RadioMilwaukee’s Diggin’ with the Architect


Just digging around on the internet

Publishing your Family Tree


I always want to trace my family’s ancestry.  I thought it would be great to get all the stories and information about my family into a nice book to share with everyone.  Well now somebody has just done that. AncestryPress is company that allows you to create a book on your family’s ancestry or a beautiful family tree poster.  Not only this is real cool, but it makes a great gift idea.  The price is very reasonable: $29.95 for a family history book, and $19.95 for a family tree poster.

AncestryPress books are printed on 100-pound gloss, acid-free, archival paper. Each book is stitched and hand bound with a hard leatherette cover. Your custom two-line title is stamped on the cover in gold foil.

(via Springwise)


Filed under: books, culture, education, family, publishing, technology, , , , , ,

Give One and Get One has been extended

It is such a great thing and you get a gift that you can share with someone special. The laptop is so cool. Check out the Video review from the New York Times below.Starting November 12 through Decemeber 31, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give One Get One Program for a brief window of time in North America. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home.For more information, please call 1-877-70-LAPTOP or visit

Filed under: community, culture, education, media, technology, video, , , , , , ,

Scrap Black Friday and don’t Buy Anything.

bndI find Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving pretty surreal with all the advertising. It is a definite attack on my senses.  It almost has become a holiday on its own. In my opinion, I think it has corrupted what Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays truly mean. Don’t get me wrong, I love buying some new fangle device, or some music. However, this can get a little extreme.  Take a look at this  video from last year and previous years where people get trampled in a store to grab some toys that are on sale.Adbusters  put together a campaign called Buy Nothing Day which happens today.   The Premise is simple; don’t buy anything today.  They have Public Service Announcement for their campaign which MTV won’t air because it is a little to extreme for their airwaves.

MTV, the channel that markets itself to hip youth, has decreed that our Buy Nothing Day public service spot “goes further than we are willing to accept on our channels”. Gangsta rap and sexualized, semi-naked school girls are okay, but apparently not a burping pig talking about consumption. If you object to this sort of corporate censorship, why not send them a message now?

Filed under: community, culture, economy, education, enviroment, holidays, internet, media, politics, video, , , , ,

If you can stand the heat, Stay in the Kitchen


Some of my friends know that one of my hobbies is cooking. It is also the holiday season which means that there will a lot of cooking going on. I got a couple of things to inspire you this holiday season and anytime of the year.

The first online resource for cooking is called Open Source Food. It is a social network for aspiring chefs. People share their recipes with others. Others can judge your recipe as well.

Open Source Food came to fruition because me and my father wanted to create a place for people like us. We’re not professional cooks, we just love food. We want to share, learn and improve ourselves with the help of like-minded food lovers. Open Source Food is a platform for that. –Jon Yongfook


The next one is a video podcast. I found about this from Trace Magazine’s blog. It is called The Dante Fried Chicken Show. There is only one episode and a trailer. It is little more than a cooking show. It is a variety show with interviews, live music and of course cooking. It is kind of like a cooking show surrounded by a party. The host cooks vegan dishes in addition to other culinary delights which is cool. The host is Dante Gonzalez .

…Dante Gonzales aka the Stove Top General. Located in Harlem on 125th Street and Broadway, the lounge is a comfortable restaurant/bar with a spacious stage in the basement. General Gonzales hails from California where he learned to cook and “flip” recipes from his grandmother Jean Crawford. The Jean Cashew Hot Wings with Apricot Sauce had this writer salivating; hot and crispy with plenty of flavor. The Sock It 2 Me Tofu tastes so much like fried chicken a vegetarian would send it back!

Dante has been cooking for 7 years now. He started in New York by having chicken parties for music industry heads which launched his immediate success…

Dante’s music background includes alternative, Afro-Brazilian, Caribbean as well as hip-hop. Dante considers the south sound a new energetic sound although most of the artists are lyrically the same. He thinks this movement is conceptually smart and here to stay. He told us, on the low of course, (shh!) that he used to give away mixed music he made with his food…

Dante’s Fried Chicken Show

Check out the trailer here (some language not suitable for the young ones)

What is your favorite recipe for the holidays?

Filed under: community, cooking, culture, education, food, internet, media, Music, video, , , , , , ,

UPDATE: RIAA: Now attacking School Funding


RIAA is now threating the funding of colleges and universities. If suing single moms for sharing 24 songs, or little girls wasn’t enough, the RIAA and its lobbyists are trying to force colleges and universities to fight piracy and if they don’t, they risk losing funding. So your hard earn tuition will go to resources to see if you are sharing the new Britney Spears album instead of education. RIAA is so desparate they are doing everything except evolving the business model.

The College Opportunity and Affordability Act (PDF) is a monster of a document, weighing in at 747 pages. The bill aims to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and buried deep inside is a nasty secret sponsored by the entertainment industry: universities would be required to help fight piracy or risk the loss of federal funding.

University officials have been understandably alarmed, as the above provisions would put a potential $100 billion each year in federal aid at risk; failure to comply would cause the school to lose all of its financial aid for students, affecting even those students who don’t own a personal computer.

In a letter written on Wednesday and signed by the presidents of Stanford University and Penn State, and the chancellor of the University of Maryland system, university officials wrote:

Such an extraordinarily inappropriate and punitive outcome would result in all students on that campus losing their federal financial aid–including Pell grants and student loans that are essential to their ability to attend college, advance their education, and acquire the skills necessary to compete in the 21st-century economy … lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry’s proposal.

If college wasn’t expensive enough. What’s next day care?

Also check this interesting article from on the details of this plan to charge taxpayers to pay for music subscriptions for students at universities.

If there’s a better place to share music than a university, I haven’t heard about it. They offer students broadband connections, of course, and with so many peers around students must always have plenty ideas about the latest songs to download.

But even without the broadband connections, universities would still be near-ideal places to share music. The so-called sneakernet allows students to dump the contents of their iPods onto each others’ computers. Or, you can fit about 1400 MP3s onto a single 4.7GB DVD-R disc.

That’s why a clause in the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (COAA) makes so little sense. According to the Digital Freedom Campaign (part of the Consumer Electronics Association), the bill’s Campus Based Digital Theft Prevention provision “would require every university receiving federal funds to purchase a subscription to a music download service as a way of preventing unauthorized downloads and file sharing on college campuses.”

Digital Freedom accused the RIAA of having had one of its Congressional lobbying victims insert the clause, which it says would require taxpayers to spend $100 billion earmarked for financial aid on digital music subscriptions.

Filed under: community, culture, education, media, Music, politics, technology, , , , , ,

Site of the Day: Hot Chalk!

hot chalk

After listening to the School Board Meeting a couple of weeks ago in regards to the property tax increase, I notice that there were little or no solutions, just criticisms. I have my opinion, but my mom told me if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it either. So I will point out some ideas in this blog that MPS, Parents,Teachers and students could use or modify for their own use to help our education system.

This solution to help teachers and students is my site of the day. I found about this site over at Springwise. The site is called Hot Chalk.

From Springwise Article:

The HotChalk Learning Environment does exactly that, using the convenience and versatility of an online community to complement the classroom experience for grades K-12.

Teachers can create websites for their classes and can log on to manage lesson plans and grades, post assignments and announcements for students, including attachments and even video clips. They can also collaborate with other teachers and take advantage of continuing education opportunities, available through a partnership with McGraw-Hill. Students can receive and submit homework, view handouts and reference materials, access grades and, of course, pose questions and comments as needed. And parents can keep a watchful eye on their children’s progress and stay in touch with teachers. HotChalk is free of charge, so schools and parents can take advantage of all of its features without breaking the bank.

