Monthly Archives: February 2012

Flying Men

Also known as paragliding. How much adrenaline one can have? Watch the video to find the answer.


Urban Side from Jean-Baptiste Chandelier JB prod on Vimeo.

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Cinderella did not complain about equal pay – Part II

You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women should earn equal pay for equal work.

This is a quote from a speech by a leader of an industrialized country. If you think this speech was written late in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution then you are mistaken. Neither was it addressed to the public during, or after, WWI nor WWII to encourage women to participate in men’s ambition to concur the world. The speech was addresses by the leader of the most powerful country for the past two decades and one of the top dominating countries in the past half century – only three weeks ago, January 2012.

When President Obama said the above statement in his last state of the union 2012 speech the entire audience gave him a standing ovation regardless of their political view and more interestingly enough regardless of their gender.

If a country like the US, with its progressive new policies and laws, is still struggling to convince The Man of the importance of “equal pay” then obviously there is a reason that we still couldn’t figure out how to approach it properly.

Women sometimes use the blame card which I think will not help their cause regarding ‘equal pay’ because men also have a lot also to use as a defense mechanism against this agreed upon fact. Both genders can come up with myriad of reasons pointing fingers against the other gender. The issue is as complex as to whom Al-Quds (Jerusalem) belong to and it seems the only resolution so far is who is stronger and dominating.  Sometimes the underdog needs to work harder and uses wisdom to find a resolution. By working harder, I don’t mean regarding women’s professions but boosting confidence on young girls.

During a discussion among fathers, one father complained how unlike his young son his young daughter is very shy. He continued to say that although she is the top in her class she doesn’t raise her hand, for example, to answer her teachers’ questions. Another father who has grown up children advised him to use the same words and the same do and don’t when talking to them. Oddly, he is very right. I will explain.

We treat our children differently without noticing. We read stories that always describe the heroine to be beautiful and always waiting for prince charming to rescue her. Stories like ‘Cinderella’, ‘The Frog prince’, ‘ Snow White and Seven Dwarfs’ and many others all tell the story of a beautiful woman who eventually been rescued by a strong man. As a boy I liked these stories but I enjoyed more reading the adventures of ‘Sindbad’, ‘Jack and the Bean Tree’ and of course the chivalry ‘Lancelot Du lac.’ The reason I knew about all these stories is because of my father and maybe because I used to read my sisters’ girly tales as well.

To agree with my friend’s point above I believe we should not enforce or screen gender-specific tales on our children at a young age. I don’t have children so I don’t know what is in the market now. But the above internationally celebrated tales are obviously gender specific; “beautiful girl waiting” and “adventurer boy seeking” themes. Every kid should read these great tales but maybe with caution. Either parents delay such readings to a certain age (may be to an early teenage) or parents discuss with their children how although these are great stories but women can also dream of a better adventure and not necessarily waiting her prince charming.  I think stories with gender-less animals are great for children of a young age. ‘Kalila Wa Dimna’ book has many interesting tales about animals and suitable for kids. I forgot most of the stories in it but I think the stories teaches about needed human attributes regardless of gender.

So, what do you say?

To be continued…

While waiting for part III why don’t you read part I 🙂

Moving from New York to Beirut

An American woman moves from New York to Beirut and learns about a new culture. She has interesting eight observations to share. Read her post Eight Things to Know Before Moving to Beirut.

She writes about her bad experience in being repeatedly mistaken for a prostitute, social life, tasty food, and physical appearance. Two cultures, one live by “it is not any body’s business” mantra the other has no perception of individualism. Both are right once you learn how to balance between them. Every culture has its ups and downs only those who open their minds and accept the ups and downs of other cultures can adapt and live a satisfactory life.

The Hate of Men will Pass and Dictators Die

the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die liberty will never perish . . .

With all the calamity that is happening in Syria and other countries in the Arab world one has to have hope for a better future. As much sorry I feel for those who sacrificed their lives for the rest of us to restore our dignity and have a decent life I know they died for a great cause. I believe their souls smiled once they left their bodies but I would like to think also that their souls will laugh once again when they see the fruits of their sacrifice. There is nothing more brave than standing with bare hands in front of the oppressor demanding liberty.

The quote above is an excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s speech in his 1940 film ‘The Great Dictator‘ which he wrote, produced, directed and starred as the lead. I know Chaplin as a funny comedian but I didn’t know he can write such a beautiful and brilliant speech. I don’t know how I never heard of this speech, it is one of the best. Here is an edited clip of his speech and below is the transcript:

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor, that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say “Do not despair”.

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish. . .

Soldiers: don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate, only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers: don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written:
“The kingdom of God is within man”
Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men; in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!

transcript from http://luis.impa.br/chaplin.html

Your friend today might be your enemy tomorrow

Couple of years ago I watched a BBC documentary about the War in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the film but below is an interesting clip from this documentary:

If you are old enough you should know about the friendship between the Mujahedeen fighters in Afghanistan and the USA during Afghanistan-USSR war. The movie Charlie Wilson’s War is a good depiction of that era.

If Ronald Reagan’s love relationship and his dedication to the people of Afghanistan didn’t shock you this will:

I Googled the quote to check if he really said that or not but I didn’t find any site that says he didn’t. Now, this is too big because Muslims hater like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and radio hosts alike always swear by America’s founding fathers. They always praise the founding fathers moral, honesty and their decency. It is ironic how we can easily find too many things that we hate about our friend once we no longer friends.

Beautiful women are not made of silicone

Sometime in the future, I hope to be very soon, we will laugh about our generation who think of breast and buttock implants to be normal. Who believe that women with perfectly big rounded shape breasts, noticeable pointed noses, and ugly humongous lips to be sexy.

If only there is a list of all men who cheated on their beautiful wives with much less beautiful women or even prostitutes. It makes one puzzled when thinking that both Elizabeth Hurley and Elin Nordegren were cheated on by their husbands with women who sell their bodies to men with the highest bidder. Both of these women are very attractive and worked as models. They were also cheated on while they were still young and beautiful.

Unless a woman wants to attract a seventeen-year-old young man, who might be mesmerized by the look of two volleyballs shaped breast, there is absolutely no need what so ever for a woman to go under the surgeon’s knife. I am going to reveal a secret about our species, i.e. men, maybe not all women know about it but I think it is time that women be aware of this secret fact. Men like all breast sizes.

As a conservative man I don’t like to talk about this issue but with the increasing obsession of some women by plastic surgery I think men need to speak up to convince women that they are beautiful no matter what. It reached a level of insanity. Many men for example including myself find women wearing eyeglasses to be more attractive than women who choose to wear contact lenses instead. Men DO find smart women to be attractive. It is only in Hollywood that men are attracted to a blonde who is acting stupid.

Yesterday, I found this link in the huffington post. The magazine, or website, asked its readers to post pictures of them when they wake up. Before they wash and wear any makeup. It was an interesting project and I find these women to be very courageous for posting their pictures to the public:

Your willingness to put yourself out there (or out here) impresses me to no end. On Friday, we showed you our faces as we looked on our pillows that morning and I asked you to please do the same. A solidarity/curiosity kind of thing. Truly, I wanted to see how beautiful you are just as you are. And guess what? You are!!

Meet the 75 courageous women.

An excerpt from “A Manual for Writers”

Source: “A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations” by Kate L. Turabian, 7th ed.

From the outset, you should try to write every day, not just to take notes on your sources but to clarify what you think of them. You should also write down your own developing ideas to get them out of the cozy warmth of your head into the cold light of day, where you can see if they still make sense. You probably won’t use much of this writing in your final draft, but it is essential preparation for it.