Archive | November, 2011
Aside

Better Gmail signature lines

30 Nov

I recently added a signature line to my emails. Usually I dislike signature lines — the misattributed  inspirational quotes, the sudden 16 point Comic Sans. But I realized how much I appreciate having all of a person’s contact information attached to their emails, particularly when I can search archived conversations in Gmail. Plus, I figured the more people who know I’m a public policy major, the more chances for awesome jobs I have.

I noticed, however, that when I was exchanging emails with people, the bottom of our conversation was cluttered with my phone number, major and graduation year. Over and over. I looked like a pompous jerk. A pompous jerk who couldn’t use email.

Luckily, Keith C. and Dave C. have created  a Gmail add-on that solves exactly this called “Signature Tweaks.” Check it out in the Labs.

For this and more small ways to make a Gmail signature line that doesn’t suck, check out this Mashable article.

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Aside

Toning down your digital rhetoric in one simple step!

29 Nov

Have you ever started writing a concerned email, but realized YOU JUST SEEMED ANGRY?

Have you ever started writing a YouTube comment, but realized it didn’t convey exactly HOW FREAKIN’ CUTE THIS KITTEN IS?

Today I learned that highlighting text and hitting shift+F3 will switch text from ALL CAPS YELLING to reasonable, friendly lower case.

HOW COOL IS THAT!

Er, I mean, how cool is that?

US-made tear gas in Egypt

27 Nov

I woke up to an email today reminding me that Egyptians are being killed by tear gas made in the US:

Tens have fallen dead only last week. Some of them were shot dead. But many others suffocated to death due to the use of that particular gas, that was not used during the 18 days of the first wave of the Egyptian Revolution in January and February. It’s a new lethal gas, the effects of which exacerbated by the fact that some of the canisters used had already expired.

One of the people dying from the gas was a 27-year old female doctor who was a volunteer at the field hospitals in Tahrir square. She was moving medical supplies between two of the field hospitals (the one hosted by a mosque and the other by a church) that are completely operated by volunteer doctors. Tear gas was shot at the clinic and she died due to suffocation and convulsions. This is how
brutal, inhumane and completely insane the use of this gas was.

Not only are the protesters attacked, but the security forces want to make sure that the injured cannot get help easily, if at all. Although the American empire might not be held responsible for the inhumane use of that gas, as if there is a humane alternative and if  only morality can trump capitalism and America can stop exporting their war-machine to the world, it is an American company that sold that particular tear gas to the Egyptian military perhaps also with American Aid money, how charitable!

I urge you as people with integrity to complain about that company in whatever capacity you can…all of you can cause
them a huge inconvenience when they get letters of complaint from American citizens, not us dogs and scum of the earth outside American borders.

I urge you to please, in the name of anything that matters, to take action and make your voice against this heard.

The kind of gas being talked about is CR gas which, among other horrific things, can “melt” your skin if it comes in contact with sweat, and causes severe pulmonary damage. Of the three or four kinds of gas canisters being used against Egyptian protesters, CR is the most dangerous. The reason doctors suspect it is CR gas being used now because protesters are suffering convulsions.

The company that produces these gas canisters is Combined Tactical Systems, Inc. of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. Unsurprisingly, they
have some pretty negative Yelp reviews. Their URL is www.less-lethal.com. Exactly what is more lethal than nerve gas is left to the visitor’s imagination.Luckily, CTS has included their contact information on every canister, so once your vision clears and you stop shaking, you can let them know what you think. You can reach them at:

388 Kinsman Rd

Jamestown, PA 16134

(724) 932-2177

Here’s a petition to sign, if you like other people to write your speeches.

And remember, Egypt isn’t the only place these gases are used and misused. Israel also uses CTS produces against protesters in Palestine. In fact, there’s been an Israeli flag flying above CTS headquarters. And again, it could well be that US aid money is being used to purchase CTS products. Your tax dollars at work!

You can also e-mail the CEO of Combined Systems Inc (CTS’ parent company) and the US State Department here.

Swords you can turn into ploughshares. Pepper spray — well, it’s not a food product, essentially, but I suppose you might need to fend off a bear someday. But nerve gas? Sometimes it just boggles the mind that humankind decided to invent nerve gas.