MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2011
OF AUTHOR INFO
ISSUE THE THIRD IN THE
MEN’S POWER SERIES
NAGY SOURATY MAN AS A VEHICLE THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
The Perfect Mix for a Perfect Crowd Zaitunay Bay promises colors, flavors, and glamour A vibrant new destination is coming together, and people around the world are getting ready for the perfect mix of cuisine and style, set up in an ideal Mediterranean setting. As the final touches of the ambitious Zaitunay Bay project are being put together, so are the final flavors and aromas of what will be on the menus of some of Lebanonâ€™s most exciting restaurants. Before the end of the year, Zaitunay Bay will come alive with over 20 restaurants, cafes, and retail shops, paving the way for a year round location.
RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
Chefs from the world over are preparing to welcome the beautiful Zaitunay Bay crowd into this new global destination. With traditional and not so traditional Lebanese cuisine, seafood extravaganzas, casual meals, delicious desserts, delectable brunch options, convivial cafes, world cuisines, and hearty meat dishes, it is just the perfect blend to keep the select crowd coming back for more. Zaitunay Bay will quickly turn into Beirut’s lifestyle hub, where those seeking simple pleasures, relaxing moments, and delicious meals can find exactly what they are looking for. Making use of the perfect weather that the city by the sea offers year round, people will be able to mingle and meet during summer, fall, winter, and spring, each season bringing with it new experiences. Sunday mornings will be redefined, as children can play in a dedicated area, the youth can explore water sports under professional monitoring, and grown-ups can remember their youth on the promenade bordering the city’s most glamorous yachts. Zaitunay Bay will be ideal for an early evening drink with colleagues, right out of work, before continuing the evening at one of the many restaurants overlooking the sea and mountains of Lebanon. Any day of the week, Zaitunay Bay will be the best spot in the city to enjoy the breathtaking sunsets. A few select retail shops will also keep guests at the forefront of fashion and design, displaying collections that reflect the fabulous lifestyle by the sea that Zaitunay Bay represents. With the perfect mix of restaurants, cafes, shops, views, and people, Zaitunay Bay will provide a refreshing escape into a world of diverse senses. And it’s all just a few weeks away.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
Publisher Gina Gabriel El-Fady Editor in Chief Fida Z Chaaban Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi Managing Director Georges Yarack Photograhers Christian Harb Odette Kahwagi Jason Zamora Teddy Habib Samy Harb Selected images Shutterstock
Stylist Jony Matta Webmaster Youmna Chagoury Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Advisor Daniella Tayar Admnisitrative Coordinator Teddy Younes Printed by Raidy Printing Group
Contributors Lara Ariss Liliane Assaf Stephanie Aoun Elodie Barakat Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Youmna Chagoury Megan Detrie Rabih Feghali Maria Franjieh Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany Matthew Hussey Leslie Iddison Maria-Elena Kassab Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Sabina Llewellyn-Davies Maha Majzoub J.E.N. Nour Obaji Eric Joseph Reitmeyer Jacques Tchabarian Adam Volk Media Representative RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan Tel: 09 916 222 / 09 913 777 email@example.com Distributor Lebanese Distributor Company Hamra, Axa Middle East bldg. Tel: 01 368 007
RAGMAG is a division of Raycon s.a.l. Copyright RAGMAG 2011 All Rights Reserved.
w w w . r a g m a g l i v e . c o m
@ragmaglebanon ragmag Opinions expressed are based solely on personal opinion and expericence, not reflective in any way of RAGMAG, a division of Raycon s.a.l.
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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES WINDING UP YOUR TICKER SWAROVSKI FOR MEN COPYCAT REAL LIFE RUNWAY MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIAL FACES + PLACES OUR FASHION SHOOT
OUT + ABOUT 162 LEBANON’S LONGEST BAR JOUNIEH ENGINEERS A BASH 20 24 30 38 40 64 114 36
CULTURE CLASH A WRENCH IN THE WORKS CENSORSHIP IN LEBANON A POST INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION KRIS KUKSI REUSES TRANSMISSION GEARS INTERVIEW WITH STEVE BERRY MOTOR MAN CHANT ETYEMEZIAN IS A MACHINE ORBITAL MECHANICS ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD MECHA-NKEYET HAYDA LEBNEN MAN AS A VEHICLE NAGY SOURATY YOU + YOUR COUNTRY DISMANTLING THE PIECES MINES ADVISORY GUIDE
DOLLARS + SENSE 126 THE MECHANICS OF MOOLAH LEB LIRA SOLUTIONS 48 50
DIRECTOR NAGY SOURATY LEADS ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED 6 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
130 131 132 133 134
THE FINAL FRONTIER MECH-ENG IS MAN + MACHINE SCIENCE STEAMPUNK THE LOST MECHANICAL WORLD TECH SEE, SPEAK + HEAR NO EVIL SOUND CHECK MUSIC READ’EM + WEEP BOOKS PLAY NICE GAMES WATCH OUT FILM WORLD VISION BLOGS
FOR INQUIRIES AND RESIDENTIAL DELIVERY CONTACT +961 70 779 669 | MKKHOLDING.COM THE MOTORIZED ISSUE Imported by
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EDITOR’S OPINION LIFE, LIBERTY + THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS WHY YOU DON’T GET IT
MON AMOUR, MON AMI A.I.’S TECH CRUNCH YOUR NEW MAN IS A ROBOT
66 70 72
TECH CRUNCH WHY YOUR FAVORITE ROBOT IS THE NEW IT-GUY, AND WE DON’T MEAN I.T.
8 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
FOR HIM RELATIONSHIP MECHANICS GUYS LEARN FROM THOSE THAT CAME BEFORE YOU MIND, BODY + SOUL HELP ME RABIH ADVICE TIGHTEN THOSE BOLTS MATTHEW HUSSEY HEAVY METALS YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY THEM FML OUR PUBLISHER VISITS EL RANCHO HI HO SILVER- AWAYYY! MIRROR MIRROR A WELL OILED MACHINE MEN GET GREAT SKIN OLFACTORY FACTORY FALL FRAGRANCES
EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY 148 COCKTAIL COGS + WHEELS BEIRUTRESTAURANTS.COM 150 RESTAURANT REVIEW OLIVE GARDEN 152 STRUCTURED CHEFS THAI CHEF BUILDS A BRIDGE 154 ENGINEERING FALL FARE RECIPES TAKE ME WITH YOU 136 ASSEMBLED IN MUNICH OKTOBERFEST! 142 THE INDUSTRIAL ETHOS OF LONDON TRAVEL 158 BRAINFOOD QUIZZ. DINGBAT. CROSSWORD. SUDOKU.
An anniversary is only as special as the people you celebrate with ...
thank you Beirut.
In September 2011, from Thursday 15th to Sunday 19th, the Phoenicia hosted a festival of creative arts in all its genres and forms. The Phoenicia was proud to celebrate its golden jubilee with Beirut’s community and offered the true essence of this city to all its honored guests. Without all of you, the last 50 years would never have been so special. We thank you for keeping us “Younger than Ever” and for sharing this anniversary with us.
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I am not sure that RM will ever get crazier than the Motorized October issue. This is one of my favorite covers to date. I wouldn’t be crazy if I wasn’t surrounded by absolute craziness and I mean that as a compliment! So thank you Christian and Odette and of course Nagy Souraty. Thank You Hypatia Network for granting RAGMAG’s Editor Fida Chaaban the Second Prize Journalism Award for “Prevention of Cervical Cancer through knowledge”. Thank you Fee for being the great writer that you are. We love you and we are proud of you. A big thank you to both the Gefinor Rotana and the Alleyway Gemmayzeh for your generous reader awards. Check out my experience at El Rancho for this month’s FML feature! As usual we are not complete without you, our supporters. If you haven’t already joined us on Facebook and Twitter @RAGMAGLebanon please do so for insider updates and of course reader reward contests! Keep picking up RM and write to us with your wonderful ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our updated website www.ragmaglive.com
FASHION SHOOT MAKING OF PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAMY HARB CHECK OUT THE VIDEO MAKING OF ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
Gina Gabriel El-Fady Publisher THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
SUBSCRIBE TO SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION OFFER PER ISSUE 10,000 LBP 6 ISSUES 50,000 LBP 12 ISSUES 100,000 LBP Contact us by phone or email to arrange your subscription email@example.com Lea El-Alam 09 916 222 / 09 913 777 RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building, Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan
w w w . r a g m a g l i v e . c o m ON OUR COVER NAGY SOURATY PHOTOGRAPHY ODETTE KAHWAGI STYLIST JONY MATTA NAGY IS DRESSED BY VERSACE
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TWITTER @ragmaglebanon FACEBOOK ragmag
ISSUE BECAUSE RAGMAG CAN’T HELP REVVING OUR ENGINES
Okay readers, you can all stop chanting Ohm now. We got a huge amount of positive feedback about the Ohm issue and it would not have been possible without the yogis who generously donated their time and considerable expertise. September soothed the savage RAGMAG heart and now we’re ready to roll with October’s Motorized issue. We went super strong this month with our theme that touches on everything mechanical and technical that we could find. This is the third in our men’s power series and we wanted to push our boundaries, which is a very RAGMAG thing to do. (By the way, everything I know about engineering I owe to Jehad. Thanks Juju!) Our fashion shoot was a bit experimental for our Motorized issue and it’s accompanied by a bevy of subjects that we hope will get your cranks turning. We look at the use and reuse of industrial material by installation artist Kris Kuksi and the mechanics of justice derailed which will probably set your teeth on edge. We talked to Lebanese racer Chant Etyemezian about motorsports and finally, we look at director extraordinaire Nagy Souraty as a vehicle. Our contributor Alice Hlidkova talked to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to really kick the Motorized issue up a few notches and he taught us quite a bit.
We’ve had an exciting month at RAGMAG for a few reasons. I’d like to thank the Hypatia Network for educating Lebanese women about the dangers of cervical cancer and for awarding RAGMAG second prize in their journalist contest. We congratulate our fellow winners: Ousbou’ Al-Arabi’s Nawal Nasr, Future TV’s Ainak A-Sohtak’s Dr. Evelyne Aoun and Tele Liban’s Tele Clinique’s Dr. Mohamad Sahly. Check that out on our website and in this issue in our New + Now section. I’d also like to personally thank blogger Chantal Akkary for highlighting RAGMAG’s social media initiatives on her blog. You can see a shot of her post right here on this page, or check it out on our Facebook pages. For everyone who has recognized RAGMAG, we are humbled by your attention and hope you continue to read us every issue. Tell me what activated your inner engine this issue by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting me on Twitter @fidachaaban
Fida Z Chaaban
Editor in Chief
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
letters to the editor FOR OUR SEPTEMBER OHM ISSUE WE HAD LOTS OF GREAT FEEDBACK ON TWITTER FOR A BEVY OF DIFFERENT ARTICLES, THE LIST OF WHICH IS TOO LONG TO GO INTO HERE. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND ACCOLADES AND HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO INTERACT WITH US ON OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND SCRIBBLE ON OUR WALL TO WIN, WRITE TO US LETTERSTOTHEEDITOR@RAGMAGLIVE.COM OR TWEET US ON TWITTER @RAGMAGLEBANON! RAGMAG reserves the right to edit for clarity and content
RAGMAG loves reader interaction so we paired up with The Alleyway Gemmayzeh and ran a few different contests on our social media platforms- Facebook and Twitter. We posted the teasers for the different Alleyway hot spots on our Facebook fan and friend pages a few days beforehand, then started the contests. We have four winners already and the fifth could be you! If you want to be the fifth winner, read up on the Union. The Alleyway Gemmayzeh peeps are a pretty interactive bunch, check out the next page to see how you can find them online and interact with them through social media!
Congratulations to four RAGMAG readers! Pascale Ucef told us that the Tanning Salon would get her bronzed and buff on Twitter and Facebook so she gets 3 sessions of either UV Tan or Mystic Tan. Amal Issa is heading to Gauche Caviar for her Tweet and Facebook post. She told us that she desperately needs a night out and had never tried Gauche Caviar. Amal, you’re heading to Gauche Caviar for dinner for 2 with drinks!
Patricia Abdo Moghames is visiting the new Angry Monkey resto-pub with her prize of dinner for 2 including drinks! She did it by voting that the Angry Monkey means, “Men on the hunt”. You’ll have to let us know if you’re right, Patricia! Rania Feghali said we were going to wine and dine her at Couqley and she was right. Rania, enjoy your meal and wine for 2 at Couqley!
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WORKERS UNITE TO
WIN AT THE UNION We’re big Union fans! From Supreme Being to Paul Frank, we pick up pieces that go the long haul. If you want to get Unionized, you can email us at letterstotheeditor@ ragmaglive.com The first person to email in the phrase “RAGMAG got me Unionized” will win a gift certificate to shop at the Union in the amount of $75! With a slew of hard to find brands, the Union is your one stop shop for everything from accessories to clothing that will guarantee you stand out from the crowd. Tweeps, you can also tweet us @RAGMAGLebanon “RAGMAG got me Unionized” and hope you beat the emails.
Tel +961 1 449 660 | www.theunionbeirut.com Find them on Facebook | Follow them on Twitter @theunionbeirut
WTF IS THE ANGRY MONKEY? To some it is the perfect dive-bar, boasting draft beers by the bucket and gourmet dishes like the Monkey Burgers, Soft Shell Crab and Sliced NY Sirloin. To others, it is your unordinary neighborhood wateringhole where aspiring humanoids of all ages come to chat-chew-sip-flirt-repeat whilst the best live entertainment Beirut has to offer spreads magic from the stage. The Angry Monkey lives inside each and every one of us and should not be held captive now there is a place to release it! Tel +961 1 566 376 www.theangrymonkey.co email@example.com Find them on Facebook Follow them on Twitter @The_Alleyway
If you haven’t been to Couqley, we don’t know what you’re waiting for. Not only do they take bistro cuisine to another level, they just launched a brunch menu. Try our Editor’s Saturday brunch fave- the blueberry pancakes with a pot of drip coffee. Tel +96 1 442 678 www.couqley.com Find them on Facebook Follow them on Twitter @The_Alleyway
GET CARIBBEAN STYLE COLOUR
Try the sunless tanning and get Hollywood style colour with their Mystic Tan spray tan or the stand up Ergoline tanning beds for a more traditional take. You can combine both for a Cocktail, our staff pick for the best tan in Lebanon. That’s one way to stave off a fading fall tan!
Tel +961 1 560 593 www.thetanningsalon.me Find them on Facebook Follow them on Twitter @The_Alleyway
We love the concept behind Gauche Caviar and having a few drinks there has always been great. Check out one of the founding Alleyway members for yourself! Tel + 96 1 566 375 www.gauchecaviar.com Find them on Facebook Follow them on Twitter @The_Alleyway
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
LIFE, LIBERTY +THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS WHEN YOUR TRAIN IS OFF THE TRACKS
he Motorized issue got me thinking about work, both by machines and the people that invented them. Motors work, machines work and people work. Correction: Some people work, and others slack. That led to me thinking how great it is to be able to generate income by working at a job I love to do. It brought to mind the statement “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, borrowed from one of the most famous and influential documents of all time: The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. Before you stop reading, give me a chance to explain myself. Every person should be entitled to those things. A few nations have comparable statements and I’m sure the Lebanese out there are very familiar with France’s “liberté, égalité, fraternité” and less familiar with Canada’s “life, liberty, security of the person”. I’ve always relished the fact that I am free to pursue those things. I have always tackled
challenges with my head up and a competitive spirit. I’ve even agreed with the idea that everyone out there should chase their dreams and have the right to do so. But frankly, I’m starting to think that some people deserve to have their dreams realized more than others, and I’m about to tell you why.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Suppose you’re a train. You’ve been on the so called “right track” for years. You went to school and did okay. You weren’t the class star but your grades were good enough. You firmly believed that good grades would get you into a respectable post secondary program. (If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford the tuition and if not, there were other ways.) You did passably well at university and joined extra-curricular activities like campus sports. You weren’t especially close to any of your profs, but they liked you well enough
and would have provided reference letters should you request them. Your parents were pleased that you finished with a degree that would definitely get you a job and like the train, you kept chugging along on that track. You started your job search, optimistic that you would fare just as well in the work force as you did at school. Keep your nose clean, get the job done and you’re sure to make it up that ladder at some point, right? Not always. Sometimes, working hard isn’t enough. The thing that many people don’t take seriously is that opportunity and sheer luck have a great deal to do with being successful. You’re lucky if you land a plum job right out of school and you’re really lucky if you weren’t the kind of over-achiever who deserved that plum job. You might know someone who knows someone else, and they could have hooked it up for you or you might have stumbled in at the right time. If you fall into the second category, listen up.
LIKE THE TRAIN, YOU KEPT CHUGGING ALONG ON THAT TRACK 16 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
I was like so many people fresh out of school- I thought I only had to apply to be offered a great position and the fact that I had been a member of the workforce throughout my academic career could only help. I considered it my right to get a good job right out of school since I have worked harder than most of my peers both in and out of the classroom and I didn’t have an easy time of it, take it from me. It wasn’t just hard to land a job doing what I do, it was damn near impossible. I am talking about a super competitive, highly unforgiving and a downright tough industry to get into. And I don’t mean in Lebanon. If anything, it is
actually easier here to get further faster in Lebanon since your competition is small and by sheer dint of having a decent work ethic here, you outshine your colleagues. After nearly a year and a half living in Lebanon I am very comfortable saying that people here are often lazy and have entitlement issues. I felt a little bit entitled to a good job but I knew I’d have to start with bottom-barrel pickings and work my way up. I’d have to do the minor stuff that no one else wanted to do, and do it efficiently and have a great attitude while doing so. And I did. I worked faster and harder than most people and I did it with an attention
to detail that made me more valuable as an employee. I felt that sooner or later, someone would notice and when they did, I would get my break. Break meaning my turn to shine, not break as in cessation of work. This is a North American work ethic, for the most part. In Lebanon, people change jobs at the drop of a hat, complain of long work hours (even if they are short work hours), and in general think they’re upper management material when they’re barely able to complete entry-level work. They think doing the bare minimum of their job means they’re doing a great job. It’s time to wake up.
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TRAIN WRECK Train wreck is an English colloquialism for one big mess and it seems fitting to describe some employees in Lebanon that way. They think they deserve better pay and positions even if they’re mediocre. They think that having the job is their right, rather than a combination of factors that may or may not include “wasta”, the Lebanese word for connections. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” seems to be especially true here and I see evidence of this every day- People woefully unsuitable for their demanding positions (hired through nepotism), slowing down the work and progress of everyone around them. That’s not all I see. I see a bunch of very ungrateful people who don’t go the extra mile
for their employers, even when the company is a great one to work for. And for some reason, I see staffs of people not grateful for being given an opportunity in the competitive and closed industries that they couldn’t have entered in any other country. There are tons of exceptions to this rule, mind you. There are a whole slew of people in Lebanon who have terrific potential to excel and the willingness to give their all to succeed. These people take pride in their jobs, take on more than their workload and are usually one step ahead. These same people are colleagues of train wrecks, and unfortunately, it’s the good ones who have to clean up the mess when things get chaotic.
THERE ARE A WHOLE SLEW OF PEOPLE IN LEBANON WHO HAVE TERRIFIC POTENTIAL TO EXCEL AND THE WILLINGNESS TO GIVE THEIR ALL TO SUCCEED. THESE PEOPLE ARE COLLEAGUES OF TRAIN WRECKS.
If you happen to have a great job in Lebanon, think twice before you start complaining about your pay and your workload. Consider your resume and how you actually landed that job. If you are required to work 9 to 5, then consider 6 the time you should really leave the office because everywhere else in this leaving at 5 doesn’t exist (if you have a semi-decent position above the rank of secretary). I’m not talking about things I don’t do- I lead by example. I work longer hours, take on tasks that are nowhere near my job description, and I appreciate my job every single day. This, in my opinion, makes me deserve my shot at “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, as agreed upon all those years ago. You can’t have the “American Dream” while sitting on your ass, and if you do, you just don’t deserve it. Something for you all to think about
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
A WRENCH INCENSORSHIP THEINWORKS LEBANON STOPS THE ADVANCEMENT OF SOCIETY BY MEGAN DETRIE
eid Hamdan, a pioneer of Lebanon’s music scene for more than a decade and the frontman of the indie group Zeid and the Wings, was recently arrested in Beirut on charges of defaming the president. The song “General Suleiman” was actually recorded in 2008 and the video went viral after being uploaded on YouTube last year.
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Authorities arrested Hamdan after intercepting a show reel the Italian director Gigi Roccata sent to a Lebanese ad agency. It’s hard to imagine anyone taking offense to the light-hearted reggae number by his band Zeid and the Wings, wherein Hamdan and his friends bounce and bop to the uptempo beats at with the capital’s more iconic spots serving as the background. The lyrics call Suleiman “a miracle man” and describe the importance of his role in pacifying the sectarian violence. The song ends with telling a series of people, including the general and the military, urging “Go home!”. Hamdan maintains it is a song about hope, not about ridicule. “It’s an idealistic song where the military work for peace-making” he said. “It’s an ideal
country where the military do not interfere with politics.” But, someone at the police station in the Palace of Justice did not see it the way Hamdan does. Hamdan was held for seven hours and let go after friends and fans mounted a quickly spreading social media campaign encouraging people to put pressure on the government to release him. Hamdan remains unsure how or why he was released. The presidential office has made a statement via twitter claiming the arrest was not at Suleiman’s behest: “The Zeid Hamdan incident was a procedure by the concerned authorities. The Pres. had no involvement nor any prior knowledge of the arrest,” his office tweeted.
AUTHORITIES ARRESTED ZEID HAMDAN AFTER INTERCEPTING A SHOW REEL THE ITALIAN DIRECTOR GIGI ROCCATA SENT TO A LEBANESE AD AGENCY ABOVE + LEFT: ZEID HAMDAN AND HIS INDIE GROUP ZEID AND THE WINGS
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
Lebanon is particularly sensitive to any work that may upset its fragile political and religious balance. In June, the Beirut International Film Festival (BIFF) hosted the Forbidden Films festival, which was meant to include five films that had previously been banned. In the days before the festival however, the director Collette Naufal was forced to pull two of the films, “Green Days” and “Chou Sar?” from the line-up. ABOVE: DIRECTOR DE GAULLE EID BELOW: STILL FROM THE MOVIE π (PI) BANNED FOR RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL REASONS
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“Chou Sar?”, directed by De Gaulle Eid, depicts the massacre of his family that he witnessed during the civil war in his hometown in Edbel. He returns, confronted with the knowledge that the same neighbors who slaughtered his family still live in the village. The movie was banned from BIFF 2010 by the Internal Security Forces for inciting sectarianism. Though the film was not screened it was kept in the competition and won awards. According to Naufal, it was the media attention surrounding the award for “Chou Sar?” that prompted Internal Security Forces to create a committee to reconsider permits for banned films. For Eid, the idea that a film about his personal story may cause a second civil war was ridiculous. “The aim of the film was to use my personal story to highlight a collective memory. After the amnesty that was granted in 1993, absolutely no one was talking about all the bad things that happened,” he said, adding “We have to start talking about these things directly and truthfully for future generations to move on.”
However, the day the Forbidden film festival was set to begin, BIFF received a lawsuit saying they would be subject to large fines if they showed the film including the plaintiffs of the lawsuit. The choice, according to Naufal, was either to cut out the parts that included those who complained or not show it at all. “We refused to cut any of the scenes, and the film was dropped from the lineup,” she added.
ABOVE: COLETTE NAUFAL, DIRECTOR OF THE BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
LEBANON IS PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE TO ANY WORK THAT MAY UPSET ITS FRAGILE POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS BALANCE
INTELLECTUALS FEAR THAT THE BANNING OF MUSIC OR FILMS SETS DANGEROUS PRECEDENTS, AND EATS AWAY AT PEOPLE’S LIBERTIES The other film, Green Days, faced similar pressure from a political group, only this time it was Iran. The film was removed by the ministry of interior on the request of the Iranian ambassador. These bans are nothing new - the Da Vinci Code was banned in 2006, Oscarnominated Persepolis in 2008, though the government later backtracked. But, intellectuals fear that the banning of music or films sets dangerous precedents, and eats away at people’s liberties. Local artists argue that creative expression opens dialogue within communities, and censorship is actually hindering the improvement of social issues.
LEFT: ‘GREEN DAYS’ DIRECTED BY HANA MAKHMALBAF, FEATURED BELOW, RIGHT.
ABOVE: STILL FROM THE MOVIE ‘PERSEPOLIS’ BY MARJANE SATRAPI, COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS.
“Today more than ever, we believe that our rights can be shouted through arts, because people are sensitive to artistic expressions – whether visual or song or a movement – to support a cause,” said Kiki Bokassa, who cofounder the non-profit Visual and Performing Arts Association (VAPA), which works to address social issues through arts and culture events and workshops. Bokassa maintains that social activism through arts is particularly important in rural locations, where even if people do not agree with the message, they’ve seen the exhibition, and discuss what they’ve learned with the rest of their community. Naufal agrees, saying
that art and education are the two most important elements for creating progress in civilization. “What they are doing is very dangerous. The moment you start attacking culture you are sending your people back,” she adds
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
BELOW: ODE TO HERNACULUM
INSIDE THE HEAD AND STRUCTURES OF KRIS KUKSI IS A POST-INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BY MAHA MAJZOUB
ris Kuksi’s sculptures might be made from recycled toys but showing them to the kiddies is not a very smart move, particularly since they bear no resemblance to the original items used. His monumental artwork is not easy on the eye; not for those into esthetically appealing, safe art. It can be a hard pill to swallow especially if you head up to it unprepared for such magnitude and depth. Kuksi’s work takes you to the darkest rooms of your imagination, and locks you up there for some time. The artist says the things you would like others to say for you, and then you force out a gulp when you hear the words uttered. The mind-blowing, macabre, and beautifully grotesque art of the Kansas-based Kuksi is fascinating and confusing in true Hieronymus Bosch style. It will taunt you by the sheer complexity of detail, leaving you even more baffled as you stare for hours at all the figurines that were smacked into coexistence. One can only imagine how
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long a typical Kuksi sculpture takes, as there is nothing really typical about the painstaking process. He spends what looks like thousands of hours to assemble, collect, cut, and reshape countless old toys, mechanical parts, and pop culture refuse -- all things he classifies under “mixed media”. He finds these mass-produced, kitschy, and many a time just oddball things in some of the most random locations. They might fall into his lap or he would comb hobby shops, antique stores, jewelry stores, toy stores, or the Internet for them. He sees the sculptures in whole in the form of dreamy-like representations -- usually in the wee hours of the night when he is beyond shattered and about to surrender to slumber. He sketches these uncannily clear visions and then goes on to manipulate the materials until he translates every detail of those images. The possibilities for mixing this hodgepodge of stuff together are plenty, but they have to be glued together by “a flowing composition and visual balance”, Kuksi says.
