Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am Neda - The New Voice of Protest


Neda means “voice” in Persian.

The young woman who was shot and killed on June 20th this year during protests in Iran also has the same name.

The death of Neda Agha Soltan, 27, was captured in a mobile camera and the video has been viewed by millions through the internet and news channels.

Ironically after her voice has been silenced forever her name has become the voice of the pre-democracy movement in Teheran. She has become an iconic figure of the new protests that began after the elections held earlier this year, which detractors allege were rigged to keep Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in power.

Ever since the Islamic revolution in 1979 democracy has been bound and gagged in Iran. It is ironic that Ayatollah Khomeini, the first Supreme Leader, and now his successor Ali Khamenei proclaim themselves followers of Husayn Ibn Ali the grandson of Prophet Muhammed who lived in the seventh century and is revered by the Shiites as a martyr who fought tyranny. How paradoxical that the followers of one who proclaimed “I do not see death but as happiness, and living with tyrants but as sorrow” have tuned into tyrants themselves.

The Iranian Revolution was the first of its kind in the whole world that shocked the East and West alike. It laid down the foundations of the return of fundamentalism. But the people have now fed up of the Islamic rule although they are afraid to come out in the open about it. They believe the present administration is as corrupted as the old monarchy that preceded the Revolution. Indeed the Iranian people say about the revolution in so many words –“which promised us heaven, but... created a hell on earth”.

The younger generation, of people like Neda, find it "impossible to understand what their parents were so passionate about."

Shiites mourn the death of a person on the third, seventh and fortieth days. During the Islamic Revolution the commemoration of a protestor’s death on each of the mourning days sparked further protests and clashes with police, resulting in more deaths eventually whipping up a tornado of protests that finally resulted in the overthrowing of the US favoured monarchy under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Everywhere around the world people are watching to see if this cycle will repeat itself resulting in the end of the Islamic rule in Iran.

Protesters supporting the Iranian opposition in cities around the world now use pictures of Neda and carry banners declaring: "I am Neda."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Political Parties Inc.


“We proudly present before you our candidate from the Indian National Congress, sponsored by Anil Ambani and Reliance Petroleum Group. Vote for our champion of the downtrodden masses, soldier against corruption…. “

The Central Budget presented by Pranab Mukherjee had a proposal which has not been largely noticed or debated by the mainstream media.

The proposal was to allow cent per cent tax exemption for donations made to electoral trusts. The Finance Minister claims that this is with an intention to bring transparency in election funding of political parties. This, in fact, legalizes corporate funding of political parties.

No wonder the Media ignored the issue since, just like the politicians, they too depend on corporates for their funding and survival.

Now, of course, everyone gives donations to political parties. We, individuals, do. Petty shops and traders do. Students and teachers do. Corporates do.

Wait a second. Does that last group belong to the same category as the others?

I don’t think so.

Individuals can be muscled into making contributions. But it is not the same way with corporates. When corporates give contributions they have very clear agendas in mind. We all know that politicians already take kickbacks from big companies, but this proposal will make it legal bribing.

Unsurprisingly the Communist parties were the only ones to come out against this move, obviously since no Corporates notice them or pay them any money. Most of the other parties have whole heartedly welcomed the move.

I, for one, wouldn’t want my MLA or MP obeying the orders of Coca-Cola or Wal-Mart.

Would you?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Equality Before Security


Uproar has been created in the country over the issue of our dear former President APJ Abdul Kalam being frisked by the security staff of a foreign airline company at Delhi. At first my blood boiled too thinking of the arrogance of these stupid foreigners who don’t know how to behave to Indian people, disrespecting our leaders. Our dear Kalamji did not make any fuss at all as expected, being the good man he is, and refused to involve in any controversies.

But, on second thought, is there any wrong done here?

The government has issued a circular to airline companies stating who should be exempted from security checks. The list includes the President and former presidents along with the vice-presidents, the Prime Minister and all ministers and ministers of state; governors, chief ministers and deputy chief ministers of all states and union territories; Supreme Court justices and high court chief justices; cabinet secretary and chiefs of staff of the armed forces; and all members of the Sonia Gandhi family.

The Sonia Gandhi family?

