Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 22nd, 2016

Day-dream project: Elected community Sex club of the “Compassionate Priestesses and Priests”

This is municipal election period in Lebanon and I am proposing this project as my platform

There are plenty of historical precedents to this oldest of institution, but mine is a tad different and with a moral and healthy twist.

One major difference is that powerful, rich or wealthy clients are excluded to enter this sacrosanct place.

The club is exclusively established to cater for the desires and needs of all the common people who cannot afford to pay for prostitutes or a luxury dinner or think they have a chance to ask for a date, due to the many problems that parents raise to prevent any normal meeting to get to know one another.

The town will receive candidates for the position of priestesses and priests of both sexes of all ages to satisfy the idiosyncrasies of the community members.

Obviously, the candidates should be over 18.

And obviously, the client member conserves his anonymity so that No one knows for sure what is his sexual inclination or sexual fetishism

Obviously, intercourse is Not the main purpose or necessity: There are many ways to provide the hapless person a joyful and hopeful perspective on life.

They can feel comfortable conversing in a private setting, in the nude in due time, reciting poems and learning to woo, compliment, touch, smell, and communicate.

They can learn to feel what arouse them and what give them joy and satisfaction.

If the Club priestess or priest feels the need for having an intercourse, the client can decline without much fuss in consequences.

Physically disgusting clients, and those deemed violent, can be turned down: they are dispatched to higher levels of priesthood council who have more experience in handling these hard cases.

By the way, it is imperative that the club has an aesthetic section, for cases like cutting toe nails, finger nails, removing hairs from ears and noses, epilation, hot bath… in order for the client to be presentable

The director of the club is to check on the weekly work schedule of the priesthood members in order that no privileges are bestowed on particular clients

The comfort of meeting face to face with a willing and compassionate party, in a luxury and tasty place, is worth all the quick  love-making encounters.

Yes, the club should strive to be as luxurious as donations comes: Poor people mostly need to get initiated to luxury.

Like seeing the partners decked in luxury attire, drinking from luxury cups, laying down on fluffy luxury bed and cushions, luxury bathrooms…

The donation box will Not accept more than a modicum price, what amount to the expenses paid going out to bars…

The term is for 2 years and not renewable until an entire term has elapsed: Varieties and excitement are normal behaviour tendencies.

The elected priesthood serve a single client per day, totally dedicated to communicate with the client, and Not to exceed 4 hours: They have their own full-time jobs to earn a living.

This project is tailor-make for me that would make me change my living address in a blink to the preferred town


8 things Arab high school grads go through before university

Every high school senior feels excited and anxious during their last year, but Arab seniors have more reason to be worried than happy.

Graduating Arab students don’t only deal with the usual stress that any senior goes through, they have the added anxiety of making future decisions while being Arab.

Like getting questioned by unknown relatives.


Here are 8 things that every Arab high school senior goes through:

1. Trying to convince your parents of your major


If you’re planning on studying anything besides medicine, engineering or (if you have really progressive parents) law, then may God be with you.

Convincing Arab parents of your major of choice will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.

2. The dilemma of studying abroad

No not gonna happen

You could apply to a university in the United States or Europe, but you secretly hope you don’t get in. Why?

Because there is no way in hell your parents are going to be cool with you going away to study, even if you get a scholarship.

Arab parents want you to stay nearby, and they will guilt you into staying in the country, if not your town.

3. Getting questioned by unknown relatives


We all have those family gatherings where your uncle’s wife’s sister, who you have never met before, begins to analyze your life for you.

If you’re not majoring in something that makes loads of money, this relative – whose name you probably don’t even know – will begin to question your choices and laugh at your decision.

4. Wondering how you’ll ever afford a proper education


If you’re not a genius who got a 90% scholarship, chances are you’re probably taking your pick at what bank to rob by the time you’re 18.

Who do these universities think you are?

Everything is so damn expensive, and that’s just the tuition! Books are a whole other thing, with each class requiring textbooks that will cost you a small fortune.

