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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Stunts on Love Street

I am guessing this guy was NOT at the RunQ8 Event last Saturday promoting Road Safety & Traffic Awareness.

The question that begets itself is simply, why? What is the point?

Motorcyclist stunts in Kuwait City
 

 

Random Stranger Asks for Money for a Taxi; Your Response?

A stranger comes up to you, out of the blue, and tells their story of how their car broke down and they need money for a taxi, they offer you their Civil ID as collateral for the money sometimes.

Has this situation ever occurred with you? If so, what was your response? Read on.

I have been in similar situations before, but as of late the act has become increasingly recurrent in Kuwait.

2 days ago as I was getting my work out done at the gym, a stranger approaches me (whilst on the elliptical machine) who recognizes me from a previous gym I attended. He told me he had made plans with a friend to pick him up after his work out, but said friend was no showing. At first he asked if I could give him a ride home, I was still not finished with my work out, also I had an errand to run after the gym. He then asks if I could loan him money to take a taxi. I told him, in all truthfulness, I had left my wallet in the car (I only remembered to take it out yesterday mind you).

Would you ever ask a stranger for some money?

I thought of this and came up with the following answer:

Now, each of us possesses a mobile, with numbers of relatives, neighbors, friends, colleagues, associates etc. i.e. people that KNOW us. If ever you are in dire straits and need assistance, financial or logistical, then it is a simple matter of calling up a friend and requesting assistance. This person knows you at least. As opposed to asking a stranger for money.

Some people counter argue by using Pride as a motive for not asking someone you know. If your pride prevents you from asking a favor from someone you know, then asking a stranger for the same is just an ignorant double standard.

I am all for helping people I know, strangers at times, but I remember two incidents that happened to me in Salmiya that left me cautious of aiding strangers in the streets:

1) A guy my age came up to me and asked for money to take a taxi. After I gave him some money and walked away, I returned only to find standing in the very same spot, approaching other strangers.

2) A woman (in an abaya) asked me for money in Salmiya as well, I pretended I did not speak Arabic, she responded in broken English, so again, I helped her out. I gave her some money, not what she had initially asked me for, and she actually asked for more.

Most Muslims will argue that you are rewarded based on your intent, and not on their intent. If a beggar is not sincere, it is not your fault. However, that is not the case.

Suppose you donated money to an organisation claiming it was feeding the poor of Sudan, whilst it was actually supplying weaponry to their tormentors. By not doing what you could have done to ensure that your money is going to the correct place, you helped take a life. Whether or not you will be punished for this, or whether or not it will weigh on your conscience is a moot point. That is YOUR money.

Hence, it is not simply a matter of blind faith when giving money to strangers. Exercise caution as well.

 

RunQ8 Review: The Fast & The Furious

Yesterday was that Sporty time of year again, where everyone donned their running shoes and headed out early morning towards Marina Mall to participate in the much anticipated (and once delayed) running event of Kuwait: RunQ8, promoting Road Safety and Traffic Awareness.

The weather was spectacular, the gathering crowd ecstatic to get their run on. By 8am congregations could be found near the start line, each group donning a unified color to assist in identifying each other as they ran; it was a sea of blue, white and orange t-shirts, with a few stragglers in other colors in between. These groups stood huddled together, informing each other of their strategy for winning the race, performing all sorts of warm ups to get their limbs ready for the grueling ordeal of running 10K straight in one shot.

Some runners were unable to make it as they were still in Dubai (Friday was the Dubai 10/42K Race), whilst some brave and brazen runners opted to return on earlier flights to perform a back-to-back 10K in two separate nations, only hours apart. They know who they are and I continue to salute and draw inspiration from you!

The route was simple, start off near Marina Mall and run all the way up towards the 3rd Ring Road, do a turn around and come back.

My GPS program (freely available for all mobile platforms here) put the distance at 10.23KM.

As the clock drew closer to 9am, the runners shuffled along toward the start line, awaiting the signal to start pounding the pavement.

The Police Officers were out in full force to guarantee the runners safety, and as the clock struck 9, the runners were off, some at a brisk pace, others as though shot out of a cannon, running full-steam-ahead towards their final destination.

