Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 16th, 2013

Varied ways of explaining Shit and its effects...

Via @[271701606246002:274:Truth Network]
I have my own set:
1. The best memorable instant in the day is an abundant load excreted. This euphoric feeling last for hours, and I don’t mind dying during that period: I have done my job.
2. Nothing can save you from feeling sick but a big satisfying shit that relieves your stinky bowel, plagued with microbes…
3. The best remedy to many ailments is your own decanted diluted shit that is injected back into your anus…
4. Mankind shit is as good as cow, chicken and goat manure

Lebanon’s forgotten space program

During the 1960s, the US and the Soviet Union competed for supremacy in space. But there was another contestant in the race – the Lebanese Rocket Society, a science club from an Armenian university in Beirut, Haigazian College, and the subject of a recently released film.

“My vision was to explore space – Lebanon could have done that.” Manoug Manougian‘s boast may sound unlikely, but 50 years ago he and a group of students found themselves as space pioneers of the Arab world. Despite a shoestring budget, they developed a rocket capable of reaching the edge of space. Richard Hooper on the BBC World Service posted this November 14, 2013

Students stand in front of the Cedar III rocket in 1962
“Here was tiny Lebanon, able to do what the rest of the Arab world hadn’t done,” Manougian says. “We were young kids, in our early 20s, doing something incredible.”
Rocket launch by the Lebanese Rocket Society
Early rockets were built from cardboard and bits of pipe
Manougian’s passion for space began as a boy in the 1940s growing up in Jericho in the West Bank. Inspired by Jules Verne novels, he would climb the nearby Mount of Temptation and gaze at the night sky. At school he carved rockets onto his desk. A maths and physics degree from the University of Texas in the pocket, Manougian returned to Lebanon for a teaching post at Beirut’s small Haigazian College at the age of 25.
In November 1960, and in an attempt to drum up numbers, he renamed the science club the Haigazian College Rocket Society. “To my surprise a number of students decided to join. I had no finances and there was little support for something like this. But I figured I could dip into my meager salary and convince my wife that I could buy what I needed for the experiments.”

Students prepare chemicals
Students were tasked with preparing chemicals for the rocket propellant
Everything for the project had to be built from scratch. Prototype rockets were made from cardboard and bits of pipe, and were tested on a farm in the mountains above Beirut. “The college came to watch one of the first launches. As soon as ignition took place, the rocket – which was hanging on a very primitive launcher – fell backwards and went up the mountain and landed outside a church.” Manougian and his team of 7 students refined their designs and rocket launches grew more ambitious. Each student was assigned a different aspect of the rocket and by April 1961 it could reach an altitude of 1,000 metres.
The next rocket reached 2,000 metres. Word spread and the Lebanese military took an interest. They offered the services of Youssef Wehebe, a young lieutenant specialized in ballistics. “We were told that we needed a safe area to launch from,” says Manougian. “They gave us an old artillery range and provided us with transportation to get up there.”

Rocket is prepared for launch
The rockets were named after the cedar tree, Lebanon’s national emblem
Wehebe was able to source components from France and the US that would otherwise have remained off-limits. He commandeered a military factory to allow the construction of more complex rockets. Manougian, however, still considered the project to be a purely scientific endeavour. “All our launches were attended by the public and the military,” he says. “The military would always ask how far it would go if you were to place such and such a load in the nose cone. “But my response was that this is not a military operation, it’s about teaching students science. That was the mission I had.”

A scientist’s view

Dr Robert Massey is deputy executive secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society Until the 1980s people thought that space launches were almost exclusively prestige projects for the two superpowers. The forgotten Lebanese programme is inspiring and of course tragic, in that the country fostered such amazing talent and then saw so much lost in the civil war. Lebanese scientists saw their rockets cross the internationally agreed space boundary – the Karman line which is 100 km above the surface of the Earth – so it might only have been a matter of time before they placed a satellite in orbit. Had they done so, it would have been a remarkable achievement for what was a semi-amateur project using the meagre resources of a small country.