As you gaze at the body of work of the 38-year-old sculptor, you can’t help but feel this man has been here before. In his artist statement, Kuksi says he feels “that he has always belonged to the ‘Old World’” while his artwork is very much a reaction to “the corrupt and demoralized fall of modern-day society -- a place where new beginnings, new wars, new philosophies, and new endings exist.” It is ultimately a commentary on the historical rise and fall of civilization, an allegory to the materialistic present, and a visualization of the possible future of humanity.
HE SPENDS WHAT LOOKS LIKE THOUSANDS OF HOURS TO ASSEMBLE, COLLECT, CUT, AND RESHAPE COUNTLESS OLD TOYS, MECHANICAL PARTS, AND POP CULTURE REFUSE -- ALL THINGS HE CLASSIFIES UNDER “MIXED MEDIA”
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The Baroque period infused pieces make hard-hitting cross references to philosophy, mythology, religion, and morality. He admittedly idealizes the Greco-Roman ages, while he enjoys reading about philosophers of the time such as Pythagoras, Herodotus, and Aristotle. Kuksi incites echoes of the past with satirical observations on today’s industrial world. “The Recreation”, a 31”x24”x8.5” sculpture completed in 2009, is a reworking of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” where instead of Adam, God’s hand reaches out for what looks like a soldier.
‘I HAVE HAD SOME OPPOSITION FROM SOME RELIGIOUS FANATICS IN RESPONSE TO THIS SERIES, BUT THAT’S OK BECAUSE I THINK THE WORLD NEEDS STUFF LIKE THIS-- SOMETHING TO WAKE UP THE SENSES’
HOW BIG IS YOUR GUN? In Kuksi’s oeuvre, war and religion are depicted as fraternal twins; he lashes out in equal intensity at both. Many of the statuettes in his sculptures live with guns, tanks, or other warfare paraphernalia. Many of his subjects have guns protruding from their bodies, such as “Eros at Play” and “General Heinrich Von Howitzerhead”. His “Churchtank” series takes jab at the Church and religion in general as an instigator of war and torment. Religion, in his mind, is the antithesis of love and peace, only spreading hatred and discrimination in the fastmoving, spacious universe. Of course, this didn’t exactly resonate well in Kansas, and it takes no stretch of the imagination to understand why. “I have had some opposition from some religious fanatics in response to this series, but that’s ok because I think the world needs stuff like this-something to wake up the senses,” Kuksi explains. But the once devout Catholic who had even served as an altar boy has been taking very unorthodox routes in his art. So what happened?
When I started researching about the meanderings of Kuksi, I couldn’t help but wonder why Hollywood has yet to make a picture about him. He has already established international success, with the likes of actor Robin Williams and Nike CEO Mark Parker being among the collectors of his art. But I suppose being so dark, intellectually provoking, and nonmainstream, he is more Art House Cinema. Kuksi opened his eyes to an impoverished environment in Springfield Missouri and found himself growing up north of Wichita with a loving, albeit socio-phobic mother and alcoholic stepfather -- his biological father having left him and his two significantly older brothers shortly after Kris was born. Kuksi would soon find himself isolated from the world, closely monitored by his parents and being unable to mingle with schoolmates outside school parameters. His only outings were on Sundays to attend Mass with the family. This was compounded by the sharp slaps of poverty. So he turned inwards.
LEFT: KRIS KUKSI IN HIS STUDIO RIGHT: PAN DISCOMFORTING PSYCHE
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Having exhibited artistic predisposition since his tender years, Kuksi lived in his little artistic bubble of dreams. As he honed his drawing skills at school, his appreciation of life grew. That and his fascination with death. He would build temples in honor of the dead, believing he once lived in ancient Egypt. With the encouragement of peers and a school art teacher, Kuksi would go on to become double degreed in art. He would also study the techniques of the Old Masters of Italy and Austria, travel the world, and rebel against religious principles, which had secluded him from life.
TOP LEFT: ANDROMEDA, DETAIL RIGHT: IMMINENT UTOPIA
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“Do you think at this stage you have confronted all your childhood demons?” I inquire. “All except for the repressed ones,” he tells me. Now Kuksi has other demons to fight: Handling global fame while staying grounded. Having established an impressive following of film directors, business tycoons, and musicians, Kuksi has been featured in over 100 exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. “How does an artist from a humble background and with a difficult childhood deal with such success?” I continue. “Well, it’s not a matter of what has happened to you as much as it’s a matter of how you deal with it. I could have easily chosen a path that was similar to my alcoholic stepfather’s. You certainly don’t have to let your past decide how your future will be…But it does take some years and experience to be able to say that,” Kuksi argues.
“And now you’ve charted your own course and appreciate the true essence of life. Yet your art tends to be morbid. Why is that?” I go on to ask. Kuksi fills in the blanks: “If everything in life was so nice and great we wouldn’t have any problems. That’s obviously not how our world exists. So the function of my work has to do with relating to the darker side of human psychology.” For that reason the subject of his next sculpture “will be the darker side of the history of the United States--this being political conspiracies, slavery, the Civil War, and displacement of Native Americans,” he says. Despite his captivation with the bleak, the future looks bright for Kuksi’s art, be it his sculptures, drawings, or paintings, as he continues to go from strength to strength. He is rewriting history and through his dark images is casting a strong beam of light on some of things many of us don’t wish to see
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New York Times
THE GEARS OF INFORMATION DRIVE SOCIETY BY AMAL CHAABAN
Amal Chaaban talks to bestselling author Steve Berry exclusively for RAGMAG “The Romanov Prophecy” talks about a Russia in disarray that longs for the return of an autocrat. Do you think that with the chaos we are seeing around the world today, there are some places that would do better with an autocracy?
Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series featuring “The Jefferson Key”, “The Emperor’s Tomb”, “The Paris Vendetta”, “The Charlemagne Pursuit”, “The Venetian Betrayal”, “The Alexandria Link”, and “The Templar Legacy”. He also has three stand-alone thrillers: “The Third Secret”, “The Romanov Prophecy”, and “The Amber Room”-- and two e-book original short stories, “The Balkan Escape” and “The Devil’s Gold”. He has 12 million books in print, which have been translated into 40 languages and sold in 51 countries. Steve’s road to publishing was long and arduous, spanning 12 years and 85 rejections over 5 separate manuscripts. He’s also an accomplished instructor, having taught writing to audiences across the globe. Steve and his wife Elizabeth have also started a foundation, History Matters, dedicated to aiding the preservation of our heritage. www.steveberry.org
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Well if there is any place on earth where it might work, that would be Russia. That would be the one place. Russians have been dominated for centuries; first the Tartars dominated them, then the Russian Czars dominated them, then the communists dominated them. They have been basically, completely ruled since around the 14th century so this is the one place where an autocrat could do very well. When Vladimir Putin asserted a lot of power at one time, the west looked at it and thought well, he’ll never get away with that but he did- He became even more popular. Russians understand a central authority of power.
Do you think that there are things about the Romanov assassination that we will never know?
Yeah, there are probably some things. I mean, we may never know what they were really like. We have a lot of stories about them; we have a lot of false information. The Marxists put out a lot of negative information on them at the time. For a while, we didn’t know if we were ever going to find the two children that were missing but they were found two years ago. Why they were actually killed is still a great matter of debate. There is a lot of discussion about who ordered it and exactly why. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to kill them at the time. There is a lot of unanswered questions still about the Romanovs. BELOW: THE ROMANOV IMPERIAL FAMILY OPPOSITE PAGE: KÖNIGSBERG CASTLE COURTYARD
THE AMBER ROOM WAS BOXED UP IN [KÖNIGSBERG] CASTLE BUT HAD NOT YET BEEN SHIPPED OUT; AMBER GOES FROM SOLID TO GAS AT 200 DEGREES SO MOST LIKELY WHAT HAPPENED IS THE ENTIRE ROOM WAS VAPORIZED AND THAT IS WHY IT HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN AGAIN. IT WENT RIGHT TO VAPOUR AND IS LONG GONE. In “The Romanov Prophecy”, racism based on color is prevalent in Russia and also in North Carolina. Do you think we as people have evolved past that?
Well, you might think but it is still there. I have been in Russia now twice and you see no dark faces there at all. That is basically a very Anglo country so they don’t have a lot of experience with that over there. That is one reason why I made Miles Lord black, was because he was going to be in Russia; because not only would people be trying to kill him but he would have literally no place for him to hide. There is still elements of it around, racism takes different forms nowadays, we are not quite so open about it. To say that it is gone away? No, I also have to say it comes from both sides; both sides of the aisle are guilty of it a little bit. “The Amber Room” deals with stolen antiquities. With the addition of the looting of the Iraqi museum at the start of the war, how many stolen artefacts do you think are floating around?
Thousands and thousands and thousands of objects are out there that we’ll never even know how many there
are. A lot of them are undocumentedIt is a lot of stuff. There is a huge market out there for stolen antiquities; I explore that in “The Amber Room” when I had my Retrievers of Lost Antiquities which is a club that basically steals what is already stolen. This whole idea of these artefacts being out there fascinates me and kind of permeates through my novels.
what happened is the entire room was vaporized and that is why it has never been seen again. It went right to vapour and is long gone.
The Amber Room is one of the great lost artefacts and a mystery from WWII that has yet to be solved. What do you think happened to it?
There was a book written after mine, a non-fiction book written by a couple of reporters for the London Times, I think they had the best answer about what happened to the Amber Room. It most likely was destroyed by the Russians themselves. When they retook Königsberg Castle, they set fire to that castle. The temperature of the fire was about a thousand degrees and we know that because of the condition of the stone. The Amber Room was boxed up in that castle but had not yet been shipped out; Amber goes from solid to gas at 200 degrees so most likely
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‘HITLER WAS ABLE TO RULE, ABLE TO MESMERIZE A NATION OF PEOPLE FOR SOME TIME AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR DESPAIR. [...] HUMAN NATURE IS THAT WAY, WE CAN BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THINGS LIKE THAT, UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS STILL THERE AND IT STILL HAPPENS.’
“Devil’s Gold” deals with Nazi paraphernalia, loyalty and gold. Why do you think some people still cleave to Hitler’s vision even though it is clearly wrong?
Because it is the way some people are. They look to people to be there heroes who aren’t heroes in any way. They don’t understand the people, they don’t understand what they stand for and what they are yet they feel drawn to them in some way. This is one way Hitler was able to rule, able to mesmerize a nation of people for some time and take advantage of their despair. Usually, these are people who have low self-esteem, low intelligence though some of the more intelligent people can succumb to it as well because these men are con artists in a lot of ways. Human nature is that way, we can be susceptible to things like that, unfortunately, it is still there and it still happens. Today’s world is a little different than the 1940s, we
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have 24-hour media now, we have FOX news and cable news and every kind of news you can think of. It would be pretty tough today to mesmerize an entire nation. China is trying to do it but they are having a tough time with it. The Vatican archives are said to be filled with knowledge unseen by most people. Do you think that this is true?
You can get in there it is just very difficult to do. There are areas of it that are sealed off but academics can get access to a lot of it. The problem with the Vatican is there is just so much there that no one has actually ever gone through it all so no one actually knows what they have got. They have been collecting information, it is like the world’s oldest library, and they have been collecting information for a long time. It will be quite amazing one day to see what is in there as people begin to read all of what is there.
One of the themes that is running through “The Third Secret” is the fact that the Church’s dogma is made by man and that man is fallible. Do you think the Church clings to the old ways out a fear of change or out of a love of power?
No, I think it clings to the old ways because it is the old ways that have worked for them. The Catholic Church is not a dumb organization; there is nothing foolish about them in anyway. They have been around for over 2000 years and are one of the oldest surviving institutions man has ever created. They have not survived by not changing; the Church does change, it just changes at a very slow pace. It does change, it does adapt, it does modify itself so the Church is constantly evolving, and it is just a very slow evolution. I don’t think they cling to anything; I think they are just slow to change and they do eventually make the change.
TRANSMISSION THE GEARS OF INFORMATION DRIVE SOCIETY
In “The Templar Legacy” you write that secrecy breeds suspicion, do you believe that?
There is no question about that. If you are in a room and people are whispering things and you can’t hear it, you immediately become suspicious. Secrecy always breeds suspicion and that is what gets most governments, politicians, you name it in trouble, is secrecy. History is full of fragmented accounts and half truths. How much do you think is true of the knowledge we do have?
There was a study done that determined that 90 percent of the knowledge from the ancient world has not survived; that we only have 10 percent of the actual knowledge that was accumulated in the ancient world. So just imagine the knowledge that was accumulated in the other 90 percent that we will never know and never see. I think the same is true about us today. We are a little bit better at accumulating knowledge, better at keeping things up but certainly, we are not keeping up everything. You have to be careful about that and certainly the things that you lose are gone forever.
In the beginning of “The Emperor’s Tomb”, you use a quote from Confucius that says “Study the past if you would define the future”. Do you think we have learned anything from our history?
Sure we have, we pay attention to it quite closely. I think the use of the atomic bomb in WWII and the devastation that it made has taught us how awful that is and how horrible. I think it has kept it from happening again so yes we do learn from it. Now that is not to say we don’t make mistakes, we do. We have that tendency but by and large I think we have learned from the past and paid attention to the past. The smart people who are really successful don’t forget their past.
Given the flow of information on the net, do you think people are more or less empowered by the knowledge that is out there?
Depends on the knowledge, I think overall we are more empowered but you have to be careful with the knowledge that you get, make sure that it is right. If it is accurate, good information then yes, we are more empowered. We can information immediately, we can get it from all sides, we can study it but when you get bad information then it is just horrible. There is a good and a bad with having this instant information available to us, easy to get the good stuff out but also easy to get the bad stuff.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
TRANSMISSION THE GEARS OF INFORMATION DRIVE SOCIETY
“The Emperor’s Tomb” deals with at its most basic level, a clash of political thought. Do you think that Anonymous and Wikileaks vs. Authorities are symbolic of clashes in power to come?
You got that interesting aspect there where someone has tapped in and found the great secrets and put it out there. You know, there is a thing about government; it is kind of like sausage. You don’t want to see it made, it is the same with government- That is why a lot of government takes place behind closed doors. There are just things that have to be done and outside of the public eye because it is not a pretty sight to watch it being made. Wikileaks and those folks
When you look at today’s politicians worldwide, do you think they are a sorry lot with not much to offer?
I wouldn’t go that far because they are by and large chosen by the people that they represent in a lot of places. In a democracy where you are voting for someone and you are electing someone to run for office, I don’t blame the sorry person who is in office for doing a sorry job, I blame the people who elected him. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves, to be smart, and to choose the best leaders possible to do the jobs for us. It is our responsibility in a democracy to make sure that happens so I blame us for that problem.
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[are] exposing the sausage factory, it is showing you where that is happening and we didn’t like it. We don’t like what we see; we don’t like anything about it. You may not like the way the decision is made but you may like the end result of the decision. Sometimes, I don’t know if all that light is the best thing in the world. Certainly, you can never go wrong with too much knowledge but you have to put it in context, what it is, how it was used, where it came from and ultimately, what was the final decision relative to everything. I don’t think that whole Wikileaks scandal dealt with that, we just sensationalized the very things we looked at
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you + your country
DISMANTLING PIECE BY PIECE LEBANON IS A MINEFIELD
BY IMOGEN KIMBER
soldier fell to the floor and began to wail in agony. It is obvious he has hit a bomb, a member of the de-mining and battle clearance unit from the Lebanese Army in the middle of a manual search. Minutes dragged by as his colleagues painstakingly tried to clear the area so the onsite paramedics could approach. Finally loaded into the ambulance, sirens wailed as they pull away into the dust. Fortunately this was not a horrific accident but part of a demonstration.
This was a field trip, part of the Second Meeting of the Coalition for Cluster Munitions; as delegates, representatives from governments and NGOs, we were taken to visit an army camp just outside Nabitieh in the South of Lebanon. “We’re trying to get the diplomats out of the UN buildings in New York and Geneva to here, where they can really get a feeling for the impact of the weapon,” said Chair of the meeting, Steve Goose.
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Fatal accidents are not uncommon for the de-mining squad. As we watched the demonstration a member of the unit is asked how many losses his team has seen in the last few years. The soldier didn’t know the answer. We were shown an area of approximately 20,000 square meters, which after five years of clearance using mechanical and manual means, is still not quite finished. Before the area was flooded with M42/46 and VLU 63 bomblets by Israel during the 2006 war it was farmland and private property. Now it has to be cordoned off until the army will eventually finish. This scenario is common across South Lebanon. The nature of cluster bombs means that they are indiscriminate killers. Hundreds of bomblets are packed into one large missile which releases the bomblets across the land to places far beyond the control of the detonator. Of course this leaves deadly packages in fields for farmers and children to pick up. It is also why they are so painstaking to remove with no one knowing their whereabouts.
MINE + YOURS
MAG – Mines Advisory Guide – have been literally on the field clearing mines since 2002. “Lebanon was dealing very effectively with the land mine and other munitions problem until the 2006 conflict. From 2006 the use of cluster munitions in the South of Lebanon showed the world how supremely damaging and long lasting they, [cluster bombs], can be,” said the Director of Operations of MAG, Rob White. It is this reason that the meeting was chosen to be held in Lebanon. White continued saying that, “Unfortunately Lebanon’s suffering was the start of this movement to ban cluster munitions.”
“WE’RE TRYING TO GET THE DIPLOMATS OUT OF THE UN BUILDINGS IN NEW YORK AND GENEVA TO HERE, WHERE THEY CAN REALLY GET A FEELING FOR THE IMPACT OF THE WEAPON”
According to MAG, in 2006 Israel dropped around 96,000 cluster bombs. With a collection of bomblets in each bomb, this meant a total of around 4 million deadly weapons on the ground. Astonishingly the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC) who work with the Lebanese Army and MAG have managed to clear two thirds of these, quite a feat in itself.
OUT OF THE 37 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD THAT ARE AFFECTED BY CLUSTER MUNITIONS, LEBANON IS ONE OF THE ONES TO SUFFER THE MOST
SURRENDER YOUR WEAPONS
Chair of the coalition for cluster munitions and one of those to instigate the process, Steve Goose has confidence in the meeting: “The treaty has only been binding international law for a year but we’re already seeing that it is making a huge difference. We have eight different countries that have already destroyed their entire stockpiles, that’s more than sixty million sub-munitions.” There are 109 governments already signed on to the treaty. In the face of this work though there is the inevitable rip current under the tide working against the process: “There are a number of a countries who clearly do not like this convention, the United States, Israel, Russia, China, some quite significant countries who have agreed that cluster munitions cause a humanitarian problem but they only want to take half steps, they only want to get rid of really old ones, but all cluster munitions need to be banned.” The US did not even send a representative to the meeting. The stoic Goose hoped that pressure from the rest of the world would eventually
push these remaining countries into submission and eventually he hopes we would to see cluster bombs “eradicated from the face of the earth.” Nobody could be sure what would come out of the convention. One hundred and thirty-one countries attended including forty who had not even signed up. There were pledges by the UK to dedicate more to the destruction of their stockpiles and Italy and the Czech Republic said they were to ratify their signatories. Out of the thirty-seven countries in the world that are affected by cluster munitions, Lebanon is one of the ones to suffer the most. From White’s point of view it can be used as an example, “We can look [at Lebanon] and see that with the right support, and with delegates providing funding, real progress can be made. So Lebanon showed what the problem was but it also can show, has shown and will show, what can be done,” he said with an optimistic tone. Whatever the outcome for Lebanon, where they need to see the difference is literally on the ground
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DAYS OF THUNDER MOTOR MAN CHANT ETYEMEZIAN IS A KARTING MACHINE BY FIDA CHAABAN
AGMAG caught up with Chant Etyemezian on his way to Geneva! The Lebanese Karting Champion was on his way to support Nicolas Amiouny’s Rally run in Mont Blanc, France on September 2nd and 3rd. Fresh from his own competition, “I finished Third in Jordan last week in the Jordanian Championship Race”. About this race, Chant explained that he was “leading but someone hit me. I turned and I continued,” he says smiling. “In Amman, I didn’t drive the track before. I got to practise for two days, about 100 laps a day to find the right setup of the kart and each lap typically takes about 30 seconds.”
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The 29 year-old Lebanese-Armenian has been going strong since his first season in 2007. Inspired by his older brother Raffi who used to “Go Kart. He was the rally champion’s co-pilot in 95 and 96.” He laughingly admits that his mom isn’t fond of her boys heading to the track, even though Chant was the 2008 Lebanese champion. “My next race is the World Finals, taking place in Al-Ain, UAE in November,” says Chant. Talk about cutting it close, in the 2009 Middle East championship, Pierro Di Marchi was First, and Chant placed Second. Who’s on top these days as one of the best Karting drivers worldwide? “An Italian named Marco
‘MY NEXT RACE IS THE WORLD FINALS, TAKING PLACE IN AL-AIN, UAE IN NOVEMBER’
Ardigo, he’s been driving for many years.” What about the tech side of all this? “I have a Shifter Kart in Beirut. It’s the fastest kart in the world. Before Schumacher returned to F1, he tested on this kart. Like all the award-winning athletes in Lebanon that RAGMAG has spoken to, Chant struggles with sponsorship. “Last year I did 3 Hill Climbs, my first time driving a Rally Car. It’s so difficult in Lebanon. Motorsports, Rallying, and Karting are the most expensive sports. If you’re doing the Lebanese Championship, you need about ten to fifteen thousand dollars.” Each year the champions are gifted engines from the much coveted
Rotax, part of Bombardier Recreational Products, to race in the world finals. “In the World Finals, they give you a test drive with a Formula Renault but it depends, not every year. Each year the winner is gifted something different,” says Chant. “I love it, even if there is so much to do. I had to take my kart to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt and no one helped. It was such a complicated procedure with customs papers,” he explains just touching on some of the red tape Karters from Lebanon face, even though they’re representing the country in a world class competition. Chant, whose name means “thunder” in Armenian, certainly looks at
the situation practically. Despite the difficulties, he will continue to participate being both an avid sportsman and fan. “Last year the World Champion was Daniel Mourad, he’s a Lebanese Canadian. We do great in these sports.” We agree, Chant. Good luck next month, RAGMAG is rooting for you!
‘I HAVE A SHIFTER KART IN BEIRUT. IT’S THE FASTEST KART IN THE WORLD.’ BEFORE SCHUMACHER RETURNED TO F1, HE TESTED ON THIS KART
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LEFT: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD DURING TRAINING FOR MISSION STS-74 TO MIR, THE RUSSIAN SPACE STATION. CREDIT NASA
THE NUTS+BOLTS OF
MECHANICS ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD OCCUPIES SPACE BY ALICE HLIDKOVA
hen Chris Hadfield boarded the space shuttle Endeavour for the STS-100 mission, he expected a smooth ride into space. The objective of the mission was to deliver and install the second generation of the Canadarm on the International Space Station (ISS). Two hundred fifty miles above the earth, the crew assembled the robotic arm, using it like a construction crane to successfully build and maintain the ISS. Once safely in orbit, Hadfield briefly abandoned his spaceship becoming the first Canadian to walk in space. He passed a portable foot restraint the size of a folded bicycle to his crew mate. Suddenly, the ninety pound piece of equipment drifted into space and he feared the worst. Floating objects can act as “hand grenades in space,” he says, referring to the inherent dangers loose equipment pose on spacecrafts. The incident served as an early lesson to approach procedures in greater methodological fashion, paying particular attention to the minutia of his movements, and double-checking every latching.
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Though Hadfield’s first mission, STS74—NASA’s second space shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir—was successful in that the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis attached a five ton docking module to Mir, transferring food, water, and scientific supplies to American and Russian cosmonauts in eight days, other missions proved less successful, he highlights. During the Apollo 12 flight, the second manned mission to land on the Moon, astronauts displayed delayed reactions the Canadian calls “poor simulation in advance.” The crew members broke their lunar video camera, damaging the lens. Thankfully, a few images from their mission were saved. On another mission astronauts did a three-person spacewalk to capture a satellite that failed to separate from the rocket, due to a faulty wiring between them.
Hadfield understands that eminent achievements require years of robust training and acute memorization, since joining the Canadian Space Agency in 1992 as a test pilot, Hadfield trained several years to prepare for each mission. He has also trained in the Russian instruction. Considering thousands of failures and emergency procedures, he says that “astronauts have to understand and fix everything,”— from learning the shuttle’s intercom and mechanism systems to operating a robotic arm and walking in swimming pools with one-hundred-pound pressurized suits that heavily restrict body movement. The underwater training in neutral buoyancy labs engaged him in plenty of cardiovascular exercises.
SINCE JOINING THE CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY IN 1992 AS A TEST PILOT, HADFIELD TRAINED SEVERAL YEARS TO PREPARE FOR EACH MISSION. HE HAS ALSO TRAINED IN THE RUSSIAN INSTRUCTION
ABOVE: THE SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS CARRIES FIVE ASTRONAUTS, INCLUDING CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD ON MISSION STS-74 TOWARD THE SECOND DOCKING OF A SPACE SHUTTLE WITH THE RUSSIAN SPACE STATION MIR. ATLANTIS LIFTED OFF AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NOVEMBER 12, 1995. CREDIT NASA THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
THE NUTS+BOLTS OF
MECHANICS ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD OCCUPIES SPACE
A CANADIAN ROBOTIC “HANDSHAKE IN SPACE” OCCURRED ON APRIL 28, 2001 AS CANADARM2 (RIGHT) TRANSFERRED ITS LAUNCH CRADLE TO ENDEAVOUR’S ROBOTIC ARM. CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD, STS100 MISSION SPECIALIST, WAS AT THE CONTROLS OF CANADARM FROM THE SHUTTLE. CREDIT NASA
‘WITH BOTH HANDS YOU PULL YOURSELF OUT INTO THE UNIVERSE… AND THE ONLY SENSE THAT TELLS YOU THAT YOU ARE THERE IS YOUR VISION’ For a man who has been in the aeronautics industry for twice as long as few of the well-known astronauts, Hadfield enjoys trading notes with his contemporaries. Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first human being to walk in space in 1965, and four years later Neil Armstrong became the first American to walk on the moon in 1969. They all became friends, often sharing their collective experiencebeing alone in between worlds. “With both hands you pull yourself out into the Universe… and the only sense that tells you that you are there is your vision,” he says describing the mesmerizing feeling of bursting into space wherein textures and colors are “stupefying beautiful.”
Territorial boundaries are irrelevant in space travel states Hadfield. Orbiting in space affirms that political barriers are broken down, eliminating any man-made boundaries. “There is a unifying emphasis on civilization,” he argues, sharing a unifying sentiment to protect humanity. He knows the challenges all too well, since he had intercepted Soviet jets while part of the Canadian Air Force in the 1980s. “I was flying fighter airplanes to intercept those Bears,” he says, referring to propeller-driven Bear Bombers, Tupolev Tu-95. With the end of the space shuttle missions, Hadfield expects several milestones in space travel under development since the space race.
ABOVE: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT AND STS-100 MISSION SPECIALIST CHRIS HADFIELD WAVES TO MEDIA ON HIS WAY TO LAUNCH PAD 39A AND LIFTOFF FOR AN 11-DAY MISSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. CREDIT NASA RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
For the past sixty years private space companies competed in taking people into space at a relatively cheap cost, continuing an evolution of safe and affordable hardware. Already American launch vehicle and spacecraft developer, SpaceX is building cheaper launch pads to send cargo and crew into space. “We see a natural evolution of technology,” he says, quickly dismissing any revolutionary movements. Feeling optimistic about the Virgin Galactic that will potentially market missions for tourism, Hadfield hopes that private companies will find new ways to market space travel without the frenzy of the media interfering.
ABOVE, RIGHT: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD IS IN ENDEAVOUR’S FLIGHT DECK AREA AS THE SHUTTLE STEADILY MAKES ITS WAY TOWARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ON APRIL 20, 2001. CREDIT NASA
ORBITING IN SPACE AFFIRMS THAT POLITICAL BARRIERS ARE BROKEN DOWN, ELIMINATING ANY MAN-MADE BOUNDARIES. ‘THERE IS A UNIFYING EMPHASIS ON CIVILIZATION’ ABOVE: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD BEING HELPED INTO EVA SUIT PRIOR TO UNDERWATER MISSION TRAINING IN THE NBL AT NASA’S JOHNSON SPACE CENTER IN HOUSTON, TEXAS. CREDIT NASA
TOP IMAGE: APRIL 28, 2001, IS A MILESTONE IN CANADIAN SPACE HISTORY WITH THE FIRST EVER ROBOT-TO-ROBOT TRANSFER IN SPACE. FROM THE AFT FLIGHT DECK OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR, CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT AND STS-100 MISSION SPECIALIST CHRIS HADFIELD EXECUTED THE EXCHANGE OF A PALETTE FROM THE ROBOTIC ARM ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, CANADARM2, TO THE ARM OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE, CANADARM. CREDIT NASA THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
HISTORICALLY MARS HAS HAD ICE WATER, AND RECENTLY RUNNING WATER, WHICH WOULD INDICATE THAT A LIVING ORGANISM CAN SURVIVE ON THE PLANET ABOVE: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY (CSA) ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD IS NEAR CANADARM2 AS THE NEW ROBOTIC ARM FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION GRASPS THE SPACELAB PALLET ON MISSION STS-100. CREDIT NASA
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THE NUTS+BOLTS OF
ORBITAL LEFT: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD IS IN ENDEAVOUR’S FLIGHT DECK AREA AS THE SHUTTLE STEADILY MAKES ITS WAY TOWARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ON APRIL 20, 2001. CREDIT NASA
The Canadian highlights NASA’s recent progress on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a large, infraredoptimized space telescope developed by NASA. Due to launch in seven years, the telescope will search for the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, hopefully connecting the Big Bang—the prevailing cosmological theory of the early development of the universe—to our own Milky Way galaxy. The Webb will have the capacity to see stars forming planets, connecting the galaxy to our own Solar System. In doing so, we will begin to understand stars in detail using powerful electromagnetic spectrum.
Now he is preparing for his next challenge: Expedition 34/35, due to launch from Kazakhstan November 2012. This will be Hadfield’s longest mission, affording him the opportunity to become Commander of the ISS. His team is using virtual reality simulators, putting on gloves and helmets to “see” and “feel” space. The Canadian visualizes hypotheticals, horrible events on earth, and reviews individual reactions while discussing solutions with his crew. Feeling the weight of responsibility, he is keeping his crew healthy, mentally stable, and proud, saying that he is “recognizing our differences and making sure we stay together.” After his long run of space missions, the Canadian would like to settle for a teaching post. The curriculum would
MECHANICS ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD OCCUPIES SPACE
include subjects such as space walking through design and atmospheric physics. In the future, he also hopes to engage in public speaking at conferences and universities to bring his rare human experience for the next line of eager young students of aeronautics and aspiring astronauts. He would like to publish a collection of notes he made during his missions, offering technical suggestions for the next astronaut struggling to manoeuvre a space ship’s hardware and software jumble. Hadfield often reminisces on his journeys outside our atmosphere, and among stories of space travel and beautiful views he returns to one particular lamentation: He misses playing guitar with crewmates
HIS ENTHUSIASM ABOUT THE PROSPECTS FOR A MANNED MISSION TO MARS, LEAVES HADFIELD DREAMING OF AN OPPORTUNITY THAT WOULD HONOUR HIM YET AGAIN AS AN OVER-ACHIEVING CANADIAN SPACE MAN.
Like all astronauts, Hadfield is curious about life on Mars. Historically Mars has had ice water, and recently running water, which would indicate that a living organism can survive on the planet. His enthusiasm about the prospects for a manned mission to Mars, leaves Hadfield dreaming of an opportunity that would honour him yet again as an over-achieving Canadian space man. ABOVE, LEFT: THE DRAG CHUTE ON SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR SLOWS THE SPACECRAFT DOWN DURING THE LANDING AT EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE IN CALIFORNIA AND THE COMPLETION OF MISSION STS-100. TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED AT 1:11 P.M. (PDT), MAY 1, 2001, WITH SIX ASTRONAUTS ABOARD, INCLUDING CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD AND A COSMONAUT REPRESENTING ROSAVIAKOSMOS. CREDIT NASA
ABOVE, RIGHT: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT CHRIS HADFIELD ARRIVING WITH COSMONAUT YURI LONCHAKOV AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER ON APRIL 16, 2001. THEY WILL BOTH BE MISSION SPECIALISTS ON STS-100. CREDIT NASA
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motorized facts Power ON Love Machine, a hit song by The Miracles, hit number one in 1976 on the Billboard Top 100. The line, “I’m just a love machine and I won’t work for nobody but you,” is widely used in pop culture and even product promotion. The song compares a lover to a robot or a mechanical device. The chorus was recently used by rapper Lil Wayne in Drake’s song Miss Me with the same tempo.
1941 The year the first “workable” anti-gravity suit was developed at the University of Toronto in Canada. A research team headed by Wilbur Franks, a physiologist, created the suit which was the starting point for the suit worn by astronauts today. For more space feats check out Astronaut Chris Hadfield in our culture clash section.
History Buff When you think of machines, you probably aren’t thinking of simple machines. The term usually refers to the original 6 simple machines as defined by Renaissance scientists that fall into 2 divisions: screw, inclined plane, wedge, (dependent on vector resolution) and lever, pulley, wheel (an equilibrium of torques). Archimedes first studied simple machines in 3rd century B.C.
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Added Value The first documented use of the word computer is from 1613. It was used in reference to people who calculated or computed things like equations. The word did not evolve in meaning for approximately 300 years, until machines were developed that could perform those functions. By modern standards, the first “computing machine” was the Z3 designed by Konrad Zuse and was completed in Berlin in 1941.
1903 The year that Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in Detroit when it was the 13th largest city in America. The capital of Michigan State in the United States of America is also known as “Motor City”. Despite the fact that there were 125 motor companies in Detroit, Ford’s company rose to the top quickly. In 1908, Ford introduced the Model T, later named the world’s most influential car of the 20th century in a 1999 international poll.
Play Time The word “robot” was introduced to the English language and to the genre of science fiction in 1921 in R.U.R., a science fiction play by celebrated writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots, an English phrase used as the subtitle in the Czech original work. Nowadays you can buy robots that do everything from vacuum to play tennis.
Pinpoint The Global Positioning System (GPS) has been globally available since June 26, 1993, the date the U.S. Air Force launched the 24th Navstar satellite into orbit. It completed a network of 24 satellites and was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D) and Dr. Ivan Getting, a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, at the reported cost of 12 billion dollars. Professor Bradford Parkinson, co-inventor with the late Dr. Getting, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of in 2004.
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IN ADDITION TO MATHS, MECHANICAL ENGINEERS HAVE TO BE ON TOP OF THE GAME WHEN IT COMES TO CHEMISTRY, THE MECHANICS OF MATERIALS AND FLUIDS, THERMODYNAMICS, STATICS, DYNAMICS AND MORE.
MECHANICAL INGENUITY MAN + MACHINE BY J.E.N.
echanical engineering is ideal for big boys (and girls) who like big toys. Like all the other fields within engineering, mechanical engineering is based on a keen understanding of mathematics and physics and solid theoretical and practical knowledge. Know-how, judgment, analysis and innovation combine to lead to the economically use of materials and forces of nature for the greater good and well-being of humanity. In addition to maths, mechanical engineers have to be on top of the game when it comes to chemistry, the mechanics of materials and fluids, thermodynamics, statics, dynamics and more. We have mechanical engineering to thank for different types of engines (diesel, internal combustion, steam), hydraulic power, boilers, cars, trains, submarines, air-conditioning, refrigerators, turbines and much, much more. Engineering is an old field and mechanical engineering can be traced back to ancient Greece and China. At that time mechanisms like screw pumps, clocks and even differential gears were
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invented. In Greece Archimedes (287 BC – 212 BC) had a great impact on the field and Heron of Alexandria (10-70 AD) invented the first steam engine while in China, Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) created a seismometer and Ma Jun (200-265 AD) developed a chariot with differential gears. Even the ‘darkness’ of the Middle Ages saw nifty inventions like crankshafts and camshafts. China’s Su Song (1020-1101 AD) used an escapement mechanism in a clock tower 200 years before any such mechanism appeared in Europe and even created the first ever endless power-transmitting chain drive. Many still sing Song’s praises today. The Islamic Golden Age (7th to 15th century) saw many great creations from Muslim inventors and insightful Arab engineers. During this time, Al-Jazari wrote his pivotal “Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices” (1206) and was behind many inventions that still remain essential to the field. One of the major turning points in the development of the field was the emergence of Newton’s Laws of
Motion and the invention of calculus. Analysis became a key characteristic at that time. But the field really started to gear up during the industrial revolution. The cotton gin was the machine that ushered in the industrial era, transforming mechanical engineering into the fast-paced, dynamic field it is today. The future looks promising as mechanical engineering continues to whet the appetite of talent youths. In 2009, 19 year old Ben Gulak from MIT invented a unicycle-like electric motorbike which was voted one of the top 10 inventions of the year by Popular Science. Mechanical engineering responds to real needs and Gulak’s invention is no exception. While visiting
THE COTTON GIN WAS THE MACHINE THAT USHERED IN THE INDUSTRIAL ERA, TRANSFORMING MECHANICAL ENGINEERING INTO THE FAST-PACED, DYNAMIC FIELD IT IS TODAY.
the final frontier Beijing, he was overwhelmed by the pollution and crowds and hence was inspired to develop a transportation solution that was compact, easy to drive and environmentally friendly. The result was the Uno (on an interesting side note, his grandfather invented the first twist lipstick). Today several trends are at the core of the field. These include Mechatronics (a multidisciplinary branch of engineering that used to just combine mechanics and electronics but now encompasses computer, software, control and systems design engineering to come up with useful products), Electronic Circuit Design, Embedded Real-Time Microprocessor Systems, Kinematics (part of classical mechanics and describes the motion of objects and groups of objects without taking into consideration what is causing them to move), Sensor Technology, Pneumatics (focuses on the use of pressurized gas
to affect mechanical motion), Hydraulics (zeroes in on the mechanical properties of liquids), Mechanical Design and Robotics. These trends are testament that mechanical engineering is an everevolving field that adapts to the world and leads the times. Mechanical engineering is an essential part of our modern world. It helps us manufacture products, get from point A to point B and power our homes. But what new inventions will mechanical engineering bring us and how will it change our lives?
THESE TRENDS ARE TESTAMENT THAT MECHANICAL ENGINEERING IS AN EVER-EVOLVING FIELD THAT ADAPTS TO THE WORLD AND LEADS THE TIMES
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STEAM POWERED FANTASIES THE LOST
MECHANICAL WORLD BY J.E.N.
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team powered machines, cogs, goggles, pocket watches, clothes that could have come from the Victorian era…welcome to the world of Steampunk. Steampunk is a sub-genre of science-fiction that combines alternate history with fantasy. Popular in the 1980s and early 1990s, the genre still has its fans and a solid following. Mainstream films such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sherlock Holmes, Wild Wild West, Van Helsing and Howl’s Moving Castle, to name just a few, all owe their ambiance to Steampunk. And many manga, anime, video games, comics and music videos embrace Steampunk. There’s even a wide variety of Steampunk styled gadgets on the market, from guitars to laptops, ear pieces and USB drives, complete with visible cogs. But what makes Steampunk so fascinating is that it is very retro and yet very futuristic at the same time.
the final frontier
Steampunk is set in a world very much like Victorian Britain where steam power is the norm. The fashion, art, architecture and culture in this world tend to reflect Britain’s Victorian era too. But the technology envisioned pushes the boundaries of Victorian Britain and goes beyond our wildest imagination. The result is reminiscent of the works of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne! On the Oxford English Dictionary’s science fiction words website, Steampunk is defined as “a subgenre of science fiction which has a historical setting (esp. based on industrialized, nineteenth-century society) and characteristically features steampowered, mechanized machinery rather than electronic technology.” The term can be traced back to 1987 when it was first used by James Blaylock (a famous author in this genre) for an interview in Locus. It was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003. In an article in the Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest, Steampunk is described as “partly an ironic nod to the Cyberpunk movement of the 80s, and indeed seems a suitable choice,
exhibiting the inherent tendency of steampunk narratives towards a playful, ironic, sometimes (notably in the works of James Blaylock) whimsical bend.” Expect more juicy details about cyberpunk in a future issue of RAGMAG, but in a nutshell it’s a genre of science-fiction. An article by Rebecca Onion (University of Texas at Austin) which appeared in Neo Victorian Studies, Autumn 2008, raises some interesting questions about “what motivates those who make modern-day steampunk objects. Analyzing blog entries, zines, and objects themselves, [Onion] posit[s] that a desire to regain a human connection with the machine world underlies the work of steampunk practitioners, concluding that steampunk seeks to restore coherence to a perceived ‘lost’ mechanical world.” Is man trying to reconnect with the machine in Steampunk? Or does a sense of nostalgia or ‘what if technology had developed different’ drive it? Whatever the underlying reasons are, Steampunk is not just about cool contraptions and gadgets. It entails a
particular aesthetics seen in the fashion donned by characters in the novels, films and enthusiastic fans alike and the design of the technology itself. Since the genre is rather diverse and can encompass the supernatural, there is an ongoing debate about where Steampunk stops and other genres start. Steampunk even has a philosophical twist that makes use of the Victorian’s optimistic view of the future and faith in creativity, technology and selfreliance. Since it’s an optimistic genre in general, Steampunk does not explore the negative aspects inherent to the Victorian era (child labour and the like.). But then again, why should it? It’s an escape into steam powered dreams
STEAMPUNK IS SET IN A WORLD VERY MUCH LIKE VICTORIAN BRITAIN WHERE STEAM POWER IS THE NORM
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HI HO SILVER
IT’S NOT THAT I WASN’T WARNED THAT THERE MIGHT BE ARCHERY AND GUN SHOOTING BUT I HONESTLY DIDN’T THINK THAT WE WERE GOING TO USE REAL GUNS. PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA
WINDING IT UP AT EL RANCHO BY GINA GABRIEL EL-FADY
his is me waking up on Thursday morning and getting ready for my FML day. I wore a green halter top, Capri pants and flip flops. Yes, I looked very relaxed. I obviously had no idea what spending a day at El Rancho entailed. EDITOR’S NOTE The very name “El Rancho” suggests ranch! I would’ve thought boots or even runners would spring to mind. Definitely sturdier clothing would be in order- something along the lines of jeans perhaps? That’s why cowboys and cowgirls are always depicted in jeans! Hello? Levis?
It’s not that I wasn’t warned that there might be archery and gun shooting but I honestly didn’t think that we were going to use real guns. I was so excited when I was told by Fida that I would be doing archery that I forgot that I wasn’t a country bumpkin and cowboys and Indians were nowhere to be seen on my to do list. Judging by the tiny cough and the twisted up and down looks I got from Jose Daoud (my guide around El Rancho) he thought so too. He had to make it even more obvious that he disapproved of my attire by following his looks with a comment, “We are a bit limited as to what we can do hmmm?”
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FML [f*ck my life]
This set the bar for rule number 1: Go to El Rancho dressed in sweats or jeans and definitely trainers. Flip flops are a no no. While I was introducing myself and Jason to Jose, I was thinking all the while literally FML, this is a disaster and I am such a tit (one of my favourite words I might add). Of course I didn’t voice it out loud. I just said, “Hi! My name is Gina and I am here to experience what El Rancho has to offer!” The smile on my face that said otherwise, after all I’m not exactly the outdoorsy type. EDITOR’S NOTE The profanity begins! I bet there are a whole slew of other words she wanted to include. In addition to that, the whole outdoorsy thing is absolutely laughable since if there is anyone of staff more high maintenance than me, it’s Gina!
El Rancho had a lot to offer. Had I been dressed accordingly I would definitely still be there camping, hiking, rappelling and even bull riding. Yeah right! I settled for knife throwing, shooting (with real guns) and archery. I was briefed on each one of the activities. I pulled a Fida! I asked for paper and pen and started taking notes just in case I forgot what I had to do. Once I got the lesson and I sort of felt confident, I was given a tan coloured vest complete with fringe, a scarf around my neck and a holster for my gun. I looked like a cowgirl gone wrong. EDITOR’S NOTE Readers please try and imagine my face while I looked this over for the first time. Keep in mind I don’t get the images until way after I see the articles. I couldn’t wait to see Gina in her “home, home on the range” outfit. When I finally saw the pictures I laughed so hard- she really does look like a cowgirl gone wrong, hat and all.
I took 5 dramatic shots. Yes! I got better, still needed both hands, but my timing improved. Jason by contrast was a professional. The asshole beat me! THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
FML [f*ck my life]
The first shot I took was literally hilarious. I physically needed both hands to cork it, jumped at the sound of the bullet, and then turned around and pointed the gun right at Jason. “Stop!” Jose screamed, “Don’t do that! It’s very dangerous!” In less than 10 minutes I was already in trouble. I looked at Jason with a paralyzing expression thinking, “I am not to be trusted with a gun.” I could have blown Jason’s head right off. The competition was between Jason and I. I took 5 dramatic shots. Yes! I got better, still needed both hands, but my timing improved. Jason by contrast was a professional. The asshole beat me! Jose gave me my R.I.P certificate but for the first time I didn’t mind it a single bit since to be honest I don’t like guns and I hate them being anywhere near me. Rule 2: Never point the gun at anyone! EDITOR’S NOTE Alright whoa! When I asked the office to book Gina in at El Rancho, I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT PLAN FOR HER TO LEARN SHOOTING OR KNIFE TOSSING. I would NEVER give Gina a gun. And I really mean never! Talk about a loose cannon!
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Archery was next on the El Rancho agenda. I didn’t think I would enjoy it much, but I did. I was quickly briefed and then I was given the arrow and the bow or is it the bow and the arrow? I got behind the line and was told where to shoot. Yep got it, what a piece of cake! 1 2 3 Go!!! I nearly took off half of my face off, but I did hit the arrow somewhat in the right place. I was really excited until Jose reminded me that “it’s nothing but beginners luck”.
He was soon proven right as the next shot literally lost the plot and just flew in the wrong direction. That was the price I paid for being too excited. Rule number 3: Focus at all times! All in all I would say not bad for a city chick like me! Thank you El Rancho and Mr. Jose Daoud for a wonderful experience. I will definitely be coming back with my kids, but this time I’ll be more prepared
I nearly took off half of my face off, but I did hit the arrow somewhat in the right place. Editor’s Note There will not be a next time. There will not be a next time. There will not be a next time. This is not a typo, I meant to write that 3 times! Especially since I need Jason alive to continue to shoot for the mag, Gina! You are allowed to go try whatever you like at El Rancho as long as it doesn’t include firearms of any sort!
Saddle Up Partner El Rancho Tel 70899201 | 09741133 Find them on Facebook www.elrancholebanon.com
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mon amour, mon ami
WHY YOUR FAVORITE ROBOT IS THE NEW IT-GUY, AND WE DON’T MEAN I.T. BY MARIA ELENA KASSAB
KEEP IN MIND, LADIES, THAT WHEN WE SAY GEEKS, WE REALLY MEAN GEEKS
emember the last decade, when highlighted hair, a soft pout and abs of steel were what made men desirable? Then women lost their interest for perfectly coiffed hair and downy lips and went for an array of styles, from grungy, unshaven bad boys to the greasy-haired slim emo-affected types. These days, though, wherever you look, you see women fawning over bespectacled, often socially awkward young men with Tom Ford inspired rimmed glasses and an uncomfortable half-smile. Geeks are the hot market commodity these days and they are, in more ways than one, quite similar to the robots that make some of the best loved feature film and TV characters. Keep in mind, ladies, that when we say geeks, we really mean geeks. We’re not talking about guys who occasionally don a pair of cool eyeglasses. This is 2011 and this is the age of the nerd.
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In this movie, loosely inspired by the work of Isaac Asimov, Will Smith plays a detective who hates robots, which have become a staple of everyday life. However, Smith’s character comes across a robot, Sonny, who is strongly attached to its creator and goes to great lengths to make sure his last wish is fulfilled. Unlike other robots, Sonny is fiercely loyal and risks both safety and freedom for his master, his creator, his father. I don’t know about you, but fierce loyalty and devotion are traits I kinda like in a guy. He’ll keep every promise he’s ever made to you and will risk his reputation if it means defending your honor or interests.
OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: I, ROBOT TOM FORD SS 2010 AD CAMPAIGN RIGHT: STILL FROM THE MOVIE ‘STAR WARS, EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE’
THIS LITTLE GUY IS SUPER-SMART, WHICH IS NOT A BAD THING IN A GUY, IF YOU ASK US
You’re probably hearing the little droid’s beeping language in your head right now. If you’re not, rent Star Wars and watch the whole series, please. In Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope, R2D2 is a droid that crashes on the planet Tatooine in an escape pod (along with his famous droid partner, C3PO) after Princess Leia Organa slips him a distress message and the plans for the Death Star battle station. R2D2 ends up helping Luke Skywalker save the day, and plays a major role
in the two subsequent movies. This little droid’s intelligence gets him included in Qui-Gon Jin’s party on Tatooine in Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace and helps young Anakin Skywalker in battle. This little guy is super-smart, which is not a bad thing in a guy, if you ask us. He can solve any problem you bring to him and will even come up with solutions to things you didn’t even know were bothering you.
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mon amour, mon ami
Star Trek: The Next Generation
WHILE DATA REMAINED A ROBOT, HE EXHIBITED SURPRISINGLY AFFECTIONATE TRAITS, SUCH AS NAMING THE DAUGHTER HE CREATES FOR HIMSELF LAL –MEANING “BELOVED” IN HINDI
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In the Star Trek universe, Doctor Noonien Soong built Data, a sentient android who serves as a second officer and chief operation officer on the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Enterprise-E. Data struggled to understand human behavior, so Dr. Soong added an “emotion chip” to his creation’s positronic net. Nevertheless, Data showed a slightly different sense of wisdom, sensitivity and curiosity throughout his existence. And while Data remained a robot (and the strongest and smartest member of the Enterprise staff), he exhibited surprisingly affectionate traits, such as naming the daughter he creates for himself Lal – meaning “beloved” in Hindi. Your guy might seem like he cares about the latest internet meme more than he does about you, but he will surprise you with gestures of love and affection when you least expect them.
IF YOUR MAN IS ANYTHING LIKE THE TIN MAN, HE’S PERSEVERANT AND WILL SPARE NO EFFORT TO REACH HIS GOAL, BE IT GETTING A PROMOTION OR BUYING YOU THAT PURSE YOU’VE BEEN EYEING. The Tin Man
The Wizard Of Oz
The Tin Man is known for his constant search for a heart. According to the books penned by L. Frank Baum, Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman (aka the Tin Man) made his living by chopping trees. The Wicked Witch of the East enchanted his axe to chop his limbs off, one by one, so he couldn’t marry the woman he loved. Nick replaced each limb he lost with a prosthetic made of tin. However, his assistant forgot to replace his heart, and so Nick lost the ability to love the girl he had once fallen for. Throughout
the movie The Wizard of Oz, the Tin Man does all he can to find the Wizard and finally get a heart. The movie is filled with philosophic arguments between him and Scarecrow as to which was more important, brains or heart. If your man is anything like the Tin Man, he’s perseverant and will spare no effort to reach his goal, be it getting a promotion or buying you that purse you’ve been eyeing. His hard work might make him a dull boy sometimes, but you know it’s all for a good reason.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day While most geeks won’t look (or sound) like Arnold Schwarzenegger, they might have something in common with the reprogrammed T-800 Terminator John Connor sends back to the past to protect his younger self from the T-1000 Terminator. And while most geeks can recite the lines from the movie perfectly, they’re probably not here from the future to save you from an indestructible Cyborg. Remember how the T-800 sacrifices himself so that
his parts cannot be used to create the technology that would destroy the world because he learned the value of humanity? Your guy knows how precious and valuable you are in his life, and while he might not jump into a vat of molten steel, he will give you his all (Austrian accent optional) and make sure you’re safe from things that go bump in the night AND from those pesky computer viruses
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MECHANICS FOR MEN
THE TURBINE AS SEEN BY BOX OFFICE GREATS
Reprinted with permission courtesy of Urban Male Magazine, Canada
‘CAN I TRUST YOU? CAN I TRUST YOU? ANSWER ME. CAN I TRUST YOU?’ Y
ou’re on your fifth date. She’s great, and you really like this one. What makes her worth it? Let’s takes a look at some of the best men’s movies of all time, and examine the important lessons from each to help you figure it out. We don’t want you to waste your time, so we’ve done you one better.
