Monday, 8 October 2012

The God Debate

I recently went back to some old files I gathered years ago about religion, God, and atheism and found one of the most interesting articles I have read about the subject, one that was published in "Newsweek" on April 9,2007 where a debate took place between a Christian Pastor Rick Warren and an Atheist Sam Harris. Here are a few QA with both men's answers:

----
Q:Rick what is the evidence of the existence of the God of Abraham?
Rick: I see the fingerprints of God everywhere.I see them in culture.I see them in law.I see them in literature.I see them in nature.I see them in my own life. Trying to understand where God came from is like an ant trying to understand the Internet.Even the most brilliant scientist would agree that we only know a fraction of a percent of the knowledge of the universe.

Sam: There is so much about us that is not in religious books.Every specific science from cosmology to psychology to economics has surpassed and superseded what the bible tells us is true about the world.
------



Luckily I found the article online.So here is the VERY INTERESTING interview/debate :

http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/825



The debate clearly describes our beliefs and doubts about religion (no matter what our religion is). We all wonder if God exists,and where we came from.Rick and Sam are two men who believe differently,but most importantly "Believe"...
I always admired atheists. I think it takes a lot of faith. Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Seoul Mates, 1991
 
If God did not exist it would have been necessary to invent him. Voltaire
-Myriam

Monday, 7 May 2012

Kids Today

When I was young, as a girl, the only thing i cared about was playing with other kids and having fun, not caring whether my nose is big or my hair is a mess. 

I recently saw multiple articles about how kids these days(especially girls) are concerned too much with their appearance.
Young girls (who are not even teenagers yet!) are posting videos online asking whether they look good or not.
A kid asking such a question to the whole world is the result of the stereotyping of beauty that the world has created. We all know that beauty is relative(or else why does beauty standards change every once in a while), and that beauty without brains is worthless.
I felt a strong disappointment in humanity when I saw one of those videos. I already hate the fact that so many women are undergoing plastic surgery to look "perfect", and half the women in Lebanon already look the same, they all have the tiny nose,the big cheeks, the perfect unwrinkled skin... 

Those young girls are going down that road too.Through the videos they are posting,they are showing their insecurities, and a lot of people comment negatively on the videos, probably destroying the kid's self confidence.

The saddest part about our superficial community is that a lot of good looking and sexy women are rich because of their looks, even if their talent is not worth the fortunes they make.When kids live in a community like that, where media wants them to know Kim Kardashian's news and "listen" to Haifa Wehbe, and when a girl's mum or aunt or older sister undergoes plastic surgery to enhance her looks(which were already good before the surgery :S) ... We can't expect our kids to grow up thinking looks are not the MOST important thing a person should have.

I hope we stop this insanity before it becomes lethal.In my opinion, it's already exaggerated with the high rates of people having surgeries and Botox, and the way little girls are caring about their looks, and the paychecks of untalented but beautiful/sexy  singers/actors  everywhere in the media nowadays.

Here's one of those videos on YouTube:

"It's easy to LOOK beautiful, the hardest part is to BE beautiful" -Myriam

Friday, 20 April 2012

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Extinction of the Human race?

65 million years ago, a 10-km-wide asteroid slammed into a region in Mexico, leaving a 175-Km crater right in the heart of what would one day become the Mayan domain.
That impact, according to Luiz Alvarez (physicist and Nobel laureate) is what led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and about 70% of all the other species on the planet.

UC Berkley physicist Richard Muller & his graduate student, Robert Rhode found solid, reliable evidence that mass extinctions occur regularly every 62 million to 65 million years.We are now overdue.
This hypothesis is based on a three-year computer analysis of the 542-million-year fossil record compiled by Jack Sepkoski. Sepkoski had classified the fossils of creatures by genus. eg: Felis, a genus that includes cats, bobcats and jaguars. Canis includes dogs,wolves and jackals.
Sepkoski found that the 542-million-year time period covered by his compendium divided into layers roughly 3 million years apart, and he identified the oldest and youngest layers in which each genus appeared. eg: jaguars and other cats had not yet appeared at the time of the dinosaurs extinction, but snakes indeed predate the dinosaurs and will presumably postdate us.

Muller and Rhode found(based on Sepkoski's mammoth compendium) that anywhere between 50 to 90 percent of genera(plural of genus) vanished every 62 million to 65 million years. 

Muller's "Nemesis hypothesis"
The Sun, like most stars of its age and ilk, has a companion, probably a barely visible star such as a red or brown dwarf or a black hole.Muller hypothesized that Nemesis's orbit would bring it by every X million years,gravitationally jostling the Sun and destabilizing the solar system..

Muller now believes that every 62 million to 65 million years, the solar system's orbit passes through a region of the milky way that is exceptionally gravitationally dense.He thinks that the sudden and extreme gravitational tugs sets off showers of comets and asteroids that pummel the sun and all the planets,including the Earth.

