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Monday, January 31, 2005


A Barbie Galadriel with pointy elven ears!

Update: I am now the proud owner of a Barbie Galadriel.


Today, I needed to get 60's/70's style doll-cloths for a certain project, so I hit the toy stores, and damn, what a shock I got. You see, when I was a kid, dolls were pretty. Their make-up was mellow, their cloths were stunning, and their bodies were always so graceful. Dolls were art!
That certainly cannot be said for this generations "fad" dolls that I got to see today at the toy store. Take a look yourself:

Here's a close-up on their faces:

Em, really, what are they trying to do exactly? Prepare today's little girls for a future of collagen-stuffed lips and brow lifts? Teach them that it's appealing to mismatch lip-liner and lip-stick and have eye-shadow reach the forehead? And what's up with the very bizarre body proportions? You know, the average human body is 7 heads high, and the perfect body is 8 heads high. These dolls are 3.5 heads high. Yeah, go ahead, ruin the little girls' aesthetic senses as well.
Ah, I hate you.

The M Sorter

Hehe, welcome to the world where creativity proves pointless. The M-Sorter sorts M&M's, Skittles, and other types of candy by color. I don't see the point, but whatever, I'm all for funky weird ideas, especially when they have to do with color.


Amman Yesterday

As much as I love Amman, I have to admit this; Amman is a very sleepy city. Unless it's the summer when Amman is crowded with late-nighter Gulfians, we're a city that goes early to bed, so there isn't much to do after the sun sets.
Yet, in a country where the median age is 22.2, there's a good amount of lively folks looking for something to do while the rest of Amman slumbers, so they resort to the many cafes, restaurants, clubs, and bars. And thus, they remain indoors and out of sight, undisturbing to the senior population and to the school-goers.
So last night, after about 30 minutes of cruising around trying to think of an interesting place to go to, we ended up in Abdoun(like 70% of the times we cruise around trying to think of an interesting place to go to).
But wow… what a pleasant surprise we had! A good amount of the lively folks had decided that no more lying dormant, for last night they had a reason to celebrate.
So on were the Jordanian flags, loud was the honking, and "Jeishana jeish il watan, sameina bismallah!" was permanently booming out of cars.

Here are some photographs my friend Sara managed to capture among the chaos:

Notice the flags sticking out of cars windows(my car had a flag too)

It was sooo crowded! The line of cars seemed endless.

Finally, when we were done enjoying the chaos, we decided to go have brownies with icecream at Planet Holywood, doesn't it look yummy?

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

Eleven Minutes

I finished reading Paulo Coelho's "Eleven Minutes" last night. You see, I was never, and probably will never be, a big fan of Paulo Coelho- his books attempt to scrape life to find deeper meaning much too much for a person like me. Yet, I do love his very smooth writing style, and Coelho's books always manage to make me stay up till the early hours of dawn turning page after page.

"Eleven Minutes" was no exception when it comes to Coelho's writing excellence, although my favorite Paulo Coelho book remains "Veronika Decides to Die". "Eleven Minutes" though does contain some interesting insights into analyzing the bigger difference between love, passion, and infatuation, and of course, like all Paulo Coelho books, it philosophically tries to break the essence of life apart.

The book opens with a rather bizarre sentence: "Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria," and the rest of the book is a narrative of Maria's observations and experiences, her emotions, dreams and efforts to comprehend life. And like all books that start with "Once upon a time", "Eleven Minutes" ends with a happy ending.


We just finished watching "Underworld", a movie directed by Len Wiseman.
It's basically about an age-old fight between vampires and werewolves, and I have always loved mythical creatures, so naturally, I loved the movie. It reminded me a lot of Van Helsing, but I definitely liked this movie better as the plot was much more interesting and had a few cool twists.
Yet, I'm rather fed up with the whole Matrix-style karate, and I'd never understand why all the vampire movies have to have that gothic theme(the only vampire movie I've ever seen that wasn't gothic was Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and then they had to ruin Queen of the Damned by making a beautifully written book into a gothic movie).
Really though, nothing beats a good old Anne Rice book and the best of all vampires, The Vampire Lestat.

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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Love is a Drug

Scott Rench's work consists of computer generated images that are printed with a ceramic glaze onto a large canvas of clay. The new image is output onto transparent film that acts as a stencil for transferring the image to a silk-screen. Glaze is then used (instead of ink) to print the image on to a slab of clay. Once completely dry the slabs are fired.
Wow. I love it. It looks really fascinating, and the mix of clay and computer graphics is rather odd.

Amazing. Now there's an art I'd love to learn!



When I was having a squabble with a friend about the pros and cons of globalization, he asked me how I would feel if any of my much loved little Amman-y cafés went out of business due to the lure of the newly-opened, international Starbucks.