Priyanka Gandhi – I can understand. She is our future Prime Minister, no doubt. And a very beautiful lady. But her husband Robert Vadhera too? I like Priyanka very much. She is very beautiful, almost just like her grandmother. As a patriotic Indian I wouldn’t let a foreigner security guard lay one hand on her. (By the way, did I mention how beautiful she is?) But her husband? I don’t know if he should be in the list.

Anyway the fact is both India and the US are facing severe terrorist threats. The US has succeeded in preventing further attacks after 9/11. But we in India have repeatedly failed in it. We had Kandahar, then again the Parliament attack, and then again still the more terrifying Bombay attack.

Are we giving undue respect to top politicians and bureaucrats? I think the answer is YES. President or Prime minister, Judge or army commander – if the common man has to suffer something, then they have to suffer it too. Whether it be security checks or standing in queues or waiting for the traffic signal.

Yes, I understand the security threat and Z category protection and all. But it is upto the leaders of this country to realize that the laws that they make and use to rule have to apply to everyone equally, including themselves.

If it is a matter of security to the nation – then there has to be no exceptions

Gays and Lesbians Are Human Too


“When two men lie together in lust, it is over indulgence. But when two men lie together in purity, they can perform wonders.” – Aristotle

The verdict by the Delhi High Court legalizing gay marriages is late by atleast half a century. Homosexuals have a right to live as any other human beings. That their sexual orientation is not ‘straight’ doesn’t mean they are criminals or sick. Just like any other couple, gay or lesbian couples base their relation not on sex, but on love. And love is never a crime. We have to recognize that this verdict doesn’t legalize child molestation and will not lead an increase in the number of sexual predators or pedophiles.We can also sincerely hope that such verdicts will help to bring the plight of sexual minorities (transsexuals) into the limelight and help them integrate into the mainstream society.

And most importantly this verdict is a slap in the face for the so-called custodians of the ‘great Indian culture’, whose sense of pseudo-morality and hypocrisy leads them to attack anyone who doesn’t conform to their code of behavior. Any man or woman who is of legal age can decide who he/she wants to love or marry. This is a great victory

for everyone who believes in the individual freedom of human beings,

for everyone who believes that our country must not be governed by pre –colonial era laws, and

for everyone who believes in true love, that transcends gender, colour, caste or religion.

This is a great victory for our country.

Glad to See Everyone is Toeing the Line


I have read many blogposts regarding CPI(M) issues and Lavalin. And glad to see everything is as expected.

Journalists, veteran or novices, are expected to portray Vijayan (Pinarayi Vijayan ) as corrupted because that is the norm. As far as i have heard more than the reports that have come in the papers or channels, my journalism teachers including, say that he is actually innocent. But the fashion is to say that he is corrupted.

Otherwise it means that we are part of a communist conspiracy. Half the people doesn't even know the facts of the real case. But it is fashionable to say that this man is corrupted. So everyone - toe the line - tries to be fashionable by saying that Pinarayi is corrupted; but stay way from real debates because then you may not have anything true to say.

So if you are a 'true' journalist read Mathrubhumi and Manorama and believe them. For me. i will take a risk and not believe them. Even if 99% of the media people say so, i don't care. I will make my own inferences after finding out the facts. I am no one's dog. And i don't need to believe the false truths.

So all the trainee journalists who read Manorama and watch India Vision and think that is the real world, i don't argue. But just please keep your eyes (and mind) open.

Believe Me - I Am Just An Ordinary Guy


I am a guy with long hair. I have been growing it for almost 2 years now. Do you know why I started it? For absolutely no reason! One fine day I just thought I am no longer going to cut it. That’s all.

What followed has been horrible. Jesus! All the accusations I had to bear. All the torturous questions. Comments. Ridiculing. Suspicions.

Mothers of friends no longer let me into their homes. Hell! Even my own mother refuses to let me in.

People classify me according to their own likes – artist, musician, poet, budhijeevi (jada), criminal, drug addict, womanizer and what not.

People! People! I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am just an ordinary guy. An ordinary, boring guy.

Long-haired guys have been too much stereotyped and victimized. So next time you see a long-haired guy, please please, don’t admire, suspect, or turn your back on him right away.

He might just happen to be an ordinary guy like you.

