Just a little something I wanted to share.
I am a lover of books, I love all books and I love the smell of old books. Why they smell so good?
I found that one out just now:

"Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."

Why secondhand bookstores smell good
Perfumes: The Guide (via YMFY)


Just some random things.

Firstly I've been training this in Dance:

(kudos to http://o-ri-bond.blogspot.com/ for that pic)

secondly, for any of you even vaguely familiar with the guitar, you'll know about Rodrigo Y Gabriela:
But you'll probably be less familiar with these equally (if not more) talented people
(Eduardo Niebla and his trio/quartet depending on where and when he performs)
skip through and you hear him play =)

That is all.


Medicinal Advantage or Merely Sustaining Life?

What popped into my mind today was Medicine. When do medical advancements stop being an advantage and start being a way for parents / family / loved ones to prolong a life.
I was talking to a friend of mine and she was a bit down because her 3yr old neighbour most probably has leukaemia - and she already has down's syndrome, and has had about 4 operations on her heart. And my first thought? If it wasn't for these so called medical advancements being an 'advantage in life' this girl would've died closely after birth. This girl wouldn't have had to suffer an immense amount of pain, fuss and stress before she had even turned four because her parents had decided that everything needed be done for this little girl to be kept alive. Is that fair?
The child must have gone through unspeakable pain already; recovering from heart operations, dealing with downs (I don't know what comes with Down's syndrome) and now going through Chemo and bone marrow transplants?
A young life - a  baby - can't decide for itself. It isn't counscious in its decision making and it isn't fully aware of the surrounding around them. They don't think, they don't know what's going on and generally they can't speak until they're a little bit older (2/3ish) - so the grown ups decide. The doctors have taken an oath to ensure that they do everything in their might to save the life of a person, but at what point does this become too much? At what point does it become almost unethical to keep the child alive?


Walk Like an Egyptian

Oh my dear god, Mubarak has gone absolutely bonkers.
You know what he has done, he has played with fire and it did not go well - 600 egyptians have been injured today. Want to know why?
he paid protesters to support him and to show up to the rallies, thus major clashes erupted. I can't believe it - even for a dictator this is just stupid. I mean wow, how would you even think of that? HOW could you do something like that to your own people.
As if it isn't bad enough that he's currently just like "nooo the egyptians like me, they just don't like the government I put in place..." etc etc etc etc, The guy is either extremely ignorant, stupid are just plain in denial. The reasons why the people that live in his country are protesting is because they are sick of living in a dictatorship. they want democracy. DEMOCRACY. thus not another government appointed by the dictator. It is still people that he has decided to put in place, those who are sympathetic with his way - they are not people that the inhabitants of a nation has voted for.

"Someone - a few people actually - are dropping homemade bombs into the square from the buildings surrounding it," our online producer said.

(from http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201122124446797789.html)
I suggest you read the article, it is simply shocking what is going on there today. The other thing that really got me from the article is the following quote:

Witnesses also said that pro-Mubarak supporters were dragging away protesters they had managed to grab and handing them over to security forces.
Salma Eltarzi, an anti-government protester, told Al Jazeera there were hundreds of wounded people.

"There are no ambulances in sight, and all we are using is Dettol," she said. "We are all so scared.

It is horrible that people can be against other people like this, what is happening in Egypt is simply horrendous even though the things that are being thought for are things that most of the world stands for. The worst thing being that there is no real medical attention, for a government that wants to stay stay in place it is not doing a lot to keep its people happy. It's not even doing a lot to ensure that IF they do stay in power that the people are going to be even remotely happy. All they appear to be doing is ensuring for more instability in the future - the people who are out on the streets at the moment are not people who are easily going to say - oh ok nevermind we'll just retreat into our old lives again and lay low. Yet these are also not people who are going to be thrown in prison or murdered as there are two many of them. If something happens to them now then the whole world is going to know as the whole world has been watching - ESPECIALLY after Mubarak decided the turn off the internet. Seriously - what was he thinking?
However, it IS wonderful to see people stand up for themselves though, it is amazing that even in this modern day and age people still care about what happens to them and about how they are treated. I think it has been shown a lot this year and last year. People have been standing up for what they believe a lot, students keep protesting. Tunisia revolted and now Egypt is doing the same thing. It is good to see that these people are finally sick of being told what to do all the time - of every aspect of their life being controlled. Hooray for democracy, and glad that there is finally and end coming to all of this.


things are a changing.

