6 Reasons Why You’re Stupid if You Bought iDoser

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I can’t believe how Lebanon’s Fox News, MTV, had the entire country collectively forget they’re educated and the Internet exists. My favorite part was the exorcism-like reaction of allegedly “under the influence” kids. Second favorite part was that “200,000 kids in Turkey were addicted to it”. Here are several reasons why you’re stupid if you’re one of the folks that paid $4.99 for iDoser (which is number 1 in the App Store’s Top Paid Charts in Lebanon).

1- Don’t You Listen to Music?

Did it really take an app with such a shitty logo to make you realize that music does have an effect on your brain? Haven’t you ever felt sad when you listen to a song, happy when you listen to another, excited, horny, ecstatic, relaxed? Yes, you have. Electronic music fans such as myself will especially relate, since often lyrics are absent, and one cannot associate the change in mood/emotions to the lyrics of a song. It’s just the music, the sounds, the frequencies.

2- Haven’t You Ever Pretend-Meditated by Saying “Ohmmmmm”?

You might be trying to be funny, but Buddhist monks and practitioners of different types of yoga and meditation techniques know that a sound at a certain frequency helps the brain get into a meditative, relaxed state. Other than the chants, there are the bonshos (Buddhist bells) and the singing bowls, which vibrate at a certain frequency that also eases our brain waves down from their alert state, to the calmer, meditative ones.

3- Do You Own Studio-Grade Stereo Headphones?

You do realize that the idea behind a binaural beat is that one ear’s frequency is slightly different than the other’s. A laptop’s speaker won’t do, and your stock headphones and iPhone earphones aren’t nearly as good enough to be able to detect the subtle 10-30 Hz discrepancy between each side. So, unless you’re a music producer, odds are whatever track you’re paying for, is just noise.

4- Placebo Effect is Real

We’ve all done it or had it been done to us. Giving someone non-alcoholic beer and watch them get “wasted” a few bottles later, telling your naive friend that the arguileh was actually laced with drugs and they suddenly become “high”. Telling your kid that the water has “medicine” in it, and to drink two sips only, and then they suddenly feel good enough to go to school. The list goes on and on.

Some research shows that even after knowing you’re getting a placebo, your body does react favorably. That’s because the more “primitive” parts of your brain think it’s legit, and the “more advanced” parts in your cortex can’t really tell them it’s not. Think of phobias (real ones, not ghinej). No matter how much a person suffering from a phobia can rationally consider it harmless, when faced with the actual phobia, they will react unfavorably. (You can fix that by either exposing it to them gradually, or extremely all at once, that way, your “primitive” brain will understand, “oh hey, I didn’t die. Must be harmless”).

5- Why Does It Cost So Much Money?

Inno, come on. $4.99, then in-app purchases as expensive as $30? Really? For a sound? Why didn’t anyone upload them onto SoundCloud or Zippyshare for free? And do you really need to buy a booklet to “learn how to get high”, I mean, come on. I’m sure you didn’t read a manual before you got drunk or high for the first time… You don’t need to, that’s the point, it’s natural (cat people, think cat nip. And lotsa other animals like to get drunk and high btw)

6- If it Sounds Too Good to be True, it Probably Isn’t

Sure, getting high on an mp3 song seems awesome, but come on, really. I can’t believe I’m writing this =P How did they do their research? How did they figure out what “sex” feeling sounds like, or what “ecstasy” sounds like. Where’s the research to back that up, the experiments, etc. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and a bunch of reviews online by junkies doesn’t qualify.

Conclusion: Sounds Do Have An Affect, and You Know That Already

I can go back to many moments in life, where my state of consciousness was altered far beyond any drug I’ve ever taken (where it’s legal, not in Lebanon police people reading this). It starts like a cold sweat, then a tingling sensation right at the base of my neck which slowly creeps up, numbing my scalp and finding its way down to my eyes and face. It’s an amazing sensation, and just when the music is just right, I do feel that, and I do get into a trance where nothing and no one else exists but parts of my body and the music pounding it. I’d even go as far as confirming that I’ve experienced some form of synesthesia, where I “see” sounds, and “feel” colors, etc. When you can feel the music, visualize it in your brain as a colorful cloud of matter bending to the will of each frequency and sound. Does it mean I can download an app and press play to get high? To get to an altered state? No. I can do that with my own playlist, on my own bed, with my own headphones if my mindset is just right, relaxed and meditative.

