homeless world cup

(Top: from schwabfound.org; Bottom: in-kick.org)

I had never heard of this before today, but it seems like a positive plan: sending teams of homeless people to their own World Cup in order to raise money from fans to "Kick off Poverty." The current Homeless World Cup is going on now in Cape Town, South Africa - the country that is to host the official 2010 FIFA World Cup. Combining football and charity - now there's a great idea!

Here is a news story about the current cup with stories and photos.

The Homeless World Cup also has an official site, homelessworldcup.org.

foraging for...pencils?

The anthropology simulation continues.

Our culture is a foraging community, so yesterday our discussion leader gave us our first activity to determine how we would gather, share, and store food. He told us he'd hidden brightly colored pencils around the building. The guys went to "hunt" the pencils while the girls went to another place to "gather" them.

Once we returned to the classroom, we discovered that there were only ten pencils for a group of about 18 people. "So, how are you going to distrubute this 'food' so that everyone has something?" he asked.


Then one girl picked up her pencil, and with a loud crrrack! broke it in half. "Who wants this half?" she asked.

We started smiling at each other. We could do that? Pretty soon there was another crack! and another. When all the pencils were snapped in half, everyone had an equal amount and there was even some left over. We then decided that in our culture, everyone would participate in foraging for food and share in a weekly ritual feast.

It reflected well on our lecture for this week, in which our professor told us about the ritual feasts of his friends in Papau New Guinea. Neighbouring groups would "invade" each other's villages with gifts of food. This is the way that prestige is displayed there, the idea being that one tribe can prepare more food than the other will be able to eat. When it is apparent the the tribe being "attacked" cannot consume all the gifts of the invading village, the leader will parade around and boast about all the people involved in the production of the foods: who planted the potatoes, who prepared them, who brought them to the camp, etc. Then he will exclaim, "We have knocked you down with how much we can give!"

This type of community giving seems strange in a country where we can go to the grocery store and buy the same kind of potatoes without knowing who planted them or packaged them, and sometimes even without a kind word to the cashier who hands us the potatoes. In fact, in New Guinea, it is offensive to receive money in exchange for food - it is important only to remember who gave them to you so that you can return the favor at some point in the future.

I think the simulation is working well. We're barely three weeks into it, and it's already dredging up some interesting questions to ponder...


so apparently...

You Belong in Dublin
Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.
According to Blogger's quiz, Dublin is the city I'm supposed to visit. Sounds good to me...I'd have nothing against some long walks in the hills, a taste of the city life, and maybe a good football match. But for now this Wikipedia link is as close as I'll get.
Try the quiz yourself, here.


calling all bookworms...

It's National Banned Books Week. So, try your hand as this quiz about banned books from Mental_Floss. And try out a new book or two! Some of my favourites are:

The Princess Bride - even funnier than the movie, "Inconceivable!" as that might be.

Hitchhiker's Guide the the Galaxy - An amusing intergallactic tale by Douglas Adams. The first of five such cynical yet hilarious books about the adventures of Arthur Dent in the far reaches of the universe.

A Wrinkle in Time - a fascinating sci-fi story I first read in middle school...it's still a fascinating tale of time travel and adventure.

Stargirl - Definitely a tear-jerker, but also a sweet, thought-provoking look at popularity vs. thinking about others in a small Mica, AZ high school.


doesn't this look tasty?

I wouldn't know - octopus doesn't show up on my dinner plate too often. But the picture is colorful and interesting; one of many from Lucy's Kitchen Notebook that make me want to jet off to Lyon, France just to taste the many different foods Lucy blogs about.

I've discovered of late that food blogs are pretty popular these days. I don't cook all that often, but just perusing some of the blogs can be fascinating. From recipes to photos, travel information to kitchen table chat, international food blogs can be as interesting as chatting with a local cook about how to make a national dish. Particularly interesting are the entries that profile a local farmers' market or upscale restaurant. Here are some interesting ones.

Lulu Loves London: Lulu's photos and food discoveries from her world travels, most recently to Sardinia and Napoli.

Clivia's Cuisine: Kristina from Stockholm shares recipes and photos of her favorite hobby. Mostly in English, with some Swedish.

Becks and Posh: English traveler Sam Breach shares her international recipes and travel stories.

Baking for Britain: Anna from London shares recipes for baked goods from around the UK.


