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The Paradox

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller building, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We learn how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We’ve conquered outer space, but not inter space; we’ve cleaned up the air’ but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice; we have higher incomes, but lower morals; we’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

It is a time when there is much in the show windows and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference or you can forward it.

~Author Unknown~

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Facts about Israel:

Israel is a powerhouse when it comes to technology and medicine. It is third only to the US and Canada in terms of number of companies listed on Nasdaq (75!!!), well ahead of England, China, and Germany.

Israelis have invented much of the technology used today such as instant messaging (ICQ), firewall security software, Intel wireless computer chips, numerous medicines, and miniature video camera capsules to examine internal organs. Other Israeli inventions: the cell phone (invented by Motorola, with it’s largest R&D center being in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system, voice mail technology, and VOIP technology. Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita in the world

More Israeli patents are registered in the US than from Russia, India, and China combined, despite the enormous population disadvantage (about 7 million in Israel vs. 2.5 billion combined in the other 3).

One of the secrets of innovative success in Israel is the fact that cheating is minimized in the public funding: Money is not delivered according to research plans but steady income and thus the market analysis is emphasized. The support is designed so that the first 2-10 years a startup company does not have to pay taxes. But no direct funding without compensation is offered. Today, Israel draws Venture Capital (VC) more than the Europe.

Also, the biggest generic drug factory in the world was recently established in Israel. Over half of the exports from Israel are High tech products, compared to the 25%, which is the average in the OECD countries.

The greatest portion of funding of research per capita is found in Israel. Israel also has the greatest ratio of researchers per square meter or population in the face of the world, far exceeding i.e. Japan.

Many of the world’s largest companies have established R&D centers in Israel amongst them Intel, IBM, Motorola, Applied Materials, BMC, Marvell, Cisco, HP, Nestlé and more.

And the story continues……………………..

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February 3, 2009 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–>


:: The Paradox of Our Time in History ::

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers.

Wider freeways, but narrow viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less.

We buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families .

More conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees, but less sense.

More knowledge, but less judgment.

More experts, less solutions.

More medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

3 comments October 24, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

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:: World Military Spending ::

World Military Spending

Author and Page information

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

World Military Spending

Global military expenditure and arms trade form the largest spending in the world at over one trillion dollars in annual expenditure and has been rising in recent years.

(1991 figures are unavailable.)

Summarizing some key details from chapter 8 of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s 2007 Year Book on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security for 2005:

  • World military expenditure in 2006 is estimated to have reached $1204 billion in current dollars;
  • This represents a 3.5 per cent increase in real terms since 2005 and a 37 per cent increase over the 10-year period since 1997;
  • The USA, responsible for about 80 per cent of the increase in 2005, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for almost half of the world total;

SIPRI also comments on the increasing concentration of military expenditure, i.e. that a small number of countries spend the largest sums:

  • The 15 countries with the highest spending account for 83 per cent of the total;
  • The USA is responsible for 46 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the UK, France, Japan and China with 4-5 per cent each.

Using SIPRI data:

High and rising world market prices of minerals and fossil fuels has also been a contributing factor in the upward trend in military expenditure, said SIPRI in their earlier 2006 report. For example, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been able to increase spending because of increased oil and gas revenues, while Chile and Peru’s increases are resource-driven, “because their military spending is linked by law to profits from the exploitation of key natural resources.”

Also, “China and India, the world’s two emerging economic powers, are demonstrating a sustained increase in their military expenditure and contribute to the growth in world military spending. In absolute terms their current spending is only a fraction of the USA’s. Their increases are largely commensurate with their economic growth.”

SIPRI’s 2005 data also shows that while in raw dollar amounts some nations are increasing spending at large amounts, their percentage increases may vary:

In a similar report from 2004, the authors also noted that, “There is a large gap between what countries are prepared to allocate for military means to provide security and maintain their global and regional power status, on the one hand, and to alleviate poverty and promote economic development, on the other.”

Indeed, compare the military spending with the entire budget of the United Nations:

The United Nations and all its agencies and funds spend about $20 billion each year, or about $3 for each of the world’s inhabitants. This is a very small sum compared to most government budgets and it is just a tiny fraction of the world’s military spending. Yet for nearly two decades, the UN has faced a financial difficulties and it has been forced to cut back on important programs in all areas. Many member states have not paid their full dues and have cut their donations to the UN’s voluntary funds. As of November 30, 2007, members’ arrears to the Regular Budget topped $735 million, of which the United States alone owed $688 million (94% of the regular budget arrears).

UN Financial Crisis, Global Policy Forum (accessed February 29, 200

The UN was created after World War II with leading efforts by the United States and key allies.

At the current level of spending (for 2006), it would take just a handful of years for the world’s donor countries to cover their entire aid shortfall, of some 2 trillion dollars in promised official aid since 1970, more than 35 years ago.

Other spending priorities»

These issues have been of concern for a number of years. For example, consider this from 1998:

The illegal international drugs trade is estimated to be worth more than $400 billion, coming second only to military expenditure.

And consider the following, reflecting world priorities:

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotics drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

And compare that to what was estimated as additional costs to achieve universal access to basic social services in all developing countries:

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Basic education for all 6
Water and sanitation for all 9
Reproductive health for all women 12
Basic health and nutrition 13

(Source: The state of human development, United National Development Report 1998, Chapter 1, p.37)

It would seem ironic that the world spends more on things to destroy each other (military) and to destroy ourselves (drugs, alcohol and cigarettes) than on anything else.

These statistics are quickly getting old. If someone has had the time to research updated statistics, please let me know!

Back to top

US Military Spending

The United States has unquestionably been the most formidable military power in recent years. Its spending levels, as noted earlier, is the principle determinant of world military spending and is therefore worth looking at further.

Generally, US military spending has been on the rise. Recent increases are attributed to the so-called War on Terror and the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, but it had also been rising before that.

For example, Christopher Hellman, an expert on military budget analysis notes in The Runaway Military Budget: An Analysis , (Friends Committee on National Legislation, March 2006, no. 705, p. 3) that military spending had been rising since at least 1998, if not earlier.

Another expert on this topic, Travis Sharp, provides spending figures from 2001 to the requested figures for 2009 shown here:

As a chart

Raw data and sources

US Defense Spending Since 2001 in current dollars
Year $ billions Change from previous year (%)
Source: Travis Sharp, U.S. Defense Spending, 2001-2009, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, February 20, 2008Note: Figures includes Department of Defense spending, Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons program, the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and DoD-related spending by other agencies).
2009 706 1.42%
2008 696 9.77%
2007 628 11.15
2006 558 6.63%
2005 521 8.83%
2004 475 3.37%
2003 459 21.79%
2002 359 7.24%
2001 333 n/a

Compared to the rest of the world, these numbers have been described as “staggering.”

Back to top

In Context: US Military Spending Versus Rest of the World

When the US Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for military spending came out in early 2008, Travis Sharp and Christopher Hellman (mentioned earlier) projected the spending of other nations planned for 2008 thus allowing comparison between US military spending and the rest of the world:

Pie chart

Comparing US with others

In other words,

  • US military spending accounts for 48 percent, or almost half, of the world’s total military spending
  • US military spending is more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined
  • US military spending is 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.
  • US military spending is almost 55 times the spending on the six “rogue” states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) whose spending amounts to around $13 billion, maximum. (Tabulated data does not include four of the six, as the data only lists nations that have spent over 1 billion in the year, so their budget is assumed to be $1 billion each)
  • US spending is more than the combined spending of the next 45 countries.
  • The United States and its strongest allies (the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) spend $1.1 trillion on their militaries combined, representing 72 percent of the world’s total.
  • The six potential “enemies,” Russia, and China together account for about $205 billion or 29% of the US military budget.

Top spenders ranked (and sources)

Military spending in 2008 ($ Billions, and percent of total)
Country Dollars (billions) % of total Rank
Source: U.S. Military Spending vs. the World, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, February 22, 2008

Notes:

  • The figure for the United States is the budget request for Fiscal Year 2009 and includes $170 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as funding for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons activities.
  • All other figures are projections based on 2006, the last year for which accurate data is available.
  • All countries that spent over one billion per year are listed.
  • Due to rounding, some percentages may be slightly off.

If you are viewing this table on another site, please see http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending for further details.

United States 711 48.28% 1
China 121.9 8.28% 2
Russia 70 4.75% 3
United Kingdom 55.4 3.76% 4
France 54 3.67% 5
Japan 41.1 2.79% 6
Germany 37.8 2.57% 7
Italy 30.6 2.08% 8
Saudi Arabia 29.5 2.00% 9
South Korea 24.6 1.67% 10
India 22.4 1.52% 11
Australia 17.2 1.17% 12
Brazil 16.2 1.10% 13
Canada 15 1.02% 14
Spain 14.4 0.98% 15
Turkey 11.6 0.79% 16
Israel 11 0.75% 17
Netherlands 9.9 0.67% 18
United Arab Emirates 9.5 0.65% 19
Taiwan 7.7 0.52% 20
Greece 7.3 0.50% 21
Iran 7.2 0.49% 22
Myanmar 6.9 0.47% 23
Singapore 6.3 0.43% 24
Poland 6.2 0.42% 25
Sweden 5.8 0.39% 26
Colombia 5.4 0.37% 27
Chile 4.7 0.32% 28
Belgium 4.4 0.30% 29
Egypt 4.3 0.29% 30
Pakistan 4.2 0.29% 31
Denmark 3.9 0.26% 32
Indonesia 3.6 0.24% 33
Switzerland 3.5 0.24% 34
Kuwait 3.5 0.24% 35
South Africa 3.5 0.24% 36
Oman 3.3 0.22% 37
Malaysia 3.2 0.22% 38
Mexico 3.2 0.22% 39
Portugal 3.1 0.21% 40
Algeria 3.1 0.21% 41
Finland 2.8 0.19% 42
Austria 2.6 0.18% 43
Venezuela 2.6 0.18% 44
Czech Republic 2.5 0.17% 45
Romania 2.3 0.16% 46
Qatar 2.3 0.16% 47
Thailand 2.3 0.16% 48
Morocco 2.2 0.15% 49
Argentina 1.9 0.13% 50
Ukraine 1.7 0.12% 51
Cuba 1.7 0.12% 52
Angola 1.6 0.11% 53
New Zealand 1.5 0.10% 54
Hungary 1.3 0.09% 55
Ireland 1.1 0.07% 56
Jordan 1.1 0.07% 57
Peru 1.1 0.07% 58
North Korea n/a n/a 59
Global Total (not all countries shown): 1,472.7 100% n/a

Why does the US number seem so high when the budget announced $517.9 for the Department of Defense?

Unfortunately, the budget numbers can be a bit confusing. For example, the Fiscal Year budget requests for US military spending do not include combat figures (which are supplemental requests that Congress approves separately). The budget for nuclear weapons falls under the Department of Energy, and for the 2009 request, was about $29 billion.

The cost of war (Iraq and Afghanistan) is estimated to be about $170 billion for the 2009 spending alone. Christopher Hellman and Travis Sharp also discuss the US fiscal year 2009 Pentagon spending request and note that “Congress has already approved nearly $700 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and an additional $126 billion in FY’08 war funding is still pending before the House and Senate.”

Furthermore, other costs such as care for vetarans, healthcare, military training/aid, secret operations, may fall under other departments or be counted separately.

The frustration of confusing numbers seemed to hit a raw nerve for the Center for Defense Information, concluding

The articles that newspapers all over the country publish today will be filled with [military spending] numbers to the first decimal point; they will seem precise. Few of them will be accurate; many will be incomplete, some will be both. Worse, few of us will be able to tell what numbers are too high, which are too low, and which are so riddled with gimmicks to make them lose real meaning.

Winslow T. Wheeler, What Do the Pentagon’s Numbers Really Mean? The Chaos in America’s Vast Security Budget, Center for Defense Information, February 4, 2008

Commenting on the earlier data, Chris Hellman, noted that when adjusted for inflation the request for 2007 together with that needed for nuclear weapons the 2007 spending request exceeds the average amount spent by the Pentagon during the Cold War, for a military that is one-third smaller than it was just over a decade ago.

Generally, compared to Cold War levels, the amount of military spending and expenditure in most nations has been reduced. For example, global military spending declined from $1.2 trillion in 1985 to $809 billion in 1998, though in 2005 has risen to almost one trillion. The United States’ spending, up to 2009 requests may have be reduced compared to the Cold War era but is still close to Cold War levels.

Supporters of America’s high military expenditure often argue that using raw dollars is not a fair measure, but that instead it should be per capita or as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and even then the spending numbers miss out the fact that US provides global stability with its high spending and allows other nations to avoid such high spending. However, as researcher Chris Hellman notes,

Linking military spending to the GDP is an argument frequently made by supporters of higher military budgets. Comparing military spending (or any other spending for that matter) to the GDP tells you how large a burden such spending puts on the US economy, but it tells you nothing about the burden a $440 billion military budget puts on U.S. taxpayers. Our economy may be able to bear higher military spending, but the question today is whether current military spending levels are necessary and whether these funds are going towards the proper priorities. Further, such comparisons are only made when the economy is healthy. It is unlikely that those arguing that military spending should be a certain portion of GDP would continue to make this case if the economy suddenly weakened, thus requiring dramatic cuts in the military.

Chris Hellman, The Runaway Military Budget: An Analysis , Friends Committee on National Legislation, March 2006, no. 705, p. 3

In regards to the high spending allowing other nations to spend less, that is often part of a supportive theory of the global hegemon being good for the world. Granted, other nations in such a position would likely want to be able to dominate as much of the world as possible, as past empires have throughout history.

However, whether this global hegemony and stability actually means positive stability, peace and prosperity for the entire world (or most of it) is subjective. That is, certainly the hegemony at the time, and its allies would benefit from the stability, relative peace and prosperity for themselves, but often ignored in this is whether the policies pursued for their advantages breeds contempt elsewhere (in the modern era that may equate to “anti-Americanism”, resorting to terrorism and other forms of hatred.)

As noted in other parts of this site, unfortunately more powerful countries have also pursued policies that have contributed to more poverty, and at times even overthrown fledgling democracies in favor of dictatorships or more malleable democracies. (Osama Bin Laden, for example, was part of an enormous Islamic militancy encouraged and trained by the US to help fight the Soviet Union. Of course, these extremists are all too happy to take credit for fighting off the Soviets in Afghanistan, never acknowledging how it could not have been done without their so-called “great satan” friend-turned-enemy!)

So the global good hegemon theory may help justify high spending and even stability for a number of other countries, but it does not necessarily apply to the whole world. To be fair, this criticism can also be a bit simplistic especially if an empire finds itself against a competitor with similar ambitions, that risks polarizing the world, and answers are likely difficult to find.

But even for the large US economy, the high military spending may not be sustainable in the long term. Noting trends in military spending, SIPRI added that the massive increase in US military spending has been one of the factors contributing to the deterioration of the US economy since 2001. SIPRI continues that, “In addition to its direct impact of high military expenditure, there are also indirect and more long-term effects. According to one study taking these factors into account, the overall past and future costs until year 2016 to the USA for the war in Iraq have been estimated to $2267 billion.”

Source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#WorldMilitarySpending

Add comment September 19, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: cfp ~ Social Mediating Technologies ~ ::

Social Mediating Technologies: Developing the Research Agenda
Workshop – CHI 2009

April 4, 2009

The popularity of social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo and online communities like Wikipedia, Flickr and Twitter has launched a debate about the social impact of these technologies. Are people using the Internet to simply manage existing social relationships more effectively or are Social Networking Sites (SNS) and ecommunities empowering a new means of socialising and making friends? As these technologies mature they are becoming increasingly complex, supporting multiple purposes, ranging from keeping up with friends, to selfpresentation, social chat and gossip, to games and fashion. However, the downsides of SNS technologies are also becoming apparent, with press scares of social predators and, less menacing but still potentially serious, social gaffes when injudicious postings of photographs and comments are accessed by potential employers. In the wider perspective some have hailed the Internet as providing a new means of forming e-communities and building social capital, whereas others have warned that non-social Internet surfing and trivial social interaction may actually undermine the building of social capital and of cooperative societies. As the empirical data on SNS and Internet usage accumulate, it is timely to review the current state of the art and develop a deeper, theorybased, understanding of these socio-technical phenomena.

Workshop Goals

This workshop will survey, discuss and synthesise current knowledge on Social Mediating Technologies (SMTs) usage to develop a research agenda for future studies. It will also provide a forum for researchers from academia and industry to exchange insights into how these technologies are being used in society and industrial organisations.

(i) to bring together researchers in academia and industry, and from diverse backgrounds (psychology, sociology, computer science, etc.) who are interested in understanding the impact of social mediating technologies;
(ii) to create a road map for future research directions.

The immediate goals are to survey current knowledge of SMT research and develop a deeper understanding of these phenomena from both a social and technological perspective. The workshop aims to develop a road map of issues to conceptualise the SMT research space and set the future research agenda in this field, to look beyond the current investigations and descriptive studies to more theory-led research.

Participation- Submissions

To participate please submit either a position paper (1,500-2,000 words) or an extended paper (up to 8,000 words) reporting more substantial research, on the following topics:

• Empirical and ethnographic studies into the use of social-mediating technologies (e.g. e-communities, SNS, CMC sites).
• Social network analysis in social mediating technologies.
• Comparative surveys of use of social technologies, ranging from e-mail to Internet SNS.
• Computational models and simulations of social technologies.
• Critical evaluations of social technologies, design affordances, usability problems, etc.
• Theories, models and frameworks of technology-mediated socialisation.

Send submissions to Alistair Sutcliffe as Word or PDF attachments: ags@man.ac.uk by the end of 23rd October 2008, (whatever your time zone).- lets us know if you need more time

Key Questions
Research questions which could be addressed range from theoretical connections to pragmatic analyses of use and assessment of the design features of current technologies, as well as looking forward to the next generation of SMTs:
• How do SMTs foster the formation of new relationships, or is most usage simply maintenance of existing face-to-face relationships?
• How do SMTs contribute to the identity of communities and groups?
• Do people change their behaviour online? Evidence suggests that people are less security-conscious online, so the deeper question is, why?
• How good are people at detecting bogus usage in social technologies, e.g. advertising; alternatively, do they see advertising as legitimate?
• Which design features of SMTs afford the formation and maintenance of relationships?
• Which design features of SMTs help group and community identity, and maintenance of diaspora relationships?

