Season of Migration to the North – Al-Tayyib Saleh

Season of Migration to the North

My rating: 3 3/4 out of 5

Season of Migration to the North is a mysterious novel by the well-known Sudanese writer, Al-Tayyib Saleh.

It was originally written in Arabic, but is translated into English and French (I read the English version).

It tells the tale of a young Sudanese man who had come back to his local village after spending seven years in England, studying poetry at a university there.

Among all the people who had greeted him, he spotted one, Mustafa Sa’eed, a stranger whom he did not know. All the villagers knew very little about him, only that he had a business in Khartoum.

One night, after the young man hears Mustafa narrating some English poetry when he was drunk, he grows more suspicious and curious about him until he urged Mustafa to tell him his true identity, which Mustafa had never told to anyone before.

It turns out that Mustafa Sa’eed was a brilliant student who was sent to England on a college scholarship, where he had complicated relationships with various women. Mustafa Sa’eed does not tell the young man his whole life story, but instead gives him a key to a ‘secret room’ in his house for the young man to explore and learn more about him.

After Mustafa Sa’eed unexpectedly dies, the young man opens his secret room to discover the past of the stranger who had settled in his village.

I enjoyed reading Season of Migration to the North, but I took pleasure in the little hilarious bits and dialogues more than the actual story. To be frank, I didn’t understand some parts of the novel, especially when the young man enters Mustafa’s room.

While Season of Migration to the North is more of a “Dorian Gray” ghostly novel, it depicts in depth what the Sudanese society was like in the past and how ignorant villagers used to think and treated their wives.

In 2001, Season of Migration to the North was selected as the most important Arab novel of the twentieth century. (Read more on BBC)

This is an enjoyable, entertaining novel that will cover some History, African studies and culture.

Read another review

Blogger names crisis

Before launching my new blog, The School Episode, which I’ve been thinking a lot about, I started brainstorming for a blog name. My dad suggested ‘nine’, which was great since I was a ninth grader, but when I typed it in it was already taken. I visited the blog called ‘nine’ to find only two posts made up of two sentences dated 2001.

I tried a dozen names including “Grade nine” and “class nine” but they were all taken and the funny thing was every single one of them was outdated and contained no more than two posts that were ‘tests’.

Even the names “yellow ochre”, “avocado” and “lime green” were taken and not even containing any useful posts or were outdated!

The Blogger team REALLY has to go over all the blogs in their database and delete the empty, outdated ones because it is completely unfair to be denied the blog name you want while some person made a new blog of that name years ago and got bored of it and just leaves it there.

I’m very lucky that my name isn’t very common otherwise the address would’ve been already taken.

The Blogger database must have millions of junk blogs that must be deleted.

Four BBC sites for young people

Here are 4 BBC sites I've discovered that you may like:

  1. Blast


    Blast is a BBC site for young people interested in art and design, dance, film, music, writing, games or fashion.

    Each category has a sub-site where you can discuss topics related to your interests, read about events, see submissions by other young people and submit your own, get advice from experts, download tools and lots more.

    It's a great place to explore and be inspired by other young people.

  2. Bloom
    Bloom, an interactive flash site, shows you how to "make smarter decisions about the things you can do to become more climate-friendly" by helping you find suitable actions depending on your lifestyle that make a difference in the environment.
    Each time you make an action, click on its seed and it'll bloom into a flower. The more environment-friendly actions you make, the more flowers will bloom in your garden. It's a great way to track your progress.
    Also, read facts, opinions and debates to see how much of a difference you're really making.
    learn more
  3. GCSE Bitesize

    If you're preparing for the IGCSE exam, then this is a highly recommended site for you. It has summaries and useful skills on all of the subjects of the exam including Spanish, physical education and ICT. Download free audio related to your subject and play games. It's easy to become a member and discuss subjects and experiences with other people. 
  4. Slink

    Slink is an online magazine for young teen girls where you'll find advice on everyday life, information, entertainment, health, games, fashion and beauty tips, and lots of other stuff.
    It's a fun and informative site to check out.

Free papers at

Have you ever needed graph paper for school or music paper?

If so, then you'll love, where you can download hundreds of detailed types of paper such as lined paper, dot paper, score sheets, hexagon graph paper and much more.

It is very simple to download papers: just click on the type of paper you want and it will be downloaded as a PDF document. Print the paper then use it!


