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Disabled people are the luckiest!

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Society tends to look at disabled people with a special case, and they forget that these people have a huge potentiel and advantages.

Here is a list of the advantages:

  • Usually, when you enter a parking, you can barely find a place to park, and it takes a lifetime,- if you were on a wheelchair, it would have been easier : you tell the security that you are on a wheelchair, and then: here is your parking place.

    Disabled Parking

  • When you want to ship a car from abroad, you keep on saving and saving money so you can reach the budget in order to buy it , wishing if you can be prohibited of paying the customs. If you were on a wheelchair, you would have felt like a millionaire and you wouldn’t pay any extra fees.
  • Travels and tourism? Wanna enter a museum or any other touristic place? And without paying any entrance fees? We’ve got the solution: have a wheelchair and you will enter for free! The wheelchair is the only savior. It makes you save money. And if you have a friend on a wheelchair, don’t worry, you will enter for free too since you are his companion. And that’s not all: if you want to travel, you will have the chance to get a huge discount when you show them your disability card.

    Travel and tourism

  • Are you working and paying your huge transportation fees to go to your workplace? Most countries of this world offer you free transportation and public transportations (bus, metro, tramway…) only because you have disability.


  • The unemployment rate is increasing every year, but, you don’t have to worry if you’re on a wheelchair, you already got that job. Specially in some countries, they oblige educated disabled people to work like everyone, and they have a rule that oblige every single company to have at least a small percentage of their employees with special needs. In Lebanon, companies are obliged to have 3% of their employees on a wheelchair ; with disability.


  • You have to wait in a huge line to get to shop? To enter the theaters? To get an official paper? You do not have to worry if you are on a wheelchair, you have the privilege to enter first.


I guess now after all of this, you wish you were on a wheelchair.

Lucky to be on a wheelchair!!


Hassan Dia – Mohamad Mirza


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There is no doubt that the study of Economics serves as more than just a simple theory, or a mere study of resources and their allocation. By forming theories to describe economical phenomena, economists study the whole of a community’s behavior, as well as the impact that each action has on the community itself. Because its main purpose is studying the most effective way of allocating scarce resources, Economics has a vast horizon when it comes to possibilities. It comes down to two central questions: what happens if this is done, and what happens if it isn’t? Despite the fact that this area of study is highly based on theory and day-to-day experience, it is still one of the most reliable forms of understanding how communities function.

Despite its natural beauty, the Mediterranean country of Lebanon is plagued by several infrastructure issues, most of which arise from the countries complex political situation and economic difficulties, including a sizeable debt. In the summer of 2015, Lebanon faced a particularly concerning crisis when citizens in the Naameh region pressured the government to stop using a landfill that was in the vicinity of several villages. Despite having a grace period in which to find a replacement landfill, the Lebanese government was unable to secure a new landfill space, and as such the Sukleen Corporation (which had been awarded the waste management contract for the Greater Beirut Area) was unable to dispose of waste. This situation has not been properly resolved, as the government is not able to reach a consensus on a sustainable waste management solution, which in turn changed the streets of Beirut to a landfill. The failure in finding a solution by the government made the people start revolting in the streets of downtown Beirut.

The riots going on in the country aren’t just about the garbage crisis, however the garbage crisis made people fed up with all the problems faced by Lebanese citizens, depriving them from their primary humanistic rights (water, electricity etc…).

 Having lived in Lebanon for 17 years, I find commonalities between each and every other citizen around, having constant and repetitive thoughts, such as “Is it safe to go there?” and “Do we have electricity or is the generator still running?”.  Lebanon is going through a stage of violent turbulence because of the issue of governance to the problems Lebanese citizens face in their everyday life such as running out of water; and now on top of all of that the garbage crisis.

The government hasn’t yet come up with an applicable solution that is environmentally friendly and doesn’t add an economic burden to the country. The unfortunate truth is that in advanced countries garbage is considered a valuable resource, in countries such as Sweden, as they generate it into energy and use it for their benefit in other fields. On the other hand, Lebanon is still at a stage where dumping, burying or burning the garbage are their only methods of garbage disposal leading to negative externalities, external costs that damage third parties (Blink & Dorton, 2012) , causing an environmental catastrophe.

This catastrophe triggers a sense of concern on a national level as well as on a personal one. Having been exposed to several cases of cancer and other diseases which very often are a result of the environmental situation in the country, I find it crucial to further investigate possible solutions in order to secure the future of the coming generations as much as possible.

 A method of garbage disposal that is both beneficial for the Lebanese economy and is environmentally friendly must be implemented in Lebanon. The scope of this paper will be evaluating the best course of action for addressing the garbage crisis in Lebanon, taking into account the ethical and social implications.

The majority of this study is based on data collected from interviews conducted with Sukleen, an environmental specialist and a government official, in addition to secondary sources from Sukleen’s website, newspaper articles and publications relating to the garbage crisis.

Sami Atallah, the executive producer of the Lebanese Center for policy studies, relates in his article (Atallah, 2015) the current issue the government faces with Sukleen to the contract that was signed in the mid-1990s. The terms and conditions of the contract included gathering waste in the city of Beirut at double the price the municipality was willing to pay. At that time, the numbers weren’t the government’s major concern, which resulted in the negligence of possible consequences. Ever since, it can be noticed through records that the value of the contract increased rapidly, in contrast to the ambit of work that was originally meant for Sukleen to follow, with a change as drastic as an increase from 3.6 million dollars in ’94, to 150 million dollars as of today. Moreover, the contract set high standard barriers which omit any possible competition to take place. In addition to that, the further details of the contract remain confidential, which arises suspicions as to what is kept hidden from the records. As a result, Lebanon is paying one of the highest costs per ton waste assembling worldwide.

