April 22, 2011

While I Was Trying to Organize . . .

As I was off today, no tires were burning in Beirut, and the weather did not permit a beach visit or a picnic, I thought of organizing the pictures on my computer.

My computer frequently stops working. Some banging, pushing lots of buttons at the same time, and turning it on and off 16 times, usually revives it again. But I fear one of these days it will die and not wake up anymore. And thus I wanted to move everything to secondary drives.
Is somebody laughing out there? You do not call them drives? Okay, they may have another name.
But the point is, I was planning on organizing my picture files. I must have a million of them because I’ve been making pictures (in Holland you ‘make’ pictures, in the US you ‘take’ them, yes, I am aware of that distinction) since 2000 if I may believe my files.

A Sea Anemone, taken on the coast of Beirut/AUB Beach (underwater, that is)
And so I stumbled upon this picture. It’s one my hubbie took, as he’s the avid diver in the family. I get easily side-tracked, and so while I was supposed to organize the pictures, I started surfing the web for ‘anemones in Lebanon’. And I stumbled upon this link; 'Metal concentrations in certain coastal organisms from Beirut.'

A certain Mr. Shiber did some research on metal concentrations in sea creatures on the coast of Lebanon, way back in 1979, and found that Trace metal concentrations were determined in six species of intertidal organisms common to the coast of Ras Beirut, Lebanon. Lead, cadmium, nickel, iron, and zinc were highest in the polychaete, Hermodice carunculata, but the eggs of the sea urchin, Arbacia lixula, had similar iron levels and the sea anemone, Actinia equina, had zinc concentrations which also approached levels in the polychaete. ( . . .) Sewage, garbage, industrial and agricultural waste materials all enter the Mediterranean from Lebanon without prior treatment, which along with increased land erosion, probably contribute substantially to the availability of metals to the biota studied. It is suggested that more work on trace elements in coastal organisms from the eastern Mediterranean basin be undertaken before any conclusive statements are made. Such work should also investigate the various physiological and biochemical factors involved in metal uptake and retention by each species.
I wonder. Did anyone ever take this guy’s advice and do more research on this? I don't know  much about metal concentrations, but I have the feeling it is not a good thing.  I

 wondered who Mr. Shiber was, and so while I was supposed to organize the pictures, I started surfing this ‘Shiber’. It seems Mr Shiber researched a whole range of marine animals here in Lebanon some 30 years ago. All with equally disconcerting conclusions. And this was some 30 years ago!!! The environment didn’t get any better in the meantime, now did it? What else did they have on this site, I thought to myself.
 And so while I was supposed to organize the pictures, I started surfing this site for research on Lebanon.

And that’s when the real fun started. I love reading the research abstracts. Thank god for abstracts, I was never able to get any further than the abstracts, anyway. What about Assessment of Community Noise Problem in Greater Beirut Area, Lebanon? "The main objective of this paper is to assess the sources and possible impacts of the community noise problems in Lebanese urban areas, particularly the Greater Beirut Area". Or Genetic Disorders in Lebanon? Here is a good one; Dinosaurs in Lebanon;  a brachiosaurid sauropod from the Lower Cretaceous of the Jezzine District.  Or this one; Social class and mental illness in urban Lebanon . A statistically significant association is found between class position as determined by estimated family income and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders.” This is a research from 1969.

I particularly liked this one: Computer self-efficacy of university faculty in Lebanon.  “Research indicates that computer self-efficacy (CSE) may be one determinant of who uses technology and who does not. A survey of education faculty at the Lebanese University in Beirut, Lebanon, conducted in 2006, revealed varying degrees of CSE ...) Although other barriers may deter the implementation of technology in teaching, strategies and techniques for increasing CSE should be developed.” No, you don’t say? I bet they all get a job at that ministry.

There’s even an interesting botany book review; The great books of Hashish. Yes, it features Lebanon. How about some earth quake research? This one  is about the northern sector of the Dead Sea transform fault system (DSTFS), and some earthquakes that hit the region in the 12th century. The 1138–1139 and 1156–1159 destructive seismic crises in Syria, south-eastern Turkey and northern Lebanon

I didn’t even now there was a Dead Sea transform fault system (DSTFS). Maybe I should look that up. Oh no, I can’t. I was supposed to organize the pictures on my computer. And look at me now; I ended up blogging. I haven't organized one single darn picture! And all because I stumbled upon this one picture. And I’ve got thousands and thousands and thousand left to go . .

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