Friday, December 02, 2005
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
It is a long time I haven't posted anything. Do not feel a strong urge for luazy writing anymore. Recently, I spend a lot of my free time either photographing with my FujiFilm Finepix S5000 digital camera or editing those photos on my computer. Today, I started an experimental photoblog: visualme.blogspot.com. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully better than this blog.
Posted by احسان الف at 4:41 PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
GMAIL is the new path!
Posted by احسان الف at 12:18 PM
Hey, I've got a student in the DSP class (for which I am a TA) whose name is Paul Cesan. Isn't that cool?
Posted by احسان الف at 12:09 PM
Friday, May 14, 2004
One of the most enriching lives is one spent by a person trying constantly to create and evolve his/her God.
That can be restated another way too: To me, the only concieveable purpose of life is an endless effort to cast a meaning on it.
Posted by احسان الف at 11:37 AM
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
My father has no daughters. Only three sons. A house with no girls and three boys is usually like a barrak. Little, very little emotion. And if there is any smal sentiment, of course, it is towards mom.
I, being the eldest son, never learned to emotionally communicate with baba.
I never did and I still don't know how.
Not that I don't want to. I am 31, and I undestand a father may look at his childrens as the fruit of his life. I undesrtand, even if he cannot say it, that he needs me to communicate with him.
I saw it, the night that I got married - almost a year ago. I saw his face. He looked totally different. Happy in a totally new way.
I left shortly after mariage. Maryam who had established a very nice relationship with her in laws also left shortly afterwards to join me. Baba likes Maryam very much. Everytime I call to talk to them I read it in his voice how desperate he is to talk to his daughter in law. But we are away. And we will be for a long time. The political problems between the US and Iran does not allow us to visit home easily. or for them to visit us. My last year trip to Iran was a big risk of not being able to get back and thus losing the chance of finishing school. Baba is approaching 70. I need to be with him for a while. To let him enjoy the fruits of his life. We need to be together with our parents before ... Damn it is too hard to write. Makes me feel empty. I am going to post this without proof reading.
I tried to meet one of my deamons.
Posted by احسان الف at 6:59 PM
Monday, May 10, 2004
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Thanks to my new friend Naser G. for introducing me to James Kavanaugh and this beautiful piece of poetry.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant's profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant's world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.
There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant's world,
Unless they have a gentle one to love.
Posted by احسان الف at 4:08 PM
Thursday, May 06, 2004
It sounds so natural to me that a prowar blogger like Jef Jarvis is almost entirely silent about the Iraqi torture scandal. I wonder what does people like him say in private about those photos. Probabely: 'Damn the SOB photographer. '
Posted by احسان الف at 6:50 PM
If there is anybody who thinks photography is not really what I am made for please let me know right here in the comment section. I won't be offended.
Posted by احسان الف at 6:41 PM
Posted by احسان الف at 2:14 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Posted by احسان الف at 2:03 PM
Monday, April 12, 2004
I Ignored the Warnings Too
All this fuss over bush administration having ignored the 9-11 warnings reminds me that he was not the only one. I ignored the warnings too!
3 days before 9-11 I got a broadcasted email from a friend who regularly forwarded jokes or funny images to her list of friends. This time the email included a few images of planes crashed into buildings or crowds. Big and small planes crashed in laughable ways. Some of them gave me smile. Other than that it didn't make much sense. Luckily I forgot to delete that email the same night and waited until 1 day before 9-11 to delete it. So the night after 9-11 when I suddenly remembered the strange email. I could still recycle it from my trashcan. I opened the email and saw something shocking that had gone totally unnoticed the first time:
The subject of the email with all the crashed airplane photos was: 'EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED'.
Trying to trace back the sequence of senders of that email, I reached an Arabic name. My friend had received it from another Iranian who had received it from an Arab guy who had originally received the email as part of an al Arabs email list. She found it funny and forwarded it to her friends, as she did with all other emails that she found funny.
The next day I reported this on FBI website but never got any response back other than one from their auto-response software.
The photos were stored on my PC for a while until it crashed and I had to completely format the hard disk.
