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Saturday, March 29, 2008

La Doncella

The mummy "La Doncella" or "The Maiden" sits on display at the High Mountain Archeological Museum in Salta, Argentina. She was about 15 years old when she and her two children died as human sacrifices to Gods by the Incas more than 500 years ago on the top of the Llullaillaco volcano.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Customer is Not Always Right

Hilarious real stories from people working in retail stores, tech support, and customer service. Brought to you by Not Always Right blog:


Customer: “Hi, I’d like a Playboy for my son.”

Me: “…excuse me?”

Customer: “You know, a Playboy to play with.”

Me: *trying very hard not to laugh* “You mean a Gameboy?”

Customer: “Yeah that!”

Customer: *realizes what she said* “Oh!”


(We’re selling tons of over-the-counter, store-brand medications at buy one, get one free. I ring up a lady who has two bottles of cough syrup with her. She keeps a stern eye on the cash register monitor as I check them through.)

Lady: “That’s not right.”

Me: “What isn’t?”

Lady: “The coupon says buy one at $6.99, get the other one free.”

Me: “Precisely. You’re getting both of these for $6.99.”

Lady: “But one’s ringing up as $3.50 and the other at $3.49.”

Me: “That’s correct. The register divides these differences automatically.”

Lady, growing fidgety: “But that’s not what the COUPON says.”

Me: *after a pause* “Well, $3.50 plus $3.49 is $6.99.”

Lady: “So this is how you scam customers!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m pretty certain that we here at [drugstore chain] do not scam our customers when even basic math can rule out any differences.”

Lady: “I only want one. Put this other one back, I don’t want it. I’m not paying an extra $3.49 for this. The ad said buy one, get one free, and I’m not getting that one for free.”

Me: *head-desk*



(I was in our technology support office when a housekeeping staff person, Donna, stopped by. There was no preamble to the dialog below.)

Donna: “Dr. Franklin gets e-mail in his office.”

Me: *nods*

Donna: “Alicia says she can check her e-mail in the office.”

Me: *nods*

Donna: “I like e-mail.”

Me: “Nice.”

Donna: “Nice?”

Me: “Not nice?”

Donna: “I like e-mail.”

Me: “I like e-mail, too.”

Donna: “You don’t have it?”

Me: “I do.”

Donna: “I like e-mail.”

Me: *biting lower lip, uncertain what to say or do*

Donna: “I like e-mail.”

Me: *glancing at the clock on the wall*

Donna: “I like to have e-mail.”

Me: “I like having e-mail, too, and I check it all the time.”

Donna: “Can I have it? I like to have e-mail.”



Customer: “I’ll have a margarita please.”

(I get a margarita and serve it to the woman.)

Customer: “Excuse me, miss? Can I please have another margarita? This one doesn’t have enough quatilia in it.”

Me: “Ma’am, your drink is strong, I can guarantee it.”

Customer: “How do you know there is enough quatilia in this?”

Me: “Because you said “quatilia.”

Customer: “Yeah, and?”

Me: “It’s called ‘tequila.’”

(Customer face turns a nice shade of crimson.)



Customer: “I’d like to buy the Internet, please.”

Sales: “The whole thing?”



(Customer brings a mediocre role playing game for the Nintendo DS up to the counter.)

Customer: “Hey, would this game be good for an eight year old?”

Me: “Well, does he like RPGs?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t let him watch anything rated R.”

Me: “Oh…I mean, does he like role playing games?”

Customer: “Whats that? That like one of them Mario games?”

Me: “No, it’s one where you follow a story line and usually has a lot of reading, like Final Fantasy. Has he ever played anything like that before?”

Customer: “Oh, he don’t read books. And I don’t like that it’s rated R and PG.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Le Cupcake

Amazing cupcakes made by the extremely-talented Kylie Lambert. Lambert is Australian and has a cupcake business. Her designs and creations are just...heavenly. They are too pretty to be eaten for sure!

To see more designs, please visit Lambert's blog Le Cupcake or her Flickr account.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Underwater Photography

Fantastic renaissance-like underwater photos from the talented Jolene Monheim (joojo). This great series is featured in her website and her flickr account. Here are some of the photos. You can click on each photo to go to its original page.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flickr Magic Moments IV

A gorgeous photo taken by Martin Roe (martinproe) on Flickr. I just love the lights in this photo, and the girls look like real fairies.

