Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Diets & Stress...

I know, I know, I'm still COPY-PASTing and I apologize in advance.

But since Twitter, I find myself reading more than writing... And by more I mean about a million articles a day and some of them are really interesting.

I'm not sharing each and every one on my Blog obviously, but these two are very relevant to our daily lives and I thought a couple of my friends (and certainly more) would enjoy the new information :-)

1) 10 Craziest Diets in History
Honestly, I've heard crazier than these not so long ago :-P

2) Reading 'can help reduce stress'
Nice :-)
Another reason to check my Blog on a daily basis ;-)


10 Craziest Diets in History
Posted by Jill Harness in Food & Drinks, Neatorama Only on March 30, 2009 at 2:16 am

Dieting. Personally, I suck at it, as do many people throughout the world. But it doesn’t mean we don’t try. Of course, some of us try to eat less and exercise more and some people jump on the bandwagon of any fad diets, always hoping to find a miracle that leads to quick weight loss with little effort. As a result, there’s been quite a few crazy diet ideas in the last few centuries, here are the top ten weirdest diet methods we’ve ever heard of.

The Chewing Diet

The chewing diet was popularized in the Edwardian Era by Horace Fletcher. He believed that chewing allowed food to be properly absorbed into the body. Insufficient chewing would lead to constipation and clog up the digestive tract, said Fletcher. He lost 40 pounds in just four months using the diet he created. Dr. Kellogg was a friend and fan of Fletcher and he required patients at his sanatorium to participate in the chewing diet as well as a variety of other weight loss methods.
To properly implement the chewing diet, a person must chew each bite over 32 times, which takes approximately 30 seconds. After chewing is done, the person then tilts his or her head back and allows the food to trickle down their throat. Anything that is still too big to swallow must be spit out. The desire to eat things likely diminishes after a period on this diet, so it does work as you begin to eat less food.
Possible Side Effects May Include: A sore jaw. Much longer meal times. Annoyed and disgusted friends.

The Tapeworm Diet

If you eat for two and aren’t pregnant, maybe it’s time to get a second mouth in your belly. A tapeworm can sure help eat all of that excess food. Around the turn of the century, these little parasites were sold in a simple pill form claiming to help you shed inches from your waist. It’s uncertain whether these pills actually had live tapeworms or if they were just another “snake oil” product, but what is certain is that people have intentionally used tapeworms as a weight loss method. Jockeys are amongst the many people purported to have used tapeworms as a diet.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Well for one, having a worm inside your stomach, which might cause nausea, headaches, infections and diarrhea. Some people’s organs are blocked by the eggs and this can result in death. There is no evidence that tapeworms actually help people lose much of weight, so the whole experience may be for nothing.

The Sleeping Beauty Diet

You can’t eat while you sleep. So naturally, if you sedate yourself for days and neglect to eat as a result, this starvation diet may actually work for you. Elvis was a proponent of this weight loss method around the end of his life and the dieting method was also made popular in Valley of the Dolls.
Possible Side Effects May Include: A severe pill hangover can leave you with a headache, nausea and fatigue. Additionally, improper sedation might actually kill you and so might starvation.

The Vision Diet

If your food looks disgusting, you’re less likely to eat it. While this is certainly true, it’s not enough to make the vision-dieter glasses any less silly. From the testimonials I’ve read, the glasses make you feel relaxed while going on your day to day routine, but they don’t help you lose much weight. Johnny Depp is a big fan of blue glasses, although it’s hard to say if he just likes their look or if he actually feels the effects from the lens color.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Looking like a geek in big blue glasses. Possible vision problems after prolonged exposure to the glasses.

Washing Away The Pounds

If you’re showering everyday, you might as well lose weight while doing it, right? That’s the theory behind Aoqili diet soaps. These soaps contain seaweed that will penetrate skin and breakdown fat. There seems to be no evidence that this product works though, not even faked testimonials.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Some people have had allergic reactions to the soap’s ingredients.

Ear Stapling

Ear stapling is exactly what its name implies, you pierce the cartilage of your inner ear and it supposedly suppresses your appetite. You can only leave it in for six weeks to three months because once your body gets used to the staple it will lose its effectiveness. While many people claim this weight loss method is highly effective, even its proponents can’t agree why. The most common explanation involves the piercing’s similarity to acupuncture.
Ear stapling is illegal in Florida and other states have regulated the practice to help decrease the number of infections it has caused.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Well, for one, you will have a staple in your ear, which may be a little painful. Secondly, you could get an infection, which could make you severely sick. Also, it is possible to receive nerve damage when the procedure is preformed improperly.

The Cotton Ball Diet

The cotton ball diet is exactly what it sounds like, you eat cotton balls. Some people eat them dry and others soak them in gelatin first. Obviously the idea is that cotton balls are low in calories but very filling, so you won’t want to eat anything that is fattening. The cotton balls are also high in fiber, which is thought to be good for you –until you realize it’s not the kind of fiber you need in your diet.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Exceptionally boring, dry and disgusting meals. A lack of needed vitamins and other nutrients. Major digestive problems.

The Blood Type Diet

The theory of the blood type diet is that every blood type has a set of foods best suited to it and if you eat according to your blood type, you will lose weight. Supposedly, a person with type A blood should be vegetarian and meditate, while those with type O blood should eliminate grains from their diet and do aerobics.
Possible Side Effects May Include: This diet may seem harmless, but depending on which blood type you have, your recommended diet may center around food that is bad for you. For example, many people are lactose intolerant, but anyone with type B blood is recommended to intake a lot of dairy –this could cause a lot of problems. Additionally, people with type A blood are told to eat a lot of wheat, but if someone has gluten intolerance, this could be dangerous.

The Hallelujah Diet

The Hallelujah diet requires eating foods specifically mentioned in Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 29. These foods are all-natural, vegan, raw foods. Of course, in Genesis Chapter 9, Verse 3, God lifts these restrictions, but the hallelujah diet overlooks this.
In the diet, only 15% of a person’s daily intake of food is allowed to be cooked. Aside from the basic diet, the plan recommends exercise, rest, sunshine and elimination of stress. It seems pretty natural that anyone exercising, relaxing and eating vegan will be losing weight, regardless of whether God dictated it or not.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Like all vegan diets, a person must be very careful to get their daily intake of protein, vitamins and minerals. Other than that, this diet is mostly healthy, although it may annoy your friends.

The Caveman Diet

This diet is also called the Paleolithic diet because the focus is based on food available to cavemen during the Paleolithic Era, around 10,000 years ago. This time period was prior to the development of agriculture, so the plants available to these dieters are mostly ones available to gatherers and hunters. Food can be cooked though because it was common practice in that era. Most participants will be limited to lean meat, fish, veggies, fruit, roots and nuts. Grains, dairy, salt, refined sugar, oils and legumes are all strictly prohibited.
Possible Side Effects May Include: Dieters may have a hard time getting their daily calcium intake, but other than that, it is not dangerous. Most restaurants do offer food that would fit into this dietary plan –steaks, salads, etc.

Reading 'can help reduce stress'

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to new research.

Last Updated: 9:08PM BST 29 Mar 2009

And it works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea, research found.
Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.
The research was carried out on a group of volunteers by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex.
Their stress levels and heart rate were increased through a range of tests and exercises before they were then tested with a variety of traditional methods of relaxation.
Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis.
Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found. In fact it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.
Listening to music reduced the levels by 61 per cent, have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54 per cent and taking a walk by 42 per cent.
Playing video games brought them down by 21 per cent from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point.
Dr Lewis, who conducted the test, said: "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.
"This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism.
"It really doesn't matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author's imagination.
"This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness."
The research was commissioned by Galaxy chocolate to launch a campaign to give away one million books over the next six months.

Helpful Tips:
Amazon has a wealth of books on diet, health, and proper exercise. Try these promos and save.