(bottom pic from pbase.com)

This is what I'm going to be doing here at school. It's a form of Japanese dance, combining traditional movements with modern music. It's energetic. It's fun. And it's tricky.

I found out about yosakoi a couple of weeks ago as I was walking around campus, and saw several students learning the moves from an instructor. Intrigued, I watched them for awhile. The students were learning the dance so they could teach other students at an official class later in the week.

Today I went back and this time joined in. The people were so nice and funny, so it didn't feel strange to be awkwardly jumping around to music I didn't know. My first "official" class is Tuesday night, and I'm looking forward to it.

september 24

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet. I just haven't had any motivation to blog lately. Nothing too amazing to report - classes plugging along as usual. I eat. I sleep. I go to church. The normal stuff.

However, I guess I can't call any particular day normal. According to the History Channel, today is the day in history that:

- the very first Model T was completed
- the first Supreme Court was established
- I Love Lucy's last episode aired

Also, according to Daily Holidays today is:

National Good Neighbor Day
National Punctuation Day
F. Scott Fitzgerald's birthday

And if you still don't think September 24 isn't any more special than the other 364 days of the year, Wikipedia has an article with several hundred things that happened on this day. So, in the spirit of September 24th, watch an episoe of I Love Lucy. Read the Great Gatsby. Be a good nieghbor.

Just make sure you use correct punctuation in the meantime. :)


human clock

I snapped this picture on my morning walk last week, and thought it would be cool to send it in to the Human Clock, a website that has a photographic "clock" showing pictures sent in by viewers around the world. Every minute the clock displays a different picture, which contains the numbers corresponding to the current time. So if you have nothing better to do at 2:43 P.M. you can hop on the site and see my photo pop up on the screen for 60 seconds. (The numbers are pretty small in this pic; the one on the site is cropped a bit.)

The photos used for each day are creative, and range from people holding signs displaying the time to airport terminal marquees to giant groups of people spelling out the numbers to kids making the numbers with spaghetti.

It's an interesting project, and fun to see the photos from around the world. Below are some examples from the website.

what soothes you?

It's time for fall. Leaves are changing. Winds are getting colder. It makes me want to hole up somewhere warm with a good book, a blanket and something pumpkin-flavored. So, inspired by the blog Life is a Bowl of Garlic Hummus's list of soothing things ("Pass the Hug This Way..." - you'll have to scroll down partway to find it, the blog is constantly updated), here's my List of Soothing Stuff: Autumn Edition.

- Weather getting colder, but still sunny
- Good classical music on the radio
- Pulling on warm socks after the shock of cold toes on the floor
- Endless flocks of blackbirds flying through the air
- Cozy sweatshirts
- Warm soup and hot chocolate in my dorm
- Maple leaves turning red
- Locusts chirping at night
- Snappy air, sometimes flavored with smoke or rain
- Reading outdoors on a bench somewhere on campus
- The sky - it seems to have a more intense blue come September
- Time for pumpkin and apple-flavored things
- The way lit windows look so much more inviting in the dark
- Pumpkins on porches

So there you have it.

What soothes you?


back from the craft fair

It is officially fall, the benchmark being that my town hosted its annual '3rd Saturday in September' craft fair this weekend - complete with arts and craft booths, food, and street vendors, of which I was one. Our church sold parking spots on the back lawn, as well as water and various sweets. I, along with other members of the congregation, carted water and baked goods up the crowded street yelling, "Ice cold water! Fresh-baked cinnamon rolls and brownies!" This ended up being a pretty rewarding enterprise due to the unexpected heat and hungry crowds.

It was amusing to see the blank stares on people's faces when we tried "Anybody want to try some hommade baklava?" Apparently the amazingness of this rich Greek dessert was lost on the throngs of typically German-heritage fairgoers.

The day was profitable, but completely exhausting. It did, however, produce some great photo ops. The colors and crowds made the fair a particularly interesting place to snap away.



Every doorway, every intersection has a story. - Katherine Dunn

lose The Game

Okay, I just have to spread the fun. Sarah sent me this link the other day. I thought it sounded creative, and very British. So I was automatically intrigued. :) But I had no idea this game had much national reach until today when I saw in huge chalk letters on the sidewalk: "You Lose the Game!"

To clear up any confusion, The Game is simple. The only rules are:

1. You are playing The Game.
2. Whenever you think about The Game, you lose.
3. Loss must be announced.

It seems that bemused originators of this game from the UK think The Game will be officially over when Tony Blair publicly announces he has lost The Game. I'm eagerly awaiting the day. :)

But check out the site, anyway. There are cool t-shirts, links, and a really random forum. Fun stuff.

so it begins...

