Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 2017

 

Israel DIME Weapon effect on Gaza-Article and Gallery

JANUARY 18, 2009

What’s DIME ?!

Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) : is an illegal weapon that had been tested in Iraq (Fallujah ) USA , and used in 1996 by Israel , then 2008-2009 again by Israel on Gaza .

Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) : It produces lower pressure but increased impulse in the near field.

Upon detonation of the explosive, the casing disintegrates into extremely small particles, as opposed to the shrapnel which results from the fragmentation of a metal shell casing. (They are irradiated too with “low nuclear” by-products)

Those shrapnel enter the body , which is very lethal at close range ( 4 meters or 13 feet ).

Survivors close to the lethal zone may have their limbs amputated (as the micro shrapnel can slice through soft tissue and bone).

One more Israeli ( IsraHelli Surprise ) :

It’s Carcinogenic , cause the effect of heavy metal tungsten , along with depleted uranium , as USA used before in IRAQ and Afghanistan .

DIME wounds are considered to be untreatable because the metal is delivered in the form of a fine powder which is can’t be removed by surgery .

Is it Legal ?

DIME , is illegal but that’s didn’t hold USA from using it in Iraq and Afghanistan , along with IsraHell ( Israel ) ,  2006 , 2008-2009 .

Question: Since when IsraHell ( Israel ) and USA pay an attention to UN and Legality of their ways ?!

Why Israel is using it over civilians  at Gaza ?

IsraHell is using those kind of weapons not for the first time , they have a long log from using such Illegal weapons on Palestinians , without fear of consequences .

The right answer would be a Genocide , for the Palestinians at Gaza .
If IsraHell ( Israel ) is using those type of illegal weapons to test it , thats immoral .

If Israhell (Israel ) is trying to terrorize Gaza civilians , thats would be the prove anyone can ask for about How IsraHell ( israel ) is terrorist .

If IsraHell ( israel ) is using those type of illegal weapons to cancerize Gaza people , that`s even unethical an immoral .

and , if IsraHell ( israel ) attended to Genocide the Palestinians at Gaza , ( as we all believe now ) , that would be inhuman .

Therefor , we can’t say was what IsraHell hidden goal of using those kind of weapon , so lets by what IsraHell ( israel ) did in Gaza

IsraHell ( israel ) is Inhuman , a Racismic nation , immoral and unethical . and thats how we see it . and thats what gave it ( IsraHell ) the right to do so , that its Illegal country built on blood and dead bodied .

Gaza: Israel under fire for alleged white phosphorus use

Israel uses experimental genotoxic weapon (DIME) against civilians in Gaza

Italian TV Exposes Experimental IDF Use of U.S. Weapon Which Severs and Burns Limbs Below Genitals

 

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask

Everyone has heard of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Everyone knows it’s bad, that it’s been going on for a long time, and that there is a lot of hatred on both sides.

But you may find yourself less clear on the hows and the whys of the conflict. Why, for example, did Israel begin invading the Palestinian territory of Gaza on Thursday, after 10 days of air strikes that killed at least 235 Palestinians, many of them civilians?

Why is the militant Palestinian group Hamas firing home-made rockets into civilian neighborhoods in Israel?

How did this latest round of violence start in the first place — and why do they hate one another at all?

What follows are the most basic answers to your most basic questions.

Giant, neon-lit disclaimer: these issues are complicated and contentious, and this is not an exhaustive or definitive account of Israel-Palestine’s history or the conflict today. But it’s a place to start. (Nothing complicated: Zionists occupied the land and chased out the inhabitants)

1) What are Israel and Palestine?

That sounds like a very basic question but, in a sense, it’s at the center of the conflict.

46188929_isr_w_bank_gaza_416mapIsrael is an officially Jewish country located in the Middle East. Palestine is a set of two physically separate, ethnically Arab and mostly Muslim territories alongside Israel: the West Bank, named for the western shore of the Jordan River, and Gaza.

Those territories are not independent (more on this later). All together, Israel and the Palestinian territories are about as populous as Illinois and about half its size.

Officially, there is no internationally recognized line between Israel and Palestine; the borders are considered to be disputed, and have been for decades.  (The UN demarcation lines of 1947 were drawn clearly)

So is the status of Palestine: some countries consider Palestine to be an independent state, while others (like the US) consider Palestine to be territories under Israeli occupation.

Both Israelis and Palestinians have claims to the land going back centuries, but the present-day states are relatively new.

2) Why are Israelis and Palestinians fighting?

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Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian stone throwers at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

This is not, despite what you may have heard, primarily about religion. On the surface at least, it’s very simple: the conflict is over who gets what land and how it is controlled. In execution, though, that gets into a lot of really thorny issues, like: Where are the borders? Can Palestinian refugees return to their former homes in present-day Israel? More on these later.

The decades-long process of resolving that conflict has created another, overlapping conflict: managing the very unpleasant Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, in which Israel has put the Palestinians under suffocating military occupation and Palestinian militant groups terrorize Israelis.

BOTH SIDES HAVE SQUANDERED PEACE AND PERPETUATED CONFLICT, BUT PALESTINIANS TODAY BEAR MOST OF THE SUFFERING” (Said who again?

Those two dimensions of the conflict are made even worse by the long, bitter, violent history between these two peoples. It’s not just that there is lots of resentment and distrust; Israelis and Palestinians have such widely divergent narratives of the last 70-plus years, of what has happened and why, that even reconciling their two realities is extremely difficult. All of this makes it easier for extremists, who oppose any compromise and want to destroy or subjugate the other site entirely, to control the conversation and derail the peace process.

The peace process, by the way, has been going on for decades, but it hasn’t looked at all hopeful since the breakthrough 1993 and 1995 Oslo Accords produced a glimmer of hope that has since dissipated. The conflict has settled into a terrible cycle and peace looks less possible all the time.

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Something you often hear is that “both sides” are to blame for perpetuating the conflict, and there’s plenty of truth to that. There has always been and remains plenty of culpability to go around, plenty of individuals and groups on both sides that squandered peace and perpetuated conflict many times over. Still, perhaps the most essential truth of the Israel-Palestine conflict today is that the conflict predominantly matters for the human suffering it causes. And while Israelis certainly suffer deeply and in great numbers, the vast majority of the conflict’s toll is incurred by Palestinian civilians. Just above, as one metric of that, are the Israeli and Palestinian conflict-related deaths every month since late 2000.

3) How did this conflict start in the first place?

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(Left map: Passia; center and right maps: Philippe Rekacewicz / Le Monde Diplomatique)

The conflict has been going on since the early 1900s, when the mostly-Arab, mostly-Muslim region was part of the Ottoman Empire and, starting in 1917, a “mandate” run by the British Empire. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were moving into the area, as part of a movement called Zionism among mostly European Jews to escape persecution and establish their own state in their ancestral homeland. (Later, large numbers of Middle Eastern Jews also moved to Israel, either to escape anti-Semitic violence or because they were forcibly expelled.)

Communal violence between Jews and Arabs in British Palestine began spiraling out of control. In 1947, the United Nations approved a plan to divide British Palestine into two mostly independent countries, one for Jews called Israel and one for Arabs called Palestine. Jerusalem, holy city for Jews and Muslims, was to be a special international zone.

The plan was never implemented. Arab leaders in the region saw it as European colonial theft and, in 1948, invaded to keep Palestine unified. The Israeli forces won the 1948 war, but they pushed well beyond the UN-designated borders to claim land that was to have been part of Palestine, including the western half of Jerusalem. They also uprooted and expelled entire Palestinian communities, creating about 700,000 refugees, whose descendants now number 7 million and are still considered refugees.

The 1948 war ended with Israel roughly controlling the territory that you will see marked on today’s maps as “Israel”; everything except for the West Bank and Gaza, which is where most Palestinian fled to (many also ended up in refugee camps in neighboring countries) and are today considered the Palestinian territories. The borders between Israel and Palestine have been disputed and fought over ever since. So has the status of those Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

That’s the first major dimension of the conflict: reconciling the division that opened in 1948. The second began in 1967, when Israel put those two Palestinian territories under military occupation.

4) Why is Israel occupying the Palestinian territories?

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A Palestinian boy next to the Israeli wall around the town of Qalqilya (David Silverman/Getty Images)

This is a hugely important part of the conflict today, especially for Palestinians.

Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza began in 1967. Up to that point, Gaza had been (more or less) controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. But in 1967 there was another war between Israel and its Arab neighbors, during which Israel occupied the two Palestinian territories. (Israel also took control of Syria’s Golan Heights, which it annexed in 1981, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which it returned to Egypt in 1982.)