Funded in part by corporate sponsorships, the site does accept money from advertisers, but it does so very selectively, using the HotChalk Community Standards Engine. The company doesn’t accept any ads they deem inappropriate. Moreover, ads are never displayed during the school day or to children younger than age 13. One of the fastest growing internet properties in the US, HotChalk may well be a model worth adapting to other regions or professions.

hot chalk screen shot

Filed under: community, education, technology, , , , , , , , ,

Tower of Babel 2.0

“I do not know why it is said in the Genesis that Babel signifies confusion, for Ba signifies father in the Oriental tongues, and Bel signifies God; Babel signifies the city of God, the holy city. The Ancients gave this name to all their capitals. But it is incontestable that Babel means confusion, either because the architects were confounded after having raised their work up to eighty-one thousand Jewish feet, or because the tongues were then confounded; and it is obviously from that time on that the Germans no longer understand Chinese; for it is clear, according to the scholar Bochart, that Chinese is originally the same tongue as High German.”  -Voltaire

With our world getting smaller, due in some part to the internet.  The ability to communicate with people with different languages is still somewhat a hurdle.  Here is where Live Mocha comes in.  It is the first online community to learn new languages.  The site has video, audio and self-paced lessons to learn a new language.  Here is the twist.  You meet other people with the same goals, or people from that country with that particular language.  You can get tips, or even have conversations to get better at the language you are studying.  Right now you can learn German, English, Chinese, Hindi, French and Spanish.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

live mocha

Filed under: culture, education, travel, video, , , , , , , ,

Site of the Day: Taking Notes meets Myspace

School is officially back in session. You got 8 classes, and you got a tone of notebooks taking notes and trying to stay organize. You even have notes on napkins and on your hand. You ask your friend to copy is notes either his or her notes are incomplete or you can’t just read them. Here is where our site of the day comes in.


The site is called Notesake. It is a collaborative note taking website. Think of it as Myspace for notes. The site makes easy to collaborate, share notes with other members of the site.

Work Together

You and your classmates or study group may work together under one group within NoteSake, sharing notes between members. We understand the dangers of plagiarism. Only those who have been invited to join by the creator of a group may view the notes compiled by that group. This is done for your privacy, security, and safety.

Easily pass a note

Do you wish to give someone a copy of a note? This is also easy to accomplish—just pass along the note to the desired recipient. The recipient then possesses an exact copy in their notes page. At this point, the recipient may do anything with the note. This, of course, is done completely independent of your own copy.

This is a great idea especially when laptops are becoming a requirement in colleges. Check it out.


Filed under: education, Site of the Day, , , , ,

Kanye West and Education

Kanye West Education

I really have a lot of respect for Kanye West as an artist and a person. Yes I know, he has had his moments in the media with his temper tantrums. However, he is one of the few artists that is passionate about is craft and art. To put it honestly, he is one of the few people that really says what is on his mind. In addition to that, he really cares about is community. Take his Kanye West Foundation for example. The goal of the foundation is to help kid in schools by providing creative outlets and programs in music for the kids.

Now he has joined a program called ED in 08. What is ED in 08?

Strong American Schools is a nonpartisan public awareness and action campaign offering a voice to every American who supports “ED in 08.” Our goal is to ensure that the nation engages in a rigorous debate and to make education a top priority in the 2008 presidential election. We hope that candidates will offer genuine leadership rather than empty rhetoric and tell voters how they intend to strengthen America’s schools so all students receive the education they deserve.

Check it out and sign up. Let your politicians know how important it is. Because frankly, the education system is not fair across board. A good education not only makes a difference for a kid, but for our whole society.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Filed under: community, culture, education, , ,

Site of the Day: For the Kids


This is not only site but free software from the Media Labs at M.I.T., and it is just in time for back to school. The name of the site and software is called Scratch. Scratch is a computer programming language developed for kids 8 and up from M.I.T. Media Labs. It is designed to help help kids to be familiar with the concepts of computer programming.

The software runs on windows and macs and it is free of course. So this would be great for schools to get kids interested in computers and technology. Allowing them to make the games instead of playing them. There are resources for educators and teachers to develop programs for their students as well.

The other cool thing about Scratch is it’s an online community. Kids can share their creations with other kids from all over. Kids can download other creations and see how it was created.

scratch overview

Check out this introduction to Scratch

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A quick video tutorial

A Scratch Workshop

Also check out Blender 3d package. It is 3d and game creation software for free. It is great for older kids and adults. Check out what it can do here.

Filed under: culture, education, Site of the Day, technology, video