Sophie’s here!

Exactly one week ago at this very hour, our daughter Sophie was born into this great big world of ours. We’re so thrilled to have her. She’s a joy to behold and a joy to be with: peaceful and lovely, an enchanting little angel. We were a couple before and now we’re a family. And I’m a daddy, which is a notion that still floors me.

The best part is that Ligia and I both wanted a daughter. To make it even more interesting, we kept the gender a secret from ourselves till the very climactic end, when the midwife set the freshly born Sophie on Ligia’s chest and we learned that our wish had been granted.

A folding, fully electric city car

Hiriko is the name of this new foldable ultra-compact car, which is great for cramped city driving (and parking). It can turn sideways and fold upwards, reducing its wheelbase and allowing it to squeeze into spots where normal cars just can’t go. And it’s also 100% electric. From the videos (posted below) I can see a solar panel on the roof, meaning it’ll be able to charge at least partially while you’re on the go. Other details are hard to come by on their website (can’t find the specs), but I do know that it’ll go on sale next year for 12,700 Euro.

Via MediaFax

YouTube and WordPress update oEmbed player to include CC button

This is big news for those of us providing captions or subtitles for the videos published on YouTube. I noticed today that the oEmbed video player for YouTube videos, the one used for all WordPress blogs, has been updated to include the CC button. It didn’t have it the last time I checked, which was yesterday. My site subscribers would always ask me where the CC button was, and how to see the subtitles, and I had to tell them to go see the video directly on YouTube if they wanted subtitles, which was a bit of a chore, and it certainly didn’t make things obvious and easy for folks who were using that feature for the first time.

Well, I’m glad to announce that from now on, you’ll be able to turn video subtitles on or off right here, on my website, and for those videos of mine where I’m providing two separate subtitles tracks, you’ll be able to switch between them as well.

I can’t tell you enough how pleased I am about this. For someone like me, who produces video shows for international audiences, YouTube’s CC feature is key, and the ability to control subtitles from within the oEmbed player used on my websites is key as well. So I’d like to thank both WordPress and YouTube for updating the video player and for making my life easier!

Romania Through Their Eyes featured on TVR International (again)

My show, Romania Through Their Eyes, was featured a second time on TVR International this past weekend, on a news program hosted by Horia Grusca, called “Romania in Vazul Lumii” (March 19th, 2011 edition). You can watch the archived show online. The segment where my show is presented starts at minute 13:14 and ends at minute 22:23.

If you haven’t yet seen the first two episodes in full length, you may do so as well, on my YouTube channel, in HD, with English or Romanian subtitles (click on the CC button to select your language).

A friendly reminder that I created a Facebook page for the show, so head on over and give it a Like if you want to be kept up to date with what’s going on.

Many thanks to Mr. Horia Grusca!

Romania Through Their Eyes featured on TVR International

My show, Romania Through Their Eyes, was featured on TVR International this morning, on a news program hosted by Horia Grusca, called “Romania in Vazul Lumii” (March 12th, 2011 edition). You can watch the archived show online. The segment where my show is presented starts at minute 14:05 and ends at minute 21:02.

And, if you haven’t yet seen the first two episodes in full length, you may do so as well, on my YouTube channel, in HD, with English or Romanian subtitles (click on the CC button to select your language).

This week’s edition of “Romania in Vazul Lumii” will be aired again on TVRi, tomorrow (Sunday) at 7:30 pm, and Monday at 6:30 am. If I understood Mr. Grusca correctly, segments from my second episode of Romania Through Their Eyes will be shown during next week’s edition of “Romania in Vazul Lumii”, so stay tuned for that as well.

Many thanks to Mr. Horia Grusca, and to the incredibly nice person who made him aware of my show!

By the way, I created a Facebook page for the show, so head on over and give it a Like if you want to be kept up to date with what’s going on.

Romania in Vazul Lumii cu Horia Grusca

 

My thoughts on the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan

We’ve all seen photos and videos of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunamis that have devastated Japan. My heart goes out to them. I hope as few people as possible died, and they recover as quickly as possible from this tragedy.

What bothers me more than the event itself is the unfeeling coverage of the event, exemplified by this video from CNN, which I can’t even embed here, because of their crass commercialism during a disaster.

There were people clearly dying under their very eyes, their cars engulfed by the tsunami wave, yet the two reporters covering it were blabbering on about how difficult it is to escape the wave, and what its speed might have been. This, more than anything, exemplifies what I hate about today’s news coverage, and why I seldom watch news on TV.

It’s that, and the endless pundit parade that goes on for days after something like this. All the old bags start foaming at the mouth thinking about appearance fees, dust off their suits, powder their rotten faces, and instruct their agents to start booking them anywhere they can go. Once on camera, they’ll spout off about anything, trying to look caring, slowly killing the viewers’ brain cells, one by one, with tripe and nonsense about what might happen or could happen. Meanwhile, the news stations will re-run the same clips, over and over, hour after hour, milking every second of coverage until it’s bone dry. It’s disgusting.

Want to read something worthwhile about the Japanese during this time of crisis? Don’t bother with the TV. Read this article by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, then imagine them at work, rebuilding their communities. It’ll be a far better image than what you’ll find on TV.

For example, you can see their “gaman” at work in this video. Even during the earthquake’s aftershocks are threatening to topple store shelves somewhere in Japan, they’re busy propping them up and have already started to clean up the store.

I’d like to wish them a heartfelt “ganbatte kudasai”!

Ligia’s Kitchen: Avocado and Red Cabbage Salad

My wife and I are raw vegans. We eat a 60-75% raw vegan diet, supplemented with some cooked foods. The recommended ratio is 75% raw / 25% cooked.

We’ve been planning these past several months to put together a raw vegan cooking show, which will show people how to change their diets and lifestyles so they can live longer, healthier, more peaceful lives. Today, I’m happy to say it’s become a reality. Ligia’s new show, entitled “Ligia’s Kitchen“, is live!

This summer, we renovated the spaces where we film the show, I built the new kitchen furniture (more on that later), and last week, we were finally able to start filming. Here’s the first episode, just released today.

We’re filming and releasing in HD, which should really help you see what Ligia’s doing as she prepares each recipe. Even though the show’s in Romanian, we’re providing English subtitles for everyone who speaks it (which should be a LOT of people). If there’s enough demand for another language, we’ll do our best to provide subtitles for it as well.

Enjoy!

LK-001-RO-HD
Released 12/15/10