previous scapegoat "the economy" may still be invoked. The standard for blindless mindless blame was set by 911.

Related: China: Tracking swine flu on Twitter

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Summer Night

No, it's not quite summer yet, but the breeze tonight is magical, pregnant with promise that an interesting time is drawing near. Yes, there is that Mexiflu threat. But for those who can survive it and the accompanying global economic meltdown, there are wonders and treasures on the other side. Like the proverbial pot of gold, good things come to those who wait. I'm outdoors right now... This night reminds me of one a decade ago in North Africa.. I feel change in the air... I hope it's for good...

This message is from a Virgin Mobile customer. Enjoy.

Pop Clips 27 April 09

Happy Birthday, Wendy! (To the "first lady of blogging" I say "enjoy your special day! The Blogosphere salutes you!")

GE's micro-holographic technology is being hailed as "the next generation of low cost storage" - today I interviewed Brian Lawrence, who manages the optical polymers lab in Niskayuna and leads the holographic storage project. Imagine: 100 full-length movies on ONE DISK! Listen for my story later this week on WAMC.

Radio Girl! Sixteen-year-old Keili Hamilton is the youngest D.J. in WFMU’s history. Her show, “Beastin’ the Airwaves!,” is broadcast live on Sundays at three in the morning.

Don't show this to Kenny Rogers!

Breaking news! The Herald-Sun has just figured out that "A blog -- contraction of the phrase "Web log" -- is a Web site regularly maintained by an individual ..."

On TV Tonight Tavis Smiley welcomes Prince... And, of course, there's a new ep of Gossip Girl! Stay Tuned!

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United Way 2-1-1

Folks in the Capital Region can now dial 211 to access "human services" - United Way touts the service as a "referral center for callers" across 12 counties which will also allow for " quick dissemination of crisis preparedness information" during times of natural disaster or other emergencies. The call center will initially be open 9-5 Mon-Fri. It is operated by Family & Children's Service of the Capital Region.

This message is from a Virgin Mobile customer. Enjoy.

Summerlike Monday

Here in the Capital Region, our first taste of summer heat is supposed to last through tomorrow. I did the cookout thing on Sunday... the entire weekend was great! I'm looking forward to work today, hoping that my assignments will enable me to get out and roam. Looks like the big international story this week will be the "Mexiflu," national the economy, state the gay marriage issue and locally Albany politics. There's always a wild card or two - nothing set in stone - so, we'll see! Have a splendid day and remember there's a new Gossip Girl ep tonight!

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Watching the TV news about the "swine flu outbreak" when someone asked me "what would be a place to avoid locally?" Before I opened my mouth to respond, CBS6 displayed footage of "fountain day" at UAlbany--- "there ya go," said I!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

A few URLS for your Sunday...

GuyToons, a Guyanese cartoon blog, posts a series of funnies on the recently-concluded Summit of the Americas, while Trinbago Forever waits to see what benefits will be derived from the Summit and Mauvais Langue adds: “Instead of wasteful spending, use the money wisely and spend it to fight crime.”

de cooler : soca news blogs about a new documentary on the life of legendary Trinbagonian singer, Calypso Rose.

Video! The juxtaposition of these two seemingly disparate art mediums is quite surreal! Right Round!

Robert Rodriguez is planning to bring his Grindhouse character Machete to the big screen.

The first edition of the India Bloggers Directory, a pocket guide to Indian blogs, will be published soon.

Michelle Trachtenberg talks about returning to Gossip Girl as evil Georgina.

Jim Tedisco's Mistake

There's a lesson for all to be learned from the recent campaign for the open seat in the 20th CD. (Especially for politicians)... Answer all questions, even if you must give a nebulous answer, or one you may have to alter or even retract later. Some people, like the Clintons, are able to dance with you away from the question. But they don't hesitate to answer when pressed. Unanswered questions can lead to doubt. Don't go there!

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Moby X3

Let's see how smart you are. Without Googling or consulting any search engine or refernce book, name three bearing the first name "Moby" - people or things. The reclusive musician going by that name does not count.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

In case twitter stalled... I made an old-school mixtape using Yarah Bravo and Sade. Spent the rest of the day frolicing in 90 degree temperatures!

From The Digital Frontier

I chanced upon this during the week (while searching for something else, of course) - a great lesson which I hope will inspire you. To quote Joradan Carleo-Evangelist: "You know those moments in Road Runner cartoons when Wile E. Coyote gets clobbered by his own giant anvil? This is sort of like that." The story is about political websites, but it could be about ANY website or BLOG. Now, I'm not suggesting we all become cybervultures, but I am certain there are more than a few of you out there who would find this sort of thing right up your alley!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pop Clips 24 April 09

Bye Bye Viewers - The first Nielsen rating report since WNYT’s firing of anchor Lydia Kulbida is a remarkable audience rejection of the station management’s move, as Ed Dague reports!

Memo to WNYT: You shouldn't have messed with Lydia!

Memo to B.E.T.: Don't mess with Lil' Kim!

Tyson - James Toback's documentary will have you sympathetic, perplexed, appalled, and enthralled.

Kuwait: Blackberry Lunches, Arab Sex Talk and Election Responsibility PleaVideo post From the censorship of video games to discussions about Kuwait's upcoming parliamentary elections on May 16, the Kuwaiti blogosphere offers a mixed bag this week. Also in this post, by Amer Al Hilal, a concern raised by a Kuwaiti female blogger about Arab women talking about sex in public.

Video 7-Year Old Tattooed A 7-year-old boy was forced to get a gang tattoo, according to cops.

Liz Benjamin: The Albany Project has a round-up of who stands where on gay marriage in the Senate... and

Gov. David Paterson's gay marriage program bill has been introduced in both houses of the Legislature.