Describing the photo in his Flickr account, Martin writes:
"Taken at a local fairy day celebration, we'd just had a downpour and the light was beautiful, "

You can click on the photo to go its flickr original page. You can also check Martin's website "Lenzflair" here.

Old Photos From Palestine

Old Picture of the Day is a great blog that features great collection of old photos from the Middle East and other areas of the world. Here are some old photos from Palestine (comments on the photos are quoted from the blog) :

This photograph was taken in 1940, and shows a woman in Bethlehem.

An old potter working a pot on his wheel. The photograph was taken in Jerusalem in 1934.

The Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem. The picture was taken in 1940 in Jerusalem.

A group of fishermen on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was taken by the American Colony in Jerusalem near the turn of the century.

The photograph was taken on Christmas Day, near Bethlehem, in the early 1900's.

What would happen if you had one more day?

I felt emotional watching yesterday's episode of Sire Wenfatahit with Zaven on Future TV. The "What would happen if you had one more day?" episode paid tribute to three young men who left life early due to the ignorant mistakes of others. The episode featured the parents of Hikmat Kaddoora from Jordan, whose death raised controversy when it happened in Jordan two months ago, and the parents of Michael Malak and Hadi Jubran from Lebanon. It was heart-wrenching to listen to the parents recount the death of their beloved sons with a look of despair and profound loss.

When will people learn that speed kills?
Is it really worth the tears in the eyes of mothers and the pained expressions on the faces of fathers?
Is it really worth it to rob the life from a youth and crush the heart of his mother and father?

May God protect everyone on these treacherous roads. May God touch the heart of every person behind the wheel to slow down and think before he/she brings grief to the life of any family out there.

You can watch the episode here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Great Commercials: Part#10

An inspirational commercial from Nike featuring Neil Armstrong.

My Laser Eye Surgery

It was quite an experience. One day, a nerve in my head ticked. I became sick of the nerdy look of my eye glasses, and I got fed up with the itchy sensation of wearing contact lenses. I could not take it anymore. I decided to have laser eye surgery.

After researching different doctors, I went to see the one with the best reputation and experience. After goggling at my eyes through different tools and machines, the doctor smiled and announced that I was a perfect candidate for the surgery. He explained to me how the surgery was going to be and answered all my questions.

He told me that he was going to use a laser beam to create a very thin flap in my cornea. After that, he was going to fold that flap back like the page of a book and another laser beam will enter my eye to correct my vision. I became a little bit nervous trying to picture a laser beam puncturing my eyes. I have to give the doctor credit though. I fired at him all sort of questions ranging from "What happens if I become blind?" to "What will happen if an earthquake hits while you are doing the surgery?" The corner of his right eye twitched, but he graciously answered all my questions.

My hand hovered over the signing papers specially after I read the page listing the risks involved. "Is it worth it?" I asked myself then I remembered how my eye glasses get foggy every time I drink tea, and I decided it was definitely worth it.

I had nightmares about all the worst possible scenarios the night before the surgery.

When I walked to the surgery center, I broke into a sweat. The nurse took one look at me and laughed. "You are not the first one who gets nervous," she said. She gave me a pill that made me relax. She wiped my face with disinfectants, placed a cap on my hair, and put numbing drops in my eyes. The doctor came in and greeted me. They both took me to a room and laid me down on a bed beneath a machine. "We are going to create the flap now," the doctor said. I gulped when he produced a weird-looking tweezers. He used them to pull my eye lids open and asked me to look at a telescope-like tube. "Don't move," he said. A smaller tube inside of the outer tube started moving toward my eye.

The tube came in contact with the surface of my eye and started pushing further. "Shit!" I thought. Before my eye ruptured, the tube stopped suddenly and started buzzing. I felt something scan my eye in a circular way. "Done!" the doctor said enthusiastically. He repeated the same thing to my left eye. He took my hand and guided me like a simpleton to the next room. The nurse laid me under another sophisticated-looking machine.

The doctor pulled my eye lids open again. He used surgical tools and started poking at my right eye. He asked me to look at a flickering red light in the tube facing me. The machine peeped and, to my amazement, I saw a red laser beam hit my eye. It felt like dripping water into my eyes. It did not hurt at all, but it was the strangest sensation ever. They did the same thing to my other eye and covered them both with plastic shields.

"Tada!...it's over...good job," the doctor said and patted my shoulder. He sent me home to rest.

Thank God, I was able to see after removing my eye shields. I still see halos around lights specially at night, but that is perfectly normal as I've been told.

