28 June 2008

Meanwhile, in ammaroland..

It's been a busy few weeks over at ammaroland, as life manages to throw everything and anything at The ammaro. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, but it just means the ammaro has been kept busier than a restroom in a very, very busy Indian restaurant (hence the lag in posts over the past few days). A lot of risks have been taken, but so far things seem to be going good.. Let's take a look at what's been going on,

1- BahrainTalent; if you don't already know this, it's a site I put together a while ago to bring together underground Bahraini musicians and give them some well deserved exposure. So far it's been up and running, featured a few artists, and just yesterday launched a weekly radio show (click here to listen). We're also working with a few big companies to organize a few events, and launch some services you might find pretty interesting. Besides that, we have more artists ready to be featured over the next few days. Keep your eyes peeled.

2- Hala-Bahrain Magazine; this has been kept under wraps for a while now, but should be launched in the next few days. HalaBahrain is a free online lifestyle magazine, covering places to go, restaurants, events, etc all to do with Bahrain. It's also got local news, competitions, entertainment, and lots more. You can get it sent directly to your email as soon as it is launched (in the next few days), so make sure to sign up your email address for a copy!

3- Music; Been working with a few people, some small names, some big names, on a few interesting concepts. Can't really say much about it at this point, but it's going to be pretty big. Will let you all know as things develop.

4- Collaborating on a few huge projects, which are gonna change the way a few things are being done here.

5- A million and one other things that aren't significant enough for their own point, but nonetheless all together take up quite a bit of time and effort.

All in all, some exciting stuff; I just realized this was all a little vague, but hey, it should all get clearer as time goes by! Keep checking the site out for some really interesting developments in the coming few weeks, but for now make sure to check out BahTalent Radio and HalaBahrain Magazine!

25 June 2008

We're All The Same

Looks like a silly video at first. Some random guy dancing in one country, then in another, then in another. But keep watching...

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

There's something deeply moving about it; look at the joy on the people's faces, their smiles, their happiness. Doesn't matter what language barriers there are, or what cultural differences exist. Nothing. They all danced, they all smiled, they all connected. Didn't matter if it was young children dancing in Africa, or grown adults dancing in the UK; everyone was the same.

In this world of people separating themselves from each other, fighting going on over race, religion, skin color, language, and so on, it just brings a tear to see the whole world connecting over such a small dance. It brings a tear to see poor African children who have nothing, filled with laughs and joy over such a small dance. It brings a tear to see stuck-up businessmen let go of their stress and pride, filled with laughs and joy over such a small dance. It brings a tear to see a video of people dancing in Israel, followed by people dancing on the East Bank. It just puts out such a strong message; stop the fighting, stop the pain, stop the differences. We're all human, we're all the same.

19 June 2008

You have been BANNED From using the Internet

You've all done it, whether you like to admit it or not. You've all downloaded music or some other form of digital content illegaly sometime or the other.

It's fun, this whole digital revolution thing, and you gotta admit that it is pretty satisfying getting your dose of entertainment for free. Unfortunately, the past few years have screwed over most of the music companies, who've been getting most of their money through physical album sales.

Now, trying to enforce legistlation over the internet concerned with the download of illegal files is pretty damn tough. Sure, there have been a few cases where individuals have been taken to court, but as a percentage of total people who do download illegally, that hardly scratches the surface. France, however, has decided to take this whole thing to the extreme:

France to ban illegal downloaders from using the internet
June 19, 2008

Anyone who persists in illicit downloading of music or films will be barred from broadband access under a controversial new law that makes France a pioneer in combating internet piracy.

“There is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone,” President Sarkozy told his Cabinet yesterday as it endorsed the “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” scheme that from next January will hit illegal downloaders where it hurts.

Under a cross-industry agreement, internet service providers (ISPs) must cut off access for up to a year for third-time offenders.

The law has strong backing from Mr Sarkozy, who has taken a close interest in artists’ rights since marrying Carla Bruni, a model and folk singer. However, it has run into opposition from a range of bodies including the state data protection agency, consumer and civil liberties groups and the European Parliament. Big web companies, including Google, and Dailymotion, the video-sharing firm, refused to sign up to the 40-member industry accord last November.

