Saturday, December 27, 2008
Very cool bag - recycled keyboard keys. Not sure how comfortable or useful it is, but it is definitely cool!
Read the full article here
Monday, December 22, 2008
Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert says the ultimate solution to the flooding that has been experienced by those who live close to river banks in flood prone areas may be to have them relocated.Trinidad News, Trinidad Newspaper, Trinidad Sports, Trinidad politics, Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago News, Trinidad classifieds, Trinidad TV, Sports, Business
Friday, December 19, 2008
in my case a laptop is a used in a meeting to digitize thoughts for indexed access afterwards, and to obtain additional information needed to process new directives.No laptops at our meeting!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Currently, there are just a handful of generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), including well-known extensions like .com, .net, .org, and .biz. ICANN's new plan would expand the number of potential gTLDs by several orders of magnitude, and would allow for extensions 3-63 characters long. Allowed extensions would include pretty much anything a company might want—Ars Technica, for example, could conceivably register *.ars, *.arstechnica, or *.arstech. ICANN claims that this new system would offer domain name holders vastly improved choices and allow for more diversity in domain names, particularly for non-English-speaking countries. In and of themselves, these are worthy goals, but arbitrarily redefining the meaning of gTLDs seems a poor way to achieve them, particularly when said redefinition wrecks the current system so thoroughly.ICANN plan for new TLDs comes under barrage of criticism
Sunday, December 14, 2008
New York used to do a brilliant job at Christmas. Over the past two decades, however, corporate-fuelled political correctness has done a wonderfully efficient job of extinguishing one of the biggest holidays on western calendars. And so, paradoxically, in their drive to avoid offending some customers, they’ve managed to forget that many of the trappings that have been stripped from the retail experience have also left stores feeling rather dull and flat. What consumers have been left with is a sort of holiday mush that doesn’t mean much to anybody and results in a lot of very confused window-dressers and visual merchandisers.Read the full article here: Tyler Brûlé - Why Christmas needs to make a comeback
December 2008 should be the time for Christmas to make its big, global comeback. Many world leaders are sitting around thinking about how to stimulate year-end spending and are failing to recognise that the solution is sitting on the calendar. Sadly, few possess the Christmas nuts to go down in the basement and pull out all the decorations and really go for it.
The 'Certified' Teacher Myth - WSJ.com
Harvard researchers Paul Peterson and Daniel Nadler compared states that have genuine alternative certification with those that have it in name only. And they found that between 2003 and 2007 students in states with a real alternative pathway to teaching gained more on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (a federal standardized test) than did students in other states.
The study undermines the arguments from colleges of education and teachers unions, which say that traditional certification, which they control, is the only process that can produce quality teachers. The findings hold up even after controlling for race, ethnicity, free-lunch eligibility, class size and per-pupil state spending.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Unfortunately, such enlightenment has not reached across the seas to us in Trinidad and Tobago. We still believe that computer resources are to be locked up in "computer labs"in the schools, and separate from, not integrated into, the general learning environment.
I hope that this attitude will disappear very soon from the educational administration here, as if we are to achieve Vision 2020, we will need to have tech resources integrated across the curriculum at ALL levels of the education system.
SENIOR NSW education bureaucrats have angrily rejected suggestions that public school students will trash the 197,000 laptop computers to be provided for them next year using federal taxpayer funds.
The $98 million tender for the mini-laptops, also known as netbooks, was issued yesterday and is believed to be the single largest purchase ever of such devices. A further $60 million will be spent rolling out a wireless computer network in 571 NSW public schools. The states and territories have received about $2 billion from the Rudd Government to upgrade computers in schools, with the NSW Labor Government deciding to spend its share on netbooks that students between Years 9 and 12 can use at school and at home.
Many students in elite private schools are already provided with laptops.
While the NSW program has broad support among principals, teachers and parent groups, one principal has dismissed the plan as "crazy".
Monday, December 01, 2008
"To: President-Elect Obama
We petition that…
You can bring to an end the previous administration's seven-year assault on human rights.
I call on you to demonstrate your commitment to justice by:
1. Announcing the timeline to close Guantanamo
2. Issuing an executive order to ban torture and other ill-treatment as defined under international law
3. Ensuring that an independent inquiry into the USA's detention and interrogation practices in its 'war on terror' is set up
These are three key steps on Amnesty International's checklist for your first 100 days in office. You can counter terror with justice. We are counting on you
Friday, November 14, 2008
Read the rest of the article here...
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I've always loved Drupal for its power, but it's too much for my main little personal site, so I use joomla. Maybe it's time to look at Drupal again...
