Entertainment Tonight!

APTOPIX Mexico Swine Flu

The BBC quoted a top UN health chief as Saying: “The world is well prepared for virus” in response to the new swine flu virus Outbreak!!!

What is this crap?! When was the world ever prepared for an outbreak?! And How is the world “prepared”??? By wearing sanitary masks to work?

I for one, being part of the world, am not prepared for a virus, I usually like my viruses well done and this one seems like medium rare!

But the virus couldn’t care less about the world’s preparation levels! It comes along anyways!

So how, may I ask, did the world get prepared for this epidemic, MR. UN TOP HEALTH OFFICIAL? Did the collective body of the world get a vaccine? Or did NASA inject the planet with anti bodies via a massive space syringe?

I was not notified about these “preparations”!!!

A virus outbreak is a natural disaster, followed usually by massive human causalities, Global panic, and an abundance of tragedies on both National and personal levels!

How is anyone prepared for that? No one is ever prepared for that, and it doesn’t need a “Top UN Health Official” to figure that out!

Let me enlighten you about some facts:

Spanish flu memorial

Spanish flu memorial

In 1918 a new strain of flu virus broke out, the Spanish flu pandemic, which is considered the most devastating outbreak of modern history. It infected up to 40% of the world’s population and killed from 20 to 100 million people!!!

In 1957, the Asian flu killed two million people. Caused by a human form of the virus, H2N2, combining with a mutated strain found in wild ducks.

And again in 1968, another outbreak caused by a strain known as H3N2, killed up to one million people globally.

So far the new-never-before-seen version of the H1N1 strain might prove deadlier than all the above!

So to say that the world is prepared for it, is to say that the world is prepared: to lose a couple of 10 million lives! And although the world can do without some of the morons out there, still we are never prepared for this type of massive life loss!

But it occurs nonetheless!

So I say: Relax, don’t panic, sit down and enjoy the show!

Economic meltdowns, Recession, Earthquakes, Suicide bombings, Somali Pirates (YES, real pirates, in the 21st century, filthy aggressive pirates and not cool ones like Johnny Depp and the Diseny pirates), Nuclear threats, Epidemics and Pandemics!  It just keeps getting better and better… it is way better than Armageddon type movies! Becuase it’s all happening at once! Imaginative, shot in real time, and not to mention REAL suffering (and let’s not forget the soundtrack by Susan Boyle)!!!

The World is not prepared for anything, the World is falling apart! and since you can’t do anything to stop it… well, then enjoy it!

Boyling out of control!

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Demi Moore (and of course Ashton Kutcher), Oprah, Patti Lupone, all brought to tears!!! Piers Morgan (“Britain’s got Talent” own judge!) offered Friday to kiss the Scottish charity worker, in an act of charity on his behalf! even Simon Cowell was touched by her! Well I wasn’t!

Susan Boyle can sing, hell, the woman has a golden voice, full stop! Some dreams come true, some don’t… hers did! so what?!!!

The Boyle sensation spiraling into madness

The Boyle-o-mania is spiraling into madness

Before you jump to conclusions, I don’t care enough about the subject to post about it… And I shouldn’t be posting about it! I should be posting about, say,  the US boycott of the UN racism conference
But instead I’m posting about her, why? Because I’m bothered by the media hype, and global Boyle euphoria, bothered enough to post on it…

Every website I log on to, especially the news ones, has at least two features about the frumpy 47-year-old, who has never been kissed… everyone is joining the global love parade, she has a fan website,  a fan page on facebook with 888,470 members (that’s 15,000 over Alicia Keys and 2,000 below Madonna!!!), she gained celebrity fans and millions of admirers, one of her YouTube clips has been viewed more than 12 million times and facebook and twitter are on fire, with status updates like: “Did you hear Susan Boyle yet?” “check out Susan Boyle on youtube” “i spent two hours listening to Susan Boyle on youtube”…. etc.  It’s all a bit too much, isn’t it? well… not just a bit, it’s bloody too much!!!

