Saturday, November 29, 2008

war on trash bins

i was in the uk, getting ready to board a train, got a coffee and waited for the train. finished my coffee, turned around to look for a trash bin.

and looked.

and looked.

to no avail. there are no trash bins in any of the train stations. i noticed other people also stand there holding their trash. i asked about that and it seems it's part of the uk's war on terror.

after the 9/11 attacks on the us, narrow-minded americans have enforced all sorts of weird laws on the rest of the world. i mean other than the ridiculous security checks for flights, there are the restrictions on taking liquids more than 100ml, and putting them in clear bags (i don't get it, am i supposed to start mixing a bomb on the plane?). the uk has had its share of attacks, but their efforts on the war on terror has focused on trash bins instead.

they removed all the trash bins to discourage would-be terrorists from leaving bombs there. i mean, really? i mean, if i wanted to bomb a station, and i took my bomb to drop in a trash bin, and didn't find one, would i curse my luck, pack my shit and leave? how effective is that? would it help if the bins were perhaps a little less terrorist-friendly? small openings, transparent bags, you know, something where you can't stick a bomb?

i don't know. maybe they can wait and use the bins in the trains.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

artsy fartsy

stocks usually represent a value in a company. so for example, if i start a company with a million dollars in capital and sell a hundred thousand stocks of that capital, i know each share is worth 10 dollars. so far so good? cool.

now stocks in the stock market are treated like normal commodities, so one can trade stocks like cattle or grain. people used to buy stocks because they had attractive dividends (that is, stock's share of the company's profits). however, because now they are traded, people buy stocks because they expect someone to buy the stocks from them for a higher price (because of promise of higher dividends, or someone else paying even more for a stock). so if i buy stock for 10 dollars a share, i expect to sell it for 11 to make a "quick" profit. still with me? good.

now problems arise when people start paying a lot of money for worthless stock (.com bust anyone?). that is, when everyone decides that this stock is worth something, just because everyone else thinks it's worth something, usually with no basis for the value. lemmings? yes. risky? very. preposterous? not at all.

see, i've never experienced as much bullshit as much as people in art galleries or people paying ridiculous amounts of money for art. i've tried to maintain an open mind, i tried to "appreciate art", but i just couldn't. especially the abstract stuff that sells for silly money. i mean seriously, what makes this particular piece of art so special? what makes it unique? to me they all seemed like the same scribblings, especially contemporary, abstract, bla, bla, art. but i was in a gallery one day (trying my best to understand why stick figures with enlarged heads was considered art), and it hit me. this is the fucking stock market, but for something even more volatile than value in an online company - it's the stock market for taste. the only reason art was considered "expressive", "tasteful" or "valuable", was because "experts" claimed this was art. people eventually decided this was art, just because everyone else thinks it is art. lemmings?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

dirty escalators

i love my country.

ok it's like how you love your parents, you probably wouldn't love them if you've met them as strangers but you've known them your entire life and they have fed you you clothed you and wiped your ass when you crapped yourself.

so i love my country.

that said, i find faults in my parents.

and i find them in my country. alas they are numerous. further alas, they near cause me ulcers sometimes. the latest is the project to expand the existing airport or build a new one or some meaningless shit about wasting a ton of money on a totally useless venture. it's not like the airport is overflowing with passengers (although looking at the chaos of handling the whole of FOUR concurrent flights you would think ten thousand people were trying to pass through the security points). but no, some idiot decided that a new airport is needed (probably for some reason such as prettying the country or making it more attractive for investments or something - hell even the road to the existing airport is one of the nicest in the country).

of course building the new airport is like giving a spoiled kid a brand new toy. it's a matter of time before he breaks it or grows bored with it. in the case of my dear beloved country it'll be the earlier causing the latter. not that the country will get bored with the airport per se, buy it will be shiny for a year or two before it starts to fall into disrepair. it'll start with subtle signs here and there: a cracked tile here, a broken sign there, a faulty light in a corner, and all of a sudden the new airport is a shabby shell of its former self. which brings me to my point:

don't build a new airport. in fact, stop building new things at all. you're the government - the problem with our country is not the lack of buildings, but it's that everything governmental just falls into fucking disrepair. i remember expansions in my university campus. what i also remember was a ton of empty rooms that weren't used because they were a fucking mess. the same goes to new roads and bridges, new development initiatives, new whatever - the government has a hard time keeping things up.

so the problem is not that the airport can't handle enough people, it's that it has dirty escalators (see picture above).

Monday, September 01, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008


not the money governments take off imports - i'm talking about what people agree with each other as being "right". had i not known about the prohibition, i would say it's a typically arab response to anything different than what we're used to be dealing with it: throw our hands up and start screaming that this is "mukhalif lil3adat wataqaleed" (which literally, if poorly, translates into "against habits and customs"). i saw this statement used in response to everything from fashion trends to slutty satellite channels to social interactions.

i agree with my loathing of some of these abhorrent phenomena, because i find them idiotic in themselves. another thing i find idiotic in and of itself is the concept of customs. behold the following questions:

who defines what a custom is?
who defines what is good and bad in said customs?
is there some sort of punishement to custom sinners?
if there is, who has the right to carry it out?
if these customs are so great, why do they change over time?
in fact, why are these customs considered as great in the first place?
can i create a custom custom?

customs are a form of crowd democracy, where things are considered as right and wrong in a most subjective manner that somehow produces a "reaction" (which the democracy uses to enforce its decisions). an example of that is things like social scorn, parental wrath, public outcry and other useless and seemingly senseless reactions. girl holds guy's hand: harlot. dude dressed in baggy jeans: fag. however, if you ask the same judges: what about your sister? oh that guy? they've been dating for 3 years and they're getting engaged next summer. what about your neighbor? who him? no no no he's just a kid he'll grow out of it. what is common to all these reactions is this: they seem to measure the "public" reaction, in other words, almost everyone would instinctively and immediately agree on whether something specific is right or wrong without getting all the details.

with me so far? good, here comes the crux.

enter nour. nour is a turkish soap opera that was dubbed into arabic recently. it was (is) one of the most popular tv shows in the arab world. nour is a cute chick who's the star, plus muhannad is her estranged lover/husband/boyfriend or some shit or they’re still kicking it or were or... i mean i don’t know but the names are important. nour took the tv channels by storm. the actors became instant stars, the shoot location is a touristic attraction, you get all sorts of nour merch in the market. fucking baby names nour and muhannad are the most popular now. saudi muftis decried it as an evil sin and influence and the work of the devil. there’s a special pay-per-view channel that will play you the episodes a day before the public one will. another by-product of its fame is experts who start voicing opinions about it.

one discussion i heard was why it is so popular. something about it depicting nice turkish scenery, attractive people with complex love lives, intimate relationships not available in arab families and a host of other things. what do you think the common sentence after every opinion is? yup, “nour is popular, but the reasons of its popularity are against our customs”. really? nour is not watched by young rebellious teenagers, it’s watched by the common people. by families, by the average joe, by the very person whose lifestyle defines customs.

which brings me to my point: it seems that the lifestyle alternative to our customs is more attractive than the reality. in other words, these things we decry as against our customs are what make the show so attractive; this escape from our reality to theirs is what makes the show so attractive.

so going back to my question, who defines what a custom is?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

arabic speaking hayden panettiere

in addition to andy mcdowell, jeniffer love hewitt, kristin kreuk, and many other american celebrities who somehow promote skin care products in arabic. i'm talking about arabic dubbed originally english speaking commercials.

did it ever occur to those who post the ads that the target audience who doesn't understand english and thus requires translation doesn't give a rat's ass about obscure american celebrities? that it, in fact, doesn't even know who they are? why not invest some money and get arabic speaking celebrities promote these products.

coffee... filters?


i am still struggling with words to describe this. idiotic, ludicrous, unbelievable, stupid are just a few to come to mind, but i'll leave it to you - my one reader - to judge for yourself.

a company that manufactures coffee filters prides itself that their filters are organic or bleach free or some shit only americans care about. anyway, the filters are brown and their texture is, well, filtery, for lack of a better word.

what really caught my attention was the instructions written on the back. they suggest additional uses for the coffee filters. what may they be, pray tell? filter dirty water? help with chemistry experiments? make drugs? no. the suggested uses are:

1. serve chips and popcorn in them. this one actually makes sense.
2. use for 100s of crafts projects. i swear to you - if your kids want to cut out a few figures give them brown coffee filters
3. use for wrapping sandwiches before wrapping them in plastic. i mean, wtf. wtf. it's in a fucking plastic bag, why the fuck would i want to wrap it in a coffee filter!
4. the filters are lint-free, so use them to clean glass and shit. of my god! i mean seriously, oh my god! i can't continue this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

big girls don't cry

but the internet is full of idiots who will leave comments - apparently these are all about fergie's video

Friday, August 01, 2008

the americans have bush, we've got this guy (more accurately, we have guys)

then we wonder why we're viewed as flaming idiots.

and just so you know what's going on, some qatari idiot shipped his lambo all the way to the uk to get its oil changed - and then shipped it back.

Monday, July 14, 2008

why public transportation is needed in dubai - hollywood style

1. metros, especially ones that run late into the night, are needed to perform public-scale pranks, fast criminal chases and intimate one-on-one conversations between prospective couples

2. more taxis are needed so that when we're following someone on foot and he takes his car, we can jump into the next available taxi and casually say "follow that car"

3. we need more buses because you don't see enough high speed chases involving buses down szr

4. we need more train stations - preferably deserted out of the way ones - to perform shady exchanges involving cash (preferably in small, used bills) of questionable origin

5. we need more quiet taxi drivers who utter the occasional sentence that will crack a police case wide open, solve deeply rooted father issues and inspire lovers to make their moves

6. we need more flights so that we can "hop on the first plane to la"

Sunday, July 13, 2008


our dear americans have taken political correctness to a whole new level. after annoying the fuck outta everyone with things like sexism, racism, ageism (i swear it's a word) and a whole host of opportunities where the common person can choke on his foot, a fair minded webizen concocted the term intellectual elitism.

hitler would've been proud.

of course not because of the definition of the term (coming coming), but because there are minds as creative as that in creating new ways of segregating people.

the offender committed his act of genius in a comment on an article online. the internet, the great enabler, not only allows for the dissemination of valuable knowledge quickly and seamlessly, but also just as easily allows idiots to be heard (this blog for instance, or youtube chris cocker, god damn his eyes, an internet celebrity). the article was about a "study" by a less than average atheist who reached the conclusion that the smarter people got, the less likely they'd believe in God. the study is a mess in its assumptions and definitions, but our prodigy friend decided to ignore all the blaring logical flaws and focus instead on how the article was written by an intellectual elitist.

intellectuals (erroneously referring to the writer), he vehemently argues, think that being smart entitles them to question things more deeply and are thus better suited to understand things better (such as question the facts brought forth by religions), which means that normal people can't reach the same conclusions. intellectual thus must think they're better than everyone else.

no shit, dimwit.

the very definition of being smart is being better able to understand things. americans need to seriously get it into their fat heads: everyone is not equal. there are smart people and stupid people, old and young, pretty and ugly, and they're not all equally capable. so yes, intellectual elitist are just that: they're fucking smarter than everyone else.

however, einstein above isn't the only one capable of recognizing isms - i have a few i've noticed myself:

1. travel-classism: while flying coach there is a curtain that is drawn between business/first and economy class. this is a clear segregation - asd it blatantly uses the term "class" in its description

2. networkism (sometimes referred to as carrierism): the act of differentiating services based on which mobile network you're subscribed to. at the lowest level, it means that you have to pay extra to call people on other networks, but it may also mean better services or treatment by staff.

3. genism: nature's way of differenitating people based on their genes. nature tends to favor those with better genes with better offspring - an equality of the greatest magnitude (update: as of publishing time, genism is an actual word. fuck)

4. blondism (sometimes referred to as funnism): the well established fact that blonds - and exclusively blonds - have more fun. this not only limits tha amount of fun available to brunettes and red-heads, it also means the fun is off-limits to males.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

get off your ass and fucking move diet

there are books on how to diet.

the idea is one of those things that you never really notice because it's always been there - until you think about it for a second and it hits you. how could anyone write 300 pages on how to lose weight? i mean, someone actually spends months on typing out priceless tips (carb bad, fat good), then another thinks it's a good idea to publish the tips ("let's call it the lose weight while reading this diet!"), then people actually buy the damn thing.

again, there are books on how to diet.

i will now write the "get off your ass and fucking move" diet. i will also publish - very soon - a pocket version which you can use as a reminder. following that will be screen savers, tables, gym guides, etc.