5. Promising high school friends that you’ll stay in touch


You won’t. You just won’t. Even if you go into the same major in the same university, you and your friends will just lose touch under the pressure of fifty papers due in a week and 84 projects you have to finish in 10 days.

You’ll probably also lose touch with your family, even if you live together.

6. Waiting for acceptance letters is the literal definition of hell


You’ll wake up every day thinking “today is the day!” and be severely disappointed by the absence of any acceptance letters for two months, give or take.

By the third month, you will become so desperate for any kind of letter that you’ll even take a rejection from your university of choice if it means that you’ll know what’s going to happen to you.

7. Trying to get better grades


By the second semester of your senior year, you realize that these grades will determine whether or not you’ll get into a college, and only then, after 15 years of school, do you decide to put actual effort into getting good grades. Good luck!

8. The graduation party


Every family has their own version of this, but ultimately, you receive gifts and congratulations, while you’re left feeling completely anxious and wanting to cry about your future.

Reporters got the story of ‘Seafood from Slaves’

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press expose on slavery in Southeast Asia’s fishing industry, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday, was born of a painstaking investigation by four reporters who documented the harsh treatment of fishermen held captive on a remote island and traced their catch to U.S. supermarkets and restaurants. (About 2,000 of these captive slaves were liberated)

The stories, accompanied by photos and video showing caged men and a man weeping when reunited with the family he hadn’t seen in 22 years, led to the release of more than 2,000 enslaved fishermen and other laborers.

It came with substantial risk to the journalists, while posing thorny questions about how to spotlight the abuse without further endangering the captives.

The series, “Seafood from Slaves,” encompassed reporting across four countries by AP journalists Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza and Esther Htusan. Building on earlier reports of forced labor in Southeast Asia’s fishing industry, they worked for more than a year to delve into the harvesting and processing of inexpensive shrimp and other seafood sold in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Andrew Bossone shared a link

Gathering with staffers in the organization’s New York newsroom Monday, AP President Gary Pruitt and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll praised the energy and hard work required to document the slavery in detail and show how it is used to supply the food on American tables

“It was a tour de force of reporting, and I think that what really stands out about them is their determination Not to stop short until they proved it in every which way,” AP International Editor John Daniszewski said.

It was the AP’s first Pulitzer for public service.

After reporting through much of 2014, McDowell and Htusan traveled to the Indonesian island of Benjina, about 1,900 miles from the country’s capital. The reporters found and talked with men held in a cage and interviewed other enslaved laborers at the town’s port.

Under cover of darkness, they pulled alongside a trawler to film captives describing their plight, before the reporters’ boat was nearly rammed by an angry security guard’s craft.

The laborers, poor men from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, described how they had been lured into captivity, locked up, beaten and forced to work.

They pointed the reporters to a graveyard where more than 60 workers who had died had been buried under false names.

From Benjina, the AP team relied on satellite technology to track a cargo ship carrying the slave-caught seafood to Thailand, where they watched it offloaded and trucked to cold storage plants and factories.

Through interviews, surveillance and shipping records, they tracked the processed seafood to the U.S., eventually pressing suppliers and retailers including Wal-Mart and restaurant chains like Red Lobster about the labor abuses.

The reporters and their editors knew they had an explosive story.

But they wrestled with whether to publish immediately and put the captives at risk, or provide information to authorities and wait until the men were safe, while risking being scooped. They decided on the latter, despite the AP’s longtime emphasis on reporting, not making news.

Their efforts led to the rescue and freedom of hundreds of slaves on the island and aboard ships, as well as crackdowns on Thai shrimp peeling plants staffed by captive laborers as young as 15.

Mason and Htusan traveled to Myanmar to see one of the freed men reunite tearfully with his family after two decades in captivity.

McDowell said the satisfaction of seeing the laborers freed was tempered by the knowledge that many more remain enslaved. But the AP team pursued its reporting in a way that could set the stage for additional reform, she said.

“I think what we intended to do from the beginning was to … bring as much attention to the issue as possible, and that was the reason for linking it to the American dinner table,” she said.

“Governments can put pressure on Thailand, human rights group can put pressure on them, labor rights organizations, but it’s not until the American companies or consumers start demanding change that you start to see change.”

