AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: March 2007 (Page 1 of 3)

April: A Preview

M Can you believe that baseball opening day is tomorrow ?
Roba I don’t really care for baseball, but I can’t believe that NCAA is almost over! Bas man, does this mean that hala2 7a tog3od tgazezni bil baseball? (that you will drive me crazy with tales of baseball?)
M Yup, depending on the pitchers. I love pitching, there are some amazing pitchers.
Roba I’d take football and basketball ANYDAY over baseball.
M There’s a new Japanese, wow. His name is Daisuke Matsuzaka, and he’s with the Boston Red Sox, one of my favorite teams. His nickname is Dice-K, K stands for strikeout: one of the most exciting plays in baseball. He has like 6 different pitches, including an alleged gyroball (which is practically his change-up).
I will tell you about the art of piching later. I’m sure you will like it. It’s all mind games and stuff. It has a lot of deception, one of the most EXITING things in all of sports is a pitcher on top of his game. A real joy to watch.
Roba Hehehe, you’re crazy. Can I blog this conversation?
M Absolutely, in a good setup, and make sure you edit the typo in “exciting” above.
Roba What do you mean, good setup?
M Mmm, I don’t know. Maybe by mentioning that I liked the Red Sox before they
became the trendy “like” team, and that I want to visit Fenway Park, law kan
 akhera 3amalen fii 7ayati, by editing out my name, and by not falling into the
“I need to blog, so I’m just going to paste some random MSN conversation” trap.

And no, I am not falling into the trap. But man, baseball? Who agrees that we should withdraw the Arab nationality from M?

انت حبيبي انا

…when Wael Kfouri still had not discovered the joy of eyebrow plucking, though arguably, the red jacket isn’t much farther from that joy. The mid 90’s were awesome. Who remembers the little two kids that sang the same song? I was trying to look for that version, but I guess it hasn’t made its way online yet.

و إن كان صعب عليك تحكي من العينين، بعرف أنا بعرف، بعرف شو راح بتقولي

O hay kaman shahar talateh galla3. 3o2bal 3end shaher arba3a.

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More Goldfish Experimentation

As if it’s not enough to play resurrection with them with the most disgusting drink in the world, people are now using them as a natural recycling tool too, except this is really freaky.
Because oil floats on water, despite the heat (163 degrees Celsius) the goldfish smartly stay away from the surface and all is well. They eat the crumbs of croquettes and other fried foods that fall to the bottom, ignorant to the fact that certain death awaits any potential escapees.A brilliant idea, but evilly brilliant. Poor goldfish.

In Japan, the Goldish live in deep-fryers.

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The Age of the Multitasker

I don’t remember when I started multi-tasking, but I would say that it started when it became unacceptable to not type up our homework for school sometime back in the early-to-mid 90’s, just as I discovered the fun of playing games when homework gets boring. Between typing up essays and researching schoolwork on Microsoft Encarta, I would spend hours using my favorite software in the world, Microsoft Publisher, where I would create and print greeting cards, banners, clipart, business cards, and all other types of heavily ink consuming activities. I never thought about it until now, but perhaps that was a huge part of why I fell in love with design.

Several years later, Riyadh was finally online. On the new brand new platform of the World Wide Web, my multi-tasking abilities were taken to a whole new level as I learned that the easiest way to do homework was as a joint project over MSN with my friends, that the easiest way to make plans was over email, and that it really could be more fun meeting people online than offline. I would watch television and movies on the TV across the room while surfing the web, eat and drink while listening to music saved on the computer, and chat with friends while writing essays for school.

Only a teenager, the habit to do more than one thing at a time became a necessary requirement for concentration. At school, and to the sheer annoyance of my teachers who thought that they deserve my undivided attention in class, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate unless I’m doodling, drawing, or making bracelets. Outside of school, I would have a book with me at all times, and I developed the ability to read while standing, sitting, and even eating. I was always doing several things at the same time.

In 2003, my life took the severe digital turn when I went into design and blogging. As a design student, I had to spend prolonged hours working on the various softwares. As a blogger and an internet addict, I was (and still am) online a whole lot of the time, using the internet as a substitute to a lot of things that I might not need it for, like news, communication, time-keeping, photo storage, etc.

So, at any given minute while working on a computer, there’s a 96% chance that I am surfing at least 7 open tabs on Firefox, a 70% chance that I am surfing at least 20 open tabs on Firefox, a 91.5% chance that I have a design software open, a 67% that I am organizing my folders, a 99% chance that I have my favorite folder open to pull out and stare at every now and then, a 10% chance that I am listening to music, an 85% chance that I am talking to someone, a 55% chance that I am on MS Word writng something for the blog, a 66% that I am doing research, and a 98% chance that I am also doing something else that I am doing something less general and recurrent.

Running in parallel to the “at any given minute” scenario above, while I am doing most of the things above, there’s an 80% chance that I am passively listening to TV while sitting outside with the family, a 75% chance that I am eating or drinking, a 5% chance that I am on the phone, a 7% chance that I am writing in my notebook, a 90% chance that I am having a conversation with my family, and a 99.6% chance that I am also doing something less general and recurrent.