Organizers

Alistair Sutcliffe
Business School
University of Manchester
Manchester, M15 2PB, UK
ags@man.ac.uk

Victor M. Gonzalez
Business School
University of Manchester
Manchester, M15 2PB, UK
victor.gonzalez@mbs.ac.uk

Robert Kraut
Human Computer Interaction Laboratory
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA, USA
robert.kraut@cmu.edu

Program panel (provisional)

John Carroll, IST, Penn State University, USA
Nicole Ellison, Michigan State University, USA
Judith Donath, Media Lab, MIT
Marcus Foth, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia
Cameron Marlow, FaceBook, USA
Susan O’Donnell, NRC IIT, Canada
May Beth Rosson, IST, Penn State University, USA

postamble();

Add comment September 19, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: cfp ~CSA annual meeting 2009~ ::

THE CANADIAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

44th ANNUAL MEETING
May 26 to May 29, 2009
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario

SOCIOLOGICAL ISSUES
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2009:

=====================================================================
4.

4.1 Presenters should submit their paper to the CSA National Office at info@csaa.ca with the title of the session in which they want to present the paper and the name of the appropriate session organiser by JANUARY 30 2009. Submission must include the form available on the CSA website and an abstract of the paper (about 200 words).

4.2 No participant may present in more than two regular sessions and three sessions in total (including roundtable, and panel sessions).

4.3 If a presenter has been notified that the paper has not been accepted, he or she can then submit it to another session organiser through the same process. Papers or works that are at early stages of conceptualization or at the research proposal stage, and other papers that cannot be placed in regular sessions, may be part of roundtables. Papers that have not been received by the deadline will be removed from regular sessions.

4.4 Each presenter must ensure that he or she is a member of the CSA as stated above and that the Annual Meeting fees are paid. NO PAPER OR PRESENTATION AND ABSTRACT WILL BE FORWARDED TO A SESSION ORGANISER UNLESS THE MEMBERSHIP FEES ARE PAID.

4.5 Presenters must be members of the CSA at time of submission and their membership should not expire before the last day of the meeting. Membership that is to expire before that deadline must be renewed at time that one submits one’s paper. Members may check their membership expiration date by contacting the CSA National Office at info@csaa.ca. Membership information and fees table are posted on CSA website. All co-authors must also be members of the CSA in order to have their name mentioned in the programme

4.6 Presenters and main authors must also pay the Annual Meeting fees as stated below in order to have their participation officially included in the CSA programme.

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5.

5.1 JANUARY 16 2009 – Deadline for session organisers to propose a session. Information sent will be posted in the Preliminary Programme on the CSA website upon approval by the Programme Committee, and as long as the session organisers are CSA members in good standing.

5.2 JANUARY 30 2009 – Deadline for presenters to send an abstract and the submission form to the session organiser of their choice through the CSA National Office.

5.3 FEBRUARY 20 2009 – Deadline for session organisers to send complete session information to the Programme Committee.

5.4 MARCH 13 2009 – Deadline for the Programme Committee to receive from session organisers any change to the session.

5.5 MARCH 27 2009 – Deadline for Awards Subcommittee Chair to receive submission for the Best Student Paper Award.

5.6 MAY 01 2009 – Deadline for presenters to submit their final paper to the session discussant

5.7 MAY 04 2009 – Deadline for session organisers or discussant to inform the Programme Committee of any participants who have not submitted the final version of the paper.

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6.

6.1 IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT ALL PARTICIPANTS NOTE THE FOLLOWING RULES REGARDING CSA MEMBERSHIP FEES AND ANNUAL MEETING FEES.

6.2 Membership is mandatory for all participants session organisers and co-organisers (except co-organisers of joint sessions), presenters, main-authors, discussants and session chairs. Participants must be members in good standing when the session proposal is approved or when their participation is confirmed by the Programme Committee and for all the duration of the Annual Meeting. Membership that will expire before the last day of meeting (May 29) must be renewed. Information on membership is available on the CSA website.

6.3 2009 CSA Annual Meeting fees are $85.00. Annual Meeting fees are mandatory for all participant whose name appears in the CSA Annual Meeting official Programme. Annual Meeting fees include the cost of AV equipment need and any applicable taxes. These fees must be paid to the Federation while registering to the 2009 Congress.

6.4. In case of any cancellation implying reimbursement of Annual Meeting fees, a minimum charge of $30.00 will be kept by the CSA to cover administration costs. No reimbursement will be possible after May 04 2009.

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7.

7.1 An award is presented annually by the CSA to the graduate student whose paper, presented at the Annual Meeting in the year of the award is judged by the CSA Awards Committee to be the best among those received for adjudication. The Committee may decide not to make an award in any particular year if it decides that there is not a submission that warrants the award.

7.2 The recipient of the Best Student Paper Award will be recognized at the CSA Banquet and Awards Ceremony event. The recipient will also receive a lump sum that varies by year as reimbursement of his/her expenses to attend the Annual Meeting. In 2009, the recipient of the Best Student Paper Award will receive five hundred dollars.

7.3 The Award Committee members are nominated by the Association’s President-Elect, Chair of the Committee and approved by the Executive Committee. All papers must be sent to Committee Chair before March 27 2009.

7.4 To be eligible for consideration:

a) The paper must be submitted to the Session Organiser or the Programme Committee respecting the usual deadlines for submitting any paper to be presented at Annual Meeting and as stated above.

b) The paper must also be submitted to the Awards Committee for consideration by any session organiser by March 27, 2009.

c) The paper must be presented by its author at the 2009 Annual Meeting at Carleton University in Ottawa.

d) The author must be a registered student (MA or Ph.D. student) when the paper is presented.

e) The recipient is expected to attend the 2009 CSA Banquet and Awards Ceremony

f) A recipient cannot have received the award in the previous three years.

g) Eligible papers should be sent, along with evidence of student status, i.e. copy of student card, etc. to Awards Committee Chair through the CSA National Office at info@csaa.ca

h) The Awards Committee will not consider papers that have been co-authored by a faculty member and will not consider more than one submission from any one student.

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8.

8.1 The Annual Meeting is a part of the Congress organised by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Information on travelling to or accommodation in Vancouver is posted on the website of the Federation at http://www.fedcan.ca under Congress and Registration Guide

8.2 Please remember that if you attend the 2009 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa, you have to pay registration and meeting fees to the Congress (lower if paid before the March 31 deadline – see Federation website). The CSA annual meeting fees payable to Congress for 2009 are $85.00. Those fees are to be paid directly to the Federation.

8.3 Please note that information regarding Congress is usually sent by the Federation to the CSA members in January. A registration guide to Congress is sent to our members who are in good standing at the end of October 2008.

8.4 The Canadian Review of Sociology is the Association’s official Journal. It publishes papers of general interest to sociologists and papers within every sub-field of the discipline are welcome. All papers are peer-reviewed, and must meet high standards of scholarship. Many of the papers published in the Journal have originated as papers delivered at the Canadian Sociological Association’s annual meetings – If you are interested in publishing the finished version of the paper which you are presenting this year, we hope you will consider CRS first. It has published the work of Canada’s best sociologists in every area; it has extensive international distribution, with subscribers in many countries. If you believe your paper meets our criteria of high quality and of general interest within the sociological community, we hope to hear from you when your paper is in final draft. You can contact the Editorial Board through our national office at info@csaa.ca

8.5 Coming Congresses and Annual Meetings:
– 2010 – Concordia University – Montréal, Québec
– 2011 – University of New-Brunswick and St. Thomas University – Fredericton, New-Brunswick
– 2012 – University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University – Waterloo, Ontario

8.6 To Contact the CSA and the Programme Committee

CSA National Office
Concordia University – SB 323
1455 De Maisonneuve West
Montréal, QC H3G 1M8
Canada
Fax: 514 – 848 – 8780
info@csaa.ca
www.csaa.ca

Add comment September 18, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: cfp ~2009 AEJMC CONFERENCE~ ::

2009 AEJMC MIDWINTER CONFERENCE

CALL FOR PAPER ABSTRACTS AND PANEL PROPOSALS

March 6-8, 2009
Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Oklahoma
(Conference web page: http://www.ou.edu/gaylord)

The AEJMC Midwinter Conference is an annual forum for the presentation of research in areas relevant to the 12 AEJMC divisions, interest groups and commissions sponsoring the conference. The conference follows a rather informal structure that allows for presentations and extended discussions in a relaxed setting. This year, 12 AEJMC divisions, interest groups and commissions are participating in the conference, scheduled for March 6-8 at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication (University of Oklahoma) in Norman, Oklahoma. The location offers participants many winter diversions outside the conference activities, including world-class museums and art galleries.


Questions about paper proposal submissions to specific divisions, interest groups and commissions can be directed to the appropriate contacts below.  General questions about the conference can be sent to Elanie Steyn, Conference Site Host (Elanie@ou.edu) and Homero Gil de Zuniga, Communication Technology Division Midwinter Chair (hgz@mail.utexas.edu).

Paper submissions: Authors should submit research paper proposals consisting of a 300- to 500-word abstract to the relevant division/interest group/commission contact person. Do not submit full papers. The abstracts should give a clear sense of the scope of the research and the method of inquiry used. Conclusions should be highlighted for works that have been completed by the submission deadline. Do not send full research papers for consideration. However, authors of proposals accepted for presentation at the conference must submit complete research papers, not exceeding 30 pages, to their discussant two weeks prior to the conference. PAPERS PRESENTED AT THIS CONFERENCE ALSO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PRESENTATION AT THE NATIONAL AEJMC CONVENTION. Accepted authors are encouraged to use feedback from reviewers
at this conference as they improve and finalize works in progress for submission to the national conference.


Panel submissions: Panel organizers should submit proposals to the relevant division/interest group/commission contact person indicating the panel title, a description of the sessions focus, the issues to be discussed, and a list of panelists (potential  and confirmed), including affiliation.


Format: Identify the papers author(s) or panel organizer(s) on the  title page only and include the mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address of the person to whom inquiries should be addressed.  The title should be on the first page of the text and on running heads on each page of text. Include your abstract or proposal as an attachment in a standard word-processing format (preferably Word or RTF).  Also, please ensure that you remove any identifying information from your document (with the exception of the title page).


Deadline: All abstracts and panel proposals must be e-mailed to the appropriate division/interest group/commission’s midwinter paper chair (see below) by December 13, 2008. Please include an e-mail address so that the midwinter paper chairs can notify you by January 10, 2009.

Registration: Details on conference registration, hotel accommodation,
and travel information will be available at http://www.ou.edu/gaylord.

AEJMC Midwinter Paper Calls by Division/Interest group/Commission

Communication Technology Division
Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Texas – Austin (hgz@mail.utexas.edu)
512-471-6323

Communication Theory and Methodology Division
Michel M. Haigh, The Pennsylvania State University (mmh25@psu.edu)
814.863.3850

Commission on the Status of Women
Barbara Barnett, University of Kansas (barnettb@ku.edu) 785-864-7659

Cultural and Critical Studies Division
Jane Marcellus, Middle Tennessee State University (jmarcell@mtsu.edu)
615-898-5282

Entertainment Studies Interest Group
Brad Yates, University of West Georgia (byates@westga.edu) 678 839-4938

Graduate Education Interest Group
Jessalynn Strauss, University of Oregon (jstrauss@uoregon.edu) 541 346-4169

International
Amy Schmitz Weiss, San Diego University (digitalamy.sw@gmail.com) 619
594-6301

Mass Communication & Society
Janet A. Bridges, Sam Houston State University (JABridges@shsu.edu)
936-294-3651

Media Management and Economics
Hugh Martin, University of Georgia (hjmartin@uga.edu) 706 542-5033

Minorities and Communication
Frances Ward-Johnson, Elon University (Fward2@elon.edu) 336 278-5738

Religion and Media Interest Group
Amanda Sturgill, Baylor University (Amanda_Sturgill@baylor.edu)  254
710-6322

Visual Communication
Jennifer George-Palilonis, Ball State University (Jageorge2@bsu.edu) 765
285-8216

Add comment September 18, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: cfp ~Globalization and Human Rights in the Developing World~ ::

CALL FOR PAPERS

Globalization and Human Rights in the Developing World
Asia Association for Global Studies (AAGS) 2009 Conference
Sat. March 21 to Sun. March 22, 2009, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

Globalization is one of the most distinguishing features of our age. Although economic, political and cultural exchanges have occurred throughout history, the degree of global interconnectedness today has surpassed anything known in previous eras. What globalization means for average people, however, is hotly debated. Some suggest that globalization is ushering in cosmopolitan forms of consciousness that will help humanity transcend its tendency toward parochialism and myopism. Some also believe globalization will foster economic growth and create employment. Others are less optimistic, arguing that globalization is worsening inequality, causing environmental degradation, giving rise to conflicts and wars, and benefiting corporations at the expense of the global poor, among other problems.

This conference will gather together scholars and others interested in the impact of globalization on human rights. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations issued the now famous Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global expression of the rights which all human beings are entitled. Containing 30 articles, the UDHR declared that all people, regardless of nationality or background, have the right to freedom, equality, and overall wellbeing. Six decades have now passed since the Declaration was first made. To what extent has globalization hindered or made possible the realization of the objectives stated in 1948? This is the main question this conference will discuss in detail, focusing on and comparing the experiences of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Conference organizers invite paper proposals on the following themes as they relate to globalization and human rights in the above three world regions (though other themes will be considered):

– transnational corporations

– social movements

– global governance
– democracy

– labour

– gender

– health and wellbeing

– education

– poverty and wealth

– refugees, displaced persons

– indigenous peoples

– food issues

Proposals should be between 150 to 200 words and include the paper’s title and the author’s name, affiliation, and contact information. A bio of 100 to 125 words describing the author’s background, accomplishments and research interests should also accompany the proposal. Both proposals and bios should be written using the templates provided at: http://asia-globalstudies.org/templates. Applications should then be submitted as email attachments to conferenceproposals@asia-globalstudies.org. Documents not using the templates or following the specified format will not be accepted. The deadline for proposals is December 14, 2008. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by January 1, 2009.

Add comment September 11, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: “From MySpace to Hip Hop: New Media In the Everyday Lives of Youth” ::

On April 23, 2008, public forum, “From MySpace to Hip Hop: New Media In the Everyday Lives of Youth,” reported on the interim findings of the ethnographic project funded by the MacArthur Foundation, “Kids’ Informal Learning through Digital Media,” conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California. The event addressed how digital technologies and new media are changing the way that young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. The forum was presented by Common Sense Media, the MacArthur Foundation and the Stanford University School of Education.

The link is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB9vRYyOfz8

1 comment July 1, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: Technology and the World of Consumption ::

The following is taken from danah boyd’s blog. (sorry danah for not telling you so).

Link: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2008/01/10/technology_and.html

—————————

January 10, 2008

Technology and the World of Consumption

I had just finished giving a talk about youth culture to a room full of professionals who worked in the retail industry when a woman raised her hand to tell me a story. It was homecoming season and her daughter Mary was going to go to homecoming for the first time. What fascinated this mother was that her daughter’s approach to shopping was completely different than her own.

Using Google and a variety of online shopping sites, Mary researched dresses online, getting a sense for what styles she liked and reading information about what was considered stylish that year. Next, Mary and her friends went to the local department store as a small group, toting along their digital cameras (even though they’re banned). They tried on the dresses, taking pictures of each other in the ones that fit. Upon returning home, Mary uploaded the photos to her Facebook and asked her broader group of friends to comment on which they liked the best. Based on this feedback, she decided which dress to purchase, but didn’t tell anyone because she wanted her choice to be a surprise. Rather than returning to the store, Mary purchased the same dress online at a cheaper price based on the information on the tag that she had written down when she initially saw the dress. She went for the cheaper option because her mother had given her a set budget for homecoming shopping; this allowed her to spend the rest on accessories.

Mary’s mother was completely flabbergasted by the way in which her daughter moved seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds to consume clothing. More confusing to this mother, a professional in retail, was the way in which her daughter viewed her steps as completely natural.

In the 1980s, Alan Kay declared that, “technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.” In other words, what is perceived as technology to adults is often ubiquitous if not invisible to youth. In telling this story, Mary’s mother was perplexed by the technology choices made by her daughter. Yet, most likely, Mary saw her steps in a practical way: research, test out, get feedback, purchase. Her choices were to maximize her options, make a choice that would be socially accepted, and purchase the dress at the cheapest price. Her steps were not about maximizing technology, but about using it to optimize what she did care about.

Examining e-commerce, many businesses have found that people use online sources to research what it is that they want to buy. Few people purchase cars online, but many more research their options there. Online shopping sites are assumed to support offline purchasing. Yet, for Mary and other teens that I’ve met, the opposite is also true: they are visiting stores to research what they want so that they can purchase it online at a cheaper venue. The stores allow them to touch, feel, and try on material goods, while the digital world helps them find the cheapest option without running from store to store.

Teens’ interest in shopping is not simply about consuming material goods. For many, sites of consumerism are the only venues available for hanging out with friends. Malls, outlets, and box stores regularly emerged as places where teens could meet each other to hang out. Because security often shoos teens who are loitering away, they get into the habit of window shopping, fondling items for sale as though they may purchase them, and trying on clothes just so that they can appear to be at the shop for a reason. When they have money, they often do buy something, but most teens who hang out in shopping venues have nothing to spend – they simply want a place to hang out with their friends.

Teens who spend a lot of time hanging out around shopping spaces begin to know what each store is selling and have a sense of how often they update their inventory. As Nick (16) explained, “we’ll go in the hat store and look at different kind of hats they got. It’s a lot to do, but sometimes it gets boring ’cause if you go there enough, you start, ‘Oh, I saw that last week. They got the same stuff.’ Sometimes it’s really boring to go in there and you see the same stuff over, and over, and over again.” New inventory makes the “task” of window shopping much more interesting.

