May 2007

Many thanks to Infidel753 for choosing to give this site one of five Thinking Blogger awards!

The Thinking Blogger award is meme-based, created by Ilker Yoldas. It’s a great idea. Memes were (or should have been) the original driving force behind the blogosphere.

The rules are:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote

Here’s my top 5 mostly unaffiliated, fairly undiscovered blogs:

Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors is a communal blog created to “increase dialogue and understanding between all of the neighboring countries in the Middle East including Jordanians, Lebanese, Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Saudis, Iranians, and Syrians.”

Imagine – people in the Middle East working together, expressing their opinions in an open forum, bypassing their loony leaders – there’s an idea that needs to catch on.

Fresh Bilge

Author Alan Sullivan shares his dream of living on a boat in Florida and his brave fight against leukemia. His descriptions of the hard work involved in keeping the boat afloat, plus his cool appraisal of the news and his own life events provide an outlook that shouldn’t be missed.

Jeha’s Nail

Lebanese blogger and skilled characaturist Jeha provides original political analysis, sophisticated social commentary and irreverently relevant pop culture clips.


Chaism’s John Atkinson comments on alternative energy at Winds of Change. On his own blog he comments on music, science, the blogworld, baseball and everything else that mostly passes under the somewhat fusty political blogworld’s radar.

Jane’s Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak provides expert commentary on a severely underreported place, Yemen. She’s been investigating the right peopIe, and has gotten results. She says “in Yemeni newspapers I have been called a Mason, a Yemeni man in disguise, a Hashimite, working for the CIA, working for the Socialists, residing in al-Arabait, and a Docile Student of a Monkey Monk.” Her Masonic Monkey Monk meme needs to be spread around.

Now it’s time for these bloggers to spread the linky love. And thanks again to Infidel753 for tagging Exit Zero.

Addendum: Seablogger Alan Sullivan reconsiders the “Thinking Blog” meme (in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way)


blue mosque


Istanbul, Turkey will be coming soon, but for the impatient, my spring vacation photos are posted faster on flickr.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately – I’ve been mostly offline, traveling in Greece and Turkey. Be back with pictures soon..


Jaffa Square


Walking down from Jaffa Square

suspended tree

Suspended tree, in the arts/crafts section of town


Waving to the tourists

Our first day in Israel was spent wandering around the town of Jaffa (about a 5 minute taxi ride from Tel Aviv). It’s a town that resonates with cultural and historical references, but to assess those references, read the Wiki – don’t pay for the film at the cultural center, which is mostly an advertisement.

However, do pay for a great lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants. The food is usually Mediterranean (as it should be, being served overlooking that sea) with arab and african influence.

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