Kamala Das - (An Unnecessary) Tribute


How much personas can a human being possibly have?

Madhavikutty, Kamala Das, Amy, Kamala Suarayya. Each equally hated and loved. She was the eternal seeker of love. The most famous Indian English writer. Critics couldn’t categorize her and so they hated her for it. Most of the famous writers in India grudged her fame and they secretly hated her, the very same people must now be pouring out glowing tributes to her.

She was crazy, they said. She was a bad influence on the ‘pativratha’, the traditional Indian woman. What would happen if the women whose role in society was to stay in kitchens and prepare food and raise children were to go out in the streets and write about what happened in their bedrooms? She shocked the conservatives by writing her open feelings on love - what her mind searched and how her body felt.

“Gift him all,
Gift him what makes you woman,
The scent of
Long hair, the musk of sweat between
The breasts.
The warm shock of menstrual blood
And all your
Endless female hungers. Oh, yes,
Getting a man to love is easy but living
Without him afterwards may have to be faced.” (‘The Looking Glass’)

All her poems were on love. Robert Lowell once said “Kamala, all your poems are one poem”. Her autobiographical ‘My Story’ (1976) whipped up a hurricane in the Indian literary scene. She destroyed the image of what an Indian woman writer should be – built up by writers like Sarojini Naidu. Dr. Ayappa Panikker described her poetry as “the true voice of feeling.”

“It is I who laugh, it is I who make love
And then feel shame, it is I, dying
With a rattle in my throat. I am sinner,
I am saint. I am the beloved and the
Betrayed. I have no joys which are not yours, no
Aches which are not yours. I too call myself I.” (“Introduction”)

She would be the last person to approve of meaningless tributes. But then this is our (timid young men and women of the ‘modern’ generation) last chance to say so. We admire your decisions. We are awed and inspired by your poetry. We are boldened by your honesty. Your courage gives us strength to seek, to find, to write and, above all, to love.

With all the love in the world - Rest in peace.

Let History Judge Him


Another living legend is dead. Velupillai Prabhakaran. The name of terror that we grew up with. We were taught that he was a soldier, a brother, a leader. Then we were taught that he was a terrorist, a brute, a megalomaniac who loved to kill.

He stood up against the atrocities committed against the poorest of Tamils who had migrated to Sri Lanka to work in the plantations there. He took up arms when Tamilians were burnt alive in the streets of Colombo. He struck back when Sinhalese mobs dragged out and lynched Tamilians even from prisons. He became the beacon of hope for a people who were treated as sub –humans by the Sri Lankans.

He killed his own people who did not obey him. He rose to power by exterminating other Tamil leaders. He built one of the most ferocious organizations ever in the world -the LTTE. He was the founder of suicide attacks. Most countries even now classify LTTE as more dangerous than Al Qaeda as it is clear that Osama Bin Laden copied most of his terrorist actions from Prabhakaran. He is the only leader to have assassinated two world leaders in two different countries.

If he was a devil, was it because he had lived in hell?

Even as debates rage on who he really was and what effect his actions will have on future generations, the truth is that no one could ignore him. You had to stand for or against him.

Even as his bullet-ridden body is being identified, let us not be his judges; for only time shall tell whether his actions were right or wrong, whether he shall find his place among the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln or the likes of Hitler and Mussolini.

Let history be his judge.

Half-Full... Definitely


So the elections are over. The UPA has been voted back to power. In Kerala the UDF has scored a thumping victory over the LDF.

My opinion of the election? Perfect.

No matter what the critics or detractors say, the fact that the election process was completed without any notable glitches is an achievement in itself. The election process in India is the largest of any kind in the whole world. We are the largest democracy in the world and we have proved it to the world once again. Ignore the minor setbacks. We are still a fledgling nation just 60 years old. Compare that to the US which is 400 years old. Compare ourselves to the rest of the Third World countries – the Latin American countries, the African countries or even our neighbours like Pakistan, SriLanka, Nepal or Burma. The people who come to power here are the ones we elect to rule. Not military dictators or not puppet ministries (atleast not overtly).

Drawbacks? Definitely. 200 of our selected MP’s have criminal records. In a country where less than 2% of the population are millionaires, we have elected 200 MP’s who are crorepatis. And much more.