I had had a plan, my music was always set to a certain playlist whose order I can adapt to in terms of exerting effort, relaxing, sprinting etc. however, much to my chagrin, and dismay, for the first time ever in the history of my usage of the iPod, the device decided to “shuffle” my music, breaking my concentration and upsetting my jogging vibe. We carried on regardless, steadfast in our aim to complete the race in under 45/50 minutes.

Little by little, you find yourself getting overtaken by friendly faces and smiling strangers, which to me is the entire point of attending such events. It breeds unity, there is nothing greater than words of encouragement voiced from a stranger, whether its a passing smile, a pat on the shoulder, a clap in your direction and sometimes a few words of encouragement.

At the 5K mark, I decided to demonstrate my “crazy runner” routine, opting to jump OVER the 5K marker (upon receiving my hand band) and running back the other way.

Here is where it got tricky, as you had to navigate against the oncoming throngs of people. The beauty of it was the high five’s you would receive from your friends who were running up towards the marker.

I kept stealing glances at my watch, wondering if I would ever be able to break my mental record of completing the race in under 45/50 minutes. Being unaware of the EXACT time we ran, I could only assume my watch was correct, hence I continued putting one foot before the other, fiddling with my iPod to attempt to resurrect some of my power songs.

A friend from the Nike Running Club came up to me, I used him as my marker and would always speed up as soon as he came closer, attempting sprints.

Finally, the fates turned in my favor and one of my favorite songs decided to grace my aural canals, giving me that all-too-familiar adrenalin boost I desperately needed.

As the sky-bridge of Marina Mall came into view, all the runners knew that they were a few mere meters away from sweet victory. Another friend came close and informed me that we were only 300M away from the finish line.

That was the final motivation I needed to dig deep and begin my final sprint.

I spotted a runner in blue ahead of me, closing in on the finish line.

Not on my watch! I said to myself. Summoning ever final bit of strength, I ran ahead to overtake him, and as the aids at the finish line pulled it taught to give the runners that amazing feeling of running through the finish I line, I opted instead, to give an encore to my crazy runner performance, and jumped OVER the finish line, FORWARD ROLLED upon landing to land right beneath the medal givers feet so to speak. (if anyone reading this was present at the finish line at roughly 9:48-50ish, and witnessed or captured this act on any form of media, please do let me know!)

Timing: 48mins44secs!

Actually, the 10K itself was completed in 47mins41 asp my GPS Tracker:

K by K breakdown of speed, distance and time

Hence, my official 10K time was 47mins42secs.

The celebrations at the end were amazing, with everyone walking away with a smile on their face. The awards ceremony saw much confetti being blown into the air, and I kept trying to follow it in order to take a picture in its midst.

Raising awareness for a good cause, maintaining health and wellness and also meeting old friends (and making new ones), all-in-all, RunQ8 was a great success, leaving us with a pleasant vibe that is bound to carry forward until the next RunQ8 event. Many thanks go towards the organizers, the sponsors and the volunteers who made the day run smoothly.

Jazeera Airways Amenity Price Hike

They say there are two absolutes in life; death and taxes.

Add a third item to that list – prices.

If economics has taught us anything, it is that prices are downward inflexible, meaning they will rise definitely, but will rarely dip down.

Jazeera Airways is no exception to that rule.

For long they have been the budget carrier of Kuwait, expanding their reach slowly but surely.

Booking on Jazeera recently, I found out two price differences:

1) Selecting a seat, which once cost 1KD now costs 1.5KD (50% increase)

2) K-NET fees of 200fils, before K-NET payments were FREE.

A small change can have a big impact later; lets assume a flight has 100 seats available, and everyone selected theirs, whereas before they would have made 100KD, they are now making 150KD.

A profit out of “thin air”.

Ass Sniffing in Kuwait

Some people wake up in the morning, open their eyes at the crack of dawn as the rays of sunlight attempt to penetrate their dark, black curtains, take a big, long whiff of the morning air and proclaim out loud to themselves, “today, I am going to sniff some ass. I am going to sniff so much ass I will make dogs jealous”.