Posted by احسان الف at 10:22 AM
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
B as in Birth
I was born in the 12th day of the first month of the year, on the Iranian calendar. That is the 12th day of the spring and one to the last day of the Noruz celebrations in Iran. On the western calendar and according to the American traditions, however, it only one day before the April Fool's Day. I just missed it, didn't I? Tomorrow I will be 31. In a blink of eyes I will be 51. That is if I'm meant to live that long. And at the next attempted blink my eyes shall stay closed, never to be opened again.
Time hurries on,
and the leaves that are green,
turn to brown,
and they wither with the wind,
and they crumble in your hand.
Posted by احسان الف at 8:54 PM
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Iranian Parlimentary Elections
Even though the fifty something percent of people who voted on Friday were much less than Islamic republic ideally hoped for, it was more than what the oposition needed to call it a total boycut of the election by the Iranian people.
I said it a short time ago in a comment that I left on eyeranian.net: My people still deserve nothing more than the Mullah's that rule them. This was Khamenei's election. He called for people to participate. And despite all the shameful restrictions imposed by his appointed fellows, so many people answered that call and participated.
It scares me to realize that even in Tehran about 30% said yes to Khamenei.
Posted by احسان الف at 12:15 PM
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Earthquake, political crisis, plain crash, corruption, misery, terrorism, train explosion, tear, rage, pian, the homeless, the jobless, the voiceless, the graveless...
Dear Iran, this is what the world has to read about you day after day. My poor Iran.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
The text book for a course that I have taken this semester costs $135. I paid about $8 to copy it (2c a page) and $8 to bind the copy. And I am not feeling guilty. The price was really unfair.
How will I feel if some day I am the author of a text book (fat chance!) and students copy it rather than buing it?
Posted by احسان الف at 5:00 PM
Thursday, January 29, 2004
I liked you, BBC. But looks like you are not going to be the same anymore. Therefore, it might be the right time to say Adius.
By the way, before we depart just tell me: if Blair didn't lie and Bush, Powel and others didn't li, then who did? Huh?
Posted by احسان الف at 9:58 AM
Monday, January 05, 2004
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the fourth Islamic republic in the world and the third in the region is being created, with the assistance of USA. Isn't that something? History is full of ironies.
Posted by احسان الف at 3:52 PM
Friday, January 02, 2004
Bush's New Year Eve Surprize for Tehran
When asked if temporary easing of sanctions meant thawing relations with Iran today, president Bush answered no. Then he continued by listing the requirements that Tehran should fulfill before any improvement in relations could take place. None of the requirements were surprising or new: listening to Iranians who strive for freedom, turning in the arrested Alqaeda and stopping the nuclear weapons program. What was surprising though, was the absence of an old claim, i.e. sponsoring terrorism by giving aid to Lebanon’s' Hezbollah and Palestine’s Islamic Jihad and Hamas! Did he simply forget it or was it planned?
Posted by احسان الف at 12:43 AM
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Happy New Year Everybody
I was much happier when I said Merry Christmas a few days ago. Between then and now the terrible earthquake happened that saddened everyone. Heck, what can we do about it? A big fat nothing. So, lets just wish a peaceful 2004 for us and everybody else on the face of the planet.
My 2004 wishes are for my wife Maryam to resume her education that she interrupted in Iran to join me, for myself to publish 3 or 4 journal and conference papers, for Iran to produce a couple of good pieces of news whatever they can be, and for America not to re-elect Bush.
Speaking of Maryam's education, did you know that the Homeland security act prohibits F2 visa holders from taking college courses for credit? So, it is not only people with pocket almanacs who threaten the security of this country, even legal aliens on F2 visas who decide to start college can also be a danger to America's safety. It is a very delicate job, discovering all the threats to national security. Isn't it?
All the best wishes for a joyful prosperous 2004 for everyone.
Posted by احسان الف at 4:58 PM
Friday, December 26, 2003
Damn Earth Quake
60% of Bam in south eastern Iranian province of Kerman is destroyed, 5000 t0 20,000 are dead. The beautiful ancient city of Bam (Arg-e Bam) is gone for good. All a good heart can think of now is to donate some money for the survivors and gestures like that. No amount of money can reverse the terrible destruction. Nothing useful can be done after such a devastating disaster.
