Anti-tobacco sentiments

I remember when smoking was fun. All the cool kids were doing it                                                                                                                          Jen Barber

It’s against the law to smoke in these premises

Con article

Do not get me wrong, folks. I really do think that our planet would be a better place without tobacco and smoking. This is my firm belief and nothing can convince me otherwise! And I also know that the absolute majority of people hold the same views.

It’s our own blood that we oppress

Loads of anti-tobacco programs, campaigns, smoking bans have been adopted and revoked from time to time, not to mention all those fancy, creative, touchy ads. No one can deny that there are a number of advantages of such methods. But the naked truth is, some people consider that they also break the natural law of human liberty, individual freedom, business rights and etc. Let me start by stating that neither law-making/revising nor  economics is my area of expertise, but I think a little bit of digging would do no harm. I am a non-smoker. Never had an interest to lit a cig :) Some of my friends smoke. A few of them have already quit. And ever since then, they keep saying: ‘The best thing a smoker can do for his or her health is quit smoking”. Well, I presume they are right.  What I realised throughout the years of hanging out with them, is that their addiction did not make me feel any less passionate about not having a puff. Not tough enough maybe ;) Anyway, this article is not about the respect or praise towards non-smokers. Because I feel that I am starting to become an old fuddy-duddy. So, what are we overlooking here? Is smoking really a matter of personal(!) choice? If not, why not. If yes, then another question arises as to whether smoking should be banned in public places or not.
It is not a guide in any sense, but a personal approach, and I think that any harsh ‘remedies’ and attitudes against smokers would only make them even more thirsty and obstinate. Like people say: ‘The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem’

Potential cons:

1. Economic impact
A business owner’s point of view
Let’s imagine a small bar where smokers are always welcome to ‘fill it in’. About 70-75% of its customers are heavy smokers and only a few are non-smokers. The owner of this smoker-friendly bar, a smoker himself, is happy (!) about his growing business. So the new law on prohibiting smoking in such places basically is more than capable to take the business down. And it is not rare that there are plenty of such establishments even in small towns. Thus, anti-smoking policies will harm small business owners. Is there any guarantee that a few ‘cleans’ will attract more non-smoker visitors? Favourable it may be, but the owner, perhaps, would not share such optimism. What does the future hold for him? And guess what, now he has no right to smoke in his own bar :)  So here is my conclusion: All government-imposed restrictions, policies should leave an open door to allow business owners to set their own criteria.

2. Individual rights
Smoke and mirrors
Who is in opposition to any kind of smoking bans?! The answer is easy and obvious – smokers. For them, smoking is an addiction and they are all sufferers of it. But how do politicians, lawmakers feel about it? (Not all of them are non-smokers I reckon) How do they treat it whilst implying a long-term solution? So, is it a bad habit or an addiction? Mostly smoking is considered as a bad habit. If so, then nobody can restrict other’s legal rights or force them to go nonsmoking without providing a proper justification. Many studies, if appropriately done demonstrate that smoking is more than a bad habit. It is a mix of physical and chemical addiction. There must be a reason for such an uncontrollable tobacco craving, right? Just saying ‘No, you cannot smoke here or there’ is not appropriate for everyone. What I  believe is that it needs to be approached in a delicate way. In order to make sure that new rules will not cause any other mental disorders.
Old habits die hard, dears, and by terrorising smokers we are making them even harder to break.

God, I am exhausted. Anyone got a cig?!

PowerShell Summit NA 2014

Elkhan Asgarov:

Summit-Horiz-Logo-Color

The PowerShell Summit is an annual, continent-level event featuring expert presenters, participation by the PowerShell product team members, and an incredible opportunity to meet and mingle with the PowerShell community.

Call it a Deep Dive. Call it a conference. Call it whatever you like, the PowerShell Summit is a unique and special event. It’s the in-person gathering place for PowerShell enthusiasts and PowerShell.org forums users. It’s a place to make new connections, learn new techniques, and offer something to your peers and colleagues.

Each PowerShell Summit is an official production of PowerShell.org. Our goal is to seek “host organizations” to help run each annual event, enabling us to move the event from place to place each year. Typically, host organizations will have already run a successful PowerShell Forum event.
Registration details from http://powershell.org/wp/community-events/summit/ http://ow.ly/2E51Zc

Originally posted on Richard Siddaway's Blog:

The PowerShell Summit is happening in Bellevue (Seattle) – April 28 – 30th. You will be able to hear, meet and talk to some of the biggest names in PowerShell:

- Jeffrey Snover – the inventor of PowerShell

- PowerShell Team members

- Don Jones

- Jason Helmick

- Jeff Hicks

- Ed Wilson (The Scripting Guy)

- Steven Murawski

- Tome Tanasovski

- James O’Neill

I’ll be there delivering 3 sessions (WSMan cmdlets, cmdletizing the registry and using the network related cmdlets) – its the only chance this year of getting all three authors of PowerShell in Depth in the same place at the same time.