Drupal cleaned up for the second year in a row in the 2008 Open Source CMS Awards, taking home both the Overall Open Source CMS Award and the Best Open Source PHP CMS Award. This marks the first time in which a content management system has ever won the overall award in back-to-back years.Read the rest of the article here at the Content Management Blog - InformationWeek
G.ho.st was founded in 2006 to develop what founder and CEO Zvi Schreiber calls a global hosted operating system (hence the name G.ho.st). The company's platform is a combination of Java-developed server software running on Amazon Web Services and Flash-Java browser code.For users, G.ho.st provides Web applications (Google Docs, ThinkFree, Zoho), e-mail (Zimbra, Meebo IM), file storage, and keyword tagging in an integrated, browser-accessible environment. That includes, at no cost, up to 5 GB of file storage and 3 GB of e-mail storage. G.ho.st refers to it as a virtual computer. The G.ho.st environment is accessible from Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari, with Chrome and Opera support planned.Read the full article at InformationWeek
Good news - maybe the day is coming when I can rejoice!Read the full story here: Caribbean: News in the Caribbean - Caribbean360.com
GENEVA, Switzerland, November 12, 2008 -
Trinidad and Tobago not only leads the Caribbean and Latin America in closing the gender gap, but it's among the top 20 countries in the world making that progress, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2008 released today.
The twin-island republic jumped 27 spots up from its ranking last year to be number 19 in the survey of 130 countries this time around.
"Trinidad and Tobago makes a remarkable climb up the rankings to hold the highest position in the region and to become the only country from the region to hold a place among the global top 20," the report said. "This is partly due to an improvement in the economic participation and opportunity sub-index, but can be mainly attributed to an increase in the number of women in parliament."
Argentina, at 24, is the second-highest ranking country in the region this year, moving up nine places due to an overall increase in political empowerment, driven by large gains in the percentage of women in parliament and among those holding ministerial level positions. Cuba, a new entrant last year, fell three places to 25; while Barbados, one spot down, took the fourth highest spot in the region as it entered the ranks for the first time this year.
Suriname (79), Bolivia (80), Belize (86), Mexico (97), Paraguay (100) and Guatemala (112) occupy the lowest positions in the region.
Norway leads the chart, followed by Finland, Sweden, Iceland and New Zealand. The United Kingdom is at 13 while the United States is ranked 27.
Cool! They will of course come back somewhere, but in the meantime, that's good news!
The volume of junk e-mail sent worldwide plummeted on Tuesday after a Web hosting firm identified by the computer security community as a major host of organizations engaged in spam activity was taken offline.Read the full article here
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
"...the root of Islamic "terrorism", lie in Palestine. America must come to terms with the reality that there are three million of these people condemned to living in the most atrocious conditions, many for generations, because of Zionist inhumanity. Another five-or-so million live in the Diaspora in neighbouring Arab states, while many more have migrated to distant lands."
"A few months ago a delegation from the ANC in South Africa visited the West Bank and Gaza. In their report, they said they were shocked at the inhumane conditions under which millions of Palestinians lived. "It is worse than anything we ever experienced in South Africa, under the apartheid system," one of them said. We did not need the ANC to tell us that. But the world-and this includes many wealthy Arab countries-has ignored this problem for far too long."
Link to the full article
That's double the number from last year.
So Obama's in the White House, all's well with the world?
Not when women (the majority of the population) are being murdered in ever-increasing numbers, when US media commentators are not censured for abusing female candidates in ways that they would not dare to do to an african-american male; when in the Cairo courts last week, the magistrate informed the male accused on the best way to beat his wife without running afoul of the law;
and we are 52% of the population.
The world rejoices when a representative of a 15% minority wins an election, but what about the total lack of representation world wide of the 52% majority?
Women don't have anywhere near proportional representation in ANY government.
So when will I have a reason to go out into the streets and celebrate?
When the promises of Beijing are finally met, when half of our population is no longer paid less for the same work; when we are fully represented in the halls of government and in the White House; when we no longer live in fear of our husbands, our fathers, our brothers; when the courts of law cannot say provocation is a defense for the violence of rape; when anyone who expresses misogynistic views on cable or network television is treated as severely as if s/he expressed a racist view; when our daughters are proud to be female and have all the opportunities that should be there for the 52% majority of the population!
THEN I will put on my t-shirt, I will cry on television, I will run down the streets rejoicing.
Until then - I will contiue to work for TRUE change, change we can ALL believe in - change for the unrepresented and abused MAJORITY of the people of the world.
Change for the WOMEN of the world!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I wonder if his grandmother knew this deep down somewhere, and realised that Monday was the best day to die to support her grandson and his strong ambition ?
Barack and his supporters have invoked mythology at every turn. It is fitting that it happens again, as he stands on the brink of success...
Of course, another theme in mythology is the need for the hero, once he has achieved what he "wants" and has striven for, to fail badly in the role, go through another transformation and come out at the end as the shining beacon he was meant to be.
A question to think about is - is this the first mythological victory for Mr. Obama, or the second? If this is the first, we look forward to a spectacular failure. If the second, then a true golden age for the US is about to dawn. I know which one I think it is...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Especially in Teacher Education, why not consider co-teaching with my students?
Things to think about.
Monday, October 20, 2008
"The Portal for the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for E-Governance was launched on October 1st, 2008.
The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for E-Governance (CCEEG) is a joint initiative by Caribbean Center for Development Administration (CARICAD), the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and The University of the West Indies (UWI) through its Open
The Portal is a single electronic point of entry to the Centre of Excellence and provides access to a broad body of collaboratively constructed knowledge. Most importantly, it seeks to encourage
participation in local governance by providing training (there is a free course to start you off) and a safe environment in which try out e-participation.