While shopping to hang out is a popular American teen past time, it also has a reputation amongst some parents for being a venue for troubled kids to gather. In talking with parents, I often heard references to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, gangs, and “the wrong crowd” as reasons for why they did not allow their children to hang out at the local mall. After intense amounts of pressure from her daughter, one mother did begin allowing her 14-year old to go with her friends to an outdoor mall under one condition: she would sit in Starbucks and her daughter would have to check in every 20 minutes. Not surprisingly, the daughter was not thrilled, but consented because it was her only option. Still, many parents refuse to let their kids go to the mall to hang out.

Teens do lie to their parents to get around this restriction. One girl told me that she and her friends had their parents drop them off at the movie theater adjacent to the mall. She would research the movie ahead of time so that she could report back afterwards. She would walk into the theater with her friends and wait until her parents left before going to the mall to meet up with others who had less restrictive parents. She would make sure to be back at the theater before the movie finished. This practice is not new to this generation, but it still highlights how critical shopping venues are for social gatherings.

Online shops do not have the same hangout appeal and the majority of teens that I’ve met who visit them do so with a purpose. They go to buy something specific and usually with their parents consent because of the credit card requirements. Online shopping is primarily task-centric, while offline shopping is primarily social-centric.

All the same, some teens still value consumption as an end in itself. As Shean (17) explained, “I want to get my own job and start my own stuff and make my own money, a lot of it, so that I can buy whatever I want. I want to be one of those people that can just walk in and say I want that and that and that.” To Shean, all that matters is having the stuff because that’s what it means to “live luxurious.”

When it comes to teen culture, consumerism is still rampant, although shopping is primarily about socialization. Aside from how the mobile phone allows groups to coordinate, technology is not really altering the tradition of hanging out in consumer places. What it is altering is the ways in which teens research and purchase things that they know they want.

Blog entry is a Fieldnote for the Digital Youth Project

5 comments July 1, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: ‘Please leave your values at the front desk’ and other stories ::

In the following are some funny signs and notices found around the world, which show how the meaning gets “Lost in Translation”:

In a Paris hotel elevator:

Please leave your values at the front desk.

On the Menu of a Swiss restaurant:

Our wines leave you nothing to hope for. (Our wines are excellent. You could not find better ones!)

In a Japanese hotel:

You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid. (You are welcome to get assistance from the hotel chambermaid.)

In a Bucharest hotel lobby:

The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable. (The lift is under repair until tomorrow. Any inconvenience caused is regretted.)

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:

Ladies may have a fit upstairs. (The Fitting Room for ladies is at the 1st Floor.)

In a Bangkok dry cleaners:

Drop your trousers here for best results. (Send your trousers here for the best dry cleaning results.)

In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:

We take your bags and send them in all directions. (Your luggage bags can be sent by us to any destination in the world.)

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:

Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar. (Ladies are requested not to bring along children to the bar.)

In a Rome laundry:

Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time. (Ladies, let us take care of your laundry chores. Have a good day!)

A sign in a Vienna hotel:

In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter. Should there be a fire outbreak, try your best to alert the hotel porter.

A sign in a Moscow hotel:

You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday. (You are welcome to visit the cemetery of famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers. Visits may be made on any day of the week except Thursday.)

In a hotel in Athens:

Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily

In a Yugoslavian hotel:

The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In a Rhodes tailor shop:

Order your summer’s suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation

A sign posted in Germany’s Black forest:

It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose

Thailand, donkey tours:

Would you like to ride on your own ass?

In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:

Teeth extracted by latest Methodist (‘Teeth extracted by latest method’, i.e. using the most recent dental techniques.)

In a Swiss mountain inn:

Special today – no ice cream

In the office of a Roman doctor:

Specialist in women and other diseases

By a phone in a hotel room, in Amsterdam:

Telephone instructions can be found on the backside.

Paris:

Dresses for street walking

From a Hotel in Tokyo, Japan:

It is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing is please not to read notis.

From a Hotel in Bucharest, Romania:

The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

From a Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Hotel Elevator:

To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number for wising floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

From an Austrian Skiers’ Hotel:

Not to perambulate the corridors during the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

From a Bangkok, Thailand, Temple:

It if forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

From a Copenhagen, Denmark, Airline Office:

We take your bags and send them in all directions.

From an Acapulco, Mexico, Hotel:

The manager has personally passed all the water served here. (The manager has personally certified that all the water served here is safe.)

From a Polish Hotel’s Menu:

Salad a firm’s own make; limpid red better soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country’s own fashion.

From a Zurich, Switzerland, Hotel:

Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for that purpose.

From a German Park:

It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married to each other.

From a Moscow, USSR, Hotel Room:

If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.

From a Car Rental Brochure in Tokyo, Japan:

When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

At a number of US military bases:

Restricted to unauthorized personnel.


At a pizza shop:

7 days without pizza makes one weak.


At a Santa Fe gas station:

We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container.


At a tire shop in Milwaukee:

Invite us to your next blowout.


At a Used Car Lot:

Second Hand cars in first crash condition.


At an Auto Body Shop:

May we have the next dents?


At an optometrist’s office:

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.


At the electric company:

We would be delighted if you send in your bill. However, if you don’t, you will be.

At the entrance of the large machinery plant:

Warning to young ladies: If you wear loose clothes, beware of the machinery. If you wear tight clothes, beware of the machinist.
Billboard on the side of the road: Keep your eyes on the road and stop reading these signs.

Car Lot:

The best way to get on your feet….Miss a car payment.


Church sign:

To remove worry wrinkles, get your faith lifted.


Door of a plastic surgeon’s office:

Hello. May we pick your nose?


Gym:

Merry Fitness and a Happy New Rear!


In a Beauty Shop:

Dye now!


In a cafeteria:

Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria. Socks can eat any place they want.

In a cleaner’s window:

Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of.

In a counselors office:

Growing old is mandatory, growing wise is optional.


In a dentist office:

Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.


In a departmental store:

Bargain Basement Upstairs.


In a farmer’s field:

The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but be aware that the bull charges.

In a Florida maternity ward:

No children allowed.


In a health food shop window:

Closed due to illness.


In a hotel during a conference:

For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is day care on the first floor.

In a Laundromat:

Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.

In a Los Angeles clothing store:

Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks.


In a Los Angeles dance hall:

Good clean dancing every night but Sunday.


In a Maine restaurant:

Open seven days a week and weekends.


In a New York restaurant:

Customers who find our waitresses rude ought to see the manager.


In a non-smoking area:

If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.

In a Pennsylvania cemetery:

Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

In a restaurant window:

Don’t stand there and be hungry, come in and get fed up.


In a safari park:

Elephants please stay in your car


In a Tacoma, Washington men’s clothing store:

15 men’s wool suits – $100 – They won’t last an hour!


In a Texas funeral parlor:

Ask about our layaway plan.


In an office building washroom:

Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.


In an office:

After the tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside down on the draining board.

In an office:

Would the person who took the step ladder yesterday kindly bring it back or further steps will be taken.

In downtown Boston:

Callahan Tunnel – NO END


In the front yard of a funeral home:

Drive carefully. We’ll wait.


In the window of a Kentucky appliance store:

Don’t kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work.


In the window of an Oregon general store:

Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here?


Inside a bowling alley:

Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop.


Message on a leaflet:

If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons.


On a church door:

This is the gate of Heaven. Enter ye all by this door. (This door is kept locked because of the draft. Please use side entrance)

On a desk in a reception room:

We shoot every 3rd salesman, and the 2nd one just left.


On a fence:

Salesmen welcome. Dog food is expensive.


On a plumber’s truck:

We repair what your husband fixed.


On a roller coaster:

Watch your head.


On a Tennessee highway:

Take notice: when this sign is under water, this road is impassable.


On an electrician’s truck:

Let us remove your shorts.


On another Butcher’s window:

Pleased to meat you.


On the grounds of a private school in Connecticut:

No trespassing without permission.


Outside a photographer’s studio:

Out to lunch; if not back by five, out for dinner.


Outside a radiator repair shop:

Best place in town to take a leak.


Outside a second-hand store:

We exchange anything – bicycles, washing machines etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain.

Pizza shop slogan:

7 days without pizza makes one Weak.

Budapest zoo:

Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

Czechoslovakian tourist agency:

Take one of our horse-driven city tours–we guarantee no miscarriages.


Finnish washroom faucet:

To stop the drip, turn cock to right.


German/Germany: in a Leipzig elevator:

Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.


Istanbul hotel corridor sign:

Please to evacuate in hall especially which is accompanied by rude noises.


Japanese information booklet about a hotel air conditioner:

Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of war in your room, please control yourself.

Sweden: in the window of a Swedish furrier:

Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.


Tokyo bar:

Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts

Sarajevo, in the Europa Hotel:

Guests should announce the abandonment of theirs rooms before 12 o’clock, emptying the room at the latest until 14 o’clock, for the use of the room before 5 at the arrival or after the 16 o’clock at the departure, will be billed as one night more.

Sign at a French swimming pool:

Swimming is forbidden in absence of the Saviour.

Menu at an Athens hotel:

Chopped-up cow with wire through it. (‘Shish kebab’)

A Polish tourist brochure:

As for the tripe served you at the Hotel Monopol, you will be singing its praises to your grandchildren as you lie on your deathbed.

Rome hotel:

Fire! It is what can doing, we hope. No fear. Not ourselves. Say quickly to all people coming up down everywhere a prayer. Always a clerk. He is assured of safety by expert men who are in the bar for telephone for the fighters of the fire come out.

Ethiopia, Hotel:

To call room service, please open door and call Room Service. Please call quiet, people may sleep.

Hotel, Seoul:

Choose twin bed or marriage size; we regret no King Kong size.

Translations spotted on a menu, Paris:

Chicken of the chief (poulet du chef)
Omelette with the plugs (omelette aux lardons)
Gratin of lawyer to the three cheeses (gratin d’avocat aux trois fromages)
Plate of crudenesses (assiette de crudités)

From the “Soviet Weekly”:

There will be a Moscow exhibition of arts by 15,000 soviet republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

In an East African newspaper:

A new swimming pool is rapidly taking shape since the contractors have thrown in the bulk of their workers.

Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:

– English well talking.

– Here speeching American.

In 2002, a sign in front of a rock garden in the Forbidden City in Beijing warned tourists:

Please do not climb the rocketry.

A paragliding site near Beijing has a sign that reads:

Site of jumping umbrella

The box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:

Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life

Translated from Japanese to English and included in the instructions for a soap bubble gun:

While solution is not toxic it will not make child edible.

Tokyo hotel’s rules and regulations:

Guests are requested not to smoke or do other disgusting behaviors in bed.

In a Japanese zoo:

Children found straying will be taken to the lion house.

On a Hong Kong restaurant window:

Come broil yourself at your own table.

On a poster in Sydney:

Are you an adult that cannot read? If so, we can help.

A Restaurant menu in Bucharest, Romania:

Menu offering: Chicken soup with droppings and Chicken roasted in spit

Cards handed out in front of a shop in Mexico:

Come to Juan’s Jewelry Shop. We won’t screw you too much.

Hamburg, Germany:

It is our intention to pleasure you every day.

Zurich:

We have nice bath and are very good in bed.

Baghdad:

No consummation whatever may take place in the foyer.

Madrid:

If you wish disinfection enacted in your presence, cry out for the chambermaid.

Instructions on a Korean flight:

Upon arrival at Kimpo and Kimahie Airport, please wear your clothes.

Tokyo:

In case of earthquake use the torch to pass yourself out.

Japan:

In case of fire, try to use the fire ex-ting wisher.

Petrol station, New Mexico:

We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container.

Japanese Road Sign:

Stop. Drive sideways.

Outside a shop in Athens:

Park one hour. Later dick dock goes the money clock.

Dangerous road surface warning in Beijing:

To take notice of safe, the slippery are very crafty.

Sign on a car in Manila:

Car and owner for sale

Sign for motoring event in French Riviera:

Competitors will defile themselves on the promenade at 11am and each car will have two drivers who will relieve themselves at each other’s convenience.

On a Japanese medicine bottle:

Adults, 1 tablet 3 times a day until passing away.

Barbershop in Zanzibar:

Gentlemem’s throats cut with nice sharp razors.

Vienna:

Fried milk, children sandwiches, roast cattle and boiled sheep.

Japan:

Buttered saucepans and fried hormones.

China:

Mr Zheng and his fellow workers like to meet you and entertain you with hostility and unique cooking technique.

Neon sign outside a restaurant in China:

Smart noshery makes slobber.

Hotel lobby, Bejing:

Good appearance please. No watermelon.

Taiwanese room spray:

Can be used at any place where needs to eliminate the stinky smell and keep fleshing surroundings all the time.

Taiwanese puzzle toy:

Let’s decompose and enjoy assembling!

Fire extinguisher, Calcutta:

Cease fire.

For Swedish flat pack cabinet:

It is advisory to be two people during assembly.

Swedish furrier:

Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.

In an Israeli butcher’s:

I slaughter myself twice daily.

Sign on Hong Kong shop closing down:

Anal Clearance

Museum in Shanghai:

Be careful to butt head on wall.

Oklahoma City:

No dumping – trespassers will be violated.

Tibet:

Reception Centre for the Unorganised Tourists

Sign in Tokyo:

Cars will not have intercourse on this bridge.

Balinese menu:

Toes with butter and jam

A photo of a sign in Lisbon advising swimmers at the hotel pool:

“Clients are kindly requested to deposit values.” I’d be happy to email it to you.

From a Macao Store: “Sorry! Midgets will always be available tomorrow.”

Name of shop in Indonesia:

69% Perfect Shop.

Malaysia:

Seafood brought in by customers will not be entertained.

The difference a little punctuation makes

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours?

Gloria


Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

Yours,

Gloria

——————————————–

Add comment June 1, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: Funny Post : Memorable comments ::

A. Three (3) Easy Ways to Die:

Take a Cigar daily – You will die 10 years early.

Take Hard Drink daily – You will die 30 years early.

Love Someone Truly – You will die daily.

B. A foolish man tells a woman to STOP talking, but a WISE man tells a woman that she looks extremely BEAUTIFUL when her LIPS are CLOSED.

C. One GOOD way to REDUCE Alcohol consumption:

Before Marriage – Drink whenever you are SAD

After Marriage – Drink whenever you are HAPPY

D. Three FASTEST means of Communication:

1. Tele-Phone

2. Tele-Vision

3. Tell to Woman

Need still FASTER – Tell her NOT to tell ANYONE.

E. Love your friends not their sisters. Love your sisters not their friends.

F. Let us be generous like this:

Four Ants are moving through a forest. They see an ELEPHANT coming towards them.

Ant 1 says : we should KILL him.

Ant 2 says : No, Let us break his Leg alone.

Ant 3 says : No, we will just throw him away from our path..

Ant 4 says : No, we will LEAVE him because he is ALONE and we are FOUR.

G. If you do NOT have a Girl Friend – You are missing SOME thing in your life. But if you HAVE a Girl Friend – You are missing EVERY thing in your life.

H.When your LIFE is in DARKNESS, PRAY GOD and asks him to free you from Darkness. But even after you pray, if U R still in Darkness – Please PAY the ELECTRICITY BILL.


4 comments May 12, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: CFP ~ Conference on Religion, Identity and Life Courses ::

ISORECEA Conference – Call for papers


ISORECEA Conference

Religion, Identity and Life Courses

Krakow, Poland 11th – 14th December 2008.

ISORECEA Conference Kraków, Poland, 11 – 14.12.2008

Theme of the conference: Religion, Identity and Life Courses        application form

The changes taking place in Europe undoubtedly challenge collective and individual identities. Some scientists are convinced that identity in the stable forms typical for traditional societies is past history, while today the formation of identity is the task of the individual. Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe introduces additional factors. It stimulates new life styles, and changes the hierarchy of values, institutional patterns of modus operandi and personal answers to the most intimate and ultimate questions. Is religion present in these macro- and micro-processes? If so – in what ways? How does religion influence social identity? Has it a formative role for the structures and meanings of life courses? What aspects of religion in what circumstances, contribute to identity? To raise a more detailed question: Are rituals, such as religious weddings for instance, important for the identity of wives and husbands and parents in a given country? For citizenship? For gender? How can we understand religious identity? Why and how do people change their religious identities? What are the directions of changes of identity in Central and Eastern Europe? Does religion continue to be an element of national identity? In what forms? What are the changes influenced by the collapse of Communism? In such matters is Central and Eastern Europe in similar to other parts of Europe and the world or not? How differentiated is CEE itself? What tools can social scientists use to compare the countries? Does CEE need specific theories?

The Organizers of the Conference warmly invite you to offer your answer to these and related questions. You may propose your paper on one of the thematic sessions listed below.

Plenary sessions:
I Religion and Everyday Life in Central and Eastern Europe
II Religious Identity: From Heritage to Conversion (and back)
III Religion and Identity in Central and Eastern Europe vs. Western Europe vs. World

Conference themes:
1. Religion and identity formation – individuals and communities
2. Religion and individual formation: time and space
3. Religion and meaning of life: bioethical dilemmas (euthanasia, cloning, in vitro)
4. Religion and social problems (poverty, inequality, discrimination, social distance, access to social rights)
5. Searching identity – Changing identity
6. Religious or Secular? – Everyday life and its frames (the calendar, the time of work and rest etc.)
7. Identity and migrations
8. Local and global dimension of identity

We invite submissions for 20 minute presentations. Submissions should not have been published previously. Please submit a 200 word abstract of the paper with an application form to the e-mail: zawila.malgorzata@gmail.com , by May 30th 2008.

Decisions on which papers will be included in the conference program, will be announced by the organizers by the end of June, and the information will be sent by e-mail. Selection of the papers will be made on the basis of quality and relevance to the conference themes. Selected papers, presented at the conference, will be published in the post-conference book.

