Friday, November 11, 2011

Martial King of Zhou Costume

Backstage at Desert Monologues, about to perform as Ji Fa delivering the first part of The Great Declaration

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dubai Airport Flash Mob Dance

Organized as a marketing gimmick for commercial purposes, but still worth a watch.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yanni Live in Dubai

The tallest giant in music performs next to the tallest building in the world.

I am a bit envious of the people who live in the buildings around the park, as they got a super view of the performance at zero (extra) cost. Still, at least I managed to get a ticket, considering how fast they got sold out. Apparently, all the restaurants around the park island were fully booked that night as well, as fans decided that they would at least get a distant glimpse from their tables there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oktoberfest Dinner

Had an awesome Oktoberfest dinner at the Brauhaus in Jumeirah Rotana.

And I've never seen cowbells being played before. Regardless, this is an impressive performance.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dark Chocolate Fondue of Blueberries

Coarsely crushed ~70% dark chocolate in a fondue pot with a water intermediate, berries chilled short of freezing

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Laksa: A Taste of Singapore

Laska paste, coconut premix and sambal chili kindly procured and transported from Singapore by Kitmeng. Prepared with locally-sourced noodles, bean sprouts, tofu fried at home, and fishcake.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Serkal Art Night 2011

A rare bit of luck. 8 galleries in one compound opening new exhibitions at night at the same time.

And a special treat of Chinese contemporary art:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

BBC News - Electric motor made from a single molecule
Researchers have created the smallest electric motor ever devised.

The motor, made from a single molecule just a billionth of a metre across, is reported in Nature Nanotechnology.

The minuscule motor could have applications in both nanotechnology and in medicine, where tiny amounts of energy can be put to efficient use.

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?
Ninety-three percent of Finns graduate from academic or vocational high schools, 17.5 percentage points higher than the United States, and 66 percent go on to higher education, the highest rate in the European Union. Yet Finland spends about 30 percent less per student than the United States.

Read more:

Richard Dawkins Shows His Sweet Side

And he didn't take even a little bite.

Mars Loops the Loop

Brian Cox explains an astronomical phenomenon that baffled astronomers for centuries until heliocentrism ... using a stick and some rocks!

Physics All-Stars (and one Actor) - The Quantum World

Morgan Freeman, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Richard Feynman, and Frank Close (with a little help from our old friend auto-tune ... hey, at least they don't pretend that they sing)

If it doesn't work, use the direct link.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Youth smoking ants to get high
(The National)
More than a third of children and some as young as 13 have smoked the native samsum ant as a substitute for illegal substances such as marijuana, a senior UAE health official has warned. Smoking the red ant gives a similar sensation to smoking marijuana and sniffing glue because of the high concentration of formic acid found in the ants.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

China 2011 Videos

I did not take a lot of videos in China, but here are a few of the ones I did take.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why Pierre de Fermat is the patron saint of unfinished business
( "Fermat's Last Theorem, jotted in the margins of an ancient Greek mathematical text by Pierre de Fermat in 1637, vexed mathematicians for 358 years before it was solved. "

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?
( "This sort of decision fatigue can make quarterbacks prone to dubious choices late in the game and C.F.O.’s prone to disastrous dalliances late in the evening. It routinely warps the judgment of everyone, executive and nonexecutive, rich and poor — in fact, it can take a special toll on the poor. Yet few people are even aware of it, and researchers are only beginning to understand why it happens and how to counteract it."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hyper-Realistic Acrylic Body Painting
(My Modern Metropolis) Innovative DC artist applies acrylic paint on real people to make them look like they're in a painting. You HAVE to see this!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lunch at Burj al Arab

2011 lunch visit to the Al Muntaha overhanging restaurant on the 27th floor of the Burj al Arab with friend (and fellow budding comedian). Thanks out to Kitmeng for arranging this.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Boy Meets Girl - Waiting For A Star To Fall (1988)

"I wish I didn't feel so strong about you
Like happiness and love revolve around you ..."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Worst. Party. Ever.
A group of girls are gathered at a home in Iraqi Kurdistan where they are told there is a party. In reality, their mothers have brought them to a midwife who will circumcise the girls. Female circumcision is a rite of passage for most girls in Kurdistan. It is meant to “cleanse” them of improper or sexual thoughts and actions.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nice illustration of Zhang Qian (张骞) reporting to the Han court after escaping Xiongnu captivity

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Extended Pun List

  1. A backward poet writes inverse.
  2. A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
  3. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
  4. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
  5. A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
  6. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  7. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
  8. A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.
  9. A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
  10. A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.
  11. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
  12. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
  13. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
  14. Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
  15. Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
  16. Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
  17. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
  18. Every calendar's days are numbered.
  19. He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
  20. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
  21. I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  22. If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
  23. In democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism it's your count that votes.
  24. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
  25. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.
  26. Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
  27. Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
  28. Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
  29. Santa's helpers are subordinate Clauses.
  30. She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.
  31. Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
  32. Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.
  33. The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
  34. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
  35. The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
  36. The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.
  37. The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
  38. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
  39. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
  40. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  41. To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
  42. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
  43. When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
  44. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.
  45. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
  46. When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
  47. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
  48. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  49. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Art Dubai 2011

Apart from the grand exhibit at Madinat Jumeirah, Art Dubai also sees many of Dubai's standing galleries get in the spirit with special exhibits. Taking the Art in the City's "ArtBus" this year (on both routes), I was able to see much more of the latter than I did last year. And of course, I could not miss the Bastakiya fringe art special (re-branded this year as the Sikka Art Fair). Select scenes and moments follow ...

My Art Dubai "artist tour guide" in his "cantordust" alter ego (note the cardboard box "costume"(note also the facepalm)). Last year, it was the Scifi Wahhabi - I seem to always get the cryptic ones. Not that I'm complaining.

Arabic calligraphy in red soap

Metal cast bike and rider

The proposed Abu Dhabi mastaba ... I remember this from IIT

Charcoal drawing, I think, but great effect with the lines

Acrylic stool thingy

I like the style in this one

Zero gravity termite mound

Happy happy, joy joy (the artist, Yue Minjun, is well-known)

Sharp pop art lines at Opera Gallery, DIFC

Restroom symbols at Pavilion, Downtown Dubai

There's a whole room full of these

Banana Surfer (we're out of silver)

I'm a Piscean, by the way

Alleyway sign on the way to the Sikka Art Fair

Panel discusses social media art promotion

Bronze fish mobiles at Bastakiya

Excellent choice of subject

Thermostat cosy

XVA's iconic doll

Nabil Amarshi's People Playing Music performs in the Bastakiya square

Letter to an Honorable Woman

Dear Jane Roe,

Upon reading about your terrible ordeal in Ghaziabad, I was, like many others, saddened and outraged. I cannot say that the circumstances are unprecedented, unfortunately. I am reminded of the similar case in nearby Noida almost exactly two years before, and of one in Navi Mumbai in 2007. Yes, for a woman to pursue her own happiness is seen by some as a sin. Retribution has to be threatened. And occasionally, dealt.

While you should have filed a report and gotten a rape kit done immediately, we can forgive that oversight thanks to the phenomenal stupidity of your assailants, who decided to rob you and your friend as well, thereby directly establishing a link between them and the scene of the crime. Your friend eventually gave in and reported the incident to the police. From all I have read, he, the police and your father are all behind the case against those men.

Your response? "The police cannot restore my honor"

Your honor?! Woman, who gives a flying fsck about your honor? First of all, we don't prosecute murderers to bring the murdered back to life. Secondly, if you were such a devoted subscriber to the honor/shame model of traditional society, you would be sitting at home waiting to get married off, instead of getting an education, getting a job and meeting internet lovers in the fields. While I fully support your right to do so, others clearly don't. "Tony" and his boys sure as heck didn't - as in the other cases I mentioned, these backward patriarchalists decided that "loose women" like you were outside the social Laxman-Rekha that supposedly protects "good girls" from the depredations of people like them.

Sorry, but you can't cross that line and suddenly decide to hop back when you get cold feet. Tony boasted that he was counting on your cowardice, and you know what? You proved him right. In the meantime, a woman call center worker from the Northeast was subjected to another horrific experience not too long before, and despite being a "visible minority," she cooperated with the authorities to bring those responsible to justice.

But you had a winning case practically dropped in your lap, and there you were wringing your hands and threatening suicide over matters of "honor." I wrote "had" because while you were playing the tragic Lucretia, the charges were dropped. Congratulations.

You know, Tony & Co. are unlikely to stop with you. Thanks to your hasty retreat, they and their ilk will be further encouraged to target "loose women" for the crime of being out on a date, or working late, or just being an independent outgoing person. Their victims' suffering will be in no small measure on your head. I hope you can live with that.

Yours Honorifically,



Friday, March 4, 2011

Taste of Dubai 2011

March is a happening month for Dubai, and what better way to hit it off than with Taste of Dubai. My favorite nibblefest annually turns Dubai Media City amphitheatre park into a smorgasbord of delicacies from all over town.

With DMC towering all around, chefs and restaurants offer their distinctive culinary icons in sample-sized but hearty morsels.

VIP Lounge

One of the fine dining courts

Jun Tanaka demonstrating preparation of venison and monkfish (audience allowed to sample, yummy-yum-yum)

ToD version of Iron Chef

Satay Gai for starters

A bit of Peking Duck

Grilled grouper cooked savory with vegetables

Scotch Egg

Vegetable kofta with rice

Braised lamb with beans and mash

Beef cheek with horseradish