There were many things to do though, before hand, when it was clam but experts knew that a quake might happen sooner or later. Many things could be done to make the buildings safer and reduce the casualty rate in case of a disaster like this, were there proper management, efficient system, and caring people.
Every time a quake happens somewhere in Iran - and that happens almost once a year - one cannot help but think that Tehran may be next. If it happens in Tehran, they say the death toll can be even higher than half a million. After it happened, help some wounded survivors if you can, provide shelter to some, count the corpse, or just sit back and sigh. Much more useful things can be done before hand though.
Posted by احسان الف at 3:05 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Merry Christmass and Happy Holidays
Posted by احسان الف at 8:50 PM
Friday, December 19, 2003
What if ...
What if the US has already captured Usama Bin Laden? What if some proves of Iraqi WMD has been already found? What if Bush is keeping these secret for the right day? What if right before the elections his administration announce these achievements as the winning cards in the election game? Huh?
Posted by احسان الف at 3:29 PM
Sunday, December 14, 2003
This one I posted on Pedram's Eyeranian weblog as an answer to some heated comments. Thought it wouldn't hurt to post it here too, for the sake of record. A couple of sentenses are added.
The US is guilty of many sins. That is right. But that doesn't explain everything. First of all, as far as foreign support for Saddam is concerned European countries especially France, Germany and the former Soviet are far guiltier than the US. France and Soviet Union gave him advanced weaponry and signed every sort of contracts with him to the last minute. German companies gave him Chemical weapon technology. Taking advantage of weak or corrupt regimes is part of the international politics. Do not solely blame US because many other governments would do worse if they could. We are living in and unfair world. Face it.
Last but not least, let us put the blame where it really belongs. The people. The same people that create and cherish their dictators. If people change a little bit then their political systems will change a whole lot. In most cases people truly deserve their rulers. Iranians still deserve Mullahs because they have not changed enough. Americans too deserve W. or men as low as him before they wake up and realize the true value of their freedom. The same applies to many other nations and their good or bad political systems.
I blame Iraqis the most for keeping Saddam in power for such a long time and am against the US led war because democracy and human rights cannot be militarily enforced.
Dear Iranian fellows, please give up this "Daei Jan Napel’on"-like conspiracy theory. Look inside for the roots of our political and social misery. I would recommend reading Doctor Zibakalam's "Ma Chegune Ma Shodim" (How we became who we are) book as an start.
Posted by احسان الف at 5:27 PM
Why a man carries a gun?
It is said that when the late Shah fled Iran in February 1979, Saddam said something like "Shah always carried a gun. A man carries gun for a purpose. When the time comes he has to use it." Implying that he should commit suicide rather than running away. He is now captured alive himself. With a pistol next to him in his hiding hole. What an unbelievable moment especially for the Iranians who remember the difficult days of war against Iraq.
You finally captured him alive, my dear Americans. Make him talk. Make him interview an experienced reporter. Make him say things that will become lessons for the future. If at all history can teach any lesson.
Posted by احسان الف at 5:17 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Good morning Iraq
Those who follow events of Iraq should really go watch (or re-watch, if they saw it long ago) the movie 'Good Morning Vietnam' . I couldn't help making links.
I love it when Robin Williams shouts into emptiness 'but we are here to help.' and when the director allows the young Viet Cong to speak for himself 'You are the enemy'.
None gets to prove the other one wrong.
I saw Apocalypse Now a while ago but it belonged to past. Didn't apply to anything in the present time. This one though have something to say about our times.
Posted by احسان الف at 12:57 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2003
I changed my idea. He is so pathetic. If I ever get a 20 second chance to meet Khatami, I will spend it on a long deep sigh for him.I will probably shed a couple of tears for him as well.
Posted by احسان الف at 2:25 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Recently I have thought a lot about what I would do if I ever got a 20 seconds chance to talk to Khatami face to face. After reading this I am left with no more doubts.
If I ever get 20 seconds in private with Mr. "reformist" president of the Islamic republic of Iran I will slap him really hard on the face. That will take about 2 seconds. Then I will spend the remaining 18 seconds to watch his stupid mouth bleed.