If you haven’t booked a place yet – you can register and view the rest of the sessions at http://powershell.org

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Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends, by Albert Jack

Elkhan Asgarov:

                     Just ordered!
Phantom hitchhikers and other urban legends : the strange stories behind tall tales / Albert Jack.

Originally posted on Blogging for a Good Book:

phantom I have been interested in myths and urban legends ever since a preteen sleepover introduced me to the story of the The Hook (You know, the one about the couple at the local makeout spot who hear a strange scraping noise on the car.  They get scared and drive quickly home — only to find a bloody hook hanging from the car door handle). I have since learned to be skeptical of these stories — though it sometimes is hard to tell what is based on fact and what is fantasy.

I picked up Albert Jack’s book, and skimmed several stories before sitting down to read it cover to cover.  I was pleased to find many a tale I hadn’t heard before.

Did you hear about the scorned woman who stuffed seafood in the curtain rods throughout the home just before her ex-husband and his new wife put it up for…

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My Annual Affection

For some reason, every year at this time, I strangely find myself thinking about Istanbul, singing about Istanbul, finding something new about Istanbul. As I recall, it started when I was a teenager. All of  a sudden, I started to grow feeling for a city I’d never been to before. Sometimes I think it maybe happened, because of a book I read back in 2004 named “Bit Palas”  by Elif Shafak. Really strange feelings, and it keeps updating every year. This year is not an exception!
To be quite honest, I’m not a big fan of this city. I’m not a ‘big’ fan of any city in particular! I do like Istanbul, but I’m not sure if it entirely fits my desired measurements, my big-city criteria. However, there is something persuasive, something obdurate about Istanbul. I can’t even name it. I’m not being poetic here, not at all.  What I know for sure about this city is that, every year, at this very time, I fall madly in love with Istanbul! For a day! Sounds like a romantic whim, doesn’t it? Hate it, and yet, I’m still unable to resist its appeal! Have you ever heard about The Sorrowful Mysteries? There are five of them. Istanbul is like the sixth mystery for me.

Loved this song! Very timely and very relevant to my mood today.
Happy 10th anniversary, my beloved Istanbul.

Your Cat Is Actually A Total Jerk!

Bad news for all you cat lovers: That feline you are obsessed with is a total jerk. Sure, cats are cute, soft, lovable, but in actuality, they kinda suck. When you’re over that adorable little ball of fuzz, maybe you’ll be ready to come to terms with the fact that, even thought you adore your cat, it is a total jerk :)

  • Your cat hears you, but she won’t do what you tell her to

Your cat definitely hears you calling her name, and can even recognize your voice against a stranger’s, but the truth of the matter is she doesn’t care what you want!

  • Some cats actually hate the only thing they’re good for: Cuddling

When researching whether cats live better in homes with other cats or in solitary living situations, Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at England’s University of Lincoln, discovered that petting may stress out some felines. Mills concluded that cats who live in a home with other cats are less stressed because it’s easier for them to avoid being petted by owner, and instead, allow the other cats in the household to take on that burden. Just face it, if Fluffy avoids physical affection, it’s not her, it’s you.

  • Just because a cat rubs against you doesn’t mean it likes you

It’s nice to feel good about yourself when a jerk cat is finally comfortable enough to brush up against you, but all he’s really saying is that he now owns you — at least in his mind. He isn’t making physical contact because he’s trying to say he loves you, but because he is trying to make you his property by putting his scent on you. Cats have an extraordinary sense of smell and they know that each cat has his or her own scent. When a cat rubs against you, it’s informing other cats that you are its territory.

  • Your antisocial cat may not even be the smartest pet in your house

Dogs may be more intelligent than cats because they know how to make friends. A University of Oxford study found that, because dogs are more social animals, they have developed larger brains in order to adapt to the demands of a socializing culture. Cats, on the other hand, thrive in more solitary cultures, and thus, have brains that have not developed as rapidly over time.

  • One of your cat’s favourite ways to “kiss” is through a distant gaze you probably don’t even know she’s giving

So, this is kind of creepy: Your cat sends you a welcoming greeting by slowly staring and blinking at you. This slow cat blink, or “kitty kiss,” is used by cats to inform whomever it’s looking at that they actually like them. Beware though, if your cat looks at you with a long, deep, unblinking stare, it may indicates that the cat is guarding his territory and does not find you welcome at all.

