Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bush Speech Writer

Thanks to a website called, I stumbled upon a site called George W Bush Speechwriter

Thanks to this software/website, you need not wait for the president to utter his Bushisms, but now you can create any Bushism you like and with Bush's own voice no less.

Needless to say, it is really fun.

As for Stumble upon, it recommends websites for you based on websites that you currently like.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jordanian Humor, part 2

In view of the comments I got on my previous blog post, I decide to elaborate:

What makes a great comedy, not just an average comedy?

I think the ultimate acid test for great comedy is:

* It should make you laugh your ass off.
* It should withstand time and repetition. i.e., even after seeing it so many times 20 years later you should laugh your ass off.
* People who speak the same language but who live in another country should find it equally funny.
* Even though it is being viewed on the screen, the audio only version should be funny also.

Currently the available Jordanian comedy fails on all of these accounts.

The first two are somewhat self explanatory. As for the third, I think most people from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt would not find the Jordanian sense of humor very appealing. However, the reverse is not true especially in the case of the Lebanese and the Egyptians.

I do not think that it matters that we as Jordanians think of ourselves as funny people, the ultimate test of funniness is if others who speak the same language as we do consider us funny. Alas, that is not the case.

With regard to the fourth requirement, I noticed that you can just listen to the best comedy without watching it and it would still be as funny as if you were watching it. Again, I do not recall watching any Jordanian humor that passes this test.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Jordanian Humor

It is generally agreed on outside Jordan that the Jordanian sense of humor pretty much is anything but funny.

So, I was thinking about how this situation can be improved a bit; In art, if one wanted to become good in art, he would study the work of Monet, De Kooning, Van Gogh, Giacometti, to name a few. These are the greats of Modern Art. Similarly, if one wanted to be good in philosophy, one would study Kant, Nietzsche, and so on.

Now, in my humble opinion the greatest works of Arab comedy were in the seventies, and though every Jordanian probably watched these great works at least 10 times, the Jordanian sense of humor is still annoying at best.

I am not sure if this would help, but I do not think it would be such a bad idea, if Jordanians who aspire to do something related to comedy took a look at the works of great British and American comedy shows and movies: Monty Python TV shows and movies, Faulty Towers, Saturday Night Live, Living Color, and so on.

I am sure that a lot of the comedy there is not culturally transferable. Nonetheless, I think that this can serve as a sort of inspiration. Furthermore, watching material of this sort can spark new ideas for new comic material, i.e., it would work as a catalysts for funny ideas to come out of the brains of those funny Jordanians to be.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Light To Unite

Hey everybody!!! A friend of mine passed this onto me and now I am passing it on to all of you.

Log onto and light a candle in order to help raise funds for the fight against AIDS.

Bristol Myers(a global pharmaceutical company) will donate $1 for every person who goes to their website and lights a candle to fight AIDS, up to a maximum of $100,000.

When I visited the site the counter was just over 62, lots more candles need to be lit. World AIDS Day is Dec.1 and we all hope to have all the candles lit by then.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

We Are Smarter Than Me

Yes we are. Hehe.

I love helping the rest of humanity through things like wikipedia, wiktionary, grid computing projects like fightAIDs@home and Einstein@home, so the moment I read about the "we are smarter than me" effort to write a business book, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and signed up.

With so many contributors for such a project, I imagine the editor(s) will have such a hard time trying to make the text more coherent and presentable. I hope the outcome of such a project would be something that the collective authors, who will probably remain unknown, can be proud of.

Six months ago, I had a similar idea to this, but not with so many authors. The idea was to commission something like 10-20 authors to write a book (not a handbook), each author would be well accomplished in his field and each one would write 1-2 chapters. The job of the person, who got the idea for this book, is to provide a general outline for the other authors to work with. Also he would write the intro section and the epilogue and eventually put everything together. If need be the whole effort would be managed as a project using project management tools and what not.

Speaking of wiktionary, I decided to make a minor change for the benefit of the rest of humanity (hehe,) so I replaced bloggette which is the female form of blogger with bloggerette; the main reason for this is to avoid confusion with bloggette which also means a small blog. I hope that Webster dictionary catches up and fixes their dictionary so this word can be canonized as English language(hehe.)


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Blond Bond

As a hardcore Bond movie fan, I had to go to the opening of the new 007 movie here in Jordan. I enjoyed the movie a bit. The action was good and so was the suspense.

The acting of the lead actor Daniel Craig, however, was not very impressive and he lacked both the looks and the charm of Pierce Brosnan . But, I am sure some women would say that he was very cute and had more muscles than Brosnan, so I will leave it at that.

As for the actresses in the movie, I did not find either actress to be overly good looking and they both came somewhat short of my expectations from a bond movie.

I would like to make one comment regarding the plot. Towards the last third of the movie the movie ends in a way, or at least gets you to think that it has ended. Then you realize that there is more action to come and the movie gets another climax at the real end.

I am not sure if they want to stick with the new blond bond, or just dump him for another guy. Unfortunately, it will be another year or more before we find out.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Fight Aids The Wrong Way

I do not watch TV, but yesterday I had the misfortune of passing by the TV in the living room while the government advertising for Fight Aids was on. I will not talk much about how uncool it was. I want to talk about it's content.

The minister of health talks about preventing AIDS, by not having "sex outside marriage." The minister did not feel comfortable about calling a spade a spade, so he took liberty and omitted some facts to preserve the "innocence" of the average Jordanian viewer. The part he omitted is about protected sex.

The official government position is that we are a moral society and if sex does occur out side marriage it is usually rare and for money. We all know that is not the case. I am sick and tired of the government playing the moral face, and acting like people are stupid.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Security Measures At The Mall

Since I visit the Mecca Mall often, I started observing the security procedures and concluded that they were crap; I was able to identify at least ten ways in which one could get a gun or even explosive devices into the mall.

I am not sure why, but it looks like the government is still relying on intelligence sources and not doing much auditing of the security procedures at the malls and other public areas that could be targets for terror attacks.

I mean they should have learned by now from 09/11 of last year.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lady In The Water

On the recommendation of my friend Alaa, I went with him to see the movie " Lady In The Water."

This turned out to be a great movie from the thriller/fantasy genre. The acting of Paul Giamatti, was excellent to say the least. The thriller aspects of this movie reminded me a lot of the movie "Identity". None of the characters know their role in the greater scheme of things and in the first round they all figure it out incorrectly. The plot is somewhat multi-layered and complex and it is very nice watching it unfold.

After watching the movie, I decided to see on the internet how well the movie did. I found out that it did not do so well in the US box office largely because of bad reviews by the critics in the pre-release period. This confirms my hypothesis from my earlier blog posts regarding the critics not knowing their asses from their elbows.

The critics had a large problem with the director/writer making a cameo appearance in the movie. I say to them:" I fart in your general direction." I think most directors would like to make a cameo appearance in at least one of their movies. And the fact that the director did just that, does not take anything away from the greatness of this movie.

I am not sure what sort of of stuff they teach in movie critics school, but judging by the crap that comes out of critics' mouths, I would say it is no good.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rihani @ The Mall

The other day, I went with my friend Alaa' to Mecca mall and tried out Rihani. Well, we actually sat at Sen5es, but because their menu was not ready yet we had to order from it's sister restaurant Rihani.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the food was very good and not too expensive. We got 4-5 big appetizers, a soup, a soda, and a whole grilled chicken for 17JDs including tax. So basically for 2 people, expect to pay 15-21 JDs for very good quality Lebanese food.


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