Wanna do your own? It’s SUPER easy, just go here
Wanna do your own? It’s SUPER easy, just go here
I will get right to the point you’re all thinking about: how did they make a Transformers movie without Megan Fox? Well, they made a pretty damn awesome one and Megan Fox leaving is probably the best thing that ever happened to the movie!
Her replacement, far, far superior to her (and with no mutant fingers), Rosie Huntigton even has a British accent *melts* she tells Shia LeBoeuf “I’ll give you a job later” so, guys (and lesbians) dismayed at Mega Fox’s disappearance, feast your eyes on this divine being
Now, as for the movie itself, it’s the best Transformers so far. It’s as if the Transformers series has grown up. The first two were somewhat cheesy and childish faerie-tales with a plot right out of a Disney flick (minus the subliminal messages). This one has really matured, with everything from the dialogue, the sexiness and of course the computer-generated-imagery getting better.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s not a clear good-guy bad-guy plot, but full of deception, betrayal and twists that make the human race so delightful. You also a few milliseconds of gore (like a skull) for all you reality-junkies.
The CGI is godly and the 3D is worth it. The storyline is superb, resurrecting the series sorta like (dare I say it!?) the Dark Knight. The characters are still awesome if not more so. There is also some comedy, with Hangover’s favorite Asia returning as Wang as well as the old Sector 7 leader being hilarious! Apart from that, there’s the Earth that needs saving and stuff. And also, loads of new cars and robots!
The Autobots have become close allies with the USA and they’re sort of like keepers of the peace. They monitor the US allies and try to avert any conflict with humans, to stay vigilant of the Decepticons. And for all you 14 March guys, they kick the hell out of Iranians. And for all you capitalists, they also decimate silly communists!
Then, the truth about the 60s space race between the USA and USSR is revealed and it turns out the guys were searching for a wrecked UFO, “The Ark”, which was carrying Sentinel Prime, Optimus Prime’s predecessor, and some weapon that could help the Autobots win the war.
Soon enough, an insane twist allows the Decpticons to summon hundreds of reinforcements after “deporting” the Autobots. A bunch of other twists see the Autobots come back to the rescue, and Optimus finally gets his freak on and rips Megatron’s head and spine off!
That’s as much as I’m gonna spoil it for you. OH! And for all you girls who like “Dr Shepherd” or McDumbass or whatever… You’re gonna UTTERLY despise him after this.
IMDB Rating: 7.3/10
My Rating: 10/10
In the absence of a functional government, comprehensive traffic laws and the naive Lebanese mentality when it comes to driving, The Talal Kassem Fund for Post Accident Care: Roads for Life, is on an important mission.
Defunct governments and institutions, and unfortunately tragic losses and deaths, push individuals and groups in Lebanon to fill in the void with volunteerism and goodwill. For those of you who don’t know, Talal Kassem is a 17-year-old IC student that was killed when a raging driver hit him on the corniche road in front of IC.
The untimely death of this young man has catalyzed the Roads for Life initiative. The main goal is of course updating Lebanon’s traffic law, and actually implementing (versus being harassed by KFC-loving thugs dressed as police officers). Unfortunately, that goal is a very long-term one, and in the meantime, thousands of people will die on the streets.
That is why, the Roads for Life initiative’s focus now is on the Advanced Trauma Life Support course, or ATLS. RFL hopes to give this course to Red Cross volunteers and ER doctors and caregivers from across Lebanon. The course is mandatory in many developed nations and Lebanon is the 42nd country to start giving this course thanks to RFL.
The first class of ATLS course should graduate later this year. The class of 16 is located at the AUBMC, where equipment and expertise are available. The plan though is to train and equip a lot more people and hospitals in Lebanon. The idea is, if we can’t stop accidents, we might as well improve the chances of accident victims in the crucial 60 minutes after trauma.
Personally, I loved this initiative. Apart from being a noble and much-needed cause, it is refreshingly specific. This helps us, and them of course, gauge the success and progress of the NGO. Other NGOs “promote awareness” or “help people” but, it never is really clear and observable. The ATLS course, its graduates and impact will be felt and real, which makes it all the more worthy of everyone’s support.
On Saturday, two French-Algerian artists, Algerino and Faudel, performed at the Zouk Roman Ampitheater. Faudel is famous (as Hady tells me =P) and Algerino’s presence is a more meaningful one. His song “Trinite”, is the song Talal sent to his mother the night before he died. Moved by this touching story, Algerino made his way to Lebanon to help launch Roads for Life amid the bitter-sweet tears shed by Talal’s family, classmates, friends and strangers alike.
The music was upbeat and rap-like, but unfortunately for me, in French! However, I did enjoy it immensely and admired the dedication and resolve of the people behind this project. I wish them all the best and urge you to keep up with their events and activities.
Make sure you check out their Facebook Page, their website and follow their Twitter and YouTube accounts, which my dearest friend Sana Tawileh is helping make awesome. I’d also like to thank Hady Chehlaoui and Deek Duke team for allowing me to get to know the RFL initiative better and help spread the word.
Donner Sang Compter is the NGO this blog has adopted since its conception, and on Sunday, that very same NGO got into the world record books!
Donors, volunteers, friends and even people whose lives were saved thanks to someone’s selfless gift of blood flocked to my alma mater, Saint Joseph School Cornet Chehwan. Upon entry to the school grounds, participants signed up and got their red t-shirts.
Inside, plenty of stands made sure the hot, sunny day went by faster. Refreshments, cakes and muffins replenished the tummies of volunteers, as well as the people who donated blood on the spot for the St Jude’s Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon at AUBMC.
Billboards and banners with photos of past events, donors and DSC volunteers (including of course me on virtually every one =P) were scattered everywhere with DSC’s mascot hopping around and making for awesome photo-ops!
A truck-load of blood for the CCCL wasn’t the record-breaker though! At noon, all those present went onto the greenfield and sat in the booth. After several innovative crowd-wave patterns, the football-match atmosphere gave way to an orderly, single-file procession that made up the massive blood-drop shape.
Dozens of cameras were capturing the historic moment. A massive winch caught the frontal shots, but I was standing on the roof of the middle-school building. Here are the shots I managed to take.
Also, on the behalf of the DSC team, I’d also like to thank each and every one of you who showed up and made this day a success!
First and foremost, a note to all haters: Shiddo 7alkon. The lil’Wayne issue has caused lots of silly talk and gossip. For one, lil’Wayne is a convict and has been let out on probation for those of you who don’t know. This means he needs permission from the court to leave the USA. Notice all his scheduled shows are in the US. So, the will to get him here was there, but the US justice system wasn’t too excited about it. Also, when something goes amiss, I will admit it and apologize if I did something wrong, instead of editing articles and denying it (like some juveniles who can’t spell do on a regular basis).
Anyway, it’s a busy summer and there are loads going on
It looks impossible, but Pier 7 is set to launch the day after tomorrow! The sound and light systems are up and installed and the final touches on the corridor leading into the massive outdoors club was being assembled as I took this photo.
Read more on what the club is gonna be like on TimeOut Beirut. And for those of you who wanna be there, the number you need to call is 7069777.
The name “Pure White” has been scrapped and it’s good old plain “White” again. After rumors that the club will not be able to open up in time for the summer season, it seems everything is in order and the construction work has progressed exponentially.
For one, the building, ironically, has been painted black. The ugly basket-ball-court-like metal frame turned out to be just the base of the actual rooftop section of White. On a lower level, a large atrium opens up to the sea, creating the massive and diverse spaces promised, as well as an area shielded from the elements.
I overheard something about a July 7th opening, but this is just hearsay, so don’t throw a tantrum if it turns out to be on a different date.
Those of you who live in Naccache, pass by this road everyday. For those of you who don’t, this area is where the Dbayeh/AGBU bridge ends. It’s just behind Spinneys and a minute away from the MTV building.
Turns out this construction site is yet another Charcutier Aoun supermarket! It’s peculiar, considering the grocery store chain has a massive branch less than 5 kilometers away and meters away from Spinneys. But, who knows, a shorter distance to our fattening foods is always good!
MixFM and B018 have been getting us the whole crew and last night, it was Magda’s turn. The first Techno event I went to was Paco Osuna, when it was held on the top floor of Roger Moukarzel studios. The venue was sublime and Paco’s focused demeanor created music that made the sun’s rising regrettable.