Creating mayhem amid times of desperation with the lack of a president, the country’s one and only Waste Collection Company, Sukleen, is having difficulties in renewing their contract, leaving Lebanon almost literally drowning in trash. At first, the main motive behind Sukleen’s protest-manners was the absence of a proper landfill area which, after the closure of the Naameh Landfill, has indeed become inaccessible. However, as Sukleen’s contract with the government came nearer to the end, considering Lebanon’s unwillingness to renew it, Sukleen’s motives changed rather drastically; from a mere geographic and infrastructural barrier, to claims of underpayment and unjust treatment from the government’s side.

On the other hand, the Lebanese government stands strongly supportive of its position regarding the topic, accusing Sukleen of ‘draining the state’s money’ (“Sukleen: Trash Crisis not our fault”, 2015), according to Sami Gemayel. Adding up to the many struggles Lebanon faces, the Garbage Crisis falls under the category of ‘negative impacts’ on both the economy as well as the environment.


Sukleen behaves as a monopoly, which is a type of market structure in which there is only one firm supplying the good or service, there are barriers to entry and in addition the monopolist may make abnormal profits in the long run (able to set their own prices), given that they have no competition at all (Blink & Dorton, 2012) . One of the reasons as to why Sukleen is able to act this way is the fact that corruption is evidently present; Sukleen’s connections allow them to benefit from monopolistic characteristics which otherwise would not be available for them. Furthermore garbage disposal and collection has an inelastic demand, a change in its price will lead to a relatively small change in its quantity demanded, which means that the firm will not hesitate to further raise their prices. The real role of price mechanism is shown in this case; the constant demand of garbage collection by the Lebanese government regardless of the price changes acted as a ‘signal’ to Sukleen that the government will wish to consume this service regardless of the changes in their prices. This served as an incentive for Sukleen to seek the highest possible profit making methods; raising their prices to a point where their costs per ton waste collection are of the highest globally.

The main problem with privatization includes the fact that private companies often have one goal in mind: profit. The unfortunate case is that a lot of the times those companies overlook or completely neglect ethical and environmental implications. This could very well be the case with Sukleen.

Not fulfilling the terms of the deal on Sukleen’s end resulted in many negative externalities. Sukleen, as mentioned before, was supposed to use landfills, while working on an environmentally friendly disposal method. In addition, they had to dump 10% and recycle the remaining 90%.

In contrast to what they were supposed to do, the lack of complaints and supervision over Sukleen allowed them to settle for dumping the garbage, minimizing their costs and reaching approximately 90% dumped rather than recycled- based on what Colonel Joseph Kallas said. This high percentage of dumping resulted in the release of toxic fumes that caused many diseases to the people living in that area as well as a lot of waste was transferred to the sea water near the beach where many people swim. The government should ban swimming in that area, however their lack of concern towards the people leads to their negligence of the whole matter.

This crisis is not merely a political crisis, but also a health one, and the magnitude of the health impacts outweigh that of the political ones. Lebanon has not relocated their landfill, the Naameh Landfill, since the 1997 emergency plan (Habib Maalouf, 2015). In addition, Lebanon’s daily garbage production is approximately 3000 tons per day (Habib Maalouf, 2015). As a temporary solution municipalities are dumping the waste in locations filled with nature and empty rivers.

 An empty river called Nahr Beirut has garbage blocking the path of the rarely flowing river. Heavy rainstorms will definitely cause the piles of harmful and toxic garbage to overflow all over from the roads to the water sewers of Beirut. This will cause many diseases including water and air pollution, mutated insects and vegetation. Moreover in the long run this may cause plagues due to a large amount of rats roaming the streets feeding on garbage.

Rain does not only affect the garbage dumped in rivers however it also causes the garbage to be absorbed by the soil reaching underground water reserves, which are a main source of water in Lebanon. This will lead in the outbreak of many diseases as people are drinking polluted water. The garbage disintegrated into the soil will in addition damage the soil becoming a source of toxicity for the fruits and vegetables that we consume, leading to “typhoid fever, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, enteric fever and other major illnesses”. (“Lebanon’s garbage crisis: Your health in focus, 2015)

 In addition the garbage dumped in the forests ‘temporarily’ can easily catch fire in the hot humid days in Lebanon burning with it thousands of trees which are the source of oxygen to human beings. Toxic fumes released in the air are “bound to become our daily breath of air” (“Lebanon’s garbage crisis: Your health in focus, 2015). These toxic fumes include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane which as a result lead to respiratory diseases. The outbreak of these diseases will have a negative impact on tourism in the country.

Lebanon being a beautiful country with several touristic places to visit, such as Jeita Grotto, with satisfying weather conditions, several tourists from neighboring countries as well as much farther ones highly impact the economy. However the media coverage of this crisis is portraying an unsightly Lebanon and this will has a drastic effect on tourism in the country. Recently CNN released an article about the garbage crisis in Lebanon, portraying the country as a disgusting one (Hume & Tawfeeq, 2016). Being on CNN, a globally popular news channel, foreigners will avoid visiting the country due to the pictures of a disgusting Lebanon. This will, as a result, decrease the number of tourists that enter the country.

The decrease in the number of tourists will decrease the aggregate demand, which is the total spending on goods and services at a given price level at a given time period (Blink & Dorton, 2012), in the economy and shift its curve to the left. In addition it will decrease the government’s profits from tourism and as a result decrease government spending, which is also a one of the factors used to measure the aggregate demand of the country.

The decrease in the usage of raw materials in production due to paying for the ‘green dot’ will decrease the amount of pollution in the country. This could be very beneficial for Lebanon as 3000 tons of garbage is being produced daily, causing many negative externalities as mentioned before.


