Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘seduction tales’ Category

Swimming with Rachel

Note: Re-edit  of “Rachel of Bethesda: Introspection. Written in 2002 and posted in March 18, 2009

Addendum # 10 of my autobiography 

Rachel’s Sixth Sense (Nov. 2002)

I used to swim at a Navy complex in Bethesda, Montgomery County, from 1993 to 1998.

I patronized this affordable facility at least three times a week, mostly around 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

She was a beauty by any standard. I think she was a cadet in the Navy, following swimming training and evaluation.

I wanted to get to know her, but could not talk to her during her busy swimming schedule.

I wrote her a song and kept a copy with me for the next time I see her.

Here is the song: 

Beautiful girls sense me.  They know for sure,

Exactly, what I’m up to.

They sense me in a split-second and get busy.

She swims with energy, non-stop.

She swims fine, back strokes, crawl, in laps.

I do all that too, leisurely.

She swims constantly and does not breathe.

  I have strong senses too:

She is not taking a break.  Not Today.

I decide for a note, dropped on her towel.

It should say: “I think you are beautiful”.

Everything I see in you is beautiful”.

I feel more at ease and then, hope takes the extra step.

She must take a short break, any second now.

My brain is boiling and I am editing.

My sentence should be reduced to the bare essentials.

“I think you are beautiful, everything I see in you is beautiful” is too long:

No time for her to hear me out.

Just “Beautiful!” will not do: I know that by now.

“You are beautiful!” is about right.

I am swimming leisurely.  There is no movement around me.

There is no towel.  She vanished.

Hang it all.  I’ll write about that swim.

The next time I saw her in the swimming pool I made sure that she saw me drop a piece of paper on her towel.  And I left.

A week later, I asked her: “What’s your name?”  She simply said: “It’s Rachel and I’m dating”.

That was all that was said between us.  Not even a thank you or an allusion to the note.

History repeats its cycle. All I can ever get is the first name.

Rachel’s girl friends in the swimming team started to notice me intently, every time I was there, swimming, and swimming.

A personal poem is a big deal, no matter how you denigrate it publicly.

Barbara made me walk on air

Note: Re-edit of “I Should Have Told Barbara (Jan. 2003)”

The day before my trip to Los Angeles in the summer of 1976, Sue, the girlfriend of a dear friend of mine studying at the same university, asked me to get in touch with her sister Barbara.

I were in the USA since June of 1975, my first trip ever outside my country.

The International Office at the University arranged a group trip for one week to California, for some of us new international students. We were to meet families in this exchange program.

I did not care meeting any American families for the time being, but I needed to get away in my first summer and wanted to see California.

The International student advisor knew about my origin. The program matched me with an old Jewish couple in Pasadena without warning me. I do consider Israel as our existential enemy and anyone who support Israel financially could never be a friend of mine. I did assume this family supported Israel.

The family had a fourteen-year old boy, or maybe he was their grandchild.

I was Not that curious: They looked pretty old to me. The husband was very helpful and friendly, but his wife gave me the impression that she agreed reluctantly to join the program.

A student from Nigeria was assigned to the same family. The house was large with a garden.  The interior looked old, traditional, gloomy, dark and smelling like it was never aerated and reeking of old people.

The same evening they asked the Nigerian student a few questions, but I was spared this torture, may be because I didn’t look that forthcoming. Or that they figured out I’ll be very sensitive to whatever pertinent questions they might ask.

It is a crime to surprise youth among old people. Youth has to be forewarned, to be prepared on what to expect from elder people. Youth has to be reminded that elderly can be wonderful and much active, That older people are great people, still very much living humans And who could be funny, charming and could be very functional…

We had a general gathering the first day with all the host families and various students. Then we were given the daily program of places to see and I barely paid attention to the program.

We were to see Disneyland the next day for free. I declined the invitation: Disneyland is for kids.

I remember that I had another chance to visit Disney for free, two years later. And I again declined. Disney was still just for kids.

Many years later, I discovered that everybody liked to see Disney, including kids. I never saw Disney in California, but the smaller version in Orlando with my nephews. My little nephews and nieces, five in total then, loved Disney.

Not as much as I did enjoy it that day.

My host drove me for an hour to the meeting place with Barbara, living in West Hollywood. He drove two hours to pick me up, three hours later.

Youth: ruthless, mindless, uncompromising, and unappreciative.

I still can visualize Barbra after thirty years, coming toward me, in white shirt, long brown skirt reaching below her knees, almost touching her long brown cowboy boots.