The Indonesian government launched a criminal inquiry soon after AP published. The series, overseen by Mary Rajkumar, AP’s international enterprise editor, also resulted in numerous arrests and seizures of millions of dollars in goods.

The award is the second Pulitzer for Mendoza, who was part of an AP team recognized in 2000 for “The Bridge at No Gun Ri,” about the mass killings of South Korean civilians by U.S. troops at the start of the Korean War.

The AP has now won 52 Pulitzers, including a 2013 award for photographs of the civil war in Syria and a 2012 investigative prize for revealing the New York Police Department’s widespread spying on Muslims.

Note: It would be naïve to believe that Indonesia government had no knowledge on this traffic of slaves

NY Times Correspondent in the Middle East

Ben Hubbard is a New York Times correspondent in the Middle East. He has spent 10 years in the region, studying and reporting for the US newspaper.

During this time he has covered events taking place in the Arab world, particularly the Syrian civil war and its repercussions on the entire region, the rise of armed groups and the influx of immigrants on the Greek island of Lesbos

Andrew Bossone shared this link

“knowing Arabic (the formal, and also the Lebanese and Egyptian dialects?) has made a great difference in what I do, allowing me to do interviews without a translator, to read local newspapers and websites and to become friends with people in Saudi Arabia and other countries whom I would have had a hard time communicating with otherwise.

Knowing the language allows a reporter to access a deeper level of the culture in a way that can greatly inform the reporting.” –Ben Hubbard|By Saudi Research & Marketing (uk) Ltd. Mohammed Al-Shafey

His interview with Asharq Al-Awsat appears below:

Can you please tell our Arab readership a little about yourself?

I am a Beirut-based Middle East correspondent with the New York Times newspaper. I am an American citizen who was raised in Colorado and I studied history, Arabic language and journalism before starting my career.

I have now been living in the Arab world for about 10 years, two as a student in Arabic language at the American University in Cairo and now eight working full-time as a journalist. I have covered a range of countries and stories, including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Libya.

I came to The New York Times from the Associated Press in 2013 and my focus most of the time since then has been on the civil war in Syria and its echoes throughout the region, from the rise of militant groups like the Nusra Front and the Islamic State to the migration crisis on the Greek island of Lesbos.

How did you start your career in journalism?

I wanted to be a writer before I wanted to be a journalist, but I eventually realized that I needed a job and wanted to write for a living, so journalism seemed like the best option.

I had been a big reader since I was young and much of my interest in writing stemmed from wanting to produce writing like that I had always loved reading.

I did a master’s in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and an internship at The Associated Press, which offered me a job. I worked there for five years before moving to The New York Times.

What was the duration of your trip to the Saudi prison?

My first visit to Saudi Arabia was in 2013 and I have been back since around 10 times, getting to know many different types of Saudis and making some good friends. My visits have grown more frequent lately because the changes in the kingdom have led to new interest in Saudi Arabia among our readers.

I am fascinated by the changes taking place in the kingdom because of the economic situation, the regional dynamics and the country’s large youth population.

I am also very curious about the new initiatives being headed by Prince Mohammed bin Salman and I hope to meet him in order to better understand this leader who is trying to address the kingdom’s biggest challenges.

How can you describe your experience at Haer Prison?

I arranged to visit the Haer prison though contacts at the Saudi Interior Ministry, who are proud of the programs there and like to show them off to visitors, including foreign diplomats and journalists. My visit lasted half a day and the assistant to the prison director escorted me through the different sections.

I was able to have a few brief chats with inmates. We visited the prison radio studio (funny) and met a man who did a funny show in which he impersonated accents from different parts of the kingdom. He said he had been arrested years ago for trying to go to Iraq to fight the Americans! And here he was chatting with me and making a comedy show. He said he was glad that he had never made it to Iraq because things had turned out so badly there. Of course, it is always hard to know how much of the story you are getting from a prisoner when the assistant prison director is standing with you…

Do you think this is your best story yet? If not, kindly tell our readers about another prominent story you have managed to cover?

