I’ve been looking forward to the Christmas season this year for quite some time because I’ve got something awesome to share with you. Last year, I posted the mp3s to my absolute favourite Christmas album of all time, Sunshine and Snowflakes, but I did it on December 23rd last year, which was a little late I suppose. This year, I want to make sure I blog about it well before Christmas. Besides, a lot of you weren’t regular readers of my blog back then, and so you might have missed it.
Sunshine and Snowflakes is great! It’s a choir of “40 kids singing at Christmas”, very upbeat and uptempo, and they sing the familiar carols with a twist, plus a bunch of originals. Do check it out. It came out as an LP in 1973 and has long since been out of print. So I digitized it and you can download the mp3s here.
Now I must admit that I’m very biased about this music because I grew up with it, but I’m not the only one. There are thousands out there, like me, who grew up with this music too. Some of them played it at home, some heard it at school or church, and many performed it when they were kids. I know this because they’re searching for the album online and they’re finding my post from last year. Check out the comments! They’re incredible. I’m bringing so much joy to people through this gesture, and I hope it continues. I’m even somebody’s hero!
So, if you’ve not done so already, head over to last year’s post and download the music. If it’s new to you and you like it, leave a comment. And post a link to the page on your blog or website. I’d appreciate that, and so would the people you help reunite to this beloved music.
To round out the story, a family-run business called Sweet Music that deals in out-of-print records and tapes of Christian music is, independently of my site, offering CD-Rs of Sunshine and Snowflakes for sale. The cool thing is that they’re based out of my hometown of Edmonton. Sweet!
Merry Christmas everyone. Share the joy!
CJSR, the community radio station from my hometown, is podcasting now. More specifically, it’s just the CJSR News Department that’s doing it.
Yeah, yeah, I know. News sounds really boring. But it really isn’t news—the word “news” is the wrong word. Really, what the News Department does is spoken word stuff, local happenings, interviews, lectures, and informative programming. So it has little to do with the “6 o’clock news”.
A lot of the programs are particular to Edmonton. But my favourite program, and the only one I regularly listen to, could easily entertain a global audience. It’s called “Radio Outpost” and it’s a travel show for budget travelers. Travel stories, travel documentaries, and travel tips. Check it out.
I also like “Youth Menace”, Canada’s only young offender/child welfare show, hosted by and for youth. It covers issues that touch a lot of people in our society, often the most forgotten.
There’s a whole lot more than these, so look around the site.
A nice feature is that the individual shows have RSS feeds so you can subscribe and have the shows automatically downloaded to your computer and put onto your mp3 player. The site also has an overall RSS feed that’s a bit hard to find, so here it is for your convenience. Rock on, CJSR!
RSS XML feed:
In a recent post, I pointed you to an article written by a paramedic couple that were trapped in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They were featured recently on This American Life. The episode is in the 2005 archives in Real Audio format, under episode number 296, entitled “After the Flood”.
It’s disturbing and angering, but there are great moments of true humanity as well. And we find out from another interviewee about the true mission of the “armed thugs” moving about the Convention Center. It is well worth listening to and spending some time contemplating.
Here’s a horrible account of two paramedics trapped in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and what they did to survive. Their greatest enemy ended up being the police who lied to them, stole their water and food, and fired their guns at them. Their summary:
Throughout, the official relief effort was callous, inept, and racist. There was more suffering than need be. Lives were lost that did not need to be lost.
Lance Anderson’s recent Verge of the Fringe stories are brewing with the brilliant series entitled “The Pakistan Files”. Download the mp3s and hear Lance tell the tale of “The Twin Towers, The FBI and Goofballs” that suddenly showed up in his life, and just as suddenly, disappeared. If it happened to him, maybe it could happen to any one of us…
- The Pakistan Files (Section 1) “Deep Background”
- The Pakistan Files (Section 2) “Blood on my Tracks”
- The Pakistan Files (Section 3) “The Obtuse Conspiracy Theory”
If you are interested in China and the Internet and censorship—all that’s been in the news lately—Radio Open Source has put together a panel of people discussing the issues in amazing depth and clarity. I highly recommend listening to this one. They do a much better job than I could ever do at explaining the intricacies of the Chinese modern culture and present political situation.
Wired News is carrying an excellent article about Isaac Mao, the Chinese über-blogger, and his views on how Microsoft’s MSN Spaces is sucking up to the Chinese government. Yes, everyone knows that Microsoft is a criminal organization (remember the anti-trust violations?), but sometimes we need to be reminded just how evil they really are. (Google is evil, too, remember, for sleeping with the Chinese government in the same way.)
If you know any Chinese who are interested in starting a blog, please encourage them to stay away from MSN Spaces.
The unfortunate news of the story, however, is in the last few paragraphs. They detail that the real problem with the Internet in China is not the ISPs’ or Microsoft’s censorship, but the apathy of China’s most wired citizens. For further reading, the following is a good editorial by Sascha Matuszak:
The title says it all: The religious right: An anti-American terrorist movement. It’s a very good essay that elucidates the extremism of the Religious Right movement in America. Most Christians that I know, including my family, do not hold such views consciously, but elements of their belief system overlap with such extreme ideas and can, in the extreme, be pushed in that direction. It was for this reason, I believe, that the framers of the U.S. constitution established a system that explicitly rejects a theocracy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be holding up very well in today’s America.
I just learned about the War Resisters Support Campaign and I signed their petition:
The War Resisters Support Campaign, a broad-based coalition of community organizations, has launched a petition aimed at Canada’s federal government to allow US war resisters who refuse to fight in Iraq to have refuge in Canada.
Initial signatories include June Callwood, David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Shirley Douglas, Naomi Klein, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Amir Khadir, Paul Cliche and M.G. Vassanji.
The Americans talk so much about Freedom, but they have so little of it left. So we, as Canadians, should remain true to our tradition and continue to share our Freedom with others. May the Canadian government have the wisdom and courage to stand up to the American government and welcome her refugees.