AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: January 2016

The Word of Fear: “Injimad”

Update: So it turns out that the news about sounding the alarms today isn’t true, and Arabia Weather has retracted. Kudos to the Jordanian government for an amazing job done!

Don’t take this the wrong way. I count my blessings every day that we’ve only used the city alarms to warn people about a thin layer of slush. I’m also really proud of Jordan for being so organized with handling bad weather situations, successfully avoiding accidents and a crisis on the streets. But today’s “Injimad” alarm in central Amman is certainly overdoing it, and may turn the government’s future communication into the-boy-who-cried-wolf. The streets are dry thanks to a sunny, rainless day, so black ice can’t form in the first place. I understand that the government wants everyone to be safe and to avoid disasters, but what about all the people with businesses? What about restaurants, malls, and gyms? What about all the small shops that depend on day-to-day sales? So many people have already been hit hard by the media fiasco surrounding the “blizzard”, and by the fact that consumers were locked up at home all week. For next storms, and I say this as a citizen who really appreciates the government’s amazing efforts to keep everyone safe and sound, we could use a little more detail as to where the risks of black ice could be. Easier said than done, I know, but on days like today, it shouldn’t be too hard. And it will make us happy to oblige for years to come.

Horizontal History

From WaitButWhy, here’s a genius map of “Horizontal History”. It lays down history a little different than we’re used to. I’ve always been fascinated by how disconnected past contemporary events are, so this is really fantastic.

Horizontal-History-Generations-4

When will winter be over?

I’ve become much better at winter over the years, probably thanks to the fact that I don’t have to brave Jordan University’s lack of indoor heating and long freezing walks between classes. It sucked balls, because most of our classes were the three-hour kind, so once you made it to class wet and freezing, you had to stay wet and freezing for hours. Just the memory makes me shiver. I think we only got lucky once with the heating, when we had a 3-hour design class in the Physics Computer Lab. That lab had functioning radiators, and so many people would spend the class barefoot while drying their drenched shoes and socks beneath the radiators. Good thing no one stank in my department, eh?

How provincial, in retrospect. You’d think I went to university in 18th century Siberia.

zooksie 992

zooksie 495

To infinity and beyond, David Bowie

Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (Five, Four, Three)
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (Two, One, Liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in the most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in my tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear And I’m floating around my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.

You’re making yourself look ridiculous if you’re making this common grammar mistake

It’s not 1966 anymore and typewriters are a thing of the past, so why, oh, why, do I see more and more people adding an ugly space before their punctuation marks?

In English (and Arabic), there is absolutely no need to add a space before a punctuation mark. In fact, you look really dumb when you do that. I repeat. Commas, colons, question marks, exclamation points, periods, and all other punctuation marks are written WITHOUT any space before them, and with ONE space after them.

illiterate

Thank you.

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