Snippets from freshly pressed posts on blogs (July 6, 2011)


Here are some snippets from other blogs, July 6, 2011, that I’ve found likeable and very readable…  Winking smile  …





[ POSTING #1 ]

It isn’t brain surgery… but it could be 




They’re pint-sized poets viewing the world through Groucho Marx glasses who scratch out their observations on whatever is handy.

Writing funny stuff just comes naturally to them. So we decided to start a site to feature the genius of the baby bards among us. Cheers, Leanne and Chase

  • 『 As a parent, it’s sometimes hard to know if your kids are really listening to you. 』

Natalie’s 6-year old daughter’s response to being warned to wear a bicycle helmet was to draw a picture with the caption:

      • I should wear a helmet because: so I will not crack my head open & have brain surgery.

  • 『The National Council for Scaring Children into Practicing Healthy Habits has found its newest spokesperson…  』

Nerd smile   ME : I often scare my neices and nephews into submissive obedience….

…… mu-ha-ha-ha-ha   Angry smile 

*resounding echo of evilness bounces off the soft grey walls* !




[ POSTING #2 ]





“From innovation to Revolution” :  Patrick Meier writes about civil resistance, crisis mapping, crowdsourcing, digital activism, early warning, humanitarian tech and new media.

“… features short thought pieces on how innovation and technology are revolutionizing the power of the individual through radical self-sufficiency, determination, independence, survival and resilience.”

Born and raised in Africa,  Meier’s profession is Crisis Mapping (and Early Warning) in which he is a director, co-founder, education director and consultant for international organizations.  His credentials include PhD, doctoral fellowship, MA, BA and EAP.

This particular post is about Meier’s “updated reality check on the limitations of technology adoption in developing countries” and he writes about “some of the assumptions that I took for granted”.



  • But the one hurdle I had not expected to hear was Nokia’s predictive text functionality… But as soon as she pointed out how confusing this can be, I immediately understood what she meant.

    If I had never seen or been warned about this feature before, I’d honestly think the phone was broken. It would really be impossible to type with…

    (There are several tutorials online on how to use the predictive text feature and how to turn it off, which clearly proves they’re not intuitive).




  • In one of the training workshops we just had, I was explaining what Walking Papers was about and how it might be useful in Liberia…

    (But) Most people on this planet have not been on an airplane or a tall building. So why would a bird’s eye view of their village be anything remotely recognizable?

    I really kicked myself on that one. So I’ll write it again: there is nothing intuitive about satellite imagery. Nor is there anything intuitive about GPS and the existence of a latitude and longitude coordinate system…

    I had taken it completely for granted that satellite imagery was self-explanatory when it simply isn’t… They quickly realized that they had to rethink their approach and decided to provide introductory courses on Google Maps instead.

  • For example, the “+” and “-” markers on the map are not intuitive either nor is the concept of zooming in and out. How are you supposed to understand that pressing these buttons still shows the same map but at a different scale and not an entirely different picture instead?

  • five year old went up to a framed picture in their living room and started pinching at it with his fingers, the exact same gestures one would use on an iPhone to zoom in and out of a picture. “Broken, broken” is all the five year old said after that disappointing experience.




  • The hurdle that I had not expected, however, had to do with the pin code… Seems perfectly straight forward. But it really isn’t… Just think about it: all one has to do to access my money is to simply enter four numbers on my phone. That does genuinely sound crazy to me at a certain level… When I asked Chrissy how they overcame the hurdle, her answer was simply this: training. It takes time for users to begin trusting a completely new technology.


So those are some of the assumptions I’ve gotten wrong. I’d be grateful if readers could share theirs as there must be plenty of other assumptions I’m making which don’t fit reality. Incidentally, I realize that emerging economies vary widely in technology diffusion and adoption—not to mention sub-nationally as well. This is why having the iLab in Liberia is so important. Identifying which assumptions are wrong in more challenging environments is really important if our goal is to use technology to help contribute meaningfully to a community’s empowerment, development and independence.