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This article contains information that many reporters are scared of revealing. I know that my article will lead to consequences, to the extent of death. However, these words have to be told to make people aware of what’s going on with the world and how the government is controlling them; and therefore I accept the consequences as harsh as they may be. I have come to realize how corrupted this world is and how government and dictators are brainwashing their citizens.

At the present time, people are being oppressed by their own government! The government manipulates their people by using their beliefs in order to promote a certain idea. Even dictators use the people’s beliefs in order to manipulate them into believing a certain idea. A great example would be when dictators or religious men promote an idea in the name of “allah” so that people would believe it and obey it. This idea extremely works, since there is a lot of uneducated people who don’t have enough knowledge to neglect this theory. Seeing people commit horrible crimes in the name of God, drives educated people away from religion. However, many people are aware of what the government is doing, but it’s dangerous to reveal this information.

Nowadays, the government’s main weapon in controlling the people is propaganda. Propaganda is “the information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause”. The government has complete power and control over the media. It can publish and promote a certain idea. For instance, the power of media can be shown by very simple example that happened in North Korea. North Korea is a country that is isolated from the world media wise; therefore the people have no other source of information than their own government. This makes it easy for the government to manipulate their citizens. A funny example would be, is when the government told their citizens that they have reached the world cup final and they will be facing Portugal. Having no other source of information than their government, the people had no choice but to believe this piece of information. Doesn’t this frustrate you?! Don’t you see how easy it is for them to manipulate and make you believe things that are not true! In addition to promoting ideas in their favor, governments also tamper and censor pieces of information, which include pictures, videos, historical documents and articles etc… in order to hide or change the cause and effect of a certain thing. A great example could be, how Joseph Stalin used to erase and edit his pictures by deleting the image of a certain person next to him that he has killed. The picture below is an example of how Stalin erased the existance of one of his commisars, after he believed that he was of no use anymore.

(Russian Premier Josef Stalin – Photos – Historic photos that have been altered, n.d.)


Many people try to mock the government with their series, movies and events. One of the best examples would be “the Simpsons” by Seth Macfarlane. I still remember when I watched the 2nd episode of the Simpsons third season. This episode shows the viewers how a congressman was being bribed and how the government is corrupted. Seth was able to deliver this message in a funny and indirect way. I am here today to inform all of you people how the government is oppressing us all and taking over our privacy. They are literally controlling us.

“Untitled”, de Jean Michel Basquiat, adjuge pour plus de 100 millions de dollars.

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Le monde de l’art contemporain a connu une évolution la semaine dernière après la vente d’une peinture de Jean Michel Basquiat a plus de 110.5 millions de dollars.


Le 17 mai 2017, une peinture sans titre de ‘The Radiant Child” vendu pour uniquement 19000$ par deux collectionneurs d’art, Jerry et Emily Spiegel, a été adjuge pour la somme de 110.5 millions de dollars chez Sotheby’s. Soit la deuxième peinture la plus cher qui a été vendu dans le monde de l’art. Jean Michel Basquiat rejoint aujourd’hui le panthéon des artistes les plus cher de l’histoire, aux cotes de Picasso, Munch, Bacon et même mentor et ami, Andy Warhol.




Né a Brooklyn, d’un père d’origine Haïtienne et d’une mère de descendance Petro Ricaine, Jean Michel Basquiat a commence en tant qu’artiste de rue et faisait parti du groupe d’artiste de graffiti SAMO. L’enfant Radiant, comme il a été nomme a l’époque, a commence au hasard a écrit et dessine sur les mur de Brooklyn et de New York. A l’époque, Andy Warhol avait déjà son nom dans le monde de l’art contemporain et modern, et s’était déjà crée une signature et une identité. Jean Michel Basquiat, fan du créateur du Pop Art, l’a rencontré dans un restaurant et ensemble se sont mis à créer des peintures et un concept artistique spécial et marquant dans l’histoire de l’art. Jean Michel Basquiat est donc grâce à Andy Warhol, rentre directement dans le domaine artistique de l’époque, qui était très underground. Il est ainsi devenu ami entre autre avec David Bowie, Lou Reed, et est même sorti avec Madonna.

Jean Michel Basquiat n’a connu que 7 ans de vie d’artiste, comme il est mort a que 27 ans dans son studio de Manhattan.


“Untitled” est une peinture, a l’huile et de peinture a vaporisateur, de 1.83m par 1.73m qui représente une tète noir, ou un crane noir, inquiétante, sur un fond bleu calme et satisfaisant auquel se mélange et rouge et jaune vifs qui font ressortir l’inquiétude et les frissons de l’oeuvre. Cette dernière rempli de symboles et d’iconographie, a signale l’entrée de Basquiat dans la partie du monde artistique restreinte et très rare. Lorsqu’il a peint cette oeuvre en 1982 il n’était encore qu’un artiste de rue qui vivait a New York, mais Basquiat allait très rapidement devenir “le seul artiste de couleur qui participait d’une façon ou d’une autre dans le monde artistique a l’époque” dis Jerry Saltz, critique d’art.

Sotheby’s appelle cette peinture “un chef d’oeuvre pratiquement incomparable”. Le prix de départ de cette pièce a été fixe a 57 millions de dollars, quasiment le record pour celui qui se fit connaitre sous le pseudonyme de SAMO. Mais cette pièce a fait face a un détournement de situation, après 10 minutes d’enchères, une durée très inhabituelle, et après une forte dispute entre un acheteur dans la salle et un autre qui suivait la vente par téléphone. Le premier est allé jusqu’a 97 millions de dollars, laissant finalement l’acheteur au téléphone l’emporter avec une offre de 98 millions de dollars, auquel faudrait ajouter les frais et commissions.

