Of Google street view, and brown paperbags

Published June 02, 2007 · Estimated reading time: 4 minutes · Share your thoughts
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If you haven’t heard about this already you will definitely will within the next few days. The past few weeks Google has been unrolling new technology left and right. The most exciting debute, though, belongs to Street View, part of the Google maps suit, and something which will likely be integrated into Google Earth soon. The name of the feature is pretty self-explanatory. Essentially by selecting “street view” on the map, you are given the option to zoom in to one of several cities (currently the feature is available for five cities in the US) and take a ride in the streets, viewing a 360° view of your selected location.

This has been done in the past, both by private and governmental organizations and the pictures are readily available online if you look hard enough for them. Google itself, in fact, has contracted several companies specializing in street photography. (View some of their work) However, what I think is exciting about Google integerating this feature into their service is thier ability to take a currently existing technology, take it to the next level, and make it available to the mass population. Additionally, I think that being able to view the world on the street level in Google maps and Earth was an inevitable next step.
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Permanent linkMarzieh Ghiasi

Inheritors of Fear

Published June 02, 2007 · Estimated reading time: 9 minutes · One response so far
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This is a peice I wrote about 4 years ago (10th grade) about a book that remains one of my favorites, and a subject that I sill find intriguing.

Cry, the Beloved CountryThe twentieth century will be marked in history for its many civil rights movements, none of which was more tremendous than the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. Alan Paton was an author and a political activist who created the South African Liberal Party, and who would later become one of the most prominent voices of opposition to apartheid; the South African government’s policy of racial segregation and discrimination against the black majority population of the country.

Born to a white farming family in South Africa in early twentieth century, Paton grew sympathetic to the anti- apartheid cause as he watched first hand a socially frayed country where “fear loomed over everything.”1 Throughout his life, Paton published his views on apartheid, crime, and justice in South Africa in a body of works, of which the novel Cry, the Beloved Country would become the most renowned. Thought by many as the initial and the most compelling novel to emerge out of the crises in South Africa; Cry, the Beloved Country brought into spotlight the problems that plagued Africa’s southern tip, and set a precedent for other critical South African pieces of literature that would later surface.

In Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton deals with three different accounts, one of the land of South Africa and the great tribes that once presided across its plains; another of the search of a father, Stephen Kumalo, an old rural black minister for his son Absalom in a large corrupt city; and finally an old rural white man, James Jarvis’s confrontation with the loss of his son. The story combines all of these elements to illustrate a glimpse into, and an explanation for, the condition of South Africa during the 1940’s and beyond.
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Permanent linkMarzieh Ghiasi