Technical Issues *updated*

Posted by Mark

Is anyone facing any technical issues while loading the website? By technical issues I mean timeouts or even the page not loading right? Let me know.

Updated: Technical issues have now been fixed and posting will resume as normal. If you do continue to get “timeouts” please let me know.


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Kuwait vs Worldwide Obesity Levels

Posted by Mark

scale

According to a new study that was published in the the Lancet medical journal, the world is getting fatter. Since the study first started back in 1980 the largest increase in the rate of obesity were in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Honduras, and Bahrain for women, and in New Zealand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the USA for men. I downloaded the PDF of the study and I’ve put together a top 10 list of the highest obesity rates in the world:

Obese Girls < 20 Years
1- Kiribati 36%
2- Federated States of Micronesia 32.4%
3- Samoa 29.6%
4- Kuwait 23.3%
5- Libya 22.1%
6- The Bahamas 20.2%
7- Uruguay 18.1%
8- Soloman Islands 18.0%
9- Qatar 15.5%
10- Syria 15.4%

Obese Boys < 20 Years
1- Samoa 23.7%
2- Kiribati 22.9%
3- Qatar 18.8%
4- Kuwait 16.7%
5- The Bahamas 15.9%
5- Lebanon 15.9%
7- Libya 14.5%
8- Federated States of Micronesia 14.5%
9- Syria 13.9%
10- Israel 13.9%

Obese Women ≥ 20 Years
1- Samoa 69.1%
2- Tonga 67.2%
3- Kuwait 58.6%
4- Federated States of Micronesia 57.9%
5- Libya 57.2%
6- Kiribati 55.5%
7- Qatar 54.7%
9- Marshall Islands 49.1%
10- Egypt 48.4%

Obese Men ≥ 20 Years
1- Tonga 52.4%
2- Samoa 45.9%
3- Qatar 44.0%
4- Kuwait 43.4%
5- Kiribati 39.3%
6- Marshall Islands 31.9%
7- USA 31.7%
9- Federated States of Micronesia 31.3%
10- The Bahamas 30.9%

Sadly Kuwait made it into the top 5 of every list. Although no countries had significant decreases in obesity, I would be interested to see if Kuwait’s obesity rate has at least slowed down over the past few years. Everyone is generally more health conscious today than they were a few years ago (me included) and there are a lot more gyms and healthy food options available now as well. You can download the full study from [Here] (signup required)


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

Thursday
Movie Night: “The Message”
SHREK The Musical
Exhibition: 50 Years of Printmaking
Exhibition: Once Removed – Kevork Mourad
Exhibition: The Tour – Barry Iverson

Friday
SHREK The Musical

Saturday
SHREK The Musical

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]


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No more Kubbar on weekends?

Posted by Mark

kubbar

There’s an article on KUNA’s website on Kuwait’s nine islands and about how they’re very important to Kuwait culturally. Near the end of the article this following paragraph caught my attention:

The committee aims at declaring the islands as reserve areas, where entry procedures would be arranged in coordination with bodies concerned in the country such as Kuwait Environment Protection Society (KEPS), Kuwait University (KU), Cabinet’s security decisions’ follow-up committee, Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAFR), Ministry of Transpirations, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), and Kuwait Volunteer Work Center, added Al-Enezi.

If the Kuwaiti islands all get declared as natural reserves then no one will be able to go there without permission and basically killing Kubbar as a weekend getaway hotspot. Not sure what happens to Failaka, they might just restrict access to certain parts of the island. Check out the full article on KUNA’s website [Here]

On a side note has the quality of the English on the KUNA website gone down recently or has it always been this bad? The last two articles I’ve read there have just been terribly written as if they were translated with Google first before being edited.

Photo by Mike Cockcroft


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Contaminated Trailer

Posted by Mark

contaminated

Last week I posted about the short film ‘Contaminated’ that was written and directed by Moe Al-Saeed, the guy behind the Happy Kuwait video. ‘Contaminated’ was officially selected to be part of the upcoming Miami Fashion Film Festival and Moe just uploaded the trailer for the film which you can check out below.

CONTAMINATED: A Fashion Film Trailer 2014 from Mohammad Al-Saeed on Vimeo.


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Kuwait will be a Huge Travel Destination in the Next 10 Years

Posted by Mark

kuwaithotspot

Based on data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the home swapping site “Love Home Swap” compiled a top 50 up-and-coming countries to watch list and Kuwait came in #15 as a new and upcoming holiday destination. Business Insider has even picked up the story further adding to the credibility of the list. So strange, check out the top 50 destinations [Here]

Thanks Taz


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The Blendtec Q-Series Blender

Posted by Mark

blendtec1

Recently I went on a blender hunt since I wanted to replace my Philips blender which started to struggle making my smoothies. I started checking out the two best blender brands, VitaMix and Blendtec. Just like the great SNES vs Genesis battle there is a similar one between VitaMix and Blendtec. You have to choose sides, it’s either VitaMix or Blendtec and you can’t have both. Both brands have excellent blenders and no matter which one you choose you can’t go wrong. After watching countless videos on YouTube of people comparing the two blenders and basically just watching people blend stuff, I came to the conclusion that both blend extremely well but I was choosing Blendtec. Why?

- I liked the way Blendtec blenders looked like compared to the VitaMix blenders. Looks aren’t everything but if I was going to spend so much on a blender and bond with it then I wanted to like everything about it including looks. For people with low kitchen cabinets the VitaMix might not fit underneath because the VitaMix jars are tall and thin while the Blendtec jars are wide and short. The Blendtec blenders also look like modern kitchen appliances while the VitaMix have an old school look which is probably why they’re so popular with hipsters.