“I’m tired of how the media tells me who I should look up to” George Carlin said, and he was damn right!

I never watch American Idol, America’s got talent, Britain’s got talent, So you think you can dance?, or any of those talent freak shows! (not to mention Star Academy, the Arabic, more disturbing version)!

Because these “reality TV” fake shows, are all about exploiting people, and seeing how far they will go for money (ever watched the Running Man? Arnold’s 80s B-movie? It was about a man hunted down on a realtime TV show for money!).

On the other hand this Susan Boyle character really can sing (Yes, I confess, I did watch her on YouTube!), but she herself did the same thing, she exploited her look to awe the judges and highlight her voice, let’s face it: She is unpleasant to look at & she has been living on a planet where they think it’s alright for women to look like men (and not even pleasant looking men may I add)!

And she overplayed that to her advantage, she didn’t even get her hair done, before appearing on TV in front millions, why is that? Because hairdressers are so expensive to her? No, because she wanted the judges to overlook her and discard her as a nobody, so that when she sings, she’d blow them off their feet… which she did, and probably would still have done if she went there dressed like Monroe. But the  Wow effect was pretty much highlighted and accentuated by the initial cynicism.
She played her cards, and she won the Jackpot. Great for her…
As for the show: well, it’s been running for 3 years, it was bound to happen after thousands of auditions that someone with real talent would come up, amidst the thousands of half wits and twats who keep plaguing our TV sets! It’s a Talent Show in the first place, so when the show finally finds someone who is actually talented, why is that a surprise?!!!!

I honestly can’t see where the big deal is!
She can sing, period!

How did we find out?
Through a talent freak show… which she volunteered to appear on!

It’s not like she was singing by a lake in the woods, when the rich prince was passing, and immediately fell in love with her voice (now that would have been remarkable! Disgusting but remarkable nonetheless!!!).

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The new beauty archetype? (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan-pa)

The new beauty archetype? (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan-pa)

Suddenly, the pop culture which tells us that talented people have to look super sexy, and which would probably have killed Beethoven’s talent just because he wasn’t “hip” enough to market, have collapsed… and with it’s collapse the world is alight with Susan Boyles’s image, fireworks illuminate the skies, choirs are singing, euphoria is in the air and dreams can come true again…

Well who said they can’t in the first place?! they can come true, they just don’t come true that often! And that’s the case today, just like it was a week ago… The “Boyle Dream” phenomenon does not prove anything! She’ll take her two minutes of fame, and then as anyone and anything else, she will slowly recede to the back page… while the media turns to the next attraction.

It is sad, but that’s just the way things are in these decaying times!

Breaking News: Obama releases Bush torture memos

  • Insects, sleep deprivation and waterboarding are among the techniques approved by the Bush administration to interrogate “terrorists”. And the memos contain worse!
    Barack Obama at an official dinner yesterday in the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. Photograph: Reuters

    Barack Obama at an official dinner yesterday in the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. Photograph: Reuters

    Today, the American President, Barack Obama, released four top secret memos that allowed the CIA under the Bush administration to torture al-Qaida and other terror suspects held at Guantánamo and secret detention centers round the world.

    Yet, in his accompanying statement, Obama ruled out prosecutions against the CIA agents who were involved in these interrogations. It is a “time for reflection, not retribution,” he said.

    The Obama administration’s decision to release the “Top Secret” legal memos discussing specific interrogation techniques used against suspected terrorists was made against the objections of the intelligence community – and it expresses Obama’s determination to stay true to his campaign principles. The accompanying statements from the new American president and attorney general ruling out the prosecution of intelligence agents who relied on the legal advice contained in these memos is also not a surprise.
    However, it’s not the CIA agents who should be prosecuted, because they were just following orders. It those behind the decision of allowing torture (namingly Bush and his mob) who should in fact be prosecuted for torture, War crimes, and dragging the world into a cycle of violence.

  • REACTIONS TO OBAMA DECISION

    “The memos’ matter-of-fact clinical descriptions belie the harsh tactics to which they gave a green light. But… it is not enough to say that when we have a president who does not believe in cruel and inhuman treatment and torture, the United States will not engage in such practices. We must formally acknowledge that what was done was wrong, indeed criminal.

    Georgetown University Professor David Cole, debating the issue at The New York Times

    “By repudiating the memos, the Obama administration has again seized the high ground and restored some of the honor lost over the past few years. Yet the decision to forgo prosecutions should not prevent — and perhaps should even encourage – further investigation about the circumstances that gave rise to torture.”

    Editorial, The Washington Post

    “On the surface, the statement today looks like a big ol’ grant of immunity – or a concession – or a deliberate attempt to boost morale at the CIA… There are plenty of CIA officers who followed the rules and shouldn’t be prosecuted. They’re the ones who are a little relieved today… although they might have to explain some things to their priests and their families.

    Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic

    Download the pdfs:

The monkeys and the lioness

I’ve to admit I haven’t been “Politically active” the past period… I don’t know a reason for that, except for the fact that it’s been a crazy couple of month (work wise). And also I’ve fallen to a “Political indifference” after Gaza’s Massacre, while seeing the leaders of the “Arab” world battling over credit, and the leaders of the Palestinian people, battling over the crumbs (or rather chunks) of Gaza rebuilding aid.

But Suddenly I was brought out of my Political Stupor by the recent “capture” of the Hezbollah “terrorist” cell, in Egypt.

Now, I don’t know If anyone have noticed but suddenly our brave government and it’s “collaborators” have jumped on the arrest, like hungry hounds… Using euphemisms like “No one messes with Egypt” and other utterly meaningless statements, that brings to memory the “post 9/11” Bush speeches.

Suddenly Hezbollah, which was heroized and gained public ground after Lebanon war (to the dismay of Egyptian governments), was back in the black list.

Well not suddenly actually, the Egyptian media have been over-playing Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah statements, during the Gaza massacre, in which he (rightfully, may I add) attacked Egypt’s feeble role in Gaza’s recent tragedy.

Since then the state owned media have played all it’s dirty cards to demonize and entice hate against Hezbollah, personified in Hassan Nasrallah, and they succeeded greatly at it. All of a sudden Nasrallah became public enemy number 1, and the hire of Satan himself! As if he was the one responsible for all the global criticism we were getting throughout Gaza war, or as if he was responsible for all our problems with our Arab neighbors… meantime, ironically the Egyptian media didn’t dare do the same with say “Olmert” who was actually responsible for the massacre!

The media have prepared the scene for the government to deal the final blow, which the government theatrically acted out last Wednesday.

Now whether the arrests and accusation are true, or another fabrication by our “National Security” mongers, I really couldn’t care less!!!

To be honest, I don’t find it surprising at all that there are Hezbollah operatives in Egypt!
Of course there are! What? Do they think the weapons and ammunitions have been getting into Gaza through thin air? These same operatives who have been trafficking weapons and supplies throughout the last 3 years, and even before that!

If the Government and it’s vigilant Security forces, did not know about those operatives, and are surprised by their existence, then we are in deep S**T!

Whether these operatives were plotting against Egypt or not, will never be found out, because bottom line, I don’t trust our “investigation” methods, (remember Heba and Nadine’s murder case, anyone?)

Nonetheless, I have some questions, for which I would like anyone to provide me a logical answer:

  • Did Hezbollah ever pull any terrorist operation here in Egypt?
  • Who were the ones responsible for the recent terrorist attacks on Al Azhar? And the similar ones that took place during the last three years? Hezbollah???
  • Why now? Hezbollah have been around since the 80’s and have never attempted to “plot against” or attack Egypt, not even during the High time of Egyptian terrorism… so why now?

I have to be clear on this, I’m not defending Nasrallah or Hezbollah… not by any stretch of means… Despite his heroic role in Lebanon’s war in 2006, Nasrallah afterwards made the gravest mistakes, which made him a questionable figure inside and outside Lebanon.

However, with that said, I also do not just swallow whatever is presented to me, especially if it is by the government or any institution related to it!

The Egyptian media wants us to believe that out of the blue, Hezbollah, decided to carry out terrorist operations on Egyptian grounds, and that they (the government) were able to step in just in time! Why??? Why the sudden change of Hezbollah’s agenda?

And more importantly I ask, with Hezbollah’s training and resources (which have somewhat proved themselves during recent years), and with the Egyptian Security forces recent precedents, in failing completely to prevent any of the terrorist attacks (which were carried out by small time terrorists) throughout the last 3 years, does the story above seem even logical?

OK, SUPPOSE IT IS TRUE!

SUPPOSE THAT BY SOME FAR STRETCH OF EVENTS, AND A SUDDEN FLUSH OF HATRED, HEZBOLLAH DECIDED TO ATTACK EGYPT!

Does this give the government and the government owned media to stoop down even lower than it already had and degrade itself further, by engaging in Name calling and a national cussing fit (Waslet Rad7)?

Have our government and media lost all respect to themselves and the people they represent?

Here are the headlines of the global and national newspapers:

The Daily News, Egypt: UPROAR OVER HEZBOLLAH LEADER’S TELEVISED SPEECH
Egypt is in uproar over the admittance of Lebanese Hezbollah leader Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that a man detained in Egypt is a member of the Shia resistance group.
In comments published in Al-Hayat newspaper Sunday, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said Egypt “will not allow any party, inside or outside Egypt, to endanger the lives of Egyptian citizens or jeopardize the national economy.”
“Egypt’s security is a red line that cannot be breached, touched or harmed. Egyptian security services are quite capable of protecting the domestic front,” he added.
The Egyptian state press has been in arms over Nasrallah’s comments, and has responded furiously.
Even Israel has waded into the argument, with its Transport Minister Yisrael Katz stated Monday that Nasrallah deserved to die for his actions.
“Nasrallah deserves death and I hope that those who know what to do with him will act and give him what he deserves,” he said.

Al-Gomhuria: Nasrallah “The Monkey Sheikh” is a criminal working for Iranian interests, he sacrificed the lives of Lebanese citizens in the 2006 war with Israel and the following Shia-Sunni clashes, dispelling his hero status.

Akhbar Al Youm: Nasrallah is a “war criminal”

(Nasrallah is a “war criminal”??? How bout Netanyahu, Livni, Olmert and Lieberman? Those are not war criminals, heh?)

Al-Ahram: Nasrallah’s comments, along with other irrefutable evidence, cements the intention of launching attacks on Egypt, in support of Gaza!

(Launching attacks on Egypt, in support of Gaza! ya3ni ehh? we ba3d ehh???)

Rose Al Yousef: Egypt must start proceedings to try him(Nasrallah) in an international court. He has admitted to the crime. He must be handed to the Lebanese government as a war criminal.

Reuters: Egypt state-controlled paper denounces Hezbollah and calls Nasrallah “monkey sheikh.”
CAIRO – An Egyptian state-controlled newspaper escalated Egypt’s dispute with the Lebanese group Hezbollah Sunday by calling its leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, a “monkey sheikh.”

Aljazeera: Hezbollah ‘plotted to attack Egypt’
Egypt has accused Hezbollah of plotting to attack tourists at resorts in the Sinai Peninsula – days after Cairo said 49 men had been arrested for allegedly being linked to the Lebanese armed political group.

BBC: Hezbollah confirms Egypt arrest
The leader of Lebanon’s Islamist Hezbollah movement has confirmed one of the group’s members is among 49 men accused of planning attacks in Egypt.
The Hezbollah member, Sami Shihab, had been trying to get military equipment into Gaza, Hassan Nasrallah said.
But he denied his organization was seeking to destabilize Egypt and called the allegations “lies”.

These were the global and national responds, and as saddening as they are, yet still, the more shameful is the Israeli press festival over the arrest news, which shows who are our government’s best friends now!

