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Archive for January, 2009

I was over at Design Sponge, when I a came across a most uncool photograph.

A greasy, moldy sandwich at a site, dedicated to splendid visuals and the best in design?

lunch_bag_1

Well, these celebrated lunch bags are reusable anti-theft lunchbags.

They are designed so to keep co-workers and roommates away from your lunch. Cute idea. Isn’t it?

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I’m still feeling unwell so the posts maybe a bit sporadic

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Will be away!

Severe headache and feeling slightly feverish, so I might be away for a couple of days.

Cheers,

Rachel

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bagCheck out the Crafty Crow! Elsie Marley is giving away this adorable Storybook Kiddy Messenger Bag to one lucky winner!   To enter this giveaway, visit the Elsie Marley shop and be sure to link back to The Crafty Crow on your blog if you have one.  The giveaway ends at midnight PST on February 1st and will be announced at the CC on February 2nd. This giveaway is available worldwide.

On Giveaway monday, the Crafty Crow is also featuring more Valentine cards and some cute Japanese fabric.

But the competition for these goodies is tough! Last time I hopped over there were already some 115 contestants! Happy commenting!

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computer2Do you remember that a few posts ago, I had protested against a Christian Wife Disciplining (Domestic abuse) book on Amazon.

I had said that I was shocked to check this link posted at TW. The stories written by Leah Kelly are truly sickening! Any idea on how to petition Amazon to stop selling such books?

Today, I check out Amazon to read the reviews on Kite Runner and I find that books of grown men spanking women appears as search history. And Amazon heads off that section with “You might like this…..”

Ugh! First thing I am annoyed that Amazon should record my search history and secondly the header is “You might like this….” Nauseating!

I am really not for these hidden cookies that are there on every site, which record your history. Its supposed to make your online experience better, but somehow all this electronic-spying freaks me.

On Facebook again, there might be walls. But I am not sure that I want all the 80 people on my friend’s list to read what I have been doing, who I have been chatting with and what latest games I played. Facebook, Orkut and Myspace collect and store personal information to increase the “user’s experience.” But then what is not often mentioned is that they are ok with sharing this information to google, other websites and SMS services.

Why should my age, occupation, gender and the fact that I like Asterix & Obelix, be made available for the general edification of the public at large? When asked, Facebook has stated that it wants to provide a “more personalized service that will increase our enjoyment.”

And what happens if Facebook or Orkut are taken over by another company? Well there is a transfer of all the information owned by these organizations to the new owner.

And again people do all kinds of stupid things on Orkut. They give their cellphone numbers; they give their home addresses; they even fix up dates via their scrapbook. If you made a fool of yourself when you were 14, would you like Facebook or Orkut, carefully storing that information so that they could “maximize your enjoyment” even after you were 21?

Google privacy policy forms part of signing up on YouTube. So if you have signed into your account, you will have YouTube happily storing away everything about you.

Let me see, what was the last video I saw on YouTube…….. it was this horrid video of T Rajender spouting his usual nonsense and insulting a fellow-member of the press.

So, will YouTube now take this as proof that I am a big fan of T Rajender?

I have never used Yahoo’s services. But reading their privacy terms didn’t really tempt me to sign up. They say, ‘Once you register with Yahoo! and sign in to our services, you are not anonymous to us.’

What is this whole ‘user experience’ that they use as justification? Well, its basically hidden cookies that track every website we visit and every product we see, so that they can jam our inbox with spam.

And then there are your friends. Some of my friends have no problem downing drinks in front of the cameras. Though a teetotaler, there have been many parties I have attended where the drinks were freely flowing. Now, I find that some of these pictures have been uploaded onto my friends’ social networking sites. I find that irritating to say the least! Even if you are very private and not given into sharing personal information on the net, you will find that you are on someone or something’s database.

And so far I am just talking about image-consiousness. What about more serious threats like that of sexual predators?computer13

I am also not for large corporations or government bodies (in particular the US) having access to my entire Internet history. What if a guy had been through sex abuse as a kid and hence reads up a lot on that subject. If he mails his CV to Amazon, what if they decide to look up his search history? They will no doubt dub him a “weirdo” or think he has bad taste and dump his resume.

One must never forget the moral behind the Quechup expose. This social networking site used the email addresses on its database for a spamming operation.

Basically this means “Invasion of Privacy.” And I am dead against it!

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pastorExcerpts from The Scared Sandwich:

Church officials for Jerusalem’s Bus Stop, a gathering of Christ-followers in Boise, Idaho have reported that Pastor/Head Facilitator Tucker Wynn has taken a leave of absence in the wake of what they describe as Wynn “hitting a major pothole in his faith journey” when he told several people during his sermon to “shut up and read your Bible.”

