AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: July 2014

The Most Epic Picture of Wearable Technology

From io9:

By the 1990s, Ryan shows, wearable tech meant cyborgs. A group of self-proclaimed cyborgs started MIT’s Borg Lab, (all Star Trek references intended). Thad Starner (far right in the picture), now a manager on the Google Glass project, along with a group of his colleagues, began experimenting with what he called “‘the real personal computers’—as opposed to PCs.”

I didn’t know we ate dandelions

Until 8:30AM this morning, all I ever knew about dandelions was one thing: dandelion seeds are pretty.

After all, who hasn’t played with dandelion seeds, watching them tumble around town?

Well, I have. And I always thought that was the only relationship I had with dandelions (until I discovered at 8:30 this morning) was that I — gasp — eat them. Not only eat them, but really LOVE eating them.

World, did you know that delicious, hearty hindbeh is quite literally just dandelion leaves? Okay. Let’s be more specific, to give hindbeh the true glory it deserves: it’s dandelion leaves glistening with olive oil, garnished with crunchy pine nuts and crispy caramelized onions, then drizzled with lemon juice.

Goodness me.

Hindbeh has always been one of my all-time favorite dishes, and it’s just a shock to realize what it’s made of at the grand age of 30.

Yum.

What’s the difference between guilt and shame?

I would like to direct you to this simple article on the difference between guilt and shame.

An excerpt:

You would be better off being friends with a guilt-prone person than a shame-prone person. Trusting someone who is incapable of feeling guilt is a recipe for disaster. For a person to feel shame, they have to be caught; a person who can’t bear the feeling of being disgraced in another person’s eyes isn’t going to be forthcoming with the truth. You might think that shame-prone people would come around faster once they were caught, but you’d be wrong. Guilt is relieved by addressing the problem and asking for forgiveness. Shame makes people withdraw, run away, fly into a rage, or try to change the story. They don’t want to own up to the problem and correct it, because their first priority is pretending it never happened in the first place.

Read the rest

In just a few paragraphs, it perfectly illustrates the underlying problem of Jordan.

A culture of 3eib.

The UAE Space Agency

Finally growing past creating the world’s tallest hotel, the world’s biggest hand-washing events, and largest indoor billboard (GRR!), the UAE today announced one of the most amazing, uplifting announcements I’ve heard in years.

The announcement makes me so happy I have a lump in my throat. Ladies and gentlemen, it might not sound like much to you, but to me, this is the silver lining in a really bad storm — the first Arab space agency. It is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. And with plans as soon as 2021.

Where do I apply?

space

Graph Kufi by Razan Basim

Beautiful “Graph Kufi” by Razan Basim. Says “Roba Al-Assi” in Arabic and “AndFarAway” in English. AWESOME! :)

razan

Yusra, the Amazing Palestinian Woman Who Found One of the Earliest Human Records

From io9:

Yusra was one of the many women from the villages of Ljsim and Jeba in the Wady el-Mughara region of Palestine who became part of Dorothy Garrod’s excavation team. Yusra was the most expert, her work deeply valued by Garrod. She stayed with the project through its full six-years, acting as excavation fore(wo)man – her trained eyes alert to stone tool and bone fragments.

Garrod encouraged Yusra to come study at Cambridge, and Yusra seemed eager to do it. In 1932, she found the famous Tabun-1 Neanderthal skull. Roughly 100,000 years old, it was an incredible find because most of the cranium and some of the facial features were intact. As Herridge notes, this would have been a career-making discovery for any other paleontologist. But for Yusra, a Palestinian woman without a college degree, it wasn’t even enough for history to remember her last name:

Excavating at et-Tabun, alongside Jacquetta Hawkes, Yusra spotted a tooth. That tooth led to a crushed skull – one of the most important human fossils ever found.

Discoveries like hers are a once-in-a-career (and often career-making) event for a palaeontologist – just thinking about it makes my heart race.

Despite this, Yusra never made it to Cambridge. History intervened. Ljsim and Jeba were destroyed in 1948, and – as of 2010 – the Palestinian component of Garrod’s team untraceable. I haven’t even been able to discover her surname.

It’s unclear what happened to Yusra, and it’s tragic that we know so little about this citizen scientist who changed the way we understand human history.

