A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: October 2009 (Page 1 of 3)

That one extra hour

What did you do with the one magically extra hour that we had this weekend?

Personally, I spent it online :) I can’t believe that it was pitch black today by 5:00 PM. With the constant rain, it feels like it’s been a few months since last Friday.

Processed Stuff is the Best

Just think about processed crab. Yummy, delicious processed crab.

Mlookheyeh Chmlookheyeh

Arabs have an uncanny ability to consider anything verbally-transmitted during card gatherings, family dinners, and coffee visits as scientifically correct.

How many times have you heard this phrase?

الملوخية عشبة خضراء لا تضر ولا تنفع

Personally, I’ve heard it many times, and again today, when someone mentioned that saying as scientific proof that not all that’s green is good.

I agree, of course, that not everything that’s green is good. Many green-colored vegetables are absolutely disgusting, such as cucumbers.  I usually avoid green-colored food because I do not find in them any culinary value for my sugar-obsessed taste buds.

But come on, taste-buds aside, an urban saying that regards leafy green plants as not even slightly beneficial in terms of nutrition is a saying I’m not likely to take with a grain of salt (for the smart asses: antinutrient levels are usually balanced when leaves are cooked).

So I did a little internet burrowing, and came across a research paper published in the Asian Journal of Plant Sciences called “Nutritional Analysis of the South African Wild Vegetable Corchorus olitorius L.

Corchorus olitorius is also known as jute, mallow, and of course, mlookheyeh. According to research, the article claims no significant nutritional differences between C. olitorius and spinach leaves.

They even have a cute little chart and all that compares nutritional values between Mlookhyeh, cabbage (malfoof), and spinach (sabanekh):

Okay. Point is, we really shouldn’t listen to Arab urban legends/sayings/myth when it comes to the nutritional value of food. Not only doesn’t apply with Mlookhyeh, it also applies to how what they tell you is really good for you is really just perfume (case in point: Mazaher, read rant here).

I’m not sure why I got so flustered about this :)

The best site to start today with


Click link. Give it a second. Enjoy.


RIP Geocities (and Hamsterdance)

Today, at any moment, ten massive terabytes of internet history will be deleted. Whoosh. Deleted. Just like that.

I wonder who will pull the plug. An intern at Yahoo not familiar with all the memories Geocities holds for people like myself? A 70-year old janitor performing a routine procedure? A person whose hand shakes as the deed is done?

Yeah. Whatever.

Some of my first digital memories were created on Geocities: the first time I ever saw animated GIFs, my first online community (a Christopher Pike fan site), my very first website (long since lost), my very second website (also long since lost), my solution to lack of imagery when I started blogging. Geocities represented the net in all its unsophisticated glory.

Quoting from a post written a couple years ago:

“And before there was Flickr… there was Geocities :)

When I first started blogging, Flickr did not yet exist and YouTube was not even something I could have imagined. Blogger did not yet have the photo upload option and no online photosharing services were out yet.

Being the person I am, I could not imagine words without images, and so I googled until I figured out what HTML is, what an HTML tag is, and how to embed an image via HTML. Then I got a Geocities account, uploaded the images to my Geocities homepage, and hotlinked them to my Blogger blog.

Today while cleaning out my email, I found a link I had sent to myself four years ago with my Geocities homepage, and I just couldn’t believe how much change there has been since then. Not just in terms of the death of web safe colors and the rise of Web 2.0 content-sharing websites, but also in regards to the person I am today.”

Alas. Good-bye Geocities. You will always be my first.

Moment of silence.

Captain Majed

Roba: Captain Majed is my all-time favorite cartoon, when I was a kid I wanted to marry him.

M: I wanted to marry Remi Bandali.

Roba: Whoa, look at how that turned out for us.

M: What do you mean?! I’m very much like Captain Majed. Shu, ’cause he has bigger eyes than mine?


Any childhood cartoon crushes?

The Laws of the Internet

There’s a brilliantly handy guide on The Telegraph to help increase internet literacy. Check out the 10 laws on their site, but here are some excerpts:

1. Godwin’s Law. Formed by Mike Godwin in 1990. As originally stated, it said: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” It has now been expanded to include all web discussions.

