Sunday, April 26, 2009
-> Architects have long intuited that the places we inhabit can affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Now behavioral scientists are giving their hunches an empirical basis.
-> Scientists are unearthing tantalizing clues about how to design spaces that promote creativity, keep students focused and alert, and lead to relaxation and social intimacy. The results inform architectural and design decisions such as the height of ceilings, the view from windows, the shape of furniture, and the type and intensity of lighting.
-> Such efforts are leading to cutting-edge projects such as residences for seniors with dementia in which the building itself is part of the treatment.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
1- What is 'Masser'? and what does it stands for if it's an acronym?
2- Why are we relying on a European architect when we have armies of local talents? (Henning-Larsen is a Danish firm, who'd designed the Copenhagen Opera House among other things.)
3- Why is a 'children discovery center' on display in a real-estate exhibition?
4- Okay, so the form is intriguing, but I am not sure if this is going to be the actual color. Sand is not always a celebration of an Arab identity, you know. And not all kids end up messing around with their sand toys in the beach-side.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
David Ben Gurion was a visionary, he brilliantly predicted that when Colonial Britain would pull out from Palestine, it will only be a matter of numbers; which of the two rival communities (Arabs and Jews) could mobilize enough fighters and weapons to take over the ensuing vacuum? He needed more numbers of his own; the emigrants will take of that. He also needed less numbers of the rival community, no probs, ethnic cleansing should take of that as well.
When the Jewish State was declared, and instantly recognized by whatever global power that mattered at that time, the Arab states were taken aback. They fought. Sent their fragmented armies to fight the daylight theft of land and the outrageous crime of displacement. Or to fight with no clear vision at all. They were defeated. And the rest is history.
Today, an ex bouncer is ensconced in the confines of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, a racist pig who at 2003 had offered to provide busses to transfer the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli dungeons to the dead sea, should the Israeli government agree to drown them there. Today, Arab farmlands are still being confiscated in the west bank to build homes to the Jewish settlers. Today, there is no hope in sight of a Palestinian state. Today, thousands of Gazan families are either still mourning their loved-ones, or living in cold tents as refugees for the Gazillion time. Today, there are millions of Palestinians scattered around the world with no hope of return. Today, there is a racist separation wall and there are racist and discriminatory policies against the indigenous population of Palestine. Today, there is the occupied Golan Height. Today, there is a water crisis in the west bank. Today, there is grief and sorrow everywhere in the Holy Land.
You have probably watched the speech of Ahmadinajad in the racism conference in Geneva. Man, it was a circus. Every other arsehole in the media is reporting the walk-out of the European delegates (which is totally unwarranted in my humble opinion, because it seems that Najad’s speech wasn’t dissimilar to what I stated above. So one should wonder what bug was up the European asses as they walked out). Very few talked about the protests of the supporters of LGBT groups at the beginning of his speech. The sad irony is, glass house and all that, Ahmadinajad, with all due respect, should have known better than to throw stones while he persecutes homosexuals and squashes dissent.
A guy walks up to the podium every other day, and he is required to impress the crowd. He needs to divert their anger somewhere else. And between the electioneering agenda and the chirping quality of the Persian language, one is obliged to wonder if he really is sincere. And even if I’m thinking that Palestine needs and deserves better advocates and protagonists than this, what am I doing about it?
What are any of the Arabs doing about it?
Today, he’s the only loud voice in the region. The Europeans will find reasons (hell, they will concoct them if they have to) to walk out of any conference. The Arabs are more or less silent. And the Palestinian people are left in limbo.
That's what's happening today.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Enjoy Syria Independence Day. With off peak rates, on all your mobile or fixed line calls, to family & friends in Syria, in addition to 50% discounton all SMS to Syria on April 17.
Come on guys, let's salute the flag!!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
An Architect is looking for an insurance company who is willing to offer him a Professional Indemnity Policy. The policy shall cover the architect against ALL the financial claims and professional consequences that might occur because of any screw-up he might perpetrate while operating on the Dubai Municipality Online Submission System. The nature of these screw-ups will be explained to the insurer in details upon contact. Other screw-ups may be unforeseen. He'd like to be covered against those too. He's ready to pay a premium of up to 500 DH per month. And the policy value shall not be less than 200,000 Dirhams per year. Interested parties may contact the undersigned.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Dubai: The world's first cloned camel has been born in Dubai.
The female calf, called Injaz (meaning achievement), was produced at the Camel Reproduction Centre (CRC) last Wednesday.
The team at the CRC, headed by Dr Lulu Skidmore and Dr Ali Redha, said Injaz was created from cumulus cells harvested from the ovary of a female adult camel, which were grown in culture before being frozen in liquid nitrogen.
I was pleasantly surprised to read this in the GN today. I've always thought that cloning was categorically prohibited in Islam. I then did some research and came across interesting Islamic Fatwas (edicts). Apparently, cloning animals and plants is alright. And it's even encouraged if it improves breeding and pedigrees. Under the following conditions:
1-There must be a real interest (or benefit) for Mankind out of this cloning, and not only a delusional pleasure [sic] for some of them.
2- The elements of corruption shouldn't surpass the benefits.
3- The process shouldn't cause any harm or pain for the animal, either on the long or the short term.
However, cloning of Humans is absolutely prohibited. Because, as the same article states, "God has created life on the basis of marriage, and that's why everything has a pair (or everything is paired-up). And cloning has many corrupting elements, and it's like altering God's creation".
The article goes on to list a few negative points (or elements of corruption) as the basis on which cloning of humans was inferred to be prohibited:
1- That God has created us on the basis of diversity. And cloning negates diversity. And for this the article asks "imagine a classroom full of cloned students, how does the teacher [assumingly not cloned himself] differentiate between one and the other? and how does a detective identify a criminal if all people were of the same build and had the same fingerprints? how does the husband differentiate between his wife and her clone? all aspects of life are going to get disrupted and confusion will prevail"
2- That cloning negates the concept of Pairing. Because God has created all living things in pairs.
3- By the virtue of its simple process, cloning doesn't depend on the mating of both sexes to propagate. And hence it's possible that a single gender could become self-reliant and clone its own members from itself forever. And the article states that one American woman had euphorically said after learning about this 'now we can rule the world!'. (is there an implicit admission on the part of the writer of the article that, yes indeed, it's the ability of men to produce semen that keeps this planet from getting controlled by women? :) )
OK. I am not going to argue with all that stated above. It actually makes lots of sense (regardless of whether you believe in the absoluteness and divinity of it or not).... But perhaps one could explain to me why cloning a camel isn't an interference in God's creation and cloning a man is? Perhaps one should also think of the biological diversity of animals and plants too? But there's a good point regarding the harms that could be inflected on the cloned person. How is he going to live? will he be able to develop his own identity? or will he ever be under the shadow of the person from whom he had been cloned?What do you guys think?!
P.S. I could imagine the bigots (you know the ones who're obsessed with the association between Arabs and camels), I could imagine them having a field day today. Conjuring up all kind of funny scenarios why Arabs are interested in cloning a camel (a female one, mind you), and not something else. To all those bigots I pre-emptively say: kindly STFU and stop making an ass of yourself. You're not even funny anymore.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
There are roughly three things that have changed the course of humanity as we know it: The death and resurrection of Jesus, the American Revolution, and the release of the 'Twilight' series. While the former two probably changed mankind for the better, the latter has literally devolved the human race into a stupid, illiterate, and tepid half-shell of our former selves (that sentence may be awkward, but I wanted to work in "half-shell" somewhere in one of my writings, and I couldn't find anywhere to do it in my paper on the educational systems of Horace Mann that I wrote last night).
For the three of you who don't know (and you're probably old, so you don't know anything anymore. Soon you'll forget that you even have arthritis, bringing the irony full circle), 'Twilight' is a series of poorly written books by Stephanie Meyer. The revolve around a girl named Bella Swan who falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen (played in the movie by Cedric Diggory, best known for his portrayal of Cedric Diggory in 'Harry Potter and the Chalice of Malice). That's it. That's the plot of the story. Girl falls in love with vampire. Six words, which sum up an entire series of literature.
If the fact that the books are terrible pieces of inane twee babble isn't enough for you,'Twilight' has spawned a legion of giggling, inept cunts spamming every single place on the internet with references to how "hot Edward cUlLeN is! lololol", ruining our collective unconscious and slowly unraveling our strength and unity as a country. There are so many things that piss me off about these ridiculous fangirls, that I don't even know where to begin. Oh wait, yes I do.