  • Your love for cats could make you the butt of society’s jokes

If you are a female and you own more than two cats, you may start fearing that people will see you as a “cat lady,” a type of person made famous by “The Simpsons,” “Saturday Night Live” and real-life stories around the world.

  • If you die alone with your cat, it won’t hesitate to eat you

In 1992, at an American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference in New Orleans, a forensic pathologist told a haunting story: He explained that when people who live alone with their pets die unexpectedly, their bodies are sometimes left in the house for several days. Without their owners around to fill their bowls, the pets often go unfed. In cases where these people owned dogs, their pets would usually go several days without resorting to eating the owner’s body. However, a cat would only wait a day or two. The phenomenon is called “postmortem predation.”

  • Cats don’t give a damn about sugar and spice and all that’s nice

Unlike every other mammal examined to date, cats are the only ones who do not have the required number of taste receptors to taste sweetness.

  • Your cat cleans herself because she thinks you stink

While licking themselves does provide a calming effect for the cat, the more important point to remember is that after being handled, cats lick themselves to smooth their fur and get rid of the “human” smell.

But in the end, let’s admit that there’s nothing quite like a cute, fluffy kitten :)

Source: The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

7 Hekayə haqqında

7 Hekaye

Əlinin 7 Hekayə adlı ilk kitabını oxuyub bitirdim. Çox vaxtımı almadı :) Əli özü çoxlarını sancdığı üçün bilirəm ki, bu kitaba qərəzli-qərəzsiz babat tənqidlər yazılacaq. Bəlkə da yazılıb artıq. Bu yazı isə əsasən hekayələri oxuyarkən xatırladığım əsərlər barəsində olacaq. Bir növ assosiasiya oyununda olduğu kimi. Bir əsərin digər əsəri xatırlatmasının pis və ya yaxşı hal olmasını isə qoy peşəkar ədəbi tənqidçilər desin. Şəxsən mənə bu halın,  əgər əsər açıq-aşkar plagiat deyilsə elə də isti-soyuğu yoxdur.

Fəlakət hekayəsinin elə başlağıcı mənə Emin Mahmudun elmi-fantastik Missuri daşanda hekayəsini xatırlatdı. Oxşarlıqlardan biri Əlinin hekayəsində meymunla insanın, Emin Mahmudun hekayəsində isə insanla robotun qarşı-qarşıya qoyulmasıdır. Meymunların dərdinə digər heyvanların gəlməsi səhnəsi isə Felix Salten-in Bambi povestindəki heyvan yığıncaqlarına bənzədi. Qayğı, əsəb, himayə, qorxu, kinayə kimi hisslər bu oxşarlığın əsas hissəsidir. Hekayənin özünü bəyənmədim. Tələsik yazılıb elə bil ki.
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “O əclaf nə etsin axı, oxşayırıq da!”

Qırx mühafiz hekayəsindəki arxaizmdən İsa Hüseynovun (Muğanna) İdeal romanının qoxusu gəldi. Düzdür, bu romanı lap çoxdan oxumuşam. Məktəb illərində, çox şeyi də hələ ağlım kəsmirdi, romanın dili də qəliz idi. Amma Bağ-Boq haqqında dialoqlar və dilimizin qədimliyi barədə olan teoriyalar dəqiq yadımdadır. Əlinin yazısında bu yöndə istehza duyulsa da, nəyə görəsə mənə elə gəldi ki, Əli nə zamansa millətçi olub. Əsasən keçmiş millətçilər bu cür istehzalardan istifadə edirlər. Görəndə özündən soruşub dəqiqləşdirəcəm.
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “Qamlar da yalan deməz, onların dili ilə Xan Tenqri özü danışır”

Qara hekayəsini başlayan kimi narahat oldum. Əli millətçi Qırx mühafiz hekayəsində “qam”  sözünün mənasını yazır, amma bu solçu hekayədə guppuldatdığı “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes!” cümləsinin ucundan-qulağından da olsa tərcüməsini vermir. Əlidə də var axı beyin əzələsini nümayiş elətdirmək ;) Niyə elə gərək mən kitab oxuduğum yerdə bir də google-a girib ifadə axtarım?! Yaxşı deyil axı :) Bilməyənlər də yəqin baxıb biliblər ki, bu cümlənin mənası “Hədiyyə ilə gələn yunanlardan ehtiyat et” deməkdir. Yaxşı söhbətdir amma.
Qara -dakı gülümsəməyi bacarmayan qaqaş mənə James Krüss-ün Timm Thaler, or the traded laughter (Tim Taler, yaxud satılmış gülüş) povestini xatırlatdı. Əsas fərq Əlinin qəhrəmanının mənfi obrazda verilməsidir. Qara hekayəsini bəyəndim. Əli bir az zilə çıxıb xalanın kimdənsə hədiyyə ala bilmək barədə ehtimalını çox dramatikləşdirsə də, ümumilikdə yaxşı hekayədir. Bizim evə də gəlmişdilər bu hədiyyə paylayanlar. Bir az başqa cür idi işləmə prinsipləri amma. Əvvəlcədən ev telefonuna zəng edib deyirdilər ki, sizin nömrəniz şanslı nömrədir, nə bilim 100 nömrə arasında təsadüfən seçilib və s. və ilaxır.
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “Amma bu ağırlıq onu yormur, əksinə. yüngülləşdirir, gümrah edir”

