Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Migration is complete

OK the migration is complete. We won't have another one of this until at least 2006. This baby can handle about 5000 nomads.

There is nothing on your end that you need to do.

If you encounter a problem, email dody@nomadlife.org or IM me at dody_g@hotmail.com and I'll fix you up real quickly.

The Migration is almost complete

Thanks a lot for the patience. The migration is almost complete (one more hour)

Monday, November 29, 2004

down time

nomadlife will go down in two hours on Tuesday 00:00 GMT for new server transfer (the planned transfer last weekend didn't happen). It will be back up the latest on 06:00 GMT.

You will be able to view this main blog (nomadone), but all other weblogs under nomadlife will not be accessible.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

about you

Hi folks,

Please create an entry called "about me" on your weblog so people can get some basic facts about you.

If most of the blogs have this entry, I can create a directory of nomads and automatically link to your profile.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Revolution will be blogged

On the ground reporting by bloggers in Ukraine. I wish we have our own nomads in Kiev right now.

update: We got one of our own, Volodja.

Story of the Turkey

Talking Turkey: The Story of How the Unofficial Bird of the United States Got Named (by Giancarlo Casale)

How did the turkey get its name? This seemingly harmless question popped into my head one morning as I realized that the holidays were once again upon us. After all, I thought, there's nothing more American than a turkey. Their meat saved the pilgrims from
starvation during their first winter in New England. Out of gratitude, if you can call it that, we eat them for Thanksgiving dinner, and again at Christmas, and gobble them up in sandwiches all year long. Every fourth grader can tell you that Benjamin Franklin was particularly fond of the wild turkey, and even campaigned to make it, and not the bald eagle, the national symbol. So how did such a creature end up taking its name from a medium sized country in the Middle East? Was it just a coincidence? I wondered.

The next day I mentioned my musings to my landlord, whose wife is from Brazil. "That's funny," he said, "In Portuguese the word for turkey is 'peru.' Same bird, different country." Hmm. With my curiosity piqued, I decided to go straight to the source. That very afternoon I found myself a Turk and asked him how to say turkey in Turkish. "Turkey?" he said. "Well, we call turkeys 'hindi,' which means, you know, from India." India? This was getting weird.
I spent the next few days finding out the word for turkey in as many languages as I could think of, and the more I found out, the weirder things got. In Arabic, for instance, the word for turkey is "Ethiopian bird," while in Greek it is "gallapoula" or "French girl." The Persians, meanwhile, call them "buchalamun" which means, appropriately enough, "chameleon."

In Italian, on the other hand, the word for turkey is "tacchino" which, my Italian relatives assured me, means nothing but the bird. "But," they added, "it reminds us of something else. In Italy we call corn, which as everybody knows comes from America, 'grano turco,' or 'Turkish grain.'" So here we were back to Turkey again!
And as if things weren't already confusing enough, a further consultation with my Turkish informant revealed that the Turks call corn "misir" which is also their word for Egypt!

By this point, things were clearly getting out of hand. But I persevered nonetheless, and just as I was about to give up hope, a pattern finally seemed to emerge from this bewildering labyrinth. In French, it turns out, the word for turkey is "dinde," meaning
"from India," just like in Turkish. The words in both German and Russian had similar meanings, so I was clearly on to something. The key, I reasoned, was to find out what turkeys are called in India, so I called up my high school friend's wife, who is from an old
Bengali family, and popped her the question.
"Oh," she said, "We don't have turkeys in India. They come from America. Everybody knows that."

"Yes," I insisted, "but what do you call them?"

"Well, we don't have them!" she said. She wasn't being very helpful. Still, I persisted:

"Look, you must have a word for them. Say you were watching an American movie translated from English and the actors were all talking about turkeys. What would they say?"

"Well...I suppose in that case they would just say the American word, 'turkey.' Like I said, we don't have them."

So there I was, at a dead end. I began to realize only too late that I had unwittingly stumbled upon a problem whose solution lay far beyond the capacity of my own limited resources. Obviously I needed serious professional assistance. So the next morning I scheduled an appointment with Prof. Sinasi Tekin of Harvard University, a world-renowned philologist and expert on Turkic languages. If anyone could help me, I figured it would be Professor Tekin.

As I walked into his office on the following Tuesday, I knew I would not be disappointed. Prof. Tekin had a wizened, grandfatherly face, a white, bushy, knowledgeable beard, and was surrounded by stack upon stack of just the sort of hefty, authoritative books which were sure to contain a solution to my vexing Turkish mystery.

I introduced myself, sat down, and eagerly awaited a dose of Prof. Tekin's erudition.
"You see," he said, "In the Turkish countryside there is a kind of bird, which is called a çulluk. It looks like a turkey but it is much smaller, and its meat is very delicious. Long before the discovery of America, English merchants had already discovered the delicious
çulluk, and began exporting it back to England, where it became very popular, and was known as a 'Turkey bird' or simply a 'turkey.' Then, when the English came to America, they mistook the birds here for çulluks, and so they began calling them 'turkey" also.
But other peoples weren't so easily fooled. They knew that these new birds came from America, and so they called them things like 'India birds,' 'Peruvian birds,' or 'Ethiopian birds.'

You see, 'India,' 'Peru' and 'Ethiopia' were all common names for the New World in the early centuries, both because people had a hazier understanding of geography, and because it took a while for the name 'America' to catch on. "Anyway, since that time Americans have begun exporting their birds everywhere, and even in Turkey people have started eating them, and have forgotten all about their delicious çulluk. This is a shame, because çulluk meat is really much, much tastier."

Prof. Tekin seemed genuinely sad as he explained all this to me. I did my best to comfort him, and tried to express my regret at hearing of the unfairly cruel fate of the delicious çulluk. Deep down, however, I was ecstatic. I finally had a solution to this holiday problem, and knew I would be able once again to enjoy the main course of my traditional Thanksgiving dinner without reservation.

Welcome to austinlife

It seems to me that people from Aiesec Austin represents the largest group of bloggers here in nomadlife. Why is that? What's the secret sauce?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

US Immigration Update

Huge Immigration update this morning...Congress just passed legislation providing an exemption to the H-1B cap. Once President Bush signs this into law (possibly as early as December 1st or less than 4 business days) there will be an additional 20,000 H-1B visas available to anyone that possesses a Masters Degree or higher from a US university.

Good news is that MBA students & the like will get another chance to be hired into well paying US assignments...

Bad news for businesses is that the costs of H-1Bs is going up in most cases by an additional $2000 (not including any upcharges by your attorney).

Bad news for internationals as despite the additional $20,000 visas this legislation is definitely not pro-immigration, it's more so that US universities do not lose out on international students!
Less businesses are going to be able to afford to employ foreign workers and jobs might go unfilled.

If anyone needs help applying for a US visa or green card, please contact me at +1 (773) 744-9005 or go_international "@" sbcglobal.com and I will get you a good deal! I'll give you my work info once I hear from you, just want to maintain some anonymity on the web...you never know who could be reading!

Getting its own machine

nomadlife is getting its own machine this weekend. The move is automatic, so just kickback, relax and enjoy your liquorish beverage (nomadlife encourages you to respect the legal drinking age in your respective country; 21 in the US, 18 in Australia, one month old in Nigeria;no milk? warm lager will do).

There might be a slight service interruption during the move.

Here's the spec for you geeks

- IBM xSeries 305 Server
- One Celeron 1.7 GHz Processor
- 512 MB DDRAM Memory
- 1 x 80 GB IDE (Data)
- Dual Ethernet
- 500 GB Burstable Monthly Transfer
- Unlimited IPs
- DNS, HTTP, FTP Monitoring

for $119 dollars a month. SilverKey is taking care of this so no biggie.

The machine is pretty small (and dirt cheap) but serving nomadlife is pretty darn efficient. We will bust the monthly data transfer limit before we overwhelm the machine.


As I am loading up my IE screens as my to-do list, the first to be opened is nomadlife.org. I have a weekend of blogs to catch up on reading. I'm not even hungry. (melt)

Now I'm late for class, stupid blogs. (johnnyd)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

There was a week of sunny days and freezing nights. Two days of sixty-something weather. And now a week of cloudy, rainy, blueness cold for the holiday week. Not to mention disgustingly annoying Christmas music playing even at the Vietnamese restaurant.


We are having our warmest November in years although today is pretty cold at 39F (that is 3.9 C)

As an aside, if you want a login access to this blog, email me at dody@nomadlife.org. Remember, we have no gatekeeper.


wind from the west at 27 km/h, 13 C
rain scheduled for the next 7 days, no sun on the forseeable forcast
saturday it dropped to 1C


just survived a snow storm last weekend, where the temperature suddenly dipped to
-10 degrees from above 0 last friday,looking out the window now with snow starting again...yes we are offically in winter wonderland now.

The rain has arrived

It has begun raining in Cairo. Heavily.

This is the first rain in Cairo in at least 6 months, probably more. Its a significant occasion.

Something incredibly cute - I can hear little kids in the street singing an Arabic song along the same tune as "rain rain go away, come again another day". Its the little things that are so cool about living somewhere as weird as Egypt.

Hows the weather looking in other parts of the world?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Help from Hedonism-minded American resident needed

I don't know who else has seen the news, but Hardees yesterday announced the highest calorie fast food product ever made, the delightfully named "Monster Thickburger". Typically, the nanny-ish media are getting all upset about it, and more interestingly, Hardees seem to be catering to Red-America impulses in their defense of their decadent delight:

"It's not a burger for tree-huggers," said a Hardee's executive, rejoicing in their defiance of the fad for salads and "Atkins-friendly" menus.

Anyhow, enough politics, heres details. 2/3 of a pound of prime beef, 4 slices of bacon, 2 slices of processed cheese, mayonaisse, on a buttered bun. I think the buttering of the bun is the real masterstroke.

So, my request is, can a US based nomadlife crew member please go and try one of these, in the best interests of the community? We want photos, a full restaurant style review of your dining experience, and any hot information you may thing is relevant. And if you go to the website - monsterthickburger.com, you can even print off a voucher for $1 off!

So, get to it! And remember, as Hedonism Bot from Futurama would tell you - "I apologise for nothing!"

Friday, November 19, 2004

Mixing Up the Pot

"For several years, Blogger's interface has only been available in English. However, more than half our users are from outside the United States. Even though Blogger is popular around the world and our users have been successfully generating content in their own languages, we have started localizing our service for multiple languages. We are translating the site in a phased approach." Click here for full story.

Blogger's gone multi-lingual. Certainly relevant here on nomadlife considering the community that we're supporting is global in nature as well. While I think it's 'nice' that English is the main language we're using here so we can all understand each other, it's great that they're taking the next step to allow people to communicate in their native languages as well.

A suggestion

First, thanks to the Blogfather Dody for adding me to the Nomadlife editors.

I was just wondering, do you guys think it would be a good idea to use the main nomadlife.org weblog and the nomadone weblog for seperate purposes? I think it would be cool that ifnomadlife.org weblog is used as a "best of" or highlights blog, pointing readers to the interesting posts of the day, or announcing major news articles, events etc. The more "administrative" stuff about managing the system etc, could go to nomadone.

My reasoning is that a lot of people are coming to www.nomadlife.org, but not rally being confronted by amazing or inspiring stuff - rather, by system announcements and "internal" aiesec stuff that a lot of our visitors are not interested in.

Lets discuss this in the comments, and then make a deicison pronto. Oh, and I've opened commenting to everyone as well, becuase its a hassle having to log into blogger just to drop a comment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Welcoming the n00bies

We have 10 people joining nomadlife in the past three days and the numbers will grow steadily in the coming weeks (aiesec.ws might not be around that much longer)

So to help the new people, I create a new wiki pages at http://wiki.nomadlife.org/default.aspx/NomadLife.NomadLifeNewbie (it's still empty right now). If you have free time, please lend a hand in filling it up with links and tips (e.g. use flickr, not hello, etc, etc).

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Migration from aiesec.ws

All of your old aiesec.ws will be migrated sometime next week to nomadife. They all will be listed under http://archive.nomadlife.org/(youroldweblogname). I'll give more details as we come closer to the migration date.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

hello.com is considered harmful.

Please save yourself from trouble by using flickr.com instead of hello.com to upload your pictures to nomadlife. Hello doesn't play well with nomadlife.

And some of your pictures will be rotated to this main page if you follow this instruction.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


What is Podcasting?

Podcasting is the cutting edge audio phenomena in the blogosphere (about 2 months old, although it has been in the works for about 2 years)

In essence, it is a time shifted amatuer radio programming done by ordinary folks. Instead of a blog that you read, you listen to Podcasts.

Where can you find the newest Podcasts?


What software do you need to listen to Podcasts?

Each Podcast is a simple mp3 files. So any audio program will do.

How can I subscribe to Podcasts?

Get a free software called IPodder available in Windows and Mac that allows automatic download of Podcasts from your favourite Podcasters.

Get a taste of Podcasting.

Download excellent Podcasts from the pioneer of Podcasting, Adam Curry (a former MTV VJ) at http://www.dailysourcecode.com (notwithstanding the name, it's not a 'geek' show.)and a Podcast show he does with his co-pioneer, Dave Winer at http://secrets.scripting.com/.

Links and Photos for your blog

Went through the help section and the trial and error period of updating links and photos to my blog, so i thought it would be nice to share what little findings i have. Have fun! (talkYing)

Monday, November 08, 2004

November Menu

I will be busy for the next couple of weeks doing a research on a few interesting new technologies. Some of them can be applied to nomadlife.

The feature upgrade to nomadlife will slow down dramatically during this period.

My question is, what's next for nomadlife?

A virtual geo map to discover blogs? a multifaceted blog directories ? an integrated rss reader? 'gadgets' you can use for your weblog? travel calendar? nomad travel agency? nomadlife intelligence unit? nomadlife pin-up calendar? nomads gone wild?

What's cool and useful and probably original? What do you want to see happen?

nomadlife is in constant craving for new ideas.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Genesis Part II - Director's cut.

I haven't had a chance to sit down and jotted down my vision for nomadlife until this cold lazy afternoon in Chicago.

This is the last writing I make from this coffee shop, my neighbourhood Seattle's Best Coffee, as they are shutting down Sunday, tomorrow, exactly at 2pm. I have been a patron of this neat coffee shop almost daily for close to two years. Yeah, they are gutting this place down to put yet another Starbucks in, making it the fourth Starbucks within 4 blocks radius from my apartment. Man, I am going to miss my SBC girls.

I will be without my Third Place for an undefinate amount of time. That fact alone is enough to make grown man cry.

Let's go back to nomadlife.

Many attempts have been made about creating Aiesec alumni network in the past, present and future. Everytime the idea floated by a dedicated and eager group of alumni, hope springs that this time, it will work out. Again and unfortunately, again.

Rinse, repeat, new colors on your favourite t-shirt.

And everytime, those new exciting alumni network ideas will revolve around creating a complete and always up to date contact information of past, existing and future alumni. Based on those databases, then Aiesec can keep alumni up to date (oh my, those alumni newletters), invite them for parties, expose male boobies for fundraising and traineeships.

Top down, from heavens, broadcasting the news of Aiesec to the has beens.

Just like what those big universities do. If Stanford can have a successful alumni program, why not Aiesec?

It's good to have hopes and dreams. Then we fail and die, or worse, become timid and inconsequential.

The "Contact Database" approach to alumni network works somewhat for big university is due to "density" and its bastard cousin "saturation".

  1. Those universities each produces 40,000 graduates and up every single fucking year.
  2. Those universities have an almost constant media presence, through various sports team, Playboy college Playmate of the Year, and Presidential scandals.
  3. For the rest of your life, your university name will always be on your resume for your Bachelor Degree of oh oh major.

Even then, really, how many universities actually successfull in building their alumni network?
"Contact Database" + "Broadcast" model is terribly not working so much (try to figure this sentence out). And boy, the cost so much money.

Having 100,000 contacts in your Alumni database is useful but that is not an Alumni network.
Why? Let me tell you why.

All alumni are human (ok, some are "pigs";"tramps";"dogs").

A human network is all about relationship, not a bloody mailing and email addresses. If it was the case, the White/Yellow Pages is the largest people network of all time. Hey, that's Johny and I saw his fucking phone number listed. Can we be BUDDY BUDDY now? fuck off.

(Relationship = Connection) -> Groups -> Networks.

For a network to be effective, it needs to be consisted of solid and close knit groups.

Learn this from the Catholic Churchs and other organized religions. Every single Church is a closely knit group, with a natural limit on its size. It is less fun to go to a Church (or any other place of prayer) with 300,000 members. Why, because you will be less connected. There is a human limit on how we can maintain relationship with other people. In a Church of 200 people, you might know 95% of them more or less well. As the group gets bigger, your relationship percentage falls dramatically.

Let me lay down The Law.

1. An effective network is an archipelago of close-knit group islands.
2. There is natural limit to close-knit group.

In Aiesec, there is a pattern that says "On average, you can only maintain a close relationships with Aiesecers three years your Senior and Junior." Beyond this range, it's difficult (not impossible).

Like a Singaporean will say, "No groups, no network, lah".

In Aiesec, Groups = Circle of Friends.
Full Relationship = Two Ways. Groups = Multiple Full Relationships.

OK, I'm taking a pee break. Sorry, too much coffee.

On the other side Human Relationship is Audience.

There is no theoritical limit to Audience. Your favourite TV shows have 19 millions audience. Some newspaper gets 4 million subsribers. The "Contact Database" + "Broadcast" Alumni "Network" approach works this way (like a bad local TV program;Always Broadcasting, but no one is watching)

Why Audience model scale? Because it's only one way relationship. It's between you and the broadcaster (or the object of your affection). You are required to maintain the relationship. Not your object. Your Object however is required to be interesting, exciting, new, lots of bobbies, etc (whatever fall into your interest) otherwise your one way relationship will die (sorry, I'm feeling morbid today).

Girls, this is why you can have bazillions boys drools over your, ehm, personality but you are limited to an x amount of ex boyfriends.

Contact Database is a valid as a tool, but not as an approach to build a Human Network.

So what is my vision for nomadlife?

We will be the group that get this Aiesec people network right, for the people of the past, present and future. And off course, .... (smile, nod, look pretty) World Peace.

How? Genesis Part III.


[1] No, this is not exactly an alumni network. And it's a dirty word. Let's not use it.
[2] The size of this network will grow naturally, as fast as its usefulness growth.
[3] Read my lips, no newsletters.
[4] Yeah, it's just for fun.

The Face

The downside of having a rotating picture on the main page is that if we don't have enough pictures frequently uploaded, we will get stuck with the same set of images for a while.

The trick is to upload only a few images at a time everyday.

For the past 24 hours, we are stuck with images of Digidy. Good for him, bad for us.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Picture Feeds

You can find a test version of the picture feed we talked about yesterday. Right now it will display pictures one at a time. It will change every half an hour or so depending on how many people have tagged their pictures to "nomadlife".

[update] I have some modification. Now this is how it works.

1. a. Every half an hour, nomadlife will retrieve a list of thumbnails from flickr.
1. b. If nomadone - this blog - is updated (with new post or comment) nomadlife will retrieve that list again, even if the half an hour hasn't passed yet.

