Main menu:

Site search

Recent Comments

 

Recent Posts

 

Categories

 

Tags

 

Archives

Women’s immune system stronger than men

A Canadian study from McGill University has found that the female hormone Estrogen gives women more powerful immune system, boosts their ability to fight bacterian viruses, and blocks the inflammation process. As such, the lack of estrogen makes men more sick.

Avis Favaro from CTV discusses this in her Mednews Express report below along with other studies such as the new simple test to predict Alzheimer’s disease.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal has camera screwed into his head

In New York, the Iraqi-born performance artist Wafaa Bilal has a 10 megapixel camera surgically attached to the back of his head.

The idea of the project he’s working on, also called “The Third Eye”, is to mount a camera on the back of his head which is connected to the internet and to the Doha Modern Art Arab Museum, and which takes images every one minute while broadcasting them on the internet.

He claims that by doing this he’s creating a platform for discussion.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Jamal Koukeh: the 51 year old Syrian concrete block smasher

In preparation for a world record attempt, the 51 year old Syrian free fighting champion Jamal Koukeh is practicing smashing concrete blocks with his legs. As part of his public demonstration, he also broke blocks with his hands using an upturned machete. For a finale, he placed a pair of swords in his mouth before being hit with a sledgehammer.

Watch him in the video below:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

CBC investigation on who killed Rafic Hariri

CBC has just released today the 21st of November a months-long CBC investigation on Rafic Hariri entitled “Who Killed Rafic Hariri?”. The investigation, relying on interviews with multiple sources from inside the UN inquiry and some of the commission’s own records, found examples of timidity, bureaucratic inertia and incompetence bordering on gross negligence.

Among other things, CBC News has learned that:

  • Evidence gathered by Lebanese police and, much later, the UN, points overwhelmingly to the fact that the assassins were from Hezbollah, the militant Party of God that is largely sponsored by Syria and Iran. CBC News has obtained cellphone and other telecommunications evidence that is at the core of the case.
  • UN investigators came to believe their inquiry was penetrated early by Hezbollah and that that the commission’s lax security likely led to the murder of a young, dedicated Lebanese policeman who had largely cracked the case on his own and was co-operating with the international inquiry.
  • UN commission insiders also suspected Hariri’s own chief of protocol at the time, a man who now heads Lebanon’s intelligence service, of colluding with Hezbollah. But those suspicions, laid out in an extensive internal memo, were not pursued, basically for diplomatic reasons.

Read the full report of four parts on the CBC website here

(Click on the image below to enlarge)

Phone network involved in Hariri assasination - CBC

Phone network involved in Hariri assasination - CBC

Halal make-up business now booming

Many of us have heard the word Halal in the context of meat, but now it’s make-up, and it’s in a market that is growing fast. More info in the BBC video below:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

India’s billion-dollar home is world’s most expensive

I have previously mentioned the Hong Kong apartment sold for a record 57 million dollars, but now India’s billion-dollar home has taken the lead to be the world’s most expensive home ever built.

India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, and his family are set to move into a 27-floor home tended by an estimated 600-person staff. As NBC’s Ian Williams reports, the mega-mansion is taking heat from many people in India.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Lebanese Red Cross creates world’s largest handprint painting on October 31st 2010

The series of record-breaking events continues in Lebanon with a new record set by the Lebanese Red Cross association. A 4,600-square-meter painted canvas was assembled at the Cite Sportive stadium in Beirut Sunday, breaking the Guinness world record for the largest handprint painting.

The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) broke the record by creating the Red Cross emblem using handprints collected from various Lebanese regions. The former holder of the world’s largest handprint painting was China, with a 3,715.86-square-meter canvas encouraging youths to combat drugs.

World's Largest Handpring Painting by Lebanon - AP/Lebanese Red Cross

World's Largest Handpring Painting by Lebanon - AP/Lebanese Red Cross

Largest wine glass Guiness record by Lebanon on October 30th 2010

Organizers of a wine festival in Beirut poured around one hundred bottles of Lebanese wine into the giant glass, 2.4 meters high and 1.65 meters wide.

Lebanon managed to steal the 12 year-old record from Portugal and was officially confirmed by Guinness World Records adjudicator Liz Smith.

Organizers said winemakers from across the country had contributed their produce as part of a campaign to promote Lebanese wine — half of which they said is exported.

The wine glass may be a useful accompaniment for Lebanon’s other forays into culinary extremes. In recent years it has claimed the world’s biggest servings of kibbeh and tabbouleh, traditional meat and salad dishes, largest falafel and the biggest bowl of hummus.

Largest Wine Glass in Lebanon - Reuters

Largest Wine Glass in Lebanon - Reuters

Lebanon sets the world’s largest flag on October 10th 2010

Lebanon has revealed on October 10th 2010 the world’s largest national flag at the Lebanese Air Force Base in Rayak, to commemorate the Lebanese Army’s 65th anniversary.

The flag, which measures an amazing 65,650 square meters, beats previous record-holders Morocco , which only measured in at a minuscule 60,000 square meters. The area of the cedar at the centre of the flag measures in at 10,452 square metres, a reference to the country’s total area of 10,452 square kilometres.