Read All Article

On all the World Cup players folding their arms

From the little of the World Cup that I watched this year, one thing really stood out: the hilarious arm-folding. None of my friends really watch football, and yet this topic keeps being brought up. FIFA should seriously leave creativity to creative people, even if they don’t watch football. This arm folding thing is a disaster.

Disasters are funny though, and Slate has the funniest article I read in ages.

It turns out that’s surprisingly hard to ace on your first (and, presumably, only) try. Hundreds upon hundreds of millions of television viewers have watched players from all 32 teams botch this seemingly simple technique in the lineup presentations before each World Cup match. Nailing that turn and arm-fold is crucial, though: It’s the difference between looking like an ordinary, nice dude (like Japan’s Atsuto Uchida) and an unlucky guy caught posing for his mug shot (like the United States’ Kyle Beckerman).

So what can we learn from these athletes’ struggles to fold their arms and look to the left in a convincingly human manner? The primary issue is where your hands should go. Should they go on the outside of your biceps, like those of the Netherlands’ Daryl Janmaat? Or would you prefer, as does Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, to tuck them inside, thumbs up?

Would you like to adopt the pose of a hip-hop dancer, like Greece’s Ioannis Maniatis, or that of a perfectly upright Cossack dancer, like the Ivory Coast’s Salomon Kalou?

But whatever you do, don’t stuff your hands into your armpits like Colombian players Carlos Sánchez, Abel Aguilar, and Juan Cuadrado. Gross, guys!

But best of all is Cameroon’s Benoît Assou-Ekotto. Graceful, funny, relaxed, Ekotto’s arm-folding is a joyous invitation to come to his place and watch some Adventure Time. Assou-Ekotto wins the World Cup of Arm-Folding.

Read the whole hilarious article on Slate.

1969: Niagra Falls Without Any Water (Seriously)

It turns out I have another amazing reason other than Woodstock to travel back to 1969… to see Niagra Falls without any water.

Seriously. Imagine that in 1969, some engineers turned off Niagara Falls. They did it to clean up the area and to check for structural integrity, basically tuning this:

Into this:

Environmental design blog Mammoth explains the context:

For six months in the winter and fall of 1969, Niagara’s American Falls were “de-watered”, as the Army Corps of Engineers conducted a geological survey of the falls’ rock face, concerned that it was becoming destabilized by erosion. During the interim study period, the dried riverbed and shale was drip-irrigated, like some mineral garden in a tender establishment period, by long pipes stretched across the gap, to maintain a sufficient and stabilizing level of moisture. For a portion of that period, while workers cleaned the former river-bottom of unwanted mosses and drilled test-cores in search of instabilities, a temporary walkway was installed a mere twenty feet from the edge of the dry falls, and tourists were able to explore this otherwise inaccessible and hostile landscape.

Read all story on io9

On June

junemama
My beautiful mama.

june_supernova
Supernova.

june 3ddoolder
Proud owner of a first-gen 3D Doodler.

june worldcup
The World Cup season is the perfect time for a Bayt.com Foosball Championship.

breakfast
Breakfast of the champions.

june nisre
Best friends since we were 13.

junehappiness
Happiness.

june concetr
Metal concert selfies.

june my boys
My boys <3 june scrabble
Scrabble.

Pictorial Archive of Life

2007: On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2008: On January | On February | On March | On April | On May | On June | On August On September | On October | On November

2009: On July  | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2010: On January | On February | On March | On April | On May | On June | A Captioned July An UnCaptioned August  | On September  | On October | On November | On December

2011: On January  |  On February   |   On March   |  On April  |  On May  |   On July

2012: On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2013: On January | On Februaury | On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2014: On January | On Februaury | On March | On April | On May | On June

Isaac Asimov on Zionism

Isaac Asimov was born in Russia to an Orthodox Jewish family in 1920.

In his autobiography, he says: “When Israel was founded in 1948 and all my Jewish friends were jubilant, I was the skeleton at the feast. I said, “We are building ourselves a ghetto. We will be surrounded by tens of millions of Muslims who will never forgive, never forget and never go away. I was laughed at, but I was right. I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, people they consider their ancestors, were living there. History moves on and you can’t really turn it back. … But don’t Jews deserve a homeland? Actually, I feel that no human group deserves a “homeland” in the usual sense of the word…. I am not a Zionist, then, because I don’t believe in nations, and Zionism merely sets up one more nation to trouble the world.”

Asimov, Isaac (1994). I, Asimov: A Memoir. New York: Doubleday. p. 380.

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