Her boots must have added a couple inches to her stature. She is shorter than me in an afterthought. But the vision is always of a tall and grand lady.

She appeared taller than me but my pride increased correspondingly, by her side.

Her then long blonde-brown hair was raised over her beautiful head. She looked glamour incarnate.

She hugged me and made me feel I was a dear friend, of long time, whom she missed.

She spoke with effusion and earnestness.

She wanted to know all that is to know, instantly,

About how her sister is doing, what about her sister’s boyfriend who was my friend, About their relationship, about Oklahoma her home State…

About everything, but nothing about me, or how I feel or felt that moment.

I was glad that I was not the object of the conversation then, but not so glad now.

We walked together so close, and I was walking on air.

I felt that I must look the most envied guy, a most glamorous guy in the whole wide world.

I asked permission from my host family to move at Barbara’s, for the duration of the program, and they agreed.

Next morning was warm and sunny and I walked to Beverly Hills to see her in the fashion store she managed. I did walk on stars’ hands and the walk was Not that long.

She received me like a VIP and was happy at my surprised visit. And I toured Downtown Beverly Hills: Pretty empty of clients, boring, clean, expensive for no reasons… I cannot recall if I waited for Barbara to finish work or that I returned by myself.

I wanted to be with Barbara every second of my trip in California.

A couple of years later, I accepted to attend a conference in Los Angeles hoping to see Barbara again.

It was an important political conference but my heart was not in it.

My friends drove me through Beverly Hills, where the rich and glamorous live, but I was not impressed.

Finally, giving up, they gave me a lift from Anaheim to West Hollywood.

I called up Barbara and I invited myself to stay overnight at her apartment.

She had many friends. She was attached at the moment to a fashionable young man, working in fashion and with fashion, but they had problems.

She appeared depressed and disappointed and not in the mood for me. Her TV was on 24 hours.

I slept and woke up with the TV on.

Six years later, during my second extended trip to the USA, I had another opportunity to visit with Baraba

Sue was leaving to Little Rock with her boyfriend had she told me that Barbara was married and living in Oklahoma City and she gave me her phone number.

I met Barbara on Thanksgiving and she did not look the Barbara of my vision.

Her skin looked darker, her face emaciated, down to earth, resigned and decked in simple blue jeans and an old black sweater.

She was married to a full-blooded American Indian, herself a half-blooded lady.

A soft spoken husband, a polite artist who toured the USA exhibiting his paintings.

She stayed at home designing jewellery and managing her man’s business.

I accepted her invitation for a Thanksgiving lunch.

I went down to Oklahoma City for an important and specific purpose of mine: I was determined to tell Barbara my secret.

I went down with my steady girlfriend at the time. I had to because I had no cars: actually, I spent most of my University education on a bicycle.

Barbara’s eyes had an ironic shine looking at my oriental (Filipina) short friend.

She asked my friend all kinds of questions about our relationship,

How we met and what are our plans.

Barbara said to me: “You know, someone needs news about your friend”.

She meant that her sister needed to know the whereabouts of her ex-husband.

I had lost track of the whereabouts of my friend too and could not be of much help.

Barbara was entitled to know the truth, that the first time she walked with me, she made me feel that I was the most glamorous guy in town.

But I did not tell Barbara the truth.

I don’t recall that I talked during my two hours stay at Thanksgiving.

Maybe it did not feel right at that moment, but I should have persevered on my initial decision:

This truth is hers no matter what.

She could be eighty, but age does not erase the feeling, that to my young eyes, she was the most glamorous woman I set my eyes on.

She could be a hundred, but age does not change the fact,

That Barbara made me once walk on air.

Maybe if I had told Barbara, I wouldn’t have written this story.

Procedures: What was it for Beauty in the 30’s?
‘Freezing’ freckles off with carbon dioxide was a popular treatment in the thirties.
Patients’ eyes were covered with airtight plugs, their nostrils were filled in for protection, and they had to breathe through a tube.

A chorus of large blow-driers attends to a customer in the 1920s

A permanent hair procedure (presumably hair waving) being performed in Germany in 1929.

This device from 1930, invented by Max Factor, helps correct the application of make-up.

This terrifying mask from the 1940s could be plugged in to heat the face and head in an attempt to stimulate circulation and make the skin look fresh.

‘Slenderising salons’ in the forties devised all sorts of weight-loss treatments, one of which was massage chairs like these, which massaged clients’ legs with metal rollers

A 1940s beauty treatment at Helena Rubinstein’s salon

Before the invention of sun-screen in the mid 1940s, bathers wore garments like this Freckleproof Cape to protect themselves from the sun. The cape also features built-in sunglasses.