More details about CCEEG and the Portal can be found on the web site: http://cceeg.org "
Friday, October 03, 2008
Of course that's maybe because its now building out Internet? So might as well build out in v6. Read more on the ICANN blog here - Which region is taking the lead in IPv6 deployment?
Projecting through the Screen [Rich Lowry]
A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It's one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O'Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
Read his blog here - The Corner on National Review Online
Read more here: Bill would limit Homeland Security laptop searches
Read more here - Bailout bill loops in green tech, IRS snooping.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wow - the editing by ABC of this interview was certainly tough! Loads of stuff that make Sarah Palin seem a little less dim were left out - reading the full transcript takes her grade from an F to about a B-/C+! It's what's left out more than what's left in...hmmmm
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
OneWebDay, September 22, every year, is a day for celebration of the global internet. The net consists of people, interacting to create beautiful things and to teach each other and learn about the world. All around the world, local communities and groups will find innovative ways to celebrate the net and vow to keep it free and growing. Here are some ways you can participate:
1. If you're a Web user, use a standards-compliant Web browser like Firefox or Opera. They're free, faster, and more protective of your privacy. And because they conform to Web development standards, they make things easier for people who make Web sites. If you're a Web developer, test your sites with the w3c’s Markup Validation Service.
2. Edit a Wikipedia article. Teach people what you know, and in so doing, help create free universal knowledge.
3. Learn about an Internet policy issue from the Center for Democracy and Technology, and teach five other people about it. There are real legal threats that could drastically change the way the Internet works. We should all be aware of them.
4. Take steps to ensure that your computer can't be treated like a zombie. Computer viruses can steal your personal information. They can also cause major network outages on the Web, slowing things down and making sites inaccessible. Vint Cerf estimates that more than 150 million PCs have already been zombified, and are now awaiting their next order. To learn more about the threat of zombie computers, read this article.
5. Join an Internet rights advocacy group:
- Become a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights, from privacy to free speech to Internet service.
- Join the Internet Society. ISOC is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world, particularly by establishing Internet infrastructure standards.
- Support Creative Commons by donating and by using their licenses to copyright your work. If you're outside the U.S., help support their counterpart, iCommons.
6. Help promote public Internet access. If you live in a city, there is likely an organization dedicated to providing free wireless access in public spaces.
7. Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation supports not only Wikipedia, but several other projects to create free knowledge: textbooks, news, learning tools, and more.
8. Donate a computer. You can donate a new $100 laptop to children in impoverished countries, or donate your used computer to Goodwill or a school.
9. Write your OneWebDay story. Talk about what the Internet means to you and why One WebDay matters at http://onewebday.org/stories
10. If your city is hosting a OneWebDay event, show up on September 22 and participate.
You can find even more participatory possibilities at http://action.onewebday.org/
Monday, September 15, 2008
She believes pretty much what Bush 43 believes, what many Republican politicians believe. So why is there such hysteria about her? Just because someone's female and benefited from feminism doesn't mean that there's a duty for all women to toe the same line, to believe the same things. There are many many men and women in the US who hunt, who are "pro-life", who belong to churches that are very similar to hers.
We may not like her views, we may not agree with her, but she has a right to them. We also have a right not to vote for her. I personally think she's not experienced enough, and it's scary that she has no foreign policy experience, but the US has voted for similar people before (George W. Bush didn't get a passport until he was President!)
Dear John McCain:
We're not that stupid. Sure it would be nice if the women of America believed that everyone with breasts and a vagina believed in equality. But it ain't so. Women have differing views -- just like men.
Some like beer; some like chardonnay. And some prefer AA. Some like automatic weapons; some don't. Some think every pregnancy is sanctified; some don't. Some think presidents should be qualified for office; some don't care.
But to take the struggle for equal rights that has gone on for two centuries and embody it in the person of Sarah Palin is not just misleading but abusive. Charging rape victims for rape kits is a travesty of equal rights. Insisting that government impose your own views of abortion on others is anti-equality. Cutting funding for black teenage mothers is anti-feminist and racist. Lying to the electorate about your record is insolent. Do you think we're too stupid or indolent to check?
We have checked. You are lying and so is she. But you must think that a big lie repeated over and over becomes the truth. And it seems that many Americans are with you on that.
You are so good at the bold-faced lie that you even seem to believe it yourself. When Barbara Walters and Joy Behar accused you of lying on "The View," you claimed you weren't.
I guess your handlers have decided that after eight years of Cheney-Bush saying one thing and doing another, truth no longer has any meaning. Say it often enough and we'll believe anything -- like the good commercial-watchers we are. So, prep Sarah to sound like Hillary -- and we'll be fooled.
It remains to be seen how many will.
But one thing is clear. You have reached a new low in your regard for the public. You have blown your credibility. Usually politicians wait to be elected to do that.
It's fascinating to watch you and your party try to co-opt the idea of change, the idea of equal rights after eight years of being in total control and trashing the country for women, for workers, for taxpayers and for anyone who earns dollars.
