Monthly Archives: December 2012

50 days of discounts to revive Lebanon’s tourism

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beirut

If the Ministry of Tourism really wants this 50-day period to work, they should also force politicians to cut down their speeches and appearances by at least 50% during the 50-day period.

In 2013 Lebanon can expect 50 days of discounts on airline tickets, at hotels and shopping centers as part of a bid to revive the country’s tourism sector after months of stagnation, the country’s tourism minister announced Tuesday.

“We had our first meeting of the Lebanese Council for Promotions and decided to launch 50 days of discounts in Lebanon starting Jan. 8 until Feb. 18, including discounts on airlines tickets, hotels, car rentals as well as at restaurants and shopping centers,” Fadi Abboud told reports at the Grand Serail. [DailyStar]

YASA expects 20% more car accidents in Lebanon in 2013

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Picture taken from Yasa Facebook page

YASA tweeted yesterday that it expects 20% more car accidents next year in Lebanon if the road conditions stay the same and the law remains unchanged. I was looking at KunHadi’s graphs and figures and I was quite surprised to find out the highest number of accidents are during July & August and not during winter.

Here are yearly statistics as reported by the Red Cross and you can check the monthly statistics from 2006 till 2012 [Here].

stats
*2012 is not up to date and only includes the first two months.

I think YASA are being too pessimistic as the authorities are working day and night to prevent further car accidents. In fact they decided to stop building further pedestrian bridges, fixing roads, using speed radars and instead started fining drivers for kissing in the car.

kissing

Giveaway: LG 42″ Cinema 3D LED TV

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I wanted to write a detailed review on the LG 42″ Cinema 3D TV but after posting my first impression, I thought it would be better to summarize my whole experience based on a list of pros and cons, and provide links to more detailed explanations for those interested.

Pros:
– Design is simple and attractive. LG 42″ Cinema 3D is a beautiful TV and an ultra-slim one. All buttons and ports are hidden from the front and it’s light-weighted.

– Picture and sound quality are great. You have the option to change the settings that suit you best but I think the default ones are more than good enough. Pictures are clearer and brighter with full HD 3D quality.

– Watching in 3D mode was much better than I thought it would be. I wasn’t a big fan of 3D technology specially in theaters but I saw 3 movies (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Resident Evil, and Avatar) and it was great and flicker-free but tiring to the eyes. After all, 3D technology is not perfect, neither for Active nor Passive 3D. LG uses Passive 3D.

– Aside from the 3D picture quality and experience, It’s easier for everyone to enjoy 3D TV since LG comes with 6 pairs of passive 3D glasses, which don’t have any batteries and are inexpensive to replace.

– Dual Play is awesome! You can check why [Here].

– LG Smart TV features are easy to use and the remote control buttons are very helpful. LG apps and settings are very easy to navigate through. Wireless is also very easy to set up with the USB Dongle that comes along with the TV.

– Price-wise, it costs around 1000$ which is a great price for a SMART 3D TV with all these features.

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Cons:
– Browsing the internet is not very convenient using the remote. You can always plug in a keyboard but I don’t see why I would do that. I read the LG Magic Remote makes it easier to visit websites and use other SMART features but it wasn’t available for me to try. You have to buy it as it’s not part of the package.

– You have to sit at the same level as the screen to get the optimal 3D experience but that’s the case for all Passive 3D TVs not just LG.
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Moving on to the part that interests you most, I will be giving away the TV as promised but the competition this time will be different and somehow challenging. For that purpose, I decided to use various social media tools, mainly Facebook and Twitter, to allow the biggest number of people to participate and win.

To take part in the competition:
1- You have to be a BlogBaladi fan by liking our page on Facebook. [BlogBaladi]

2- You have to guess the location of the 4 pictures I will be posting on [Facebook] and sharing on Twitter [@LeNajib] today. Pictures will be posted every 2 hours starting 9 am (Beirut time) and are all taken in Lebanon.

3- Once you have ALL answers, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post with your answers and a proper email address. You need to have at least 3 correct answers to enter the draw. Competition ends on December 23 at 10 am. I will pick a name randomly (Using random.org) and post the name of the winner at the end of the day.

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.

NB2: I will be posting hints to help you with the pictures and updates on the competition, so make sure to follow me on twitter [@LeNajib]

Update: Instagram does not want to sell your pictures

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proxy.storify.com
Many Instagram users were upset by the policy change and blamed Facebook for ruining Instagram

It took less than 24 hours for Instagram to post a new update on its privacy policy and deny having rights to sell our photos without our permission. The new Instagram rules aren’t set to go into effect before January 16 but a lot of people have already deleted their Instagram accounts after yesterday’s announcement.

Personally, I didn’t like the idea that Instagram would be able to use my pictures and sell them without my permission, not because I am a photographer or anything, but out of principle. However, I thought I should hold a bit before opting out of Instagram and see if they clarify this new privacy policy, which they did.

PS: My Instagram account is [LeNajib]

Santa’s Park at St.Nicolas garden Achrafieh

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The first ever Santa’s Park is coming to Achrafieh this year and bringing with it a week full of fun-filled activities for kids. The event will take place at the St. Nicolas garden on Charles Malek’s avenue in Achrafieh. Everyone is invited to join and make this Christmas a Merry one!

Here’s the full program as posted on Santa’s Park official Facebook page.

Every day:
Meet Santa in his house, craft workshops, face painting, hair styling, cupcakes decoration, Santa Theater with cartoons, radio-controlled boats, kindergarten with slides and swings, 5D simulator, paintball, tir à l’arc, climbing Christmas tree, scientific show every hour, a parade at 5pm and a kermesse!

Friday 21
Opening Day

Saturday 22:
– Christmas Karaoke
– Cooking workshop
– Marching Band

Sunday 23:
– Elf Dancers (Hip Hop)
– Martial Arts Show

Wednesday 26:
– 10m “Bûche de Noêl” to be cut in pieces and distributed among kids at 6pm

Saturday 29:
– Christmas Karaoke and balloon twisting

Sunday 30:
– Extreme Day: Rappel, Tyrolienne, Climbing Wall
– Story Telling

The event is organized by URBAN ART for FONDATION BACHIR GEMAYEL with the collaboration of Joué Club.

sponsors

Instagram can now sell your photos without permission

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To quit or not to quit Instagram?

Instragram just updated their new terms of service today, and the fine print, while not shocking, certainly is concerning especially if you use the service to show off your work. Instagram has stated that starting on Jan. 16 the service will be able to use and sell your images for advertising without your knowledge and without offering compensation leaving users with the short end of the stick. [Link]

You can read more about it [Here].

I’m part of Toom Extra’s new book!

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Samah is the guy on the right, next to him is Rana and at the bottom of the picture Toni

When they tell you that Lebanon is like a small village, where everyone knows everyone, sometimes it’s not that far from the truth. Back when I was still in school, I used to spend the summer at Champville playing football/basketball/ping pong with my cousins and friends but as the years passed by and I started working, I stopped seeing most of them.

The reason I am telling this story is because I got an email from Toom Extra few months back asking me if I wanted to take part in a photoshoot for their second book’s casting. I had heard of Toom Extra before but didn’t know much about them, so I decided to go through their Facebook page and blog to see what they do and I really enjoyed reading their posts. However, the surprise was when I found out one of their founding members is Samah, a friend I used to play football with at Champville more than 10 years ago.

Needless to say, I accepted to take part in their book casting, even though I’ve never done this before, as I believe they are doing a great job and are spreading awareness on several important topics in their own artistic, intelligent and humoristic way. There will be plenty of other bloggers featured in Toom Extra’s second book, which you can check out on Wednesday December 19, during the signing of their 2nd book at Radio Beirut in Mar Mikhail.

See you there!