Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Arab Stereotypes

People have been manipulated by the media into believing what they see in films about Arabs. There has been an Arab stereotype in the West about how they think Arabs are. To a majority of Westerners, an Arab...
  • Lives in a tent in the middle of a vast desert filled with sandstorms.
  • Has ten wives each of which wears a burqa and has ten children.
  • Wears a red keffiyeh and has an uncombed beard from one ear to the next.
  • Goes around his daily life with a suicide vest strapped to his chest.
  • Rides on a decorated but smelly camel from one village to the next.
  • Has wives that go around the tent holding large pots of water on their heads.
  • Lives on nothing but falafel for his breakfast, lunch and supper.
  • Carries a sword on his back or on his waist and uses it to behead people.
  • Has extremist views on killing all the West and burning their bodies.
  • Earns a living by robbing nearby villages late at night.
  • Writes in hieroglyphics and worships large statues of ancient pharaohs.
  • Has a name of "abu" followed by either "abdul", "mohammad", or "mustafa".
  • Come to the west with the only intention of blowing up a crammed bus.
Here's a video from Queen Rania's Youtube channel about Arabs in the west and how people there see them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Blame

From time to time, you will meet people that in certain situations will have messed up, but will put the blame on everything possible except themselves. Here are a few examples from day to day life were people have put the blame on everything but themselves.

Speeding Drivers

I was moving with the flow of traffic. I needed to get to the shop to buy falafel for my hungry sons. I didn't know because my speed meter is broken. I didn't sleep last night properly. I was catching up with a wedding. I was in a wedding driving like a maniac and honking randomly. My foot slipped on the gas pedal. I'm a stupid taxi driver with no manners or respect for others.

The reality: the guy saw the speed limit sign but couldn't care less, he thinks he owns the road legally and he can go as fast as he likes.

Rejected Brides

She has no money. She comes from a poor family. She is cursed. She doesn't want to get married. She has been envied by everyone in her university. We need to pay the other family more. She does not own a large car with a personal driver. She was cursed long ago by that old witch with a large nose. She was born on the same day that we saw the crow on our windowsill. Our Filipino maid wrapped her photo in bandages and cooked them at midnight with a newts eye and a mosquito's brain.

The reality: the bride is uglier than an ogre, but the family will lie to themselves and blame it on the innocent maid trying to earn a living.

Iranian Elections

The vote was rigged. The votes were miscounted. There were more votes than the population. There was a foreign intervention. The vote was rigged by Israel. False Twitter accounts were made on the internet to aid protesters. There is a media clampdown to stop the world knowing what really happened. Britain and America had something to do with the rigged vote. The vote did not turn out how we wanted it to be and that means it is unfair.

The reality: when will we Arabs ever have elections that come out with everyone happy? Problem is, if Mousavi won, supporters of Ahmadinejad would have protested saying it was an unfair election.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fox Attacked Obama

Do you remember the Obama media hype was before the elections? But what's more important, is how the media covered him. Many news channels claim to be unbiased no matter what the coverage, and will report all news without giving opinions and will verify all sources claims.

That’s were Fox news comes in, in which post election it was extremely against Obama. Although not directly stating so, it was clearly obvious that it was backing his rival John McCain throughout the entire elections. Video after video on the internet shows how this happened.

Here is a one of those videos from YouTube. Fox news, which claims to provide balanced and unbiased news coverage, clearly did not live up to that claim post election. Its news reporters freely gave their opinions when they were supposed to be reporting, and what's more alarming is what they picked on.

The channel mocked Obama when seen in a swimming shorts, found the middle name of the president so alarming, claimed he did nothing for black people, picked on the fact he was a cigarette smoker and said he went to a extremist 'madrasa' when he was young. As a side note, always watch Al-Jazeera International for fair news coverage in English.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dabshaat: Part Three

مرة أستاذ عبقري راح على مدرسة للمتميزين منشان يختبرهم.