Posted by احسان الف at 6:37 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
LUFTHANSA IS MESSED UP AND CHEAP
First they didn't deliver one out of two baggages of M when she arrived in Dallas on 24 July. Then they made us call several places to find someone to listen to us. They gave us 3 different phone numbers and 3 different fax numbers, one of which did not even exist. Then they refused to pay M. liability for the necessary items that she had in her baggage and she now had to buy again. Then they made us fax the list of baggage contents with their estimated value 3 times to 2 different fax numbers.
Finally, a couple of days ago they sent us the letter announcing that the baggage could not be found accompanied by a check of $640.
Honestly the stuff in that baggage was worth at least four times this number. plus the were invaluable items in the baggage such as an old hand-woven table cloth (termeh) handed down to M from her great grandmother, our wedding candle sticks, and about 30 photos of M. from her childhood and teenage-hood (no negatives). They say this check has been written in compliance with IATA convention.
Why should the little guy like me or my wife feel lost in disputes like this? Why shouldn't the laws and conventions be written in a way that the big deal corporations who are responsible for the loss feel the pain?
I mean, what on earth I can do to get the big arrogant Lufthansa to listen to me?
Posted by احسان الف at 6:19 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Being TA is much better than being RA. I am switch back to being a TA (teaching assistant) 5 semesters of being RA (research assistant). It is a time consuming job specially when I have to supervise 5 lab sessions each week and grade lab reports for more than 80 people. In the meanwhile, I have to find time for my research work. Yet, I am happier than before. Unlike when I was RA, I get people to talk to and interact with, a few hours a week. It feels much better.
Posted by احسان الف at 3:33 PM
Friday, September 05, 2003
Notes in haste
1. South California is a beautiful place. I had visited Orange county and its vicinity before but this time we had so much fun together with M (my wife). In 10 days we visited Coronado Island (next to San Diego), Lass Vegas, and camped 3 nights in Yosemite national park, not to mention a few beaches and beach towns along the way from Anaheim to San Diego. I will post a couple of pictures as son as I develop them.
2. How could we travel with empty pockets is another story.
3. So many creasy and often stupid stuff have happened recently. How dare white house to expect help from the UN. Worse of all, did you here that the republicans in the congress are planning to force the White House to make sure every investment for rebuilding Iraq comes from either Iraqi oil or international investment? (I heard it on channel 8 news). You know, the similarity between these politicians and old whores is that both know no shame. Only the latter is quite harmless. Shame, shame.
4. I have so much to write about but since M arrived my life style has changed and I often have another thing in priority. I need to make myself more organized.
5. Our apartment looks at west and gets so warm in the afternoon. last month electricity bill was $105.97. My expectation was around $40.
6. We have to go shopping now. there is no meat or onion or fruits at home. Rokhsat.
Posted by احسان الف at 5:34 PM
Friday, August 01, 2003
I hope no genetics knowlegable read this
Some say before the end of this century, sex will be only a means for pleasure. People will not resort to sex and natural pregnancy for the purpose of reproduction. Babies will be produced in laboratories primarily from sperm and egg received from couples. But over time genetic engineering tools and advance cloning techniques equipped with sophisticated computer programs will be employed to combine genes from two (or more?) people to compose a baby as they wish. What gender would you rather for your baby? Which one of you guy's eyes it should have? what about its chins? or its nose? or mouth? Do you want it to be as poetic as its mom? or as inquisitive as its dad (I am just assuming opposite sex parent for the sake of simplicity. The idea will work as perfect for same sex parents)? etc. etc.
I was brainstorming on this idea the other day and I came down to the issue of economical and political aspects of human reproduction centers. How will different societies run such centers?
1. Centralist or socialist countries: This countries will regulate the process of human reproduction by putting the h.r. centers under government control. Government will announce related anual plans in terms of more necessary gender, sort of talents needed, etc. each year. Applicants will have to submit written requests and wait in a queue for their turn. If the gender they ask for is not approved then they have the option to cancel their request (paying related fees) or to go for the other gender. Each new baby, in addition to parent genes genes, will have some government supplied genes or gene modifications to comply with specific future needs of the society reflected in the government's latest version of 'roadmap for social improvement' report.
