Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One more move...

That's right folks, I've decided to switch blogs yet again. Ultimately, I just wasn't a big fan of "The Geistkreis".

My new site is "A Mystery unto Myself" and I promise to keep this address for at least all of 2008, if not longer.

Despite the name change, as you'll notice, I've chosen to stick with the general page layout, at least for a while.

Please do stop by, and enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Put the Lights on the Tree

Perhaps I shouldn't be posting this, seeing as I'm not a big fan of the cartoon. Still, the song is great!

By the way, Sufjan's doing "The Great Sufjan Song Xmas Xchange!" this year, and while the contest is already over (see above link), they're still offering 2 free songs for download from his Christmas albums: "That Was the Worst Christmas Ever" and "Sister Winter". Enjoy!

UPDATE: It looks like Sufjan has some young fans over in Asia. Watch Taiwanese 4th graders lip sync to "Put the Lights on the Tree"!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Paper or Plastic?"


I do believe the little things can make a difference. In fact, they're often the best way to start making a difference. So, I think I may be buying a few cloth bags for myself and my parents sometime soon...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

'Family Guy' meets 'Star Wars'

I'm not a regular Family Guy viewer, but I must say, the new season six premiere episode rocks! You can read about it here.

Or, if you'd rather watch it, check out the Family Guy page over at a cool site called TV Links and click on the link for the first episode listed under season six, titled "Blue Harvest". Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Succumbing to the Apple...

No, not that "forbidden fruit" of ancient myths. I'm talking about the computer company. A few weeks ago, my sister loaned me her new iPod (Red) Nano and I've been having a blast playing with it ever since.

Yet what I'm enjoying even more than all of the music I can carry with me are the multitude of podcasts which I can choose from for my listening pleasures.

One of my favorites programs right now is Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing:

Some of the tips are pretty basic, but others are really fun and interesting, and best of all, she frequently goes into the historical developments of various forms of grammar and words. Having just about caught up with all of her podcasts, I'm about to start on one of the other Quick & Dirty programs, either Money Girl, Legal Lad, or Mr. Manners.

In addition to Grammar Girl, I've also been enjoying (and can recommend) Speaking of Faith from American Public Media and My Daily Phrase German from the Radio Lingua Network (the network also has Coffee Break Spanish and French, among other things, though I must say, the German lessons are very basic, even if well done).

Given all of the fun I've been having though, I was quite surprised to find that well over half the people I've talked to recently who own iPods have never even given podcasts a chance. Naturally, I had to check the statistics on this phenomenon, and while I couldn't find more recent numbers, at least back in 2005, despite as many as 22 million Americans had an iPod or other MP3 player, only some 6 million Americans had tried downloading and listening to podcasts -- less than 30%! (the percentage was higher for those under 29 yrs old -- "nearly half" -- versus those 29 or older -- "only 20 percent".)

Perhaps I shouldn't be shocked by such low numbers -- after all, I'm also well aware that there are many crappy podcasts out there (believe me, I've listened to some of them). Plus, perhaps numbers have gone up significantly since then? Additionally, for all I know, I may be bored of podcasts myself in a week or so, right?

All I can say to those questions is that personally, I have managed to find several really entertaining and educational podcasts. On top of that, I've met a number of people who haven't tried any out at all. And honestly, that's all I'm really asking in this post. How can someone own such a cool (relatively) new technological gadget like the iPod, yet never even try out the related podcasts‽ (By the way, that rarely used question/punctuation symbol is known as the interrobang.)

In hopes of helping to give podcasts a chance then (at least by me, but perhaps by you too), I'd love to hear what anyone reading this post listens to and recommends.

Also, since I'll soon be returning the Nano to my sister, yet also find myself hooked on the little toy, which should I go with if I were to buy one for myself? The iPod Classic or the Nano?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Battle at Kruger video

Most people have probably seen this by now, but if you haven't, it's a must watch--truly incredible footage of the awesomeness of life. From Wikipedia:

Battle at Kruger is a viral video posted on YouTube in 2007 which was widely praised for its dramatic depiction of life on the African savannah.[1] It is one of YouTube's most popular videos, with more than 13,000,000 views and 13,000 comments as of August 2007.[2] It was also the subject of an article in the June 25, 2007 issue of Time Magazine[3] and was featured in the first episode of ABC News' i-Caught, aired on August 7, 2007. A National Geographic documentary is also planned.[4]

It was originally filmed in September 2004 by videographer David Budzinski and photographer Jason Schlosberg at a watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa. The video depicts an unfolding confrontation between a herd of Cape Buffalo, a small pride of lions, and a pair of crocodiles.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sarajevo ljubavi moja

Yesterday I saw an amazing film, Grbavica, winner of the Golden Bear (i.e., Best Picture) at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, among other awards. The story takes place in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where a single mother and child are trying to get by after the devastating Yugoslav wars of the 90s. It's a moving mixture of the mundane and the breathtaking, resulting in a heart wrenching tale that is certainly one of the better films I've seen of late.

The movie also closes with a beautiful song, "Sarajevo ljubavi moja" ("Sarajevo Love of Mine"), by Kemal Monteno. Here's a live acoustic version of it from YouTube:

Additionally, a studio cut (the version used for the film credits) choreographed to a slide show of Sarajevo photos:

The song alone is also available from Imeem:

And in case you want to see the lyrics:

Sarajevo ljubavi moja
Zajedno smo rasli grade ja i ti,
isto plavo nebo poklonilo nam stih,
ispod Trebevica sanjali smo sne,
ko ce brze rasti ko ce ljepsi biti.
Ti si bio velik a rodio se ja
s Igmana uz osmijeh slao si mi san
djecak koji raste zavolio te tad
ostao je ovde vezan za svoj grad.
Bilo gdje da krenem o tebi sanjam
putevi me svi tebi vode,
cekam s nekom ceznjom na svijetla tvoja
Sarajevo ljubavi moja,
Pjesme svoje imas i ja ih pjevam
zelim da ti kazem sta sanjam
radosti su moje i sreca tvoja
Sarajevo ljubavi moja.
Kada prodju zime i dodje lijepi maj
djevojke su ljepse ljubavi im daj
setaliste tamno uzdasima zri
neke oci plave neke rijeci njezne.
Sad je djecak covjek i zima pokri brijeg
park i kosa bijeli al otici ce snijeg
proljece i mladost ispunice tad
Sarajevo moje jedini moj grad.
Sarajevo, love of mine
We grew up together city, you and me
the same blue sky gave us rhymes
under Trebevic we dreamt dreams
who will grow faster who will be nicer
You were great, and I was born
From Igman with a smile you sent me my dreams
A boy growing up fell in love with you then
He stayed here, connected to his city
Wherever I turn, I dream of you
All roads lead me to you
I wait with some longing for your lights
Sarajevo love of mine
You have your songs, and I sing them
I want to tell you what I dream
The pleasures are mine and happiness yours
Sarajevo love of mine
When the cold passes and fine May comes
The girls are nicer, give them love
Walk the walkways with sighs in the dark
Some blue eyes, some tender words
Now the boy is a man and the winter covers the mounatin
The park and hair is grey, but the snow will go away
Spring and youth will then fill
my Sarajevo, my only city

Finally, if this has wet your appetite for all things Bosnian, you may want to check out the following blog, a great resource especially if you plan to travel there one day: