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MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2013

PEAK

PERFORMANCE THOMAS DOYLE GETS BIG WITH MINIATURES

MASTERY issue starring

CARMEN BSAIBES

SPACE

SPECIALIST

PRO PRODUCTION

GUILLAUME EXCOFFIER IN LEBANON

EXPERIENCE THE CHOPIN VODKA DISTILLERY

trance experts

NEW WORLD PUNX BACKSTAGE PASS

EXCLUSIVE*

HELENA BONHAM CARTER’S CROWNING GLORY SEPTEMBER 2013

www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G the screen siren stars in the lone ranger

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THE MASTERY ISSUE


MAGAZINE

Publisher Gina Gabriel El-Fady Editor in Chief Fida Z Chaaban Creative Lead Odette Kahwagi Assistant to the Editor Youmna Chagoury Junior Graphic Designer Eliane Elias Photographers BeirutNightLife.com Odette Kahwagi Selected images Shutterstock

Stylist Jony Matta

Contributors Lara Ariss Nasri Atallah Jonathan Cainer Amal Chaaban Kareem Chehayeb Consumedly Rabih Feghali Maria Frangieh Alice Hlidkova Sarah Hourany J.E.N. Maria-Elena Kassab Dana Khairallah Imogen Kimber Chris Lambert Sabina Llewellyn-Davies Rani Nasr Nour Obaji Jacques Tchabarian Adam Volk

w w w . r a g m a g . c o

RAGMAGMagazine @RAGMAGMagazine RAGMAG Opinions expressed are based solely on personal opinion and experience, not reflective in any way of RAGMAG, a division of Raycon s.a.l.

Media Representative Public Relations Coordinator Lea El-Alam Marketing Lead Daniella Tayar Administrative Coordinator Teddy Younes Responsible Manager May Ziade Printed by Chemaly & Chemaly www.chemaly.com

RAGMAG is a division of Raycon s.a.l. Copyright RAGMAG 2013 All Rights Reserved

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PER ISSUE 10,000 LBP 6 ISSUES 50,000 LBP 12 ISSUES 100,000 LBP SEPTEMBER 2013

ON OUR COVER: HELENA BONHAM CARTER ŠDISNEY 2013 GREG WILLIAMS

Contact us by phone or email to arrange your subscription subscriptions@ragmaglive.com Lea El-Alam +961 9 916 222 / 9 913 777 RAGMAG Alex Gabriel Building, Rue Colomn de Sahel Sahel Alma, Keserwan, Lebanon

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THE MASTERY ISSUE

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89 84

EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES COPYCAT

90

ENTER STAGE LEFT

REAL LIFE RUNWAY

OUR FASHION SHOOT

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BACKSTAGE PASS

44

CULTURE CLASH WE KNOW EVERYTHING (NOT)

20

PEAK PERFORMANCE

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

HAYDA LEBNEN

GET BIG WITH THOMAS DOYLE’S MINIS

24

SPACE SPECIALIST

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MODERN ART

GUILLAME EXCOFFIER COMES TO BEIRUT WE LURVE GOOGLE DOODLES

HOLLYWOOD’S GRAND DAME

HELENA BONHAM 83 PULL CARTER DSQUARED2 the GRAVITATIONAL

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CROWNING GLORY

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SALMA HAYEK

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FML BAD HAIR DAY

HELENA BONHAM CARTER IN THE LONE RANGER SHE DOESN’T ACT LIKE A GROWN UP!

CHILLIN’ WITH SIMON EL MENDELEK

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FINAL FRONTIER ARABNET DEVELOPERS TECH

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PRINCIPLE PLAYERS

106 107 108 109

SEE, SPEAK + HEAR NO EVIL SOUND CHECK MUSIC READ’EM + WEEP BOOKS PLAY NICE GAMES WATCH OUT FILM

SCIENCE

THE MASTERY ISSUE


SEPTEMBER 2013

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THE MASTERY ISSUE

114

20 16

EDITOR’S OPINION THE PERILS OF GIVING UP YOUR PRIVACY OUR EDITOR TALKS (WRITES) TO NASRI ATALLAH

64

MON AMOUR, MON AMI OWN IT! BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

66

MIND, BODY + SOUL HELP ME NOUR + RABIH

80

MIRROR MIRROR EXPERT ADVICE

74

MAKEOVER TIME

ADVICE

LANCÔME’S REASON TO LOOK CLOSER CLINIQUE IS ON A ROLL

BAKU

THE

DIARIES 83 AZERBAIJAN’S CAPITAL CITY IS MINE

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OLFACTORY EXPERIENCE

78

EXTRAVAGANT EYES

YSL HAS YOU COVERED

MAKE UP FOR EVER IS CENTER STAGE!

EAT, DRINK + BE MERRY 122 THE CHOPIN VODKA DISTILLERY CULINARY TOURISM

129 EXPERTISE NEEDED! RECIPES

127 APETITO

RESTO REVIEW

TAKE ME WITH YOU 114 BAKU DOES IT BETTER TRAVEL

135

BRAINFOOD

QUIZZ. DINBATS. CROSSWORDS. SUDOKU.

THE MASTERY ISSUE


SEPTEMBER 2013

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THE MASTERY ISSUE


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

Who’s Ivy? RM and Vero Moda got together for a night to remember at Le Gray Hotel’s Cherry on the Roof for #IvysBigReveal. Unfortunately, I was not there but our trusting Twitter friends assured us that it was a success and a night to remember. I would like to thank all those who helped us make the 13th of August a success: Vero Moda, Le Gray Hotel, G. Vincenti & Sons, BeirutNightLife.com, Red Bull Lebanon, and DJ Jack Sleiman of BLVD44. Check out the full event recap in our out + about section, we’ve got comprehensive coverage. Thank you Simon El Mendelek for hosting RM contributor @ranithefirst for a day. I was sure that his FML was going to turn into a disaster, so I kept a low profile and braced myself for bad news. As it turned out, it was fun with tweets only that Rani could get away with! Thank You Make Up Forever for the Aqua range reader reward. One of our followers on @RAGMAGFashion snagged the prize. Lastly, thank you to DJs Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz for the autographed copies of August’s issue- they were a huge hit! Keep your emails coming to publisher@ragmaglive.com and talk to me on Twitter @GinaGabriel1

Gina Gabriel El-Fady | Publisher

SEPTEMBER 2013

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REIGN OF TECHNOLOGY

The ďŹ rst Social Media oriented magazine in Lebanon and the Middle East

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info@cloud961.com - www.cloud961.com

cloud961mag

@cloud961mag

THE MASTERY ISSUE


EDITOR’S LETTER

The

MASTERY ISSUE BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH TO LEARN ... EVERYWHERE

Social media pandemonium! For the first time ever, someone has broken the record set by our New World Order issue August 2012. Nemr Abou Nassar’s cover was finally beat- by none other than Johnny Depp. We received an insane amount of images of the magazine this month on Twitter! It seems that everyone had a copy of Johnny’s issue from Beirut to Dubai. It got to the point where we couldn’t retweet them anymore, for fear of flooding our timeline. Johnny talking to you all was a huge hit and we’re so glad you enjoyed the piece. Another RAGMAG record was also broken this monthNemr’s interview previously held the highest number of web shares until we released #IvysBigReveal (introducing Dana Khairallah) and outing her as the anonymous blogger that’s been active for three years! As this article went to print, Dana’s shares have exceeded 740 and it shows no signs of slowing down. This issue is pretty good, section by section. Our cover is someone that we’ve been pining after for nearly two years: Helena Bonham Carter. This master of her craft plays Red Harrington opposite Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger- and we’ve got her exclusive for you! My favorite role of hers? Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter franchise. Read more about HBC in our Culture Clash section. In other happenings, we had a great time at Poliakov Lebanon’s New World Punx with Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz, check out the backstage action in Out + About.

SEPTEMBER 2013

Something else I think you’ll all enjoy is Youmna Chagoury’s culinary tourism piece on the Chopin Vodka distillery in Poland- it’s really eye-opening to consider master craftsmanship in the realm of fine spirits. I’m always listening: talk to me on Twitter @fidachaaban and follow @RAGMAGMagazine for updates and reader rewards that are meant to thank you for being part of RAGMAG. If you haven’t joined us on Facebook and Pinterest yet, we’re looking forward to seeing you on those mediums as well. Email me at letterstotheeditor@ragmaglive.com to send me your thoughts and opinions about this issue. Finally, I want to encourage you to subscribe to RAGMAG and make it a part of your life every month. We are the only magazine in Lebanon that talks back and you can find us on the web too at www.ragmag.co We’re here because of the support and constant encouragement of our loyal readers. It’s Your Magazine.

Fida Z Chaaban | Editor in Chief

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THE MASTERY ISSUE


06.24.2013 07.09.2013 08.16.2013 08.24.2013 It is with deep conflict that I write this. Lebanon has seen mayhem and chaos. We have seen acts of cowardice and hegemony, and we have seen death. First and foremost, we as RAGMAG would like to express our sincerest condolences to the victims and to the loved ones of Saida, of Dahiyeh and of Tripoli.

SEPTEMBER 2013

It is RAGMAG’s policy to silence our social media platforms during every tragedy, and we have done this far too many times in the past few months. It is with dread and with heavy regret that we have had to act on this policy repeatedly, certainly out of respect and yes, unfortunately out of fear. As EIC of RAGMAG, I speak for the entire staff when I state that we are struggling to retain a sense of normalcy and a shred of hope. Beginning with Saida and ending with Tripoli, the people of Lebanon continue to be subject to the whims of those who would destabilize the nation and who have no moral compunction in shedding innocent blood. We are with you, Lebanon.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

FOR OUR AUGUST ISSUE WE CONTINUED TO TALK TO YOU VIA OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMSPINTEREST, TWITTER + FACEBOOK. WE THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND PARTICIPATION AND WE HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO INTERACT WITH US ONLINE

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND SCRIBBLE ON OUR WALL TO WIN, WRITE TO US AT LETTERSTOTHEEDITOR@RAGMAGLIVE.COM OR TWEET US ON TWITTER @RAGMAGMAGAZINE!

IF YOU’RE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TAKE A PIC WITH YOUR FAVORITE ISSUE, SEND IT OUR WAY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA OR EMAIL! YOU’RE ALL SO PINTERESTING, SO PIN US. RAGMAG IT’S YOUR MAGAZINE! RAGMAG reserves the right to edit for clarity and content We’re showing off some of the best images that our readers sent in via email and Twitter. Thank you to all of the readers who sent us tweets and emails of their copies of RAGMAG.

WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU SO KEEP IT UP! Big thanks to Carla Nakad for the image of her autographed copy of August, signed by Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz. We’re glad that the autographed interview went to a true New World Punx fan!

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Hey Salma Arigie, thanks for your shot. Haha is it a coincidence or do you look just like Johnny Depp? We’re glad you liked the op ed shout out!

Our absolute favorite image this month? Radio One Lebanon’s Clint Maximus and Stephanie Andriotis with our August Fusion issue backstage at New World Punx. Thanks for the shot guys, we’re coming to see you at the station soon. RAGMAG loves you!

THE MASTERY ISSUE


#LifeAtRAGMAG

There are tons of ways you can chill with us. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and of course on our website. We’ve also got all of our back issues online at www.issuu.com/RAGMAG for free download and online reading. We want you to take us everywhere, so we’re easily accessible. When you’re posting your favorite shots of the mag on Instagram, make sure you tag #RAGMAG, we’re watching you. For those of you who want an Insta sneak peek into what happens backstage and at the office with RAGMAG, follow our Daniella Tayar and our Eliane Elias on Instagram: daniellatayar | elainos9. IT’S YOUR MAGAZINE! www.ragmag.co

SEPTEMBER 2013

www.issuu.com/RAGMAG

RAGMAGMagazine

@RAGMAGMagazine

RAGMAG

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EDITOR’S OPINION

INVADE

MY PRIVACY THE EXHIBITIONIST INSIDE ME THE VOYEUR INSIDE YOU + THE PERILS OF WRITING +

THE INVASION OF READING BY FIDA CHAABAN & NASRI ATALLAH

EDITOR’S NOTE

I have replaced my op ed this month with this… thing. I don’t know what to call it, and for the Mastery issue, I wanted to talk (write) to someone I consider masterful with words. So I approached Nasri for a writing exchange. Readers, you should know that I wasn’t aware that we would stray in the literary stream of consciousness format. What follows is a lot of truth, some struggling “artiste” stuff, and Nasri’s words that are good enough to eat right off of the page. I started and he finished. I hope you don’t mind taking a trip with us- mind garbage and all.

FC The more I think about my writing, the more I realize that I sometimes reveal personal (and potentially threatening) details about myself, for anyone who reads carefully enough. I’ve written about my relationships with friends and people that were more than friends, my frenemies, and even my colleagues. I’ve often told my staff that to write well about something, you have to really know that something. Sitting in a cushy office somewhere in Toronto doesn’t really equip you well to write about starving refugees, no matter how well you think you can research. The most you can hope for, in that scenario, is to be a good newsdesk-er, and well, that’s just reiterating the facts. With lifestyle writing, you can do mostly anything. But anything is what I find scary, and well- I’m starting to question if I really want to do this anymore. And by this, I mean write articles that really come from personal experiences, and personal observations. Quid pro quo, sir.

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NA Ha. This is fun. Right, so I broadly agree. But also I don’t. I mean, it depends what you’re writing about. In the essay and memoir-like world, writing from personal experience is probably best. It’s poignant, it’s first-hand, it’s engaging. But I also think that’s the easy way out. I mean, I’m saying this as someone who has only written that way so far. And I feel bad about it. That’s why I think fiction is a higher calling, because it requires you to project yourself into situations you could never be in. Unless you intend to beat your frenemy to death with a meat-cleaver (disclaimer: I don’t). I even don’t mind fabulation in memoir. There was this big hoopla about Ryszard Kapuscinski mixing some falsehoods into his dispatches from Third World in the 60s, but who cares. The real story doesn’t necessarily just contain facts, if that makes sense. But yeah, in general, the most striking writing comes from your own life, when you cut a vein and squirt your blood all over a page. But less emo. And less nasty. Just when you open up, and you’re vulnerable, that’s when you’ll get strong reactions. Both good and bad. It’s scary as fuck, to be honest.

“IT IS AS ELEGANT AS YOU CAN BE WHEN YOU’VE CUT YOUR VEINS AND YOU’RE SQUIRTING BLOOD ACROSS THE PAGE , AND YES, JUST AS NASTY AND EMO” THE MASTERY ISSUE


THE EXHIBITIONIST INSIDE ME + THE VOYEUR INSIDE YOU

RIGHT: LEBANESE BRITISH AUTHOR, PUBLISHER NASRI ATALLAH

“I THINK IT’S DISINGENUOUS TO THINK WE STILL HAVE THE LUXURY OF FOCUS . IT’S PERSONAL , IT’S IMMEDIATE, IT’S IMPERFECT, WE SHALL HAVE NO MAGNUM OPUS”

NASRI ATALLAH PHOTO CREDIT NICOLAS AL HANI

FC It really is scary as fuck. Of everything you said, that resonated the most with me. Especially for someone who is notoriously private- and while that may sound strange from a writer who has an extremely active online persona (Twitter), that is a very controlled and measured medium for me. When I write, even fiction, the truth tends to slip out (or some semblance of the truth). Now, I’m not saying that I never embellish or dramatize scenarios; a good example would be a tongue-in-cheek piece I wrote for MSN Arabia called Meeting a Rock Star Ruined My Relationship. The piece was based on real events, but the feelings and the “drama” were all fabricated. It was meant to be a fun (and sort of sensational) teaser about my exclusive interview with said rock star. While I told the truth about finding him attractive, I certainly lied about no longer finding my then significant other exciting. Or at least I think I did. Sometimes these are the things you do as a writer, and sometimes those pieces may be realities that you’re considering in the dark recesses of your mind, and whether or not you acknowledge them consciously doesn’t mean they aren’t true. I think I’ve learned so much from Tennessee Williams in this regard– he’s my favorite author and playwright. He captures the great conundrum of writers everywhere in his essay Person-to-Person. He ends thus: “Meanwhile!-I want to go on talking to you as freely and intimately about what we live and die for as if I knew you better than anyone else whom you know.” It is as elegant as you can be when you’ve cut your veins and you’re squirting blood across the page, and yes, just as nasty and emo. That’s sorta okay with me right now. NA That was long. Isn’t this stuff supposed to be short? Or are we going for old school epistolary? Actually, that brings me to another point, which connects with one of yours (see, I’m listening, err, reading, you know what I mean...). Privacy. While you desperately cling perilously to the wreckage of that word, I have gleefully embraced every single type of medium that helps me erode mine. I share thoughts, and findings all day. That doesn’t mean I’m an exhibitionist. I don’t share anything particularly personal on these platforms, although it often seems that way. But they make me write daily, and throughout everyday, they force me to hone my skills as a writer. Be funnier, more concise. Stand out in the merciless current of the newsfeed. When it works, you get instant validation, which is bad, because it isn’t earned, and it is shallow. But it helps you know what you’re good at and what you suck at.

SEPTEMBER 2013

A paragraph-long Facebook status that goes unliked is a deep, dark wilderness of the soul, quite like the whole of Google+. What I’m saying is, that all writing has become more personal, more immediate, and that is the only way it can be when that is how our lives are now lived. In a way, I find myself unable to write away from all the noise. I recently went on a retreat on a deserted Croatian island to write, and did fuck all. I mean, it was lovely and all, fresh fish, beautiful landscapes. I wrote a bit, but it wasn’t like Mark Twain in his cabin. I think it’s disingenuous to think we still have the luxury of focus. It’s personal, it’s immediate, it’s imperfect, we shall have no magnum opus. We can’t write something that isn’t a product of our time. And somehow I feel I’m digressing. How do we end this conversation by the way? Not that I want it to end. But, you know, poor readers to think of. FC I think you just did. And it’s just as well because you’ve reminded me of the single most important thing: we shall have no magnum opus. Maybe we sound pretentious, and maybe our “poor readers” might be wondering what the point of this was. The point was I learned; you’re a better writer than I, that is one point (for me), you’re possibly better-read than I as well (another point), and you’re certainly funnier than I am- in print at least. And I might have a bit of a writer’s crush (irrelevant, but still). This collaborative piece is a product of our time, and it says a lot about what constitutes “good writing” these days. We, two “good writers” and two “failed novelists”, have come up with a commentary that isn’t well written at all. Or is it? The readers will have to decide.

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HAS ANONYMOUS BEEN CRIPPLED?

WTF IS GOING ON IN EGYPT?

RAGMAG’S VOTE DESPICABLE

FIVE QUESTIONS THE WORLD IS ASKING

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At the very beginning, during the Arab Spring, the people of Egypt wanted Hosni Mubarak out. He was ousted in 2011 after a 30year presidency. A few months later, they democratically elected Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. A few months after that, nationwide protests oust him, too. Quite a reversal of the situation, and that’s not the end of the story. Now, pro-Morsi protests are taking place all over Egypt and Hosni Mubarak is out of prison- all of this happening with no shortage of bloodshed, the worst thus far being four days of unrest with a startling death toll of 924 people (source: CBS News). Egyptians had been under the same dictatorship for three decades and the first candidate to present himself after Mubarak seemed to be the best option- anything seemed better than Mubarak at the time. Unfortunately, Morsi appeared to be much more religious (and stranger) than originally expected and according to a Gallup poll published in The Washington Post, “In 2011, 77 percent of Egyptians said it was good that Mubarak had resigned. In 2012, only 44 percent said Egypt was better off without Mubarak. This May, it was 39 percent.” Currently, the power is with Egyptian General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Will the army let go of the reins again, and will the turnover looking for the perfect president ever cease? RAGMAG’S VOTE INSANE THE MASTERY ISSUE

HECTOR XAVIER MONSEGUR SOURCE: © 2013 NATIONAL POST | HOSNI MUBARAK SOURCE: © SADIK GULEC

Hector Xavier Monsegur. The name might not ring a bell- you may recognize him better if we told you his online alias is “Sabu.” According to Russia Today, Sabu “was arrested in June 2011 and pleaded guilty two months later to a dozen charges relating to the hacker group LulzSec, an off-shoot of the shadowy hacktivist movement Anonymous.” News of his arrest was at first kept secret as Sabu changed horses midstream and began assisting the FBI in their h/acktivist (hackeractivist) hunt as an informant and turncoat. Sabu’s sentencing has been adjourned yet again- originally scheduled for August 2012, he bought some time by cooperating with the feds until February 2013, then August 23rd, 2013. As this issue went to print, no FBI statement had been released as to the reason of the adjournment, but we all suspect his work with the US government is paying off, big time. One Anon affiliated account tweeted that “Anonymous is a hydra, cut off one head and we grow two back,” in response to Sabu’s betrayal and the subsequent indictment of betrayed LulzSec members. Sabu is facing up to 124 years of imprisonment, but will he serve time if he keeps helping the FBI?


FIVE QUESTIONS THE WORLD IS ASKING

MILEY CYRUS: MILEY CYRUS PERFORMANCE AT MTV VMA 2013/ © MIRROR | NAOMI WATTS: STILL IMAGES FROM THE FILM DIANA OF NAOMI WATTS COURTESY OF CHOPARD | TIFF: THE FIFTH ESTATE © ITALIAFILM

WHY ALL THE FUSS ABOUT MILEY CYRUS AT THE VMAS? We watched it: no comment. She twerks- so do a lot of women in hip hop culture. She gestures and moves obscenely- so do a lot of other performing artists. Yes, she looked silly, but at the end of the day, she got what she wanted: everyone, from regular people to celebs, talking about her performance. She’s not the first artist to create controversy during a musical event- remember Madonna, Britney Spears and Adam Lambert- and she certainly won’t be the last. What’s really annoying? Miley’s viral performance outshone everything else, even the really good shows (with post press coverage primarily about her). Justin Timberlake’s 15-minute performance including an *NSYNC reunion with former bandmates went practically unnoticed online despite him winning the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award, the equivalent of a “lifetime achievement” honour. According to the Huffington Post, “The 32-year-old Timberlake led the awards show with six nominations, tied with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The singer was up for Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Pop Video, and Best Editing for Mirrors, and Best Collaboration and Best Direction for Suit & Tie with Jay-Z.” Have gyrating hips become more relevant than music history? RAGMAG’S VOTE LAME

IS THE MOVIE DIANA A REAL BIOPIC? “During the last two years of her life, Princess Diana embarks on a final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.” That’s IMDb’s synopsis of Diana, the biopic out this month. Things are clear from the very beginning: the movie based on Kate Snell’s 2001 book Diana: Her Last Love is about the love life of the late royal- not about her charity work, her breaking British Monarchy rules or her hard time fitting into life as a princess. According to the Daily Mail, Hasnat Khan “has criticized [the] big-budget movie about their romance, as ‘completely wrong’ – and says he will never watch it. ‘It is based on gossip and Diana’s friends talking about a relationship that they didn’t know much

about, and some of my relatives who didn’t know much about it either.’” The controversy around the upcoming movie resembles that of Nina, Nina Simone’s biopic. The choice of actor is called into question here- Naomi Watts looks quite similar to Diana while Zoe Saldana portraying the late musician is a not-so-much situation- both movies are reportedly directed and set to be released without the consent and direct information from the subjects or their families. Here you see Naomi Watts in a still image from the film wearing jewels by Chopard, a favorite of the late Princess. Will Diana truthfully depict the People’s Princess? RAGMAG’S VOTE WARY

WHAT DOES THE TIFF HAVE IN STORE FOR US THIS YEAR? Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is back for its 38th edition. The festival has grown in popularity over the years, becoming a landmark in the film industry and hosting premieres as important as- if not more- than its sister festival Cannes. According to The Globe and Mail, “audiences at this year’s [festival] looking for escapism may feel they’ve turned on the news instead, with a clutch of movies based on real-life events that are continuing to play out even as the festival approaches.” Indeed, the most anticipated movies of this year are The Fifth Estate by Bill Condon, “a thriller about the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his battles with governments, the press,

and some of his now-estranged colleagues” scheduled to open TIFF and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom by Justin Chadwick based on the autobiography of the first black South African president. Also in the lineup is Palestinian film Omar, a Cannes awardwinner about “a Palestinian man forced to become an Israeli informant.” Iranian movies are once again featured with The Past by Asghar Farhadi and Closed Curtain by Jafar Panahi who, according to the TIFF website, is “still under house arrest and banned from filmmaking for twenty years for engaging in “propaganda” against the Islamic Republic.” Will any socially-conscious flick take home the prize?

RAGMAG’S VOTE OPTIMISTIC SEPTEMBER 2013

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CULTURE CLASH

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: COMING FROM WHERE WE’RE GOING, MIXED MEDIA, 24 X 14 IN DIAMETER, 2010 MIRE, 2013, MIXED MEDIA, 80 X 24 X 24 IN BESET, 2013, MIXED MEDIA, 17.5 X 14.5 X 14.5 IN

PEAK PERFORMANCE THE WORLD AS YOU KNOW IT ARTIST THOMAS DOYLE GETS BIG WITH MINIATURES IMAGES COURTESY THE ARTIST AND RONCHINI GALLERY

IN HONOUR OF HIS CURRENT EXHIBITION AT RONCHINI GALLERY IN LONDON, ENGLAND, WE ASKED THOMAS DOYLE A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS WORK, AMERICANA, AND THE PERVASIVENESS OF ART IN THE US. WORKING IN MINIATURE, DOYLE’S WORLDVIEW IS CAPTURED ELOQUENTLY IN MIXED-MATERIAL SCULPTURE. BORN IN THE US, DOYLE’S WORK IS SHOWING WITH TWO OTHER NEW YORK ARTISTS UNDER THE TITLE DREAM NO SMALL DREAMS. See more of Doyle’s work at www.thomasdoyle.net RAGMAG The first look at one of your miniatures is reminiscent of

a scene in Period of Adjustment by Tennessee Williams– one of the main characters explains that his home (and the entire neighborhood) are built over a “cavern” and that structural collapse is imminent, so the neighbors are all colluding to sell off their homes one by one before it happens (without telling the buyers about the problem). During one scene, a crack goes right up floor to wall, and a framed print falls to the ground. Can you give your interpretation of this? TD I have to admit that I was not familiar with that work, but it certainly runs parallel to the core themes in my art. The structural defects under the neighborhood are reminiscent of the homes I use, which are often cast into chaos or slowly subsiding into the earth. I think disasters that afflict houses resonate so loudly for people, because the home is typically our most secure space. This is true if you live in the US, Angola, or Laos. The home itself is basically the stage set for much of our lives, and particularly of our childhoods. When this is threatened, much more than timber and brick is at stake.

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RAGMAG The fractured “American Dream” and suburbia gone

awry are all messages that one can come away with after seeing your sculptures. Is this something you grew up with? The flaws in a Western nuclear family life? The illusion of perfection? TD I lived in a small town as a child, and my immediate surroundings for the most part did not reflect the “broken” American Dream in the sense of divorce, unemployment or foreclosure. However, as I aged it became apparent that a lot of different worlds were unfolding behind the closed doors of my neighborhood— people drank too much, and lost their jobs, and hit their kids, and got shot. If there was an illusion of perfection that I had in mind as a child it was only to be found on television, which I watched constantly growing up. Everything always seemed so perfect there, and so unlike my life.

“THE HOME ITSELF IS BASICALLY THE STAGE SET FOR MUCH OF OUR LIVES, AND PARTICULARLY OF OUR CHILDHOODS. WHEN THIS IS THREATENED, MUCH MORE THAN TIMBER AND BRICK IS AT STAKE” THE MASTERY ISSUE


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“ONE OF THE STRANGE EFFECTS OF MINIATURES IS THIS FEELING OF CONTROL. IN MY WORK IT IS OFTEN JUXTAPOSED WITH CHAOTIC OR DISASTROUS SCENES” RAGMAG Works in miniature give the viewer a bird’s-eye view and also a feeling of god-like control- is this an intentional direction? TD One of the strange effects of miniatures is this feeling of control. In my work it is often juxtaposed with chaotic or disastrous scenes, which presents a push/pull between remaining in total control of a situation while watching it fall apart. Part of the god-like control comes from the fact that miniatures are so small, but also that they are so lifelike as to be “real” worlds. I think this control, incidentally, is one of the reasons that miniatures are so prized by children, who by their very nature are powerless and at the mercy of others’ control. RAGMAG Which of your works do you believe is your most relevant?

Which of your works has the general public responded to the strongest? TD I think the works in my Distillation series have proven to be the most relevant for viewers, as they tend to tap into universal themes of anxiety, fear, love, longing, security, family, and home. The pieces in this series often depict houses at the brink of collapse, and though this series began before the global economic crisis of 2008, the interest in the Distillation works grew strong in its wake. That was true particularly in the US, where the housing market collapse has been so acute. RAGMAG Your piece In absentia is very Death of a Salesman- who

do you believe in American literature mirrors your miniatures? Who writes microcosms of your larger story? TD I can see the connection between those two works— sort of a quiet desperation and isolation run through both. If was to think of an author who most aligned with my work however, my first thought would be Raymond Carver, who wrote very spare, quiet, sad stories of domestic collapse. In terms of tone and subject matter A.M. Homes come to mind, as does my wife, the author Lauren Acampora.

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THOMAS DOYLE GETS BIG WITH MINIATURES

OPPOSITE PAGE,LEFT TO RIGHT: ACTIVE MEASURES, 2013, MIXED MEDIA, 33 IN X 10 IN DIAMETERINSTALLATION IMAGE FROM PALAZZO STROZZI, 2012 THIS PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT: ACTIVE MEASURES (DETAIL), 2013, MIXED MEDIA, 33 IN X 10 IN DIAMETER MIRE, 2013, MIXED MEDIA, 80 X 24 X 24 IN

“I TEND TO BE FAIRLY NEGATIVE ABOUT WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS, BUT I ALSO FEEL THAT INDIVIDUALLY WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A SAY IN THE MATTER” RAGMAG As an artist who exhibits globally, have you been ap-

proached to share your works in the Middle East? Have you heard about the GCC interest in cultivating cultural hubs like Abu Dhabi and Doha? TD No, I have not, but I am interested to watch these areas rapidly develop into cultural centers. The change is happening so quickly, unlike how these developments happened in the past. Which, I suppose, is indicative of our times. RAGMAG As an American artist, do you feel that the average Ameri-

can is well-versed in art? There is a stereotype that Americans aren’t “cultured” in comparison to Europeans. TD No, I do not think so. As an artist you can attend art school and take art history courses and surround yourself with art, but when you leave that bubble you realize that practically no one around you in America understands —or cares— what you are talking about. I cannot speak for Europeans, but I would say that the vast majority of Americans are not conversant in art and art movements. I would be surprised if the average American could name a living contemporary artist, actually. I’m not making a judgment here, mind you— just calling it like it is.

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RAGMAG In your work Armistice, the man is carrying a toddler and

heading inside their home. Why this particular combination of father and child? TD In that piece I liked the casual intimacy of a man standing in the doorway with a child. We tend to consider catastrophes such as military intervention and ecological disaster as being caused by men, not women. So the juxtaposition of this quiet moment, between a man and his child, is a strange counterpoint to the violent destruction of the house that surrounds him. RAGMAG Are you an existentialist? TD No, but I am interested in existence— what human beings do

to themselves and to each other. I tend to be fairly negative about what the future holds, but I also feel that individually we don’t have much of a say in the matter. RAGMAG Where would you say the biggest influence of your work

comes from? TD The biggest influences on my work come from trying to understand people, especially in extreme situations. Chief among these is war and combat— I am fascinated by military history, especially that which is on a human level. The knock-on effects that accompany these events —social customs, psychological stress, changing fortunes— are endless. These effects, coupled with the behavioural absurdities of people in extreme situations, are very compelling to me

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CULTURE CLASH OPPOSITE PAGE: GUILLAUME STORE IN PARIS BOTTOM RIGHT: ROGER CAPRON CERAMICS, GUILLAUME STORE IN BEIRUT

GUILLAUME

EXCOFFIER COMES TO BEIRUT DESIGN POP-UP STORE EXTRAORDINAIRE TO SHOWCASE RARE PIECES OF ART + INTERIORS BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

G

uillaume Excoffier. The name might not ring a bell, but starting November 21st, you’ll all know who he is- and what he does. To understand what the eponymous store he founded is all about, imagine entering an eclectic space where everything seems to go with everything- furniture from the 70s and vintage decorative items from the 1800s, contemporary rugs and ceramics from the 50s. “The thing about Paris is that you have either real antique dealers selling their items at very, very high prices or neighborhood junk stores with uninteresting objects,” explains Guillaume Excoffier, founder of Guillaume. “None of them offers a ‘decorative look’. What I wanted to create with Guillaume was a new decorative proposition, a store that would present the objects and the furniture like in a real interior space. Interior design oriented magazines feature interiors with an eclectic mix of ancient and contemporary pieces; that’s what creates the magic.” Guillaume, in partnership with Nancy Harfouche, chose to offer this diversity of eras and design styles in one interior, like a living area and he’s bringing his concept store to Beirut with an ephemeral, one-month pop-up store. His chosen destination seems to fit the eclectic aspect of his concept, with its “ultra modern mixture of Eastern and Western culture which is very harmonious and rare. I had visited Beirut in October 2011 and I was amazed at the variety of cultural influences and the dynamics that represent the city today. Lebanese people have a passion for novelty and a bold, avant-garde taste. But all the interiors I visited in Lebanon were either very classic or extremely contemporary, rarely mixed the way I like to do it.”

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CULTURE CLASH

GUILLAUME EXCOFFIER COMES TO BEIRUT

“WHAT I WANTED TO CREATE WITH GUILLAUME WAS A NEW DECORATIVE PROPOSITION, A STORE THAT WOULD PRESENT THE OBJECTS AND THE FURNITURE LIKE IN A REAL INTERIOR SPACE” Guillaume is looking forward to the pop-up store not only to showcase his work and his work style and “expand people’s knowledge about colours, textures and styles, refined details that would highlight their interiors” but also to “meet major artists that left a mark on their time.” Major artists that Guillaume might work with or sell in the future. In fact, “there are no Guillaume specialties. It’s all very impulsive. I liked the designers I’m showing currently, and they weren’t distributed in France. I liked their sophisticated yet playful style, and I’m always on the lookout for new names whether vintage or contemporary. The next ones could be American, French or Lebanese!” Or maybe all three nationalities if Guillaume applies his special “rule of three” like he does with his interiors: “The more you’re used to observing objects, textiles, patterns, and textures, the more you see similarities that are not a priori immediate. I’m not afraid of going in for one-upmanship, something we often find in fashion. If two objects look a bit foreign to one another, add in a third one, it works quite often!” Guillaume’s eclectic interior is directly related to “the items we went bargain-hunting especially for this event, and while keeping the main concept, the décor is completely different and specific to Beirut” which makes it a very exciting event for any design aficionado. “Once the pieces are sold, the [collection of this] store cannot be reproduced.”

GUILLAUME PRESENTS HIS BEIRUT POP-UP ARTISTS Waylande Gregory “He’s one of the biggest American ceramists

between the 20s and the 60s. His ceramics are being reedited and sold in the most prestigious boutiques in the world like Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Waylande Gregory’s work is a very particular type of American art deco, using geometrical motifs and animal figures.” LEFT + BELOW: WAYLANDE GREGORY DESIGNS TOP RIGHT OF PAGE: GUILLAUME STORE IN BEIRUT OPPOSITE PAGE: GUILLAUME STORE IN PARIS

Eric Schmitt “He’s one of the five most important contemporary

French designers, creating both objects and furniture. I will present in Beirut, the giant scented candles he created for the French brand Quintessence, and present them in sumptuous tinted glass vases.”

Livia Gorka “She’s a great Hungarian ceramics artist who’s been working since the 50s. I love her strong use of colours.”

Roger Capron

“He’s doubtlessly the most important French ceramist of the 60s and the 70s. He did, among numerous other projects, the major part of the décor at Saint Tropez’s Byblos hotel. In Beirut, we’ll have a selection of his vases and coupes.”

David Hicks

“He’s the most influential British decorator of the 60s/70s, a real Swinging London star who had around 20 stores worldwide. One of the major characteristics of his style is his use of geometrical motifs. Hick’s textiles are still produced by the same artisans in England since the 60s.”

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CULTURE CLASH

COMMANDING

ATTENTION THE GOOGLE DOODLE MODERN (INTERACTIVE) ART BY RANI NASR

HERE’S A LESSON FOR ALL THE INTERNS OF THE WORLD: NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL YOUR MISSION IS, NEVER HESITATE TO MAKE THE EFFORT EVEN IF THAT MEANT SIMPLE DOODLING. SOMETIMES THE MOST INSIGNIFICANT EMPLOYEE IN A COMPANY CAN SEND ITS STOCKS SKYROCKETING. TAKE GOOGLE INTERN DENNIS HWANG, HE WAS ASSIGNED TO CREATE A SMALL DESIGN FOR BASTILLE DAY AND FEW OTHER MAJOR EVENTS. THE DESIGNS, KNOWN TODAY AS GOOGLE DOODLES, WERE AN INSTANT HIT BREAKING NUMEROUS INTERNET RECORDS. NOT ONLY DID HWANG GET THE GIG BUT GOOGLE ALSO DECIDED TO KEEP THE TRADITION GOING. AFTER A QUICK DIVE INTO THE GOOGLE VAULT, WE’VE COMPILED A LIST OF SOME OF OUR FAVORITE GOOGLE DOODLES.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE June 10, 2013

A tribute to Maurice Sendak, American author and illustrator widely known for his enchanting children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, this Doodle was one of the most elaborate Google animations to date. It goes on for about a minute and a half with the mysterious creatures from the book cavorting and dancing around in colourful, bizarre outfits. It ends with a birthday cake celebrating what would’ve been the late Sendak’s 85th birthday.

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COMMANDING ATTENTION | THE GOOGLE DOODLE

DOUGLAS ADAMS March 11, 2013

Google marked the anniversary of Douglas Adams’ birth by presenting touchstones of his popular writing. Adams is best known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- it started out as a BBC radio comedy show and ended up being published as a “trilogy” of five books. The Doodle features the famous cup o’ tea, the towel that you can’t really hitchhike without and of course Marvin, the paranoid android. The best thing about this doodle? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- yes, it’s a Wikipedia-like tablet device that has entries on everything in the universe. With a few clicks you can browse various hints of these hilarious tidbits. We like Earth’s entry, described in two words: “mostly harmless”. Contemplate that.

LES PAUL June 9, 2011

Whenever Google puts a new doodle out, individuals, corporations, social networks and media go nuts fangirl-ing over it. On June 9th, 2011, Google broke all the records creating a new online cult from a simple doodle that celebrated the birth of Les Paul, the American guitarist that designed the solid-body guitar that made the sound of rock n’ roll possible. The doodle was a playable guitar (equipped with a recorder) that resembles the Google logo. According to rescuetime.com, a wellknown online personal-analytics service specialized in time management and productivity, 10.7 million man hours were spent on Google from 740 million people playing the Google guitar that day. That is equivalent to about $268 million loss in world-wide productivity. That aside, hundreds of websites and blogs started emerging online with recordings made using this doodle. The doodle is still available online and is still visited daily by thousands of people. Slash, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney and many more musicians made music history with their Les Paul guitars. Google made internet (and stock market) history with their doodles; seems like a fair trade.

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CULTURE CLASH

COMMANDING ATTENTION | THE GOOGLE DOODLE

CHARLIE CHAPLIN April 16, 2011

Google marked the 122nd year since the birth of the Little Tramp. Charlie Chaplin might be best known for his role as the Tramp but it is still trivial knowledge that he wrote, directed and scored the most influential movies of the silent era and arguably of all-time. This doodle went one step further and transformed the Google logo into a two-and-a-half minute Charlie Chaplin tribute video. In black and white, the Chaplin look-alike is moved on by a policeman after he is spotted cooking stew on a park bench, pranks an artist painting the Google logo, tries to do his own doodle and cheekily coerces a lady into giving him a free cookie!

EARTH DAY April 22, 2011

Google celebrated Earth Day with a cute (yet sophisticated) doodle. Beginning in Asia, the doodle walks us through the natural symbols of Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and America using subtle but frickin’ adorable interactions. As you pass the cursor over the doodle, you might catch a bear having a snack of salmon swimming upstream, a parrot darting through the sky, a koala poledancing on a bamboo plant, a lion yawning, butterflies flitting, a penguin sliding down an iceberg, and a baby panda sneezing on its mama. Isn’t life just beautiful? Now, go type “Pac-Man Doodle” in Google and spend few hours playing your favorite arcade game on the Google logo!

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OUT + ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY BY

BACKSTAGE PASS

NEW WORLD PUNX BEIRUT POLIAKOV VODKA RUNS THIS TOWN WITH FERRY CORSTEN + MARKUS SCHULZ We got out + about and more than a little tipsy at New World Punx on August 17th! The large scale event, staged by Poliakov Vodka Lebanon, saw global DJs Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz get the crowd up and ready for action. Chaos ensued when the Punx hit the stage amidst a slew of fire-breathers, dancers and an unparalleled light and sound experience. Our favorite detail of the night? Two mini versions of the Punx were presented to them- can we keep them for our offices? The crowd went wild when the Punx let loose a huge Lebanese flag. Is this Miami in Lebanon? Only when it’s done by the party peeps at Poliakov, cheers to that! PoliakovVodkaLebanon

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@PoliakovLebanon

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OUT + ABOUT

BACKSTAGE PASS

NEW WORLD PUNX BEIRUT POLIAKOV VODKA RUNS THIS TOWN WITH FERRY CORSTEN + MARKUS SCHULZ

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY

Check out Ferry and Markus hanging out backstage with our Youmna Chagoury. The guys gave us a ton of autographs on last issue’s pre-concert exclusive interview! Wanna hear a media rumour? Everyone says DJs are the chillest celebs around- it’s true. The boys were smiling, happy and a lot of fun. We can’t want to see Ferry and Markus again… soon? #NewWorldPunx! For those of you out there who love the music scene, follow our @RAGMAGMusic account on Twitter. You’ll find some great beats, concert and music event announcements, music reviews and more.

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RAGGED MASTERY FACTS

SKILL TEST

1:40

Named after Mars, the Roman god of war, the term Martial Arts today is heavily associated with the fighting arts of Eastern Asia. And since you don’t automatically receive godlike fighting capacities, a ranking system is needed. Enter the Kyū and Dan system, introduced by Kanō Jigorō, the founder of Judo, to measure practitioners’ level. Kyū designates lower rank practitioners, who wear coloured belts that become darker as more ranks are gained. In modern Japanese martial arts, holders of Dan ranks often wear a black belt, and those of even higher rank wear red-and-white and red belts.

That’s the time it took 19 year-old Kevin Hayes to solve a 6 by 6 Rubik’s Cube at an event in Vancouver, Canada on Sunday August 4th, 2013. And while the conventional cube is a 3 by 3, there are 2 by 2 and 7 by 7 cubes as well. In July 2013, the world’s best solvers gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada for a three-day championship which saw traditional solving competitions happen alongside rather odd ones: solving a cube blindfolded, solving a cube with one hand and solving a cube with feet.

1996

The year Garry Kasparov lost against Deep Blue. Kasparov, considered to be the best chess player in history, was the first chess champion to lose a chess game to a computer. He did eventually win the three next games and drew two, ending the match in a 4-2 win against the Deep Blue computer. However, in the highly publicized 1997 tournament, Kasparov won the first match against Deep Blue, lost the second, drew three and was “crushed” by the computer in game six.

MASTER OF THE ELEMENTS Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm, is a fictional character from the Marvel universe. She’s best known as a member (and sometimes leader) of the X-Men. When she was married to Black Panther, she was the queen consort of Wakanda and she remains one of the most seen X-Men characters. Portrayed in the movies by Halle Berry, Storm’s powers make her one of the most impactful mutants in the world- she can control the weather with incredible precision. She can also manipulate the air inside one’s lungs and the pressure inside the inner ear, channel ambient electromagnetic energy through her body to electrocute others, manipulate fog in order to become invisible, control cosmic storms and ocean currents… This is a lady not to trifle with!

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3

The number of Academy Award nominations received by The Master (2012). Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the nominations were: Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix, Best Supporting Actor for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams. It tells the story of Freddie Quell (Phoenix), a World War II war veteran struggling to adjust to life after war. He meets the leader of a religious movement called “The Cause”, Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), who takes a liking to him. Quell then decides to travel with The Cause, which uses heavy psychological questioning to conquer past traumas, but all is not what it seems to be.

OPEN, SESAME! Say you have a safe at home and you need to crack it open, so you watch movies of heist masters using their techniques. Some safe-cracking methods were tested by Mythbusters and Brainiac, but overall they include lock manipulation, drilling into the vault, vault bouncing (or throwing it around), the use of brute force and, quite simply, guessing the combination. You could also simply call a master locksmith! Traditionally, they made and installed entire locks, but today, they can assess the level of security needed and come up with an adequate lock-set or control system.

WHAT’S COOKING?

BBC’s MasterChef is a British reality show that inspired the Australian version of the same show, which in turn inspired the US channel Fox’s television show, MasterChef, which premiered in July 2010. Nationwide auditions are held to choose contestants, who then appear on the show during elimination rounds to slash down the number of contestants. The remaining 16 or 18 go through challenges, and then through a two-episode four-event cycle including the Mystery Box challenge, the Elimination test, the Team challenge and the Pressure test. The show’s three judges are Joe Bastianich, Graham Elliot and Gordon Ramsay.

What you see before you is not a geometry problem, it’s the symbol for the Deathly Hallows. In the world of Harry Potter, created by JK Rowling, according to the Tales of Beedle the Bard, the Deathly Hallows were three magical objects given by Death to the three Peverell Brothers (the person who possesses all three is the Master of Death). Antioch Peverell got the most powerful wand in existence, the Elder Wand, Cadmus Peverell requested the Resurrection Stone to be reunited with his lost love and Ignotus Peverell asked for the Cloak of Invisibility. And while Antioch and Cadmus’s gifts quickly turned sour because of their deeply flawed personalities, Ignotus Peverell “greeted death like an old friend”. His cloak eventually ended up in the hands of Harry Potter.

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

PRINCIPAL PLAYERS

THE SCIENCE SCENESTERS BY MARIA-ELENA KASSAB

WE TAKE OUR SCIENCE HERE AT RAGMAG VERY SERIOUSLY, AND WHO BETTER TO HELP US EXPLORE EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY OF OUR UNIVERSE THAN THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WENT DOWN IN HISTORY AS THE MASTERS OF THE WORLD OF THE SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINES? CHECK IT OUT, THIS AIN’T NO GAME, Y’ALL!

BOSS LADY

WHO MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE WHAT PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY WHEN NOVEMBER 7TH 1867 – JULY 4TH 1934 Née Maria Salomea Skłodowska in Poland (then part of the Russian Empire), Marie Curie was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity. She married French physicist Pierre Curie in 1895 and went on to share a Nobel Prize in Physics with him and physicist Henry Becquerel; she then won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911. She was the first female teacher at La Sorbonne and the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon. She loved her native country and named the first element she isolated Polonium as homage to Poland. She died in 1934 from aplastic anemia, due to her long years of exposure to radiation.

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PRINCIPAL PLAYERS | THE SCIENCE SCENESTERS

CARDS ON THE TABLE WHO DMITRI MENDELEEV WHAT CHEMISTRY WHEN FEBRUARY 8TH 1834 – FEBRUARY 2ND 1907

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev is one of the scientists school students hate the most, for this Russian chemist and inventor formulated the Periodic Law, created his own version of the periodic table, used that to correct the properties of previously discovered elements and even to predict the properties of elements that hadn’t even been discovered at the time! However, his work at first was criticized and then not recognized by the Society of Chemists before 1887. He wrote the book Principles of Chemistry, and was responsible for introducing the metric system to Russia. The Mendeleev moon crater and chemical element number 101, the radioactive Mendelevium, are named after him.

AU NATUREL

WHO CHARLES DARWIN WHAT BIOLOGY WHEN FEBRUARY 12TH 1809 – APRIL 19TH 1882 Charles Robert Darwin has often been described as one of the most influential figures in history, in both negative and positive lights. He coined the theory of evolution and natural selection, presenting evidence in his famous/infamous book, On the Origin of Species, about how all species descended from common ancestors through a process called natural selection. His interest in the matter started with his puzzlement as to the diversity and geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils. He also delved into the topic of human evolution and sexual selection in his book, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to Sir Isaac Newton, after a large ceremonial funeral.

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

ON THE MOVE

WHO GALILEO GALILEI WHAT ASTRONOMY WHEN FEBRUARY 15TH 1564 – JANUARY 8TH 1642 This famous Italian physicist, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher is widely considered to be the father of modern physics and the father of modern science. His works include, but are not limited to, confirming the phases of Venus, the observation and analysis of sunspots and the discovery of Jupiter’s four largest satellites, named Galilean Moons in his honor. But what he’s best known for is his theory of heliocentrism (the Earth and planets orbit around a relatively stationary Sun). In 1615, the Roman Inquisition investigated this matter, subjected him to house arrest for heresy and forced him to recant his theory, which he did. This is when he reportedly pronounced his most famous sentence as a reply: “Eppur si muove” which translates to “And yet it moves”.

WHO’S YOUR DADDY? WHO ALAN TURING WHAT COMPUTER SCIENCE WHEN JUNE 23RD 1912 – JUNE 7TH 1954

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence owe Alan Mathison Turing the “Daddy” moniker- he’s considered to be the father of these two disciplines. This British mathematician, cryptanalyst, logician and computer scientist gave the formulization of the concepts of “computing” and “algorithm” with his Turing Machine, considered to be a model of a general purpose computer. During the Second World War, he worked on breaking German ciphers and was head of Hut 8, the unit responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He was prosecuted for his homosexuality in 1952 (homosexual acts were still illegal in Great Britain back then), subjected to chemical castration instead of going to prison and died of cyanide poisoning in 1954. In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official public apology for “the appalling way [Turing] was treated”.

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PRINCIPAL PLAYERS | THE SCIENCE SCENESTERS

HONOURABLE MENTIONS THESE NOTABLES DIDN’T MAKE OUR TOP FIVE, BUT THEY’RE STILL PRETTY BADASS

ALBERT EINSTEIN

SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND GENERAL RELATIVITY

THOMAS EDISON

ISAAC NEWTON

ELECTRICITY, MOTION PICTURE

LOUIS PASTEUR PASTEURIZATION

JOHANNES KEPLER

PLANETARY MOTION THEORY

SEPTEMBER 2013

STEPHEN HAWKING

COSMIC INFLATION, QUANTUM GRAVITY

UNIVERSAL GRAVITATION, GENERAL MECHANICS

ALESSANDRO VOLTA

NIKOLA TESLA

AC CURRENT, ELECTROMAGNETISM

NICOLAUS COPERNICUS HELIOCENTRICITY

GREGOR MENDEL

GENETICS, FACTORS OF INHERITANCE

VOLTAIC PILE

ROBERT KOCH

INFECTIONS, MICROBIOLOGY

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THE FINAL FRONTIER

LEBANON WINS THE ARABNET DEVELOPER TOURNAMENT BY JEN

D

evelopers in the Middle East had the chance to show off their skills and to battle it out in the ArabNet Developer Tournament at Dubai’s Digital Summit 2013. The competition was grueling but the Lebanese team managed to win first place. The tournament was long, hard and spanned different countries. Hundreds of competitors were narrowed down to 16 with the top four developers in each country’s qualifying round going on to form a team for the major pan-Arab tournament that was held in late June 2013. Lebanon was represented by coding champions Donald Derek Haddad (Co-founder of Presoly and Cloudnetworks, representing Lamba Labs), Roy Naufal (CTO and MD at Grind), George Frewat (Lead Developer at Grind), and Jad Joubran (CTO and Founder at eTobb). Competitors had to prove they were fast, creative, competent and can deliver solid solutions to complex problems. RAGMAG sat down with Roy Naufal for some insider info on the tournament and his opinion on the state of the development industry in Lebanon and the Middle East.

What did the tournament entail?

In the tournament there was the local competition and the regional finals. They were a bit similar since they basically consisted of a set of rounds, each with a set time to complete certain projects. The allotted time given is usually short, with additional points being given for extra features beyond the basics of the project. [For the national round, we had to] create

a to-do list management system, a compression and decompression algorithm for text, an application for Instagram and Twitter [and] a music playlist management system. [For the international round], we were allowed to plan an idea as a team and then implement it individually. If the country’s team happened to have the highest scoring individual, all the team got a one-point boost. We also won that boost

“LEBANESE DEVELOPERS HAVE ALREADY PROVED THEMSELVES TO BE SOME OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD AND THEY’RE BEING RECRUITED ALL OVER. THE CHALLENGE IS TO TRY TO KEEP THEM HERE”

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LEBANON WINS THE ARABNET DEVELOPER TOURNAMENT

“THE TASK BASICALLY REQUIRED DOING A FUNCTION THAT WOULD SOLVE THE MATH ALGORITHM IN A RECURSIVE MANNER”

when we created a ‘mood player’, where you select your mood through emoticons and then music related to this mood starts playing. The last round was crazy and felt like those last two minutes in a final exam! The round was 60 minutes with 30 points and for every one minute that passed, you lost half a point! We were basically given a riddle to solve which required solving certain mathematical algorithm, and the riddle is based on numbers, so the test was done on very big numbers... The task basically required doing a function that would solve the math algorithm in a recursive manner. What did this experience reveal about the state of the industry in the Middle East?

It is an industry with great potential. It showed that Lebanon has very skilled developers as Lebanon beat other countries by a relatively big margin. For something that is starting new, it has started big.

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“THE DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY IS SLOWLY BECOMING AN ECONOMY IN ITSELF” Are there any challenges developers in Lebanon and the Middle East at large need to overcome?

In Lebanon, probably the biggest challenge is the Internet connection but that has been improving greatly in the last couple of years and will hopefully continue on this path. As a business owner, I see that the development industry seems to be saturated with developers, but mostly poor developers. So the challenge is for good ones to know how to stand out and such events are a great opportunity for this. It is also a great opportunity for other developers to see where they stand and work on improving themselves.

Where do you see the industry in Lebanon and the Middle East at large heading?

Lebanese developers have already proved themselves to be some of the best in the world and they’re being recruited all over. The challenge is to try to keep them here. The development industry is slowly becoming an economy in itself as everything today revolves around development, so the demand will only keep increasing. What remains is for developers to find and build their windows of opportunity. I generally see that the Middle East and Lebanon will become a strong technological hub in this domain, especially with Dubai already building on that level fast and Lebanon’s digital industry picking up quickly in the last few years. There are many great startups that have risen recently in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon, and this will only grow

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CULTURE CLASH

HAYDA3 LEBNEN S MNA REF KEL CHI 3AN KEL CHI BY SARAH HOURANY

W

hen Thomas Huxley said, “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something,” he didn’t expect 2enna ra7 tettaba2 literally. The poor guy was just giving advice lal 3alam encouraging them to read and learn about different fields in order to grow on the personal as well as on the professional level. He probably thought that knowledge bi kel ashkela would boost people’s self-esteem, make their conversations more interesting, and help them become better decision-makers. Little did he know that in a country called Lebanon, people would attempt to show (w yaret to learn!) that they know mesh bass something about everything and everything about something… but everything about everything!

IF YOU ARE MORE INTERESTED IN MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS, PARTICULARLY IN THE OVERTHROW OF FORMER EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD MORSI, FI 2000 BALCONIES IN LEBANON THAT WOULD BE PLEASED TO WELCOME YOU 3A A7LA SOB7IYE WITH TANTE SABAH OR TANTE JEANETTE

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DON’T SEE-N-N!

Are you interested in learning more about the US presidential elections? Don’t waste your time watching CNN or reading The New York Times, since 3ammo Fouad (as every other Lebanese person) will tell you all about it (even if you don’t ask him to), ma houwe 7afiz Amerka 7ay w 7ay and he knows kel khafeya el siyese el 2amerkeniye w 2otaba el mekhfiye (Obama min jebo w Romney min de3mo), walaw ma he has 2eben 2eben 3amm bent khalto in California, this should be more than enough la hek political analysis, right? However, if you are more interested in Middle Eastern politics, particularly in the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi, fi 2000 balconies in Lebanon that would be pleased to welcome you 3a a7la sob7iye with Tante Sabah or Tante Jeanette (experience 10 years mousalsalet Masriyye) during which you would be informed 3an kel el tataworat 3ala el se7a el Masriyye. This jalseh would also include a report on the country’s short and medium-term political outlook. Yes dear, they know what’s going to happen la Sett El Dounya in the future, ma henne mteb3ina ktir mnih la Leila Abdel Latif!

THE MASTERY ISSUE


HAYDA LEBNEN’S MNA3REF KEL CHI 3AN KEL CHI

DR. PHIL-MEN WEJJE Although clinical depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects people’s thoughts and behavior and is caused by genetic, psychological, or/and environmental factors, 3and el Lebneniye hol kellon khbar ma ela ta3me. According to our psychologists, being depresseda.k.a mdapras -only affects unsatisfied or overindulged people. Yes, if you are suffering from deep sadness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once pleasurable, sleeping and eating disorders, feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/ or helplessness, fatigue and decreased energy, you’re probably a spoiled person mesh m2addra shou 3enda.

“HAYDE SAYBIT 3EN! YOU DIDN’T WEAR BLUE WHEN YOU BOUGHT YOUR CAR, MA HEK? THEY TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL W MA DA22O 3AL KHASHAB, MA HEK?” Therefore, our Lebanese Dr. Phils, w henne ktar, think that your depression can be cured by a simple “Sheddeleh 7alak” followed by a “Ennou shou na2sak” lecture. The latter includes reviewing your resume- 3andak kel hal degrees, you should be happy- and listing all your assets- baytak mrattab, siyartak 7elwe, sheghlak mni7. Halla2 if you want your depression to be taken more seriously let them know that you are sad la daraje you are having thoughts of suicide, w khedlak 3a te7lil nafse: “Hayde saybit 3en! You didn’t wear blue when you bought your car, ma hek? They told you that you were beautiful w ma da22o 3al khashab, ma hek?” In this case, they would use an advanced treatment technique: byer2o 3leik, meaning that they will recite certain prayers while standing next to you. If they yawn during the process, this would be the ultimate proof of the presence of el arwe7 el sherrira. Or even worse, bisobbo rsasa bi ma2le above your head and try to figure out iza 7adan de3e 3leik by watching the shape that the rsasa takes.

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SAYDALI YA SAYDALI • Fever? 7abten Panadol 3al sari3. • Dizziness? You’re pregnant ya me7tele! • Chest pain? 7abten Advil w foute neme. • Pale? You are suffering from anemia (mesh 2enno hangover from last night) so bla3e kilo la7me bser3a! This is just a sample of free medical tests you would be offered (without asking for them, akid) from your neighbor, genitor, dekkanje, grandmother and anyone btoghlato w bet2oulo 2eddemo ennou you feel sick! “Eh ma lashou tshoufe doctors, kellon ma bya3rfo shi w nossabin bikazbo 3laykon,” they’ll say. Eh walla, they studied for three

years in pre-med, followed by four years in medical school, and then had a two-year minimum residency training in a hospital setting, bass tol3o kellon ma byefhamo shi! “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something,” is a profound quote, 3anjad, only if we’re willing to try, only if we’re willing to learn. Bass el msibe eno kelna mnekhla2 doctors, w engineers, w psychotherapists w political analysts w experts bi kel shi… bi Hayda el Lebnen, ya 3ayneh!

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CULTURE CLASH

SALMA HAYEK

SIX QUESTIONS IN SIX MINUTES

W

hy did you want to do the sequel to Grown Ups?

I wanted to do the second one because it means that we did something right in the first one and that the people still have an appetite to see a second part, so it is a great opportunity. Also, we are very lucky because I think comedies are probably the toughest genres to be exported outside of the United States when it comes to Hollywood movies and I thought that this movie was so American in a way— mainly because it is about the fourth of July and I was so pleased to see that it did so well internationally. So I was excited to be able to do Grown Ups 2.

“I THINK COMEDIES ARE PROBABLY THE TOUGHEST GENRES TO BE EXPORTED OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN IT COMES TO HOLLYWOOD MOVIES”

What were some of the memorable scenes for you from Grown Ups 2?

Oh, I can tell you, the costume party where we all dress up in 80s get up [sic]. It was hilarious and it lasted for many, many days because there were a lot of things happening at this party. It really felt like we went to a party every day. Although I did hate to wear those heels, I did enjoy the concert, the dancing, the

laughing with the other girls, the fighting, the silliness and craziness, the things I would never do in real life. I really didn’t want to do it on the set because I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is terrible,’ but they made me do it anyway. What did you have to do?

I kick another girl. It is very unlike me. Just wait until you see how I do it!

“IT REALLY FELT LIKE WE WENT TO A PARTY EVERY DAY. ALTHOUGH I DID HATE TO WEAR THOSE HEELS, I DID ENJOY THE CONCERT, THE DANCING, [...] THE FIGHTING, THE SILLINESS AND CRAZINESS” 46 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

THE MASTERY ISSUE


SALMA HAYEK | SIX QUESTIONS IN SIX MINUTES

“CHRIS [ROCK] IS VERY PHILOSOPHICAL [...] THIS IS WHY HIS COMEDY IS SO SMART [...] THEN HE SAYS SOMETHING SO STUPID YOU WANT TO SLAP HIM”

CHRIS ROCK CINEMACOM 2012 PHOTOGRAPHY HELGA ESTEB

How do you find the improvisation in the movie?

In the Grown Ups films your character, Roxanne, is married to Adam Sandler’s. What makes them a great couple?

I think because although they are very different, they both love each other and they do both make an effort at communication. The other thing is that they balance one another out beautifully because she is trying to make him grow up and I think that he appreciates that. And he is trying to remind her that it is okay to be a child. I think that is very helpful for Roxanne and very important to her. I think they do love the children and one thing they have in common is that they do want to be good parents.

SEPTEMBER 2013

I feel comfortable, it is easy and it is actually a freedom. I love it. It is really difficult to find situations where you are allowed to do that and this is one of the reasons I keep coming back for more, because it is a pleasure. I enjoy it. With movies you must enjoy the process of making it. That’s important to me and I enjoy the process of this one. Looking at Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade, are they very similar to how we know them from their screen personas?

Each of them is exactly as you would expect but there is a lot more to them. It is just not that. Chris is very philosophical and very deep and sometimes he says things that really make you think and this is why his comedy is so smart. All of a sudden, you really want to think about some-

thing he said and then he says something so stupid you want to slap him. David, he is exactly as he is, exactly like you see, but he has the ability to talk to anyone and to engage and become really interested and to listen. He is comfortable with every single kind of person and that’s not normal for a comedian. Usually, they are very uncomfortable. They have their own small group but David has the ability to connect with everyone. He is an everyman. Adam, as silly as he is, he is incredibly responsible, very responsible and a fantastic leader. He is strong, genuine, he is generous, loyal and he is the biggest grown up in many ways. And then Kevin, he could look like a very serious person and then he will actually do something shocking, crazy and fun. He is very, very ingenious. His comedy is ingenious and surprising. He is very flexible and very good with his body. His body is big. It is incredible. He is probably the most agile of us all!

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CULTURE CLASH

CROWNING GLORY HELENA BONHAM CARTER

HOLLYWOOD’S GRAND DAME

HER BLOOD MAY BE BLUE, BUT FOR THE LONE RANGER, SHE’S RED ALL THE WAY… HARRINGTON THAT IS

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©DISNEY 2013 GREG WILLIAMS

IT IS VERY EASY, I THINK, TO FORGET HOW WELL HELENA BONHAM CARTER EXECUTES HER CRAFT. IT’S EASY TO FORGET THAT SHE HAS FLAWLESSLY PORTRAYED SOME OF THE DARKEST BIG SCREEN CHARACTERS OF THE LAST DECADE. IT’S ALSO EASY TO FORGET THAT SHE HAS A HUGE CULT FOLLOWING. I HOWEVER, HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN THIS, NOR HAVE HER MULTITUDES OF FANS. NOT FOR A SECOND. I’VE BEEN PINING AFTER HER SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING: THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE IS LESS ABOUT HER CROWNING GLORY, AND MORE ABOUT OURS- WE FINALLY LANDED THE GRAND DAME FOR OUR COVER. HER CROWN, SYMBOLIC OF STAGE QUEEN PROWESS, ISN’T ALTOGETHER FANCIFUL; HELENA IS AN HONEST-TO-GOODNESS BRITISH BLUEBLOOD, AND SHE’S ALSO THE GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER OF BRITAIN’S FORMER PRIME MINISTER, HERBERT H. ASQUITH, FIRST EARL OF OXFORD. NOW KNOWING ALL OF THIS, YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PLAYING A MADAM IN THE LONE RANGER IS A MAJOR STRETCH. AND YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SHE IS, AND SHE ALWAYS HAS BEEN, AN EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMER.

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CULTURE CLASH

CROWNING GLORY | HELENA BONHAM CARTER

“WE’RE ALL PRETEND; DOING PLAY AND PRETEND. AND IT’S SO FUN IF YOU’VE GOT REAL TOYS TO PLAY WITH”

I

©DISNEY 2013 GREG WILLIAMS

SEPTEMBER 2013

have a peg leg. And inside my peg leg I’ve got a gun,” says Helena, describing her prosthesis as Red Harrington, the flame-haired spunky Old West Madam in The Long Ranger. “I didn’t have to shoot Johnny [Depp] but I kept on shooting him by mistake because I didn’t go to cowboy camp. Everybody else went to cowboy camp but I didn’t have time,” she explains. It’s true, Director Gore Verbinski enrolled the entire cast in Cowboy Camp so they could learn to ride and shoot and cavort Old West style with authenticity. Still on the subject of rootin’ and tootin’, Helena confides that she “had this beautiful, antique, 200-year-old little gun. I kept on getting so excited that I’d press the trigger. It’s like I killed Johnny about five times. Mind you, he’s killed me enough times. So whatever,” she says shrugging it off comically. Depp has killed her enough times, notably once as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) opposite his starring role. She was up for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical for her Mrs. Lovett interpretation, her fifth Golden Globe nomination of a total six to

date. “Next time if I ever do another [Western], I’m going to go to gun school and learn how to properly fire a gun, because it was really humiliating that I didn’t really know what to do, cocking it and everything. I wasn’t good at it. I’ll try not to shoot Johnny again,” she says with a touch of humour. How does this peg leg of hers work for the film? “It’s the most beautiful prop I’ve ever had. It’s meant to look like ivory and it’s all inlaid and engraved. And then inside… when I pull my garter, the heel pops down and a double-barrel gun comes out, and I can shoot. I can shoot from the heel, literally.” This is one of the biggest plusses of her role in The Lone Ranger. HBC describes discussing it pre-acceptance with Verbinski, and talks about how he made good on his promise to create it for her, dubbing it “a thing of beauty. It’s sort of been like engraved tattoos all over it. It was really, really beautiful and decorative. And also it’s a beautiful shape. It’s a piece of sculpture. It’s a bit complicated how it all works. There’s a bit of a wrap-around that goes over my actual leg for some shots and I just have to do the hobble. And then for other shots, I get strapped on a leg that is hollow. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but it can actually bend.”

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CULTURE CLASH

CROWNING GLORY | HELENA BONHAM CARTER

RIGHT: STILL IMAGE FROM THE LONE RANGER OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: HELENA BONHAM CARTER AS RED HARRINGTON IN THE LONE RANGER, HBC AS THE QUEEN OF HEARTS IN ALICE IN WONDERLAND, HBC AS MRS. LOVETT IN SWEENEY TODD, HBC AT THE 85TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS, FEB 2013, LOS ANGELES

Red Harrington’s peg leg and fiery mane comes with an attitude: “My first impression of her is whatever she’s got to be, she has to have more balls than Tonto and the Lone Ranger put together,” says Helena firmly. She has balls alright, Helena brings enough steel to the role that you’re wondering how much of it is really her. You also might wonder if she’s drawing on her blueblood heritage for playing the eccentric Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (2012), the uppity Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland (2010), wand-wielding extraordinaire Bellatrix Lestrange in the wildly successful Harry Potter franchise, not to mention an elegant Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech (2010). Bringing forth a noir element is another one of Bonham Carter’s fortes, with characters both aristocratic and “common”. She’s played her fair share of peasants; the woe begotten Mrs. Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and the aforementioned widow, Mrs. Lovett. In one of her smaller roles, she is comedy-noir as the alcoholic Dr. Julia Hoffman, in Dark Shadows (2012).

“RED IS SORT OF A LIVING DEFINITION OF HOW TO MAKE A MINUS INTO A PLUS. PUT A GUN IN YOUR PROSTHETIC AND PROTECT THE GIRLS” Bonham Carter has played ballsy women a few times now, here and there emoting what is perhaps closest to her personality. This time around, she says that “Red earns her own living. She’s not going to be indebted to or relying on any male,” and that her character is one that she has “a lot of respect for. Red is sort of a living definition of how to make a minus into a plus. Put a gun in your prosthetic and protect the girls. She’s empowered by her loss, not disabled by it.” The Madam, according to Helena, “is a powerful, straight-talking pragmatist.” Despite the negative reviews, Helena is effusive about the film: “It seemed pretty fun to me. I’m not particularly a Western fan, although I love cowboys and Indians. I was more of a Little House on the Prairie girl but my brothers watched The Lone Ranger. The script really revolves around the relationship between Armie [Hammer] as John Reid and Johnny as Tonto. It’s got a lot of humour to it. It’s a fun story.” She says the scale of the film initially was “terrifying because it’s so big and there’s a huge looking train behind you. But what’s so nice is to do a film when it’s not a green screen. I’ve done so many. But to actually have real sets and have a real train is exciting. We’re all pretend; doing play and pretend. And it’s so fun if you’ve got real toys to play with,” she adds.

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Those “toys” were one of the reasons that production cost was sky high- according to Forbes, “the chief cause of concern is that The Lone Ranger cost anywhere from $220 million to $250 million, which meant it had to have all of its proverbial ducks in a row just to break even. With costs like that, everything had to go right.” But everything didn’t. Maybe the only thing that did was the cast (this is even debatable as Depp was in the Native American hot seat), but Bonham Carter says that Johnny’s presence on the set is an added value for her. “He’s very professional. He’s a minimalist even though he always goes for extreme choices, but half the time if you’re acting opposite somebody whom you believe in, it makes you better. So it’s a trust thing. And the more you work with somebody, the bigger the trust. Working with Johnny is just very straightforward and easy and it’s always a pleasure and fun. It’s good to see each other too because otherwise we never do,” despite the fact that Depp is her child’s Godfather, and her partner Tim Burton’s “best friend”, not to mention that the two regularly top-bill in movies together. Jokingly, she reports remarking to Depp: “‘Oh, you found another part you can wear eyeliner in?’ But no, I always love and respect him for the adventure, his imagination, and his humour that he always brings to something. He’s actually great. I love working with him. I hope he likes working with me. It’s easy and it’s fun. And we’re lucky. We’re so lucky that we get to play dress up.”

THE MASTERY ISSUE


PHOTO CREDIT FEATUREFLASH / SHUTTERSTOCK SEPTEMBER 2013

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©DISNEY 2013 GREG WILLIAMS

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SEPTEMBER 2013

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CULTURE CLASH

CROWNING GLORY | HELENA BONHAM CARTER

RIGHT BOTTOM: HELENA BONHAM CARTER AND PARTNER TIM BURTON AT THE 85TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS, FEB 2013, LOS ANGELES

OPOSITE PAGE PHOTO ©DISNEY 2013 GREG WILLIAMS | TIM BURTON AND HELENA BONHAM CARTER PHOTO CREDIT FEATUREFLASH / SHUTTERSTOCK

“WE’RE LUCKY. WE’RE SO LUCKY THAT WE GET TO PLAY DRESS UP” Dress up they do, both onscreen and off, Helena’s choice of quirky wardrobe is often the topic of tabloids and fashion magazines alike, putting her in the line of sight of none other than Vivienne Westwood, and other couture houses. In The Lone Ranger, the star who is often associated with turn of the century clothing (corsets and all), says the costumery and pomp is half of the fun: “Red is like a walking advertisement for her establishment, so she has to be loud and obviously red. I’ve got so many undergarments to wear. Then I’ve got the petticoat. The petticoat is great. And they all clash. Then I have great bloomers and boots and even a star tattoo.” Her own fashion brand, in collaboration with designer Samantha Sage, is called Pantaloonies. It sounds like something Helena would wear, and after some research, I find it also looks like something Helena would wear. Her offbeat eye caters to a whole slew of clientele, and most fashion blogs seems to be mooning over HBC and her corset-loving figure, despite tabloid criticism of her style sense.

BONHAM CARTER AND BURTON LIVE IN TWO ADJOINING HOMES, MAINTAINING SOMEWHAT SEPARATE RESIDENCES. THEY HAVE MAINTAINED SEPARATE (BUT TOGETHER) SPACES FOR YEARS, AND YET IT’S STILL A POINT OF PRESS CONTROVERSY Another topic of tabloid chatter is her life with Burton. The source that causes the bulk of all of the gossipy speculation? Simply that Bonham Carter and Burton live in two adjoining homes, maintaining somewhat separate residences. They have maintained separate (but together) spaces for years, and yet it’s still a point of press controversy. The unconventional duo met on the set of Planet of the Apes in 2001, and have been together since. Detractors have said that nepotism plays a part in Bonham Carter nailing the leads in many of her partner’s films; Helena indirectly addressed this during an interview about her role in Sweeney Todd saying that it was Steven Sondheim that she needed to convince to cast her in the musical, not Tim. Whether or not this is the case where Burton’s work is concerned, Helena has continued to land

SEPTEMBER 2013

challenging Red Harrington’s leading roles peg in legmajor and fiery blockbuster mane comes releases with by an other attitude: directors, noted “My first in impression addition to of some her isTV whatever miniseries she’s work, got theatre to be, she has and alsoto made-for-TV have more film. balls The thanGoth Tonto darling and the with Lone the Ranger turn of put the together,” century corset says and Helena thefirmly. whipstitch She has period ballsgowns alright,has Helena a lot brings going enough on, her next steel few to the projects role that seeyou’re her putting wondering on “East howEnd much andofthen it is really her. accents”, American You also and might if her wonder track ifrecord she’s is drawing any indicator, on her blueshe’ll blood be as engaging heritage for as ever. playing the eccentric Miss Havisham in Great Expectations This blueblood (2012),is the as red-blooded uppity Red as Queen they come: in Alice alive in and Wonderwell land a(2010), and helluvawand-wielding lot more animated extraordinaire than almost Bellatrix any other Lestrange woman in thethe in wildly biz successful Harry Potter franchise, not to mention an elegant Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech (2010). Bringing forth a noir element is another one of Bonham Carter’s fortes, with characters both aristocratic and “common”. She’s played her fair share of peasants; the woe begotten Mrs. Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and the aforementioned widow, Mrs. Lovett. In one of her smaller roles, she is comedy-noir as the alcoholic Dr. Julia Hoffman, in Dark Shadows (2012). Bonham Carter has played ballsy women a few times now, here and there emoting what is perhaps closest to her personality. This time around, she says that “Red earns her own living. She’s not going to be indebted to or relying on any male,” and that her character is one that she has “a lot of respect for. Red is sort of a living definition of how to make a minus into a plus. Put a gun in your prosthetic and protect the girls. She’s empowered by her loss, not disabled by it.” The Madam, according to Helena, “is a powerful, straight-talking pragmatist.” Despite the negative reviews, Helena is effusive about the film: “It seemed pretty fun to me. I’m not particularly a Western fan, although I love cowboys and Indians. I was more of a Little House on the Prairie girl but my brothers watched The Lone Ranger. The script really revolves around the

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OUT + ABOUT

PRE + POST

#IVYSBIGREVEAL WHAT REALLY WENT DOWN

THE PERILS OF WRITING & THE INVASION OF READING BY DANA KHAIRALLAH

BY FIDA CHAABAN & NASRI ATALLAH

THE COUNTDOWN COMMENCES

T-MINUS FOUR HOURS “Ivy Says is Dana Khairallah” Crap. I’ve been outed on Twitter. First things first: deactivate personal Facebook and get RAGMAG’s Editor in Chief Fida on the phone immediately. “Who cares!?“ Fida is calmer than I expected. “People have been swearing that you’re a man in drag all week, so what if they know your name a couple of hours before the event, it changes nothing, they still want to come and party with you!” I know she’s right. She does however strictly forbid me from hanging out anywhere next to Le Gray’s lobby before the reveal. Someone out there is set on outing me first, and I’m not about to give him or her the pleasure. So I step on it and make my way to celebrity makeup artist Bassam Fattouh’s beauty lounge. “It’s glam time,” he announces with a big smile as I walk in. I relax on the chaise longue, close my eyes and take a deep breath. Just a couple of more hours.

T-MINUS ONE HOUR The doorbell to my suite rings. I’m greeted by the fabulous Roula Nahas and her fashion-forward Vero Moda team. We dance around the suite a little as I give them a tour. “Are you nervous?” Roula asks. Just then it hits me. I’m very nervous! What if no one shows up? What if I trip as I get up on stage to give my speech? Wait… I didn’t prepare a speech! They reassure me that I’ll be fine and they make their way upstairs to Cherry on the Roof. I grab my freshly steam-pressed peplum black Vero Moda dress and slip it on. I put on my heels and accessories and I head back onto the terrace where my man and girl Ghighi greet me with a chilled glass of white wine. I’m so happy to see them.

T-MINUS TWO HOURS I struggle to keep my hair in place as I speed through the busy streets of Raouche. I had informed Le Gray that I’d be arriving shortly and they were waiting for me in the lobby. I give my car to the valet and discreetly sneak inside where I’m escorted to a fabulous corner suite with a stunning terrace overlooking Martyr’s Square. I slip out of my skinny jeans and into a fluffy white robe as I help myself to some fresh fruit while setting up my laptop in the living room. #IvysBigReveal is trending again. Fashion bloggers are tweeting about their outfits, men are seeking fashion advice from women on what to wear (jokingly?), others are still betting on my identity and even the haters are still tweeting about it. Perfect!

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THE MASTERY ISSUE


THE EXHIBITIONIST #IVYSBIGREVEAL INSIDE ME | WHAT & THEREALLY VOYEURWENT INSIDE DOWN YOU

ONE MINUTE I’M IN MY PJS BLOGGING FROM BED AND THE NEXT I’M AT MY OWN FABULOUS FASHION EVENT PARTYING WITH SOME OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN LEBANON’S ONLINE COMMUNITY

T-MINUS ONE MINUTE The roof is packed, the crowd is now huddled up all the way to the glass door (which I have my back turned to). Fida has just introduced Roula who is now addressing the crowd. “This is it,” Fida announces as she grabs my hand and leads me to the booth. I look around at all the faces staring up at me and instantly recognize some tweeps and bloggers. I feel immense relief as the words leave my mouth. “My name is Dana...” I step down from the booth and my sight is instantly obstructed by all the smart phones that were now being held to my face. Everyone wants to have their picture taken with me? It’s bizarre. One minute I’m in my PJs blogging from bed and the next I’m at my own fabulous fashion event sipping on some champagne and partying with some of the most influential people in Lebanon’s online community. We dance the night away under the stars to some of the hottest summer beats. It’s everything I had imagined and more. There’s no room for awkward moments of silence or cheesy ice breakers, I knew everyone already- I’d just never met them before.

THE AFTERMATH

I haven’t changed my profile yet. My old avatar is still up and the word “anonymous” remains splattered all over my platforms. “When are you going to change your biography?” someone tweets at me. Here’s the thing: I’m not ready to give it up just yet. Don’t get me wrong this is exactly where I want to be and I’ll never regret coming out. But like a lot of people, I too have grown attached to my online persona. What’s next? A lot, you may have finally seen the face behind the blog but believe me you ain’t seen nothing yet. August 26, 2013

GET TO KNOW IVY (DANA) www.ivysays.com IvySays

SEPTEMBER 2013

@IvysBlog

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OUT + ABOUT

#IVYSBIGREVEAL

RECAP RAGMAG got out + about in partnership with fashion leader Vero Moda to out one of Lebanon’s most widely read bloggersIvy of Ivy Says. Dana Khairallah was presented to the online community, members of the press, and party peeps at Le Gray hotel’s Cherry on the Roof. Party-goers were more than a little buzzed off of Champagne Pommery, CHOPIN Vodka, and Label 5 Scotch Whisky- cheers to you for the flowing cocktails! Our guests also got wings (of course) from Red Bull Lebanon, hyping things up even more. After introducing Dana, the sound experience by DJ Jack Sleiman of BLVD44 kicked off, and things got crazy. Big RAGMAG love to BeirutNightLife.com for providing the exclusive photo-video coverage of the partayyyyyou certainly helped us #IgniteTheNight! To our valued guests: RAGMAG loves you, IT’S YOUR MAGAZINE!

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SEPTEMBER 2013

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#IVYSBIGREVEAL

PHOTOGRAPHY EXCLUSIVELY BY

RECAP

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THE MASTERY ISSUE


SEPTEMBER 2013

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MON AMOUR, MON AMI

OWN IT BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO BY SARAH HOURANY

YOU WAKE UP ONE MORNING WITH A DATABASE OF E-MAILS AND MESSAGES, WITH ENDLESS MEMORIES AND ONE AND ONLY BROKEN HEART. IT’S OVER. THE TOUGH JOURNEY BEGINS: YOU LOOK AT YOUR CUTE PICTURES TOGETHER AND YOU ISOLATE YOURSELF FOR DAYS... GUESS WHAT? YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST PERSON FACING THE END OF A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP. MANY HAVE TREAD THE PATH BEFORE YOU SO BENEFIT FROM THEIR ADVICE TO MOVE ON.

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OWN IT | BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

1. EXPRESS

In the first few days or weeks, it is not only normal but necessary to express all the pain you are going through. So go ahead and cry, call a friend and talk for hours about it, fantasize about all your possible revenge scenarios, throw away all the cards and gifts (or put them away), but avoid doing your grieving phase publicly. Don’t call your ex partner and cry, don’t go to his/her home, and most importantly don’t post pathetic “broken-heart” statuses on Facebook!

AN INNOCENT WHATSAPP MESSAGE OR A MIDNIGHT SMS WILL NOT BE HELPFUL

2. ACCEPT

Regardless of who ended it, now that the crying phase is over, think rationally about the reasons that led to the breakup. Did someone cheat, did the love fade, were you in two different commitment places? Understand, grasp and accept the fact that it is really over. If you are not convinced by these reasons, hoping that you may be together again makes getting over him really difficult.

3. MINIMIZE

If you decided to move on then an innocent Whatsapp message or a midnight SMS will not be helpful. If you are willing to spend your days online, turning into an obsessed stalker scanning Facebook wall posts and tweets, then you are participating in the problem. So minimize your time spent online and block if necessary. After all, if there’s something your ex needs to tell you, he or she sure as hell knows your cell number. Studies indicate that social media platforms such as Facebook make it more difficult to move on since you have constant access to your ex’s life. Avoid these behaviors as harmless as they may seem. The “out of sight, out of mind” strategy can really help you through the healing process.

4. INDULGE

Turn the negative thoughts and feelings you are suffering from into something productive and fun. Are you angry? Take some boxing classes. Are you eating too much? Start trying to eat healthier and hit the gym! We are sure you don’t want to shed your ex and gain bad habits. What are the things you love to do? Discover your passion and practice it.

FORCE YOURSELF TO SEE THE NEW ART EXHIBIT OR HEAD OUT TO A MUSIC EVENT. BEING SOCIAL KEEPS YOU BUSY AND THUS YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO OVERANALYZE THE PAST

5. EXPERIENCE

Even if you don’t feel like going out right after the break-up, think of it as a duty. Yes, you should see your friends and the people you love. Force yourself to see the new art exhibit or head out to a music event. Being social keeps you busy and thus you’re less likely to overanalyze the past. Exposing yourself to new things is a constructive way to channel that free time and potentially negative energy. Breaking up is hard to do, we know that, but how much time are you willing to stay there? Statistical and real-life analysis shows that there are a big number of potential partners for each one of us. Pick up the pieces of your broken heart and move forward; count on time as a healer, but count on yourself more

MOVING ON UP

Are you part of the problem or the solution? If you answer yes to 3 or more of these questions you are not participating in a constructive healing process. 1. Are you constantly comparing your new relationship to your old one? 2. Do you find any reason at all to contact your ex? 3. Do you allow yourself to get angry or upset when you hear that your former partner is seeing someone new? 4. Do you dwell on your fond memories as a couple and share them at any opportunity? 5. Do you waste precious time and energy plotting grand revenge schemes like showing up with a new date? 6. Do you check your ex’s Facebook/Twitter profile on a daily basis? 7. Do you plan in advance to go to your old haunts so you can “accidently” bump into one another? 8. Do you make an effort to contact the people you spent time with as a couple that you don’t normally speak to? 9. Do you rehash the reasons you and your ex parted ways whenever your friends discuss their relationship woes? 10. Do you constantly revisit the time you spent together lamenting it as a “waste”?

SEPTEMBER 2013

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

HELP ME

NOUR+RABIH

TO ASK A QUESTION send your problems to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com TO JOIN THE READER RESPONSE PANEL send your name, age, and email address to helpmenour@ragmaglive.com subject line: Interactive Panel We will contact you if you are chosen to participate.

BY NOUR OBAJI + RABIH FEGHALI

I broke up with a guy because I didn’t feel anything towards him. Unfortunately, he’s not taking it too well. He is depressed, cries, stopped eating, visits my mom, stalks my friends and generally makes me feel like I ruined his life. What do I do? “I feel like maybe you’re still giving your ex hope since you and your friends keep the communication lines open. You need to tell him it’s not a good idea and fully remove yourself from the situation.” Ayelin, 30 “There are two scenarios for this horror movie. 1) He’ll get over it in time. 2) He’ll kill you and your family. But really just try to steer clear from this guy. Time, as they say, heals all wounds. Remember that time when you thought you would never get over that great guy and that your life was over? You’re still here, aren’t you?” Farah, 27

HE’S QUITE LIKELY CHANNELING ALL HIS GRIEF INTO YOUR BREAKUP AND USING IT AS A MULTI-PURPOSE OUTLET “Send him a box of chocolates, tissues and a restraining order. It should do the trick.” Sandra, 29 “Wow, how old was this guy you just dumped? You clearly did not feel anything towards him because he was a boy and you were his babysitter. You need to find yourself a man. Tell your friends and mom to avoid him.” Jeca, 29

NOUR’S VOTE I personally am not a big fan of the V-Man, aptly named in RAGMAG by Maria-Elena Kassab. He sounds like one of those, and he sounds like a sap. He also sounds like he has major trouble letting go. Who knows if it is even you he is upset about? It could be any number of ridiculous things and you are the scapegoat. He’s quite likely channeling all his grief into your breakup and using it as a multi-purpose outlet. I would ask him nicely to lay off and if that doesn’t work, tell him more firmly. Also, speak to your friends and your mother and ask them to stop indulging the pity party. Enough is enough.

RABIH’S VOTE Don’t worry about men. Time (relatively short) heals all wounds. Before you know it, he’ll find himself a new girl and the situation will be reversed.

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My husband is old school and wants lots of kids running around. I already have two and I think I’m done. How can I convince him that two are enough? “For starters, get on birth control! You don’t need his permission for this. Then sit him down and talk to him in a rational and direct manner as to why you don’t want more children.” Hana, 34 “Compromise. If two kids aren’t enough for him maybe consider having another child. If three children are too much for you then tell him how strongly you feel and maybe get a dog for your husband. That should keep him busy.” Rajaa, 30 “How did you get married in the first place? Isn’t the number of children and the way you want to raise them some of the things a couple discuss before getting married? Now if one of you has changed his mind, the best way is communication. Why do you want to stop at two children? Think of the reasons, and tell them to your husband - I don’t think ‘I don’t want to get fat again’ will do it, though. You’re a couple, and this is a partnership decision. Don’t let him force you into anything, especially having another child! He should understand there is nothing worse than having an unwanted child.” Hiba, 29

I am happily married, and I love my husband. But I feel like I have developed a romantic interest in one of my colleagues at work. I really enjoy his company. I catch myself thinking about him when I am alone and smiling to myself about things he says. He recently asked me to go for coffee. Am I considered a cheater if I go out with my friend? What is the right thing to do in my situation? “I think you need to ask yourself the question, ‘Am I really happily married?’ No! Don’t go for coffee with this guy! You are only fanning the fire! Keep it formal and do not entertain any ideas of clocking in extra-time with this guy, stop daydreaming about your water cooler chit-chatty encounters and get back to work!” Ulita, 31

WHILE IT MAY SEEM LIKE A HARMLESS COFFEE, IT’S NOT. HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND IF YOU HAVE DEVELOPED A “ROMANTIC” INTEREST IN HIM. HE HAS CROSSED THE LINE FROM FRIEND TO GREY ZONE

NOUR’S VOTE For starters, I suggest you ignore Rabih’s vote all together as he thinks he is Mr. Comedy this issue. The Interactive Panel is divided on this. It used to be that five children was the norm. That was then and this is now. You are the one who has the bulk of the work coming your way, pun intended. You are the one who puts your life on hold every time you get pregnant. There is only so much he can do to ease the situation, and as most women will attest, it isn’t nearly enough. You need to explain to your husband that while you have considered the issue carefully, you are not up for a mini soccer team. Try gently at first to ease him into the reality that having less children means a better life for them and for you. The economic and emotional strain of having a large family is not a figment of your imagination. The less children you have, the more resources you are able to devote to the existing two. This in itself is reason enough.

RABIH’S VOTE He’s the man, he decides. Let him have what he wants. Unless you have a really valid reason ( which I doubt that you do).

SEPTEMBER 2013

“You wouldn’t be technically considered a cheater... perhaps emotionally cheating. If you’re starting to develop feelings for this guy and you are a ‘happily’ married woman, don’t ruin a good thing. Nothing good can come of this. You must have plenty of friends, you don’t need another one.” Noura, 27

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MIND, BODY+SOUL

“Like you said, it’s a crush. You’re married, not dead, so you’re allowed to have feelings for the opposite sex. Perhaps there’s something missing in your marriage, or you’re feeling distant from your spouse. Your crush might be a friend, but there’s a two-way spark, hence the coffee invite. So coffee might lead to dinner and dinner might lead to condoms. So don’t go there. Such things happen. Flirting is one thing, cheating is another.” Diana, 24

NOUR’S VOTE You want the truth? Here it is: do not court trouble. Do not put your hand in that cookie jar. While it may seem like a harmless coffee, it’s not. He is not your friend if you have developed a “romantic” interest in him. He has crossed the line from friend to grey zone. Once you have wandered into the grey zone you will only become more confused. The second part of this has Nour wondering if you are really happy in your marriage. Generally, you look elsewhere when there is something missing. Some part of you isn’t being challenged or satisfied. I don’t think going for coffee turns you into a cheater, but you are putting yourself in a position that could become a quicksand of emotional turbulence including guilt and displaced anger. Keep your colleague strictly work until you figure out what you really want from your marriage.

RABIH’S VOTE If you truly mean what you said in the first nine words of your question, then you do not have a crush... you merely enjoy the dude’s company and it’s okay to go for coffee. If you’re only convincing yourself that you are happy and love your husband, then you have issues that are beyond this ‘colleague’, sort that out internally first.

IT BREAKS MY HEART TO READ THE WORDS, “MY HUSBAND DOESN’T WANT ME ANYMORE”. THIS IS THE MOST DELICATE QUESTION NOUR HAS RECEIVED IN A LONG TIME I have been married for five years now. The passion is completely gone. My husband does not want me anymore. I feel heartbroken. I can’t leave him because I love him and I have children with him. But I feel rejected and angry all the time. Should I leave or give it another try? “Not because I am somewhat of a feminist but if you actually believe that he doesn’t want you anymore then you need to leave. Kids learn by example and you are teaching them that living in a home with little or no love is okay. They should see you and your partner as exactly that, not you and ‘Casper’, an absent other half. It’ll be hard, I can’t imagine but for your kids you need to be confident in yourself and for the sake of your sanity and heart, you need to be loved.” Sarah, 29 “If you found out your boss wasn’t happy with you and was thinking of firing you would you look for another job? Or pull up your socks and remind him why he hired you in the first place? You will have to work at your marriage sooner or later or you will find yourself, bored, redundant or simply replaced.” Lillian, 34 “You should definitely give it another try and if doesn’t work, you should move on with your life. Try to make your husband understand what you are going through and how you really feel, if he listens and

SEPTEMBER 2013

understands perhaps he will have the will to make the relationship work. Some couples consider therapy. If none of these work, then my dear, pack your bags and move on. You have only one life and one chance to live it the way you want to. There are lots of men out there. You will find happiness with another man sooner than you think.” Yvette, 37

“I think admitting there is a problem is a good thing, but is your husband in the same place? Do you talk about it? Do you tell him what you’re going through? It always takes two to make it or break it. Talk to your husband and try working things out. If you still have feelings for him, and you think he might too, maybe you should consider counseling. Sometimes, a couple needs external help.” Youmna, 23

NOUR’S VOTE It breaks my heart to read the words, “My husband doesn’t want me anymore”. This is the most delicate question Nour has received in a long time. Let’s look at the facts: you still love him but he doesn’t love you and you have children together. Okay, understood. You are not a martyr. This is not the time to stand up and declare that you are giving up your needs for your children. You are entitled to a life of your own and with that life should come love and affection and feeling fulfilled. Get out. Nour and the Interactive Panel were split on this one and as for Rabih’s vote, who says you’ll still want your husband after your suggested transformation? (Rabih, you sound like a misogynist to me.) For you and for your children, you must make an effort to reclaim your life.

RABIH’S VOTE If you’re five years into your marriage, you are probably in the 28-33 age-range, which means that you’ve still got a lot of ‘sex’ in you. The reason why he doesn’t desire you is probably ‘cause you let yourself go (gained weight and stopped taking care of yourself). Get on a diet, join a gym and change your hairdo. It’s a six to12 month process, but trust me, he’ll come back like a dog in heat

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FML [F**K MY LIFE]

BAD HAIR DAY

LEARNING THE TRICKS OF THE TRADE FOR RAGMAG BY RANI NASR

I

hate the word “fashion”. I hate the colloquialism “bad hair day”. I hate women that lose weight when they take their makeup off. I hate it when a girl asks me if I like her nails. Honey, we all have fingers can’t you express yourself somewhere else? I hate cosmetic products made out of ground up cow organs. And I strongly believe that this superficial culture that we submerged ourselves in as a consumerist society is the reason the planet is dying on us. Feel better about yourself at the planet’s expense. I’m not a negative person though, I don’t act upon these beliefs. They’re just like makeup; they don’t make me a better person, they just make me feel better about myself. Needless to say, our infamous #EvilEditor is always on the hunt for adventures that throw us out of our comfort zones and teach us lifelong lessons. (She just does it for the laugh really). I knew hell was breaking loose when I received a phone call from her giggling, saying that she found the perfect #FML assignment for me. I knew this wasn’t going to be good. A week later, I arrive at Simon El Mendelek’s beauty salon. I was there to be a hairdresser for the day. Not any day

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though, a Saturday; ladies know what that means. I walked in, took a look around, and I whispered to myself “fuck my life”. That’s exactly what she was hoping for! Did she win again? I wasn’t going down that easy. I went to the dressing room, put my apron on, and recited Al Pacino’s famous Any Given Sunday motivation speech in the mirror. I can do it, let’s go! YOUMNA I was so excited about Rani’s FML I

cancelled all my plans that day to visit him at Simon El Mendelek and have a “professional” blow dry. I was really worried though -Rani’s a well-known brat- but when I get there he seems to be in his element. He’s met everyone and he knows where the coffee machine is!

My first client (or victim as I’d like to call her) isn’t there to fix her hair, her hair is just fine. She wants the princess treatment, not the organic hair treatment. Simon El Mendelek is the best beauty salon out there after all and it’s a luxury just to hang out there. All she wants is shampooing and a blowout (brushing) which is a perfect way to kick off my new career. Mark, my mentor, taught me how to hold the head, apply the soap, massage

THE MASTERY ISSUE


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FML [F**K MY LIFE] “I MAKE SURE MY CLIENT IS HAPPY BY ENTERTAINING HER WITH A VERY INTELLECTUAL CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW HOT THE WEATHER IS” the scalp, rub and scrub, do the boogie-woogie and turn it all around, that’s what it’s all about! However, as a hairdresser you have to handle your client’s psyche as much as their hair. So I make sure my client is happy by entertaining her with a very intellectual conversation about how hot the weather is. As I do few other ladies, my awkwardness level decreases and my technical skills increase. I start discussing scientific subjects with the ladies like, “Boiling pasta without burning” while running my fingers through their hair. Just when I think I’m mastering the art Mark realizes I’m ready for my next task.

YOUMNA I have no idea where that “mastering

the art” thing comes from. I had water dripping down my chin (read: down my knees!), you had no idea if the product you were using on me was shampoo, and you almost poked me in the eye in an attempt to massage my scalp. Mastering the art my ass!

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“THE ALMIGHTY NURSE ASSISTANT” Mark escorts me to the private VIP room, an exclusive area for posh celebrities and veiled women. It had the vibe of a sterilized hospital operation room. Our VIP walked in. Holding four types of sprays, three kinds of brushes, pins, rolls, stuff I can’t even pronounce or describe, I stood there gazing at Mark gazing at her gazing at herself gazing back at herself for a second. It was the calm before the storm. Then it started: Spray. Pin. Brush. Comb. Scissors. Pin. Brush. Hold this. Put your finger here. Spray here. NOT THERE, HERE. Hand me the roll. Take the roll. Roll please. Roll. Roll. RANI, STOP DAY-

DREAMING AND HAND ME THE ROLL! I vaguely remember looking at our client mid-process- she looked like Pearl Harbor on December 8th, 1941. Mark, who is a top hairdresser that works with most Lebanese hotshots and TV shows, handled her head like an empty canvas and worked his way into shaping it into something less scary with agility, grace and speed. It was seriously impressive. He worked under the stress of a surgeon and then gave results of a sculptor. I was feeling proud of myself towards the end of this one-hour session. I was starting to know the difference between a brush and a pin.

THE MASTERY ISSUE


BAD HAIR DAY | LEARNING THE TRICKS OF THE TRADE FOR RAGMAG

YOUMNA Mark, you’re my hero. I don’t know

why you disappeared for a few seconds at the beginning of my blowout (brushing), but you came back in time to save me from Rani’s mischievous plans of trying to burn, I mean dry my hair on his own. You also get extra points for dealing with him for hours and actually managing to teach him a thing or two. Bravo!

Done with the complex, artistic physics of exotic hairdos, it was time to do some slavery around the shop. Place stuff where they belong, make coffee, clean the floor, and of course clown around with the staff in the back area. Actually, that was my favorite part of the whole experience: chilling backstage with the rock star Simon El Mendelek crew. Oh, and the ladies. You do know that the gay hairdresser stereotype is just a myth? Hairdressers get the best girls out there, because unlike you they know how to handle a woman and they know how to make her feel special. Plus, they’re exposed to beauty on a daily basis, which makes them wiser when it comes to romantic decisions.

“DONE WITH THE COMPLEX, ARTISTIC PHYSICS OF EXOTIC HAIRDOS, IT WAS TIME TO DO SOME SLAVERY AROUND THE SHOP. MAKE COFFEE, PLACE THINGS WHERE THEY BELONG, CLEAN THE FLOOR” The day was coming to an end. It’s been an adventure with lots of faces, heads and hair. It actually made me reconsider my prejudice of shallow and fake beauty and I realized I might’ve been the shallowest person there. It’s not only about boosting your ego by fixing your hair or just saying that you were at a fancy place. It is a business and Simon El Mendelek offers topnotch service with the friendliest and most professional staff in the country. Seeing a beauty salon from the inside changed something in me: I like boys now. Not really, but I have learned to respect the profession. A hairstylist is basically a surgeon, a social worker, a hotel, a barista, a psychologist, a slave, an entertainer, a masseuse and most of all, an artist. I still do think a woman is at her prettiest when she has no makeup on. Bed head is still my favorite hairstyle, and I still wouldn’t notice if you got a haircut. But I’d love to be the charming hairdresser that all the girls whisper and giggle about in the waiting area as he smiles at them from a distance. Sadly, I’ll always be the creep staring in at them from the glass window. YOUMNA Rani, you seemed like you were hav-

ing a lot of fun and I’m glad you didn’t ruin the business Simon El Mendelek has been building since 1965. A big shout out to Simon, George and Tarek El Mendelek for changing Rani’s judgmental behavior. P.S. Rani, you’re such a creepy person

SEPTEMBER 2013

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MIRROR, MIRROR

UPDATE YOUR LOOK CLINIQUE’S GOING TO GIVE YOU A MAKEOVER

EYE SPY…

GREAT COLOUR! MADE EASY + PRACTICAL

Clinique’s Chubby Sticks were a big hit- over two million sticks sold worldwide and this season, they’re presenting fans with a new addition: Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes. Looking just like the moisturizing lip tint- crayon-like, functional, with a creamy texture- it gives a sheer, long-wearing colour thanks to its silky, lightweight formula. We’re buying the Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes for the array of wearable shades (think nudes, pinks and violets), the hassle-free application (one sweep across the lid is all it takes) and the skin benefits- the formula is infused with Vitamin E, a strong antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin.

PLAY TIME!

Can’t decide on a single shade? Get creative! Mix and match up to three colours- you don’t want to use more than that- and layer the shades for more texture and dimension. Pair Pink & Plenty with Mighty Moss for a bold daytime look and use Massive Midnight combined with eyeliner for a night out. For a fresh look, follow Clinique Global Colour Artist Jenna Menard’s tips and tricks: “Apply Lavish Lilac as an all-over colour on top and along the bottom lash line, and use Fuller Fudge as a wide eyeliner close to the top lash line.”

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POSITIVE IMPACT No eye-makeup is complete without mascara and we think we found the perfect one to wear with the Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes. Clinique delivers a new High Impact Mascara in a waterproof edition with a water repellant film that provides an even coating over the lashes, fending off moisture thus smudge. Our favorite benefit of High Impact Waterproof Mascara? The flexible polymers and conditioners that keep lashes soft!

THE MASTERY ISSUE


UPDATE YOUR LOOK | CLINIQUE’S GOING TO GIVE YOU A MAKEOVER

THE WHOLE

NINE YARDS CC CREAM DOES IT ALL

Imagine getting rid of all your morning skin products and getting one, just one do-it-all cream. Clinique has got the answer you’ve been searching for: Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector –CC cream for short- an instant complexion perfector that hydrates, protects and perfects your skin.

CLEAR CORRECTION

Using a colour-correcting technology that utilizes light, Clinique’s CC Cream not only corrects skin imperfections like redness but it also enhances ashy and yellow skin, making it look brighter and more luminous. It’s also available in six shades to suit most skin tones.

H2o Regimen

Clinique has run a series of clinical tests on their new CC cream, proving that the formula provides both immediate and long-term hydration. Using Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water and Hyaluronic Acid that provides a burst of hydration right when you apply, the Trehalose and Sorbitol protect skin against changing humidity conditions.

Dual Defense

The CC Cream formula incorporates a blend of sunscreens against UVA and UVB, preventing visible signs of aging, as well as antioxidants such as Vitamin E to protect against environmental assaults, keeping the skin as healthy as can be!

IT GETS EVEN BETTER Clinique’s newest cream foundation, Even Better Compact Makeup SPF 15, is what you need when you’re looking for moderate, daytime coverage. Not only does it cover dark patches, age spots and blemish marks, it also diminishes them overtime, thanks to its antioxidant cocktail of vitamins. The sleek, portable compact package with its big-sized mirror makes it perfect to keep in your purse for on-the-go touch-ups.

SEPTEMBER 2013

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MIRROR, MIRROR

OUTSTANDING OLFACTORY EXPERIENCE FALL FRAGRANCE BESTS BY YSL

TIME-TONIC L’HOMME LIBRE COLOGNE TONIC

We’re falling for L’Homme Libre Cologne Tonicthe 2013 Limited Edition of Yves Saint Laurent’s L’Homme Libre. The original woody-scented fragrance gets a citrus addition for an intensified radiance and freshness. Top notes of Primofiori lemon, followed by violet leaves and aromatic basil heart notes make way for the L’Homme Libre signature, Haitian vetiver and leather, highlighted by Cashmeran wood and musk. The idea behind this fragrance is freedom; letting him loose on the town in this scent is a win-win situation!

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THE MASTERY ISSUE


FALL FRAGRANCE BESTS BY YSL

THREE

STRIKES! ORIENTAL COLLECTION Yves Saint Laurent released a trio of scents inspired by Eastern luxury and refinement. The three fragrances of YSL’s Oriental Collection all have elements in common- vanilla and woody accordsbut each one is a statement on its own. Supreme Bouquet is a garden composition with sambac jasmine, tuberose, patchouli and pear notes, making it a great daytime scent. Majestic Rose, with its May Rose accord middle note, is suitable for evening outings; and as for Noble Leather, the leather accord couples with the dried fruit accord makes it a fragrance to wear when you want to make an impact. The Oriental Collection trio is a great way to maximize your fragrance wardrobe, three cohesive yet different creations. Get it? Got it? Good.

JESSICA’S

MANIFESTO “Jasmine is a magical flower with many, many sides to it: ultra-feminine, incredibly rich, opulent and sensual. I think this is what enabled us to give Manifesto so much sensuality and femininity. It’s an audacious fragrance, full of contrasts, making a genuine statement. A real signature.” Anne Flip, Manifesto Perfumer

Who could embody the contrasting and manytiered fragrance other than Jessica Chastain? We love her all in black in the 2013 Manifesto campaign shots- she’s simple and elegant, the real Manifesto woman!

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MIRROR, MIRROR

YOU’RE SO

EXTRAVAGANT! BRING YOUR EYES BACK TO CENTER STAGE

Forget layering your mascaras to achieve length, volume and curl- Make Up For Ever has just released the all-in-one solution for those of you who’ve been doubling up: Smoky Extravagant mascara! Generally, to get a separated and volumized lash, you’ve either got to pair your mascaras, or settle for one look. With Smoky Extravagant, your length and separation are optimized, but lashes are still ultra-plumped and fully volumized. There’s one more advantage to this rich black formula: curl baby, curl! Smoky Extravagant gives lashes a noticeable uplift- with no hardening effect. Get your optimal effect by sweeping the conical brush upwards from root to tip to plump individual lashes and achieve volumized lashes. Repeat on lower lashes. Truly arresting! 78 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP PRO TIPS WITH MAKE UP FOR EVER “The eyes are the mirror of our emotions whether on stage or in life, mascara must rise to every occasion even the most extravagant ones!” - DANY SANZ, CREATOR AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MAKE UP FOR EVER Use the Matte Black Aqua Liner #13 to create the cat eye effect. Start from the middle of the eyelid and go towards the outer corner of the eye. Stretch towards the outside to create a catlike effect. Then continue drawing with the Matte Black Aqua Liner #13 from the middle to the inner corner of the eye. Apply white Kohl Pencil inside the eyes of the lower lash line. Redraw your eyebrows with dark brown Waterproof Eyebrow Kit # 3 to intensify the colour. Finish with a good application of Smoky Extravagant!

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MIRROR, MIRROR

MEET THE

EXPERTS LANCÔME GIVES YOU A REASON TO LOOK CLOSER TEINT VISIONNAIRE

The equation is simple: one product, three effects. Not only does Lancôme’s Teint Visionnaire work as an imperfection corrector, it also gives your skin flawless, natural coverage, and last but not least, it transforms the skin, improving its quality day after day. By incorporating the LR 2412 molecule -it acts on 12 age markers- and vitamin CG- known for its brightening effect on dark spots- Teint Visionnaire only takes four weeks to help you achieve unified skin. We’ve already seen the benefits!

DOUBLE DARE

The duo foundation contains two different products in one application. The lid compartment contains a corrector enriched with vitamin CG- known for its brightening action. Apply it locally to instantly camouflage dark spots, under-eye circles and skin-pigment irregularities. The second part of the product is a fluid foundation to apply over the face, that harmonizes the complexion. The fine, weightless formula evens out the skin without accentuating pores and fine lines. The best aspect of the new product? Both the corrector and the foundation are available in 18 shades to suit all skin tones!

INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP CORRECTOR APPLICATION To correct imperfections, take a dab of corrector on your fingertip and work it over the back of your hand in circular strokes. Then apply locally, delicately tapping over any dark spots, under-eye circles or redness to be covered.

FOUNDATION APPLICATION Apply with a brush or a sponge over the entire face to even out the complexion for a natural result. Apply foundation from the centre of the face moving outwards.

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MIRROR, MIRROR

HYPED UP THE NEW HYPNOSE PALETTE

LANCÔME REINVENTS ITS EYE PALETTE IN 2013 AND BRINGS OUT 12 NEW HARMONIES FOR THREE DIFFERENT LOOKS: DOLL EYES WITH FRESH AND NATURAL SHADES, STAR EYES A COMBINATION OF CHIC AND ELEGANT HARMONIES FOR A SOPHISTICATED LOOK AND OUR FAVE: DRAMA EYES FOR AN INTENSE, SMOKY MAKEUP.

RAGMAG’S STAFF PICK We like the electric blue Bain de Minuit harmony from the Drama Eyes look. Pair it with your favorite mascara for even more intensity. For length and separation, use a comb-brush mascara. If you’re looking for thickness and volume, choose a thicker, more full brush.

WET ‘N WILD

Before Lancôme presents you with their palette, they disperse eyeshadow pigments within a fluid that later dries, leaving an ultra-concentrate of colour, guaranteeing an even texture and vibrant and luminous colours. That new wet technology also allows you to wear the eyeshadows two ways : applied dry, the texture gives delicate and light shades to illuminate the eye, while it becomes slightly creamy with a deeper intensity and longer hold when applied wet.

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MEET THE EXPERTS | LANCÔME GIVES YOU A REASON TO LOOK CLOSER

GET IT ALL WITH LANCÔME

“Much more than a wrinkle corrector”- that’s how Lancôme positions their Visionnaire serum, and we agree! Using the internationally patented LR 2412 molecule that’s designed to propel through skin layers, it does correct wrinkles, but also tightens pores, makes your skin texture more even and diminishes imperfections like signs of UV damage and acne marks.

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vivienne westwood fw 2014-2014

COPYCAT MIX N’ MATCH REAL RUNWAY ragmag shows you how to replicate that runway trend! see our takes on how to make the ready to wear, actually wearable

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GREYSCALE hermès arceau le temps suspendu or rose cadran chocolat victoria beckham fw 2013-2014

maison martin margiela ss 2014

TAKE THE PLUNGE stella mccartney iris wool-twill blazer

SATIN DOLL

balmain quilted satin tuxedo jacket

THE FIFTH ELEMENT fendi leather cuff

LEATHER THERAPY

versace resort 2014

2jours medium textured-leather shopper

STRAIGHT ARROW etro straight-leg woven pants

TWO-TIER SYSTEM

fendi texturedleather and leather pumps

SPIKE UP BABY christian louboutin panetone wallet SEPTEMBER 2013

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LEOPARD alexander mcqueen leopard print scarf

STRIKE GOLD fendi goldtone and leather cuff

roberto cavalli resort 2014

HERE KITTY KITTY

roberto cavalli leopard print jersey dress

UNDER YOUR BELT

versace belts

RED RUM louboutin tablet case

FOLLOW SUIT

vero moda leopard print tuxedo jacket

saint laurent resort 2014 marc jacobs satin leopard print pencil skirt

pierre balmain leopard print skinny jean

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lanvin pre-fall 2013-2014

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

BACKSTAGE PASS FERRAGAMO

URBAN MAGNATES INSPIRE AUTUMN - WINTER 2013 COLLECTION

’S

Salvatore Ferragamo’s newest collection by Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti is for today’s dynamic man. Among the finest points of this range are the reversible leather peacoat and the cashmere lined rain cape with leather trim. Energetic shades of grey in Gun Metal and Storm, arresting Blue Graphite and Midnight Blue, and the always rare deep greens have positioned Ferragamo’s latest creations as the staple men’s wardrobe of the year. For this range, the use of the 3D element is heavily engaged for the collection’s knits: texturized neoprene and wool and silk yarns are employed liberally. The urban well-dressed gentleman need look no further- he’s found his calling.

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ENTER

STAGE LEFT STARRING

CARMEN BSAIBES DRESSED BY BALMAIN + ISABEL MARANT JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR FOR THE HOUSE OF MOUZANNAR

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ODETTE KAHWAGI STYLED BY JONY MATTA

MAKEUP BY ALI KATTOUA FOR NABIL MAKHOUL INSTITUTE HAIR BY ROGER GABRIEL

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TOTAL LOOK BALMAIN | RINGS BY DORY MOUZANNAR SEPTEMBER 2013

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SHIRT, BELT + SKIRT BY BALMAIN | SHOES BY ISABEL MARANT | OPPOSITE PAGE: JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR | DRESS BY ISABEL MARANT


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DRESS BY ISABEL MARANT | OPPOSITE PAGE: JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR


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TOTAL LOOK ISABEL MARANT | JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR | OPPOSITE PAGE: JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR | DRESS BY ISABEL MARANT


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TOTAL LOOK ISABEL MARANT | OPPOSITE PAGE: TOTAL LOOK BALMAIN | JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR


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TOTAL LOOK BALMAIN | EARRINGS BY DORY MOUZANNAR | SHOES ISABEL MARANT | OPPOSITE PAGE: JEWELRY BY DORY MOUZANNAR


EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

RAGMAG RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN

VALENTINO SS 2014

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RAGMAG RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN

VERSACE FW 2013-2014

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RAGMAG RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR MEN

ETRO FW 2013-2014

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

RAGMAG RAGING RUNWAY TOP CATWALK CHOICES FOR WOMEN

GIVENCHY FW 2013-2014

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SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

CHECK

BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN

Jay Z Magna Carta… Holy Grail Is Jay Z, now a few years over 40, having trouble relating to a younger generation? All of his previous releases saw him mostly exultant rather than cautiousas for this one, we notice that he’s playing it safe (even though he drops in some brilliant moments from time to time to let us know that he still got his finger on the rhythm of the New Rap world). One such brilliant moment is opener Holy Grail, produced by Timbaland and J-Roc with vocals by Justin Timberlake. Taking a line from Smells Like Teen Spirit, it talks about the exhilarating yet confusing feelings that come from going from an average life to a luxurious one,

Timberlake starting things off before Jay Z takes over a minute and a half later with a theatrical entry. The rest of the songs have what you would expect from a rapper of his caliber, but again things seem to have been created in somewhat of a haste due to a lack of time (perhaps because of his many business engagements). The random flashes of energy and the patches of samples thrown sporadically in the mix appear calculated. Frank Ocean, Rick Ross and wifey Beyoncé do help with the diversity of tunes, making the album enjoyable (even if we expected more). Diehard fans will have no problem with this record.

Natacha Atlas Expressions: Live in Toulouse It was an illustration of her ongoing diversity when Natacha Atlas covered Nick Drake’s River Man on her 2010 album Mounqaliba and if that cover, even though a valiant effort, didn’t do too much justice to the cult track, the live version on Expressions: Live in Toulouse will make you fall in love with this superb song all over again. Another indicator of Atlas’ love of mixing things around is her collaboration with the Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse on this album, an ensemble known around the world for their vigorous artistic presentations. Backed by this formidable group of musicians, she’s offering us a palette of live

original and cover songs that include spectacular interpretations of Arabic classics by the Rahbani Bros in the form of Fayek Walla Nassi and Le Shou El Haky and on the way pays homage to the 2011 Egyptian revolution on opener Rise to Freedom. Her sensual voice is bathed in a river of violins and cellos, Western instruments that are entwined superbly with the Arabic ney, oud and other percussions, creating a laidback atmosphere lost between two worlds. Natacha offers ambiance and serenity; you’ll forget your troubles if only for a few hours. Another tour de force by an ever-changing artist.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Keeping a four or five-piece band together these days is already challenging enough- imagine one that has 11 fixed members in addition to a myriad of guests and collaborators. According to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the different vibes and personalities that tangle together during the creative and recording processes are very harmonious in general- you’ll feel it in their latest, self-titled offering. Drawing inspiration from the 70s positive hippy era mixed with NeoPsychedelia, Funk and Reggae, the Magnetics provide you with affirmative and life-inspiring music while

retaining a credibility and seriousness first pioneered by The Polyphonic Spree in the early 2000s. They’ve even gone as far as replacing the clear sound of their first two albums with a more rugged feel. This works wonders as the tracks give you that sense on the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper-inspired Let’s Get High, or on the many songs that hit you with an unexpected jamming section that take you away from the song for a while and then drives you back in an astonishing way. Spirited music with high-energy presentation: pick up this album in blind faith.

Chick Corea The Vigil If you’re a fan of Return to Forever -Chick Corea’s seminal Latin/Rock Jazz band from the 70s- you’ll get the feeling that Corea is somewhat nostalgic of that creative era where new standards in Jazz were being established, culminating in the release of many of the genre’s finest works. The name of the album and the cover art with its knight on a horse suggest that he’s keen on guarding those moments while continuing on with new sonic exploration, keeping with his past. Enlisting bassist Hadrien Feraud, monumental drummer Marcus Strickland and guitarist Charles Altura (these 106 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

names may mean nothing to you, but we’re in the company of giants here), he’s surrounded himself with enough muscle to keep alive the solid Fusion Jazz that he pioneered long ago. Right off the bat, we’re immersed in the Return to Forever world with opener Galaxy 32 Sat 4, with Strickland providing a huge wall of drumming to parallel Corea’s intricate piano/keyboard lines, and all the remaining six tracks (Pledge For Peace clocks in at almost 18 minutes) don’t let up for a single moment with enough control to charge up your neighborhood. A masterful release.

THE MASTERY ISSUE


read’em +

weep BY AMAL CHAABAN

World War Z Max Brooks

Why you should read this book

Globalization isn’t just about economics

Previews of the movie adaptation of World War Z lead one to think that the book was all about Zombies to the exclusion of anything else. It is therefore a very pleasant surprise to find a book that actually highlights one of the biggest issues of our time: globalization and its effect on disease transmission. In the book, the contagion is spread gradually and even though it’s a bite that usually causes the infection, it doesn’t always show right away and therefore spreads making it virtually impossible to stop (no matter which

government is in charge). The carriers travel, kiss, eat, make love and essentially go about their lives before the infection takes over rendering them a walkingdead type Zombie. This author’s book is more than just another contagion novel; it’s an exploration of how disease can and does spread like wildfire in a truly globalized world. Written in the style of “survivor” stories, it is a compelling view of a post-disease existence. This is the book to read if you want a helping of serious medicine in with your fun and fluff.

The Cuckoo’s Calling Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Why you should read this book

Blood will always be thicker than water

Lula Landry has it all: fame, money, unparalleled beauty and a family that adores her. When she commits suicide, it comes as a very big shock to everyone involved. Enter Cormoran Strike, a down on his luck, hard-nosed private detective hired by Landry’s brother to prove that the troubled model was murdered. It’s unfortunate that J.K. Rowling was unmasked as the writer behind this book because it would have been fun to see the evolution of the characters without taking the Rowling touch into consideration. The Cuckoo’s Calling is as far

from her Hogwarts days as you can get, refreshingly so in this reviewer’s opinion- it’s written in the style of 40s noire detectives without a single blip in the narrative. The pace is realistic, the cast of characters varied and they’re all sufficiently shady- just enough to raise one’s hackles. Rowling’s setting flows the way a good detective novel should. One hopes that being outed as Robert Galbraith will not stop Rowling from continuing what has the potential to be a long-running (and fun) series to read.

The Anatomy of Violence Professor Adrian Raine Why you should read this book

The roots of violence are as varied as the perpetrators

People viewing violence do so with a kind of prurient fascination. It’s the sort where you can’t look away and yet can’t imagine yourself doing anything close to what you’re watching. This book aims to explore one question: what is it that drives some to commit unspeakable acts of violence whilst leaving others untouched with what is a kind of madness? Professor Adrian Raine currently holds the position of the Chair of the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania and in his book sets out to explain his theory that violence may have roots in genetics

and in the brain. Using case studies (carefully selected), historical research, and present day trials, Raine attempts to cement his theory that violence is purely a nature not nurture issue. This means that he’s discarding any idea that environs may also be a contributing factor to behavior. There are parts of this book where Raine all but advocates eugenics in order to fix the problem of violence that plagues our communities, making this book very controversial. Read this if you are interested in the purported physiological causes of violence.

The Ghost Bride Yangsze Choo Why you should read this book

All myth has a grain of truth

Li Lan is the only daughter of a family fallen into genteel poverty in her community, greatly decreasing her chances of a “good” marriage. When an offer is made for her to become the Ghost Bride of a deceased son of a very wealthy family, she rebels and goes to the extreme to try and avoid this union. In the process, she enters a place that she once thought of as a story told to her by her Nanny– the Spirit Realm. Choo is a first-time author who has taken stories

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of folklore and given them a modern flavor, though the book is set in a prior era. Her take on the Spirit Realm shows us a place where venal behavior can still exist with consequences far beyond our imaginings. The strength of this novel is in the complexity of the narrative as we wind through Li Lan’s many trials to get back to where she needs to be. Read The Ghost Bride when you want to sink into the mists of folklore but still feel like you’re in the present moment. www.ragmag.co | R A G M A G | 107


playNICE

SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

BY ADAM VOLK

DuckTales Remastered

Publisher Capcom | Developer WayForward Technologies Platforms Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, Wii U If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you watched Disney’s DuckTales, the animated series which featured the adventures of the miserly Scrooge McDuck and his plucky (pun intended) nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The series also spawned a popular video game for the Nintendo way back in 1989, which went on to sell millions of copies and became a pop culture hit. Now, the powers that be at Capcom have decided to tap into the nostalgia factor with DuckTales: Remastered. The game is more or less a faithful recreation of the original. It’s a basic

Super Mario-style platformer as you help Scrooge clear obstacles, collect items, solve puzzles and leap over enemies. Aside from the updated HD graphics, the game also features a few new levels, some bonus unlockable content, a new storyline and some revamped music. The voice actors from the TV show also return to lend their talents. If you grew up playing the DuckTales game for the NES, you’ll probably be all over this like a waterfowl on bread. Of course, if you haven’t heard of the original, you probably won’t give a flying duck.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Publisher Nintendo | Developer AlphaDream Platforms Nintendo 3DS Whether they’re unclogging a toilet or stomping on goombas, the legendary Super Mario Brothers do almost everything together. And sure, Mario might always get the girl, but that doesn’t mean his bouncing broheim Luigi doesn’t have a few moves of his own. Just look at the brothers’ latest adventure, Mario & Luigi Dream Team. Players take control of both Mario and Luigi, combining their skills to survive Pi’illo Island, a resort where a mad doctor is conducting a series of bizarre sleep experiments. The action is carried out in

turn-based battles, where players take on enemies using a top down perspective that combines strategic planning with a dose of button mashing action. It’s a fairly sharp looking game, taking full advantage of the Nintendo 3DS’s eye popping visual capabilities. In an Inception-like twist, some of the game also takes place inside Luigi’s dreams – taking on a more familiar, 2D side-scrolling vibe. It’s a fun, quirky and action-packed outing that proves yet again that even in their dreams, Mario and Luigi always put bros before foes.

Saints Row IV

Publisher Deep Silver | Developer Volition, Inc./High Voltage Software Platforms Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 The Saints Row series has come a long way since it was first released in 2006. Originally seen as little more than a cheap knock-off of Grand Theft Auto, the games have gone on to establish their own niche in the crowded open world shooter market. With their insane violence, gross out humour and over the top characters, Saints Row seems to up the ante with each new chapter. The fourth entry is no exception. Players once again take on the role of the leader of the Saints, a group of trigger happy gangbangers who have gone on to become global celebrities. The twist? You’ve also just become the President of the United

States. Of course, nothing in the world of the Saints is ever easy, and before long an alien invasion has you stepping out from behind the oval office and kicking a little extraterrestrial butt. The game features some improved graphics, but other than that it’s another familiar –but still awesome– dose of open world exploration that lets you take control of an arsenal of weapons, drive a smattering of vehicles and encounter a cast of bizarre characters. It’s an action-packed, ultra violent and incredibly hilarious addition to the Saints Row franchise that will have you blowing things up and humming Hail to the Chief at the same time.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist Publisher/Developer Ubisoft Platform Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, WiiU

The sixth entry in the popular Splinter Cell series finds covert operative Sam Fisher once again sneaking and shooting his way through a world of espionage and intrigue. The plot is a bit of a convoluted mess as a mysterious terrorist group calling themselves The Engineers threaten to –what else?– destroy America (zzzzzzzzz). Before long you’ll be globe-hopping Sam from one hot spot to another. Sadly, Michael Ironside, the long-time voice of Sam Fisher, bowed out of this game, taking his pitch-perfect, gravely timbre along with him. His

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replacement is barely good enough to fill his green, glowin-the-dark trinoculars. The game doesn’t mess too much with what’s already been established, walking a fine line between action and stealth, with each level letting you decide whether to go in loud and heavy or quietly dispatch your enemies. The environments are gorgeous looking, and some polished co-op and multiplayer elements definitely add a lot more meat beyond the single player experience. The result is a solid addition to the exploits of the world’s most silent but deadly super spy.

THE MASTERY ISSUE


watch out BY JACQUES TCHABARIAN

Jobs |

127 mins | Drama Ashton Kutcher, Lukas Haas, Mathew Modine David Fincher did a great job immortalizing the eccentric visionary behind Facebook in 2010’s The Social Network and the same was expected of Joshua Michael Stern when word got out that he would be the one directing the life of Apple luminary Steve Jobs. Overall, movie critics and fans alike have responded very well to Ashton Kutcher’s performance of the tech giant. Kutcher’s commendable job of portraying such an enormous persona (one who affected our lives drastically in our daily interactions with the rest of the world),

makes the film worth the watch. There has been some naysaying, primarily that the film isn’t a startto-finish biography of the tech magnate, but this is offset by a masterful performance. Thankfully, Kutcher is also surrounded by a cast that live up to their roles in the highly anticipated flick, Lukas Haas, Dermot Mulroney and Josh Gad brilliantly embodying the partners who helped Jobs to get where he was at the time of his untimely death. These actors contribute to making the movie watchable. A good “job” here, pretty much as a whole.

2 Guns | 109 mins

| Action Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Bill Paxton I just love Mark Wahlberg. He’s one of those actors you admire when he makes good movies and feel bad for when he makes bad ones- basically blaming the director, poor script or any other element, but never the actors. 2 Guns, despite poor critical reception, falls in the category of good Wahlberg movies- and I stand by my opinion. The action-packed scenes and light humor generated by the interaction of the two main characters give us a light crime comedy that is thoroughly enjoyable. Wahlberg, who plays a U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer, is on an

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Logan Lerman, Stanley Tucci, Alexandra Daddario How would you react if you were told that you were a demigod with a human for a mother and Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, as your father? Percy Jackson took it rather well in the first installment, battling all sorts of demons and deities to get his mother’s soul back from hell. In an ongoing attempt by Hollywood to make Greek mythology attractive to a younger audience, the second flick, Sea of Monsters, has landed in theaters and is surprisingly as good (if not better), than the first one. The story begins with Camp Half-Blood, a refuge for all demigods and other mythological creatures threatened

undercover mission to infiltrate an influential narcotic organization, the same one Denzel Washington, a DEA agent, is also trying to infiltrate. Neither of them are aware of the other’s identity and both wrongly assume the other is a bad guy. When things go horribly wrong, they work together to get out of the mess where mobsters and CIA rogues would rather see them dead. One wonders if under the skilled hands of a master like Quentin Tarantino, this movie could have gone further, but it is nonetheless quite good. For fans of Tango & Cash.

| 110 mins | Fantasy Adventure

by agents of evil. Percy, with his trusted companions (a satyr and a fellow half-blood), sets off on a journey to find the Golden Fleece- the only thing that can save their world. When the search party encounters Cyclops, Minotaurs and of course sea monsters that make their journey hard to complete, our heroes make use of their wit, demigod powers and special weaponry to achieve their goal. Great CGI effects have been deployed by an army of techs and the plot is interesting to follow, even if you haven’t seen the first installment. Greek mythology was never so interesting, even in Hollywood.

Turbo |

96 mins | Animation Comedy Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson “A snail with a need for speed.” That’s enough to put a smile on your gamer face and DreamWorks Animation have taken this concept and given us an entertaining movie to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Yes, the typical theme of believing in yourself and fighting against all odds that is projected in a lot of animated movies can be tiresome, but worry not; in this movie, things are handled comically. The message is conveyed without being preachy. Ryan Reynolds voices the character of Turbo, a garden snail who is unhappy with his life and has a yearning for racing

SEPTEMBER 2013

cars. All his entourage advise him to accept who he is, but a freak encounter with a street racing car sees him trapped in the engine where he’s injected with nitrous oxide. He’s now got extra power and the ability to run at tremendous speeds. The 3D aspect of the movie gives it an additional edge, especially during the action scenes. The cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena and Snoop Dogg (with a custom-made role) shake things up superbly and the overall feel is “satisfying” when you’re out of the theater. Great for child/adult quality time.

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SPEAK, SEE, HEAR NO EVIL

SOUNDTRACK

TO THE APOCALYPSE BLOOD, SWEAT+BEER RAGMAG MIXTAPE BY KAREEM CHEHAYEB

WHETHER YOU’RE TAKING A ROAD TRIP OR YOU’RE STUCK IN TRAFFIC, RAGMAG TAKES YOU BACK A COUPLE OF DECADES WITH SONGS TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR SUMMER. REMEMBER THE DAYS BEFORE YOUR HAIRLINE WAS RECEDING AND YOUR EARS COULD HANDLE MORE THAN THE CELEBRATORY GUNSHOTS OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW? REMEMBER WHEN YOU WOULD BLAST SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HEAVY METAL SONGS AT MAXIMUM VOLUME, BE IT BLACK SABBATH OR SLAYER? REMEMBER THE AROMA OF BLOOD, SWEAT, AND BEER THAT COMES WITH EVERY METAL SHOW? THESE SONGS WON’T ONLY GIVE YOU THAT RUSH OF ADRENALINE THAT YOU’VE BEEN DESPERATELY CRAVING, BUT THEY WILL ALSO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE THE POWERFUL NORSE GOD (OR GODDESS) YOU THINK YOU ARE BUT REALLY AREN’T. CAUTION: READING THE FOLLOWING SONG SELECTION MAY IMPAIR YOUR HEARING.

RAINING BLOOD

Album Reign in Blood 1986 | Artist Slayer

WHAT’S UP Slayer are known to have taken metal to a whole new level. One of thrash metal’s legends, Slayer took the speed from existing heavy metal and hardcore punk bands at the time and well… made it faster. Raining Blood not only demonstrates this, but also the sick and evil melodies that made Slayer stand out from other bands (in addition to their controversial lyrics). Reign in Blood is considered by many as their most successful album with most of the music written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in May of this year at age 49.

“RAINING BLOOD FROM A LACERATED SKY BLEEDING ITS HORROR CREATING MY STRUCTURE NOW I SHALL REIGN IN BLOOD!”

HOLY WARS ... THE PUNISHMENT DUE Album Rust in Peace 1990 | Artist Megadeth

WHAT’S UP

Megadeth went through many lineup changes, but most fans would argue that the lineup on 1990’s Rust in Peace is still by far the best. Marty Friedman’s exotic guitar solos and Nick Menza’s fast drumming perfectly meshed with frontman Dave Mustaine’s guitar riffs and brutally honest political lyrics. While Dave Mustaine was always in the shadow of his former band, Metallica, Megadeth raised the bar with every album. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due is a track played in every Megadeth performance with fast riffs, solos and ever-so-catchy lyrics. 110 | R A G M A G | www.ragmag.co

“BROTHER WILL KILL BROTHER SPILLING BLOOD ACROSS THE LAND THE MASTERY ISSUE KILLING FOR RELIGION SOMETHING I DON’T UNDERSTAND”


SOUNDTRACK TO THE APOCALYPSE | BLOOD, SWEAT + BEER

SEEK AND DESTROY Album Kill ‘Em All 1983 | Artist Metallica

WHAT’S UP

Kill ‘Em All isn’t the first album people usually mention when they think of Metallica. Metallica’s long and storied career is one of many uniquely sounding albums. Most fans would probably go for Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All or even their self-titled record. I decided to go back to the roots, to the very foundation of Metallica. Despite that, Seek and Destroy has always been Metallica’s encore song during live performances with catchy guitar riffs that later speed up, followed by a fine solo by Kirk Hammett. The standout bass lines are also by none other than Metallica’s late bassist, the legendary Cliff Burton. Seek and Destroy is definitely a metal anthem.

“WE’RE SCANNING THE SCENE IN THE CITY TONIGHT WE’RE LOOKING FOR YOU TO START UP A FIGHT THERE’S AN EVIL FEELING IN OUR BRAINS BUT IT’S NOTHING NEW YOU KNOW IT DRIVES US INSANE”

RUN TO THE HILLS Album The Number of the Beast 1982 Artist Iron Maiden

WHAT’S UP

Fact: a rock or metal fan who claims to have never listened to Iron Maiden before is someone who must be living under a rock. Iron Maiden fills up stadium-sized venues around the world with audiences who belt out their songs word for word (and the guitar solos note by note). Bruce Dickenson’s powerful singing voice as well as the guitar harmonies and melodies revolutionized metal music as we know it. Iron Maiden began to flaunt these unique traits in The Number of the Beast. Run to the Hills remains a classic that begins with one of Iron Maiden’s many memorable harmonized guitar solos (eventually proceeding to the chorus), when the audience’s unified onevoice drowns out Dickenson.

“RUN TO THE HILLS! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!”

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SOUNDTRACK TO THE APOCALYPSE | BLOOD, SWEAT + BEER

RAGMAG’S SPECIAL MENTION TOP MIDDLE EASTERN METAL TRACK

AMOK DOCTRINE Album Psychogenocide (2011) Artist Nervecell

WHAT’S UP

WAR PIGS

Album Paranoid 1970 | Artist Black Sabbath

WHAT’S UP

Ever since guitarist Tony Iommi discovered that while using the tritone (or “The Devil’s Chord”), rock music can sound sinister and evil, he kindled the fire that became heavy metal. Black Sabbath created a whole new vibe for rock music, with relatively slow and “doomy” riffs that generated an ominous and evil sounding atmosphere. With Ozzy Osbourne behind the mic singing about war, tyranny, and humanity, heavy metal was born. While Black Sabbath have many classics under their belt, War Pigs is among the more popular ones.

While not the oldest metal band out of the Middle East, Nervecell are definitely the most successful. This Dubai-based death metal act is compromised of guitarists Barney Ribeiro of India and Rami Mustafa of Jordan, and bassist/vocalist Lebanese James Khazaal. Nervecell are the first Middle Eastern band to play at some of metal’s largest festivals in Europe, including Germany’s Wacken Open Air Festival. Amok Doctrine is from their second album, Psychogenocide, released under German label Lifeforce records. Nervecell’s music is not for the fainthearted: this is about as heavy and technical as metal gets; James’ growls are empowering, and the blast beats coming out of the drums are deafening. That said, one should certainly take note of Rami’s melodic solos too. Amok Doctrine is a song that basically samples what Nervecell are all about. Have fun head-banging to this one; you’ll probably need a neck brace.

