Posts Tagged With: Iran

We Are Back! No, Really! We Are! Promise!

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Okay. We have been really, really, really bad at this whole blog thing as of late. Rachel is still in the process of moving into her new place and I have been busy reducing my life into a backpack and medium sized duffle bag and watching a truly terrible show called Femme Fatale. It’s like driving by a car wreak; you know it’s wrong to look, but you do it anyway.

Also, I would like to share some happy news. I will be working for Toonari Post. It is unpaid and I still have to go through orientation, but I least I will have a place to publish and an extra set of news credentials. Yay!

For our first collective blog in weeks we are going to share our new goals. I don’t remember what mine were, but it’s a safe bet that I didn’t do them. I swear I’m going to get better at this whole followthrough thing.

New Goals:


1) Read a fiction book 2) Finish one of the trip related books 3) Make a Visa decision (they still aren’t answering the phone or responding to email)


I do not remember my previous goals either but it is a fairly safe assumption that I have completed few to none of them.  Here are my new goals:

1) Complete a book either fiction or non-fiction 2) Work on my credit card issue (the issue is I don’t have one!) 3) Complete the moving process 4)Relax a little bit

Moving is really no fun, I can only console myself with the fact that soon I will be in a new home. There are 5 or 6, no joke, FOR RENT signs up in front of my house so at least once a day somebody comes by poking their head into the windows and asking me 5o questions about the place. Couple that with the fact that the tiny widow air conditioner is so completely ineffective that I cannot sleep  more than a few hours a night due to the stifling heat and you have a very cranky Rachel indeed. Yesterday I rode the bus for an hour simply because it was air conditioned.

In Other News:

I (Kiki) thought I would have to avoid the news for the duration of the Olympics, but thankfully news organizations have been good about putting other news on their websites. So, I have been able to avoid that jock-fueled, Nationalist weirdness as I read/watch the news. Although, I haven’t been able to filter out the Olympics completely. As it turns out this is the first time that all nations taking part in the games have women on their teams and there are two Saudi Arabia women able to participate.

Here are some stories I’ve been following:

1) Syrian rebels finally got a couple of missiles and Assad is rallying the troops. Also, Foreign policy experts urge US to get involved in Syria.

2) Is Mali a haven for Al Queda?

3) Clinton will be making her first visit to South Sudan.

4) The situation is deteriorating in eastern Congo.

5) Violence nearly at two-year peak in Iraq.

6) Netanyahu told Panetta that time for a peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear dispute is running out.

This isn’t news, but I love this article (the book is about to come out). It’s a wonderfully articulate article (with lots of examples) about why some of the most touted “literary” writers are actually bad writers. He makes a very valid point: just because you don’t understand what the heck they’re saying, doesn’t mean they’re literary or that your stupid. Actually, it most likely means they are actually bad writers.


Categories: Adventure, Books, Goals, Journalism, Life, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Musings on Life, Liberty and The Pursuit Of The Higgs Boson Plus World News

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

We hope that you Constant Reader’s had a happy Higg’s Boson Day. I know I (Rachel) did! Kiki was apathetic. If you haven’t seen the story and video of the researchers announcing that they have discovered a particle consistent with a Higg’s Boson it can be seen here. What an amazing breakthrough in the advancement of our understanding of the Universe! Congratulations to Peter Higgs and all the researchers at the LHC! This is truly a momentous historical occasion and a great prize to anyone with the wonder and curiosity to explore our reality.

It was also the Fourth of July, once my (Kiki’s) favorite holiday. Fireworks were awesome when I was a kid. But, like Christmas and Halloween, Independence Day has lost its sparkle with the onset of adulthood. Actually, I had forgotten that it was the Fourth of July until my friend called to see if I wanted to go to the city show. I realized at that moment that I was drinking English Breakfast Tea and watching British mysteries. Apparently, somewhere in my twenties, I turned loyalist.

I, Rachel, haven’t been patriotic in years and I intend to keep it that way. In my opinion slavish dedication to demarcated portions of land creates great boundary to equal human rights, and while I’m proud that our Forefathers stood up against an oppressive government today our so called Independence Day has become in fact a celebration of oppressive government. Can’t we instead celebrate something like the discovery of the Higg’s Boson, a testament to the beautiful aspects of human nature that can resonate throughout the world? Here, Kiki roles her eyes, not out of disagreement, exactly, but because Rachel is literature made real–she is Fanny Price made flesh, but without the whole marrying her cousin thing. No mindlessness for this gal! Unless of course, it’s in Skyrim…

Here’s some news:

Iran says it can attack Israel and US military bases minutes after an attack.

Pakistan supply rout reopened.

Here are some cool words people don’t really use anymore and they are nicely illustrated.

Here is a Smithsonian post about a really weird, decades old, unsolved death (they don’t even know how the guy died).

We had plenty more to blog about, but there is a man here who is insanely distracting and not in a good way, so we are ending this here and blog more tomorrow.

Categories: Celebration, Free Speech, Life, Nerd, Social Equity, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, Or Kiki Is Grumpy and Rachel Is Cheery (For A Change)

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

So… we have news on our trip. Firstly, it will be much more expensive to live in Egypt than we thought, so a new job hunt has started! Wish us luck (also because we are miserable in our current occupations). A friend of mine (Rachel) has offered to help us in our apartment search, so it’s not all bad. Secondly, one of my former professors has offered to let me (Kiki) write a few stories for the journalism departments online magazine, The Merge. She has also offered me (Kiki) a press pass, which is very exciting and helpful! In other words, our trip is both progressing and halting.