2. Everytime you visit the page (or refresh), nomadlife will return a random image within that list.


ok. we're getting started on this.
we're going to try a nomadlife home photo RSS feed from flickr as tom suggested, so we'll have some photos always rotating on the www.nomadlife.org site.
so if you want to share your photos, join flickr (its easy i promise) and then
please tag any photos you want associated with nomadlife as 'nomadlife' (hmm...really hard).

ALSO, there is a nomadlife photo GROUP on flickr, which is a quick 'n easy way to share selected photos with nomadlife friends without having them rotate across the nomadlife homepage. you can join it by searching for the group 'nomadlife' on flickr. Once you've joined the group, you can add your upoladed photos to the group through your ORGANIZR. (once again, you just click and drag - no difficulty here).

Aiesec Collage

Aiesec Collage
Originally uploaded by dodyg.
This is the first "nomadlife" tagged flickr picture upload.

Let's do this

"I know something cool would be to have a nomadlife images feed page.

How to do this?
Flickr.com is brilliant. They store as many photos online for you as you want, for free, and they arent evil. But the best thing is the tags feature. You can add any different number of tags to a photo, simple words or descriptors. If you make your photos "public", then people can search for photos with certain tags, ie "vancouver" or "bok choi".
But even better is, each tag stream is an RSS feed, meaning, if we use flickr to store our photos, and if we tag the interesting "nomadlife themed" photos (gorgeous nature scenes, local life and culture, cool stuff) with a unique tag like, hmm, say...."nomadlife", then we could have a nomadlife pictures page section on the main page. This page would recieve the "nomadlife" feed stream from flickr, so it would be constantly updated with any new images that any of us upload. even most simply, at the bottom or top or borders of the main nomadlife group page, we could have a thumbnails constantly updating of our photos from the flickr feed.
I hope this makes some sense. It could be friggin fantastic. "
(Tom Gara)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

President Re-Elect

The result in Ohio will be contested, but I think the United States of America gets the same president for the next four years. Congratulation for the Bush supporters.

Posting Time

There is a question about the time zone being used to stamp the post. It is Zulu time, aka GMT.

Server Restart

I'm going to do a server restart in two hours. It will be down for about 4 minutes of so. Sorry about that.

[update: done. nothing to see here folks..go home]

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day in the U.S.A.

It's the U.S. Election and people are talking:

Devrim: "Bush is the anti-Christ and I don't subscribe to the "anyone but Bush in DC" rhetoric. Those who choose the lesser evil forget quickly they chose evil. At the end of the day, a change of the ruler of state is nothing more than a change of name for the poor."

COTU: "If we only voted for the "ideal" candidate, we could never vote at all. It is your privelege and duty to choose the best option, the candidate that shares more of your ideals as opposed to the one that is 100% ideal. Inaction only leads to decay."

Marianne: "i just voted in my first presidential election. now i will have my eyes glued to cspan for the rest of the day. no, actually im volunteering for ACT (americans coming together) to go door to door reminding registered voters to vote. of course they stuck me out in the middle of farm land, where i will be dodging livestock to get to peoples doorsteps. (deliverance, anyone) but hey, EVERY vote counts. so get out there, i dont care if its raining."

Holly: "This is how YOU make a difference- the future is now- and the next 4 years of our country depends on you!!! Make sure you are well informed!"

Cat (me): "If you don't take the time to weigh in and have your voice heard when you have the opportunity, don't bother whining about US foreign policy, the economy or the White House for the next FOUR years."

What do you think? What are you going to do? Get an opinion.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Troubleshooting nomadlife

A few blogs are having some technical difficulties. The blogs for Celeste, Maria, Ying and Jimmah still show the Orange Slices. If you are having problems odds are you haven't transfered your files. If you need help please contact Dody's tech support.

Additionally the Tee's blog is not showing any of her pictures since she's joined nomadlife. If anyone knows why the pictures are not showing please post it on wiki or as a comment on her blog.