“INFLICTION OF PEACE IS A FANTASY THE TRUE AIM IS TORTURE AND HYPOCRISY THIS IS YOUR NATURE IN REALITY YOUR AMOK DOCTRINE FOR HUMANITY”

“POLITICIANS HIDE THEMSELVES AWAY THEY ONLY STARTED THE WAR WHY SHOULD THEY GO OUT AND FIGHT? THEY LEAVE THAT ROLE TO THE POOR”

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

BAKU

THE

DIARIES

AZERBAIJAN’S CAPITAL CITY IS MINE BY FIDA CHAABAN

“Baku? Where’s Baku? Is it modern?” That was something I heard over and over again once I began telling people that I was taking a trip to Azerbaijan’s capital. I wasn’t sure why so many of my worldly friends hadn’t heard of what I’ve taken to calling The New Dubai (TND). “I’m staying at the Four Seasons Baku,” I’d respond, to which I’d almost always get, “There’s a Four Seasons there?” Yes, there is a Four Seasons there and that Four Seasons is situated in Baku’s million dollar mile. Baku’s million dollar mile is a lot like Chicago’s except there is no litter, and for some odd (and highly suspect) reason, no homeless people looking for a hand out. There are also no Roma, commonly referred to as gypsies (Tsyganye). “Why Baku? Who goes to Baku?” Everyone, these days. All of Europe’s movers and shakers, the world’s foremost business leaders, and all of the people eager to jump on the bandwagon now that they’ve struck it rich. Very, very rich.

F

or those of you, like so many of my friends, who haven’t heard of Baku and don’t know why it’s TND, read the The New York Times feature by Peter Savodnik. He interviewed billionaire developer Ibrahim Ibrahimov for an informative (and funny) piece: Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous. Indeed, they’re filthy fucking rich. We’re talking serious moolah in the form of black gold. Add their advantageous position on the Caspian Sea into the mix and you’ve got the makings of the next celeb hotspot. Ibrahimov is serious about his project, the Khazar Island development by Avesta Concern, and according to his talk with Savodnik he’s going to do it bigger and better than the Arabs did. Or

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can. Or will. That’s why it’s TND, and that was one of my chief motivations for planning a trip to this famous (sort of?) country. That, and I tend to get obsessed with things quickly. And obsessed I was: I spent hours researching Azerbaijan’s climate, geography, demographics and political situation. I clocked so many hits on the CIA’s World Factbook that I’m sure I set off NSA bells. I decided to go to this country that is (and isn’t) on the radar of journos and jetsetters.

ABOVE: BAKU PARONAMIC VIEW OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT: BAKU PARK, FOUR SEASONS BAKU SAUNA

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

TOP TO BOTTOM: BAKU FLAME TOWERS, BAKU GENERAL VIEW WITH THE OLD GOVERNMENT BUILDING

THE BAKU DIARIES | AZERBAIJAN’S CAPITAL CITY IS MINE

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: DIVANKHANA PISHTAQ IN OLD TOWN, BAKU MONUMENT, BAROQUE FOUNTAIN IN FOUNTAIN SQUARE, FOUR SEASONS BAKU INDOOR POOL

Здравствуйте!

If you are in the aforementioned glitzy downtown, you can expect to find people who are well-versed with world-happenings and they all speak English fluently. The Four Seasons staff had nary a trace of an accent and they’re more than willing to go out of their way to handle your bookings at restos and bars, thus ensuring that I was welcomed everywhere, including the high-end nightlife destinations on busy weekend nights like Chinar and Pasifico (more on this later). What little Russian I know comes in handy; when I greet people with the formal Здравствуйте (pronounced zdrástvujte) and then follow up with social niceties it really does warm people to me. I notice this almost immediately, beginning at the airport- a few Russian phrases make the Azeris kinder, warmer and less suspicious. The general Azeri public pretty much all speak Russian in addition to their own native tongue, due to former Soviet he-

gemony. Azerbaijan is very much a part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that count Russia and Kazakhstan as two of their nine members and the CIS personality is evident in a few ways culturally. One salient detail? They have a caviar fetish- several varieties are present on almost every menu I see, save for a few trendy “foreign” cuisine restos (all executed by the same hospitality group). This may not make sense to you, but it is really indicative of who they are catering to and what sort of sensibility they’re projecting. I’m pleased to practise my Russian, but I don’t learn a single word of Azeri- a major fail. I’m not going to whitewash this piece and suggest they’re friendly peopleout of the tourist zone it’s a very different vibe. They are a bit standoffish and sort of have that stereotypical “cold” demeanour. (I know it’s a generalization, but before the politically correct bunch jump down my throat, it’s my opinion.)

I’M NOT GOING TO WHITEWASH THIS PIECE AND SUGGEST THEY’RE FRIENDLY PEOPLEOUT OF THE TOURIST ZONE IT’S A VERY DIFFERENT VIBE. THEY ARE A BIT STANDOFFISH AND SORT OF HAVE THAT STEREOTYPICAL

SEPTEMBER 2013

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

The recommended sightseeing includes Fountains Square (Fəvvarələr meydanı) different sources mention different numbers and I think I manage to find seven fountains in all. This is where I see Azeris spending an afternoon, taking selfies and pretty much chilling. Several of the fountains are surrounded by shops and cafes, but I’m not entirely sure why this is a “destination” per se. The fountains were created by artists with sponsorship by various banks- they’re meant to beautify public space and give people a place to hang out. I then visit the Old Town for a private two-hour tour that I’ve arranged through the hotel. The price tag is steep (200 Manat, the equivalent of 200 Euros) but Khanem, my tour guide, knows every nook and cranny and makes it well worth it. She tells me about the Zoroastrian influence, and both Persian and Ottoman empire periods. I’m allowed into secure areas cordoned off to the public because of Khanem’s rapport with the Old Towners. A new-meets-old detail? The Fire Towers, one of which is the new Fairmont Baku, are shaped like tongues of fire in homage to the historic Zoroastrian style fire-worship.

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OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: BAKU OLD TOWN AS SEEN FROM THE MAIDEN TOWER, STREETS OF BAKU AT NIGHT

THE BAKU DIARIES | AZERBAIJAN’S CAPITAL CITY IS MINE

RIGHT: CHINAR BOTTOM: CENTRAL BAKU WITH MAIDEN TOWER LANDMARK

CHINAR’S DJ IS BLASTING OLD SCHOOL TUPAC WHILE SMOKING A SHEESHA. AFTER ABOUT AN HOUR OF THIS, FOR NO PERCEPTIBLE REASON, HE SWITCHES GENRES TO A BUDDHA BAR TYPE JAM. THE WAITERS ARE READY TO IGNORE YOU, AND THE CROWD DON’T SEEM TO MIND THAT YOU HAVE TO BEG FOR SERVICE That done, I spend some time on the Caspian waterfront across from the Four Seasons at a tea shop- the server mumbles something as he plops down several things. I’m presented with what appears to be Russian black cherry preserves, a selection of nuts, sweets like baklava, a dish of candy, and a Snickers bar. I’m not sure why the Snickers bar is there, and I’m not sure why I’m given the black cherry selection when other tables are given a different variety. I’m not sure why I’m given this at all actually, since I didn’t even order, but when in Rome… The waterfront smells fresh (despite reports that say the Caspian is heavily polluted), and the grass is meticulously manicured. The trees are pruned with the lower branches cut off to discourage climbers- I ignore the hint and give it a shot. It’s been a hell of a long time since I climbed a tree, and I think it’s the combination of the healthy greenery and gruff onlookers that makes me do it. Yes, I climb, pretty

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high in fact. It seems that the Azeris running the teashop are offended (stupid tourist girl climbing the public tree), so I scramble down, put my lime-green Jimmy Choos back on and drink some of the bad Russian (Azeri?) cherry infused tea. The Snickers bar remains untouched while the bill is paid (I’m charged more than the other patrons), and I make a quick escape before something else happens.

SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENS

Nightlife in Baku is like nightlife everywhere else: the vodka flows, the ex-pats congregate, and the in-crowd is in. Pasifico and Eleven are the hippest nightlife spots, but I only manage to visit the former during my stay. Chinar comes heavily recommended on tripadvisor, but the sashimi is sliced as though the DJ is double-timing as the chef so that says a lot about the food. Speaking of Chinar’s DJ, he’s blasting old school Tupac while

smoking a sheesha. After about an hour of this, for no perceptible reason, he switches genres to a Buddha Bar type jam. The waiters are ready to ignore you, and the crowd don’t seem to mind that you have to beg for service. Chinar is hip and pricey, and the ambiance is interesting, but the cocktails aren’t well-executed and it’s time to leave. Next stop is the aforementioned Pasifico Lounge + Dining. The music is again random, and the crowd is even more so. In the course of an hour, I meet a gaggle of Austrians who are on a sort of mission to drive to Mongolia, a shady Swede recently relocated from Dubai (“I work in business”), and a Serbian girl who doesn’t speak a word of Srpski (believe me, I tried). Clothing ranges from elegant to post-beach although I haven’t seen an actual beach yet. At some point the music becomes blurry (for me), and I’m tired of this motley crew of Europeans who “bought” their visas at the Azeri embassy in Georgia. “Yeah, we just paid this guy on our way here, you know?” No, I don’t know. I do know that I want to leave so I head back to the Four Seasons (it’s walking distance) and hang out with the guys at the concierge for a while- they’re funny and fun and they think my take on Baku is hilarious. But I’m telling them the truth, Baku is growing on me and I don’t want to go.

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BAKU OLD TOWN PHOTOGRAPHY © MARKUS HILL SHALTRIN | STREETS OF BAKU © BENCEM.WORDPRESS.COM


HI HONEY, I’M HOME By the time I arrive in Baku, I hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in months due to stress, I kid you not. The Four Seasons Baku is serene; you can hear a pin drop in most of the structure and even the exquisite pool is an oasis of calm. My first night there was quite possibly the best rest you can imagine. I collapse onto the huge (and yes, comfortably-firm) bed, relishing the feeling of the crisp linens and marveling at the room that was just the right temperature. During my stay I order room service several times, use the laundry service (both express and regular), and make myself right at home. Everything is absolutely perfect- it’s like some alternate place where no one has any intention other than to make you happy. I want to

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extend my stay for many reasons- everything from the maps that they whip out to direct you, to the lush surroundings, to the soft lighting and brilliant fresh floral arrangements. The Four Seasons is one of the reasons to visit Baku, it’s not just a place to stay while you’re there. After eating at Baku’s finest restos, I can vouch with certainty that the food at the Four Seasons is the best in the city. Also, location is everything and the Four Seasons is smack dab in the center of downtownyou can skip over to the waterfront, the Old Town with historic monuments, the coolest restaurants, and the key shopping districts. It’s the easiest place to situate yourself as a tourist who wants to enjoy the best of Baku.

This trip really was something else -from meeting barefoot Azeri painter Ali Shamsi at his workspace (he’s got a snapshot with the Dalai Lama), to seeing the new Zaha Hadid structure- Baku is enchanting. It’s a medley of personalities, architecture and entertainment. I didn’t (and don’t) feel like a first-time tourist- it’s a city that you can fit into well, if you’re a bit random yourself. Like me

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TAKE ME WITH YOU

THE BAKU DIARIES | AZERBAIJAN’S CAPITAL CITY IS MINE

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: FOUR SEASONS BAKU, PAINTER ALI SHAMSI, OLD TOWN VIEW, HISTORIC GRAVESTONE IN THE OLD TOWN

TAKE ME THERE DXB to GYD If you manage to obtain a visitor visa to Azerbaijan, getting to Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport is easy from anywhere in the Middle East. I took a three-hour direct flight from Dubai with flydubai, it’s slightly closer than Beirut. The flights are inexpensive and convenient- you can leave on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Your return ticket can be on Tuesdays, Fridays and late Saturdays, meaning the GCC crowd can make it home in time for work on Sunday morning (that’s the flight I opt for). Terminal 2 at the Dubai airport is easy to navigate- there are tons of flydubai staff around to get you where you’re going. It’s worth mentioning that I don’t even notice waiting in line as it moves very quickly. Once on board, I spent both the trip there and the trip back watching inflight entertainment- it’s a buy-on-board process with a huge selection of blockbuster new releases and oldies but goodies. There’s definitely enough legroom and it’s pretty spacious, but I thoroughly freak out the people next to me when I jump while watching a terrifying new release. Major plus: you are able to choose how much baggage you want to take with you and the rates are very affordable; I opt for the maximum (40kg) of checked baggage at 150 AED which is roughly $40. www.flydubai.com

LET ME IN! VISITOR VISA You will need a visa unless you’re from Belarus, Moldova, a few of the “Stans” and a couple of other countries. As a Canadian, I rarely need to apply for a visitor visa but I assume it won’t be that difficult. Wrong. It is downright hard to do by yourself and the internet is fraught with forum threads discussing how tough it is for Westerners (and everybody else) to get a tourist visa. After trying unsuccessfully myself, the Four Seasons Baku advised me to contact Khazar Travel who work their magic after I supply them with the necessary documents. If you’re considering a trip to Azerbaijan, save yourself the hassle and contact them, they respond quickly and they’re able to process your credit card payment via email. incoming@khazar-travel.com

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

A MASTER BLENDER, ACULINARY DISTILLERY + ME TOURISM DIGGING UP CHOPIN VODKA’S POLISH ROOTS

BY YOUMNA CHAGOURY

AT THE CHOPIN DISTILLERY IN KRZESK, I WAS SURPRISED TO DISCOVER THE SCIENCE (YES, CHEMISTRY) AND SAVOIR-FAIRE BEHIND THE BOTTLES THAT HAVE SHOWN UP IN SOME OF LEBANON’S HOTTEST NIGHTLIFE DESTINATIONS

H

ere we have potato politics. If you dig the potatos, you’re good people. If you don’t, you aren’t.” Tadeusz Dorda is the founder of Chopin Vodka but he digs the potatos just like everyone else. Oh, and you can call him Tad. After spending a few days in Poland with Tad and the Dorda clan, I learn about making the potato vodka (and other varieties, think rose) - which includes digging, selecting, fermenting and distilling. At the Chopin distillery in Krzesk, I was surprised to discover the science (yes, chemistry) and savoir-faire behind the bottles that have shown up in some of Lebanon’s hottest nightlife destinations.

“This is how we get there,” says Tad on our way from the hotel in Warsaw to the helipad -yes, we took a helicopter to get there- I ask Tad a few questions about his “wódka”. He’s not keen on letting the cat out of the bag- not just yet, apparently he wants me to see the distillery first and when I arrive, I understand why. Located in Podlaskie Province, the Chopin distillery is nestled in a green expanse with potato fields, a lake, an abandoned shed, a picturesque windmill (it’s authentic), and one modern-looking building. After a cozy lunch at the Chopin house that welcomes guests who want to spend the night, we head to what I consider the most fun part of vodka-making: the potato harvest. Armed with hoes and baskets, we start digging up the young potato field while Tad explains the complexity of the planting process and the harvest: “As you see, the potatos are still growing- they’re small and green. In September we’ll dig the late potatos, all of them will be brown. They’ll stop growing and it’s easier to dig them out. You can’t plant

potatos in the same fields two years in a row. The potatos take too much nutrition off [sic] the ground so we have to plant something else to grow to restore the nutrients.” What’s growing the second year is not up to Chopin, as the distillery works with farmers “responsible for growing our potatos. We know them, we are partners. We’ve always worked with the same farmers for generations, since 1896. 100 and something years of a relationship. It’s not something that has been started yesterday. The tradition of making vodka with potato, rye and wheat, it’s in this region for a very, very long time.”

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EAT, DRINK+BE MERRY

because we make steam out of it and use it for vodka, and vodka doesn’t like minerals so you have to remove them.” Once the potatos are washed, they’re “taken to the pressure cooker. It’s nothing but a pressure cooker. It’s just that, potatos and steam. You put three tons of potatos into the pot, you close the lid and you release steam under pressure. After about an hour and 15 minutes, the potatos will become liquid. They’ll be over-cooked, like a potato soup.” It then has to be transferred to another tank to be cooled down and reach 22°C -no more, no less, exactitude is key- before distillerygrown yeast is added to start the three-day fermentation process. “Now we have to separate the alcohol from the potatos. We get eight percent alcohol in one tank, so approximately 5000 liters of alcohol in 60,000 liters of potatos. The rest of the potatos, approximately 92 percent, we give them back to the farmers to feed the animals with it.”

“WE GET EIGHT PERCENT ALCOHOL IN ONE TANK, SO APPROXIMATELY 5000 LITERS OF ALCOHOL IN 60,000 LITERS OF POTATOS. THE REST “YOU RELEASE STEAM UNDER OF THE POTATOS, APPROXIMATELY 92 PERCENT, WE GIVE THEM BACK PRESSURE. AFTER ABOUT AN TO THE FARMERS TO FEED THE ANIMALS WITH IT” HOUR AND 15 MINUTES, THE Chopin does produce wheat and rye or two because we want them fresh.” Af- POTATOS WILL BECOME LIQUID vodka, but it is mostly known for its po- ter the potatos “come from the fields, we tato vodka, especially its young potato have to wash them. This has been here [...] LIKE A POTATO SOUP” one. According to Tad, there’s a huge difference in taste, as young potatos “still don’t have a skin formed on them, there’s much less starch. They’re very good for eating but they’re usually not used to make vodka because you need many more potatos to make vodka. The late potatos have to grow for another two months, and two months in the ground makes the difference. There is more skin, it’s a heavy potato, it’s full of the flavor of where the potato was, in the ground, for a longer time.” Just like wine, the taste of each year’s bottle depends heavily on “the weather, the sun, the amount of water. [It] makes everything completely different, even though they’re the same potatos from the same village.” Harvesting the potatos is just the first phase of a very intricate process- the potatos I harvest this trip “will be served in 2014. It takes that long to distill them and keep them then bottle them.” The longevity of the process doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. The potatos have to be processed “within a day

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for as long as the distillery exists, except now we have machines to help us. We used to shovel the potatos by hand, now you can bring them here by tractor.” This is the first part of the distillery building. A narrow canal allows to potatos to descend towards the cooking station by water pressure. “It’s like a river, a lot of water comes in the canal here and the potatos are washed then they fall. They just follow the water, nothing is pushing them except the water. We don’t peel them, we just wash them- the whole potatos. Young potatos have almost no skin so it comes off by itself. The late potatos, we distill it with the whole skin and you have the taste of potatos.” Here too, Chopin goes local and here too, every element used in the vodkamaking process plays a role. The water used in the washing process “comes from the distillery area there, there are very deep wells in the bushes next to it. That’s the water we use, we pump it, we treat it. We remove the minerals out of the water

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CULINARY TOURISM | DIGGING UP CHOPIN VODKA’S POLISH ROOTS

“THEY FOUND OUT THAT THE ALCOHOL IN CONTACT WITH COPPER HAS A VERY POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON THE TASTE” For the last phase- the separation process, which is basically the first distillation- the fermented potato soup is placed in a three-floor tall copper still. “What it really is, it’s a big cup or plate, and the potatos start falling from the top from one plate to the other, they are slightly angled and they have two holes, one to come in and one to come out. We fill the potatos, the steam comes up and heats up the plate and the alcohol evaporates, that’s how you separate them.” On top of the column, the evaporated alcohol is cooled down to become liquid and we have “concentrated alcohol after distillation. When we dilute it in water, that’s basically what you drink. Nothing else is being added, nothing is being subtracted.” Tad explains how the amount of alcohol varies on the temperature and that’s why they use a copper still, as the material is “a very good conductor of heat. They found out that the alcohol in contact with copper has a very positive influence on the taste.” The taste indeed, during the trip I sample everything from rose vodka, “here eat the rose petals off

this bush, we cultivate these roses for our rose vodka exclusively,” to the rare and complex herbal-infused vodka. Steeped in 18 herbs including basil, the infusion is exclusive to Chopin and each bottle is authorized by Waldemar Durakiewicz –the Master Distiller himself- a man who has spent the past 37 years of his life ensuring that Chopin is a stand-alone brand. It’s worth mentioning that many vodka distilleries no longer have a Master Blender, nor do they have an old-world copper still. For those of you who enjoy brands imbued with family history, you’ll be happy to know that the Dorda family is part and parcel of Chopin’s operations- Tad’s daughter can give you a few pointers on when you should be choosing their rye vodka over their wheat one. That and she can also mix a mean cocktail- I listened to her rattle off recipes and opine on why vodkas don’t have a sommelier like wines do. She raises an interesting point- after seeing the vodka walls in Polish bars, I agree with her. It’s an exacting industry with a long and colourful history, especially when it comes to Chopin.

Visiting the Chopin Vodka distillery with Tad and meeting their Master Blender was the highlight of my trip to Poland and for good reason: how many times in your life do you really get to witness firsthand the fusion of natural farming and chemistry? That’s Chopin’s trademark- you can see the potato politics, from the ground up

RAGGED CHOPIN FACTS • There are 3.5kg of potatoes in each 750ml bottle • Each bottle takes about 15 minutes of digging • Because of the long winter, the 2013 planting and harvest was two weeks late • The distillery operates 24/7 and processes three pounds of potato every hour

HAPPY HOUR

PETER SIKOLRA FOR CHOPIN VODKA GOLDEN ROSE VODKA COCKTAIL Mix the vodka with cranberry juice, limejuice and orange juice.

CHOPIN MEN’S COCKTAIL

Pure vodka chilled, mixed with ice and served with olives.