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For my Dubai friends...

Dubai’s New Code of Conduct - this is the full text version.

The “Rules of Conduct in Dubai” were prepared by the Executive Council under the direction of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoom, Crown Prince and Chairman of the Council.

The aim of this document:

This guide aims at setting the standards for social ethics and mutual respect that shall be followed by all of Dubai’s citizens, residents and visitors in respect of the Emirate’s culture, religion and habits.

Dubai’s culture is rooted in Arabic and Islamic tradition

Dubai is built on foundations that are rich in history and tradition. Dubai is a forward- looking society that is equally bound to its culture and heritage. Its religion is Islam, the timeless values of which lie at the heart of Dubai’s living heritage, providing strength and inspiration that touch all aspects of everyday life. Dubai holds the family as the most important institution in society and the cornerstone of societal life.

Dubai is a city that is proud and rich in its tradition, with its remarkable combination of the traditional values of the East, in terms of modesty, and the technologies of the West, in terms of development.

Dubai is keen on protecting and promoting its traditions as conveyed by Islam, as well as its Arab identity and culture. This makes Dubai a traditional and socially conservative yet progressive, open and tolerant city.

Dubai has always been renowned for its tolerant outlook

Dubai has built a reputation for being open to new ideas and ways of doing things. This has enabled Dubai to become a global centre for innovation, tourism and business.

Living and working in an environment of open-mindedness and tolerance has encouraged many to have the confidence to discover their true calling in life, knowing that they will be supported and nurtured in their endeavours. This has enriched life in Dubai, just as Dubai’s spirit of freedom has enriched the lives of so many individuals.

From a business point of view, the reason why so many international companies have chosen to invest in Dubai is again Dubai’s pragmatic, open attitude. Thousands of companies have flourished in the Emirate’s free zones and commercial centres operating to global standards of governance and efficiency.

In line with Islam’s tradition of tolerance and openness, freedom of faith and practice is a reality in Dubai. This has allowed other belief systems to flourish in Dubai, a demonstration of Dubai’s respect for diversity.

Dubai is a city with style and charisma

Dubai has successfully fused sophistication with charm. It has redefined the meaning of luxury with its stunning hotels, award-winning restaurants and its position as an international shopping destination.

Dubai provides an open environment where talented professionals can build their careers and entrepreneurs can create exciting opportunities on the back of world-class infrastructure and continuous government-led innovation. Tourists and residents alike can experience the finest service, state-of-the-art technology and exquisite luxury.

Dubai has also brought the meaning of sophistication to life by attracting worldwide media attention and high society, in addition to an ever-expanding list of sophisticated and stylish cultural, social, economic and sports events.

Dubai has an aura of vitality and a get-up-and-go spirit

Visitors are struck by the ingrained optimism and spirit of adventure and innovation that permeates through all layers of the community. To a holidaymaker, a business traveler or a resident, Dubai is a place where there is always something exciting to see and do.

This energy gives people from around the world the opportunity to make their ambitions a reality. Many artists, entrepreneurs and engineers come to Dubai to seek inspiration and new ways of looking at things.

They are also attracted by Dubai’s unique entrepreneurial spirit. Since the days of the pearl diving industry, Dubai has been a place of successful trade. Traders have therefore learnt to be skilful and shrewd, to anticipate global changes and use them to their local advantage. This can-do spirit is an important driving force that filters through the ‘open for business’ culture.

Dubai aims to bring together the best in people

Dubai’s success is based on the vision and commitment of its leadership, the generosity and aspirations of its people and the contribution of many people from different parts of the world, many of whom have chosen to make Dubai their permanent home. This creates a blend of many cultures that coexist peacefully.

With over 150 nationalities, Dubai is a rich melting pot that provides opportunities for people to meet, discuss ideas, innovate and forge new business relationships. Dubai’s streets and shopping malls are alive with numerous languages, customs and cultures.

Dubai also brings together tradition and modernity, as the past, present and future live harmoniously together, each drawing strength from the other. As such, Dubai is an international symbol of how different cultures can achieve mutual enrichment through sharing their ideas and experiences.

Therefore respect for one another’s values and cultures is intrinsic to Dubai’s residents who assimilate courteously into the community by adopting a spirit of tolerance.

Dubai’s doors are open to everyone

Hospitality is central to the soul of Arabian culture and is deep rooted in Arabia’s history. In the past, desert travellers yearned for areas inhabited by Arabs, because the Arabs’ hospitality meant that the travellers could eat and stay with their hosts for as long as they chose to. Hospitality in the desert started as a custom, and has now grown into a social grace.

Dubai has always looked outwards towards the wider world. It has welcomed traders and visitors with tolerance and compassion. In turn, it has adopted an approach to foreign affairs that is compatible with its own identity.

Dubai has always looked towards the future

Dubai has always played a pioneering role in encouraging its people to excel in an environment where the impossible is possible. The wisdom and perseverance of Dubai’s leadership and people have transformed what was once a small fishing community into a world-class commercial capital at the heart of the Arabian Gulf.

An early example of Dubai’s visionary heritage can be drawn in the1950s from the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He recognized then that Dubai’s future was firmly linked to trade from overseas and that careful development of its ports would be central to its long-term success.

Today, evidence of this vision can be seen in every aspect of the Emirate’s development, from embracing the latest technology, to multi-billion dollar investments in infrastructure, government services and security.

Dignity is a cornerstone of Dubai’s culture

Based on the philosophy of respecting oneself before expecting others to respect you, Dubai has always encouraged its residents to behave in a humble and courteous manner. Therefore, in every part of life, whether it is the clothes people wear, the way they talk or their general behaviour in public, self-respect is vital.

As the Gulf region and Dubai are borne out of a tribal society, the behaviour of one’s friends and companions can also reflect on the way a person’s dignity and self-respect are seen by others. It is therefore equally important to treat others outside this circle in a way that honours their sense of dignity and respect. Speaking calmly and courteously to others, behaving in a serious and controlled manner in public places, and always honouring your word, are important examples of demonstrating this respect for others.

It is entrenched in Arabian tradition, passed down from generation to generation, that every human being must be treated with dignity. Dubai’s culture and laws are all designed to ensure that the dignity and self-respect of everyone are upheld to the highest standards, regardless of where people come from.

1. Social Ethics:
Dubai is characterised by the interaction of a large number of cultures and nationalities. However, the culture, customs and traditions of the United Arab Emirates and its people shall be respected by adopting courtesy and moderation and avoiding all types of improper behaviour in the Emirate.

1.1. The symbols of the state:
It is the duty of every citizen, resident and visitor to show respect for the symbols of the United Arab Emirates’ rulers, flag and national emblem. The abuse of any of those symbols is a crime punishable by law.

1,2. Decency:
An official business or business casual dress code shall be adopted by all visitors of Dubai’s official government buildings as well as business buildings and office towers. Access to Dubai’s official and business buildings may be denied if dress code is considered inappropriate.
In all other public places such as streets, shopping malls and restaurants, shorts and skirts shall be of appropriate length. Moreover, clothing shall not indecently expose parts of the body, be transparent, or display obscene or offensive pictures and slogans.

1.3. Beaches:
Beachgoers — men and women — shall wear conservative swimwear that is acceptable to Dubai’s culture. Swimwear shall not be worn outside the beach, as decent dress is the rule in the rest of the city. Nudity is strictly forbidden in every part of the city and is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.

1.4. Public displays of affection:
Displays of affection among couples — whether married or not — in public places does not fit the local customs and culture. Holding hands for a married couple is tolerated but kissing and petting are considered an offence to public decency.
Public displays of affection, as well as sexual harassment or randomly addressing women in public places is liable to be punished by imprisonment or deportation.

1.5. Dancing and music:
Loud music and dancing are forbidden in public places like parks, beaches or residential areas and must be restricted to licensed venues only.

1.6. Public facilities:
Public facilities (i.e. public parks, benches, bus stops, etc.) shall be kept in good conditions. Concerned authorities must be informed of any damages.

2. Substance abuse:
The consumption of alcohol as well as any other drug or psychotropic substance is strictly prohibited in Islam and is punishable by law. Due to the large diversity of cultures and nationalities present in Dubai, alcohol consumption is closely regulated.

2.1. Drugs:
Holding, consuming, buying or selling any kind of drug — in any quantity — as well as being tested positive to any drug by the authorities in the UAE is considered a crime.

2.2. Alcohol consumption:
Alcohol consumption shall be confined to designated areas (i.e. licensed restaurants and venues that serve alcohol to their clients). Being caught under the effect of alcohol outside these places (even in light doses) can lead to a fine or incarceration.

2.3. Driving and alcohol:
The UAE has adopted a zero-tolerance policy in terms of driving under the effect of alcohol. Being caught driving with even the smallest dose of alcohol can lead to a fine, incarceration or deportation.

2.4. Purchasing alcohol:
Buying and selling alcohol is controlled by very strict laws. Alcohol is exclusively sold by specialised licensed stores. It can only be bought by holders of an alcohol-purchasing license (this license is only attainable by non-Muslims). Buyers shall respect the local culture by carrying their alcohol in paper bags such that it cannot be seen.

2.5. Smoking:
Smoking is not allowed in government facilities, offices, malls and shops. Smoking outside designated areas is subject to fine.

2.6. Prescriptions for some medicines:
Some medicines containing psychotropic substances are forbidden in the UAE. Their holders must carry a prescription from a UAE-licensed medical doctor. Visitors shall verify that their medicines are allowed in the UAE before entering the country.

3. Driving safely:
Traffic on Dubai roads is increasingly becoming a major issue for commuters. Following simple security and courtesy rules can make the roads safer and more user-friendly.All road users shall demonstrate respect and consideration for one another.

3.1. Speeding:
Speed limits are clearly signposted and must be respected in order to ensure the general safety of all road users. Car racing is extremely dangerous and shall be avoided. Driving below speed on fast lane is also dangerous.

Most of Dubai roads are monitored by radars and fines are high.

3.2. Tailgating and lane discipline:
Driving fast behind other cars and flashing headlights at them as well as jumping from lane to lane and overtaking are dangerous practices that can lead to fines.

3.3. Safety belt:
Drivers and passengers must wear their safety belt. Not buckling up is subject to fine. Children shall be seated in the backseat.

3.4. Mobile phone:
The use of a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal. Phones must be turned off before starting the car or unless a hands-free kit or headset is available.

3.5. Police, fire trucks and ambulances:
When sirens are heard, drivers shall give way as soon as possible.

3.6. Accidents:
Drivers may not stop or reduce speed to look at a traffic accident out of curiosity, which can lead to traffic obstruction. In case of involvement in a light accident, drivers shall clear the way to avoid danger and traffic obstruction.

3.7. Parking:
Drivers shall park their cars considerately in designated areas only and must avoid parking on special needs parking spaces.

3.8. Pedestrians:
Drivers shall stop for pedestrians and respect their rights at pedestrian crossings. On the other hand, pedestrians must use the designated zebra crossings when crossing the road.

3.9. Bicycles and motorbikes:
Motorbike drivers shall carry a special driving license, wear their helmet and remain on car routes. They shall avoid speeding and reckless driving.

Cycling is considered a healthy and green way to circulate. Nevertheless, for their own safety, cyclists must commit to cycling paths. Not committing to cycling paths is subject to fine.

3.10.Weather conditions:
Drives should be aware of the occurrence of abnormal weather conditions such as thick fogs and sand storms and avoid high speeds.

4. Mutual respect:
Personal freedoms in Dubai are guaranteed to all. However, freedom stops when it endangers people’s lives, health, security or liberty. Moreover, the exercise of these freedoms shall be governed by the laws of the UAE.
Islam does not differentiate between nationalities and races. Therefore, respect for cultural differences and equal treatment of people regardless of their origins is the base of the community of Dubai where security and peace prevail.

4.1. Insults:
Swearing, profanities, insults and all kinds of vulgar language are strictly forbidden in Dubai and are legally reprehensible in case of complaint. All kinds of aggressive or offensive gestures are considered a public offence and are subjected to fines or imprisonment.

4.2. Queuing:
Queuing patiently for one’s turn to be served rather than pushing in ahead of others is common courtesy. Queues must be respected patiently and not jumped over. Priority shall be given to the elderly, people with special needs and pregnant women.

4.3. Loudness:
Basic rules of courtesy impose on people to respect public places’ calm and quietness by avoiding loud conversations or answering their phones where it might disturb others, e.g. in movie theatres, conference rooms, quiet shops and restaurants, hospitals, etc.

4.4. Rumours:
Spreading false news, statements or rumours and malicious propaganda that disturb public security and harm public interest are serious crimes punishable by law.

4.5. Photography:
Photos of people — and especially photos of women and families — in public places shall not be taken without their permission. Taking photos of people is a sensitive issue in Dubai’s local culture.

4.6. Begging and street vendors:
Begging is forbidden in all parts of Dubai. Selling any kind of goods or services without a license from the competent authorities is illegal.

5. Environment:
In the global context of climate change, it is everybody’s duty to try their best to protect environment,- reducing waste and saving resources.

5.1. Resource consumption:’
Considering the desert surrounding cities in the UAE and the lack of natural fresh water sources it is crucial to conserve water and avoid abusing this precious resource. It is also crucial to save energy by avoiding keeping air conditioning or other electrical appliances on when not in use.

5.2. Reducing waste:
Whenever possible, waste should be reduced through recycling. Green behaviour and the use of recycled products is encouraged.

5.3. Respect for nature:
Preservation of the marine environment: All practices that threaten the marine environment or the safety of marine life through any type of pollution are prohibited. Fishing is only allowed with a license from the competent authorities.
Preservation of the desert environment: Hunting all kinds of wild animals or birds or threatening wildlife and biodiversity is prohibited. Camping in the desert is only allowed with a license from the competent authorities.
Throwing waste and causing pollution to the desert or marine environments is subject to fine.

5.4. Pet management:
Pet owners are responsible for fixing any damage caused by their animals. They are also responsible for cleaning up any remnants their animals leave on the pavements or any other public place. Dogs are forbidden in parks and beaches; they must remain on leash in public places.

5.5. Littering and spitting:
Spitting in public and littering waste or cigarette butts in public areas are considered an offence and are subjected to fines.

6. Respect for religion:
In line with Islam’s great tradition of tolerance and openness, religious values are widely respected in the UAE. Therefore, committing blasphemy or sacrilege against any religion is considered deeply offensive. Islam being the official religion of the UAE, some simple rules shall be followed in order to show respect and avoid misunderstandings.

6.1. Prayer time:
Muslims pray five times a day. Each prayer is announced from the mosques by a call to prayer. When the call to prayer is heard, music shall be turned off in all public places and cars, and Muslims shall be allowed to perform their prayer duty.

6.2. Ramadan:
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Throughout this month, eating, drinking or smoking in public spaces during daylight is considered a public offence and is punishable by law.

6.3. Religious activities and celebrations:
Any type of religious activity — Islamic or not — is forbidden without a licence from the competent authorities.


Appendix I: Offence and penalty table:

Public display of affection
Warning or fine (in case of severe breach can lead to jail and/or deportation)

Alcohol consumption outside designated areas
Fine or jail

Buying alcohol without,an alcohol ficence
Fine or jail

Drive under the effect of alcohol or any other drug
Fine, jail and/or deportation — car

Drug consumption or possession
Fine, jail and deportation

Lack of respect for Islam’s customs and symbols
Fine, jail and deportation

Lack of respect for other religions’ customs and symbols
Fine or jail

Vulgar language
Fine or jail

Littering and spitting
Warning or fine

Pet fouling public areas
Warning or fine

Damaging public facilities

Respect for environment
Warning or fine (cf. Federal Law No. 24/1999 on the protection and development of environment)

Another Twitter Article || Twitter takes Hollywood

March 30, 2009

Leslie Sanchez
CNN Contributor

Twitter, the social networking phenomena that is taking the country by storm, has already changed politics and the news business and now may be changing the way Hollywood operates too. A micro-blogging service that lets people talk about anything they want, as long as they do it in 140 characters or less per message, Twitter has its own vocabulary and social structure and now, according to some people, may become the new medium for building a buzz.

In what may be a Twitter first, Australian director Rob Luketic, who directed “Legally Blonde” and “21”, recently started “tweeting” (the word for posting messages to the forum) extensively from the set of his new feature film, “Five Killers,” currently in production in Nice, France.

Luketic regularly responds to followers and posts pictures or video of location scouting, what they eat, where they stay, yachts they rent, and even stunts gone wrong.

He does this, he told me by email, “because it gives me the freedom to connect with people interested in my work in manner that is immediate and uncensored. People seem to love my daily pictures and musings from the set; they feel part of the process as it happens. Rather than the usual cookie cutter studio leaks.”

The film’s star, the ubiquitous Ashton Kutcher, who is already an avid “tweeter” recently joined in the fun when he used Twitter to post: “Just accidentally knocked out a stuntman. Feel awful.”

I reached out to Luketic on Twitter for additional insights about the movie and the stuntman accident:

LS: Are you the first director to tweet production of a feature film?

RL: “Hi. I’m not sure if it’s the first? We could well be. But it will be the most fun. We are a candid, relaxed bunch of film freaks.”

LS: What role does Kutcher play?

RL: “AK, male LEAD ‘Spencer,’ a government assassin who leaves the game after he falls in love with a nice American girl Jen played by K. Heigl..”

LS: What happened to the stunt man?

RL: “Stuntman was knocked out during a fight scene with AK. He was fine and continued with the day a little bruised. AK felt bad as did I.”

For all its faults, and for all the criticisms that Twitter is a waste of time and bandwidth, that it is simply a new form of narcissistic exhibitionism for a new age, on Twitter networks become powerful and quickly. It allows for the creation of a self-selecting army of enthusiasts, drawing together in a community devoted to a single individual or issue. Think of it as the end all of micro-targeting, which is certainly the way the Obama campaign approached it not so long ago.

As AdWeek digital editor Brian Morrissey told me, “I think Obama was one of the great case studies where message and tools kind of matched up there. At this point everyone is trying to figure out how to use Twitter and social media. They know it’s a powerful tool. It can be used in so many different ways because there is no one-size-fits-all solution.”

Dana Brunetti, producer and co-founder of TriggerStreet.com, one of the first social media platforms geared to the entertainment and filmmaking industry, said to me, “Rob [Luketic], as many in this business, initially freaked out about the idea of Twitter and Facebook and see it as a bit of a loss of privacy.

“While one should be careful and cognizant of what they post,” Brunetti says, “there are real benefits for people in the entertainment business, and I see it as getting a bit more control on the image that is projected out there about you and your work. The people following are now on ‘the inside and in the know’ about items that aren’t on the radar of the mainstream—they become evangelists.”

So the question remains: Is it worth the time and investment?”

According to Morrissey, it depends: “The reason Ashton Kutcher, Shaq and Lance Armstrong are popular is because they are committed to it. They like it. You can’t fake it.”

Twitter offers a low-cost way to make people outside to feel like they are in the inside getting special information. Luketic’s experiment may create a box office smash spurred by the legions of new followers he engages. “Ultimately I feel Twitter can help create an awareness that will be a valuable facet of the overall campaign,” Luketic says by email. “My followers not only feel like they are getting an exclusive, they really are. It’s just me. My IPhone and a laptop. Unadulterated and spin free. The way I like it.”

Spoken like a true politician.


To follow the filming of “Five Killers,” check out Rob Luketic’s Twitter posts here or his picture feed here.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Sustainable Lifestyles (Climate Change)

Global Survey

This survey is a bit long, but the questions raised and the solutions proposed are quite interesting. The main benefit I think is the mere fact that the questions alone "forces" us to think about certain issues to tend to forget in our daily lives.

And in case you don't have the time to follow through with the Survey, here's the main information to remember:

Climate change is happening now, it is among the biggest threats to humanity. What does it mean?

Every day many of our activities consume a lot of energy and emit greenhouse gases (GHG) in the air. These gases act like a thick blanket over our planet and heat the Earth, which leads to species and people threatened by drought, changes in rainfall, altered seasons, and more violent storms and floods.

Because of Climate Change…

The 3 billion people who live in poverty around the world will be the hardest hit by climate change, with a risk of starvation due to declining crop, prolonged drought and high temperatures.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that climate change may have caused more than 150,000 deaths in the year 2000 alone.

More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050. In the Galápagos Islands, penguin populations have halved since the early 1970s because of extreme weather conditions.

Climate change is related to the way we live, the way we move around, what and how we consume. Daily life habits, such as heating, cooling or lighting our homes absorbs a lot of energy and also emits huge amounts of GHG. For example, clothes dryers account for up to 10% of home-energy use. Transporting goods around the world, accounts for 50% of the diesel fuel consumed in cities. Even what we eat is important: producing a kilo of veal emits the same amounts of GHG than driving a car for 220km!

Here are some solutions!

Being at home:

• Use energy more efficiently at home to reduce your emissions: turn off electric devices and lights when not using them, sort wastes, choose low-energy bulbs, etc.

Getting around:

• Rather than driving your car every day, try other ways: walk, ride your bike, and take the bus or the train.

• Use car renting and car sharing systems that reduce GHG emissions.

Getting food and eating:

• Buy in priority seasonal/organic products that need less energy to be produced or grown.

• Develop collective urban gardens to grow vegetables locally.

Twitter by its Founder

Well, it's true, he doesn't have a great stage presence or public speaking skills, but the presentation is a good introduction to how Twitter came to be, where it's at now although it doesn't fully explain the potential of existing applications/use or the ones to come...

Still, it's only 8 minutes of your time, and I'm sure you'll learn one or two new pieces of information you can use in a conversation around the water cooler tomorrow :-)


Why you should listen to him according to the source site of the following video:

Evan Williams:
Twitter co-founder

Evan Williams is the co-founder of Twitter, the addictive messaging service that connects the world 140 characters at a time.

Why you should listen to him:

Evan Williams helps the world answer the question "What are you doing?" Twitter, the tiny, free world-changing app Williams helped launch, has become a vital connector of people and communities (as well as a fantastic way to keep up with Shaq and Demi Moore).

Before Williams worked on Twitter, he was part of a previous revolution in mass communication, Blogger, while working at Google. He left Google in 2004 to launch the podcasting service Odeo, and Twitter spun out from this in 2006 as a side project based on an idea of Jack Dorsey's.

"Williams has a knack for figuring out how people want to keep in touch—even before they seem to know it themselves."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Keeping up with... everything!!

One of the Tweets I got on Sunday:

robluketic RT @elektrokitten: @robluketic resting includes twittering...I like your way of thinking. man, i'm a dork. I'm the biggest dork ever!

Doesn't make sense? Sure it does. We're Sunday and in most parts of the world, it's the day off. The weekend. The resting day.

Of course, when owning a phone keeps you connected all the time, the net is no longer a tool (for work, leisure or other purposes) but just a regular everyday life element.

You don't take a day off from your mobile phone, do you?
(Well, I personally do sometimes, but when it comes to phone calls, I'm weird so I'm not really a reference)

Using the Internet is now equivalent to using the phone. A few years back, the latter implied having to be in a particular location; now it can happen anywhere, any time and on the move. And who could ever imagine life without mobile phones?

The same applies to using the Internet. It used to be restricted to locations where one can connect... And now this "where" is everywhere and anywhere!

So for those of you who remain skeptic, get on board! You will need to acquire many skills before you can keep up with the new generations who are all total geeks by birth by the way!

Geek is the new Cool!

Or so my (geeky) brother says. Actually, he also claims, not in so many words but almost, that all geniuses are geeks. And all geniuses are now superheroes, i.e.super cool.

And it's true.

Well, not everyone can invent Facebook, Twitter, Google or any other of the marvelous creations we used to love and are now obsolete (MSN, Yahoo Messenger), got introduced to and just can never stop loving (Google, Wikipedia, Answers.com, YouTube) or just discovered (Twitter in my case).

But everyone can use and benefit from them!
And everyone should!

And apparently, it makes the user as dorky as the inventor :-)
So don't be afraid to Geek away; and join the club!

So we used to have book smart people, street smart people...

And now, I officially proclaim a new generation of Cybersmart people!

I'm sure I'm not the first one to shout this grand proclamation, but anyway, this is my Blog and I can write whatever I want.


♪♫✮✮ Grégoire ✮ Rue Des Étoiles ✮✮♫♪

Grégoire "Rue des Étoiles"
Extrait de son album "Toi Et Moi".

Allô là, je suis dans le bus
Le 41 pour Vénus
Celui qui va jusqu'à Mercure
J'ai pas pris la ligne vingt et une
Y avait trop de monde sur la lune
Il fallait descendre à l'azure
Et toi où es-tu dans l'espace
Attends je n'entends plus je passe
Dans un tunnel d'astéroïdes
Tu disais avant le trou noir
Que tu n'irais pas voir ce soir
Ta sœur et son mari trop ivre
On pourrait se rejoindre
J'ai des rêves à te peindre

Retrouve moi Rue des Étoiles
La deuxième après Jupiter
Je connais un endroit pas mal
D'où l'on peut voir tout l'univers
Retrouve moi Rue des Étoiles
Pas loin du Boulevard de l'éther
A bord de mon vaisseau spatial
On se rappellera la mer
Toi et moi
Toi et moi

On se baladera sur Neptune
Ces deux planètes après Saturne
Il faudra suivre les comètes
On apercevra Uranus
Aussi pluton le terminus
Là où la galaxie s'arrête
Je sais on n'ira pas sur mars
Car c'est là qu'habite la garce
Qui ta volé ton ancien mec
Mais oublie tes nuits sans sommeil
De l'infini jusqu'au soleil
Je t'apprendrai à vivre avec
Et tellement d'autre chose
L'envie en overdose

Retrouve moi Rue des Étoiles
La deuxième après Jupiter
Je connais un endroit pas mal
D'où l'on peut voir tout l'univers
Retrouve moi Rue des Étoiles
Pas loin du Boulevard de l'éther
A bord de mon vaisseau spatial
On se rappellera la Terre
Toi et moi
La terre


My sister told me I should keep my Blog anonymous...
That was after she saw I had used my name in the URL

Donc... TOO LATE (duh!)
(mais merci quand même!)

She also mentioned not showing clear photos of faces, especially hers and her identity as her Blog is highly anonymous... I think I've already said too much and many things she had never mentioned can be easily inferred from my Blog :-P Not even feeling sorry or remotely bad about it :-P After all, I should work hard at maintaining my reputation of cyber-exhibitionist ;-)

So here we go keeping things incognito ;-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Cyber-Life, Or "Why Hubby May Soon Divorce Me"

As you've probably noticed, I've been working hard on educating myself about Twitter. I discovered it by chance a few days ago and have been addicted since! It's true that receiving "texts" from celebrities, well they're Tweets, not texts, but still, is really quite something. Actually, I haven't yet "Followed" any celebrity except for Ashton Kutcher who got added automatically since I registered from his page (in my famous Twitter discovery) and Demi Moore because well, it was her behind in the photo, so it was the least I could do. And now they feel like personal friends, sending me messages all day long! :-)

I remember the first time I was introduced to Facebook. I had been receiving invites by email for ages (really for more than a year) before I finally decided to visit the platform and ultimately create my profile. But being a complete borderline-OCD perfectionist, just seeing that I have the option to add my hubby's name in my profile "forced" me to create a profile for him as well. Couldn't help myself. And he started receiving email notifications about "friends" adding him and even sending him "gifts" and stuff. And then, Oh Rage Oh Désespoir, he discovered the Photo Albums and (God Forbid) the Tags! Until he finally told me,

"If you tag me one more time, I'm deleting my account!"
"But... Who would I be married to then?"
"I don't care!"...

OK... No more tags then... For a while only. And I'm sure he knew he couldn't hold me for long. But now, at least, I try and be more selective of the photos I post (that include him :-P).

Then, I introduced him to my Blogs. And there we went again, arguing about our privacy and how he was not happy about me broadcasting the details of our daily lives, even if it was only the good stuff.

Well, one thing if for sure, this post will definitely not help! LOL :-D

And yesterday, I told him about Twitter.
(suspense/scary music)

If Facebook could have almost turned into grounds for divorce, needless to say Twitter may soon become "The Other Man"...
(suspense/scary music -- again)

Actually, I started with a nice introduction: "I made a great discovery yesterday and I will share it with you, but you need to keep an open mind and let me finish my story before you give any comment"...

Obviously, this alone was enough to make him suspicious! LOL ;-)

But what I failed to mention to you was that before this wonderful introduction and my enthused and passionate presentation of Twitter, I had talked about something else: Blackberry. Indeed, I mentioned how important (and urgent) it had become for me to own a Blackberry phone.

"Because, everyone does. And I need one too."
"But you're still hunting for a job, when you start working I'm sure you'll need one; but now, immediately, this very instant, honestly, why?"


Well, I didn't answer that. I just said that I'll get my Blackberry and that was it. But of course, after my passionate Twitter presentation, my very smart hubby connected the dots and exposed my evil plan! :-)

And of course, followed with a speech/lecture about how my life has become so isolated with all this time I spend on the net, on my Blog, on Facebook and blablabla and blablabla.

Naturally, I feel far from isolated since Facebook. Sometimes I even feel like running away to a desert island to escape all the people who now have access to contact me. But most of the times, I'm just really glad I got back in touch with friends I hadn't spoken to or seen in ages (some from 15 years ago). I now find out about news like baby births, weddings, etc. on time and call whoever I want to call... (And then see whoever I want to see). Or just message/gift whoever I feel like it. Come on, admit it, it's really much nicer than forced social visits. You can get away with most of your "social duties" without any harm :-)

So, lonely? Far from it.

Addicted? Maybe. Ok, fine, Yes.

But who cares? I have to admit: Sometimes I completely disconnect from all these sites... It happened several times before for me to disappear completely from the net... And other times, I just can't seem to get away for one second. But all in all, I am enjoying my time, keeping in touch (especially when I have a sister abroad and always so many things to tell her! women!) and definitely learning new stuff almost on a daily basis.

So hubby darling, I am sorry but I will keep on Blogging/Facebooking/Tweeting and hopefully you'll get on board... Eventually... Maybe...

Until that miraculous day comes, I dedicate this post to you my love ;-) avec plein d'amour et de gros bisous ;-)

Another Copy/Paste :-P || Twitter apparently officially a home wrecker (Poor Jen could not compete it seems)

The rise and rise of Twitter

Could Twitter really become 'the consciousness of the planet', or is it merely 'this year's Facebook'?

In November 2008 a total of 40 articles appeared in British local and national newspapers that included the word "Twitter". Though a quarter of them were published by the Guardian, this paper's technology correspondent nonetheless found himself explaining to general readers that "Twitter, a mobile social network, has generated lots of buzz". The Daily Telegraph, quaintly, was still using the word to describe a way of talking.

The following month, 85 articles appeared on the subject. By January 2009, it was 206. But those were still the dark ages. Hot on the heels of the Twitter plane crash came the site's first live action celebrity lift catastrophe, when the actor Stephen Fry, a tweeter so prolific that one hopes he still eats, offered breathless updates from the stationary elevator in which he briefly found himself marooned. (His followers total is now 350,000).

Before long the mainstream media had spotted that countless celebrities were taking time and effort on Twitter to reveal themselves every bit as witless as their PRs took time and effort to conceal. Jennifer Aniston dumped her boyfriend over his Twitter habit. Ashton Kucher posted a picture of Demi Moore's bum. Madonna announced on Twitter she was no longer dating a man called Jesus who was young enough to be her son. (Though signs are now emerging that even this is too arduous for the celebrities themselves to undertake without assistance.)

But it was, perhaps, the Guardian's revelation this week of government plans to teach young children about new media tools, including Twitter and Wikipedia, that tipped the site into the mainstream consciousness. "Over the centuries, mankind has developed thousands of ways to communicate eternal truths," the shadow education minister Michael Gove wrote in the Daily Mail. "The complex interplay of voice and orchestra in classical opera gave full rein to Mozart's genius. The delicate rhyme scheme of the 14-line sonnet, in Shakespeare's hands, produced some of the most sublime poetry ever written ... [But] instead of teaching our children the glories of the past, or introducing them to the best that has been thought and written, ministers want our children to 'Twitter'."

Gove, who helpfully described the service as "a new form of texting", appears not to have noticed that the Daily Mail itself is now an enthusiastic Twitterer, using the site to offer an automatic running feed of headlines and links. "Attorney General orders unprecedented Met police probe into Guantánamo prisoner's allegations of torture against," it offered today - those 140 characters are a challenge. The Conservative party is also, as it happens, sending its 4,600 followers a link to Gove's article this morning, in case any of them need a Twitter reminder of what Twitter is.

In an act to rival in tastefulness the US paper which offered minute-by-minute updates of a three-year-old's funeral, Sky News recently Tweeted from inside the court in which Josef Fritzl was being tried for murder, rape and incest:

9:29 juliareid21: [Austrian TV] now have a shot of the back of his head - thinning white grey hair but he won't speak

9:29 juliareid21: huge moment for ORF reporter. Watch this live on Sky

9:31 juliareid21: Interviewed LIVE in a courtroom before a trial! Imagine!

The network has also appointed a Twitter correspondent, a position one hopes will last longer than Reuters's dedicated bureau in Second Life.

So is the Daily Mail's Twitter feed the equivalent of your dad dancing in public to your favourite nu-acid-crunk band? Does a government decision to "teach Twitter" represent the site's ultimate shark-jump into banal unfashionability?

"All new technologies hit this point," says Mike Butcher, editor of the new media blog Tech Crunch Europe, who has been using Twitter for almost three years. "You always have these old crusties who have been on it for a while, and then a generation of 'newbies' turn up as if it's something they have just invented." The scale of the exponential boom in Twitter's popularity, however, is "really unusual", he says. Far from killing off the site's popularity among early adopters, he argues that "the power of any network grows exponentially as the number of people using it grows." A world in which many more people are tweeting, and those tweets are fully searchable, would potentially allow a real-time search facility of "the consciousness of the planet".

In the meantime, though, we will have to be satisfied with the knowledge that Andy Murray is having steak for his tea, North Lincolnshire council has been presented with Member Development Charter status, and one of Jonathan Ross's dogs threw up last night.

Meanwhile, so far in March, 684 articles have been published about Twitter. Truly it is, as the Bristol Evening Post put it in a helpful explanatory note to readers, "this year's Facebook".

Fuzzy Fuzzy Cute Cute

A couple of videos I received on Twitter :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

photoshoping the day...

Today I realized I've been extremely lazy on my blog... Answering questionnaires :-) Copying NYT articles :-) although I did attempt a few original posts ;-)

One thing is for sure, I've been really lazy Photoshoping my days which is really a shame because it reinforces the reputation I have to always start things and never finish them; but I've been out of inspiration lately and couldn't manage anything... However, I decided to do what I feel (as usual) even if it's far from the style I used before.

Voila ce que ça donne ...

“Facebook is like ‘Cheers,’ where everyone knows your name, Twitter is the hipster bar, where you booze and schmooze people.”

In Reference to my previous post What Started It All

When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking
The New York Times
Published: March 26, 2009

The rapper 50 Cent is among the legion of stars who have recently embraced Twitter to reach fans who crave near-continuous access to their lives and thoughts. On March 1, he shared this insight with the more than 200,000 people who follow him: “My ambition leads me through a tunnel that never ends.”

Those were 50 Cent’s words, but it was not exactly him tweeting. Rather, it was Chris Romero, known as Broadway, the director of the rapper’s Web empire, who typed in those words after reading them in an interview.

“He doesn’t actually use Twitter,” Mr. Romero said of 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson III, “but the energy of it is all him.”

In its short history, Twitter — a microblogging tool that uses 140 characters in bursts of text — has become an important marketing tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, promising a level of intimacy never before approached online, as well as giving the public the ability to speak directly to people and institutions once comfortably on a pedestal.

But someone has to do all that writing, even if each entry is barely a sentence long. In many cases, celebrities and their handlers have turned to outside writers — ghost Twitterers, if you will — who keep fans updated on the latest twists and turns, often in the star’s own voice.

Because Twitter is seen as an intimate link between celebrities and their fans, many performers are not willing to divulge the help they use to put their thoughts into cyberspace.

Britney Spears recently advertised for someone to help, among other things, create content for Twitter and Facebook. Kanye West recently told New York magazine that he has hired two people to update his blog. “It’s just like how a designer would work,” he said.

It is not only celebrities who are forced to look to a team to produce real-time commentary on daily activities; politicians like Ron Paul have assigned staff members to create Twitter posts and Facebook personas. Candidate Barack Obama, as well as President Obama, has a social-networking team to keep his Twitter feed tweeting.

The famous, of course, have turned to ghostwriters for autobiographies and other acts of self-aggrandizement. But the idea of having someone else write continual updates of one’s daily life seems slightly absurd.

The basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, for example, is a prolific Twitterer on his account — The Real Shaq — where he shares personal news, jokes and occasional trash talking about opponents with nearly 430,000 followers.

“If I am going to speak, it will come from me,” he said, adding that the technology allows him to bypass the media to speak directly to the fans.

As for the temptation to rely on a team to supply his words, he said: “It’s 140 characters. It’s so few characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you.”

Athletes seem to be purists. Lance Armstrong, only hours after breaking his right collar bone, tweeted about it, using his left hand. Charlie Villanueva, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, tweeted at halftime from the locker room on March 15 about how “I gotta step up.” (His coach, Scott Skiles, was not pleased with his diversion, but the Bucks did win.)

But for candidates like Mr. Paul, Twitter is an organizing tool rather than a glimpse behind the curtain. During the presidential campaign, said Jesse Benton, Mr. Paul’s campaign manager, “we assigned a staffer to each social network site. Each was used to generate the same message as a way to amplify the message and drive people back to our site.”

He said that in rare cases, however, supporters would read more meaning in the online relationship than was intended. “On a bunch of social-networking sites, we would get some sincere written notes that would say ‘thank you for letting me be your friend,’ ” he recalled.

Many online commentators are appalled at the practice of enlisting ghost Twitterers, but Joseph Nejman, a former consultant to Ms. Spears who helped conceive her Web strategy, said there was a more than a whiff of hypocrisy among critics.

“It’s O.K. to tweet for a brand,” he said, remarking how common it is for companies to have Twitter accounts, “but not O.K. for a celebrity. But the truth is, they are a brand. What they are to the public is not always what they are behind the curtain. If the manager knows that better than the star, then they should do it.”

In the last couple of months, the Britney Spears Twitter stream has become a model of transparency. Where the feed once seemed that it was all written personally by Ms. Spears — even the blatantly promotional items about a new album — lately it can read like a group blog, with some posts signed “Britney,” some signed by “Adam Leber, manager” and others by “Lauren.” That would be Lauren Kozak, social-media director of britneyspears.com. (Ms. Spears’s management team declined to be interviewed for this article.)

An unabashed user of ghost Twitterers is Guy Kawasaki, a new-media consultant with more than 80,000 followers, who is full of praise for the two employees who enliven his Twitter feed, often posting updates while he is on stage addressing a conference.

“Basically, for 99.9 percent of people on Twitter, it is about updating friends and colleagues about how the cat rolled over,” he said. “For a tenth of a percent it is a marketing tool.”

Annie Colbert, a 26-year-old freelance writer from Chicago who is one of Mr. Kawasaki’s ghost Twitterers, said she judged her performance based on how often her postings for Mr. Kawasaki are “retweeted,” that is, resent by other users of Twitter.

Recently, she said, she had a coup when the actor Ashton Kutcher repeated her post about a YouTube video showing someone getting high from a “natural hallucinogen.”

“Facebook is like ‘Cheers,’ where everyone knows your name,” she said. “Twitter is the hipster bar, where you booze and schmooze people.”

She said she had been considering trying to get other ghost Twitter clients. “I don’t think I could ghost Twitter for 100 people,” she said. “More like 10 clients. I think I would have to get to know them.”

Beyrouth Mytique

Taken by Rouba Abouzeid
On Sunday, March 22, 2009
é in Beirut, Lebanon

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Facebook Questionnaire

1.Last Beverage → Water

2.Last Phone Call → Work Call at 17:42 Beirut Local Time

3. Last Text Message → Mmmh... Can't remember, I think on the 21st, in Mother's Day (connected to the net all day/night, who needs to SMS?)

4. Last Song You Listened To → Some French commercial on TV right now :-P

5. Last Time You Cried → When it was confirmed that I had to have another curettage


6. Dated Someone Twice → Nope (that would be dumb)

7. Been Cheated On? → Who hasn't? Yes, the answers is yes :-P

9. Lost Someone Special? → No, Thank God!

10. Been Depressed? → Oh yes!

11. Been Drunk? → :-) Yes!


12. Blue

13. Black

14. Blue (already mentioned :-P)


15. Made New Friends → Oui

16. Fallen Out Of Love → No, Thank God! Still love my hubby, my family and my friends :-)

17. Laughed Until You Cried → Oh yes! I do it all the time!

18. Met Someone Who Changed You → Unfortunately, no

19. Found Out Who Your True Friends Are → I knew already, and still was reminded

20. Found Out Someone Was Talking About You → Of course, we're women, it's always expected!

To clarify, this questionnaire comes from Facebook, so this is the Friends List we are talking about...

21. Kissed Anyone On Your Friends List → Yes! Of course, I've kissed more than one person on my Friends List (but only one on the lips :-P)

22. How Many People On Your Friends List Do You Know In Real Life → Do you really expect me to count them? Ya, right!

23. How Many Kids Do You Want To Have → Three, Four, Five, Six... Do I have enough time?

24. Do You Have Any Pets → No...

25. Do You Want To Change Your Name → Why?

26. What Did You Do For Your Last Birthday → Had dinner with my parents, at home, like when we were kids :-D but then, celebrated again with my hubby when I returned to Dubai ;-)

27. What Time Did You Wake Up Today → Around noon :-P

28. What Were You Doing At Midnight Last Night → Facebooking

29. Name Something You Are Looking Forward To → Being a mom

30. Last Time You Saw Your Mother → She's in front of me right now ma petite maman :-)

31. What Is One Thing You Wish You Could Change About Your Life → My current professional situation

33. Have You Ever Talked To A Person Named Tom → Yes, when you work in Dubai, you get to talk to people from all around the globe, so Tom is kind of easy to find :-)

34. What's Getting On Your Nerves Right Now? → This never-ending questionnaire... Was this question inteded for this particular answer? Because let's face it, we're at question 34! 34 people!

36. Whats Your Real Name → Rouba

37. Relationship Status → Married

38. Zodiac Sign → Aquarius

39. Male Or Female → Female

40. Primary School → Quite a few because we moved a lot

41. Secondary School → Collège Jules Verne (France), Carmel St Joseph (Liban), Collège Protestant Français (Liban)

42. College → Lebanese American University - Beirut Campus

43. Hair Color → Brown and at the moment blond highlights

44. Long Or Short → Middle

45. Height → 169cm I think...

46. Do You Have A Crush On Someone? → Right now? Other than my husband?

47. What Do You Like About Yourself? → Lots and lots of things :-P

48. Piercings → Just my ears

49. Tattoos → None, so far... What? You never know!

50. Righty Or Lefty → Righty


51. First Surgery → When I was a baby, Végétation (in French, don't know the name in English)

52. First Piercing → Ears

53. First Tattoo → N/A

54. First Best Friend → Waow, I was very young, can't remember!

55. First Sport You Joined → None! LOL

56. First Pet → Cat & Dog (at the same time!! LOL)

57. First Earliest Memory → Being born... Yes, yes! Oh come on!! How on Earth would I remember that?

58. First Concert → Can't remember that either!!

59. First Crush → If I can't remember my first best friend's name or my first concert, I mean come, how would I remember that??

60. First Alcohol Drink → Vodca 7Up


61. Eating → Pumpkin seeds

62. Drinking → Water

63. I'm About To → Type

64. Listening To → Nothing... My mom and I are watching Un Diner Presque Parfait on M6

65. Waiting For → This questionnaire to finally end!


66. Want Kids? → Didn't we already answer that before?

67. Want To Get Married? → Done. Next!

68. Careers In Mind? → CareerS? Plural? How many can we manage?


69. Lips Or Eyes → Eyes

70. Hugs Or Kisses → Kisses

71. Shorter Or Taller → Taller

72. Older or Younger → Older

73. Romantic Or Spontaneous → Romantic

74. Nice Stomach Or Nice Arms → Both (what the hell is this question?)

75. Tattoos Or Piercings → Tattoos

76. Sensitive Or Loud → Sensitive, but always Loud

77. Hook-up Or Relationship → Relationship

78. Trouble Maker Or Hesitant → Hesitant


79. Kissed A Stranger → Why on Earth would I take that risk?? I'm too paranoid about diseases and germs!!

80. Drank Hard Liquor → Nope

81. Lost Glasses/Contacts → Don't wear any... Hardly ever wear my sunglasses...

82. Sex On First Date? → No way!

83. Broken Someone's Heart → Yes. Three times. Not the same guy. But I was young and was scared by two of them who wanted to get married! Come on! The first one, I was like 13 and the second one I was 17! So I'm forgiven right?

84. Had Your Own Heart Broken → Of course! And whoever says no, is a liar! :-P

85. Been Arrested? → No

86. Turned Someone Down → Yes

87. Cried When Someone Died → Many times

88. Liked A Friend That Is A Girl? → No


89. Yourself → Yes (sometimes I doubt, but we all do right? in general, I do believe in myself, yes)

90. Miracles → Yes

91. Love At First Sight → Not love. Crush. Love comes after the sight

92. Heaven → I hope

93. Santa Claus → Come on!

94. Kissing On The First Date? → Not really, no

95. Angels → I think so


96. Is There One Person You Want To Be With Right Now? → Yes

97. Had More Than One Boyfriend At One Time? → Why on Earth?

98. Do You Believe Its Possible To Remain Faithful Forever? → Definitely

99. What's The One Thing You Cannot Live With → With? So it's "with" not "without"; so the one thing I cannot live with is LIES. I hate liars. Deception is unacceptable to me

What started it all...

I came across this photo by Googling something (can't remember what exactly) that led me to a gossip site called What Would Tyler Durden Do (Tyler being the fictional character played by Brad Pitt in Fight Club). It's a basically nasty blog that objectifies women, insults people in general and enjoys spreading racism, hatred and just plain meanness.

Anyway, the first post I got at the time was that photo above. The site claimed that it was Demi Moore's behind as Twittered by her hubby, Ashton Kutcher. So I followed the link and found that indeed, it was true.

At first I was still very skeptic; obviously many people use the names and photos of celebrities and create Facebook profiles for instance. So what would be the difference on Twitter?

I had already seen a lot of this "Twitter" logo on many sites but thought that I had enough online networks to sustain me a hundred lifetimes, I didn't need one more.

Well, I'm an addict... What can I do?

So basically Ashton posting Demi's behind is what brought me to Twitter. And it is indeed Ashton sending those famous Tweets to the world and Mrs. Kutcher has her own Twitter page as well. For those who aren't familiar with it (like me a couple of days ago), Twitter is a network platform that allows people to post Tweets which are basically equivalent to the "Status Updates" on Facebook. And that's it. I looked it up a little, and it seems you can add applications and do more stuff, but the initial and most important aim is to Tweet; i.e. let the world know what you're doing this very moment. And by the way, Ashton Kutcher seems to be addicted because he posts a million times a day. For the curious readers, Ashton Kutcher's Twitter's here.

But I digress...

So today, I was checking my Twitter page and because when I registered, I did it from Ashton's page, I am now one of his "Followers" which means that I receive an update every time he Tweets.

And today he posted a very interesting article that someone had sent him as it mentioned his name... And Twitter: "Teaching Twitter could become a class act".

"British schoolchildren may soon be studying the tweets of Ashton Kutcher along with the sonnets of Shakespeare."

On Twritter, Ashton adds: "I strongly believe that social media, search, and Web sourcing is a hell of a lot more valueable these days than the Dewey decimal system" and "It's not an underestimation of the value of literature it's an adaptaion of the way we source it. Educational Darwinism".

I like that. Educational Darwinism :-)

My cousin and I were talking about evolution just yesterday and how some people seem to never be able to change; so now, education which is probably one of the fields where change is the most resisted; well even education is evolving, embracing new values while some people still live in old glories; but here I go digressing again :-)

There is no doubt that new media and technologies have started to take a bigger place in education and in our everyday life in general. There is no doubt that they allow for extraordinary discoveries and achievements we could have never imagined only a few years ago. And with every new generation that joins the educational system, there is no doubt educators will have to speak the kids' language(s) in order to get through to them.

There is also no doubt that the Internet is a pool of crap many, many times. And that truth and knowledge can easily be mixed up with rumors and propaganda. Authors are virtually unknown. Evidences are virtually unsure. And nothing can be "true" or "real" for certain.

But I guess we will have to adapt and learn how to use these technologies to the best we can so that they become knowledge tools rather than brainwashing tools.

So come on everybody, Twitter at will :-)

My Twitter ;-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vu que c'est le vide...

... Et qu'apparemment c'est le vide aussi chez nouce, j'ai décidé de prendre le relais

Si tu pouvais partir n'importe où en avion, là maintenant tout de suite, où irais-tu? (3 choix possibles)
Dubai (I miss my hubby and brother)
Paris (I miss my sister)
Italie peut-être...

Hammam ou sauna?
Ni l'un ni l'autre mais s'il faut vraiment choisir, je dirais Hammam vu que j'ai jamais essayé... Le Sauna, vu, essayé et non merci.

Aliments détestés?
Je sais vraiment pas... Mais je suis pas une référence, je ne cuisine pas et dans tous les cas, je ne mange plus d'aliments riche en amidon, donc comme ça...

La dernière personne que tu as eu au téléphone?
Loume, mon frérot :-) il appelait maman et j'ai "détourné" (hijack) son portable! :-P

Ta couleur préférée?
Le bleu.

Dors-tu avec une peluche?
Non, par contre je peux pas dormir sans prendre mon coussin dans les bras... Freud?

Peux-tu toucher ton nez avec ta langue?

Qu'as-tu envie de changer dans ton appartement?
On déménage bientôt et on va changer tout le salon, alors comme ça... J'aimerais bien ajouter une chambre d'enfants :-) mais sans enfants ça fait un peu louche et surtout, malade!

Quel est ton 2ème prénom?
J'en ai pas.

Et ton surnom?
J'en ai plein... Je mets toute la liste? Alors...
rabroub ettayoub
Etc. Bein oui quoi, je l'ai dit que j'en avais plein! :-P

Ta série TV favorite?
J'en ai plein. Je peux pas choisir, c'est comme me demander quel est mon film préféré... Ou demander à une "madame" quel est son age! INADMISSIBLE!

Le dernier film que tu as vu au cinéma?
Slumdog Millionnaire.

Ta brasserie préférée à Paris?
Je vis pas à Paris (c'est très frenchy ce questionnaire :-P) La dernière fois qu'on y a été j'ai bien aimé La Fourmi Ailée... C'est une brasserie ça? Non je pense pas. Mais bon...

Sais-tu changer un pneu de vélo?
Non, mais je fais pas de vélo, donc pas de problème! (Au passage... Je sais changer aucun pneu d'ailleurs)

En boucle dans ton iPod actuellement?
J'utilise pas mon iPod en ce moment... Mais avant j'avais Amor De Mis Amores... Avant ça veut dire y à des siècles, quand j'utilisais encore mon iPod pour écouter de la musique. Maintenant je joue à Spiderette (Solitaire) en boucle :-P

Café ou thé?
Thé d'habitude. Mais quand je suis tombée enceinte cette fois-ci, j'ai ingurgité des litres de café! Maintenant je crois que je suis redevenue normale... café-free quoi.

Crois-tu au "miracle" des crème amincissantes?
Non. Par contre les Licornes, oui. Les Bisounours (français) et Mon Petit Poney (français) aussi d'ailleurs... Ah créatures fantastiques de mon enfance!

Pour perdre à coup sûr 5 à 6 kgs sans privation, tu fais quoi?
Je fais plus de régime. Maintenant je sais quels aliments me font grossir et je les évite. C'est tout.

Comment choisis-tu tes lectures?
À l'aéroport. Merci Virgin Megastore.

Tes bonbons préférés quand tu étais petit(e)?
Kinder: on collectionnait les jouets :-)
Carambar: on collectionnait les blagues et devinettes :-P
Bandes sucrées au pommes (longues bandes vertes avec du sucre): je ne sais pas comment ça s'appelle mais c'est comme les petits Pasta Frutta chez Haribo sauf que les bandes étaient longues et qu'on les achetait sans marque.
Les Bananes et les Fraises chez Haribo.

Ton meilleur souvenir de rentrée scolaire?
Alors là, j'en ai aucune idée... J'avais tellement la tête dans les nuages quand j'étais petite que j'ai vraiment très peu de souvenirs clairs...

Ta grand-mère comptait-elle beaucoup pour toi?
Elle compte toujours (pourquoi au passé?).

Que préfères-tu dans ton travail actuel?
Je cherche du travail. Ou plutôt, je vais commencer mes recherches des que je rentre à Dubai.

As-tu le mal de mer?
Oui. Et sans commentaires. C'est la cata à chaque fois!

Où aimerais-tu prendre ta retraite?
Je suis encore trop jeune pour savoir. D'ici là, j'aurai changé d'avis mille fois.

Si tu pouvais changer de job, là tout de suite, que ferais-tu?
Bein justement, c'est bien ce que je me demande.

Dans quelle ville irais-tu vivre et travailler pendant une année ou plus si l'occasion t'étais offerte?
N'importe où en Europe (mais dans une capitale).