Le tableau a ainsi été acheté par ‘homme d’affaire Japonais et collecteur d’art Yusaku Maezawa. Celui ci, fondateur du géant du commerce en ligne Start Today, a déclaré qu’il comptait prêter l’œuvre pour des expositions avant de l’accrocher dans son propre musée, situé à Chiba, sa ville natale. Maezawa est un grand fan de l’artiste, il a deja acheter d’autres oeuvres du même artiste a aussi de très grosses sommes. Il a aussi des oeuvres de Jeff Koons ou même Richard Prince. Ce collectionneur a plus tard poster une photo sur Instagram avec sa peinture en disant “ quand j’ai vu cette peinture j’était rempli d’émotion et d’éblouissement envers ce travail et mon amour pour l’art. Mais avant, je souhaite prêter cette pièce – qui n’a pas été vue par le public depuis plus de 30 ans – à des institutions et des expositions à travers le monde ». « J’espère que cela apporte autant de joie aux autres que cela, et que ce chef-d’œuvre de Basquiat, âgé de 21 ans, inspire nos générations futures ».





Comment est ce qu’un jeune artiste rebelle de rue est passé a vendre des petits dessin sur papier a 50$ en 1980 jusqu’a aujourd’hui avoir une peinture vendu aux enchères a des demi millions de dollars ou même a plus de millions de dollars?

Il y’aurait plusieurs raisons qui aussi expliquerai l’évolution du marche de l’art et du monde artistique en tant qu’univers même.

En effet, c’est la combinaison entre le monde de l’art et son marche qui sont tellement imprévisibles et puissants et entre un talent fort et brut, une biographie irrésistible et accablante.


Pourtant est ce logique d’avoir une oeuvre d’art vendu a tellement cher alors que le reste du monde est en train de tomber dans le désespoir?



Hanaa Ojeil.

Nouvelle Vague de Youtube Channels: Musique d’Animation

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Le monde de l’animation est aujourdh’ui un monde énorme, accessible très facilement, surtout via internet. Que ce soit les jeux vidéo ou les séries animées, il s’agit d’une source de divertissement envahissante. Mais comment se fait-il que le charme de ce monde atteigne tellement de sociétés différentes? Il est sûr qu’une infinité de réponses nous viendrons à l’esprit, mais nous allons nous intéresser à une seule: la musique ! Ce n’est pas une coincidence que n’importe quelle personne reconnaisse la musique du jeu vidéo Super Mario Bros par exemple. En effet, il existe aujourd’hui une vague de jeunes gens qui s’intéressent beaucoup à la musique des jeux vidéos, et qui en font leur profession, ou passe-temps, ou même leur source de popularité. Navigons sur Youtube, et cherchons ensemble quelques « channels ». Nous nous intéresserons spécifiquement à 4 channels, et donc 4 personnes ou groupes de personnes qui font des reprises de morceaux des jeux videos; chacun à sa manière, son style et le genre de musique qu’il pratique.


Commençons par le plus classique, et littéralement classique: la musique classique. Laurence Manning, canadienne, est une passionée de musique classique et de musique de jeux vidéos. Elle décide alors de recomposer des pièces de son choix, à la manière de Mozart, Shostakovich, et autres, ce qui en fait une pure oeuvre d’art. Elle s’intéresse alors à Super Mario Bros, The legend of Zelda, Trifantasy, Leaugue of legends, Final Fantasy et autres. Qui aurait dit qu’une jeune femme qui a reçu trois bourses d’excellence au doctorat, octroyées par le Comité d’attribution des bourses des 2e et 3e cycles de la Faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales (FESP) de l’Université de Montréal, aurait plongé dans le monde des jeux vidéos, mais cette fois à la manière des grands compositeurs classiques! Ces jeux vidéo s’étendent du plus ancien au plus récent, mais ayant tous un même impact sur la masse: un divertissement et attachement important.



Laurence Manning fonde aussi un deuxième channel intitulé Trifantasy Trio, qui est un trio classique formé de Laurence elle-même, Jean Despax (violoniste), et Karine Bouchard (violoncelliste). Ce channel consiste aussi à interpréter des morceaux de musique de jeux vidéo, mais cette-fois-ci à trois.




Penchons-nous vers un autre genre d’interprétation. Un genre plus moderne que le classique;le rock. With Ether est un groupe composé de deux jeunes hommes Simon Leong et Alasdair Poon. L’un chinois de malaisie, et l’autre anglo-chinois. Ces deux musiciens se sont rencontrés à l’université durant les cours de musique, et c’est ainsi qu’ils sont devenus très amis et ont commencé leur chemin avec leur channel. Aussi dans le monde des jeux vidéo, ils recomposent et interprètent des morceaux de Skyrim, Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Assassin’s creed et autres. Leur style est plutot penché vers les jeux de combat, vu que leur genre de musique est favorable à ceci. Mais encore, With Ether ne se limite pas aux jeux uniquement, mais aussi aux séries animées dont les « soundtracks » sont exceptionnels. Power rangers, Naruto, Dragon Ball et autres se retrouvent alors entre les cordes de leurs guitares. Malgré le fait que Simon et Al ne sont pas actuellement dans le même pays, ils continuent quand même à jouer et mixer, pour enfin nous montrer leur performance en « split-screen ». Ces deux jeunes hommes ordinaires, tout comme nous et vous chers lecteurs, ont actuellement 27723 subscribers, uniquement par leur musique provenant de l’animation.