By now the Haigazian College Rocket Society had become a source of national pride. Manougian was invited to a reception held by President Chehab to be told that the Ministry of Education would provide limited funding for 1962 and 1963.

It was renamed the Lebanese Rocket Society and the national emblem was adopted for its Cedar rocket programme. Lebanon had joined the space race – albeit running in the slow lane. “We were launching three-stage rockets,” says Manougian. “They were no longer toys and could go way beyond the borders. We could reach the thermosphere. “One time I received a call from the president’s office asking us to make sure we weren’t getting too close to Cyprus,” says Manougian. “So we moved slightly south which was a concern because then we were getting near Israel.”

The Cedar IV launched in 1963 was so successful that it was commemorated on a stamp. It reached a height of 90 miles (145 km), putting it close to the altitude of satellites in low-earth orbit. But unbeknownst to Manougian, the Lebanese military had other plans for his society. They had already formed a committee to decide how the rockets could be adapted to carry a weapon – Youssef Wehebe was acting as their man on the inside. Manougian, though, was dreaming of a very different kind of payload.

Rocket launches
The Lebanese military soon realized the rockets could be used as a weapon
“It was at the time the Soviets and Americans were launching animals and humans into orbit,” he says. “We’d been training a mouse called Mickey to withstand high acceleration. We thought we’d put him in the nose cone. “I asked my wife if she would make a parachute. She asked, ‘What are you going to bring down?’ I said about the mouse and how we wanted to retrieve it safely. ‘Over my dead body,’ she said. ‘You’re not launching a mouse into space!‘”

Lebanese stamp
Lebanese stamps celebrated the Cedar rocket programme
Mouse or no mouse, Manougian’s little club was regularly front page news in Lebanon. Every launch was accompanied by a glamorous party in Beirut. But as Manougian’s profile grew, so did the level of unwanted attention. He suspected that foreign agents were monitoring his work and found that papers in his office were being disturbed overnight. Other Arab countries were keen to use his skills for their own weapons programmes. “I was offered the moon in terms of money and support – a mansion to live in and a lab of my own design,” he says of one particular offer made to him by an unnamed Arab country. “I turned them down.
I realised what the implications would have been as I’m very strongly against violence of any kind.” Manougian was growing concerned at what his project risked turning into. But events that took place in July 1964 whilst he was abroad – periodically he returned to the US to continue his master’s degree – finally convinced him that the society was now out of his control.

Cedar III before launch
Cedar III launched in 1962 had a length of seven metres and weight of 1,250 kg
“One of the propellants was a very powerful chemical,” he says. “It was dangerous to use because any friction would trigger ignition, so I had told the students not to use it.

“There was no supervision during my absence and when I came back I found out that one of the students had decided to prepare a rocket using the propellant.”

In the ensuing fire, a student named Hampar Karaguzian lost an eye and severely burnt his hands. “A second student was outside the lab and went in and saved him,” says Manougian “But he also got burnt – it was a major disaster.” There was to be one final rocket launch for the Lebanese Rocket Society. This too almost ended in tragedy.

In 1966 a rocket was launched into the Mediterranean, seemingly a safe distance from Cyprus. But the trajectory took it straight towards a British naval vessel monitoring the launch, and landed just “a few metres” short. “It was time to leave,” he says. “For me, it had always just been about encouraging the students.” Manougian was warned by friends at the US embassy – “they were called cultural attaches but we knew they were CIA” – that another confrontation with Israel was near.
By the time of the Six Day War in 1967, Manougian was back in the US where he stayed for the rest of his academic career.

