Again, because nothing much has changed since last year

Cinnamon Zone

Yes, you hate it, you think it’s stupid, but the fact remains that: It’s everywhere! Wherever you go you’re faced with those little provocative ugly teddy bears carrying little vulgar red hearts, not to mention the ginormous amount of PDA and those blood-curdling teenage status messages on Facebook that make you just want to SCREAM BLUE MURDER! Or maybe red murder for that matter…

So, for all of you out there who think Valentine’s day is just a sad excuse for a hoax to fool people into buying over-priced red roses and make you feel unloved and unlovable, here are some tricks to help you pull through the day with hopefully minimum damage. For some people those very tips may come in handy on other occasions too, say, your birthday.

Now for your first line of defense you’re going to need a set of prescribed ideas to keep repeating in…

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Ahlan Ramadan

There’s a certain something in the air that you don’t sense any time of the year, except in Ramadan. And it’s that air of spirituality, like an invisible silky mantel of tranquility has been thrown over the world, it’s that feeling that’s so exclusive to the Holy Month of Ramadan that has always made me and still makes me miss it like I miss no other time of the year.

Perhaps the general unique atmosphere of Ramadan isn’t as strong as it was when I was a child. The world was smaller then, and y world was smaller as I would still go with my father and brother to get Hummus an hour before Iftar ad it would feel like a festival, as was the case with the other Ramadani family traditions. Yes, those were simpler times, yet there’s something that hasn’t diminished with the year, but rather gets better year after year, which is the ways I’m discovering to maximize on the benefits of Ramada, and the things to learn from it.

It’s the time for reflection, for thinking of others, for exercising one’s endurance  and looking for every way possible to help another human being.

Ramadan kareem

7 Reasons You’re still hungry

I like MSN Health articles, very informative and surprising at times. Here’s one I recently read ad thought it was particularly enlightening

7 Reasons You’re Still Hungry


Do you sometimes feel ravenous, even though you just polished off a tasty lunch, a full dinner, or a midnight snack? Some food ingredients can trick our bodies into not recognizing when we’re full, causing “rebound hunger” that can add inches to our waistlines. But these simple tweaks from the authors of The New American Diet can help quiet your cravings.
Craving culprit: You drink too much soda.

Sodas, iced teas, and other sweetened beverages are our biggest source of high-fructose corn syrup—accounting for about two-thirds of our annual intake. New research from the University of California at San Francisco indicates that fructose can trick our brains into craving more food, even when we’re full. It works by impeding the body’s ability to use leptin, the “satiation hormone” that tells us when we’ve had enough to eat.
To prevent your waistline from expanding when you sip, avoid the 20 worst drinks in America.
Order your copy of The New American Diet and lose up to 15 pounds in 6 weeks!

Craving culprit: Your dinner came out of a can

Many canned foods are high in the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, which the Food and Drug Administration recently stated was a chemical “of some concern.” Exposure to BPA can cause abnormal surges in leptin that, according to Harvard University researchers, leads to food cravings and obesity.
Learn four more simple solutions to fight fat and live healthier.
Craving culprit: Your breakfast wasn’t big enough

After following 6,764 healthy people for almost four years, researchers found that those who ate just 300 calories for breakfast gained almost twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more for breakfast. The reason: Eating a big breakfast makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, meaning fewer sudden food cravings.
The one time bigger isn’t better: If you start your day with any of the 20 worst breakfasts in America.
Craving culprit: You skipped the salad

Most Americans don’t eat enough leafy greens, which are rich in the essential B-vitamin folate and help protect against depression, fatigue, and weight gain. In one study, dieters with the highest levels of folate in their bodies lost 8.5 times as much weight as those with the lowest levels. Leafy greens are also high in vitamin K, another insulin-regulating nutrient that helps quash cravings. Best sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, radicchio.
Also include these 15 new superfoods in your meals for delicious ways to flatten your belly.
Craving culprit: You don’t stop for tea time

According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who drank one cup of black tea after eating high-carb foods decreased their blood-sugar levels by 10 percent for 2.5 hours after the meal, which means they stayed full longer and had fewer food cravings. Researchers credit the polyphenolic compounds in black tea for suppressing rebound hunger.
Find out which bottled and bagged teas earned a spot on the Men’s Health list of the 125 best foods in your supermarket.
Craving culprit: You’re not staying fluid