Ahhh...isn't it amazing what medicine can do with technology these days?

Flickr Magic Moments III

A magnificent photo captured by LalliSig. He called it "It´s Written In The Stars." LalliSig writes:

I got real lucky with the borealis with this one, stumbled upon this farm just as the borealis lit up and couldn´t resist taking a picture. Think this is my favorite photo in February along with "The Pedestrian" I swear, no photo manipulation here, all I did was some curves adjustments and then sharpened after resizing. I almost think there are too many stars in this one but not like I was going to edit them out,hehe. Can anyone spot the three shooting stars?

You can click on the photo to go to its Flickr page.

Easter Cupcakes

Bakerella features cute bunny cupcakes to celebrate the coming Easter holiday. She writes:

…hippety hoppety Easter's on its way. Last night I made two bunny cupcakes and when I woke up, I found all these itty-bitty baby bunnies hopping around my kitchen. You do the math.

Check the rest of the photos here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mars on Wadi Rum

Mishox features a nice photo of the wadi rum desert in his Flickr account. It looks very similar to the surface of planet Mars. You can click on the photo to go to its original page. You can see a high-resolution version of the photo here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jordan, did you heed me?

Because I did. I regarded you with love during the years I spent in your arms . I learned how to recognize your earthy face in every bend. You were the stolen moments when I stopped everything and reached out to you. You were my haven and my only road.

I recognized your essence in all things: the golden wheat fields, the reflection of clouds on murky puddles, the gentle breeze that ruffled olive trees, the flock of sheep on the sides of roads, the long afternoon walks, the fallen apples beneath trees, the cold winter mornings, the cacophony of sounds in markets, the stone buildings, the angelic voice of Fairouz in public buses, the stomp of feet dancing dabkeh, the smell of tobacco and thyme, the round edges of coffee cups, the powdered sugar on date-filled cookies, and the taste of dinner under starry skies.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Flickr Magic Moments II

A magical photo from the flickr album of a guy with a camera. You can click on the photo to go to its original page.

Mia Michaels: The Queen of Contemporary

I instantly fell in love with the choreography of Mia Michaels when I started watching So You Think You Can Dance show. There is something about her contemporary routines that narrate stories in a way that no other form of dance can do. With Michael's choreography, there is always an intense does of emotions, and it's great to watch.

Here are some of my absolute favorite routines from So You Can Think You Can Dance:

Friday, March 7, 2008

Gallery of Old Jordanian Stamps

Mansour Mouasher features a nice gallery of old Jordanian stamps on his pbase profile.

Sound Illusions

This clip in very interesting. These two men are throat-singing Siberians who create a sound illusion when they sing. Listen carefully to this: when the second man joins the first man in singing, they induce a sharp whistle-like sound. Amazingly, this sound is not generated by the instrument they are using. The clip is very amusing.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rare Photo of Helen Keller Found

From Associated Press:

Researchers have uncovered a rare photograph of a young Helen Keller with her teacher Anne Sullivan, nearly 120 years after it was taken on Cape Cod.
The photograph, shot in July 1888 in Brewster, shows an 8-year-old Helen sitting outside in a light-colored dress, holding Sullivan's hand and cradling one of her beloved dolls.

You can read the full article here.

The Other Boleyn Girl: Review

I watched The Other Boleyn Girl after reading Philipa Georgey's wonderful novel with the same title. When the movie ended, I left the theater with mixed feelings. As usual, the novel surpassed the movie with its rich details, vivid portrays of the intrigues of the royal court, and smart dialogues. The movie, on the other hand, crammed the story into a two-hour summary with some major changes in the plot which I am going to point out next.

Warning- spoilers:

The Other Boleyn Girl is about king Henry VIII who was happily married to his Spanish queen, Catherine of Aragon, except for one problem: she could not bear children anymore. As time passed, the king became anxious because he did not have a male heir to the throne.

In the movie, the two Boleyn girls, Mary and Anne were living in the country when they met king Henry for the first time. In the novel, Mary was actually one of royal court ladies serving queen Catherine, and Anne was in the French court serving the French queen.

In the movie, the king noticed Anne first which was not exactly what happened. The king became infatuated with Mary at the beginning. Her power-hungry family jumped at this golden opportunity and encouraged her to lay with the king hoping that she would give him the much- desired male heir.