Financial support:
The local organizers will make an effort to get funds for financial support for participation in the conference for those who apply; especially: participants from low income countries; young researchers (students and PhD students); and participants with no institutional financial support. The funding would cover accommodation (in a double dormitory room) and travel costs (economy class, low cost airlines, train or bus – if available) will be considered. If you would like to apply for such support – please attach to the registration form: a 4 page abstract of your presentation, a signed statement of lack of the financial institutional support and an estimation of your travel expenses.

Registration:
To register for the conference, please complete the conference registration form and e-mail it to zawila.malgorzata@gmail.com , by the end of July. Registration forms should be sent after receiving e-mail confirmation of your participation in the conference. Conference fees should be sent by the end of July with a money transfer to the bank account No. (IBAN: PL)75 1060 0076 0000 320000 477759, SWIFT code: BPHKPLPK, with a note ISORECEA conference.

Conference time and place:
Conference will take place in in Hotel Cracovia (al. Focha 1, Krakow, Poland), and will start in the afternoon of 11th December and will last till noon 14th December

Conference fees:
Eastern Europe country Central Europe country Western Europe country
Conference fee for ISORECEA members 10 € 10 € 10 €
Conference fee for non – members 30 € 40 € 50 €
Membership fee 10 € 20 € 30 €

The conference fee does not include travel, accommodation or living expenses (it includes the welcome and farewell dinners).

Accommodation information:
Below you will find some accommodation proposal You may book the hotel by phone, by e-mail or through the web site. Please book the hotel as soon as possible after receiving notification of acceptance of your paper.

STUDENT HOTEL ŻACZEK
Al. 3 Maja 5
(5 minute walk to the conference venue)
http://www.zaczek.bratniak.krakow.pl/html/index.php?id=7&lang=en
reservation: +48 (12) 633-19-14
e-mail: zaczek@bratniak.krakow.pl
Prices:
Single room 60,-PLN (18 EUR)
Double 110,-PLN (32 EUR)
Breakfast: 8,-PLN (2,5 EUR)
10 minute walk to the city center.

1 comment May 1, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: Absolutely amazing!! ::

Absolutely amazing!!


PLEASE READ TILL THE VERY END!!!

Beauty of Math!

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn’t it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Now, take a look at this…

101%

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER
100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help answer these
questions:

If:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

If:

H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K

8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%

And:

K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E

11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%

But:

A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E

1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:

L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It’s the Love of ALLAH that will put you over the top!

2 comments April 21, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

CFP :: International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities 2008 (ICoSSH’08) ::

Submission of papers

Prospective authors are invited to submit their full papers. The manuscript should be written in English. The following rules should be put into consideration before submitting the manuscripts:

· The top section of the first page should include title of the paper, name of authors, institution and email address should be clearly specified. These information will be removed however, before the paper is sent out for review.

· Abstract should be written not more than 250 words in length and in English and includes the brief background of research question, objectives, methodology and findings and implications.

· Abstract should consist of 3-4 keywords.

· Full length paper should not exceed 15 pages exclusive of references, tables and appendices with 12 point font size, times new roman, and 1.5 spacing

· APA formatting is preferable (see APA guidelines)

· Full paper should be submitted electronically to paper.icossh08@gmail.com or icossh@usm.my. All received papers will be acknowledged.

During the submission of abstract/full paper, kindly identify the stream/area that best-suited with your paper as e-mail’s subject. If you do not do so, we will put your paper as closest as possible to either one of conference streams.

Important Dates (Deadline)

ICoSSH 2008

Abstract Submission: 18th April 2008

Full Paper Submission: 25th May 2008

Notification of Acceptance: Rolling

Early Bird Registration: 25th April 2008

Follow the link for details:

http://www.usm.my/icossh/index_files/Submission.htm

Incoming papers will be subjected to blind review. Accepted papers will be published in the ISBN proceedings. Some outstanding papers on each stream/area will be highly considered and double reviewed for publication in the following refereed international (some local and regional) journals:

· Asian Academy of Management Journal

· Journal of Accounting, Management and Economics Research

· Digest Pendidik (Teachers’ Digest)

· AAM Journal of Accounting and Finance

· Journal Archaeology Malaysia

· Journal of Organizational Behavior, Indonesia

· Others (under confirmation, and will be available soon)

1 comment April 10, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: 2nd Global Conference on Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging ::

call for papers
This multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the new and prominent place that the idea of culture has for the construction of identity and the implications of this for social membership in contemporary societies. In particular the project will assess the larger context of major world transformations, for example, new forms of migration and the massive movements of people across the globe, as well as the impact and contribution of globalisation on tensions, conflicts and the sense of rootedness and belonging. Looking to encourage innovative trans-disciplinary dialogues, we warmly welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand what it means for people, the world over, to forge identities in rapidly changing national, social and cultural contexts.

Papers, workshops and presentations are invited on any of the following themes:

1. Challenging Old Concepts of Self and Other
~ Who is self and who is other?
~ The new value of social diversity and cultural multiplicity; breaking with homogeneity and sameness
~ What is the place of difference and alterity, of normality and normalisation in defining identity and membership
~ How to account for social membership and cultural identity?
~ Making sense of transformations and their effects over culture, identity and membership
~ Othering, excluding, stygmatising

2. Nations, Nationhood and Nationalisms
~ What does it mean, today, to belong to a nation?
~ New migrants, new migratory flows and massive movements from peripheral to central countries
~ Resurgence of the local and the diminishing importance of the national
~ Are we living post-national realities?
~ What is the place of cultural claims in today’s forms of social membership?
~ Assimilation, integration, adaptation and other forms of placing the responsibility of change on the Other

3. Institutions, Organizations and Social Movements
~ Evaluating the promises and institutions of post-national governing
~ Institutions and organisations that do more for money than for people
~ Political battles over globalization
~ Social movements, new rebellion and alternative globalizations
~ Trans-cultural connections that escape institutional and political intentions or control
~ New forms of global exclusion

4. Persons, Personhood and the Inter-Personal
~ De-centering individuals and the making of persons; thinking and acting with others in mind and interpersonally
~ Tensions, contradictions and conflicts of identity formations and social membership
~ New sources and forms of belonging; new tribalism, localism, parochialism and communitarianism
~ Bonds of care across boundaries of inequality and exclusion, ideologies and religions, politics and power, nations and geography
~ Who am I if not the relation with others?
~ Non-recognition as cultural violence

5. Media and Artistic Representations
~ The role of new and old media in the construction of cultures and identities, of nations and place
~ Production and reproduction of cultural typing and stereotyping
~ The contested space of representing culture, identity and belonging
~ Art, media and how to challenge the rigid and impenetrable constructions of culture
~ Living, being and belonging through art
~ Life imitating art and fiction

6. Transnational Cultural Interlacing of Contemporary Life
~ What is shared from cultures? How are cultures shared? Who has access to the sharing of cultures?
~ Cultural claims and human rights
~ Living in a context with the cultural markers of a different context: Is that transculturalism?
~ Languages, idioms and new emerging forms of wanting to bridge the ‘invisible’ divide of cultures
~ Symbols and significations that connect people to places other than ‘their own’
~ Culture, identity and belonging by choice

7. New Concepts, New Forms of Inclusion
~ Recognition and respect without exclusion
~ An ethics for social relations in a new millennium
~ What to do with historically old concepts like tolerance, acceptance and hospitality?
~ Should not we all be strangers? Should not we all be foreigners?
~ Is there any use for cosmopolitanism these days?
~ Loving the other within the self; building fluid boundaries of belonging and being

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 18th April 2008. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 8th August 2008.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Joint Organising Chairs
Alejandro Cervantes-Carson
Director of Research,
Inter-Disciplinary.Net,
Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Rob Fisher
Network Founder & Network Leader
Inter-Disciplinary.Net,
Freeland, Oxfordshire,
United Kingdom

The conference is part of the ‘Diversity and Recognition’ research projects, which in turn belong to the ‘At the Interface ’ programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume.

For further details about the project please visit:
http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/ati/diversity/multiculturalism/mcb.html

For further details about the conference please visit:
http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/ati/diversity/multiculturalism/mcb2/cfp.htm

Add comment March 20, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: International Conference on Worldviews and the Future of Human Civilization ::

The Department of General Studies at the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia has the pleasure to organize the International Conference on Worldviews and the Future of Human Civilization, on 26-27 November, 2008.

Rationale

Given the nature of civilization and its multifarious aspects, the fact that has always been present in the history of its development is that there is no civilization without a worldview. Whether one projects civilization as a process or state of advancement, or sense of creativity and dynamism, or considerable intellectual, social, spiritual and cultural achievements, the fact remains that in all these theorizations, one needs a worldview to guide civilization and direct its activities. Examining the various models of civilization that have been initiated by man confirms the understanding that each and every new human civilizational experience appears to be a manifestation of a worldview that guides its steps in the realm of civilization. Hence, one may consider worldview as one of the basic foundations of any given human civilization in history.

It follows, therefore, that there is always a need to examine in each and every civilization the worldview that breathes in it the original thrust and aspiration which would give it all its distinctive features and characteristics thereafter.

It is paradoxical that some threats for humanity come from humans themselves. Nuclear arsenals, wars caused by conflict of interests, economic recessions, environmental catastrophes and the declining standards of values and morality loom large over the entire human civilization, and threaten the very survival of humankind on earth. that occur from time to time, threatening the very survival of humankind on earth.

Amidst these issues and others, which emanate directly or indirectly from worldviews, what is the future of human civilization?

The deliberations in the proposed two-day international conference will be directed towards generating a serious and intellectual discourse on the role of different worldviews and their impact on the future of human civilization.

Objectives

The main objectives of this conference are:

  1. To explore the theoretical and methodological framework for studying the relationship between worldview and civilization.
  2. To share views and perceptions of the different worldviews and their impact on the future of human civilization.
  3. To identify and deliberate the role of worldviews in solving human problems and shaping the future of human civilization.
  4. To reflect on the importance and role of the Islamic worldview in the future of human civilization.

Focal Areas

  1. Future of human civilization: Trends and paradigms.
  2. Role of worldviews in the future of identities, cultures and traditions.
  3. Role of the Islamic worldview in shaping the future of human civilization.
  4. Worldviews and socio-political and economic problems.
  5. Worldviews and ecological problems.
  6. Worldviews and civilizational and cultural dialogue.
  7. Worldviews: Peace, justice, equality and co-existence.

Call for Papers

All interested scholars, academics  as well as practitioners from various related backgrounds are hereby welcomed to contribute their papers to be presented during the conference. Papers can be submitted in Arabic or English. Interested presenters must submit their abstract of not more than 300 words comprising of the objective, scope, methodological approach and important issues to be discussed.

Important Dates

  • Deadline for Abtract Submission: May 30, 2008
  • Announcement of Acceptance of Abtract: June 15, 2008
  • Deadline for full paper submission: September 25, 2008
  • Announcement of Acceptance of papers October 10, 2008
  • Deadline for Early registration: October 25, 2008

Languages

1- Arabic
2- English

Note

The abstract should include title of the paper, its objective(s) and scope, the main issues to be discussed and its methodological approach. It should not exceed 300 words summary. The following information should also be provided: author’s name, position, affiliation, and contacts (via phone/fax/e-mail).

Registration

Registration for the conference can be made by contacting the secretariat at the following address:

Secretariat,
International Conference on on Worldviews and the Future of Human Civilization,
Department of General Studies,
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS),
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM),
53100 Jalan Gombak,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: +60-3-61965576
Fax: +60-3-61965504
e-mail: bachir_medea@yahoo.com; naamane@iiu.edu.my

Registration Fee

1) Local Participants: RM 450 (RM 400 before 25 Oct 200
2) International Participants: USD 350 (USD 300 before 25 Oct 200
3) Students: RM 150

The fee will cover the conference package (bags, proceedings, meals) only. Participants have to cover their own traveling and accommodation expenses. However, the organizer will be pleased to assist those who need to book for accommodation on their own cost.

Add comment March 20, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: CFP~ Digital Divide ::

CALL FOR PAPERS

HICSS-42 (January 2009)

Digital Divide/s and Inclusion/s

Mini-Track Chairs:

For a pdf version press here

Additional detail may be found on HICSS primary web site

The mini-track calls for papers that study the digital divide in different levels, methods and perspectives. Possible investigations of the digital divide may focus on international, national, local, sector, communal, and individual level. Both empirical and theoretical papers are invited.

Potential contributions related to the digital divide may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Conceptualization and theory of digital divide, digital spectrum and eInclusion
  • Indigenous communities and technology
  • Cultural, Socio-demographic and context factors – gender, age, education, income, ethnic diversity, race diversity, language diversity, religiosity
  • Social and governmental support – for example the use of supportive initiatives, policy and applications to bridge the gap, or how society and community impact eInclusion
  • Access and technology – infrastructure factors
  • Affordability
  • Use – skills, frequency and time, locus, autonomy of use, what do users do online and for what purpose
  • Accessibility focusing mainly in populations with special needs
  • Measurements index – e-readiness, DiDix. KAM and more
  • Comparative analysis of policy
  • Comparative cross-country or cross-region research
  • Country or region specific case studies

Contact Information for Mini-Track Chairs:

Karine Barzilai-Nahon [Primary Contact]
University of Washington
The Information School
Suite 370B Mary Gates Hall, Box 352840
Seattle, WA 98195-2840
Phone: (206) 685-6668
Fax: (206) 616-3152
Email: karineb@u.washington.edu
Narcyz Roztocki
State University of New York at New Paltz
School of Business
75 S. Manheim Blvd.
New Paltz, NY 12561-2443
Phone: (845) 257-2935
Fax: (845) 257-2947
Email: roztockn@newpaltz.edu

Important Deadlines

  • Abstracts
      Authors may contact Minitrack Chairs for guidance and indication of appropriate content at anytime.
  • June 15, 2008
    • Authors submit full papers to the Peer Review System, following Author Instructions found on the HICSS web site. All papers will be submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including diagrams and references. Papers undergo a double-blind review.
  • August 15, 2008
    • Acceptance/Rejection notices are sent to Authors via the Peer Review System.
  • September 15, 2008
    • Authors submit Final Version of papers following submission instructions on the Peer Review System web site. At least one author of each paper must register by this date with specific plans to attend the conference to present the paper.

Instructions for Paper Submission

  • HICSS papers must contain original material not previously published, or currently submitted elsewhere
  • Do not submit the manuscript to more than one mini-track. If unsure which mini-track is appropriate, submit the abstract to the Track Chair for guidance.
  • Submit your full paper according to the detailed formatting and submission instructions found on the HICSS website. Note: All papers will be submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including diagrams and references. HICSS will conduct double-blind reviews of each submitted paper.

HICSS conferences are devoted to advances in the information, computer, and system sciences, and encompass developments in both theory and practice. Invited papers may be theoretical, conceptual, tutorial or descriptive in nature. Submissions undergo a double-blind peer referee process and those selected for presentation will be published in the Conference Proceedings. Submissions must not have been previously published.

For the latest information visit the HICSS web site at: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/ CONFERENCE ADMINISTRATION:
Ralph Sprague, Conference Chair
Email: sprague@hawaii.edu

Sandra Laney, Conference Administrator
Email: hicss@hawaii.edu

Add comment March 14, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: A Chat with God ::

God: Hello. Did you call me?
Me: Called you? No. Who is this?
God: This is GOD. I heard your prayers. So I thought I will chat.
Me: I do pray. Just makes me feel good. I am actually busy now. I am in the midst of something.
God: What are you busy at? Ants are busy too.
Me: Don’t know. But I can’t find free time. Life has become hectic. It’s rush hour all the time.
God: Sure. Activity gets you busy. But productivity gets you results.Activity consumes time. Productivity frees it.
Me: I understand. But I still can’t figure out. By the way, I was not expecting YOU to buzz me on instant messaging chat.
God: Well, I wanted to resolve your fight for time, by giving you some clarity. In this net era, I wanted to reach you through the medium you are comfortable with.
Me: Tell me, why has life become complicated now?
God: Stop analyzing life. Just live it. Analysis is what makes it complicated.
Me: Why are we then constantly unhappy?
God: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about
yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy.
Me: But how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?
God: Uncertainty is inevitable, but worrying is optional.
Me: But then, there is so much pain due to uncertainty. ..
God: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
Me: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?
God: Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer. With that experience their life become better, not bitter.
Me: You mean to say such experience is useful?

God: Yes. In every term, Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons afterwards.

Me: But still, why should we go through such tests? Why can’t we be free from problems?
God: Problems are:
Purposeful Roadblocks Offering Beneficial Lessons to Enhance Mental Strength.
Inner strength comes from struggle and endurance, not when you are free from problems.
Me: Frankly in the midst of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading…
God: If you look outside you will not know where you are heading.
Look inside.
Looking outside, you dream.
Looking inside, you awaken.
Eyes provide sight.
Heart provides insight.
Me: Sometimes not succeeding fast seems to hurt more than moving in the right direction. What should I do?
God: Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you. Knowing the road ahead is more satisfying than Knowing you rode ahead. You work with the compass (direction). Let others work with the clock.
Me: In tough times, how do you stay motivated?
God: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.
Me: What surprises you about people?
God: When they suffer they ask, “why me?” When they prosper, they never ask “Why me?” Everyone wishes to have truth on their side, but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Me: Sometimes I ask, who am I, why am I here. I can’t get the answer.
God: Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create it. Life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.
Me: How can I get the best out of life?
God: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.
Me: One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.
God: There are no unanswered prayers. At times the answer is NO.
Me: Thank you for this wonderful chat. I am so happy to start the New Day with a new sense of inspiration.
God: Well. Keep the faith and drop the fear. Don’t believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve, not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.

Add comment March 1, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: CFP: Digital Media and Content Track at HICSS 42 ::

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Persistent Conversation Minitrack
Digital Media and Content Track at HICSS 42
January 5-8, 2009
Hilton Waikoloa Village, the Big Island, Hawai’i
See http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC.html for an online version and further information.

IN ONE PARAGRAPH
The Persistent Conversation minitrack is a yearly gathering of people  who design and study systems that support computer-mediated  communication. Persistent conversation is not limited to asynchronous  textual communication: It includes instant messaging, voice chat, and  other ‘ephemeral’ media. Nor do we limit our focus to systems  explicitly designed to support conversation: We are interested in  conversational exchanges as manifested in applications (for instance,  blogs, annotation systems, distance education) and in sites oriented  around the use of photos, video and other media. If you’re interested  in presenting a paper in the minitrack, the first step is to submit an  abstract by March 15, 2008. A 10-page paper would be due June 15th.