Pre-war women would spend hours with their hair bundled up into creepy heating machines like these to achieve a fashionable curled look

A fruit mask from the 1930s

This ‘Glamour Bonnet’ from the forties promised to give users a rosy complexion by lowering atmospheric pressure around their head to simulate alpine conditions

This Thirties suction machine consisted of tiny glass nozzles, a rubber hose and a vacuum pump. It promised smooth, spot-free skin

These two 1920s women are getting rid of wrinkles and imperfections by wearing rubber “beauty masks”

The ‘Hangover Heaven’ face pack, also invented by Max Factor, featured plastic cubes that could be filled with water and frozen.
The mask was popular with party-going Hollywood stars in the forties
Brad Pitt about his wife:
My wife got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and children.
She lost 30 pounds and weighted about 90 pounds. She got very skinny and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman.
She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs. She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the mornings and got tired very quickly during the day.
Our relationship was on the verge of a break up. Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself.
She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role. I lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon… But then I decided to act.
After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on earth. She is the idol of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her. …
I began to shower her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised and pleased her every minute. I gave her a lot of gifts and lived just for her.
I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends.
You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became better. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and loved me even more than ever.
I had no clue that she CAN love that much.
And then I realized one thing: the woman is the reflection of her man.
If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.
Brad Pitt  See More
Brad Pitt about his wife:</p><br /><br />
<p>My wife got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and children. She lost 30 pounds and weighted about 90 pounds. She got very skinny and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs. She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the mornings and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of a break up. Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role. I lost hope and thought that we’ll get divorced soon… But then I decided to act. After all I’ve got the most beautiful woman on earth. She is the idol of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her. I began to shower her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised and pleased her every minute. I gave her a lot of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends. You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became better. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and loved me even more than ever. I had no clue that she CAN love that much.</p><br /><br />
<p>And then I realized one thing: the woman is the reflection of her man.</p><br /><br />
<p>If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.</p><br /><br />
<p>Brad Pitt

“My eternal regret. I’m so sorry Ramis”

We were a bunch of close friends in my first year university at a university in Beirut. The guys slightly outnumbered the girls, and we were of various confessions, different Christian sects, Moslem sects, and even a Jewish guy.

I was the youngest and the age difference spanned 18 to 23 years. A few of us were well-off, had their own homes, a car, a girlfriend… many of us were barely affording tuitions, but we managed to meet and eat outside, and stayed together till midnight.

The civil war had started shyly in 1975, but people learned quickly not to venture out of their premises or to linger outside at night.

Murad was two years older than me and somehow he was tacitly imposed as our guiding rod: He was the only child, lived with his mother in a vast ancient home in the mountain overlooking Beirut, he had a car and a girlfriend Tania. He had lost his father (died at the age of 44 from heart attack) when he was 7 years and his mother chaperoned him to be the master of the house. His mother reigned as the regent to a designated monarch, sort of allowing Murad to give his opinions and decisions on daily matters.

I was under the impression that if his mother Aida had a single daughter, she would have treated her daughter as her slave. Murad would never tell his mother of the inevitable problems among the friends: She would consider the friend as an enemy for antagonizing Murad.

Samiramis was my classmate and she was the tallest among the girls, beautiful and svelte.

At one of our countless parties, I couldn’t stop ogling her and I was in a chatting mood from nervousness.

Around midnight, “Sami the beautiful” asked: “Who will accompany me home?” As a child I screamed: “I will”, no matter what she actually wanted, and I was ready to fulfill Ramis wishes.

I didn’t own a car and after 5 minutes walk I felt ashamed: “Ramis must have expected someone with a car to give her a lift, and here I am walking her all the way to her building, in dark streets filled with large holes…” It was too late to return and ask someone else to give Sami a lift: If I were in Paris, walking for 5 minutes would be very natural and normally expected, but not in Lebanon.

As we arrived at a large crevice in the street, I held Ramis hand to circumvent this obstacle and keep her hand afterwards. Ramis subtly eased her hand out of my soft grasp, and felt ashamed for taking this initiative: My gentlemanly education at home was a huge barrier in “taking advantages” of someone relying on me to care for… And thus, I failed to kiss her goodnight: It was not proper since she expressed not to be in the mood of being intimate with me, tonight…

A week later, Semiramis showed up holding hands with another one of our common friends. I was helplessly looking at the joined hands and surmised that this guy was bold enough to hold her in his arm and show her closer attention and affection.