Music Paper with ten staves on letter-sized paper in portrait orientation paper    Lined Paper narrow-ruled on letter-sized paper in portrait orientation paper   Law Ruled Paper paper    Graph Paper with four lines per inch on letter-sized paper paper
free music paper, lined paper grids etc...

The Sims 3 release date + Sims 3 Collector's Edition

The Sims Label has just announced the release date of The Sims 3, which is February 20, 2009.

"The Sims Label, will be available at retailers worldwide and available by digital download on February 20, 2009."

A limited 'The Sims 3 Collector's Edition' will also be available on the same date which will include the full game and other collectible goodies:

"The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition will include:

  • The Sims 3 Game for PC
  • The Sims Plumbob USB Drive with matching Green Carabiner
  • Exclusive In-Game Italian-Style Sports Car
  • Tips and hints guide
  • The Sims 3 Plumbob Stickers "

Sim fans will love this!

Read the press release

Don't forget to check out the official Sims 3 website for updates.

click here to read my other posts about The Sims 3

Related Posts

How to access blocked YouTube (without Proxy)

YouTube has been blocked in Sudan since July 22nd for various reasons. People using ISP of the national telecom for connectivity such as Sudani and Zain cannot access YouTube, but Canar Telecom users seem to have no problems accessing the site.

Blocking YouTube prevents people from expressing their opinion online, and not everybody visits YouTube to watch porn videos. Some visit it for educational purposes and for fun.

Here's the easiest way to access YouTube that a classmate told me:

Instead of typing on the address bar, type I think this is the local site for Canada. The videos stream well and I don't see any problems that way.

visit the links below to read more:

YouTube blocked in Sudan?

Group protests Sudan Telecom's YouTube blocking

The Film Club - David Gilmour

Title: The Film Club
Author: David Gilmour
Genre: non-fiction

Could you imagine a father who lets his teenage son drop out of school as long as he watches 3 movies a week?

That’s what David Gilmour, a re-married former film critic did. His 15-year old son, Jesse, a heavy smoker and drinker, is miserable at school; so one day his father asked him whether or not he wanted to go to school. After Jesse mentioned that he hates school, his father told him that he’ll let him quit school under those conditions: 1- That he watches 3 movies a week selected by him and 2- That he quits drugs.

As you read along, you’ll know what ups and downs occur in David and Jesse’s lives and what Jesse learns from watches over a hundred movies.

The 3 years of film school was a great moment for David and his son because teens don’t spend that much time with their fathers at that age.

The Film Club is a truly entertaining read that you’ll never get bored of. It is written as a memoir on the point of view of David, where he writes his observations on his son in a hilarious and amusing way.

David Gilmour, like any father, worries that whether letting his drop out of school is the right decision.

The Film Club is definitely a must-read that you will love.

Read about David and Jesse

NYTimes book review

The Sims 3 - A brand NEW website

EA Games has re-made the The Sims 3 website, with loads of stuff including wallpapers and buddy icons, a community section with a place to chat and read the blog, more pictures and deeper insights on the game!

You've got to see the screenshots!

Visit the website now

related posts:
Awesome Sims 3 facts
New pictures of The Sims 3!
The Sims 3

5 new websites + what's coming up

I've discovered 5 cool websites (including bogs) you might be interested in checking out:

  1. Disney updates: free song downloads, downloads of Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Hannah Montana, The JB Living the Dream, The Cheetah girls, HSM 3, Camp Rock, and lots of other episode downloads and pictures

  2. Episode Disney: new song downloads, Wizards of Waverly Place episode downloads, and other Disney downloads and stuff

  3. Connect with your teens through pop culture and technology: this is not a new site but it's updated regularly.  Here you'll find some updates about stuff teens are interested in: new movies, books, music, tech, news and also The Jonas Brothers

  4. Teen Reads: a website for young adults and teens who love to read: authors, interviews, recommendations, starting your own book club, and what's new in books and movies

  5. Adobe e-book mall: a page with links of e-book and e-magazine websites

Right now I'm reading the e-book The Film Club and I'm really enjoying it. A review will be coming soon.

Have fun! and for more links see my link list

Which is better: e-book or print?


