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Monday, April 11, 2011

If the World Were 100 People

An interesting study done the University of Wisconsin. It gives some great insight on world demographics, simply put.


If the World Were
50 would be female
50 would be male
20 would be children
There would be 80 adults,
14 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
61 Asians
12 Europeans
13 Africans
14 people from the Western Hemisphere

There would be:
31 Christians
21 Muslims
14 Hindus
6 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
16 people who would not be aligned with a religion

17 would speak a Chinese dialect
8 would speak Hindustani
8 would speak English
7 would speak Spanish
4 would speak Arabic
4 would speak Russian
52 would speak other languages

82 would be able to read and write; 18 would not

1 would have a college education
1 would own a computer

75 people would have some supply of food and a place to
shelter them from the wind and the rain, but 25 would not

1 would be dying of starvation
17 would be undernourished
15 would be overweight

83 would have access to safe drinking water
17 people would have no clean, safe water to drink


Source: 100people.org [here]

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

92 Year Old Woman, Murders her Husband

Sydney: A 92-year-old has become the oldest woman committed to stand trial for murder in Australia, accused of bludgeoning and stabbing her wealthy 98-year-old husband to death, a report said Sunday.


You know she's got to have a good reason for killing the guy. They've been married for 70 years. One morning she just decides, no more, and goes crazy murdering the guy.

On a more serious note, when I hear stories like this, they just prove to me how flawed the judicial system is. Think about it. So what if the 92 year old woman is found guilty. What's the worst they can do to her? She's dead in a couple of years anyway. So what, they put her in prison for a few years before she croaks? I don't think that is justice? They system needs an overhaul.

The story follows:

Clara Tang, who allegedly killed Ching Yung Tang after 70 years of marriage in their Sydney apartment in March last year, has pleaded not guilty on the grounds of mental illness, the Sun-Herald said.

The elderly woman appeared in a local court last week and was ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court on a date to be fixed.

Documents tendered by police reportedly detailed how the couple survived the Japanese invasion of China and Mao's Cultural Revolution before moving from Shanghai to Sydney 30 years ago.

Tang, who suffers dementia, allegedly feared her husband was poisoning her food. The newspaper said that when arrested, Tang was almost totally soaked in blood. Her husband had been stabbed twice in the stomach and his head was bludgeoned.

She was initially refused bail due to "the level of violence used and for the protection of the community", but police relented with Tang put under strict supervision in a nursing home ahead of her trial.

Source: Gulf News [1]

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wisconsin protests against Governor, Egypt Style


The Egyptian Revolution has made its mark globally. The awakening of a peoples and sacrifice for freedom will be a benchmark for years to come. Below the US protests, Egypt Style.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Social-media engagement: A case study from The Dragonfly Effect

Scott Harrison was at the top of his world. The 28-year-old New York–based nightclub and fashion promoter excelled at bringing models and hedge-fund kings together and selling them $500 bottles of vodka. He had money and power. Yet his lifestyle brought something else: emptiness. Harrison felt spiritually bankrupt.

So he walked away, volunteering to serve on a floating hospital offering free medical care in the world’s poorest nations. Serving as the ship’s photojournalist, Harrison was quickly immersed in a very different world. Thousands would flock to the ship looking for solutions to debilitating problems: enormous tumors, cleft lips and palates, flesh eaten by bacteria from waterborne diseases. Harrison’s camera lens brought into focus astonishing poverty and pain, and he began documenting the struggles of these people and their courage.

After eight months, he moved back to New York, but not to his former life. Aware that many of the diseases and medical problems he witnessed stemmed from inadequate access to clean drinking water, he decided to do something about it. In 2006, he founded charity: water, a nonprofit designed to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Harrison launched the organization on his 31st birthday by asking friends to donate $31 instead of giving him a gift. It was a success—the birthday generated $15,000 and helped build charity: water’s first few wells in Uganda. In the three years that followed, Harrison’s simple birthday wish snowballed into donations that today total more than $20 million, translating into almost 3,000 water projects spanning everything from hand-dug wells and deep wells to protection for springs to rainwater harvesting. The organization has now provided clean water to more than 1.4 million people spanning 17 countries. Its success can be explained through four design principles for generating engagement with a brand through social media.

Tell a story. Harrison’s personal journey—evoking themes of redemption, change, and hope—engaged others on an emotional level. By candidly discussing in media interviews and YouTube videos why and how he started charity: water, the thoughtful, accessible, and youthful Harrison helped viewers fall in love with him and his cause.