Do you really think we're that stupid? Apparently you do.
Tax cuts for the rich have produced trickle-down unemployment. You want to try that again? We don't. The private sector has not policed itself. Failing banks and mortgage companies prove that. The deficit has swelled. Insurance rates for health care have swelled. Women are joining the ranks of the poor faster than ever.
Play it again, John?
As Sarah Palin said, lying about her lust for earmarks, "Thanks but no thanks."
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This concert is on MON 22nd SEP at Queen's Hall. Tickets TT$150 & TT$200. 1-868-623-0982 for more info. Part proceeds from this event will be donated to the Jeffrey Chock Medical Expenses Fund.
Trinidadian photographer Jeffrey Chock has fallen ill in Toronto and is in urgent need of surgery which is estimated to cost approximately TT$300,000 (US$47,000).
Jeffrey has captured our life and work and energy in Entertainment, Media and the Arts from his unique perspective for many years, so let us please come together to support him in his time of need.
Online donations can be made at http://apps.facebook.com/mychipin/georgia-popplewell/friends-jeffrey-chock (T&T credit card holders can use "00000" as the zip code!). A bank account has been opened for Jeffrey. Donations can be made via deposit at any Trinidad and Tobago branch of Scotiabank — cheques should be made out to "M. Mahabir". The account number is #4004891.
The following is distilled from Amnesty's website.
On December 10, 1948 the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories." Here are the 30 keywords:
28 Human Rights
Purchase 3canal CDs online @ CD BABY click here http://cdbaby.com/found?allsearch=3canal&allsearchsubmit=Search
DOWNLOAD @ TRINIDAD TUNES
DOWNLOADS @ iTUNES
2007 Album "3:10" featuring "Good Mornin"
2006 Album "3canal Vibes"
2005 Album "Jab Jab Say"
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The family of a child whose foot was maimed in an escalator accident at the Atlanta airport is suing Crocs Inc., saying the Colorado-based footwear company failed to put safety features in the soft-soled shoes.
Helloooo - what"safety features" can you put in a shoe? It's been known for years that children on escalators have accidents, and people have been warned for years about accident risks with Crocs and little children. So Crocs, little kids and escalators are accidents waiting to happen. How is this a lawsuit?
Next thing Jimmy Choo will get sued for women spraining their ankles in 5" stilettos?
Way cool invention. I wonder how we can get a load of these to Haiti RIGHT NOW?
On the outside, it looks like an ordinary sports bottle. On the inside, there's a miracle: an extremely advanced filtration system that makes murky water filled with deadly viruses and bacteria completely clean in just seconds.
The Lifesaver removes 99.999 percent of water-borne pathogens and reduces heavy metals like lead, meaning even the filthiest water can be cleaned — immediately.
It stands to revolutionize humanitarian aid. It could be the first weapon in the fight against disease after a natural disaster.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
ACM TechNews Current Issue
San Jose Mercury News (CA) (08/19/08) Cheng, Josephine
Despite recent studies showing that girls are doing as well as boys in math from grades two through 11, more must be done to encourage girls to pursue science and technology fields as a career, writes Josephine Cheng, IBM Fellow and lab director at the IBM Almaden Research Center. Although outnumbered, women have made significant contributions to computer science. For example, Grace Murray Hopper invented the first computer compiler in 1952. In 1991, Hopper became the first woman to receive the National Medal of Technology.
One reason why more young women are not pursuing science and technology careers may be that many people still believe that girls are not as good at math and science as boys, despite evidence to the contrary. Many companies, schools, and industry role models are working to change this perception. IBM, for example, hosts a science and technology summer camp for girls. A recent camp at IBM's Almaden Research Center and Silicon Valley Lab was geared specifically toward middle-school-aged girls. Another effort, Nerd Girls, a club founded by women engineering students at Tuft's University, is working to dispel negative stereotypes about girls and technology with the intention of showing that young women can be athletic, fun, and outgoing while being extremely intelligent in science and math.
Click Here to View Full Article
When just under 1,200 people attending a meeting can produce the largest spike in IPv6 traffic in the last year, you know that something is wrong.
Arbor Networks measured IPv6 traffic across nearly 2,400 backbone and peering routers, across 87 ISPs scattered worldwide, at five-minute intervals for June 2007 through June 2008. The resulting data was used to produce what the company considers to be the most comprehensive study of IPv6 data to date.
And the news is quite grim.
According to Arbor, the amount of inter-domain IPv6 traffic measured over the entire year was just 0.0026 percent of overall IPv4 traffic. Two spikes were also measured, between Nov. 4 and Christmas 2007, pushing the peak percentage to 0.012 percent. Put another way, about 600 Mbits/s of IPv6 traffic was recorded, versus 4 terabytes per second of IPv4 traffic. In total, Arbor tracked 15 exabytes of traffic; the sum of all human knowledge is generally considered to be 4 exabytes, Arbor executives said.
Overall, the proportion of IPv4 traffic to IPv6 traffic remained relatively constant over the life of the study.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Because it seems as if people ignore what PC means - personal computer.
