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Big explosions, large columns of smoke, closed military zones... if you've paid a visit to Jerash and you've noticed all this, don't worry, I can assure you that there are no terrorist attacks, no real blasts, and everyone is okay... well, it's all fiction! It seems that Jerash in the last two weeks attracted major Hollywood producers; in fact, the city is hosting cameras, actors and (perhaps) a popular awarded director…
Rumors say that a major production firm is filming here in Jerash, most Jerashis say that the movie is about the war in Iraq (I've heard more specifically about Fallujah), however the police and the authorities do not permit anyone to come near the set, so I haven't seen any concrete thing and unfortunately I can't take any picture for this blog :(
They are still shooting (they started April 14), making a big confusion in the city, until now we have roads closed and a lot of policemen in the zone (in addition to the explosions). Anyway, it's worth it if we can have Jerash featured on the silver screen... I mean implicitly featured since it's supposed to be in Iraq, I don't know...is Jerash so similar to Fallujah?!
A little search on the net reveals the only movie now being filmed in Jordan is Redacted, a mixture of war stories about U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq, focusing on the modern forms of media covering the conflict with particular attention on blogs and web reporting.
Movieweb says that "[the film is] based on the recent events surrounding the rape and murder of a 14-year old Iraqi girl, and the killing of three of her family members by four US soldiers. The soldiers were sleep-deprived and living on energy drinks and sleeping pills in a situation where anyone outside the fence was considered the enemy. The killings have been the most provocative in a series of war crimes that have tarnished the reputation of US armed forces in Iraq".?
The movie is directed by Brian De Palma (wow) and produced by HDNET films, will be shot on high definition and released simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD and on TV; the release is scheduled for fall 2008.
Brian DePalma is the director of Mission to Mars, Mission:Impossible, Scarface and Carlito's Way. The cast includes some not so-famous actors as Ty Jones (he is blogging about his experiences in Jordan), Patrick Caroll and Paul O'Brien.
A photo exhibition entitled 'Harmonious China: Aspirations and Dreams' was held last Wednesday in my university and was opened by our president and the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Gong Xiao Sheng.
On the way to the exhibition hall, I was discussing with some friends what exactly the word 'harmonious' in the name of the exhibition means, if it was necessary to include such a term and most important what was the goal of that word. (The Arabic translation was not so clear; this made us opening such unnecessary debate) After half an hour we have reached the hall, there were more than a hundred students waiting in the narrow corridor the reaching of the ambassador, we were really shocked for how many people were there to attend the official opening ceremony, unfortunately, after we have seen that the crowds were even increasing and other students were arriving we decided to delay our visit to Thursday.
When you enter the exhibition a giant photo of Mount Qomolangma stays majestically in front of you, Qomolangma is one of the most impressive peaks of the Himalayan Mountain Range, and its picture was grandly covering the entire left-side wall, aside of this picture the official logo of the exhibition built up from English, Arabic and Chinese scripts. Similar graphics representing Chinese sayings and proverbs were present in different parts of the room.
The visitor is then guided to have a detailed look of the ancient civilizations that made up historical China; in this section you will see old temples, magnificent buildings and ancient ruins, these images are gently faded to pictorial expressions of the grandness of Chinese culture, traditions and folklore, the ancient legends and myths are proudly inherited by modern people, who are fine custodians of these traditions.
Modern China splits out suddenly… today's families, customs, habits are surrounded by technology and modernity, an evidence of China's economic power.
The Chinese way-of-life, the faces and the expressions of the society all materialized in these artistic photos. Good feelings are hold until the end of exhibition, when you become understanding that photos are not chosen at random, nor the proverbs, nor the name of the exhibition. Man and land, religion and atheism, technology and traditions… yes, they are conflicting but they harmoniously compose together a modern country, a great civility named China.
(Well, I'm not the only one who had enjoyed the exhibition; I was constricted to wait nearly 10 minutes before I had access to the guestbook)
Well it seems that there are students in Jordan that have discovered the university fees are too high, or to be more precise, everybody knows fees are too high, they finally expressed that.
