Ismaili Muslim Art

Ismailism is the second largest branch of Shia Islam behind the Twelvers. (The difference: The Ismāʿīlī get their name from their acceptance of Ismāʿīl ibn Jaʿfar as the appointed spiritual successor (Imām) to Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq, wherein they differ from the Twelvers, who accept Mūsà al-Kāżim, younger brother of Ismāʿīl, as the true Imām.*)

I ran across this particular piece of Ismaili Islamic art and found it stylistically interesting:

Ismal lion

Famous Ismailis you may know include the liberal Canadian politician, Murad Velshi, and his son, CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent, Ali Velshi, known for his fair reporting.

Sorry for all the crazy diacritical marks. Wikipedia insists upon them.

Fred Thompson, Rest In Peace

Reading news could be a disease, it takes balance. One can certainly overdo it. Spending hours pouring through Drudge, CNN, Breitbart, or this blog (heh heh.)

But with Navy work, I have a limited window to check the internet. So when I saw Fred Thompson had died, I naturally thought of the Law and Order actor.

Fred Thompson, not Oregon State Football player

And I felt somewhat sad. He had a small, but devoted following known as FredHeads, not to be confused with fans of Cal Football coach Jeff Tedford, known as TedHeads. Or the real heads, the Deadheads.

Any death is a sad affair, but this Fred Thompson was actually an OSU Beaver, as I discovered later. A football player from Oregon State.

Fred Thompson, OSU Football Player

Oregon State football player Fred Thompson collapsed while playing basketball Wednesday evening at the Dixon Recreation Center on campus and was pronounced dead after being taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis.

RIP Fred. I never saw you play, but Cal fans always feared the Beavers. Y’all play some good football up there. . .

Bieber and Beever

Confession time: I do not know a single Justin Bieber song. Ni uno.

Nor would I recognize the post-tweener’s adolescent shriek from an audio line-up of similar sound criminals. (Number three, turn to the left. Check that. I mean: number three, please sing one octave lower. Damn boy, put some bass in yo’ face!)

When a co-worker mentioned his name, I confessed to her the above admission. That I was Bieb-ignorant.

So she sang me some song with Baby, Something-or-other in it. Maybe: Baby, Baby, Baby? She also told me that her 4-year old son absolutely loved to sing the tender ballad, much to her chagrin.

I have alluded to the Bieb before in this blog, because the Middle-Aged Kids on the Block (MAKOTB), David Cassidy, and the Hansens were otherwise busy. Plus, them dusty idols are long in the tooth, some very long.

And the Bieb’ster is so today, as in now. Not for me, but to millions of screaming, adoring fans who view him as the “it” teeny-bopper of his 1/4 generation. (A tweeny-bopster has a shelf-life. Most do not last a whole generation, not even half.)

Justin Bieber, Old Haircut, Wat up?

Why am I discussing this kid crooner whom I know nothing about, other than using his name as both a punching bag and a punchline? (Hmmmm, what’s with the over-abundance of punching going on here? Aggression issues, I may have them.)

Simply put, he changed his haircut. And he has some folks seriously up in arms over his chopped sidewalls. His signature bob is gone, replaced with a more edgier ‘do.

In the military, you are issued one haircut. It is called short.

And the Bieb’s older cut did quite not fit the regs. Do I need to count the ways? (Allusion to the Victorian poetic genius, Elizabeth Barrett Browning: How out of regs is your haircut, let me count the ways.)

Justin Bieber, New Haircut

What I can tell you, from intelligence gleaned and gleamed from the pictures posted here: he likes purple. In the first shot above, he is wearing a purple sweater from the fall 1982 Mr. Rogers collection.

And in the shot to the left (to the left, to the left), he is bathed in purple light, which rumor informs us is the most expensive light to bathe in. Per ten watts, it costs his management team (Bieber Unlimited Ltd.) approximately ten dollars for ten minutes. Like purple gold, it is. (Mnemonic rule of thumb to remember the cost ratios: 10 for 10 for 10. Or 10³.)

Still, his new ‘do caused some problemos. Most notably:

When Justin Bieber decided to change his hairstyle last February, Jay Foreman was not amused. The founder and CEO of toy manufacturer the Bridge Direct, estimates that Bieber’s small change cost Foreman’s company a big chunk of change, around $100,000.

His company makes dolls based on Bieber’s likeness. Not surprisingly, the dolls (we refuse to call them action figures) are a huge hit with kids. Foreman related his tale of woe to CNN Money.

A Tale of  2 Biebers: Bieber’s new hair and the Bieber Doll

Foreman was sitting at his desk when he heard shrieks coming from his co-workers. They’d just learned that Bieber had changed his trademark haircut, rendering the company’s hot-selling line of dolls outdated. Foreman had already begun manufacturing a new round of dolls with the star’s original haircut.

There, that is all. I have nothing left to say about the Bieb. But when researching this story, our hard-working research department came up with this:

Julian Beever, Montparnasse Railway, Paris

Located in front of the Montparnasse Railway Station in Paris, this chalk drawing was created by Julian Beever to commemorate the 10th anniversary of a 2001 accident at a petrochemical plant.

Now what does this have to do with our boy Bieb-o? Well, two things. One, both articles are from Yahoo. And two, their names are almost the same and I double-took (did me a double-take*) when I saw the Beev’s name.

And I thought is it possible that the Bieber kid actually has talent? Pretty cruel for someone who has never heard his music, huh?

Conclusion: Bieber and Beever, not the same person. One talented, the other: who knows? (I would say the jury is out, but the jury has never been in.)

*Truth be told, I did two double-takes. Otherwise referred to (in more respected blogs) as the seldom seen, highly prized quadruple-take. You ever heard of forsaken? This is known as fourtaken. . .