Blogging terminology explained

I was aimlessly blog hopping when I came across Memories Documented, a very interesting blog with a wide range of discussed topics.  My favorite post was an exhaustive list of blogging definitions demystified.  Here it is the Blogging guide-Tips-Tricks-glossary

Doing laundry

Yes once a week I actually need to do the laundry, especially now with a little person in the house.  Boy do those little people generate a huge amount of laundry.  They tend to drool and spitup and poop all over their clothes, towels, sofas, carpets, my clothes, well you get the general idea.  I was sorting through everything and decided to scientifically sort the laundry and then found out that I didn’t know what all of the symbols meant, so here is a link to help you out, I actually printed it out and stuck it to the fridge. :-) Happy washing.

Fabric Care Symbols

Fabric Care Symbols

Yo-Yo Mania

Having access to a great public library when I was a kid allowed me to open doors and windows to worlds I never thought possible ( and the ability to read the whole Asterix series ).  One of those was Yo-yoing.  I love yo-yos and always have a couple in my desk drawer.  They are relaxing and a way to release stress and have fun at the same time.  I never managed to become a really great yo-yo-er but I managed to learn a few tricks.

But none as good as these.

Double Dutch

Double Dutch is rope jumping game, sounds juvenile right?  It started out as a street game, where two people turned two ropes and two other people would jump and skip to the rhythm. When I was a child I used to think that they were magical and wished that I could learn how to do it, that and doing cartwheels.  I never learned either, but managed to learn lots of other useful and totally useful things, so not all is lost.  Now it is more like an organized sport played worldwide with lots of competition.


Impressed?  Interested?

Learn how to play Double Dutch [Wiki-How]

Corporate Responsibility

Something totally different this post.  I came across Bill Gates’s speech at the world economic forum in Davos on YouTube where he talks about corporate responsibilty or as he named it “Creative Capitalism” and how we should think in a more socially respobsible matter.

I beleive social responsibility is not only something unique to big corporations but should be in everyones thoughts.  Big companies like Microsoft have alot to offer like the ability to use their research and development centers to solve problems, or give away software and hardware to poorer nations.  But social responsibility affects all of us.

Employees should be encouraged to come up with ideas to help the community.  Every business can help and should.  Even entities which are not profit oriented can help and need help. Schools can offer education for illiterate people which can be sponsored by big publishers.  It’s a win-win situation, with more people who can read, more books can be sold and everyone is happy.  I used to work for a software company that sponsored University Graduation projects,  it helps steer the students towards the real job market and helps us tap into the future job applicant pool before they have even jumped in it.  Again it is a win-win situation.  I can think of so many other great examples.

How about on the smaller scale?  I think as individuals our responsibility comes in the form of charitable work, giving money, being more environmentally friendly, volunteering time to help with needy causes and the most important one of all is parenting.  Parenting is a social responsibility, raising children which are more aware of their responsibilities towards the rest of the world.

In today’s capitalist world, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.  What are you or your company doing to help, I really would love to know, please leave a comment and let me know.

Bill Gates’s Speech

Transcript

World Economic Forum Website

A wedding proposal

I loved this! Deciding on wedding invitations took 2 weeks, if only I had thought of this.

“Love Letters”the description from YouTube says:

I produced this animation as a way of proposing to my girlfriend (now wife) Natasha. I assembled a team of 20 animators to assist me, including co-workers, as well as students from my 3D character animation class at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco. We created more than four minutes of animation in just three months. When it was completed, I surprised Natasha by bringing her to the Parkway Movie Theater in Oakland, where they played the animation on the big screen in front of over 100 of our friends and family. The entire event was filmed for the TLC television show “A Perfect Proposal.”

“The Invitation” and the description from YouTube:

A sequel to last year’s “Love Letters.” This time Natasha is the star as she tries to come up with the perfect wedding invitation.

We burned this animation onto DVD’s and sent it out as our actual wedding invitation. It took nine months to complete, and was produced entirely as part of a group project class at the Art Institute of California – San Francisco where I’m an instructor of animation.

Girls of Riyadh

Imagine a book that tells the tale of four girls’ lives, loves and losses.  The setting is in the city Riyadh of Saudi Arabia.  Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea, is like Sex and the City without the sex and in Riyadh instead of New York.  Gamrah, Sadeem, Lamees and Michelle are the girls who we follow through a series of emails that were written by one of them which tells their stories.Girls of Riyadh Book Cover

At the beginning of the book you start reading the emails of one of the girls, you don’t know which one who has decided that she will tell their story, using a Yahoo group called “Seereh Wenfada7et”.  Immediately you are drawn into their lives.  Perhaps it is general curiosity of how other people live their lives especially young women.  Maybe it is the setting, Saudi Arabia, which is very different than any other country.

Coming from a different world where freedom is a taken for granted, it was strange to think about how different my life would have been like if that freedom was taken away.  What kind of person would I have been if I did not have the chance to experience all of the things that I have?  Then again I was very lucky, my parents, even though they are religious people and that is where they have always drawn the line (Halal and Haram) where probably the most open minded parents around.  They encouraged education, intellect and culture.  They wanted us to learn, to read and to explore.  Before them, my grandparents did the same for their children.  So perhaps it is a mindset more than anything else.

