Me? Suicide?

31 05 2009

No way I support or approve or even contemplate suicide…. I’ve just gotten a new 22″ lcd monitor, man!!

Then I get this nugget from my WordPress Stats page:

30th May

Search terms used to find my blog*

I mean, man, wtf! people searching for “suicide with pills” and “wiki suicide” are coming here?? Lay off the traffic man; we don’t need such steenkin’ traffic. Don’t want no blood on my hands..pleeez meeester, pleeezz. Eye em inoceeent meester. pleeeez.

*cue theme music from Psycho*

Lay off killing, seriously. The only thing worse than a suicide death is a suicide survivor.

-FK

*Kids, don’t search for this @ home! Or anywhere else, for that matter. Suicide is a game we adults play.. now scoot!





Railway – More Oil – More Undersea Land

31 05 2009

MUSCAT – Gulf Arab finance ministers have asked Price Waterhouse Coopers to study how the region should share common customs revenues, the last step in implementing a regional customs union, officials said on Saturday.

Whilst this is a long-pending issue (it was decided in principle in 2003), but the load unbalance in terms of incoming ports and goods dissipation due to inland transport means that some formula has to be worked out to maintain who gets how much of the customs earnings. The obvious way is to note the custom levied per item, the final listed destination of the item and then pay that amount to that country annually/whatever. This would not only promote a common interface port, or the biggest ports (UAE, Sohar), but also reduce good-travel-costs within the GCC, due to decreased/no within-GCC customs.

Furthermore,

GCC finance ministers also discussed a common railway grid on Saturday, Hinai said without giving 
further details. One of the proposals presented to the ministers was to extend the GCC railway to the Yemen’s border, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

Gulf Arab states have been considering setting up a joint company to build a railway costing more than $14 billion linking the nations.

The 1,940-kilometre (1,205 mile) railway, which is envisaged to be operational by 2016, would allow diesel-powered trains operating at speeds of up to 200 kilometres an hour to carry passengers and freight between GCC countries, which are in the process of forming a regional economic bloc.

Cool… we shall implement a railway in 2016, which is already about 200 years behind the countries that matter, and to lay it on even more, they’re going to be ‘diesel’ trains! Woohoo!! We’re the richest economic bloc in the world, we’ve got the biggest natural resources reserves ever, we’re getting the world’s most delayed railway project, & we’re running diesel engines in the same area as the world’s greenest planned city (in Abu Dhabi). Nice!

Oman will raise its crude oil production to up to 830,000 barrels per day by the end of this year, oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy said on Saturday.

Nice.. more oil means more revenue right.

Al Rumhy said Opec’s recent decision not to change oil output was a “good one” and crude oil prices at $55-$70 a barrel were “reasonable”.

Nice, Nice. OPEC cuts output, which increases prices. Oman, not being a member of OPEC, boosts production. Since prices are already high, Oman sells oil at higher rates! Yippee!!

Oman has spent heavily on a variety of long-term programmes to enhance oil recovery from aging fields.

The efforts appear to have begun paying off with Omani output rising last year for the first time since 
peaking in 2001. Analysts feel that the quality and price of Oman’s benchmark crude oil would deteriorate as it steps up efforts to raise output from ageing fields.

Yup. Wonder what the next plan is?

And lastly,

MUSCAT — The Sultanate has submitted its request for expanding its continental shelf boundaries beyond the economic zone at the UN Maritime Office.

What? What does that even mean?

Oman wants to preserve its natural resources on the seabed and soil within the continental shelf zone below the neighbouring high seas opposite its shores, said Salim bin Abdullah Al Alwi, head of the Continental Shelf and Maritime Affairs Office at the Foreign Ministry.

It will be be followed by sea seismic surveys to support its right for the demarcation of its continental shelf boundaries.

The move will bring huge economic benefits in terms of exploiting the non-living resources such as minerals and oil.

Accordint to Article 76 of the UN Convention on Maritime Law for 1982, the continental shelf is beneath the deluged land extending 350 nautic miles from the baseline to overseas.

Ahh!

The continental shelf is the physically demarcated rock shelf which is the slope that rises and rises and leaves the water and starts becoming the land of the country. A few hundred miles into the sea, the rocky bed either shelves off (cliffs and such) or its physical thingies change (constitution, slope, rock-type) marking a transition from the continental shelf to the sea-bed.

So this baseline is considered a part of the country’s land for all intents and purposes (let’s put a post office there). The Maritime Law provides for 350 miles beyond this as part of the country itself, thus giving Oman ownership of all the fishes and sand and the goody goody things also, like the oil and the copper and the what-not.

Let’s make an underwater restaurant!

