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Archive for January, 2012

Stop SOPA

lamar-smith-a-real-scumbag

lamar-smith-a-real-scumbag

sopa/pipa blackout

sopa/pipa blackout

Members of Congress still in shock over yesterday’s massive internet protest. I’ve never seen a demonstration have an impact this quickly. — Michael Moore

Greed-driven Hollywood must be a rare example of an industry that treats its customers and potential customers as criminals.

I find it offensive to buy a DVD and then be forced to watch a video that tells me I am a criminal.

No, snatching a purse or handbag or a smash and grab raid, is not the same as copying a DVD. In the first case is is clearly theft, someone has been deprived of their property, in the latter, no one had been deprived of their property.

The irony is that if I had a pirate DVD, it would not have at the beginning the compulsive video that implies that I am a criminal for possessing a legitimate copy.

I find it offensive, have laptop will travel, but Hollywood puts regional encoding on its DVDs to stop them being played outside the region.

The irony is that it is simple enough to bypass, simply download AnyDVD or DVDFab Passkey and it sits in the background and removes the regional encoding, I can then watch at my leisure wherever I happen to be, any DVD from anywhere in the world.

If I borrow a DVD, I copy it so I can watch it when I get around to it.

I find it offensive when a student in the UK is facing extradition to the USA at the behest of Hollywood for having a website which directed visitors to where they might find free downloads. He himself was not supplying free downloads. What he did is not even a criminal offence in the UK! He faces 10 years in prison if extradited to the USA.

Members of Congress still in shock over yesterday’s massive internet protest. I’ve never seen a demonstration have an impact this quickly. — Michael Moore

Greed-driven Hollywood must be a rare example of an industry that treats its customers and potential customers as criminals.

I find it offensive to buy a DVD and then be forced to watch a video that tells me I am a criminal.

No, snatching a purse or handbag or a smash and grab raid, is not the same as copying a DVD. In the first case is is clearly theft, someone has been deprived of their property, in the latter, no one had been deprived of their property.

The irony is that if I had a pirate DVD, it would not have at the beginning the compulsive video that implies that I am a criminal for possessing a legitimate copy.

I find it offensive, have laptop will travel, but Hollywood puts regional encoding on its DVDs to stop them being played outside the region.

The irony is that it is simple enough to bypass, simply download AnyDVD or DVDFab Passkey and it sits in the background and removes the regional encoding, I can then watch at my leisure wherever I happen to be, any DVD from anywhere in the world.

If I borrow a DVD, I copy it so I can watch it when I get around to it.

I find it offensive when a student in the UK is facing extradition to the USA at the behest of Hollywood for having a website which directed visitors to where they might find free downloads. He himself was not supplying free downloads. What he did is not even a criminal offence in the UK! He faces 10 years in prison if extradited to the USA.
The result has been almost instantaneous. US politicians are reeling from the public backlash. many, who supported SOPA, who were even sponsors, have suddenly found it is not a hot potato they wish to be caught holding.

We do not have to jump to corporate lobbyists. We can bring Hollywood to its knees. How about a worldwide boycott of Hollywood, no going to the cinema to watch their rubbish films, no buying their DVDs?

– The Day the Internet Roared
– We are the lobbyists now
– SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?
– Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War
– Why Hollywood Is Losing the Public Relations War on Piracy
– Supreme Court Bashes Public Domain
– It’s time to place the Internet in Safer Hands
– Senate Democrats hold fast to anti-piracy bill
– SOPA: Anti-Piracy or Censorship?
– Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives
– Anonymous Retaliates Against MegaUpload Takedown, Knocks MPAA, RIAA Sites Offline [plus DOJ]

Paulo Coelho on writing III

boat on the sea - Ken Crane

boat on the sea - Ken Crane

boat on the sea - Ken Crane

boat on the sea - Ken Crane

If you enjoy what you are doing you are going to be inspired to share with other people. — Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho talking about writing using Aleph as an example.

When we write we let inspiration guide us. If we try to guide inspiration we write mechanically, as though we have been to writing school. Maybe ok to write a technical manual, but produces bad writing, no flow, lacks a soul.

Hildegard von Bingen when she wrote her beautiful, haunting music said she was ‘a feather on the breath of God’.

When Handel wrote the Messiah, he thought he was being inspired by angels. On completing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ Handel is reported to have exclaimed ‘I think I did see all Heaven open before me and the great God Himself.’

Illustrations by Ken Crane.

– Paulo Coelho on writing I
– Paulo Coelho on writing II

Interview with Canon Andrew White in Canada

Excellent interview with Canon Andrew White on 100huntley.com talking about Biblical references to Iraq (there are lots) and the current situation in Iraq both from a political and religious viewpoint.

How many people were able to count Yasser Arafat as a close personal friend, someone who got an invite to a five-year-old’s birthday party? How many churches have angels and the wheels within wheels as described by Ezekiel present?