The Jerusalem Post wrote: Hizbullah plot to target Israelis in Sinai was ‘act of war’
Israeli and Egyptian officials said on Sunday that the Hizbullah agents whose arrests were announced by Cairo last week had been plotting to attack Israeli tourists at resorts in Sinai.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) declared that Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah had ordered the agents to “hit Israeli targets,” and that he hoped Nasrallah would pay the price for this “act of war.”
“He [Nasrallah] acknowledges that his men were involved in smuggling Iranian weapons into Gaza in order to hit Israel,” said Katz.

The Israel Post wrote: Cairo: Nasrallah trying to turn Egypt into Hizbullah ‘playground’
Egyptian officials have responded angrily to a recent speech by Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in which he admitted that the Lebanese terror group was smuggling arms into the Gaza Strip, telling the London-based Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat that “Nasrallah wants to turn Egypt into a playground like Lebanon.”
In an article published on Saturday, the officials blamed Nasrallah for “dragging Egypt into this situation” by letting his people enter Egypt “for satanic purposes.”

Haaretz: Egypt settled score with Hamas
Senior Palestinian source says Cairo has been waiting to put Islamist organization in its place even since gunmen stormed Rafah crossing in January 2007. Opportunity came when Hamas and Hizbullah crossed red line with funds and arms smuggling, he tells Ynet

Ynetnews: ‘Nasrallah a monkey sheikh’
Egyptian paper slams Hizbullah chief, says he ‘will burn’ should he threaten Egypt’s sovereignty
The state-owned al-Gomhouria newspaper said: “We do not allow you, monkey sheikh, to mock our judiciary, for you are a bandit and veteran criminal who killed your countrymen, but we will not allow you to threaten the security and safety of Egypt …and if you threaten its sovereignty, you will burn!”

It is really degrading and petty to see the government of our nation, bullying a political party (or a terrorist group, as they call Hezb-Allah). Just like it is disgraceful to see the same government having a grudge for a TV channel, and going after it, in every vulgar way possible.

And It’s even more shameful to see our “free” press, letting go of all decency, objectivity and joining in on the Hate fest.

Yesterday, “El Beit Betak” one of the most watched national talk show programs, which is broadcast on Egypt’s prime satellite channel, hosted a military analyst and the Editor of Al Ahram economical newspaper, and both hosts alongside the TV presenter, went all out and engaged in a 30 minutes of blasting show (Waslet Rad7), calling Nassarallah: the “phony Sheikh”, the “ignorant Sheikh”, the “fool Sheikh”, the “evil Sheikh”, the “wicked Sheikh”, the “villain Sheikh” and other vulgar profanities… finally calling him An “Armout” (hint)!!!

This is our Foreign policy? To verbally attack Foreign Political parties, Minorities and Foreign TV channels, while leaving enemy countries ravel at our borders?

This is how low and cheap we stooped, a bitter dwarf nation ruled by a bitter and small government, criticized by every other “respectful” country, and cheered by a criminal and murderous regime…?!

Foot note1:

Reuters reports that President Hosni Mubarak told Lebanon’s prime minister in a phone call on Sunday that “Egypt will not allow anyone to violate its borders or destabilize the country.”
I add a small correction: “Egypt will not allow anyone to violate its borders or destabilize the country, except for Israel, who are free to bomb our borders, occasionally kill our border guards (by mistake of course), and violate our air zone”

Hasbi Allah… wa nee’m al Wakil

(the above is a religious statement, used commonly by Muslims to express disappointment… By no means should it be understood or interpreted that I am a member of the “terrorist cell”)

Foot note2:
The title of this post refers to fictional monkeys and a fictional lioness, it should not be projected to anyone or anything else, and should not be taken out of context!

12 Reasons to refuse to Render!

Originally posted by By Sebastian J at Arch Daily blog.

Marc Joseph, from Young Architect, has written a post about one of those tasks you should try to avoid at all cost in order to make your life easier: 3D Rendering.

He wrote down 12 reasons why you should avoid rendering in your office:

1. You Will Lose Track of Time
You can really get lost in your modelling. A whole work day can go by without you even realizing it. Worst of all, you can spend hours on a task that you expected to take a half an hour. In the end, you will find yourself staying later into the night while your coworkers punch out at 6.