We met again as a group, but walking Ramis home was not to take place again. The irony was that I had purchased a beige beetle car, and Ramis was not to ride in  it with me.

It was the regret of a lifetime: I blew a fantastic occasion to get intimate with Semiramis and starting a love story…

Twenty years later, I returned hurriedly from Paris and boarded the first flight to Beirut: Tania, now  the wife of Murad had call me and said: “Murad is dying and he wants to see you…”

For the last 20 years, I never returned to Lebanon and I was at odd with Murad for militarily participating in the civil war. My initial attitude was to refuse this invitation: “What are we to talk about? There are no grounds to apologize and forgive committed atrocities…”

My girlfriend pressured me to leave immediately because it is not permitted not to satisfy the wishes of a dying close friend…

I was in a hotel waiting for the morning to shine when Tania awoke me from a deep sleep. Tania thought that I was still in France and said: “It is not necessary to show up. Murad could not wait for you. He is dead”

I told Tania that I am in Beirut and she softened her voice, but repeated “he could not wait any longer. Anyway, I send a car to bring you here. You won’t be able to locate our new home

I was terribly uneasy: I didn’t want to meet any of our common friends and the mother of Murad Aida. I didn’t see Aida: She must have died before her son. I lingered another 10 minutes among the mourners, and the house was already packed with “strangers”.

In my hotel room, I began gathering the letters that I received in the last 20 years. During all that time I couldn’t bring myself to think and write about Lebanon and my recollections. I had focused my attention on the Roman period and published a few historical stories. When I am prompted to speak about Lebanon, I find myself a mute, but ask me anything on the Roman history and I am a chattering box, talking nonstop for hours.

The next day, the nephew of Tania called and asked me to say a word at the burying ceremony. He encouraged me by listing the people who will say something. I adamantly refused on the lame excuse that my students are waiting for me to give them the exam… It was a blatant lie: I don’t teach in this semester.

Tania called and wanted me to say a word. I declined. Tania said: “You may return to your new country...”

Tania’s confrontation decided me to stay longer in Lebanon, but I will not attend the ceremony.

I decided to fake that I returned to France and called Semiramis. Ramis had visited me a couple of time in France and she was running a hotel in a mountain resort.

Ramis welcomed me and allocated the best room she had. I had informed her of my plan to remain incognito in Lebanon, and that I was seeking isolation…

Ramis had prepared two dozen of small dishes, the mezzeh and a bottle of Champaign. I was not in any chatting mood that evening and she didn’t insist.

I started writing for hours and couldn’t find sleep: My brain and emotions were running full speed, trying to recollected my life before the civil war started.

The next evening, Ramis coaxed me to get up and had something to eat. I reluctantly obeyed and joined her at the table in the balcony of the hotel.

Ramis asked me if I remember the night I walked her home, and I told her that this is one event I could not forget.

After I told her what I recall from that night, Ramis said: “I cannot remember the many details of your story. I do not recall pulling out my hands from yours. What I know is that after walking for 5 minutes and wondered why you parked so far, and then I came to the realization that I’ll be accompanied on foot. You talks were very interesting and I was hoping that you’ll kiss me goodnight as we reach the corner of by building. It never happened and felt that we are just good friends…”

I said: “Not kissing you that night is one of my harshest regrets. And I am so sorry.”

At midnight, Ramis dismissed the waiter and we finished the Champaign, and Semiramis said:

“What of a walk in this clear and warm night?”

I said: “I’ll never miss this second opportunity in the world”

Note: One of the stories in the French book “The disoriented” by Amin Maaluf, translated into Arabic “Al Ta2ihoun”

Satisfying Sex is reserved for the “perverted” imaginative minds

Satisfying Sex for both partners is Not within the reach of adolescents and below the mid-age people, with rare exceptions.

Both partners cannot simultaneously enjoy full-blown sexual intercourse if they fail to recollect how they behaved during the puberty stage with respect the opposite sex.

It requires powerful imagination to remember how we behaved in puberty, and the gut to admit that what we did was the proper conduct to go about wooing the opposite sex…

The steady patience to find ways to delicately touch a finger, obstructing the body parts so that they come in contact, as by hazard…

No one was fool in puberty, and the game was admitted and encouraged as the right thing to do… to persist, to develop the imaginative power for sending the proper signal, the proper message of our attraction, of our passion… to devote time, and energy, and patience to just feel the body, the only reality that mattered…

In puberty, more often than not, we dared not look the partner face to face: We prefered to dwell on our imaginative mind, the way we wanted the partner to think of us, to get confused of mixed signals…

In puberty, we were not interested in direct questions and direct answers of the kinds “Do you love me“, “How do you feel about me”, “what do you like about me”… Those mentalistic formulas were not a priority

All these questions and answers are reserved to phases when we shovel our imagination under the carpet, and we start lying to ourselves for believing in the sorts of “Affirm yourself“, “Seek direct confirmation”, “Show confidence in yourself“, “Tell her how you feel”, “Do not give up and keep harassing your partner until you get a satisfactory reply”….