IMPORTANT DATES
-03/15: Prospective authors submit 300-word abstracts
-03/31: Feedback on abstracts sent
-06/15: 10-page papers due (see
http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/hicss_42/authorinstruction.htm
for details)
-08/15: Accept/Conditional Accept/Reject notices sent
-09/15: Final papers due; at least one author must register for
conference

ABOUT THE MINITRACK
This interdisciplinary minitrack and workshop brings designers and  researchers together to explore persistent conversation, the  transposition of ordinarily ephemeral conversation into the  potentially persistent digital medium. Persistent conversations occur  via instant messaging, text and voice chat, email, blogs, web boards,  MOOs, graphical and 3D virtual environments, gaming systems, video  sharing sites, document annotation systems, mobile phone texting, etc.  Such communication is persistent in that it leaves a digital trace,  and the trace in turn affords new uses. It permits conversations to be  saved, visualized, browsed, searched, replayed, and restructured.  Persistence also means that conversations need not be synchronous:  They can be asynchronous (stretching out over hours or days) or  supersynchronous (with multiple parties ‘talking’ at the same time).  Finally, the creation of persistent and potentially permanent records
from what was once an ephemeral process raises a variety of social and  ethical issues.

ABOUT PAPER TOPICS
We are seeking papers that address one or both of the following two  general areas:
* Understanding Practice. The burgeoning popularity of the internet (and intranets) provides an opportunity to study and characterize new  forms of conversational practice. Questions of interest range from how  various features of conversations (e.g., turn-taking, topic  organization, expression of paralinguistic information) have adapted  in response to the digital medium, to new roles played by persistent  conversation in domains such as education, business, and entertainment.
* Design. Digital systems do not currently support conversation well:
It is difficult to converse with grace, clarity, depth and coherence  over networks. But this need not remain the case. Toward this end, we  welcome analyses of existing systems as well as designs for new  systems which better support conversation. Also of interest are
inquiries into how participants design their own conversations within  the digital medium — that is, how they make use of system features to  create, structure, and regulate their discourse.

Examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:
– Turn-taking, threading and other structural features of CMC
– The dynamics of large scale conversation systems (e.g. blog networks)
– Methods for summarizing or visualizing conversation archives
– Studies of virtual communities or other sites of digital conversation
– The roles of mediated conversation in knowledge management
– Studies of the use of instant messaging in large organizations
– Novel designs for computer-mediated conversation systems
– Analyses of or designs for distance learning systems

NEXT STEPS
Submit a 250 to 300 word abstract of your proposed paper via email to  the chairs:

Tom Erickson (snowfall at acm dot org),

Susan Herring
(herring at indiana dot edu) by the deadline noted above. We will send  you feedback on the suitability of your abstract by the deadline noted  above.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
– About the minitrack, see http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC.html
or
contact: Thomas Erickson (snowfall at acm.org) and Susan Herring
(herring at indiana.edu)
– About previous years’ papers (including pdf’s) and participants,
see: http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC_History.html
– About the HICSS conference, see: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/

Add comment February 29, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

:: The First International Conference on Mobile Society ::

:: The First International Conference on Mobile Society ::

18 – 19 September 2008 / Sheraton Voyager, Antalya, Turkey

The conference organization invites all research and practice papers on all aspects of mobile phones and other mobile technologies, and their individual and collective uses. We are primarily intersted in those papers which address how mobility influences psychology of indviduals and the sociological issues related to networked and mobile societies. The topics covered include but are not limited to the follwings:

  • Mobile phones use by young members of the society
  • impact of mobile communications
  • mobile phones and household interactions
  • mobility for improving impairments and disability
  • Mobile Social Networks
  • Mobile Gaming
  • Mobile Entertainment
  • Mobile video
  • Mobile Content
  • mobile applications
  • Mobile Devices and capabilities
  • Usability issues
  • Economic impacts
  • country and community case studies
  • evolution of mobile technologies
  • Mobile infrastructure
  • Mobile Ethics and manners
  • Legal issues related to mobile society
  • Privacy and security issue
  • //

    For Details:

    http://www.mgovernment.org/events/msociety2008/topics.html

    Add comment February 2, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Authors@Google: Muhammad Yunus ::

    The Authors@Google program was happy to welcome Muhammad Yunus to speak at the Google NYC campus on January 10, 2008.

    Here is the flick:

    Add comment January 26, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: CFP: Digital Culture and Communication ::

    DIGITAL CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION (DCC) SECTION – CALL FOR PANELS AND PAPERS
    European Communication Research and Education Association – ECREA

    2nd ECREA CONFERENCE, Barcelona, 25-28  November 2008
    Hosted by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

    http://www.ecrea2008barcelona.org

    PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15th February 2008

    The ‘Digital Culture and Communication’ section invites everyone who works on these issues, within the broad theme of ECREA’s 2nd  international conference, ‘Communication policies and culture in  Europe‘ to submit proposals.

    The section ‘Digital Culture and Communication’ aims to further  exchange and develop research at the European level in the field of  digital media and informational culture as this is broadly defined.  We welcome work that crosses disciplines and that operates at the  boundaries of what might generally be allowed to constitute media/ communication systems. The section actively seeks both empirical and  theoretical/critical work.

    Digital media technologies allow us to rethink existing media and communication theories and approaches (as well as research methods).  They also force us to redefine traditional boundaries and to explore  new forms of interaction. We therefore encourage work based on  interdisciplinary approaches that address the broad theme of the  conference call, and the section’s interests. We welcome proposals  which reflect both theoretical and methodological challenges in  digital culture and communication research as well as those exploring  new boundaries within the field.

    For further information about the section please visit our (relative stable) blog at: www.digitalcultureandcommunication.blogspot.com/
    or email Maren Hartmann: hartmann@udk-berlin.de and/or Caroline  Bassett:
    C.Bassett@sussex.ac.uk, Kate O’Riordan: K.ORiordan@sussex.ac.uk

    This invitation is for proposals of pre-organized panels, posters,  and individual papers from established academics, young scholars, practitioners and postgraduate research students.

    Individual paper proposals, individual poster proposals and panel proposals can be submitted at the official conference website:
    www.ecrea2008barcelona.org
    PAPER PROPOSALS: http://www.ecrea2008barcelona.org/eng/callfor_pa.asp
    POSTER PROPOSALS: http://www.ecrea2008barcelona.org/eng/callfor_po.asp
    PANEL PROPOSALS: http://www.ecrea2008barcelona.org/eng/callfor_pn.asp

    Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in mid-April 2008.

    Paper-presenters and panellists will be asked to confirm their  intention to attend by registering before October 24, 2008.

    Please note that, as a policy, ECREA Candidates can submit “one  proposal as first author, and more as co-author (second, …), chair  or respondent of a panel – but a participant will be allowed only one  paper presentation. The length of the individual abstracts is  preferably 400 and maximum 500 words. A panel proposal combines a  panel abstract with the individual abstracts, of each 400-500 words.  Participants will indicate their preference for a specific section  (where they want to present their paper / poster / panel)”.

    Add comment January 18, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: CFP: International Conference on Computer Mediated Social Networking (ICCMSN – 2008)::

    The International Conference on Computer Mediated Social Networking  (ICCMSN – 200 is being held at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand on June 11-13.

    This conference aims to explore issues in the context of social networking such as formation of online communities and how collaboration and cooperation can be achieved.

    The submission date is February 27th.

    For more information please view the associated Website:

    http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/infosci/conferences/isn2008/index.html

    Add comment January 15, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Happy New Year ::

    :::… ~ Happy New Year ~ …:::
    2008

    Add comment January 1, 2008 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: EID Mubarak ::

    EID Mubarak to you all.

    The rituals and symbolic acts contained in the EID ul-Adha are a constant reminder of the principles by which we are called on to live our lives by: faith; repentance; honesty, simplicity; equality and charity.

    And greetings for the coming Christmas.

    Add comment December 19, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: CFP: “People Transforming Information – Information Transforming People” ::

    People Transforming Information – Information Transforming People
    October 24-29, 2008, Columbus, Ohio

    Call for Participation

    A great deal of attention has been paid to the rapid growth of the internet, proliferation of information – especially born-digital content, and the development of technologies in response to these trends. Viewing this changing landscape through a lens of the human and social condition would lead to better understanding how human needs drive, are served by and change information and technology. We anticipate an exploration of the human condition from the individual to society as a whole.ASIS&T 2008 will focus on how people transform information as well as how information transforms people. Submissions by researchers and practitioners are solicited on a wide range of human-centered approaches to topics including but not limited to the following:

    • Individual identities and how they are transformed by the impact of information technologies
    • The societal archive – is it disappearing and/or being marginalized?
    • Societal attentions and how emphasis on information technology either allows or hinders these
    • Openness, access and privacy issues
    • Generational, economic, and socio-cultural dimensions of impact of information on people’s lives
    • Cognitive and emotional aspects of interactions with information
    • Reshaping the boundary between personal and public information space
    • The effect of collective information creation on authority and trust
    • Information by the people for the people
    • The role of information in connecting people and community building
    • How well is current technology meeting human needs, and what should future technology research and development involve to better meet our needs?

    TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS
    Contributed papers
    The submission of original, recent, formally conducted research and projects, theoretical developments, or innovative practical applications providing greater insight into the aforementioned topics is encouraged. These papers are generally reports of completed or well-developed projects on topics suitable for publication in scholarly and professional journals. Contributed papers may be grouped by topic for presentation in contributed paper sessions, suggested for poster or special sessions, or integrated with technical or panel sessions. Submissions must be a maximum length of 10 pages single-spaced (no smaller than 10-pt. font) and include title, author(s) and affiliation(s), abstract, and full text. Accepted papers will be published in the digital conference proceedings.

    http://www.softconf.com/asis/AM08_Contributed_Papers/submit.html

    Contributed posters/short papers
    Two types of posters/short papers are encouraged. Contributed research posters present new and promising work or preliminary results of research projects. Contributed “best practices” posters present the results of design projects, practical implementations of an organization’s practices or industry innovations. The content should clearly point out how the application contributes to innovation of thought or design within the field, how it addresses key challenges, as well as potential impact on the participant’s organization and/or practices in the field. Especially welcome are submissions that discuss applications for which a market analysis and/or evaluation of utility has been conducted. Joint submissions from researchers and practitioners showing different perspectives on a single issue are particularly encouraged. Posters are expected to invite questions and discussion in a personal and less formal setting. Submissions for refereeing should be in the form of a short paper, approximately two pages (no smaller than 10-pt. font). They should include title, author(s) and affiliations, as well as the text of the paper and references to substantive supporting materials that will aid reviewers in determining suitability for the conference. The final version of these short papers will be published in the digital conference proceedings. During the conference, presenters are expected to display their work as a poster, incorporating text and illustrations as appropriate. Digital versions of the posters may be included in the conference proceedings at the author’s request.

    http://www.softconf.com/asis/AM08_Posters/submit.html

    Technical sessions and panels
    Technical sessions and panels present topics for discussion such as cutting-edge research and design, analyses of emerging trends, opinions on controversial issues, reports by practitioners on current information science and technology projects, and contrasting viewpoints from experts in complementary professional areas. Innovative formats that involve audience participation are encouraged. These may include panels, debates, forums, or case studies. Submissions should be in the form of a short paper (approximately two pages, no smaller than 10-pt. font), providing an overview of the issues, projects, or viewpoints to be discussed by the panel. Submissions must include title, sponsor(s), and names and affiliations of all participants (moderator, speakers, reactors, etc.). The final versions of these submissions will be published in the digital conference proceedings. Additional materials, e.g., Powerpoint slides or short papers by individual presenters, will be published in the digital conference proceedings at the author’s request.

    http://www.softconf.com/asis/AM08-Panels/submit.html

    Pre-conference sessions
    Pre-conference sessions present topics such as theoretical research, management strategies, and new and innovative systems or products, typically for purposes of concept development or continuing education. Purely promotional programs are excluded. Formats may include seminars, courses, workshops, and symposia. Sessions are scheduled for half to a full day and require a registration fee beyond the regular conference fee. Submissions must include title; sponsor(s) and/or speaker(s) affiliations; duration (half or full day); intended audience and audience size (maximum); difficulty level (intro to advanced); and a description of approximately two pages (no smaller than 10-pt. font), including abstract, objectives, and brief speaker bio(s). Accepted descriptions will be posted on the ASIST Web site.

    http://www.softconf.com/asis/AM08_Pre-Post_Cons/submit.html

    SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & DEADLINES

    Jan.21, 2008 Proposals due for contributed papers, technical sessions panels, and pre-conferences
    Feb. 25, 2008 Proposals due for contributed posters/short papers
    March 31, 2008 Authors/proposers notified of acceptance
    May 27, 2008 Final versions due for conference proceedings

    Individuals, ASIST special interest groups (SIGs), or institutions may make any type of submission. Proposers are welcomed from any academic, nonprofit, corporate, or government area in any part of the world. Proposers need not be members of ASIST. ASIST SIG chairs are encouraged to help coordinate proposals from their members. All submissions are made electronically via a link from the ASIST Web site (http://www/asis.org). Details on acceptable file formats, citation style, and specific contact information required in the online submission form are on the Web page. Any problems with electronic submissions should be directed to:

    Richard Hill, Executive Director
    ASIS&T, 1320 Fenwick Lane, Suite 510, Silver Spring, MD 20910
    Fax: 301-495-0810  |  Phone: 301-495-0900  |  rhill@asis.org

    Refereeing procedures
    All types of submissions will be reviewed by at least two referees. Notices of acceptance or rejection will contain constructive comments from referees. In the interests of achieving breadth and balance in the conference program and dealing with time and space constraints, the committee may suggest changing the type of submission (e.g., turning a paper into a poster) or merging or altering session titles and topics.

    2008 Annual Meeting Logo2008 Conference Committee

    Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, Chair
    Mike Brown
    Rachael Clemens
    Dr. Brenda Dervin
    Devan Donaldson
    Carolyn Hank
    Dr. Samantha Hastings
    Margie Hlava
    Dr. Diane Neal
    Andreas Orphanides
    Julia Kampov-Polevoi
    Dr. Soo Young Rieh
    Mark Rosso
    Dr. Deborah Swain

    Add comment December 18, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Conference on “Rethinking the digital divide” ::

    -------------------------Call for papers----------------------------
    
    ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the digital divide9-11 September 2008, Leeds, UK
    
    First call for papers and abstracts
    
    The online submission system for ALT-C 2008 is now open:http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2008/papers.html
    
    Please read the submission guidelines for Research Papers and forAbstracts -http://www.alt.ac.uk/guidelines_papers.html- and download the Research Paper Template if you wish to submit aresearch paper.
    
    Submit your proposal on the new submission system athttps://alt.conference-services.net/
    
    Key dates:Submissions open 14 December 2007Submissions close 28 February 2008Presenters' registration deadline: 6 June 2008Early bird registration deadline: 30 June 2008Registrations close: 15 August 2008
    
    Keynote speakers:David Cavallo, Chief Learning Architect for One Laptop per Child, andHead of the Future of Learning Research Group at MIT Media Lab;Dr Itiel Dror, Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at theUniversity of Southampton;Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute,Sweden, and Director of the Gapminder Foundation.
    
    To sponsor ALT-C 2008 contact Seb Schmoller, Chief Executive of ALT,seb.schmoller@alt.ac.uk
    
    To exhibit at ALT-C 2008 contact Hayley Willis, Events Administrator,hayley.willis@alt.ac.uk
    
    ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the digital divide9-11 September 2008, Leeds, Englandhttp://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2008/
    
    -----------------------------------------------------

    Add comment December 18, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: 4th International Conference on e-Social Science ::

    4th International Conference on e-Social Science
    Manchester, June 18th-20th, 2008

    Initial Announcement and Call for Submissions

    The aim of the conference on e-Social Science is to bring together leading
    international representatives of the social science, e-Infrastructure/
    cyberinfrastructure and e-Research communities in order to improve mutual
    awareness, harmonize understanding and instigate coordinated activities to
    accelerate research, development and deployment of powerful, new research
    methods and tools for the social sciences and beyond.

    We invite contributions from members of the social science,
    e-Infrastructure/cyberinfrastructure and e-Research communities with
    experience of, or interests in:

    1) exploring, developing, and applying new methods, practices, and tools afforded by new infrastructure technologies – such as the Grid and Web 2.0 – in order to further social science research; and

    2) studying issues impacting on the wider take-up of e-Research.

    Submission categories include: full and short papers, posters, demos, workshops, tutorials and panels.

    Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:

    * Case studies of the application of e-Social Science research methods to substantive social science problems

    * Advances in tools and techniques for quantitative and qualitative e-Social Science, including statistical analysis, simulation, data mining, text mining, social network analysis and collaborative environments

    * Enabling new sources and forms of sociological data through e-Social Science, including ethical issues and challenges in the collection, integration, sharing and analysis of sociological and other personal data

    *The e-Research technical roadmap, including grids, web 2.0 and their future (co-evolution)

    ——————-
    Important Deadlines
    ——————-

    Paper abstracts: January 25th, 2008.

    Workshop, tutorial and panel outlines: February 22nd, 2008.

    Poster and demo abstracts: March 21st, 2008.

    Submission instructions will appear on the conference web site in
    December.

    Authors will be informed of the programme committees decision in early
    March, 2008.

    For full details of this call, including a full list of topics of interest
    and submission instructions, please visit
    http://www.ncess.ac.uk/events/conference/call/

    2 comments November 29, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Post-conference Deliberation ::

    The 8th Asia Pacific Sociological Association (APSA) Annual Conference 2007 that I attended (in Penang) from 19th-21st November had been a unique experience for me. It simply rocked. This time I observed several positive aspects that was missing from other international conferences that I attended in and around Kuala Lumpur.

