Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Testing 2MB Internet

Since the new year was approaching and we had all agreed that our 128 kb/s connection was too slow. Since we had a yearly subscription anyway with Orange, with the help of my uncle Bilal, we agreed and ordered a new 2MB Surf and Talk package.

Now for the Talk part of the package to work, something called a Livebox would need to arrive. This is, according to Orange, a wireless router, modem and VoIP device, all in one. However this is yet to arrive, and knowing Orange, its going to take a while.

The Surf part has arrived though, and the 2MB internet, and downloads are fast and usually over 200 kb/s. There is only one problem, stability. The internet is not always the same speed, and speed tests are very unreliable as each test gives a different speed.

I can just hope the new modem will make it stable, although I don't know if this might be something common for higher speeds from Orange. Heres the only reliable test I could get from speed.io. Others would dip below 1MB or differ from test to test.

Monday, December 29, 2008

On Final Exams

As you may or may not know, my mother teaches English to 9th grade girls. She was marking her students final exams this morning, when she stumbled upon one girl who had find the time to draw some cartoons illustrating the writing question she had completed. :P

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Army Of Two Review

I’m just about to finish a new game I got for the Xbox 360, called Army of Two, and I thought I might as well review it. Since Christmas is around the corner, this game could be a good one for your shopping list.

The third person shooter genre is quite a crowded one, and a new arrival of a game into the genre usually doesn’t go very well, unless it gives a new idea that hasn’t been done before. And this is were Army of Two shines, in that it throws at you the new idea of co-op play.

Army of Two really puts emphasis on co-op play, where both you and your partner will enter battlefields swarming with enemies, and use cover and tactics intelligently, to kill your enemies, complete missions and earn cash.

To get the most of this game, you need to play it split screen with a friend. This isn’t because the virtual partner in single player is bad, but because you’ll achieve more of what you want when your with a human.

There are two other things that the game implies. A new system called Aggro is basically when one player gains the enemies attention by firing at them aggressively, while the other player gains an advantage of being somehow ignored, and can move stealthy to perform skillful tactics.

The other point is the vast customization that Army of Two gives you to change around weapons to your liking. It isn’t based mostly on creativity, but is more of a ranking up system, with you purchasing new weapons and upgrading upon them. You can add stocks, grips, bigger ammunition, even a shotgun or a grenade launcher on the front as well.

This doesn’t mean the game is perfect. One of the main flaws I noticed was that the game was rather short, and a few things could be improved on, such as melee attacks and the controls, as well as the soundtrack. But, all in all, Army of Two is a game that you should try when you’re with a friend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

True Luck

This morning, while I was lying in my comfortable warm bed, enjoying the heat of the radiator and the extra long holiday, I had to start worrying since my pessimistic self just has to worry.

It usually happens to you, when you're having a great moment and then your stupid memory reminds you of all the obstacles you've got left ahead in your life.

Well, today it struck me and reminded me of the usb drive my friend gave me on Thursday, so I could copy the latest episode of Prison Break he had kindly downloaded for me. But of course, I have the most unorganized life and the worst ever little brother, I lost it.

Even after searching half the house and torturing my little brother into confessing where he had hid it, but without success. So I began trying to conjure up some plan as to what I would do. And my brain began to whirl - picture Dexter's mind boggling.

In the end, I had made up my mind. I would ask him if he had anything important on the drive, then head off to a store and buy him another one, probably with bigger capacity just to cheer him up.

Then all the horribly good side of my brain started to argue with my evily evil side, until it got to the point of being unbearable, when suddenly I was woken by a common and bad luck voice.

"Can you guess what I found?", my mum exclaimed. Then my brains sides of optimism and pessimism began to argue, as they always do. One side guessing it was some old fortune I had lost, and the other guessing it was a two year old bad mark that my parents would blackmail me with for the rest of my life.

"Your friends usb drive". I opened my eyes to find her holding it. It turned out my little brother had hidden it between his spare blankets and my good mother had found it when she was cleaning this morning.

Now was this just a rare, one in a million coincidence, just like the way the big bang and the transformation of apes to humans happened? Or was it my good intentions to my friend and the fair God watching from high above? :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Never Quit Your Blog

I used to think the same question in the early stages of blogging. The question was why I should continue my blog and it usually ponders alot of early bloggers for many reasons that they face.

In fact, these reasons aren’t true, most of the time, and they just quit even though they could have carried on blogging and living the experience of being a blogger.
I’m going to try and answer these reasons to quit blogging, even though I may not have that much experience, as I’m only two years into blogging.

A reason that always ponders most bloggers is that they believe no one reads their blog because no one comments. In fact, not everyone that reads your blog will comment. A really easy solution to knowing who reads your blog and what they read is a counter, like Google Analytics. For example, not that many people comment on my blog, even though I have over 1000 unique visitors every month.

Something that sometimes even gets me as well is that you haven’t posted anything for a century. This can, at rare occasions, affect your visitors, but in reality not posting in a while is not an excuse to never post again. In fact, most people visit blogs by RSS feeds or aggregators, so a blogs absence is rarely felt.

Writers block usually hits bloggers every now and then, but does it mean that you can’t blog if you’ve run out of ideas? Not at all. Even if you just had the most boring day, that doesn’t mean you can’t blog about something. Your favourite picks from Youtube, for example, is something you can blog about easily.

