Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Few Bits and Pieces

I came back from Omrah yesterday. It was a great journey. I'll hopefully write about it sometime soon.

For the meantime, I had the opportunity to surf the internet today, and did a little research. I thought that my findings would interest others, and that's why I'm sharing them:

Arablish

A funny description on the Arabic-English chat language in Wikipedia. I personally don't mind reading such text, and I do use it for smsing and instant messaging, but I prefer to blog in a formal style. I feel that long texts need to be written in a proper format in order for the writer's thoughts to be digested in the best possible way by the reader. I also prefer to read proper English or proper Arabic rather than a mix of both; I feel that it gives a better understanding of the text for the reader. Too much use of color, too many "lol's", "ROFL's", etc., ugly fonts that are supposed to be funky, BLOCK letters and too much use of smileys can really turn me off wanting to read whatever is written no matter how rich the content may be. Text appearance is important to me.

Improving Googling

Why can I sense Dots smiling? haha
Do you ever click on what appears to be a promising site from google to get an error "File not found" message? Do you ever google and not get what you're looking for? Here are a few cool sites that are pretty good at improving your googling abilities:

10 tips to improve your googling
Google Genealogy Style
Google Help: Cheat Sheet

One of the strange things about google is that it has powerful abilities that very few people know about. I personally feel that what largely contributes to that fact is its extremely simple search page which just has a search box present; adding a large sized link under the query box to the Cheat Sheet page would really help many people. I'm not suggesting an ugly Yahoo! page filled with all sorts of stuff, just a link under the query box would do; I love the simple Google style.

Scientology

Why do people regard Tom Cruise as crazy? What does Scientology have to do with any of this? What is Scientology?

Scientology became quite famous after Tom Cruise's adaptation of the faith, and many people started to read up on the subject. Many converted to the faith. Most people say that it's a complete fraud while others strongly believe in it.

Read the following excerpts taken from 7days article "The truth about Scientology":


...there’s Scientology’s booklet, ‘The Way to Happiness’, which gives guidelines to better living such as ‘be competent’ and ‘don’t do anything illegal’. Whereas the bible makes do with ten commandments, the book runs to 21. But the leaflet, according to Miscavige, can work miracles. After being given a copy, no inmates in an Israeli prison were ever readmitted. A US cop handed out copies to known troublemakers and crime dropped 38 per cent.

(...)

Using a little science of my own, it’s time to turn to Google. Scientology was
founded by pulp fiction writer L Ron Hubbard.Hubbard is either a great man
who crossed the globe in search of answers, or a complete fraud, depending on
who you believe. His son, L Ron Hubbard Jr, claimed on TV in 1983 that “99 per
cent of what my father ever wrote or said about himself is totally untrue.” What
is true is that Reader’s Digest quoted Hubbard as saying “writing for a penny a
word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best
way would be to start his own religion.”
Several other people say Hubbard made similar statements to them. Following Scientology is certainly not cheap. To progress to the top level, study fees have been estimated at as much as $500,000. While it’s billed as a religious non-profit organisation, the Washington Post reported in 1994 that many US lawmakers considered it an unscrupulous commercial organisation. The German government considers it a commercial business.

But what is it? Scientology was originally a self-help philosophy, but Hubbard then began to add religious aspects. It aims to help humans achieve awareness of their spiritual existance, and ultimately regain ‘total freedom’. It’s made up of a series of levels – Hubbard believed rehabilitation takes place on a step by step basis. Believers follow the ‘Bridge to Total Freedom’, with each step allowing a little more freedom, and a little more knowledge about Scientology.
The basic beliefs are that people have an immortal soul, which will be reincarnated after the body dies, and it’s possible to retain emotional problems from previous lives. The other main belief is that psychiatry and psychology are abusive, which we’ll come to in a moment. The main practice of Scientology is known as auditing. Each new believer sits down with a trained ‘auditor’ and is asked questions about their life while a machine measures electrical impulses. The idea is that this helps a person unburden themselves of past mistakes and traumas. Scientologists have claimed benefits from auditing including improved IQ, enhanced memory and alleviated dyslexia and attention deficit problems.

