An evidence-based approached to airport security

It seems that Beirut International Airport has a refreshingly evidence-based approach to flight security. When standing in line for the second security checkpoint (the one between the duty free area and the actual boarding gates) the security guards produced a half liter metal can from the backpack of the passenger two persons ahead in our line. When he failed to get the lid open with his hands, the teenager directly in front of us handed the security guard a pair of scissors, which he used to o…

From the comments (i am not a audio equipment salesperson)

Apparently there is a number of confused people reading this blog and checking my flicker account (or it some clever new form of comment spam that i am failing to understand). in any case these people seem to be (a) interested in audio equipment and (b) confusing me with the persons pictured in photos i have taken: Two weeks ago a certain Williams Robert from ‘Ghana West African’ left the following comment on a post containing this picture: Sir, Please let us know if you have any of these models…

Déjà vu

Had a bit of a bad feeling when i was reading that nat was going back to Beirut for some festival and that there would be a general strike in Beirut on the 7th of may. Turns out that my bad feelings were justified. Nat is (or at least was, the last thing i had heard from her was that the germans where bringing her to Damascus) once again stuck in cairo, and mazen is drawing again. & for some fucked up reason these things always correspond with nice weather in Amsterdam.…

Islam @ the movies

So the big non-news of last week has been the release of the long anticipated ‘anti-islam’ movie ‘fitna‘ by the dutch clown/politican Geert Wilders. not only was he too stupid to release the movie via bittorrent (which would have scaled with demand much better & allowed for better quality) he also actually confirmed what i had always assumed, namely that he is too stupid to make a proper film: ‘fitna’ is not much more than an amateurish powerpoint show that shows that wilders has absolutely…

Dennis for President (of the US of A)

Most people probably have never heard about Dennis Kucinich who seems to be running for the Democratic party’s ticket to run for President of the United States of America. However it seems that he is the favorite candidate of my much respected left-wing friends in the US (or at least some of them). Not sure if he really makes a chance but he sure is special. If you believe his website he is some modern day jesus, only better: In Lebanon, Dennis and Elizabeth also spent time walking through destr…

Wearing clown's hats in Beaufort castle

Finally managed to source a copy of Beaufort (בופור) with english subtitles yesterday. Had been waiting to find a version that i could understand for a while and it was definitely worth the wait. Beaufort tells the story of the last IDF unit occupying Beaufort castle in Southern Lebanon in the days before the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon in the spring of 2000. It is one of the most impressive war movies i have seen in a while, also because it is the only war movie that i remember that does…

Hezbollah snoop doggy dog mashup

Bech over at remakz shares a rather amuzing metadata conflict involving Hezbollah and Snoop Doggy Dog: from the anecdote file where we find the joys of being a researcher on Hizbullah Buy one of the many cds of Hizbullah ‘chants’ (anashid). For example, the volume 12 of Firkat el Asra’, Al Moqawama wal Tahrir. Open it, and rip the cd on Windows media player. The software checks for titles through its search engine. When you get back to your computer you find copied to your hard drive: Artist: Sn…

EU also sponsors trash bins

I had noticed the questionable priorities of the EUs ‘reconstruction’ efforts in south lebanon when I was down there in January. Now bech over at remarkz confirms (the rest of his post is pretty interesting as well) that there indeed some unusually incompetent people at work for the EU in south Lebanon: not only do they waste their money on street lighting, they also seem to sponsor all the trash bins: The Iranians make themselves visible all right from billboards in villages they financed recon…

People are not going out anymore so they are staying home looking in the mirror...

Have missed this when i was in lebanon in april, but nat pointed this out the other night. the first national bank of lebanon has launched a plastic surgery loan programme (‘Beauty is no longer a luxury….’): the BBC is reporting that this whole thing is a reaction to the tense political situation in Lebanon: “We like to look our best… There are people who see this loan as their life raft,” Mr Nasr said. Local media say the tense political climate and fears of another devastating war with Is…

The war is over...

… and everybody is talking about the next war. seems to somehow involve iran, the US, israel, the valet parkers, Syria and Lebanon, but there is neither real agreement about the constellation nor does anyone come up with a credible motivation for someone to attack the others or the other way around (except maybe for the US to attack Iran). Meanwhile last summer war has once again (see here for last years favorite ad) been picked up by the advertising industry, this time in the form of an billboa…