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Montreal’s Lebanese Film Festival 2010 on May 15-16 by Lebanus

Lebanus, the Lebanese organization behind the famous Lebanese Night in Montreal, is celebrating their 10th edition of the Lebanese Film Festival in Montreal on May 15th and 16th.

It is a great opportunity to discover and learn more about the many talented authors of short and feature-length films from Lebanon. All proceeds will be donated as scholarships for Lebanese students.

Showtime:
5 pm and 7h30 pm – Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of May 2010

Address:
Cinémathèque de l’ONF
1564 Rue Saint Denis, Montreal, QC
H2X 3K3

For more information, you may check the event’s Facebook page here.

Lebanese Film Festival 2010 in Montreal by Lebanus

Lebanese Film Festival 2010 in Montreal by Lebanus

Beijing toilet-themed restaurant

In Beijing, China, nothing quite says fine dining… like a toilet-themed restaurant. At this establishment in Beijing, it’s no use complaining to the waiter that the food looks a bit like ****.

Watch the video below for more information:

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Beirut, the supermarket of Plastic Surgeries

In Lebanon, having plastic surgery for the nose, lips, or even breasts is a very normal thing among young females. It has become a very lucrative market for plastic surgeons to a point it became the country where plastic surgery is practiced the most in the world!

Here is what Nora Awada - the subject behind the French documentary “Beyrouth, supermarché du lifting” - has to say about it:

Elles sont jeunes, belles … et la plupart sont refaites de la tête aux pieds. A Beyrouth, se faire retoucher les seins, le nez ou les lèvres par un chirurgien esthétique est presque un acte banal, dès l’âge de 20 ans. Le Liban est le pays où l’on pratique le plus d’opérations plastiques au monde, et tous les excès sont permis. Il y a même des modes : en ce moment, les clientes réclament le nez d’une célèbre chanteuse locale. Pour celles qui n’ont pas les moyens, les banques proposent des prêts spéciaux « chirurgie esthétique ». Si les Libanaises se livrent aussi fréquemment aux bistouris des chirurgiens, c’est parce que, dans ce pays, la concurrence est très rude pour trouver un mari : à cause de la guerre et de l’émigration, il n’y a qu’un homme pour cinq femmes. Mais revers de la médaille : cette dictature de la beauté crée aussi une pression sociale très forte difficile à supporter au quotidien.

Watch below the documentary (in French) by Nora Awada which was broadcasted on the French show 66 Minutes:

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Lebanon GPS map now available through Garmin GPS

You can now go around Beirut without getting lost.

As part of their Middle East and Northern Africa package, Lebanon is now covered in Garmin GPS device map. Even though it is not as detailed as other countries, the map includes major metropolitan coverage for Lebanon.

You can download the map at $199.99 USD from Garmin’s website here.

Lebanon GPS Map Coverage - Garmin.com

Lebanon GPS Map Coverage - Garmin.com

Beirut featured in the Spring 2010 edition of Times Travel magazine

“Lebanon’s cosmopolitan capital is finally getting its groove back”. That’s how the New York Times Travel magazine introduces Beirut in their Spring 2010 edition.

Though it was once known as the Paris of the Middle East, ‘‘Beirut never truly lost its sheen,’’ says Gordon Campbell Gray, the British hotelier who finally opened Le Gray last November, having forged ahead even through the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. The Lebanese capital surely has a touch of Parisian glamour, but it also has a dash of Berlin (bullet-pocked buildings after a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990) and Miami (flashy night-life zones choked with Ferraris and S.U.V.’s). There’s a burgeoning gallery scene, world-class shopping — from avant-garde boutiques like IF to big-ticket designers like Marc Jacobs and Dior — and five-star hotels like the new Four Seasons and Le Gray. ‘‘The Lebanese have a spirit for living for the day, and it permeates every aspect of their life,’’ Campbell Gray says. ‘‘You really understand this when you head back to a Western city.’’

Check the featured article at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/28/t-magazine/travel-issue/28remix-beirut.html

Le Gray, Beirut - New York Times Travel Magazine Spring 2010

Le Gray, Beirut - New York Times Travel Magazine Spring 2010

Chaker Khazaal: the Lebanese-Canadian behind Nations United

A 22-year-old Lebanese-Canadian man is seeking to unite the nations through a collaborative movie combining people from different parts of the planet.

People from every nation are invited to create a film, 3-5 minutes in length, displaying anything they wish to show the rest of the world. There are no restrictions to the footage they film or the message they wish to present. A selection of chosen footage will be edited into a pre-existing concept for a movie called Nations United or NU, written by Chaker Khazaal, the man behind the project.