She may be all together oblivious to it, especially if you unlock her door using a remote. Play it old school by using your keys, and hope that your third date will lead to a fourth, depending on the outcome of the Door Test.
Remember that scene in the Bronx Tale? Sonny teaches all would-be Romeos a lesson that you should never forget. How it works: Before you get out of your car, lock both doors. Then get out of the car and walk to her, leading her back to your car. Unlock the door for her, and let her in. Then you close the door for her. Walk around the back of the car, making sure to look through the rear window. Then what? Sonny turns to C and says, “Listen to me, kid. If she doesn’t reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in, that means she’s a selfish broad and all you’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg. You dump her and you dump her fast.” Men, those are words to live by. Of course one should take the development of automatic locks into consideration.
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COME OUT ROLLING
“Robert De Niro asks Sharon Stone in Casino, “Can I trust you? Can I trust you? Answer me. Can I trust you?” When she hesitated, it should have set off warning bells so loud they would have heard them in Kuala Lumpur. He had to ask three times. Three times! If you think, even for a split second, that you cannot trust the woman you are involved with, then you have just
stamped an expiration date on your involvement. Relationships are enough of a crap shoot without doubting the loyalty and integrity of your significant other. We consider a trust issue like weighted dice, and you should too. You will lose, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If the reverse is true, and you would “trust her with your life”, then you get Sam’s blessing.
MAKE AN EFFORT, PULL A TONY MONTANA, AND MAKE YOUR DETERMINATION KNOWN NEVER SAY NEVER
Scarface, the first movie to show us how a man has to learn some lessons the hard way. Al Pacino as Tony Montana gave us a few good rules. A couple relationship ones are even in there. Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira defiantly looks him in the eye and says, “Don’t call me baby, I’m not your baby”. Tony turns, with full on confidence, and says, “Eh, not yet, you gotta give me some time”. If you want the girl, then you should persevere. Make an effort, pull a Tony Montana, and make your determination known. Tony later approaches Elvira on her patio and brazenly tells her that she will eventually be his wife. He made it plain, and simple. It happened, and although it came out sour, he still got what he wanted. Tony’s strategy doesn’t guarantee the fairy tale ending, but if getting the girl is what you want, stick to your guns, and make it happen.
GO WITH YOUR GUT
Let’s hit up Casino again. Robert De Niro as Sam Rothstein decides that Sharon Stone, the Ginger we will never forget, is the one, even though his instincts tell him she’s all wrong. Sam makes us shiver when he admits that, “For a guy who likes sure things, I was about to bet my life on a real long shot.” Sam bargained and lost. The house always wins. This is true both in gambling, and in love. Your gut is screaming no, but your pride is telling you that you can make this happen. After all, you’re not like those other guys, right? Take it from us, you
ARE like those other guys. In roulette, red pays 1:1 and has a calculated probability of approximately 47 percent. Betting red, or on an odd number, with just under a 50 percent chance is still pretty good. Your gut going haywire at the thought of committing to the new woman in your life is an indicator that you are betting on a 3-number combination, in which case your odds of success have sunk to just under 8 percent. Dismal. The moral of this story? Trust your instincts and don’t gamble on chance. Grab your chips, cut your losses, and head for the door.
The Bronx Tale gave us another gem that every man should remember. Chazz Palminteri as Sonny says it best when he explains that every man is “only allowed three great women in [his] lifetime”. He knew the value of a great romance, and wasn’t ashamed to say it. Sonny wisely says that great women “come along like the great fighters, every ten years. Rocky Marciano. Sugar Ray Robinson. Joe Louis.” If the woman is a core shaker, and you know it, do everything you can to maintain your relationship. Hold up your end of the bargain. If Sonny was right, and a really amazing woman is like a prize fighter, rare and adored, then don’t sell her short. Give her the heavy weight respect she deserves rather than dancing around the ring. If you aren’t up for the challenge, tell her so, she’ll see you as a bigger man. It’s better than treating a great one like a nobody lightweight and swallowing a TKO.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
“DAT CHICK HE’S WITH– SHE LIKE ME”, TONY SAYS WITH FULL ON FORCE. HE WAS RIGHT, AND YOU’RE PROBABLY RIGHT, TOO. IF YOU THINK SHE LIKES YOU, CHANCES ARE SHE PROBABLY DOES ENEMY LINES
Tony Montana called it like he saw it. Taken or not, if she’s into you, and you’re into her, it’s going to be a difficult force to fight. “Dat chick he’s with– She like me”, Tony says with full on force. He was right, and you’re probably right, too. If you think she likes you, chances are she probably does. Even with her boyfriend hanging off her arm like an extra handbag, she is still making those eyes at you. Trespassing on occupied territory is a dangerous move, and one that should be made with caution. A minefield of disappointment awaits you, after all, if she will ditch him for you, she will ditch you for someone else. Do we have to remind you what trading-up is like? Your stock is up now, but don’t say we didn’t warn you when the market crashes. You will lose your shirt. Enough said.
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Trent’s “Baby, you’re money” was the cultural zeitgeist of a whole generation of guys. Played by good ol’ boy Vince Vaughn, Trent is the mouthpiece for all the things you wonder about, but can’t bring yourself to say. Swingers is the men’s equivalent of the Men are from Mars Women are from Venus female phenomenon. Trent wonders, “You know, I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it’s like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money. What do you think?” Well Trent, and all you other guys out there, waiting to call is a cheap ploy. Not only is it juvenile, it’s transparent. Nobody follows rules like that anymore. At least not real men. This situation calls for the old Nike mantra: Just do it. If you want to call her, waiting a
couple days to do so only makes the game playing begin in earnest. Guys are always complaining about women who don’t say or do what they really want. This is your chance to make like the pro who doesn’t pull a bank shot for showmanship. Frills like that aren’t impressive when you can make the shot from the 3-point line. Confidence, and the skill to make things happen, are the mark of a real baller.
mon amour, mon ami
So is she a keeper? Tarantino’s muse, Uma Thurman, lays her cards on the table as Mia in Pulp Fiction. How many times have you struggled for something to say? Anything at all, because sitting there silently is unbearable, and the spark is fading fast, even after 3 drinks? Looking at Kevin, Mia explains a real relationship, “That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.” And she was right. When you feel jumpy, nervous, and just can’t seem to stop your mouth from shooting off,
it is indicative of an uncomfortable situation. The girl you can chill with and relax in silence with, is probably the girl you should stay with. Think back to the last really great date you had. Chances are it probably included a good stint of quiet. Sometimes a one-hit wonder is just that, a great date with no sequel. Knowing when to go forward, or when to hit the brakes is key. Seize on pivotal moments like the ones we’ve discussed to make the right decision, every time
“THAT’S WHEN YOU KNOW YOU’VE FOUND SOMEBODY SPECIAL. WHEN YOU CAN JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP FOR A MINUTE AND COMFORTABLY ENJOY THE SILENCE”
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
HAYDA LEBNEN’s MECHA-NKEYET BY SARAH HOURANY
LET’S TAKE A TRIP DOWN MOTORIZED MEMORY LANE AND GAUGE THE LEBANESE REACTION
he relationship of the Lebanese with their dawle has never been samné 3ala 3asal. Not only do they not trust the country, and sometimes even despise it, but they would do anything, literally anything, to oppose it. This means, bil 3arabe el mchabra7, that their relationship is based on nkeyet! Let’s take a trip down motorized memory lane and gauge the Lebanese reaction. REMEMBER WHEN… THE DAWLE FORCED THE LEBANESE CITIZENS TO WEAR THEIR SEATBELTS? “What? Ana bidi2 khel2e! Byetja3lako tyebe! Ba3den manne m3awad! Beddon kermelna? Chu hal mazha, kel hammon yekhdo menna masare”, were some of the typical angry comments after the announcement of the new law. Bass 3ala min? Wear T-shirts with a printed diagonal thick black line, send a car temwih to let you know in advance where the hajiz is or simply don’t put on your seatbelt. If you’re a woman, a doux yeux and a flirtatious smile will make the darake forget why he was standing there in the first place. That was their reaction. REMEMBER WHEN… THE DAWLE ENACTED THE FAMOUS SPEEDING TICKETS LAW? “What? Enno todyi3 elwa2et bil 3aj2a ma bi2adde? Kamen, eza ma fi 3aj2a, we would have to drive slowly and waste our time? Wehyet Allah? Ba3den el wazawiz chu bsisir fiyon mech 7aram, mannon human beings? Kif bedon ya3mlo saba2 w ychafto?”
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REPAIRING THIS CLUNKER WILL COST YOU MORE THAN THE VALUE OF THE VEHICLE ITSELF. RATHER THAN PAYING THAT $1000, MAKE IT BRAND NEW FOR $20 BY RENTING EVERYTHING YOU NEED. Bass 3ala min? Download applications to spot radar, rent a car w let the owner pay your speeding ticket, rakkib CD near your car mirror that prevents the radar men enno yol2atak or even hack the ministry database so you cancel your ticket (all smart and creative ideas welcome). That was their reaction. REMEMBER WHEN… THE MOU3EYANE MIKANIKIYE INTRODUCED IN THE EARLY 2000S TO CHECK IF YOUR CAR HAS ALL THE SECURITY MEASURES TO DRIVE SAFELY ON THE ROAD? The Lebanese reaction was not particularly different from all the other dawle decisions, except that we may safely say that their ability to escape laws reached its full potential here. “Ah so beddon ya3mlo check up lal siyara and the road leading to the mou3eyane, like all the other roads, betkasir hal siyara?”
Bass 3ala min? Create shops 3alanan near the test center. These shops will allow you to rent tires, lights, brakes… for what purpose? Suppose that your car is mharhra: it stops at random, btemche 3a daw wahad, bittali3 gray clouds min el echappement… Repairing this clunker will cost you more than the value of the vehicle itself. Rather than paying that $1000, make it brand new for $20 by renting everything you need. Pass the test with flying colours, give back 2ota3 l siyara and there you go: Mabrouk! Not only you are legal now, but you witnessed your own version of the Cinderella story: your car morphs into something else (a Ferrari perhaps), and then quickly returns to its premakeover glory once you’ve been issued your ticket to drive!
AND THAT’S NOT ALL You can enjoy free advice from car mechanics while waiting in line for the test, you can benefit from the promotional offers these shops offer from time to time: buy one tire, get one free (eh eh, they believe that competition ensures the survival of the fittest), and you can even have a pre-mou3eyane test, to predict whether you will pass or not! How creative is that! That was their reaction.
Hala2 the Lebnene can simply put on his seatbelt, drive slowly, and make sure his car has all the safety requirements, bass ma fi, lezim yotro2 l dawle law howe ntara2. Ma hayda lebnen- eh ya 3ayne!
MABROUK! NOT ONLY YOU ARE LEGAL NOW, BUT YOU WITNESSED YOUR OWN VERSION OF THE CINDERELLA STORY: YOUR CAR MORPHS INTO SOMETHING ELSE (A FERRARI PERHAPS), AND THEN QUICKLY RETURNS TO ITS PRE-MAKEOVER GLORY ONCE YOU’VE BEEN ISSUED YOUR TICKET TO DRIVE!
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
mind, body + soul To ask a question,
send your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org
To join the reader response panel
and give feedback to women across Lebanon, send your name, age, and email address to email@example.com subject line: Interactive Panel. We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.
Rabih BY NOUR OBAJI + RABIH FEGHALI
What if you meet a guy who expresses interest and you’re all about it, but then he lacks the ability to take on the initiative of making plans? What do you do? How much is too much initiative that woman can take on before it starts looking desperate?
has to get the ball rolling and if you are willing to be that person, then shoot first and ask later. Rabih seems to think all guys have a guts and glory take on this. He may very well be right, but you won’t know until you try.
My fiancé and I have different religious backgrounds and we can’t decide what kind of wedding to have. He is very non-religious and refuses to get married at a church and I refuse to have a wedding without a marriage ceremony. What are the options for a spiritual or traditional but not faith-based ceremonial procedure?
“If you are that sure that he likes you, you can invite him to dinners or parties with your friends. I think that would be the push to make plans on his own. If he doesn’t, then either he’s not that into you (you’d know after going out a couple of times) or he’s just not aware of this whole situation and you should be telling him honestly that you’re bothered by his inability to take the initiative.”
Sarah, 37 Jazz, 31
“If I knew the answer to this, then I wouldn’t be perpetually single.”
Rabih’s Vote There is no such thing as “no initiative”. If a guy likes you (and isn’t seeing someone else), he will make it a point to spend time with you. Now he may not be a “plan” maker, but he will definitely ensure that you are aware that he wants to see you. So Mr. “I won’t take initiative for plans” may actually be Mr. “I’m just not that into you”. There is no grey area.
Nour’s Vote The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you want it, you have to go for it. If he is the type of guy who likes the wilting flower, I would run for the hills. Nour isn’t fond of passive men and the interactive panel seems to advocate plotting. I do not. I think everyone in this day and age is perfectly capable of making the first move and he’s got to pick up the Picante (pace) or you do. One of you
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“The question doesn’t really say where you live so I don’t know if a civil ceremony is even legal in your country but that is beside the point. I’m going to assume that you knew your fiancé was non-religious when he was your boyfriend so I’m not sure why you would think that would change once he became your fiancé. In general, issues such as religious beliefs are supposed to be discussed long before you get to wedding planning stage and I am guessing this didn’t happen. It sounds like how you hold the wedding is only going to be the first and least important of many faith-based issues you are going to face and something has to give. If you love him, you will consent to some beautiful outdoor ceremony with a Justice of the Peace thus settling the issue of the actual marriage. In turn, if he loves you, he will agree to have the marriage blessed by an individual who represents your religion. If you can’t solve this minor issue, how are you going to solve the bigger faith based issues you will face if there are children?”
mind, body + soul
IF YOU LOVE HIM, YOU WILL CONSENT TO SOME BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR CEREMONY WITH A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE THUS SETTLING THE ISSUE OF THE ACTUAL MARRIAGE. Rola, 29
“There are options for this, you can do both ceremonies, you can have an unofficial priest (or whatever is appropriate), but this is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem is how you are going to manage your whole lives together considering you are so fundamentally different. Think it through.” Jazz, 31
“A civil marriage entails a marriage ceremony (albeit not a religious one). You could be original and each write your own vows (which you can exchange during the civil marriage ceremony). This adds a personal touch and your own special spiritual flavour. Alternatively, you could go exotic and get married in say Thailand (embracing whatever the local traditions there dictate).” Youmna, 24
“In Lebanon, you’re kind of screwed. There is no such thing as a nuptial blessing, whatever your religion is. There is no such thing as spirituality, at least legally. And there’s no tradition that’s not based on religion.”
Rabih’s Vote No such marriage arrangement exists in Lebanon. You will have to travel abroad. There are some new-age priests that are happy to conduct inter-faith marriages
with a religiously watered-down ceremony. I suggest you Google this and see what options are available.
Nour’s Vote Look if it was up to Nour, I would probably get rid of the institution of marriage altogether. I think back to the best and most loving couples I know and remember their hideous downward spirals after they had their “big day”. That being said, I do not think there is anything wrong in
declaring your intention to be together in a “faith-based” ceremony but your question originated in Lebanon which means your choice is abroad ONLY if you are hoping for legal acknowledgement of this ceremony. If you aren’t looking for legal acknowledgment then you can pretty much do anything from renting out Sky Bar to building a sand castle. You could have your best friend dress up as Orphan Annie, you could be the Governess and your groom could be Daddy Warbucks.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
mind, body + soul
I’m in love with my best friend, is there a way I can find out if it’s mutual without just telling him and risking the friendship?
than admitting it to your best friend. But in all cases, you can’t stay stuck in this situation, find out as soon as you can.” Aminah, 26
“Now that you have feelings for him means your friendship is at a crossroads. It’s best if you come clean before you find yourself in a ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ kind of scenario.” Amal, 37
“There is no real way to find out for sure unless you want to tell him. In the event you don’t want to tell him, it is best to keep this question to yourself.” Jehan, 21
“If you have a mutual friend that you trust, ask him or her to find that out. It’s less risky
“This is a rather tricky situation. You probably feel like you’re playing Russian roulette. If this person truly is a good friend, then you can be direct since even if it’s a no-go, you can still remain friends (I’ve been there and have done that). In an ideal world, your best friend might like you back. Beating around the bush will get you nowhere and the uncertainty will remain.”
Rabih’s Vote This is a classic double edged sword. Get a mutual friend involved. Someone emotionally sound and intelligent. They would be able to understand the situation and advise you accordingly.
Nour’s Vote To tell or not to tell, that is the question. I personally find this abhorrent because I feel that you sound like a love-struck 17 year-old. I assume you and the object of your affections have been best friends for a long time so really he’s seen the ins and outs of your love life. This probably means he thinks you’re a wrecking ball and this is the reason he has not made romantic overtures at you. Oh wait, that’s me. Back to you, your best friend is probably not oblivious to your feelings since if he is truly your best friend he can tell when you’re mooning over someone. Since he hasn’t made a move, it can mean he’s afraid or not interested in that kind of relationship with you. I suggest being forward and calling a duck a duck. It’s the only way you’ll know for certain where he sits on this fence.
HE PROBABLY MEANS HE THINKS YOU’RE A WRECKING BALL AND THIS IS THE REASON HE HAS NOT MADE ROMANTIC OVERTURES AT YOU.
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GUY TO GUY RABIH SOUNDS OFF FOR GUY QUESTIONS My friend is trying to hook me up with her friend who I haven’t met. She showed me pictures of her and gave me her number. What is the most appropriate way to approach her without freaking her out? Isn’t this kind of weird and old school? Rabih’s Vote Just pick up the phone and call her (do it on a Monday or Tuesday between 4-7pm to make sure she’s not busy.) Have a plan for what you want to say. You can start off the first phone call by saying “Hi Zeina, our common friend Leila mentioned to me that you are looking for a plumber and so I decided to call you ... I do all types of plumbing”. Find an opener that is not related to the purpose of the call, make it fun. You’ll quickly grab her attention as funny, confident and interesting. Just make sure you’ve had a couple of phone call sessions before you actually meet. Break the ice before meeting so that when you actually sit together, it’s not awkward. Good luck!
Nour’s Vote Sometimes old school is not the worst way to go. I personally have seen lots of old school style intros work very well. Suck it up and call, it’s not creepy and it’s not strange since your mutual friend would have given her the heads-up. Come on now, you think women don’t tell each other these things? Chances are she probably knows everything about you already and is prepared for the first contact.
I’m dating a much younger woman and I find her a bit immature but otherwise she’s everything I want. She’s hotter than hell but she’s got a bit too much of her early 20s going on and I’m 44. Do you think the age gap will close with time or am I setting myself up to babysit? Rabih’s Vote You lucky schmuck! Most men would kill to be in your position. The question is: are YOU going to stay young and interesting enough for her? She will eventually grow up - it’s a time tested phenomenon. If you end up marrying her, make sure you embrace and enjoy her youth while it lasts, because before you know it, she’ll be a nagging 38 year-old.
Nour’s Vote Rabih is an asshole. End of my vote
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
TIGHTENING THE BOLTS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE SHOULDN’T HAVE ANY LOOSE SCREWS BY MATTHEW HUSSEY
FAR TOO OFTEN WE DELUDE OURSELVES INTO BELIEVING THAT HAVING AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE REQUIRES US TO UNDERTAKE HEROICALLY DIFFICULT ACTIONS I have always maintained that the foundations of a good life lie in the machinery of our daily routine. Leading an extraordinary life is about building the right habits. Far too often we delude ourselves into believing that having an extraordinary life requires us to undertake absolutely heroically difficult actions. When, in actual fact, success is built. You inch closer and closer every day, you don’t wait for a single day where you make a colossal leap from zero to hero. That’s why I’m obsessed with how we can get the most juice out of every single day, so that we can propel ourselves forward with such momentum that in six months to a year’s time, we don’t even recognize the person we were before. A year can change your life forever if you work one day at a time.
CINCH 1 BECOME AN EARLY RISER I remember reading an interview with the film director Ridley Scott, who, when asked his secret to success, simply replied that he woke up early every morning. The beauty of being an early riser is that you can get things done with no distractions and with next to no demands on your time from other people.
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mind, body + soul
The small hours in the morning are golden for hassle-free working, reading, or exercising.
CINCH 2 WORST THINGS FIRST
these things into our DAILY routines, we will never find time.
CINCH 4 ALLOCATE NOCONTACT TIMES
Most people save up their difficult tasks, and spend their entire morning slacking off and doing the easy tasks to make themselves feel productive. If you want to have a dynamite daily routine, make your first tasks your most difficult, challenging projects for the day.
A recent study found that most employees find it extremely difficult to get work done in their office, simply because they had so many distractions from their co-workers. Time gets wasted by meetings, bosses checking up on work, and the constant demands of the email inbox.
This way, you can be safe in the knowledge that your day is only going to get easier and easier. Then, when you’re energy starts to flag in the afternoon, you’ll only have the simple, small tasks to polish off.
That’s why, no matter what your work environment, you must set yourself time for uninterrupted productivity. This means switching off your phone, disconnecting from email and giving yourself the gift of 100 percent focus.
CINCH 3 ALLOCATE A BLOCK OF TIME EVERY DAY FOR “PERSONAL GOALS”
CINCH 5 THE 5 MINUTE PLAN
Ever notice how we can spend an entire year working and feeling stressed, and then feel like we have nothing to show for it? We still haven’t read those books, lost that weight, travelled to that country, or started that business project? This is because these things are important to us, but not urgent. We spend most of our days responding to the urgent concerns of paying bills, sending emails, finishing little tasks, and the general day-to-day grind. And all the while we fail to schedule in time for those things we really want to be progressing, the things that are essential to our long-term well-being. That’s why you need to schedule in a 1-2 hour block each day in which you only focus on those important things. For you, it might be just running to keep healthy, or working on a page of the book you want to finish, or even just organizing your house for your own peace of mind. If we don’t schedule
For the next month, try this experiment. Sit down every night just before bed, and spend 5 minutes simply writing down the key achievements you would need to get done to make tomorrow worthwhile. You can even write this title on a piece of paper every day, “For tomorrow to be successful I will have to…” and then fill it in with about five major tasks (not too many, otherwise this will just become a to-do list). This plan will ensure that you wake up every day with your mind already focused on the right things. What’s more, the 5-minute plan ensures that you don’t waste half the morning wondering what you should do today, trying to make it up as you go along. That’s 5 minutes to make every day bring us closer to the life we want. No matter how busy we are, I know we can all find time for that
A RECENT STUDY FOUND THAT MOST EMPLOYEES FIND IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO GET WORK DONE IN THEIR OFFICE, SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAD SO MANY DISTRACTIONS FROM THEIR CO-WORKERS
RAGMAG brings you the best in selfimprovement. Matthew Hussey is one of the leading talents in behavioral change and success. As a Life Strategist he has founded two coaching companies working with thousands of individuals across the globe to show them ways of making dramatic shifts in their lives. Matthew’s success has been built on finding out what people want, and showing them how to make it happen in the shortest time possible. He is currently a weekly columnist for Now magazine, providing expert advice on dating and relationship issues for female readers. In addition, his coaching has been featured in the London Metro, Evening Standard, The Sun, The Independent, Men’s Health, Glamour magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Elle magazine. His seminars have recently taken him to New York where he ran a live event and an interview with Sirius radio, and will be taking him to Las Vegas later this year to speak about his methods. A highly sought after public speaker and executive coach, Matthew has consulted companies including Accenture, Virgin, Morgan Stanley, Weil & Gotshal, and CB Richard Ellis, as well as over 5000 individuals and organizations ranging from directors of FTSE 100 Companies, Universities, international investment funds, artists, and royalty. For more information on Matthew Hussey´s worldwide coaching programmes visit www.matthewhussey.com today.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
HEAVY METAL THE DARK SIDE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT BY ELODIE BARAKAT
Heard about heavy metals but don’t really know what they are? “Pollution” doesn’t always mean unnatural. The noxious effect comes with their use or misuse, like uranium and petroleum that are naturally produced by the Earth. It’s the same with heavy metals. Extracted from the Earth’s depths for industry, read on for the long and short term effects of heavy metals.
MEET THE BAD BOYS
ARSENIC, LEAD, MERCURY, CADMIUM, ALUMINUM, AND NICKEL- they are the superstars. Some linked results of exposure can lead to • Various types of cancer • Respiratory diseases • Neurological damages leading to motor skill deterioration, reduced cognitive skills, and even dementia • Chronic pain, arthritis and rheumatism • Accelerated aging • Increased risk of allergies • Increased bacterial resistance due to an unintended antibiotic effect • Replacing essential nutriments, such as iron or calcium, encouraging a variety of conditions such as anemia and the increased risk of osteoporosis • Reduced fertility levels And children are even more likely to suffer from exposure than adults.
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KNOW THE BATTLEFIELD
Where do they hide? Industry, agriculture and excessive consumerism have surrounded us with heavy metals. From bodies of water to the soil and air, check out some lesser considered examples of where you can find traces of heavy metals.
FOOD AND WATER Agrochemicals, fertilizers, toxic waste and even our daily waste (like batteries) contaminate soil, rivers and seas. It’s not surprising to learn that seafood, cereals, fruits and vegetables can be highly contaminated with heavy metal. The same logic applies to water: heavy metals seep into the soil and contaminate underground water supplies. TEETH FILLINGS Though modern fillings are
done with a resin, fillings were once metal, and guess what? Chock full of mercury! If you still have metal teeth fillings, you might consider changing them up.
HOME In some homes lead plumbing is
still very common and even some paints can contain lead.
TOBACCO Cadmium mostly, but mercury, arsenic and lead can also be found in cigarettes so butt out!
mind, body + soul
THINGS LIKE DEPRESSION, MEMORY LOSS, INSOMNIA, CHRONIC PAIN, HEADACHES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, COLITIS, IRRITABILITY, TREMORS, AND INCREASED FOOD ALLERGIES MAY ALL BE SYMPTOMATIC OF METAL EXPOSURE ARM YOURSELF
First, recognize the symptoms: Things like depression, memory loss, insomnia, chronic pain, headaches, high blood pressure, colitis, irritability, tremors, and increased food allergies may all be symptomatic of metal exposure. While these conditions can certainly be caused by countless other factors, studies prove that exposure to toxins can lead to heightened incidence rates of the lengthy list we just went through.