It is closely related to the logical fallacy “reductio ad Hitlerum”, which says “Hitler (or the Nazis) liked X, so X is bad”, frequently used to denigrate vegetarians and atheists.

2. Poe’s Law. Not to be confused with the law of poetry enshrined by Edgar Allen Poe, the internet Poe’s Law states: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

3. Rule 34

States: “If it exists, there is porn of it.” See also Rule 35: “If no such porn exists, it will be made.” Generally held to refer to fictional characters and cartoons, although some formulations insist there are “no exceptions” even for abstract ideas like non-Euclidean geometry, or puzzlement.

4. Skitt’s Law

It is an online version of the proofreading truism Muphry’s Law, also known as Hartman’s Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation: “any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation, or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror”.

5. Scopie’s Law

States: “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing as a credible source loses the argument immediately, and gets you laughed out of the room.” First formulated by Rich Scopie on the forum.

6. Danth’s Law (also known as Parker’s Law)
States: “If you have to insist that you’ve won an internet argument, you’ve probably lost badly.” Named after a user on the role-playing gamers’ forum

7. Pommer’s Law
Proposed by Rob Pommer on in 2007, this states: “A person’s mind can be changed by reading information on the internet. The nature of this change will be from having no opinion to having a wrong opinion.”

8. DeMyer’s Laws
Named for Ken DeMyer, a moderator on There are four: the Zeroth, First, Second and Third Laws.

The Second Law states: “Anyone who posts an argument on the internet which is largely quotations can be very safely ignored, and is deemed to have lost the argument before it has begun.”

The Zeroth, First and Third Laws cannot be very generally applied and will be glossed over here.

9. Cohen’s Law
Proposed by Brian Cohen in 2007, states that: “Whoever resorts to the argument that ‘whoever resorts to the argument that… …has automatically lost the debate’ has automatically lost the debate.”

10. The Law of Exclamation
First recorded in an article by Lori Robertson at in 2008, this states: “The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.”

Office Conversations Over Breakfast: On Justifying Text

L: “First of all, you end up with unsightly rivers streaming through the text, and that doesn’t look very nice, does it?

Second of all, it’s not legible as it’s hard for your eyes to stay on track with the reading because there isn’t an anchor to hang on to. I’m constantly losing the line because books these days are always justified.

Third of all, when you justify text, the software goes ahead and adds random and completely unsystematic spaces between letters and words, and type designers spend months perfecting these details.

Fourthly and finally, justified text is UGLY. Why can’t regular people appreciate rags? Beautiful, rhythmic rags?

And that’s why YOU SHOULD NEVER justify text.”

Picture 1
(Disclaimer: That’s not Lina)

Other Office Conversations:

Imperio Steve Jobs
Conversations with an Office Cup
6:00PM Office Conversations
Desktop Crap Blackhole
Kalamantina Conversations
Lunchtime Conversations
Internet Existential Crisis
Depressive Connotations
Early morning office conversations
Next Friday
Office Conversations
Toshet Thulathi il-”rrrr”
Rainbow Bright
Hot Chocolate Amidst Ice: Office Conversations
This is Chicken
Ditz Central

Awesomeness: Real Time Social Media in your face

Coolest “infograph” I’ve seen in a while. Baby, social media is ON FIRE.

AndTweetAway: Sorry, that was too long.

For those with tiny attention spans, here’s the best of 120-character link heaven from my Twitter:

Changing your mind about “healthy” food. Told you the more artificial the better. Fruits and veggies is just propaganda

Driving on right vs. driving on left. An infographic.…

On the collective 100 year memories of Amman:

“He wears 4rings on his finger, sign of comitment2all his wives” How absurd does it sound?

Soviet design reminds me of antique Egyptian art: cold, hard, colorless, but cool anyway

Social Media Makeover. Hahaha.

I have no idea what this is, but I know that I want to eat it.

RT @syntaxdesign Hype cycle for emerging technologies. Wikis still not adopted by mainstream?

RT @syntaxdesign Corporate brands&the fonts they use. Too many using Futura, Univers, Gill Sans, Helvetica, Frutiger.

There are two kinds of companies: those that use sustaining technologies and those that employ disruptive ones.

For more, you can follow me on Twitter.

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