A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: October 2012 (Page 1 of 4)

سلالم: انا سعيد


Objectivist C: a selfish programming language

So witty.

Objectivist C: a programming language wherein each object “must live for its own sake, neither sacrificing itself to others nor sacrificing others to itself.”

@implementation HelloWorld

– (void)printHelloWorld
NSString *hello = @”I am. I think. I will.”;
Printer *printer = [[Printer alloc] init];
if (printer)
[printer print:hello inExchangeForUSDollars:2.00];
[printer release];
// In Objectivist-C, objects are self-sufficient.
// Here, I implement string printing from scratch.
[self createTheUniverse];
[self createStandardOutputDevice];
[self print:hello];

// …

Via BoingBoing

The Simpsons Opening – Real-life Style

Quotables: Domination of number preexistent

The universe seems… to have been determined and ordered in accordance with number, by the forethought and the mind of the creator of all things; for the pattern was fixed, like a preliminary sketch, by the domination of number preexistent in the mind of the world-creating God.

– NICOMACHUS OF GERASA Arithmetic I, 6 (ca. A. D. 100)

Enjoy excepts from great books, as selected by Carl Sagan in his book “Contact”. Perhaps they will help you decide to read one of these books, or simply just inspire you.

Another Amman Timelapse

It is hard to not enjoy a well-done timelapse of Amman because it is fun seeing the city we call home come to life.

I really enjoyed a few frames in this one, namely, Le Royal doing a discotheque-like bellydance (1:53). Can someone please tell whoever runs that damn hotel to stop visually polluting our city with light?

Beautiful Amman Timelapse

The Pleasure of Using a Ballpoint Pen on a Rubber Surface

From Nicholson Baker’s book of essays, The Size of Thoughts. Via my joy on the web, BoingBoing.

A Mix Tape for Slow, Slow October

When was the last time someone gave you a mix tape? A while, I imagine.

So here’s this; my October mix tape to you, loaded with music that defies the falling leaves and the passage of yet another summer. I hope you enjoy :)

Here is the playlist for the October mix tape:

A Mix Tape to Beat Autumn Blues
Faust Arp, Radiohead
Fishies, The Cat Empire
Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen
New Shoes, Paolo Nutini
When I Grow Up, Garbage
Vesuvius, Sufjan Stevens
Woman Like a Man, Damien Rice
Red Shoes by the Drugstore, Tom Waits
Closing Time, Leonard Cohen
Space Oddity, David Bowie

Faust Arp, Radiohead
Wakey wakey rise and shine,
It’s on again off again on again,
Watch me fall like dominoes,
In pretty patterns 

Fishies, The Cat Empire
Wow didi didi I just had to look,
Eye patch tongue ring little black hook,
Welcome fishies to my hook. 

Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen
I’m a rocket ship on my way to Mars,
On a collision course,
I am a satellite I’m out of control,
Like an atom bomb about to,
Oh oh oh oh oh explode,
I’m burning through the skies
Two hundred degrees
That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I’m trav’ling at the speed of light

New Shoes, Paolo Nutini
Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right!
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on
and everybody smiling,
and it’s so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
But long on time,
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
And I’m running late,
And I dont need an excuse,
So I’m wearing my brand new shoes.

When I Grow Up, Garbage
Don’t take offence better make amends,
Rip it all to shreds and let it go

Vesuvius, Sufjan Stevens
Oh, be kind,
It hasn’t occurred,
No it hasn’t been said,
Sufjan, follow the path,
It leads to an article of imminent death,
Sufjan, follow your heart,
Follow the flame,
Or fall on the floor,
Sufjan, the panic inside,
The murdering ghost,
That you cannot ignore.

Woman Like a Man, Damien Rice
I need a piss, I wanna hate, fuck it up, come.
My love, eat your meat, keep your teeth, run.
You lost me, you cost me
You taught me of me, yeah…
We’re bad, what we do. Stupid fools.

Red Shoes by the Drugstore, Tom Waits
Goin’ out tonight, wear your red shoes
Red shoes, wear your red shoes Red shoes, red shoes

Closing Time, Leonard Cohen
Ah we’re drinking and we’re dancing,
and the band is really happening,
and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high.

Space Oddity, David Bowie
Ground control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

5 Things You as a Non-designer MUST Know About Design

You are not a designer, I know. That doesn’t mean your ignorance has to make the rest of society suffer with tear-inducing visual pollution for the rest of our life.

