Saturday, November 28, 2009

The White Desert in Egypt

Here is just one of the many pics that I took while camping in The White Desert. It's part of the Sahara. It is a sight to see.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "Stand the Storm" by Breena Clarke

BOOK REVIEW: "Stand the Storm" by Breena Clarke (2008)

I read this book for my reading group. But first the back story on getting the book.

I've been living in Cairo since August. At the time before I relocated, I did not have foresight to get the books for my reading group and have them shipped. And who knew that it would be such a challenge to get anything, let alone books, shipped into Egypt - even if I work at a university.

When my first visitors confirmed their visit, I went on a shopping spree via Amazon. I purchased several book including "Stand the Storm" for my friends to bring w/them. This turned out to be a good idea. Except for when my friends arrived and doled out the goodies, there were some books missing including "Stand the Storm". So I double-check the shipment info from Amazon, bugged my sister countless times because I'd sent everything to her house and fretted about where the books might be. Well, several days into their visit, turns out that my friend 'forgot' that he stashed some of the books in some compartment in his luggage. Whew, that was close.

I nearly started immediately on "Stand the Storm". I really enjoyed reading this book. At times, I could not put it down. It's a historical fiction about slavery; well, not so much about slavery as it about a family of freed slaves. or should I say free people. The terminology is interesting. But the plot resonates: they make a name and a life for themselves, but in some ways, they are always slaves.

There are many struggles that the primary family, The Coates', experiences. I like the way that Clarke intricately writes the details of their lives. They are a family that makes hand crafts: tailoring, knitting, embroidery and more. There are even some scenes from the Civil War that depict things in ways that I've never read about before. The story is set in Washington, D.C.; Georgetown in particular. And there is some mention too of how the government was struggling to deal with the issue of slavery.

I have not read Clarke's "River Cross my Heart," but I like her style of writing. She does a fairly good job on giving some depth to the characters.

The "Stand the Storm" Reading Group Guide is a good one.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Friends from the States Came to Visit me ...

and they bought some gifts.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Minarets and More: A Walking Tour of Cairo

Sharing a slideshow that I produced using Vuvox.

I went on a three hour walking tour in Cairo from Tahrir Square to the Citadel. Whew!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Images of Cairo

I've managed to get out and about in Cairo. I love seeing the people running their daily errands and just living their lives.

Here's the link to the Images in Cairo slideshow.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

The Vatican Embassy in Cairo

I came across a slideshow program called Vuvox recently. It seems dynamic and easy to use. Isn't that what we all want? An extraordinary platform to display and share images w/o all the hassle. Think we've found it.

This is a very quick example of what is possible.

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Making Maps and More

Statistics from Stat Counter for visitors to the Radiogirl Blog
Nov., 2009

I've become fascinated w/mapping and graphics and charts. Apparently I'm into data mashups. But it can be sooo complicated.

How to come up w/dynamic visualizations w/o all the hassle ... ? Well, lucky us. There are several options for doing this kind of thing. New software and online tools are popping up w/some frequency.

Since I'm now in the habit of keeping up w/this stuff, you could just check in on my Ohradiogirl Delicious bookmarks every now and then and see what's new in the data mapping world.

Here are two places where I've been getting some of my ideas lately. Still trying to implement them though.

10,000 Words: 5 ways to find, mix and mash your data

10,000 Words: Maps section

Cal Poly Map: Best places to take your laptop on campus

Go ahead and give one of them a try. Let me know how it works out.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Using Chartle: My Teaching Days

I'm giving Chartle a try. Chartle is an online tool that helps you generate interactive graphs, charts and more.

I created a pie chart that shows how I spend my days teaching. Please note that this is based on two full days or 48 hours.

You can click on a slice of the pie to get more information.

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Short Films Galore

I discovered a Web site called Short Bay the other day. It's a Web site dedicated to film shorts. With my attention span, this is a good find.

I think the longest shorts that they host are ten minutes long.

Don't know how I came to check out "Surprise!", but I am recommending that you watch it as well. And let me know what you think of Short Bay.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Music Monday 43 :: "This Is It" by Michael Jackson

"This Is It" by Michael Jackson (2009)

I hate it when I am out of the loop. I'd heard about Michael Jackson's "This Is It" but I thought that it was a song/album that he was working on before he passed away. "This Is It" is actually a documentary about the making of Jackson's last concert (that never took place).

Well, I'm all caught up now and I even listened to an interview on NPR w/choreographer Debbie Allen. Allen talks about how much she enjoyed the doc. Keep in mind that Allen is a choreographer, has some history w/Jackson and she is currently in London (where the Jackson concerts were scheduled) working on a project.

Check out Debbie Allen's interview on NPR's "Talk of the Nation".

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Music Monday 42 :: The Top 5 Kanye West Workout Songs

I know that it's the season to kick Kanye West, but I'm going in the other direction. I will (try to) ignore his personal life and appreciate his contribution to the music spectrum.

My recent workout calls for some uptempo tunes. Much to my surprise, I've found that my increased heart rate goes up when Kanye's songs are playing. Humm ... it's hard for me to ignore this fact. This woman here needs a good workout and a good song or two and Kanye fits the bill.

So without further ado ... here are the
Top 5 Kanye West Workout Songs

5. "All Falls Down"

4. "Stronger"

3. "Gold Digger"

2. "Good Life"

1. "Touch the Sky"

Now, go ahead and load up the playlist and let the pounds drop.

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