Sounds promising :|
-Myriam, inspired by the book Apocalypse 2012

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Death At Intervals - Short Story

While reading Death at intervals by José Saramago, I got to this touching chapter where the writer tells a little story:

Once upon a time, in the ancient land of fables,there was a family consisting of a father,a mother,a grandfather who was the father's father,and a child of eight,a little boy.Now the grandfather was very old and because of that his hands shook and when he was at table he sometimes dropped his food,to the great irritation of his son and his daughter-in-law,who were always telling him to eat more carefully,but the poor old man, however hard he tried, could not stop his shaking,which only got worse when they told him off,and so he was always staining the tablecloth or dropping food on the floor,not to mention on the napkin they tied around his neck and which they had to change three times a day,at lunch,dinner and supper.
This was how things stood,with no hope of improvement,when the son decided to put a stop to the unpleasent situation.He arrived home with a wooden bowl and said to his father, 'From now on,you'll eat here,sitting on the doorstep because that's easier to clean,and your daughter-in-law won't have to deal with all those dirty tablecloths and napkins.
And so it was. Lunch,dinner and supper,the old man sat alone on the doorstep,raising the food to his mouth as best as he could,losing half on the way,while part of the other half dribbled onto his chin.

The grandson seemed entirely unmoved by the cruel treatment being meted out to his grandfather,he would look at him,then look at his mother and father, and continue to eat as if it were none of his business. Then one afternoon,when the father came home from work,he saw his son carving a piece of wood and assumed he was making himself a toy,as was normal in those distant days.
The following day,however,he realised that the boy wasn't making a toy car,or at least if he was, he couldn't see where the wheels would go,and so he asked, 'What are you making'.
The boy pretended he hadn't heard and continued whittling away at the wood with the point of his knife,this happened in the days when parents were less fearful and wouldn't immediately snatch from their children's hands such a useful tool for making toys.'Didn't you hear me?I asked what were you making with that piece of wood' the father asked again, and his son, without glancing up from what he was doing,replied 'I'm making a bowl for when you are old and your hands shake and you're sent to sit on the front step to eat your meals, like you did with grandpa'.These words had a magical effect. The scales fell from the father's eyes,he saw the truth and its light,and went at once to ask for his father's forgiveness,and when supper-time arrived,he helped him sit down in the chair,fed him with a spoon and gently wiped his chin,because he could still do that,and his dear father could not.
History fails to recount what happened afterwards,but we know for certain that the boy's carving was interrupted and the piece of wood is still there.No one wanted to throw it away,perhaps because they didn't want the lesson to be forgotten...

The End.
 I hope this story teaches us to never let go of our parents,because we are going down that road too...
The book:


Hold the grim reaper...The brilliant satire of José Saramago's Death at Intervals examines the nature of mortality



Thursday, 5 May 2011

Par Victor Hugo

Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent

Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent ; ce sont
Ceux dont un dessein ferme emplit l'âme et le front.
Ceux qui d'un haut destin gravissent l'âpre cime.
Ceux qui marchent pensifs, épris d'un but sublime.
Ayant devant les yeux sans cesse, nuit et jour,
Ou quelque saint labeur ou quelque grand amour.
C'est le prophète saint prosterné devant l'arche,
C'est le travailleur, pâtre, ouvrier, patriarche.
Ceux dont le coeur est bon, ceux dont les jours sont pleins.
Ceux-là vivent, Seigneur ! les autres, je les plains.
Car de son vague ennui le néant les enivre,
Car le plus lourd fardeau, c'est d'exister sans vivre.
Inutiles, épars, ils traînent ici-bas
Le sombre accablement d'être en ne pensant pas.
Ils s'appellent vulgus, plebs, la tourbe, la foule.
Ils sont ce qui murmure, applaudit, siffle, coule,
Bat des mains, foule aux pieds, bâille, dit oui, dit non,
N'a jamais de figure et n'a jamais de nom ;
Troupeau qui va, revient, juge, absout, délibère,
Détruit, prêt à Marat comme prêt à Tibère,
Foule triste, joyeuse, habits dorés, bras nus,
Pêle-mêle, et poussée aux gouffres inconnus.
Ils sont les passants froids sans but, sans noeud, sans âge ;
Le bas du genre humain qui s'écroule en nuage ;
Ceux qu'on ne connaît pas, ceux qu'on ne compte pas,
Ceux qui perdent les mots, les volontés, les pas.
L'ombre obscure autour d'eux se prolonge et recule ;
Ils n'ont du plein midi qu'un lointain crépuscule,
Car, jetant au hasard les cris, les voix, le bruit,
Ils errent près du bord sinistre de la nuit.