 Nerd smile ME : further aspects of modern ‘everyday’ technology that are quite presumptive when it comes to assuming innate intuitive knowledge of usage : –

  • picture icons e.g. of on/off buttons;
  • placement of buttons e.g. qwerty keyboard, punctuation keys, television remote control’s volume tuner and channel selector etc.;
  • left and right clicks on the mouse computer peripheral;
  • different electrical input slots for different computer peripherals e.g. USB slot, Ethernet cable slot, SD memory slot etc.; and
  • spring-loaded ejection of memory cards in Canon cameras (I nearly lost my card down the sink after it shot out at 10mph into the distance)…;
  • how to insert and remove batteries;
  • eye-hand co-ordination e.g. translation of what you see on screen to movement of hand on the mouse back to what you see on screen – highly skilled and well-trained manoeuvre;
  • and others…

I know these because I have parents who are still from the 1950s  Winking smile  !

I enjoyed reading about Meier’s moments of realization about our on-going assumptions of everyday matters, including technology and how it is used.


#3 ]

5 movies based on books that
I’m excited about right now

from SightToBehold




My name is Tabitha, and I’m an English major… Most of the time when I’m not in class or working I’m watching movies, cooking, or riding down the mountain to Chattanooga.  I decided I wanted to be a writer because of (two of) my teachers… They taught me to love books; my dad passed his movie obsession on to me…

This blog is a place for me to practice writing, and I figure the best way would be to talk about the movies and books I like and in general what has been inspiring me lately.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: part 2
    The first part was so good I can’t wait to see how they top it in this one… I’m totally planning on going on opening night. (I’ve always wanted to go to a movie’s opening night, but I’ve never actually done it yet.)

  2. The Hobbit
    I absolutely adored this book the first time I read it… so I decided to re-read it since the movie’s coming out… It’s so much better than I remember, and I might just have to re-read The Lord of the Rings now… Plus they’re bringing back all the actors from LOTR… I think it’s a little weird they’re adding a character… but it’s Peter Jackson, so I’m sure it’ll make sense when I see it.

  3. The Hunger Games” (2012)
    This book is really addictive, and I loved the Greek-myth-influence (thank you classical education)… I think it’ll be interesting to see how they play the Katniss/Peeta relationship, because that seems like it’d be super tricky to get right.

  4. The Three Musketeers
    I actually hated this book when I read it because D’Artagnan is a jerk of epic proportions… In the trailer it almost had a sci-fi feel, with all the ship/hot air balloon hybrids and Milla Jovovich as a ninja-assassin (not really) Lady de Winter… and Orlando Bloom looks like he’s having way too much fun hamming it up as one of the villains.

  5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    I’ve kind of been on a spy movie bender lately. Plus when I was watching the trailer I was like, Hey it’s Gary Oldman! And Tom Hardy! And Colin Firth! And Mark Strong!

Nerd smile ME :
  Nice… I’ll think I’ll pay attention to some of these… Thumbs up  …



[ POSTING #4 ]

Embroidery: the tear-away transfer method 




My name is Nat. I’m a Filipina-American in Darwin, Australia.

I was a dreamer by birth, though life has taught me to balance that with cynicism; laughter is my “super power” and cleaning is my secret talent.

I’m a bookbinder, mainly, though I will frequently dabble my fingers in a dozen other pies, besides. I feel compelled to articulate living and loving with my hands, love the challenge of learning something new or figuring out how to turn my imagination into real things, and I love the singular quality of the handmade, creative, and self-reliant life. 

Nerd smile  ME :  Do go to direct to Nat’s blog to view the illustrative photographs.  Lovely writing… she mentions somewhere in another posting “The Feast of The Immaculate Embroidery” that she studied creative writing at University, which really shows.  Although I’ve included snippets here, the actually blog has an atmosphere of Nat’s spirit that is quite unique  Send a kiss  .

Her blog does indeed house her intentions and spirit in life, done her way.  She makes the blog feel claimed and enhanced with an aspect of herself presented in a way that, knowingly, delights her to the world.

  • A very old, traditional way of transferring an embroidery design to fabric is by drawing the design on very fragile paper, basting it to the ground fabric, and then stitching the design with a running stitch through both paper and fabric. When the whole design has been outlined, the paper is gently torn away. This isn’t a how-to, by the way…it’s probably more like a how-not-to.

    I tried this method the other day. I don’t know why I did—I already have my preferred technique for transferring a design to fabric that is clean, precise, and reliable—but I guess it all boils down to laziness and impatience.

  • I’m not disparaging this method…it’s been used for centuries by some of the greatest embroidering cultures of the world (Chinese, Japanese, Indian) so it obviously works and that it proves a little difficult is more likely the fault of the practitioner than the method.