Mid-age people learn to prosecute satisfying sex, not from consciously emulation of the puberty period, but by procuration of  accumulated experience that somehow imitate how we behaved in puberty… recapturing the patience and invested time and energy to woo the other partner… slowly and delicately touching, and getting interested in every portion of the body, every piece of flesh representing the entire body in sensation…

Current movies and sitcom try to fool us that this generation of adolescent is far more mature than the previous one: This is pure fiction.

Mature screenwriters and directors are faking to reminisce on how as adolescent they wanted to behave, Not how awkwardly they behaved, as the law of nature dictates, growing up…

Sure the new generation is far more exposed than other generations in all matter of knowledge and reality of life through the endless streams of music audio-visual internet communication means, but this does not automatically translate in actual field of behavior with the other sex…

If adolescents could write

If adolescents dare to write, in any style, in their own slang, their own words…

They’ll inevitably bridge the gap with mature fiction novels, of authors doing their hardest, to recall how it was to feel, empathyze, share with mankind suffering, pain, and struggle to keep humanity healthy and sane… Trying their hardest and barely remembering, skin deep…

This post is supposed to be a draft, pending your stories, replies and comments…

“The boardwalk’s rough planks, a nod to maritime authenticity, present a design flaw perhaps foreseeable in this city: Women with Louis Vuitton handbags are forever extracting their spike heels from the cracks.”

Charlize Theron’s feet would have a rough time in Beirut

Habib (see note 2) criticized this article and wrote:

“That’s correct my beautiful people, you might want to leave those Louboutins at home.  One air-kissing lipstick lady cooed in a mix of Beirut Italiano: “Finito la mishkala!” (The problems are over!)

To whom the headline “Resurgent Beirut Offers Haven Amid Turmoil…” apply to?

Does it address the hundreds of thousands of Syrian, Palestinian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Sudanese and other refugees that scrape together a meager existence against the xenophobic threats of locals in this tiny fear-soaked, lawless strip of Mediterranean coast?

Or is it the majority of Lebanon’s 4 million population that spends half their lives without proper electricity and no adequate potable water because the Sate is too corrupt to provide it?

Does this “eddy of peace” as the Times writer calls it, provide refuge to young college grads who flee this country in droves (50% of them) because they know they cannot be protected against the gangsters that brazenly roam the streets in black tinted windows?

Does it shelter the hard-working young professionals who have no choice but to remain and cannot afford a home in Beirut because their clan did not rob a bank or buy one?

Does Lebanon appeal to aspiring local journalists when there is no rule of law, no functioning judicial system and where assassinations are the norm?

The Times writer reminds us that “Lebanon’s leaders scramble to keep the political peace.”

Missing in this shallow missive is the fact that over $100 billion dollars is sitting in secret deposits managed by the country’s banking dynasties to help those leaders “cope” with the rough job they have, and have had for generations.

Other dictators must be envious of the Lebanese elite.

Who wants to spoil the couch comfort food of the Saturday Times with real problems and real people? This article is not about locals. Why should it be? It’s written for tortured Western minds for whom “Lebanon’s image remains frozen in old snapshots: sectarian massacres, hostages tied to radiators…”

What a shame that: “Many Westerners do not realize that Lebanon is still safe, and fun.”

Perhaps what Beirut really needs is more signs like this:


credit: Dizzy Dee

“Surely a small measure could help bring us closer to “Lebanon’s latest effort to recapture the prewar 1960s — when Brigitte Bardot was a regular and Beirut was a fashionable port of call.”

Or was that whole “Paris of the Middle East” narrative, so effortlessly recast, just a product of a long tradition of American editors sending reporters parachuting into ‘exotic’ places they know little about?” End of Habib quote

Note 1: I am reading an exciting French book “A Taxi for Benghazi” by Marie-Lys Lubrano,  and the author was in Egypt as Mubarak was ousted from power as a free-lance photographer, and she had a mind of going to Yemen where the action is.

Libya had just started the insurrection, and Marie-Lys had no idea that Libya was on the border with Egypt, and she thought Tripoli was the Lebanese norther port city, and she could not recall the name Qadhafi who erected his tent in 2007 in Paris before meeting with President Sarkozy….

