While going through Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" I noticed in Act 3, Scene2  this little speech from Robin Goodfellow:

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shine's Aurora's harbinger,

At whose approach, ghosts wand'ring here and there

Troop home to churchyards. Damned spirits all,

That in crossways and floods have burial.

The play is supposed to be set in ancient Athens, but, of course, it's not. It's interesting that Shakespeare has knowledge of the practice of burying suicides in crossroads. Crossroads as liminal areas, places betwixt and between, places of filth and dirt, have a long, long history.

Images courtesy of Martin Liebermann:".




US Domestic Surveillance is Enough to Make China Blush

The revelations this past weekend concerning the extent of the NSA's abilities have been disturbing to say the least (ProPublica, The Guardian, NY Times). On top of its ability to record massive amounts of internet traffic for its own review, new reports indicate the government has, for at least the past decade, paid companies covertly for privileged "backdoor access" into their systems and encryption standards. In practice, this means secure communications with banks, email, and other websites are all likely easily readable by the NSA, and many or all commercial encryption products do not protect against government eyes. While this possibility has been known for some time and asserted by many conspiracy theorists, these reports present credible evidence that the NSA actually engages in this behavior.

A&S Momentum - Our Digital Imprint

Over the past two decades, information technology has revolutionized our world and our work, as small, fast, cheap and interconnected digital devices make previously unimagined innovations possible.

Summer is nothing but 123 doors to open…

There are many things under the sun that a young and outgoing college student can do during the summer: lie out at the beach, go to concerts, sleep, go dancing, and sleep.

Summer Courses!

As every summer starts approaching I always wonder to myself, should I take an online class? The answer to that this summer is YES! In fact I will be taking two summer courses, both of which will be online.  This year A&S has made it really easy to see all the courses that are being offered over the summer and they have even color coded them to help make your search easier.  You can filter the courses by sessions, a selected list of courses such as A&S humanities or you can just browse the entire catalogue to find something that you might be interested in taking.  This year A&S has made it really easy to find all the courses being offered and I would encourage you to check it out and take a class (or two)!

Financial Aid & FAFSA


The original plan was for me to discuss tips in avoiding sickness during the 1st winter weeks back at school, but I think WebMD and other sites have babbled enough on this topic. Instead, I wanted to share and perhaps get some advice on a proper timetable and action plan for financing my future academic year in the fall.

For those that are dependent in funding from sources besides your parents, I highly recommend looking into your next semester ASAP in the following ways:

My Winter Intercession Experience


Over the break, I had taken an online winter intercession Course (STA 210), this course was designed to be a semester long course but was jam-packed into 9 days.  Since I am still on USP I needed this class to fulfill my requirements and graduate but it was not one that I wanted to spend an entire semester doing.

While I was thinking I was doing the smart thing by cramming it all into just over a week long course, it was difficult to do.  First because I was out of town for the first week of the class and it was difficult to stay motivated to complete all the assignments every day but second because there was so much information being thrown at you at once it was easy to rush through the assignments to get them done.  This was my approach to the class and while I felt great that I had completed all my assignments and did well in the course, at the end I felt as though I had not learned much from the course.

Canvas VS Blackboard

I have been taking ITIQ Web Publishing (A&S 100-205) which uses Canvas a system that is similar to Blackboard but in my opinion it functions much better.  One of the first things that I noticed about Canvas was that the login page took you straight to your course, where BB (Blackboard) takes you to another landing page where you have to select your course from a list.  Another thing that Canvas does better than BB was the way that you can switch between courses, there is a drop down at the top of the page that you just select a different course.  This is much better than having to go back to the BB landing page, wait for it to load and then select another course from the list. 

Canvas is much faster and everything on a page loads very quickly.  There are two sections on the BB landing page that I don’t know what they are about because they never load, which doesn’t matter because all I want are my courses anyways. 


This weekend a couple local friends and I drove out to Burana Tower, a former minaret in a town called Tokmok, about an hour by car outside the capital Bishkek. The minaret, along with mausoleums, grave markers, and castle remnants, is all that remains of a 9th century town in Kyrgyzstan’s Chui Valley. As usual in such a diverse country, Burana Tower makes for a fascinating and beautiful scene. The brick minaret and its winding staircase tower over the area, while grave markers resembling Easter Island statues are scattered throughout the valley. Yurts, the traditional form of Kyrgyz nomadic housing, are set up throughout the vicinity, and the ubiquitous snow-capped Kyrgyz mountains surround the entire valley. It was a fun trip with lots of adventures along the way, including asking a Tajik farm worker for directions, and stopping for кымыз, the traditional Kyrgyz refreshment made from fermented mare’s milk. All in all, a great way to spend a Sunday morning here in Киргизия.


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