-FK





’tis getting hot in here… so take off (uh uh uh uh)

30 05 2009

My attempt at paraphrasing..*face palm*

After forgiving me for that headline, forgive me for destroying all credibility of my cellphone’s camera and my photo taking abilities by posting the following:

temp_thu28may

So, this was on Thursday at around 12:30 am-ish, returning from work. And whilst the temperature* was an ass-whooping 52 Celsius, I was more interested in the lowest temperature. According to the graphing abilities of our ride, from 12 am to about 7am it was 44 C, which, I might add, is not cool.

Imagine all the Europeans brought here for just one season, har har. If temperatures of 36 Celsius are a ‘exceptionally extreme heat wave’, I wonder if they’ll die just seeing the temperature readout.

Speaking of Europeans, what’s with the lack of water-activities here. I mean, in Britain, it got to 36 C, and half the country stripped to bare-minimum required clothes and splashed in fountains everywhere, why can’t we do that here? Is there some law against splashing in the fountain?

Not that we have many splash in, but we do have some nice ones. Esp. the ones at the Burj Al-Sahwa park, or Rose Gardens’ (not the waterfall though. I’m in awe of there those water pumps’ pumping power). And then there is the obvious lack of water parks, fresh water-knee high pools, openable fire-hydrants (would the water there be cool, or boiling like residental from-overhead-tank-tap water?) or even a simple pier that allows running and jumping into  reasonably deep water at the beach. God, we have no diving facilities at ‘any’ of the most-visited public beaches even. The cliff at Qantab used to do that, but I haven’t seen what’s become of it in the recent past, after all the development n all.

Booo… I guess it’s going to be Sultan center and City Center after all…. booring….

-FK

*temperature, like all other things, is variable as per many factors and methods that can be used for measuring it. The temp as displayed by my trusty (white-colored) ride is by no means incorrect, nor misleading, but it is not what would be called ‘standardized’ reading by the Met. dept. They have a set of procedures and processed that dictate where the thermometer can be placed, how high from the ground, in shade/in direct sunlight/in a windy area/in an area with lot of reflective surfaces/in and around a black box etc etc etc. If I had a black set of wheels, or heavily tinted glass, I’m sure it’ be a tad bit higher.





Rise of the Clones

30 05 2009

Whilst enjoying the sunny weather on a jaywalking jaunt through the environs of Wadi Kabir, I passed by the Toyota camp mosque that is there. Expecting to find a shortcut through the parking lot of the same, I stumbled upon a cache of spit-shiny 1985/1990 model toyota 4WDs.

I saw them from afar, went inside the lot, looked around for security, inspected the vehicles, their cleanliness, their having no sunshade or any protection from the sun. I even went ahead and peeked into one to see if I could discern signs of them being in regular use, but no. Either they were being driven by ghosts or the Omani drivers driving them were oh-so-clean as to be freaky.

tyta_lc_wk

And y’know, I made a point of driving by that mosque twice that week… they were still there and still untouched as always. For all I know they are still there.

Do they get up at night and move about, returning to mere cars in the mornings?

Hmm…

-FK





Pigeon-headedness

28 05 2009

Seems that in their astoundingly successful quest to achieve the lowest form of distorted truths and moral values possible, people living across the mountainous borders have once again numbed my senses and rendered me speechless, hapless, unable to move, respond or cry/laugh. The only possible response that I can evoke at a time like this are zangjillion thanks to the-powers-that-be that I am not living, forced to live, or planning to live in that country anytime in the foreseeable future.

A court in SA has ruled that the testimony of pigeon-breeders is inadmissable in court. And to justify the ruling, the esteemed personality added that this was because pigeon-breeding was an act of the people of ‘Lut. Google-translate, in all its wisdom tranlsates this to “…because pigeon-breeding was an act of sodomites”. Furthermore, the presence of these birds on rooftops reveals the presence of houses of sins!

God! Just typing that has again numbed half my neurons and threatened to fry the rest!!

Original and Google Translate Version:

شهادة مربي الحمام غير جائزة

Pigeon breeders testimony inadmissible

عبد الله المقاطي ـ ظلم Abdullah Almqati injustice
أكد لـ «عكاظ» عضو هيئة كبار العلماء الدكتور صالح السدلان أن شهادة مربي الحمام أمام القضاء غير جائزة، وقال «إن شهادة مربي الحمام مرفوضة شرعا؛ لأن اللعب بهذا الطائر كان من فعل قوم لوط، إضافة إلى أن القائم على هذه المهنة يعتلي أسطح المنازل ويكشف عورات البيوت»، لكنه استدرك «إن تربية الحمام للاستثمار شيء طبيعي ولا غضاضة فيها».

