Tom and Johann

Read my post on computers

Tom and Jerry might look simple, but the content of the episodes is based on actual knowledge. 

In the episode ‘Johann mouse’, Tom was playing the all famous ‘The Blue Danube Waltz – J. Strauss” while Jerry was dancing. This entertained people so they continued doing it.

The name of the piece might be unknown to you but the melody surely isn’t.

It is featured in movies like the Titanic

What is it exactly?

Waltz: a dance in the rhythm of three

We are used to fours in our new commercial music.

What should I know about it?

Despite being one of the most widely used and known compositions of all time, the first performance wasn’t the biggest success. Strauss blames it on the coda ‘my only regret is for the coda’ – J. Strauss

Coda: ending of a piece

Johann Strauss

He was an Austrian composer born in 1825.

He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music.

Polka: Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas.
 
Quadrille: dance fashionable in late 18th and 19th-century Europe and its colonies.

He physically died in 1899 but his work is still alive as long as we use his compositions.

Johann Strauss isn’t mortal yet.

BONUS: Space Odyssey 

 

 

 

 

 

Something, be it ever so small, about Lebanon before WW1

“Where are you from?”

“Lebanon. It’s a beautiful country, it is rich in culture”

“Really? Tell me a little bit about it”

“We have… we have” *PAUSE* “TABOULE”

Really ??!

Is this all I know about Lebanon ?

No wait

“We also have beaches, most of the empires in the world wanted to stay here”

Oh right, there are the famous Phoenicians

“The Phoenicians lived here”

But they don’t now, or do they? Am I Arab? What happened?

“You should really come!”

How many times does this happen to you?

Don’t you wish you knew at least a bit about the Lebanese History?

The Phoenicians

In the antiquity, the Phoenicians settled in the lands around to Lebanon. They were seafarers.  They used the Mediterranean Sea to exchange commodities.

A big chunk of the Lebanese population considers itself a descendant of these people.  However (DON’T START YOUR SENTENCE WITH “BUT”), DNA tests show little probabilities that our ancestor are, in fact, Phoenicians.

The story is much juicier.

Alexander the Great and division of his empire

As of 600. BC, the Persian conquest ended the reign of the Phoenicians. Alexander the Great destroyed the Persian empire two centuries later. After his death, his conquered territory got subdivided among his generals.

Roman Rule

In the first century BC, the lands that are now Lebanon were part of the province of Syria in the Roman Empire. Here, we see the roots of Christianity in Lebanon.

The Romans in the 600s AD when Islamism was first preached in Mecca.

A series of Islamic states

In 631, the last Roman forces were withdrawn from Syria. Until 1918, a succession of Islamic empires ruled the area.

Chronologically, the empires are :

  • Umayyads
  • Abbasid
  • Fatimid
  • The Seljuk sultanate
  • The Ayyubid sultanate
  • The Mamluk sultanate
  • The Ottoman sultanate

This last sultanate had a very prominent effect on Lebanon in WW1.

Wait. You mean THIS is enough for me to know about the sects in Lebanon?

No. This is a blog, I don’t want to make it boring like history class.

But if you’re interested, you can check these books out:

  • A House of Many Mansions, The History of Lebanon Reconsidered – Salibi Kamal S
  • Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon – Robert Fisk
  • From Beirut to Jerusalem – Thomas L. Friedman

Ask me for a PDF version.

 

 

 

 

3 facts you didn’t know about Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland, a seemingly innocent children’s story, is actually deeper than it appears.

Here are 3 facts you probably haven’t known about Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll.

The text is full of satire of Victorian poems

When Alice was having tea with the Mad Hatter, he sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat”. This is a direct satire of “Twinkle Twinkle Little star”.

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The author’s name is actually Charles Dodgson.

Dodgson was a mathematician at the university of Oxford. He used to work with the Vatican. The name “Lewis Caroll” is an inversion of Charles Ludwick, famous christian figure. Some people might say that christian values such as hope and pesereverance regurally appear throughout the book.

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Videogames such as FarCry 3 are based on this story.

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Just like Wonderland; Jason Brody, the main character of FarCry 3, got stuck in an island which he considered as an escape. Both storylines begin in a seemingly innoccuous way, they open up to messed up stories. Jason starts running killer-errands and Alice participates in queer activities.

 

You can read the full text here

 

Stan Smith

This pair works with any wardrobe you choose. You can wear it with black, grey, yellow… That’s why wherever you go you can spot it. This pair is iconic.

What is so special about it?

History

Before it became a sneaker just for fashion, it was a tennis shoe. Before it was called Stan Smith, it was called Haillet after the tennis player Robert Haillet. The backside of the shoe was green and made out of hardened material to protect the Achilles’ heel. However, today the green color is kept for fashion purposes instead of practicality.

The tongue had a picture of Haillet, and later on the picture of Stan Smith when the name was changed.

Haillet-x-Smith-bw-copy-910x600.jpg                   5-adidas-stan-smith-haillet-1978-arnoa-kicks-box.jpg

Today

In 2008, the original Stan Smith were sold again by Adidas. This pair is a widespread success given that more than 30 million pairs were sold since 1971. Moreover, customized and special editions are still being made to this day while preserving the original design.

These shoes are examples of special editions of Stan Smith.

 

An innocent guy

Waking up from my coma, I used to read comics to make the time in bed pass. I had the chance to read “The killing joke”, the world’s best batman story.

