Archive for Fankaari

#1 – with a little help from my friends…

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no man’s land

i’m going to be posting the comic strip i’ve been working on

to start off, the drawing board i built from an old desk — the experience taught me the value of power tools (especially the jigsaw)

i think i breathed in too much sawdust, more than is good for me

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what if…? shakespeare doth spider-man

spider-man, spider-man! doth such all as a spider can.
webs he spins of any size;
robbers and ruffians he therein traps like sweet summer’s flies.
look out, look out! ye wanderers of afar!
for here doth the spider-man come-eth.

what of his strength? do lend me thine ear, bud.
for he doth have that fateful radioactivity flowing hither-thither throughout his blood.
canst he swing from a single, solitary strand of silky thread?
my dear, do turn thine eyes to espy all such as is overhead.
hey there, hey there! ye wanders of afar!
for there doth the spider-man go-eth.

in the chill of dark, dank and dready night,
wherewith hath been committed a most foul and rancid crime,
like the parting of black clouds doth impart a ray of heavenly light,
he arriveth indeed within the very labour of time.

spider-man, spider-man! the well amicable, the good neighbourly spider-man;
the temporal blessings of fame and fortune he is, as such, ignored,
for the virtue and nobility of his deeds are, indeed, his reward.
in his noble, pointed eyes, the very fibre of life is a grand large bang-up,
whithersoever there shall be a reprehensible hang-up,
thou shalt, in very deed, there find the spider-man!

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prank polished

i did my research the night before, there was a math tutorial in MP118 that began immediately after my lecture ended in MP203 on friday
i asked adam if he wanted to play a prank — on who? a whole class
so we made our way to MP118
there were several students waiting outside, including a girl from agincourt — who i nodded at (though it took her a while to recognize me)
i decided to open the door, and seeing that no one was in there, walked in
as i did so the girl from agincourt gave an expression that said “that works” and followed and asked “you’re not noaman are you?”
in a hushed voice i said, “indeed i am, but sshhh and watch”
the students entered the class and i went to the teacher’s table
i put my bag on it and proceeded to extract the math textbook and solutions manual (i don’t usually carry it around, but did so specifically for this purpose)
putting on my british accent i asked if this was the math tutorial class, students said yes, i said — i’m your TA
“this class is supposed to start ten minutes after the hour, but we’re here now on the hour — and that’s good, it’s good to be early, but we’ll start ten minutes after the hour from now on”
and before i even wrote anything a girl came up to me and said “i have a question for you — i know we have a quiz next friday, but that day is also my commencement, so do you know what i can do about that”
i simply said “you know what, i’ll get to your question in a few minutes, why don’t you take a seat”
then i turned to the class at large and said “my name is captain nomes” and wrote it on the board
“don’t ask why i have such an odd name, i have odd parents and i am odd myself”
then i wrote my ‘e-mail address’ under it — captain.nomes@math.utoronto.ca
i noticed several students copy down the information from the board
i then turned to the class and said “basically, this tutorial is me answering questions from the book, from your homework — the problem sets. i’m not going to be teaching anything from the course… so … are there any questions?”
a youth put his hand up and asked “yeah, i have a question about a problem in — i think it’s section 2.6 –”
i interrupted him and said “oh, i have a class plan and i’ll be going according to that — i was saying does anyone have any questions about the course in general?”
no one said anything
so for a few seconds i waited there, kept glancing at the door to make sure the real TA didn’t come in
then i asked the class, “how many of you have seen catch me if you can?”
and quite a few of them put their hands up
so i said “well you know the scene where he walks into the class and pretends to be the teacher, but he’s not really there teacher? well i’m not really your TA” and as i switched back to my normal accent smiles sprung up on many faces and i said “i’m actually a first year student in life sciences, and i’ve just played a joke on all of you” and erased “captain nomes” off the board
i then asked “how many of you believed me?” and none of them put their hands up “oh yeah, right, you miss came up and asked me a question about your commencement — btw, i think the answer is that you go and talk to mr. professor lam about it”
a student asked me why i didn’t use the real TA’s name — “i don’t think mr. roberto-gonzalez would be too happy” i said
i then started packing up and said “i’m not even in this tutorial, you’ll find them pretty useless, i skipped mine” and started walking out, adam walked out before me
and before i actually left i turned around, did a semi-bow and put my hand up
all the students were looking at me, some smiling
the agincourt girl was smiling throughout the joke and it was all adam could do to stop from bursting out in laughter

basically a repeat of the prank i pulled on tuesday, but this time better done

unfortunately i don’t think i’ll be able to do a repeat any time this year
because these were the first time the math tutorials took place

perhaps for the CHM138 and CHM139 tutorials as they start later this academic year

lots of fun, more fun than a barrel of monkeys

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… and so the pronunciation of “the cacophony” might sound something like “the cocaphony” or “the cock is phony.” This, naturally, would not faze several English speakers who would simply ask, “Well, what’s wrong with pointing out fake roosters?” But for several other anglophones the word would be scandalous and reprehensible. Its exclusion from the vernacular would be vigorously pursued. (Ironically, some might even vigorously pursue the exclusion of “vigorous.”) Soon, English will be reduced to a completely inoffensive language. Hence, words such as “gay” would be removed to appease heterosexuals and words such as “straight” would be removed to appease homosexuals. Not only that, words such as “homosexual” would be removed to appease sraights and words such as “heterosexual” would be removed to appease gays. Naturally dairy producers would stop calling homogenous milk homogeneous, as this could potentially provoke images of intelligent gays. Ban “provoke,” too.

