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Showing posts from March, 2011

Breakdown of Typical AUB Students

After four years of studying at AUB, I think it's time to breakdown a list of typical AUB students that you are bound to meet here:
The Westies: are students who have nothing better to do in life but sit outside and around West Hall and socialize 24/7. Some of them even come as early as 7:00 AM even though their first class doesn't start before 2:00 PM..The Fiskies: are usually the weird English/Philosophy students who hang out outside Fisk Hall and are very culture-oriented. By that, I mean afro hairdos, weird facial hair, slippers, and I'm fairly certain they are high on something other than knowledge. (Also know as the hippies)The Zoo-keepers: are the students who basically live in the area known as the "zoo" which is a small park area facing the AUB cafeteria where they hang out to smoke, cluster, and discuss one-sided politics.The sunbathers: are the students who skip classes to lay down on green oval and get tanned when the sun it out. They are usually wear…

Beirut Twestival supporting Faire Face against Breast Cancer

Twestival (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good by connecting communities offline on a single day to highlight a great cause and have a fun event. Twestival is the largest global grassroots social media fundraising initiative to date. Since 2009, volunteers have raised close to $1.2 million for 137 nonprofits. All local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects.

In Beirut, Twestival is being organized by a great group of enthusiastic volunteers: @naeema @sanatawileh @migheille @lucyhanna and @sdarine who have already raised USD 14,000 for their cause.

Twestival Beirut is supporting Faire Face, to spread breast cancer awareness and psychological help for women with cancer, along with giving free mammography for women.

How you can help:
Vote for Twestival Beirut's logo so they can win USD 1,000 for the cause.Donate for the cause onlineLike their facebook page, follow them on twitter and spread the word.A…

LeMSIC Celebrates International Women's Day

The Standing Committee On Reproductive health including HIV/AIDS (SCORA) in the Lebanese Medical Students International Committee (LeMSIC) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) was holding a campaign to raise awareness for International Women's day which is usually on the 8th of March of every year.

Their campaign consisted of a photo-shoot of people holding a green board that they can write whatever they want on. Of course it had to be relevant to the topic, though some did go a little out of subject, but that is okay. They also had a very creative idea where they created a bathroom cabin (with no toilet) that people can actually go in and write on the bathroom wall too. There were also purple-green-white handmade bracelets handed out for free to participants.

They will be collecting these photos to create an exhibition in AUB to display the statements and people in these photos. Below are just a random selection of photos that I took from the event. This campaign will go on …

Lois Lane's Rules of Reporting

I was watching Smallville yesterday (a series that depicts the life story of Superman -- totally recommended by the way) and I just had to take a snapshot of Lois Lane's rules of reporting. So here they are (text in parenthesis are my own amendments):

Always know your source (but never reveal it unless you really have to).Always make a good first impression and don't screw up with your boss (but if you screwed up badly, get prepared to kiss up for some time)Do whatever it takes to get the story (except getting killed)If something seems to weird to be true, it usually is (unless you're living in Smallville, then that's a different story)Never take deadlines too seriously (unless your working in a nuclear plant)Triple check your facts (especially if your writing a front-page article)Put all the good stuff at the beginning (because let's face, if your reader is going to snooze before the end of the first paragraph, he won't be awake to read the rest of it)

March 12: World day against cyber-censorship

Today, March 12, is the world day against cyber-censorship. This day was initially launched by Reporters without Borders in 2008 and "is intended to rally everyone in support of a single Internet without restrictions and accessible to all."


Below is a quote from the March 12 website:
The fight for online freedom of expression is more essential than ever. By creating new spaces for exchanging ideas and information, the Internet is a force for freedom. In countries where the traditional media are controlled by the government, the only independent news and information are to be found on the Internet, which has become a forum for discussion and a refuge for those who want to express their views freely. However, more and more governments have realised this and are reacting by trying to control the Internet. Never have so many countries been affected by some form of online censorship, whether arrests or harassment of netizens, online surveillance, website blocking or the adoption o…

How to donate to Japan using social games for free

As you might know A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan at around 2:46pm on March 11 (JST) causing damage with blackouts, fire and tsunami [google]. And I'm sure a lot of you would like to help, no matter how small the contribution.

Here's a way that I found that you can donate to Japan through social games (and for free).

Zynga is a social network game developer located in San Francisco, California, United States. The company develops browser-based games that work both stand-alone and as application widgets on social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace. [wikipedia]

They are now offering 100% price donations when you buy premium items that are designed for this purpose. And yes, I am saying "buy", but in fact you won't be spending a dime (well real ones anyway).

If you are like me, you would have probably played games like Farmville, Cityville and Fortierville and got bored of them and never played with the…

Jennifer Aniston Sex Tape? (SFW)

Before I start getting disgusted looks and weird boggly eyes, I should point out that this title is misleading - kinda the point of this whole post and advertisement. (And yes it is suitable for work - don't worry :P)


And yes, I find it very creative, appealing and eye-catching for the following reasons: Jennifer Aniston <3Lip-syncing toddlerAcknowledgement of the online community, viral videos and including "internet geeks"Cute little animals crawling all over the placeTalking parrot that refers to the show "Friends" by calling Jennifer Anniston by her character name "Rachel"Skate-boarding dog in the backgroundDancing babiesDouble-rainbow guy parodyKicking a guy in the balls (which is apparently worth 100,000 hits)Herbal Essences sort-of ending which targets the sexy appealThe daring title Some people might not be as daring or risky in a marketing campaign but I think it works. The video has something for everyone and can potentially target any segme…

A blogger's trouble-maker persona

Recently, everywhere I go, I've been referred to as a trouble-maker or even introduced as a mischievous person. While there's no shame of having this label, it is constantly starting to stick as a negative reputation because of gossip and word twisting (what the Lebanese call "adding salt and pepper to the story".

So why do I have this reputation, you ask?

It all started with an article I wrote criticizing admissions at a highly-reputable institution and from there on, people have atributed my constructive criticism to anything I wrote or even spoke about as an initiative to cause trouble or ruin reputation. This middle-eastern culture doesn't account for constructive criticism or personal opinion. We are in a culture where if you criticize something, then you are its enemy. Perhaps this is how politics works, but that isn't how I work.

Think about it, when I invest effort and time in writing about some negative aspect of most topics, does it mean that I have…