Israeli forces have occupied and controlled the West Bank ever since. It withdrew its occupying troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but maintains a full blockade of the territory, which has turned Gaza into what human rights organizations sometimes call an “open-air prison” and has pushed the unemployment rate up to 40 percent.

Settlements_westbank-gaza_01_420297d041Israel says the occupation is necessary for security given its tiny size: to protect Israelis from Palestinian attacks and to provide a buffer from foreign invasions. But that does not explain the settlers.

Settlers are Israelis who move into the West Bank. They are widely considered to violate international law, which forbids an occupying force from moving its citizens into occupied territory. Many of the 500,000 settlers are just looking for cheap housing; most live within a few miles of the Israeli border, often in the around surrounding Jerusalem.

Others move deep into the West Bank to claim land for Jews, out of religious fervor and/or a desire to see more or all of the West Bank absorbed into Israel. While Israel officially forbids this and often evicts these settlers, many are still able to take root.

In the short term, settlers of all forms make life for Palestinians even more difficult, by forcing the Israeli government to guard them with walls or soldiers that further constrain Palestinians. In the long term, the settlers create what are sometimes called “facts on the ground”: Israeli communities that blur the borders and expand land that Israel could claim for itself in any eventual peace deal.

The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is all-consuming for the Palestinians who live there, constrained by Israeli checkpoints and 20-foot walls, subject to an Israeli military justice system in which on average two children are arrested every day, stuck with an economy stifled by strict Israeli border control, and countless other indignities large and small.

5) Can we take a quick music break?

Music breaks like this are usually an opportunity to step back and appreciate the aspects of a people and culture beyond the conflict that has put them in the news. And it’s true that there is much more to Israelis and Palestinians than their conflict. But music has also been a really important medium by which Israelis and Palestinians deal with and think about the conflict. The degree to which the conflict has seeped into Israel-Palestinian music is a sign of how deeply and pervasively it effects Israelis and Palestinians.

Above, from the wealth of Palestinian hip-hop is the group DAM, whose name is both an acronym for Da Arabian MCs and the Arabic verb for “to last forever.” The group has been around since the late 1990s and are from the Israeli city of Lod, Israeli citizens who are part of the country’s Arab minority. The Arab Israeli experience, typically one of solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and a sense that Arab-Israelis are far from equal in the Jewish state, comes through in their music, which is highly political and deals with themes of disenfranchisement and dispossession in the great tradition of American hip-hop.

Christiane Amanpour interviewed DAM about their music last year. Above is their song “I Don’t Have Freedom,” full English lyrics of which are here, from their 2007 album Dedication. Sample line: “We’ve been like this more than 50 years / Living as prisoners behind the bars of paragraphs /Of agreements that change nothing.”

 

Now here is a sample of Israel’s wonderful jazz scene, one of the best in the world, from the bassist and band leader Avishai Cohen. Cohen is best known in the US for his celebrated 2006 instrumental album Continuo, but let’s instead listen to the song “El Hatzipor” from 2009’s Aurora.

The lyrics are from an 1892 poem of the same name, meaning “To the Bird,” by the Ukrainian Jewish poet Hayim Nahman Bialik. The poem (translated here) expresses the hopeful yearning among early European Zionists like Bialik to escape persecution in Europe and find salvation in the holy land; that it still resonates among Israelis over 100 years later is a reminder of both the tremendous hopes invested in the dream of a Jewish state, and perhaps the sense that this dream is still not secure.

6) Why is there fighting today between Israel and Gaza?

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A Palestinian man looks over the site of an Israeli air strike in Gaza (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

On the surface, this is just the latest round of fighting in 27 years of war between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that formed in 1987 seeks Israel’s destruction and is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization for its attacks targeting civilians — and which since 2006 has ruled Gaza. Israeli forces periodically attack Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, typically with air strikes but in 2006 and 2009 with ground invasions.

ONLY HAMAS DELIBERATELY TARGETS CIVILIANS, BUT MOST ARE STILL PALESTINIANS KILLED BY ISRAELI STRIKES

The latest round of fighting was sparked when members of Hamas in the West Bank murdered three Israeli youths who were studying there on June 10. Though the Hamas members appear to have acted without approval from their leadership, which nonetheless praised the attack, Israel responded by arresting large numbers of Hamas personnel in the West Bank and with air strikes against the group in Gaza.

After some Israeli extremists murdered a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem and Israeli security forces cracked down on protests, compounding Palestinian outrage, Hamas and other Gaza groups launched dozens of rockets into Israel, which responded with many more air strikes. So far the fighting has killed one Israeli and 230 Palestinians; two UN agencies have separately estimated that 70-plus percent of the fatalities are civilians. On Thursday, July 17, Israeli ground forces invaded Gaza, which Israel says is to shut down tunnels that Hamas could use to cross into Israel.

That get backs to that essential truth about the conflict today: Palestinian civilians endure the brunt of it. While Israel targets militants and Hamas targets civilians, Israel’s disproportionate military strength and its willingness to target militants based in dense urban communities means that Palestinians civilians are far more likely to be killed than any other group.

But those are just the surface reasons; there’s a lot more going on here as well.

7) Why does this violence keep happening?

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Palestinian youth throw stones at an Israeli tank in 2003. (SAIF DAHLAH/AFP/Getty Images)

The simple version is that violence has become the status quo and that trying for peace is risky, so leaders on both ends seem to believe that managing the violence is preferable, while the Israeli and Palestinian publics show less and less interest in pressuring their leaders to take risks for peace.

Hamas’s commitment to terrorism and to Israel’s destruction lock Gazans into a conflict with Israel that can never be won and that produces little more than Palestinian civilian deaths. Israel’s blockade on Gaza, which strangles economic life there and punishes civilians, helps produce a climate that is hospitable to extremism, and allows Hamas to nurture a belief that even if Hamas may never win, at least refusing to put down their weapons is a form of liberation.

Many Palestinians in Gaza naturally compare Hamas to Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, who have emphasized peace and compromise and negotiations — only to have been rewarded with an Israeli military occupation that shows no sign of ending and ever-expanding settlements. This is not to endorse that logic, but it is not difficult to see why some Palestinians might conclude that violent “resistance” is preferable.

That sense of Palestinian hopelessness and distrust in Israel and the peace process has been a major contributor to violence in recent years. In the early 2000s, there was also a lot of fighting between Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank. This was called the Second Intifada (uprising), and followed a less-violent Palestinian uprising against the occupation in the late 1980s.

In the Second Intifada, which was the culmination of Palestinian frustration with the failure of the 1990s peace process, Palestinian militants adopted suicide bombings of Israeli buses and other forms of terror. Israel responded with a severe military crack-down. The fighting killed approximately 3,200 Palestinians and 1,100 Israelis.

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A 2002 Palestinian bus bombing that killed 18 in Jerusalem (Getty Images)

It’s not just Palestinians, though: many Israelis also increasingly distrust Palestinians and their leaders and see them as innately hostile to peace. In the parlance of Israel-Palestine, the expression for this attitude is, “We don’t have a partner for peace.” That feeling became especially deep after the Second Intifada; months of bus bombings and cafe bombings made many Israelis less supportive of peace efforts and more willing to accept or simply ignore the occupation’s effects on Palestinians.

This sense of apathy has been further enabled by Israel’s increasingly successful security programs, such as the Iron Dome system that shoots down Gazan rockets, which insulates many Israelis from the conflict and makes it easier to ignore. Public support for a peace deal that would grant Palestine independence, once high among Israelis, has dropped.

Meanwhile, a fringe movement of right-wing Israeli extremists has become increasingly violent, particularly in the West Bank where many live as settlers, further pulling Israeli politics away from peace and thus allowing the conflict to drift.

(The first Intifada (civil disobedience) was in 1935-38 where the British dispatched 100,000 troops to quell this mass intifada with torture techniques that Nazi Germany adopted integrally)

8) How is the conflict going to end?

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The Dome of the Rock (at left with gold dome) is one of the holiest sites in Islam and sits atop the ancient Temple Mount ruins, the Western Wall of which (at right) is the holiest site in Jerusalem. You can see how this would create logistical problems. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

There are three ways the conflict could end. Only one of them is both viable and peaceful — the two-state solution — but it is also extremely difficult, and the more time goes on the harder it gets.