And these young foreign photographers and correspondents rush to cover dangerous events, not knowing that the country is in a state of war…

Note 2: http://www.beirutreport.com/2012/04/new-york-times-struggles-with-beirut.html


Success brand names tell mythic archetypical stories?

Brian Collins, chief creative officer at Collins, said in an interview with Debbie Millman: “A great brand name must embody mythic archetype stories, stories that remind us of eternal truths to navigate through our lives, archetypes like “KING”, “MAGICIAN”, WARRIOR”…that need not that much explanation to project the picture and the message.

For example, the Apple with a bite taken out symbolizes the seductive-rebel Eve who tempted Adam to cross over to conscious thinking, like Apple ad of a woman throwing a sledgehammer at the screen showing Big Brother…

For example, yesterday I watched a bunch of kids playing a game of pick-up basketball, and the next day you have Nikes displaying its orange banner with the “swoosh symbol” spanning around the court.  Nike is the goddess of victory, and there is no doubt in my mind that the kids felt the meaning of that symbol and the participants are playing with more vigor, as if they are called upon to unfold their power for winning and achieving…”

We don’t experience the world through information, but through stories.  That’s why brands are meant to create belief systems.  Brand designers construct frameworks so we may better understand the world…

Designers should be “problem makers” because they are great with pattern-recognition skills and should seek companies with problems not explicitly known to them.  Designers are not necessarily brought in as “problem solvers”, but to observe the various latent problems within the community of the corporation…

Great brands continue to emotionally resonate from the grand parents to the children to the grand children, like with Disney. 

Brian Collins stretched the envelope a little too thin when he claimed that great brands, like Coca Cola help connect people around the world. How? A kid from Afghanistan drinking a Coca Cola can or bottle would connect with an US kid…I am wondering: How many kids in the US have the background knowledge that the successive US administrations landed over 100,000 Us troops to fight in Afghanistan, that the US drones are killing more civilians and kids than Taliban “fighters”?…Maybe it is the Afghani kid who is connecting and saying: “Are the kids in the US aware of what’s going on in Afghanistan…?”

Peter Drucker wrote: “Securities analysts believe that companies make money. Companies make shoes.” Does anyone believe that financial multinationals make shoes, or produce anything? All they are good at is shitting all over the place!

Collins says: “People are looking for more than the product: They want to know the company’s relationship to the local economy…” That would be fine for local companies, I think.  How many international corporations are laying a framework of letting local communities adhere to their message, if a plausible message is credible.

Note: Post inspired from a chapter in “Brand thinking and other noble pursuits” by Debbie Millman

Future wireless data can be transmitted through light-bulbs? Privacy is nil and over?


Do you know that when we use smartphones or tablet PCs to surf the internet, check emails, share pictures, engage in social networking, or store information in a cloud, we make use of wireless communications technology?

Traditionally, all the information we move around with these devices is transmitted using radio frequency spectrum. The more data we generate, the more radio frequency spectrum we need.

I think I read somewhere that this technology was used by the French in WWI to guide their rickety planes, made in wood, and dropping bombs by hand, miles away from targets?  Or maybe it was not strictly wireless?

Are you set to believe Harald Haas, University of Edinburgh, promising that future wireless data will be transmitted through lightbulbs?

Harald Haas said:

“It is forecast that by the year 2015, we will transmit 6 exabytes — six billion, billion bytes — every month through wireless networks. This is a ten-fold increase on the amount of data we send now. (I think that the US money press generate far more dollars than the new communication technology generate in “exabytes”?)

In order to meet this increased demand, we need either 10 times more radio frequency spectrum for commercial wireless networks, or we have to make the existing radio frequency spectrum 10 times more efficient.

The first option  is impossible — most of the available radio frequency spectrum is already used.

The second option is difficult to achieve, as existing wireless technology is very sophisticated, and it has been shown that further improvements are often offset by unmanageable complexity.

Therefore, we are heading to a saturation point in terms of how efficiently we can use the radio frequency spectrum. The only way out of this is to find new ways to transmit data wirelessly.

Fortunately, the electromagnetic spectrum not only incorporates the radio frequency spectrum, but also includes the visible light spectrum, the best known transmitter of which is the sun.

In the past, we used incandescent light bulbs in our homes and offices. This technology is more than 100-years-old and is hugely inefficient. In the past decade, there have been massive developments in the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Since LEDs are far more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, they are at the heart of the latest generation of lights.