And then they go about their daily morning rituals of washing their face, bathing in the blood of young kittens and puppies, kicking babies on the way out of the door toward work.

Now they are ready to sniff ass.

There are plenty of ass sniffers in Kuwait. One cannot tally the precise quantity, although I heard on the grapevine that it is numbering in the high thousands.

None are spared, all asses are fair game on the road.

Here is an example of ass sniffing:


This of course, is not a local example, however, the video above illustrates the act of ass sniffing, for that is the best description of this insane, stupid act.

Tailgating, colloquially referred to by some naive folk as “bumper kissing“, is the act of sticking the front of your car (i.e. the nose) to the back of the car ahead of you (i.e. its ass) in order to force that driver to move out of the way so that they may speed to their hearts delight and content.

What has become a way of life in Kuwait, is an offence in Dubai, where motorists could be fined Dh400 (roughly 33KD) for violating safe distance traffic rules.

So instead of telling your friends, “I Was driving down the Gulf Road and some fool in a giant black Yukon came and kissed my bumper”, you tell them, “I was driving down the Gulf Road and some fool in a giant black Yukon came and sniffed my ass!”
Sounds snazzier, doesn’t it? Puts the blame on them, doesn’t it?
Ass sniffing… Don’t do it.

Animal Lovers & Enthusiasts have new Friends in Kuwait

As I was driving down the 30 one day, I spotted a rather unique van ahead of me.

image

Judging by its size, I am guessing that this is a well funded operation.

image

image

In case the images are not clear, the website reads:

www.animalcare.com.kw

Hotline: 5001 5757

The website leads to a dead-end, however they do have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Care-Kuwait), their info is as follows:

Animal Care is a company founded to meet the needs of pets and their humans. We currently offer: PET PRODUCTS – online & delivered to your door (www.animalcare.com.kw) GROOMING BOARDING TRAINING Our goal is to meet all your pet-care needs.

The Golden Rule at the Gym

People go to the gym for different reasons. Some are ordered by their physicians in order to abstain from a life of obesity and sloth, prolong their expected life span and live a more healthy life. Others are there to attain the ultimate physique, which is relative and differs from one person to the next.

Imaginary Vs. Reality

Overall, we exercise for different reasons. However there is one golden rule that must be followed during working out.

Never, ever, ever, ever look someone in the eye in the mirror as they are a) working out or b) admiring themselves. It is extremely awkward to the nth degree, like walking in on a couple making out except in this case its one person making out with themselves (per se).

By making direct eye contact with these individuals, the self admiration connection is indirectly transfered to your person, making the act appear as come hither to . Not a good look in the gym, surrounded by sweat and hormones.

The sad fact is that you will be seeing something different than what that person is seeing, as illustrated above, hence the reality you see coupled with the imagination that person sees will cause a cornucopia of awkwardness to explode right before your eyes that may be very damaging to you.

You have been warned.

you DO NOT want to look a person in the eye with this look on their face

Latest Facebook Health Scare HOAX – Silver Nitro Oxide Cancer

No matter how many times these chain letters are released, people always find a way to share them under the pretense that they are saving the lives of their fellow friends.

True, their intentions are noble, however that does not dispel the fact that their actions are naive, it takes only a few milliseconds to run a Google search on the issue, and voila, the first results that populate the ever growing list point towards the health scare being a good old fashioned HOAX.

What is it you ask?

Silver Nitro Oxide.

According to this health alert, which is circulating vigorously via social media and email, an organization identified as the Medical Research Authority of the US (in our case, Dubai Health Authority)

The creator is smart - made a special one for us Middle East Folk

has discovered that the removable coating on scratch tickets can cause skin cancer. The message claims that a substance contained in the coating called ‘silver nitro oxide’ is the cancer causing agent. The warning advises people against using their fingernails to remove scratch ticket coating because of this supposed cancer risk.

However, there is no credible support whatsoever for the claims made in this supposed health alert.

