The Age of Fake News

Isn’t it so silly to over-glorify a mediocre discovery?

A group of Egyptians discovered dinosaur fossils in Egypt, then a prof. wrote an opinion article in a nature blog, making an erroneous claim that this is the “first” evidence of dinosaurs moving from Africa to Europe. 😒

The non-scientific article:

You’d notice at the end of the page the disclaimer that they don’t edit the articles and they are opinion articles and not guaranteed to be accurate.

An animation about the evolution of the Mediterranean:

The sensational post that gained much patriotic attention!

But, it’s OK. Let the people cheer a bit. I won’t deny them!

An unrelated video about the man in charge of the excavation, but speaking at a science café:


Bad food stuff

fenugreek (also found in curry) – fenugrecBockshornklee

asparagusaspergeGemüsespargel/Gemeiner Spargel
oreganooriganOregano/Echter Dost

bell/sweet pepper (paprika)poivronPaprika
chili pepperpimentChili/Spanischer Pfeffer

Not to be confused with:
black/white pepperPoivrier noirPfefferstrauch/Schwarzer Pfeffer

Kazakh Latin Alphabet

Update: The Kazakh government made an expected decision to cancel the apostrophe alphabet and adopt a Turkic-based one.

In 2017, the government approved of a Latin-based alphabet for the Kazakh language (a Turkic language) which currently uses a Cyrillic-based alphabet.

The government proposed a spelling system heavily dependent on apostrophes, when it could have used closer Turkic letters since the languages are related.

Current problematic letters:
/æ/: a' (ә) ä   (updated: á)
/ʁ/: g' (ғ) ğ gh   (updated: ǵ)
/h/: h (һ) h
/χ/: h (х) x   (updated: h)
/əj/: i' (и) ï ëy   (updated:)
/j/: i' (й) y   (updated:)
/ɘ/: i (і) İi ï   (updated: İi)
/ŋ/: n' (ң) ñ ng   (updated: ń)
/œ/: o' (ө) ö   (updated: ó)
/ʉ/: u' (ү) ü   (updated: ú)
/w/: y' (у) w   (updated: ý)
/ə/: y (ы) ë
/t͡ʃ/: c' (ч) ç tš ch tç   (updated: ch)
/ʃ/: s' (ш) ş š sh ç   (updated: sh)

The Turkic-based and my proposed alternatives are backward compatible with Latin-3 and Latin-9 standards.

Is there a difference between a refugee and a displaced person? Yes!

The people and the media can’t seem to distinguish anymore between a refugee (asylum seeker) and a displaced person.

A refugee is a person who left a country as a result of its people and its politics persecution for him.

That person may start to be detached from the culture of and the country he came from.

The displaced person is someone who left a placed he lived in to save his life from war or as a result of someone burning his house.

That person usually stays attached to the culture of his country and sometimes he may support his country of origin’s symbols, policies and people. They may also feel a strong nostalgia to their “homeland”, and some of them may even resist integrating in another homeland.

A displaced person could also be what they call an illegal economic migrant, who left his country because of extreme poverty or just came for the money, which may be a human right.

Having distinguished the concepts helps us judge properly what we read in the news and form opinions.

The Political Analyst Burger Maker

I encountered an article about an American of Egyptian origin who speaks with an accent, who was regularly invited to make commentaries on politics, in Arabic – Literary Arabic, on Egyptian news channels, state and private. Of course Literary Arabic because you can say non-sense, as long as it’s in Literary Arabic, easterners – Arabists – would love you.

His story is noteworthy for many reasons:

Politics and academia are primarily very elitist, while Hatem’s job has a very low prestige, but that didn’t stop him from speaking his mind about politics.

He owns a supermarket where he cooks snacks for buyers. He also has a small space where he hangs two American maps on its background, where he often Skypes on TV commenting on current affairs.

He entered the field of political analysis by means of beautifying his image, creating a halo of sophistication to satisfy people’s intellectual arrogance. The easterners (Egyptians) fell for him because they are more likely to be elitist than Americans.

I wished he actually said useful analyses. It all started with him when he wrote an opinion article about his coincidental expectation for Trump to win the American elections. All of his opinions are much loved by the eastern media, because they are very conservative, painting the stereotypical image of a west and an America which antagonize Muslims, Islam and Islamic culture, echoing what the eastern regimes beg to feed their populations with. Telling people what they want to hear doesn’t make one an analyst.

Hatem entered the field for the love of fame and being on TV! He hid his real origins which would have denied him his appearances on TV. I’m very angry that he hid the truth about him because that reiterates the arrogance and exclusion of the media personnel and academics, rather than promoting inclusion for all, regardless of origins, and as he claims to ask for!

Hatem is a living proof that the media, especially the eastern media, never really check who the person is before hosting him. It only takes a few outlets to host you and the rest would keep asking for you, like a snowball. The east is naturally elitist and would have rejected to host him.

I wonder why didn’t he try to learn something related to his hobby, rather than immersing himself even more by buying his supermarket after just working in one, or does he just like the halo of fame and eloquence?

By the way, Hatem deliberately accepted to expose himself as the media was about to expose him anyway and he wanted to save his credibility.

See also:
* A BBC news article in Arabic for Arabic consumption which holds the exclusionary elitist view
* A video report about Hatem’s life
* An article about his story