Chaker Khazaal on the 17th of March 2010 became a Canadian Resident and his dream since childhood has always been to unite humanity and its people.

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, of Palestinian background, Chaker Khazaal moved to Toronto, Canada in 2005 as an international student at York University where he completed a BA degree in International Development Studies. He also took courses in the fields of film, languages and International Relations.

More information on the project Nations United can be found at www.nationsunited.org

Chaker Khazaal's Nations United Vision - www.nationsunited.org

Chaker Khazaal's Nations United Vision - www.nationsunited.org

Lebanese behind the largest illegal use of Quebec’s healthcare insurance RAMQ

You have previously heard about the documentary exposing Lebanese faking their Canadian permanent residency, and this one just adds to it.

Quebec’s healthcare system RAMQ (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec) is trying to recuperate around $500,000 caused by the illegal use of the system, which made it the largest fraud in RAMQ’s history in relation to illegal use of the medical card. And guess what, the majority of this is caused by Lebanese.

RAMQ has investigated in the recent months around 1,700 immigrants. More than two-third of them, the majority Lebanese, have simulated their presence in Quebec with the help of a fraudulent Lebanese immigration lawyer, the famous now Nizar Zakka. They have obtained a medical card and used it for healthcare services totaling $500,000. RAMQ was only able to recuperate around $42,000 since most of the immigrants do not live in Quebec. The control of this fraudulent activity will not be easy until RAMQ implements its new barcode card.

You can read the investigation report on RAMQ’s official website here.

Quebec's healthcare system (RAMQ) medical card

Quebec's healthcare system (RAMQ) medical card

On the Beirut synagogue

Lebanon was once home to a thriving Jewish community, but its estimated that there are now fewer than a hundred Jews left in the country. So it came as a surprise when the tiny Jewish community announced the rebuilding of one of Beirut’s historic synagogues.

Natalia Antelava from BBC reports on the Beirut synagogue in the video below:

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Watch online Earthlings, the shocking documentary about society’s cruel treatment of animals

earthlings-square1

If you’ve never watched this documentary, then I urge you to do so unless you have a weak heart.

Earthlings is a 2005 multi-award-winning documentary about speciesism by Shaun Monson. The film was narrated by Hollywood actor and animal rights activist Joaquin Phoenix. Earthlings also features a score by musician and activist Moby, who’s one of my favourite musicians.

The documentary is about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. It is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, factory farms, slaughterhouses, circuses etc… The film took around six years to complete because of the difficulty in obtaining footage within these profitable industries.

You can watch the documentary online for free at www.earthlings.com .

Watch the trailer below. Viewer discretion is advised:

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The Putting Bra: another weird lingerie creation from Japan

If you think the Man Bra is weird, well check this out.

Ever been in the middle of something, then realized you really want a game of golf? Well the Japanese lingerie manufacturer Triumph have come up with a solution: a putting mat bra. The bra can be transformed into a 1.5 meter long putting green which is fully equipped along with a special skirt to ensure silence during the game.

Check it out in the video below via OnlyInJapan.org:

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The Man Bra from Japan’s online lingerie Wishroom

Where would you find the weirdest creations on earth?

Japanese online lingerie shop Wishroom has recently unveiled a strange addition to its new product line: the Man Bra. Strangely, the $30-dollar Man Bra is now Wishroom’s fastest-selling men’s garment. The Man Bra comes in three colours - black, white, and of course, pink.

Check it out in the video below via OnlyInJapan.org:

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The ‘rebirth’ of Lebanon’s fashion industry

One by one, Lebanese designers are conquering catwalks across Europe. While many designers in Europe have faced problems due to the economic downturn, Lebanon’s fashion designers have had no shortage of work. They are thriving as the country profits from a year of political stability.

BBC correspondent Natalie Antelava reports below from Beirut on Lebanon’s bid to become the capital of the Middle East fashion world:

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Noodle bath: another relaxation treat from Hanoke, Japan

After bringing you the Beer Bath in Czech Republic and the Chocolate Bath in Hanoke, Japan, a new type of bath will be added to the list. It’s the Noodle Bath, again in Hanoke, Japan.

The Yunessan Spa House have launched a bath containing noodles and broth for their customers. Health authorities have banned edible noodles , so a synthetic noodle is used. A noodle bath is apparently good for the skin, and can increase metabolism.

Check it out in the video below via OnlyInJapan.org:

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It’s Christmas, not Xmas

We see it every year, without paying much attention to it. We say it every year, without being aware of it. It’s the word Xmas, which is a substitute of Christmas. It bothers me when people use the word Xmas instead of Christmas, because they are substituting the Christ by an X. After all, ‘X’ is an abbreviation of ‘Ex’ (such as extreme, extra, etc…), and does not represent, in any form or another, the word ‘Christ’.

