Is your internet slow?

Posted by Mark

slowinternet

I got a lot of emails over the holidays from readers (mostly Qualitynet users) complaining about how their internet has been really slow. According to two people, Qualitynet told them its because of a fiber optic cable that was cut. I couldn’t find any information on this but as a WiMD internet user myself, my connection has also been slow averaging less than 1Mbps instead of my usual 10Mbps.

So if you’ve been having connection issues, let me know below.


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BitFils, the easiest way to buy Bitcoins in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

bitcoin

BitFils is a startup based out of Kuwait and comprised of three engineers who worked for over a year to make this project happen. BitFils is a website that allows people in Kuwait to instantly purchase Bitcoins by paying directly with their Knet cards. If you’re interested in getting Bitcoin I can’t imagine a more user-friendly way. Check out their website [Here]


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Lu&Lu Hypermarket Opening in Salmiya

Posted by Mark

lulu

A few days ago I found out Lu&Lu is opening up down the street from my house in the basement of the new AlSalam Mall. This will be their 5th location in Kuwait and this one will be walking distance from my house making it super convenient for me. For everybody else good luck finding parking. [Map]


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“In It 2 Win It” Reality Show

Posted by Mark

“In It 2 Win It” is a new local reality show that just started airing on YouTube. The show follows a Kuwaiti husband and wife on their journey to lose weight for 120 days. The show is in Arabic (without English subtitles) and will be composed of 12 episodes with the one above being their first. Subscribe to their YouTube channel if you want to be notified once a new episode is out. [YouTube]

inittowinit


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Illegal barbecuing will get you deported

Posted by Mark

nobbq

“There is a plan to set up a new link with the interior ministry to deport the foreigners who break the municipal laws, including barbecuing on the beaches and public parks,” Ahmad Al Saubaih said. “The municipality had designated specific spots at the beach and in public gardens where people could barbecue. It has also imposed a ban on having a barbecue in certain areas. However, several people fail to comply with the laws and regulations, even though they are aware that those who cause any form of damage to public utilities and facilities are punished,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Sunday. [Source]

I personally hate it when people barbecue on the Gulf Road since I end up smelling like a kebab after my bike ride. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t ride my bike on the Gulf Road on weekends. But, I do think deporting someone for barbecuing is ridiculous in the same way I thought it was ridiculous when they introduced the KD1,000 fine two years ago. In comparison, the fine then for dangerously running a red light was just KD300.

Photo by Michael Milosits


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Volkswagen XL1 in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

A friend sent me the video above of a Volkswagen XL1 at the local dealers garage. The XL1 is a hybrid car that costs around KD40,000 and is limited to only 250 units worldwide.

xl1

Definitely an eye turner since it looks like a car from the future. [YouTube]

Thanks Manae


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The story behind Wizr, Kuwait’s Greatest Driver

Posted by Mark

wizr

Back in October I wrote about Keith Wells, a British journalist who was living in Kuwait back in the 70s. Keith used to work for Arab Times and in his spare time he also used to write books about Kuwait, including a witty series on a character named Wizr who was Kuwait’s greatest driver. Between 1979 and 1984, Keith released three Wizr books which I’m lucky enough to own all three. A few days ago Keith got in touch with me and I asked him if he could tell me how it all started. This is what he shared with me:

I originally wrote the stories for the Arab Times which became very popular. Then I met Peter McMahon at a party, and he hadn’t read any of the stories and asked, “Who is this Wizr character?” “I said, he’s the young, trendy Kuwaiti guy with the scarlet Transam with the eagle decal on the bonnet.’ So Peter picked up a sheet of paper,scribbled away for a minute or two, then held it out and asked “Him?” It was perfect. Thereafter we became close friends. I’d write a story, take it to his flat every Friday, and he’d give me the cartoon from the week before’s story. He somehow drew exactly what I’d imagined. The combination became very popular indeed and after a month or two we were approached by Tony Jashanmal, who owned a department store on Fahed Salem St, and Bashir Khatib, who owned the Kuwait Bookshop to publish a book full of the stories. We had a 3 way partnership to print the book at The Arab Times and Launched it at the British Embassy Garden Fete in November 1979, a week or so before I married Suzi. We sold 428 copies in about two hours… amazing.