    It was really a conference with true international flavor. The participants (78 altogether) were from Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Indonesia, and Philippines. Other conferences that I attended previously were merely represented by a bulk of local (and in many cases a lot of Middle-Eastern) scholars. The quality of the papers seemed to be better.

    Particularly, I will remark on the organizational aspects of the conference. The remarkable fact was punctuality. Almost each session began on time (which is quite uncommon in many other conferences held in Malaysia). Another praiseworthy aspect was that they asked all paper presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentation before the session. In this way, the technical problems were quite out of question. At the same time, it strengthen the smooth functioning of the sessions. The food (the usual buffet in 5-star hotel) was better. The organizers were quite helpful and showed enormous hospitality during the conference. In particular, Dr. Abdul Rahim should be special mention. For example, I asked him to prepare a letter, and he did that within half-an-hour. That was a record !

    I met a lot of amazing people. Kubilay Akman from Turkey, Samina Luthfa from Bangladesh, Ismail Baba (faculty dean, SSS, USM) and Premalatha Karupiah from Malaysia….. A few Australians (whose names are Sophie Williams, Emma Dalton, Pamela Nilan and many others), an aunt from India, two ladies from Thailand (one of whom can barely speak English ! hahahaa), Ong Beng Kok (who criticized my paper most) and last but not least Partick Soh. I enjoyed all of their company. It was amazing and wonderful.

    Overall, it was a different conference I have experienced so far. Kudos to all the organizers and presenters who made it a success !

    Add comment November 22, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: New JCMC Special Issue on Social Networking Sites ::

    It gives me unquantifiable amounts of joy to announce that the JCMC special theme issue on “Social Network Sites” is now completely accessible online.

    JCMC Special Theme Issue on “Social Network Sites”
    Guest Editors: danah boyd and Nicole Ellison
    http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/

    Please feel free to pass this announcement on to anyone you think might find value from this special issue.

    Add comment November 20, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Be careful: Think before you post ::

    Check this out:

    Add comment November 19, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Call for Papers – AUSWEB 2008 ::

    Call for Submissions – AUSWEB 2008

    Australasian World Wide Web Conference

    This announcement is the formal call for submissions for AusWeb08.

    Since its inception, AusWeb has been the primary forum for Australian developers, computer scientists, educators, industry, government and cultural commentators to discuss the rapidly evolving technologies and usage of the Web. In order to contextualise and broaden this discussion, submissions from authors outside Australia are most welcome. AusWeb provides an informal and supportive environment, with the programme designed to facilitate open discussion and debate.

    NOTE: the AusWeb series of conferences does not require exclusive assignment of copyright by authors and full papers are refereed to DEST standards.

    Possible Topics

    For AusWeb08, we are interested in receiving submissions on all aspects of the Web. The following topics are intended to provide an indication of some of the themes which have been discussed at previous AusWeb Conferences:

    *Web languages, standards, formats and protocols

    *Web-based collaboration

    *Web system design and evaluation

    *Open source software

    *Application of Web technologies to education and / or training

    *Social and / or institutional impacts of Web-based education

    *eCommerce / eBusiness strategies and issues

    *New products / services / experiences and the Web

    *New Media Entertainment and the Web

    *The impact of the Web on society and / or government

    *Libraries / publishing / open access and the Web

    *Sociological / cultural studies of the Web

    *The Web as an agent of transformation

    *Web security

    We are also happy to consider submission proposals that do not fit neatly into the above topics. Please note that as this is a Web conference, the submissions will need to have a strong Web component to them.

    Initial Submission

    In order to make it as easy as possible to submit to AusWeb08, you may make your initial submission in any of the following formats HTML (preferred) or Text or RTF or Word. You do not have to comply with any particular stylesheet at the initial submission phase. If accepted, you will need to supply the final version of your submission as an HTML formatted document using the AusWeb stylesheet which will be made available from the AusWeb08 server.

    Refereed Full Papers

    Refereed full papers (3,500 to 5,000 words) are designed to allow the

    presentation of completed research projects, reports of innovative uses of Web technologies in universities, industry, government and cultural

    institutions such as libraries, archives, publishers and museums, and case histories.

    The AusWeb conference series is designed so that refereed full papers are eligible for inclusion in an institution’s DEST statistics. This is

    ensured by the following practices:

    The conference is nationally significant, and the promotional material,

    the speakers and attendees and the program reflect this.

    o Papers are independently peer reviewed on the basis of the full paper

    (rather than just on an abstract) and there will be clear evidence that this is the case, ranging from statements in the promotional material to referees’ comments.

    o The full paper will be published, not an abstract or digest.

    o The proceedings will be available more widely than just to conference

    delegates on request to the conference office.

    Refereeing of papers will be done by members of an expert Review Panel

    (including international scholars) to DEST refereed conference paper

    standards using a two-stage double-blind review process. We will try to make this process as quick as possible so that you have as much time as possible to produce the final version of your paper (if accepted). Because the refereeing is double-blind, please ensure that author(s) name(s) or other identifying information, including obvious self-citations, do not appear on your submission to ensure anonymity.__

    Refereed Full Papers are to be submitted initially to the Program Chair, Joanna Richardson <j.richardson@griffith.edu.au> who will then redirect them to specialist track chairs as required. Decisions will be made by the Program Committee after receipt of reviewers reports. Submissions not accepted as Refereed Full Papers may be accepted as Edited Short Papers (see below).

    Key Refereed Full Paper Dates

    On or before (early submission would be appreciated) 28th January

    Full paper decisions: 18th February

    Final, formatted papers submitted to the AusWeb server: 3rd March

    Papers published on the Web: 17th March

    Posters and Edited Short Papers

    We are also calling for submissions to our popular Posters stream as either traditional posters, creative ‘Web-based posters’ or Short Edited papers (research in progress) that the author wants to present and discuss with delegates. The Poster session (usually held on the Monday afternoon of the conference) is designed to showcase the most innovative developments on the Web from Australia and around the world.

    Traditional posters are typically in a large display format and designed to allow the presentation of research in progress, demonstrate pre-release software or get feedback from attendees on new ideas. Web-based posters may use social-network technology to spread and communicate their message, but will need some physical presence at AusWeb! Summary details of your poster presentations (around 250 to 500 words) and edited short papers (500 to 1500 words) of work in progress will be published on the Web, in the printed proceedings and on the conference CD-ROM. Poster and short edited paper proposals are to be submitted directly to the Poster Chair, Rod Sims <rod.sims@faculty.capella.edu>. Acceptance decisions will be made by the Poster subcommittee.

    Key Poster/Short Edited Paper Dates

    On for before 11th February (early submissions would be appreciated)

    Decisions: 18th February (decision re early submissions will be made

    within a week of submission)

    Final, formatted paper details submitted to the AusWeb server: 3rd March

    Post Summaries (with links) and Short Edited Papers published on the Web: 17th March

    (Late submissions will be considered but will only be published on the Web at the time of the conference.)

    Best Poster and Best Paper Awards

    It is an AusWeb tradition to acknowledge the best paper at each conference with the Paul Thistlewaite Award. This award consists of a certificate plus a complimentary core registration at the following year’s conference.

    The latter is made possible by our long time sponsor Explain XML

    Specialists http://www.explain.com.au/ and is presented by their CEO Steve Ball. We also offer a Best Poster Award which consists of a certificate and registration for a tutorial or workshop at the following year’s conference (compliments of the conference series).

    Add comment November 18, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: CFP: 9th International Digital Government Research Conference (dg.o 2008)::

    Call for Papers

    9th International Digital Government Research Conference (dg.o 200

    Partnerships for Public Innovation

    Hilton Bonaventure Hotel

    Montreal, Canada – May 18-21, 2008

    Home Page: http://www.dgo2008.org

    General Inquiries: dgo2008@easychair.org

    Submission web site: http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=dgo2008

    The 9th annual dg.o international conference is a forum for presentation and discussion of interdisciplinary digital government research and practice and its applications in diverse domains. The conference is presented by the Digital Government Society of North America (DGSNA), with major support from the US National Science Foundation.

    The conference theme, Partnerships for Public Innovation, focuses on information-intensive innovations in the public sector that involve linkages among government, universities, NGOs, and businesses. This theme emphasizes the importance of sharing practical issues, policy perspectives, research insights, and expert advice, in order to reach higher levels of performance in diverse public enterprises. Each year the conference combines:

    * Presentations of effective partnerships among government professionals, university researchers, relevant businesses, and NGOs, as well as grassroots citizen groups, to advance the practice of digital government.

    * Research on digital government as an interdisciplinary domain that lies at the intersections of computing research, social and behavioural science research, and the problems and missions of government.

    Interested participants are invited to submit management or policy papers, research papers, or student research papers, as well as proposals for panels; industry, government, and research prototype demonstrations; posters, Birds-of-a-Feather discussions, and

    pre-conference tutorials and workshops. The Conference Committee particularly encourages submissions on interdisciplinary and crosscutting topics addressing broad government challenges. Topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

    * Digital Government Application Domains: such as courts, crisis management, education, emergency response; international initiatives and cooperation, health and human services, law enforcement and criminal justice; legislative systems, natural resources management, grants administration, government statistics, regulation and

    rulemaking; security; tax administration; transportation systems, and urban planning.

    * IT-enabled Government Management and Operations: such as digital government organization and management strategies, decision-making processes; information technology adoption and diffusion; program planning; IT and service architectures, cross-boundary information sharing and integration, long-term preservation and archiving of

    government information, information assurance, service integration, as well as technology transition and transfer.

    * Information Values and Policies: such as accessibility, digital democracy and governance, digital divide, openness, privacy, public participation in democratic processes, security, transparency, trust, and universal access to information and services.

    * Information Technology and Tools to Support Government: such as collaboration tools; cyberinfrastructure for digital government domains; digital libraries and knowledge management; geographic information systems; grid computing; human-computer interaction; information integration; interoperable data, networks and architectures; large scale data and information acquisition and management; mobile government; national and international infrastructures for information and communication, multiple modalities

    and multimedia; service-oriented architectures; semantic web; social networking, software engineering for large-scale government projects.

    We are pleased to announce three luminaries who have made significant contributions in the field of digital government as daily keynote speakers for the dg.o 2008 conference!

    IMPORTANT DATES

    * November 1, 2007 – Conference submission website becomes available.

    The submission site is located at:

    http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=dgo2008.

    * December 1, 2007 – Submission deadline for all papers and panel sessions

    * February 1, 2008 – Submission deadline for pre-conference tutorials

    and workshops

    * February 1, 2008 – Acceptance notifications for all papers and panel

    sessions

    * February 15, 2008 – Submission deadline for Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF)

    sessions, posters, and system demonstrations

    * March 1, 2008 – Acceptance notification for pre-conference

    tutorials, workshops, posters, system demonstrations, and BOF sessions

    * March 15, 2008 – All camera ready versions are due

    Add comment November 16, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: The Asia Pacific Sociological Association Annual Conference ::

    My paper titled The Sociology of Cyberspace: Youth Online Networking and Cyberfriendship Formation”, has been accepted for presentation at the 8th Asia Pacific Sociological Association Annual Conference, Penang, Malaysia, 19 – 21 November 2007.

    The conference will be held at Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang, Malaysia.

    You all are invited to the presentation.

    //

    The abstract/ full paper can be obtained from me by individual e-mail at: asnurullah@yahoo.com

    Add comment October 27, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Winning ::

    The other day, I was passing through lecturers’ room (as part of my usual habit) looking left and right. Suddenly, a poster caught my attention. It was a quote which I liked so much.

    Winners don’t do different things,

    They do things differently !

    — (Shiv Khera)

    There is a whole book on that. “You Can Win: Winners Don’t Do Different Things They Do Things Differently”, by the author. Published by Pearson Education Limited (Oct 1998), 224 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0130953438

    1 comment October 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Are You Socially Intelligent? ::

    Check this out:

    Add comment October 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Necessary Illusion ::

    “The more I know, the more I realize how little I know.”

    The human mental faculty’s most distinct and consequential peculiarity is, without doubt, the ability to think in self conscious and abstract terms. One way this innate ability manifests itself is the uniquely symbolic language whose structural components, grammar and syntax, reflect the brain’s intricate organizational architecture. This potent tool of heightened intellect, however, came at a high cost. The inquisitive brain, by its very nature, demands answers to every question, and rationale for every observation, or the circuitry of the highly evolved cognitive faculty would sink the mind into irreparable chaos and confusion. Fortunately, the antidote, the tempering mechanism that enabled the mind to see rationale for events and observations, and to find answers to life’s questions, was already hardwired into the brain’s circuitry. The mental capacity to reach for the metaphysical enabled man to virtualize the nonexistent, to rationalize the irrational, and to objectify the subjective. It was this tool of faith, long before science and reason could illuminate man’s mind, that allowed the mind to transcend the realm of the rational in pursuit of meaning for life and to solve a plethora of troubling puzzles such as where we came from, where are we going, and what is this existence all about. The sense of spirituality, which is translated into its various manifestations, from superstition, pagan mythology, organized religion, to the modern and postmodern deism and fideism, is like language and in close conjunction with it, imprinted in our genetic fabric, working together as perhaps the most powerful instincts promoting the survival of the sapient species, sapient being the key word here. But, the tool that helped mankind along its cultural evolutionary path created an irreconcilable dilemma in the process of scientific maturity: The instinct for appealing to metaphysical resources to solve emotionally profound questions works only when the seat of that wisdom is perceived to exist in some form of reality and not as a glorified placebo. The resurgence of religious faith in our modern societies, the appearance of new paths to spirituality, and the appeal of the feel-good schools of spiritual illumination, are all in response to mankind’s struggle to remain attached to this primal umbilical cord. How long and how successfully this necessary illusion can play its vital role remain the big questions for the postmodern man to resolve.

    From a mishmash of shapeless incoherence evolved matter and energy, expanding to create what became space, in a dimension perceptible to us as time. Of the infinite varieties of integrations and disintegrations, compositions and decompositions, of matter and energy, from the massless and dimensionless entities that create mass and dimension, and from the heavy elements born in the cores of exploding supernovae, stardust accumulated in a tiny speck within a tiny speck within a tiny speck of space, which we now call Earth. Of all the possible combinations of matter on this tiny speck one led to a carbon-based structure with the ability to self-replicate. This self-replication led to the formation of self-contained units of organic clumps that evolved in varying forms and sizes. Some, with a concentration of a particular assemblage of organic matter that reacted to the environment and responded by regulating the behavior of the host, began to affect the surface of the tiny globe. Of these, one particular species evolved a relatively larger processing center with a distinct peculiarity; it not only needed to know, it needed to know why! The quest became this organism’s lifelong pursuit, carried over from one generation to the next: Who am I, why am I here, where did I come from, where am I going, what is all this existence about? When not totally engulfed in the affairs of daily survival, the organism that we call human pondered on such questions across the planet. Conclusions were nearly universal. The thinking, self-reflecting, human concluded that it had to be the purposeful creation of some mastermind, and indeed the ultimate product of existence for whom all else had been created. With these assumptions humans began to work backwards to structure suitable narratives that would best substantiate their self-image. They succeeded; but for many individuals who were too inquisitive to remain content with self-redeeming presuppositions, the quest led to much confusion and despair. The instinctive desire to find symmetry, purpose, design, and meaning in life, the basic ingredient that motivated mankind to carry on, was challenged by the discomforting prospects that this mechanism of survival may be no more than a necessary illusion-generating machine: necessary, as, without such capacity for self-delusion, struggle for survival and continuity for the sapient species would have been in vain. But, here we all are, some successfully content in self-delusions, some still searching for higher truths or meaning to rationalize life’s pursuits, and some who have managed to create more sophisticated kaleidoscopes through which their version of reality is never seen as illusory.

    //

    —- by Kam Zarrabi. kzarrabi@aol.com

    Add comment October 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: success ::

    Add comment October 24, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Research on Social Network Sites ::

    A bibliography of current as well as previous researches on Social Network Sites (SNSs) can be found here:

    http://www.danah.org/SNSResearch.html

    Add comment October 23, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: The world map of social networks ::

    ————————————————————————

    Here’s a map of the world, showing the dominant social networks by country, according to Alexa. There are way more players than anybody, from a vantage point in Silicon Valley, would expect. In the US, the story of social networks is this: there was Friendster, which had no purpose but dating and didn’t scale; then Myspace, which gave people freedom to make ugly personal websites; and then came along Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, which was classier.

    But other services, such as hi5.com, Bebo, Orkut and Friendster itself, have established, and maintained, footholds outside the US. Unsurprisingly, social networks, which let people share news, photographs and other content with their friends, benefit from network effects. A dominant local site, such as Orkut in Brazil, can hold off the competition because it’s the default, and nobody wants to migrate to another site, however much more advanced, if their friends won’t follow.

    Some patterns from the data:

    • Orkut leads in the Indian subcontinent, as well as Brazil;
    • Facebook is stronger, internationally, than Myspace, with surprising strongholds in the Middle East;
    • hi5.com is the most international of all the social networks, leading in Peru, Colombia, Central America, and other, scattered countries such as Mongolia, Romania, and Tunisia;
    • both Bebo and Skyblog follow colonial patterns, the first strong in smaller English-speaking countries such as Ireland and New Zealand, and the latter in Francophone countries;
    • and Friendster, the original social network, leads all across Southeast Asia.
    • Fotolog, a photo service defeated in the US by Friendster, has re-emerged as the dominant social network in Argentina and Chile.

    Here is the complete list.

    1 comment October 22, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: A Story of Hope ::

    Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

    The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

    The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

    The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

    As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

    One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

    As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

    He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

    The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

    Epilogue. . . .There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy. “Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”

    Add comment October 20, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Friendship ::

    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

    —- Kahlil Gibran

    Add comment October 19, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Don’t Quit ::

    When things go wrong
    As they sometimes will,
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit…
    Rest if you must — but don’t you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As every one of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about,
    When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
    Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow
    You may succeed with another blow.

    Often the goal is nearer than
    It seems to a faint and faltering man;
    Often the struggler has given up
    When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
    And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
    How close he was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out,
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems afar,
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
    It’s when things go wrong
    That you mustn’t quit.