The flag, which measures 325 metres in length and 202 metres wide, was made in Kuwait under the supervision of Lebanese entrepreneur Ashraf Makarem. Guinness World Records confirmed that the flag is indeed the world’s largest, with regional official Talal Omar on hand to present Makarem with his record-breaking certificate.

World's Largest Flag by Lebanon - EPA

World's Largest Flag by Lebanon - EPA

I-Fairy robot weds a Japanese couple

The craze for Robots in Japan has led a couple to decide to get married by a Robot!

Via OnlyInJapan.org

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Mind tricks: why seeing isn’t always believing

How do seemingly intelligent, conscientious people miss what’s right in front of them? Dateline’s Chris Hansen takes a look at what causes people to make quick, inaccurate decisions.

The video below demonstrates how our eyes might not be as reliable as we think and how we can fail to see something that should be obvious:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Khaled Dadouh: the Syrian strongman

In Damascus, Syria, Khaled Dadouh does crazy things like piercing his skin with metal hooks and then pulling a car. He claims that we can overcome impossible obstacles through sport, as long as we have faith. Not only that, Khaled claims anyone can do this.

Watch the video of Khaled below:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Beirut Farmers’ Market to help local produce

Those working off the land in Lebanon face stiff competition for international trade, as they do not benefit from subsidies like many farmers abroad. But as Katy Watson from BBC reports, one man has now set up Beirut’s first farmers’ market to help local producers reap rewards closer to home.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Damascus sees new business horizons

The skyline of the Syrian capital is changing, with tower blocks being replaced by new office buildings and malls. Damascus is also slowly opening up to private investment and encouraging an influx of entrepreneurs.

The BBC’s Lina Sinjab has met Abdulsalam Haykal, who runs a number of private businesses, and is one of many Syrians to return to do business at home.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Lebanese crafts struggle to survive against cheaper Chinese imports

Lebanon has a reputation for cultivating local crafts, from metalwork to woodwork and many are still making a living from their traditional skills. But faced with cheaper imports from China and India it is getting tougher to survive. This has prompted some to try to raise the profile of local craftsmen.

Watch the 4 minute video below on this subject by BBC:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Ecstasy could be used to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by Canadian Forces

Suddenly, I feel like joining the army.

On August 5th, Lt. Col. Rakesh Jetly, a psychiatrist and senior health adviser for the Canadian Forces, said Canada’s military would use the illicit dance-floor drug Ecstasy to treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder if it’s proven safe and effective.

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows a small clinical trial found 80% of chronic patients treated with psychotherapy and MDMA - called Ecstasy on the street - no longer showed signs of t-traumatic stress disorder if (PTSD) and had no serious side effects. Three patients once so debilitated by the disorder they couldn’t work were able to return to their jobs after treatment.

MDMA was used by psychiatrists and psychotherapists to aide treatment before it was outlawed in the 1970s and 1980s.

More info on this in the Toronto SUN article here.

Ecstasy pills

Ecstasy pills

Recall of product Tahini from Cedar brand in Canada as it may contain Salmonella bacteria

As of July 19th, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Lebanese company Produits Phoenicia Inc. are warning the public not to consume the Cedar brand Tahini described below because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The affected product, Cedar brand Tahini is sold in 450 mL jars, bearing UPC 0 62356 50178 5. There is no lot code on the packages. This product has been distributed nationally, but there have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The manufacturer, Produits Phoenicia Inc., Saint Laurent, Quebec, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

for more information on this, you may refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency health hazard alert here.

Tahini product by Cedar

Tahini product by Cedar

Watch the music video of Nations United first song “I Wish”

The music video of the first Nations United song, I wish, directed by Chaker Khazaal. I wish is performed by 11-year-old Jackie Vainberg and talented Corey Brouwer. The music video star the Strain twins & lyricist, Olie Vainberg.
More information on the Nations United campaign and film on www.nationsunited.org

Shampooch: Dubai’s mobile pet spa

In Dubai, UAE, pet pampering has finally gone mobile. A company called ‘Shampooch’ offers pet grooming in a van. Watch the video below for more information:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Nations United release their first song “I Wish”

A vibrant young team filled the set while filming a fresh new music video produced by the Nations United group. The video titled, ‘I WISH’ is a feel-good anthem voiced by 11-year-old rising star, Jackie Vainberg, and directed by Nations United founder Chaker Khazaal. The lyrics to this incredibly catchy song were written by Olie Vainberg (Jackie’s mother) and edited by Christian Paré. The music’s lively tribal beats and rhythmic cords were composed by young new talent, Corey Brouwer and produced by Flavio Monopoli.

“Nations United has plans to produce a number of short videos before releasing Nations United, the movie next year. Our upcoming videos will feature women displaying positive and strong character traits, these qualities will play a major part in the leading role of NU,” says Mr Khazaal, who also co-produced the ‘I WISH’ video. The beautiful twin actors, Karissa and Katie Strain, shine as the female leads in I WISH, the first Nations United installment. I WISH, the song, was released exclusively on www.nationsunited.org on June 17, 2010, with the video released late in that month.