There's a NY Times article called Online, R U Really Reading?, which centers around a 15-year old called Nadia who shows no interest in books whenever her mother takes her and her younger sister to the library. Instead, she prefers to to chat online, watch music videos on YouTube, and post and read stories on Quizilla and

The New Generation prefers reading online, which is either e-books or just doing stuff online.

With the Amazon Kindle, a device that lets you read e-books on it, people started focusing more on ebooks.

However, e-books haven't totally dominated the reading revolution.

If I had to choose between printed books and e-books, I'd go for printed books because they give you the 'feel' of reading: the cover illustration of the book, the type or glossiness of the paper and etc.

But because you cannot order books via Amazon from Sudan, I'm thankful for e-books and I've just created an account on

When reading an e-book, I think a laptop is more handy than a desktop, because you can read wherever you want on a laptop. A good screen is also essential.

On the other hand, reading a printed book doesn't require anything at all (except light if you're reading in the dark).

Regarding the NY Times article, I don't think that doing stuff online can actually replace reading even though whatever you're doing online you are being subjected to some text, because when you're not reading something online, you don't read as if you're reading a book: you skip long words and even whole phrases.

I also prefer reading books because since I spend most of my time in front of the screen, which isn't really good for your eyes, reading gives me some time off the screen. I've also read that by reading on screen too much you could have difficulty reading text on paper, so that why reading books makes a balance for me.

"But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. The Web inspires a teenager like Nadia, who might otherwise spend most of her leisure time watching television, to read and write".... that's also another point.

E-books can also be a solution for those who live in places where there are no bookstores in their area.

Also, after purchasing e-books online allows you to download the book immediately, but if you order a book the shipping might take some time. E-books are cheaper too.

Both e-books and books have advantages and disadvantages.

I think that after some time, e-books will replace printed books (just like ipods have replaced CDs and mp3s).

If U can't beat 'em, join 'em!

image credit:

Listen to Radio Disney on iTunes

Everybody loves Disney, so in this tutorial I'll show you how to listen to Radio Disney on iTunes, even if the iTunes store isn't available in your country.

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Click Radio
    Note: If Radio is not on the list, go to Edit - Preferences and check the Radio square

So, when the Radio screen appears, you'll see all the radio genres.

     3. Click on the arrow next to Pop

     4.  Scroll down to R and double-click on Radio Disney

Note: There's a station called DIS Radio, this is not the one

That's it! Now you can listen to Radio Disney!

Drag it to your favorite playlist so that you don't have to search for it next time.

If you have any questions please post a comment.

Radio Disney official website

A Little Bit Longer album review - The Jonas Brothers

Artist: The Jonas Brothers
Album: A Little Bit Longer
my rating: 5/5

If you're a fan of the Jonas Brothers, this album will not let you down.

The Jonas Brothers have put all their latest talents in this album, which is something completely different from their previous albums, Jonas Brothers and It's About Time.

Songs such as Video Girl, Burnin' up, Don't take my heart and put it on a Shelf, and Tonight are packed with energy and rhythm that will make want to sing and dance along. They'll "get you going crazy"!

The album cover is cool too.

The 3 brothers will rock your sox with their awesome guitar moves and Joe and Nick's breathtaking voices.

Kevin sings lead vocals in the song, "Sorry".

And of course our favorite, A Little Bit Longer,which is Nick's song where he plays the piano, is a single from the album.

Honestly, all of the songs from this album are in my "favorite songs" playlist.

If itunes is available in your country, do the Jonas Brothers a favor and don't download the leaked album. Appreciate all the hard work they've done.

If there's one album that you will buy this year, it should be this one.

Click here to listen to samples and buy the album.

Related Posts

Ratatouille (2007)


Directed by: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava (co-director)

Starring: Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Peter Sohn, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O'Toole

my rating: 5/5

Ratatouille is a Walt Disney Pixar animation that follows a story of a rat called Remy who dreams of becoming a chef and loves to enjoy the pleasure of well-prepared food, which is tough for a rat. Remy, unlike his dad, brothers, and the rest of the colony who eat garbage, tries his best to add flavor to his food.

He finds out that his idol, chef Gusteau has recently passed away after receiving a negative review of his cookbook and his restaurant by the difficult food critic, Ego.

As the rat colony has no choice but to flee after being discovered by an old woman, Remy gets separated from the colony and accidentally finds himself at his idol’s restaurant, which is now run by Skinner, the former assistant of Gusteau.