• Don’t just eat tuna and salmon. They’re larger, live longer and therefore store up more heavy metals which accumulate in their bodies. Vary your seafood diet from small to big, from sea to river, and so on.
• Have a diversified diet in general.
Diversifying your menu reduces your risk of having too much of any one thing.
• When you use tap water, take it cold. Warming in the pipes reportedly increases contamination levels. • Try not to expose yourself to too much pollution. Smog takes its toll on your health. Think smart- Don’t jog at rush hour through a busy intersection. • Think green. The less toxic your household cleaners for example, the less likely you are to take in external aggressors. Use reusable bags, some plastics are poisons too!
Garlic and chlorophyll both capture heavy metals in your tissues and cells and encourage evacuation from the body through urine. That is a quick and easy detox cure. You know where to find garlic (fresh is better), and as for chlorophyll, it’s one of the main elements allowing plants to breath, meaning photosynthesis. You know, absorbing carbon dioxide and letting out oxygen. And, it’s also chlorophyll that gives plants their shade of green! Eat green vegetables and herbs for your chlorophyll shot! Concentrate on vitamins, calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium... Your body needs it. Keep in mind that natural detoxification can take years. Heavy metal poisoning can also be very sudden and highly toxic if the exposure level is high enough. See your doctor if you experience symptoms like the ones mentioned above, for a thorough check up. When it comes to heavy metals, better not to miss them
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
new + now
LIVING IN THE FAST LANE
Vertu launched the first luxury mobile phone featuring carbon fibre in 2005, which was truly innovative at that time. Since then, carbon fibre has become a key element of the Ascent material palette. The use of carbon fibre in motorsports brings a strong association between Ascent and the motor racing arena, reinforcing the positioning of the collection in the world of high performance cars. With the 2011 Carbon Fibre collection, Vertu uses, for the first time, of high strength carbon fibre based on nano tube technology along with the development of the material in innovative faceted design. The vibrant lime green and orange colour features applied on black finished metal or leather come together to build a powerful sports look. The 2011 Ascent Carbon Fibre collection reflects the strong character of Ascent as a product engineered for strength and will appeal to discerning luxury consumers in the fast lane.
Gerard Butler has landed a new role and joined the family of Geneva-based fine watchmaker ROGER DUBUIS. The innovation, passion and creativity at ROGER DUBUIS were what struck him most during his visit to the ROGER DUBUIS manufacture, where he had a glimpse of all stages in the watch making process, with every step performed in-house by the Geneva company. Gerard Butler ended his tour with a long look at the Manufacture’s current models, particularly the Excalibur and La Monégasque. Founded in 1995 and based in Geneva, ROGER DUBUIS stands out with its avant-garde watches made in limited production runs, meeting the most demanding quality standards. The quest for excellence, the long search for the right gesture, the development of unique skills are all constants of the Swiss Maison. Distributed worldwide through an exclusive sales network, its flagship collections are named Excalibur and La Monégasque. ROGER DUBUIS is the only watchmaker in the world to have all of its movements stamped with the Geneva Hallmark, a guarantee of fine craftsmanship.
YOU’RE SO SPECIAL! It was 1936 when the initial prototypes of the Radiomir, history’s first professional underwater watch, were created by Officine Panerai at the request of the Italian Navy for its commando units during their heroic operations. The Radiomir has evolved over its 75 years, retaining all of its original aesthetic features, but with improved quality and performance thanks to the use of outstanding materials and exclusive movements, all designed and produced by the Officine Panerai manufactory in Neuchâtel. Today, the Radiomir comes in three new versions, all of which share the hand-wound P.3000 movement with three-day power reserve, yet stand out for their use of three different precious materials – white gold, pink gold and platinum – and for the
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three different dials that tell the story of the evolution of this iconic luxury sports watch. Officine Panerai has created eleven special Radiomir Special Edition Sets that present all three watches (Radiomir 3 Days Platino – 47 mm, Radiomir 3 Days Oro Bianco – 47 mm, Radiomir 3 Days Oro Rosa – 47 mm) together inside a special wooden box. These exclusive sets created by Officine Panerai, made in different colours, contain the three watches with the same serial number (from 0 to 10), documentation and three additional Plexiglas®. The Radiomir Special Edition Sets are on sale only in Officine Panerai boutiques in Italy, France, the United States, the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The three watches may also be purchased separately.
T. Gargour & Fils (TGF), the sole distributor of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram in Lebanon, organized a special nationwide Road Show - “On Tour 2011” - which saw TGF visiting 5 cities around Lebanon. Events were staged in Ehden, Jezzine, Zahle, Tripoli and Saida, the last taking place on September 10 and 11. “These events would give people in more outlying cities, who may not have the opportunity to visit our showroom, the chance to see and test drive the latest Jeep® Compass, Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Dodge Caliber and Dodge Nitro models,” said Joachim Zeitler, General Manager, Chrysler Group of T.Gargour &
Fils. “As part of the roadshow, we’ve also partnered with brands like Michelin and SGBL bank, whose presence has added further value to our road show program.” TGF has developed a world-class sales and service network and offers a range of services that are tailor-made to the specific needs of its customers. “We continue to enjoy great success in attracting many new customers to the Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge and Ram brands,” said Zeitler. “This roadshow is completely in-line with our total commitment to build long-term relationships, and that’s why we wanted to find a way to meet more people across the country.”
“Our customers can rest assured in regards of the technical and non-technical expertise of T. Gargour & Fils authorized workshop. In fact, Chrysler Group Middle East regularly stages technical as well as non-technical training courses for our After Sales team on the latest global After Sales standards and processes, new Chrysler Group models and new technology plus new repair and diagnostic methods.”
RAGMAG WINS JOURNALISM AWARD Created to encourage understanding that cervical cancer is caused by cancerous strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which transmits through simple skin to skin sexual contact – and that the most effective means of preventing the disease is through vaccination and regular screening which together are estimated to reduce the risk of developing it by 94 percent – the Hypatia Network’s Prevent Cervical Cancer Through Knowledge Journalism Award announced its four winners who took home a total of US$10,000 at a media seminar prelaunching a new cervical cancer awareness campaign asking women to “Think Again” in order to avoid the second most common female cancer. “Thousands of women die from cervical cancer each year and many more suffer the anxiety of abnormal Pap Smear tests, creating a need to protect them from the disease through both vaccination and screening,” said Dr. Antoine Chucrallah, President of the Lebanese Society of Pathology which is a founding member of the Hypatia Network along with cancer patient group Faire Face and the May Jallad Foundation for Cancer. “It is an unfortunate fact that studies show most women in Lebanon still don’t think they can do anything to prevent cervical cancer and today we are asking them to Think Again,” said Dr. Faysal El-Kak, President of the Lebanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology who spoke at the
event. “Think Again” is a global initiative being brought to Lebanon by a number of partners that will be announced shortly to spread vital cervical cancer prevention messages through the media, lectures, brochures and posters reaching the public directly through various outlets, and a number of other activities to be unveiled in the future. “We want women to realize the simple truth that vaccination now can help protect them against abnormal Pap Smear tests and cervical cancer which may require invasive treatment and cause problems with future fertility, severe disease, and even death,” concluded Chucrallah. Up to 80 percent of women will acquire an HPV infection in their lifetime and almost 50 percent of these will be with a cancercausing virus type. A total of ten entries in the Print and Broadcast categories of the Hypatia Network Prevent Cervical Cancer Through Knowledge Journalism Award reaped the following results: Ousbou’ Al-Arabi’s Nawal Nasr and Future TV’s Ainak A-Sohtak’s Dr.
Evelyne Aoun won top prizes in their categories, consisting of a certificate of recognition and US$3,000 each. RAGMAG’s Fida Chaaban and Tele Liban’s Tele Clinique’s Dr. Mohamad Sahly won second prize in their categories, taking home a certificate of recognition and US$2,000 each. RAGMAG’s award was accepted by Publisher Gina Gabriel at the ceremony. Jurors, consisting of one member each from the Hypatia Network entities, evaluated them on the basis of the Award’s key criteria for entries to have focused on: • Entrenching understanding that cervical cancer can be eradicated, through understanding of and adherence to its primary (vaccination) and secondary (Pap Smear testing) prevention tools • Specifically highlighting information on cancer-causing strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), and dispelling confusion over other benign strains of HPV. THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
SKIN SOLUTIONS FOR MEN BY LESLIE IDDISON
THIS MONTH RAGMAG TAKES A LOOK AT A MAJOR CONCERN FOR MEN’S SKIN: DEHYDRATION. READ ON AND FIND OUT WHY MEN ARE SO PRONE TO BEING DEHYDRATED AND WHAT SOLUTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO KEEP YOUR SKIN HYDRATED, SUPPLE AND STRONG. WHAT IS DEHYDRATION? Dehydration is caused by a lack of water in your body and your skin’s inability to bind water in the surface layers. By comparison, a dry skin lacks oils. It is important to note that dehydration and dryness are not the same thing. Dehydration may leave your skin feeling tight, itchy and irritated, with a rough texture and a dull appearance. Any skin type can be affected by dehydration, including skin that is oily and acne prone.
WHAT CAUSES DEHYDRATION? Dehydration can be caused by a variety of factors. • Not drinking enough water • Consuming a high-sodium diet • Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine could all be contributing to a dehydrated skin. • Environmental factors such as frequent and excessive sun exposure, wind exposure and pollution exposure. • A few lifestyle factors such as taking excessively hot showers, frequent flying and smoking. The number one factor that specifically affects men’s skin? Shaving! Everybody has a very thin oil barrier on the surface of their epidermis (the lipidic film). This film basically serves as a reinforced protection for the epidermis; keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. (Incidentally, skin that naturally lacks this barrier would be categorized as a dry skin.) Frequent shaving strips the skin of this lipidic film, allowing water in the skin to evaporate from the surface of the epidermis, therefore causing the skin to become dehydrated. This is why dehydration is a major concern for men’s skin! PROBLEM SOLVER Fortunately, fighting dehydration is fairly simple and can be done quickly by incorporating a couple of key steps into your existing skincare routine. Check out our favourite new products for men, specifically formulated to counteract the causes of dehydration!
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NEW INNOVATION Clarins Men Super Moisture Gel + Clarins Men Super Moisture Balm These new formulas combine high technology with nature to bring you a solution to dehydration while soothing and giving the skin a boost of energy. For the first time in men’s cosmetics, the Clarins Men’s range uses Calcium Hyaluronate to give the skin reinforced hydration and optimized protection. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS Hyaluronic Acid helps bind water in the epidermis. Think of tiny, dried out sponges going deep into the skin to absorb water and keep it suspended in the dehydrated cells. Calcium has the ability to reinforce the cell walls, making them stronger and resistant to all of the factors (dietary, environmental and lifestyle) that cause dehydration. Hyaluronic Acid + Calcium = Calcium Hyaluronate which means reinforced hydration and optimized protection! Combine this new technology with plant ingredients such as Alpine Sea Holly, for soothing and Galanga Root for energy, and you’ve got a potent cocktail of skincare goodness! The best part is you get to choose between two incredible textures: a gel for a feeling of lightweight freshness that is easily absorbed or a balm for a feeling of comfort, like wrapping your skin in a cozy blanket! Experience 88 percent more hydration an hour after your first application! While these new daily moisturizers are step number one in your fight against dehydration, we know that good skin is the result of a good skin care routine.
REGIMENTED ROUTINE Follow the below steps to develop a simple yet effective skin care regime that leaves your skin smooth, strong, hydrated and energized.
Quickly warm the product by rubbing your palms together a couple times. Apply evenly to your face and throat, exerting a firm pressure. This application technique promotes circulation and oxygenation.
Step One WASH UP Skip the soap (so bad for dryness) and use a face wash formulated to gently cleanse without stripping the skin of precious healthy oils.
Step Four PROTECT YOUR PEEPERS Did you know that the eye area needs to be treated with a specific eye care product? The skin around the eye is five times finer than the rest of the skin on your face. It contains no oil glands and is the first place to show signs of aging due to all the movements and expressions we make.
Step One PRODUCT CLARINS MEN’S ACTIVE FACE WASH Keep this liquid, lathering formula in the shower and use daily. A dab’ll do ya! Lather a pea-sized amount of this product in the palms of your hands and massage all over the face and throat. Rinse well with warm (NOT HOT) water. Step Two BUFF BABY Use an exfoliating face scrub once or twice a week to eliminate a build-up of dead skin cells. Dead skin built up on the surface of your skin contributes to shaving irritation, ingrown hairs and it prevents the absorption of any other products you apply to your skin.
Step Two PRODUCT CLARINS MEN’S ACTIVE FACE SCRUB Use this scrub a couple times per week, before you shave. Massage a dime-sized amount of this creamy formula in circular motions, concentrating on the shave-area (including the neck) and avoiding the eye area. Don’t apply excessive pressure! It’s better for you to exfoliate with a soft and slow motion for a longer period (one minute) than it is to aggressively scrub your face for a short period of time (ten seconds). Rinse well.
Step Four PRODUCT CLARINS MEN’S ANTI FATIGUE EYE SERUM This lightweight eye gel is the perfect solution to not only hydration, but eliminates signs of fatigue such as undereye puffiness and dark circles. Perfect for those late nights! Dispense one pump of this gel onto the pad of your middle finger. Rub your two middle and index fingers together and gently press this gel around your eye contour (wherever you can feel your eye socket) without pulling or stretching this delicate skin. You’ll instantly feel refreshed and more awake! Follow this simple daily routine to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Think of it as taking your face to the gym; day after day, each step of this routine will make your skin stronger, more flexible and absolutely irresistible!
Step Three DRINK UP Choose a daily moisturizer in a texture that is suitable for your skin type. Generally, skin that gets shiny or oily throughout the day prefers a light gel texture, and skin that feels chapped or sore with patches of peeling or redness will prefer a richer balm texture for added comfort. Step Three PRODUCT NEW CLARINS MEN’S SUPER MOISTURE GEL OR SUPER MOISTURE BALM Use this product daily after shaving. Dispense one to two pumps of this product into the centre of your palm.
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FALL FRAGRANCES THAT WORK CHRISTIAN
DIOR HYPNOTIC POISON EAU SENSUELLE
The Poison family fragrances are a historic indulgence in prestige cosmetics. We’re all about warming things up with this oriental floral by François Demachy. With notes like tuberose, vanilla, sandalwood and musk, how could it be anything but hypnotic?
LANVIN ÉCLAT D’ARPÈGE LIMITED EDITION
Created as “a true ode to love”, Eclat d’Arpege is a symphony of florals that does justice to the iconic French house. We’re all about the symbolic bottle design in shades of mauve.
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PRADA CANDY We like the new Prada Candy for women. This fall launch is sure to get your taste buds watering since it is from the gourmand family of fragrances. If you like sweet and sultry this will do the trick! Their campaign stars Léa Seydoux, French cinema ingénue, and calls to mind turn of the century Paris.
BURBERRY BODY Fall welcomes the new Burberry Body that launched worldwide in over 150 countries as of September. Touted as “the next chapter in 155 years of Burberry history”, Burberry Body is our olfactory factory star product. The notes of creamy vanilla, sensual amber and musk make up the base of the fragrance and the crisp top notes of green absinthe, peach and freesia create a heady and addictive combo. With a heart note of sandalwood it’s guaranteed to get your heart beating a bit faster.
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emperor’s new clothes
SWAROVSKI MEN LAUNCHES THE PIAZZA GRANDE COLLECTION Since we got so into the mechanical side of things this issue, our fall men’s pick for watches is simply Swarovski with their Swiss made movement! Their new men’s collection is named the “Piazza Grande” and is inspired by the bestselling “Piazza” style, which was introduced when the first Swarovski watch collection was launched at Baselworld 2009. The Piazza Grande is available in both Quartz and Automatic, and we suggest you pick up one of each range, that way you’ve got your style on whether you’re suited up or dressed down! The brand’s creator, Daniel Swarovski, first started in 1895, after setting up in the village of Wattens, Tyrol in Austria, with his newly-invented machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones. The history lesson is worth it since most fashion forward people don’t know the timeline behind the company who has managed to stay at the forefront of cutting edge style. We’re betting that on our next visit to Wattens we’re visiting the Swarovski Kristallwelten (a multi-media crystal museum opened in 1995) to really get to know the brand better! Our favorite feature? The Rotor on the Automatic version features “Côtes de Genève” decoration and Swarovski name engraved in black.
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MIX N’ MATCH REAL RUNWAY
WORKHOUSE MARC JACOBS FW 2011
RAGMAG SHOWS YOU HOW TO REPLICATE THAT RUNWAY TREND! SEE OUR TAKES ON HOW TO MAKE THE READY TO WEAR, ACTUALLY WEARABLE. STYLED BY STEPHANIE AOUN
HAAT FW 2011
Warehouse Wear Brioni shirt
Timberland shoes available at GS 225.000 LBP
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Brioni handbag + umbrella
emperorâ€™s new clothes
To a T-shirt Head Gear
Although very basic, something about this t-shirt caught our eye. Zara 29.000 LBP
Brioni two-tone cap
Brioni scarf + belts
G STAR FW 2011
These shoes look comfy yet tough enough for any working man Available at Zara 135.000 LBP
I Dream of Jean-ie Check out these jeans we came across at Zara, we love the earthy look and more importantly the body hugging fit Brown jeans 99.000 LBP Blue jeans 79.000 LBP
Geox shoes available at GS 225.000 LBP
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Plaid hat available at Zara 35000 LBP
MIX Nâ€™ MATCH REAL RUNWAY
WOOD WOOD FW 2011
Tweed Time Brioni plaid jacket
Brioni Copia handbag
Brownie Points Rockport shoes available at GS 145.000 LBP
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Looking Sharp Brioni pendant
Trial + Error RAG & BONE FW 2011
Noah belt available at GS
This funky men’s piece needs someone pretty daring to pull it off Zara 135.000 LBP
ISSEY MIYAKE FW 2011
This men’s shirt is laid back and fun for daytime Zara 65.000 LBP
Purple Rain Louboutin croissant cluth
Rockport shoes GS 130.000 LBP
Blue’s Clues Lisse indigo stiletto booties
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Montblanc Haute Joaillerie White Nights cufflinks
MIX Nâ€™ MATCH REAL RUNWAY
OUTERWEAR McNeal jacket + Casamoda shirt available at GS
Tom Ford shades
Saturday Night Fever Zipper jacket Zara men 135.000 LBP
MARC JACOBS FW 2011
MARC JACOBS FW 2011
Brioni jacket, tie + bag
Geox shoes available at GS 225.000 LBP 86 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
This winter must have military coat is definitely worth checking out Zara 299.000 LBP
Noah cuff available at GS
emperorâ€™s new clothes
Briony brown leather gloves
PRADA FW 2011
Swarovski platinum bangle
Mind Your Metal Coming Up Roses
Louboutin Catalina clutch paillettes satin bronze gold
Burberry Body rose gold trench coat
Nuit Blanche Structured coat available at Zara 189.000 LBP
Chinese Laundry round toe strapped boots available at GS Chinese Laundry booties available at GS 195.000 LBP THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
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FACTORY FLUX INDUSTRIAL FACES+PLACES
Makeup by ELIE ESTEPHAN from institute HALA AJAM | Hair by ROGER GABRIEL Models ELIAS CHEDRAWI | GHADY AZAR RAGMAG extends special thanks to the Kfoury Bros. + HOLCIM Ltd. for the location
Photography by ODETTE KAHWAGI + CHRISTIAN HARB Styled by JONY MATTA
T-SHIRT AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $54 | BELTED CARGO PANTS AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $12697 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE ZIPPERED CUFF JACKET AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $220
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ZIPPERED CUFF JACKET AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $22099 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
| OCTOBER 2011 COLLECTION $1120 BLACK DRESS VERSACE 100 RAGMAG
BLACK SLACKS VERSACE COLLECTION $548 101 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE BLACK FITTED TOP WITH THREE-QUARTER LENGTH SLEEVES VERSACE COLLECTION $286
RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011 $418 JACKET AX ARMANI EXCHANGE 102
PATTERNED T-SHIRT AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $54 | WORK WASHED JEANS AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $178 103 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE JACKET AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $418 | GALOSHES STYLIST’S OWN
RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011 COLLECTION $1472 PURPLE SATIN DRESS VERSACE 104
WHITE EMPIRE WAIST COAT VERSACE COLLECTION $1352 105 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
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T-SHIRT AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $54 | BELTED CARGO PANTS AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $126 107 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011 BLACK SLACKS VERSACE COLLECTION $548 | BLACK FITTED TOP 108
WITH THREE-QUARTER LENGTH SLEEVES VERSACE COLLECTION $286
PANTS MAHARISHI FROM RODEO DRIVE BOUTIQUE $334 | JACKET AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $234 109 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
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RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011 PRINTED FULL LENGTH SHIRT AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $126 112 WORK WASH JEANS AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $178
KHAKI JACKET AX ARMANI EXCHANGE $234 113 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
DIRECTOR NAGY SOURATY LEADS ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED BY FIDA CHAABAN
NAGI SOURATY IS DRESSED BY VERSACE 114 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
VERSACE COLLECTION LEATHER JACKETISSUE $1,124 115 THE MOTORIZED
RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011 VERSACE COLLECTION SHIRT $366 116
| JEANS $304
hey call me Nagy, sometimes they call me Didaskalos, even at Star Academy,” he says when I ask how his students and protégés address him. “Didaskalos”, the Greek word for “instructor”, seems fitting since even as we sit together I am learning from Nagy. “At the time of the Greeks, the teacher was also a life coach,” he explains. He is part director, part mad scientist and all teacher; and the charisma of Nagy is what makes it possible for people to both be drawn in by him and repelled by him, a complex feeling that I struggle with throughout the interview. “For me, addressing someone by name is important; I even address my parents that way. My grandmother had a problem with it,” he says smiling a little. I am hesitant to call
Nagy by his first name, since it seems wrong somehow- perhaps because when confronted with a personality of this measure, people by and large are unsure how to react. Educated in both Lebanon and the United Kingdom, Nagy has done his best to bring avant-garde experimental theatre to the forefront back home. He has succeeded since one of his recent plays (a sold out performance that I was fortunate enough to attend), “Apospasmatas Agonistika” or “Dissonance of Fights”, explored unorthodox themes for a strangely mixed audience - theatre buffs, Nagy-fans, and people I can only describe as the unanointed. They hadn’t been exposed to might like Nagy’s before, so they sat dumbstruck as the play pushed one societal boundary after another.
His 2010 production, “In the Heart of the Heart of Another Body” was found to be “violent. I began from the heart. It talked about youth and old age and death. ‘I do not want to live, I do not want to die’ was one of the most recurring lines in the play.” This work, inspired by Nagy’s heart attack at the age 39, is reflective of several things: His reputation for overworking himself and being a perfectionist driven to madness, and that his pieces channel things that he’s experienced personally and that other people may not want to think about - like death and the frailty of the human body. Lines like that are what make Nagy’s pieces food for thought, and I tell him so. “I often have strong reactions from people, a L’Orient-Le Jour article said my play, ‘inspired another sleepless night.’” Sleepless indeed, the director is rumoured to go without rest for days, part of the Urban Legend surrounding him. Since his heart attack, he makes it a priority to sleep “a minimum of 6 hours”. Why is he so often called controversial? “Probably because I refuse to compromise. I give priorities to my principles and maybe because of the material I tackle and the approaches are sometimes new.”
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Apart from the physical similarity, Nagy seems to be Lebanon’s John Malkovich widely admired, not wholly understood and finally, brilliant and resilient enough that he can survive the publicity melee that comes with almost anything he does - good or bad. What brought this director to Star Academy, one of Lebanon’s versions of American Idol? “I realized I had the time. It ended up being a fantastic experience with a very professional production team. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did and I was given carte blanche to use my methods. It was very enriching,” he says when I suggest that they recruited him both for his status as a “serious artist” and his touch of notoriety. Those same methods landed Nagy in hot water not long ago, resulting in a media very much on Nagy’s side and a few discontented former pupils. Depending on who is telling the story, Nagy is painted either as wise professor or raging artist gone awry. He passionately addresses the incident, “When the allegations first came to light, I never thought they would be taken seriously.” The more public the figure, the bigger the circus that follows events that take place around that figure, and Nagy is a textbook example. Despite all this, Nagy is appreciative of the support he received from within the theatre community and from the public in general.
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VERSACE COLLECTION DRESS SHIRT $342 | BLAZER $1,124 | JEANS $428 | JOHN GALLIANO EYEWEAR FROM RODEO DRIVE $296 THE MOTORIZED ISSUE 119
“I never forced anyone to adhere to my principles- my freedom of speech and thought!” People believe in Nagy, good or bad, probably because “I believe in them,” he says finishing my sentence for me. He is unapologetically provocative and “never sure how people will deal with my provocation,” he admits. “I base my choice on if they are ready to work with me. I try as much as possible to know the person and make sure they know me.” And know him they do, during our hour together, two separate former students of Nagy’s come up to say hello, the first pausing to tell me that Nagy “changed my life”. Nagy smiles and shakes his head at this, demurring that he has fans and suggests instead that they “are people who have survived an experience with me. Colleagues of mine have said that if people can survive working with me, they can survive anything”. This includes his strong opinions- Nagy’s
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quick to voice displeasure with what he considers hypocrisy. “They claim to be for freedom of speech but they aren’t! If you want to be secular, then be ready to deal with what that implies,” he says sounding off on one of Lebanon’s biggest debates. Throughout his career Nagy has refuted sectarian lines, talking about workshops that “never were held without both religions involved and that was during the war”. The medium of art has historically been used both as catharsis and a literal stage for dissent. Agreeing with this, Nagy disagrees with me when I say he is a visionary who brings people to ideas that they may not have been exposed to previously. “Mish hal ad,” he says modestly in Arabic, the colloquialism that translates as “not to that degree”. But this is a fact that is easily proven by taking a closer look at his audience and the fact that Nagy uses multilingual scripts that also rely heavily on physical
demonstration. If you don’t speak English or French, there is Arabic, and barring that, there is still movement and light and musical accompaniment. “I’m a humanist. I believe in the human being and I respect him. Respecting him doesn’t mean accepting anything. People are accountable for their thoughts, not just what they say. I want to be [held] accountable.” Holding Nagy accountable for his work, you must give a nod at the very least, and acknowledge him. You must take into account his life’s work, that of educator and creator, and the impact of that work. And finally, you must see him as the vehicle through which many ideas are transmitted. Taking the road less travelled, Nagy’s road, are people that may not go there otherwise; that is what counts- even if they are paradoxically drawn in and repelled by him
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THE MECHANICS OF JUSTICE DENIED OFTEN TIMES, WHEN PEOPLE ARE ARRESTED, TRIED AND CONVICTED IN A COURT OF LAW, ONE ASSUMES THAT THEY ARE INDEED GUILTY AS CHARGED. WHAT IF THEY AREN’T? WHAT IF LAW ENFORCEMENT MAKES INTENTIONAL OR UNINTENTIONAL MISTAKES? WHAT IF THERE IS A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE SO GREAT THAT IT COSTS PEOPLE YEARS OF THEIR LIVES? THIS MONTH RAGMAG LOOKS AT THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TRIED, WRONGFULLY CONVICTED AND THEN EXONERATED. READ ON FOR STORIES OF JUSTICE DENIED AND HOW IT HAPPENS.