But still if you ask me if the glass is half-full or half-empty, I’d say it is definitely half-full.

Three cheers for democracy and our great nation!!!

From Dream to Nightmare: The American Tragedy


The shocking incident of a US based Malayalee killing five of his closest family members and then commiting suicide has sent shockwaves among Indians all over the world, especially expatriates. Where did the American Dream go wrong for this bright young engineer who has worked with software giants like Yahoo and Microsoft?

His family was the typical Indian family. Reserved, but jovial among friends. Economically secure.

This massacre has far-reaching consequences than just the personal losses of the families involved. The stereotype of the US Indian/Malayalee has been destroyed. Imagine the picture of a gun-totting malayalee. We are bright scientists, doctors accountants – submissive, docile and quiet. But not murderers, not mass killers. We weren’t, not until today. It would be easier to just pin the blame on the individual and dismiss the effect of social factors. But no longer. Everyone of us has friends or relatives living all over the world – in the US, UK, the Middle East. The indian diaspora is one of the largest in the world. We have depended on them for our survival, our economy. It is time we give them something back, give them the support they deserve. No longer see them as cows to milk. Study and analyse the problems they face.

"No man is an island, entire of itself;

Every man is a piece of the continent...

Each man's death diminishes me,

Because I am involved in mankind;

And therefore never send to know

For whom the bell tolls;

It tolls for thee." - (John Donne - For whom the Bell Tolls)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Amen Pope! But I think I’ll buy a condom anyway


The Pope has raised a furore by proclaiming that people should not use condoms. This is nothing new. The Vatican’s stated policy has always been against any form of birth control, since they believe that it is god who gives us children (pregnancy) so only he can decide who should get pregnant when and where.

The Pope’s comments have drawn angry reactions from health workers and governments who denounce it as irresponsible. Especially anti-AIDS workers say that it has been proved scientifically that the use of condoms help to prevent AIDS from spreading to a great extent. When the Pope, who is the Roman Catholic guy closest to a Roman Catholic god, makes a proclamation it could have far-reaching consequences.

Well at least I’m glad it was the Pope, not the head of any other religious sect like the Ayatollah Khomeini or the VHP chief, because any protest against their remarks would invite violent reactions. To tell the truth most of the Catholics I know go to church every Sunday but hardly care what is being preached. What they need to know about their faith is in the Bible and that is all that matters.

So anyway the condom companies need not panic or give away free condoms as everything will go on as before.

But seriously I think we should respect science as much as we respect religion. And I think we should not wait until Judgment Day to vote on whether what the Pope said was right. Lets say it now, with respect: “Amen Pope! But I think I’ll buy a condom anyway.”

My Dream for Posterity - On Exams


I hate examinations.

Exams always remind me of the fact that I’m not intelligent. Anyway not intelligent enough. I only have sporadic outbursts of intelligence… which are too insignificant to be counted on any scale. And that doesn’t help in exams.

Why do we even need exams?

I have a dream. [This speech is to be recorded and played on every Republic Day or Independence Day]

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out its true meaning without conducting any examinations.

I have a dream that one day on the green hills of Ponmudi the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood without being asked how much marks they scored in the exams.

I have a dream that one day the state of Kerala, a state sweltering with the heat of the sun, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice, where no exams are held.

I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the number of exams they have passed but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Palayam, little brown boys and brown girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers without having to write any exams.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when everyone, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Muslims will be able to join hands and sing, "Free at last! Free at last! No more exams! Thank God Almighty, no more exams! We are free at last!"

[Incidentally son of Martin Luther King, who gave the original “I have a dream” speech, is coming to Kerala today, the 23rd]

Present Continuous


Following is a conversation that took place between a student in our class [“C”] and our English teacher teaching tenses.

Teacher: Another e.g. for present continuous - C - are you reading a novel now?

C: Yes I am reading a novel now.

Teacher: Now? No you are not reading a novel now. You are sitting in the class now.

C: Oh! But I am reading a novel at home. So can I say I am reading a novel now?

Teacher: You cannot say you are reading a novel now but you can say you are reading a novel.

