Archive for September 2007

Amen, آمين, Amen

September 22, 2007

Religion is definitely a force no one can afford to not understand. For believers, there appears to be a need, now more than ever, to assert their right and/or way of life, especially in this modern world that is deemed deteriorating with the aid of secularism and is corrupting certain values. Some take a more aggressive stand and, consequently, steps to take back what they feel is being lost. They are God’s Warriors. Politics, faith, biblical history, democracy– lines must be drawn, but it is hard especially when points of conflict overlap each other, implying the only solution is to obliterate the others.

I finally saw the documentary God’s Warriors by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. It is a fascinating reportage on three powerful and controversial groups (Jewish, Christian and Muslims), with commentaries from inside people that range from fleshing out their struggle, to some moderates speaking against the fundies. Some questions are answered, to a chilling degree; some raise more questions; however, a peek into what moves these groups is very much needed and make everyone more aware of how to take action.

If you prefer to catch it on YouTube:
God’s Warriors: Islam, Judaism, Christianity.

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Givin’ Some Blog TLC

September 11, 2007

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Content may be king, but giving him fine threads to strut in rakes you in royal points. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to spice up your blog visually or just plain want to browse some eyecandy, Smashing Mag picked out their creme de la creme of blogville, 45 Excellent Blog Designs. Check it out. Very cool and smart designs, some don’t even look like blogs.

So pretty, makes me want to pick up a book on CSS and learn the whole technical shebang. Well, almost.

90/90 Vision

September 9, 2007

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (NY) is showcasing life-changing works from designers out to make a difference. The exhibition Design for the Other 90% features innovative designs from individuals, organizations and private companies with the objective of providing most needed solutions to underserved populations, especially from Third World countries.

Modern design largely benefits people who are in the position and opportunity of access, unfortunately, this is a minority as 90% of the world’s population stuggle even with the basics to survive, such as food, shelter and livelihood. Admirably, a movement has been gaining steam as more and more designers desire to address this imbalance and invent products that not only would be gratifying, but sustainable and productive.

Six areas are covered by the exhibit: Shelter, Health, Water, Education, Energy and Transport. Start here for the product briefs.

Three favorite picks:

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Q Drum: “Millions around the world, especially in rural Africa, live kilometers from a reliable source of clean water. Water in adequate quantities is too heavy to carry. The Q Drum is a durable container designed to roll easily, and can transport seventy-five liters of clean and potable water; rather than lifting and carrying it, this eases the burden of bringing water to those who need it.”

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Pot-in-Pot Cooler: “Consists of two pots, a smaller earthenware pot nestled within another pot, with the space in between filled with sand and water. When that water evaporates, it pulls heat from the interior of the smaller pot, in which vegetables and fruits can be kept. In rural Nigeria, many farmers lack transportation, water, and electricity, but one of their biggest problems is the inability to preserve their crops. With the Pot-in-Pot, tomatoes last for twenty-one days, rather than two or three days without this technology. Fresher produce can be sold at the market, generating more income for the farmers.”

Best of all, a product designed in 2005 and has been reaping awards left and right since then for its revolutionary application:

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LifeStraw: “About half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne diseases, and more than 6,000 people, mainly children, die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water. LifeStraw, a personal mobile water-purification tool is designed to turn any surface water into drinking water. It has proven to be effective against waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea, and removes particles as small as fifteen microns.” And this nifty gadget costs only $3.00 each!

Redrum

September 1, 2007

Ever had a case of road rage, plucking at the chicken a tad too angrily, or tossing in bed, unable to sleep, remembering how Danny bullied you in third grade twenty years ago? How well do you know your darker self? Find out if it’s something others have to be worried about.

Licious Verdict: 10

“The odd quirk in your personality is nothing to worry about, it might even be getting you a few more social invites than the more dull among us. So party on, you’re not a threat to society.”

I am somewhat disappointed, yet somewhat relieved at my level of neurosis.