We've officially begun our anthropology culture simulation. In lecture this week, we discussed body language, and how gestures can be interpreted differently by different cultures. Who knew there were so many variations on a simple handshake?

We started discussion group today finding out the environment of the culture we'll be building over the next few weeks. The groups making up different "cultures" in our assignment were all given a specific climate somewhat like that of a real place on earth. Our group's culture is officially called "New Zealandish" and consequently has the oceans, mountains and forests like the actual islands of New Zealand. Call me a geek, but I was hoping we'd get that climate from day one. Blame it on Lord of the Rings, if you will.

Anyway, today we came up with body language for our culture, as well as ways to say hello, goodbye, express anger, etc. There are some pretty interesting gestures - for example, instead of shaking hands, we walk up to another person, extend our hand as if to shake theirs, but instead bend our opposite leg and "shake" their ankle. These will come into play during the actual simulation at the end of the semester. If other cultures "offend" us by the way they greet us, we may not trade with them, or we might actually attack them if they try to colonise our island.

Speaking of islands, tonight is the premier of Survivor: Cook Islands. A lot of people have already been showing apprehension and skepticism about the race-based way the game is being played this time around. However, news articles quoting the host and producer say not to judge the seemingly racist format, and that there might be a 'surprise' involved.


Guess I'll just have to watch and find out for myself.


it's a beautfiul morning

A morning walk around campus turned into a fruitful photography expedition as well. The rain storm that blew through the other night made way for sunny skies, but left enough rain drops on the leaves and flowers to make for some interesting pictures. It's a time of change around here: some of the leaves are beginning to turn colors and fall from the trees, but there are still plently of flowers in bloom. It was nice to be able to relax and take it all in.


a cozy little nook

We discovered a homey little used bookstore downtown. It's a pleasant place to relax, even if you can't read.

you know you're a university student when...

- a sit-down dinner in your dorm involves opening a can of Spaghetti-O's with a needle-nosed pliers.

- you've heard every ringtone known to humankind.

- you spend longer walking to your car than driving to your destination.

- you discover that the best modes of mass communication are chalking messages on the sidewalk and posting fliers in bathroom stalls.

- the most popular hangout in your dorm is the laundry room.

- you discover you were born to multitask. Talking on your cell phone, listening to your iPod, and eating dinner can in fact be done simultaneously.

- you are really going to miss Steve Irwin. And Pluto. But the most pressing current event is the creepiness of the new Facebook layout.


and there was great rejoicing

I got a new camera! I haven't been able to take pictures since my old Kodak broke a few months ago, but now I'll be able to capture snippets of the world through my new lense. Henceforth, all photos in this blog will be my own unless I tag them as property of another website.

I can't wait to start taking pictures! :P



It's actually "American" spelled backward. It took me a while to figure out, but the article that I was reading for anrthopology started to show some strange parallels to American culture. After I figured that out, I started understanding what was meant by elibomotuas (automobiles) and rotcods (doctors), and I finally understood the satire therein. Now, everyone in the class has to write a paper on the Nacirema, looking at American culture as an outsider, and focusing on one aspect such as gnietad (dating) or teps (pets). It's been pretty entertaining.

The Diigo search has also continued for our class, and is turning up some fascinating sites like:

Miniature Earth - a thought-provoking short video about what the population would look like if there were only 100 people on the planet.

Global Voices Online - a collection of blogs from most countries in the world. Readers can click on a country and read from dozens of blogs to keep up with pop culture, current events and culture in that location.

Culture Shock - what to do if you're abroad and experiencing culture shock, as well as how to prepare yourself for going home after experiencing another culture.

Is it strange that I'm rejoicing over these loads of information as much as I am? It's just so intriguing...


happy new year

It's the first Sunday of the church year. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it's time to begin again the cycle of feasts and fasts. For the ancient Romans, it was a time to reconcile debts, and sometimes to pardon them. This was a season of celebrations; maybe that's why it is this time of year that the church designates as its "start-over" point. It's a time to reevaluate and refocus, and to start down the road that will lead us eventually to Christmas, Lent, Pascha (Easter) and beyond. Even if you're not Orthodox, today is a great day to think about where we've come from and where we're going, and change direction if need be. It is indeed the first day of the rest of our lives.