One last thing I’d like to mention is how some bloggers never manage to get a good quality post. It sometimes baffles newer bloggers how easy it is to make a good post. The main rule of thumb is to write about something people like, don’t copy from the internet, add pictures and photos, separate text into readable paragraphs and that’s it.

And to finish off my post, if you ever want to quit, why not try an alternative and take a break. Its usually just the frustration from blogging that sets you off, and before you do something crazy like write a blog suicide note to all your innocent readers, just take a while off from blogging.

You’ll find yourself coming back to it, soon enough, with fresh new ideas and a spirit ready for writing more posts.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eid Mubarak

Revolting arabic coffee, pitiful 3ediyaat, disgusting chocolates.

Sloppy kisses from old relatives, endless visits to people you don't know.

Even old men in suites arguing whether you can invite people to weddings by text messages or phone calls.

Eid il Adha. Enjoy it. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holidays Before Holidays

Some things are really strange in this world, like aliens, politicians and taxi drivers. But one thing that’s really strange is how Arabs decide their days off. Which is were my ranting all begins, when students decided that Thursday, the day before the Eid holiday which will last for more than a week, is a holiday for them as well.

There’s no problem in taking a day off, but why would anyone take off a day when you’ve got a whole week ahead of you. And just to add to that, my parents made me go to school anyway and I got bored to death, along with the other three students that came along as well, and did practically nothing.

Which asks the question, why on earth do we need holidays before holidays? The problem is that it’s grown too much its hard to stop this bad habit. My point is, there’s nothing wrong in taking a day off for some reason, but the problem is when you take a holiday for the sake of another holiday. It’s a bit like how everyone at school will come in their new clothes when we come back.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picking Video Games

After almost three months of searching around the streets of Jordan for any solution for modding my Xbox 360, I have finally been defeated and have not found any shop at all. In the end, I had to go ahead and order original games for my Xbox from Amazon. I ended up spending my entire years’ savings on three games and a controller, for £150.

Before I go on and tell you about the games I chose to play for god knows how long, I’d like to give you some advice on how to choose a game. It’s a rather simple procedure that ensures you get the best game for your money and don’t end up getting disappointed you spent your well earned money on a pile of rubbish.

The main point you must always take into consideration, and is the biggest impact on whether the game is good or not, is seeing critics’ views. Looking up the game on a popular review website, like IGN or Gamespot, is the first part of choosing a game. As a general rule of thumb, even before reading the review, look at the games score. Generally, any game over 9 is excellent, and don’t take this easily.

For example, 8.9 is not excellent, and reviewers really do take into consideration everything to determine if a game really does make the point of excellence. Games over nine are the ones to go for first, but there’s nothing wrong in going for something over 8. Below eight, however, is a no-no.

There are things you mustn’t look for. One of the first is well awaited for sequels, or in other words a new release to a popular series. Just because the company did it right before it doesn’t mean that it’ll do it better again. In fact, sometimes it comes out worse, like Need For Speed Undercover. Another thing not to look for is over-hyped reviews, such as the ones from magazines, since they tend to give a perfect full score to anything they find seems good, which isn’t always the case.
Putting all of that into mind, picking a game is simple.

Even if you’re stuck on two similar games with just about the same score, try watching a video review. This shows you game play and also tells you what’s good about the game and what’s bad. It’s a two in one deal, and you’re sure to get out of it picking the best one.

Considering this all, I went ahead and picked three sequels to games that reviewers considered excellent, or above nine in the score. The first was Gears of War 2, a sequel to an already excellent game, with better stunning graphics the second time.

Next was Fallout 3, an RPG that wasn’t much heard of until the third made its way through and marvelled all critics. This is a game that combines graphics, with a good storyline and interesting styles of game play. Lastly was the latest sequel in the Call of Duty series, World at War. According to reviewers, even though this went back into the World War once again, it managed to keep its name and stay a brilliant shooter.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Making HDR Photos

Sometimes when you take a photo, its either good in some areas, and bad in others. This is usually because of over or under exposure to light in the scene, and there isn't much you can do about it with one photo.

This is where high dynamic ranging comes in. The main concept of this is that you take multiple photos of exactly the same scene, but using different exposures. Then, a special piece of software analyzes all the photos then merges them together, using the clearest selections of the image for each part.

In the end, what results is a clear image with outstanding results most of the time, and a photo with no over exposures or under exposures. I decided to try it out, took out a camera, positioned on our balcony, took three pictures with different exposures.

There are many different software that merge photos into high dynamic range photos, but by far the best - according to the Internet folk - was Photomatix. I tried it out and it gave far better results than when I tried in Photoshop CS3.

All in all, these are the results. First photo is the three photos before merging. The second is when Photomatix works its magic on the three photos. And the third is the HDR photo after a few touching up on Photoshop. Now, go out now and try it your self.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Not Another Header

Usually these days, when I smell my mothers cooking, I know that shes making something good. It all began when she began making creative things, as in trying new recipes and non-traditional foods, so the cooking now is much better than ever before - thank you, mum.

So, as being my creative and inspirational self that I am - brag, brag - I was searching the internet when I stumbled upon a rather simple, powerful and magnificent tool called Wordle. To sum up what this nifty tool does, I ask a question: have you ever wondered how to make a word collage?