Twilight fangirls, you must stop doing the following:
1)Stop Spamming Youtube videos with comments about Edward Cullen that have nothing to do with the video and turn the discussion into a referendum on how hot Edward Cullen is .
I'm dead serious. I didn't even make number 1 up. Go to any single youtube video, no matter which one, and scroll back a couple pages. I will guarantee that you will find a single comment, having absolutely NOTHING to do with the video, about Edward Cullen and 'Twilight', which causes every nine year old on the internet to flock to that video like pigeons to food. Suddenly, a music video you haven't seen in a while becomes 45 pages of "OMG!11!! EDWARD!1!". Actually, while I'm thinking about it..
2)Stop Knowing Nothing About Music.
This one probably pisses me the most. Again, I was on youtube a couple days ago because I had already masturbated and there was nothing else to do, when I came across the music video to "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by the terrific Iron & Wine. Unfortunately, this song was included on the 'Twilight' movie soundtrack. I say unfortunately, because the comment page was loaded with comments about how the song was written ABOUT Edward Cullen. Hundreds of comments, proclaiming that "When I read the lyrics to this song, I KNOW it's about Edward!!! They have to be!" That's right, ladies and gentleman: a song recorded in 2007, and written, according to Iron & Wine member Sam Beam, years earlier, is somehow ABOUT Edward Cullen, whom I know Sam Beam has never heard of. I wish this was an isolated incident, but I have seen more dubious ones. I swear to God that this next example is true. About a month ago, I was on youtube watching a live performance of "Tired of Sex" by Weezer, one of my favorite songs ever. Because I was so bored, I decided to click through some of the comments. Most of them were pretty standard ("dude, this is an awesome song!") but lo and behold, about 5 pages in, was the following gem: "im not famiilliar with this band, but i think that this song is about edward from Twilight!"
1995. 1995. 1995. 1995. 1995. I can't say it enough. 1995. Nineteen, Ninety-Five. 1995. Twilight, on the other hand, was written in 2005. Let's break that down even farther. According to this fangirl,
"Tired of Sex" written by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo about a character from 'Twilight.'
'Twilight' written and published
PLEASE, FOR THE SAKE OF MY SANITY, STOP. Stop spamming youtube videos with your ridiculous theories about how songs written BEFORE 'Twilight' are somehow ABOUT 'Twilight'. I literally just popped a blood vessel. My computer screen is now covered in velvet-red blood, because of that youtube comment. So don't tell me that this 'Twilight' obsession isn't dangerous.
3. Stop Proclaiming 'Twilight' as the literary masterpiece of the 21st century.
I know we, as the Facebook/Twitter generation, don't like reading very much. Over 120 characters is WAYY too much to read, and long facebook statuses are ignored. Our largely illiterate, vapid generation doesn't particularly know how to read, or how to read well, so the fact that such filth as 'Twilight' has an audience doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is the number of fangirls that think 'Twilight' is somehow a masterpiece. It isn't. It reads like what it is. A cliche-ridden, completely empty tome filled with ridiculous sentences about Edward Cullen. The author of the series FUCKING SOUNDS LIKE a fan girl about Edward, for God's sake! Let us grade some passages from the first novel out of 10, with 10 representing a masterpiece and 0 representing a shitty, hollow and pointless shit stream of pompous failure.
"His fingers were ice-cold, like he’d been holding them in a snowdrift before class. But that wasn’t why I jerked my hand away so quickly. When he touched me, it stung my hand as if an electric current had passed through us."
Overall, I give it a 9/10. Oh wait, this is from a major American novel, not a high school literary magazine. In that case, I think it warrants roughly a 0/10.
"I was consumed by the mystery Edward presented. And more than a little obsessed by Edward himself."
For a youtube comment about Edward Cullen, this isn't that bad. It contains proper grammar and correct spelling. Overall, I give it a 8/10. Oh, it's from the novel itself? Hmm, in that case I'm going to have to reverse my previous score, and go ahead and give this passage a 0/10.
"It was difficult to believe that I hadn’t just imagined what Edward had said... Maybe it was just a very convincing dream that I’d confused with reality."
This is what I told my therapist about the 'Twilight' phenomenon, right? Dammit, this is from the novel again isn't it? 0/10
That's it. That's all I have to say. I hope this reaches some 'Twilight' fans and convinces them to stop. But, I doubt it; I went over 120 characters a long time ago.