So - is a Mac not a personal computer? Does it not have the same bits and pieces (keyboard, mouse, CPU, screen, disk drive) , and do the same functions (email websurfing, program running, photos, video, etc )? It even has the same processor manufacturer (Intel)!
So why is a computer that runs Windows a PC and a computer that runs OSX not a PC? what about Linux OS computers that do the same functions? Are they yet another term?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Written with the mobile phone industry in mind but a useful reference
Revenue models for creating a product from FOSS:
1. Per-unit royalties. Who said open source was free? While the Linux
kernel may be accessible to anyone with a web browser (subject to GPL
terms), there is a huge leap between a kernel and a fully integrated,
optimised, customised, certified and stable operating system. That’s
why vendors like Azingo, ALP, Purple Labs and Mizi Research do charge
royalties for the Linux-based software stacks.
2. NREs (non-recurring engineering fees) for integration &
productisation. Most open source projects are designed to be 90%
complete.. but the remaining 10% of pushing a project to ’shrink-
wrap’ product status requires an entity with commercial interests to
the deliver the project to the finishing line. As such, system
integrators and software vendors such as MontaVista and WindRiver
will happily engage in integration and productisation project for
Linux-based OSes, in exchange for professional services or NRE fees.
3. Subscriptions for product updates & support. This revenue model is
common with dual-licensed open-source products, where the product is
branched into a version that’s available under GPL non-commercial
terms and one that’s available under commercial non-copyleft terms.
Companies like Funambol, Volantis, and Trolltech offer paid-for
subscriptions to product updates as a service to customers of the
commercial product branch and an incentive to move from trying the
GPL branch to to buying/licensing the commercial branch. This revenue
model presents a growing opportunity for any system integrator
involved in the mobile industry, as both device-side and network-side
software products based on open source are becoming increasingly
used, while at the same time lacking support contracts and service
level agreements (SLAs) that customers have come to rely on.
4. Certification and compliance testing fees. In the case where open-
source-based products need to be certified or pass a compliance test
- as is the case with Java JSRs - an additional fee may be leveraged
for undergoing these tests - as is the case with the TCKs for Sun-
owned JSRs, specifically the phoneME MIDP2 implementation.
5. Hardware sales. A more subtle revenue model is that of making the
software available for free, but charging for the hardware. Taiwanese
manufacturer FIC practices this model for OpenMoko, the distribution
which is almost 100% open source. Here customers have a reason to go
to FIC to build OpenMoko-based devices for them, so as to leverage
from the product know-how and hardware integration expertise that the
manufacturer has on OpenMoko.
6. Insurance for product liability and indemnification. This is a
straightforward insurance service that software vendors often provide
as a premium, which indemnifies or insures the customer of an open-
source software product against liabilities.
7. Sharing development costs. Last and certainly not least, open
source licensing can be used as a modern approach to shaving costs
off software development, by pooling that development effort across
multiple industry participants. Companies participating for example
in Eclipse, Webkit, Maemo and Android projects seek to share their
development costs of a commoditising software base with other peers
(even competitors), while leveraging on that base to build essential
Monday, June 09, 2008
This is an old article, but unfortunately nothing at all has changed in Trinidad and Tobago. I thought it was good to bring it back. We need to keep reminding people that the drivers are responsible. cars don't jump medians by themselves. If there were no driver behind the wheel to start it up, put it in gear and apply acceleration, the car would sit quietly in the parking lot!TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO NEWS - Donna Yawching
Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2002
By Donna Yawching
“PILLAR OF DEATH” the front page headline screamed, above the photo of the maxi-taxi wrapped —and I mean that literally—around a T&TEC lamp-post. The head and tail of the maxi were virtually kissing, and the middle had split open horizontally like a tin can. Two passengers were dead and ten were injured; the only surprise was that it wasn’t worse.The driver appears to have sustained light injuries. He told police that his vehicle had picked up a skid in heavy rainfall, and smashed into the post. For this, the unfortunate post is now branded a pillar of death.When I read stories like this, I am enraged. Lamp-posts do not leap out in the middle of the street and accost drivers. Neither do guardrails, or walls, or highway medians. For the most part, these artifacts stay quietly in one place, doing their jobs. And cars do not get the bit between their teeth and dash off with their hapless drivers, the way a racehorse might. They simply respond to the actions of the person behind the wheel.Yet we are constantly reading about cars that “go out of control”, or “pick up a skid” (as if it were a passenger); or about ruthless “pillars of death”. No-one ever seems to blame the driver. No-one ever says the obvious: “driving too fast”; “driving while drunk”; “driving negligently”. No-one ever tells the driver: “You killed innocent people.” No headline ever reads: DEATH DRIVER. I wonder why this is.Accidents do happen, I am quite aware of that: genuine accidents, the kind that cannot be foreseen or forestalled. The child or animal running out into the road, the brake that suddenly fails (though even that is usually a result of negligence); the “bad drive” from a fellow motorist that causes a fatal swerve over a cliff. But most of our road accidents are not due to unavoidable destiny, but rather to carelessness, bravado, and criminal negligence.Just the photo of that maxi hugging the light pole tells you all you need to know: the driver was probably going much too fast. A vehicle doesn’t fold like that at 40 kmph: it had to have hit the lamp-post at quite a speed. And you don’t “pick up a skid”, even in the rain, if you’re