Linguini, a young adult who is having difficulty finding a job, comes to the restaurant and is hired by Skinner as a garbage man.
He has no cooking skills at all and as he spills a pot of soup by accident, he tries to cover it up by randomly adding ingredients. Before escaping from the restaurant, Remy is determined to fix the mess. Unfortunately, Skinner spots him and orders Linguini to get rid of the rat; however he couldn’t stop the soup from being served and is stunned when a critic praises the soup.

After much hesitation, Linguini decides not to kill Remy, who has just saved his job. They become friends and make a secret team: Remy hides inside Linguini’s chef hat, directing him in the kitchen like a puppet by pulling his hairs.

Adventure and drama take place as Remy reunites with his family, Linguini tries to conceal his secret and the ambitious Skinner hides Gusteau’s will after finding out that Linguini is Gusteau’s son.

The graphics are amazing, the story is creative and convincing and so are the characters and dialogue. The music is superb too.

This is a film that is packed with laughter and adventure, and I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it… the best animation I’ve ever seen yet!

Ratatouille has won an Oscar and several awards.

Visit the official website and buy the film.

High School Musical 3 trailer and website

Visit to watch the High School Musical 3 trailer and other videos, see pictures, read about the movie, download stuff and play games.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year is going to be shown in theatres October 24th.


High School Musical 3 website
High School Musical 3 soundtrack

Camp Rock (2008)


Camp Rock, which is supposed to be the next High School Musical, stars our favorite band, the Jonas Brothers, and Demi Lovato, a new rising star.

Mitchie (Demi Lovato) is a talented musician who’d love to go to a music summer camp called Camp Rock. Her mother can’t afford it, but she decides to do the catering there and will take Mitchie as long as she helps around in the kitchen.

At Camp Rock, Mitchie meets the “Queen bee”, Tess Tyler (who is also the camp diva), and her fellow bees, and in order to fit in with them, decides to hide her true identity and pretend to be one of them, dumping her friend Caitlyn.

Shane Gray is a popstar and a band member of Connect Three along with his mates Jason and Nate (Kevin and Nick). Because of his bad attitude, he is forced to instruct in dance classes for one month at Camp Rock.

When Shane hears Mitchie singing her song, This is me, by coincidence, it reminds him of how music used to motivate him. He becomes determined in finding out who the person singing the song was.

Shane soon becomes interested in Mitchie, not knowing that she was the one singing that song. This causes Tess the diva to become jealous. After discovering Mitchie’s real identity, Tess takes the advantage to humiliate her in front of Shane and the whole camp body.

Although the plot of Camp Rock was the same as any typical tween movie: When a cute talented girl gets attention from a boy, it causes the popular mean Plastic to become jealous and plot to ruin her life, it seemed more original and unique.

I thought the setting of the movie, which was a camp in the open woods, was really good because it gives you a spacious feeling.

The ending of Camp Rock was a copy of Raise your Voice (Hilary Duff), but it’s definitely better than High School Musical.

Demi and Joe Jonas have great voices and are much more talented than the stars of High School Musical. The songs This is me, Who will I be, and Gotta Find You are truly amazing.

The lesson behind Camp Rock is just be who you are and don’t hide your identity. It’s also about peer pressure and gives an insight on girl cliques and the whole popularity thing, like Mean Girls.

Apart from being great singers, The Jonas Brothers are great actors too.

Gary March, the Disney Channel World president, has confirmed that a script is being written for Camp Rock 2 (which is intended to be released on June 2009), including a special appearance from The Jonas Brothers’ youngest brother, Frankie!

Camp Rock is a pleasant family movie that you’ll enjoy watching.

Camp Rock official site
Camp Rock soundtrack site

Image credit:

Cool plug-ins for Windows Live Writer

windows live writer logo

Visit to download Windows Live Writer plug-ins and goodies such as inserting files, Digg, what you're listening to on itunes, facebook photos, emoticons, related posts and much more.

If you're using WLW, you've got to see this.

Visit the WLW plug-ins gallery

New to Blogging? (updated)


If you are a newbie at the blogosphere or you've recently created a blog, here are some tips and links (chosen by me) to help you get started in blogging:

What is a Blog?
Take the Blogger Tour
What is a Blog?