THE GUILDFORD FOUR
Paul Michael Hill, Carole Richardson, Gerard “Gerry” Conlon, Patrick “Paddy” Armstrong Arrested December 1974
The Guildford Four were arrested, tried and convicted for two pub bombings in Guildford, England. In these bombings, two separate six pound gelignite bombs were detonated at two pubs that were popular with the British Military. The first explosion at the Horse and Groom killed five service members but by the time the second bomb went off at Seven Stars, it had been evacuated so there were only injuries. As these bombings happened at what is considered the height of the “Irish trouble” with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), there was extreme pressure on investigators to make a rapid arrest. The bombs were the acknowledged work of the IRA yet the hunt soon
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focused on four people who were not known to have ever been part of the IRA. They would become known as the Guildford Four and it is alleged they were tortured to obtain confessions. Their convictions were finally overturned 15 years later in 1989 when a court of appeal found that crucial evidence had been suppressed by both the prosecution and police. The story of the Guildford Four and Gerry Conlon specifically is told in the movie, “In the Name of the Father” and a book by the same name. Cause-conscious U2 headlined the soundtrack for the movie with a song by the same name and award winning actor Daniel Day Lewis starred as Gerry Conlon.
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Yusef Salaam, Kharey Wise Arrested April 1989
On April 13, 1989, a jogger in Central Park was raped and beaten. When the victim was found, she was so badly beaten that police could not tell if the victim was a man or woman. In addition, she had lost so much blood that no one thought she would survive the night and homicide was assigned to the case. Attention soon focused on five boys aged 14-16; these boys were no strangers to the law and had been in the Park earlier terrorizing other people, beating one man so badly that he nearly died. The five were rounded up in due course and taken to the police station to await their guardians. After being questioned repeatedly for a long time, four (McCray, Richardson, Santana and Wise) of the five would record video confessions which they later claimed were falsified by the police who were
THE M25 THREE Raphael George Rowe, Michael George Davis, Randolph Egbert Johnson Arrested December 1988 + January 1989
racially profiling them because they were Black. It was not until early 2002 when convicted serial rapist Matias Reyes came forward and confessed that the protestations of the Central Park Five were heeded. DNA testing on the spermatozoa in the rape kit linked directly to Reyes as did the hairs found at the scene although by then the Five had served most or all of their sentences. The Central Park Five are currently suing the City of New York as well as the NYPD for wrongful conviction and the overturning of these convictions has reopened the debate about racism in the NYPD. â€œThe Central Park Fiveâ€?, a book chronicling their story by Sarah Burns, will be followed by a documentary of the same name by Ken Burns.
The M25 Three were arrested for a single night (December 15, 1988) of crime spree where robberies, burglaries and murder were committed along the M25 in the U.K. The victims were as varied as the crime scenes and stolen vehicles were traced to each of the crimes. From the beginning, the prosecution case was sketchy, with one of the defendants proven to be at his bail hostel at the time of the first crime. In addition, one of the witnesses, Alan Eley had said that only one of the men was black but that the other two were White; all 3 of the accused were Black men. Along with the witness, a couple who were victims the night of the spree advised that they thought only one of the men was Black. Despite this, the Prosecution went ahead
based on conflicting evidence, jailhouse conversations, and lies. Upon conviction, the three men appealed when it was revealed that there was money paid out in the form of a reward to a less than reliable witness; the appeal was denied. It was not until 1997 that the Criminal Cases Review Commission ordered an investigation into the case management, the report issued in 1999 revealed several inconsistencies. The European Court of Human Rights eventually issued a ruling in 2000 declaring that the convictions should be quashed. They were released from prison in the year 2000 but the three justices who quashed the convictions emphatically stated that they did not believe the three were innocent.
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THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley Arrested June 1993
In May of 1993, West Memphis Arkansas in the US was rocked by the discovery of the mutilated corpses of three eight year-old boys. Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were last seen alive together between 5:30 and 6pm. Less than 12 hours after the discovery of their bodies, local law enforcement questioned Damien Echols. In the three accused, the law enforcement had unlikely suspects based on nothing but prior criminal records, social dysfunction and one with an IQ so low it bordered on clinical levels of lower function (Misskelley). When the Sheriff came to take Misskelley in for questioning, he was a minor at only 16 years of age and quickly confessed to a crime he did not commit, implicating both Baldwin and Echols. He later tried to recant his confession saying that it was coerced from him and his parents protested saying that they had not been informed he was to be formally questioned, but it was summarily ignored. What followed in 1994 was more of a mummer’s farce than a court of law; the prosecution only had circumstantial evidence with wild tales of witchcraft and Satanism. Of note is the fact that the police botched the crime scene and there was evidence of other people (including a victim’s stepfather) at the scene. This information was not relayed to the defence. Thanks to three documentaries, one of which was HBO’s “Paradise Lost” and rampant criticism, the three were on track to win retrials this year when a deal was brokered under an arcane and little used law. Under this law, a plea of no contest is entered though innocence is maintained. The West Memphis Three were freed in August of this year after nearly two decades in prison.
THE ROSCETTI FOUR
Omar Saunders, Marcellius Bradford, Calvin Ollins, Larry Ollins Arrested December 1986
On October 18th, 1986 Lori Roscetti was found raped and murdered in Illinois. Ms. Roscetti was a medical student at Rush University at the time of her death and the heat was on the police to find her. One of the four, Marcellius Bradford told police that the Ollins brothers had raped and killed Lori Roscetti whilst he and Saunders watched. As in other cases, all four were minors, all four were poor and all four were from the projects. The Prosecution called out forensics experts who were later proved to have lied, as were the officers involved in the case. All four defendants claimed that their confessions were coerced and that they had nothing to do with the death of the late Roscetti. Bradford was told that if he turned prosecutorial witness, he would get a lesser sentence. Eventually, their defence attorney was able to request a review of the evidence and along with it, DNA testing. This review and testing proved that all of the semen and blood samples found on Ms. Roscetti did not match any of the suspects; it also proved that at least one of the officers involved in the case showed serious misconduct though no reprimand was ever issued. Before leaving office, Governor George Ryan exonerated all four men who in turn sued the State of Illinois. They all eventually settled out of court but questions still remain regarding police misconduct. 124 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
Kirk Bloodsworth has the dubious honour of being the first death row inmate in the United States exonerated by DNA testing. Mr. Bloodsworth, a former Marine, was arrested, charged and convicted in the 1984 rape and murder of a 9 year old girl. In 1992 with DNA testing in its infancy, he insisted that his blood be tested against a semen sample found in the victim’s underwear. That insistence set him free when there was no match. The State of Maryland paid him $300,000.00 in compensation but to this day will not apologize or admit to any wrongdoing. His story was highlighted in 2 books by author Tim Junkin, “Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA” and “Bloodsworth: The True Story of One Man’s Triumph Over Injustice”
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
OF MOOLAH KHALEE ILLIRA TIRJA3 TI7KI LEBANESE LIRA IN NEED OF MORE THAN JUST WISHFUL THINKING BY MARIE FRANGIEH
id you know that 3 Lebanese Pounds were equal to a dollar before the Lebanese civil war? A Cola cost 0.25 Lira, 2kg of Bread cost 0.5 Lira, and a full tank of fuel cost 7 Liras. Can you imagine the effect of such a rate today? Chart 1 illustrates the Lebanese Lira exchange rate with the U.S. Dollar from January 1964 to May 2011. This historical illustration describes the volatile exchange rate with the USD and the inflationary effect of the civil war. The “Loubnani” card, launched by Bank Audi in August 2010, is surely contributing to the comeback of the Lebanese Lira, but how? This issue, RAGMAG looks at our national currency and what measure can be taken to really bring back the value of our greenback.
IT WAS IN 1999 THAT THE LEBANESE LIRA WAS FIRST PEGGED TO THE U.S. DOLLAR 126 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
HIT THE BOOKS The Lebanese Lira (also known as Lebanese pound) was first issued in 1939, and consisted of 100 “Korch”. During the Lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990, the Lebanese Central Bank did not take decisive actions to halt the depreciation of the Lebanese Lira. Commercial banks and politicians contributed to this depreciation by speculating against the Lebanese Pound. Many Lebanese families lost their wealth because their lifesavings were deposited in Lebanese Lira. As a result, the government had to introduce new banknotes gradually: 500 LBP, 1,000 LBP, 5,000 LBP, 10,000 LBP, 20,000 LBP, 50,000 LBP and finally 100,000 LBP. Even after the civil war, the bad monetary policies contributed to a loss of trust in the Lebanese currency. This is why, today, most of us use the Lebanese Lira for our daily transactions but use the U.S. Dollar for larger transactions such as purchasing a house or land, a car, international trade and the like. This also reinforces the dollarization of our economy.
BACKTRACK It was in 1999 that the Lebanese Lira was first pegged to the U.S. Dollar. At the time, the major concerns were to restore the Lebanese Lira’s stability and political support so the Lebanese Lira was pegged to the U.S. Dollar, since the majority of the Lebanese exports were to the United States. The dollarization rate of the economy increased to half, and the Dollar was accepted as a legal tender alongside the Lebanese Lira. The exchange rate policy of a country is set by the Central Bank based on factors such as economic and financial integration, economic diversification and monetary stabilization. Exchange rates affect the attractiveness of the domestic products in international trade and the government’s budget by setting the price at which it purchases foreign currency. A fixed exchange rate has positive and negative effects on an economy. On the positive side, investors will find it very difficult to rush in the acquisition of the currency causing speculative attacks since the fixed exchange rate will protect
the currency making its price more transparent, its value more credible and secure. Furthermore, financial markets will become more stable, inflation will decrease and growth will improve. However, the other side of the coin can be drastic, including a risk of currency crisis when foreign reserves are low, the monetary policy (an important macroeconomic tool) is abandoned. At the time when the peg was enforced, Lebanon’s major trading partner was Europe. Pegging the Lebanese Lira to the U.S. Dollar won’t help decrease of transaction costs with the largest trading partner. The peg was expected to improve economic growth and limit inflationary pressures, which was not to be the case.
REPEAT AFTER ME
The United States is characterized by a floating exchange rate regime where the U.S. Dollar value is allowed to fluctuate according to the foreign exchange market. The financial crisis in 2008 represents a clear example of such risks. A floating exchange rate regime exposes the economy to many risks,
such as anxiety about the present and future, lack of investment due to unstable prices, large interest in purchasing and selling the floating currency for higher profits, lack of discipline in economic management and last but not least inflation. In addition to all these factors Americans are nowadays doubting the ability of their currency in regulating country deficit especially after the successive problems their economy is facing; recession, housing crisis, financial crisis, the persistently high unemployment rate, and now the debt tragedy. The American economy is currently struggling to restore its vital signs back to normal. What is the repercussion of such risks on the dollarized Lebanese economy? The Lebanese economy is benefiting from the weak value of the U.S. Dollar by having more attractive exports when sold in U.S. Dollars but these exports do not outweigh the large imports of the service-based country. Another benefit is becoming a cheaper country for tourists, which did not positively affect the number of tourists,
THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IS CURRENTLY STRUGGLING TO RESTORE ITS VITAL SIGNS BACK TO NORMAL
due to the political instability of the country itself and the region from a larger perspective in addition to the continuous Israeli threat. Lebanon can also benefit in the decreasing value of its public debt denominated in U.S. Dollars. But are all these benefits enough to offset the negative effects of the increasingly weak Dollar?
DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
The recently sinking Dollar was first noticed in Lebanon by the increasing inflation. The largest trading partners, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Syria are reconsidering their peg with the U.S. Dollar, in the favor of pegging their currency to a basket of currencies. Our highly dollarized economy will have to finance more expensive imports, priced in stronger foreign currencies. A large share of the Lebanese imports were from the Eurozone, after the weakening of the U.S. Dollar, Lebanese importers had to look at the United States as their main import source, but is this really a solution when transportation costs are higher, delivery time has increased, and the majority of the Lebanese imports consist of raw material? Investment has sharply decreased due to the weak U.S. Dollar and low interest rates in Lebanon.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
Is Lebanon facing the same fate as Mexico in the mid-1990’s or Argentina in the late 1990’s? No answer is clear yet as the swift changes in the region increase uncertainty. It is undeniable that the Lebanese economy isn’t benefiting from the peg and possible flotation aid solutions can be considered. 1. One of the options would be for Lebanon to peg its currency to another strong currency such as the Euro. Another option would be to freely float its currency. Investments will climb as a result, as the decrease in foreign exchange reserves previously accumulated in the central bank to defend the peg will be free and
used in the economy, in turn leading to higher growth if used with the proper uncorrupt economic policies. This option will also reflect in an automatic adjustment of the balance of payments as banks will not interfere on the market to buy or sell the national currency and defend the peg. Furthermore, the government will free a previously imprisoned macroeconomic tool, the monetary policy, which can prove to be a regulating tool when necessary. The economy will not be prone to crisis as it is the case in the fixed exchange rate regimes as it will be more flexible to external shocks (such as volatile oil prices). This still represents high risks to the service dominated Lebanese economy.
SEE FOR IS LEBANON FACING THE SAME YOURSELF FATE AS MEXICO IN THE MID-1990’S OR ARGENTINA IN THE LATE 1990’S?
Lebanese Lira Exchange Rate with the U.S. Dollar between January 1964 to May 2011. Source Banque du Liban, 2011
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2. Another option looks more promising- Pegging the Lebanese Lira to a basket of currencies (Dollar, Euro, and Yen) to foster stability, and provide investors with a less volatile environment especially after S&P’s unprecedented and unexpected downgrading of the U.S. long-term credit rating. Gulf countries such as Oman and UAE announced that the peg to the US dollar will not be reconsidered at the current times regardless of the S&P cut and the slump in the financial market indexes of the Arab countries. Which is the best exchange rate policy? That is the question that is agonizing emerging countries policymakers
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
see, speak, +hear no evil
CHECK BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN
Watch the Throne KANYE WEST/JAY-Z A collaboration at the highest hierarchy of the rap kingdom with two performers at the top of their game should be enough to create a big hype in the media, and the new release of Messrs. Kanye West and Jay-Z should be one of the heavy weights of the last quarter of the year in terms of volume sale. Add to that appearances from contemporaries such as Pharrell, Q-Tip, Mike Dean and the recent new sensations LMFAO who add more zest to the whole flavor of the album, which is blessed with an immaculate sound and a majestic production. Topics
on this album cover a wide range of areas, from the joys and tribulations of being a father-tobe in “New Day”, to Kanye’s rise to fame in the autobiographical song “Made In America”. Most of the songs cover issues of, as the guys themselves put it, “thought provoking shit”, which is open to interpretation and depends on the listener. One of the somber notes is the bleak cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”, which doesn’t resonate well with the rest of the album’s spirit. Just a minor detail though.
I’m With You RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS People, I am not a very happy person. The Peppers have released a new studio album and I am not as blown away as I usually am. Is the album a bad one? I wouldn’t go so far, is it lacking the musical ingenuity usually present? Not really. And no, the departure of guitarist John Frusciante, one of the creative forces, is not even an issue.The problem lies in the feel of repetitiveness while flowing from one song to the next in a sentiment of Deja-Vu and a “heard it before” feel making the album a tad
outdated, just like singer Anthony Kiedis’ moustache in the clip of first single “The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie”. Even so, by Peppers standard, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments of ingenuity throughout this release, even trades of funky genius compositions due to bassist Flea’s courses at USC on music theory. “Monarchy of Roses” and “Happiness Loves Company” are fine examples of what they are capable of. Am I being to hard on the Peps? Only time and many more listens will tell.
Cults CULTS The manner in which Cults came to be is an intriguing one. The band posted three songs on their Bandcamp page (an online music store), without any info or any indication as who the members were, but that didn’t deter major label Colombia records signing them after hearing their unique brand of experimental Pop/Alternative. Cults take their influences as much from acts like My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain as from 60’s Pop, twisting their muses into a music that is simultaneously refreshing and retro.
Handclaps and thumping piano rhythms from the 60’s sounds are layered on trippy guitar segments and samples making them one of the few bands with such a strange combination of ideas. Vocalist Madeline Follin’s baby-like voice is complemented by the lyrics. “To me, death is not a fearful thing, it’s living that’s treacherous” is the kind of phrase you can expect to hear on most of the songs, adding to the innocence and naivety of the era she takes her ideas from. Worth checking out.
Black and White America LENNY KRAVITZ Lenny Kravitz finally did it ladies and gentlemen. Throughout his musical career, Kravitz approached topics relating to love, relationships and matters of the heart as a primary concern, but on this album he also tackles political issues that plague his fellow humans, something he avoided on previous albums. Musically speaking, it’s also a back to form to his earlier approach on constructing powerful songs, bringing a well balanced distribution to his love of anything Hendrix and prince as much as Bowie
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and Lennon, making Black and White America (couldn’t have come up with a more accurate title) an ideal recipe of everything that should bring ideas and people closer together. On another note, his collaboration with Jay-Z in “Boongie Drop” gives the song extra oomph party wise, and “Only give me a green light” is a catchy phrase, demonstrating that his love of partying and enjoying life are as palpable as ever. Any way you look at it, this is an album that will give you your daily dose of positive vibes. Enjoy.
and A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
weep read’em BY AMAL CHAABAN
Why you should read this book
Epic fantasy is no longer just the realm of Tolkien
Welcome to Westeros where you should keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. A kingdom made up of 7 separate lands, this place is rife with intrigue, drama, incest, love and betrayal. He who is your friend in this minute will most assuredly be knifing you in the next. Without giving away too much for those of you who have not started the series, George R.R. Martin does one of the riskiest things that can be done in a series and gets away with it for it is that single action that sets off
repercussions that no one could have seen coming. When HBO decided to take on this literary series (A Game of Thrones is the first of 7 books), they created legions of new fans for the series that already had diehard devotees. Rich in imagery, meticulously detailed and of a hefty size, it’s worth reading every single page because the reader becomes entrenched in these characters lives. This series is meant to be 7 books and since only 5 are currently on the market, as a reader, I need the author to write faster.
Why you should read this book
When science makes us live longer, will you get your just desserts?
2030 poses some very interesting questions without ever really posing them. In the year 2030, cancer has been cured, people are living longer, there is a pill for just about everything and the populace of the United States in 2030 is older and prosperous. At least some of them are. Left behind in all of this progress are the Gen X age group and in this novel as in real life, they’re resentful that all of their progress, all of their tax dollars and basically all of their lives are going to take care of the older generation (the Baby Boomers). Brooks explores what it means
when a whole generation has not only had their share of the pie, they’re snapping up the shares of the generations after them. Radical “youth” groups form and start attacking the elderly as the youth feel more and more hemmed in. They look around and see what is left to them and are embittered by a tattered environment, sky rocketing health costs, and limited job opportunities. 2030 is a reflection of where society is headed as the Boomer generation ages. Our advice for this one: batten down the hatches for a dose of your future.
Why you should read this book
Not everyone wants to join the modern world
When Writer, Producer and Photojournalist Scott Wallace accepted the assignment to go with famed social activist and Ethnographer Sydney Possuelo to find and document one of the last uncontacted tribes in the Amazon; he signed up for the trip of a lifetime. The Amazon is one of the last places on Earth not fully satellite mapped due to canopies of trees that make for bad aerial shots, cell phones are signal-less and satellite phones are a hit and miss. The Flecheiros tribe, called
the “Arrow People” for their method of using poison arrows to dispatch enemies, are within the indigenous protected zone in Brazil and keep themselves hidden from encroaching modern society. No stranger to adventure, this trip was to test all of the skills and faculties he had as the expedition trooped down the Amazon River and then overland in order to document the tribe and confer on them protected status by law. This book is part adventure, part anthropological tract and very educational about the dangers faced by the indigenous in the Amazon.
The 4-Hour Work Week
Why you should read this book
Learn how others work to live, not live to work
Lifestyle Design Guru Timothy Ferriss states proudly that he has been fired from jobs where his productivity was in the realm of soul-sucking boredom. In losing those jobs, building companies as an entrepreneur and then closing them, he found his niche in the 4-Hour Work Week. Ferriss has developed a methodology whereby the minimum amount of work can get you a maximum amount of results. Employee or entrepreneur, if you are not a risk taker, this book may not be for you as there is a great deal of it involved in what
Ferriss advocates. From asking your employer to work remote (not risky) to taking off to a foreign country while working remote (very risky), there are all sorts of challenges he sets for the reader that take one outside of the comfort zone of the Western work ethic. This books stands out from others of its genre because of the simple fact that there are easy, real-time challenges, examples, testimonials and exercises. Those looking to make changes in how they live and work would do well to take Ferriss’ bestseller for a spin. THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
see, speak, +hear no evil
playNICE BY ADAM VOLK
Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment | Developer Insomniac Games Platforms PlayStation 3 Shooting aliens in the face is hardly a new concept when it comes to video games. Yet there are few first-person shooters which make obliterating alien craniums as entertaining and gorgeous to look at as the Resistance series. The third-entry in the popular franchise picks up in the explosive aftermath of the last game: the year is 1957 and the Earth has been overrun by an alien menace known as the Chimera. The war, however, has not gone well, with small pockets of humanity now struggling for survival. Players take on the role of Joseph Capelli, a family
man and soldier who – in a surprisingly poignant storyline - is forced to leave his wife and infant son behind in order to help turn the tide of battle. Fortunately, players have an impressive array of weapons at their disposal to help them on their blood-soaked mission. The end result is a game every bit as entertaining as its predecessors. With inspired level design, visually stunning environments and brand new multiplayer modes to choose from, making an evil alien’s head explode has never been so much fun.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Publisher THQ | Developer Relic Entertainment Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 In the pantheon of geekdom, there are few things more nerdy than playing Warhammer, a board game in which players battle for supremacy using painstakingly painted table top miniatures. Perhaps not surprisingly, the game has spawned a veritable pop culture empire of comic books, role playing games and yes, video games. Enter Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, a new third-person shooter from Relic Entertainment. Players take on the role of Titus, a futuristic bad-ass and member of an elite group of warriors known as Space Marines who are
sworn to serve the all-powerful galactic Emperor. Titus and his brothers-in-arms soon find their loyalty put to the test when they’re forced to go head-tohead with hordes of bloody thirsty Orks (think Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings). At first glance, the game might appear derivative of the popular Gears of War series, but in fact Warhammer 40K: Space Marine more than stands on its own its two feet with a solid blend of third-person shooting mechanics and melee combat, making it one sci-fi shooter that’s worth geeking out over.
Driver: San Francisco
Publisher Ubisoft | Developer Ubisoft | Platforms PS 3, Xbox 360 , Nintendo Wii Mention high speed vehicular carnage and video games and the first thing that probably comes to most gamers’ minds is the Grand Theft Auto series. Closing the gap in distant second, however, may just be the Driver series. Enter Driver: San Francisco, the fourth entry in the popular franchise, which once again puts players in control of John Tanner, a former detective who is now on the trail of a vicious criminal in the City by the Bay. Unlike Grand Theft Auto, however, in Driver you can never exit your vehicle, yet the game
cleverly circumvents this by allowing you to take control of other drivers and vehicles scattered throughout the game. It’s an over-the-top (and out of body) experience riddled with explosive car crashes, hit-and-run tactics, and high octane action. Driver: San Francisco also includes a number of impressive multi-player modes and a few unique add-ons that pump a little extra juice into the game’s gas tank. The end result is an open-world game packed with enough super charged automotive mayhem to give a Driver’s Ed instructor a nervous breakdown.
Publisher EA Sports | Developer EA Sports | Platforms Xbox 360, PS 3 It might be warm in the streets of Beirut, but in the colder climes of North America and Europe, sports fans are gearing up for the start of hockey season. Which is why it’s only fitting that NHL 12 has finally arrived. And while the popular franchise has been a little hit or miss over the past few years, the latest version manages to offer some much needed improvements that make it worth dropping the gloves for. Visually, NHL 12 is as solid as ever, with a look that mirrors a live television broadcast. The controls
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have also been tightened, capturing the ebb and flow of professional hockey. Where the game truly shines, however, is in its staggering number of single and multiplayer options, including a new “Be a Legend” mode, which allows you to literally create and take a player through a 20-year career. There are few little glitches here and there that detract from the game’s otherwise icesmooth veneer, but with its solid gameplay and impressive options, it’s also one sports game that’s worth picking up - no matter what part of the world you call home.
see, speak, +hear no evil
watchout BY ADAM VOLK
Release dates based on amazon.co.uk
Horrible Bosses | DVD & Blu-ray | 98 mins Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis Release Date: November 21 Being an underpaid and overworked wage slave is bad enough, but throw an egomaniacal employer into the equation and it’s a recipe for pure suckitude. That’s pretty much the premise behind Horrible Bosses, a pitch black comedy from director Seth Gordon. The film follows the exploits of three blue collar buddies who find themselves working for three of the most sleazy, sociopathic and sexually deviant bosses on the face of the Earth. When the three friends hit rock bottom at their respective jobs, they come up with an ingenious plan: why not kill their
bosses? Of course, offing someone isn’t exactly on their resumes and our would-be murderers soon find their plan spiralling out of control with hilarity and homicide ensuing. With razor sharp dialogue and solid comedic performances from the film’s three leads, Horrible Bosses comes across as the hilariously ugly stepchild of Judd Apatow and Alfred Hitchcock. It’s really the three evil bosses who steal the show though, proving that in the file-or-be-filed cubicle jungle, there’s nothing more terrifying than a jerk-hole supervisor.