In fact, research by my team at the University of Edinburgh has shown that, if all the world’s incandescent light bulbs were replaced by LED, the energy saved would be equivalent to that produced by more than 100 nuclear power stations.  (Another reason why nuclear energy protagonists hate LED types “visual energy?)

However, this is not the only advantage of LEDs.

These lights are semiconductor devices similar to transistors, which are commonly found in devices such as TVs, laptops or smartphones. Like transistors, LEDs can be switched on and off very quickly.

We have harnessed this feature to develop novel techniques that enable ordinary LED light bulbs to wirelessly transmit data at speeds many times faster than WiFi routers. We have named the new technology Li-Fi (light fidelity) which we now commercialize via the university spin-out company VLC Ltd.

In our lab, under ambient light conditions, we are able to achieve data speeds of 130 megabits per second. If all light bulbs were able to do this, it would create a simple, energy-efficient solution to the lack of available radio frequency spectrum for future wireless broadband communication.

The new Li-Fi technology utilizes existing infrastructures, and as a result, the installation costs are minimal, let alone the reduced cost of the technology as it does not require an antenna.

There are other advantages to this technology:

1. Light does not penetrate walls, and so internet signals cannot be intercepted outside the room in which they are transmitted, which enhances security.

2. Light also travels through water, and so short-range underwater communication is possible. For instance, divers could share pictures, or remotely operated vehicles could exchange information.

3. Light is inherently safe and can be used in places where radio frequency communication is often deemed problematic, such as in aircraft cabins or hospitals.

So visible light communication not only has the potential to solve the problem of lack of spectrum space, but can also enable novel applications.  In the not-too-distant future, a day in the life of an average person, whom we’ll call Sally, could look like this:

1. When Sally switches on the light in the morning, she gets the latest news flashed on her smart phone. From the breakfast table she sends a few emails through the table light. (Thus, if Sally is not in the mood of listening or seeing anything, Sally has to strictly rely on candlelight?)

2. Sally gets into her car and drives to work. On the way, a cat crosses the street and she has to brake hard. Her LED backlights tell the car behind to slow down even before the driver has a chance to brake, and an accident is avoided. (Isn’t that technology already embedded in modern cars?)

3. Sally stops in front of a traffic light that operates using LEDs. While showing red, the traffic light is able to send a signal to switch off the engine in Sally’s car, reducing CO2 emissions. The traffic light also communicates with the navigator inside the car, and helps Sally avoid a traffic jam ahead. (If Sally has a problem with her ignition, how can she “forbid” the traffic light not to interfere?)

4. In the office, Sally’s fast internet access is provided through the LED ceiling lights. She has internet access in all meeting rooms, but no-one on the street outside can intercept the signals.( Not even the special Federal communication forces?)

5. After work, Sally decides to go to an art gallery down-town. The LED spotlights in the gallery illuminate the pictures and provide information about her and her boyfriend. (Is that safe? Any invasion of privacy?)

6. Sally leaves the art gallery and, on the way downtown, she passes some shops. LED lights in the shop windows broadcast offers. She buys a pair of shoes on sale. (Encouraging and enhancing consumerism behavior?)

7. The restaurant is in a large shopping mall. Sally’s navigation system guides her there. Inside the mall, LED ceiling lights take over the task of guiding her to the restaurant. (Back to eating? Always guiding back to restaurants?)

8. Once inside the restaurant, LED table lights beam the menu card onto Sally’s smart-phone. She enjoys her meal and leaves a recommendation on the restaurant’s home page, using the connection from the same table light.

9. By the time Sally leaves the restaurant it is dark (and short on savings?). She is in a good mood after her date. On the way back to her car, she leaves a little message at a street light, which acts as a local message board, saying “Sally loves Tom”  (Might as just design the local message board in the shape of a tree and the message looks as carved in something tangible and in Sally handwriting…)

Don’t you feel that technology tends to be pervasive and insinuating too ugly into our rights for privacy?

I wish people who get excited about advances in technology take the time to reflect on the consequences, and insert a few paragraphs on the seriousness of negative consequences, and ways to restrict the inflicting of ravages to the common people…

Adding a few sections on the potential negative consequences (the ethical dimension…) should be mandated, as we expect research papers to clarify the interpretation of the data and results on the design and application of the research…

Elegant Niggers in white masks Society? Who are these SAPE members?