    – Shaki

    2 comments October 18, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Student politics ::

    Across South Asia, particularly in the subcontinent, student politics appears to be a cancer that leads to destroy the dignity and prospects of student-life as a whole. If I bring out the reference of Bangladesh, the scenario would be clear. Every year, one of the most talented group of students get admitted into Dhaka University (once known as the Oxford of the East). However, the reality is that due to student politics, most of the students end up with having negative prospects. Most of the time students are forced to join politics. I was one of the practical victims of the situation. After joining the department of English as an undergrad, I had to take a seat in the residential hall. At that moment I realised that in order to get a seat, I need(ed) to enroll into politics. I remained reluctant, but the scenario seemed unsympathetic to me. At last, I had to attend to some political processions to secure a seat. But I could not bear it till the end (and eventually made my way to IIUM, although that was not the only reason).

    Contrary to that, once (during 1950s till 1980s) student politics in Dhaka University (used to) brought a lot of welfare and leadership capability to the students. At those times, students’ political wings was run by the most intelligent and talented students. But now the scenario has changed over the years. At present those are run by the dumbest students (who have no other way but to do it). That’s perhaps the reason for the downfall of student politics. At any rate, the current situation should not persist. There need a huge change in the whole structure. Do we have enough willpower to make a difference?

    1 comment October 17, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::A sudden trip to Pangkor Island::

    Just after Eid Day, my friends planned to have a vacation in Pangkor Island.

    So was a nice time in Pangkor, and I’m back to the (boring) IIUM corner again (particularly just after Eid).

    We had been there for the last 2 days. It was an amazing time there. After quite a long…

    Pictures have been uploaded in Facebook at:

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=63158&id=538225004

    p/s: Glad to see Kerabu Mangga back to the blogworld again.

    2 comments October 16, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Happiness ::

    Today there was a presentation in IIUM in relation to Ramadan, where the speaker defined happiness as of two types, which are temporary happiness and permanent happiness. Temporary happiness is what we enjoy in this world which are mostly consisted of materialistic aspects of our life. Such as having a Mercedes Benz, wonderfully decorated house, and the like. Whereas, the permanent happiness is only possible in the Hereafter, as we are only the sojourners in this world. Therefore, we need to dedicate ourselves in achieving the permanent happiness.

    The presenter also mentioned that we should enjoy being Muslims. And if we are unable to enjoy, that means there is something wrong in the practice that we are doing/ following. Because, Islam should make our life perfect, and lead to happiness and thus we can enjoy being a Muslim. But if it doesn’t, we need to ask ourselves what’s wrong with our practices and our behaviour, rather than blaming Islam as the cause of the problems facing by Muslims around the world today. Maybe there is something wrong in what we are doing or following. Maybe we are not going back to the basics which we are supposed to reflect and act upon. Wallahu A’laam.

    4 comments October 5, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Journey to Islam ::

    Today, the Ramadan programme organized by Al-Salam club at IIUM invited four persons from four countries who were reverted to Islam. Two of them were Christian before, and the other two were born Muslim in a non-Islamic environment whose parents were reverted to Islam. All of them illustrated how the light of Islam touched them or their parents to come back to Islam. They were from USA, Colombia, South Africa and India.
    The word “reverted” should be noted here. Usually those who accept Islam or other religion, we mention them as ‘converted Muslim’. However, this is not true in case of becoming a Muslim. The reason is that, Islam is the religion of “Fitrah” or natural religion of every person on earth. And as Hadith mentioned, it is their parents or other socializing factors that made them convert to other religions. Therefore, when a person accepts Islam, it is the act of coming back to his/ her original religion, and thus, an act of ‘reversion’ to Islam.

    Anyway, their discussion and the message that they highlighted are important things here. They mentioned that the common elements that encouraged most of them were the self-search for truth, the realities of life, the ultimate goal of creation, and scientific miracles that the Qur’an revealed 14 centuries ago which modern science is discovering recently. In most cases, their personal search for the truth and the discrepancies found in Bible encouraged them to come back to Islam. They were also motivated by the chaotic societies in which they were living, and the happy abode that they have found now. According to them, before accepting Islam, (either) they (or their parents) were like living in the darkness, unsatisfied with life and many other factors in their respective societies. And after accepting Islam, they were amazed by the beauty of Islam, and they illustrated how they experienced the light of Islam in their heart and their joy of becoming a true believer.

    However, with a great shock, they also mentioned that after becoming Muslims, they were not well accepted but rather were mistreated by their fellow (born) Muslims. In most cases, the born Muslims assaulted them and asked them questions that were humiliating. Likewise, they were shocked by the observed behaviour of Muslims in the current scenario. Therefore, they urged the Islamic Da’ee (the person who preach Islam) to understand what it feels like to be a non-Muslim. This empathy can draw the newly becoming Muslims closer and closer to Islam. Also, a true Muslim should act upon according to the principles of Islam, and manifest it in their behaviour. They mentioned that it is much more important for the Da’ee to act upon and behave in accordance with what they preach, because it is the character (Akhlaq) of the preacher that the people look into. Most important, they mentioned that the light of the Qur’an enlightened their heart, and even if they see many born Muslims do not follow Islam, the new-Muslims would do their best to act upon Islamic principles; because it is not the Muslims, but rather Islam that had attracted them.

    Add comment September 27, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Exactly::

    Add comment September 26, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Me ::

    I’m pretty much irritated by the continuous use of my computer. Although it has become almost inseparable in my life. And that fact is that I’m a hyper tech-savvy.
    However, I might consider throwing it out down the window, because it has started creating problem in my eye. It is really giving me a lot of trouble. I know it is hard for a tech-savvy to say like that.

    3 comments September 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: A Quiz ::

    What (who) is world’s most unpredictable species? (or subspecies)

    7 comments August 21, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus at IIUM ::

    Today, the Nobel Peace Laureate in 2006, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus delivered a public lecture at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

    He focused on how to eradicate poverty from the world, by saying that ‘poverty should be in the museum’, and Malaysia is very close to it.

    He is of the view that the enthusiastic individual endeavour, rather than relying on Government and other agencies, can guarantee a change in the world. We should not depend on others to do things for us, but rather we must utilize whatever capabilities that we have to achieve success.

    The founder of the Grammeen Bank said helping the poor by giving handouts or through any form of charity was not a sustainable way of eradicating poverty.

    “The more effective way is to harness their entrepreneurial potential by developing ‘social businesses’ that can offer a long-term solution to address poverty and more importantly, the global social and economic imbalance,” he said.

    He said women formed the backbone of the bank. Women were found to be better managers of funds as they made the most of the resources available to them.

    “I believe that we can create a poverty-free world because poverty is not created by poor people”, Yunus said, and “It has been created and sustained by the economic and social system that we have designed for ourselves, the institutions and concepts that make up that system and the policies that we pursue.”

    Add comment August 16, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Difference between “somebody you Love” & “somebody you Like” ::

    1 – In front of the person you love, your heart beats faster, But in front of the person you like, you get happy.

    2 – in front of the person you love, winter seems like spring. But in front of the person you like, winter is just beautiful winter.

    3 – If you look into the eyes of the one you love, you blush. But if you look into the eyes of the one you like, you smile.

    4 – In front of the person you love, you can’t say everything on your mind. But in front of the person you like, you can.

    5 – In front of the person you love, you tend to get shy. But in front of the person you like, you can show your own self.

    6 – You can’t look straight into the eyes of the one you love. But you can always smile into the eyes of the one you like.

    7 – When the one you love is crying, you cry with them. But when the one you like is crying, you end up comforting.

    8 – The feeling of love starts from the eye But the feeling of like starts from the ear. So if you stop liking a person you used to like, all you need to do is cover your ears. But if you try to close your eyes, love turns into a drop of tear and remains in your heart forever…

    ———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –
    I see love, I can see passion…I feel danger, I feel obsession

    4 comments August 12, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Old arguments, still fresh… ::

    An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.

    He asks one of his new Muslim students to stand and…..
    Professor : You are a Muslim, aren’t you?

    Student : Yes, Prof : So you believe in God?

    Student : Absolutely, sir.

    Prof : Is God good?

    Student : Sure.

    Prof : Is God all-powerful?

    Student : Yes.

    Prof : My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn’t. How is this God good then? Hmm? (Student is silent.)

    Prof : You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start a gain, young fella. Is God good?
    Student :Yes.

    Prof : Is Satan good?

    Student : No.

    Prof : Where does Satan come from?

    Student : From…God…

    Prof : That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

    Student : Yes.

    Prof : Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything. Correct?

    Student : Yes.

    Prof : So who created evil? (Student does not answer.)

    Prof : Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

    Student :Yes, sir.
    Prof: So, who created them? (Student has no answer.)

    Prof : Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son…Have you ever seen God?

    Student : No, Prof : Tell us if you have ever heard your God?

    Student : No , Prof : Have you ever felt y our God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?

    Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

    Prof : Yet you still believe in Him?

    Student : Yes.

    Prof : According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

    Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

    Prof : Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.

    Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

    Prof : Yes.

    Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

    Prof : Yes.

    Student : No sir. There isn’t. (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

    Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it. (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

    Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

    Prof : Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

    Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light….But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

    Prof : So what is the point you are making, young man?

    Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

    Prof : Flawed? Can you explain how?

    Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

    Prof : If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
    Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir? (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)

    Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.)

    Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)

    Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?…..No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)

    Prof : I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

    Student : That is it sir.. The link between man & God is FAITH.
    That is all that keeps things moving & alive.!!

    Add comment August 10, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Conference on the Status of Muslim Women in Contemporary Society ::

    My paper (co-authored with Syed Sohail Imam, Pute Rahimah Makol-Abdul, and Saodah Abd. Rahman) titled Gender and Motivations for Street Racing in Malaysia: The Case of Mat Rempit and Minah Rempit”, will be presented in the International Conference on the Status of Muslim Women in Contemporary Society: Realities and Prospects, Kuala Lumpur: International Institute for Muslim Unity, International Islamic University Malaysia, 14th – 16th August 2007.

    The conference will be held in Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

    Our paper has been scheduled for presentation on August 15th 2007,   5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

    You are invited to join the session.

    2 comments August 4, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Blogization of Society ::

    Recently in Malaysian media there is a big hue and cry about blogging in here.

    Check this out: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Frontpage/20070725072745/Article/index_html

    In any case, it can be inferred that blogging stimulates the voices of the bloggers, and blogging has proven to be an effective tool for presentation of self.

    The blogization of society indeed !

    Add comment July 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Hmm… ::

    It’s the best time for us to colour our perspectives not by the colours illuminated by others but by our ownself to look into things around the world.

    5 comments July 23, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Insight into nature ::

    The Photos say it all…

    Twilight

    //

    Flower in raindrop

    //

    Into nature

    //

    Near our pond

    //

    Near River

    //

    River 1

    //

    River 2

    //

    River 3

    2 comments July 17, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Classes ::

    Our classes resume today after the short vacation.

    New faces and colourful dresses (worn especially by female students) are vividly observable. Students rushing to catch the classes on time (or a few minutes late). Many rush for add-and-drop exercises.
    The same boring PowerPoint and the screen as the audience, the overpraising Americanism (some lecturers), self-boosting and admiration, postponing the first day of the class etc. etc. can be visualised in the campus once again.

    The library seems to be lonely, very very lonely today (and this evening). But for sure will be socialised soon once the deadline for mid-terms approaches.

    1 comment July 9, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: A Lucky day (or is it?) ::

    Today is a triple seven day (07.07.07).

    So it seems it is one of the luckiest days.

    But one of my friends told me that days don’t bring luck, but rather it is a magic combination. (whatever… )

    //
    btw, I’m finally back to Malaysia safely today.

    3 comments July 7, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: At KLIA ::

    Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is one of the most famous airports in the world. KLIA was awarded “The Brand Laureate”, the Grammy Awards for branding for Best Brands Transportation Airport 2006-2007. KLIA has been chosen as ‘The Most Outstanding Establishment in the Tourist, Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Field for the year 2007′ by the Trade Leaders’ Club, Madrid.

    Now I’m seated in KLIA, waiting for my flight to Dhaka. Fortunately I’ve been able to pass all the security checkpoints inside the airport. Now I’m at the last stage, the final waiting room to board on the flight. My friends are with me, gossiping. In this room I’m getting WIFI. Few Moments ago I got Maisarah’s response to my latest posting. It feels good. I’m not quite sure if I’m making sense at this moment. But it’s a new feeling of going home… I can see through the window the view that the flight is getting ready, will take me home… After  long 3 years….

    2 comments June 16, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Going Home… ::

    Finally I’m going home tomorrow (Friday) InshaAllah. I say ‘finally’, because it is the first time I’m going back home since I came to Malaysia on June 3, 2004. It has been a looooooooong duration of 3 years.

    Things must have been changed in the last three years! I might experience some culture-shock, as some of my friends did so (even being in their own country!). I better gotta prepare myself…

    2 comments June 14, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Really Funny ::

    4 comments June 13, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Noam Chomsky: ‘Rebel without a pause’ ::

    Noam Chomsky is one of my favourite authors. Here is one of his video lecture on ‘Rebel without a pause’. This is part one; please follow the playlist section on the right to view the other 7 parts (totally 8 of them).

    Add comment June 3, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Edward Said: On Orientalism ::

    Edward Said’s talk on Orientalism

    Add comment June 3, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk at Google ::

    The other day I wrote on the author Elizabeth Gilbert. And here is video on her recent talk at Googleplex

    Add comment June 3, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Women in Art ::

    Here is a wonderful video on the greatest women in art.

    3 comments June 3, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: SOME THOUGHTS ON WRITING ::

    Here are some thoughts on writing by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of  “Eat, Pray, Love”: New York Times bestseller, who divided a year equally among three dissimilar countries – Italy, India, and Bali, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year’s cultural and emotional tapestry as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression.

    The part that I like is in quotation, the fulltext follows thereby:

    One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.

    I have a friend who’s an Italian filmmaker of great artistic sensibility. After years of struggling to get his films made, he sent an anguished letter to his hero, the brilliant (and perhaps half-insane) German filmmaker Werner Herzog. My friend complained about how difficult it is these days to be an independent filmmaker, how hard it is to find government arts grants, how the audiences have all been ruined by Hollywood and how the world has lost its taste…etc, etc. Herzog wrote back a personal letter to my friend that essentially ran along these lines: “Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.” I repeat those words back to myself whenever I start to feel resentful, entitled, competitive or unappreciated with regard to my writing: “It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.” Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.

    //

    Sometimes people ask me for help or suggestions about how to write, or how to get published. Keeping in mind that this is all very ephemeral and personal, I will try to explain here everything that I believe about writing. I hope it is useful. It’s all I know.

    I believe that – if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed about any creative form of expression – that you should take on this work like a holy calling. I became a writer the way other people become monks or nuns. I made a vow to writing, very young. I became Bride-of-Writing. I was writing’s most devotional handmaiden. I built my entire life around writing. I didn’t know how else to do this. I didn’t know anyone who had ever become a writer. I had no, as they say, connections. I had no clues. I just began.

    I took a few writing classes when I was at NYU, but, aside from an excellent workshop taught by Helen Schulman, I found that I didn’t really want to be practicing this work in a classroom. I wasn’t convinced that a workshop full of 13 other young writers trying to find their voices was the best place for me to find my voice. So I wrote on my own, as well. I showed my work to friends and family whose opinions I trusted. I was always writing, always showing. After I graduated from NYU, I decided not to pursue an MFA in creative writing. Instead, I created my own post-graduate writing program, which entailed several years spent traveling around the country and world, taking jobs at bars and restaurants and ranches, listening to how people spoke, collecting experiences and writing constantly. My life probably looked disordered to observers (not that anyone was observing it that closely) but my travels were a very deliberate effort to learn as much as I could about life, expressly so that I could write about it.

    Back around the age of 19, I had started sending my short stories out for publication. My goal was to publish something (anything, anywhere) before I died. I collected only massive piles of rejection notes for years. I cannot explain exactly why I had the confidence to be sending off my short stories at the age of 19 to, say, The New Yorker, or why it did not destroy me when I was inevitably rejected. I sort of figured I’d be rejected. But I also thought: “Hey – somebody has to write all those stories: why not me?” I didn’t love being rejected, but my expectations were low and my patience was high. (Again – the goal was to get published before death. And I was young and healthy.) It has never been easy for me to understand why people work so hard to create something beautiful, but then refuse to share it with anyone, for fear of criticism. Wasn’t that the point of the creation – to communicate something to the world? So PUT IT OUT THERE. Send your work off to editors and agents as much as possible, show it to your neighbors, plaster it on the walls of the bus stops – just don’t sit on your work and suffocate it. At least try. And when the powers-that-be send you back your manuscript (and they will), take a deep breath and try again. I often hear people say, “I’m not good enough yet to be published.” That’s quite possible. Probable, even. All I’m saying is: Let someone else decide that. Magazines, editors, agents – they all employ young people making $22,000 a year whose job it is to read through piles of manuscripts and send you back letters telling you that you aren’t good enough yet: LET THEM DO IT. Don’t pre-reject yourself. That’s their job, not yours. Your job is only to write your heart out, and let destiny take care of the rest.

    As for discipline – it’s important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly love). The other thing to realize is that all writers think they suck. When I was writing “Eat, Pray, Love”, I had just as a strong a mantra of THIS SUCKS ringing through my head as anyone does when they write anything. But I had a clarion moment of truth during the process of that book. One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.

    I have a friend who’s an Italian filmmaker of great artistic sensibility. After years of struggling to get his films made, he sent an anguished letter to his hero, the brilliant (and perhaps half-insane) German filmmaker Werner Herzog. My friend complained about how difficult it is these days to be an independent filmmaker, how hard it is to find government arts grants, how the audiences have all been ruined by Hollywood and how the world has lost its taste…etc, etc. Herzog wrote back a personal letter to my friend that essentially ran along these lines: “Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.” I repeat those words back to myself whenever I start to feel resentful, entitled, competitive or unappreciated with regard to my writing: “It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.” Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.

