Thursday, January 29, 2009

World Economic Forum // Davos

Day 2 of the Forum today, and Ban Ki Moon makes an appearance to appeal for funds in aid to the Gaza Strip. Also, India is concerned about an increased sense of protectionism.

When there are global economic pressures, it's not surprising to see countries scouting to protect their products and services more aggressively. At the same time, Kamal Nath, India's Trade Minister, mentions:

"We do fear this because one must recognize that at the heart of globalization lies global competitiveness, and if governments are going to protect their non-competitive production facilities it's not going to be fair trade."

More on this @ Al Jazeera.

gimp(ob)ama

Original, smaller photo in full color is from BBC. Second one is the same photo blown up and played with in Gimp.

... and I'm just going to throw a track out there onetime: Here's some Bittersweet vibes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Funds drying up for Non-Profits

WSJ was saying today how one example of a New York-based non-profit, Harlem Children's Zone, is seeing less financial support from its Wall Street donors.

Here's an exercpt frmo the article, written by Mike Spector:

Today, the U.S. boasts more than one million nonprofits, up from about 774,000 ten years ago. Their biggest donations come from corporations, foundations and the ultra-wealthy. Many have been hit hard by the deepening recession. A drop in charitable contributions could shutter as many as 100,000 nonprofits over the next year, says Paul Light, a professor at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Playlist from PirateFunk @ Opera, January 17

Thanks to everyone for making it out there for my 30-minute set @ Opera NYC!

1. Solange - Sandcastle disco (Freemasons extended mix)

2. Kaskade - Angel on my shoulder (EDX radio edit)

3. Deadmau5 - I remember

4. Anthem - Be my lover

5. Barack Obama - Yes we can (Rob Solomon 2008 edit)

6. Annagrace - You make me feel (Voodoo and Serano club edit)

7. Ce Ce Peniston - Finally (Bart B More remix)

8. Sebastien Leger - Majuro

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope for America, Troubles Elsewhere

While America is seeing its first black president in history being inaugurated into office, Rwandan troops enter the Democratic Republic of Congo in Eastern and Central Africa to aid the fight against "rebel Hutu militia". In Zimbabwe, talks between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai fail.

As for the Middle East, UN Secretary General has also visited Gaza, making him the first international leader to visit the region since the recent armed conflict began, and is appalled by the destruction war has caused there.

Funny how small the world is, and yet how big we treat it to be.

Today, Obama Becomes America's President

Barack Obama is being inaugurated into office of the President of the United States today. People here at work are already buzzed about it, and the boardroom is being taken over by folks who want to watch a live streaming video feed on big screen of the all-day event.

To watch one of these live video feeds, you could use CNN's website which is working with Facebook to provide coverage. Alternatively, you could use an official US government website to view the inauguration.

You may also want to check out the National Post's Live Blog.

Congratulations in advance, President Obama! Your coming into office is certainly changing the way people think about leadership, prosperity and collaborative living. It is changing the way people think by empowering them with the hope that the United States can actually work with the rest of the world, not against or for them.

(More high-quality and rare images of Obama @ the Boston Globe)

Monday, January 19, 2009

About University Websites

I'll get to why I made this post in a little bit. But I thought it would be cool to just browse a couple of different US university websites, and maybe compare the aesthetics. Above are screenshots of websites belonging to (in order from top to bottom): University of California, Los Angeles, Georgia Institute of Technology, Drake University, Georgetown University, Lafayette College, and Harvard University.

So yeah, huge differences, often related to the kind of people each university is trying to attract.

I noticed a wide variety in the usage of graphics and placement on the homepage. I love GeorgiaTech's simple blog-like look. In some cases, such as Georgetown University, because of the wide scope of academic programs, a listing similar to a blog doesn't work since there are major programs, subprograms, etc.

Also many disparities in color usage, since this is related to mascots, logo colors and the overall brand of the school. UCLA's website background struck an odd note with me, but then again, I haven't seen much related to UCLA.

Drake's approach to their website design seemed very formal and corporate, unlike Lafayette's website which has a lot going on.

And that brings us to why I started this post, and that was because Neechi showed me Harvard's fresh homepage. It threw me off because it looked so clean and much less complicated than what you would usually expect from the highest ranking school in the world. Then again, Harvard is big enough to have a serious "home"page and have very few links to their main programs, which can then be branched off into their smaller schools (and respective websites).

Not to make an unusually long post here, but I think it's becoming more and more important for schools to make a bigger presense on the Internet. They already do, but websites like Facebook and YouTube make it easy to access the "general public", and I think interaction between University homepages and other commercial websites is going to grow.

PirateFunk @ Opera, January 17

So I pulled off a 30 minute set at Opera NYC last night! There was a fantastic crowd (a lot of my friends came through, which energized me), but I am disappointed at my first few transitional mixes. They weren't as smooth as I wanted them to be, and this is due in part to not being familiar with the club's DJ equipment. That's still not a valid excuse, so I'll have to do better next time.

Tracklist (and hopefully some photos) are in the pipeline, so I'll update this post later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What War Looks Like (in the Gaza Strip)

... more photos from Gaza (Thanks, Merhawi).

CIPE Essay Competition

The Center for International Private Enterprise is now accepting entries for its 2009 essay competition.

Young folks (ages 18-30) who want to enter into the competition have to write 2000-4000 words on either one of the following topics: (1) Citizenship in a Democratic Society; (2) Educational Reform and Employment Opportunities; (3) Entrepreneurship and Leadership. More details on the CIPE essay competition website.

Oh and did I mention that the winners of first, second and third place essays in each category (9 people altogether) will recieve $1,000 each?

That comes down to between 25-50 cents for every word you write. Not bad at all.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vijana FM passes 1st round Echoing Green!

Just heard back today that Vijana FM passed the first round of Echoing Green's 2009 fellowship! Next phase applications are due February 9, so I'll be cracking.

Check out the rest of the 300 organizations selected as semifinalists. Echoing Green homepage here.

For more information about Vijana FM, I'll be updating this website.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Echoing Green

First round application results are out today by 5pm EST!

<gulp>

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Twitter whaled

Gotta love Twitter's error messages!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Guantánamo: Movies vs. Reality

I happened to watch Rendition and The Siege this weekend, which both touch on detainee rendition policies of the United States. Coincidently, I found an article on the International Herald Tribune about an ex-Guantánamo detainee being released, and his thoughts on his detention there.

Here's a few extracts from the article:

When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in U.S. custody, including five at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected, and he was dependent on a cocktail of antibiotics and antidepressants.

...Iqbal was never convicted of any crime, or even charged with one. He was quietly released from Guantánamo with a routine explanation that he was no longer considered an enemy combatant, part of an effort by the Bush administration to reduce the prison's population [...]

Friday, January 2, 2009

First post of 2009 goes to... Busta

Yessir. Busta Rhymes' reaction to Barack Obama winning the 2008 elections!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year everyone! It feels wack ushering the new year here in NYC, while the world everywhere else is struggling to keep itself together (or break apart?).

The US is giving Palestine $85 million in humanitarian aid . Right. I have my reservations about the justification of this aid, and how it perhaps has a strategic interest in swaying the media's reports about previous US-Israeli relations... 

Tonight my prayers will be for World peace, unity, and prosperity.

Carpe diem.