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Thursday, November 29, 2007

False but hilarious predictions

The professor in my brother's computer class shared with them this interesting picture. It is a picture from the 1951 issue of Popular Mechanics of how a home computer will look like in the year 2004:


Because the comment under the picture is unreadable, I will type it again here:

Scientists from the RAND Corporation have created this model to illustrate how a "home computer" could look like in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admits that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems, with teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.


I think the wheel adds a very sophisticated touch, right?

Wingsuit Flying..Whoa!

Someone sent me this amazing video of wingsuit flying in France. I honestly did not know about this sport before. I looked up its definition in Wikipedia:

Wingsuit flying is the art of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, that shapes the human body into an airfoil which can create lift. The wingsuit creates the airfoil shape with fabric sewn between the legs and under the arms. It is also called a birdman suit.

A birdman suit should look like this (Photo from Bird-Man) :


The fun thing about it is that you get to experience how birds view the world around us. Dave Barlia, a professional BASE jumper, is showing some of his skills in this video:


Fun...eh?

Great Commercials: Part #1

There is always that commercial that captures your eye or commands your attention. One of my favorites is this United Airline commercial. Its very original.

Print with PrinterAnywhere

A fun new software for Windows OS. Do you want to send a document from work to the printer at home or vice versa? Printer Anywhere will let you do that. It allows you to print from any computer connected to the internet to any other printer on the network. You don't have to be a geek or a system administrator to set it up. You can download the software here.

Chinese Job Fair

Isn't job hunting fun?



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Breakfast with my mother

The episode I am about to describe happens every morning unless an earthquake hits, or a major disaster decides to unfold:

My mother is the first one who wakes up. The dawn is barely breaking, and the house is very quiet. She prepares a steaming mug of coffee and sits in front of the computer to read the morning newspaper. The morning light creeps into my room, and I wake up.

I know she is awake because I can smell her coffee wafting from the end of the corridor. I wash my face and tiptoe to the living room. I watch her profile in the semi-dark room. The side of her face is ethereally illuminated by the glow of the screen. She sips her coffee delicately, and for a second, her face becomes obscured by the swirling steam. She senses me, and I can't, for the life of me, tell how she does that. She tilts her head to one side and smiles.

Mother: Good morning.
Me: Good morning, Mama.

I go to my room to start dressing. I hear noises in the kitchen, and I know that she is preparing breakfast now. Five minutes passes by when she puts her head through the door of my room:

Mother: Are you done?
Me: No.
Mother: Hurry up, the eggs are getting cold.

I start putting makeup on. I am in the middle of the challenging process of drawing a black eyeliner on my lids when her head pops again through the door:

Mother: Are you done yet?
Me: No
Mother: Hurry up, will you? The tea is getting cold.

I am standing in front of the mirror examining my profile for the last time when she walks into the room again. She stands behind me, and I look at her through the mirror. She taps her watch and raises one of her eyebrows. I smile sheepishly. She throws her arms in the air, rolls her eyes toward heaven, and leaves.

I walk to the kitchen and join her at the table.

Mother: Finally...you need to save some time for breakfast in the morning, young lady.
Me: I am going to work, Mama. I need to look presentable.
Mother: Tayeb. Eat.

I start eating.

Mother: Eat labaneh, its good.
Me: Ok.

I eat labaneh.

Mother: Try za3tar too. I bought it yesterday, its fresh.
Me: Ok.

I tear a piece of pita bread to dip it in Za3tar.

Mother: What is this? Why do you cut a small piece of bread like that? Make it bigger. Dip it well in olive oil. Yes, like this. Put more za3tar on the bread. God, you eat like a small bird.
Me: For you information, birds eat a lot.
Mother: Then you eat like babies.
Me: Tayeb.

I try to eat like grown ups.

Mother: Drink some tea, its makes swallowing food easier.

I sip tea. I pretend to choke to tease her.

Mother: Did you try the cheese? No? Try it.. I bought a big pack a week ago and you haven't touched it.
Me: I did not ask you to buy it, so why do I have to eat it?
Mother: Because its good.

I cut a piece of cheese and eat it.

Mother: Whats wrong with you? Eat a big piece, you need meat on your bones. Here, let me cut one for you.

She cuts a piece enough to feed an elephant. My brother walks into the kitchen.

Mother: Morning, sweety. Did you sleep well? Come here and sit next to Mama. Yallah eat. Try labaneh, its good.

My brother grimaces and looks at me across the table. I can feel him saying: "Good God!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Favorite Photographers: Part # 2




Today I am happy to introduce to you my friend, Rahi Jaber. I have discovered her talent in photography lately, and I am amazed by the quality of pictures she can take. She has designed a story book for a publishing company called flattenme recently. She features her lovely daughter, Myla, in most of her photos. You can check her work at her flicker account here. Rahi lives in Michigan.

Monday, November 26, 2007

LA Auto Show

We went to LA auto show yesterday, and we had a lot of fun. We had a preview of the latest car models : Mercedes, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maybach, Lexus, Aston Martin, Bentley, Audi...you name it.















