Kuwait Circa 1980

Post by Mark


Usually I tend to find and share photos of Kuwait from the early days like the 50s and 60s but recently I came across a whole bunch of photos of Kuwait taken in 1980. What I find fascinating with these specific photos is that Kuwait usually tends to look really great in the really old photos I share but in these Kuwait just looks really gritty. I think the early 80s were a transitional period between old and new and based on the photos it’s as if all the beautiful old buildings were just starting to fall apart.

Photos taken from the MIT Libraries

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Community is Currently Down

Post by Mark

I wasn’t planning on posting this since I didn’t think anyone would notice but I’ve been getting emails about it all morning. The Community section of the blog is currently down due to the fact I’m upgrading the software. Earlier this morning I realized I had an old forum software running and Google was giving a “Deceptive site ahead” warning when trying to access the section. So decided I might as well just do a full on upgrade.


Technical Details
The Community runs on Invision Power and I had version 3.8 installed. I’m currently trying to update it to version 4.1 which has new features and an overall fresher look. The upgrade should have taken around 30-60 minutes but turns out my server is running PHP 5.4.45 and I need at least PHP 5.5 for the upgrade. I’m currently waiting for my host to upgrade the PHP version on the server and once that is done I will complete the upgrade process. This should have no effect on the main blog since 248am.com is running on a different server than community.248am.com.

Update: I completed the upgrade but then managed to completely mess things up again. Now have to restore from backup and restart the process. On bright side the google warning should be gone now.

Update2: The upgrade is now complete. There is still lots of work to do like redo the whole Community theme but for now at least it’s back up.

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Game Review: No Man’s Sky

Post by Patrick


No Man’s Sky is a exploration and survival game that takes place in a procedurally generated universe that features 18 quintillion planets. You have your own space ship that allows you to fly from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy, discovering new planets, animals and plants, while trading with various different races.


The game starts off by placing you on a random planet with a broken spaceship. Your first task is to look for resources to help you repair your ship and take off from the planet. This first area serves as a light tutorial that should help you get a grip on the games loop. After you successfully take off from the first planet, the universe opens up to you and you can either choose to follow on the games set path to the center of the universe or you can choose travel to any galaxy and any planet you like as long as you have the fuel.

The problem with having procedurally generated content though is that a players experience is based off luck and chance. I’ve seen people complain that planets look the same, feel the same and there is truth in that, but my personal experience has differed. I’ve been lucky enough to discover a wide variety of planets, ranging from planets that have nearly zero life on them with intense weather to planets teeming with life. So even though I’ve seen planets that look similar, I’ve also been lucky enough to see enough variety that I’m still interested in exploring and taking screenshots of planets I like.

Read the rest of this entry »

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In and Out of Al Maktoum International Airport

Post by Mark


Whenever I fly to Dubai I tend to take FlyDubai and land at the main Dubai International Airport (DXB) like most people. But on my last trip I decided to fly out to the less popular Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) instead. The timings worked better for me compared to the DXB route and since I was staying in Dubai Marina, the distance from DWC to Dubai Marina was practically the same as DXB to Marina so that worked out in my favor.


The Al Maktoum International Airport isn’t anything close in size and amenities when compared to DXB Terminal 3 where Emirates flies in and out from, but compared to Terminal 2 which FlyDubai uses, Al Maktoum is pretty much the same. The biggest difference between the two is the amount of traffic inside and outside the airport since Al Maktoum doesn’t have anywhere near as much crowds as Terminal 2 does, or at least when I was there. On arrival we were the only plane that had landed and on departure I think there was one or two other planes leaving besides mine. The airport was pretty much empty the whole time and even once I walked out of the airport it was the same story there, no need to wait in line for a taxi and the highway to Dubai Marina was barren with barely any other cars on the road. On departure there was plenty of seating surrounding a pretty large sized duty free area and you also had your usual suspects like Starbucks, Costa and McDonalds in the food court.