Wikipedia says:

“Created by Moore and Bolland as their own take on the Joker’s source and psychology,[1] the story became famous for its origin of the Joker as a tragic character; a family man and failed comedian who suffered “one bad day” that finally drove him insane. Moore stated that he attempted to show the similarities and contrasts between the two characters. The story’s effects on the mainstream Batman continuity also included the shooting and paralysis of Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl), an event that laid the groundwork for her to develop the identity of Oracle.” Read more…

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The copy that I had was the deluxe one. It had an extra story called “an innocent guy “. The killing joke alone is a really good one but the extra story is perfect. The drawings are well-made. Plus the ideas discussed redefine our definition of “good”


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The striking sentence  Is: “the only way you can be truly good is if you tried being good and you’ve tried being bad, and being good feels better

But the main character takes this idea to its extremes killing someone considered as “good”


You have to read the book to know the whole story

Wondergaap’s new video clip and EP release

After featuring a goat (what?!!) in a video clip can Wondergaap possibly  produce more original ideas?goat.jpeg

In a video clip for to the meadow, this new character struck the lights.


Most people were (still are) Intrigued by their identities. Wondergaap is a Lebanese Indie Rock band originally started by Michel Mouawad and Rayan Sayegh five years ago when they were in school to capitalise on their talents. Now the band is now made up of Ryan Fayad, Kevin Abboud, Michel Mouawad and Rayan Sayegh. The name “Wondergaap” isn’t just another benign name. There’s a meaning behind it. Wondergaap should represent a gap full of wonders. When you have the chance to get in it, you would understand new things about yourself and you wouldn’t want to get out. Thus, we can see absurd things like the video clip or the weird make up on Rayan’s face.


Untitled

Their new single gothic park isn’t just about the musical talent, it’s also about the visual beauty. The video is directed by Karl Hadife. Insanity is apparent in the video by the choice of the location and the clothing. The angles used aren’t the most usual ones. The choice of the theme shows just how much Wondergaap is evolving from what is purely musical to encompass all of the senses.


Last Friday, they released their new EP Downtown Of Mistakes in Beirut Open Space. The music surrounding the lyrics are just unique.27913134_1335176106584365_7381337064329722270_o.jpg


As for their logo, they also used it to stress on the idea of “a gap of wonders”. Given that in the 2000s minimalism is the most appealing this is the logo27972451_1342084445893531_8280364744140724572_n.jpg

What’s infinity?

By definition, infinity is a behavior not a number. However, in schools we see equalities like

 ∞+=

 ∞*=

so we should treat this as a number. But what about expressions like

  ∞- and   ∞/

?

The answer got to us back when we were at school. Neither of these expressions is well-defined.

Infinity isn’t a number, it’s a behavior!

Let’s get back to our first example, if you add 2 extremely large numbers together, you get another extremely large number. Same thing if you are multiplying.

When it comes to subtracting or dividing them we don’t know the outcome. This is why subtraction in infinity isn’t defined.

Different kinds of infinity

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Infinity describes many different concepts. The natural numbers can’t be bounded from above. Any number x that you choose from the natural set, you can find x+1 ( +1 doesn’t exist)  that is larger. However, if you have an infinite amount of time, you can name all of the positive integer numbers. Whereas, if you try to count all of the real numbers, assuming that you have an infinite amount of time, there will always be a number that you have missed.

georg-cantor-3.jpgThis was proven by Cantor.

The natural set kind of infinity is called “countably infinite” and the infinity over the real number set is called “uncountably infinite”.


So when Buzz lightyear says “to infinity and beyond (+1)”, he is not totally right! to-infinity-and-beyond.jpg

Undiscovered inner poet

After the accident I could not walk any more, I could not stand upright anymore. Doing any exerting physical activity was an impossibility for me. The only getaway was assured by me staying in bed. So during my whole experience of the accident, I have been writing.


My writings vary between poetry and prose. I knew that i had the talent but writing poetry uniquely for the mere beauty of words was undiscovered before the crash. The only tone of the documents I produced was informative. I used to write short but concise papers for the courses I was enrolled in.


Let me reiterate, writing for me is like going to a club on a Friday night. I cannot drink alcohol anymore, but poetry gives me an analogous self fulfillment.


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I used to work on university projects for my friends and used to get them 90s. But I wanted the topics that I write about to be chosen by me!(I am that much of an egotistical individual)


without further ado, here is my personally favorite excerpt of a poem I wrote:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Chocolate


You can whatsapp me on: 71203320
Instagram: @youthfountainn
Twitter: @youthfountainn
Facebook: Youth Fountain

Emotions are real

When we are feeling blue for a while we automatically say that we are depressed. When someone around us is agitated we assume that he is hyperactive. If someone gets mad for a reason we don’t know we say that he’s bipolar. But, in that case, why are psychologists and psychiatrists still important to our society?

 


You can only exactly know your emotional state if a trained professional diagnoses it. The most common problem that they are trained to solve is depression.We live in a society where change of environment is imminent. People are prone to changing schools, live in foreign countries (Arab countries in the case of Lebanon), go abroad to study in universities or to get jobs. These changes make it more probable for these people to be social outcasts – or at young ages, get bullied. This is a good environment for the development of depression.

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To solve this serious problem a psychologist or a psychiatrist can help. However, in our society, any individual who has one is labelled as “mentally deranged”; so it’s harder for anyone suffering from any kind of emotional disorder to seek help.

We need to be more educated about our emotional wellbeing.

 


Side note: Main difference between psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

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A psychiatrist has the authority to prescribe FDA approved drugs whereas a psychologist can only advise to see a psychiatrist.

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