At one point the government decides to modify genes of the new babies so that they will not be capable of natural reproduction when they grow up.
2. Liberal capitalist societies: Artificial reproduction will be a profitable business. Two giant companies Baby Plus (their slogan: When it comes to babies we mean business TM ) and New Age Superman (Slogan: We can make a superman out of you TM ) compete in this field. BabyPlus ridicules New Age Superman for being sexist while New age Superman accuses BabyPlus of being too materialistic and emotionless in their creed.
Government will tax reproduction applicant based on desired gender to balance the percentage of men and women in the society. Discarding natural reproduction capabilities in created babies will be scientifically possible but human rights activists will argue for a long time whether to grant freedom of choice to parents to decide if their child should not have such ability or to leave the freedom for the human to be.
P.S. I was just kidding.
Posted by احسان الف at 2:44 AM
Friday, July 25, 2003
Uday and Qusay Hussein, Saddam Hussein's two sons, suffered more than 20 bullet wounds each in their final stand against American forces, US military pathologists said today. The Gaurdian
Do Americans see what they are doing? They have given these two guys the kind of tragic hero's ending. The story that was released by the American officials has every element that pro-Saddam activists in Iraq can use to make a very touching heroic tragedy about their death and successfully spread it among Arabs. What kind of propaganda is it? One can make a classic greek tragedy out of it.
Uday and Qusay were hidden in a house around Mousol.
* The bad guy's heroic story would say: They didn't give in. They didn't escape. They remained in their country to form a resistance movement and fight the invaders.
Americans were informed of Uday and Qusay 's presence in that house by some locals.
* The traitor character.
A group of soldiers 200 men strong, equipped to their teeth surrounded the place.
* That is natural in a tragedy isn't it? The enemy outnumbers the hero!
They tried to contact the people in the house but the residents of that house didn't respond.
* The heroic tragedy will go: Those brave men didn't surrender. They'd rather die.
They called for a helicopter.
* The story will go: Even with 200 fully armed soldiers they were still afraid to face our heroes and look them in the eyes.
Each of Uday and Qusay's bodies received 20 bullets.
There was a 14 years old among the dead. ...
* Just imagine how much the bad guy can put in his tragedy to make it a long lasting epic around these two evil persons death. It will make them look inevitably like heroes.
What will the good guys do if such counter propaganda really occurs? If the pro-Saddam people in Iraq call that story a symbol of Iraqi resistance? An Iraqi Alamo?
People who have studied Saddam's character say that his big dream was to be remembered as a heroic, noncompromising Arab leader. Right now he is likely to wish to die like a hero and since the fall of Baghdad Americans often times sound like they wouldn't mind to give him just that kind of finish.
Something tells me it is increasingly important for Americans how to finish these people and what kind of stories to tell around their death.
Posted by احسان الف at 8:42 PM
She is asleep. She has jet lag. Hush...
She does'n know this blog yet. No one who knows me in person knows that I keep a blog.
I am going to tell her this evening.
But now quiet. Let her sleep for a couple of hours.
Posted by احسان الف at 7:15 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
I suddenly recalled an article that I had read years ago in Iran-e Farda monthly that said according to some big deal western
socialist socialogist*, totaliterian regimes do not open up or fall solely by internal pressure. It claimed that foreign pressure is always necessary to bent or break such systems. I've got to find more details about that theory but I don't even remember the name of that socialist socialogist. It will be an interesting study with conjunction to the current situation in Iran and all this Iranian analysts/intellectuals/bloggers such as Eyeranian who warn foreigners (read Americans) not to intervene in Iran's affairs.
* Thanks to Babak.
Posted by احسان الف at 1:29 PM
Why do I blog so light lately
The summer semester is approaching its end and I have delayed papers to write and I have been in the process of moving into a new apartment and buying furniture and stuff (used of course) and I have only left some few short comments here and there recently with so many ridiculous spelling mistakes and cannot focus on writing anything useful for this blog and best of all,
my wife will arrive tomorrow :-)
Posted by احسان الف at 10:42 AM