Wordle is your answer. Either enter a whole load of text, your blog address, or a del.icio.us name, and with a bit of magic and voodoo, the program begins making your jumble of words. By default, it won't look as you want it, so you'll need to tweak with the settings and randomise a bit to get the result you want.

If you prefer the one I just used in the header, then choose half and half for the layout, heat for the colour, and telephoto for the font. In the end you'll have to print screen it all, since the programmers couldn't be bothered to make a function to export it as an image.

In the end I couldnt think of anything creative enough to place the title of my blog, so I just made a few adjustments and made it the header of my blog for now. Until then, I would have thought up of something creative enough.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So What's Next?

Now that Barak Obama is the new President of the United States of America, what do we expect to see from him?

I've heard some really strange things from many people over the past few days, over the fate of the days and months to come. Some are hopeful that he'd just pull all the soldiers out of Iraq. I mean, imagine how optimistic people would be when they say he'd do that. And imagine the reaction of the opposing countries.

For some the middle name Hussain and the Arab originality is just too frightening. There are rumors that Obama is really a Muslim deep inside. And the ideas of him turning to radical Islam have already popped up, which I saw on Hard Talk a few days ago. Sense of humor?

And for the more pessimistic side, people just keep remembering Martin Luther King and relating him to Obama. Even though the state of black people in the world these days has changed immensly, people really believe in his fate. Talk about superstition.

But for me, I'll just sit back in my computer chair watching the news and hoping a miracle will fall down from the sky. And its a good thing Americans are not Arabs. I mean just imagine McCains supporters out on the streets shooting in the air, waving thier flags and smashing cars. Hehe.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I really hate spenders, careless spenders who God has blessed them with money and they just take it a little too far. Here is an account of a 5aroof - sheep - that I wrote as in first person, for the entertainment value.

I am a sheep.

I never save a penny since all the money will do is collect dust. I must spend everything I get, but it must be all for me. All I do when I enter a shop is buying, even if I don’t need it, and when I buy a book I judge it by its cover. I love gimmicks. If I find something that looks good, I will buy it. I don’t care if I need it or not, since I have too much money and too much things to buy. I usually end up using the product for a while then throwing it away, or just putting it in the bin from the beginning.

I am overweight but I have no clue as to why I am, even though I eat everything under the sun. My ideal outing would be running around a mall to watch a movie in the cinema and eating all the overpriced popcorn, then eat way too much from an expensive junk food branch, then run around a bit more trying to find more places to spend money on. I must spend all the money in my pocket that night; otherwise I will suffer from severe depression, for some reason.

I always get the most expensive choice of item even though I probably don’t know what makes one item better than the other. My television is extra flat and large, and I have every subscription and every dish in the world, just so I can be a perfect potato couch. No evening meal is acceptable if it doesn’t have all the best courses from all around the world in extra large size, and I usually have to get a take away from an American junk food branch because home made food is not of my standards.

My favourite topics are food, money, clothes, movies, games, and many more useless topics to burn more money and waste even more time. Instead of keeping my great stories of travelling around the world and eating a truck load of chocolate, I have to tell everyone in a bragging way and despise anyone who dares to contradict me.

I feel that other people who try to save money are idiots. Why do people buy DVDs, when they can buy a cinema ticket and watch it on a very large screen with very loud sound, which makes watching a film so much better. Or why do they walk, when they can go around in expensive cars with low mileage for so little energy. And why do I have to see people in the same clothes? Are they so poor they can’t buy new clothes? I’m so good I never wear the same shirt twice!

How many people do you know match this description?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One More Year

Its my birthday today, so I'm officially fifteen today. Its been two years blogging and fifteen years stuck on planet earth.

And as its usual for October that it rains. For some reason it rains exactly when the last period finishes and rains on me and my backpack all the wait until my dad comes to pick me up.

So I guess the following days will be very enjoyable. Happy birthday to me, and the perfect song to be singing in the background:

" Kiber ja7shna wa saar i7maar... oink oink... "

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Beaten To Death By His Teacher

And you thought it would never come.

Apparently, a boy in Alexandria, around eleven years old was beaten to death by his teacher. This was a punishment for not completing his homework.

The fool of a teacher beat the boy until he fainted, was then taken to the hospital where he suffered from heart failure and later died.

Although these cases are rather rare these days, they still do occur.

An Egyptian teacher at a primary school in Alexandria is alleged to have beaten an 11-year-old pupil to death.

The maths teacher, Haitham Nabeel Abdelhamid, who worked at Saad Othman school, was furious because Islam Amro had not finished his homework.

After using a ruler to punish him, the teacher is alleged to have taken the young boy outside the classroom and hit him violently in his stomach.

The young pupil fainted and later died in hospital of heart failure.

He was taken from the school to hospital but suffered a sharp drop in blood pressure and heart failure.

The teacher is reported by Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Alyoum to have told the prosecutor that he was only trying to "discipline the boy, not to kill him".

Mr Abdelhamid was remanded in custody on manslaughter charges.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lurking Around My Pictures

You know how Microsoft originally made My Pictures so that users would put their photos, but in the end no one really did. Most people would just throw everything either on the desktop or somewhere else.

Anyway, I found some interesting pictures lying around in My Pictures, probably collected some virtual dust. I had always loved Photoshop and decided to learn more from online tutorials, ever since the switch from online gaming to programming.

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Heroes from four popular console games

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A text effect I learned from an amazing online tutorial

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My first HDR photo I took from our balcony

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A mix of many different abstract wallpapers

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Somewhat a mosaic of many games I had in mind

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Another space effect wallpaper from a tutorial

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Studying Physics

I was bored while I was studying Physics the other day, so I decided to take a few pictures of my 'worktop'. This is were I study every single day - other than on the computer of course.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Daily Fixes

Just before I'm about to head off to school each morning, and after I put on my blue creased shirt and heave my heavy bones to the mess of a kitchen to eat something.

And that something is supposed to give the energy to turn on whats left of my brain cells in school. So, in theory, this daily fix is essential to getting a mark.

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Tea is the most likely thing I'd drink in the morning. I enjoy everything sweet, so I put three to four spoons in my cup - my parents are wondering why I still haven't got diabetes.

I only take Lipton, sometimes add milk, and never prefer it cold. Except iced tea, but since when was that tea anyway. I even put some tea to drink in the car on the way to school, and thats how I usually end up with a messy uniform.

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Hot chocolate was something I used to drink some time ago. Problem with it was that it needed a microwave, and that was always busy in the morning heating up bread or sandwiches.

It was good while it was still an addiction, and I'm sure I'll return to it someday. Until then, its only a drink in the afternoon when my stomach isn't overwhelmed by chocolate.

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Cereal was never one of the options when we arrived to Jordan. The prices of the edible cereal here was way over the top and the only alternative was either oats or normal cornflakes - both were quite vile.

Oats, or shufaan, was one of the things I used to eat most of the time. Unfortunately, it would usually be piled with sugar to the point the healthy part of ceral didn't make sense anymore.

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Eggs, along with the normal Jordanian breakfast is usually on the table these days. Humus, foul and some other food is piled on the table, along with bread of course.

As great as this breakfast may be the first time, eating the same thing over and over again not only results in a bad stomach but a really bad taste.

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And sometimes the tables empty and I'll just eat anything in the fridge and then hurry off to school. The rest of my empty stomach would probably be continued in school - usually.

So what do your breakfasts contain?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Teachers At School

I was going to write this post a long time ago, but now that my first month certificate has come out - 94%, thanks to god - I thought it was a good idea to type this post up today.

Anyway, I won't include any names or pictures, for - err - safety reasons. I don't want to wake up tomorrow with a bounty on top of my head. No, not the chocolate.. anyway, lets start.

Maths Teacher - Super Teacher

I wrote a post about this guy some time ago, but I'd like to talk about him again, just in case you didn't read that post. Anyway, to make a long story short, this guy knows everything, but he keeps bragging to make the thing worse.

To give a few examples on his "godly powers", he knows every subject to ever be sent to earth - Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Arabic, and of course Math. He tells us of his great defeats of exams to challenge him, how he got 197/200 in Math Tawjihi, how he got 99% in Religion, and a few more.

Not only will he stop at that, but his miracles extend to reach gymnastics - splitting more than 180 degrees or standing on his head for a very long time, music - he once played us a song on a classmates guitar in front of us, and even his family - he claims his father was the principle of his school.

Biology Teacher - Hitler

You know when teachers come into a boys school for the first time, they either try to settle things down or get taken down really easily and lose control. And when the teacher is a woman, you'd expect nothing less than no control. But this was not the case.

This teacher would come into the class with a large frown on her face and a rather loud voice. Anyone who would dare open their mouth to interrupt the lesson would probably be shot dead and their body burnt. This was were the nickname Hitler came from.

She got everything going and her lessons still run smoothly now, maybe with not much of the fear of being randomly fired at compared to the beginning of the term. But some things didn't change, like the difficulty and quantity of her exams or her marks.

Chemistry Teacher - Ammonia

Fresh to school this year, this teacher really turns out to think we're still his college students he used to teach before coming to school. He explains everything, uses every term in the book and gives too much examples, that it all backfires and you end up looking like a stunned mullet in his class.

'With respect to' and 'beyond your scope' are just some of the rather peculiar phrases he uses, all along with a strange accent that is a mix between British, Jordanian, American, maybe a bit of Klingon as well. For some reason, he loves giving us big fat photocopied handouts, 30 pages or so, after we finish the subject, all in his very 'clear' handwriting.

All in all, I wish this guy luck. I doubt he'll make it past his first year here. No one does anyway.

And thats all I can manage for a post. It'd be too big anyway if I continued. I'll finish off the list of teachers in the next post, some other time. Hopefully...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eid, Long Ago

I can still remember Eid long ago, when I was still in London and I was probably still an infant.

It was always the same routine but it appealed to me as much as any celebration. The night before we would all be very excited and start talking about what we would be doing tomorrow, who we would visit and who would come to us.

In the morning, I would get up excited, put on my new clothes folded neatly next to my bed the day before, then wake up my brother before going downstairs - we lived in a small two floor house at that time. The living room would be decorated with tinsel and colored lights, and we sit there waiting for our parents to come down.

A few minutes later our parents would come down, my dad holding a large bag full of 'surprise' presents, and my mum holding a video camera that would already be recording. We would start opening our presents and playing with them for a while, until it was time for the prayer.

We would get in the car with my dad and off we would go to the nearby mosque. After that it we would go and visit our uncle, maybe a few visits to some other relatives or friends, invite some to dinner, and that would be it.

It'd all be over in a day. But it was rather exciting, at that young age anyway. These days, at an age of almost fifteen - just a few more days to go tfo being a super grumpy caveman - you don't really find Eid anything more than a break from school and a money gainer. Nothing that exciting compared to maybe ten years ago.

So, how was Eid when you we're young?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celebrations & Farewells

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A celebration of ma3moul.
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A celebration of arabic coffee.
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A celebration of chocolate.
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A celebration of money.
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A farewell to fasting.
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A farewell to 3azayem.
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A farewell to tarawee7.
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A farewell to television.

عيد مبارك و كل عام وأنتم بخير

Monday, September 29, 2008

Brainiac On MBC Action

A new advert came on while I was watching MBC action about new shows in October, and one of them was Brainiac.

For those of you who still do not know what Brainiac is, it really is a science show with a twist. Rather than giving you all the boring information and knowledge, it gives experiments and facts in a fun, interesting way.

Typical and popular shows of the series will probably include explosions, since almost every show includes a new version of an explosion or a crash or a fire. For example, one show included throwing a filled milk truck from a 50ft crane and finding it produced 121dB of sound.

Now thats what I call science!

Anyway, this is great news for all fans, including me. Be sure not to miss it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Raining

It seems like it was only a few days ago when I would be coming out of the school gates with sweat on my forehead. And today, I open the curtains this morning to discover it has rained.

Now, as spiritual as Laylit Il Qader may seem, this is definitely a sign that yesterday was not the night - since there must be no clouds in the sky.

But we all went for it anyway and I guzzled down quite a lot Mountain Dew bottles to stay awake this one.

Even with all of that I slept like a log at around 2 o'clock and woke up later at noon. Anyway today I have a 3azoomeh, here in my house. Wish me luck.

So, how did you spend your Laylit Il Qader? (other than sleeping of course...)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thy Will Not Mod

It’s almost a month since I got my Xbox 360. And the idea of not getting to play on it is killing me.

The problem is, it just won’t it3adel (become modded to play copied games). This is what many shops have told me and some other new 360 owners as well. I went from Al-Gardens to Amman Mall to Sweifieh. All of them told me the same thing, since it is a new version that can’t be modded at the moment and I’ll have to wait, maybe a week or month, till a method of modding comes out for these ‘new’ versions.

So I wait. I borrowed an original game that came with my friends Xbox, Forza Motorsport 2, but after a month of playing with it, it got a bit boring. I really am fed up at having to wait, maybe even more months, like another shop told me. One shop told me there was a chance of it never being modded. Of course I rejected that claim.

And now the Xbox is in my cupboard, above my desk, until something happens. Meanwhile, I have some other – maybe – plans to do if it still isn’t modded after a month. And that is the PC.
PC gaming has become rather popular these days. With the PC always being ahead of consoles, it always takes the lead – for those who have the money and the time of course. Building a computer is easier said than done.

My fellow friend, Yazan, reverted to PC gaming long ago. He had invited us over to his house, a few days ago, for iftar - mansaf, of course. Regardless of what we ate, I tried a go at his computer on a game well known to the gaming industry as Crysis.

Probably having one of the best graphics and a unique design and game play, Crysis turns out to be one great game. Now, the possibilities of me turning to PC gaming are rather good, but I will have to see if the Xbox can be modded or not, in the coming month.

For now, I’ll stick to other sources of entertainment. Oh, and studying, of course.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Prison Break

Here are some more stills from Prison Break, this time the third and fourth episodes of the fourth season of one of the best ever TV shows made.

A lot more break ins, disguises and the bird book is shown to be one hell of a plan that Whistler conjured up, and now T-Bag has to follow in his steps, as we begin to follow along with every element of the plan, that seems to be written in the book.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Prison Break, Season 4

The 1st of September was the launch date for the new season of Prison Break, still airing in America every Monday. I downloaded the first two episodes and I can say one thing - the director is amazing.

Talk about focusing on what people like and dislike from the series, this new season is just right. Seeing that viewers loved most the action - breaking in or out, the planning and the execution - this season is packed full of it, with more to come.

Here are some images I managed to take from the first two episodes, using the rather interesting and light weight Media Player Classic. The next episode airs on 8/9, but it'll be 4am on 9/9 in our time. Enjoy!

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Thy Xbox 360

It is here. After eight months of waiting, and waiting - and praying and begging, the Xbox 360 that I blogged a few months ago about getting is finally here.

Quite a few months ago I ordered it from Amazon so my dad would pick it up while he was in London. The console it self comes in three versions, arcade, premium and elite. I went for the premium.

The 360 itself is not just an ordinary gaming console, it is a high tech computer by itself. Capable of twice the graphical ability of the Playstation 3, the Xbox 360 can generate images that will make you drool twenty litres a second.

In fact, when I was playing a racing game at 1080i on my TV, my grandmother asked me if the trees and the landscape were really computer generated. She could not believe it.

The 360 is now cheaper, in the US, than the Nintendo Wii, priced at $199. Considering that you get a console that is the best in the whole three next generation consoles, that is a bargain for your money.

But enough bragging. I will go, inshallah tomorrow, to a shop in Sweifieh called Boost, to 3adel the console. I will recieve it, according to my friend who did so as well, on Sunday. By then I will be able to play true next gen games.