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TU VUÒ FÀ

L’ A MERICANO ITALY... IN HAMRA BY MARIA-ELENA KASSAB

W

hen I walk into the blessed coolness of Appetito Trattoria, a cozy Italian restaurant in the middle of hectic Hamra, the heat, the traffic and the noise of the city are phasedout by the warm smiles that welcome me inside the hipster neighborhood’s best kept secret. When you’re at Appetito, you’re greeted by a sign declaring an authentic Italian experience, and boy, do they go all out on that one! The setting? Empty wine bottles lined on a shelf, old yet comfy wooden chairs flank a wooden bar, wood paneling on the walls, accented by jars of preserves displayed on checked shelves. There’s Italian music wafting from the speakers and last, but most definitely not least, good Italian food. In a nice twist, we aren’t presented with the traditional olive tapenade, bread sticks and balsamic vinegar/EVOO standard appetizer mix, but slices of perfectly toasted bread with an herbinfused marinara sauce. After perusing the menu, we decide to go for the Carpaccio di Manzo, thin slices of beef topped with an arugula salad, artichoke, Portobello

SEPTEMBER 2013

mushroom and Parmesan. The dressing on the salad is tangy without being acidic and has a nice flavor of olive oil, without being overly oily. For our main course, we try the Gorgonzola pizza with caramelized onions, chunks of pumpkin, Gorgonzola cheese and sage leaves. We were warned that the sage might be a tad too strong, so we tread carefully- the sweetness of the caramelized onions works well with the nuttiness of the pumpkin, which in turn tastes great with little bits of sage, adding a kick to the melted, gooey Gorgonzola…. You get the picture. We also decide to taste the Garganelli Al Pollo. I have one problem with this dish, and it’s the description: it should be named Garganelli Al Pollo from Heaven, because it’s absolutely divine! The herbroasted chicken is tender and succulent, the sun-dried tomatoes are just sweet enough with a smoky herb aftertaste, the blanched fava beans are bright green and soft (without being mushy). The pasta is al dente and tossed in a creamy sauce that leaves me wanting more. We end our meal with a smooth Tiramisu

made with fluffy mascarpone and just the right amount of coffee, and some Panna Cotta with a strawberry coulis that complements the sweet cream. I’d definitely go back for lunch, dinner and dessert there, just to escape the bustling city and enjoy a great Italian experience. Their menu is getting a makeover soon, so be on the lookout for that. Until then, arrivederci e mile grazie! THE + Attention You’re waited upon with smiles and politeness without feeling overwhelmed or claustrophobic Atmosphere Instead of playing random music, they have authentic Italian songs playing (think Funiculi, Funiculà!) THE – Speed We waited too long for our Carpaccio after having ordered it, but it was definitely worth it once it was served. Portions The Garganelli Al Pollo could really use more than two bite-sized pieces of that delicious chicken. Appetito Trattoria Mahatma Ghandi Street, Hamra 01347346 Appetito.trattoria www.ragmag.co |

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BE A

MASTER CHEF TECHNIQUE RECIPES MADE EASY BY LARA ARISS

Each edition of RAGMAG Lara Ariss will present a meal in several courses that you can try at home. Lara trained at Le Cordon Bleu in London, England. For this issue of RAGMAG, ara has compiled a master meal with recipes for those who like spending time in the kitchen. For more great ideas, check her out on the web http://www.bylara.me @laraariss

S E129 P T E|MRBAEGRM2A0G1 3 |

bylara

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laraariss

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ENDIVES ROQUEFORT

PREPARATION TIME 30 MINUTES SERVES 6 - 8 LEVEL EASY

Ingredients • 200 grams walnuts, coarsely chopped • 4 Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored- each quarter cut into 8 wedges • 180 grams baby arugula, washed and dried (6 cups) • 2 Belgian endives, leaves separated, washed and dried • 2 handfuls fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped •1 kg Roquefort cheese, crumbled • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste For the dressing • 4 teaspoons grainy mustard • 2 teaspoons honey • 2 shallots, minced • 6 tablespoons cider vinegar • 90 ml olive oil • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

METHOD

• In a small pan over medium heat, toast walnuts, stirring frequently until crisp and fragrant, for approximately 5 minutes. • In the

meantime make the salad dressing. In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, honey, shallot, and vinegar until well combined. Whisk in the oil until thick. Season with salt and pepper. • Add apple and arugula and toss to coat. • Arrange endive leaves on four serving plates. Top with apple mixture then scatter mint, cheese and walnuts over the top.

RATATOUILLE PREPARATION TIME 60 MINUTES COOKING TIME 45 MINUTES SERVES 6 - 8 LEVEL MEDIUM

INGREDIENTS • 2 large eggplants • 2 red peppers • 2 yellow peppers • 60 ml olive oil • 4 small zucchini, cut into thick rounds • 2 onions, sliced • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 peperoncini, crushed • 1 bay leaf • 1 sprig fresh rosemary • 8 medium tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped • Kosher salt • Freshly ground black pepper • Handful fresh basil leaves

METHOD

• Preheat the oven to broil. • Thickly slice the eggplant, and lay

the rounds on cake racks placed in the sink. Salt very generously and leave 30 minutes for the excess water to drain off. When they are ready, rinse them well under the tap and pat them dry with a towel. • While the eggplant drains, put the red and yellow peppers in the oven and broil to blacken the skin on all sides, for 20 minutes total. Remove to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. The skin will now peel off easily. Peel and seed, then slice julienne and put it in a large bowl. • Turn the oven down to 230°C. • Put some oil on a baking sheet and toss the zucchini slices in it. Grill in the oven, turning once, for approximately 10 minutes. Remove and add to the peppers. • Cut the rinsed

SEPTEMBER 2013

and dried eggplants into large chunks and toss in oil. Spread on the baking sheet and grill for approximately 15 minutes. As they are done, add them to the bowl. • While the vegetables are in the oven, heat a spoonful of olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic, peperoncini, bay leaf and rosemary, and sauté for 1 minute. • Add the tomatoes and cook until they are very soft and the whole mixture thickly soupy, for approximately 15 minutes. • Pour the tomato over the vegetables and toss. Check the seasoning. • Serve at room temperature with the basil scattered over.

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TARTE AUX FRUITS ROUGES PREPARATION TIME 20 MINUTES + RESTING TIME COOKING TIME 20 - 30 MINUTES SERVES 6 - 8 LEVEL DIFFICULT

INGREDIENTS: FOR THE PÂTE SUCRÉE • 140 grams plain flour • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 100 grams cold butter, cut into cubes • 3 tablespoons cold water FOR THE FILLING • 225 grams mascarpone cheese • 60 ml heavy cream • 55 grams caster sugar • 1 kg assorted berries, such as raspberries, strawberries and red currants • 3 tablespoons red currant jelly (substitute seedless raspberry)

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METHOD

For the pâte sucrée in a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fork, cut the chilled butter into the flour until it becomes sandy-like and there are a few small-sized pieces of butter still visible. Sprinkle the cold water onto the mixture and using your hands, combine the ingredients until it forms a ball. Don’t overwork the dough. Separate the dough into two balls and wrap with cling film. Chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours, before working with it. • Preheat the oven to 190°C. • Roll out the chilled pastry dough into a 30 cm circle and fit it into a 23 cm round, fluted tart pan. Gently prick the surface of the pastry in several places and place pie weights into the pan. • Bake the pastry shell for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and continue baking the pastry for an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until it turns light golden brown. Allow the tart shell to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the mascarpone cream. • In a large mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, and sugar together on medium speed. When the mixture is smooth, spoon it into the cooled tart shell and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula. • In a small saucepan set over low-medium heat, melt the red currant jelly. Set aside. • Arrange the red fruits on top of the mascarpone cream. Using a pastry brush, glaze the berries and fruit with the melted jelly. Store the tart in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before serving at near room temperature.

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BRAINFOOD ROUND #1

ROUND #2

History

ROUND #3

Entertainment

1. In which century did Saladin conquer Egypt?

2. Which American president issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves in the Southern “rebellious States”?

3. Which Greek shipowner married

1. According to a sex shop survey,

2. What was the “Pink Panther”

2. What do the letters U.H.T. stand

3. Which Italian violonist and

3. What do the letters BMW stand

number is the name of a TV series?

what is the favourite flavour of edible knickers?

in the films of the same name? composer wrote the set of concertos known as “The Four Seasons”?

4. What was Mr. T’s character’s

become King of Jordan?

name in the series “The A-Team”?

5. In what year was President Sadat of Egypt assassinated?

5. Where did the Flintstones live?

6. Which period of human culture

6. Dave Rowntree was the

came between the Stone Age and the Iron Age?

for on certain food stuff?

the slaves’ revolt against the Romans? Was it Spartacus or Ben Hur?

9. Who discovered the Victoria Falls? 10. Who died on French soil on

2. Which team has won the most F1 constructor’s championship?

3. Who defeated Sagesse in 2008-2009 Arab Clubs Basketball Championship finals?

4. Who was the youngest man to win a

5. A survey has shown that 85% of

5. Who captained France in the 2010

What does ZIP stand for?

women wear the incorrect size of what article of clothing?

6. What annoying creature’s sex

Wimbledon Men’s Single Championship? Soccer World Cup?

6. Which F1 driver has taken part in the most Grand Prix races?

7. The youngest woman to win Wimbledon

was Lottie Dod in 1887 at the age of 15. Name the more well known girl who was actually the second youngest ever to win.

7. Who wrote the novel “Doctor

7. What country do sinologists

8. What do the initials CNN

8. Where can you see the only

8. Which team has won the most Soccer

9. Which Hollywood actress

9. In the advertisement for

9. Lebanon has won 4 medals in the

study?

stand for?

name of the French National Theatre?

Cassius Clay down in a professional fight?

4. In the U.S., they have ZIP codes.

session lasts approximately 2 seconds?

Zhivago”?

8. Founded in 1680, what is the

1. Who was the second person to knock

for?

drummer with which band?

7. In ancient Rome, who led

Sports

1. What Beverly Hills zip code

Jackie Kennedy in 1968?

4. In what year did King Abdullah

ROUND #4

Trivia

Digital Rolex watch in the world?

made her debut in the film “The Mask”?

“Energizer” batteries, what does the rabbit wear on his feet?

10. Who played Cruella De Vil in

10. What appears in September

the “101 Dalmatians” film?

August 31st 1997?

and December more than in any other month?

World Cups?

Olympic games. One silver for weightlifting, 1 silver and 2 bronze for another sport. Which one?

10. Where was the first F1 race to take place in the Middle East?

EASY

6 5

2 8

4

9 2 9

7

2

2

9

8

5

9 4

1

5 6 2 4 5

6 3

1 7 8

3 7

8 6

8

9

8

7

4

8

1

9 1

3

8 5 4 9

4 9 1

7

5

3

2 5

5

4

8 9

7

8

5 5

3

7 2

1

9

7 5

6 3

2 4 9

7

2 6

9 9

9 3 6

ROUND#1 1. 12th 2. Abraham Lincoln 3. Aristotle Onassis 4. 7th Feb 1999 5. 6th Oct 1981 6. Bronze Age 7. Spartacus 8. Comédie Française 9. David Livingstone 10. Diana, Princess of Wales ROUND#2 1. 90210 2. A priceless jewel 3. Antonio Vivaldi 4. B.A. Baracus 5. Bedrock 6. Blur 7. Boris Pasternak 8. Cable News Network 9. Cameron Diaz 10. Glen Close ROUND#3 1. Cherry 2. Ultra Heat Treatment 3. Bavarian Motor Works 4. Zone Improvement Plan 5. Bra 6. Mosquito 7. China 8. Wimbledon Center Court 9. Flip flops 10. The Letter “E” ROUND#4 1. Henry Cooper 2. Scuderia Ferrari 3. Al Riyadi 4. Boris Becker 5. Patrick Vieira 6. Rubens Barrichello 7. Martina Hingis 8. Brazil 9. Wrestling 10. Bahrain

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ACROSS

18. Not friendly. 20. A very hot oven? 22. Richness. 24. No smell. 28. Signs of illness? 31. A short film clip. 33. Rastafarian hair cut. 35. Essential for foreign travel. 36. Victory. 38. A submarine’s optical aid.

40. Not black or white! 42. Two-piece swim suit. 44. A large transport vehicle. 49. French ham? 50. A much used construction material. 53. Gives a spark in a car? 54. A short father? 56. Usually a type of large musical instrument.

57. Likes both men and women. 62. Sadness! 66. A cover on a house? 67. Very dirty. 69. Used. 72. A special counter for radiation. 75. A hot place! 78. Part of your neck.

HIGHWAY TO HELL - JUMBO JET - BLACK SABBATH - FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL - UNDERGROUND RAILWAY/TRAIN FISH FINGERS - RAINING IN MY HEART - CROTCHLESS UNDERWEAR - AISHTI SEPTEMBER 2013

ACCROSS 3. CLEAR - 5. ANGLED - 7. REFLEX - 9. BLEMISH 10. INTEGRATED - 13. CLUEDO - 16. CAM 17. PUBLISH - 19. ERADICATED - 21. BISON 23. CHRONOLOGICALLY - 25. DEN - 26. MODIFY27. AGE - 29. FINALIZING -30. MORTEIN - 32. ERR34. ASPHALT - 37. IMPORT - 39. CAFE 41. HECTARE - 43. SENATOR - 45. VISCOUS 46. HAMBURGERS - 47. BOX - 48. KINKED 50. CHROME- 51. CRAMPED - 52. PERISHED 55. BROWSE. - 58. PENALTIES - 59. DARN 60. DESTINY - 61. YARD - 63. LACTATE 64. VITAL - 65. SOLICITING - 68. QUIT 70. UNDULATE - 71. YODELLING - 73. PATROL 74. EXHALED - 76. NOD - 77. ADDITION 79. NUMERICAL 80. NUMBNESS 81. VOLUPTUOUS - 82. BENEATH 83.CONSECRATED

1. A crack in a rock? 2. Three pointed hat? 4. Forgive. 6. Do it bit by bit. 8. An expensive spice. 11. Not a spring tide. 12. A type of application form? 13. Think very hard. 14. American waterway? 15. Take away.

DOWN 1. FISSURE - 2. TRICORN - 4. ADMONISH 6. GRADUALLY- 8. SAFRON - 11. NEAP 12. QUESTIONAIRE - 13. CONCENTRATE 14. LEVY - 15. REMOVE - 18. HOSTILE 20. KILN - 22. WEALTH - 24. ODOURLESS 28. SYMPTOMS - 31. TRAILER - 33. DREADLOCKS 35. PASSPORT - 36. TRIUMPH - 38. PERISCOPE 40. COLOURLESS - 42. BIKINI - 44. JUGGERNAUT 49. JAMBON - 50. CONCRETE - 53. DISTRIBUTOR 54. DAD - 56. ORGAN - 57. BISEXUAL 62. WOE - 66. CANOPY - 67. FILTHY - 69. UTILISED 72. GEIGER -75. ARIZONA - 78. NAPE

DOWN

3. Erase. 5. Not set straight. 7. An automatic response. 9. A small mark! 10. Put into. 13. A murder mystery game. 16. A mechanical device that can be overhead. 17. Print for viewing. 19. Got rid of. 21. Another name for a buffalo. 23. Set in order of time. 25. A wolf’s house? 26. Alter. 27. Get older. 29. Finishing. 30. Not too good for mosquitos. 32. To do this is human! 34. Used in road making. 37. Bring into the country. 39. A light refreshment place. 41. One thousand acres. 43. Member of the US Government. 45. Thick and sticky. 46. They come in lots of variations. 47. A small carton? 48. Bent. 50. The colour of Google’s search engine. 51. Not much room. 52. Went rotten. 55. Do this on the internet. 58. They can be given after a foul. 59. Repair woolen socks. 60. Fate! 61. 36 inches. 63. Produce milk for infants. 64. Very important. 65. Plying for sex? 68. Give up. 70. Move like a snake. 71. Swiss singing. 73. Nissan make one. 74. Breathed out. 76. Move your head in agreement. 77. Not subtraction. 79. Not in alphabetical order. 80. Lack of feeling. 81. Full figured. 82. Under. 83. Made holy.

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T THHE EMFAUSSTI EORNY I ISSSSUUEE


FROM JONATHAN CAINER

September.2013

SEPTEMBER BRINGS THE ANNUAL CONJUNCTION OF VENUS AND SATURN. THIS IS OFTEN SEEN AS AN AUSPICIOUS INDICATION FOR THOSE WHO SEEK COMMITMENT IN RELATIONSHIPS. VENUS REPRESENTS LOVE, SATURN SYMBOLISES STRUCTURE. MANY ASTROLOGERS WOULD RECOMMEND THIS MONTH AS GOOD FOR MARRIAGE CEREMONIES. CREATIVE, ARTISTIC AND INVENTIVE PEOPLE MAY ALSO BENEFIT FROM THE CELESTIAL SUGGESTION, FROM THE SAME PLANETARY PAIRING, THAT ‘FORM CAN BE GIVEN TO THEORY’. ALSO THIS MONTH COMES A SHARP ANGLE FROM MARS TO PLUTO. THAT’S BAD NEWS FOR ANYONE WHO HAS RECENTLY FELT INCLINED TO PICK FIGHTS. THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO HURT THEMSELVES THAN ANYONE ELSE!

NICK WECHSLER

SALMA HAYEK

LIBRA

September 24 - October 23

In your heart, where there used to be a real big barrier, there is now just a paper-thin picture of a blockage or an obstacle. It’s easily shifted when the time is right. And in your life, this month, the time is right! Where it once seemed impossible to get something you very much felt you needed... it’s now feasible. Whether you do really want that, though, is another matter. Be careful. Use your power wisely. Seize your opportunity consciously. Never mind asking, ‘What can I have?’ Ask yourself what you truly need! FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

VIRGO

August 24 - September 23

SCORPIO

October 24 - November 22

Magic can’t easily happen where there are too many rules. It doesn’t like regulations any more than it appreciates explanations. Magic needs a degree of chaos, spontaneity, laughter, excitement and inspiration. Magic moments come to those who unwind, who stop forcing issues or allowing negative emotions (like fear or anger) to overwhelm them. Magic can happen in your life this month. Be glad then, of all that’s turbulent, troublesome and tumultuous. That’s what’s most likely to facilitate the magic.

People talk about ‘the devil you know’ and ‘the devil you don’t know’. The whole trouble with devils, though, is that we don’t ever really know them. They are full of surprises. The moment they start acting predictably is the moment we can formulate a strategy to get the better of them. Anyway, you do not have to make such a choice this month. You can have both devils! You can also have some wonderful friends, old and new - as long as you don’t start inadvertently demonising anyone or anything!

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

FOR YOUR DAILY FORECAST AND MORE FROM JONATHAN, VISIT WWW.CAINER.COM

SEPTEMBER 2013

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SALMA HAYEK LOOKS STUNNING IN GUCCI AT THE 2012 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS HELD AT THE BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL | NICK WECHSLER AT THE 2013 TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION’S SUMMER PRESS TOUR - DISNEY/ABC PARTY AT THE BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL

Zodiac forecasts


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SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

AQUARIUS

Life is a constant education. Each day we learn something new we don’t always appreciate the lesson. If we can’t see an immediate application for the discovery, we tend to feel that it is of no real use to us. What you’re going through this month may seem to be of limited value with regard to your current situation, but there will come a day in the not-so-distant future when you will feel immensely grateful for all that you have been shown. Open your eyes wide. September’s triumphs and trials alike are all blessings.

It is almost as if you feel afraid of your own power. You know you can influence the outcome of a situation, but you are not sure whether you should. What if you make things worse instead of better? What if you make a decision you later regret? Whose fault will it be? Like it or not, though, action must be taken. Deep down, you know the right move to make this month. That puts you in a position of great responsibility. You are right to feel wary. Think carefully... and then have confidence in your conclusion.

People speak about civilised societies or respectable communities. Yet no society since the dawn of time has been completely civilised. Evolved, maybe. Sophisticated, perhaps. But perfect? No way. And as for respectable? Well, we all deserve respect, yet without exception, we could all do more to earn it. September’s events make you aware of a flaw or an area of fallibility in an area of life that you’re keen to feel proud of. Deal with that honestly yet realistically and you’ll yet have a highly successful month.

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

November 23 - December 21

December 22 - January 20

January 21 - February 19

PISCES

ARIES

TAURUS

Lovely though some of your friends are, you can’t always rely on them for support. It’s not fair to say certain people are letting you down at the moment. Some may be, but others are doing all within their power to help. It’s just that their powers are limited. In September, your power to help yourself, however, is much greater than you realise. No matter what you find worrying, be brave this month. You will find, as soon as you determine to press ahead alone with a positive plan, that you have company of the most inspiring kind.

Another month, another balancing act. Another reason to think twice. Another pitfall to avoid. Another complication to take into account. Another precarious arrangement to protect. Recent developments have put you on edge. It seems likely that, soon, you may encounter more sources of excitement and/or exasperation. Are you really ready for all this? If you want to avoid this experience, you will have to do your best to stay calm. All will be fine in September as long as you don’t take anything (or anyone) too seriously.

Some people are too nice. Others are too sharp. But then it’s never easy to know exactly how to please others. Even those who try really hard will annoy the folk who think they are trying too hard! And some people, anyway, are happy only when they are complaining. September’s cosmic climate speaks now of a partner or person with whom you have a ‘contract of interaction’ going through major changes in their attitude and outlook. Be supportive and sympathetic as far as you can. Ultimately it will all benefit you.

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

GEMINI

CANCER

LEO

Ever tried to buy popcorn at the cinema? You ask for a small packet and they give you a tub that’s almost large enough to do your washing in. What kind of a world is this? People accept overblown propositions and outrageous assumptions as if they were normal and natural. No wonder we have lost our appreciation for the finer things in life. In your life lately, far too much has been made of something that’s ultimately small. September brings a muchneeded chance to stop pumping up a problem and start playing it down at last.

There is an old saying, ‘If things are going well, steel yourself. Sooner or later, they’re going to get worse. If things are going badly, cheer up. They will improve, even if all you do is wait.’ A very natural law dictates that sooner or later, everything must change. If, in September, you want the fun to last longer and the stress to pass faster you must identify less closely with narrow definitions of success and failure. Stand back to see your situation for what it is, not what you think it is. Then expect a very good month.

Imagination is actually a very practical thing. So too is self-indulgence. And there is a very real point and purpose to a certain amount of time-wasting. Truly practical people appreciate the importance of inefficiency. When you try too hard to make every second count, or every penny... you raise an impossible expectation. There’s nothing practical about that. Try to focus too hard this month and you’ll make the edges even more blurred. Approach September’s goal at a steady pace and you’ll soon find you are practically there.

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

May 22 - June 22

SEPTEMBER 2013

March 21 - April 20

June 23 - July 23

April 21 - May 21

July 24 - August 23

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EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

MEET THE MASTER

CRAFTSMEN WHAT Mathematics and Physics Salon (MathematischPhysikalischer Salon) in the Dresden Zwinger (Der Dresdner Zwinger) WHO A. Lange & Söhne has supported the refurbishment of the museum over a six-year period. WHAT “One of the cores of Saxony’s history” is how Hartwig Fischer, Director of the Dresden State Art Collections, refers to the Mathematics and Physics Salon which reopened on April of this year. The scientific history collection presents more than 400 exhibits, including clocks and watches, automata, telescopes, and globes. With its observatory and timekeeping service, it became the highest authority for all time-related matters in the late 18th century and is deemed the cradle of precision watchmaking in Dresden.

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すぐに来る

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RAGMAG The Mastery Issue | September 2013 | Issue #39  

www.ragmag.co | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @RAGMAGLebanon | FACEBOOK ragmag | PINTEREST Ragmag | In this issue: Helena Bonham Carter, Chopin Vodka...

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