get off your ass and fucking move diet

1. stop eating
2. get off your ass
3. move further than the tv
4. stop eating
5. move faster (otherwise known as jog)
6. stop eating
7. sleep
8. repeat

tips for the diet

1. you're not big-boned, you don't have slow metabolism, there aren't certain foods that make you gain weight - you're just fat. you're fat because you consume (and apparently have been, for a number of years now) more than you burn. the difference goes into those big bones
2. eating ice cream, chocolate and other comfort foods while crying will not help your efforts to lose weight.
3. if after a month of working out and watching your diet you haven't lost weight, it's not because you've gained muscle mass, it's because of tip 1. if you gain muscle mass as fast as you lose fat you should stop reading right now and donate your body to genetic research

the pocket version of get off your ass and fucking move diet

1. stop eating 2. get off your ass 3. move further than the tv 4. stop eating 5. move faster (otherwise known as jog) 6. stop eating 7. sleep 8. repeat

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:

A half-gallon of 2% milk,
A carton of eggs,
A quart of orange juice,
A head of romaine lettuce,
A 2 lb. can of coffee, and
A 1/2 lb. package of turkey

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind me watched as I placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single." I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since I was indeed single. I looked at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I said: "Well, you know what, you're absolutely right. But how on earth did you know that?" The drunk replied, "Cause you're ugly."

Friday, April 04, 2008

nose jobs

whichever doctor was smart enough to trick the first girl into getting a nose job must've been a real fucking genius. i mean, was he like "dear we'll first break your nose, chisel off the extra shit, then stuff gauze up your nostrils so you won't be able to breathe for a few days. oh and your nose will remain really swollen for two weeks and then a little less swollen for another month or so - and your face will look like that one suffering from an abusive husband"? i had the unfortunate experience of getting mine fixed (deviated nasal septum), which doesn't involve any chiseling or reforming, or any bruise marks. but it does involve the gauze and the swollen nose, and God damn it i will never recommend it to anyone. i still can't get into the mindset of someone doing it because they think their nose looks big or crooked.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

easy diet

americans are fat lazy bastards.

if you're american and take offense, sorry, but it's true.

the signs of this laziness are evident in their falling back in almost any leadership position of the world - r&d, universities, jobs, technology, economy. they're sinking and sinking fast (dang it they were on the top for less than a century!) but that doesn't matter. it's a tough task to find engineers, scientists and doctors in america now (except if you count all the ones who've been there for less than a decade who at one point were chinese or indian). so they (americans) are content to work in business, marketing and other bullshit positions and leave the real jobs of innovation to other nations. lazy. and fat.

it's a fact that they're the fattest nation on earth. but what are they doing about it? they're looking for easy diets, where one doesn't feel hungry, or eats as much as one pleases, or takes pills. wtf is wrong with them? you've been over-eating for twenty years, BE HUNGRY FOR A YEAR YOU GLUTTONOUS BASTARD. i know it sounds scary and lonely, being hungry, but it happens all over the world all the time, and people actually feel better after it. so tough it up you sorry, lazy bastard.

and why do i feel the need to call americans bastards? well, this is the internet and i can say whatever i want, but the fact that they bully their way into whatever they want makes them bastards in my book.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

speech and intelligence

why is it that the more people talk, the less intelligent they seem? or perhaps i have the cause and effect reversed here: why are less intelligent people prone to hours of meaningless rambling? it is my misfortune that i have to work with people who like to talk. blah blah yada yada. and it's all useless, usually consisting of a summary of previous achievements and glories. i mean, i really don't give a fuck if you were julius ceasar one day - i find nothing interesting or impressive about you. in fact, i'm here against my wishes. and the cherry on top? "why are you so quiet? everything ok?" no it's not, i'm suffering. if you'd just shut your yap and turn up the music and let me sulk in peace. if you're the talkative type it's ok, just stay away from me.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

holy water

evian. i have a previous entry about people who can actually tell the difference between evian and other water. what the marketing geniuses have done to feed on gullible females (which pretty much covers the entire species when it comes to beauty products) is put it in a spray can and sell it as a beauty product. the fucking water, water, fucking water with minerals in it, put in a spray can (pardon, brumisateur) and sold as a beauty product. users swear by it, saying that it "moisturizes" without "ruining the makeup" and "protects the skin from dryness". again, fucking marketing geniuses.