driving at a responsible pace; you do it by speeding down a wet road, and starting to hydroplane. Why was this driver going so fast through what he himself described to the police as “heavy rain”?Yet we continue to blame the pillars, or the road, or the intersections: to brand them as “death-traps” and “death strips” and “pillars of death”; and I am left to wonder why. Is it because we are totally incapable of taking responsibility for our actions, and do not expect anyone else, even such murderous drivers, to take any responsibility for theirs?Is it because we feel that, having survived the accident itself, the driver has suffered enough, and should not be forced to confront the misery he (it’s usually a he) has caused? Is it because we prefer to bury our heads in the sand, and distance ourselves from unpleasant realities by simply ignoring them? Are we content to say that it was just God’s will, and leave it at that? Why is it that we so seldom read of any charges being brought against these drivers, or of the subsequent outcomes of these cases? All we ever hear is that Sgt. X is investigating; and nothing more.The questions go deeper. Why is it that so many drivers feel they can drive so dangerously, so stupidly, so criminally, and with total impunity? Why are our road rules broken with greater regularity than they are kept? Is it just because we are such a carefree, spontaneous bunch of happy natives that it doesn’t occur to us that the rules are there for a reason, and are actually meant to be followed?Or is it because we know, almost for a fact, that no-one is going to make us follow them? Is it because we know, almost for a fact, that the police couldn’t give a damn how fast we drive, or what rules we break, particularly since they are often doing even worse?The “Pillar of Death” headline greeted me on my return from a short trip to Barbados. On my arrival there two days earlier, a friend had come to meet me at the airport. He was a little late; I was waiting outside as he pulled up. I waved, and ran across to the pickup bay, where he had drawn to a stop. He was parked there for the few seconds it took to pop open the trunk for my bag, and for me to get into the car; he never even got out of his seat. As he pulled off, a policeman flagged him down. He had inadvertently stopped—get this—on the pedestrian crossing. He was given a ticket. What’s more, he submitted meekly.Needless to say, I felt terrible; and I did think the cop had been a bit too hard: a stern warning would have been adequate. But the fact remains: my friend will never make that mistake again. Neither, I’m sure, will most Bajans—not that mistake, nor many others. Because, you see, they know that someone is watching, and will take action. That someone considers it his job to take action—an obligation, not an option depending on whim.There is, in short, a measure of consistency; and as such, people find it in their own interest to drive carefully. Never once in Barbados did I see anyone speed up the shoulder, or cut across another driver to turn right from a left-turn lane, or force their way into a line of traffic. When I asked my cousin, who lives there, if these things happen, she looked at me wide-eyed. She couldn’t even imagine it. I wonder if she can imagine a pillar of death.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The copyright law has been changed to strengthen penalties and make it easier for police to prosecute pirates. It will come into effect soon. But according to this article, people still don't seem to realise what piracy is and that it's wrong.
He immediately retorts that he doesn’t sell pirated movies. Only screeners or originals at TT$10 (US $1.50) each.
He has a code of business conduct akin to that of Robin Hood.
“Even if people say we are pirating, we are making it cheaper for the small man to watch movies. These people in Hollywood are already millionaires.
Screeners are not to be sold! And he sells COPIES of originals and screeners. And he says "even if people say we are pirating"? He is pirating. The law, not "people" says it's illegal!
Another quote -
At a store in Aboutique Mall, DVD’s were flying off the shelves in a brisk trade. DVDs could be bought for $5. A salesman said that they were selling out stock and hoped to re-stock with originals and start a DVD rental business.
One provider said he purchased the material off the Internet and made arrangements for payment either through credit card or cheque.
“It costs $3 to burn so you make about 200 per cent profit on a sale. And you can copy about seven copies in ten to 15 minutes,” said one provider.
The movies retail between $5 to $10 and the cost of a player is about $300. Plus, it’s much cheaper than cable television or a trip to the movies.
Friday, May 23, 2008
.car gTLD Proposal Launched
So why does it have to be .car and not .auto or .motor? .auto would be more universal for motor vehicles, I'd think...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Arianna Huffington, who I often disagree with but always admire for her drive, writes about the real triumph of Hillary - that she's changed the face of women in politics forever!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
real interesting article. Seems as if the work we did in 2000-2001 worked, but was not sustainable. Obviously the PR and activities to push tech careers to girls from 9-12 needs to be repeated for every cadre of girls. This is interesting as funding for these projects is rarely open-ended.
The drop is catastrophic - seems as if there are even fewer women going into tech now than before 1999, when there were so many programmes starting to get girls into tech.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Below is a message from a good friend of miine. Please circulate among the North American Caribbean community.
On Tuesday October 30th one of my closest friends, Helen Ross, was diagnosed as having acute lymphocytic leukemia, otherwise called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Helen is 41 years old and a mother of three, a true Trini and an exceptional human being.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that the body uses to fight infections. In ALL, the bone marrow makes lots of unformed cells called blasts that normally would develop into lymphocytes. However, the blasts are abnormal. They do not develop and cannot fight infections. The number of abnormal cells (or leukemia cells) grows quickly. They crowd out the normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets the body needs.