C: So I can say I’m reading a novel when I’m actually not reading a novel.

Teacher: But you are reading a novel?

C: No I’m sitting in the class now.

Teacher: No, I mean, not now, but you are reading a novel?

C: Yes I am reading a novel.

Teacher: So you can say that.

C: Say what?

Teacher: That you are reading a novel.

C: Now?

Teacher: No, not now.

C: You mean, I should not say ‘now’.

Teacher: Say what now?

C: Not say I’m reading a novel now.

Teacher: But you said you are reading a novel.

C: No…err…Yes.

Teacher: So now it’s ok?

C: ‘Now’ is ok?

Teacher: No! ‘Now’ is not ok.

C: Oh! Ok

Teacher: Let‘s go on to the next topic - the Simple Present. Any more doubts.

Hand goes up

Teacher: Yes?

C: So I can say I am reading a novel … even though I am not reading a novel … which means…

[By this time the rest of the class had entirely lost it and I happily fell asleep so I had no idea how it ended.]

Disaster at Pooja


This is a tragic story of unfathomable depths. Everyone please make sure you have a handkerchief to wipe your tears before you read on.

This is the story of how we lost a game of cricket and how the disaster changed our lives forever.

The year 2008. A bunch of guys working together at Cochin.

We registered for a cricket tournament being held at the famous Pooja Ground. 7-over matches.

None of us were professional cricketers but loved to play. So we got together a team of 11, 2 substitute players, a coach and a team manager (myself). We went and watched the other teams play and thought to ourself “This is going to be easy. We can win”. Like our captain said these guys were just striking the ball wildly and did not have the technical expertise.

We practised daily at our nearby school ground. Finally the big day arrived. Before that we had to decide on a name. Most of the other teams had silly, ordinary names like NCC or MCC[place name+Cricket Club]. We needed something grand and finally struck upon “SBL - THE BLACK AND WHITE STALLIONS”. In fact the commentator had to hand over the mike to one of us every time he had to announce the team name.

We lost the toss and had no idea it was just a sign of what was to come. They chose batting and we laughed at their foolishness. The first over was bowled by Sumodh, whose action often reminded us of a fighter plane firing missiles at the enemy. That day he chose to bowl after only a short run up. First mistake. It was only after the game did we realise that what made us afraid of his bowling was his run up and the expression on his face and that the ball itself was harmless.

The first ball went for a six. We shouted “Never mind”.

The second ball went for a six. We shouted “Never mind”.

The third ball went for a six. We knew we were in trouble.

When the guy who hit seven consecutive sixes became out, to a catch (which turned out to be the only catch we would take), we went wild with cheers.

The next guy who walked in hit 13 sixes - consecutively. Was some sort of a record at the ground, again which would only be the beginning of a lot of records.

We could only watch in anguish as balls disappeared into all corners of the stadium, some of them out of the stadium as even the organisers couldn’t keep up with the scoring. Finally when the massacre was over they had scored over 150 runs in 7 overs.

When our team walked out of the ground with drooping shoulders our coach had a brilliant idea and shouted “Great! So its a batting pitch. All the better for us”. Immediately the smiles returned and everyone’s confidence was restored.

The second innings began. Our star batsman Rocky was at the crease. We screamed for blood; “give them a taste of their own medicine” we shouted.
First ball. The cheers reached a crescendo. Rocky mightily swings his magic bat and…
He’s out.
Silence. Disbelief.
To make a long story short we didn’t hit a single six. We didn’t hit a single four. Hell We didn’t even get to hit the ball at all, I think. No we didn’t get all out. Only nine wickets fell. Pradeep top scored with 7 not out. We scored 23/9 in seven overs. Lost the game for 130 runs - the biggest margin in the tournament - the final record to break that day.

To say we ‘lost’ would be an understatement. We were a failure in batting, bowling and fielding - an utter disaster. The crowd made fun of us only at the beginning. Towards the end of the game even the rival team looked at us with pity and sympathy - which was even more unbearable.

While sleeping that night at around 2 am suddenly someone woke me up. I switched on the light and looked into the face of the captain.

“I will never play cricket again in my whole life” he said.