2. More Demands on Your Time
There seems to be a very unfair expectation that employers have on the amount of time that it takes to complete a digital model. I have seen employers consistently assign a brand new 3D model to be completed and rendered for print in a two day period. While that may not seem like a short amount of time, we can easily forget that a considerable amount of time is going to be spent tweaking the vantage points and materials. Also, the employer will inevitably be requesting changes to the design or look once they see your progress prints.

3. The Employer Doesn’t Have Knowledge of the Software
There in lies maybe the biggest problem. Most of your supervisors will be older and have not been personally exposed to modelling software. They often feel as though computers have made things more instant or automated, when the truth of the matter is that computers have really just complicated things.

So as mentioned above, the employer will give you these assignments and constantly make changes to the model before you are done. Often times, the changes that they request will require near full remodels, so they can really be detrimental to getting renderings complete. This brings me to my next point

4. You Will Find Yourself Re-doing Things Over and Over
As you present various schemes and changes to your clients, you will find that you will have to model the same things over and over again. It is not unusual to have to go through 3-5 different drawing files in one day.

5. You Have to Sweat the Details
Aside from actually constructing the forms that make up the building massing, you also need to concentrate on those tedious details. Reflections, shading, material colors, mullions… you name it, are all items that must be coordinated into your rendering in order for it to come off as a believable form. Clients have little capacity for imagination and you really need to paint as clear of a picture as possible. The details are going to take up most of your time.

6. You Are On Your Own: No One Else Can Help You
Unfortunately, digital models practically have individual signatures embedded into them. What I mean is that it is easy to tell that one person modelled one drawing and another person was the author of another. When you are presenting multiple schemes, the same person really needs to be developing each one. It is the only way to deliver a professional presentation to a client. This means that none of your colleagues can help you out with the work load.

7. You May Have Knowledge in One Software But Not Another
There are so many different 3D software out there. I could name nearly ten of them but there are constantly new programs coming out that trump the others. I personally was used to using Formz when I came out of school. My first firm used 3D Studio Max and expected me to hit the ground running. I ended up having to learn the new interface while trying to keep up with my assignments. This led to longer nights at work that I would have rather spent back home of at happy hour.

8. You Lose Your Personal Space
Because your boss will be wanting to make those changes, he is basically going to be sitting on your lap and punching holes in your LCD screen. They just get sucked into your computer screen while you are still sitting at your desk! They will be putting their faces 3 inches away from your screen so they can inspect your work and you will most likely get familiar with the smell of their breath. To make matters worst, they will just stand there while you are frantically making their changes, even though it may take you 10 minutes to do so. You really just have to sit there and take it because its hard to tell your boss to buzz off.

9. You Won’t Be Working on Important Tasks
So while you are making pretty pictures, your friends in the office will be doing real work. Creating presentation images is indeed important and you will still be a valuable member of the team, but, in the end this won’t amount to anything more than an image that makes your client “oooh and ahh.”

10. You Will Learn Less
This is similar to the last point. While you are modelling, you won’t be doing any detailing, space planning, or structural coordination. Really, you are going to be missing out on all of those “important tasks” that will make you a more complete architect. There is no 3d Modelling section on the exams.

11. You Will Be Under-appreciated
Because you won’t be involved in those other tasks that really result in a final set of working documents, your contribution won’t be recognized as much. 3D modelling is expected to be a simple automated process and the crazy amount of time you pour into your assignments will be diminished by your employers high expectations.

12. Professionals Do It Better
Seriously, they do. You could spend a solid month on a model and it won’t look as good as when a professional renderer works a day or two on the project. You don’t have the skill-set or the digital library to trump the professionals. From personal experience, I have seen a professional rendering firm model the entire Dubai Waterfront Development overnight…from scratch. These are the images that you have probably seen for a few years now, including the early images of the new world’s tallest building. That’s right, they were done in a span of one night! Could you possibly compete with that?