Out of respect for Christianity, I suggest you use the word Christmas instead of Xmas.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this Jingle Bells song, Punjabi style, and I wish you a Merry Christmas full of joy and happiness to you and your family:

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China unveils world’s fastest train

China has just launched the fastest express train in the world on the longest track on earth. At a speed of around 400 km/h, this locomotive is so smooth that even a standing cigarette won’t be toppled. It ran from the central city of Wuhan down to the south coast in a record of less than 3 hours, compared to the 10 and a half hours that it normally used to take.

This is not something new for the Chinese, and if you’ve been to Shanghai then you know what I mean. They have the Maglev train that takes you from Shanghai airport to downtown at a speed topping 432 km/h.

Check out the express train in the video below:

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Wash-Bar: the German disco laundromat

Now, I feel like doing laundry.

In Hamburg, Germany, the Wash-Bar is no ordinary laundromat. It’s in fact a disco laundromat! While the spin dryers get to work, DJs spin tunes for the customers. The laundromat even serves food and drinks.

Check it out in the video below:

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Latest craze in Valentine’s gifts: chocolate spa and bath

I have previously blogged about beer bath as the ultimate relaxation treat, but for non-alcoholics or chocolate lovers, these top it all. They are the latest craze in Valentine’s gifts: the chocolate spa in Israel and the chocolate bath in Hanoke, Japan.

Check them out in the video below:

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Tabouli and Baba Ganoush: two of the world’s most expensive cats

The New York Cat Show in 2004 was the first public exhibition of cloned cats. Three cats, which were named after Lebanese culinary dishes, wowed the visitors. These cats were Tabouli, Baba Ganoush, and their genetic donor Tahini. At 50,000$ for the clone, Tabouli and Baba Ganoush are two of the most expensive cats in the world.

Check them out in the video below:

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Jetlev-Flyer: the recreational jetpack that lets you fly over water

If you’ve been dreaming about flying a personal jetpack for way too long, then your wait is finally over! Jetlev Sports Inc. is proud to introduce the Jetlev-Flyer, the recreational jetpack almost anyone can enjoy over water. But just one thing, it’s priced around 130,000$.

Check it out in the promotional video below:

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Dolce Heavenly Concert: the Japanese concert where the audience is asleep

In Tokyo, Japan, this recital is the only one of its kind in the world, since most of the audience members… are asleep. In this two-day event called “Dolce Heavenly Concert”, spectators are invited to relax in luxury beds and since it’s sponsored by Haagen-Dazs, they are provided with as much ice cream as they can eat.

Check it out in the video below via OnlyInJapan.org:

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Kayabukiya Tavern: the Japanese tavern with monkey waiters

The Kayabukiya Tavern in Utsunomiya, Japan, employs two waiters with special background: they are both macaque monkeys. If you’re wondering how they are tipped, well they earn boiled soybeans as tips. Though in line with animal regulations, they only work for two hours a day.

Watch them while they’re working in the video below via OnlyInJapan.org:

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Fitness Phone: the Japanese phone that can even measure bad breath

In October 2007, the Japanese firm NTT DoCoMo unveiled a prototype “fitness phone”. Designed to help you stay fit, it has devices that measure burnt calories, heart rate, and even body fat. But most useful of all, the phone can tell you if you have a bad breath. An alcohol-breathalyzer is apparently due next.

Check it out in the video below:

Via OnlyInJapan.org

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Saroj Kumar: the man immune to electricity

In Uttar Pradesh, India, the 29 year old Saroj Kumar claims to be shock proof. To demonstrate this, he plays with high-tension electrical cables and holds naked live wires. Saroj discovered his ‘gift’ when his village got electricity six years ago. He claimed that after touching two naked wires, he emerged unhurt.

Watch Saroj Kumar in the video below:

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Denmark to allow internet in exams

Compare this with the History book in which we used to study in Lebanon.

Danish students could soon be allowed full access to the internet while sitting their final school exams if a pilot scheme goes well. They can use the internet to answer any of the questions, but cannot communicate with each other or with anyone outside the classroom.

More on this in the video below by BBC News:

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Beer bath: the ultimate relaxation treat

The Chodovar brewery in Chadova Plana, Czech Republic, has come up with the ultimate relaxation treat that draws people from all over Europe: a beer bath.

According to its creator Dr. Roman Vokaty, the mineral water in the bath relieves the carbon dioxide which highly impact the capillaries and allows muscle relaxation. The bath also contains beer with additives which are good for the skin, because of the vitamin B and the ale yeast. These have a very positive effect against skin illnesses.

Nevertheless, drinking your bath water is generally frowned upon.

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