Treatment generally entails 8 courses of chemo over a 6 month period followed by maintenance treatment over the course of 2 years (tablets, spinal taps etc.) Helen has had about five treatments already, with encouraging results. However, she recently found out that she has an abnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome which prevents complete recovery through chemo and means that her only real chance for a full remission is a bone marrow transplant.
Unfortunately her brother and sister, her best hopes for a match, turned out to be incompatible, although they have been found to match each other perfectly!
Since then a search was made at the US Bone Marrow Registry. However, an ideal match has not yet been found. In order to find out if your bone marrow matches someone else's, your blood has to be HLA typed. It is a very specific test that looks for up to 10 different markers in your blood.
There is no registry of such blood types in Trinidad (nor indeed in the Caribbean) and therefore we cannot carry out such testing here. This creates a real problem for Caribbean people, because ethnicity plays a large part in determining whether there is a match or not, since half the markers in your marrow come from your mother and the other half from your father. It makes it more difficult for a person from the Caribbean to get a match, especially someone who is of mixed blood.
In the meantime, Helen found out about a Trini/Jamaican man living in Montreal by the name of Emru Townsend who also has leukemia and is having difficulty finding a match. His friends and family have started a drive to recruit donors through a website: www.healemru.com; and on Facebook.
On behalf of Helen, Emru and all Caribbean people in need of bone-marrow donors in North America, I am hoping that you will join the cause and encourage your Caribbean friends living abroad to become donors. Put up flyers in your local supermarkets and churches. Emru’s website has printable flyers with all of the necessary information. Time is short and ACTION IS NEEDED NOW.
In South East Asia, a young woman by the name of Pia needed a match desperately
but there were practically no South East Asian donors. Her friends set up a website called MatchPia.
Through their drives and efforts, 33,000 South East Asians became donors and she got her match.
Imagine that - 33,000! Because South East Asia has nothing by way of a registry, www.MatchPia.org
has become the officially recognised recruitment website for South East Asians
wishing to join the US Bone Marrow Programme.
Visit the website if you can - it's a great story.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The most hilarious analysis of the doubles price rise in Trinidad. Dennis Allen is a master of oletalk!
" Last week, on APR4, 2008, I received the following message from a crew of brederin who usually debate such matters of national import…
Subject: Still want to buy doubles for $4 and $5? ...Feel FREE !!!!!
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 14:36:05 +0000
> Hello Friends,
> As a worker at ***, I will give you a small insight to what I would call
> "Highway Robbery"
> The flour that most doubles vendors use (45kg) has been increased by
> $60.00. Do you know how many doubles can be produced from a 45kg of flour?
> Let me tell you. 1,200 doubles, yes twelve hundred and some good doubles
> vendors can get 1,500.
> So let's use 1,200. If your 45kg bag of flour has been increased by
> $60.00..Do the math.
> OK OK, let me do it for you..Your doubles went up by 5 cents.
> Still want to buy doubles for $4 and $5? ...Feel FREE !!!!!
To which I promptly dispatched the following response:
i think its important to differentiate between a BARRA and a DOUBLES...as that would have a significant effect on the maths presented here...
is it that 1200-1500 BARRA can be made with a sack of flour? or that amount of DOUBLES [2X barra?]
and what is the average square inch surface area of the individual barra mentioned by this "analyst"? a morvant doubles has a noticeably larger square barra-age than a typical roundabout doubles--even though they are geographically identical to most casual doubles consumers...
and what about debe doubles? fluffier than most north doubles, thus implying the addition of a rising agent, the cost of which has not been factored into this equation...
Read the rest HERE!
NEWSDAY, Port of Spain.
Saturday, April 12 2008
A Jamaican student Talks It Out with actor Peter Williams and director Frances-Anne Solomon at the premiere of A Winter Tale.
WHEN Trinidadian Frances-Anne Solomon's award-winning feature film opened at a VIP preview in Jamaica on April 3, audience members weren't the only ones to take notice. Media across the Caribbean have been raving about A Winter Tale, and coverage of the film has been abundant.
During the premiere, Robert Gregory of Jamaica Trade and Invest described A Winter Tale as "a compelling story of struggle, survival and healing" calling it "a quality production, relevant to the times."
Gregory also said he's awaiting the DVD release: "I look forward to watching this film over and over again."
The Canadian Consulate paid for 100 inner-city youth to attend the screening and in the Talk Back session after the screening, the audience witnessed a riveting and heart wrenching outpouring of emotion as the young people expressed their appreciation of the film's relevance to Jamaica. As a result of the success of the first screening the Winter Tale team has been inundated with requests from local schools and communities to make the film available to their young audiences.
The film is now on general release in Jamaica. Throughout May and June it will travel across the region, opening at cinemas in Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua and St. Lucia.
A Winter Tale tells the moving story of a black men's support group that forms at a local Caribbean takeaway restaurant after a young boy is killed by a stray bullet. With a plot that revolves around the universal issues of gun violence and drug use, the film beautifully captures the day-to-day emotional struggles of this group of individuals.
