March 21st, 2013
It’s the first day of spring and the Persian new Year of 1392 starts with Noruz (No: new, Ruz: day):
We are celebrating in Paris with a newly converted Venus,
I have extensively written about the Noruz (or Nowruz, Norooz) before in my blog, so if you’ve been with me in the past 4/5 years, you must know all about the items that go on the Noruz spread.
The famous “haft seen” of 7 S’s:
My fish, Samad (his name has nothing to do with the S’s… ), has been with us since two Noruz’s ago and he is happy to play his role this year with the famous Haji Firouz , the politically incorrect Persian messenger of the New Year:
Haji Firouz’s face is covered in soot and he is wearing bright red clothes and hat. People consider it only as a face paint and there is no racial implication.
Do you remember Samad on my previous year’s Noruz card?
One of the S’s is Sekkeh or coin; the last Shah of Iran is overthrown even in my Haft Seen…
It was raining in Paris on the first day of spring:
but I didn’t care because a bunch of hyacinths can bring the spring to your room.
Happy Noruz and,
happy 1392 to all of my Persian friends!
Some links to my previous Nowruz posts worth your time (I promise):
Nowruz 1390 here
Nowruz 1389 here
Nowruz 1388 here
My most visited blog post (and most used images without my permission) Haft seen here
Just decided to add this photo of myself (3 months old) on my mom’s lap having my first Noruz and not terribly impressed…
January 1st, 2012
March 2nd, 2011
“The age of US dominance in the Middle East has ended and a new era in the modern history of the region has begun. It will be shaped by new actors and new forces competing for influence, and to master it, Washington will have to rely more on diplomacy than on military might.” Richard N. Haass
Bourguiba Square in Tunis, Tahrir Square in Cairo, Azadi Square in Tehran , Pearl Square in Manama are witnessing a collective awakening of the Middle Eastern world and this means a major American policy shift in the region. Now that the Arab world is being remade from within, European policy must change too.
I am both thrilled and scared by the middle eastern earthquake…
February 12th, 2011
January 29th, 2011
Egypt is awakening…Pharoahs are trembling…Pyramids are cracking…and I am hoping for more Cleopatras than the Muslim Brotherhood…
From Maureen Dowd (a few days after my blog got published):
Egyptians rose up at the greatest irony of all: “Cleopatra’s Egypt was modern in ancient times and Mubarak’s was ancient in modern times. The cradle of civilization yearned for some civilization.”
November 22nd, 2009
September 1st, 2009
Every summer, we somehow expect to see Red looking out our windows in Southern California…Only Dante can describe this Inferno…
The world witnesses Angelinos running away from wildfires one more time with the very similar images being (again) broadcast all over the world; my friends call me from everywhere to make sure that I am not one of the “evacuees”.
Every year’s fire seems more dangerous and more capricious; the picture above is taken from west Los Angeles with the fire mushrooming in the background (the red building on the right is the Die Hard building).
Just look at the downtown above…
You somehow never get used to the fire’s anger and unpredictability; after 30 summers in california, they still scare the hell out of me!
My eyes have been burning from the ashes and smoke all day and I am not even near the fires but my green mood is turning into red because of the wild fires.
Are we ever going to learn how to prepare for inevitable disasters and calamities?…
And of course we blissfully close our eyes to the fire dangers for another year and act surprised the following summer when it comes back; if you don’t believe me, read my posts on the subject for the last two years:
This is my post from two years ago.
This one is from last year. I still believe on what I wrote then: Southern California fires are pretty democratic, they hit the mansions and trailer parks and everything in between with the same cruelty… The current definition of a Californian is still “did or did not escape the fires?”
July 21st, 2009
An expression that can mean anything means nothing; when you want to please everybody, you please nobody.
Enrico Fermi, the great Italian physicist, killed all the aliens in 1950 by asking this simple/innocent question: “if extra-terrestrials exist, where are they?” This question has become the Fermi Paradox.
Even though I am a science fiction fan I do agree with the skeptics that, Houston, we have a problem:
a) the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) program to detect radio transmissions from other civilizations has been a failure.
b) the question of the Great Silence remains unsolved; if life is common, why don’t we detect their radio transmissions?
Today is the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing (July 20, 1969).
I remember the thrill of hearing about it on a hot summer day in Iran; the moon has not looked the same since!
Unlike my father, I am a lousy philatelist (postage stamp collector) but I was able to find the above page I bought in 1994—on the 25th anniversary of “the big step”—among my loose leaves.
The Drake Equation—an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way with which we might come into contact— is still fascinating to me but I see its light getting dimmer with every “silent year”…
N = R* × fp × nE × fl × fi × fc × L
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon, Google is offering Internet users a virtual trip to the moon.
I empathize with Fermi’s passion for clarity. I am simply unable to let things be foggy. The Drake equation is literally meaningless because “an expression that can mean anything means nothing.”
Related and Suggested Posts and Resources:
November 9th, 2008
Yes he did it! What a collective sigh of relief, what a huge smile on the face of the earth and how very scary to be President Obama in today’s world…
I had fun with Sky Gilbar’s beautiful photos of Obama (above and below).
These are some of the pictures of Obama that I like best.
I teared up reading Nancy Gibbs’ article: “Some Princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope. Barack Obama never talks about how people see him: I’m not the one making history, he said every chance he got. You are. Yet as he looked out Tuesday night through the bulletproof glass, in a park named for a Civil War general, he had to see the truth on people’s faces. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, he liked to say, but people were waiting for him, waiting for someone to finish what a King began.”
Writers say it so much better than us mere mortals; take a look at Judith Warner’s piece here and Frank Rich’s here. Come on people, don’t be lazy! These are exciting times—good and bad—and history doesn’t forgive apathy…
I took this picture of my TV while watching the biography of my favorite American President, John Adams who said: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”
Obama’s election made me forget my agreement with Plato‘s view on Democracy…
October 26th, 2008
Coming back from Europe, reality hit me with the softness of barbed wire! The U.S. is paralyzed with fear and uncertainty and the world is watching in horror the rapid meltdown of greedy and extreme American Capitalism—of the unregulated kind thanks to Reagan.
These are hard times and people can’t “go to the mall” anymore like their president suggested a few years back but Sarah Palin sure did with her shopping tag of $150,000—read Dowd’s interesting column here. Remember Obama’s tattered shoes?
Watch out for the trick…People have been affected by the real estate massacre and there is blood on the streets everywhere— massive layoffs have not started yet. This cartoon of Ed Stein is funny and sad at the same time:
I don’t know about you but I prefer my autumn in its original colors of yellow/orange and the Halloween sweet and funny. If you miss my jack-o-lanterns click on my last year’s Halloween post.
I couldn’t resist including my picture of this classic Morgan—it has the perfect colors.
Exploration of the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty. I hope that the elections bring some degree of order and certitude; chaos scares the hell out of me.