Quoi de plus charmant qu’un duo piano-violon? Joshua Chiu, violoniste, ouvre son channel Youtube avec son compagnon pianiste. Leur genre n’est pas aussi classique que Laurence; il reste contemporain mais unique. With Ether attaque les jeux videos, les séries animées, mais aussi les films produits par Studio Ghibli, et donc les exceptionnels films de Hayao Miyazaki. Dans les jeux videos, il s’agit de Final Fantasy (jeu vidéo énormément célèbre et répandu) aussi, Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda et autres. Pokemon est considéré initialement en tant que série, et pour continuer dans la même vague, With Ether interprètent des morceaux des séries de Disney comme Pokahontas, Aladin, la Petite Sirène, the Lion King, et autres. Full metal alchemist est aussi une série très nouvelle dont la musique est de plus en plus répandue, et aussi jouée par ce groupe. Concernant les films, il s’agit du fameux Spirited Away, et Howl’s Moving Castle. C’est clairement une grande variété de séries, animations, et émotions. Ce groupe touche les âmes les plus sensibles aux plus dures.


Ainsi, toute une vague de jeunes hommes et femmes s’intéressent à la musique du monde de l’animation, élément fondateur et crucial de ces images. Nous pouvons trouver aussi tout un orchestre qui ne joue que des morceaux provenant de jeux video, comme VGO online. Ce groupe élève la musique de l’animation « to a whole new level » comme on le dit. Et ainsi de suite, reste-t-il encore beaucoup de channels et groupes à découvrir, tous passionnés et impliqués dans le monde de l’animation.



Nour Yazbeck


Benefits Of Alcohol

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Throughout the 10,000 or so years that humans have been drinking fermented beverages, they’ve also been arguing about their advantages and disadvantages. The debate still rages today, with a lively back-and-forth over whether alcohol is good for you or bad for you. It’s safe to say that alcohol is both a tonic and a poison. The difference lies mostly in the dose.

In some studies, the term “moderate drinking” refers to less than one drink per day, while in others it means three or four drinks per day. Exactly what constitutes “a drink” is also fairly fluid. In fact, even among alcohol researchers, there’s no universally accepted standard drink definition. In the U.S., one drink is usually considered to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey). Each delivers about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol. The definition of moderate drinking is something of a balancing act. Moderate drinking sits at the point at which the health benefits of alcohol clearly outweigh the risks. The latest consensus places this point at no more than one to two drinks per day for men, and no more than one drink per day for women. This is the definition used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and is widely used in the United States.

The active ingredient in alcoholic beverages, a simple molecule called ethanol, affects the body in many different ways. It directly influences the stomach, brain, heart, gallbladder, and liver. It affects levels of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and insulin in the blood, as well as inflammation and coagulation. It also alters mood, concentration, and coordination.

More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes. The effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk.

The connection between moderate drinking and lower risk of cardiovascular disease has been observed in men and women. It applies to people who do not apparently have heart disease, and also to those at high risk for having a heart attack or stroke or dying of cardiovascular disease, including those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and existing cardiovascular disease. The benefits also extend to older individuals. The idea that moderate drinking protects against cardiovascular disease makes sense biologically and scientifically. Moderate amounts of alcohol raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol), and higher HDL levels are associated with greater protection against heart disease. Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked with beneficial changes ranging from better sensitivity to insulin to improvements in factors that influence blood clotting, such as tissue type plasminogen activator, fibrinogen, clotting factor VII, and von Willebrand factor. Such changes would tend to prevent the formation of small blood clots that can block arteries in the heart, neck, and brain, the ultimate cause of many heart attacks and the most common kind of stroke. {kjsdk}

Part of a national 1985 health interview survey showed that moderate drinkers were more likely than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers to be at a healthy weight, to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and to exercise regularly. Researchers have statistically accounted for such confounders, and they do not come close to accounting for the relationship between alcohol and heart disease. This, plus the clearly beneficial effects of alcohol on cardiovascular risk factors, makes a compelling case that alcohol itself, when used in moderation, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The most definitive way to investigate the effect of alcohol on cardiovascular disease would be with a large trial in which some volunteers were randomly assigned to have one or more alcoholic drinks a day and others had drinks that looked, tasted, and smelled like alcohol but were actually alcohol free. Many of these trials have been conducted for weeks, and in a few cases months, to look at changes in the blood, but a long-term trial to test experimentally the effects of alcohol on cardiovascular disease over many years will probably never be done. Nevertheless, the connection between moderate drinking and cardiovascular disease almost certainly represents a cause-and-effect relationship. The comparatively low rate of heart disease in France despite a diet that includes plenty of butter and cheese has become known as the French paradox. Some experts have suggested that red wine makes the difference, but other research suggests that beverage choice appears to have little effect on cardiovascular benefit.

The benefits of moderate drinking aren’t limited to the heart. In the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and other studies, gallstones and type 2 diabetes were less likely to occur in moderate drinkers than in non-drinkers. The emphasis here, as elsewhere, is on moderate drinking. In a meta-analysis of 15 original prospective cohort studies that followed 369,862 participants for an average of 12 years, no benefit was observed for heavy drinkers who consumed more than 48 grams of alcohol (the equivalent of four drinks) a day. The social and psychological benefits of alcohol can’t be ignored. A drink before a meal can improve digestion or offer a soothing respite at the end of a stressful day; the occasional drink with friends can be a social tonic. These physical and psychic effects may contribute to health and well-being.

What you drink (beer or wine) doesn’t seem to be nearly as important as how you drink. Having seven drinks on a Saturday night and then not drinking the rest of the week isn’t at all the equivalent of having one drink a day. The weekly total may be the same, but the health implications aren’t. Among participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, consumption of alcohol on at least three or four days a week was inversely associated with the risk for myocardial infarction. The amount consumed, less than 10 grams a day or more than 30 grams, didn’t seem to matter as much as the regularity of consumption. A similar pattern was seen in Danish men.

Despite these benefit, alcohol’s two-faced nature shouldn’t come as a surprise. Heavy drinking is a major cause of preventable death in most countries. In the U.S., alcohol is implicated in about half of fatal traffic accidents. Heavy drinking can damage the liver and heart, harm an unborn child, increase the chances of developing breast and some other cancers, contribute to depression and violence, and interfere with relationships.

