Friday, November 16, 2007

HW 36: Podcast

Gabcast! A Blog of One's Own #5

Our Podcast is Episode #5

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HW 35: Letter to My Readers

Throughout the course A Blog of One's Own, I have maintained this blog over a 13 week period because it was involved with my homework assignments. From doing so, I have become to understand why blogging has become such a huge phenomenon, because it's so simple. When my teacher first mentioned blogging I thought "Oh no" this is going to be so much work to read and write a blog about it, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. For the future, I hope that my blog can help other students enrolled in this class that need help understanding the reading or just to get an idea of how the blog is used for the class. As well as I hope that my blog is informing and interesting for any other people out there reading it. I feel most proud about on all the blogs, I was able to fulfill the requirement easily, after doing the reading even if I did not understand the chapter completely, I was still able to complete the assignment with the knowledge that I did have of the story or chapter. After this course ends, I do not think that I will continue to write blogs but I will not be deleting it. I think that I will keep the blogs up so that later on I can look back at and kind of like an old photo album that are juts fun to look back at or like a diary from when you were a kid that you can look back at and remember the things you discuss in it. There is not much else I wish to tell me readers except that blogs are a simple thing to use for any type of communication that you want to have and that writing in a blog is not necessarily something you can explain but kind of like something you have to experience for yourself.

HW 34: Why Gold's So Important and What evening tea means to Iraqi's

All cultures and all people love gold, it's pretty, looks delicate and is a nice gift for any occasion. In Iraq gold is a way for the people to say money or earn money becaues the value of gold does not fluctuate like the value of a dollar does. "People began converting their money to gold-earrings,bracelets, necklaces-because the value of gold didn't change" (Riverbend, 100). Often times, when the houses get raided, the troops clain that they take the gold because they find it hard to believe that people "like that" can actually own gold. But often times gold is given as presents at wedding and baby showers, etc. just like they are in our society. As a way of not getting their gold taken during the raids, many families often if they know there is going to be a raid put on all their gold jewelry and try to cover it up with their clothes such as bracelets that can be covered by long sleeves. Like gold, evening tea is also a large part of their life in Iraq. Tea is drinken at breakfast,midday,evening and with dinner. "Iraqi tea isn't a simple matter of teacups and teabags. If you serve "teabag tea" to an Iraqi, you risk scorn and disdain-a teabag is an insult to tea connoisseurs" (Riverbend, 108). Although Riverbend states the evening tea is not as formal as it sounds, the fact that they make tea a special way and serving teabags is unacceptable shows that evening tea is still quite important to their daily lives. At evening tea they have casual talk like families all over the world, but they also discuss blockades, war strategies, bombings, and politics. Reading this book has increased my knowledge of cultural literacy because even tho people say that everyone is unique and each place has it's own culture and is different, that is not necessarily true. Although we may do things different most places often do the same type of traditions but in a different form.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HW 33: Podcast, Challenges at a Girl's School

I chose to watch the podcast called "Challenges at a Girl's School in Baghdad". It was made on May, 21, 2007. The podcast talks about the Al Safina Middle School in Adhamiya serves kids all over Baghdad. In the podcast, the children discuss how regardless of all the violence going on that their education is very important and they plan to keep on learning and keep going to school. The director of Al-Safina, Jinan Jamal Mahmoud discusses that not only schools in Adhamiya have issues but schools in all districts because when the Americans are searching the area, certain roads and bridges are blocked off preventing the children as well as teachers from getting to school on some days. They question on of the girls and ask her if she is afraid of explosions and shooting that she hears and she answered "No" because she is used to the sounds. In many of the district schools, numbers of girls has dropped out and been forced to go to different schools because of the difficulties in getting to school and how is they miss school, it is hard for them to keep up in their studies. When they show the outside of the school, it has murals painted on the outside but not much color, faded almost, not many people outside because of the dangers.

For a viewer watching this video, it can show them the fears and issues that this war is having on young children and how it is even affecting their education which is unnecessary because education is one of the most important thing in a child's life.

HW 32: KBR

On page 78 in Baghdad Burning written by Riverbend, the Ministry of Oil tells S that if he is not part of KBR he should not bother to do anything. Everyone was wondering the same thing, who is KBR? What do they do? E. believed the KBR was a committe type group like the CPR, Riverbend though it was just another company. They finally learned after about a week that KBR stands for Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidary of Halliburton (Riverbend, 78). KBR works with construction and engineering for the communtiy. KBR is know for more then just constructing, in fact in 1997 KBR was sued 6 million dollars for overcharging the American army on Plywood. The Rashid Hotel is know the headquarters on Kellogg, Brown and Root. Riverbend says, that in other words, foreign companies can never own all of the oil industry but they can have a job in running it, just like they could never fully own Iraq but they can have a part in running the Governing Council.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

HW 31: Al Amriyah Shelter

In Baghdad Burning Riverbend discusses the Depleted Uranium which I had no clue what it was. Riverbend said that the Depleted Uranium was a term that all Iraqi's knew of and that it had something to do with the rising cancer rate in Iraq. Riverbend dicusses how the depleted uranium poisoning affected children being born with no face, a single eye, or even three legs (Riverbend 47). After reading what Riverbend had said about the DU, I still was confused, after some research I found out that the DU is what is left after the removal of an isotope Uranium-235 (Wikipedia). In past year the DU has also been known as Q-metal, depletolly and D-38. Although it contains only Uranium, it is barely radioactive but the external radiation is about sixty percent of the same mass of uranium with the isotope. The DU is used for military weapons and because of its radioactivity it is toxic to mammals because of the compounds that are inside it. The organ that is at the greatest risk of being affected by DU is the kidneys. However, Wikipedia states that because it is weakly radioactive, the Depleted or Natural Uranium has never been proven to have resulted in human cancer.