Saturday, November 24, 2007

Photosynth



Microsoft Live Labs came up with this new exciting software that collects all photos shared on the web and re-creates an amazing three-dimensional and zoomable view. This is a demo of the software presented by Blaise Aguera y Arcas. Arcas is the software architect of Photosynth and the co-creator of Seadragon. You can preview Photosynth and read more about it by checking its website.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Enchanted

I watched Enchanted yesterday, and I was pleasantly surprised. It left me with a sweet, gooey feeling about love, happiness, and hope. The movie challenges the modern views of relationships and gives a new meaning to the term "happily ever after." Enchanted is packed with music, humor, and romance, and it is a great treat for all family members. Amy Adams did a terrific job playing the fairly-tale princess. I loved her performance in Junebug, and she did not disappoint in this one too. If you need a break from a stressful week, go watch Enchanted. Even if you are not a hopeless romantic or an avid dreamer, Enchanted will make you smile. You can see the trailer here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a good day surrounded by their families and loved ones. The food, specially the turkey, tasted delicious. Thank you mom for spending all this time to cook such a great meal, I love you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cute alert: hobbit doll house


If you love the LOTR trilogy, you are going to love this. This hand-made doll house takes after the famous hobbit house in the movie. Every time I look at it, I get surprised by its superb detail and creativity. The house is fully furnished with everything from the rugs on the floors to the oil lamps on the walls. I applaud Obelia Medusa for putting all this hard work into producing such wonderful craftsmanship. You can see more pictures here.

Beware of the kitty

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Getty

Last Sunday, we decided to go to the Getty museum. I loved it. The highlight was a medieval exhibition that covered 1300 years of art treasures:Early Christian and Byzantine - Early Medieval - High Gothic - Late Medieval.
It was an amazing feeling to closely examine a book written by a medieval priest 1000 years ago. My hands itched to trace the black brush strokes, the tiny cracks in the faded paper, and the glint of gold ink used to highlight the designs that adorned the borders of each page. I could not help but go back in time and watch the priest writing with utmost patience.
After the tour, we took a coffee break outside to enjoy the view of the Getty's gardens. By the time we decided to head home, the museum was shrouded with a thick layer of fog that elevated the feel of the medieval era. You can read more about the Getty here.













Friday, November 16, 2007

Oldest human portrait

This gentleman's name was Robert Cornelius. He produced the world's first human self-portrait. According to Wiki :

With his own knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy, as well as the help of chemist Paul Beck Goddard, Cornelius attempted to perfect the daguerreotype. Around October 1839, Cornelius took a portrait of himself outside of the family store. The daguerreotype produced shows an off center portrait of a man with crossed arms and tousled hair. This self-portrait of Robert Cornelius is the first photograph of a human to be produced.




Thursday, November 15, 2007

Exposing king Tut's face for the first time

The remains of the famous king were put on public display for the first time since his tomb was uncovered in 1922. King Tut was moved to a special display case in the tomb's antechamber to better preserve his deteriorating remains. Visitors will have the chance now to take a glimpse at the king's face and feet which will be the only visible parts. You can read more about this in National Geographic.

Long live Earth

Nothing feels better than taking a minute everyday to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us. I can feel the earth breathing, shifting, and changing around us. This is the trailer of "Planet Earth", a must-see BBC production. Its an eye-opening, breathtaking experience. Amid all the confusion, I hope we will be able to embrace and protect our planet.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

You done?

One of my favorite memories was a daily exchange between my youngest brother (5 years old at that time) and his friend, David, to make sure they were both done with their homework before going outside to play:

Brother: Hey, David, you done?

David: I done, you done?

Brother: Yes, I done too.

Got smart?

My friend sent me this quiz which I thought was hilarious:

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are smart or not. The questions are NOT that difficult, but you have to answer the questions yourself before you look at the final answer:

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door.
This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
Did you answer: open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?
Wrong Answer.

The correct answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.
This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend.... except one. Which animal does not attend?

The correct answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.
This tests your memory.

Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

The correct answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the animal conference.
This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

And yes, you guessed it, I failed all the questions.

Want to travel the new 7 wonders?


Panoramas is an interesting site that lets you experience the new 7 wonders of the world in a 360 degree view, definitely work checking.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Favorite Photographers: Part # 1






One of my favorite photographers is Manuel Libres Librodo. Manuel (Manny) is from the Philippines, but he resides in Thailand. There is such magic in his work that you can't help but feel enchanted. Through his lenses, you can see the creativity, passion, colors, and lights of the world around us. I included some of his great shots. You can check out his galleries and read more about his work by going to his Pbase account.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Google better than Limwire?

This interesting video tutorial shows you how to download mp3 files through a simple method instead of using regular P2P clients like Limewire.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Don't you wish that you can see the world like this?




I can lose myself in such beauty. A breathtaking video of time lapse in Los Angeles.

Fascinating tombs...really!

I came across an interesting article about the 10 most fascinating tombs in the world. The photo above is of the Capuchin Catacombs in Italy. According to Neatorama:

When the Capuchin monastery in Palermo, Italy, outgrew its original cemetery in the 16th century, monks excavated the catacomb below it and began a bizarre tradition that lasted until the 19th century.

The Capuchin monks mummified the bodies of the dead, dressed them up in everyday clothing and then put them on display on the monastery walls. Apparently, it was quite a status symbol to be entombed in the Capuchin monastery - prominent citizens of the town would ask to be preserved in certain clothing or even have the clothes changed on a regular basis according to contemporary fashion!

When the last body was interred in the late 1800s, there were 8,000 mummies on the walls of the Capuchin monastery and in the catacombs.


You can read about the rest of the tombs here.

Amazing Images of Earth


This photo was taken from space minutes after the 2004 tsunami hit the coast of Sri Lanka. You can see other incredible images here.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

 

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