Jacob Mason, the church’s Supervisor of Holistic Meditation, witnessed the shocking event. “Tuck was facilitating our usual sermon-dialogue time on Sunday when Karen, our director of pottery, tried to express her inner feelings on what God was saying to her. Before she could share her feelings, however, Tuck said that he had a feeling to share, too. He said he felt like she needed to shut up and focus on God’s word instead of her feelings. Needless to say, Karen’s feelings were hurt, so she told him how she felt about his feelings toward her. Then we opened up the discussion for others to express how they felt.”

According to several eyewitnesses, Pastor Wynn then screamed, “What is WRONG with you people!” and fled the building.

I am glad the people in that church had the gumption to tell their feelings to the pastor. To recount a hilarious incident I witnessed:

One of the senior pastors entered the church and found that it still had not been decorated for Easter. Chruch members had just started putting up the streamers and festoons. He started shouting at them, “How much time will you take. If you are going to take so much time doing this kind of work, when will you have time to read the Bible or worship God? You are all so lazy! What have you been doing the whole day?” One of the church members replied, “Pastor we have been praying the whole day at the youth retreat.” With egg on his face, the pastor just sidled out of the place.

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I can’t believe my friend and photo journalist Jawapix from IE has actually taken the time and effort to upload my pictures onto picaso. When I took these pictures I was using a manual SLR, so we had to scan some of the pictures. This post was to say a Big Thank You to him. You can view some of my photos at picasoweb. If you think I have a pre-occupation with food, you maybe right – I still have a few extra pounds that I can’t explain away 🙂

breakfast

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labelledameMarion Zimmer Bradley retells the Arthurian legends from the point of view of the women – the much maligned Morgaine, Viviane, Igraine, Gwenhwyfar and Morguase. A feminist perspective which gives the classic characters new depth and dimension. It’s a fantastic and pleasant read, whose flaws don’t make it any less interesting.

The Mists of Avalon politics and intrigue take place at a time when Christianity is taking over the pagan worshipping island-nation of Britain – it shows the legendary rise and fall of Camelot. God vs Goddess, Christianity vs Paganism, Patriarchy vs Matriarchy, Love vs lust are some of the dominant themes of the book.

Though Bradley explores interesting ideas in ‘Avalon,’ her writing is disorganized to the extreme. In her efforts to cover everything – King Arthur’s Round Table, Pellinore’s dragon, the Holy Grail, – the book become an enormous tome of almost 900 pages with

Too much mush and too much Christianity is bad and Paganism is good. When we actually see the hard lives Morgaine and Viviane have to lead because of their faith, the harsh decisions that they take – one would prefer the less-taxing Christian God who doesn’t seem to mind having dumb priests in his service.

Gwynhwyfar and Lancelot have to be the most irritating characters ever created. From a vapid, frightened, stupidly-prejudiced girl, Gwynhwyfar grows into a hypocritical, adulterous and seemingly pious, over-religious female.

Gwenhwyfar is shown to deeply fear and hate the Goddess yet she had no compunctions in asking Morgaine for a charm to cure her bareness. And again her constant bullying of King Arthur to turn the country Christian is nothing short of tyrannical. She uses her knowledge of theladyofshallot2 incestuous (accidental) relationship he has with his sister as a Damocles sword over his head to emotionally blackmail him and get what she wants. Also her own inability to carry a child, she blames on Druid Kevin when she miscarries. Gwenhwyfar is so whiney and whimpey that one wishes Arthur had just shut her up (as he was advised by many of his councilors).

Lancelot is another irrriating character. He is never happy with what he has, but is always lusting after something or the other. There is a also a hint by Bradley that he might be a homosexual, because of his attraction to Arthur and the threesome they once have during the Beltane fires.

The fight between Christianity and paganism is delightful to watch; in particular the arguments and counter-arguments placed. For me these thoughts resemble my own struggle to relate Christianity and the dominant religion of my country-Hinduism.

Believers of each religion seek to influence both Arthur and Uther – but ultimately Christianity ascends the throne.

The Isle of Avalon is painted in bright, seraphic, rose-tinted colours. The Isle is the centre for druids and priestess, inititated into the worship of the Goddess and one of the last abodes in Britain still untouched by Roman occupation or Christianity. The island surrounds itself in a mystical era – the mists and fogs protect this haven from the once-borns or those lacking in physic powers.

An interesting and pleasant read, for everyone except the history buff, because of its large-scale historical inaccuracies.

(For the full review, visit castlesinthair)

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