There was this trend in the 80’s in Congo Brazzaville, a former French colony, when the expatriates from the Congo to France would return for the Summer vacation season.  These fresh comers would be dressed in the latest European fashion such as made by Cerruti, Gian Franco Ferre, Gianni Versace, Enrico Coveri,  Francesco Smalty, Yves St. Laurent, Armani, Guy Laroche…Weston and Church…

(I wonder, how they managed to earn enough to bring so many fashionable dresses and shoes… in order to “save face” toward their countrymen who didn’t get the opportunity to leave yet?)

Tchicaya U Tamsi from Togo wrote:

“One day, we have got to walk

With the high winds,

A wandering tree leave landing

On a heap of dung, a bonfire…

I inhabited a country of music

Inaccessible to the ear,

What went wrong in my life

Blame it on my legs, never on my heart… 

The general idea of this “Clothing religion” (Ya kitendi religion) was that “No matter how elegantly the European try to dress, if the Africans didn’t try on the latest fashion designed by Europeans, it will never look elegant on the White people...”

The ideology of “authenticity of the African Black customs and the rest…” was not in the program: What counted was: “Have you been away from your home State, have you visited part of the world, the triumphal return to the homeland, transformed in a white mask…

Looking elegant is an entire program of initiation, learning, practising, and keeping at it all the way.  For example, the black skin had to vanish in thin air, to be replaced by the color of yellow banana (the best that “skin de-blacking” products could reach)…

For that end, the young “Ambiance elegant persons society” SAPE members had to descend to the economic Capital of Point Noire in Congo and purchase the color “de-niggering” chemical products such as Green and Red Ambi, Diprosone, Dop, Venus…

What was the process?

The member of SAPE was not to take any shower or wash for an entire month, and he had to wear two to three layers of clothes in order to sweat profusely, and experience the skin breaking down, and wait for the lesions to heal slowly… Plenty of suffering and patience before the skin turns banana yellow…

Most of theses individuals in older age witnessed skin cancer and saw black blotches disfiguring their faces and skin: Once used, you had got to continue using the dangerous products if you wanted to maintain the yellowish skin color…

It was a must for the SAPE addicts to converge to a place called “Total Market” to exhibit their elegance: The King of the SAPE was elected there. Who the French magazines (Paris-Match, Le nouvel Observateur…) elected didn’t count: The real election test had to take place at Bacongo (the birth place of SAPE movement). For example, Djo Balard (in the movie Black micmac), had to face-off with Pechard (wearing Scots tunic),  Guy Freddy, Thomas Mbongoque…

It was no longer “Black is beautiful”, but rather how elegantly Blacks of Africa carry their stature, move, walk, talk… A SAPE famous member would shave on the front porch, in front of his admirers (ngembo), and relatives would be shining his shoes, and suggesting the “must locations” to visit in order to show-off their illustrious relative coming from France…

The famous singers in Congo relayed and disseminated the SAPE “ideology”. Papa Wemba (Viva la Musica), Emeneya Kester (Victoria Eleison), Koffi Olomide (Quatier Latin)…spread the culture of the SAPE proclamation…

Who emulated who? The SAPE or the drug leaders and rich rap musicians in the USA?  

It is to be noted that the Rep. of the Congo at the time was a communist State and the SAPE trend degenerated into mafia groups dealing in almost everything and terrorizing the citizens in the major cities of Congo Brazzaville.

Elegance has nothing to do with wealth discrimination: The wealthiest White American Anglo-Protestants didn’t display their arrogance and racism through ostentatious attires, but rather wearing cloths a little nicer than the  common people…The worst kind of devilish smokescreen display of commonality…Until liberal capitalism of the 90’s broke down all the red lines in decency…

Note 1: Topic extracted from a chapter in “Writers and migrating bird” by Alain Mabanckou from the Rep.of the Congo

Note 2: During the long reign of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko over Zaire (The Belgium former Congo colony), he coined the useless currency Zaire. The people flocked to communist Congo Brazzaville, just to be paid in real money, the French CFA.  

Do Currency rules over political systems? Is that how the former colonial powers maintained their positions in the newly independent African States?

Note 3:  In the 80’s, Zaire tried an incursion into Congo Brazzaville and the troops were repulsed.  It was not easy to round up the remaining troops since the citizens in both States speak the same language, look the same, and are from the same tribe.  

The pronunciation of a stupid vowel “u” uncovered the people from Zaire who pronounced the French vowels “u” as “i”:  For example saying “sicre” instead of  sucre (sugar).  The same would happen during Lebanon long civil war: To differentiate between the Lebanese Moslems and the Palestinian Moslems, you had to say “banadoura” (tomato) instead of “bandoura”, for example.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Blog Stats

  • 1,407,614 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 758 other followers

%d bloggers like this: