Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

This is one of the most "interesting" photo-blogs I have seen of late. The blogger is "annoyed" with what she perceives as the "overuse" of quotation marks, and had decided to "name and shame" (that last one was legit). Some are "groansome". Some are "funny". Some are simply "jaw-dropping". Enjoy "surfing" this one!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Israel and Lebanon Double-Dip the Hummus


Aah, hummus. What would I do without it? In cans, in trays or in the typical brown-and-beige dipping bowls at Leb cafes. Chilled on toast, warm with quboos, slathered over this, scooped in that. A drop of olive oil, a sprinkling of lemon juice ... oh, the explosion of flavors.

And the Israelis are probably more crazy about it than I am. Having taken to it like Britons to curry, they scarf it down for nourishment, comfort and pretty much any excuse. They eat,  extol, and export it almost to the extent that some outside the Arab world might come to think it as no longer vaguely "Middle Eastern", but fundamentally Israeli.

And that really bothers the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, who have declared a cultural war against Israeli hummus dealers (Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war anyway), on the somewhat tenuous claim that hummus is their original heritage. Existing concepts like EU protected geographical status given to other foods like feta cheese, champagne, and parmesan have emboldened them, and they are now planning to sue Israel to stop marketing hummus, falafel and other dishes considered traditional Lebanese cuisine (or traditional Arab cuisine - they seem to be happy to let other Arabs take the credit, as long as it's not Israel).

Here's why it's a tough one. Hummus is not named after any particular place, like Provolone or Roquefort. While it is clearly not an Israeli-origin dish, the fact remains that it is not purely Lebanese. And we can't define a protected origin by what something is not. In this culturally globalized age, education and enterprise are anyway more effective and less embarrassing than protectionism. It's not like Israelis claim that hummus is solely theirs anyway. The more mature (and more economically stimulating) course of action would be for the Lebanese businesspeople, government and citizens to work for the development of a national hummus agro-industrial complex and push Israel out of the hummus market by simply making it more and better than the Israelis.

I would wish them the best on that venture. While they are at it it, I hope they figure out how to get mutabbal into a can as well. Now that would really be the scoop.

UPDATE: Oh, and incidentally, the neighborhood grocery took the words right out of my mouth today, when I found out theyactually do stock canned mutabbal/baba-ghanouj. Awesome!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Husband Store

Husband Store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman
may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a
description of how the store operates:


You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of
the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may
choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next
floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!


So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor
the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'

So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth f loor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and
Help With Housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with
Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this
floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to
please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.


To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store
just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Friday, October 3, 2008

YouTube Blasphemy is a "Human Rights Violation"


‘YouTube’ must erase anti-Islam material: KHRS

KUWAIT CITY : Kuwait Human Rights Society (KHRS) Chairman Dr Adel Al-Damkhi has asked the government to put pressure on the officials of ‘YouTube’ — a video sharing website — to delete all derogatory statements about Islam and Muslims from the site, reports Al-Seyassah. Urging the authorities to take the necessary legal action in case the website fails to erase the statements, Al-Damkhi stressed “uttering profanities against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the worst form of human rights violation in the world. Attacks on the values and tenets of Islam are extremely dangerous and unacceptable.”
Al-Damkhi pointed out the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) strongly condemns attacks on the holy prophets and religions. He confirmed KHRS recognizes the importance of freedom of conducting scientific research, exchange of information, and significance of the latest technologies and media on human lives, but it is against how ‘YouTube’ depicts Islam. He said this is an outright violation of the human rights of millions of Muslims all over the world.

Not only is it a human rights violation, it is "the worst form of human rights violation in the world". Nice to know someone got their priorities straight. And all this time, we were worried about trivial issues like sexual slavery and religious oppression.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

David Cook's Always Be My Baby

One of my favorite Mariah Carey songs, as an outstandingly powerful and soulfelt rendition by American Idol 7th season winner David Cook (a win he clearly deserves).