My own respect to those students that demonstrated yesterday outside parliament, I don't know how many were you, but yesterday you expressed a great form of courage, a bravery you will not find in the majority of Jordanians, who even if they are extremely poor and completely conscious of how much we pay for a fundamental right that by definition is gratis, they have not manifested with you in front of our sleeping parliamentarians and have not raised banners against our government, no... I don't mean that Jordanians are cowards, I can't never think such a thing, we know what is just and what is not, and so we know we must demand our rights, but, when you think that such a move will get you in trouble for the rest of your life, when your future is determined by how much 'loyal' you are and when your job opportunities are determined by a paper of the Secret Service, you will be sure that few people raise their voices... they stay like you; with a tape that covers their mouth, but a virtual one... they go into hiding, they try to escape from the Governor's enactments that in the age of quasi-fascist laws determine if you can use your mouth, when and how much you can open it...
Yesterday you have not paid heed to what the Governor ordered, I do not know police have paid attention to what you did, I do not know the government itself will give a response to what you asked, in these times I doubt our nearsighted powerbrokers have even heard about your demonstration, but in these times, in which no one hears and no one speaks you have broken at least that obscure silence...
Mr. A Adailah, president of Information and Media Department in the Royal Hashemite Court told PETRA that what some Israeli newspapers reported as comments attributed to King Abdullah were totally untrue.
Adailah said that some Israeli newspapers published some comments wrongly attributed to King Abdullah, these opinions were supposed to have been expressed during the meeting with the speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Dalia Itzik last Thursday.
"The words Haaretz reported have never been said by His Majesty", Adailah said and added, "These statements were amplified by some media, that was a clear offense to Jordan, its leadership and the Jordanian efforts to gain the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people including the establishment of an independent state".
The Royal Court affirmed that a future visit of the King to Israel is possible, an invitation was sent by Israeli PM, but no date for this visit was confirmed.
Adailah also said that HM explicitly said the return of Palestinian refugees to their land and some financial compensation together are a solution to refugees problem that should be solved with the participation of both sides (Israel-Palestine). The Court also expressed that the same enemy Jordan and Israel share is fundamentalism, and not Iran as Haaretz supposed.
First they've done it with Opeth and Anathema, now with local and Lebanese bands in Rock Grip II, It seems the guys of the Da'ira are working very well to prohibit any possible clustering of metallers, so if you think national security is threatened by Al-Qaeda or Zarqawi, then you are an idiot for sure, the real threat for Jordan is Iron Maiden and James Hetfield! Yeah we must fight these Satanists that are trying to deviate young Jordanians from the right path... The worst thing is that there are jackasses who believe in these silly things !
Good Questions: Will we become a normal country within 100 years or we remain in arrears for the rest of our lives? Is it possible to show a rock concert fully permitted by our f*cking government and preferably without the presence of plain-clothes police officers that ask you a lot of stupid questions like "to what organization you belong?" or "are you Satanist?". What the hell we have to do for listening to some music different from that of Wael Kfoury ?
Why the gentle mo5abarat banned this concert? Why we're so backward? There are many things in this country that make me angry but this is on the top of the list, no for real I'm asking myself WHY ???
And to piss you off again these are some (old) pictures you'll like to see >:(
I'm sure you've already watched this video... if you haven't, you must watch it to discover what the easter bunny is doing the other 364 days of the year... sincerely, I become to have nightmares about it...
My mom always reproaches me for staying more than three hours in front of PC and she scold me if I'm not at more than two meters from TV. Well, now she can be happy to read this post...
A recent article says that playing action video games for a few hours will improve the vision by nearly 20%. The study was published by Dr. Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences - University of Rochester, he had tested with a graduate student a large number of college students who had not played any video game in the last year, after that these students were given an optical test (similar to those of any eye clinic) and were divided int two groups: action-game players, those who had played shoot-'em-up action games for an hour a day, and the other group that played less visual complex games.
After this study the students were tested and it was found that those who played the action game had better results. Bavelier said that "Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information" and he added that this findings could help patients with several types of visual defects. [Source]
Today I've found another site on the net, it contains some interesting eye-miths including the silly sayings that "eating carrots can improve vision" or "reading in the dark will damage your eyes", however it finally proved that sitting too close to the TV is not bad for eyes! The site says that:
Modern TVs do not emit harmful radiation, so eye damage due to radiation is also not an issue. As with sitting too close to the television, you may get a headache from reading in the dark, but it will not weaken your sight.
Regarding computers, a lot of sites talk about the Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), about.com has two pages dedicated to the syndrome, an article of Cathy Wong describes CVS as a common problem (this syndrome is about 40 times more common than carpal tunnel syndrome, another health condition affecting computer users). The other article shows possible links between computer use and Glaucoma, however it clearly says that there's no strong proof of that.