One-state solution: The first is to erase the borders and put Israelis and Palestinians together into one equal, pluralistic state, called the “one-state solution.” Very few people think this could be viable for the simple reason of demographics; Arabs would very soon outnumber Jews. After generations of feeling disenfranchised and persecuted by Israel, the Arab majority would almost certainly vote to dismantle everything that makes Israel a Jewish state. Israelis, after everything they’ve done to finally achieve a Jewish state after thousands of years of their own persecution, would never surrender that state and willingly become a minority among a population they see as hostile.

Destruction of one side: The second way this could end is with one side outright vanquishing the other, in what would certainly be a catastrophic abuse of human rights. This is the option preferred by extremists such as Hamas and far-right Israeli settlers. In the Palestinian extremist version, Israel is abolished and replaced with a single Palestinian state; Jews become a minority, most likely replacing today’s conflict with an inverse conflict. In the Israeli extremist version, Israel annexes the West Bank and Gaza entirely, either turning Palestinians into second-class citizens in the manner of apartheid South Africa or expelling them en masse.

Two-state solution: The third option is for both Israelis and Palestinians to have their own independent states; that’s called the “two-state solution” and it’s advocated by most everyone as the only option that would create long-term peace. But it requires working out lots of details so thorny and difficult that it’s not clear if it will, or can, happen. Eventually, the conflict will have dragged on for so long that this solution will become impossible.

9) Why is it so hard to make peace?

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Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin hold Nobel Peace Prizes won in 1994 for their 1993 Oslo Accords. A follow-on agreement in 1995 was the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. (Photo by Yaakov Saar/GPO via Getty Images)

The one-state solution is hard because there is no viable, realistic version that both sides would accept. In theory, the two-state solution is great. But it poses some very difficult questions. Here are the four big ones and why they’re so tough to solve. To be clear, these aren’t abstract concepts but real, heavily debated issues that have sunk peace talks before:

JerusalemBoth sides claim Jerusalem as their capital; it’s also a center of Jewish and Muslim (and Christian) holy sites that are literally located physically on top of one another, in the antiquity-era walled Old City that is not at all well shaped to be divided into two countries. Making the division even tougher, Israeli communities have been building up more and more in and around the city.

West Bank bordersThere’s no clear agreement on where precisely to draw the borders, which roughly follow the armistice line of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, especially since hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers have built up suburban-style communities just on the Palestinian side of the line. This one is not actually impossible — Israel could give Palestine some land as part of “land swaps” in exchange for settler-occupied territory — but it’s still hard. The more time goes on, the more settlements expand, the harder it becomes to create a viable Palestinian state.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OF ALL MAY BE TIME: IT’S RUNNING OUT

RefugeesThis one is really hard. There are, officially, seven million Palestinian refugees, who are designated as such because their descendants fled or were expelled from what is today Israel; places like Ramla and Jaffa. Palestinians frequently ask for what they call the “right of return”: permission to return to their land and live with full rights. That sounds like a no-brainer, but Israel’s objection is that if they absorb seven million Palestinian returnees, then Jews will become a minority, which for the reasons explained above Israelis will never accept. There are ideas to work around the problem, like financial restitution, but no agreement on them.

Security: This is another big one. For Palestinians, security needs are simple: a sovereign Palestinian state. For Israelis, it’s a bit more complicated: Israelis fear that an independent Palestine could turn hostile and ally with other Middle East states to launch the sort of invasion Israel barely survived in 1973. Maybe more plausibly, Israelis worry that Hamas would take over an independent West Bank and use it to launch attacks on Israelis, as they’ve done with Gaza.

Any compromise would likely involve Palestinians giving up some sovereignty, for example promising permanent de-militarization or allowing an international peacekeeping force, and after years of feeling heavily abused by strong-handed Israeli forces, Palestinians are not eager about the idea of Israel having veto power over their sovereignty and security.

Those are all very difficult problems. But here’s the thing: time is running out. The more that the conflict drags on, the more difficult it will be to solve any of these issues, much less all of them. That will make it harder and harder for Israel to justify keeping Gaza under blockade and the West Bank under occupation; eventually it will have to unilaterally withdraw, which the current leadership opposes, or it will have to annex the territories and become either an apartheid-style state that denies full rights to those new Palestinian citizens or abandon its Jewish state.

Meanwhile, extremism and apathy and distrust are rising on both sides. The violence of the conflict is becoming status quo, a regularly recurring event that is replacing the peace process itself as the way by which the conflict advances. It is making things worse for Israelis and Palestinians alike all the time, and unless they can break from the hatred and violence long enough to make peace, that will continue.

What is OCD exactly?

There’s a common misconception that if you like to meticulously organize your things, keep your hands clean, or plan out your weekend to the last detail, you might be OCD.

In fact, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a serious…

There’s a common misconception that if you like to meticulously organize your things, keep your hands clean, or plan out your weekend to the last detail, you might be OCD. In fact, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is a serious…
 ed.ted.com
Anything is possible and that’s the problem. Or is it?: Khara Plicanic at TEDxLincoln
Who would ever think that believing any and all things are possible—could be a bad thing? For someone struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), it…
youtube.com · 417 Shares · Nov 2, 2012

Elderly people to die in indignity: the slowest of death invented by health care systems

A friend confided in me. He talked for an hour and his story almost matched mine.

The story of parents dying the slow death, in daily and constant pains, bed-ridden and no outside aid coming to the rescue of hapless family members

“My father is 89 and my mother is 86.

My father health has been deteriorating fast in the last couple of years. What started as a pneumonia, Not taken care of immediately, degenerated in a bed-ridden body living on external oxygen machine 24/24, in a country with no steady electricity. Actually, it was my dad refusing to go to the hospital until he felt totally helpless.

In this winter season, he barely uses the walker for his morning shit. By noon, he rather not get up from bed, on the ground that he feels too weak and too cold to step out of his cozy bed. (We lacked central heat because we couldn’t afford the cost of mazout)

Mother is in a worse case in matter of aches and pains, but she is functional and make sure that she washes father in the morning and bring him food in bed. Not to mention changing the bed sheets every morning and all dad’s wet cloths.

The problem for mother is that father insists on not leaving his bed after lunch on account that he feels too cold and out of power to walk to the close-by toilet for his frequent pissing sessions. And we wrap him with pampers till morning.

Mother has this daunting task of changing father every morning and doing at least 2 washes for the wet bed and father’s cloths, every morning, and she suffers from back pain, arthritis, and you name it. And dad plays the child game for constant attention and waking up mother at night for no valid reasons.

Mother considers that putting in 8 straight hours of work in the morning, without any break to rest, her daily job. And everyone in the household must share with her non-stop chores. Even when she feels sick and unable to work, until she faints and drops.

Occasionally, mother sleeps in the sitting room because father makes it a point to wake her up frequently, just out of boredom and restlessness.  Eventually, she returns to sleep in the bedroom, out of compassion and duty.

Father has had no jobs for the last 40 years. What he did when he could drive was give ride to his 6 grandchildren to school and bring them back home, and doing a few gardening…

And he was a heavy smoker since he was 14 of age, mainly smoking in the sitting room, and polluting this room, while enjoying a few glasses of whisky.

Until he started to fall down after finishing drinking. He had to quit drinking, but resumed smoking, out of total boredom and dense worries from the fast dwindling of pecuniary resources.

No government facilities to rescue the elderly people, not even in health insurance, or a small remittance every month... The elderly people are in the care of the children, relatives… supposedly in the care of the community that no longer exists.

Dad has plenty of time now to dream of the time he was still able, but I guess he can focus on how to stay alive: He keeps touching the Saint icons.  For a soft departure or for exhausting mother to death?

Do you think his deep wish is to see mother passing away before he does? A senile revenge of people who revert to childhood?

Funny, every now and then father creates a tantrum to remind mother that he is the head of the family and that what he wishes must be obeyed, and bangs his walker to confirm his statement: “I want you to wrap me up now (7afdineh) for the remainder of the day and night” and this tragic bout of energy surges at the time mother is taking a short nap from a back ache.

And when mother tells him: “I am tired. wait till I rest…” father responds: “You do it now or I’ll piss in bed...”  These kinds of reactions…

He goes: “Ya wallao? are you sleeping? Get up now…”

He does not exhibit all his pent up anger and desperation when I am around: He knows that my reactions can be worse than his, and we do have the same bad genes

I aided mother in cleaning and wrapping up dad when I was around, and dad abstained from harassing mother when he knew I was there. It was a 24/24 job for me and mother to keep dad contended, and he wanted to eat at his routine schedule, Not a minute later, and he ate well and voraciously.

Most of the time  I had to wake up several times at night in order to go down and switch the electrical interrupter from public to private provider (and vice versa) because we could not afford an automatic interrupter that required a higher amperage. And the oxygen machine was run on electricity and dad would shout when he sensed that the machine had stopped.

A year before he passed away, he opted to be totally bed-ridden, kind of despaired for any recovery.

At least father managed to construct a building of 3 floors, one for each one of his children who all graduated from universities and are married with children. Except one child: I never married and have no children that I know of. And I now live with my elderly parents for the last 14 years.

I don’t recall ever having a chat with dad, and now he is almost deaf and he refuses to babble. And mother’s chatting are of the most boring and regurgitates the same worries that I cannot help with and suggestions that are too late to reverse and act upon.

Mother never cared to handle money in her life and never wrote a check.

Currently, she has to handle the few cash that she receives every now and then from her children and relative and make sure that she can buy her medicine, father’s couches, the gas canisters for cooking, bread and biscuits for dad… Nothing fancy at all.

And she declines invitations because she will have to bring a gift as custom demands, and she has to cook a few sweet dishes for the occasions… and keeps cleaning the house in the event anyone remembers suddenly to pay her visit…

I wish the visits are not set in advance by “appointment”: Mother will start cleaning and cooking a week in advance of the visit, and ends up working overtime. And I was the only one to help her with all the cleaning tasks.

I aid mother in most of her chores: assistant cook, washing dishes, vacuuming, lifting “heavy” stuff that she can no longer perform, changing bed sheets, gardening, gathering vegetables and fruits, tending to the few chickens that I don’t want in the house, going on errands…

I find time to read, write, post articles on my blog, watch documentaries and non-violent good movies on cables after every one in the household is supposed to be sleeping…

Tell me. Am I talking abstract so far?

My dad suffered a mild stroke at night: he must have knew it but we didn’t. We forced him to go to the hospital, but he kept saying: I want to die at home.

In the hospital, 2 days before Christmas, dad did such a tantrum for 2 days and a night and harassed all the nurses and mother that they had to send him home.

After lunch on Christmas Eve he passed away while mother was taking her nap. My nephew checked on him and he told me that dad must have died. I approached a looking glass to check on his breathing because he was in a serene state with eyes opened.

Apparently, he wanted to ruin our celebration, or maybe send the message that he is no longer willing to ruin our lives.

Mother is Not in any good shape because of all kinds of pains and aches to the stomach, back, neck, hands, and you name it.

I took her to the hospital for a check up on a pain to her side that lingered for 2 days and kept her awake. Two days later, mother was home with no major relief: a small cyst in her abdomen and maybe a mild thyroid deficiency.

There was nothing that can be done to elderly people, much less performing any kinds of surgeries that are Not urgent.

Two years now and mother is still suffering, especially during the cold season and lack of hot water.

She insists on waking up and working in the kitchen for a couple of hours until she barely reach the sofa and don’t move for the day and watch TV.

Frequently she keeps working and trying to keep boredom at bay until all kinds of acute pains force her to the sofa.

She barely can hear, and all she wants is someone to visit her to listen to her. But practically nobody visits her or has the patience to talk to her or listen to her.

Mother is a rock and still functional. Her worst nightmare is to feel dependent on her daily chores.

Such a big difference between mother’s resilience and dad’s attitude to pain.

My worst nightmare is, if I have to survive as long as my parents, “How am I to spend the next 24 years, if no haphazard calamity suddenly ends my life?”

 

 

Can you recognize the meSurrealist Group, 1930

Jamil Berry shared this link
Surrealist Group, 1930 from left to right: Tristan Tzara, Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Hans Arp, Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Rene Crevel and Man Ray

Surrealist Group, 1930 from left to right: Tristan Tzara, Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Hans Arp, Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Rene Crevel and Man Ray

Marcel Khalifeh: On How warlord Samir Geaja denied him permission to pay a last farewell to his dad
During the civil war in Lebanon, the famous singer and oud player from Byblos, Marcel Khalifeh, had to vacate his hometown of Amchit in Byblos county in order to stay alive. He moved to West Beirut and sang in packed events around the world.
Warlord Geaja, still a main political leader, had denied him to pays his last respect to his dad during the war.
This is his letter.

“حرمتني من إلقاء نظرة على وجه والدي”
========================
إنه حبر الروح
إنه بكاء القلب
إنه همس الغياب، لوالدي، الذي أحببته بعمق. . .
اقاسمك الحزن على غياب والدك. لأني اعرف هذا الحزن الذي لا يعرف الرحمة. حزن مثل هذا ليس سهلاً التفاهم معه.
البارحة رأيتك في التلفزيون تكبح رغبة الدمع في التفجّر، رغم أنك حرمتني من القاء نظرة على وجه والدي لأحتفظ بأسرار الروح.
لقد مضى والدي وحيداً ولم استطع أن أمشي في جنازته إلى تراب الورد.
لديّ من الشجن ما لا يوصف، ولو كان لشجن الروح صوت لتحتّم سماعه.
لم يبق إلاّ صورة تتوهّج الذاكرة كلمّا شعّ فيها طيف والدي الذي رحل الى سرير الارض.
حتى هذا الموت القاسي لا يقدر على مصادرة حق الحب، مثلما يفترق العشّاق ليبقى الحب
بقي والدي يحرس البيت، كان كالحلم المتمرّس بالوردة في غابة من فولاذ. قوتّه هشّة، ولكنّها لا تخذله مثل غصن يميل مع الريح ولا ينكسر.
أتذكر مليّاً مسار القطار الطويل الذي حملني ليلاً من ضيعتي الهادئة الى تلك المدن البعيدة، الصاخبة.
تركت عمشيت قسرآً وتركت فيها والدي وعيناه مغرورقتان بالدمع. رحلت صوب الشرق وظلّ يتبعني بعينيه. انحدرت مع الوادي، ثمّ صعدت تلك الرجمة وانحدرت ثانية الى ارض مشاع بدون أن ألتفت الى الوراء.
وسهرنا سويّة ليلة رأس تلك السنة في بيروت حتى الصباح. ولم نصدق اننا سنلتقي. تطلعت الى وجهه الحاني والى الخطوط التي انحفرت عميقاً فيه، ولكن عينيه كانت تبرقان من فرح اللقاء وتقولان كلاماً كثيراً. ودمع دون خجل لنقرة العود وكما كنّا نحتفل في قبو جدي منذ زمن وعزفت، وآخ. . . ما اسرع ما تبدد الزمن الآمن.
أين ولّت تلك الايام؟ أين؟ ورنّ في مسمعي من جديد تطييبات والدي المعهودة: الله… الله
كانت ساعات حميمة قضيتها مع والدي وفي اليوم التالي حزم متاعه ولملم حوائجه القليلة، واستعد للعودة الى عمشيت
حمل معه أيامه وذكرياته واللحظات الحلوة وعاد سيراً على الاقدام من بوابة المتحف
وفي ٢٤ شباط لسنة ٨٩ سار الموكب بطيئاً، بطيئاً في عمشيت على ايقاع الجرس الجرس الحزين.
لقد رحل ميشال “القفص” كما رحلت ماتيلدا ـ أمي
لقد عزفت للعالم كله إلاّ لموت ابي الذي اشتهى كل شيء في حياته ولم يحصل على شيء. كان ينتظر رجوعي كل يوم عند الكوع حتى رحل محزوزاً.
محزوزاً بقفصه، لم تسعفه الظروف على الخروج من هذا القفص، والموت سلخه إلى قفص آخر. هل حكم على والدي أن يحيا في قفص ويموت في قفص؟
أتذكر عندما طردت من ضيعتي في بداية الاحداث، زاره صديقي جورج وبادره والدي من بعيد
“لقد أقفر البيت لأول مرّة من وجوه من أحببت، لقد تبدّل كل شيء. شجرة الكينا أمام الدار نزفت ورقها الاصفر حتى الموت. يبست اللوزة في الجل الخلفاني. تجعدّت الحيطان من حولنا ونسي اللوز في الربيع أن يزهّر وزلزلت الارض تحت الاقدام ورحت أنتظر رسالة، خبراً، كلمة من وراء البحر”
فردّ جورج على والدي مطمئناً: فترة زغيري يا ابو مرسيل وبتمضي وكل شي بيرجع لحالو
صدّق والدي كلام جورج. ولكن بعد سنتين مرّ جورج لزيارة والدي فبادره من جديد: مرق الصيف، وخلفه صيف آخر، برد الطقس، سربت العصافير، وقصفت الريح ثلوج شجرة الكينا. كانون قاسي بلا نار، بلا أحباب. إن تصح، يلسعك الغياب وان تنم، تسرب الوجوه غزلان صحراء لتشرب تحت الجفن من ماء العين
عيل صبره، ضجر، صرخ، كفر، انزوى، صمت، وعيونه على البحر. لا قلوع أبيض في الافق، وملح عينيه يزيد الازرق ملحاً
من مرة لمرّة كان يأتي جورج ويواسيه: شو صار لك يا زلمي؟ شدّ حالك، كن قوياً. يا ابو مرسيل، لا تجعل من انتظارك الطويل سفراً الى واحة من سراب. إنه الليل وسيرحل قريباً
سمع في صوت جورج نبرة صوت من ينتظر. هبّ من فراشه، طرد الطبيب. حطم زجاجات الدواء. خرج الى الشمس. خفق قلبه. جمع كل الورق اليابس تحت صاج الفرح، ليخبز حياة جديدة
بقي والدي شهوراً وسنين على عتبة الدار أمام الكوع، يصحو باكراً، ينام متأخراً لئلا آتي واجده نائماً
لأيام كان يصر: لا بدّ غداً . . .
لأشهر تمنى: هذا الشهر
وأخيراً صار يسأل: هل يأتي السنة؟
جفّت عروقه وتراً وتراً . وتخّت عظامه قصبة قصبة، وتراخى جلده خريطة يأس وقهر وانكسار
على الدروب سعف نخيل وغصون زيتون. أرى أولاداً وشموع. أسمع هزيجاً ورجع أجراس، الصبايا خرجن وفي ايديهن ارزّاً وزهراً. الموكب يقترب والنشيد طالع من الارض وأنا ذئب شوق إلى يديك، إلى جبينك، إلى وجنتيك
لكن أبي سئم الانتظار الطويل واطبق جفنيه وشفتيه على اسم من أحب
الصبايا لبسن السواد. سعف النخيل أكاليل، والموكب بطيء بطيء على ايقاع الجرس الحزين
وأنا أحمل وجعه في صدري وحسرته تأكل قلبي وعيناي على حاجز طريق عمشيت
علمني حبّه الصدق.

 

 

 

BREAKING: Burning Man Now For 10 Days

Gates open at 10am Sunday, and close Tuesday. Thanks to Rockstar Librarian for this:

bm line2014 Gate opens at 10AM Sunday and exodus Gate closes at 12PM Tuesday. This is a BLM one year experiment. Heard it straight from Topless Deb on the greeters announce email list. 

Here’s the full email message I received moments ago: 
*When Does the Black Rock City Gate Open? The Answer May Shock You!*

In 2014, through coordination with the BLM, we will be opening the Black Rock City Gate to participants earlier and closing it later in order to maximize use of daylight hours, minimize traffic impacts on local roads, smooth out traffic flow, and create a safer travel situation for everybody. This is a one-year experiment, and if it goes well, it could mean we continue it in the future.

*INGRESS*
This year we have approval from BLM to open the Black Rock City Gate for Burning Man participants at 10am on Sunday, August 24. NO early arrivals are allowed before that time without an Early Arrival Pass!

*THE EVENT*
The event itself officially starts at 6pm Sunday, August 24, and it’s expected that participants use the earlier arrival time as opportunity to set up their camp infrastructure during the day. The event officially ends at 6pm on Monday, September 1, 2014, after which people are expected to start breaking down their camps, conduct Leave No Trace efforts, and prepare to depart the city.

*EXODUS*
This year we have authorization from BLM to allow Exodus to extend through Tuesday, September 2 at noon, allowing for a safe and smooth egress period. So if the line of cars in Exodus is too long, and your schedule allows, you may want to wait in your camp. Use the extra time to rest for the drive, secure your vehicle loads, MOOP your campsite, or your block. Plan accordingly so that you’re out of the city by Tuesday at noon.

Remember, this is one-year experiment by the BLM and Burning Man to help ease the traffic backups on entry and Exodus. If everyone works together and is off the playa by noon Tuesday, we will look at continuing the extended opening and departure in future years. Help us smooth out the traffic flow!

What do you mean by Most Powerful Women?

The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015

Welcome to CEO Middle East’s fifth annual list of the world’s most powerful Arab women

Our yearly look at the most important female influencers across the Arab world.

Skip these wealthy male “Arab” persons and families to the recognized women in all facet of life.

<!–

1

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud

Saudi Arabia

$28.1bn ($31.2bn)

2

The Olayan family

Saudi Arabia

$12bn ($12.5bn)

3

Joseph Safra

Brazil (Lebanon)

$11.9bn ($7.5bn)

4

The Sawiris family

Egypt

$11.3bn ($10bn)

5

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber

UK (Saudi Arabia)

$9.2bn ($12.66bn)

6

Mohammed Al Amoudi

Saudi Arabia

$9bn ($12bn)

7

The Kharafi family

Kuwait

$8.3bn ($8.5bn)

8

The Al Ghurair family

UAE

$7bn ($6.3bn)

9

The Bukhamseen family

Kuwait

$6.4bn ($6.8bn)

10

The Kanoo family

Bahrain

$6bn ($6.1bn)

11

The Mansour family

Egypt

$5.4bn ($5.1bn)

12

The Al Rajhi family

Saudi Arabia

$5bn ($4.3bn)

13

Hussain Sajwani

UAE

$4bn (New entry)

14

The Gargash family

UAE

$3.5bn ($3.7bn)

15

Adel Aujan

Saudi Arabia

$3.3bn ($3.56bn)

16

Najib Mikati

Lebanon

$3.2bn ($3.4bn)

17

Abdulatif Al Fozan

Saudi Arabia

$3.05bn ($3.25bn)

18

Issad Rebrab

Algeria

$3bn (New entry)

19

The Hayek family

Switzerland (Lebanon)

$2.9bn ($3.2bn)

20

Bahaa Hariri

Switzerland (Saudi Arabia)

$2.8bn ($3.1bn)

21

Saad Hariri

Lebanon

$2.7bn ($3.3bn)

22

Ziad Manasir

Russia (Jordan)

$2.6bn ($2.58bn)

23

Mansour Ojjeh

France (Saudi Arabia)

$2.45bn ($2.8bn)

24

Othman Benjelloun

Morocco

$2.4bn (New entry)

25

Ayman Asfari

UK (Syria)

$2.35bn ($2.7bn)

26

Mohammed Ibrahim

UK (North Sudan)

$2.2bn ($2.15bn)

27

Nadhmi Auchi

UK (Iraq)

$1.9bn ($2.2bn)

28

Saleh Kamel

Saudi Arabia

$1.85bn ($2bn)

29

Hasan Abdullah Ismaik

UAE (Jordan)

$1.8bn (New entry)

30

Mohammed Al Fayed

UK (Egypt)

$1.7bn (new entry)

–>

1

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

UAE (UAE)

Government

2

Amal Clooney

Lebanon (UK)

Law

3

Loujain Al Hathloul

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

4

Lubna Olayan

Saudi Arabia

Banking and finance

5

Reem Al Hashimy

UAE

Government

6

Mariam Al Mansouri

UAE

Armed forces

7

Mona Al Munajjed

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

8

Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch

Morocco

Retail

9

Amina Al Rustamani

UAE

Media

10

Zainab Mohammed

UAE

Real estate

11

Nayla Hayek

UAE (Lebanon)

Retail

12

Dr Rana Dajani

Jordan

Science

13

Haifaa Al Mansour

Saudi Arabia

Arts and entertainment

14

Bayan Mahmoud Al Zahran

Saudi Arabia

Law

15

Manahel Thabet

UAE (Yemen)

Science

16

Hayat Sindi

Saudi Arabia

Science

17

Leila El Solh

Lebanon

Culture and society

18

Iqbal Al Asaad

Lebanon (Palestine)

Healthcare

19

Huda Al Ghoson

Saudi Arabia

Energy

20

Hanan Al Kuwari

Qatar

Healthcare

21

Zaha Hadid

Iraq (UK)

Construction

22

Mariam Abultewi

Palestine

Technology

23

Fatima Al Jaber

UAE

Construction

24

Majida Ali Rashid

UAE

Real estate

25

Maali Alasousi

Yemen (Kuwait)

Culture and society

26

Samia Halaby

US (Palestine)

Arts and entertainment

27

Maha Laziri

Morocco

Education

28

Somayya Jabarti

Saudi Arabia

Media

29

Raja Al Gurg

UAE

Construction

30

Hamdiyah Al Jaff

Iraq

Banking and finance

31

Shaikha Al Bahar

Kuwait

Banking and finance

32

Wafa Sayadi

Tunisia

Environmental services

33

Futaim Al Falasi

UAE

Media

34

Lamis Elhadidy

Egypt

Media

35

Joelle Mardinian

UAE

Arts and entertainment

36

Noura Al Kaabi

UAE

Media

37

Samia Al Amoudi

Saudi Arabia

Healthcare

38

Lina Attalah

Egypt

Media

39

Grace Najjar

Lebanon

Consulting and coaching

40

Samira Islam

Saudi Arabia

Science

41

Khawla Al Kuraya

Saudi Arabia

Science

42

Zainab Salbi

Iraq (US)

Culture and society

43

Mira Al Attiyah

Qatar

Finance

44

Muna Abu Sulayman

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

45

Abeer Abu Ghaith

Palestine

IT

46

Rasha Al Roumi

Kuwait

Transport

47

Summer Nasief

Saudi Arabia

Healthcare

48

Maryam Matar

UAE

Science

49

Hend El Sherbini

Egypt

Science

50

Raha Moharrak

UAE (Saudi Arabia)

Sport

51

Maha Al Ghunaim

Kuwait

Banking and finance

52

Habiba Al Safar

UAE

Science

53

Salma Hareb

UAE

Industry

54

Joumana Haddad

Lebanon

Culture and society

55

Dalia Mogahed

US (Egypt)

Culture and society

56

Thoraya Obaid

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

57

Randa Ayoubi

Jordan

Media

58

Mona Al Marri

UAE

Media

59

Sarah Shuhail

UAE

Culture and society

60

Soraya Salti

Jordan

Culture and society

61

Nawal Al Saadawi

Egypt

Culture and society

62

Amira Yahyaoui

Tunisia

Culture and society

63

Nashwa Al Ruwaini

UAE

Media

64

Ayah Bdeir

Canada (Lebanon)

Science

65

Tawakul Karman

Yemen

Culture and society

66

Nadine Labaki

Lebanon

Arts and entertainment

67

Maha Al Farhan

UAE

Science

68

Nahed Taher

Saudi Arabia

Banking and finance

69

Mona Eltahawy

US (Egypt)

Media

70

Hala Gorani

US (Syria)

Media

71

Dima Ikhwan

Saudi Arabia

Finance and entertainment

72

Nancy Ajram

Lebanon

Arts and entertainment

73

Nermin Saad

Saudi Arabia (Jordan)

IT

74

Amal Al Qubaisi

UAE

Culture and society

75

Ingie Chalhoub

UAE

Retail

76

Dalya Al Muthanna

UAE

Conglomerate

77

Elissa Freiha

UAE

Investment

78

Badreya Al Bishr

Saudi Arabia

Media

79

Hind Seddiqi

UAE

Retail

80

Hanan Solayman

Egypt

Media

81

Fatema Mernissi

Morocco

Culture and society

82

Manal Al Sharif

Saudi Arabia

Culture and society

83

Nisreen Shocair

UAE (Lebanon)

Retail

84

Ghada Amer

Egypt

Science

85

Amal Al Marri

UAE

Retail

86

Fairouz

Lebanon

Arts and entertainment

87

Nayla Al Khaja

UAE

Arts and entertainment

88

Yousra

Egypt

Arts and entertainment

89

Ahlam Mosteghanemi

Algeria

Arts and entertainment

90

Hayv Kahraman

US (Iraq)

Arts and entertainment

91

Ismahane Elouafi

Morocco

Science

92

Muna Harib

UAE

Culture and society

93

Ahlam

UAE

Arts and entertainment

94

Sara Akbar

Kuwait

Energy

95

Huda Kotb

US (Egypt)

Media

96

Mona Ataya

UAE (Palestine)

Retail

97

Mishaal Ashemimry

US (Saudi Arabia)

Aerospace engineering

98

Reine Abbas

Lebanon

Technology

99

Buthaina Al Ansari

Qatar

Culture and society

100

Hind Hobeika

Lebanon

Technology

 

Secrets of design

How can I experience the world better?

In the great 1980s movie “The Blues Brothers,” there’s a scene where John Belushi goes to visit Dan Aykroyd in his apartment in Chicago for the very first time. It’s a cramped, tiny space and it’s just three feet away from the train tracks.

As John sits on Dan’s bed, a train goes rushing by, rattling everything in the room. John asks, “How often does that train go by?” Dan replies, “So often, you won’t even notice it.” And then, something falls off the wall.

0:48 We all know what he’s talking about. As human beings, we get used to everyday things really fast.

As a product designer, it’s my job to see those everyday things, to feel them, and try to improve upon them.

For example, see this piece of fruit? See this little sticker? That sticker wasn’t there when I was a kid. But somewhere as the years passed, someone had the bright idea to put that sticker on the fruit. Why? So it could be easier for us to check out at the grocery counter.

we can get in and out of the store quickly. But now, there’s a new problem. When we get home and we’re hungry and we see this ripe, juicy piece of fruit on the counter, we just want to pick it up and eat it. Except now, we have to look for this little sticker. And dig at it with our nails, damaging the flesh. Then rolling up that sticker — you know what I mean. And then trying to flick it off your fingers. (Applause) It’s not fun, not at all.

But something interesting happened. See the first time you did it, you probably felt those feelings. You just wanted to eat the piece of fruit. You felt upset. You just wanted to dive in. By the 10th time, you started to become less upset and you just started peeling the label off.

By the 100th time, at least for me, I became numb to it. I simply picked up the piece of fruit, dug at it with my nails, tried to flick it off, and then wondered, “Was there another sticker?”

So why is that? Why do we get used to everyday things?

Well as human beings, we have limited brain power. And so our brains encode the everyday things we do into habits so we can free up space to learn new things (If that is the purpose of habit, why most of us stop learning early on?) a process called habituation and it’s one of the most basic ways, as humans, we learn.

habituation isn’t always bad. Remember learning to drive? I sure do. Your hands clenched at 10 and 2 on the wheel, looking at every single object out there — the cars, the lights, the pedestrians. It’s a nerve-wracking experience. So much so, that I couldn’t even talk to anyone else in the car and I couldn’t even listen to music. But then something interesting happened. As the weeks went by, driving became easier and easier. You habituated it. It started to become fun and second nature. And then, you could talk to your friends again and listen to music. (And the accidents became frequent?) 

there’s a good reason why our brains habituate things. If we didn’t, we’d notice every little detail, all the time. It would be exhausting, and we’d have no time to learn about new things. (Noticing little details is a habit: it is the profession of many in many disciplines)

But sometimes, habituation isn’t good. If it stops us from noticing the problems that are around us, well, that’s bad. And if it stops us from noticing and fixing those problems, well, then that’s really bad.

Comedians know all about this. Jerry Seinfeld’s entire career was built on noticing those little details, those idiotic things we do every day that we don’t even remember. He tells us about the time he visited his friends and he just wanted to take a comfortable shower. He’d reach out and grab the handle and turn it slightly one way, and it was 100 degrees too hot. And then he’d turn it the other way, and it was 100 degrees too cold. He just wanted a comfortable shower. Now, we’ve all been there, we just don’t remember it. But Jerry did, and that’s a comedian’s job.

But designers, innovators and entrepreneurs, it’s our job to not just notice those things, but to go one step further and try to fix them.

 this is Mary Anderson. In New York City of 1902, she was visiting. It was a cold, wet, snowy day and she was warm inside a streetcar. As she was going to her destination, she noticed the driver opening the window to clean off the excess snow so he could drive safely. When he opened the window, though, he let all this cold, wet air inside, making all the passengers miserable.

Now probably, most of those passengers just thought, “It’s a fact of life, he’s got to open the window to clean it. That’s just how it is.” But Mary didn’t. Mary thought, “What if the diver could actually clean the windshield from the inside so that he could stay safe and drive and the passengers could actually stay warm?” So she picked up her sketchbook right then and there, and began drawing what would become the world’s first windshield wiper.

 as a product designer, I try to learn from people like Mary to try to see the world the way it really is, not the way we think it is. Why? Because it’s easy to solve a problem that almost everyone sees. But it’s hard to solve a problem that almost no one sees. (They see but they cannot sketch?)

some people think you’re born with this ability or you’re not, as if Mary Anderson was hardwired at birth to see the world more clearly. That wasn’t the case for me. I had to work at it.