"The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people," the army statement said.

This is obviously in reference to the Egyptian rallies and protests that are going on at the moment, they want Mubarak to step down - and they want him to do so now. It is great that there is now solidarity between the egyptian people and the army, and that it is going to remain peaceful - something which is so important.
Today is/was the 'march of millions' that people have been trying to get together from yesterday

this is the update that Al-Jazeera put up, just look at all of the people. At the start they are shouting Allah Akbar - Allah is great/Allah is the greatest. Something which is used a lot in the Arabic language (if you look at the language, a lot of it uses Allah as a reference or is actually religious in base if it is literally translated - I'm a bit of a language nerd - e.g. Insha'allah - it means 'If Allah wills it' and it is something which is added when talking about plans in the future.)

Anyway, I think it is amazing that the Egyptian people are so incredibly driven to get rid of a dictator which has ruled their lives for three decades. What's more, it is said that the Israeli government has pleaded with other world leaders to ensure that his regime stays in place... the ISRAELI government want a dictator in an ARABIC country to stay in place - it's not something which is making Mubarak particularly popular with his own people, let along those in the nations around him. Least of all with the Palestinians who live in Egypt, and in refugee camps in the surrounding areas... which is understandable, I think.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is something which has interested me for a long time - ever since we started studying it in history in year 10. It's so incredibly complicated but fantastically interesting; but most importantly it is something which is very important to understand. People today only know the very basics of the conflict and make up their mind based mainly on preconceptions, stereotypes and how the media portrays it all. But we don't hear a lot about the conflict because it has been going on on a daily basis and has done since the second world war. However, what we do hear (though this is currently decreasing) is generally tipped in such a way that the Israeli's are the ones that sound like the victim. Generally reports have been about how many Israeli's have died and how unfair it is yet what doesn't get reported half of the time is the fact that the Israeli's retaliate and that they kill many more Palestinians than the other way round. Moreover, if Palestinian refugees aren't killed by bullets, missiles or hand grenades they will die from poor sanitation, lack of nutrition and awful living conditions because they are living in buildings that are falling to pieces (because bombs have been dropped on them) and are cramped into small spaces. It's horrible. Once upon a time Gaza city was a wonderfully rich place, and even when it was first turned into an occupied territory it wasn't too bad as Palestinians were allowed over the border to work. Now? Not a chance... Another thing which I do not like about the Israelis is the fact that the presidents are generally incredibly hypocritical.
For instance in the 80s and 90s they refused to sit down with Yasser Arafat at first because he was a terrorist (feel free to google him if you don't know who he was or what he did - and feel ashamed for not knowing...)
One of Arafat's most famous quote is from when he stood in the UN meeting and said 'I am standing here with a gun in one hand and an olive branch in the other - don't make me drop the olive branch' (It might be slightly paraphrased, I'm afraid)
Anyways, terrorist. If you look at the history of the Israeli presidents... almost every single one of them has been a part of some form of terrorist organisation.
Another thing which really got me about this particular conflict is the happenings at Deir Yassin. (Linked for your convenience, I am nice really)
So please, do your research on it - it's incredibly complicated, intricate and very interesting.

Personally I don't buy any produce which comes from Israel, it sounds like a silly thing but there are a number of things I don't like about it. Firstly I don't really like the way Israel treats the Palestinians (you might've been able to tell that from this post... maybe).
But I also don't like the amount of air miles it collects up. (there you go a bit of random info for you)

But that's all I wanted to mention actually, now it's time for you to do some reading around and dig into it. Trust me, it's worth it and it is incredibly interesting.