UCF A Cappella

UCF’s nascent a cappella student group Contemporary A Cappella (CAC) recently invited me to become their faculty/staff advisor, and I’m delighted to join them. The group includes a men’s ensemble, a women’s ensemble, and a women’s barbershoppy group. They’ve also had fits and starts with a mixed group. As elsewhere in the collegiate a cappella movement, they concentrate on contemporary pop songs, use a lot of vocal percusion and beat boxing, while emulating modern instrumental accompanyment.

This coming weekend, they are hosting a Florida mini-conference with groups from other colleges and universities, and saturday evening there will be a show on the UCF campus at 7pm. Some group photos here.


The UCF campus at nightEarly wednesday morning I did my normal 5K on the treadmill, then started a sunrise to sunset ramadan fast (no food or liquids).

In the evening, Hiba (who has been fasting most of the last month) and I went to a iftar dinner “fast-a-thon” hosted by UCF’s Muslim Student Association. They specifically invited non-muslims who were willing to participate in the fasting to join. There was a good turnout filling a ballroom on the UCF campus. The vast majority were muslim students, and they ate segregated by gender. They also prayed together prior to the meal in the customary manner facing mecca with the ritual kneeling and prostration. An Iman cleric sung prayers in arabic. It was all a very worthwhile and moving experience, particularily in the act of breaking my fast in the traditional manner with a date and a cup of water in that shared environment. That was memorable.

The subsequent food that was served was pretty good too, but then I was really really hungry!


I had not heard of this campaign…its funded by a soap manufacturer and it appears to be about supporting girls’ self esteem.   They’ve got a great video right on their homepage on the manipulations that go into creating a model beauty.  Pay close attention to the photoshop tricks at the end!  Here’s a quicktime version you can start and stop.

thanks boing boing.

Florida’s first fairy festival

This weekend we’re heading to S. Florida for a couple nights stay at a state park. Its 3 dads and 8 kids-teens. Maybe we’ll stop in at the Tropical Fairy Festival, a celebration of nature, mind, body and soul. With a costume contest! With magickal (sic) fairy games, “yoga fairy flyers”, greenmen (pictured right), and other performers with a “fairy flair”.