In the movie, Mary became pregnant, and gave the king a son. In the story, she became pregnant twice and gave birth to a daughter and a son. Everything seemed to work according to plan until the king became dazzled by Anne, a fresh face who joined the British court from France to find herself a husband. Anne with her French sophistication, wit, and charm succeeded in diverting the king's attention. The king could have married Mary and declared her bastard son a legitimate heir, but Anne convinced him that she would give him the son he desired if he married her. The Boleyns did not falter at this change of events as long as one of the Boleyn girls was doing the job.

To be able to divorce his dignified queen and marry Anne, Henry separated himself from the church of England. In an ironic twist of fate, Anne failed to give birth to a boy after becoming a queen herself. The king grew tired of her eventually. Irked by his people's disapproval of Anne and his separation from the church, he wanted to get rid of her. Henry charged Anne with adultery, treason, and incest. Anne was found guilty and was beheaded.

The movie was good, but it had its flaws. Eric Bana was not a great choice for king Henry. I think he is a great actor, but his energy was not channeled correctly for this role. The movie felt disconnected at times, and some events were rushed.

Natalie Portman (Anne) and Scarlett Johansson (Mary) were magnificent. One of the best scenes in the movie was the beheading scene. The way Portman reacted in horror after realizing that she would not be pardoned from the death sentence was amazing.

Here is the trailer of The Other Boleyn Girl:

Flickr Magic Moments

A beautiful photo from nnnlind on flickr. You can click on the photo to go to its source page.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Worst Prank You Can Play on Anyone

Conversations II

Time :07:30 AM - Location: Bathroom

I could barely open my eyes. I stood in front of the mirror yawning. The door blasted open (yes, no privacy in this house,) and my youngest brother burst in running and laughing hysterically at the same time. My mom followed a second later exclaiming and waving her hand in a "wait till I catch you" way. A cat and mouse chase started in the tiny bathroom with me stuck in the middle. They wrecked the place like a whirlwind. They knocked down the bathtub's curtains, dropped the soap and toothbrushes on the floor, slammed me to the wall, and stomped on my feet mercilessly. Finally my mom was able to corner my brother between the sink and the bathtub.

Mom: Open your mouth right this minute!

Brother was laughing and shaking his head.

Mom: You have to take your daily vitamin supplement. Look, it's gummy bear brand!

Brother: I don't like its taste! Why don't you throw it away in the trash and buy another brand?

Mom(in her famous final tone): Oh, it will be disposed of alright, but the destination is your stomach not the trash bin!

My brother gulped and ate it.

My mother let him go, and he ran outside. She finally noticed that I was in the bathroom. She looked at me in my disheveled Hello Kitty pajamas and said sweetly: "Ah, you are awake! Come and eat breakfast."

I gulped and nodded.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nick Pitera: The Talent of Shifting Vocal Cords

It's wonderful what Nick Pitera can do with his voice. He has a beautiful voice, but that's not what is different about him. Pitera can actually sing like a female too. He can switch between a male voice and a female voice very smoothly. If you close your eyes and listen to him, you will not believe that the same person is singing.

In his YouTube page, Pitera writes:

I am an art student and am one semester away from getting my BFA in Animation. With that said, my biggest passion has always been singing. I have been singing since I was 4. I am still very much an amateur. I don't have very much training and I have a lot to learn.

I promise it is me singing. I realize that there is a great deal of humor in what i do. I don't take myself that seriously, and am just doing what i love to do. Feel free to chuckle a little...am originally from Woodbury Minnesota.

From 1990-1994 I lived in Waterloo Belgium. I am now going to school in Sarasota Florida at the Ringling College Art and Design.
..also, I have been getting a lot of questions about the recording studio in my videos. It is the sound room at my school.

Here is a duet with himself singing One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz 2 Men:

You can watch more videos of him on his MySpace page.

One Crazy Accident

Warning: Some disturbing images. This is one of the craziest accidents I've ever seen on YouTube. According to the person who posted it, it happened in Greece. Just watch how the motorcycle driver reacted.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Great Commercials: Part#9

A smart commercial from Cisco's TelePresence.

Paper Lanterns

I love paper lanterns. They are so elegant, and they give a beautiful glow to any setting.

You can click on the photos to go to their original source.

Out in the Cold

This oil painting by French painter, Léon Bazile Perrault (1832 - 1908), is titled "Out in the Cold". It is disturbing in its portrayal of children being abandoned or becoming homeless. The painter did a phenomenal job of bringing out their angelic and soft innocence. It's a sour reminder of the state of millions of children around the world.


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