Dehydration often mimics the feeling of hunger. If you’ve just eaten and still feel hungry, drink a glass of water before eating more, and see if your desires don’t diminish.
If you’re sick of H2O, but need to replenish fluids, reach for one of these 10 surprising water alternatives.
Craving culprit: You’re bored

Researchers at Flinders University in Australia found that visual distractions can help curb cravings. To test yourself, envision a huge, sizzling steak. If you’re truly hungry, the steak will seem appealing. But if that doesn’t seem tempting, chances are you’re in need of a distraction, not another meal.
Find more about The New American Diet and what’s hiding in your foods that is making you fat.

Mish Pointless

** I hate it when I visit a blog and find it deserted, like when the latest post on it dates back to January 3rd, 2oo8 or something. It makes me sad…

*** Today I did something really stupid and I can’t even think of a reason why I did it. I’m not sharing it because I’m afraid someone reckless might actually try it and cause a car crash or something

*** Do you know the movie “He’s just not that into you”? Well I suggest they make a movie called: I AM not that into you. It’s funny how when you’re being friendly with someone he seems to think that you’re trying to “land” him in a manner of saying. Get a life. Stop acting like a weirdo to scare a girl off, she’s really not that into you!

**** That was episode 1 of “Mish Pointless” which is something I created as a pretext to post random irrelevant thoughts, not that I need a pretext for that but you know, this way it doesn’t sound so out of place

International Prank Calls

I’m going to make a wild guess and say that most if not all of us have by now received a handful of emails from complete strangers asking for help in return of making you rich. What’s amazing is how keen those people seem to be in taking their chances in a random fashion. Sending the same emails, same stories and even same titles. “I Need Your Urgent Reply”, “From the Desk of Mr. Zayyid Amir”, you name it.  With time, no one had to ask “what’s the catch?” anymore, because, if anything, the abundance of these emails gave them away.

The news is that this whole thing seem to have turned a new corner, and moved to a more direct and liable stage: Telephones.

The other day my friend called me saying that something very weird happened to her. Her mobile phone rang and the caller ID showed an international number, which later turned out to be from Senegal. When she answered, someone said with a heavy Arabic accent: “Inta saheb had raqam?” (Does this number belong to you?) She said yes, and the man on the other end started telling her this “interesting story”. He said that he was sleeping in the woods with his friends when he had this dream in which he saw her mobile number. He said that he had a message from God to her…

At this point, my friend freaked out and hung up. Later, she was so curious that she called him back. He started telling her things about herself and her family, when freaked her out even more, then he said that she was “mas7oora’’, which means that someone has cast a spell on her. At this point, she could see that he was bluffing, so she just hung up.

Well, in fact I’m still curious to know what was the point of all that. Is it an extension of fraud emails or have prank calls entered a new stage? Well, I have to admit that I have once made a call to Spain just for the heck of it. I wanted to hear someone speaking Spanish, there was no black magic talk involved, I assure you. Anyway, I spent a good amount of my credit on that, and I can’t say for sure that the woman who answered the phone spoke Spanish, it sounded like Philippino. If you’re wondering, I asked to speak to Carmen, but apparently that Spanish number I dialed didn’t belong to someone with a very common name.

About International prank calls I’ve received, I did receive one on my birthday 2 years ago. My phone rang and the number was from Turkey. I answered and there was a girl saying that she was form “sharika 3alamiyya” (International company), and she knew my name. I was puzzled, then after going back and forth with conversation she burst out laughing. It was my friend Kolita. I think she’ll be laughing now if she read this.

The funniest International call I received, which I can’t call a prank call, was from this Indian guy from Saudi Arabia. I called his phone once thinking it was my cousin’s, so he called me after that a couple of times. I don’t know what he wanted because I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I just remember yelling “I don’t speak Urdu”…

Anyway, maybe it’s a good thing that international calls are pretty costly, because I think I wouldn’t have resisted making one every once in while…

Originally Posted on Monday, February 18, 2008  on