دخل على الصف و سألهم: إيش في إشي بطير؟

رفع ولد إيدو و قال: الحمامه يا أستاذ

قال الأستاذ: غلط. شو بشتغل أبوك؟

رد الطالب: دكتور يا أستاذ

قال الأستاذ: شايفين، إذا إبن دكتور و هيك

رفع طالب اخر إيدوا و قال: العصفور

رد الأستاذ: غلط! إيش بشتغل أبوك؟

قال الطالب: مهندس

قال الأستاذ: إغس، إذا إبن مهندس و هيك

طالب دواوين رفع إيدوا و قال: التمساح يا أستاذ

قال الأستاذ: يلعن شكلك، شو بشتغل أبوك

رد الطالب: مدير المخابرات يا أستاذ

قال الأستاذ: على فكره، التمساح إذا شد حيلو بقدر يطير

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jordans Response To Swine Flu

As swine flu cases outbreak in Jordan, there is obviously going to be some gossip about it from your average Jordanians. Here are what I guess will be some quotes about swine flu from special types of Jordanians. I have written them in Arabic so I don't transliterate them and lose all meaning.

"نعم؟ إنفلونزا الخنازير؟ إيش هاظ؟ ولا؟ لاتكون بتسب علي؟ والله لأورجيك يإبن الـ" – the dumb teenager's response

"لا يجوز توخي الحذر من هذا المرض لأنه من الله و هو سيحمينا من كل الأمراض و بدون أن نفعل أي شيء، ومن لم يقتنع سيعد كافرا وسيرجم حتى الموت " – the extreme sheikh's response

"يا زلمه أنا أصلا صار معاي هذا المرض من ألف سنه و والله إزهقتوا و جسمي إتعود عليه" – the village idiot response

"يا ويلي الله يستر إمبارح شعرت بإرتفاع ضغطي و أظن أنو صار معاي المرض، من يوم ما قربت من البسه الميته في الشارع الأسبوع الماضي" – the paranoid's response

"والله هذه من علامات الساعة و جائني فلان في منامي و أخبرني أن هناك واحده مسخها الله إلى دجاجة مسلوخة بسبب عصيان الله" – the young annoying sheikh's response

"ولك يا عمي أنا ما بصيبني أي مرظ منشان أنا أبوللمرظ، ولك أنا المرظ بنفسو، ولك أنا الدواوين الصح، أوووو" – the taxi driver's response

"والله المرض كللو إشاعة إكبيره معمولة من الحكومة منشان يرفعوا سعر الدجاج و اللحم، والله كنت عارف من زمان بس خفت أحكي لحد يفكروني مجنون" – the conspiracy theorist response

"هو في إشي بحياتنا صح، لا مصاري ولا شغل ولا سيارة ولا أمن، والله الدنيا زفت بس شو إنسوي، الله يعينا – هلا عمي!" – every other Jordanian

In Case Of Fire Don't Use Twitter

Strangest. Fire guidance. Ever.

[source: digg]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Saudi Arabia

Visiting Saudi Arabia is a rather strange experience. But to make a long story short, unless you're coming to visit the holiest sites in Islam, you should steer clear of the place. This is because it is a country where…
  • Temperatures outside soar so high, every building must be air conditioned and you will most likely spend most of your time inside buildings or car.
  • Foreigners outnumber Saudis by such an amount and in so many jobs, that you'll have a hard time getting what you need when you are trying to communicate with Indians.
  • All prices must be divided by five to find their real life value, and you'll most likely be ripped off by prices that are considered to be normal by Saudis.
  • The dishdasheh is the national uniform for all men, while women must wear black tents over their heads – as well as not being allowed to drive. Conferences are a nightmare to attend, because all you will see is men in white and you will be the only person in Earth clothes.
  • Accents used by Saudis are so strange, that you won't recognize the language and will probably mistake it for Indian. Wide means a lot for some reason and the Arabic word for water has been somehow transformed into mooyaah.
  • Foreigners, such as Indians or Filipinos or even Egyptians, not only take up the manual labor industry, but also much of other industries, such as cooks and receptionists.
  • Skyscrapers fill areas of interest and tower above you while you navigate the cramped streets of the city. Fast food branches are so common in these areas that it's no wonder people have a hard time watching their weight.
  • Saudi receptionists look at you blankly when you enquire why the hotel does not offer internet services, and I must go around the place searching for a free wireless access point to read my email and update my blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Running For Parliment