X-Men: First Class | DVD & Blu-ray
| 132 mins James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne Release Date: October 31 It seems like superhero movies have been pretty much done to death, with every two-bit schmuck in a cape and unitard having had their shot on the big screen. Yet with X-Men: First Class, director Matthew Vaughn has created a genuinely original superhero film that also offers up both historical drama and jaw dropping action set pieces. A prequel to the previous X-Men films, First Class is set in the swinging 60s, an era rife with Cold War paranoia and a time in which super powered mutants have begun to appear among the
Earth’s population. The film then follows the early exploits of two men destined to become comic book arch-enemies: Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto (both played to perfection by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender). While both men have differing ideologies, they join forces with a group of unlikely mutants in order to thwart the plans of Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon), a James Bondstyle super villain. Smart, fun and action-packed, X-Men: First Class proves that there’s still plenty of life left when it comes to big screen superhero slug fests.
Bridesmaids | DVD & Blu-ray | 125 mins Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne Release Date: November 14 Despite what Will and Kate would have us believe, sometimes weddings can be a royal pain in the ass. Just ask any bridesmaid who’s ever had to deal with butt-ugly dresses, bridezilla meltdowns and elaborate shower planning. Enter Bridesmaids, a hilarious film that looks at the seamy underbelly of getting hitched. The film stars Kristen Wiig as Annie, a perpetually single thirty-something looking for love and eking out a dead end existence. When her best friend gets engaged and chooses Annie
as her maid of honour, it seems like the perfect chance for her to prove her friendship and get her life back on track. It may sound like another tepid chick flick, but with its smart script and hilarious performances (including a show stealing turn from Melissa McCarthy) Bridesmaids is hands down one of the funniest movies of the past year. Forget the sanctity of holy matrimony. If you’ve ever wanted to see a grown woman poop herself in a wedding dress, this is one flick you won’t want to miss.
The Tree of Life | DVD & Blu-ray
| 138 mins
Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain Release Date: October 31
It’s been called a cinematic masterpiece by some, and pretentious filmmaking gone amok by others. Regardless of the somewhat mixed critical reactions, there’s little doubt that writer-director Terrence Malick’s latest film, The Tree of Life, has been getting people talking. Describing the film, however, is a little difficult, as it doesn’t really fit the conventional Hollywood mould. In terms of a plot, the film follows the life of a father (played by Brad Pitt) living in Texas during the 1950s and struggling to deal with the death of his young son.
The dramatic moments of his family’s existence are then interspersed with scenes which show the formation of the universe, from exploding stars to single-celled life forms and the evolution of the dinosaurs. Strange and oddly beautiful, The Tree of Life may not be the most conventional or accessible film you’ll ever see, but as both an exploration of family dysfunction and the power of visual storytelling, it remains a remarkable achievement from one of Hollywood’s most talented and eccentric filmmakers.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
WORLDVISION BY LILIANE ASSAF
RAGMAG IS PLEASED TO GIVE THE ONLINE COMMUNITY SOME MUCH DESERVED PRINT SPACE. THIS IS THE FOURTH INSTALLMENT IN A PERMANENT COLUMN DEVOTED TO BLOG REVIEWS. IN ADDITION, EACH ISSUE LILIANE WILL CHOOSE HER FAVORITE POST FROM THE CUBE, A LEBANESE BLOG DEVOTED TO BOOK REVIEWS. WE HAVE (AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE) KEPT THE POST VERBATIM ONLY MAKING THE NECESSARY EDITS.
BLOG TITLE BLOGGER LANGUAGE URL TWITTER
FOR THE OCTOBER MOTORIZED ISSUE, WE ASKED LEBANON’S BLOG AGGREGATOR LILIANE ASSAF, TO CHOOSE THE 3 MALE BLOGGERS IN LEBANON WHO WERE KEEPING YOUR MOTOR RUNNING BY REPORTING ON THE UP AND UP. GET CLICKING, PEOPLE!
Figo29’s Blog Mohammad Harb English http://figo29.com/ @figo29
How many guys do you know that are in love with sports in general and football in particular? I reckon your answer will be many. But how many guys do you know that actually take the time to write about football online? Your answer will most probably be very few or even none that you can recall. Let me introduce to you Mohammad, known as Figo29, who’s a football fanatic! I have to admit that many times, I’ve actually tuned into a football game, we’re talkin’ a RANDOM football game and watched it cheering. This is all because of how passionately Mohammed blogs about the respective teams. As one of his Twitter followers said, “The guy’s blood type is F+, very resourceful to know what’s going on in the football world”. In Figo’s words, “I go to work when I am not watching football. Sometimes, I am at work but also talking football’. In his posts he offers game analysis and what the teams need to do in order to qualify/win, and the like. He shows both hope and frustration, but most importantly he gives a great deal of analysis which any reader can understand, fan or otherwise. Wait no more, now that the Champions League is starting, make sure you follow up all the news, opinions and thoughts on this blog.
BLOG TITLE BLOGGER LANGUAGE URL TWITTER
TechNode Digest John Laham English http://technodedigest.wordpress.com/ @TechNodeJohnny
For all you tech lovers out there, look no more for a personalized and customized blog with a hint of local taste. Johnny knows his stuff... His interests range from hardware (servers, home set-ups), to software, development, software engineering and architecture. He’s an Apple fan boy, you might not all agree with this, but he does have valid reasons. He knows when to use what and when to say what. What’s great about John’s blog is his interaction with the commentators by providing them with useful replies, super helpful of him. What distinguishes John’s blog is definitely his touch and his writing style. He does not report tech news, he actually manages to form analysis and studies that are based on many years of data and observation into a very informative and thought provoking posts.
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see, speak, + hear no evil BLOG TITLE BLOGGER LANGUAGE URL TWITTER
Let’s Talk About Movies Anis Tabet English http://tlkabtmovies.wordpress.com/ @AnisTabet23
Anis is a young, enthusiastic movie buff. The reason why I mention young is because this guy has reviewed movies both present and past. His movie knowledge ranges from the most recent blockbusters, to the 1920’s black and white movies. The quality of the reviews are excellent and very informative, and gives you his opinion helping you choose whether to go forward with your movie choice. We all know that many of the top movies out there are old movies that we haven’t heard about or had occasion to see, and sometimes even though we have the vast internet at our disposal, we still don’t know where to start and what movie to choose for our Thursday DVD night. Lucky us, we have our own friendly Lebanese blogger right at the URL you see above. Head to his blog, check it out, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, just send a question his way.
BEST CUBE REVIEW www.thecubelb.com Reviewer Fadi Book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Ever wondered how your intuition sometimes guides you to the right decision long before your ‘rational self’ gets a chance to properly examine the situation? Do you wonder what it is that happens when you make a decision that just ‘feels right’? Blink attempts to explain those ‘moments when we know something without knowing why’. In the brilliant story-telling style of Malcolm Gladwell, Blink tells the stories of an art expert that could recognize a fake sculpture after mere seconds of looking
at it, a marriage counsellor who could predict the longevity of a new marriage by thin-slicing through only the first three minutes of a marital argument, the tall men who tend to get elected more often to important positions, African-American students who are unconsciously racist against themselves, and the ER chief who dramatically improved his hospital’s heart attack diagnosis success rate by providing less information about the patients to the doctors. By revealing facts that seem highly counter-intuitive, Gladwell unlocks secrets
of how we can learn to use our intuition for better decision-making, and warns of when our intuition can play against us. Whether you’re interested in marketing, psychology, or simply curious about the way your own (and other people’s) heads work, Blink is the kind of book that you will read with fascination, then as soon as you’re done, read again. Quoting the jacket of the book, ‘By trusting your instincts, you’ll never think about thinking in the same way again’. I highly recommend it.”
www.lebanonaggregator.com Find the Lebanon Aggregator fan page on Facebook THE MOTORIZED ISSUE 135 Follow her on Twitter @LebAgg
MUNICH OKTOBERFEST RUNS LIKE CLOCKWORK BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES
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take me with you OPPOSITE PAGE: BMW HEADQUARTERS. PHOTOGRAPHY B.ROEMMELT RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: BMW MUSEUM. PHOTOGRAPHY B.ROEMMELT SCULPTURES IN THE PINAKOTHEK DER MODERNE MUSEUM, CREDIT J. SAUER + G. BLANK
THE CAPITAL OF CHOICE IN OCTOBER FOR HIGH-TECH CARS, FOAMING BEER + FOOTBALL
Munich. The city evokes stereotype images of beer guzzling men with long moustaches, clad in leather pants, and feathered hats. But, in the last few years Munich has undergone a real transformation and as it celebrates its 850th birthday this year, it is also shedding its dreary image. Some of Germany’s best-known brands - BMW, Bayern Munich and Siemens - are based here and the companies stimulate the town’s buzzing economy. Most Lebanese consider Mercedes and BMW to be the best car brands in the world, just as German football teams like Bayern Munich are top of the league. So, a jaunt to the BMW headquarters and museum is a must to see BMW car models past and present, and take a guided tour to see how the motors are engineered. Not excited by the inside of a car? Then visit for the snazzy design of the building, technical genius in itself, shaped like a cylinder. Or take in a concert performed to the backdrop of flashy cars. Munich is fast becoming the center for modern art. The Neue Sammlung in the Pinakothek der Moderne museum features the world’s largest collection at around 75,000 objects, of modern and contemporary design, from Art Nouveau to Bauhaus, as well as Macs and Germany’s own Braun appliances. The Haus der Kunst, is a brilliant museum showcasing the likes of Dali, Picasso and Warhol. And the Staatliche Antikensammlungen museum is a real treat for lovers of ancient Greek and Roman relics.
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OPPOSITE PAGE: THE HIRSCHGARTEN -THE LARGEST BEER GARDEN IN MUNICH. CREDIT P. SCARLANDIS LEFT, TOP TO BOTTOM: MARIENPLATZ IN MUNICH AND THE FRAUENKIRCHE CATHEDRAL. CREDIT F. ZENZ. THE ENGLISH GARDEN PARK. PHOTOGRAPHY JOSEF WILDGRUBER
THE CITY HAS AROUND A HUNDRED BEER GARDENS, BUT IT’S TO THE HOFBRÄUHAUS, HOME TO MUNICH’S MOST FAMOUS BEER BRAND, WHERE THE TOURISTS HEAD BY DAY AND BY NIGHT The central square in the town, the Marienplatz, is a good vantage point from where to explore the heart of Munich. The tower of the town hall houses the Glockenspiel, a huge cuckoo clock with forty-three bells which chime at noon; then thirty-two statues appear reenacting historical Bavarian events. Close by is the 14th century Frauenkirche, Munich’s landmark cathedral; explore the murky basement filled with crypts, containing remains of Bavarian royals as well as the Teufelsschnitt, supposedly the footprint of the devil himself. Gemütlich, comfortable, is a word residents love to use when they describe their Munich. Actually, one of the best things about this city is the slow pace of life and the vast public green spaces bordering the river Isar that flows through. Evenings are spent outdoors and when the temperatures rise don’t be shocked by the nude sunbathers in the English Garden, a huge park larger than New York’s Central Park. The city has around a hundred beer gardens; the Hirschgarten, literally the deer garden, is the largest and– imagine seeing deer in a city park while you sip your beer. But it’s to the Hofbräuhaus, home to Munich’s most famous beer brand, where the tourists head by day and by night. Sausages, glorious sausages, reign galore in Germany where meat is still the essence of cuisine. Typical street food is Bratwurste or Weiβwürste, sausages served with sauerkraut, boiled cabbage, and washed down with beer. No need to visit fancy restaurants, but there are a number of buzzing ones, like the traditional Schumann’s or Brenner, the Italian restaurant which attracts the city’s In-crowd.
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take me with you
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take me with you OPPOSITE PAGE: MUNICH OKTOBERFEST - COSTUMES AND SCHUETZENZUG, PHOTOGRAPHY PIERRE ROUCHALEON RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: OKTOBERFEST, PHOTOGRAPHY THORSTEN NAESER OKTOBERFEST - BIERZELT, PHOTOGRAPHY C.REITER
BUT, LET’S FACE IT, FOR MOST PEOPLE THE REASON TO VISIT MUNICH IN AUTUMN IS OKTOBERFEST.
As soon as Munich’s mayor cries “O’zapft is!”, during the traditional tapping of the first keg of beer, thousands rub their hands in glee in anticipation of the 2 weeks of boozing and reveling that lies ahead. It’s time for the Oktoberfest. For those who have been lucky enough to experience it, Munich’s Oktoberfest really is the world’s best beer-swilling party in the world and the myths of marathon drinkers are all true. In most countries youngsters aim to shed traditions, but in Bavaria it is actually considered cool to take part in traditional feasts and wear the right gear, such as lederhosen and dirndl, the colorful dresses worn with an apron. The origins of the Oktoberfest can be traced back to 1810, to the celebrations for the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von SachsenHildburghausen. Today, Munich`s main breweries erect huge beer halls; each can hold 6,000 revelers, with hundreds of waitresses dressed in traditional dirndl serving countless beer jugs, plus brassbands playing traditional Bavarian music and beer mugs lifting competitions are held. Oktoberfest attracts around six million visitors who get through an incredible six million liters of beer, almost half a million roast chickens, and the same number of sausages! Apart from the beer and the food another major attraction at the Oktoberfest is the funfair with amusement park rides with dubious names like Teufelsrad (Devil’s Wheel) and Höllenblitz (Lightning from Hell). Boys will be boys and some crazy ones just insist on showing off their manly skill of holding down the liters of beer and strings of sausages consumed… while hanging upside down on a roller coaster! A word of warning: Do not stand underneath! As the band leads the crowds in a chorus of “ein Prosit, ein Prosit” (cheers), the punters clank beer mugs with total strangers. And this happens every year, like clockwork
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take me with you
THE INDUSTRIAL ETHOS OF
LONDON BY ERIC JOSEPH REITMEYER
London. The name carries considerable weight. Two powerful syllables unite, fostering an identity of a sprawling city built and rebuilt with mortar, brick, and stone. It is Europeâ€™s largest city; a proud, dignified kingdom within a kingdom, steeped in tradition, notorious for its robust stoicism. No city requires our understanding more so than this murky metropolis. While destinations like Paris and Venice seduce tourists with airy cafes and sunlit terraces - submitting to dreamers hunched over their personal journals - London keeps aloof, unconcerned with making a good impression. It is an irritable, crowded city, under perpetual siege by ominous, leaden skies. Yet London never yields, and moves along with purpose and vitality, maintaining a surprising and authentic cheerfulness beneath its somber facade.
Perhaps this quality is the root of our enchantment. London is beautiful without being pretty. We accept the scars, the wrinkles, and elegant decay, knowing there is significance and depth in its character. Its mettle has been tested over the years, suffering through plague, rising from the ash of the Great Fire, and withstanding the Blitz of WWII. Still the cityscape is under constant revision, as large cranes choke the skyline alongside chimneys caked in soot.
IT IS EUROPEâ€™S LARGEST CITY; A PROUD, DIGNIFIED KINGDOM WITHIN A KINGDOM, STEEPED IN TRADITION, NOTORIOUS FOR ITS ROBUST STOICISM THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
THE INDUSTRIAL ETHOS OF
OPPOSITE PAGE: THE LONDON EYE BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT: THE MILLEMMIUM BRIDGE, THE TOWER BRIDGE
London has provided a quintessential backdrop throughout the Victorian era, becoming a vast stage upon which writers - like the prolific Charles Dickens - penned their tales. Walking tours immerse visitors into the world of his fiction, guiding them through the narrow streets of Clerkenwell, Aldersgate, and under the bridges of the Thames. Dickens’ favorite writing haunt, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, hides in an alley off Fleet Street. The ancient pub retains much of its 17th century charm, with many dark corners and staircases that wind into its depths.
Like many ancient cities it is one of stark contrasts, as Georgian, Baroque, and Victorian architecture is encroached upon and juxtaposed against today’s more modern forms. The Millennium Bridge, London’s newest steel pedestrian footbridge, looks rather hip compared to the Tower Bridge, its traditional counterpart just upriver. A more potent contrast can be found at the Gherkin, or 30 Street Mary Ax. This bullet shaped glass structure towers over St Andrew Undershaft, a small medieval church constructed in the early 16th century.
Memorable characters take up residence here as well. Sherlock Holmes, the venerable detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has the most famous address in London, located at 221B Baker Street. The apartment is actually a museum; an exact replica of the mythical habitat we know from his tales.
A gift to London’s 21st century skyline was the Millennium Wheel, more commonly known as the London Eye. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular tourist destination in London. Riders are lifted in large pods, and from its zenith are privy to a breathtaking panorama of the city.
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Down on the ground, drawn by the magnetism of British tradition, crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace to view the changing of the Queen’s Royal Guard. Kensington Palace, more subdued and elegant, sits amidst plush gardens on the outskirts of Hyde Park. The air still carries a trace of melancholy, for this royal residence once served as the home of the late Princess Diana.
A GIFT TO LONDON’S 21ST CENTURY SKYLINE WAS THE MILLENNIUM WHEEL, MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE LONDON EYE. IT IS THE TALLEST FERRIS WHEEL IN EUROPE, AND HAS BECOME THE MOST POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATION IN LONDON.
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THE INDUSTRIAL ETHOS OF
OPPOSITE PAGE: WESMINSTER, HOME OF THE BIG BEN. BELOW: REGENT STREET IN LONDON, ONE OF THE MAJOR SHOPPING STREETS IN LONDON’S WEST END
For tourists in London the chase is endless. Along with its numerous parks and squares, an array of historical treasures adorn the city’s districts. From the enduring Tower of London, keeper of the Crown Jewels, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, known for its awe inspiring interior and Whispering Gallery, to lesser known relics like the restored St John’s Gate and the Jewel Tower, whose stones continue to crumble into the Old Palace Yard, London reveals itself in both its glory and its ruins. London’s pride reigns in Westminster. No other district is more alive with the pageantry of British tradition. It is home to Big Ben, the iconic symbol of London. Alongside The Palace of Westminster, it rises above the north bank of the Thames like a staunch Gothic sentinel. Sharing the spotlight is Westminster Abbey, a mighty tomb, vast and shielded from sound. A setting fit for the coronations of kings and queens, yet serves as the burial place for monarchs, aristocrats, and religious figures. Space is reserved for giants of literature as well. In a small nook within the Abbey are the silenced voices of Poet’s Corner.
The modern pulse of London is felt in The West End, home to the bright lights of Piccadilly and host to the most regarded theatre in the world. It is the entertainment hub of the U.K. and contains the busiest shopping district in all of Europe. Oxford Street is the most dense, littered with 550 different retail outlets, from major retailers and small clothing shops to luxury flagship stores. A unique location is Burlington Arcade, a covered pedestrian street offering fine jewellery, shoes, and leather goods. The arcade is patrolled by “beadles”, who stand guard in traditional frock coats and top-hats, enforcing a strict code of behavior prohibiting whistling, singing, and running. Personality abounds in this city, and not all of it is embedded in its architecture. Though cozy pubs hold a distinct charm themselves, their patrons serve as a source of rowdy entertainment as well particularly during close soccer matches. But look no further than the cabbie, those knight-errants of London, whose relentless accented chit-chat undoubtedly evokes a smile as he whisks his fares past double-decker buses and the white gloved doormen of the Strand.
London. Regardless of time’s passage its enigmatic appeal remains the stuff of Dickens and Doyle. We find it along the slick cobbles of dark, unnatural streets, where alleyways feel like crawl spaces and lamplight scarcely touches the night. We find it, and we feel as if we’ve slipped into some ancient and evocative dream. London certainly plays its role, but the city pays us no attention at all
LONDON’S PRIDE REIGNS IN WESTMINSTER. NO OTHER DISTRICT IS MORE ALIVE WITH THE PAGEANTRY OF BRITISH TRADITION. IT IS HOME TO BIG BEN, THE ICONIC SYMBOL OF LONDON. ALONGSIDE THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER, IT RISES ABOVE THE NORTH BANK OF THE THAMES LIKE A STAUNCH GOTHIC SENTINEL
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COCKTAIL COGS + WHEELS
RAGMAG and BeirutRestaurants.com have teamed up to bring you the absolute coolest pubs this issue. To really help you eat drink + be merry we’ve compiled a list of places for you to hit up since if you visit Lebanon, you aren’t going to know the best places to get your pub crawl going. We love a great round of drinks and having the inside info from BeirutRestaurants.com makes it easier! They’re RAGMAG’s goto site for everything from tapas to cocktails so that you can really pile up the rounds. If you’re looking to knock back a few drinks with friends, our top bar list is the best place to start.
Follow BeirutRestaurants.com on Twitter for more great suggestions @b_restaurants
THE RABBIT HOLE
THE ANGRY MONKEY
Facing Lina’s Café off Hamra Street Beirut +961 1 355955
Gouraud Street Gemmayzeh, Beirut www.juniperbeirut.com +961 3 795357
The Alleyway Gemmayzeh Twitter @The_Alleyway Find them on Facebook
Makdessi Street, Hamra Beirut +961 3 803912 +961 3 286977
Mahatma Ghandi Street Hamra, Beirut +961 1 740259
Makdissi Street Hamra, Beirut +961 1 744864
IEscalier Des Arts, Gemmayzeh Street +961 70 186555 +961 1 586555 +961 1 448141 Twitter @CrystalGroupME http://thecrystalgroup.net
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Lebanon Street, Zaroub Haramieh Gemmayzeh, Beirut +961 1 563611 +961 1 899213
Makdissi Street Hamra Beirut +961 3 803912
Makdessi Street Hamra, Beirut +961 1 750811 +961 71 225055 Find them on Facebook
El Bulli Chefs in Lebanon THE VANGUARDIST EVENT WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE SPONSERS
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eat, drink + be merry PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA
HOT+COLD WORKING PROCESSES
TECHNICAL PROWESS CREATES BUFFET THAT’S WORTH A TRY BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY
alk in. You will find us refreshingly different.” This is what you get when you search for the Olive Garden restaurant on Rotana’s website. Quite confident. I believe no institution is allowed to brag about itself with this kind of catch-phrases unless they REALLY are different, so I decided to find out for myself. The Olive Garden is one of Gefinor Hotel’s restaurants. Actually it is the main one, located at the end of the hotel entrance hall. With its “lounge” setting and its neutral colors –gray, beige and black, the place is typical of a hotel. But it is indeed refreshingly different. Instead of giving an impression of a cold and impersonal place, it demonstrates luxury and great service. Upon entering the restaurant, the manager welcomes you himself and takes you to your table. I am seated by the bay-window facing the restaurant’s own terrace. Outside, garden furniture and sunshades are place around
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the contemporary fountain. Inside, comfortable couches, leather and wood chairs, and round lamps hanging from the ceiling make up the modern chic setting. The cutlery is modern too, with gigantic spoons, long prongs forks and practical knives. At one end of the dining room, two walls are covered with wood and decorated with abstract paintings. At the other end, the buffet. In fact, the restaurant’s characteristic is its buffet. 5 days a week, for both lunch and dinner, people can come in, pay a set fare and have all they can eat. And man! Can we eat when there’s so much food on the table! Starting with a basic salad bar –just vegetables and different sauces and cold starters where Lebanese salads like tabbouleh and fattoush mix with Western dishes like a chicken Caesar salad, Parma ham or a gumbo salad, the buffet goes on with the hot dishes. Those are changed on a regular basis. Formed to suit all tastes, the hot buffet is made of chicken, meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Finally, the desserts. I must
admit, I had eaten so much I could barely taste 2 or 3, choosing from the Middle Eastern sweets and chocolate cakes and mousses but I could tell how they delicious they were by how good they looked. Abundant, good, and wellpresented, the Olive Garden buffet can reconcile the à la carte meal fans with open buffet.
The + + Olive Garden is a non-smoking establishment. Eating there is therefore much more enjoyable, and let’s be honest, a lot more hygienic. Smokers can sit outside, and enjoy the sunny terrace. + This is the best buffet in town, not only because of its taste, but also because it is well planned. Hot food stays hot without drying and cold entrées stay fresh. + They don’t remove the dishes as long as customers are seated. I knew they stopped the lunch buffet around 3pm but at 4pm it was still there, for hotel clients came down late and wanted to dine.
The – - I may sound too “Arab” but I don’t like eating alone, and I don’t like seeing people eat alone. In a hotel restaurant, it’s quite a common scene. Olive Garden Gefinor Rotana Clemenceau Street, Beirut 01/371888 www.rotana.com
GETTING HUNGRY? WIN THIS!
Now that you know how much we enjoyed our visit to the Olive Garden, they’re offering you the chance to check them out for yourself! Gefinor Rotana is gifting 3 readers with the chance to experience their Butcher’s Night at the Olive Garden. 3 lucky RAGMAG readers will be enjoying dinner for 2 courtesy of the Rotana peeps. How do you win? Email firstname.lastname@example.org the phrase, “There’s no garden like Olive Garden!” or Tweet us @RAGMAGLebanon with the hashtag #OliveGarden is Taste-tastic!
Gefinor Rotana hotel, voted by the World Travel Awards as “Lebanon’s Leading Business Hotel” for 2011 and conveniently situated in the heart of Beirut announced the renovation of its business facilities to be completed in January 2012, after 10 years of impeccable service. “Our planned remodel will be completed by the end of this year”, stated Mark Timbrell, General Manager of the Gefinor Rotana, “we are currently in the ‘systems and infrastructure’ stage; our next step will be the cosmetic upgrades to the guest rooms themselves”. The renovation of the Gefinor Rotana, the first HACCP certified hotel in Lebanon, offers easy access to Verdun, Achrafieh, the rebuilt Downtown and the major exhibition grounds, with Beirut International airport just 15 minutes away. The ambitious renovation project will add six meeting rooms to the existing four and in total the hotel will offer over 1,000 square meters of meeting space on two floors, with additional breakout
areas. Several of the smaller meeting rooms have convenient flexibility enabling them to open up into larger areas creating spaces for all types of events such as trainings, product launches, press conferences, dinners, banquets, exhibitions and even fashion shows. All events can be complemented by a rich buffet at the hotel’s recently renovated Olive Garden or by selecting one of the tailor-made menus or themed daily delegate packages. The meeting and conference space has been customized to meet the needs of modern professionals. A business centre, administrative assistance and audio visual equipment, constantly updated with state-of-the-art technology, is provided to support event organizers. In addition, 5 of the new rooms will be fitted with 60 inch LED screens and all will have access to highspeed WiFi connection. An experienced team of professionals are available to handle all types of events from start to finish.
