Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Love Radiohead

If you're into alternative music do yourself a favor and check Radiohead out. If you visit the website don't expect a "normal" band website, the website name, content, and even url change periodically. I only became aware of Radiohead, wikipediad, through their hit first released single Creep, sampled. But I thankfully was able to look beyond Creep, I never did get why idiotic rock radio stations couldn't though, it's the only Radiohead song played as if they're a one hit wonder, which is absolutely not the case.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, yes, there's a point, Radiohead have just released their new album. At the time nearing the album completion the band wasn't affiliated with any record label, there were a lot of speculation about how the band would market the new release. Everyone knows that record labels get most of the money out of album sales, the artists usually make their money from concerts and merchandise sales. Radiohead is sticking it to the man and selling their record themselves, and I applaud them for it. But wait, it gets better, scroll down to see how.

New Record
New Record

Buying Options
Buying Options


Price for Download?

Up to You

Really Up to You
Really Up to You!!!

*No pixels were hurt in the making of this post.
**This post benefits greatly from pressing the Ctrl or Shift buttons while clicking links (or whatever you Mac crazies equivalent buttons are).

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Friday, October 12, 2007

How Saudi Arabia Screwed ISNA: The Never Ending Ramadan and Eid Saga

Today was Eid El Fitr in much of the Islamic and Arabic world, however, Muslims in North America following the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) have to wait until tomorrow to celebrate the Eid.

This really isn't anything new, as Islamic countries never seem able to agree on anything including their calendar. This year though presents a whole new level of disparity. See, a couple of years ago ISNA made the rather forward thinking decision of establishing the Islamic lunar calendar based on astronomical calculations, the way they adopted it though was rather retarded, where they decided to use the calculation to establish whether or not the new moon can be seen with the naked eye rather than whether the new moon is born. Regardless, it was a step forward where the calendar for the year was pre-announced and everyone knew when Ramadan and the Eids are and could plan accordingly. This year ISNA sought to pursue unity with the equivalent body in Europe, where they jointly agreed to follow the same calculation practice I described above, but with the twist of doing the calculations based on whether the new moon will be seen in Mecca.

Based on the new decision, the calendar was changed, and the Eid was pushed back from Friday to Saturday, because the new moon could not be sighted in Mecca. So what does Saudi Arabia do? They go and announce that several trusted witnesses have seen the impossible-to-see new moon in several areas of the kingdom, and hence Eid is on Friday.

The one extra day really isn't that big of a deal for someone who fasted 29. But I remember growing up the 29 day Ramadan was always a nice surprise of sorts, if memory serves me right, based on ISNA we haven't had a 29 day Ramadan since 1998.

It's just the principle of it that bugs me!! Happy Eid.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Prince Hassan on the Middle East

A very interesting conversation with Prince Hassan published on the Time Middle East blog. The Prince talks about the current affairs in which he describes the region as a black hole, and his thoughts on how to avoid yet another future disaster. A very good read.

Some excerpts:

Why a “black hole”?

It has no institutional structure. It has no systemic representation. Anywhere you go in this part of the world, corruption is the first thing that comes to peoples’ minds. What I see is that there was a time when public opinion mattered in this part of the world. Remember, What does the street think? They were hungry, they were deprived, they were marginalized. But they would demonstrate and express their views. Now, public opinion since the Global War on Terrorism, has been contained by the polarity of the confrontation between the state security services and the militants.

Is the Middle East’s problem too much religion?

Separation of church and state is crucial, if you put it in the right terminology. In this region, you need to elevate a moral authority of Jews, Christians and Muslims above politics.

Here's the link to the full article again.