Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 25th, 2015

Why “X” is to be the Unknown?

Question: Why is it that the letter X represents the unknown?

I have the answer to this question that we’ve all asked

Now I know we learned that in math class, but now it’s everywhere in the culture — The X prize, the X-Files, Project X, TEDx. Where’d that come from?

Terry Moore this Feb. 2012

0:34 About six years ago I decided that I would learn Arabic, which turns out to be a supremely logical language.

To write a word or a phrase or a sentence in Arabic is like crafting an equation, because every part is extremely precise and carries a lot of information.

That’s one of the reasons so much of what we’ve come to think of as Western science and mathematics and engineering was really worked out in the first few centuries of the Common Era by the Persians and the Arabs and the Turks.

This includes the little system in Arabic called al-jebra (An Arabic mathematician). And al-jebr roughly translates to the system for reconciling disparate parts.”

Al-jebr finally came into English as algebra. One example among many.

The Arabic texts containing this mathematical wisdom finally made their way to Europe — which is to say Spain — in the 11th and 12th centuries. And when they arrived there was tremendous interest in translating this wisdom into a European language.

But there were problems.

One problem is there are some sounds in Arabic that just don’t make it through a European voice box without lots of practice. Trust me on that one.

Also, those very sounds tend not to be represented by the characters that are available in European languages.

Here’s one of the culprits.

This is the letter SHeen, and it makes the sound we think of as SH — “sh.” It’s also the very first letter of the word shalan, which means “something” some undefined, unknown thing.

Now in Arabic, we can make this definite by adding the definite article “al.” So this is al-shalan — the unknown thing. And this is a word that appears throughout early mathematics, such as this 10th century derivation of proofs.

The problem for the Medieval Spanish scholars who were tasked with translating this material is that the letter SHeen and the word shalan can’t be rendered into Spanish because Spanish doesn’t have that SH, that “sh” sound.

So by convention, they created a rule in which they borrowed the CK sound, “ck” sound, from the classical Greek in the form of the letter Kai.

Later when this material was translated into a common European language, which is to say Latin, they simply replaced the Greek Kai with the Latin X.

And once that happened, once this material was in Latin, it formed the basis for mathematics textbooks for almost 600 years.

But now we have the answer to our question. Why is it that X is the unknown?

X is the unknown because you can’t say “sh” in Spanish. (Laughter) And I thought that was worth sharing.

Is our garbage crisis simply a waste management problem?

Are Politics Not the major factor in this catastrophe and the remaining major shortcomings?

If the garbage crisis is simply a waste management problem, why is it recurring?

If the garbage crisis is simply a waste management problem, why all our public facilities are run on catastrophic short-term solutions?

Why over $20 billion have been siphoned on our public electricity in the last 20 years and still relying on private providers, when $4 billion would have provided us 24/24?

Why we lack potable water at home?

Ziad Abi Chaker posted

I said it before and will keep on saying it until they finally listen

We don’t have a waste problem we have a management problem

Hopefully I will showcase very soon the first ever ZERO WASTE Municipal Recycling Facilty not just in Lebanon but in the middle east as well.

PS: for all those betting on the failure of the current recycling plans to adopt incineration as the last resort for the waste problem…

Dream on buddies

I promise you we will keep nothing for you to burn while giving Lebanese industries more raw materials to create more value for our local economy… فرص النفايات


Blocking Downtown Beirut From The People

This Is The True #AbouRakhousa objective

This Is Unacceptable

The Lebanese Government has no idea what it’s doing. If you thought it had an inkling before, be certain now that it’s essentially an establishment that only functions on reflexes

Their latest reflex is blocking Downtown Beirut at its main entrance near Le Grey in order to prevent entry to protests to those streets to which not only should they be allowed access, but to which they have a fundamental right.

September 22, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, our government build a big concrete wall near Riyad el Solh square to block protests from having a 1% access – even less – to the Grand Serail.

The Beirut Wall lasted 24 hours at the time before it was brought down.

Every single minister declared that the wall in question was not their doing. Yeah, right. One thing became clear, however, that wall – as irrelevant a barricade as it was – signaled the massive divide between governance and people.

Any political system that wants to self-sustain should not be afraid of its people.

It should be from the people, to the people. Our government is squarely against us.

They beat us, they humiliate us, they rob us of our fundamental rights and still have the audacity to play victim.

That concrete wall was then replaced by massive barbed wires, which are now adorned will all kinds of slogans berating those hiding themselves behind such barricades, cowering away from the people demanding they be held accountable. But even that slide.

On Sunday, the #YouStink movement held a march with several thousand people all the way to Downtown Beirut, at the gates of Nejmeh Square.

The march was to demand access to parliament, to demand fair elections to try and replace the current governing body we have (or so I think).

The protestors were met with riot police adamant about not letting them pass.

(The militia leader Nabih Berry is chairman of the Parliament for 30 years and claims that he is safeguarding his dignity)

The entrance to Nejmeh Square was barricaded, of course, and it still is until this day.

