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  1. The Trendiness of Religion

    This is going to be a little bit of a rant, so if you’re not in the mood to read one, stop reading now.

    I respect people who follow a religion. I respect people who don’t follow a religion too. Because people are people and religion is a personal thing. What I don’t quite understand is when people respect people who subscribe to a religion a little less. I don’t understand what people mean when they wonder if “people of science” can in fact believe in a God.

    Yeah, it’s not trendy to be religious. It’s not cool if you go to church every Sunday, to your local shul, or to a mosque five times a day. You’re not part of the “in” crowd because you don’t drink/have sex/go to clubs on a nightly basis.

    But you know what’s bizarre? That it’s still OK to knock on wood when you say something that you’d rather not come true. That people actually don’t open umbrellas indoors. That there is a 27 club. That people throw pennies into basically every public pool of water they see and make a wish.

    It makes one wonder why it’s the church and mosque-goers who are considered crazy. Because they believe in “a book written thirty-five hundred years ago”? OK. Well. Tons of people (including atheists/agnostics) throw pennies in wells and wish for things. Because that’s supported by hard facts.

    Maybe, just maybe, human beings just believe in things. And in the absence of religion it’s something else. Their gut, science, personal theories, astronomy, wishing wells, aliens, ghosts, their family, cars that fly, wizards, werewolves, the potential of their business idea, the force, toys that talk*. And… that’s OK. Because a personal belief is just that. Your version of what you believe to be true. And it can forever change and evolve and change some more and grow with you. And that’s OK too.

    The doghouse diaries did a great comic on this that illustrates my point rather well.

    *I’m not suggesting that these are mutually exclusive things to believe in

    tl;dr: I feel like I say this a lot, but there’s really only one rule: don’t be dick.

     


  2. Numbers on a screen

    First it’s 90 people killed, then it’s 280, and before you know it the number creeps past 600 and settles on about 638. But that’s all they are. Numbers on a screen. Just another violent coup in yet another troubled area of the world. But what if one of those people were someone close to you? Would you still view them as just numbers on a screen? Or would they suddenly mean so much more?

     

  3. Today (read: yesterday), Marzia and I went up against a team of three in Taboo and kicked butt. She then proceeded to kick all our butts at Loaded Questions.

     


  4. Things I learned at my first ever MLB game

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    DISCLAIMER: I don’t know much about baseball. A friend of mine took me along for my first game. Blue Jays VS. Texas Rangers at the Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome), June 8th 2013.

    • The baseball pitch is really pretty in an odd, geometric kind of way.
    • Lower bowl seats are worth the extra money. There is only one jumbotron and the baseball is tiny and white and not very visible from way up there.
    • The NBA, NHL, and MLB utilize the same crowd-engaging chant cues.
    • Baseball’s rules are really really complicated to understand without reading up/asking people around you who sorta kinda know when to cheer.
    • There are technically 9 innings in a game, but if the two teams are tied up at the end of the 9 innings, the game goes on for however long it needs to until one team pulls ahead. In this case, the game went on for 18 innings! But the Jays won, so yay Toronto!
    • Toronto loves José Bautista. When he comes onto the field to bat, his stance is kinda funny.
    • Baseball players have weird names. Jurickson Profar, Edwin Encarnacion, JP Arencibia to name a few.
    • I love sports arenas. As is evident by my post about my first ever NBA game experience, I am totally in love with the Air Canada Centre too.
    • This is the second sports experience I’ve had where Toronto’s playing against a Texas team! First, the Spurs (who are my favorite team now) and now the Rangers.
    • My siblings and I used to play baseball as kids, using a pestle as a baseball bat and Time-Life encyclopedias as bases. Needless to say, the spines of those encyclopedias had to be (heavily) taped up. My mom is a hero for putting up with all of it.
    • If you wanted to throw a big party, you could do it at the Rogers Centre! Wouldn’t that be the greatest?
    • There are a lot of different scores to keep track of. There’s a “ball” count which is a score against the pitching team, “strike” which is a score against the batting team and “outs”. After 3 outs, the inning is done.
    • 3 strikes and a player is out, any more than 3 “balls” means the batsman gets to walk to the next base. When that happens, another batsman comes up to bat.
    • A home run is worth 1 point. All that work for 1 measly point.
    • There is minimal commentary at a baseball game. Sometimes, young fans get to be guest commentators. It’s kinda cute.
    • Rogers Centre has a lot of gates that are confusing to navigate from the inside.
    • The Rogers Centre opens up like half way through so half the audience is in the sunlight while the other half is immersed in shadow. It’s asymmetrical.
    • Baseball cheerleaders wear real clothes!
    • There are these baseball songs that everybody (except me) knows the words to.
    • Parking at the Rogers Centre is expensive.
    • People start filing out after every inning post the 9th ‘cause they don’t know when the game will end.
    • The food places shut down somewhere around the 13th inning. It must be hard to predict when the game will end, I suppose? It sucks that the concession stands are closed when people are starving though.
    • If you have baseball tickets, don’t plan anything else after that.
    • The Bay-Lakeshore area is not the best for food.
    • Baseball players are slightly older than I expected them to be.
    • Kids are the best jumbotron baits.
    • Now that I sorta kinda know the rules, I could get used to watching this as long as it doesn’t interfere with the NBA season.
     

  5. A glimpse into my mom’s library at home in Jeddah. I remember making a database for her books. Can’t remember the exact number, but there were several thousands of them. I owe my love of books (and a bajillion other things) to her.

     


  6. Why do non-Muslims have such strong opinions on the hijab? I don’t have strong opinions on the kippah or the cross or the Sikh turban. You should be aware of it, sure. But if it doesn’t concern or harm you in anyway, just chill out about it.
     


  7. The moment we try to value one life over another is when the ethics of our society start to crumble.

     


  8. I fixed a broken drawer all by myself today. I re-did the back, replaced the rails, and added a handle. Now all my things are happy living in a space that doesn’t break every time I open it.

     

  9. My roots go back to the beautiful landscapes and stunning history of the country of Pakistan.

    March 23rd marks the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan.

    Today is also the day Imran Khan’s jalsa took over the legendary city of Lahore. I hope he can become the reason Pakistan makes a comeback. I hope he can make New “Naya” Pakistan a reality.

    Despite the turmoil the country is currently in, I have yet to witness people with more passion, drive, and talent than the people of Pakistan.

    May Allah grant the nation of Pakistan with the peace it was built in hopes for and may He bless the people who reside therein with the serenity they deserve.

     


  10. What it’s like to be a skydiver:

    jasmino:

    This is my life. 

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    (Source: thedropzonediaries)