I sighed.
“Me too”

Day of Reckoning...WE NEED A WAR


Even while power hungry politicians are screaming for strong action against Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, social workers and the media have been cautioning against escalating the tension that could lead to war. But the fact is…we need a war!! No this is not anti-Pakistan or anti-Islam sentiment speaking, but my crystal-clear, rational mind. For heavens sake we need a war. Look around you, the corrupt politicians, the lazy bureaucrats – I tell you we need a war. If not against Pakistan, then we could fight America or bomb China or maybe even Scotland (I hear they are fierce warriors). We need a violent shake up. The strongest empires are those that were built on violence and washed with centuries of blood.

“Those who make peaceful changes impossible make bloody revolutions imperative”

Israel is bombing Palestine; in Sri Lanka the lions are fighting the tigers. What is the use of standing mutely? I mean the terrorists, from Pakistan, keep hitting us at regular intervals and all we do is express anguish, pain, protest, renounce, threaten, etc, etc. and then we get hit again. It’s not going to stop. So will a war bring peace? Maybe not. But then what difference will it make. Let everyone take up arms – let’s fight, lets spill some blood and guts. Maybe we will win and maybe we will lose. Its not about winning or losing. Its about living, and dying, with honour.

Remember “Permanent peace is never possible.”

New Year Resolutions

(07-01-2009) new year resolutions.

[Statutory Warning: i am just following a tradition and have absolutely no intention of following any of them.] So here goes:

1. Stop sleeping in office: Now that's easy. Pull out the air condition plug. no AC - hard to sleep. Last year my boss fell asleep trying to wake me up. It affects work - I mean his work.

2. Save money: Last week I opened my 6th bank account - and quickly withdrew all the money so it shows the same balance as the other five - zero.By the end of this year i'm going to have 6-digit figures in all of them.(This one has been on my list for the past 6 years)

3. Wear clean clothes: Since i'm a very, very handsome guy (naturally) a lot of people have commented on my dislike of personal hygiene. This year i'll wear only washed, ironed clothes - only branded ones (no more 3 shirts for Rs. 50).

4. Say "sorry": Learn to apologise. I mean, at present also I use the word but then i trip him down the stairs and then say sorry again. its more fun that way. (also take down their photos from the dart board).

5. Stop partying: that's the hardest one. i'm not going to any more rave, booze, beer, etc parties. I find that whenever i have a beer my bike also goes and gets drunk and it keeps falling down all the way home. I think if i quit maybe my bike will also quit.

There are plenty more to add but i guess thinking about these should keep me busy till December!!

The Third Eye


The symbol of the All-Seeing-Eye has always been part of Earth's creational mythologies and mysteries. As all of reality is a metaphor - there are many connected to the symbol of the eye.The third eye can see beyond the physical as it looks out through the chakrasystem when we meditate or look for answers from higher frequencies.

The 'third eye' can be activated to perceive higher dimensions.

'Third eye' development, imagination, and visualization are important ingredients in many methods to separate from the physical form. Intuition is also achieved through 'third eye' development. Knowledge and memory of the astral plane are not registered in full waking consciousness until the intuition becomes strong enough. Flashes of intuition come with increasing consistency as the 'third eye' as activated to a greater degree, through practice.

As the brain enters deeper states, our consciousness is less concerned with the physical state and our 'third eye' is active.

The pineal gland is occasionally associated with the sixth chakra (also called Ajna or the third eye chakra in yoga). It is believed by some to be a dormant organ that can be awakened to enable "telepathic" communication.

Welcome to the World of Blogs


Since the beginning of this century Blogs have been very popular throughout the planet. Blogging has turned out to be the easiest way to express and publish yourself. Here are some terms that are related to blogs:

* vlog - A blog comprising videos

* sketchblog - a site containing a portfolio of sketches

* photoblog - one comprising photos

* tumblelogs - Blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types

* Blogosphere - The collective community of all blogs

* blogroll - increasing popularity through affiliation

* Blogware - software specifically designed for creating and maintaining weblogs

* Moblog - combination of "mobile" and "blog". A blog featuring posts sent mainly by mobile phone, using SMS or MMS messages

* edublog - a blog written by someone with a stake in education

(these are only a few of the hundreds of blog-related terms - anyone is free to contribute some more)

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May of 1999.