During my years at Apple, Steve Jobs challenged us to come into work every day, to see our products through the eyes of the customer, the new customer, the one that has fears and possible frustrations and hopeful exhilaration that their new technology product could work straightaway for them. He called it staying beginners, and wanted to make sure that we focused on those tiny little details to make them faster, easier and seamless for the new customers.

I remember this clearly in the very earliest days of the iPod. See, back in the ’90s, being a gadget freak like I am, I would rush out to the store for the very, very latest gadget. I’d take all the time to get to the store, I’d check out, I’d come back home, I’d start to unbox it. And then, there was another little sticker: the one that said, “Charge before use.”

What! I can’t believe it! I just spent all this time buying this product and now I have to charge before use. I have to wait what felt like an eternity to use that coveted new toy. It was crazy.

But you know what? Almost every product back then did that. When it had batteries in it, and you had to charge it before you used it. Well, Steve noticed that and he said, We’re not going to let that happen to our product.”

So what did we do? Typically, when you have a product that has a hard drive in it, you run it for about 30 minutes in the factory to make sure that hard drive’s going to be working years later for the customer after they pull it out of the box. What did we do instead? We ran that product for over two hours. Why? Well, first off, we could make a higher quality product, be easy to test, and make sure it was great for the customer. But most importantly, the battery came fully charged right out of the box, ready to use. So that customer, with all that exhilaration, could just start using the product. It was great, and it worked. People liked it.

Today, almost every product that you get that’s battery powered comes out of the box fully charged, even if it doesn’t have a hard drive. But back then, we noticed that detail and we fixed it, and now everyone else does that as well. No more, “Charge before use.”

why am I telling you this? Well, it’s seeing the invisible problem, not just the obvious problem, that’s important, not just for product design, but for everything we do. there are invisible problems all around us, ones we can solve. But first we need to see them, to feel them.

I’m hesitant to give you any tips about neuroscience or psychology. There’s far too many experienced people in the TED community who would know much more about that than I ever will. But let me leave you with a few tips that I do, that we all can do, to fight habituation.

My first tip is to look broader. when you’re tackling a problem, sometimes, there are a lot of steps that lead up to that problem. And sometimes, a lot of steps after it. If you can take a step back and look broader, maybe you can change some of those boxes before the problem. Maybe you can combine them. Maybe you can remove them altogether to make that better.

Take thermostats, for instance.

In the 1900s when they first came out, they were really simple to use. You could turn them up or turn them down. People understood them. But in the 1970s, the energy crisis struck, and customers started thinking about how to save energy. So what happened? Thermostat designers decided to add a new step. Instead of just turning up and down, you now had to program it. So you could tell it the temperature you wanted at a certain time. Now that seemed great. Every thermostat had started adding that feature. But it turned out that no one saved any energy. Now, why is that? Well, people couldn’t predict the future. They just didn’t know how their weeks would change season to season, year to year. So no one was saving energy, and what happened?

Thermostat designers went back to the drawing board and they focused on that programming step. They made better U.I.s, they made better documentation. But still, years later, people were not saving any energy because they just couldn’t predict the future.

So what did we do? We put a machine-learning algorithm in instead of the programming that would simply watch when you turned it up and down, when you liked a certain temperature when you got up, or when you went away. And you know what? It worked. People are saving energy without any programming.

 it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you take a step back and look at all the boxes, maybe there’s a way to remove one or combine them so that you can make that process much simpler. So that’s my first tip: look broader.

For my second tip, it’s to look closer. One of my greatest teachers was my grandfather. He taught me all about the world. He taught me how things were built and how they were repaired, the tools and techniques necessary to make a successful project.

I remember one story he told me about screws, and about how you need to have the right screw for the right job. There are many different screws: wood screws, metal screws, anchors, concrete screws, the list went on and on.

Our job is to make products that are easy to install for all of our customs themselves without professionals. So what did we do? I remembered that story that my grandfather told me, and so we thought, How many different screws can we put in the box? Was it going to be two, three, four, five? Because there’s so many different wall types.” So we thought about it, we optimized it, and we came up with three different screws to put in the box. We thought that was going to solve the problem. But it turned out, it didn’t.

we shipped the product, and people weren’t having a great experience. So what did we do? We went back to the drawing board just instantly after we figured out we didn’t get it right. And we designed a special screw, a custom screw, much to the chagrin of our investors. They were like, “Why are you spending so much time on a little screw? Get out there and sell more!” And we said, “We will sell more if we get this right.” And it turned out, we did. With that custom little screw, there was just one screw in the box, that was easy to mount and put on the wall.

 if we focus on those tiny details, the ones we may not see and we look at them as we say, “Are those important or is that the way we’ve always done it? Maybe there’s a way to get rid of those.”

my last piece of advice is to think younger.

Every day, I’m confronted with interesting questions from my three young kids. They come up with questions like, “Why can’t cars fly around traffic?” Or, “Why don’t my shoelaces have Velcro instead?” Sometimes, those questions are smart. My son came to me the other day and I asked him, “Go run out to the mailbox and check it.” He looked at me, puzzled, and said, Why doesn’t the mailbox just check itself and tell us when it has mail?” (Laughter)

I was like, “That’s a pretty good question.” So, they can ask tons of questions and sometimes we find out we just don’t have the right answers. We say, “Son, that’s just the way the world works.” So the more we’re exposed to something, the more we get used to it. But kids haven’t been around long enough to get used to those things. And so when they run into problems, they immediately try to solve them, and sometimes they find a better way, and that way really is better.

my advice that we take to heart is to have young people on your team, or people with young minds. Because if you have those young minds, they cause everyone in the room to think younger. Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is when he or she grows up, is how to remain an artist.”

We all saw the world more clearly when we saw it for the first time, before a lifetime of habits got in the way. Our challenge is to get back there, to feel that frustration, to see those little details, to look broader, look closer, and to think younger so we can stay beginners.

It’s not easy. It requires us pushing back against one of the most basic ways we make sense of the world. But if we do, we could do some pretty amazing things. For me, hopefully, that’s better product design. For you, that could mean something else, something powerful.

16:17 Our challenge is to wake up each day and say, “How can I experience the world better?” And if we do, maybe, just maybe, we can get rid of these dumb little stickers.

Patsy Z shared this link
TED. 23 hrs ·

The designer of the iPod shares three tips for solving invisible problems in the world around you:

t.ted.com|By Tony Fadell, designer of the iPod

Speak up for yourself. Do you need mentoring?

Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should.

Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance.

Adam Galinsky. Social psychologist. Full bio
Filmed Sept. 2016
I understood the true meaning of this phrase exactly one month ago, when my wife and I became new parents. It was an amazing moment. It was exhilarating and elating, but it was also scary and terrifying.
And it got particularly terrifying when we got home from the hospital, and we were unsure whether our little baby boy was getting enough nutrients from breastfeeding. And we wanted to call our pediatrician, but we also didn’t want to make a bad first impression or come across as a crazy, neurotic parent.

So we worried. And we waited. When we got to the doctor’s office the next day, she immediately gave him formula because he was pretty dehydrated. Our son is fine now, and our doctor has reassured us we can always contact her. But in that moment, I should’ve spoken up, but I didn’t.

1:09 But sometimes we speak up when we shouldn’t, and I learned that over 10 years ago when I let my twin brother down. My twin brother is a documentary filmmaker, and for one of his first films, he got an offer from a distribution company. He was excited, and he was inclined to accept the offer.

But as a negotiations researcher, I insisted he make a counteroffer, and I helped him craft the perfect one. And it was perfect — it was perfectly insulting. The company was so offended, they literally withdrew the offer and my brother was left with nothing.

I’ve asked people all over the world about this dilemma of speaking up: when they can assert themselves, when they can push their interests, when they can express an opinion, when they can make an ambitious ask.

And the range of stories are varied and diverse, but they also make up a universal tapestry. Can I correct my boss when they make a mistake?

Can I confront my coworker who keeps stepping on my toes?

Can I challenge my friend’s insensitive joke?

Can I tell the person I love the most my deepest insecurities?

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
ted.com|By Adam Galinsky
And through these experiences, I’ve come to recognize that each of us have something called a range of acceptable behavior

sometimes we’re too strong; we push ourselves too much. That’s what happened with my brother. Even making an offer was outside his range of acceptable behavior. But sometimes we’re too weak. That’s what happened with my wife and I. And this range of acceptable behaviors — when we stay within our range, we’re rewarded. When we step outside that range, we get punished in a variety of ways. We get dismissed or demeaned or even ostracized. Or we lose that raise or that promotion or that deal.