Canon Andrew White is the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

Last week he was awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

Books mentioned:

The Vicar of Baghdad
Suffer the Children
Faith Under Fire
Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

Canon Andrew White awarded First Freedom Award

Canon Andrew White and Fulla Elia at First Freedom Award ceremony

Fulla, Andrew and Julie Futch

Andrew group photo

First Freedom Award - Andrew White 2012

First Freedom Award reverse

 

The prize giving event yesterday was a wonderful event. Hundreds of people at the prize giving dinner and even lots of friends I did not even know were coming. Amb. Bell the foundation president told me that it by far the best prize giving event in his memory. It was such an honour and some of the pictures are below. — Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White, aka Vicar of Baghdad, has been awarded the First Freedom Prize for his outstanding work on Middle East peace initiatives and extremely rare to be awarded to a non-Head of State.

The citation reads:

2012 INTERNATIONAL RECIPIENT
Canon Andrew White

Dubbed the “Vicar of Baghdad,” The Reverend Canon Andrew White is Vicar of St. George’s Church, the only Anglican Church in Iraq. White is also President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

Canon Andrew White has built an extraordinary ministry of reconciliation and conflict mediation in the Middle East. In 1998, he was installed as the Director of International Ministry for the Diocese and Cathedral of Coventry. Soon after, White became the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, a very dangerous position in which White’s predecessor, Terry Waite, was kidnapped by Hizbullah and held hostage for over four years.

White was actively involved in the Middle East helping to lead the negotiations during the Siege of the Church of the Nativity in 2002 and helping draft the First Alexandria Declaration of the Religious Leaders of the Holy Land, and the Baghdad Religious Accord, both of which were instrumental in bringing together key religious leaders of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. Since 2005, White has worked almost exclusively as the pastor of St. George’s Church in Iraq, and continues his pioneering reconciliation efforts through The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

In Iraq, Canon White joins his responsibilities of pastoral care with an aggressive interfaith mission to reduce conflict in an insecure environment. The clinic that White’s church sponsors has medical staff from all sects in Iraq and delivers humanitarian relief without regard for the religious or ethnic backgrounds of patients.

White’s standing and reputation with the most senior religious leaders in Iraq has helped him reduce not only violence against Iraq’s increasingly small Christian community, but reduce violence against all Iraqis as well. White uses interfaith dialogue as part of a conflict arbitration strategy in Iraq, trying to gain the trust of key Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim religious leaders as grounds for mediating and re-establishing political dialogue. Through creating relationships of trust and confidence, White has brought together the leaders of the opposing sectarian factions, and his foundation has sponsored a number of high-level peace talks between them. Meetings chaired by White produced the first ever joint Sunni and Shi’ite religious opinion against violence in Iraq, which was read out in at least 80% of the mosques in Iraq.

Too often International Awards and Honours go to unworthy recipients. The Nobel Peace Prize to Obama was a sick joke.

The First Freedom Award to Canon Andrew White was a just recognition of his work in the Middle East!

Andrew White was accompanied to the Award Ceremony by the lovely Fulla Elia who was looking absolutely stunning!

Previous recipients of this prestigious award include former Czech President Václav Havel for his role in Charter 77 and the Velvet Revolution; as well as three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Father Elias Chacour, founder of Israel’s Mar Elias Educational Institutions.

First Freedom Center is an American institute that seeks to advance the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

Photos courtesy of Fulla Elia.

Faith Under Fire by Andrew White has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

– Canon Andrew White awarded International First Freedom Award
– Andrew White wins International First Freedom Award
– Anglican Priest Given Prestigious Religious Freedom Award

Encouraging Things to Say to Kids

“A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.” ~Rudolph Dreikurs

Here is a list of encouraging phrases to say to kids. Some of these examples fit many kinds of scenarios, and others are responses I’ve said to my kids about something specific that happened. I try to say these kinds of things daily, and, once I understood what makes a response encouraging (as opposed to praising, belittling, fixing, etc.), it’s actually not very difficult to fit them into conversation.

Every day my kids have opportunities to feel proud and to want me to encourage them even further. But rather than say, “Good job, that makes me so happy,” I try to find a way to focus it on their efforts. In short, encouraging statements keep the task/ action/ problem/ accomplishment about the child, not about the parent.

Every positive discipline tool is designed to encourage chidden, help them feel capable, and connect us closer to each other. All of these phrases acknowledge and appreciate something positive about a child and are encouraging words to hear:

  • I love you.
  • I’m sure you can find a way to solve this problem.
  • Boy, you worked so hard on that! It really shows.
  • I have faith in you to figure it out.
  • I know you don’t like doing this, and I thank you for doing it anyway. It really helps.
  • The amount of detail you added to this drawing makes it seem so life-like.
  • You must feel so proud of yourself right now!
  • Your eyes easily spotted the quickest way through that maze.
  • I noticed that you’ve been working hard at cutting your own food.
  • You did it!
  • Thank you for putting all of our towels in the laundry. It helps us get ready much faster.
  • Trust yourself.
  • It sounds like your body is trying to tell you something.
  • I noticed how long you stuck with that.
  • You have the right to feel angry.
  • I can tell that some special mom/ dad time would help you right now.
  • How do you feel about what you accomplished?
  • I appreciate your cooperation.
  • Thanks for helping.
  • What do you think?
  • What do you need to do to accomplished your goal?
  • I’m listening.
  • That was hard for you; thank you!
  • I can see you are really angry right now, and that’s OK.
  • What would you do about it?
  • I just want to sit and be close to you for a few minutes.
  • It’s OK to be sad.
  • I appreciate you setting the table so neatly.
  • Wow!
  • I know you are upset. I would be too.
  • You can try again tomorrow.
  • What is your understanding of what needs to happen?
  • Your piggy bank is getting really full; it must have taken you a long time to save all that.
  • You decide.
  • I have faith that we can find a respectful solution.
  • Look at what you’ve accomplished!
  • You are capable.
  • Thank you for getting dressed so quickly.
  • I noticed you gave your toy to that boy when he was sad. I bet it helped him feel better.
  • What is your plan for getting this done?
  • I’m sorry.
  • I love you.
  • You lead the way.

Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground lives lost

the drama increases

Safe At Last

Following Morning

100 years after the Titanic??    

 

Today we’ve heard that a Costa cruise ship has been in an accident, which has taken place near the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast.

According to reports a major rescue operation was launched after the CostaConcordia began sinking. There were 3,200 passengers on board at the time with 1,000 crew members, and they have been evacuated to a nearby island where they are taking refuge in hotels and schools. The Captain of the ship Paolilo said that he tried to “steer his ship toward shallow waters” so that the evacuation would be easier by lifeboat. Once the boat started to tilt on one side the lifeboats could no longer be used and helicopters were called in to help evacuate the remaining passengers.

Sadly at least three people are dead after their bodies were recovered from the sea and another three are feared dead according to a coastguard official.

The Costa Concordia  is said to have left the port of Savona at around 7pm local time and was sailing to its first port of call in Civitavecchia, when the accident happened at around 9pm.

A full investigation will now take place to find out the cause, how this accident happened is still unknown at this time.

Costa Concordia is one of the biggest ships in the Costa fleet. It has 1,500 cabins, 5 restaurants, 13 bars, 5 Jacuzzis, 4 pools and even a Grand Prix Simulator and much more. You can read more on this accident here.

On-line tickets for British library exhibition

A wedding present for Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI

A wedding present for Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI

The exploits of Alexander the Great

The exploits of Alexander the Great

It should be easy enough, ordering tickets on-line for an exhibition at the British library. That is what on-line is all about?

Right!

Wrong, very wrong! At least not if you wish to order tickets for the British library .

It should be easy enough. Select what you want, type in card details and tickets are paid for and in the post or there to collect.

Oh no. Before you can get that far you have to register personal details with the British library .

Then select a password. A very specific password. It has to be alphanumeric, including upper and lower case letters.

Then you have to type in a set of random characters that you can barely see, let alone read. Get anything wrong, you have to start again, including typing in the barely legible characters.

Why?

It does not say. Do they think we are going to run off with a few manuscripts or maybe do a runner with a mummy tucked under each arm?

Once you have done this, you then have to verify what has been e-mailed. You do not have to but it is advisable as otherwise you have to go through this entire procedure all over again next time you try to order tickets for an exhibition.

Then you enter card details.Then how you wish the tickets to be delivered. A pull down menu, default e-mail. The default is the only option! Why the pull down menu if no other choice?

What an I supposed to do, drag along my laptop? Maybe will put on a usb memory stick!

All for a concert with The Sixteen.

One hell of a load of hassle.

It took me an hour or more on a laptop. I’d hate to try on a mobile phone. Do not even try. A friend did the previous day. After trying all afternoon and evening she gave up. It was not she who was at fault, it was an appallingly designed website. Had I not said I would try, I too would have given up. Had it been simply for an exhibition, I would not have bothered.

To add insult to injury British library had the gall to ask for a donation!

Autumn 2011, I went to the Sistine Tapestries at the Victoria and Albert. I never had this trouble. The tickets were there for me to collect.

I am always baffled why people think it is easier to buy on-line as it has never been my experience. I find it is far easier to pop in a shop. You can see and handle what you are buying and it is there in your hand to take away.

I wished to buy PaintShop Pro X4. I tried Amazon. There is also PaintShop Pro X4 Ultimate. No explanation the difference. I have never purchased from Amazon. But I am registered. It goes without saying I know not my password. Never mind, click lost password and a new password gets e-mailed to me.

Oh no, that would be far too easy. Type in illegible characters and type in last four digits of credit card. But I have never purchased anything from Amazon!

I went to PC World. Picked up off the shelf what I wanted. Exactly same price as Amazon.

Tickets for British library are for early music group The Sixteen, and includes free entry to Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination.

The concert is unseated! To unseat someone is to remove from office. Do they mean we stand? Do they mean seats not allocated? If so, why not say so? http://keithpp.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/on-line-tickets-for-british-museum-exhibition/