Blogging service
The most popular blogging services are Blogger and Wordpress.
Both are good services, but I personally prefer Blogger.

If you're a newbie and not into really into html, I highly recommend Blogger.

Also, if you want to host your blog on a custom domain, Blogger makes it much easier for you.

On the other hand, Wordpress has more options than Blogger, like creating pages and categories; but you can still do those on Blogger in some way.

Blogger and Wordpress comparison chart

There are great tutorials for Wordpress and Blogger on the web.
Here are the best Blogger tutorial sites I know: (tutorials and templates) (tutorials, widgets, templates)
Blogger's YouTube channel
Blogger Help center
Blogger Help group

How to add a category roll on your Blogger blog
How to add Digg to Blogger posts

If you are an absolute newbie, this video will show you how to create a blog with Blogger

Tutorials for hosting Blogger on a custom domain:

Set up your Blogger custom domain

custom domain questions on Blogger Help

How I set up my blogger custom domain

Video: Setting up a custom domain on blogger (shows you how to fill the Advanced Blog Setup form on Blogger)

A widget is an add-on for the sidebar of your blog that makes reading your blog more enjoyable.

It can show your recent viewers, comments and posts, most popular posts, and other fun stuff.
Feedjit offers free live traffic feed and page popularity widgets, and other widgets (you don't need to register)
Yahoo! Widgets have great widgets that require you to have a yahoo ID

Blog Post ideas
Tips for great blog posts or if you've run out of ideas for your next post:

Ten Tips for Writing a Blog Post
23 Great Ideas for Blog Posts
101 Blog Posting Ideas
Discover hundreds of post ideas for your blog with mind mapping
10 Killer Post Ideas

tip: Always update your blog frequently, because if people keep visiting you blog and not finding anything new, it gets disappointing and boring

Blogger Templates
Although Wordpress and Blogger offer some pre-made templates, you can download some from other websites, free and paid.
Warning: Some template websites can harm your computer
70 fresh and modern Blogger templates
50 more beautiful Blogger templates
Fresh blogger templates

Desktop applications for publishing posts
Whether you're on Blogger and Wordpress, this is something I highly recommend.
Don't publish your blog posts on that box offered on their websites. Windows Live Writer is a wonderful desktop application that allows you to publish and edit your blog posts, including inserting video, pictures and anything you want.

Also, Word 2007 allows you to create and publish your blog posts once you register your blog.

Read Publish your blog posts from Word 07 and WLW

Digg allows you to discover and share any kind of content on the web. All you have to do is submit it and if others like it, they'll digg it. Digg some of your posts and make a link to your blog on your profile to get more visitors on your blog. If they like your content, they'll digg it.
It's even easier to allow people to digg your content while they're on your blog; here's how.

I hope this helps. I will be updating this post every time I find good links.

The Secret


Author: Rhonda Byrne

I’ve heard about The Secret on Oprah. After some time I received it as a gift… Must be the “law of attraction”.

I must admit that the book looks very attractive. The Da Vinci style paper, the cursive font for the title, and the glossiness… It just looks gorgeous!

Within hours after being featured on Oprah, The Secret became a best-seller.

The book is based on The Law of Attraction; which states that your thoughts become things, whether they’re good thoughts or bad thoughts. That is why you should only think positively, because if you think negatively, you will be attracting the negative things that you’re thinking about.

By The Law of Attraction, you can get whatever you want in life: wealth, perfect health and weight, that car you dreamed of, a new home, friends.. anything… The 3 steps you have to follow are:

1) Ask for what you want

2) Believe that the thing is already yours

3) Receive: Pretend it’s in your hands right now. Feel about it the way you’d feel once it arrives

According to the book, legendary scientists and inventors such as Einstein, Shakespeare, Galileo, and Beethoven knew The Secret, which has been passed on through ages.

The author of the book, Rhonda Byrne, says she has found the century-old scraps of The Secret and with a group of experts, gathered and summarized them into this book.

The book includes quotes from experts and well-known people and miraculous stories regarding The Secret.

What I learned from this book was positive-thinking.

Most of the content of the book was unrealistic. It visualized the universe as a wonderful world and as if life’s so great and that you could “experience heaven in the world”. All you have to do is ask, and “your wish is under I-don’t-know-who’s command”.

In the book, the author stated that after discovering The Secret, she didn’t need to read any Newspapers or know what’s going on around the World.