To all citizens of the great country of Jordan, I have decided to run for the parliament too and, should you vote for me, I will not only promise you with eternal happiness in your new utopia, but will also make the following changes to our country. As a side note, a thanks to Garfan for the idea of this post. He's slowly becoming my bad influence.

  • Increase sales tax to fifty percent. This is so everyone can be relieved of their heaps of fortune they have to carry every day, and to further benefit our erm… loyal ministers. Note that this increase in tax money will not necessarily be used for the sake of the country, but it will make your ministers happier.
  • Demolish "سجن سواقة" and all other useless prisons in the country. I may as well take away all emergency departments, and leave everyone to defends for themselves, and become real men for once.
  • Promote the building of cigarette shops, gun stores, bars and pubs, and zain and orange stores. This will further increase our economic stability, remove any monopolies in our markets, and decrease youth unemployment. But most importantly, it will make Jordanian teenagers the most "دواوين" in the Arab world.
  • Motivate any unemployed youngsters in Jordan to become taxi drivers - my favorite type of human beings! Special training sessions will be set up to teach them how to cheat, lie and annoy their customers. Tampering with counters will become legal and taxis will be painted glossy black to make them feel important.
  • National holidays will dramatically increase, as I will impose one every time I wish to move from one building to another. A curfew will be in place and all streets closed for the entire day, while "أنا و الدورية رح إنكزدر حول شوارع عمان". There will be holidays imposed for virtually no reason, much similar to when Saudi Arabia took ten days off when its football team entered the world cup - true story.
  • Maids will be ranked lower than single celled organisms when prioritized in the country. Families will be allowed to beat them daily and deprive them from sleep or food or the toilet. They can also not pay them if the kitchen tiles are not shiny enough or something similar. Also, Egyptian workers will not be allowed to make eye contact with Jordanians or else be expelled from the country. They also must not be seen in the same falafel shop as a Jordanian citizen.
  • There will a day of each year called potato couch day. Citizens will sleep during the day, and then awake late at night. Males must wear a "دشداشه" and females must wear a "عبايه", in preparation for the day. The family will gather round the television and watch Turkish soap operas for the entire night, while stuffing themselves endlessly with high calorie foods - fast food deliveries are recommended.
  • Improve Friday prayer. This will be done by introducing beds for sleeping in mosques during prayers, as well as people serving tea and coffee for drinking during listening to the speech. Imams will be allowed to appear via a video link from their beds directly. And did I mention all mosques will become "مختلطة"?
  • Declare war with all neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. I will also make new alliances with Syria, North Korea and Iran. Also, new nuclear programs will be devised and uranium enrichment will begin. Let the world know that the force of Jordan and its great citizens. We will "نقلبها دندرة".

And there are more to follow. However, according to a recent survey, expected votes have been dismal. For this reason, I am willing to serve mansaf for every citizen that votes for me. This trick always works - vote my loyal citizens and let Jordan be recognized as the best country ever. (stay tuned for part two as well)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Improving Jordans Technology

When it comes to technology in the country of Jordan, it lacks alot. This is in comparison to what this country is able to achieve. When you look at Jordan's potential for a rather large success in the technology sector, and its current position, you can realize the large difference. To make things worse, there have been very few major improvements from the ministry in recent years, except maybe the excluding computers from sales tax.

You may have seen, from her majesty's Youtube channel and Twitter account, that education has been a key aspect of Queen Rania's goals for the country. I highly support her and what she is doing for our country, but I think she can take it a step further. What I am saying is that technology has to play a major part in education so both can strive.