Get this:


According to Hubbard, an alien called Xenu ruled a Galactic Confederacy 75 million years ago. Faced with overcrowding on the 76 planets he ruled, and a plot to overthrow him, the evil Xenu used psychiatrists to drug billions of people and load them onto transports, which explains Scientology’s dislike of psychology. The people were taken to earth, stacked around volcanoes and blown up with hydrogen bombs.
The souls of these people were then rounded up and forced to watch a kind of propaganda video for more than a month. Given that the souls are reincarnated, many psychological problems today apparently result from this misleading information. The media, including 7DAYS, is routinely accused by Scientologists of being inaccurate, or even malicious, when it comes to the group.


Sure, and I'm really a pink alien lizard who came from the planet Lafoofoo.

The article's last paragraph was funny:


But taking what’s been written about Tom Cruise’s bizarre behaviour as an example, it’s all pretty much true. Katie Holmes gave birth in silence because Hubbard believed that words heard at birth could later trigger trauma in an adult. Cruise’s rant against psychiatry on the ‘Today Show’ also stems from Hubbard’s beliefs. Far from changing my mind, an afternoon researching Scientology has made me think it’s weirder than ever. Or is that Xenu’s brainwashing talking?


Apparently, Scientology's church claims that it is a non-profit organization. However, it's quite clear that they're rich. I researched more on Scientology after reading 7days' article. I read about one man whose best friend became a scientologist. After they took a lot of money from him, he decided to stop as he had doubts on the religion. They called at his office, got him fired. Spurred problems between him and his wife, who filed for divorce and many other things. They basically ruined his life. After it all, he just pulled the trigger and killed himself, the pressure was just too much for him to handle.

Check this link for more about Scientology from scientologists. Watch this interesting video on Scientology. As it turns out, Scientology has its own bible as well. See this page to learn about Scientology's bible. Most reviewers claim that Scientology basically takes common sense and presents it in what appears to be a scientific style. I want to purchase the book, it looks like it'd make an interesting read.

Muslim Converts

Watching how Muslim converts act towards Islam makes people like me, who were born into Islam, feel ashamed. Why don't we, who were born into the right religion, practice it well? There's a large difference between being a Muslim and a practicing Muslim. In one of the videos which I'll link to in a moment, one of the Muslim converts says that the Muslims that he was surrounded by weren't practicing ones and that they were really bad. They were shady characters; one of them got arrested and the another one of them is waiting for trail. He says that there was a turning point in his life which led him to look for a faith to follow, for he followed none. He never even thought of Islam for the characters that used to surround him. He looked into all sorts of faiths but as soon as he found an error, he left it. He felt that if it were the true faith and if it came from God, then it wouldn't contain any error; how can the Almighty err? One day, he went to listen to a mosque with his purple-haired girlfriend. He used to cause many problems there, until one day, he sat and listened to one of the Islamic lectures. He was bewildered by the faith, and started to ask many questions. After that session, he told his girlfriend that they were over for he can't sin if he wanted to be a practicing Muslim. Can you believe it? After one session only, subhan-Allah.
Another video that I'll share in a moment is about the youngest Muslim converts in the world. Two British sisters aged 9 and 12 convert to Islam. Their mom was shocked, but since she believed in freedom of choice she didn't stop them; she did, however, make it difficult for them. At first didn't allow them to practice Islam in their house or pray for she thought it was too much, she ordered them to do it in the mosque only. She forbade them to go to mosque at one point, until after speaking to the Imam who convinced her to let them go ahead. Unlike other children, the girls spend their evenings reading books and memorizing Quran as well as praying in their rooms.

Isn't it outstanding to see how Muslim converts act towards Islam compared to those born into the faith? I guess that they probably work harder due to the newness of the faith.

Here's the link to Ali's Video Blog, episode 10, where he shares his story on how he converted to Islam. Episodes 3 and 4 are interesting. Watch the whole season, I loved it.
Here's the link to the young British Girls' journey through Islam.
This video, copying Ali's style, is an interesting watch. This video is an interesting watch as well.





Enjoy! =)

2 comments:

MD said...

I can't believe how people believe in Scientology. Amazing, really! I still have to visit those links.

Seraph said...

yeah tell me about it! scientology is freaky