Rachel has been making progress on her 50/50  challenge, she has finished one book this week (Bag of Bones by Stephen King) and is halfway through a second (Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham). She needs to do better on the movie side of that 50/50 coin however, since starting the challenge she hasn’t watched a single one! She also has to get on board with some non-fiction to round out the book portion of the challenge.

Kiki is a complete failure on both parts of the 50/50 challenge. She has done nothing but watch The Golden Girls and Frasier  reruns. Well, that’s not entirely true. She did read about five pages in a new book called Baghdad Without A Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia by Tony Horwitz. So, that counts for something right?

Here are some interesting bits we’ve been keeping an eye on this week:

1) Paintballing with Hezbollah

2) Mathematician, Vi Hart, Explains Spirals and Fibonacci Numbers in Doodles and Vegetables

3) Einstein’s documents are online

4) Muppets get star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

5) Iranian weapons are being used against Syrian protesters, according to U.S. and European officials

6) Military push against Kony

7) Cruise ship vs. cargo ship

Categories: Adventure, Books, Goals, Journalism, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It Is Very Tedious To Write A Blog Post On Your Phone, Or Being Reminded How Old I Am

By: Kiki Keane

For some reason I can’t access the blog on my computer, so I am attempting to write this on my phone. We’ll see how long I can go before I become truly annoyed.

I have started a new book. It’s called tThe Sisters Brothers. I can’t stop reading it! I generally do not like Westerns, but much like True Grit, it is surprisingly well written, full of interesting characters and has a compelling and weirdly likable narrator. Based on what I’ve read so far, I would definitely recommend it.

Okay, I’ve just about reached my limit. One more thing. I can’t seem to find a link for it, but Richard Engel was on the Dylan Ratigan Show discussing Iran and Syria. You should watch it if you’re able to find it. I’ll see if I can retweet the link later.

Categories: Books, Goals, Journalism, Media, Nerd | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“It’s All Takin’ and No Givin’…”

By: Kiki Keane

I have just finished my first week of work in more than a year. This is both wonderful (money!) and awful (I now understand why Office Space is funny). If nothing else, the last week has taught me that I am not built for a 9 to 5 job. I am not meant to spend my days in a cubicle. I can not stand the thought of living such a predictable life.

Another thing I have learned is that parents are apparently unable to talk about anything other than their children when they are around other parents. Also, recently pregnant women can talk about nothing but pregnancy related issues when there is a pregnant women within hearing distance. I have nothing against parents and soon to be parents, just stop asking the childless-never-ever-ever-ever-gonna-have-kids-even-if-means-glueing-my-knees-together person why they are not contributing to the conversation. I think the answer is fairly obvious.

Well… it seems that this job has left me mostly brain-dead and with very little time to think about anything else. However, I have had a few minutes to catch up a bit on the Israeli-Iranian conflict or non-conflict. I won’t comment, but I found this clip interesting. It’s from NBC Nightly News and shows how average citizens from both countries (according to Richard Engel in Tel Aviv and Ali Arouzi in Tehran) are dealing with the escalating tensions.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wacky Dreamin’

By Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

Well… it seems that both of us had wacky dreams last night. For one of us it was fever induced. We’ll let you figure out which one…

Kiki: My dream involved the Seven Dwarves (Disney version with song), Neil Gaiman, Raj (from The Big Bang Theory) and the guy who plays Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, but he wasn’t Leonard, he was his character from Rosanne… It wasn’t a very lucid dream. I can’t remember most of it… Let’s just say the Seven Dwarves were trying to kill me with pickaxes and hammers while singing “Hi-ho!” Neil Gaiman was a “wise” man who was definitely NOT wise, giving advice like, “Maybe you shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes.” Raj did what Raj does… stay silent while a girl’s in the room. And Leonard-who-was-not-Leonard kept mumbling things to Darlene who was not actually there. I’m not sure if the Seven Dwarves ever succeeded in killing me… I will assume Nightmare On Elm Street is correct in the if-you-die-in-your-dreams-you-die-in-real-life thing, and say that the Seven Dwarves were not successful in their endeavors… “Hi-ho!”

Rachel: In my dream, I was solving a complex Calculus equation with Niels Bohr, the father of Quantum Mechanics. The problem was intricate and seemed to involve Einstein’s Cosmological Constant. I am not sure exactly what we were doing: either trying to plot the probable locations of electrons or possibly weigh the Universe. The former seems more consistent with the presence of Bohr, yet the latter would explain the Cosmological Constant. I told Bohr: “I don’t understand all these Greek Symbols!” I was thinking if I could only solve the equation I could get some peace… That is about all I can remember.

So… There you have it.  You can guess if you want. We don’t have money for prizes though,so you’ll just have to be satisfied with a virtual hug and “Good job!”

Oh… and just to add a little seriousness to the blog post, here are some links to a few MSNBC/NBC reports on the Israeli-Iranian conflict that seems to be heating up:

Hardball, NBC Nightly News, Today

Can you tell who Kiki’s journalist of the hour is?

Categories: Journalism, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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