Last year, I took about ten days to travel around Saudi Arabia by myself for a story about tourism in the kingdom. I went to Al-Ula and Madain Saleh (Al-Hijr) and the Farasan Islands, both of which were very beautiful.

I was in the city of Buraida working on another story when some friends took me to the Ghada Festival in Anezah. I found it fascinating to see what a cultural festival looks like in that part of Saudi Arabia and since they apparently don’t have many foreign visitors, I ended up being treated like a celebrity, with Saudi girls trying to take photos of me with their phones.

Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences with any other different language? How has this benefitted your career?

I have studied a number of different languages and used to speak French well, but my focus on learning Arabic, both reading and speaking, has pushed all the other languages out of my head.

But knowing Arabic has made a great difference in what I do, allowing me to do interviews without a translator, to read local newspapers and websites and to become friends with people in Saudi Arabia and other countries whom I would have had a hard time communicating with otherwise. Knowing the language allows a reporter to access a deeper level of the culture in a way that can greatly inform the reporting.

You have reported from many different conflicts and countries and have no doubt witnessed many disturbing things. Do these experiences linger with you or do you forget about them and move on when an assignment is over?

I have spent some time in war zones but I don’t consider myself a war correspondent. Some people focus on conflict; I focused on the Arab world and there happened to be wars there, so I covered them.

I spent some time in Syria with the rebels in Idlib and Aleppo in 2012, which was both fascinating and terrifying. These experiences generally don’t affect me long afterward psychologically, but I do remember coming home to Beirut after being in Syria and looking up nervously at the sound of an airplane, wondering if I had to worry about an airstrike.

Do you have any advice you would like to give Arab journalists in particular?

The rules for doing good work are the same for journalists no matter where you are: work hard, get the facts straight, make an honest effort to understand all sides of an issue and remain skeptical of official narratives.

The difficulty in the Middle East now (and not just in the Arab world) is that the conversation is so polarized that many people only want to hear information that supports their side and will refuse to listen to media that comes from a different perspective.

So instead of informing people about the complexities of issues and the different motivations driving different actors, the media ends up solidifying what many people already believe. That, in my view, makes it harder to build the understanding that could help resolve some of the region’s conflicts.

How do you think the Syrian crisis will end?

Unfortunately, I don’t see many indications that the Syria conflict will end soon. Neither side obviously has the power to win militarily, but they are also clearly not ready to come to a negotiated solution. I think the war has some more time in it.

How many hours do you spend working a week? Does this leave you with much personal time?

I have no idea how many hours I work per week, but definitely too many! For me, the best part of being a correspondent is that I am largely in charge of my own time. No one cares when I come into the office or when I leave as long as I am on top of the news and keep producing good work.

That does mean that I end up working lots of nights and weekends, and the total hours certainly add up to more than I would put in in a normal job. But who wants a normal job?

What advice would you give to young journalists about to embark on a career in journalism?

The best thing a young journalist can do is to find a job where they are doing what they like – whether it’s writing, shooting videos or making webpages – all the time.

The only way to get better is to put in lots of time trying new things, failing and learning from those failures. As my friend, the American writer and poet John Evans, likes to say, “Writing is like doing push-up. The more you do the easier it gets.”

Note: I have posted many of Ben’s articles and got to meet with him personally on a couple of occasions


New Full Duplex Radio Chip Transmits and Receives Wireless Signals at Once

Image: Negar Reiskarimian/Columbia Engineering

A new wireless chip can perform a feat that could prove quite useful for the next generation of wireless technology: transmitting and receiving signals on the same frequency, at the same time with the help of a single antenna. This approach instantly doubles the data capacity of existing technology though is Not yet capable of power levels necessary to operate on traditional mobile networks.

Last year, Harish Krishnaswamy, an electrical engineer at Columbia University demonstrated the ability to transmit and receive signals on the same frequency using two antennas in a full duplex radio that he built. Now, Negar Reiskarimian, a PhD student under Krishnaswamy, has embedded this technology on a chip that could eventually be used in smartphones and tablets. This time, the transmitter and receiver share a single antenna.

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