It’s still hard to believe that the little brother who used to barely reach my navel has now grown into a mature young man. Here’s a video of him on the speedbag. It’s pretty amazing how skilled he’s gotten in such a short amount of time. One would think he had started ages ago.

New Jersey City University will be presenting a Women’s History Month Closing Celebration. Here are the details:

  • Wednesday, March 28, 2007
  • 6:30-9:00PM
  • Ingalls Recital Hall ~ Rossey Building 101

Featuring “Carol Lester and the World Women”
Four Generations of Women Musicians From Three Continents Performing World Beats

Women Artists Speak About Their Experiences
Nathalie Pham, Doris Caicolo, Avani Patel, Vivian Warfield, Tara Thierry, Catarina Racha, Daphna ElRoy and Carol Lester

Refreshments will be served

This event is FREE and Open to the Public

This program is offered in conjunction with NJCU’s Women’s History Month. For further information please contact Renata Moreira at (201)200-2269 or Karen DeAngelis at (201) 200-3189

Never step over one duty to perform another.

Although I have yet to begin publicizing this blog, a couple of spam comments have already popped up. Thankfully, WordPress (the engine which powers my blog) held these comments in moderation. In future posts I’ll get into why I chose a self-hosted WordPress solution.

If spam comments are already rearing their ugly head, I chose to implement a stronger spam control feature now instead of later. Akismet is a highly recommended plugin. It is installed automatically for WordPress versions 2.0 or later, but if for some reason it isn’t you can download the official plugin. If you use WordPress and haven’t activated Akismet yet, then take a couple of minutes to activate it now.

If your WordPress blog is the freely hosted version hosted by WordPress.com you are already using Akismet and don’t need to do anything else to protect yourself from spam comments.

If, like me, you host your own blog, you need to do a few more steps to activate Akismet. Essentially, although you have a WordPress blog already you need to establish an account with WordPress.com and use the API key which comes with this account. In response to user requests, now one can open an account without creating a separate, to-be-unused blog.

  1. Sign up for an account with WordPress.com (you can opt for a sans-blog account)
  2. Activate your WordPress.com account
  3. Ensure that Akismet is installed and listed in your blog’s Plugins
  4. Find your WordPress.com API Key – you can get either from your welcome email or from your My Profile page
  5. Activate Akismet in your blog
  6. Enter the API Key when prompted
  7. That’s it! Now spam comments will be filtered!

Personally, I will join the ranks of those who would prefer not having to create an account with WP.com just to use its API key. I would love to one day see a way of creating one’s own API key. Until then, this is the method to follow. But for an effective but free solution for controlling spam, I won’t be picky!

We’ve got to have a dream if we are going to make a dream come true.

Denis Waitley
(1933-, American author, speaker, trainer, peak performance expert)

The Compete.com Blog has posted a heated debate between two extremists: Ryan’s is an avid Netflix user while his counterpart, Andy, is a diehard Blockbuster fan.

The opening arguments from both Ryan and Andy stuck to fact-driven statements, with each one backing up their claims with statistics. But their “parting jabs” were just that. Instead of continuing with a civil debate the conversation devolved into more of the “my service rocks, yours sucks!” variety. Comments from supporters of both sides of the argument drew the conversation further away from logical debating. The blog moderators had to clean up some of the more heated comments before making those comments live. Kudos to the moderating team for taking the extra step of cleaning up the language and doing what they could to keep the discussion resembling a debate.

One thing is clear from the post and subsequent comments: users of these services are adamant about their support. Poll results showing reader support of the opposing views are very close to equal. 53% agree with Ryan’s arguments for Netflix while 47% agreed with Andy’s statements for Blockbuster. Civil and fact-driven debating may have given way to fan-thumping, but it is interesting that there were almost no participants stating they didn’t have a preference for either movie rental service. They ardently prefer one over the other.

Personally, I have been a long-time customer of Netflix. And yes, I am an ardent fan of Netflix.

Netflix, Inc.

Bluffton University’s baseball team was involved in a bus accident yesterday morning. The bus drove off of an overpass and came crashing down onto the highway below. Four players, the bus driver, and the bus driver’s wife were killed. My prayers go out to the victims and their families.

As a former high school softball team captain, I remember how tight-knit the team was. Some of my closest friends today include members of that high school team. Hearing news of any young person’s untimely death saddens me. This news hit home because of the closeness I felt and still feel with my teammates. It really is like being part of an extended family. I can only imagine the devastation felt by Bluffton’s baseball team. The university is small with even fewer students than at my high school. So the entire university community is probably more deeply affected than if it happened at a larger university. I’m not saying that this makes the news more tragic, but I am saying that everyone at Bluffton probably knew these victims, and probably knew them well.

Hopefully the shared pain and struggle to come to terms with this grief will strengthen the Bluffton University community and they will emerge even closer than ever.

Thank heavens for newsreaders! With such a wealth of information online it can be easy to miss something you find relevant. While skimming through my news feeds I came across an article highlighting today’s total lunar eclipse. If not for RSS feeds, I may have not heard about it until it was too late. Hey, with so much tech-related news to keep up with, some current events just don’t make it onto my radar.

According to Robert Massey of the UK Royal Astronomical Society,

It is like Mars suddenly coming a thousand times closer and just hanging there in the sky above you.

NASA time predictions for eclipse

Astronomers are also looking forward to the event as potentially being the best in years. Mid-eclipse occurs at 6:21 p.m. EST according to NASA and the total eclipse should begin at 5:44 p.m.

Resources:

Visiting Artist, Nathalie Pham, will be giving a lecture about her work on Monday, March 5 at 5 p.m. at New Jersey City University’s Visual Arts Building auditorium. Her work can be viewed at her website, www.npham.com.

Recent Artist-in-Residence at the Newark Museum (NJ), Nathalie Pham received her MFA in sculpture from Parsons School of Design and her BFA from University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). After her undergraduate coursework, she worked as Dimitri Hadzi’s apprentice at Harvard University. Her sculptures have stood in many galleries and shows in the Tri-State area, including at the A.I.R. Gallery and alongside Leslie Dill in “Sacred Waterways” (both in New York
City). She is also principal of the Newark-based web-design firm, NPCreate, Inc.

Nathalie infuses her work with a freedom to choose materials and juxtapose them in unconventional ways—such as adding red wax stalactites, a drain, and a piece of casted meat into the drawers of an Asian lacquer bento box. These chimeras reflect a return to childlike wondering at objects, foods, colors, fashion, and architecture from our own mainstream commercialization and globalization and from various cultural traditions.

When we can’t dream any longer, we die.

Goldman Emma
(1869-1940, Russian writer)