He told «Okaz» Member of the senior scientists, Dr. Saleh Alsdlan pigeon enthusiasts that the testimony inadmissible in court, and said «The Certificate of pigeon enthusiasts religiously unacceptable; play because this bird was the work of the sodomites, in addition to that based on these dot the rooftops of profession reveals SINS houses », he added« The pigeon is natural to invest in the no objection ».
I don’t fark on SA. Infact I seethe, burn, ponder and rant on my own, but I won’t fark on it. Because it is so skullnumbing that the people who wrestled control over the world’s most resource-rich country, who have control of the undividedly holiest places in the Muslim world, who are center to Mecca, Medina, the general area of hijaz, who were handed over the holiest relics of the fastest-growing religion in the world…. they are nimbnomcoops.. and that too an extent that is unmatchable. Infact, I believe that it is going to be a very close contest of moral stupidity between the Taliban and these people.
But then again, Bin Laden is a Saudi national!
My anger is not over this case of pigeon breeders, I just thought that I’d post this cause it was in the ‘funny’ category. But just thinking about the mechanisms that bring such people and such judgments to fruition are the cause of my neurotic aneurysm. Dead expats, torture cases, pedophilia, rampant social and moral vices, flagrant disregard for the law, stupid laws itself, corruption, homo-hetro rape…ergh! C’mon,  “Custodians of the Holy Mosques”?, I’d not let you custode my dead cat, let alone the Holy Mosques!
I must stop before I really do burst an artery.
-FK




Arabia without the bling!

26 05 2009

Our land of Oh-man is stealthily coming into notice.

The fallout from Dubai has left eh westerners craving for more of Alladin and Sindbad and the Prince of Persia (but sadly Iran is off-limits to them),  but the images of Ferraris and Porsches and multi-millions of dirhams have left them understandably fearful, so they find the next best place, Oman. SA is too strict for their liking, the balance of power and order-givers in Qatar and Kuwait makes them feel like how the dark little workmen in orange vests working about everywhere feel here.

Oman balances the order of things just right for them.

Here they can have a sip of soemthing nice (and maybe restricted) at the Intercon and then head out to Rustaq/Barka and snap a couple of dozen pics of an old crumbling fort, contemplate in the mountains of Quriyat, have a harrowing drive from Qantab to Hamriya via Yeti, enjoy a trip in an everything-equipped boat, scuba dive, return to have some Italian Burgraviato with Dr Pepper from Sultan Center and top it all off with a nice peaceful sleep at the Crowne Plaza. Bliss!! Earn 4000 rials a month and spend 3,300 of them enjoying!

This article in the TimesOnline hits the spot. Either the writer is someone who has lived here for sometime (which he has not) or he has experienced things at the helm, roughing it out, and so this tranquility and peace comes as a comfort to him.

Either way, I like it, esp the pic.

-FK





IR Scan @ Muscat Airport

25 05 2009

So, we have IR scanners at our airport. I knew that  there was ‘increased security’ and that ‘it takes longer to exit’ after departing the plane, but, as usual, details on what was happening were scarce. Now, KT has this suitably small news.

MUSCAT — Oman’s health authorities have advised citizens and residents visiting swine flu affected countries to exercise caution, such as washing hands frequently and avoiding congested places.

IR camera in the UK

An IR camera in the UK

The Health Ministry also said no cases of the H1N1 virus had been detected in the country. It added precautionary steps adopted by the Sultanate included installing thermal scanners at the Muscat International Airport.

The infrared scanners, which became operational last week, is set at 38 degree Celsius and records body temperatures of passengers as they enter the arrival lounge. Rashid bin Hamdan Al Hajri, Director of the Medical Technology Department at the ministry explained: “If a passenger’s body emits a temperature of more than 38 degrees, the scanner will show his image in red and set off an alarm.

The passenger will then be examined  at the airport, and if necessary, transferred to a hospital.

I like how such matters are thought of, planned, decided and implmented with minimum of fuss and hoopla that surrounds the same activities where citizen rights are a concern. No petitions, no discussions, no pointless to-and-fro. A very simple case of “Swine flu causes fever – fever is observed by body tempurature – it is detectable by IR camera – buy and install them”, and that’s it!

So, naturally, I wonder what the camera’s output is. Is it focused on the target’s head? Is it a body scan? Are there separate cameras for men and women? Is the output being seen separately by men officers and women officers? ‘Coz there is variety out there. There are sophisticated scanners and really neat ones that give some rad outputs (kinda nsfw).

But I don’t know, coz I haven’t been to the airport in, ahhh, a couple of months now. If I had, I would’ve managed to sneak a peek behind the counter. I even once got to see the whole thingy, as there was a foam shooter thingy that was nagging the dude and so he called me and showed me the X-ray display and asked me what that was. Since my usual eloquence was unable to convince him, he had the bag opened for a visual inspection, allowing me stand there all the time and gawk at the x-ray scanner… yiippee!! =)

-FK