High-quality real time video, and videoconferencing technology essential to e-conferences, corporate communications and distance learning is the key to successful meetings in the modern day and age. “With the competitive landscape being what it is, you need an edge in the information age” states Mark Timbrell. “Excellent customer service, a high quality product, a large amount of meeting space offering clients a wide variety of options and of course state-of-the- art audio-visual systems, will give just that edge and more,” he adds
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PHOTOGRAPHY JASON ZAMORA
CUISINE THAI CHEF PRASONG BUILDS HIS OWN BRIDGE BY SABINA LLEWELLYN-DAVIES
hen a Thai national recommends a Thai restaurant, the food there is bound to be divine. When Oranuch Fares has a craving for her national food she heads to the Kopanjang restaurant in Antelias, Beirut. I joined her to taste the terrific Tom Yam Kung prepared by Chef Prasong Boonsri.
Chef Prasong arrived in Lebanon just over a year ago now and he is arguably the hottest Thai chef around; his traditional cooking pulls in diners from as far afield as Lebanon’s southern border. “My clients are mainly Armenians as they just love spicy food. Even the UN staff from the South have heard about our restaurant; when they come they ask for the really spicy dishes,” he says. “I never really planned on coming to Lebanon. It was by chance really,” he revealed. Prasong, a 42 year-old shy softly spoken man, has a meager command of the English language which makes a flowing convo tough to say the least. He stems from Yasothon in northern Thailand where he studied hotel management going on to work in a hotel before switching to the kitchen; this is his first venture overseas. Prasong never really planned on becoming a chef; his dad was a poor farmer who he helped out on the rice fields. Surprisingly, he does not really have any fond food memories from childhood. “My mum was not a good
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cook at all,” he says in all seriousness. He grew up on a diet of mainly rice with lots of Bird’s-Eye chili. If you’re a fan of Thai food then you know that it’s the spices and the chili that put the oomph into this delicious cuisine. But, most ingredients are only available in Thailand and the owner of Kopanjang has to travel all the way there to bring them to Lebanon. In the process, he also collected some decorative Buddhas now placed around the restaurant- surely unaware that in Thailand placing a Buddha in a restaurant is considered almost a sacrilege. Prasong’s day in the kitchen begins at around noon. He prepares the vegetables and sorts out the orders. His most time-consuming specialty is the Pad Pettalay, stir-fried spicy seafood consisting of mussels, prawns, calamari, onions and red curry. In Thailand the most popular dish is Tom Yam Kung, a sour and spicy soup made with shrimps in chili and fish sauce with lemon juice; it is real street food served on every corner. The Gaeng Keow Wan Kaek, lamb cooked in green curry with eggplant in smooth coconut milk, is another traditional favorite. The Thai chef admits that the Lebanese do not really like spicy food and he adapts his dishes to suit the local market. The most popular dish here is Massaman Kaek, lamb cooked in red curry with potatoes, shallots and
roasted peanuts. The fusion of Thai and Middle Eastern tastes is an innovation in international cuisine, but this chef is no fan of innovation; he prefers traditional fare. “I prefer to stick to traditional dishes. But the salty and sour tastes and the spicy ingredients do mix extremely well. In Thai cuisine we use an abundance of chili which mingles well with Middle Eastern cuisine.” And now for dessert! In Thailand Tab Tim Krob, a jelly type dessert is washed down with pandala juice or succulent coconut water. In Lebanon, the delicious Khao Niaw Piak Lamyai, a creamy rice pudding with lychee, hits the spot of local taste buds. Prasong loves his profession, and has no ambitions to be anything else… except maybe a Formula One driver, he admits without any hope. He loves to explore Beirut and beyond and even had the chance to see snow for the first time this year. “When I arrived here it took some time to settle in, but, now I really feel at home here and I have made friends,” he says. There are only about a hundred Thai nationals in the country and they appear to be a close knit community. Out of the kitchen in his spare time he listens to music, a favorite of his is the Thai singer Pai Pongsathon. “I also like Arabic music and belly dancing.” Judging by his shy demeanor he would surely make an awkward figure on a dance floor, but, he certainly makes up for it in the place that counts the most: in his kitchen conjuring up a mean, mean curry
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Engineering Terrific Fall Fare WITH LARA ARISS
EACH EDITION OF RAGMAG, LARA ARISS WILL PRESENT A MEAL IN SEVERAL COURSES THAT YOU CAN TRY AT HOME. LARA IS A LEBANESE EXPAT IN TRAINING AT LE CORDON BLEU IN LONDON, ENGLAND. FOR MORE GREAT IDEAS, CHECK HER OUT ON THE WEB HTTP://WWW.BYLARA.ME FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @LARAARISS FIND HER ON FACEBOOK BYLARA
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PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES, plus 2 hours resting time COOKING TIME 10 – 15 MINUTES SERVES 4 - 6 LEVEL EASY INGREDIENTS
•12 slices baguette bread •400 grams chopped black olives •50 grams chopped dried tomatoes •30 ml capers, drained and halved •1 tablespoon crushed green pepper •Olive oil for brushing •2 garlic cloves •115 grams soft goat cheese •Mixed fresh herbs to garnish
METHOD Pre-heat oven at 150°C In a bowl, combine the olives, sundried tomatoes, capers and green pepper. Leave to marinate for at least two hours. Place the bread slices on a baking tray and bake until golden. Turn the slices at least once. Brush one side of each slice of bread with oil and then rub with garlic cloves. Spread the bruschetta with the cheese, olive mixture on top. Garnish with fresh mixed herbs.
PREPARATION TIME COOKING TIME SERVES LEVEL
20 MINUTES NONE 4-6 EASY
CHERRY TOMATO SALAD
•1 ripe avocado, skin and stone removed •200 grams baby spinach •250 grams cherry tomatoes, quartered •4 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil •4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil •2 lemons, juice only •6 tbsp olive oil •Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Slice the avocado and arrange around the edges of a plate. • Place the spinach in the centre of the plate. • Scatter the cherry tomatoes on top of the avocado and sprinkle over the herbs. • Mix the lemon juice and oil together and drizzle over the salad. • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
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PREPARATION TIME COOKING TIME SERVES LEVEL
30 MINUTES 45 - 60 MINUTES 6 EASY
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEEF
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PUMPKIN MASH
•1.5 kilograms beef eye fillet •2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper •Sea salt
•1 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks •100 grams butter •¼ teaspoon ground white pepper •½ teaspoon ground cuminp •Sea salt, to taste •Olive oil, optional
• For the meat- Trim the fillet and then rub pepper into the surface and place on a tray and refrigerator overnight. • Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the fillet on a baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes and then turn the meat and cook for another 5 minutes. • Remove the meat from the oven and season with sea salt and cover it with aluminum foil and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. • Drain any juices from the tray and leave them aside for to pour them on the meat later. • Place the fillet back in the oven for another 15 minutes or more depending on how you like your meat.
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• For the pumpkin mash- Put the pumpkin into a large pot with salted cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 – 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is cooked through. • Drain the water and mash the pumpkin in the pot while still warm. • Whisk in the butter, the white pepper and ground cumin and season with sea salt. • To serve- Serve the fillet in thick slices with a drizzle of pan juices and a large spoonful of warm pumpkin mash - drizzle olive oil if you wish.
PREPARATION TIME 30 MINUTES + CHILLING TIME BAKING TIME NONE SERVES 4 - 6 LEVEL EASY
•100 grams dark chocolate, chopped •2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
•3 tablespoons granulated sugar •2 egg yolks •1 teaspoon rosewater •150 ml cream TO SERVE
•150 grams raspberries •6 nectarines, sliced •50 grams flaked almonds, toasted •Icing sugar
• Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan with boiling water. • Beat the butter with half the amount of sugar till fluffy and pale in color and then mix in the cocoa and set aside. • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining half of the sugar until pale in color and then mix in the rosewater and set aside. • In a large bowl, whisk the cream over an ice bath till thick in consistency and set aside. • Fold the melted chocolate into the butter mix, then fold in the egg yolks and then fold in the whisked cream. Make sure all the ingredients are nicely combined.. • Spoon the batter into a greased 8 x 22 cm tin and chill in the fridge for at least three hours. • To serve - Turn out the chocolate marquise and cut into thick even slices. Serve with raspberries, nectarines, toasted almonds and dusted icing sugar.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
quizz ROUND #1
1. What do the letter MRI stand for? 2. From which plant do we obtain vanilla? 3. Who is the Egyptian God of Funerals who transports the souls of the dead to the other world? 4. In a car what do the letters SRS mean? 5. What country has the highest Muslim population? 6. Parker and Barrow were the family names of which two infamous American bandits?
1. A change of DNA in an organism that results in a new trait is known as what?
1. I know a word of letters three. Add two more and fewer it will be. What is the word?
2. The process of adding sulphur 2. You heard me before and you hear me to rubber to harden it is known again. Then I die till you call me again. as what? What am I? 3. Who discovered X-Rays? 4. What is the name given to a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction but does not form part of it? 5. What name is given to the distance between a lens and its focal point? 6. What element has the atomic number 16 and the chemical symbol “S”?
7. In Roman times a Gladiator had three types of weapon, a dagger, a spear and what other weapon? 7. What acid is produced by muscles in the human body 8. According to the Bible, what two because of a lack of oxygen? cities did God destroy? 8. An animal that eats both meat 9. Which actor is the father of and plants is known as what? Jamie Lee Curtis? 9. What is the more common 10. In England it’s called Stock Car name for a cubic decimeter? Racing, what do the Americans call it? 10. What metal is the most malleable?
3. What regularly changes shape yet remains a sphere, is always there but often is not seen? 4. You are in a cold dark room and you only have one match. In the room there is a candle, a rag soaked in petrol and a wood burning stove. What would you light first?
Various Pastimes 1. Who composed the “Nutcracker” suite? 2. In the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, what sort of creaturs were Bilbo and Frodo Baggins? 3. Which famous actress starred in “Some like it hot”, “Bus Stop” and “The Seven Year Itch”? 4. Which band released the album “KID A” in 2000? 5. Which team won the 1992 F.A. Cup Final?
6. Which Renaissance artit 5. You are walking through a field and you painted Primerva and The Birth find something you can eat. It doesn’t of Venus? have bones, it doesn’t have meat. You pick it up and put it in your pocket. You 7. Who wrote the book “Tarzan take it home, put it on a shelf but three of the Apes” in 1912? days later it walks away. What was it? 8. Which sport is contested 6. I am created by humans, but they between the US and Britain for cannot control me. I suck on wood, the Walker Cup? paper and flesh alike. I can be more of a hindrance than help at times. To my 9. What is the name of Doctor creators I seem to be everywhere at Who’s time machine? once. What am I? 10. For which two films did 7. What word changes both its gender Steven Spielberg win the and number when the letter “S” is best director Oscar? added to it?
dingbats A PARTLY ARABIC, EROTIC DANCE?
c earth o m earth e 4
SPRING SUMMER AUTUMN WINTER
TRIES TO MIX WITH THE RICH
A HOSPITAL DEPARTMENT
STOP DREAMING TYPE OF BIRDS
A SONG BY ABBA? FILM
FILM ABOUT DEATH ROW?
ROUND#1 1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2. Orchid 3. Anubis 4. Secondary Restraint System 5. Indonesia 6. Bonnie and Clyde 7. Net 8. Sodom and Gomorrah 9.Tony Curtis 10. Demolition Derby ROUND#2 1. A Mutation 2. Vulcanising 3. Roentgen 4. Catalyst 5. Focal Length 6. Sulphur 7. Lactic Acid 8. Omnivore 9. Litre 10. Gold ROUND#3 1. Few 2. An Echo 3. The Moon 4. The Match 5. An Egg 6. A Baby 7. Princes (Becomes Princess) ROUND#4 1. Tchaikovsky 2. Hobbits 3. Marilyn Monroe 4. Radiohead 5. Liverpool 6. Botticelli 7. Edgar Rice Burroughs 8. Golf 9. The Tardis 10. Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan STRIP TEASE - SOCIAL CLIMBER - EAR, NOSE AND THROAT COME DOWN TO EARTH - BLUE TIT - THE DAVINCI CODE A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS - THE GREEN MILE - WATERLOO
158 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
9 10 13
1. An alternative medical treatment. 3. Not real fornication. 7. Oral abuse? 8. No name given. 9. Not cooked. 10. An outside meal? 15. See. 18. Hockey match on horseback. 19. Architectural style or fashion statement. 20. Feeling that it happened before. 23. Relating to Scandinavia. 26. An injected poison. 29. A description used for sexy girls? 30. Stubbornly defiant. 32. Remove the entrails. 34. Don, he used to fight windmills. 36. Found by using three angles? 37. Run down, as in a piece of property. 38. Old fashioned wandering musicians. 40. Jackets plural? 41. Excessive eating. 45. A polite word for spit. 47. Speed. 51. Fermented milk? 52. Changed its appearance. 54. Describes frosted glass. 55. Very generous. 56. A small broken piece. 59. Changed to. 60. Process of increasing volume. 63. Beneath. 65. The act of murder. 66. Not a fish, a part of the UK. 67. End a contract. 68. Wipe out a disease? 69. Doubtful, particularly about
36 37 38
53 54 55
59 60 63
64 65 66
67 68 69
2. Proved innocent. 3. Restricted access to. 4. Think about it. 5. A form used to collect data for
13. The old Mumbai? 14. Boo Boo’s friend? 16. The lion that was born free. 17. Was there a mutiny on here? 21. A dancer or a sweet? 22. A religious whipping? 24. Iron oxide? 25. Bland in taste. 27. Should be done now.
a survey. 6. During the present time. 11. Lit up. 12. Type of U.S. Outlaw from the old West.
7 6 6 7 1 2 4 2 5 8 1 3 3 9 8 5
8 5 3 8 9 4 1 9 6 7 5 3 2 7 4 1 2 6
3 9 7 4 5 3 9 1 4 8 6 2 5 2 8 1 7
9 2 1 6 6 7 7 5 8 4 2 9 5 1 8 3 4 3
2 8 8 1 4 5 5 2 3 1 7 9 6 7 6 9 4
5 4 2 7 1 8 8 9 6 3 5 7 4 1 3 6 9
1 7 4 5 8 6 6 3 5 9 7 2 9 8 2 4 3 1
28. The energy produced by motion. 30. To speak. 31. Unstable, like jelly. 33. A famous US presidential
scandal. 35. A large bottle, usually for champagne. 39. Roll a ball to knock them over. 42. Slashed, as with a knife.
43. A berry used in gin. 44. Experience it again. 46. A confusion of letters
that gives the answer.
48. Very decorative. 49. It’s an old watch? 50. Also called rabies. 51. American National Park. 53. Strange.
2 5 1 1 8 9 5 7 8 3 9 8 9 5 2 6 5 1 1 3 7 6 4 8 3 5 2 1 4 1 5 3 2 9 3 6 7 2 9 8 4 1 7 6 8 5
the existence of God.
70. It’s Superman’s killer. 71. Young looking.
6 3 9 3 8 2 7 1 4 8 6 5 7 2
4 1 9 8 5 2 6 8 8 6 5
8 3 4 2 6 9 1 7 5
5 7 2 8 4 1 3 6 9
9 5 4 7 2 6 9 3 7 2 5 8 1 4
4 8 5 6 1 3 2 9 7
1 2 7 9 8 4 6 5 3
3 5 6 1 7 8 9 4 2
2 4 8 5 9 6 7 3 1
4 5 1 6 8
9 1 3 6 9 6 1 3 5 7 4 2 8
6 5 9
7 1 9 4 3 2 5 8 6
7 5 8 1 6 1 4 4 5 1 6 9 8 2 3 7
6 9 8 2 7 3 5 1 4
7 2 3 4 5 1 6 9 8
2 6 3
1 2 7 9 8 1 5 3 4 6
1 3 5 7 4 6 9 8 2
8 4 6 3 2 9 7 5 1
3 1 4 5 6 2 8 7 9
5 6 7 9 8 4 1 2 3
9 8 2 1 3 7 4 6 5
57. A reaction that produces heat. 58. A sore throat. 61. A dog’s drinking method. 62. Square ones are no good. 64. An American nappy?
ACROSS 1. HOMEOPATHIC - 3. CYBERSEX - 7. SLANDER 8. ANONYMOUS - 9. UNBAKED - 10. PICNIC - 15. OBSERVE 18. POLO - 19. GOTHIC - 20. DEJAVOUS - 23. NORDIC 26. VENOM - 29. NUBILE - 30. OBSTREPEROUS 32. DISEMBOWL - 34. QUIXOTE - 36. TRIANGULATED 37. DELAPIDATED - 38. MINSTERELS - 40. COATS 41. GLUTTONY - 45. SALIVA - 47. VELOCITY - 51. YOGHURT 52. MODIFIED - 54. TRANSLUCENT - 55. BENEVOLENT 56. SLIVER - 59. CONVERTED - 60. AMPLIFICATION 63. UNDER - 65. HOMICIDE - 66. WALES - 67. TERMINATE 68. ERADICATE - 69. AGNOSTIC - 70. KRYPTON 71. YOUTHFUL
DOWN 2. EXONERATED - 3. CORDONED - 4. CONSIDER 5. QUESTIONAIRE - 6. NOWADAYS - 11. ILLUMINATED 12. DESPERADO - 13. BOMBAY. - 14. YOGI - 16. ELSA 17. BOUNTY - 21. TURKISH DELIGHT - 22. FLAGELLATION 24. RUST - 25. INSIPID - 27. URGENT - 28. KINETIC 30. ORATE - 31. WOBBLY - 33. WATERGATE - 35. JEROBOAM 39. SKITTLES - 42. LACERATED - 43. JUNIPER - 44. RELIVE 46. ANAGRAM - 48. ORNATE - 49. TIMEPIECE 50. HYDROPHOBIA - 51. YOSEMITE - 53. WEIRD 57. EXOTHERMAL - 58. LARINGITIS - 61. LAPPING 62. WHEELS - 64. DIAPER
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
Zodiac forecasts FROM JONATHAN CAINER
OCTOBER’S MID-MONTH FULL MOON MAY LOOK JUST A LITTLE SMALLER THAN USUAL. THE MOON DOES NOT REMAIN AT ONE FIXED DISTANCE FROM THE EARTH. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN IT GETS QUITE A LOT CLOSER OR FURTHER AWAY. SOON, IT WILL BE AS DISTANT AS IT EVER GETS. AND AS WE EDGE TOWARDS THE END OF THE MONTH, JUPITER WILL BE OPPOSITE THE SUN... RISING UP AROUND DUSK AND SHINING BRIGHT ALL NIGHT. LOOK OUT, AROUND OCTOBER 20 AND 21 FOR METEORS, MORE POPULARLY KNOWN AS SHOOTING STARS. IF YOU SEE ONE, REMEMBER TO MAKE A WISH.
CATHERINE ZETA JONES
October 24 - November 22
Romeo and Juliet is not really a romantic story. The hero and heroine do not live happily ever after. They die, tragically at a shockingly young age. Still, at least they don’t have time to grow old together and get caught up in endless bickering about whose turn it is to do the washing up. Real life is not like in the storybooks and real love is not the same thing as romantic fantasy. This October brings a reality check and the chance to create a wonderful new reality, not just in your love life! Don’t, in pining for what you won’t have, miss the value of what you’ve got. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
September 24 - October 23
Find some flags. Hang them out. Gather some trumpets. Blow them. Get some drums. Roll them. Venus begins October in your sign and it ends the month in the part of your chart that governs material wealth. It is about to help you iron out several issues involving your own sense (or lack of sense) of self-worth. You’ve been feeling understandably insecure lately, due to a series of pressures and conflicts that look as if they’ll never ease off. But soon you can expect to have your confidence boosted, your material status improved and your heart deeply touched. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
November 23 - December 21 Life can often seem like one long rodeo in which we all take turns on the bucking bronco. One minute we’re sitting in the saddle, waving out hats in the air. The next, our horse has gone plumb crazy and we’re hanging on with all we’ve got while it tries to throw us off. Situations get too intense. Problems get too tough. Commitments become too hard to keep up. It can all come out of nowhere... but when it happens, we feel it may never end. Hold tight, in October. If you can only see out a current psychological storm, you’ll be in a safe calm place for a long time to come. FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
160 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011
December 22 - January 20
January 21 - February 19
It is not always very easy to take it easy. Indeed, taking it easy can be very difficult. The more we feel that we ought to be taking it easy, the more stressed out we become when we realise that we aren’t. Actually, you don’t want to go taking it too easy in October. If you’re willing to put in the right kind of effort now, you can accomplish an awful lot. Sometimes, people confuse being busy with being under pressure. If you’re enjoying your chance to rise to this month’s challenge, you’re going to be fine. If you’re not, relax a little and trust. It’s all going to be fine.
When you have completed one race, as all marathon winners know, there’s only one thing to do. Start training for another. We may take breaks between our challenges, but sooner or later, we will want to pit ourselves once more against the circumstances that take us to the edge of our capabilities. The more we achieve, the more we find out how much more there is still to be done. Likewise, the more we learn. Or earn. You have climbed one mountain. Now here, this October, comes another. Don’t worry. Once you get used to the idea, you’ll conquer it.
‘We interrupt this forecast with an announcement. October has been extended. A council of world governments has agreed to give us all an extra two weeks in the month. During that time, all good citizens are expected to relax and enjoy their lives. Obviously we recognise that this will affect the plans of those expecting business to carry on as usual. But...’ Well, ‘but’ nothing. I’m playing here. No such amazing, wonderful edict will ever be issued. Unless, that is, you decide you give yourself permission to stop and be happy. You can, though. And if you do, you will!
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
February 20 - March 20
March 21 - April 20
April 21 - May 21
May 22 - June 22
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
July 24 - August 23
24 - September 23
Heaven, they say, is a place on earth. If they’re right about that, hell, must be too. But how far do you have to look before seeing someone suffering most dreadfully? And how often, come to that, do you see a genuinely ecstatic individual. Most of us occupy the grey territory somewhere between those two extremes. And we are grateful enough if we can just have reason to believe that our outlook is relatively stable. It’s not some big sweeping change that you need (or seek) in October. It’s just a little comfort, love and support. All that... you can and will find!
Artists, in tourist destinations will happily draw a picture of you and, for a small fee, they’ll add an elongated nose, an extended forehead, a longer chin, bigger eyes. This comedic caricature, whilst it undoubtedly will be ‘you’... won’t REALLY be you. It will lack subtlety. It won’t do you justice. You, though, need not employ such help to ensure you are misrepresented in October! Either someone is already seeing you through biased eyes or you’re looking at a distortion of your own reflection. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t give a negative twist to a positive situation.
You can’t be deluded if you know you are deluded. You can only be fooled if you think you are not being fooled. Some of the most idiotic acts ever carried out on this planet were performed by people who felt they were being logical and wise. There are issues, this month, about directions and intentions, about policies and plans, about commitments and promises. You’ll do well in October as long as you remember to question whatever seems most beyond question. Doubt whatever you feel ‘sure of’. An open mind is your most valuable asset. All is not quite as it seems.
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM
Some people think the cure to all this world’s woes is ‘economic growth’. Others say that’s the cause of it. Environmentalists say, ‘We should learn to do with less and live simply’. Their opponents say, ‘No we shouldn’t, we should strive to do better’. From which we can conclude that there are no ultimate authorities. While Mars, in October, passes through the part of your chart that governs adventure and speculation, it’s time to ignore so called experts and take a chance on something you have long suspected would be right for you.
June 23 - July 23
Children like chocolate. Is that because they recognise that it is good for them? We adults aren’t much better. We may think we know what’s bad for us, but we forget what’s even worse. How can we benefit by depriving ourselves of pleasures and ending up healthy yet depressed? A little of what you fancy does do you good. And a lot? Well, it depends on what it is that you fancy. There is really no need to assume in October, that just because you like something, it must be something that’s eventually going to give you trouble. Go easy on yourself!
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ So goes the old saying. But what if Jack were dull to begin with? Maybe, even if he had spent all his days skiing, surfing and sailing and all his evenings at wild parties, Jack would have been no more interesting. Work, on its own, does not create mundanity. Indeed, if work is enjoyable, those who undertake it will thrive and shine as a result. And the more they put in the more they get out. You’ve got much work to do in October. Don’t think of it as a chore. It’s a privilege that will lead to something fascinating.
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE
out + about
PHOTOGRAPHY TEDDY HABIB
THE WORLD’S LONGEST BAR BY MARIA-ELENA KASSAB
When people talk about Jounieh, they usually mention busy market streets filled with tiny shops and people who say “Ech” instead of “Chou”. And this was the case up until a few years ago, when those tiny shops were replaced by the pubs and bars who now reign supreme. On August 31st 2011, all those establishments -25 of them to be precise – banded together in an event proudly named “The World’s Longest Bar” and RAGMAG was there to get out + about and more than a little tipsy on the cobblestone streets of Jounieh. We got invited on Twitter and wow were we quick to hop
Get Original like Stoli Follow then on Twitter @StoliLeb 162 RAGMAG | OCTOBER 2011 Find them on Facebook StoliLebanon
on that bandwagon! The event was sponsored by the Municipality of Jounieh, the oh so original Stolichnaya Vodka, Hannouche Holding, Lebanon’s favorite beer Almaza, Grant’s, Red Bull, Perrier, Power Rent a Car, Sakr motors, Valet Peak, Backstage Light & Sound and Fontana Juices. Organized by the Jounieh Pubs Committee in collaboration with R&R Media and Events with Mix FM as its official radio, guests gazed incredulously at the crowded streets. From women in mini-dresses and sky-high heels to teenage boys in flip-flops, to the girls with tiny shorts and see-through shirts to men in suits and polos, everybody
and their uncle was around that 400 meter U-shaped bar (or dancing on it). RAGMAG even spotted a few guys in kilts, courtesy of Scott’s pub –we kid you not, men in kilts in Jounieh. At about half past midnight, an announcement made the crowd freeze, then cheer: Tickets were sold out and the managing team had resorted to giving ticket-buyers valet parking tickets or even slips of blank paper with a stamp on the back! Then the music came back on and we went back to fist-pumping, high-jumping, drink-chugging and Jounieh-loving. Get your drink on, we’ll definitely be in for round two next year, Jounieh!
For more details on how to join the Gatorade Training Sessions go to:
THE MOTORIZED ISSUE