Although I do love their coffee, sheesh, I'd die if I had to go to the much overcrowded and impersonal Starbucks every time I felt like having coffee(which is often, mind you). After all, the beauty of Amman lies in the dormancy, the inimitability, and in Nescafé. It lies in the countless hours parked outside Cups & Kgs, numerous 30 uroosh spent on Nescafé machines, and many an espressos drank in Lavazza.

Lavazza(or Salam Kanaan's Gallery Duinde)- a lovely little art-gallery-turned-café, tucked away safely in Jabal Amman so no one has ever heard of it(thus its always empty and perfect for talking). I had to share these pictures:

Lovely, right? It's cosy, artsy, with mismatched couches and cheap coffee. They also usually put very weird music that you can't help but get bouncy to...


So today was the fifth prime(I think) of LBC's Star Academy 2. I didn't really get to watch all of it, but I was home in time to watch the results of this weeks nominations. The nominees this week were Katia Haraka from Lebanon, Eman Mezher from Lebanon, and Salma Ghazali from Algeria.
Thankfully, Salma Ghazali was the one the audience "saved" (with a whopping 70-something percent of the votes). I think Salma is by far the girl with the cutest personality in this years season. Yeah, sure, her voice isn't the best, but at least she's natural, sweet, and has short hair.
Go Salma.

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Friday, January 28, 2005

If I Were...

Inspired by Subzero Blue:

If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a "Nai", a Middle-Eastern flute(listen to samples of nai here).
If I were a song, I'd be Pink Floyd's "Time".
If I were a word, I'd be "jeans".
If I were a color, I'd be red.
If I were a home, I'd be a Manhattan, glass-walled, above the clouds apartment.
If I were a place, I'd be a little cafe in Jabal Amman called Lavazza.
If I were a car, I'd be a practical sedan.
If I were an animal, I'd be a vampire.
If I were a fruit, I'd be a green apple .

Art Space

This is artist David Choe's workspace. The Wooster Collective has a bunch of pictures of Choe's workspace, along with several other artists studios like MCA, Justin Kee's and Kid Acne.
It's really cool to see the space that artists create their work in. Stuff that get the creative juices flowing. From messy to clean, we as artists and designers have one thing in common--we love to spread out all over the place.

+Cool Hunting

So now, I have an official excuse for being a slob.

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Thursday, January 27, 2005


is a table made of sticks and glass, designed by Thomas Malmberg. What looks like wooden sticks is actually copper-plated steel supporting Stack's glass tabletop.

Cutie Tables

Design by Nicholas Brussels

+Design Sponge

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Sampling: The Genetics of Music

Variations on a theme is the crux of creativity, and that is probably most evident in the composition of music. Each generation of musicians borrows from the music that came before them. Software applications like HSS which can predict hit songs after a few minutes analysis of an MP3, make this even more apparent. Perhaps one day we'll just mix and match compositions that come closer to approximating the 'perfect composition'.



Displayce is a multi-level table that changes its shape when you put things on it. In their words, "Displayce - From the definition of infuse: to introduce a thing into another, affecting it throughout. The Displayce table surface is broken into sections that begin level. After placing an object on one of the sections the others change in height reacting to the placed object's weight."


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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Sneaker Freak

Yes, a website for the sneaker freaks. What an interesting site as well- every single style, manufacturer, and type of sneaker you can think of.
Of course, I had to post my most comfortable pair:

Enjoy the site!

+Cool Hunting

Bloggies 2005

The Bloggies 2005 are in, and I really love the idea of rectangular screenshots as the voting option buttons. It adds color, personality, and art to an otherwise boring website. Way to go webdesigner of the Bloggies.
Some of my favorite blogs have been nominated this year; Subzero Blue, Near Near Future, Engadget, TreeHugger, PopGadget, and Boing Boing.

Should be really interesting to see the winners.

Hajj Goodie Bags

My parents just came back from performing the 5th pillar of Islam, the Hajj. Having lived in Saudi Arabia where Hajj is a perfectly normal thing to do, I was very surprised at the importance people place on Hajj in Jordan. Think the same fuss they do over weddings(the building's guard decorated the elevator).

Basically, when people come back from Hajj, they're supposed to give a goodie-bag of dates, prayer mats, and rosary beads for the guests who come to congratulate them. My mother wanted to do something more original though, so she brought "maba'7er" (which is an Arabic incense burner), Arabic-Gum scented incense, and Arabic-Gum instead of your typical goodie-bag.

Naturally, I love spending hours gluing stuff together, but we were sort of in a rush to wrap the 200 goodie-bags by today, and I have a test tomorrow(the damn Islamic Culture test keeps popping up at the worst times), so we called on the extended family to help.

I had to share the results(click for bigger image):

Anyway, I better go start studying for my Islamic Culture test now.

Main: AndFarAway.net

Monday, January 24, 2005

Walk Away from Google?