I'm talking Call of Duty or Gears of War. :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadan Kareem

Some people might say Bab Il 7ara 3 has come, or some might say A6ayef have come. Some may say fasting has come, and some may just get depressed. And some might even say Prison break season 4 is on its way.

But for most of us, its Ramadan has come. Even though Libya has fasted before every single arab country, but for Jordan, today is the first day of fasting. And it may also be the first time I return to blogging in a few days.

So I guess alot of people will be angry. Teachers will be angry, very very angry. And this time it will be triple, because its summer time, and we now wait until 7 o clock so we can eat something. And the scorching hot sun will greet us every day of the month.

Return to your air conditions people, the only refuge for the citizens. Then I guess it'll either be the computer, the television, maybe the Xbox. Still a long way to go. More bloggin promsied this time though.

Good luck to you all for now and ramadan mubarak.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Brainiac Stuff

A few facts from my favorite show that I can only watch on the web, Brainiac.

- A human eye can be measured in megapixels - 254 mp to be exact.
- The best paper airplane you can make is from an A4 sheet of paper.
- You can make a rocket out of a water bottle tank and some air.
- Want to make the smelliest fart? Try sprouts.
- Eating some chili will make the funniest facial expression.
- You can fold a piece of paper, no mater the size, 9 times only.
- Packing helium balloons in your packaging can make it lighter.

And quite alot more, go to Youtube and search for Brainiac. I'm sure you'll be amazed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Week Of School

Now this was one long week, and I guess the reason was no other than because it was a school week.

A lot of new things happened this tenth year in school. My brother now comes with me to school, which is rather annoying, and we now go to school by car instead of by bus.

Quite a few of the old teachers had changed - well, we weren't really surprised. The Physics teacher was probably fired because everyone hated him, the Chemistry teacher was pregnant and had to stop teaching - how convenient. She was good and now they've got us someone worse.
The English teacher tried to get a raise but in this stubborn school, they disagreed and she left in search of a better school. About 10 students from grade nine had left and there was only 1 new student.

Last year a friend of mine was hit by an SUV and broke his thigh when he was leaving the school. The school had to fire the PE teacher, since he let him leave early - not that'd make a difference, but the school has to blame someone or else the parents (see: money) will start asking questions.

And thats that. This year is externals year for the IGCSE - something equivalent to the tawjihi. Thats great, just great. More pressure. :)

Anyway this weekend my family is off to THE AQABA, city of buildings made of gold and a woman blowing sand onto them. Hehe. I'll hopefully be blogging from there, so see you then.

Friday, August 15, 2008

City Fiesta & MBC Be The Star

Oh boy, we won both competitions. I swear to god.

The first was today, when we went to City Mall, me and my friend, to take part in a competition - something like a treasure hunt. We were given clues, in the form of logos, for a shop in the mall and were told to find those shops to get more clues.

All in all it was great fun, the hard part were the questions we had to solve, some really puzzling riddles, like the penny, nickel and quarter, but my brother was at home and looked on the Internet and got us the answer - you could ask for help from anyone, it was part of the game.

Judge time came, after five hours of writing and running, and me and my friend had got second place, thanks to god. The prize was a great 200JDs in vouchers to be spent in City Mall. So that means 100JDs each. :)

I still haven't spent anything from them yet, but I'm sure I'll find something to spend it on.

Anyway, as we were waiting outside of City Mall, waiting for our parents, he said that he wanted to tell me something. He reminded me of our film, which we did a few months ago, and I blogged about. Well, he turned out to have submitted it to Be The Star competition a month ago.

Little did he know that it had uploaded and gathered a whopping 1019 VIEWS!!! It was first place in all of the competition and we had won. Oh I jumped for joy so much, people started to look at me from their cars as if I was crazy.

I made him swear to god that what he was saying was true, and he did so many times he got angry. Anyway, he had got a call from Dubai saying we had one. We have to send them a CD of the movie and they will send us the prizes.

Oh I am happy. Happy, happy, happy. Alhamdullilah, of course. :D

Now, how did they jump over the moon? ...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

'Kinzi' is a Brand

I saw this on some mysterious carpet while we were shopping in Safeway. I never knew it was a brand.

I also saw a cafe in Nu3man mall called Kinzi but I never could get the chance to take a picture since I was in the car.

The real Kinzi's blog is here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Street Numbers Really Work!

It's true, a restaurant delivery reached out house with only our road name and number!

Today we decided to get a delivery from Tazaj, after its good reputation it got from our family in Saudi Arabia. We rang them up and ordered.

When we asked do you deliver to Sports City, he said yes, and asked us for our street address and the number. We gave it to him thinking he was joking and he'd ring back later to ask for directions.

Within half an hour, he had reached our house and we enjoyed the dinner. The amazing thing is that we didn't give him any directions.

Now I have no idea how on earth he knew where to go, maybe he opened up the imaginary A-Z of Amman and looked up our street.

Maybe he has some GPS system that tells him how to reach the street. Or his has some voodoo powers to hunt us down, I don't know.

Thing is, it worked - maybe we can start using this method publicly, to reach destinations, to get to houses and landmarks, maybe even in taxis.

What do you think?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Glow In The Dark Mountain Dew

Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and 1/4 of a mountain dew bottle - it glows like a light bulb. No wonder I'm so hyper active!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense, a 1999 film which may sound quite old, but is rather interesting, is about a boy who has a sixth sense, maybe some might call it a gift. This gift enables him to see dead people.