Entering its fourth month, the Nations United project has established connections and collaborations with people from over 50 countries in pre-production for the film, which is set to be released late 2011. The Nations United campaign is actively collecting short video submissions from individuals and groups worldwide. Select footage will appear in Nations United, the movie. The campaign and movie involves a series of events, film workshops, videos and songs that emphasize the importance of unity between nations and the power of positive national thought creating a positive reality.

To learn more, or become involved, please visit www.NationsUnited.org

"I Wish" song by Nations United

'I Wish' song by Nations United

Nations United gala “Art of Peace” in Toronto on June 17, 2010

I have already blogged about Chaker Khazaal and his brilliant project Nations United which unites the nations through a collaborative movie combining people from different parts of the planet. Now, the “Art of Peace” gala is being thrown in Toronto on June 17, 2010, where all the proceedings of the event will be donated to the Nations United campaign.

Again, I would like to congratulate Khazaal for his efforts in creating a positive environment for people of under-privileged areas.

For more information on this project, please check the flyer below or the event directly on Nations United website at www.NationsUnited.org .

Art of Peace gala by Nations United

Art of Peace gala by Nations United

Lebanese-American Rima Fakih crowned Miss USA 2010

On May 16, 2010, star-studded panel of judges chose Miss Michigan USA, Rima Fakih, as MISS USA 2010. She is the second Miss USA of Lebanese-American descent, after Julie Hayek in 1983. Fakih currently resides in Dearborn, Michigan.

Born in Lebanon, Fakih grew up in Queens, New York, where she attended a Catholic school, St. John’s Prep. Her family moved to Dearborn, Michigan, in 2003. Though Shiite Muslim, her family celebrates elements of both the Muslim and Christian faiths. With Fakih’s victory, Michigan has provided two firsts in Miss USA pageant history; in 1990, Carole Gist became the first African American Miss USA, and Fakih is the second Arab American and the first of the Muslim faith to win the title.

Watch the final moment of Miss USA 2010 in the video below:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

Lebanon sets Falafel Guinness record on May 9th 2010

A day after firing a 10-ton hummus broadside in a food fight with Israel, chefs in Lebanon weighed in with another first for a Guinness record on Sunday - five tons of Falafel.

Falafel, like hummus and tabbouleh, are the objects of a cultural quarrel between Israel and Lebanon. Israel exports hummus widely, and is accused of claiming an Arab dish as its own. Lebanon set the tabbouleh record in October 2009, while the last Hummus battle was on Saturday.

With a Guinness World Records representative at hand to record the feat, organizers said it was the first time any country had tried to set such a high-frying Falafel record.

Guinness record for biggest Falafel by Lebanon 2010

Guinness record for biggest Falafel by Lebanon 2010

Lebanon sets again the Guinness world record for biggest Hummus plate in May 2010

In a continuous battle of Hummus with Israel, and after Lebanon set the record straight in October 2009 but again Israel stealing it in January 2010, Lebanon on Saturday May 8 2010 claimed another victory and set the biggest Hummus world record at 10,452 kilograms.

More than 300 chefs set the new record for hummus, which the Lebanese say is their national dish despite Israeli claims, in the presence of a Guinness World Records representative who confirmed its weight at 10,452 kilograms. That more than doubles the previous record of around 4 tons set in January 2010 by cooks in an Arab town near Jerusalem.

The gigantic serving of the popular Middle Eastern chickpea paste is the latest shot in the two countries’ ongoing war to assert ownership over the dip. A Guinness World Records adjudicator confirmed that Lebanon now holds the record.

Lebanon accuses Israel of stealing traditional Arab dishes like hummus and marketing them worldwide as Israeli.

Guinness world record for biggest Hummus plate by Lebanon in May 2010

Guinness world record for biggest Hummus plate by Lebanon in May 2010

Prahlad Jani (Mataji): the Indian hermit with no food or water for more than 70 years

Update (November 11th, 2010): Address of Prahlad Jani (Mataji)

Dear all,

One of the readers of this blog, simran, has just provided us with the address of Prahlad Jani. I quote from his comment: “its in Amba JI Gabbar Pahar, half an hour drive from Abu Road railway station, after reaching Amba JI asked anyone for Chunriwale Mataji, everybody knows him, but the meeting days are only Sunday and Puranmaasi from 8-12am.”

Thank you simran. Much appreciated!


Indian military scientists are studying an 82-year-old who claims he has not had any food or drink for more than 70 years. The holy man claims that he derives energy through meditation.

Prahlad Jani is being held in isolation since April 22nd 2010 in a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gurjarat, where he is being closely monitored by India’s defence research organization, who believe he may have a genuine quality which could help save lives.

So far, Mr Prahlad appears to be standing up to scrutiny. He has not eaten or drunk any fluids in six days, and similarly has not passed urine or a stool in that time. He remains fit and healthy and shows no sign of lethargy. Doctors will continue observing him for 15 days in which time they would expect to see some muscle wastage, serious dehydration, weight loss, and fatigue followed by organ failure.

More information on this in the video below by BBC:

Get the Flash Player to see this player.