Thursday, November 03, 2005

Al Dustoor (Dastoor ya syad)

Al Dustoor is an independent newspaper published in Egypt (independent on the government I mean). Over the few past months it has gained a lot of inertia and public acceptance in the educated community in Egypt, especially after most of the government dependent journals have lost credibility (long ago actually). Not only has the so called "official" journals lost credibility, it has (IMHO) dulled the public conscious, stripped it of its freedom.

Al Dustoor is very bold in criticizing the government and Mubarak himself! (esp. the articles of its chief editor, Ibrahim Esa) It is really full of contents, not just ink, full of nice sarcastic caricatural drawings and a hell lot of bold diverse opinions about everything currently concerning the people in Egypt, not to forget its radical yet neat formatting and editing.

I never really liked any of Egypt's "official" journals, nor did any of the indie ones get my respect.

On the other hand, not only do I regularly buy "Al Dustoor", but I also keep the old prints, if not for its value, then for the beautiful poems written on the header of each page (each week by a certain poet, or in a certain theme).

Thanks "Al Dustoor", thanks Mr. Ibrahim Esa, we rabena yostorha ma3aky ya masr.

Ramadan Mabrook (mosh Mubarak) wa 3eed sa3eed

Kol sana we kol el nas atyab wel 7'eir feehom ba2y, ...

Ramadan mabrook (mosh Mubarak :) ) wa 3eed sa3eed we gameel

Ya rab e3'fer lana war7amna wahdena wa 3afena warzoqna

In the coming days I'll try to revise and add contents to the physics engine's web site, read about the DirectX shaders, read about external hashing, B-trees, and external sorting and revise an algorithm for space division for the physics engine's collision detection sub-system.

QotD: "El 7eshma 7elwa wel adab matloob" :) - om el sa3d fel mosalsal el da3eef "el marsa wel ba77ar"

The Wheel of Time and The Sword of Truth

A little more than two years ago, at my final year at college, I started to read Robert Jordan's epic "The Wheel of Time". I was so fascinated by it that I almost finished the first nine books in a few months, and started to read Terry Goodking's "The sword of Truth". Again I was so fascinated that by the end of that college year, I had finished finished the first eight books of SoT.

It's been common to compare both series and debate which is better, maybe cause of the numerous similarities between them. In both series, the hero commands powers more than anyone since thousands of years, he has to fight the dark side of the universe itself, females with supernatural powers try to control him and blend him into their schemes, although they cannot actually teach him how to use his powers, almost no one can in fact. However, after
a while a group of those females come to serve under his command. Both heroes were fathered by another one than that who they thought was there father (yuch, bas sentence). both have a lot of people fanatically following them, by magic or for the sake of prophecy, and both heroes where centric to the prophecies of their world and try to understand them, both prepare for a war far beyond reason.

I might of course have yet overlooked some similarities :) ahh, .. both heroes are of course extremely good swordsmen.

Both series are quite different in my opinion. Not because of the the small details that differentiate both worlds, like that in one there is magic while in the other it's about controlling the different powers roaming in the world (that's almost the same I guess), but because both series were written with a different aim and philosophy.

Sot is really about philosophy and ideologies, the hero is as perfect as can be, in a never ending quest for doing what is right and good, ... defeating evil is his first mission, but what really motivates him is doing what he things right, for the people, those whom he loves, and himself

The enemy is not really evil, but rather adopting different ideologies than the hero, the battle is really about beliefs, ideologies, and philosophy. And surprisingly, ... it's still very interesting!! I read the nine books almost word for word.

The only thing I don't love about SoT is that the author practically re-tales the story of the previous books each time.

WoT is completely another thing, ... WoT is a real epic, with many heroes actually, a long fight, with many inter-wined threads, some of them I don't really read and I think each one can pick his favorite threads and read them.

None of the heroes is that perfect, each has his merits and his drawbacks (my favorites are Perrin and Rand). Victory or failure is not absolute each hero battles and negotiates, and sometimes compromises.

As a novel, ... WoT is more interesting epic, but on the other hand, SoT is has more value for the mind and soul.