Last September, the film took home the People's Choice Award for Best Caribbean Feature at the 2007 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. A Winter Tale features a brilliant cast including Trinidadian comedian and actor Dennis "Sprangalang" Hall and famed Jamaican icon Leonie Forbes. It will open in TT next month.
Over the past year A Winter Tale has travelled the world, garnering rave reviews and international recognition through film festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, New York, Trinidad and England.
The film's Jamaican release was sponsored by JMMB, Air Jamaica, Hype TV, The Gleaner, The Jamaica Observer, High Commission of Canada, Trinidad and Tobago Consulate, Roots FM, Jamaica Trade & Invest (JAMPRO), National Council on Drug Abuse, Grace Kennedy Corp, CTV, Caribbean Beat, Bank of Nova Scotia and Budget Rent-A-Car.
Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, director and producer. She is the president and artistic director of the two companies she founded: Leda Serene Films and CaribbeanTales, and has also worked as a film and television drama producer for the BBC.
Recent projects include A Winter Tale (for Telefilm Canada/CHUM Television); Heart Beat (Bravo!) which profiles Caribbean musical creators; Literature Alive, a multi-facetted multimedia project profiling Caribbean authors; and the Gemini-nominated Lord Have Mercy!, Canada's landmark multicultural sitcom, for Vision TV, Toronto1, APTN and Showcase.
Photos: Some of the youth who attended the Jamaican Premiere of A Winter Tale at Sovereign Mall on April 3.
Posted By Frances-Anne to Newz at 4/13/2008 04:15:00 AM
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I got this email the other day. I thought it was awesome to use blogging to raise funds to save lives. So please donate if you can, pass on the message, anything you can to assist in the drive.
2008/04/11 18:07 Eastern Daylight Time
This week, as BlogHer launched a special campaign with GlobalGiving to raise money for lifesaving programs for women around the world, I watched three members of BlogHer's community show extraordinary leadership:
Jen Lemen launched an amazing effort to help her friend Odette bring her children home from Rwanda and has raised more than $5,000! Bonggamom reminded everyone that Jill Asher is holding a bone marrow drive April 19 inspired by her mother's ongoing battle with cancer. Join me there - especially if you have a rare blood type? Raquita gave her baby's car seat away to a young couple who drove up in front of her house holding a ten-month old on the front seat. Her only desire? That she'd had two car seats to give. Because they had a baby on the way.
Don't these stories just make you want to pump your fist in the air and hug your neighbor and donate your time and money to help them? Me, it does. Which is why I'm using today's newsletter to describe the hard work Denise Tanton and Erin Kotecki Vest have done to kick-off our final phase of BlogHers Act.
Our goal is to find out how many women's lives we can save by blogging to raise small donations -- $10, $15, $25, $50 --for critical clinics and educational programs for women, children and girls specifically in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Darfur, Nepal and South Africa. Denise and Erin chose these programs in partnership with the terrific team at GlobalGiving because GlobalGiving guarantees that your money will get where they say it's going. They research their programs carefully, and send your money to a well-defined project instead of to funding general operating expenses. And -- this is my favorite part -- if you're not happy, you can get your money back. More here.
As a team, we also really like the diversity of their programs in the developing world -- from feeding hungry children to maternal health. As Denise wrote in her announcement:
Over the weekend, I bought a domain name for $10. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it yet.
* $10 covers the costs of a clinic in Nepal for two days. 2 days.
This morning, we spend $15 at Starbucks. We bought 2 Quad Grande Non-Fat Caramel Macchiatos and 1 Triple Grande Cinnamon Dulce w/whip.
* $15 also buys lunch for 50 girls in a West African village
* $15 can fund healthcare for medicine for 100 refugees in Darfur
We need to fill up the gas tank today, which will cost about $25.
* $25 also aids 20 Afghanistan women with reproductive health care and education
I was thinking about dinner at Satchel’s which costs about $50.
* $50 will provide AIDS counseling for 2 women in South Africa.
My money can make a difference - so can yours.
So far, this enormous BlogHer community has donated $1,280. I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish togther by Mother's Day, May 11, not to mention July's BlogHer 08! I believe that when you click through on this page to see these incredible programs, you'll agree. Denise and Erin have worked to make it easy, using a great little widget developed by GlobalGiving.com. If you will download this widget today and encourage your readers to donate, we can find out just how many women we can help.
Won't you join us?
Take Action Now:
2) Share this information with your readers by blogging about maternal health, or this BlogHers Act initiative, or the individual project you're supporting.
3) Leave your link at the bottom of this post, using Mr Linky, so
others can hear your thoughts on these issues. (We'll also be featuring
many of you on BlogHer.com and in our newsletters.)
4) Donate to save women's lives, today.
As someone who is like a broken record about the extraordinary power of women who read and write blogs, I'm excited to see what we can do together. Thank you in advance for your help -- I encourage you to blog this now. Let's do this.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The trials of being an early adopter! Seems as if there IS such a thing as too slim - if it's "razor"mthin - could it be a weapon?