Archive for September, 2005

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Dubya's a Genius!

September 30, 2005

John Robters and DubyaOK, maybe not, but at least someone advising him is. Think about it. By appointing John Roberts, a 50-year-old man, as Supreme Court Justice, he has guaranteed that one of his own will influence American law for at least the next 20 years (if Allah wills). Imagine that. Now, Dubya has the chance to add yet another justice to the mix. No doubt, this will be another young person. It is a lifetime appointment. Let’s hope they spend the rest of their lives doing what’s right.

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Gallery 2

September 21, 2005

Good news! I’ve upgraded the Photo Gallery to Gallery2. It’s SO much easier than G1. Special thanks to Pedro Gilberto for the beautiful theme.

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Expect the Unexpected

September 19, 2005

I just found out that I have to monitor students on a standardized test. Fortunately, this laptop has over 4 hours of battery time left on it, and I have two eyes. 🙂

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Don't throw that away! I need a fill-up

September 15, 2005

A German scientist, Christian Koch, has made an amazing invention that turns waste (“paper, plastics, textiles, and rubbish”) into diesel fuel that can be used in normal diesel-powered automobiles. It is much more cost-efficient that gasoline, although I don’t know how environmentally friendly it is.

Instead of this being a major breakthrough news story, a German scum of a newspaper, the Bild, ran a story claiming that Koch used dead cats to power his car. It seems most of the “reputable” news agencies took this story and ran with it. I even read a post on Slashdot that had this claim but then linked to a CNN article that quotes the scientist refuting the very same accusation.

I would not be surprised if someone with a stake in the oil industry fabricated this story to divert people from the true benefits of this invention. (1). We can virtually eliminate our trash problem by turning it into fuel. (2). We can end the “oil wars” like the ones going on in Iraq and Afghanistan (yeah I said it).

But then, we are really reaching the heart of the problem. It’s not as if other fuel sources did not already exist (alcohol and hydrogen come to mind off the top of my head). The problem is that the oil industry and the politicians on their payroll are hellbent on making sure that oil continues to be the main source of auto energy until the last drop dries and most of the Middle East has been obliterated.

Meanwhile, on the real planet earth, a real human being, Christian Koch, has gone 106,000 miles in his car, powered by his trash.

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Techno-Mania

September 13, 2005

Well, we rolled in three new carts of Apple iBooks. Now each grade level has their own cart. We also got some new digital video cameras. The iBooks are a real treat for the kids to do video editing.

My real project with the iBooks, however, is blog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)ging. I want the kids to have their own Drupal for this one. It’s pretty cool, and GPL.

The Drupal system allows teachers to monitor all the blog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)s (teachers must approve them BEFORE they’re posted). Students can remain anonymous to the outside world while their teachers still know who’s who.

Now, training the students should be a piece of cake, but training the teachers might prove difficult. I welcome any creative ideas.

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The Blessing of Well-Being

September 13, 2005

Last night I was violently struck with a migraine. In all of my years, I have never experienced anything like it. It came at me all of sudden and without warning. It was so severe that I was standing, and it nearly knocked me to my feet. Anyway, it really opened my eyes. It was not a near-death experience, but it reminded me of how easily all of this can be taken from us. The simple gift of well-being is so precious that we should cherish every moment of it and use it only for good.

The blessed Messenger of Allah, to whom is most deserving of our salutations of peace and blessings, reportedly said, “Take benefit of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied and your life before your death.

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Choose your friends wisely

September 10, 2005

Yesterday, I saw an old friend for the first time in a couple of years. I’ve known him now for almost 10 years. SubhanAllah! Tempus Fugit. You can always tell if someone is really your friend. When you’re around them, you feel your iman increase. There is a certain force of attraction (like that of a moth toward a flame, not a man toward a woman) between friends like this. One source of light feeds another.

He has bartered three Arabic textbooks and a dictionary to me in exchange for creating a web site that will host his store selling these books. The books are called Arabic For All, and I am already very impressed with them. There is NO English in any of the books. Not a single letter. It might sound impossible to learn Arabic from it, but that is actually the best way to learn. It comes with CDs (containing MP3 files, which beats typical textbooks with Windows CD-ROMs that don’t work in Linux) that takes you through the book. I’ve started the first lesson and love it, alhamdulillah. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to start learning Arabic. The obvious requirement is that you know how to read Arabic at a beginning level.