Magda’s brand of techno was very different. She has goddess-like skills that manipulate the physical and temporal fabric of sound waves like legos. She slowly and deliberately constructs a groove by adding beat after beat, gradually paving the way for a scream-inducing climax by the crowd. The volume then goes down and Magda deconstructs the groove she just created in seconds, only to restart the process with a new climax-bound tetris-like assembly of artificial sounds.
B018 was packed and minutes after Magda took the decks, the retractable roof revealed a clear sky with a single star (probably Venus) and the Moon. Soon enough though, the poor people who came in with no idea what Techno really was, ended up with nagging girlfriends or boyfriends and cleared up some space for the dozens of Techno junkies that follow the M_nus lineup at B018 religiously (like me).
That doesn’t mean that no one got transformed last night, I’m certain loads of people have now converted to the 120bpm culture after last night, two of which were dear friends. These events are a godsend, for as predicted earlier (by me, here =P), events will move from massive and uniform, to more intimate and diverse. We get our Armin Only and F*** Me I’m Famous doses every year, but to sustain the nightlife scene, it is specialists like Magda that can quench the thirst for solid, underground electronic music, all the time!
All in all, it was an amazing night that lasted well after you all made it to your Saturday morning shifts. Magda played for more than 4 hours, plugging in her computer at 2:15 AM and not removing it till 7:00 AM. Ronin and Nesta warmed things up with a steady theme before the roller-coaster climaxes Magda set into motion. Gunther and Stamina wrapped things up beautifully under the morning sun.
Looking forward to the next MixFM-B018 team-up… James Zabiela, towards the end of July!
I lost a bet over the weekend, and as result, I’m publishing something I would prefer to keep locked up forever: poetry… I really don’t like poetry, but we had to write a couple for our ENGL 236 course at AUB (the course that pushed me start my blog! =D).
A handful of people apart from my classmates have read this, and one of them is an absolute ass (not one of the classmates =P). It was a bet on a piece of lyrics. Apparently, I mistook “voice in my head” for “voice in my yell” =\
Anyway, I wrote about a few stuff I like, such as clubbing and Ehden, so here goes nothing!
It’s 4.30AM in Beirut
I climb up the stairs between White Club and Beiruf
It was another night in the Basement volume 2
Followed by the traditional Freddy’s hotdog or two
I tip the valet and climb into the Renault
When asked if anyone would be home, my parents suggested no
Why go back to Awkar I thought
As the urge to sleep closer to heaven I fought
Ehden is but a 100 kilometers away
Ehden is better than heaven by the way
I stop by the nearest Medmart
Teasing the sleepy cashier, I push around a shopping cart
A four-pack of ice-cold energy is what I buy
The sugar-free Red Bull cooled my insides as it went by
My weary eyes widen and my legs regain control
I grasp the steering wheel and switch to tiptronic control
Four cans equals one liter
Enough to get me to the 100th kilometer
I encounter little traffic
But the most treacherous kind of traffic
Drunk Beirutis and Tripolitan bus drivers
I sweep by them, through them, and around the drivers
My foot barely touching the brake pedals
My driving undoubtedly deserved several medals
The two-hour drive was abruptly cut short
I was forty minutes in when I spotted the beautiful court
It was the brightly illuminated complex
Which few shrines could compare in contest
It was the pyramidal Lady of the Garrison and its orange tint
Which garrisons Ehden from the brutal Northern wind
I had arrived at my forebears land
Much sooner than I had planned
It took less than an hour and a little more than one can
I could boast getting to Ehden in 45 minutes, oh yes I can
I drove through the exquisite new part of town
The one built by the many entrepreneurs from my own town
I drove past the sleepy army barracks
The ones tasked with unsuccessfully warding off so many attacks
Into the tiny street we call main-street
Actually, it’s called Midan Street
The sleepy folks wake up to another beautiful summer day
While the oldest of them walk back from the first mass of the day
I park in front of my beautiful home
It’s not like the house in Awkar, I’d never call that home
I go to bed after hugging guests I barely know
But guests who love me more than you could possibly know
Two hours of sleep, and I have fulfilled my sleeping share
Two days of sleep in my Awkar AC could never compare
I inhale the crisp, earthy, grassy breeze
I swallow pure, ever-flowing water that makes your heart freeze
I’m home at last
I only wish it could last
We honor our lunch guests coming from far away
It had taken them three whole hours on the way
Our guest asks my dad “Damn it Hanna, you live next door to God!”
My dad playfully answers “We’ll pay Him a visit after dessert”
I don’t mean to brag, but Ehden’s title is well deserved
It is Eden, or the closest thing to it on this Earth
From abundant water and fertile earth
To sacred valleys and towering peaks
Millennia of history dance to modern beats
A people as tough and brave as the rock they tame
Yet hearts so soft, compassionate but hard to tame
Renowned for their skill in warfare and combat
There was more to Ehdenis than appeared in combat
A national hero, four patriarchs, two presidents
Such accomplishments by a tiny town have no precedents
The love of land is surpassed by one thing alone
It’s the joy of having a visitor, in a group or alone
Untouched by the political turmoil
Untarnished by diesel and motor oil
Ehden is Eden
Eden in every aspect possible
Nature, climate, location, resources, people, history…
And of course, gastronomy!
How could I forgot such an important part of our economy
The economy of hospitality and generosity
I’m in Awkar, Beirut, I came back
It looks like I’m going to need the rest of that Red Bull four-pack
The campaign was very well-executed, the short movies were very beautifully-made and the approach to the public and blogosphere was also commendable. The mystery surrounding the missing “Z”s led most people to assume a rebranding was in the making, and right they were!
ZwZ’s traditional image we all are used to is the folksy Lebanese kind, with the menu written out in coloquial Lebanese and the artwork nothing too fancy, but witty representations of traditional Lebanese breakfast cuisine. In other words, it sort of had the rough edges feel that make it all the more folksy and intimately intertwined with Lebanese traditions. Even the name is an inverted form of “zeit w zaatar”, a favorite Lebanese mixture that goes onto mankouches, sandwiches and even labneh.
The new logo tinkers with our brain’s ability to perceive what isn’t really there. We do it all the time, like we see a “face” or “eyes” on a house, cloud, car or average home appliance. Or when we sit and try to figure out optical illusions that take advantage of our visual system’s loopholes, in the process pleasantly amusing us (or horrifying us cause we don’t see the world as it really is).
The zaatar leaf and drop of oil are positioned in a way that makes it very easy to see the implied “Z”. So, after the Z liberation cell stole the “Z”s, they returned them all pimped-up. We have yet to see them on the signs though, with the infamous “Aatar w Eit” still giving loads of opportunities for jokers, with examples like this fashal photo, and “Maatar w Meit.”
I liked the logo, took a while to grow on me, but I adore smart logos like that with several layers behind their meaning. Here, of course there’s the “Z” letter, and the images of what the ZwZ name stands for. It’s also a sexier logo to place on menus and placemats, being shorter and more workable from a design point of view (I’m assuming =P).
Anyway, I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say, especially the design and marketing peeps! But, we can safely say that ZwZ did not do the GAP mistake, which forced GAP to recall their new, horrendous logo and keep the older one.
After several of you were kind enough to point out, and as I later double-checked after my arrival back to Beirut today, I have to retract last week’s weekly leak about Lil’Wayne’s July 26 appearance at Pier 7. The reason is simply because he has a pretty full tour schedule, which includes July 26, when he will be performing in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
I was deeply dismayed after getting my hopes, and yours, up. For that, I am deeply sorry. From this, I have learned two things. First, to never trust a source blindly, even after being tested and proven right several times before. Second, to never blog whilst I’m on vacation where researching and double-checking aren’t really on the top of my priority list.
That’s why, I would like to sincerely apologize to all my readers. I promise you this won’t happen again. Out of all the leaks I’ve posted though, the overwhelming majority did come true, so thank you for not judging me too harshly on that specific leak. Also, remember that the places and people I leak about, have no idea what I’m doing, so I will never have 100% confirmation on anything. Just connecting the dots and doing field recon myself.
On the bright side, Pier7 might still be trying to get hold of lil’Tunechi, but maybe at a more feasible date.
Oh, and to try to make up for this, I’ll be giving one ticket for David Guetta’s F*** Me I’m Famous event to the angriest comment below. So bash away, but no cursing =P
I blog about my unusual life and happenings. I'm Lebanese with a nomadic lifestyle. I hope to eventually settle down somewhere and become a neuromarketer