The bottom line you should balance how you drink and you should drink responsibly. Given the complexity of alcohol’s effects on the body and the complexity of the people who drink it, blanket recommendations about alcohol are out of the question. Because each of us has unique personal and family histories, alcohol offers each person a different spectrum of benefits and risks. Whether or not to drink alcohol, especially for “medicinal purposes,” requires careful balancing of these benefits and risks.

Stephano Moundelek

First Impressions

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“I will shed all of this skin down to the very bone beneath it if that is what it will take for people to come to the realization that appearance is not what makes a human beautiful.” However, society can be shallow, people tend to conform to the social standard of beauty in order not to be discriminated or isolated. Brains are a necessity, but sadly nowadays, beauty is much more appreciated.
We live in a world where the less you eat makes you more of a person, and the less you weigh makes you more of a trophy for some guy to win in the future. We live in a world where Barbie and Ken are idolized and normal people are marginalized. A world of beauty contests, beefcake calendars, and a never-ending flow of books about dieting and exercise. We live in a world where models are the idea of perfection, and if you feel rolls on your stomach when you bend over, your first thought is to skip the next meal. We live in a world where the word “skinny” is a goal and if you don’t live up to it, well, you fall deeper and deeper into your thoughts until you find yourself in your room at 3:00 in the morning with tear stains all over you pillow. We live in a world where the number on a scale is made to describe and define us. But we aren’t numbers, are we? We are so much more. Unfortunately, this world is based on beauty to the point where humanity is blinded by appearances. People don’t realize that a beautiful person with their wrong deeds cannot excel. What is often stated is that first impressions are the element that controls your decision to whether getting to know the person better or this would be your last meeting. But we use first impressions to judge a whole host of characteristics that are not matters of life or death, but kind of trivial.
Appearances can be tricky, so people should not be judged by them. However, some people who do so can take satisfaction from Jean de la Fontaine’s assertion: “Beware so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.” I strongly agree with this excerpt as I believe that judgements should not be based on looks.
Appearances can often give the wrong impressions. For instance, strangers who meet for the first time tend to always examine the other person’s looks in order to decide if their meeting will go on or not. They forget about the important basics: sense of humour, kindness, intelligence… First impressions can be the worst sometimes if a person wasn’t expecting to be introduced to someone new, and wasn’t prepared at all. However, that doesn’t mean that people should get a total makeover to attend a first meeting.
As they say: “A warm heart is often hidden under a dirty coat.” People can be mean, they can judge you by your outside imperfections and throw away your inner beauty. They judge whether you’re fat, ugly, too thin, too short, too tall… And they make you believe that you are worthless, or not good enough. This is the main cause of bullying nowadays.
This may sound cliché, but I couldn’t agree more with the following quote: “Never judge a book by its cover,” because if they do, they are too superficial and shallow; therefore, they are not worth your time.

Christelle Akl

Athletes Salaries

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During the early 1900s, professional athletes such as baseball players in the United States, like “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and Eddie Cicottee earned $6,000-$7,000 per year, which is the equivalent to $46,000-$5,000 in present day. These rates are comparable to blue collar worker today, who earns between $29,000-$40,000 per year. Although athletes still earn more than blue-collar workers today, wages earned by professional athletes in the 1900s were still moderate compared to present day. There has been a shift in the scales of the structural process of salaries acquires by professional athletes. There have been three main periods: the reserve clause period 1965-1974, the transition period 1976-1977, and the free agency period 1986-1990.The free agency period paved the way for professional sport teams and institutions to compete for talented players. This period, which is still ongoing today, gives the player a freedom to sign a contract with any team, and to seek out offers from other teams.

This article will present several factors as to why athletes are not overpaid, by discussing the characteristics of a professional athlete, the athlete as a “real” profession, the athlete in today’s socio-economic standard, and the athlete’s life in relation to society. Through these factual presentations, it can be deduced that athletes are not overpaid, but their salaries merely reflect the socio-economic norms of the twenty-first century.

The life of a professional athlete requires a high level of commitment and dedication. The average time spent training by a professional athlete is around 23 hours a week, over a period of 8 years. Although training methods and regimen vary from each athlete, a survey on professional athletes which states that all athletes have the common characteristics of including training and diet into their lifestyle over a prolonged period of time in order to reach a world class level in their field. Other than the rigorous training that an athlete has to maintain throughout his professional career, athletes also have to face a high risk of injury during training or a game, which if caused can result in damaging their career. For example, the injury faced by David Busst in 1996, who used to play professional football for Manchester United, broke his leg in two places on the pitch, which brought an end to his rising career. Due to his inability to participate in sports again, he was forced to retire and coach football teams. Furthermore, an athlete’s career is short-lived in comparison to other careers. The general retirement age for an athlete is 33, whereas in other working fields people can work until the age of 65-68, which is considered to be the normal age of retirement. It is also important to note, that not all athletes reach a high level of fame and success. The odds of an athlete reaching a professional level is very slim, due to the extreme level of competition in the sport, and the effects scouts have on picking athletes. Furthermore, it can be stated that by assessing all the factors and characteristics surrounding an athletes lifestyle, and the risks he has to take during his life and career, are equivalent to the amount of money earned per year.