  • None of which compared with the annoyance of removing the paper, afterward. I didn’t mind the slow job of gently tearing paper away in small pieces, or having to pick dandruff-like fragments that were stuck underneath the stitches with a pair of tweezers.  What really bugged me was how, no matter how gently one worked, the job of pulling the paper bits out would sometimes yank on the stitching, loosening it and creating loopy bits of thread… 

  • The verdict? It works, and in a pinch (in a granite hut, in a remote rural area of Szechuan Province, during the Warring States Period) it’ll do the job admirably.

  • But there are so many more precise ways to do this, now, and I think any transfer pen or transfer paper, iron-on, or print-on method would be preferable.

  • Experiment over, I started stitching today. Had an intense craving for shades of green (I can crave certain colors the way others crave salt, or chocolate. For the next 48 hours I’ll probably be all “Green is my favorite color EVER!” And then I will drop it, fickle and unfaithful, and declare an all-time-high of passion for ecru. But right now, I am loving this Kermit the Camera.



[ POSTING #5 ]

 Tough New World – A Review of Eaarth 
from FrontierPsychiatrist




Frontier Psychiatrist is a web site devoted to urban life, music, food, drink, and culture. With staff writers in Brooklyn, Chicago, and Washington DC, and a growing roster of local and national contributors, FP chronicles indie life in America in an attempted tone of authority tempered by humility and irreverence.  The site’s name is inspired by the Avalanches song of the same name…

Every Monday through Friday, FP publishes:
| Record reviews, concert reviews, and band profiles | Original fiction, essays, poetry, and book reviews | Movie reviews and discussion | Food and cocktail recipes | Essays on and tips for urban bike riding |

In everything we write, we strive to celebrate and share the best of the urban culture we enjoy.  To All The Girls (and guys), LVL, KLM, and all of FP

Nerd smile ME :   highly recommended book review of “Eaarth: making life on a tough new planet” by Bill McKibben.  Snippets of the review follow…

  • Humanity ravished Mother Nature and Mother Nature fought back… Even if the world miraculously got green overnight, it’s too late now to undo all the damage, but if we dig down and get creative, we can cut our losses and insure our survival.

  • This is the essence of Eaarth; Making A Life on a Tough New Planet. In his latest book, writer and activist Bill McKibben adds an ‘a’ to the word ‘Earth’ as a way to argue that human despoliation has made the planet fundamentally different, i.e. worse, than ever before in its history. We will never live on “Earth” again, he says, but if we play our cards right, we can engineer a “relatively graceful decline” for life on “Eaarth.”

  • Early in the book, McKibben promises to make the reader’s eyes glaze over with statistics… Elsewhere, he lightens the tone with folksy analogies. Americans’ dependence on oil is “a 5,000 mile straw through which we suck hydrocarbons from the Persian Gulf.”  If the Third World is a man on a treadmill, the First World is a sadistic personal trainer with his hands on the controls.

  • Through repetition and emphasis, the message is clear: Ecocide equals suicide… he says we’re all responsible for the sickness –and health—of the planet.

  • … any solutions will take time, money, sacrifice, and ingenuity. Many of his remedies are familiar. Up with bicycles and public transportation. Down with cars and SUVs. Up with local, organic farms with diverse crops. Down with factory farms and monocultures. Up with farmer’s markets and community gardens. Down with supermarkets and Wal-Marts.

  • One of his larger ideas is to curb our addiction to economic growth. He acknowledges the position is “un-American,” but says that we don’t have any choice. Americans may think we are exceptional, but compared to the power of nature we’re as vulnerable as anyone on Earth. Or for that matter, Eaarth.



[ POSTING #6 ]

 Photographs from Bologna: The food capital of Italy… 
from Dakota. D Journal



Dakota is the photographer and author behind the journal.

In January of this year I left behind my life in New Zealand where I was working as an international flight attendant, for life and love on the other side of the world. Currently I am in Bordeaux, France!

I am enjoying French lifestyle and culture, and at the moment, Bordeaux feels like an amazing place to be! I decided to start this journal as a means of documenting my travels, stories, photography and inspiration.

I feel quite at home with a camera and a suitcase, and the idea of a spontaneous life of traveling and enjoying what the world has to offer suites me just fine!