    Here’s another thing to consider. If you always wanted to write, and now you are A Certain Age, and you never got around to it, and you think it’s too late…do please think again. I watched Julia Glass win the National Book Award for her first novel, “The Three Junes”, which she began writing in her late 30’s. I listened to her give her moving acceptance speech, in which she told how she used to lie awake at night, tormented as she worked on her book, asking herself, “Who do you think you are, trying to write a first novel at your age?” But she wrote it. And as she held up her National Book Award, she said, “This is for all the late-bloomers in the world.” Writing is not like dancing or modeling; it’s not something where – if you missed it by age 19 – you’re finished. It’s never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world – at any age. At least try.

    There are heaps of books out there on How To Get Published. Often people find the information in these books contradictory. My feeling is — of COURSE the information is contradictory. Because, frankly, nobody knows anything. Nobody can tell you how to succeed at writing (even if they write a book called “How To Succeed At Writing”) because there is no WAY; there are, instead, many ways. Everyone I know who managed to become a writer did it differently – sometimes radically differently. Try all the ways, I guess. Becoming a published writer is sort of like trying to find a cheap apartment in New York City: it’s impossible. And yet…every single day, somebody manages to find a cheap apartment in New York City. I can’t tell you how to do it. I’m still not even entirely sure how I did it. I can only tell you – through my own example – that it can be done. I once found a cheap apartment in Manhattan. And I also became a writer.

    In the end, I love this work. I have always loved this work. My suggestion is that you start with the love and then work very hard and try to let go of the results. Cast out your will, and then cut the line. Please try, also, not to go totally freaking insane in the process. Insanity is a very tempting path for artists, but we don’t need any more of that in the world at the moment, so please resist your call to insanity. We need more creation, not more destruction. We need our artists more than ever, and we need them to be stable, steadfast, honorable and brave – they are our soldiers, our hope. If you decide to write, then you must do it, as Balzac said, “like a miner buried under a fallen roof.” Become a knight, a force of diligence and faith. I don’t know how else to do it except that way. As the great poet Jack Gilbert said once to young writer, when she asked him for advice about her own poems: “Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say YES.”

    Good luck.

    The link is here: http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/writing.htm

    1 comment May 28, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Don’t Be Fooled by Propaganda ::

    I got the article through e-mail, and was thinking that posting on blog would be a better idea.

    Don’t Be Fooled by Propaganda

    by Charley Reese

    There is an ongoing slander campaign against Islam, claiming that it is a religion that promotes violence and hinting that it seeks world conquest. Before you buy the malarkey that is being produced by people with their own agendas or prejudices or who are just plain ignoramuses, follow these few suggestions:

    Compare the history of Islam with the history of Europe, which for centuries was called Christendom. An objective look will show you that Christendom wins by a landslide when it comes to violence and wars. After all, Europe and its offspring did not come to dominate the world, including the Islamic countries, because they practiced the gentle virtues of Jesus.

    As for the common practice of cherry-picking Scripture from holy writings and presenting it out of context, just check out what Christians call the Old Testament. There you will find God advocating a double standard of morality, condoning slavery, ordering the Israelites to commit genocide and committing infanticide himself on a mass scale. I don’t believe you will find anything comparable in the Quran.

    The word “jihad,” which is so over-used these days, has, like a lot of words, more than one meaning. It means basically to struggle, but this can be personal or spiritual, or a peaceful political struggle. Only if Islam is attacked are Muslims required to defend it. As for that obnoxious propaganda term “Islamo-fascist,” just recall that fascism is a European invention by nominal Christians. To my knowledge, the only fascist governments ever to exist on this planet were all European and nominally Christian.

    Another canard is that Islam promotes forced conversion. Not so. Even when the Arab empire was expanding, rarely were any of the conquered people forced to convert. The Quran even forbids it, as I recall. Naturally, once Muslims were in charge, a lot of people decided it was in their own self-interest to convert, but this is just one of the sleazy aspects of human nature.

    I remember when Florida elected its first Republican governor of the 20th century. I saw plenty of people crawl out from under their rocks and convert to the Republican Party, drawn by the smell of patronage. With some rare exceptions, human beings always act in what they perceive, rightly or wrongly, to be in their self-interest.

    It was Christian Europe that slaughtered the Jews, and nothing remotely resembling the Holocaust is to be found in the history of Islam. In fact, during the past, when Jews were being persecuted by Christian Europe, they frequently fled to and found sanctuary in the Muslim countries. Until Israel was established, practically every Muslim country had sizable Jewish populations dating back centuries. And there are still Jews and Christians in some Muslim countries.

    A final suggestion is that when you hear some individual radical Muslim being quoted, just remember he is one of a billion people and speaks only for himself and his small following. And be wary of the quotations he uses, for they are often deliberately fabricated or distorted.

    If Muslims really desired to conquer the world, don’t you think it’s strange that we’ve been living in peace with them for nearly a millennium and a half, except for those times when we attacked them (the Crusades, the European colonial movement and our invasion of Iraq)? Don’t forget either that some of the countries the Bush administration calls allies are themselves Muslim – Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    You have nothing to fear from Islam. The al-Qaida movement is a tiny percentage of Muslims and wouldn’t be the force it is except for the fact that the Bush administration has gone out of its way to make all of Osama bin Laden’s propaganda become true.

    May 5, 2007

    Add comment May 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Cartoon::

    Add comment May 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: This is how the business is done… ::

    This is how to make our business successful!!!!!!!!!

    Conversation between mother & her son

    Mother: I want you to marry a girl of my choice

    Son : “I will choose my own bride!”

    Mother: “But the girl is Bill Gates’s daughter.”

    Son : “Well, in that case…ok”

    Next, Mother approaches Bill Gates.

    Mother: “I have a husband for your daughter.”

    Bill Gates: “But my daughter is too young to marry!

    Mother: “But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank.”

    Bill Gates: “Ah, in that case…ok”

    Finally Mother goes to see the president of the World Bank.

    Mother: “I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president.”

    President: “But I already have more vice- presidents than I need!”

    Mother: “But this young man is Bill Gates’s son-in-law.”

    President: “Ah, in that case…ok”

    This is how business is done!!

    4 comments May 20, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Anybody, help ::

    My recent conference paper abstract (co-authored with a friend of mine) has been accepted for presentation at the VIIIth International Conference on Asian Youth and Childhoods 2007, at Lucknow, India, 22nd – 24th November 2007. Currently, we are working in the process of collecting data, reviewing literature, and eventually finalising the paper.

    //

    However, as of now, we couldn’t find any sponsor who can provide us with necessary assistance (financial matter, of course) to go to the conference in India, and to present the paper there. Anybody, help please ! (together with suggestions for that matter)

    3 comments May 10, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Le tour de Cameron ::

    Yesterday we went to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

    Here are the illustration in pictures, as “a picture worth a thousand words”.

    Into the green

    A walk to remember…

    Into the cloud

    3 comments April 20, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Plan Changed ::

    Sorry folks. My vacation plan for Redang Islands is on hold due to some technical problems. Therefore, perhaps I’m gonna experience a boring vacation once again.

    2 comments April 12, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: In a vacation mood ::

    Hurray, I’m done with the uncomfortable exams of IIUM (due to its emphasis on memorization; I hate that).

    In a vacation mood now. Feeling a sense of relief, for the time being. Although several tasks are to be completed during this very short vacation. Feel like reading some storybooks right now. And oh yeah, planning for Redang Island is up soon…

    Add comment April 4, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: A Comparison ::

    Compare US Government with the Anti-virus software companies. Sounds weired, right? No worry, here I am to interpret.

    The US administration always tries to find the sources of clash and conflict with other countires (After World War II, with Viet Nam, and former USSR; after the collapse of USSR, with Iraq, Afganistan, North Korea and so forth, and latest with Iran) in order to have its superpowerishness intact, and to have domination over others. Therefore, it creates people like Osama Bin Laden to serve their own purpose, and when the necessity is over, to wage war against him (and the respective country).

    In the same way, the anti-virus software companies themselves invent new computer viruses, and then innovate new anti-virus products to sell in the marketplace.

    Does the comparison make sense to you?

    P/S: Although I know that my blog is going to be monitored by CIA, I am a true believer of freedom of expression, and as such I cannot but express what I think and feel. And I also know that “freedom of expression” is guaranteed by the US constitution.   

    Add comment March 31, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Inspiration ::

    I am getting ample inspiration from converted Muslims. Those people have been attracted to Islam through a continuous process of self-searching, critical examination, and the beauty of what Islam can really offer. They really are unlike us. We take Islam as hereditarily-taking-for-granted. Kudos to them.

    1 comment March 30, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Et Cetera::

    There is unanimous agreement on the fact that the Muslim Ummah is facing the crisis of effective leadershipin the respective countries. And in spite of having huge natural resources in the Muslim territories, the Ummah lag behind others. We often nostalgically recollect our Golder Heydays when we were at the peak of civilization. We provide instances of that in claiming our superiority. But those beautiful days are gone, and (perhaps according to the civilizational-cycle theory of Ibn Khaldun) there was a great downfall, and the Ummah was not able to rise again.

    //

    One of my friends suggests that we should redefine the terms such as ‘Ummah’, ‘Ijtihad’, ‘Jihad’, the ‘Golden Period’, and the like. I have given a thought about it. After a search of few weeks, I also have found out that those terms are being underused and misused.

    //

    In my view, what we need is the conscious and thinking minded Muslims who would work with commitment to revive the Ummatic spirit in thoughts and deeds.

    2 comments March 30, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Waiting… ::

    I’m waiting for the semester final exams to be completed soon.

    I’m really in need of a perfect vacation. I need a break. The semester is running too… (I don’t know)

    I’ve lots of plans to be fulfilled and lots of pending works to be done.

    Also, I’m planning to  spend my vacation in Redang Islands for quite a few days.

    Hope everything goes fine…

    3 comments March 25, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Nothing::

    Nothing much to say.

    The world is already a chaotic place for such a long time.  People are attaining more knowledge, and inventing creative destruction for themselves and for others in the planet where they and their successive generations have to live in. So, what to say?

    //

    In the meantime, we can enjoy a cartoon…

    1 comment March 7, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Kopanski::

    We all enjoyed the talk by Kopanski.

    For me, the most important point was that the time of grievance for Muslims is over. We need to empower ourself (myself first) with optimistic attitude and courage, rather than showing distressed pictures of oppressed and suffering Muslims all around the world and their crying faces. This is high time for individuals to wake up and get ready with whatever means and capabilities we have to achieve our desired goals.

    Cheers Kopanski !!!

    5 comments March 3, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::That’s Funny::

    Our University focuses on using British English. Yet it emphasizes on APA style in writing Academic as well as administrative reports, assignments, theses, etc. (American Psychological Association’s one, don’t get confused with American Psychiatric Association & American Planning Association & the like!!).

    So, British English with American style, isn’t that funny

    8 comments February 26, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Cartoon::

    Add comment February 21, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Vacation::

    Thinking of having a vacation in such a place like this…

    Add comment February 19, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Against Valentines Day::

    My friends have sent me wishes for the Valentines Day.

    However, since I am against celebrating the Valentines Day, I have no other option but to raise my voice.

    Clearly I am NOT in favour of selecting a Particular Day for particular purpose.

    To me, each and every day of our life has greater significances, and we should not select a particular day for celebrating a particular occasion; not to mention the historical facts and tragedies behind those days (Valentines Day in particular). And not to mention the inevitable clash Islam has with those…

    Add comment February 14, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Frustration in the Muslim Mind::

    The situation of Muslims all over the world is more or less frustrating. It seems that little hope awaiting for us in future in competing with the other countries of the world in whatever fields you say — (original and down-to-earth) research and innovation, science and technology, human sciences, and what not. As the saying goes: “You can see Muslims in the Muslim countries, but not Islam; and you may not see Muslims in the non-Muslim countries, but Islam.” Therefore, Islam and Muslims have become two different entities (in a broad level).

    I have been thinking about this for quite a long ago as any other individual Muslims around the world would have naturally done so. This has been reinstated when I have talked to some of our professors and lecturers in the department. Most of them don’t see major changes in that pattern, except for taking initiatives in the individual level. In my view, Western nations, except for morality and religion, are practising most of the aspects which are pretty much Islamic in nature (though not in orientation). Everything is on time, efficient, innovative, original, and creative. Forgetting our glorious past and indulgence in trivial matters rather than necessary and crucial one may have been the prime reason for that (although we can not generalise). But we all need to be conscious about it and work for a complete positive change in the direction as well as in orientation.

    3 comments February 12, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: A Quiz::

    Use only one word to complete the sentences below:

    “The rich people need ___________ . The poor people has ___________ . If you eat ____________ , you will die.”

    Prize will be provided for the successful winner.  Cheers !!!

    11 comments February 8, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Another Joke::

    One day, a grandpa and his grandson were walking around Nagasaki area a few years after the World War II.

    The grandson asked the grandpa: “Is it true that once this area was very beautiful?”

    “Yes, it was”, replied the grandpa, patting on the head of his grandson.

    “Is it true that once there were a lot of people living in this area?” asked the grandson again.

    The grandpa replied: “Yes, that’s true”, patting on his second head.

    Add comment February 8, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Today’s Cartoon::

    Add comment February 8, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::To memorize or not to memorize, that is the question ::

    Here I am.

    Captured into the cage of mid-term examination.

    But the irony is that even if we don’t want to memorize, we are forced to do so in the Asian model of exams!

    Hope to get away with it, or some innovative approach to do away, soon.

    And here is one…………………………

    Add comment February 6, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::Stay awake::

    I wish time had halted for a week until I would achieve liberty from the incagement of the whole bunch of mid-term exams !

    Stay Awake till I come back on Friday.

    1 comment February 3, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Cartooon ::

    2 comments February 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    ::In the name of Development::

    The way development process is currently running all around the world, a question pops up into our mind: is it development or “devil-up-ment”???

    4 comments February 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    : :… Another Conference Paper …: :

    Recently another conference paper of mine (single authored) has been accepted for presentation in the International Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities. The title of the paper is “The Dynamics of Islamic Cultural Identity in the age of Globalization“. Please follow the Link to view the abstract of the paper here: abu-sadat-nurullah__final-paper.pdf.

    Enjoy and post your comments…

    You can go to the link here: http://pkukmweb.ukm.my/~ICOSH07/

    And click on the Presentation Schedule button, you will see the list & find me out …

    Add comment February 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: Two Jokes ::

    The following jokes are collected from Prof. Ahmad Nasr:

    1. During a Presidential election, a poor village oldman went to the polling centre and voted. When he returned, the villagers asked him whether he voted “yes” or “no”. He replied that he voted for “no”. In response, the villagers started to accuse him, because for them he had committeda mistake, as in that case the village may suffer from government facilities. So, they told the oldman to go back and vote for “yes”. When the oldman went back to the pollcentre and asked for correction of his mistake, the person in charge replied him: “go back, we’ve already corrected the mistake on behalf of you.!”.

    2. The political leaders of certain country were discussing on construction of a bridge. It was a one- and-a half-hour discussion. When the chief leader came out of the meeting, the journalists asked him what they were discussing about for so long. He replied: “we were engaged in a debate whether the bridge should be constructed ‘along the river’ or ‘by the river’.!!”

    If you don’t laugh after reading this, it means you didn’t understand.!!!

    This remind me of a third one.

    3. A student started laughing in the middle of an ongoing class. The lecturer asked her the reason of laughing, because the topic he was discussing was a serious one. The student replied: “I have just been able to understand the meaning of a joke that you told us last class.!!!”

    Add comment February 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    : :… My Conference Paper …: :

    A paper of mine (with 3 other lecturers) has been accepted for presentation in the National Conference on Sex Education. The title of the paper is “Sexuality Education at School: A Survey of Parents’ Attitudes in Selected Malaysian Villages“. Please follow the Link to view the abstract of the paper. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the content.

    Enjoy and post your comments…

    5 comments February 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    : :Watch my uploaded video in YouTube: :

    I have uploaded several videos in YouTube.
    Watch it out !!!

    Follow the links for the titles below (click on the Titles):

    Friends

    Nurullah in Langkawi Island

    Nurullah and Friends

    Enjoy, and post your comments !!!

    Add comment February 2, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: My Recent Published Article ::

    The most recent journal article of mine has been published in The Islamic Quarterly, a London based peer-reviewed journal. The title of the article is “Ijtihād and Creative/Critical Thinking: A New Look into Islamic Creativity”. Please Follow the Link to view the abstract of the article. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the content. Thanks…

    Add comment February 1, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    : : APA Style Guide : :

    Here I provide a comprehensive APA Style Guide for all of you.

    The first one is the APA Style Citation. This is a very brief and helpful guide and easy to digest. So, make yourself known with the APA Style. Follow the Link… a) APA Style 1, b) APA Style 2

    Second one is APA Style Research paper, a practical example of how to write academic papers in line with the APA guideline. Follow the Link Here

    Third one is illustrated guide on APA referencing. Here is the Link.… Enjoy!!!

    Add comment February 1, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    : : Conference Paper : :

    Hello !

    Last November I (with Dr. Noor Mohammd Osmani) presented a paper in the International Conference on Ibn Khaldun’s Legacy and its Contemporary Significance. The title of the paper was “Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah and Ilm al-Umran: An Objective Analysis”. To view the abstract of the paper Follow the Link, and Enjoy !!!

    Add comment February 1, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    :: My Published Article ::

    A journal article of mine has been published. The title of the article is “Islamic Cultural Identity: Formation, Crisis and Solution in a Globalized World Perspective”. Please Follow the Link to view the abstract of the article. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the content. Thanks…

    Add comment February 1, 2007 <!–Abu Sadat Nurullah–> Edit

    : : In My Heart : :

    “You Are Never Alone”

    Sometimes when the World’s not on your side

    You don’t know where to run to…

    You don’t know where to hide…

    You gaze at the starts in the sky

    At the mountains so high…

    Through the tears in your eyes

    Looking for a reason…to replace what is gone

    Just remember, remember

    That you are never alone

    Just reach into your heart

    And see

    God is always there!!!

    Through sorrow & through grief

    Through happiness & peace

    You are never alone…

    You are never alone…

    Add comment February 1, 2007

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