Empathize with your audience. Let people engage with your brand to learn what’s important to them and how it relates to your campaign. charity: water evoked empathy through the use of photographs and videos that revealed the urgency of the water problem in the developing world. Instead of relying just on statistics, the organization promoted compelling stories that forced people to think about what it would be like to live without access to clean water.

Emphasize authenticity. True passion is contagious, and the more authenticity you convey, the more easily others can connect with you and your cause. Because of charity: water’s commitment to transparency, donors not only understand the history that gave rise to the organization but also know exactly where their money goes. Reports and updates on the charity’s Web site connect donors directly to the results of their generosity.

Match the media with the message. How and where you say something can be as important as what you say. charity: water has a staff member dedicated to updating various social-media platforms and creating distinctive messages for Twitter and Facebook fan pages. The organization also relies heavily on video. One of charity: water’s most effective video projects involved convincing Terry George, the director of the film Hotel Rwanda, to make a 60-second public-service announcement in which movie star Jennifer Connelly took a gasoline can to New York City’s Central Park, filled the can with dirty water from the lagoon, and brought it home to serve to her two children. The producers of the reality TV show American Idol agreed to broadcast the spot during the program, ensuring that more than 25 million viewers saw it.

Applying the lessons beyond the social sector: McKinsey’s Dan Singer talks with the authors of The Dragonfly Effect

Dan Singer: If you look at powerful social-media campaigns or initiatives, what’s the essence of good storytelling?

Jennifer Aaker: Good stories have three components: a strong beginning, a strong end, and a point of tension. Most people confuse stories with situations. They’ll tell about a situation: X happened, Y happened, Z happened. But a good story takes Y, the middle part of the story, and creates tension or conflict where the reader or the audience is drawn into the story, what’s going to happen next.

Treating stories as assets is an underrealized idea right now. Stories serve as glue to unify communities. Stories spread from employee to employee, from consumer to consumer, and, in some cases, from employee to consumer or consumer to employee. Stories are much more memorable than statistics or simple anecdotes and are a mechanism that allows communities to grow. Strong stories can be told and retold. They become infectious.

There are at least four important stories that all companies should have in their portfolio. The first is the “who am I?” story—you know, how did we get started? The second is the “vision” story, the “where are we going in the future?” This may or may not be connected to the “who are we?” story. A third is the “apology and recovery” story. In any long-term relationship, there is inevitably going to be transgression. But it is remarkable to see how few companies have thought through what a transgression is for them and how they might respond to it. The final type of story that becomes really important for corporations to have in their bank is the “personal” story: what are the personal stories that are being incubated and cultivated within the organization? This is a very different type of story. This shines a light on people rather than the organization.

Dan Singer: Is it the story that resonates? Or is it the storyteller?

Andy Smith: The story is the most important thing. You don’t have to be famous to tell a good story. Where it really does come back to the storyteller is authenticity. People have to believe you. And you have to believe in the story yourself in order to be effective.

Jennifer Aaker: The reason authenticity becomes important in social media is that as you think about customers or employees stepping toward a cause, it’s oftentimes done when they trust the entity. When they step away from an organization, cause, or goal, it’s often because they feel it’s overly manufactured, overly professional, something to potentially distrust.

Dan Singer: What can businesses learn from folks in the social sector who use social networks and social media?

Jennifer Aaker: All four “wings” of the dragonfly act in concert. The first wing is focus: what is your single small, concrete goal? That goal should be measurable over time so you see how close you’re getting to it. The second wing is grabbing attention, making people look. That is very similar to more traditional means of marketing. The third wing is engagement, telling the story, which also has been important in the past. But how do you enable action on the part of employees and customers? That is very new to the social-media world. When you execute on these four wings—when four small acts are taken in concert—that’s when you get amplification or infectious action.

Dan Singer: So how do you assess companies’ efforts to date against the dragonfly framework? Are we in the early days?

Andy Smith: It’s not exactly the earliest day. There’s this hangover effect from traditional media. You can call it “campaign thinking.” Companies are pretty slow to take ownership of the ongoing back and forth with consumers that’s required to build a relationship. As public companies, they have whole departments devoted to nurture relationships with, say, financial analysts. They need to apply the same kind of approach to their social-media constituents. The platform itself is relatively straightforward. The mind-set needs to come with it.

Dan Singer: How do you think companies should measure their success in deploying social media or engaging with customers? You’ll hear companies talk about the number of Twitter followers or the number of Facebook fans they have. Are those the right measures?