- I’m a huge a fan of the Blendtec informercial series “Will it blend?“. In the show the company founder tries to blend random objects in their blenders and he’s blended everything from iPhones and iPads to glow sticks and McDonalds meals. If it can blend an iPhone, it can blend my smoothie.

- The local Blendtec dealer is Mabrook, the same dealer as KitchenAid and I’m already a customer there.

There really weren’t that many models to choose from at the VitaMix and Blendtec dealers and both of them carried only the business range. The Blendtec dealer had only three models, the Blendtec Xpress, the Q-Series which was their midrange unit and the Chef which was their top of the line model. I ended up going with the Q-Series because I loved the size of the unit, the way it looked and the soundproofing features. The fact that Starbucks also uses the same blender didn’t hurt either.

blendtec2

The blender came in a huge unmarked brown box with just a small label on the side describing the contents. Inside the large box was the blender, two jars, some manuals and a CD. Setting up the blender was as simple as plugging it in and turning it on. It works right out of the box just like a regular blender. The “Q” in the “Q-Series” stands for quiet since the unit has sound proofing inside the case around the motor as well as a noise preventing cover that closes down over your jar. It’s meant for coffee shops and juice bars where they have to keep the noise level down as low as possible so as not to annoy the customers. The controls are fairly basic at first glance, 6 touch buttons on the top and a large power switch on the front but the 6 buttons on top are all customizable and programmable. The blender has 9 blending speeds and 30 pre-programmed blend cycles. Using the supplied “Cycle Chart” you can set up any of the 30 available pre-sets to any of the buttons on the blender and if there is a specific custom cycle you want you can take the blender to the dealer and they will program it into the blender.

I use one of the factory set smoothie cycles that is just 23 seconds long and consists of the following cycle: Starts off at speed 3 then goes to 5,1,3,5,3,6 and finally ends at speed 7. During the blending process the units LCD display will show you what speed the blender is on and how many seconds left for the blending process to be completed. The same blue LCD screen also displays a smoothie counter, kinda like how your car has the odometer, the Blendtec blender has a lifetime counter. As of this post I have made 95 smoothies in the two weeks I’ve had my blender.

blendtec4

There is literally nothing this blender can’t blend and no matter what I’ve thrown at it the blender has never even given the slightest sign of a struggle. My Q-Series blender has a 3.8hp motor and I haven’t used anything higher than a speed 7 even though it goes up to speed 9. I really didn’t realize how much my older blender used to struggle when making smoothies until I tried it again a week after getting my Blendtec. Not only did my old blender struggle but it also used to take around a minute to blend a smoothie. On the other hand I had a smoothie party last week and I was blending smoothies left and right flipping between two jars like a pro and blending nearly 3 smoothies a minute. I love this blender.

There are some downsides though. First is the fact the blender came with the regular 4-side jars and not the newer 5-side WildSide+ jar which is supposed to blend even quicker. The other negative is the fact the lid of the jar leaks when I clean the jar. To clean the jar all you do is fill it up with a bit of water and add a drop of soap. You then mount the jar on the the blender and use the “Pulse” button until the jar is clean. Only issue is unless I’m really holding down on the lid really hard it ends up leaking water from the top. I haven’t had any issue when blending my smoothies just when cleaning the jar but still, it’s annoying to have to keep wiping my blender down after cleaning a jar. The last issue is the price.

Before I mention the price I have to say, this blender is not for everyone in the same way Subzero fridges and Viking ranges aren’t for everyone. If you want a really good blender at a great price then I highly recommend the Philips which I previously had. But the Blendtec is one of the best blenders you can buy period and it’s commercial grade which is why it costs a staggering KD375. Even the Blendtec Xpress which is the entry level blender at the local dealer is still KD193. But good blenders cost a lot of money and it’s not just Blendtec or blenders, commercial grade appliances be it a fridge or a toaster will cost considerably more than regular plastic appliances. The VitaMix blenders I checked out locally were expensive as well with their entry level Drink Machine Two-Speed going for KD260 while their Vita Prep 3 is for KD359.

I love my blender.


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Kuwait has 3rd Highest Hotel Prices in the World

Posted by Mark

hotelprices

According to an index compiled by Bloomberg, Kuwait is amongst the most expensive markets for hotel rooms coming in third place behind Geneva and Dubai. The reason behind the high prices is mostly likely because land is so expensive in Kuwait and the fact that there are a limited number of hotels. Still, it would feel pretty odd to pay so much more for a hotel here than one in London, New York or Miami. Check out the article [Here]


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Gia Expanding

Posted by Mark

gia

Gia, my favorite little cafe in Salmiya with all the quinoa salads is going to be expanding by taking over the space next door. They’re going to close down over Ramadan and use that time for the renovation. Currently the place is always packed in the evenings so the expansion should reduce the chance of not finding a place to sit. Check them on out on instagram @giakwt


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Instadocs: Social media and medicine hit the big time in Kuwait.

Posted by Mark

instadocs

With the advent insta-twitter* there is a whole community of MD’s (and even more MD’s), pharmacist, dieticians and dentists giving advice on there on a daily basis through videos and pictures. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually a miracle if you work in healthcare in Kuwait because never in a million years would I have expected such a healthcare awareness campaign to actually work and be successful! I also love seeing old friends gain confidence I always knew they had as they reach out to more people.

But like the start of the internet, this trend poses alot of very interesting ethical and legal questions that I simply can’t find the answer to.

Instadocs is an interesting article written by a Kuwaiti doctor on the the local social media scene and how some doctors are using it to dish out advice. Check it out [Here]


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