Thursday, September 23, 2004

A lebanese Highway Adventure

I live in a strange but charming country (Lebanon) My home is built in a quiet suburb of Sidon (a city 45 Km to the south of Beirut, the capital)I study and work in Beirut, so everyday I get into my car, a red Nissan Sunny, and I drive out of our apartment's parking down to the main highway that links the main southern cities (like Sarafand and Tyre) to Beirut.

It is quiet a nice drive; the highway runs parallel to the sea shore. It is a very nice highway, from one side you have the azure blue Mediterranean Sea and on the other side the once-green hills of Lebanon. Nowadays these verdant hills have become a concrete jungle.

Before getting on the highway, I have to stop at a Lebanese army road block. It is really just a hindrance , compared to 10 years ago when any traveler to Beirut had to stop at 10 or more roadblocks, manned by 3 or 4 foreign armies ( from Syrian, to Palestinian…)

The highway looks quite modern, but for the stalls of fruit and vegetable vendors that litter the emergency lane (on average there is around 10 or more throughout that stretch of the highway) They are quite harmless -usually illegal Syrian workers- unless you had an emergency and need to pull over, or when the vendors try to cross the highway to say hello to their friends and relatives on the other side.

Add to that, the different bumps and missing parts of the security rails that divide the two opposed lanes of the highway; even though the highway was built by international contractors with modern standards, no one cares to maintain it. So day after day, with each accident (we Lebanese are quiet famous for our crazy driving) the gap widen, till the point where the security rails is completely missing for over a mile…

Well believe it or not but this daily ordeal is far from over, I still have to tell you about the dogs, the cyclist, the hookers, and the infamous “Service” drivers… but all that will need to wait till my next post.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Back to university

I am still reading Peter Hamilton’s Pandora star, and it is still great. Other than that, it is getting quiet calm, nothing much to report. However, in a week or so I will begin my master studies in political studies at AUB (American University of Beirut).
I would appreciate it if anyone has any advice or insight on that major. I am fairly excited about going back to the university.

It has been a while since I wrote anything; even my critiquing is drying up. I should start transforming my script into a short story.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


My sister just came from her vacation in France and she got me an iTRIP and it rocks!
Very easy and simple to use, i do not know how anyone who has an iPOD can live without it. Because believe me entangling the earphones while driving is not a fun matter!
Its range is quiet good, but i fear it consumes a lot of power, however i am still not sure i will need to experiment more with it.
Now all what i need is to change my car's speakers. It is a good thing that i was planning to change my car soon.
On another subject i am still reading Hamilton Pandora's Star, and it is getting really good.
I am planning to start writing articles in my blog, we will see...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Waking Dreams

Sometimes I have waking dreams. The ones in which you know that you are dreaming.
It is pretty weird, specially when you are fully aware that this is a dream, and then you can - to a certain degree- control or affect what is happening.
However at times my control fails or something stops it , and I feel trapped in my dreams, not knowing if it is a dream or reality.
anybody else has those kind of dreams ?

Friday, September 10, 2004

More book rating

Here is some more book ratings

1984 (George Orwell): 9
Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) : 9
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Stephen Donaldson): 8
The Seconde Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Stephen Donaldson): 7
The wheel of time-the whole series-(Robert Jordan): 7
The song of ice and fire-the whole series-(George Martin): 9

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Book rating

I am trying to rate the books i have read, mainly those I own.
The rating will be on a scale on ten with 1 being an unreadable book, and 10 being a perfect book, which is pretty rare if not impossible.
I will begin with rating several books.
Maybe later I will put all of the books in alphabetical order in a table…

Dune (Frank Herbert): 9
Lord of the rings ( Tolkien): 9
Legend (David Gemmell): 9
White Wolf (David Gemmell): 8
The Swords of night and day (David Gemmell): 7
Naked Empire (Terry Goodkind ): 3

Friday, September 03, 2004

U3T Versions 0.11

U3T chart
Originally uploaded by bobjouhari.

U3T version 0.11
(added chart and some corrections)

the Unified Theory of Time Travel

First level:

First time travel as is, can be divided into two main branches: possible or impossible.

Defining the two terms, Time travel is possible: means that by any means or methods a sentient entity can travel back in time (whether the entity travels corporally or incorporeally or if it can interact or just witness the past, will be left for discussion in the next levels of the theory) this branch of the theory will be referred to as ( I ) :(number one in roman symbols)

The second term, time travel is impossible: means that no sentient entity can travel back in time, no matter what means or methods it uses. This branch of the theory will be referred to as ( II ) :number two in roman symbols)

The second level:

Moreover traveling back in time refers to the act of traveling to a time that precedes the present, whether it is by a second or a million years. Next I will deal with the next level of the theory in the ( I ) branch.

The fact that it is possible to perform time travel via robots or cameras, as opposed to time travel in person causes the theory to diverge in two possible branches: The first referred to as ( I-A ): states that time travelers can go back in time in person or corporally. The second referred to as ( I-B): states that time travelers cannot go back in time in person or corporally. Rather they go incorporeally ( in spirit/mind or via robot or cameras, the different ways of incorporate time travel will be explored in the next level of the theory)

NB: Of course this theory is still under study so it can (and it will most probably) undertake many modifications and changes. Therefore each time a change or edit some already published parts. I will amend it with a version number.

Let's Partyyyyyyy

I am sick and tiered of these so called politicians. To hell with all of them! I am just going to watch and see who will vote for the changes in Lebanon’s constitution, and remember their name so from now till the end of my days I will never vote for them or support them.

Now let’s forget this sticking affaire and concentrate on tomorrow beach party! I am very excited and I am sure we will have a lot of fun. I just need a great idea about how to disguise myself like a star. Because it is theme party, where everyone should look and act like some obnoxious super star. So if anyone has any bright ideas, please don’t hesitate to share them.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

Pandora’s star

Nowadays I am reading Pandora's star by David F. Hamilton, the author of the very interesting Night Dawn Trilogy (which I have also read, and found very, very grandiose and absorbing)
Pandora's Star is the beginning of a trilogy, in a space opera setting. It comes with all the perks of a setting like that, wormholes, spaceships, loads of planets and of course some invisible meanacing aliens. All woven with Hamilton great style.

I started it a few days ago, and believe me it can be hard some night to out the book down. Even though I usual go to the gym after work, then I come back home exhausted, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep.

I am around page 100 or so and the pace it already picking up. I will try to regularly post my impressions on this book.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Originally uploaded by bobjouhari.
This is a shematics of the first two levels of my U3T. For more detailed descriptions see my old post about the same topic (on 8/17/04)