I will admit though, it took almost 18 months for me to properly master my ability to willfully enter into a meditative state, and my personal opinion is that it’s something you can’t be taught. If someone is explaining to you how to meditate, you’ll be thinking of that when you’re trying to meditate, thus, ruining the whole point of thinking of “nothing”. Think when you’re in a car’s passenger seat, and you’re looking out the window, but you aren’t actually seeing anything in particular in those deafening moments of silence: that’s what meditation should be like.

As for the sounds that actually have a real physical impact on our bodies, that too is well-cataloged, but the thing is, they’re not within our audible range, and thus, speakers and headphones are not designed to be able to transmit those frequencies. Examples are frequencies that some police forces blast at a crowd to disorientate them and make them feel nauseated, and thus controlling a crowd without using physical force, rubber bullets or tear gas canisters (or live bullets and chemicals if you’re a dick Arab dictator).

WARNING

The Lebanese authorities might use this fabricated scandal to further push their agenda of censoring the Internet. Day in, day out, dozens of websites get illegally banned in Lebanon without informing the taxpayers, for absurd, dumbass reasons. Example? This blog was banned once for “facilitating prostitution via the Internet”. Yes, apparently, the authorities mistook me for a pimp, and then hastily changed the verdict when I was like: “lolwut?!” given that they banned my site where I uncovered and bashed an illegal prostitution ring online in Lebanon), but kept the actual “da3ara” sites untouched…

Don’t fall for the lies. If they truly cared about the wellbeing of the taxpayers, they’d stop torturing them in police stations before “banning mp3 drugs”.

Akh, this post ta33abne nafisyan. I can’t believe this has to be elaborated in 2014…

Tram on Bliss in 1963

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How awesome would it be if you could take the Tram from upper to lower campus? From other parts of Beirut? Imagine finishing class and being able to grab a wagon for happy hour in Mar Mikhail…

Photo via /r/Lebanon

Mabrook La Lebnen: Fatdouche No Longer a Lawyer

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There are several grievous crimes Fattouche committed. Apart from hitting, or attempting to hit, and insulting a public employee, he’s the evil mastermind behind the parliament’s two extensions. But, he crossed way too many lines for the Beirut Bar Association with his disgusting press conference the other day.

  1. He discussed publicly the case of one of his client, the wife of Tourism Minister Michel Paharaon, for no apparent reason other than to shift focus to the “adultery” claim his wife filed through Fattouche. This violates the client-lawyer confidentiality, and was an insult to the core of a lawyer’s profession
  2. He assaulted and insulted an employee of the Justice Ministry.
  3. He bashed and shamed the chief of the Beirut Bar Association

All the above probably contributed to his name being crossed off the Bar Association’s roster. Now, the decision hasn’t been published yet, so we’re not sure for how long we’re rid of Fattouche in courts, but, it could be anywhere from 3 to 5 years, or even more given the circumstances and intense public outrage.

I’m glad the lawyers in Lebanon decided to give Fattouche the boot. That syndicate has taken several brave decisions and positions in the past couple of years when it comes to women’s rights, LGBT rights, torture in prisons and many other crucial human rights issues. This is another one of these admirable decisions in my honest opinion, and looking forward to see the disgraced MP and lawyer face the full force of the law.

Fattouch on Wikipedia: “Animal Sauvage et Gros Cochon de Zahle”

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After his disgusting crime and even more filthy press conference, it’s sort of like beating a dead horse now. But, the Wikipedia page of the Lebanese Cabinet has been edited to read “Nicola Fattoush Animal Sauvage et Gros Cochon de Zahle, and his religious sect as “Animalism and Frustrated Hayawein”.

