Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Pantone Colors for Fall 2014







February 8, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, color, Cultural, Marketing | Leave a comment

Saudis Protest Female Death While Paramedics Barred from Campus

Thank you, John Mueller, for forwarding this high interest topic:
Abdullah Al-Shihri And Aya Batrawy, Associated Press | February 6, 2014 | Last Updated:Feb 6 3:24 PM ET

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Thousands of Saudis vented their anger online over a report Thursday that staff at a Riyadh university had barred male paramedics from entering a women’s-only campus to assist a student who had suffered a heart attack and later died.
The Okaz newspaper said administrators at the King Saud University impeded efforts by the paramedics to save the student’s life because of rules banning men from being onsite. According to the paper, the incident took place on Wednesday and the university staff took an hour before allowing the paramedics in.
However, the university’s rector, Badran Al-Omar, denied the report, saying there was no hesitation in letting the paramedics in. He said the university did all it could to save the life of the student, who was identified as Amna Bawazeer.

February 8, 2014 Posted by | Health Issues, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Safety, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues | , | Leave a comment

“Keep Me Signed In”

The other day I noticed something really, really annoying. My blog opened without my having put in the password. I noticed the little “keep me signed in” bloc was checked, so I unchecked it. Every time I sign in, however, that block is checked – by default – and unless I think to uncheck it, I stay signed in.


I do not like this default. I went through all the tools and user informations trying to change it in the background operations, then I wrote to WordPress. This is the conversation so far:


Screen shot 2014-02-08 at 10.18.22 AM

February 8, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, WordPress | Leave a comment

One Lonely Little Snowflake Not Shown on Russian TV

Journalists are tough, and snarky. All the photos and stories coming out of Sochi about the orangey brown water coming out of the taps, doors kicked down so new TVs can be installed (better late than never) etc. These are things we take for granted when we go to other countries, especially when they are undergoing rapid construction. There are times when deadlines are not met and things do not go smoothly. (I will never forget the look on the face of our building care-taker, who had sworn to me, over and over, he had no key to my apartment, but who walked in one day when my car was at the dealership for repairs, and he thought I was gone, too.) Things happen.

But one journalist on NPR (National Public Radio) cracked me up totally talking about the opening ceremony, and how beautiful it was until the climax, and the five snowflakes morphed into five Olympic rings – or at least that was the plan. “Four rings – and one lonely little snowflake! This is the memory of the Sochi games!” he chortled, and I found myself laughing, too, at that one lonely little snowflake.

I would hate to be the person responsible for that snowflake, or any of the hotel problems. It may be modern day Russia, but heads can still roll 😦

As it turns out, the Russians never saw that. They saw a doctored tape from the rehearsal, when all went as scored:

Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony

Report from Huffpost via AOL:

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Smoke and mirrors? Russian state television aired footage Friday of five floating snowflakes turning into the Olympic rings and bursting into pyrotechnics at the Sochi Games opening ceremony. Problem is, that didn’t happen.

The opening ceremony at the Winter Games hit a bump when only four of the five rings materialized in a wintry opening scene. The five were supposed to join together and erupt in fireworks. But one snowflake never expanded, and the pyrotechnics never went off.

But everything worked fine for viewers of the Rossiya 1, the Russian host broadcaster.

As the fifth ring got stuck, Rossiya cut away to rehearsal footage. All five rings came together, and the fireworks exploded on cue.

“It didn’t show on television, thank God,” Jean Claude-Killy, the French ski great who heads the IOC coordination commission for the Sochi Games, told The Associated Press.

Producers confirmed the switch, saying it was important to preserve the imagery of the Olympic symbols.

The unveiling of the rings is always one of the most iconic moments of an opening ceremony, and President Vladimir Putin has been determined to use the ceremony as an introduction of the new Russia to the world.

Konstantin Ernst, executive creative director of the opening ceremony, told reporters at a news conference that he called down to master control to tell them to go the practice footage when he realized what happened.

“This is an open secret,” he said, referring to the use of the pre-recorded footage. The show’s artistic director George Tsypin said the malfunction was caused by a bad command from a stage manager.

Ernst defended his decision, saying that the most important part was preserving the images and the Olympic tradition: “This is certainly bad, but it does not humiliate us.”

NBC was to air the ceremony in the U.S. on tape delay later Friday.

Glitches are not uncommon at Olympic opening ceremonies.

There was a minor controversy over trickery involving the fireworks at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after it was revealed that some of the display featured prerecorded footage.

Fireworks bursting into the shape of gigantic footprints were shown trudging above the Beijing skyline to the National Stadium near the start of the ceremony. Officials confirmed that some of the footage shown to TV viewers around the world and on giant screens inside the stadium featured a computer-generated, three-dimensional image.

In addition, a tiny, pigtailed 9-year-old girl in a red dress who sang “Ode to the Motherland” was lip-synching. The real voice belonged to a 7-year-old girl who was replaced because she was deemed not cute enough by a member of China’s Politburo.

At the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Luciano Pavarotti’s performance was prerecorded. The maestro who conducted the aria, Leone Magiera, said the bitter cold made a live performance impossible.


Associated Press writers Stephen Wilson and Oskar Garcia contributed to this report.

February 8, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, News, Technical Issue | , , , | Leave a comment

“You Can’t Put the Manure Back in the Horse”

From Forward Day by Day, a meditation from Hebrews that made me laugh while it instructed me.

Hebrews 12:17. He found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

“I’m sorry.” For the first thirty years of my life, more often than not, this meant I regretted the personal consequences of what I had done, not necessarily the act or damage. During the last twenty years, I’ve come to see being sorry as distinctly different from regretting.

Most of us have said we’re sorry more times than we could hope to remember, but we are still able to recall events that we truly regret. Chances are that regret brings about change at a higher ratio than does being sorry—a change to ensure the behavior doesn’t happen again.

One of the illustrations that helped me came from an old farmer who used to volunteer at a prison where I was serving time. The discussion was about things done wrong and, with language more colorful than I can use here, he tipped his old dust-and-sweat-streaked cap back on his head and said, “Boys, you can’t put manure back in a horse.”

That was almost twenty years ago, and I wonder if that old man ever realized how much he helped me to begin to learn to live with some things.

February 8, 2014 Posted by | Community, Faith, Interconnected, Lectionary Readings, Relationships, Spiritual | Leave a comment