Symphony No.2; I: Adagio Molto – Allegro con brio

It’s just brilliant. Just brilliant. My mind is just drooling all over this right now. It’s ridiculously good.

Here’s a picture of Beethoven I took… also a brilliant piece of sculpture. I would have been like cackling maniacally if I were sculpting that – trying to depict the genius.

 

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A Mirage In The Desert

Boy do we have a story for tonight… this is the kind of journalism the New York Times is known for – this quality of investigative reporting… this is exactly the kind of thing we need to prevent Beirut from becoming… I’ll give an e-nugde to a very special person I know who is studying Environmental Science and Waste Management at AUB. I’ll post the key parts of the text as follows.

NYT: Dubai Struggles With Environmental Problems After Rapid Growth

Like a Middle Eastern version of Las Vegas, Dubai’s biggest challenge is water, which may be everywhere in the gulf but is undrinkable without desalination plants. These produce emissions of carbon dioxide that have helped give Dubai and the other United Arab Emirates one of the world’s largest carbon footprints. They also generate enormous amounts of heated sludge, which is pumped back into the sea.

The emirates desalinate the equivalent of four billion bottles of water a day. But their backups are thin: at any given time, the region has, on average, an estimated four-day supply of fresh water.

Today, the gulf’s salinity levels have risen to 47,000 parts per million, from 32,000 about 30 years ago. That is enough, said Christophe Tourenq, a senior researcher at the World Wide Fund for Nature in Dubai, to threaten local fauna and marine life.

A Thought

You know what’s funny? Before I went on study abroad to Beirut I remember telling people, when they would ask about my going there, that I knew I was going to have an experience that would change my life completely and that I would probably, under most circumstances, come back a fundamentally different person. It’s interesting because I went into the thing knowing and expecting that and that’s exactly what I got. I came to love a country by falling in love with a person, who while no longer in my life, has probably had the most transformative effect on it than any other living individual I know. I find the causation of events so interesting, looking back on the last 5 years. I left high school to go to the only out of state school where I had applied to because they happened to have the major I was looking for. And I ended up meeting someone who was the cause of my selecting Lebanon as the place where I wanted to spend a year of my life. My final year of what we call college. It’s just interesting to plot the chain of events that led to this point in time, ending with a sharp jolt of reverse culture-shock and heartbreak. It’s probably the worst combination of self-inflicting diseases as there isn’t a cure to either but time. It’s terrible honestly. And the people who cause the latter to others really have no idea how long the road is to basically re-learning how to live your life. It takes so much work. It’s a herculean challenge. But I’m slowly feeling more and more like myself. There’s finally something on the History Channel that isn’t about Hitler, Stalin, or WWII. There’s a great documentary on the 7 Wonders of the World. Apparently the Roman Emperor Caligula tried to have the Statue of Zeus in Olympia moved to Rome because he wanted to possess it utterly. But when he sent people to remove it they heard a cackle of laughter emanate out of the statue and they fled. And 72 hours after the incident Caligula was brutally murdered in a palace mutiny. Just great. Gotta love Roman history.

I went and saw Hereafter tonight. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that likes an interesting film. I really was well done I thought. Though there were a number of people who went out of the theatre saying it was a waste of time. But I honestly thought it was one of the most interesting films I’ve seen directed by Clint Eastwood. It has the actress in it who played the French lesbian in La Auberge Espagnole (probably misspelled) also known as The Spanish Apartment and The Russian Dolls. And there are a few others that are recognizable other than Matt Damon. Anyway – I highly recommend it – it really gets you thinking about the connections between events and people.

I guess the thought that is most interesting to my tonight – that I’m toying over in my mind – is that feeling you get when you know that something is just right, that you’re mean to be somewhere at a particular place and time and that nothing short of what is happening or did happen was essentially meant to happen, regardless of if you were in expectation of it or not. Like being tuned into some sort of frequency. I recall seeing a movie a long time ago called Frequency. I forget what it was about though.

I suppose one of the benefits to living at home is homemade granola. For dinner.

Windmills of Your Mind – Sting

For those who haven’t seen Brosnan’s Thomas Crown Affair – the whole soundtrack is brilliant.

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnaval balloon
Like a carousell that’s turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it’s own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said
Lovers walking allong the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circle that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Lebanon, Lebanon

Lebanon, Lebanon. Are you worth my time anymore? When I met you all you could tell me was that you could, you could, you could. Like the little engine that could. And now all you tell me is that you can’t. You can’t. You can’t. You can’t. When I met you, you told me that this Lebanon was different from the rest. Was that a lie. Do you care now? You were generous. Your name was generous. I may have never seen your Cedars, but everyday I saw one in all its glory on your flag. Yet now it seems your trees are dying and burning. You let me fall in love with you. Your high mountains and your sparkling seas. Every time I looked out of my window and watched the sun set behind the towers of your glittering capital, I felt alive. What happened to you? Why do you turn and run away when there was so much promise left in store. What are you worth now? When you have turned back and walked back into your history and said, “I can do no better than this, so I might as well be content with it.” Why depend on a Resistance to fight your battles and protect your soil, when it is truly up to you to do so. To stand up and say that your country is better than this, that you wouldn’t let down those who believed in you. But you did. I trusted you with a vision of what could be. A dream of a place that was on the edge of escaping history. A place unlike any other. It was barely a whisper. And you let it die on your tongue so that it never left your lips. And now we have nothing to show for it.