NY Mag: Paterson-Kennedy Mess Not Over

Video "Pimp This Bum" Helps Hard Luck Case Focus of website turns his life around.

Several news sites and blogs reported that Israeli oranges in Tehran's shops made many people surprised. Ilna, a semi official news agency, reported [fa] the Iranian authorities will stop the distribution of these oranges.

twitter eats world!

On April 17, actor Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in a much-ballyhooed race to be the first Twitter account-holder to reach a million! (Photo credit: Larry King, CNN Live) The New England Patriots said Friday that they'll tweet their picks in the 2009 NFL Draft this weekend!


On the sign-in page it is written "Twitter is the telegraph system of Web 2.0" - and it is - and like the telegraph systems of old, twitter is often down, mostly when the Indians mess with the wires (just kiddin' - no offense!) ... so if you want to follow me on twitter (and mind you, I do NOT over-twitter!) I can be found here, and I am now tweetin' news stories via WAMC's twitter account!

And during those weekends when twitter spurts, sputters and stalls, I do have the capability to post "tweet-like" messages to the blog here. You can tell them from regular posts as they have no subject or title line. Social Media!

Should twitter be kept "free" or is it ripe for advertising?

Are all of your tweetmates real people? Or are they bots?

"March represented an especially big gain for twitter, as it added more than 5 million visitors versus the previous month," said Jack Flanagan, executive VP of comScore Media Metrix. "With numerous celebrities and media personalities - including Oprah - recently jumping on the twitter bandwagon, the site shows no signs of slowing."

Others are quick to dismiss twitter as just another fad based on popularity...

Disclosure: I borrowed the headline for this post from TechCrunch.

Related: Tweetie!

twitter Top Ten

1. Ashton Kutcher (aplusk)
2. Britney Spears (britneyspears)
3. Ellen DeGeneres (TheEllenShow)
4. Barack Obama (BarackObama)
5. Jimmy Fallon (jimmyfallon)
6. John Mayer (johnmayer)
7. Shaquille O'Neal (THE_REAL_SHAQ)
8. Lance Armstrong (lancearmstrong)
9. Demi Moore (mrskutcher)
10. Coldplay (coldplay)

This morning comScore released its global numbers for March, 2009. Worldwide visitors to increased 95 percent in the month of March from 9.8 million to 19.1 million, according to its estimates. This compares to
9.3 million visitors in the U.S. alone. (more from TC)

Even Soleil Moon Frye (the former Punky Brewster) is Twittering.

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Work From Home

Operate A Call Center From Your Home!

You might consider a job (for up to $14 an hour) with a virtual call center, such as Willow CSN (, West Corp. ( or Alpine Access ( As an independent contractor (or an actual employee with benefits in some cases) for one of these virtual call centers, you will provide customer support for companies such as Office Depot, Sears, J.Crew and even the Internal Revenue Service. In most cases, you must provide your own computer, designated telephone line and high-speed Internet connection --and, in some cases, pay for your training to become a certified agent. But if you have the time, they need “operators standing by.” --Kiplinger's

Here's a link to the full article .
H/T Sharon!

A Chrysler Bankruptcy

After getting bailout money? GM not far behind? Do you know what three factors have put the automakers a step away from ruin? First and foremost, consumers don't believe gasoline prices will stay around $2 a gallon. They are way past that. Second, everyone knows new hybrids and electrics are coming, and when they hit the showrooms in about 16 months, gas prices will go through the roof... $5 a gallon at least. Third, the greed in GM's past has undermined consumer trust. Everybody knows that GM crushed the wonderful EV1 electric cars and destroyed the blueprints so it could convert the factory into Hummer production. And there's one more thing motorists are concerned about... the so-called alternative fuel vehicles that run on hydrogen or propane. Consumers are wary that these vehicles won't be any different once the fuel suppliers begin hiking prices. The wallet will suffer. Remember the Yugo? We need to import some TaTa cars!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mexican Border Disease

The latest bogeyman lying in wait to strike fear into the hearts of Americans comes in the form of a mysterious respiratory illness "that could become the next pandemic." Interestingly enough, the malady is "on the rise in border towns" which means "watch out America, you're really gonna get it." Whatever "it" is, keep one eye on "it" and the other eye on whatever else is going on, like a story I saw on BBC about a lull in solar activity that could indicate lower temperatures are on the way. So much for global warming. I have my own theory on that, which I call "Polar Warming." Perhaps I'll post on that next week!

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Around The Blogosphere 23 April 09

The idea of a book of microblogging "tweets" really bugs some people. Gawker's Nick Douglas, author of the forthcoming TwitterWit, already knows that. Now a New York Times columnist is feeling the hate.

Upstart "toxic" bloggers like Nikki Finke and Sharon Waxman are back in the news...

Albany Media Bias asks "Is our children learning in preschool?" Meanwhile, Dan Weaver questions media coverage of "student suicide."

Matisyahu is inviting fans to visit him during rehearsals via Twitter

Petro's Jotter explores the Ukrainian political Twitter-sphere, here and here. Siberian Light explains how to connect with Twitter users interested in Russia.

In da buff checks out a "shirtless Obama"...

via ypulse: Mythbusting WSJ's pro bloggers stats (in case you missed it, yesterday the Wall Street Journal came out with some numbers on "America's Newest Profession" that raised eyebrows and questions in the blogosphere. Columnist Mark Penn has since updated his piece with details on his sources and calculations)

Geoffrey Philp posts about World Book and Copyright Day.

NEW YORK has photos from the Tribeca Film Festival.

This weekend,should twitter once again fail to update for me, I'll "tweet" (like this) directly to my blog (when I'm not posting via cellphone!)! Bookmark me NOW!

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