There are several comparisons made between the income earned between professional athletes and people in other professions. There is a general claim, which states that the disparity between incomes earned in these careers is unfair. However, it is important to stop placing athletes and other professions in the same category. When assessing the income earned by athletes, one should make a comparison between athletes. There lays a large gap in the income earned by athletes. Not all athletes are paid high salaries per year, and this is due to the free agency norm. When assessing the average salaries of non-professional athletes in 2006, the salaries ranged from $125,000 to $11,000. In comparison to salaries earned by blue-collar workers that year, the Bureau of Labour Statistics shows that the average salary earned was $36,500. Much generalization has been made by the public that all athletes are overpaid, however, a large number of athletes who play for leagues under the age of 21 suffer the consequences of free agency, who are signed by teams and get low rates of pay, even though they put in the same effort and time as their experienced teammates. The latter is evident in European football, where there is a large gap in salaries between the players, as Simmons states, “most European footballers will settle for a modest fraction of Beckham’s compensation”. Simmons states that, only a few athletes have “celebrity appeal” such as David Beckham or Thierry Henry. Furthermore, their status as a “celebrity” is what attracts teams to place a high bid on the player, and for the player to be signed with several endorsements. For example, David Beckham’s contract with LA Galaxy in the United States was worth around $180 million.

There is a high link between the amount of endorsements and “broadcast rights” and high income’s for football players in Germany. Yet there is a large gap between players in “top division” European football and players ranking in lower divisions. Thus, players in top division football attract more TV time and endorsements, which is a direct cause of high salaries earned by some professional athletes. Moreover, it is important to reaffirm that audiences tend to make generalizations about athletes being overpaid, however the reality reflects that only a select few have ‘made it’ to an elite level and were paid with large incomes.

Several studies have founded that society plays a dominant role in affecting the salaries of athletes. By buying overpriced match tickets, team merchandise, sports gear or wear, travelling to watch professional games, and even subscribing to TV channels to view these games, are all reasons for the continuous increasing rate of salaries for professional athletes.

There is a general double standard when it comes to salaries, as fans always want the “best player” to be part of the team they support. Fans want athletes in their team to be extremely talented, well poised, and are regarded as a role model to younger generations. When compared to teachers, who are also role model for children, it can be stated that a large audience of millions of people does not view teachers. The large amount of televised and documented attention an athlete receives causes him to always have to be well groomed and mannered. There is also a large invasion of privacy, as the aspects of an athlete’s life are always under scrutiny. Thus, the notion of seeing highly paid athletes as “unfair” is socially constructed and is void, as society is the root cause of formulating this needed perception of having and supporting professional athletes.

Athletes are constantly in the spotlight. They have to sacrifice their privacy and time spent with family, dedicating most of their time performing activities to boost the image of the team. Thompson states that athletes are always on a “platform”. They are constantly on national television, signing autographs, or being interviewed. They have to portray this image of a successful role model for younger generations, whereby they can connect to a highly respected figure in society, and aim to work hard to be successful as well. Also, athletes have to constantly work on their image to please society. If any mistakes are made during a game, or with any personal decision, it badly affects their image. Thus, they are constantly being judged in relation to their performance.

There is a lot of criticism towards localized spending on stadiums and arenas for top-level professional teams. In the USA for example, $8 billion was spent between 2000-2009 in building stadiums and sport facilities. This large amount of spending shows that there are large economic benefits that a country gains from enlarging and endorsing professional sports institutions and clubs. This can be viewed in the slogan used in San Fransisco when the new stadium was being built which states “Build the Stadium-Create the Jobs!” Moreover, the sports industry is a large business, which attracts a large amount of tourists and private investors. So even though some professional athletes are paid high salaries, their income is being filtered back into the GDP of the country when large games take place, such as Premier League or Champions League in European football.

To conclude, from the factors assessed in this paper, it can be stated that the perception of professional athletes in society will not change over time. There is an ongoing double standard whereby fans and audiences always state that being a professional athlete is not a ‘real job’ compared to other occupations, and that they are highly overpaid. However, it is essential to take a deeper look into the characteristics of an athlete, his routine, hardships, and what the athlete provides for society. An athlete is always under social criticism, and is expected to behave in a way, which is exemplary to younger generations. An athlete is meant to provide a positive impact on society, which is something that is priceless. Also, the concept of a professional athlete has brought great economic opportunities to local communities, whereby local jobs can be created, and the government can benefit from factors such as tourism and the opportunities for private investment. In conclusion, the athlete provides a positive impact on society, and that in return is priceless.



Saly Sadek

The Walking Dead, Sak Yant Festival, Thailand

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Où? Wat Bang Phra, Bangkok. Quand? Tous les mois de Mars, alors que le soleil commence son essor.


Cet événement annuel a lieu à ce temple bouddhiste: Wat Bang Phra. À cette heure précoce, plusieurs milliers de personnes se sont déjà rassemblées. Une atmosphère de carnaval imprègne le terrain. Les participants se rassemblent sur des collations vendues dans les stands de nourriture, achètent des t-shirts et des amulettes, essayent leur chance avec des billets de loterie, nourrissent un bébé éléphant et prennent des photos avec leurs amis et leur famille. Des centaines et des centaines de personnes avaient mis leur espace, assis pieds croisés dans une grande dépense devant une scène avec un grand Bouddha.


Pourquoi une grande foule chez Wat Bang Phra? Ce temple est légendaire pour ses moines et leur pratique de donner des tatouages ​​Sak Yant à leurs adhérents. Les tatouages ​​Sak Yant fournissent une protection mystique et magique à leurs propriétaires. La première étape est l’acquisition d’un tatouage, mais il faut aussi l’activer et le recharger. Les dévots doivent respecter les préceptes établies par le moine qui fournissent le tatouage pour qu’il soit efficace.


La cérémonie de la célébration ou du tatouage de Wai Khru a lieu le matin. Les moines chantent et prient de la scène centrale pour bénir et recharger les tatouages. Ces incantations rechargent les tatouages ​​Sak Yant leur fournissant des pouvoirs spéciaux pour protéger leurs propriétaires contre les dangers.