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i should do something with monkey bhai

everyone loves him

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today was a multicultural assembly
and i was an MC

the first assembly went routinely enough
it was cool

the second, though, had a glitch
apparently one of the wires had broken and this was a key wire for the stage lights
i was hanging with the stage crew, and everything was ready for the show to go, except for those lights
so they told me to go down and tell the audience what was going on, i joked maybe i should rap (the previous day at rehearsals at i had rapped “jump around”)
they said, good idea, and that i should do it
so i told them, fine, turn on the music when i give the cue

then i went down to the pit
grabbed a mic, and alerted the audience as to what was going on with the lights
then i said “how many of you remember the house of pain?”
some cheers
then the music started, and there was more cheering
then i sort of started dancing — just moving to the music
and then i started rapping
and everyone was taken by utter surprise
virtually everyone i talked to was simply expecting me to introduce the song and that was it, they were really surprised when i started rapping myself
(also, imagine a brown guy in shalwar khameez rapping)

but it was great, i’d definitely do it again

in fact, they cut me off (they’d decided to go ahead without the stage lights, made some improv)
and so i had one whole section to go when they cut me off
i feel like i have unfinished business (I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE, MU HA HA)
but it was pretty cool

the audience seemed to enjoy it a lot

and the rest of the show was cool, too

so that was that

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chechnya on fire

i switch positions with my partner so that i can offer my morning prayers. set up in strategic positions around the outskirts of savedeno, we lie in wait. we understand that the russians are liable to attack the town at any moment.

completing my worship, i hear faint rumblings from afar. my partner and i immediately recognize the sounds: russian tanks. although the russians are aware that their bulky tanks are virtually useless in mountainous terrains, they nonetheless attempt to intimidate us. i immediately alert the other fighters using the walkie-talkies.

from the high cliff, we see many of our troops moving into position. we follow suit. creeping around the base of the cliff, i can see the sun commencing its rise. the russian troops are blissfully unaware of our presence. the bushes, trees, and hills lining their path provide us with the perfect cover.

one of our mines is set off. five more explosions add to the symphony of sounds of russian confusion. i hoist my bazooka to my shoulder. i hear a rocket-propelled grenade being fired. the russians are in a state of absolute disarray. i fire at their entourage; noticing their machineguns retaliate pointlessly, littering the sky with bullets. soon enough, almost as quickly as it had started, the battle was over.

we have won, it seems. we swarm onto the path to secure the spoils and to collect the surviving losers, if any. i grab a young russian and pull him up to his full height. looking into his eyes, i sense his fear. he has heard stories of how we treat prisoners. soon, a dark spot forms around his crotch. he is barely eighteen. disgusted, i turn him over to another soldier. he has little to fear. unlike the russians, we treat the prisoners of war well.

this war would not have concerned me had i not seen what i have seen. a child being raped in front of her mother, a father butchered in front of his son, among other such heinous atrocities. such events led me to believe that, as their brother in faith, it is my responsibility to aid them, defend them, and to fight by their side.

on the other hand, i wonder why the russians continue this war. as our brothers in afghanistan and our previous encounters have shown, they simply cannot win. their old are dead, so they send their young. the mothers of russia, the people of russia find this war to be useless. yet they still persist — the lives and properties of millions are worthless to them. i continue to wonder why the russians perpetuate this hostility.

i wonder why, and i fight.

- nomes
(a story about the freedom fighters in chechnya, this was written early in 2001 — the war in chechnya was then well under way, it has not yet ended.
estimates of the dead civilians vary from 60,000 to 150,000, the refugees of the conflict number well in the millions, and russia is given carte blanche to continue its atrocities…)

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i just saw john q

it is an amazing, amazing, amazing movie

one of the best that i have ever seen, hands down, no questions asked

go watch it, it is pure amazing

i wrote this, long before i actually saw the movie … but it relates very closely:

i’ll buss a cap on yo capitalist a**/
ripping off the ‘middle’ and the ‘lower’ class/
your arguments “for economy” reek plain crass/
punk lemme tell you this breath is your last

to the almighty dollar you’re a slave/
more than a valley full of gold you crave/
but will you take your billions to your grave?/
dog, my backhand’s gonna make you behave

where pornography and prostitution’s a billion dollar industry/
get a population hooked on s*** through intentional perjury/
companies lie and falsify for maximum nicotine delivery/
the guvmint’s in cahoots charges millions for the surgeries/

the poor can’t afford it so they get a loan/
can’t repay it in time so they sell their homes/
interest sky highs it so they’re stripped to their bones/
while the doctors in their copters on their mobile phones

voices of dissent are quickly quelled/
they’ll turn your life into a living hell/
if you don’t conform and do as they tell/
so you can’t ever be the one to ring the bell/

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check out the muslim superhero (i don’t know if he’s the first …), casbah — of my own invention

casbah 1
casbah 2

the first was a preliminary sketch of casbah, and his normal form (he, like everyone else, has the secret identity thing going)

He is of Berber descent and lives somewhere in North America (I haven’t decided yet). He gets superpowers somehow (I haven’t decided yet) and because of his new superstrength (and the fact he didn’t budge an inch when a whole bunch of evil thugs mugged him, and one of them said, “He’s like a %$*&ing castle!”) he decided to call himself Casbah, referring to the North African castle. His costume (which is further developed in the second sketch) is based mainly on North African styles, the cloak and the tunic, he has Persian riding boots, and the dagger is somewhat Arabo-Persian, whereas the double-bladed sword was inspired by the sword of the cousin of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Ali (ra).

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