Full Article Here

Technically, that means that you get three strikes, and then you're out without internet access for a year. Give it to the French to come up with a harsh law like that.

But thinking more deeply into the issue, what sort of effects could this have? Will this sort of legistlation promote other governments to enforce similar penalties? Or are people going to resent this so deeply that France is going to have to revoke it? How about when a kid downloads a few illegal songs, do the rest of his family have to suffer? What if I manage to catch an unsecured wireless network and download illegally through there?

Again, the whole issue of restraining the internet is too complex to comprehend, and obviously whoever set this law has no idea how the internet works. Even if my access is 'banned', I could still share music and content over WAN's and LAN's, copy it from a friend through a flash disk or CD, or pop over to the local Starbucks and download music from their network (unless someone has already done that, and Starbucks get their access banned too).

Will it work? Could it possibly work? Is there any way of restraining the internet? And what are your thoughts on this?

13 June 2008

How to/not to take care of your baby

In the news over the past few weeks, there have been a number of cases where parents accidentally caused their baby children injury, harm, or even death. Although seemingly an obvious task, taking care of a baby is a huge responsibility. Here we will go over a few basic guidelines on what and what not to do when you do have to take care of a baby:

Follow these guidelines, and stay safe!

11 June 2008

Justified Stealing?

Ok everyone, let's have a bit of a morality check up:

1- Stealing, is it right or wrong?

I'm assuming most of you reading would say wrong. A few would probably think it's fine, and some might even enjoy it, although deep down you probably all know that it's wrong.

2- Let's say someone was making money from an immoral activity; selling drugs to children, ripping off an old woman from her retirement money, or anything else.

Now, is stealing the money from this person right or wrong?

Here, i'm assuming some would be divided, let's hear your ideas and thoughts on why you think it's right or wrong.

3- Now, if you thought stealing money from those people is WRONG, let's say you use it for some random good purpose; ie, helping the homeless, building a childrens hospital (musta been a lot of money!) or anything else good.

Is it right or wrong now?

PS. Don't worry guys, i'm not stealing, or planning to steal, anything from anyone. Just a weird dilemma I thought up in my head full of twisted ideas, and I think it would make for very interesting discussion! So let's hear your thoughts; drop a comment below and tell us what you think.

10 June 2008

The Amazing Weather Forecasting Stone

Gary has a stone with amazing magical powers; it can forecast the weather. Really amazing stuff:

I wonder how it does that.

9 June 2008

Discussion; which is better?

Is it better to be...

1- a specialized expert in something specific (ie, really good at it, whatever it is), with minor knowledge of other subjects in general.


2- to have a good overall knowledge in a number of subjects, being reasonable at all of them, but not quite spectacular at any.

It is not relevant whether this question is related to study, work, play, or life. Just answer the question with what you think, in general, and why.

8 June 2008

The Matrix; not so far away.

If you haven't seen The Matrix, you need to leave my site immediately. I will not tolerate people who haven't watched it going anywhere near my site.

Yes, that means YOU. Leave now. Don't ever come back.



Okay, now that we've gotten rid of THAT lot, let's talk serious business. We are now witnessing the beginning of the end; robots that can communicate with each other, work together to produce larger machines, and capable of managing their own hardware and software. They can even fix themselves if hurt.

Sounds familiar? Oh, and how about when they ask the professor whether he thinks there's any risk that the robots could take over?

"No, I dont think there's any risk at all of that."

Ahh, denial. Beautiful denial. I bet you'll remember this phrase when the robots have got you hanging from your feet and are slowly disemboweling you. Don't you ever watch movies?!?!

Robotos that work together, create their own programs, think, and heal themselves. Add the intelligence of Google into the mix, and you've got the Terminator right there. Uh oh; beginning of the end guys, your days are numbered.

Welcome to the Matrix.

6 June 2008

Bird Surf

Total Attitude.

If you didn't notice anything special about the photo, look again.. Focus.

Yup, that's a Blackbird hitching a ride, or surfing, on the back of a Red-Tailed Hawk. Seems this sort of behavior is actually pretty common amongst those cheeky Blackbirds (who seem to have quite big balls for small birds).