Here are five things that you can keep in mind to generally ensure that the design work you approve isn’t really f**king ugly. I write this with a heavy heart after being assaulted by horrifying visuals from businesses whose owners should have better taste.

If you use Comic Sans, Curlz, Papayrus, or any other retarded font, anyone who knows anything about visual integrity will want to spit in your face.
Here is a list of fonts that you should NOT EVER use:

I mean, it’s barely okay to use Comic Sans to print a sign that says “Don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet seat.” It is a CRIME to use it in your logo. I will not buy your product or visit your restaurant because you are a cheap ass who did not hire a real designer. لأ حبيبي، مش شطارة إلكحتته.
Here is a fool-proof list of good typefaces.

Gradients are the spawn of the devil. Avoid at all costs.
I will not use my credit card on your website if it is a mess of Comic Sans and gradients. I will not use your website at all, actually.

Your clothes look nice, so why does the work you approve look so ugly? If the interior design of your stupid restaurant was an outfit, would you wear it? I didn’t think so. No one wants to look like they stepped out of a studio on Jordan TV from 1988.

Yes, yes, I know that you may not know anything about color theory, but there are so many resources out there that explain how color theory works. Use them.

In an “open” world, there are no excuses. Here is a great place to start from: Colour Lovers.

Nothing ever went wrong because something is really simple. Things always go wrong because they become too complicated.
Simple is the way to go. Steer clear of shadows, backgrounds behind text, outlines, etc.

I know you are da shit. I know that you have an MBA from Amreecha, and that you have a nice golden nameplate in front of your desk that starts with the letter C. I know that you have money, and that you traveled the world.

It doesn’t mean you know anything about design. I’ve seen so many people who theoretically should at least have good taste given their worldliness, but who turn out to be disastrous with visual logic. If you hire a good designer, trust the good designer.

If you dislike trusting people on matters you know nothing about (and for that, I salute you), then learn something about it. There are many, many websites that have graphic design inspiration, web design inspiration, etc.

I am not asking you to learn to design, just to be able to spot the good from the bad.

So yes. I beg you. Take these five things and use them well. Share them with people you know. I didn’t make them up; they will simply improve our life and make sure that the future generations don’t have to live in the ugliness that your generation made us go through.

Thank you.

Pecan-Picking Season

Last year around this time, I told you about the six small pecan trees that my grandfather bought from Palestine back in the 60′s. They were planted on the curb of my great-grandmother’s house.

It’s time again for the pecan-picking in my family. It is exciting; the drying, the peeling, the cracking, the eating, the freezing, and the sharing with friends and family. We will use this wave of pecan for the rest of the year to make atayef, olaz, brownies, and all other kinds of yummy desserts that taste better with pecan.

I love the pecan-picking season.

Pecan-picking season

Pecan-picking season

Pecan-picking season

Pecan-picking season

Pecan-picking season

Movie Review: I Served the King of England

There is nothing more delightful than absurdity. It is in creating humor and excessive depth in the most banal things that life becomes amusing. Otherwise, it’s just going through the motions.

With that said, “I Served the King of England” is the most absurd thing I’ve seen in ages. A 2006 Czech film directed by Jiří Menzel, it is based on a novel by acclaimed Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal. Actually, to call it a movie is to not do it justice. “I Served the King of England” is a surrealistic painting masquerading as a movie. It is a post-modern work of literature doing a silver screen stunt. It is two hours of nonexistence, of being lost in the whims and fancies of a work so visually and mentally engaging that you, the audience, might as well be a part of the absurdity.

The movie celebrates the pleasures of life while acknowledging how absurd these pleasures are. Menzel’s story chronicles the disastrous and heart-wrenching modern history of the Czech Republic, but his visuals contrast the tragicness with the marvelous: gorgeous women; beautiful food; extravagant hotels; foamy mugs of beer and dark red wine.

Menzel paints the scenes with marvelous attention to detail. The plotline is accentuated by the movie’s changing color palette, which starts with warm and golden undertones, then slowly moves to grimy darkness as WWII takes place. Every now and then, we are abruptly taken to modern-day life, where the colors are harsh and realistic. The movie reeks with visual symbolism and conceptual metaphors.

“I Served the King of England” is a movie about the absurdity of life’s inextricable mix of sadness and elation.

Quoting a roughly-remembered line from the movie: “Her life might not have been happy, but it was very sadly beautiful.”

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