While this may seem to some as 'cool', maybe even reminding you of Ghost Whisperer, this frightens the young boy as he keeps seeing people begging for mercy with cut off limbs or hanging from a rope.

This goes by the tag line of the movie, 'not every gift is a blessing', and his daily traumas make him more and more troubled with his life.

The boy seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist, Dr Malcom, who once was shot by one of his patients who had the same sixth sense, driving the patient into total madness and misery.

With the help of the doctor, after he realizes that what the boy is seeing is real, the boy begins to tackle his dilemmas with the help of the psychologist, by speaking to the dead people and seeing what they need.

This psychological horror film or maybe thriller, is a rather interesting one. This is one of the films that the plot is focused on more than the action, but without getting too unbalanced.

Probably the best and most thrilling part of the film is the twist ending, for which the director was very creative indeed. You will be surprised by the ending, I can assure that.

Be sure to watch this six Academy Award nomination film.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Days With My Father

This type of journal, rather interesting with pictures and text to go with, is rather touching.

It talks about a son with a father, who suffers from a disease similar to Alzheimers. He had no short term memory, and the son had only discovered this after his mother died suddenly.

When he and his father returned from the funeral, his father was puzzled where his wife was. After the son explained to him she had died, he soon discovered he had no short term memory.

Because he would be traumatized again and again when he would find out his wife was dead, the son changed the story so she was in Paris caring her sick brother.

The journal covers alot of his daily life, so see it if you can. The navigation is rather puzzling at first, but all you need to do to move your mouse below the picture and click to move forward.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tawjihi Results

Today I woke up at the sound of gunfire, fireworks and car horns.

Was it yet another stupid wedding? At 8 AM? No. Maybe it was it World War 3? Maybe it was some drunks/drug addicts in happy hour?

No. It was the celebrators of Tawjihi.

So, congratulations to all who got more than 50%. Farewell to all those who got less.

Have fun celebrating for continuous hours in the streets with your heads dangling out the car windows screaming your barbarian war cries.

Also have fun shooting with your machine guns and RPGs, and try not to break a window or some telephone pole (it happened once, I swear). And if you want to kill the boy, have some mercy.

Happy Tawjihi!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Prison Break Season 4

The trailer is here at last to feed the addiction of all fans, like me. Its a bit short but you can find out quite a lot from it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Maa2 Maa2

ADSL prices decrease, but with tons of strings attached. Orange stabs us again in the back.

As I was reading on Adoosh today, Orange has lowered their ADSL prices, but has lowered all of the limitations. Even our unlimited one. The 128 kb/s internet connection famous for its unlimited download speed is now limited to a 'huge' 2 GB!

What does this mean? Well, for something like 512 kb/s, once you download more than 3 GB, your speed is lowered to 128 until the following month. But to where will the 128 kb/s be lowered to? 56?! Will we now be blogging as if we were on Farah cards? Would images never pop up?

Well with the new limitations applied, what would this mean? No more torrent downloading over night? No more free movies from the net and more visits to the DVD shop? All we can do is wait. If you want to check out if your speed has been limited, try out this and see what you get.

Maybe we can try calling Orange and see if we can get the unlimited back? Ah, no that wont work - they never pick up the phone anyway and you keep listening to that horrible song for hours and hours.

Believe me, I am willing to pay 2 extra JDs so I can get my freedom back. Argh...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why Do People Like Noor?

What is it that's so fascinating about Noor?

There is barely a meaningful plot to the story. The plot keeps changing all the time its annoying. The show is badly dubbed and it never syncs up with the motion anyway.

The background music is always the same. The soundtrack is horrible. The characters always live in the huge house next to the sea. All the characters work at the same company.

Everyone calls the annoying old man their grandfather, when he isn't their grandfather! The dubbing sometimes changes what they are really saying that you can notice it in the acting.

I have tried to work out why on earth someone would like to see such a show and I have no idea. Now the last thing I need is someones phone to ring and I hear that piece of music again. Oh, god.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Taking Things Apart

Have you ever tried to take something apart to see how it works?

Maybe something was broken and you tried to fix it? Did you fix it in the end? How about you tried to make something better?

A lot of people on the web talk about these things, one of the most popular being Kipkay.

I have tried a lot of times to fiddle around with things, like lights and chargers and the like. Not all worked though.

I want to know, have you ever tried changing something around? And did it work?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Flickr Mosaic Tag

I just loved the creativity of this tag when I first saw it on Qabbani's blog, that I had to do it.

The description of the tag, briefly - I tag whoever wants to be tagged.

Type your answers to each of the questions below into Flickr
2- Using only the first page, pick an image.
3- Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker
4- Save a copy to your PC and then post it in your blog
The questions are:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Can You Make Money Online?

This question was one I pondered on many times last year.

I had heard many success stories of people who had went on the Internet, done something, and then got millions out of it. Was it all true?

I decided to try it out myself, as I had nothing to lose. But I couldn't do it alone, so I decided to get my slightly older close relative in the game.

After searching many sites, I found a good site called Bux.To, which seemed rather good. You surfed ads for a cent for each ad you see for 30 seconds.

Whats better, is that for each referrals view, you get a cent as well. There was also the option to buy packages of referrals.

