Posts Tagged With: Mali

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

Lots Of Troubling News And A Brief Ode To The Power Of A Good Traveler’s Tale On The Young

By Kiki Keane

More news from Egypt today. According to MSNBC, Mubarak was sentenced to life for the deaths of protesters just over a year ago. He could have been sentenced to death. Also on trial were his cronies and sons. His interior minister, Habib el-Adli, was also given a life sentence. Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa were acquitted on corruption charges. The rulings sparked protest in Tahrir Square, Alexandria and Suez.

Here is another piece on the story from NBC Nightly News.

Sadly, this week I have not been watching/reading the news as much as I usually do. However, I have managed to watch NBC Nightly news most evenings and I was glad to find that there was an interview done with Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak about Israel’s intentions toward Iran should they insist on going forward with their nuclear program. Here is the story for Nightly News and here is the extended interview (web only). The report is by Richard Engel.

There’s lots of other interesting and important international news stories. The growth and appeal of al-Shabaab in Africa, Taylor’s 50 year jail sentence for ‘brutal crimes,’ Syria’s trouble is spilling over into Lebanon, al-Qaeda in Yemen and the latest in Syria, of course.

Here is a Frontline piece on al-Qaeda in Yemen. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and producer Jamie Doran are very brave souls.

I have also been following the news in Mali, which frankly hasn’t been getting much attention. And why would it? It doesn’t have much to interest foreign powers. But Mali has always had a certain allure for me, ever since a woman professing to be some sort of missionary in Mali came to the local church and into my Sunday School class and told us wild stories of her time there. She turned out be a fraud and cheat, but those stories sparked something in me and I promised myself that I would go there one day. Anyway, the events of the last few months would make a trip there very difficult, especially to the al-Qaeda dominated northern cities, like Timbuktu. Though I try not to shy away from danger, it may be awhile before I make it there.

So the latest news is that the al-Qaeda linked Ansar Dine and the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or the MNLA (led by the Tauregs) signed an agreement Saturday, but disagree on how strictly to impose Islamic or Sharia Law. It seems that African groups that want to implement Sharia Law are on the rise: al-Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Algeria).

Okay. I think I’m done depressing everyone now.

Categories: Adventure, Elections, Journalism, Life, Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We Will All Be Billionaires But It Won’t Matter Because We Will All Owe A Billion Dollars…

By Kiki Keane

Apparently unemployment makes me lazy. What have I done this week? Ummmm. Well, I’ve almost finished my book club book, watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, watched bad weather related movies on Syfy and played catch-the-string with my cat. What an exciting life I lead! Also, coconut Jelly Bellies are more addictive than cocaine.

Unemployment also gives one lots of time to serf the Web. Here are some awesome and, hopefully, interesting things I’ve found.


1) So in 70 years, if I’m reading this right, we will all be billionaires and natural gas will be free, or nearly free by 2015. The bad news is our (the US) officially assessed natural gas reserves will be dry by 2025 and by 2030, China will be using all the oil, leaving nothing for the US or Europe. Also, while we all will be billionaires we will also all owe a billion dollars…

2) The NuStar mission will “will pierce the dust and gas shrouding sources of high-energy X-rays, revealing many secrets they have long managed to conceal, scientists say.”

3) Hubble spies ‘UFO’ Galaxy

4) Here are Life Science’s Best Science Photos of the Week

5) Could Pandora exist? Here is an article, which discusses popular sci-fi concepts, including a planet like Pandora

6) Hey look! A giant space head!

Culture and Books:

1) Christopher Priest blasts 5 of 6 Arthur C Clarke award shortlisters and thinks the award should be suspended and judges forced to resign.

2) And here is a letter one of the judges sent to the guardian in response to Priest’s “tantrum.”

Personally, I agree with Priest (not about the suspension or about the judges), but about the books on the lists.

3) The Fall of the Roman Empire and the Rise of Islam: A historical meets sci-fi geek out!

4) Here is a question I debated more than 10 years ago when I was in high school. It was a Speculative Fiction (it’s what self-conscious writers call sci-fi/fantasy) writing class that I attended once a week after classes let out.

5) Here is an old post about the 1000 novels you should read. I’m still working my way through the list to see what I’ve read and what I might like to read (and it’s only part 1).


1) Okay. This isn’t news, but it is interesting and Richard Engel is a journalist.

2) Mali rebels advance. It’s only a few minutes at the start of the broadcast. This coup is really interesting stuff. Sanctions to start on Monday

3) Muslim Brotherhood names presidential candidate

4) Burma votes and Aung San Suu Kyi takes part


1) A Physicist at large: Richard Feynman’s journey to Tuva

Rachel and I will be blogging tomorrow and she should post some stuff on her retreat.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Journalism, Media, Nerd, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Workers Lament

By Kiki Keane

I don’t usually like to complain about work. I am well aware how lucky I am to have job. Also, I need the job to make my schemes and dreams come true. I just want to say that for first time in my life I really, truly hate my job. It literally (and yes “literally” is used way to much, so sue me) makes me sick to go to work. It’s the first job I have where I am truly afraid that I will screw something up and get fired. It’s not dealing with the customers. Despite my snarkiness and introverted nature, I actually really like people. I just hate the phone, I hate the feeling that I have no idea what I’m doing and having to pretend that I do. In all honesty, I don’t have any more of a clue than the customer. The only advantage I have is a system that has the answers IF you know how to find them. I have begun to apply for other jobs. I’m even willing to take a pay cut.

On a lighter note, I have actually practiced Arabic a bit this week. I can now ask the question, “What is this?” Now if I could just understand the answer, I would be rockin’!

Here are a few stories I have been paying attention to today:

1) The possible coup attempt in Mali

2) Richard Engel’s report on Cybercrime (actually, that’s only part of the story. The full report can be found on the Rock Center website)

Categories: Corporations, Goals, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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