The coating on scratch tickets is not made from a substance called ‘silver nitro oxide’. In fact, I could not find any evidence that such a compound even exists. There are two chemical compounds with similar names. One is Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, which has been used as an anesthetic in medical procedures since the 1840’s and is also used in rocketry and to enhance engine power in motor racing. The other is Nitric oxide, a diatomic gas that plays a role as a cell signaling molecule in mammals and is also used as an intermediate in the chemical industry. Neither of these compounds is used to create the coating on scratch tickets. In fact, the coating is created from specialized latex or UV inks. A technical article about the material used in such coating published on Quora notes:

The material is known as a UV ink. Not the ink that becomes visible under UV light as is referred to on Wikipedia, but an ink that ‘dries’ under UV radiation.

UV inks are essentially a mixture of colored monomers and oligomers (the individual chemical units that eventually form ‘polymers’ ) and reaction ‘photo-initiators’ that become active when exposed to UV radiation. The monomers and oligomers form a viscous liquid, thus serving simultaneously as the ‘pigment’ and ‘solvent’ of a conventional ink; they do not need an organic solvent as a fluid base, and do not ‘dry’ in air like typical solvent-based inks. On exposure to UV light, the initiators set off the polymerization reaction, rapidly cross-linking the monomers and oligomers into a solid ‘plastic’ polymer, in a process known as ‘curing’. This polymerization process also inspired the alternative naming of UV inks as ‘latex inks’.

The production of scratch-off tickets is a two-step process – a substrate is covered by a thick, smooth layer of UV ink coating, and then printed with a special ‘scratch-off’ black/silver UV ink (scratch-off inks can sometimes be solvent-based ). An optional third step could involve printing text or images over the scratch-off area, with yet another type of UV ink.

There is no mention of a chemical called silver nitro oxide being used in these UV inks. Nor are there any credible reports that suggest a link between inks used on scratch tickets and cancer.

Furthermore, there are no credible references to an organization known as the Medical Research Authority of the US or in Dubai.

Scratch tickets of various types are these days just about everywhere. On any one day vast numbers of people in dozens of countries are likely to be happily scratching away, often using their fingernails as scratching tools. So, of course, any credible link between scratch ticket coating and cancer – even a tenuous one – would have certainly been widely publicized by the main stream media and medical authorities. In reality, there is nary a trace of such media or medical reports.

Thus, this supposed health warning is nothing more than one more sad bit of utterly pointless Internet junk and certainly should not be reposted.

set your mind at ease, this will not kill you. At least not physically, financially though that is a different story!

Strictly for the Ladies – Burlesque Classes tonight 8pm at the BIVT

This is Burlesque Dance, a new form of entertainment for the ladies in Kuwait, brought to you by the talented Mr. Clinton Shalkoff.

Fancy trying something new? Not afraid to learn? Then be at the British Institute for Vocational Training by 8pm today with a positive attitude and prepare to be amazed!

No experience? No problem! No time like the present to learn.

Classes are ladies only, 6KD per session.

For more information email q8.dance@gmail.com

Mentally Challenged Vs. Retarded – Know the Difference

Two words that seem similar but in fact are quite different: Mentally Challenged vs. Retarded.

In this day in age where words are used to hurt rather that help, to hinder rather than heal, it is very important to choose your words carefully, so as not to offend anyone.

Hence, allow me to explain the usage of the word “retarded” in my “Name & Shame” post yesterday, against people who park in handicapped zones.

“Retarded” on its own is a very derogatory term, and should not be used to describe people who are mentally challenged. Some of them go on to lead very fruitful lives, and are contributing members of society, despite their handicap. A handicap that they overcome, a challenge that they overcome. Therefore, they are not retarded. They are not handicapped, they are handicapable.

People who know the difference between right and wrong and yet choose to do wrong are retarded, such as those that park in spots designate for the handicapped.

As the following picture explains, this is the difference between mentally challenged and retarded:

Mentally Challenged Vs. Retarded

I believe the woman below is Snooki from the Jersey Shore.

I apologize to anyone who may have taken offense by my usage of the term yesterday, however, I meant no disrespect as I have the highest level of respect for the mentally challenged, and believe they have the ability to overcome those challenges. It is those who are not challenged that commit grievous breaches of morality that I have zero tolerance for.

A little understanding makes a huge difference.

 

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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