I think this “3ajga” that I put myself in 85% of the time is the reason that I cannot watch a movie, that I get exasperated when I have to wait, and that my attention span is no longer than 5 seconds. It is the reason that I skim and scan rather than read thoroughly, it is the reason I almost never complete paperwork, and it is the reason behind my messiness. It is also the reason I stay up so late at night, the reason I am absentminded enough to be a first class airhead, and the reason my friends tell me they absolutely hate having any contact with me unless its face-to-face. Regardless, I think that my incessant multi-tasking works well for me. I am a productive person (though I bet my advisor would disagree), and this 3ajga keeps me constantly inspired and entertained.

Apparently though, I am fooling myself, “Several research reports, both recently published and not yet published, provide evidence of the limits of multitasking. The findings, according to neuroscientists, psychologists and management professors, suggest that many people would be wise to curb their multitasking behavior when working in an office, studying or driving a car.

The human brain, with its hundred billion neurons and hundreds of trillions of synaptic connections, is a cognitive powerhouse in many ways. “But a core limitation is an inability to concentrate on two things at once,” said René Marois, a neuroscientist and director of the Human Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University.” (read whole article here)

So, what do you think? Is multi-tasking a productivity curber or enhancer? Are you a multi-tasker?

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On blogging

I think this is the longest I haven’t blogged in years. Really busy. Pouring energy elsewhere. Quite blank for this space. Also really sleepy at the moment, but will be a while till I go to sleep. Haven’t consumed as much caffeine in ages. Will be back in a few days.

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Better than icecream…

Roba says: So, new shoes? Tell me, tell me.
Hala says: Oh, God you would LOVE THEM SO MUCH, red heels that are suede and peep toe, and green sandals. I am so in love! I wanna find pics of my shoes online to show you!
Roba says: I got new shoes too! They’re cute. Peep toe flats, and they’re goldish tan.
Hala says: Yummy.
Roba says: How can shoes have the ability to make someone always feel good?
Hala says: :D How can they NOT?!?!?!? They are so GORGEOUS. People who dont love shoes like we do are WEIRD. That’s what i think.
Roba says: I AGREE, 100%.
Hala says: It’s like being blasphemous. Like what a waste on them! Me, on the other hand, I even include my shoes in my dreams. They are my CHILDREN.
Roba says: Hehe, they DEFINITELY beat real children
Hala says: Isma3i inti where did u buy your shoes from? Ana from River Island!
Roba says: Hehe, ana kaman! My mom got them for me.
Hala says: OH MAN I KNOW WHICH ONES YOU GOT THEN! YIPPPEEEE!!!! :D You know though, you aren’t really an authentic shoe lover. Part of the beauty of the process is to BUY THEM YOURSELF. Hopeless case el binit. Going into the store, trying on the shoes, driving the salesman crazy by asking for different sizes, paying for the, SMELLING THEM, carrying them out of the store and into your car, then hiding them from your mom. ITS A PART OF THE PROCESS.

She left before I had the chance to yell at her for calling me a not authentic shoe lover. WHAT? Who else has an entire category dedicated to shoes?!

Freakiness

Feet binding was a custom practiced on females for approximately one thousand years in China, beginning in the 10th century and ending in the early 20th century. In Chinese foot binding, young girls’ feet, usually at age 6 but often earlier, were wrapped in tight bandages so that they could not grow and develop normally; they would, instead, break and become highly deformed, not growing past 4-6 inches.

Such a painful and crippling tradition could not be completely due the popularity and fashion it had at the time. There were many reasons mothers made the decision to bind their daughters’ feet. Men in China in that era would not marry a woman who did not have bound feet. The man’s mother was always responsible for making sure the woman he was to marry did not have “clown feet”.

In the mid-1600s the Manchus took over the Yuan dynasty to create the Qing Empire. The Manchus were strongly against foot binding. The Qing Empire began to charge people for having daughters with bound feet and prohibiting it in areas they could control. The practiced nevertheless continued. It had become so much part of the Chinese culture and famiy traditions, that the government could not stop it. The Chinese continued to see foot binding as a beautiful act although it was illegal.

    
The nationalist revolution sparked the flame that was to destroy foot binding for good. The practice slowed down considerably from there. In 1911 after the revolution of Sun Yat-Sen, foot binding officially ended aside from a handful of women living in the countryside.

I wonder how clownish my 10++ inches feet would have been considered for a 1000 years in China.

[Source]

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http://i0.wp.com/www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/richardandlisa/images/13Melakashoesforboundfeetsmall.jpg?w=629

Photo

Little Girl with Bound Feet
shoe pic.gif (45544 bytes)

http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/images/bndfeet3.jpg

Mama

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Al-Assi Household Talasim Moment

Picture-1-025

Still don’t find it that funny, but hey, at least the heart is perfect.

Conclusion on Evolution and Craziness

As an answer to both “Craziness” (My god. What is happening?) and “Question” (Do you believe in evolution?);

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