Dəniz Kənarında adlı romantik hekayənin başlanğıcı məncə çoxlarına Çingiz Aytmatovun Dəniz kənarıyla qaçan alabaş əsərini xatırlatmış olar. Səhv eləmirəmsə orada da əsər epiqrafla başalayır. Orada da dənizə qarşı kin, sevgi hissləri var. Əlinin hekayəsində personajların adı yoxdur. Yaxşı ki, heç olmasa hekayəyə ad verib Əli. Bir də adətən öz əsərlərindəki personajlara, toponimlərə israrla ad vermək istəməyən müəlliflər bununla sanki oxucunun diqqətini başqa səmtə, “daha vacib” məqamlara yönləndirirmişlər kimi bir havada olurlar. Bu hekayədə heç o hava da yoxdur. Yəni mən hiss eləmədim. Yeri gəlmişkən, mərc gələrəm ki, hekayədəki “Gəl gedək N.-ya” cümləsindəki N Nabrana işarədir :) Hekayəni bəyənmədim. Zəif gəldi. Hansısa türk serialının xülasəsinə oxşayır.
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “Üzrxahlıq eləyir saxtakarxasına.”

Şəhər absurd hekayəsində Əli qəmli, amma sonu yaxşı görünən bir Qaravəlli yazıb. Yaxşı ki, elə də uzun deyil, yoxsa bu 7 rəqəmi ilə olan oyunbazlıq yorub əldən salardı məni :)
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “Axırda bir dibsiz vedrə tapdılar”

Yayı olmayan il hekayəsindəki danışan pişik mənə üç hekayəni xatırlatdı. Bulqakovun Master və Marqarita-sı, Hoffmanın Fındıqqıran və siçanlar kralı nağılı (düzdür bu nağılda danışan pişik yox, amma eynilə Əlinin pişiyi kimi yekəbaş-yekəbaş danışıb bozaran siçan idi) və bir də Ernest Thompson Seton-un  Xarabalıq pişiyi (Slum Cat). Xarabalıq pişiyi əsərində bir küçə pişiyinə qondarma əsil-nəcabət yapışdırılmasından söhbət gedir. Əlinin pişiyi də öz kökünü əsilzadələrə bağlayır. Əlinin pişiklərə olan sevgisin bariz nümunəsidir bu hekayə :) Deyim ki, bu cür yazılmış hekayələri xoşlayıram. Amma day belə qısa yox! Hiss olunur ki, bu hekayəni Əli daha həvəslə yazıb, tər töküb. Əminəm ki, özü də bəyənib bu yazısını.
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “Nəcib adamlar qapalı yerdə siqaret çəkmir”

Boyunbağı plagiat hekayə də xoşuma gəldi. Ya Somerset Maugham, ya da  Guy de Maupassant-ın eyniadlı hekayələrindən ilhamlanıb yazıb yəqin Əli. Yaxşı yazıb insafən. Ağ təpə sözünün mənasını bilmədim amma. Nigaran qaldım. Bunu da soruşacam Əlidən. Bir də nəyə görəsə Cəmşid Əmirovun Qara Volqa romanı da yadıma düşdü. Əsərin dəsti-xəttinə görə yəqin.
Bəyəndiyim cümlə: “Canınız çıxardı Nikolayı yıxmazdız!”

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Tempting New Year’s Resolutions

Originally posted on Dan Ariely:

A normal day in our life might look like this: The alarm clock buzzes. We hit snooze twice and steal another 16 minutes. As we get into the office, yesterday’s work crisis weighs heavily on our mind, but instead we log in and check Facebook for a while. After that, we dip in and out of meetings, chase our inbox, and start on a project that is due in 48 hours. And at 7:15, right before walking out the door, 25 minutes later than planned, we grab a sugar cookie from the communal jar to accompany us on the drive home.

A version of this routine is likely to be part of our grim reality most days, but there is one very important exception. On Jan. 1 many of us make all kinds of promises that “starting tomorrow, things are going to be different.” There is the old (2013 self)…

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