Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Islamic Banking

After that last few days of subzero temperatures here in Michigan I have started considering the option of ..... YES, a car. I came across this Reuters story as I was researching interest free loan options in the US. Sharia law (islamic religious law) has a set of principles dealing with how muslims should conduct their daily transactions. Especially interest or charing a fee for the use of someone's money is prohibited. Muslim banks also don't invest in businesses that sell haram products or services. 
I was totally shocked to see how many islamic banking institutions are available to US citizens. For auto loans they have a Lease-to-Purchase model. Instead of interest on the principal borrowed amount they just charge a set fee for the loan. I have a lot more research to do but this is such a great facility.

VIA Wikipedia & Reuters

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Video Killed the Radio Star

I was on the road for most of yesterday, so I kept myself entertained listening to the radio. Many of you probably know that the superbowl was yesterday and I remember one of the DJs asking listeners to call in if they are not planning on watching the super bowl. She said "How could you be doing ANYTHING else!". When I moved to America, it took me a while to understand American craze for football. I am still not a devoted fan but it is definitely fun to watch the big games.
Even the president of our graduate student organization had a departmental superbowl party. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it but there was no way I was going to miss out on the fun. I listened to the first quarter and then the last 1 minute of the game on the radio. The commentators did such an incredible job at keeping the game alive. In a the world of iPhones, 3lb laptops, digital cameras, instant gratification and immediate access to information, it is a tough job to paint such perfect pictures of the game. Thanks to the radio everything for the coin toss to the final moments of the game were exciting.

Thank you radio, I still love you.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Letting go

About three months ago, I put the key in my car ignition just like any other day and zipped across the state to visit friends in Detroit.  On that drive, I specifically remember thinking about how much I loved that car. It was a 1995 Buick LeSabre and it drove as if War wrote  "lowrider" just for her. That night the unthinkable happened and someone stole my beloved Buick. The Detroit Police seems so sure they would find it but it has been months now and still no recovery. My lifestyle hasn't changed much, except for the fact that I can't make any spontaneous trips. I have been biking just a little bit more and life is good. 
So last night I finally took the Buick keys off my key chain. I think it is time to move on. These last few months have made me realize that it is not so bad to live car free. Of course, once in a while I need to rent a car to get around but otherwise it has been great.