3:00 Now, the first thing we need to know is: What is my range? But the key thing is, our range isn’t fixed; it’s actually pretty dynamic. It expands and it narrows based on the context. And there’s one thing that determines that range more than anything else, and that’s your power. Your power determines your range. What is power? Power comes in lots of forms. In negotiations, it comes in the form of alternatives. So my brother had no alternatives; he lacked power. The company had lots of alternatives; they had power. Sometimes it’s being new to a country, like an immigrant, or new to an organization or new to an experience, like my wife and I as new parents. Sometimes it’s at work, where someone’s the boss and someone’s the subordinate. Sometimes it’s in relationships, where one person’s more invested than the other person.

3:54 And the key thing is that when we have lots of power, our range is very wide. We have a lot of leeway in how to behave. But when we lack power, our range narrows. We have very little leeway. The problem is that when our range narrows, that produces something called the low-power double bind. The low-power double bind happens when, if we don’t speak up, we go unnoticed, but if we do speak up, we get punished.

4:24 Now, many of you have heard the phrase the “double bind” and connected it with one thing, and that’s gender. The gender double bind is women who don’t speak up go unnoticed, and women who do speak up get punished. And the key thing is that women have the same need as men to speak up, but they have barriers to doing so. But what my research has shown over the last two decades is that what looks like a gender difference is not really a gender double bind, it’s a really a low-power double bind. And what looks like a gender difference are really often just power differences in disguise.

Oftentimes we see a difference between a man and a woman or men and women, and think, “Biological cause. There’s something fundamentally different about the sexes.” But in study after study, I’ve found that a better explanation for many sex differences is really power. And so it’s the low-power double bind. And the low-power double bind means that we have a narrow range, and we lack power. We have a narrow range, and our double bind is very large.

5:33 So we need to find ways to expand our range. And over the last couple decades, my colleagues and I have found two things really matter. The first: you seem powerful in your own eyes. The second: you seem powerful in the eyes of others. When I feel powerful, I feel confident, not fearful; I expand my own range. When other people see me as powerful, they grant me a wider range. So we need tools to expand our range of acceptable behavior. And I’m going to give you a set of tools today. Speaking up is risky, but these tools will lower your risk of speaking up.

6:14 The first tool I’m going to give you got discovered in negotiations in an important finding. On average, women make less ambitions offers and get worse outcomes than men at the bargaining table. But Hannah Riley Bowles and Emily Amanatullah have discovered there’s one situation where women get the same outcomes as men and are just as ambitious. That’s when they advocate for others. When they advocate for others, they discover their own range and expand it in their own mind.

They become more assertive. This is sometimes called “the mama bear effect.” Like a mama bear defending her cubs, when we advocate for others, we can discover our own voice.

7:01 But sometimes, we have to advocate for ourselves. How do we do that? One of the most important tools we have to advocate for ourselves is something called perspective-taking. And perspective-taking is really simple: it’s simply looking at the world through the eyes of another person. It’s one of the most important tools we have to expand our range. When I take your perspective, and I think about what you really want, you’re more likely to give me what I really want.

7:32 But here’s the problem: perspective-taking is hard to do. So let’s do a little experiment. I want you all to hold your hand just like this: your finger — put it up. And I want you to draw a capital letter E on your forehead as quickly as possible. OK, it turns out that we can draw this E in one of two ways, and this was originally designed as a test of perspective-taking. I’m going to show you two pictures of someone with an E on their forehead — my former student, Erika Hall.

And you can see over here, that’s the correct E. I drew the E so it looks like an E to another person. That’s the perspective-taking E because it looks like an E from someone else’s vantage point. But this E over here is the self-focused E. We often get self-focused. And we particularly get self-focused in a crisis.

8:25 I want to tell you about a particular crisis. A man walks into a bank in Watsonville, California. And he says, “Give me $2,000, or I’m blowing the whole bank up with a bomb.” Now, the bank manager didn’t give him the money. She took a step back. She took his perspective, and she noticed something really important. He asked for a specific amount of money.

8:47 So she said, “Why did you ask for $2,000?”

8:52 And he said, “My friend is going to be evicted unless I get him $2,000 immediately.”

8:56 And she said, “Oh! You don’t want to rob the bank — you want to take out a loan.”

9:01 (Laughter)

9:02 “Why don’t you come back to my office, and we can have you fill out the paperwork.”

9:06 (Laughter)

9:08 Now, her quick perspective-taking defused a volatile situation. So when we take someone’s perspective, it allows us to be ambitious and assertive, but still be likable.

9:20 Here’s another way to be assertive but still be likable, and that is to signal flexibility. Now, imagine you’re a car salesperson, and you want to sell someone a car. You’re going to more likely make the sale if you give them two options. Let’s say option A: $24,000 for this car and a five-year warranty. Or option B: $23,000 and a three-year warranty. My research shows that when you give people a choice among options, it lowers their defenses, and they’re more likely to accept your offer.

9:53 And this doesn’t just work with salespeople; it works with parents. When my niece was four, she resisted getting dressed and rejected everything. But then my sister-in-law had a brilliant idea. What if I gave my daughter a choice? This shirt or that shirt? OK, that shirt. This pant or that pant? OK, that pant. And it worked brilliantly. She got dressed quickly and without resistance.

10:16 When I’ve asked the question around the world when people feel comfortable speaking up, the number one answer is: “When I have social support in my audience; when I have allies.” So we want to get allies on our side. How do we do that? Well, one of the ways is be a mama bear. When we advocate for others, we expand our range in our own eyes and the eyes of others, but we also earn strong allies.

10:42 Another way we can earn strong allies, especially in high places, is by asking other people for advice. When we ask others for advice, they like us because we flatter them, and we’re expressing humility. And this really works to solve another double bind. And that’s the self-promotion double bind. The self-promotion double bind is that if we don’t advertise our accomplishments, no one notices. And if we do, we’re not likable.

11:12 But if we ask for advice about one of our accomplishments, we are able to be competent in their eyes but also be likeable. And this is so powerful it even works when you see it coming. There have been multiple times in life when I have been forewarned that a low-power person has been given the advice to come ask me for advice. I want you to notice three things about this: First, I knew they were going to come ask me for advice. Two, I’ve actually done research on the strategic benefits of asking for advice. And three, it still worked! I took their perspective, I became more invested in their calls, I became more committed to them because they asked for advice.

11:57 Now, another time we feel more confident speaking up is when we have expertise. Expertise gives us credibility. When we have high power, we already have credibility. We only need good evidence. When we lack power, we don’t have the credibility. We need excellent evidence.

12:16 And one of the ways we can come across as an expert is by tapping into our passion. I want everyone in the next few days to go up to friend of theirs and just say to them, “I want you to describe a passion of yours to me.” I’ve had people do this all over the world and I asked them, “What did you notice about the other person when they described their passion?” And the answers are always the same. “Their eyes lit up and got big.” “They smiled a big beaming smile.” “They used their hands all over — I had to duck because their hands were coming at me.” “They talk quickly with a little higher pitch.”

12:53 (Laughter)

12:54 “They leaned in as if telling me a secret.”

12:56 And then I said to them, “What happened to you as you listened to their passion?”

13:01 They said, “My eyes lit up. I smiled. I leaned in.”

13:06 When we tap into our passion, we give ourselves the courage, in our own eyes, to speak up, but we also get the permission from others to speak up. Tapping into our passion even works when we come across as too weak. Both men and women get punished at work when they shed tears. But Lizzie Wolf has shown that when we frame our strong emotions as passion, the condemnation of our crying disappears for both men and women.

13:39 I want to end with a few words from my late father that he spoke at my twin brother’s wedding. Here’s a picture of us. My dad was a psychologist like me, but his real love and his real passion was cinema, like my brother. And so he wrote a speech for my brother’s wedding about the roles we play in the human comedy.

14:01 And he said, “The lighter your touch, the better you become at improving and enriching your performance. Those who embrace their roles and work to improve their performance grow, change and expand the self. Play it well, and your days will be mostly joyful.”

14:19 What my dad was saying is that we’ve all been assigned ranges and roles in this world. But he was also saying the essence of this talk: those roles and ranges are constantly expanding and evolving.

14:35 So when a scene calls for it, be a ferocious mama bear and a humble advice seeker. Have excellent evidence and strong allies. Be a passionate perspective taker. And if you use those tools — and each and every one of you can use these tools — you will expand your range of acceptable behavior, and your days will be mostly joyful.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2017
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