Thursday, October 29, 2009

"30 Rock's" Tracy Morgan on NPR

I'm a big fan of "30 Rock". I can't quote every witty line from every show, but who can? I'm actually doing a research project on "30 Rock". It's called "The Fun Cooker: Mixing up "30 Rock", Social Media and Social Networking". That might be too crafty for the academic types for this particular conference where I'm presenting, but if you watch the show, you'll remember how hilarious the 'fun cooker' episode was.

Leading up to season four of "30 Rock", there was some hype and attention. I mean they did win a Golden Globe as well as some Emmys, so they should be getting a bit more notice from the general public.

I say all that to say, that Tracy Morgan was recently on NPR's "Fresh Air" with Terri Gross. I should also note that Terri Gross is one of thee best interviewers ever! Her shining interviews skills are not so apparent in her interview w/Morgan. He managed to trip her up on multiple occasions. I still think she did a good job, but I could tell that she was expecting a funnyman and got a large dose of seriousness. The interview is definitely worth listening to.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another Round of "Where'd They Put It"?

For the first time in my life, I hired a house cleaner for upkeep at my apartment in Cairo. It's a decent size apartment though really no larger than some places I've lived in the past.

Okay, so I really don't need someone to clean my apartment because I'm not the lazy type and I will clean up after myself. I got a house cleaner because it's supposed to make my life easier. You know, one less thing to do (or ten).

At any rate, it's not really working out for me. Problem is the moment I step into my apartment after she's been there, I have to play a 'not-so-fun' game of 'where'd they put it?'. Meaning there is always something that was on my bedroom dresser, that is not there and it's also not in the typical places that I look, say, like in the top drawer.

For example, after the last visit, I spent over a day looking for my flip flops that I put on to walk on my terrace. I conveniently keep them by the door to the terrace. But when I came home and went to go on the terrace and slip on my flip flops, they weren't there. So I look in the typical places: closets; by the front door ... I eventually found them in the spare room on the bottom shelf of the book case. Huh? Hence, the 'not-so-fun' part of this silly game.

And it's so majorly frustrating that I'm thinking of ditching the cleaning lady altogether. Some say, just call her and ask her 'where'd they put it'. How about they put it back where it was to start with?

So stay tuned to see how I handle this escapade ... will I really stop stimulating the economy? We'll, I think I'll put on my flip flops, take a walk out to the terrace and think about this one ...

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

How to Embed a Picasa Web Album Into Your Blog

Created this short video tutorial using Screenjelly.

Just quickly reviewed the details of how to embed a Picasa Web Album slideshow into your blog.

I failed to mention that you have to add the embed code to the 'Edit Html' section of your Blogger page (or other blogging program).

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Friday, October 09, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "Life Beyond Measure" by Sidney Poitier

BOOK REVIEW: "Life Beyond Measure" by Sidney Poitier (2008)

I was browsing through The American University in Cairo (AUC) Faculty Lounge Library and came across this book. I thought, 'why not read this'? I like Sidney Poitier from what I know about him. He's made some incredible movies and it seems he's had an extraordinary life.

I only sort of liked the book. The subtitle is "Letters to My Great-Granddaughter". He sort of talks about his life in a peripheral way. He talks the most about this childhood and his parents, but he gives lots of advice. He also talks about his position on God and religion as well as the environment. I was a bit disinterested in some of that information.

I was prepared to read about how he landed his first acting role (which he mentions, but does not really elaborate on). He also just briefly talks about other actors like James Baldwin and Paul Robeson. But his remarks only hint at what life was like for them in their hey day. I was really hoping for details; details of what it was like to work with Bill Cosby in "Uptown Saturday Night", "Let's Do It Again" and "A Piece of the Action" ... because we all love a good blaxploitation film, right?

The tales of his growing up on Cat Island in the Bahamas were filled w/the details that I did not get about his adult life. He talks intimately about his siblings as well as when he began to get into some mischief as a teenager. But he left me asking many questions. For example, he moved from the Bahamas to Miami as a teen. He was not in Miami very long, but he does not go into detail as to why he left Miami rather quickly and headed for New York.

Poitier does go into some detail about his transition to New York, probably because New York was such a drastically different landscape than what he was used to. He talks about the cold winters as well and the numerous dishwashing jobs that he had. He eventually enlisted in the Army. Then made great haste to get out. Again, he does not talk much about what his life was like for that one year in the service.

There are several pages of pictures of Poitier at various milestones in his life. He's beyond 80 years old now. Amazing. It seems as if he's had such a fulfilling life. I'm sure that he has. I just did not get a glimpse into his life as I thought I would by reading "Life Beyond Measure".

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Music Monday 41 :: "Fresh Air" by Brother Ali

"Fresh Air" by Brother Ali (2009)

Brother Ali is a long timer ... he's been dropping rhymes for sometime. He's a part of the Rhymesayers camp too (that doesn't just mean hip hop, but quality hip hop).

This track is from Brother Ali's most recent project "Us". This cd is killer. "Fresh Air" is supposed to be the first release from the disk. It's got some tempo to it and he's got some bounce in his flow. During the hook on the track, it reminds me of some old school funk like Slave or Lakeside. As a matter of fact, I might want to check the liner notes to see if he's sampling something from back in the day.

What I like about Brother Ali is his ability to quickly weave words in a way that gives you an immediate visual. And he's not always boasting about himself. He's talking about the community, the impact of government and big business on the world and more. He's a rhyming master storyteller.

Hip hop is my thing and I just wanted to put you on to something fresh and new.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Mapping my Recent Travels

I've managed to be a moving target over the last few months.

I was just playing around in Google Maps to check out its ease use. It is easy to use. So much so that I want to add icons. Also, I'm trying to generate more ideas for using mapping.

Anyway, here's what I came up with for my Traveling Woman map.

View Traveling Woman in a larger map

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