Pendant la cérémonie, certains dévots deviennent possédés: des milliers de Thaïlandais sont assis tranquillement. Quand les cris maniaques ponctuent le silence. Un homme apparut, regardé embrouillé. Dans un sprint dérangé, il a précipité la scène avec imprudence, indépendamment de la sécurité pour lui-même ou ses voisins. (Cela nous rappelle le programme de télévision, The Walking Dead, si les zombies ont pu sprint.)

Quand il s’est approché de la scène, il a été étreint par les volontaires. Leur saisie anti-vif n’a été détendue qu’après avoir frotté les oreilles de l’homme et il a été restauré dans son état normal.


Cela dure plusieurs heures. Les hommes courent dans la scène en rafale folle. D’autres fonctionnent dans un rythme lent mais déterminé. Et enfin, certains hommes dans un état sauvage ramper à la scène avec les mains serrées comme des serres. Ils seraient tous accueillis par les bénévoles qui finissent par calmer leur état de maniement en se frottant et en soufflant sur leurs oreilles.


Le jour précédent, une cérémonie a eu lieu lorsque les aiguilles ont été bénies par des moines qui seraient utilisés pour fournir les tatouages ​​Sak Yant. Traditionnellement dans le passé, des bâtons de bambou ont été utilisés pour créer les tatouages. Au cours des prochaines 24 heures, des centaines de disciples sont bénis avec ces tatouages ​​sacrés et mystiques. Vous pouvez observer le dévot s’agenouiller et faire une offre au moine, y compris les cigarettes. Le moine a informé l’homme et sélectionné un tatouage Sak Yant qui convenait au disciple. Deux autres hommes ont étendu la peau du dos avec leurs mains tandis que le moine a manutentionné le tatouage avec la longue aiguille métallique.


Il existe plusieurs variantes de tatouages ​​Sak Yant. Chacun confère certains pouvoirs à son propriétaire. Quelques exemples sont les tigres jumeaux qui représentent le pouvoir et l’autorité. Et un tatouage composé de cinq rangées d’ancien scénario khmère (rendu célèbre par Angeline Jolie) offre de la chance et du succès. Chaque tatouage a certains principes que le propriétaire doit suivre pour que le tatouage soit efficace. Par exemple, les cinq lignes impliquent que le porteur ne doit pas commettre l’adultère, consommer des drogues illégales et respecter le bouddhisme.

Près de midi, le festival prend fin avec une invocation finale des moines sur scène. La foule monte comme une seule et marche vers la scène. Les moines jettent de l’eau dans une dernière bénédiction maniaque.

Seven locations every person in Lebanon needs to visit this summer.

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Summer is near and so many events are organized and attracting people because of how huge they are. But here are some locations that you sure have to visit during this summer, whether you’re a tourist, just visiting, or living here and taking summer classes.



One of the oldest villages in the country, this area contains seven churches that belong to the Phoenician era, while having one of the cleaning shores in Lebanon, a wonderful atmosphere, and amazing people that will welcome you and tell you what to do and where to go in order to have a great day in this village. To spend an amazing day at a public beach, you should go to Taht el Rih, whereas if you want to go to a resort, you should go to Las Salinas, where they have more than five pools waiting for you, indoors and outdoors, many gyms and a spa!



Also, one of the oldest villages belonging to the same era, Jbeil, also known as Byblos, has various restaurant and beach resorts that welcome you during any season but especially during summer. With their great food, and amazing atmosphere, you could finish your day in the Souks in one of the pubs, whether you feel like having a drink and going home, or if you feel like partying till the sun comes up.



Jezzine is a beautiful area full of greens and nature elements where you would enjoy a couple of days alone and reconnecting with the natural entourage. In the area of Jezzine is a region called Bkessine, which has a park, called Maison de la Forêt that contains several activities in the nature. You could rent a chalet or a bungalow with a group of friends and get ready to play several games that would make you enjoy its location and various options. The options contain biking, mountain climbing/hiking, and many more…


Also an old area in the north of Lebanon, ten minutes away from Anfeh, with an amazing clean shore and some wonderful people who will welcome you in their beach resorts where you would spend an amazing day on the shore of Kfarabida. Then you can go to one of the famous beer breweries, Colonel and spend a great afternoon with friends in a dog friendly place! Most of the resorts stay during the night as well where you could party till dawn and enjoy it. Some of the most known places there are Pierre and Friends, Ô Glacée, Dany’s beach bar, KAPTN…



An area in the mountains of North Lebanon, known for its amazing weather during summer, where you could enjoy the beautiful sun as well as the fresh air at the same time, and enjoy it with their welcoming and friendly people who love having visitors there all year long! Known for its amazing Sahlab (Arabic dessert) in its Miden (the center of the area) where there are more than ten restaurants and pubs next to each other, offering more than one style and cuisine of food and welcoming everyone from everywhere with the amazing atmosphere. This city never goes to sleep during summer, where you would find people there after midnight sitting in these cafés and restaurants, either smoking, drinking, or eating and having a great time with great company.



An amazing authentic Lebanese area which welcomes you during summer with its amazing weather and atmosphere, where you could spend a day visiting museums (Marie Baz) or going to the Castle of Moussa where you would learn the story of a man who built his own castle and is still working on it till the present day. It is right next to one of the falls in Lebanon, Belou’ Bala’ where there are some delicious Lebanese restaurants waiting for you after an exhausting day in the nature and beautiful area of Shouf.



Finally, one of the most beautiful beach resorts in Lebanon are in Jiyye, located around twenty minutes away from Beirut, to the southern direction, and welcoming you and your family and friends to spend an awesome day at the beach. These resorts have a great atmosphere as well as great offers for you and your friends to enjoy your stay and your visit to great places.