The Secret gives you the impression that you can get whatever you want, even a million-dollar check, by just asking and imagining it’s there. And if you don’t get what you want, YOU are the one who’s doing something wrong.

I disagree with the statement that said you shouldn’t sacrifice anything and just put yourself first – ok - I do agree with “put yourself first”, but sacrificing is a personal value. Maybe you did it to save a life, like this story. You should think of others, and not only of yourself. The book also states that all you have to do is live the good joyous life and have nothing to worry about. You should do something to save some people that don’t get to live a great life.

The book states that you are actually God and you’ve created the Universe and you have the power to do anything to it…

I came across weird unbecoming things, like sticking a million dollar check that you made yourself on the ceiling and staring at it every day and saying “Thank you” a dozen times. This story reminded me of the Pet Rock. It’s something that you know isn’t realistic and you just insist on believing in it and if it happens you say it’s the Law of Attraction method.

Some of the stories were inspiring, but some were awkward… like this guy who visualized a feather with all its details in his head, then as he was walking he saw the exact same feather that was on his head in the street.

I think this book is kind if spiritual, not practical, and the method is not very convincing.

If you’d love to own an iphone, instead of visualizing yourself feeling one and pretending you already own one, as it’s going to appear in your mailbox tomorrow, save some money and go buy it.

I can’t even imagine why this book is called “The Secret”. It’s as if when you read this book, it’s a tablet to paradise or something similar…

I don’t think this book is a must-read. You really aren’t missing anything grand if you don’t read it.

The Secret is also available on DVD.

Visit the website


image credit:

The Jonas Brothers on Larry King - Canceled

Unfortunately, the JoBros can't make it to the Larry King Live show due to scheduling problems.

I hope they're going to reschedule...

Copy of jonas-brothers[1]

Awesome Sims 3 facts

Did you know that in The Sims 3 sims can brush their teeth?

Visit to read 3 pages of facts about all the aspects of The Sims 3.
This is a must-read if you're a Sims fan.

Here are some of them:

  • Young adult is the new default age and is changed to represent life between 18 and 30 years

  • Day/Night transitions over the town.. light changes and shadows move across the ground as the sun goes up/down

  • Teenagers sneak out at dusk and can be seen around town acting suspiciously

  • No Loading when changing Lots or families, as the simulator is running for all Sims, all the time

  • New timeline dragbar which is specific to a few interactions. This lets you control how long a Sim spends on certain tasks like sleeping, fishing etc…

  • Careers have more gameplay - No longer just sent to work - Can now decide how hard to work - You can choose a less stressful day but will gain less skill - You could sacrifice hard work for doing more socializing at the workplace

  • Brush teeth is back - Gives a "minty breath" moodlet

  • You can now choose shoes which will locked to your chosen outfits

  • Hair includes 4 layers: Roots, Base, Tips, Highlights. You can choose any color to apply to these 4 layers and can be saved as a preset

  • Stronger moodlets when eating or listening to a favorite

  • Athletic skills can help Sims stay fitter and even live longer

  • Water reflection and ripple effect


click here for more facts

Related Posts

New pictures of The Sims 3!

New Create-a-Sim pictures have been released on the Sims 3 website.








credit: &

Related Posts

The Foundation for a Better Life

for better life andre aggassi

The Foundation for a Better Life is a non-profit organization that promotes personal values such as honesty, responsibility etc. that benefit people and make the world a better place.

I found out about this organization after watching their moving ads on CNN, then I checked the site.

Visit to be inspired through stories, quotes and examples.

You do not have to register or login to become involved. Just be inspired through writing, graphics and videos and share your stories.

The Foundation for a Better Life is affiliated with The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, which encourages people to be kind and pass it on to others.

By making an effort to devote yourself to positive values you can make a difference.

Visit the Foundation for a Better Life website

Visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website

Shrek 4 and 5 in the making, (and Madagascar 2)


Remember the Green Ogre and his adventures in Far-Far Away?

The fourth installment of the movie animation Shrek, Shrek goes Fourth, is going to be released on May 2010.

Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg confirmed that there would be a fifth film too, which will be released in 2013.

Read more about Shrek 4 and 5.