Andy Smith: It reminds me of the early days, when people counted hits on your Web site. With each new media comes different meaningless statistics. It goes back to wing one: before you deploy an effort, you need to be thinking about your goal. That’s been a challenge for brand builders. Setting those goals and actions and measuring yourself against them is the way that companies configure the clearest path forward.

Dan Singer: An unstated assumption is that the medium through which the communication happens is electronic—Facebook, e-mail, Twitter. As those platforms become mature and probably fairly cluttered, will people get social fatigue?

Andy Smith: Oh, I think people have already started to show plenty of fatigue. It seems like the more things change, the shorter the life span between early adopters and people burning out. How many Twitter people can you follow?

Jennifer Aaker: There’s one study that we’re running right now that looks at the degree to which a subject gets asked to contribute some money or time to a cause. The number of people who delete something like this immediately from their inbox is somewhere around 95 percent. So you’re already seeing people feeling inundated by “asks,” especially in the social-good realm. Then there’s another big group of people who feel that social media is overhyped and has gotten too much attention.

Dan Singer: This is eerily reminiscent of traditional forms of advertising. In television, there’s so much clutter that what differentiates the effective from the rest is the quality of the story and the resources of the advertiser. Would you say the same is true here? What’s going to differentiate the 5 percent that get read from the 95 percent that get deleted?

Andy Smith: For advertisers, [it will be] creativity and the depth to which they really apply the principles of understanding what’s going to make people go. You literally just can’t throw a switch and write a check and buy it. But you can certainly get more airplay and more attention if you nurture your community and build your followers, build your fan base, build the things that matter, and then activate them.

Jennifer Aaker: It’s about the people driving the technology. You have to be cognizant of where the true power of social technology lies. It’s not in the technology—it’s in the people using it.


Source: McKinsey Quarterly [1]

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Hilarious Conversion Story

Hilarious story of how an Australian found Islam.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obsessed with Facebook


Source: Wamda
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Muslim Rapper - Bridging the Gaps

Interview with Muslim Rapper - Cyrus McGoldrick

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Palestine Will Be Free - Maher Zain

A sweet animation depicting the Palestinian struggle.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Muhammad in the Bible


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Obama's interfaith Advisor to Visit Kuwait


This should be an interesting event...

Dalia Mogahed, appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will be visiting Kuwait on an invitation from Kuwait Awqaf.
Dalia Mogahed, an American Muslim scholar of Egyptian origin, advises US President on various issues about the opinions, values, perceptions, and attitudes of the Muslim world.

Apart from her other engagements in Kuwait, she will be addressing a public gathering on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 7:00pm at the International Islamic Charitable Society Auditorium located in South Surra (near PACI office) on the subject 'Religion Vs Radicalism'. The public gathering has been arranged by Indian Muslim Association in coordination with AWARE Center under the patronage of Kuwait Awqaf. The public lecture is open to all irrespective of their nationality and religion.

Prior to her appointment to a White House advisory position, Dalia Mogahed most recently served as a Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. In this role, she organized global research surveys to examine Muslims' beliefs regarding education, religion, democracy, culture, financial prosperity, and the media. She also has directed the Muslim-West Facts Initiative, a partnership between Gallup and the Coexist Foundation to share findings of the Gallup World Poll with leaders in the Muslim World and the West.

Dalia Mogahed in her works deals extensively on the importance of shared values for developing guidelines for the positive interaction between the west and Muslim world. In her writings she illustrates how common values can form the foundation of a mapped vision. Moreover, she stresses on the importance of not ignoring differences in values as well as opportunities for cross-cultural learning and understanding, the unique assets of different communities.

Along with John Esposito, she co-authored the book on Muslims and Islam based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews. Her analysis has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy magazine, the Harvard International Review, the Middle East Policy journal, and many other academic and popular journals.

Dalia Mogahed earned her Master's degree in Business Administration with emphasis on strategy from the University of Pittsburgh. She received her undergraduate degree from one of the top schools in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For any further information, regarding the public lecture kindly contact 97578300, 99060891 and 97228482.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sister from another mister: Twins born to different dads

Ew... busted. She was bound to get caught someday.

A woman in northern Poland gave birth to twins -- a boy and a girl -- who were fathered by two different men: her husband and the man she was having an affair with. It's rare, but it can happen when a woman produces two eggs and has sex with more than one partner while she's ovulating.



Source: MSNBC
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

All Aboard the Mavi Marmara

David Rovics, an American activist, tells the story of the Flotillas, that broke the Israeli siege on Gaza in 2010, through his song All Aboard the Mavi Marmara.



David Rovics website [link]

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