Nerd smile ME : I recommend you visit the blog direct… the shouts and bursts of colour, sharpness of imagery and definitive illustrious photographic content complete with well-considered composition of personal flair, without doubt, ousts the eyes to a whole new level of sight-seeing… all from the comforts of your own home and computer  Send a kiss  ! 

It is an exemplary example of how one’s passion and delight of a topic can be worked to be expressed and shared in such a way to achieve a label of stylish individuality while reaching goals of wide-appeal of popularity.  A true example of how a person’s spirit can sparkle their work.

Although I would say the photography is stronger than the writing, as they say, “a picture speaks a thousand words” so to do both would definitely create some exaggerated, caricature of a blog… not to mention the energy it would take.

Written snippets of Dakota’s journal follow and each mentioned item has been illustriously photographed and posted on his blog (go and see) :

  • This month has been another amazing chapter of travel through Italy!! I’ve been to: Florence, Pisa, Venice and Verona, each of which have had their own unique sense of character. Bologna however, is my favorite city in Italy for it’s celebrated food culture
  • … Lemon Sfogliatella Santa Rosa, a delectable shell-shaped pastry that originated in a Salermo monastery during the seventeenth century!!

  • I feel like one of the most interesting ways to really connect with the varied character and culture of a new city, is through it’s cuisine and market places.

  • In the middle of all the hustle, I met a friendly old man who was selling his own handmade Tortellini and Ravioli from the region! Each yolk-yellow piece was made carefully and the dough used was of soft flour and other Emilia-Romagna ingredients.

  • The market was outlined by colorful bouquets of June flowers! Bright yellow colors reminded me of the breathtaking sunflower fields that I saw in Tuscany days previous.

  • Decadent Bolognese cakes with silky layers of cream, berries and dark chocolate…



of coconuts and curries



  I am an American that has been temporarily (and happily) displaced to Bangkok, Thailand. My husband and I will be here for about two years – working, traveling and exploring a new life.

This blog is about my journey in exploring food and culture in a new place. I will write about the food that I taste in and around Bangkok and the food I make at home.

Please know that I did not own a wok before moving to Bangkok (nor did I know much about Thai cuisine beyond a love of pad thai), so the journey will begin with very small steps.

This is a blog about exploring global cuisine that has now become my local fare.   – Jessica –

Nerd smile ME : From the blog, which touts the slogan “adventures in the kitchen and beyond” ), comes a post entitled “of coconuts and curries”. 

While reading this particular post I felt empathetically cute about the scenario.  I have been there – similar linguistic scenario – … * gulp  Embarrassed smile  *    is all I remember. 

Phew, the air around me felt as if it were 100℃. 

My blood was raised and my skin was smouldering… hmmm… ooops. 

What a delightful chance encounter with Jessica’s blog to jolt my memory… Red heart

Lovely posting from which she allows her personality to shine through before going to the more practical side of life, a cooking recipe.  I’ve always deemed it necessary to determine from whom we receive recipes, somehow it colours the food itself… strange, but true!  And I love her setting of her home-made cuisine.

  • Despite my profound linguistic limitations… Most of the time, if I’m feeling brave, I’ll walk up to a vendor on the street and use what vocabulary I can pull out, vigorous hand gestures, and a big smile to get what I need.

  • A few months ago I took a cooking class where we went to a beautiful market to buy fresh produce before we cooked. We bought one ingredient from a vendor in that market that I have thought about since – fresh coconut milk. Now, it’s not impossible to find fresh coconut in other places…this is Thailand, after all. But this coconut milk was the best I’ve ever tasted.

  • Today I went back to the market to get some of that delicious milk for dinner. It was a disaster…. I think I have it made when I see bags of the milk already in a row on the counter. I point to a bag, ask for one of “those”, and figure I’m all set. Not so.

  • Out comes a series of lengthy questions from the vendor. (I’m in trouble.)…..

  • She asks if I speak Thai. (I debate turning and running home.)  “I’m studying the Thai language,” I manage to say. She appears confused, but holds up the small bag. I nod effusively and hold out 100 Baht. This seems to seal the transaction.  She gives me change and hands me the bag. (I breath a sigh of relief and contemplate using canned coconut milk from this point forward.)

  • Also, a recipe for potato curry with mango and basil is provided after the blogged awkward Thai street scene.


…….… more next time  Send a kiss  !


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