Also, Madagascar: Escape Africa  is to be released on September 11, 2008. Visit the official site.

image credit:

Murder on the Orient Express


Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Detective Fiction
My rating: 5/5

In Murder on the Orient Express, a brutal killing takes place, the train is stuck in a snow bank and everybody is trapped.

Hercule Poirot is on the Orient Express on his way from Syria.

A man named Samuel Ratchett, comes up to the Belgian detective and asks him to work for him because his life is threatened, but Hercule refuses to take his case. The next morning, the man is found dead in his compartment, stabbed 12 times.

Poirot, his old friend M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine investigate the case.

Although the window of Mr. Ratchett’s compartment is open, there are no fingerprints on it. The murderer is inside the train, among all the 13 suspects.

After interviewing each of the suspects Poirot discovers that Mr. Rachett’s real name is Cascetti, the man responsible for the kidnapping and murder of a little girl named Daisy Armstrong, and that the suspects have a sort of connection with the Armstrong case.

He considers the bizarre clues (which lead to more than one killer) and triggers his little gray brain cells before exposing the mystery.

Was it an evil unjust murder or a justice-serving execution?

After reading this story, I found it very satisfying and intriguingly clever.

It’s a must-read!

image credit:

Isn’t The Sims 2 getting boring?

I've been playing The Sims 2 for about 3-4 years now. The last 2 years I used to play the game daily for up to nine hours, but now I hardly play the game at all.

The Sims 2 started becoming mind-numbing when I discovered all the cheats that get you more money without having to earn it, build skills by just dragging bars, and other cheats. That made the game unchallenging: build the perfect house for your Sims, get them a job even though they don't have to work, get married, have kids, get your kids to grow and make generations (some fires will occur during game play)… the end. It's getting unrealistic because you know that no surprises will arise in your Sims' lives. You actually control everything; if they die and you didn't want them to, just don't save the game.

I think people would've dumped the game long ago hadn't it been for the expansion packs. They do make the game more exciting.

That's why I really can't wait for The Sims 3; it'll be something completely different and new.

For those who don't know The Sims 2, read about it here.

The sequel for The Sims 2, The Sims 3, is coming out later this year.

Update: I've started reading Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie) yesterday and I've read have the book already. A review will be coming soon.

The Jonas Brothers new song - Tonight

jonas brothers tonight album cover

The Jonas Brothers have released a single, Tonight, from their new album A Little Bit Longer.

Tonight is available on iTunes, where it topped the charts.

It's a really catchy song!

Tonight lyrics

Blogs by kids

A list of good blogs by young bloggers:

KidReviewer (movies, books and games reviews by a kid)

The Writing Pages (About writing, books, authors, reviews, and other)

Delve into the Mind of a Budding Blogger (poems, stories, humor, mystery, fiction...)

Nicole Blogs (pets, music, movies, and t.v. shows)

Andi's Eye (stories and misc.)

Teen Baker (recipes from a 13 year old)

If you know a kid blog, don't hesitate to write a comment.

Publish your blog posts from WLW and Word 2007

Blogger has this place where you type your new post, which I really dislike because

1. it’s too small and you’ll have to keep on strolling down to continue typing your post

2. It’s on the web. When you want to insert a picture it takes a long time (especially if your internet connection is slow)

3. It doesn’t offer much formatting opportunities. There are very few fonts which you can’t choose from and other problems.

Microsoft has released Windows Live Writer (WLW), a desktop application that allows you to write and publish blog posts to your blog. It also allows you to embed videos, too.

It works with Wordpress, but when I tried to register my blog (on blogger), it didn’t work well and wouldn’t publish to my blog.

A lot of Blogger users have had problems with WLW.

Microsoft Office Word 2007 has made it possible to publish blog posts to your blog after you register your account (click new then blog post).

Yesterday was my lucky day because WLW worked by chance!

When I installed Word 2007… and wanted to register my blog (on Word) it said I had to verify my email (, and the problem was I couldn’t log in on that email.

I created a new free hotmail account and verified it, so I was able to set up my blog on Word.

I thought I’d give WLW another shot, and it worked!

If you’re a Blogger user or any other blogging service, I highly recommend that you try either Windows Live Writer or Word 2007.

They’re something everybody should use and will enhance your blogging experience.

Windows Live Writer website

The Windows Live Writer team blog

Help with Blogging in Word

Note: I’m publishing this post from Word.

Windows Live Writer