I went ahead and bought some referrals with the 15 dollars left in my Paypal account. Soon enough the referrals brought me some money.

Of course, there was a catch, for the payout to come you'll have to wait 60 business days. Quite alot to wait.

At last I had ten dollars, minimum cashout. I requested it on January the 10th, and waited. I waited alot.

Until yesterday.

I really had thought that there was something fishy about the website, until I found an email in my inbox. It said the amount had been paid today.

And, sure to say, the amount was in my account. Sure it took a long time to come, but it was there.

So, I am continuing my online money making experience. Why don't you try it too?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Till Now

Two weeks of summer have past and it’s already fantastic. Not only is it because schools out, but I’m doing quite a lot of activities that make summer worthwhile.

The gym I told you about in a previous post is great. The coaches are well trained and the place is full of rather interesting workout machines. It really is something worth the money.

I’ve watched quite a few films till now, since the last review of Iron Man, I watched Indiana Jones 4, 21, Street Kings and Oceans 13.

The date of the Xbox 360 is coming close, which is in four more days. I don’t exactly know from where to buy it from, does anyone know a place in Amman and its prices?

Other than that, I learned four more pages of Koran, visited lots of relatives, ate lots of food and made lots of milkshake, which my coach advised me to do.

Ah, and my dad went this morning on a one month trip to London.

So that’s all, how is your summer holiday going?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hajjaj on Society

Our attitudes as individuals and as a society, by Hajjaj.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Iron Man (2008)

I watched this film yesterday and I must say it is fantastic.

The story talks about a Tony Starks, a man who owns a weapons factory that makes firearms for the military. After being captured by a terrorist group, he finds out that his weapons are being used against America and escapes by building the Iron Man.

Once outside and in a press conference, he declares that he will shut down the factory after what he saw while he was captured. However, a man also in the company was not at all willing to shut the factory down and later became enemies with him.

Tony must now use all his power against his enemy, by building an improved, more sophisticated but powerful Iron Man, in order to battle his enemies and rid the world of evil. Along comes action packed scenes that you will love.

Talking more about the bad sides, this film's plot is rather short and might even be predictable. The action is a bit overrated but settles to be fair by the end. Putting the cons aside, the film contains great action scenes as well as well put special effects.

A stunning film for those action lovers.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back From 3omrah

After a whole day of sitting in the uncomfortable bus, driving along the roads of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, I arrived back home. As the saying says, home sweet home.

One of the highlights of the trip was the Prophets mosque, a beautiful and well cared for mosque.

I remember when we were passing the Saudi borders, and a police man entered the bus, a young boy pointed at him and asked, “Is he the Prophet?”.

Anyway, I am now back at home on the computer, and ready to burn off the rest of the maybe five weeks of summer holiday.

Maybe I’ll watch Indiana Jones today and review it in a post tomorrow. Goodbye until then.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sixth Day In Mecca

Here I am O Allah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.

Today is the sixth day of my 3omrah, and I have finally finished the actual part of the 3omrah, the i3timar. Yesterday at 11 at night we reached the holy city of Mecca, after a five hour drive in the bus – boring and uncomfortable as usual.

My first impression of the city was that it wasn’t as beautiful as the Medina, as the Medina is much bigger and its buildings are much more spacious. One thing that you notice is that all of Mecca’s buildings are cramped together, and the streets are mostly alleyways.

Putting that aside and looking towards the Ka3ba, I actually got to see and pray near it. Contrary to many people’s belief, the 7aram in Mecca is much smaller than the one in Medina. After the 6awaf, it was time for the sa3i, between the two ‘hills’, the safa and the marwa. This part is especially tiring and annoying, but you’ll be grateful when it’s done.

Now that we had completed all the tasks necessary for the 3omrah, it was time to go and shave my hair off. Now I look a lot like ecosaan (however you spell that green headed cartoon Chinese guy that comes on Spacetoon), so I guess I’ll need a cap to cover my bald head.

All in all I’ve finished everything necessary, and I’ll be back in Jordan after two days in this city. On Friday, I’ll be back to the uncomfortable bus for an unbearable twenty six hours. And the toilet on the bus has run out of water, so I guess it will be a very very painful.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In The Prophets City

The land where the sun shines high above, blazing at 40 degrees high, over the two great mosques symbolic to Islam.

Welcome to Saudi Arabia.

Today is the 3rd day of our 3omrah in the holy land. We got here by bus, a 21 hour drive with constant visits to the (extremely dirty) bathrooms on the road. Arabic toilets are the only available option!! Not a very nice experience.

Off to the Medina.

After the ride which was quite long, boring and uncomfortable, the heat of the country welcomed us. It’s a bit like opening an oven and sticking your head inside.

Putting the bus and weather aside, the hotel was good, even though it has no wireless and all surrounding wireless access point are password protected – how clever.

The hotel is right beside the 7aram, the second mosque of the three important mosques in Islam. I’ve been to the mosque to pray a few times today and yesterday. The mosque is huge and the inside is beautiful.

We stay in Medina for two more days now, and on Tuesday we regroup to head to Mecca, where we begin I7ram and such. I’ll get into details once the day comes.

I’ll try to keep posting, once I figure out this 3G service or I find an access point. Until then, good bye from Saudi Arabia.

By the way, who ever knew Saudi Arabia had Indians (rather than Egyptians in Jordan) for the manual labour? :D