Saturday, May 23, 2009

Swine flu: it's here

Yeah. The title says it all.

Details: not one, three or five, but EIGHTEEN soldiers on U.S. bases have tested positive for the swine flu virus. As of today [May 23, 2009], 12022 confirmed cases of swine flu in humans in over thirty countries have been recorded, with 86 deaths attributed to the disease.

So far, it is believed that the virus is contained within the bases and has not spread to the civilian populace.

Yeesh. In times like these, I'm sure we're all hoping that nothing major happens. Not that we need any more problems here or anything.

For the full article, visit the following link:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Change in the air?

It's official: we have four female members of parliament. Aseel Al-Awadi, Salwa Al-Jassar, Massouma Al-Mubarak and Rola Dashti will be going down in Kuwaiti history as the first women to ever join the National Assembly. This is truly iconic in any democratic system, seeing that Kuwaiti women were only given suffrage and the right to run for parliament back in 2005.

Four. أربع

Women. نساء

And what's more: the elections have revealed a decrease in the number of Islamists elected into parliament, from 21 in the last session to 11 this time around. An increase in Shi'a Muslim MPs has also been noted, jumping from five to nine representatives.

Is this a sign? Maybe people aren't liking the fundamentalists anymore? Is Kuwait bound to get better from this point?

While I can't stress how much of a turning point this is for us as Kuwaitis and Arabs, I don't think our problems will be solved just yet. According to Reuters, Kuwait still needs to approve a five-billion dollar economic stimulus package which was rejected by the previous parliament, as well as work together with other government figures to push major infrastructural projects forward [including the City of Silk in Subiya and Kuwait's largest hospital, the Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Hospital in South Surra]. Still, the fact that we actually have female MPs this time around should hopefully pave the road to a different [better?] Kuwait.

In the meantime, all I'm worried about is whether or not Aseel Al-Awadi and Rola Dashti will be harassed by the few fundamentalist MPs to wear hijabs.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Floating. Bed.

No, you're not seeing things.

That's a bed. And yes, it's actually floating.

If we're going to get technical, it's not floating as much as it is magnetic interaction. The brainchild of Dutch designer Janjaap Ruijssenaars, this sleek slab essentially hovers 40 cm above ground due to repelling forces found in magnets on the underside of the bed and on the floor directly below. To ensure that the slab doesn't fly off or fall to the side [in case you, uh, roll around while you sleep, wink wink], this little number is discreetly tethered to the ground in each of its four corners. It can support up to 2000 pounds [approximately 909 kilograms] in weight while suspended, so you can still defy gravity even if you're on the heavy side.

Could this ingenious innovation be the possible berth of the twenty-first century? If you've got 1.5 million dollars to spare, you could get one right now and have it put up in your own room. [I'd suggest waiting the recession out and seeing how far that'll whittle the 1.5 mil down. Maybe we'll find one of these in the back room at the local co-op for 10 KD. Oh, black market.]

1.5 million? Floating bed? Imagine the possibilities.