101 things to do before you die - 1

I have purchased a book named "101 things to do before you die" and I strongly believe that at least 90 of those are worth doing, some of them do not agree with my relegious or social beliefs, some others are actually going to be impossible but we will deal with that when we get there.
Therefore I am introducing a new category, 101 Things To Do

I will write about each one of the tasks as I do it, or when I can find the appropriate information about doing it, the book has some question about each one that I will try to answer

First completed to-do item reported:
Go on a Demonstration

Date of Demonstration: 15/2/2003
Was there a march? Yes, from: Ryerson University to: Younge and Bloor intersection
How many people took part? approximately 80,000 people at least 2,000 were rallied by us at Ryerson
Did you have a Placard? Yes
What did it say? Not in our name.
Did you see yourself on the news: No, but I saw many of my friends on the News, I recall seeing Mohammed Abou-Sweid on TV leading with a megaphone, saying, "War, huh, Yeah, What is it good for"
Was it peaceful? Yes
Did the demonstration do any good? Yes, Canada did not go to war on Iraq which started out on my birthday
Did you have a badge? Yes, "Drop fees not Bombs"


New style

I have realized that the labels or categories I am using are far too numerous and do not relate to my blog so a little reorganization is in order, there are now a few categories to put a post in:

Environment and Nature
-Liverpool FC
-Middle East
Random Thoughts

This system seems fragile still but may be worth my effort, I mean, I have 21 posts in Random Thoughts and 16 under Personal. I will continue to improve it when a trend emerges.

I also have a published copy for this blog on http://headwindblows.wordpress.com/ when I realized that I am too google dependant and that wordpress has its own merits.

I also have an intention to blog on odd days in another blog which has to relate to a project I am doing. More on that later on


King Leonidas

King Leonidas is the most amazing character I have seen in a movie since Don Corleone (as in Vito) was first seen by me. This character has enough grace in his talk, walk and look to put Achilles (of Troy) to shame.

I am talking about the movie 300, it is by far one of the best movies ever. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? Think groundbreaking graphics and special visual effects and unique sounds and storytelling that will put Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Carribean all to shame.

My favorite quote was: "His helmet was stifling, his shield was heavy", it would have been a shame to see that happen. You can call me Leonidas from now on.


I don't drink on days that end with "y"

For all the nay-sayers out there, I have been true to my word, many of you remember my high school days and when me and that friend used to be nick-named "ta3ati". No more, I say, not with my career being so in direct conflict with that, despite the reputation we have earned. ;)

Most importantly, there are many factors which I will choose not to disclose.



This is the first post I will write with the new wysiwyg editor provided courtesy of Blogger, I stuck to old blogger editor although I was early on moving to Blogger beta, I didn't want to change the old feel I had when writing blogs, but since I have started adding pictures, the effort seemed tiring and repetitive.

I like using many fonts in writing and I think it's empowering to have a choice. Thanks Blogger, your efforts are appreciated. I'm thinking of changing the banner at the top of my blog to include this picture and possibly some other symbolic items.


The most beautiful birds

With no doubt in my mind, Eagles and Hawks are the most beautiful birds to observe, the finer aspects of gliding, soaring and flying is what keeps me interested. In the Azraq wetland reserve I observed a Falcon in "hover" which is very different from a hummingbird hover.

Hawks, which I believe include Falcons, were an amazing site, they spread their wings in strong headwinds and had enough lift to remain in place, they also changed the angle of their wings to compensate for a decrease or an increase in wind speed, just as pilots add flaps and other high-lift devices to compensate for the decrease in airspeed and therefore the decrease in airflow. Falcons can have power dive reaching speeds up to 320 Kilometers per hour, which is the reason you see falcons shooting past you when you are in a descending aircraft.

Eagles however are an entirely different matter, the are extremely immense in size
for example the Haring Ibon or Philippine Eagle is the largest Eagle in the world with length of more than a meter and wing chord of more than 65 cms. The talon itself is more the 5.5 cms. You can only imagine why it is called, Monkey-eating Eagle, the scientific name is Pithecophaga jefferyi.

The most beautiful (subjective) and heaviest (objective) Eagle is the Harpy Eagle, it is without doubt an amazing siting if anyone is lucky enough to see one.
check it out here

That thing on the left tarsus -picture right- is the ring I talked about in the last post.

The most beautiful bird however has to be a Macaw, which is a parrot or more specifically the Scarlet Macaw, which some call the red Macaw.

I'm only expressing personal opinions here, don't bombard me with emails telling me that I missed a bird here or there.



We had a couple of days of relaxation and enjoyment, it was very interesting, on the way to Azraq we passed by Qasir Al Kharanah or Kharanah Palace, which is a magnificent feat of early architecture, and to let people know, it is worth seeing:

Qusair Amra or Amra Palace, has the smaller scale version of the same purpose of such stopover stations but with much more inner art. Something definitely worth seeing

We stayed in this lodge where it was surprisingly accommodating and comfortable, it was both clean and well managed,

It used to be a British field hospital in the 1940s and still maintains the feel and look. The Air Force base is so close we actually got to see two F-5s taking off and then flying in what looked to me as loose formation.

The place lacks nothing in modernity with A/Cs and hot water, its more like a retreat than an expedition, but for the more urban dwellers it must feel like a total waste with no TV, but I was perfectly enjoying it.

When we arrived there and after taking our time we went to the Azraq castle, , now this is a castle born out of a Stronghold game, you could almost feel the ground trembling with passage of soldiers and horsemen.

We also went to the Azraq wetland reserve and rejoiced with bird watching and the more professional naturist amongst us got to participate in ringing migrating birds,

Even little Madian learned a lesson and got to release a few birds

Then for the more dry part of the trip,

at Shoumari reserve we got to see the Arabian Oryx and Ostriches and some Ibex in the wild, and then we also saw peacocks, deer and some assorted animals.

A great and fun trip and recommended for everyone, it has a bit to suit every taste also visit www.rscn.org.jo


Soon, I will be 22

While it is depressing to many to age, especially when losing your childish charms, and being judged more fiercely and critically. I think growing not only forces you to shape up and smart up, it also fuels you to keep count of achievements and disappointments, on a year-to-year bases.

I will be heading to Azraq now and will return to Amman late tomorrow, I will hopefully have some updates and pictures.


Tikkun on Carter

On Jimmy Carter regarding his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid:

A vocal segment of the Jewish establishment has responded to the book as if we Jews speak with one monolithic voice which equates criticism of Israel's policies with anti-Semitism. We believe this knee-jerk reaction to criticism of Israeli government policies not only stifles debate, but inflames fear in the Jewish community and increases tolerance for militarism.

I bought the book, I think it is fair and I am being honest and unbiased, but I like what Tikkun said, I hope it doesn't go unnoticed.


Energy and money

ExxonMobil's profits rose 75 percent, BP up 34 percent and ConocoPhillips up 89 percent and there are more stories in the past six months, so please when talking of rising oil prices as evidence to the situation in the Middle East, think twice.

If oil companies make much more higher profits and revenues, then it probably means means that they are price gouging.

Chevron, in full page ads, said:

It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil. We'll use the next trillion in 30

Now this may be a reason for all that profit, Exxon Mobil reports $9.92 billion in profits, the highest for any corporation profit in a three-month period, Royal Dutch Shell made $9.03 Billion and their sales are around $100 Billion each in Oil and 99.9% of their money is coming from Oil

It will be a crime not ask them why don't they invest in cleaner fuels or renewable energy. It is a crime not invest more money in energy diversification and less in lobbying for drilling in the arctic.

Biomass in California alone, if used correctly can power 2 million homes, I'm pretty sure powering many more millions of home worldwide is a good way to promote renewable energy. It's carbon emissions are what trouble me, onlt biomass from crops that will be replanted should be used.

Let us wise up and not overlook solar, geothermal, hydro and wind energy of which there is an abundance and would need huge investments from energy conglomerates. Both our and their livelihoods depend on it. I personally predict a good future for shell. we'll see!


Nice Draw

My hope is a win Home and a tie Away against PSV and then meet Valencia on the next round, hopefully qualifying to the finals because Athens, like Istanbul is the southeast Europe which Liverpool has in its favour for some reason.


Robert Fisk

The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest for the Middle East is the book I have been reading of late. If there is one book to explain the Middle East in an unbiased and precise manner, its this book, I have failed to find a unamusing page and will probably be referencing it many times.

Robert Fisk, the author has no need to be introduced to any serious reader of the Middle East coverage. For the less serious, here, here and here are good sources.

This youtube movie is a good watch for a lecture he did in Canada for those who wish not to read but to listen:

Yes, i do believe that we "the west" have a very heavy burden of responsibility towards the tragedy that has moved across the middle east ever since...

"..by the time I reached the end of the book, .... I was amazed at the restraint which the Muslim world have shown towards us in the west"

and talking of September 11th he said:

if you get a crime .. in any Canadian city the first thing the RCMP do is look for a motive, but when we try to look for a motive, in this international crime against humanity in Washington, Pennsylvania and New York, we were not allowed to look for a motive, wasn't this strange

also watch this.

A must read and a must watch, and for those who like to read in Arabic, an Arabic edition is coming up.


They won but we didn't loose

You could try and convince me that, when Barcelona scored one goal in the nets of Reina and we didn't reply, we lost. The fact of the matter is we still qualified and they didn't so you won't have much luck convincing me. When will the draw come, I am anxious to kick some ass, I am hoping to play PSV or Valencia, and hoping to have an all-English final in Athens this year, because South East Europe suits Liverpool in Finals.


I'm hotter than you

You are hotter than 74% of men on this site! that’s what the people at Hot or Not told me, based on 120 votes, so it is a good morale boost. I wonder if it’s true though. Based on this number there is a 3 in 4 chance that I am hotter than you.


51 years of Arab Army

51 years ago, today, King Hussein ordered the Arabisation of the Arab Legion, the name was also changed to the Arab Army, a name which until today we hold dear.

James Lunt's Hussein of Jordan:

"It has sometimes been claimed that Glubb's dismissal resulted from a conspiracy of young nationalistically minded Jordanian officers who were close to the King. This was not the case. ... the King alone decided to dismiss Glubb ... when the news reached Cairo it surprised Nasser just as much as everyone else."

So I don't believe His Late Majesty was afraid of a King Farouq fate, nor was he pressured by Nasser or anyone else. King Hussein was a genius, he had Glubb defending him in British press, against a which could have been the cause for him not receiving a pension, a gratuity or even further employement, King Hussein never forgot and later set the record straight.