Pew has just released the results of a study on Internet search behavior. The results were surprising, especially this one:

Nearly half of searchers use a search engines no more than a few times a week, and two-thirds say they could walk away from search engines without upsetting their lives very much....

So could you walk away from search engines? I know for a fact that I can't.
Another weird finding was that only 38% of users are aware of the distinction between paid or "sponsored" results and unpaid results.

+Boing Boing


Remember "Amman Goes Jazz"? Yeah, so the bass player from the Palestinian band, Ahmad, sent me this really cool picture, and I just had to share.
Very artistic Ahmad. Music and visuals arts go beautifully together.

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Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Hand Collector

Yes, I agree, hands are very fascinating because you can tell a lot about a person from his or her hands.
Yet, are they fascinating enough to collect(photographs of that is)? Well, The Hand Collector seems to think so, and he displays his collection online.
Cheers to The Hand Collector for having an interesting passion and for sharing it with us(I absolutely adore people who are passionate about stuff).

I will share some of my favorites(click for enlargement):

"Cut this finger off for love"

Don't we all just adore creativity?

One for All

New Scientist reports about a new charger called the Splashpad that would be able to charge all your gadgets:

Instead of each device needing its own charger, it may soon be possible to recharge phones and cameras by placing them on a plastic pad the size of a mouse mat. A dense array of coils buried in the pad will transmit energy to the gadget to charge its batteries. And it will be possible to charge as many gadgets as can fit on the pad at once, the inventors say.

This would make my life considerably easier.

+ New Scientist
+ Sensory Impact

View From Above

This came from an office window on the 65th floor of the Empire State building.

+Apartment Therapy

The Poster Art of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

So yeah, you've probably already seen this on Sabbah's blog and Subzero Blue, but I can't help but post it on AndFarAway... as well.
"Antonym/Synonym: The Poster Art of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict" is an online exhibit dedicated to opening a democratic discussion on the effects this conflict has had on contemporary art. The posters are all quite impressive pieces of graphic design, and most of them are deep and well-thought.
There are several galleries, including "US Solidarity with Palestine", "Zionist Advocacy", "Arab Solidarity with Palestine", and "Palestinian Artists".
I will share some of my favorite posters:

A Victory for the Palestinian People...
Read article pertaining to poster

Palestine: A Homeland Denied
Artist: Charles Davies (UK) 1979
Read article pertaining to poster

Visit Palestine
Artists: Franz Kraus/original and David Tartakover/reprint (Israel) Original printing 1936
Read article pertaining to poster

Bring the Settlers Home
Artist: David Tartakover (Israel) 1980
Read article pertaining to poster

Israel = Aggression
Artist: Na’eem Ismail (Palestine)Circa 1971
Read article pertaining to poster

And of course, there's the "Dying to Live" campaign posters, which I love:

Sarah of Palestine hopes to be a Mother Teresa. Dare we say hope still exists?

Johnny of Palestine imagines he can be a Lennon. Dare we say that his imagination is a fiction?

Kareem of Palestine believes he can be a Beethoven. Dare we tell him to hold onto his beliefs?

Artist(s): Unattributed, Jordan, Circa 2002
Read article pertaining to this poster


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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Are You Tall?

I knew I wasn't short, and I have just been proven right by "Tall or Not", a little program that compares me to world-famous celebrities.
At 5 foot 8(173 cms), I am taller than Al Pacino, Audrey Hepburn, Demi Moore, Jennier Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox, Kate Moss, Marilyn Monroe, Tom Cruise, and most other actresses.
Na na na na.

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Friday, January 21, 2005

Custom Printed M&M's

Now you can print your very own messages on M&M'S® Milk Chocolate Candies and package them in very creative ways! My favorite packaging option is the tin. You can also choose the colors of the M&M's from 13 different shades. They're also not over priced at $3.75 a bag. I would have bought some if I didn't have to buy them in bulk. Yet, still creative. Way to go M&M's!

+Cool Hunting

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Thursday, January 20, 2005


At this moment, I find myself wishing I can go back to the late 60's or early 70's when life was all about having a good time all the time. People were too busy at that time getting stoned, eating fish and chips and posing in front of their bedroom mirrors with tennis racquets to worry about problems.
There was also Woodstock, which I'm fascinated by... half a million free persons, mostly strangers, gathering together in the spirit of caring and sharing, jamming to Jimi Hendrix. Must have been a hell of an experience.


Ok, so the Mekkah Mall people had really cool Christmas decoration, so why is their Eid stuff so unbelieavably hideous?

I guess they were trying to have an Aladdin theme or something, but it just turned out plain ugly.
At least coordinate your colors.....

Anyway, on a happier note, I hope all of you guys have a great Eid :)
Next Eid I'm setting up a Eid Christmas tree.