I think it’s insulting to animals to call him that, but it’s hilarious and well-deserved for that monster.

26 Ways Living in Lebanon Can Kill You – Construction Sites

10653357_10152414666331056_7946403390956189517_n-1Third in a series by Noura Andrea Nassar titled “26 Ways Living in Lebanon Can Kill You”

Usually, noise, pollution, dust, basic safety, etc. are integral when it comes to a construction site in a densely populated area. All those things are rarely ever enforced in Lebanese construction sites.

But, that’s not really the only problem. The graver one is that these sites are destroying what little we have left in our Beirut heritage department. Often, the inability to force people to vacate their iconic old homes, makes construction companies sometimes knowingly destroy the homes with the residents still in them, or damage them enough to make them too dangerous to live in. So, people do die.

Other people who die are the construction workers. Basic safety precautions are often not taken, and we all heard about a worker who fell to his death, or was crushed by falling debris.

Lastly, they’re dicks, and their trucks and cranes often crowd our streets and sidewalks, wanting you to commit suicide or kill someone, hence, it is definitely one of the ways you get killed in Lebanon.

But, you can do something. Noise pollution, whether or not you believe it, is punishable by law in Lebanon. After a certain hour in the evening, depending on the area, construction is not allowed in order not to disturb residents living close by. You are allowed to call the authorities and complain, and even large-scale construction sites get penalized by stopping their work for a period of time when the neighborhood residents complain. Another way to halt or delay, even force the construction site to be friendlier, is to complain to the Ministry of Environment when the removal of trees is involved. It’s illegal to cut trees in Lebanon, especially the older ones, and the only exception is if the construction site declares them and pledges to replant just as many if not more when construction is complete (which is rarely ever the case). Also, it works sometimes. A friend of mine complained that a 20-year-old tree was being cut down, and the construction work was halted for a full 3 months till the ministry was satisfied the conditions were met and environmentally, the construction site would compensate.

What To Do This Weekend

We all need a breather from all the crap happening around us. So, here’s my suggestion for this weekend’s coolest parties and places to be:

THURSDAY  Uncensored Play on Censorship in Lebanon – AUB West Hall

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After a months long struggle, we finally were able to approve our play at the General Security’s censorship bureau. We’re giving AUBites a special treat tomorrow: giving them the chance to be the first to see it live. Tickets are for just 5,000 LBP and I’ll be there with a bunch of other March folks if you wanna have a chat after the play!

RSVP here

Saturday – C U NXT SAT with WKBL, Ladybug, Jade and Vanclod and Jandam

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This is the weekend’s biggest gig. The beloved Who Killed Bruce Lee will be at the Grand Factory, followed by house favorites Jade, Ladybug and Vanclode Jandam!

RSVP here

B018 with Ziad Ghosn

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Often times, we get so hyped about foreign talent, we forget we have locals that are absolutely fucking brilliant on the decks. Ziad Ghosn is one of my favorites, and this weekend, he’s playing the Saturday slot instead of his usual Friday one. After you’re done partying in your private parties or at C U NXT SAT, head down to b018 for an epic after till the sun rises. Last Saturday was exceptionally massive, and this one promises to be just as awesome.

Sunday – Car Free Day at Sodeco with Achrafieh 2020

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These car-free days are always amazing. This time, it’s on Sodeco-Abdelwahab. Music, food, art, exhibitions and a whole lot of wholesome family fun to cure your hangovers the next day. Let’s hope it’s sunny and we get to enjoy it to the fullest!

RSVP here

Monday – #KillerMovieNight at Virgin Downtown

10609698_10154768438505187_9028259588633709136_nAnist Tabet is a good friend, and I never watch a movie before double-checking if he’s already reviewed it on his blog. His movie club does regular movie nights now, and this special Halloween edition is at the gorgeous opera house that houses Virgin Megastore Downtown. Imagine the place all creeped-out full of folks wearing costumes (if you want to of course!). It’s free of charge and starts at 7:30PM.