Rocket is prepared for launch
The launch site in Dbayeh overlooked the Mediterranean
Memories of the Lebanese Rocket Society quickly faded and archive material was lost during the country’s civil war. Many of the students left to work overseas. It has only been since the release of a documentary film of the same name that interest in Manougian’s exploits has been revived and today he is keen that history notes the small part Lebanon played in the space race.
“I believe the rocket society encouraged students to pursue science and from that point of view it was a success,” he says. “Would I have liked to reach the moon? Being realistic, I could not have done anymore – Lebanon didn’t have the finances. But they could have pursued science and space exploration. They could have put satellites in orbit.
“Yes, it was a tiny country, but Lebanon could have done it.”

Manoug Manougian

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Nostalgia is “Who we are”

Kinds of Nostalgia: Happy, sad, indicible, inexpressible, neutral…...

Do you think that the term nostalgia applies to elderly people who can only recall the earliest events?

Do you think that the term nostalgia applies to memories you want to absolutely forget? Is it possible anyway for forget “criminal” memories, real or imaginary, impressed in your consciousness?

Does it apply to people in “perpetual state of nostalgia” because they are unable to fit in any environment?

Do you think that the term nostalgia applies to dreams?

I so often dream of far away locations and people, and decades old. And I am walking and biking in streets of towns I live in for years. My brain edit my memories and adds hills and slopes to flat towns. And I take references from restaurants, churches, monuments, shopping centers.. in order to reach my apartment as night fall.

And I am hurrying to an apartment that I cannot recall which one I rented the last… As if I don’t remember where I parked my car, my bike, my brain… And I am selecting the friend I should sleep in, until my cloudy brain re-orients properly.

And I wonder: “What triggered this “nostalgic dream“? Have I heard, read or seen any piece of intelligence during the day that excited these old memories?”

First we feel nostalgia, and we don’t know the source of this feeling. We wrack our brain to track down the cause for our nostalgia, and whatever we discover is fundamentally a false alarm cause.

You have to be imaginative to allow your subconscious to guide you and let go.

You have got to remember that a whiff, a touch, a taste can generate so many nostalgic emotions that reason is helpless in that domain…

Usually, the voice expresses the types of nostalgia we are feeling, though it is the smell and taste that generate the most powerful of nostalgia, buried deep in our primitive memory.

That is why the types of food cooked in the kitchen invariably excite our nostalgia.

That is why people say that culture is fundamentally rooted in the kitchen and what it produces: The palate and smell are king.

In Japan, the closest to Nostalgia is Natsukashii, or Happy Nostalgia as opposed to the regular Sad Nostalgia in the western culture.

Natsukashii expresses the recollection of sweet events and soft feeling in our memories?

Do you think there are happy nostalgia once you decide or know for sure that you will never connect with this person or return to a particular location?

Is nostalgia referring to habits we are forced to substitute with other habits in a different setting of civilization? And it is hard not to feel sad and depressed for habits we had to forego, bad or good habits.

For example: “It is not the wine that I long for: It is the state of inebriation and its consequent behavior that bring out my true nature...”

In general, people say: “I am nostalgic to my hometown, my family, the childhood gathering, the traditional meals…”

Basically, it is not our conscious memories that generate a nostalgic feeling, but our unconscious reactions to the senses…

When you state in a gathering: “I am nostalgic to…”, probably this is a false-alarm nostalgia: Real nostalgia comes as a surprise and grab you, and not from the overloaded visual or auditory senses.

After a session of nostalgia, I feel a void, and I am in the present moment, and words don’t touch me and have no meanings.

Why do I link nostalgia with nights? Is it because it starts with N? Or it is at night, as the bombardment of external stimuli are minimal, that the lymbic senses take over in our brain?

Nostalgia is “Who we are”. If we attend seriously to our bout of nostalgia, we learn better  than any other medium of who we are and try to cherish these surprising opportunities. Otherwise,

Nostalgia could be the main reminder of the passing of time, irreversible, indomitable

Nostalgia might be the best reminder of opportunities and occasions we missed and failed to attend to, while we had the energy and endurance to process...

Definitely, nostalgia is associated with sadness, of missed opportunities, missed connections, missed chances to change




November 2013

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