Depending on where you’re staying in Dubai though it might or might not make sense to fly out to Al Maktoum International Airport. In my case staying in Dubai Marina allowed me to choose between the DXB or DWC airports since both were similar distance apart. But if you’re staying in downtown, the distance from DWC to downtown by car would be considerably longer than DXB to downtown (40 mins vs 15 mins). Personally, I’ll be using Al Maktoum again the next time I’m staying in Dubai Marina, it was just a chill experience without all the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded terminal 2.

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Behind the Uniform

Post by Mark

It was probably inappropriate to do so, but I couldn’t stop laughing while watching this short film. It’s meant to be based on a true story but because of the amount of inaccuracies relating to Kuwait I just couldn’t take it seriously.


The funniest part had to be the Kuwaiti male stalker in the film pictured above. I just loved the gold necklace and open button look, kinda like how I’d imagine an Armenian Kuwaiti to look like. But, the all time Arab lookalike fail though will forever be Hussain from Bloodsport (pictured below), you can’t really beat that.


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Learn How to Windsurf or Sail

Post by Mark


Up until recently if you wanted to learn a new water sport it would have had to be either wakeboarding or kitesurfing since those two sports are fairly easy to get lessons for. But now a new center opened up called Kuwait Watersports that offers two new activities you can add to the list; windsurfing and sailing.


Their lessons vary in prices but 1 hour of private windsurfing or sailing lessons is KD30 which is similar in price to say an hour of private wakeboarding (KD35). They also offer lessons for kids and you can even rent or buy equipment from them. Personally I’d be interested in trying windsurfing but other than that and sailing they also have paddle boarding and kayaking.

So if you want to try a new watersport, check out their website [Here]

Note: Also, in case you weren’t aware, there is a sailing club for expats that has been around since the early 90s called Kuwait Sailing Club. You can check those guys out as well but they don’t offer sailing lessons. [Link]

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How to Recognize a Suicidal Bomber?

Post by Mark


Someone posted this on Reddit yesterday, supposedly taken at Holiday Inn. Some important things to look out for?

– Inappropriate clothing
– Shaved and clean beard
– Strong perfume smell
– Tension anxiety severe sweating

Is it me or does that sound like the average guy on a first date?

Thanks asad_ayaz

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Minus 11 Ice Cafe

Post by Mark


Yesterday an ice cafe opened up in Kuwait called Minus 11. If you’ve never been to one its basically a cafe that is basically a freezer and everything inside is made of ice from the seats, to the sculptures to the cups. According to Minus 11 they’re the largest ice cafe in the world and also the coldest with the temperature reaching a freezing -11 degrees.

I’ve been to an ice pub before which is similar except involves alcohol and I got bored so don’t think I’ll be visiting this cafe anytime soon. But if you’re interested in checking it out they’re located in Al Tijaria Tower in Kuwait City. The entry price is KD10 for children under 12 and KD15 for everybody else. Included in the price is 1 drink with free refill, the winter outfit they lend you and the ability to spend up to 45 minutes inside the cafe. For more details check out their instagram [Here]

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Mexican Coke

Post by Mark


Until last week I didn’t know there was anything called Mexican Coca Cola but then I got a crate of it delivered to my office. According to wikipedia, the biggest difference between Mexican Coke and regular coke is that Mexican Coke is sweetened using cane sugar as opposed to high-fructose corn syrup.

Mexican Coke is supposed to taste better or at least have a more “natural” taste to it but after trying it out I couldn’t tell any difference between it and regular Coke. On the plus side the bottle is pretty cool and since Narcos is starting 12 days, Colombian Mexican Coke might be a good pairing.

If you’re interested in trying Mexican Coke they’re being sold for a limited time at Eighty Six Burger for KD1 a pop.

Update: A reader shared an interesting NYT article of when the ban on Coca Cola was lifted in Kuwait back in 1988. You could check that article out [Here]

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Your Favorite News Sites

Post by Mark


My top two news sites used to be CNN and BBC but CNN basically turned into TMZ while BBC just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. My two go-to news sites now are The Washington Post and The Guardian. What news sites do you check?

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