Quoi ! ne point aimer ! suivre une morne carrière
Sans un songe en avant, sans un deuil en arrière,
Quoi ! marcher devant soi sans savoir où l'on va,
Rire de Jupiter sans croire à Jéhova,
Regarder sans respect l'astre, la fleur, la femme,
Toujours vouloir le corps, ne jamais chercher l'âme,
Pour de vains résultats faire de vains efforts,
N'attendre rien d'en haut ! ciel ! oublier les morts !
Oh non, je ne suis point de ceux-là ! grands, prospères,
Fiers, puissants, ou cachés dans d'immondes repaires,
Je les fuis, et je crains leurs sentiers détestés ;
Et j'aimerais mieux être, ô fourmis des cités,
Tourbe, foule, hommes faux, coeurs morts, races déchues,
Un arbre dans les bois qu'une âme en vos cohues !
Victor Hugo

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Fly Parrot Fly!

One Day a Parrot was born
And Only a Cage he was shown
He lived Inside and Didn't mind
because he thought his owner was kind

That Cage was on a Balcony
so the Parrot lived Outside
As much as it felt like Freedom
His Master had a secret to hide

Parrot! I call to you!
You are just a Bird!
Those wings you have on You
They're for flying or so I've heard...

They created an Illusion
And made it your Home
Once you erase all the confusion
You will realize where you're from.



- Myriam / 2008

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Pictures on the first day of Spring 2011


Clouds will slowly be moving away , flowers will soon be blossoming everywhere :) In Floweristan,it's  Spring all year long...

DownTown Beirut , taking a walk


The clouds are moving away


Birds are enjoying the weather too :)
 -Myriam

Saturday, 12 February 2011

A une passante

La rue assourdissante autour de moi hurlait.
Longue,mince ,en grand deuil,douleur majestueuse,
Une femme passa,dúne main fastueuse
Soulevant,balançant le feston et l'ourlet;

Agile et noble,avec sa jambe de statue.
Moi,je buvais,crispé comme un extravagant,
Dans un oeil,ciel livide oú germe l'ouragan,
La douceur qui fascine et le plaisir qui tue.

Un éclair... puis la nuit!-Fugitive beauté
Dont le regard m'a fait soudainement renaître,
Ne te verrai-je plus que dans l'éternité?

Ailleurs, bien loin d'ici!trop tard! jamais peut-être!
Car j'ignore oú tu fuis, tu ne sais oú je vais
O toi que j'eusse aimée, ô toi qui le savais!

-Baudelaire
Les fleurs du mal

L'amour imaginé est le plus beau . Il cache en lui tout le mystère -Myriam


Sunday, 30 January 2011

I am ready to Fail .

THE PERSON WHO DOESN'T MAKE MISTAKES IS UNLIKELY TO MAKE ANYTHING.

Benjamin Franklin said: "I haven't failed , I've had 10 000 ideas that didn't work"

Thomas Edison said: "Of the 200 light bulbs that didn't work,every failure told me something that i was able to incorporate into the next attempt"

Theater director Joan Littlewood said, "If we don't get lost,we'll never find a new route"
FAIL,FAIL AGAIN,FAIL BETTER -Samuel Beckett


The younger we fail , the wiser we grow and the more mature we get at a smaller age.
-Myriam





And make sure you end up succeeding after a whole bunch of mistakes ... ;)











There is nothing that is a more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over and expect the result to be different - Einstein

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Soviets thoughts are in the NOOSPHERE

According to Vladimir Vernadsky(Russian planetary ecologist) and Theilhard de Chardin, the noosphere is the"sphere of human thought" (Vladimir Vernadsky teaches at Sorbonne university and Chardin was listening to his lecture when he accepted the idea).
The theory says that the human thoughts accumulate in a sphere , that is the noosphere ...
after the Geosphere(inanimate matter) and the biosphere(biological life) comes the third phase of development of the Earth.

The Noosphere: The metal layer that encases the planet,the sum of all our thoughts and memories as they continue today.
The noosphere is considered the product,the wellspring,of all the minds of the planet.


"Psychic communication" (in which the Soviets believed) can be understood as navigating the noosphere...

The soviets being a major Pole in the cold War actually believed in "telepathy" and communicating with the mind !!! This Force that freaked everyone out actually believed in the existence of a way to transmit information from mind to mind.
Some say soviets transmitted Information from the US to companions in the URSS via the thoughts and mind reading.

There is one thing for sure, The noosphere is coming to life day after day with the explosion of the usage of Internet and the way people could easily communicate from one side of the earth to the other.

Very few know about this theory but we cannot doubt the capabilities of the thoughts and the Mind ... So ... Why not?

References:
Apocalypse 2012 by Joseph E. Lawrence (a book I read a couple of years ago)

-Myriam