RSVP here.

 

HE DID TAKE ACTION! YAAAAY! It’s Actually Rifi’s Fault Fattouche Wasn’t Arrested…

I’m glad to report that Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi went to Daou’s office and heard her side of the story, and is going to take the necessary legal actions! Also, Daou never apologized. Great, great news!

Fattouchevia Sakker El Dekkene

Ok, after the horrendous Nicolas Fattouche scandal, a lot of talk has been going on about what should have happened legally, especially with Daou’s “reconciliation” with the disgraced MP.

I don’t like speculation, so, I consulted one of my dear lawyer friends on the matter (being sued so much helps you know who the good, passionate, honest lawyers are… Silver linings!) and here’s the breakdown:

Why “7a2 3am” Doesn’t Hold Up

In Lebanon, our MPs and priests and sheikhs LOVE beating women, often to death. And our laws allow them to to a certain extent. For Fattouche to be arrested, the injuries should be severe enough to stop her from working for at least 10 days, and be visible. In other words, it’s ok to beat people up as long as they can still walk and it doesn’t show…

So, really, her hands were sort of tied, both on the personal level and the public one. Add to that the possibility that the disgraced “MP” could have threatened her and her family, or just paid her off, as many people are speculating. So, for the government to prosecute an assailant, the victim needs to be beaten to a bloody pulp basically…

Why Rifi Should Have Arrested Fattouch Instead of Kids Burning Falgs

We know Rifi LOVES to prosecute people for harmless and justified acts of freedom of expression, so, it came as a bit of a shock that he didn’t do the same when one of his own employees was assaulted for doing her job.

Every employee at “2asr el 3adl” (justice palaces) in Lebanon is directly under the Ministry of Justice’s jurisdiction. In other words, they’re employees in that ministry. Now, imagine a lawyer or a doctor was beaten up. His or her syndicate would ALL back him up and ensure the assailant gets what he/she deserves. Why didn’t Rifi stand up for his own employee? Why didn’t he order the high court prosecutor to file an arrest warrant in Fattouche’s name, whose crime is well documented, in broad daylight and with many, many witnesses.

Also, this crime is a far, far graver one than just assault. When you attack a government employee while they’re performing their duties, its consequences are far more severe. It’s like assaulting a Lebanese soldier while on a checkpoint for example. So, if Rifi had taken action, it would have meant a far more powerful legal action against Fattouche.

So, shame on our minister of justice for hunting down kids for burning a terrorist scumbag flag, while letting his own employees suffer at the hands of a monster like Nicolas Fattouche.

New Solar-Powered Lights on the Dora-Karantina Highway

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Road and traffic conditions in Lebanon are appalling. When there isn’t choking traffic, there’s no lighting (ma fi kahraba!), massive potholes, deep lakes and crazy drivers letting out the traffic’s frustration by zig-zagging and speeding to their dooms and the dooms of others.

One THOUSAND people die every single year in road accidents in Lebanon. That’s almost 3 people getting killed every single day. That’s more than people who die in clashes, bombs, beheadings, etc. combined. Apart from the 1000 people who die, FOURTEEN THOUSAND people get injured. That’s thousands of people’s lives changed or ruined forever…

So, even though this is just a tiny step, it’s a good start. That strip of highway sees a lot of pedestrians getting run over. It’s because it’s heavily populated and people are too lazy to use the pedestrian bridges and so, risk their lives by crossing the highway. Having constant light, will hopefully improve that.

It stretches from the Dora bridge all the way to Forum de Beyrouth. They’re being installed as we speak. I’m glad some investment is going into renewables. With EDL as shit as it is, we could use any solar panel and windmill we can get our hands on. Which is another problem by the way (the hands part). The first batch of these solar (and wind) powered lights was in the Dahr El Baidar road. If you pass by there, you’ll see many of them missing. That’s because people come and steal them at night… Yes, I’m serious. So, let’s hope this doesn’t happen to the ones in Beirut.