My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

27 June 2007

Vola, Vola Palombella 2

I posted the original video for Vola Palombella before. Apparently the girl (woman now!) rerecorded and remixed the song and here's the video clip. See for yourself what became of lil Nadina! By the way I'm not implying any positive or negative opinions here, just a messenger so far.

21 June 2007

The Mad Terrorist Thought Experiment

This is simple poll. Just answer in a format like this: 1A, 2B, 6A... etc. No need for words.

QI-- Identify yourself:

You think of yourself as;

    1. Strong theist. 100 % probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

    2. Very High probability but short of 100%. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.'

    3. Higher than 50% but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'

    4. Exactly 50%. Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.'

    5. Lower than 50% but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical.'

    6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist, 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on that assumption that he is not there.'

    7. Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung "knows" there is one.'

QII-- What you would do:

The mad terrorist has abducted you. He gives you the following options;

    A. The mad terrorist will kill you a slow torturous death. He will start by cutting off a few limbs then he'll burn you alive. He will end it with a slow beheading with a dull blade. No one else will die.

    B. The mad terrorist will kill you via a new lethal injection a very peaceful death with zero pain. If you choose this, after you die he will drop a nuclear bomb on a random city with at least 7 million people. NYC, Tokyo, Cairo, Shanghai, Mumbai... etc.

    C. If you refuse to choose one of the above options, he will kill you the painful death of Option A and nuke the entire earth!

i) The belief scale is borrowed from Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion.
ii) Sorry for being graphic with option A, I had to.

20 June 2007

I Can't Forget The Taste Of Your Mouth

(I wrote this post when I got back)

I never cry. Never. Though I am fairly emotional I think; I can let things occupy me for long periods of time. But I never cry. I never get angry. I never raise my voice. I never lose it. I just never let my emotions surface no matter how bad it is inside. I am very composed... well, except for my startle reactions :). I get caught off guard.

Last night was different though. I put my face in the pillow and cried in my bed. I just had the best 3 days ever.... so why was I crying? I'm not sure. Maybe cause it's over. Maybe just the sheer emotions. Maybe it was the goodbye. Maybe it was realizing how I felt. Maybe it was the craziness of the whole thing. Maybe it's not being able to act on what happened. The experience was dreamlike... too good to be true, yet it is true.

Well, here I am now with a wet pillow and a lot to ponder over. What do I do with what just happened? What does it all mean? How do I carry on now? It gives me a lump in my throat whenever I think about it. I feel like I'm tied down and cannot take action. Yep, I really am.

Till very recently I thought of my life as uneventful, but it seems I am having quite a bit of those life changing experiences recently. That was one of them no doubt about it.

We Only Said Goodbye With Words

Here are a few pics I took of San Francisco.

19 June 2007

Just Playing Your Part

I was in San Francisco for a few days and I liked it overall. The following really caught my attention though:

  • Why does it seem like all store owners in San Fran are Chinese people that don't speak English? Some times I felt like was not in the US. And I am not talking about Chinatown (which apparently is one of the largest in North America). Just regular stores on Market St. for example.
  • There is a LOT of homeless people in SF. It is quite scary actually. I was having one of those American pizza slices (from a Chinese store owner of course) when I discovered that I don't have any napkins. So I looked at the pizza and at my drink, the street was busy with people going up and down the street (it was a lil steep), then I looked at the napkin dispenser. It was very close, only about 10ft away. So I get up quickly leaving my food and dart for the napkins. I come back in pretty much less than a second to find a homeless woman just about to get started on my ready to go meal!
  • San Fran has a lot of gay people. Though I did notice it on the streets, it wasn't overly obvious that there were more here. Apparently one out of five males in are gay. Nothing against gays of course!
  • Every now and then in SF you see an old hippie. Just an old guy with long white/blonde white/brown hair with some sort of a head band and a colourful t-shirt. A few restaurants have a peace or hippie theme to them. I found out that SF is where the hippie movement started in the 1960s.

I felt so tiny in SF. The San Francisco area itself is not that big, about 40 blocks across. But with all the suburbs and surrounding neighborhoods, it's huge. Going from one neighborhood to the other you have to get on a 5 lane highway. I just felt like I'm a grain of sand on a beach. I never feel like that in Cairo.

I am living one random life yet have enough vanity to write about it in a blog. But there are billions of people living their lives like me. People living in any one of those neighborhoods have stories of their own. The gay guy has a story about how he came to find himself that way. He's got opinions. The Chinese store owner has a story about how they came across the ocean to find a job in a foreign country. The old hippie has adventures to tell about I'm sure. And that is just one city, and one instant in time. We are just a drop in the ocean.