The book is rich with culture and tradition.  The author is very descriptive and makes you feel that you are a welcome yet slightly perverse voyeur into their lives.

I liked the story and would recommend it as light reading.  Maybe because the author is still young I felt that it lacked a certain depth to it but I can’t exactly put my finger on it, or maybe it is just the fact that the book was originally written in Arabic and something is always lost in translation.  What I didn’t like was the naivety of the girls, but that is not the author’s fault that is how growing up like how they did would do to them.  They did sort of grow up on the pages and some of them matures.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

I am on dial-up!

Eeeek! Who still uses dial-up internet? I have no idea.  I’ve been on DSL for so long that the sound of the modem connecting was so nostalgic, and that was where the nostalgia ended.  My DSL connection needs to be renewed and because we pay by year we messed up the date thinking we still had a week to go instead our lovely provider just killed the connection instead of SMSing or calling to remind us.

I have become so dependent on the internet that just the feeling that for the day I would be disconnected from the rest of the world was so scary I almost killed myself panicking.  My heart pounded and my palms felt sweaty and then my claustrophobia kicked in.  I tried renewing using my credit card and it didn’t work for some reason only known to the e-Banking meanies.  Next I thought I would take the baby and go pay but unfortunately the stroller is in my husband’s car who has already left for work.  Being the ever pragmatic person that I am I seriously considered taking her in the baby carrier and going but turns out the weather forecast says its 50 degrees out there.  So in fear of grilling my daughter in the sun I refrained.

Five minutes have passed and I was already mourning all of the emails I could have sent, sites I needed to browse, blogs I like to read in the morning and the world news that I could not see.  For all I know, people might have broken up, gotten married or killed each other, how would I know without checking FaceBook.  My family might think I am dead, they worry when they get to work and I haven’t emailed yet.  I get up earlier feed my daughter and start emailing them.  How on earth would they know I was ok? Yes I do have a phone, but rarely ever use it, being in a different country just means Skype has replaced the phone when I need to call a landline, GoogleTalk is great for chatting for hours without worrying it will cost an arm and a leg and my cell phone which I used to use all the time for work and calling friends has been retired to be used for the emergency phone call and sms.  But isn’t this an emergency?

You must be wondering how come I am blogging since I have no internet right.  Oh no you’re not, I am on dial up.  I called the downstairs supermarket, which not only provides the emergency Diet Pepsi or Milk, and it turns out they sell dial-up cards. Wow! I was so happy, I felt releived. Like the clouds of Doom had just disappeared.

3 minutes later I had the card in my hand scratched and ready to log in.  Only problem is I was so used to turning on my laptop and presto! wifi kicks in and I am online and I had never used my modem on this laptop, never used a modem on Vista and wasn’t sure I had even installed the drivers for my modem.  I had even remarked to a friend that modems are obsolete and they should just stop shipping them. Well thank God that they hadn’t decided to do that.

Thankfully, I was logged in in minutes and no one killed anyone, no one got married or died ( I just checked FaceBook), my family knows that I am ok because I emailed them and I am now off to get my rss fix.

So to all of you out there who take DSL for granted, remember to say a little thank-you to it when you find yourself surfing at the good speeds and remember those who are not so fortunate.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

My happiest childhood memory is running barefoot in the snow. What is yours?

The fish had a wish


The flower said, “I wish I was a tree,”
The tree said, “I wish I could be
A different kind of tree,
The cat wished that it was a bee,
The turtle wished that it could fly
Really high into the sky,
Over rooftops and then dive
Deep into the sea.

And in the sea there is a fish,
A fish that has a secret wish,
A wish to be a big cactus
With a pink flower on it.
And in the sea there is a fish,
A fish that has a secret wish,
A wish to be a big cactus
With a pink flower on it.

And the flower
Would be its offering
Of love to the desert.
And the desert,
So dry and lonely,
That the critters all
Appreciate the effort.

Et le jackalope a dit
Je voudrais être un yeti
Pour voler dans la nuit
Et m’en aller loin d’ici
Mais le yeti a dit
Je voudrais être un monstre marin
Pour pouvoir rentrer dans la mer
De tous les requins.

And the rattlesnake said,
“I wish I had hands so
I could hug you like a man.”
And then the cactus said,
“But don’t you understand,
My skin is covered with sharp spikes
That’ll stab you like a thousand knives.
A hug would be nice,
But hug my flower with your eyes.”

The flower said, “I wish I was a tree,”
The tree said, “I wish I could be
A different kind of tree,
The cat wished that it was a bee,
The turtle wished that it could fly
Really high into the sky,
Over rooftops and then dive
Deep into the sea.

And in the sea there is a fish,
A fish that has a secret wish,
A wish to be a big cactus
With a pink flower on it.
And in the sea there is a fish,
A fish that has a secret wish,
A wish to be a big cactus
With a pink flower on it.

And the flower
Would be its offering
Of love to the desert.
And the desert,
So dry and lonely,
That the critters all
Appreciate the effort.