Our government, however, decided to take this a step further yesterday night and block the entirety of Downtown Beirut from all kinds of people, protestors or not, by erecting concrete blocks at its main entrance, near Annahar – Michelle Tueini should be happy – and Le Grey – Nicolas Chammas would be happy too.

Check out the pictures via Abir Ghattas:

A few days ago, Nicolas Chammas – the head of Beirut’s commerce syndicate – was “worried” that the protests taking place in Downtown Beirut now at the hand of protestors he called were “communists,” because clearly only leftists and communists would have an issue with the current establishment, were turning his beloved Downtown area into a cheap market which he dubbed “Abou Rakhoussa.” (Cheap people for poor people)

Little does Mr. Chammas know  that in its current form Downtown Beirut is not only “abou rakhoussa,” it’s cheaper than cheap. As the Lebanese popular saying goes: “bteswa franc b iyyem l ghala”  (worth less than a dollar in utter expensive period. Designed to attract wealthy Gulf Emirs)

And no amount of Hermes, Chanel, Aïshti shops and fancy hotels or restaurants can change that.

They wonder why Downtown Beirut is not popular with the Lebanese populace.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the average Lebanese income is nowhere near the one needed for minimum purchase power there?

Or that the area was built by raping the property of common Lebanese folk who were not able to challenge the system back then to give them their right?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that there’s a security zone every other meter there, or that there’s someone in it that feels threatened every single waking moment of their life so they feel the necessity to draw endless perimeters around their holy being to stay safe from people who just want to have a good time?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the entire area is not meant for us but for tourists who are not even coming here anymore because they have much nicer places to go to elsewhere?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that cheapness is not a measure of how cheap the area is, but how lifeless, dead, horrifying, without charm and character an area actually is?

Downtown Beirut fits those to the letter.

That new barricade they built at its main entrance to keep us out is a disgrace.

They want Downtown Beirut to remain their area, the place where they feel exclusive, the place where they can sit and chastise the average Lebanese about not being “western” enough to care about fancy facades and empty cores, the place where they can make sure the average Lebanese they fear always feels excluded, not-belonging, ostracized and shut out.

Nejmeh square is not a property of our politicians. The Grand Serail area is not a property of our politicians. None of the streets in Downtown are their property, but they sure act like it all the time. Beirut is not their city alone; it’s also ours. They’ve robbed it and claimed it enough.

I’d like to see them running tourist-attracting ads now. Come to Beirut, see our state of the art walls and empty streets. We promise you’ll love it; no Lebanese are allowed here.

There’s nothing more disgraceful and despicable than a government that thinks it’s more important than its own people.  You see that barricade they’re building to keep us – the people – out of their exclusive area? It’s not keeping us out, it’s locking them in.

This is the real Abou Rakhousa: an area worth billions, but is being rendered uninhabitable, foreign with total shutting out of anything and everything Lebanese.

The area’s worth is not its buildings and empty streets, but the people. Without us, your billion dollar projects are worth nothing.

This is apartheid, Lebanon-style.

Urgent. Someone pass the lexotanil pills to Nicolas Chammas.

Ronald Reagan’s Legacy? You mean on Taxes or crazy capitalism?

“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert confronted GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz over the legacy of Ronald Reagan on Monday night, pointing out that the former president was less conservative than Cruz as others often suggest.

Reagan raised taxes. Reagan actually had an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Neither of those things would allow Reagan to be nominated today,” Colbert said, drawing cheers from his audience.

“So to what level can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan?”

When Cruz deflected, Colbert pressed him on the specifics.

“Raising taxes and amnesty for illegal immigrants,” Colbert said. “Could you agree with Reagan on those two things?”

“No, of course not,” the senator from Texas admitted, but added that Reagan signed the largest tax cut in history.

Colbert didn’t let up.

“But when conditions changed in the country, he reversed his world’s largest tax cut and raised taxes when revenues did not match the expectations, so it’s a matter of compromising,” Colbert said.

“Will you be willing to compromise with the other side?”

Cruz never directly answered the question; instead he talked about running to “live within our means, stop bankrupting our kids and grandkids and follow the Constitution.

“And no gay marriage,” Colbert said.

Marriage should be left to the states to decide, Cruz replied.

At another point in the interview, Cruz said a voter in South Carolina had told him that she voted for Barack Obama in 2008, stayed home in 2012 and wanted to vote for Cruz in 2016.

“Does she have a name? Does this person have a name?” Colbert joked, turning over his notes and getting his pen ready as if he were going to write it down. “I just want to fact-check that one maybe a little bit later.”

Despite the disagreements, the tone of the discussion was civil and even friendly, and Colbert stood up for Cruz when some in the audience began to boo during the discussion of gay marriage.

“Guys, however you feel, he’s my guest, so please don’t boo him,” Colbert said.

Colbert will interview GOP frontrunner Donald Trump on Tuesday night. Stay tuned.

Fabio Sorano shared this link

If you didn’t watch this last night, you really should.

I knew colbert would bring something very different to late night.

I haven’t seen anyone call out bullshit with followup questions like this since Tim Russert on Meet the Press.

“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert confronted GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz over the legacy of Ronald Reagan on Monday night, pointing out that the former…




September 2015

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