Let me explain further. Computer aided learning is not only a great improvement to the curriculum, it is also necessary to combat any boundaries that our country faces. Technology is possibly the biggest boundary between the twentieth and the twenty first century. If we break this boundary and recognize technology as a major aspect in our country's education, then we have taken the country out of the past and into the present.

But it is not simple as it seems. There have to be many, many improvements here and there for the idea of of technology and education being brought together. Here are a few suggestions as to how this idea could be brought into Jordan. And if you have any more suggestions, please add them by a comment. And if her majesty could read this post, that would be not only a great honor for me, but a great step forward for all of Jordan.

  • Recognize the relationship between education and technology. There has always been a gap between the two when it comes to governmental issues. Many counties have broke the boundary between the two matters and it is Jordan's turn to do the same.
  • Combat computer illiteracy after we have combated illiteracy. I, in no means, want to prioritize anything over the other. But once we have finally stopped illiteracy, there will be a time to start to solve a much larger computer illiteracy.
  • Introduce computer aided learning to classrooms of already developed schools to further aid them. Schools should be encouraged to add computers, not just to special computer labs, but to classrooms themselves.
  • Teachers should be computer literate and be able to produce presentations and use them in lessons. The school should provide laptops and projectors for any teacher that needs them, and these should be of good quality.
  • Computer courses, such as ICDL courses, should be government funded and provided free for everyone. Being funded by the government should not mean it would be lacking and instead should mean it would be of high quality.
  • Provide proper motivations for university students willing to improve technology in Jordan. Motivations should include funding and support for any project the students have. These will hopefully encourage projects to thrive and contribute to the country.
Of course, as I said, any suggestions are appreciated.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photo Of The Day


President Barack Obama talks with aides outside the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris before returning to Washington, June 7, 2009.

[source: flickr]

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Twouble With Twitters

A video asking the question: why do people really need to use twitter?
Twitter is one of the latest social networking tools and it is clear to us at The Listening Post that as a news delivery system, providing instant, on the ground updates via SMS texting, Twitter represents a breakthrough. But what about all the other people who tweet all the time on mundane topics? The people at current.tv threw together a little animation on Twitter that asks the same question.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Everyday Programs








Gmail (web client)








KLite (video)

Picasa (photos)

Songbird (music)


Everything (searching)

Utorrent (bittorrent)

Teracopy (copying)

Graphic design




Video editing

After Effects


Sony Vegas Pro

Audio editing



Audition (discontinued)

Firefox addons


Adblock Plus

Save Folder



Hijack This

Tweak UI

I liked Garfans post about the ten bookmarks you should have, so I went along and decided to make my own one, this time about programs. These aren't eleven, they shouldn't be chosen that way, but rather by picking sometimes one, sometimes the whole bunch. Of course, any suggestions to this post are appreciated.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Xbox 360 at E3 2009

“Today with cultural visionaries at our side and controller-free gaming on our horizon, Xbox 360 authored a new page in home entertainment history,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “For us, this E3 is about breaking down barriers — between generations, between games and entertainment, and most important, between video game players and everyone else — in a way that only Xbox 360 can.”

Microsoft continues to surprise and reward everyone who took the wise decision of buying the Xbox 360. Many new ideas and creations were unveiled but the most phenomenal would be Project Natal. As described by Microsoft, Project Natal is "a revolutionary new way to play: no controller required".

There are many uses of this device, like instant face recognition which logs you into Xbox Live, a microphone with a rather good voice recognition and understands emotions, and a three dimensional camera allowing rather cool models and understands gestures and objects.

This is in no way a rip-off of the Playstation Eyetoy or the Xbox 360 trying to get motion control like the Wii. To understand what I'm saying, watch the video below of painting with the Natal sensor. But the real video you have to watch is the one below that, an interaction between reality and the virtual world that "even science fiction hasn't thought off yet".