"Yup, that's me, tiny Blackbird. Check me out; I've made this big badass hawk my bitch. I rule."

Yes you do, Blackbird.

Very cool.


4 June 2008

We Love you Soulja Boy

I used to be a big hiphop fan; back in the early to mid-ninties, there were some pretty powerful artists out there who came out with songs holding deep meanings, strong lyrics, and put some real effort into their beats & tunes. Now if you're not a rap/hiphop fan, you probably won't know what i'm talking about, since the genre has been transformed into something resembling a germ on the butt of a dead dog rotting in pile of garbage. In the rain.

Real hiphop is apparently dead, because as I was scanning through the TV channels the other day, I managed to come across a little masterpiece music video by someone called Soulja Boy. The meaningful lyrics went something like this:


Lovely. I'm sure the song actually has a deeper meaning than i'm able to envision; what with me being an old fart today compared to all the cool 16 and 17 year olds out there.

Oh by the way, those lyrics are not made up by me, not one bit of them (not even the abadgedebah abaargedebaaah part). Don't believe me? Here, check out the video: Soulja Boy - YAH! (trust me, you have to see this to believe it).

If you haven't already heard of Soulja Boy, you apparently don't listen to the radio; there's been this song playing over the past few months with no real melody, rhythm or lyrics, that goes YOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU and DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and OOOOOOOOOOOOH and i'm pretty sure you must have heard it somewhere. After all, it's been all over TV, radio, cellphone ringtones, and blasting on the speakers of random teenagers driving around your neigbourhood (Video Here)

So then, this Soulja Boy has managed to turn the hiphop artform into a bit of a joke, turning his annoying tunes into ringtones everyone can download, walking around with oversized glasses with his name written all over them, sporting ridiculous fashions, and creating a stupid new dance for everyone to do.

But then, you start to think about it; the kid is 17. Hmm. We were all acting 'cool' at 17, so I guess he's just acting his age; I was doing about the same things back then. And wait a second; besides appealing to ridiculous amounts of teenagers who buy his music (making him a millionaire), creating a legion of followers through his 'dance' moves, he's managed to turn it into a ringtone, and earned a few million more through that. And last (and i'm sort of ashamed to say this), after hearing the songs a few million times, they actually start to sound good. And the videos get pretty funny too.

He's obviously having a lot of fun doing the whole thing. Sort of reminds me when I was 17; darn it... Anybody know of a way I can go back to that age, of being a little silly teenager with no worries? Blah..

For now though, i'll continue to 'Crank That' Soulja Boy in my car as a bit of a guilty pleasure as I cruise around (not too loud obviously, to make sure no one can hear me listening to him!).

Shameful. So Shameful.

3 June 2008

Check your Closets!

As it goes, my last post was about discovering a group of people completely isolated from the rest of the world. Never having been exposed to television, cars, electricity, or even modern forms of clothing, it was a suprising, and actually quite shocking discovery. Read the last post if you haven't already.

But now comes something a little more ridiculous. Again, about discovering people you never knew existed, but this time it's a little closer to home:

Japanese man finds woman living in his closet

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese man puzzled by food mysteriously disappearing from his refrigerator got a shock when he found out a woman had been living in his home for months without permission, police said Friday.

The 57-year-old man living alone -- or so he thought -- in the western city of Fukuoka installed a security camera and called the police when he saw images of someone walking around his home while he was out.

"We searched the house in the man's presence. We found the woman in the closet," said a local police spokesman.

The woman, named as 58-year-old Tatsuko Horikawa, was found in a flat storage space only just big enough for a person to squeeze into lying down.

She had sneaked a mattress and several plastic bottles into the cubby hole, police said, adding that the women had been arrested.

"She told police that she had nowhere to live," the spokesman said. "She seems to have lived there for about a year, but not all the time."

It is unclear how she managed to enter the home undetected. Police suspect she might have been closet-hopping, moving from house to house.

Seriously? 9 whole months... I guess wierd things happen in that city; the sort of things that make you say "What the Fukuoka is going on?!" (sorry, lame, I know...).

On the positive side, someone should give this woman her own magic TV show; i'm sure she can put Copperfield, David Blaine and all those other wanna be disappearing act magicians to shame.