We carried on for just over a year, then Peter was murdered by Saddam Hussein’s goons, long sad, sad story… but the upshot was that I sort of lost the fun, we put out the second Wizr book with cartoons we hadn’t used in the first one. And the third book with odd scraps and recycled pics. By then it was getting a bit heavy with the Iran Iraq War getting very dangerous and I left the Arab Times and took a very low profile job teaching at the university of Kuwait. After 4 years there I went back to the paper and wrote more stories with an Indian cartoonist called Edgar, but they were never collected in book form. I left Kuwait in June ’87. We emigrated to Oz in Oct 1989, and the following March I had a massive heart attack in a small town in southern Queensland. After recovering, we spent the rest of our working lives doing PhDs in Communication Studies, and setting up Comm Depts in various universities and colleges in Macau, Singapore, Morocco, The Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

I’ve been a bit of a hermit since retiring in ’07, but am beginning to re-emerge and was very surprised and grateful for the interest in Wizr and Dozi and his pals. Someone told me a few years ago that the fabulous cartoon of Dozi with the two rubber stamps “PERHAPS” and “PERHAPS NOT” is to be found in many offices to this day. Peter would have loved that.

– Keith Wells


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The Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Posted by Mark

ftype1

I love this car, I’ve loved it ever since I first laid my eyes on it. Last year I took the F-Type roadster out for a day and my biggest issue with it other than the super tiny trunk was the fact it was a soft top convertible. I’m not a fan of soft tops so when Jaguar revealed the F-Type Coupe I knew this is the car I wanted to get.

ftype2

The Jaguar F-Type Coupe is one of the best looking cars on the roads right now and in my opinion, it also has one of the hottest looking rear ends. The model Jaguar lent me was the V6 340hp although they had a 380hp version available to test drive as well (maybe I could take that for a spin next time Jaguar?). When I first picked up the car I wasn’t too sure about the color, but by the end of the day it had grown on me. It’s such a beautiful car that even the white looks great on it, actually white might be my favorite color on the Coupe.

ftype3

The F-Type Coupe isn’t a big car, it doesn’t have any rear seats nor any kind of room behind the seats. It’s compact but never feels claustrophobic. I picked up the car in the morning and went about my day. I had a bunch of errands to run followed by lunch with a friend and like the F-Type roadster, this is a great everyday car. It’s easy to drive in traffic and the suspension is soft enough to handle bumpy old roads. The trunk in the Coupe is fairly large as well so if you want to drop a friend off at the airport you can, that was something I wasn’t able to do with the roadster due to the fact that trunk couldn’t fit a medium sized bag.

ftype5

After lunch I drove up north to my favorite isolated road to take my photos. It’s a 50 minute drive each way so it gives me a lot of good quality time with the car. One thing this model I drove missed over the previous roadster I had taken out was the optional sport exhaust system. Although the car had an aggressive growl and popped a lot, I did miss having the optional exhaust switch which would kick the sound up a notch. Speaking of sounds, the sound system in the review car was also the standard 6-speaker one and not the 12-speaker Meridian system I had previously tried out in the roadster. It still sounded impressive, but just not as good as the Meridian.

ftype4

One thing I really appreciated on the car this time around were the brakes. Based on the spec sheet I received, the Coupe I drove was fitted with the standard brakes but they were extremely responsive and very powerful. I’m by nature a late-braker but with the F-Type I became a very-late-braker because I had so much confidence in the brakes. Makes me wonder how much better the optional super performance braking system would be.

ftype6

Like the F-Type roadster, one of the best things about the Coupe is the starting price. The Jaguar F-Type Coupe starts at just KD19,500 and the one I was driving with all the options sells for around KD24,000. If I didn’t know how much the F-Types cost I would have easily guessed over KD30,000 just by the looks alone. Is there anything I didn’t like in the car? Not really, I mean this is the car I was actually considering getting a few months ago when I was car shopping. It’s got great looks, incredible performance and just feels fantastic on the road.

If you’re interested in test driving the car yourself you can pass by the Jaguar dealer in Al-Rai (Al-Zayani) and check it out there.


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The Making of Spaceman

Posted by Mark

Early on in the month graffiti artists Monstariam and Bufifty spray painted a gigantic spaceman mural outside Al Khaled Complex in Salmiya. It’s the same complex where Gia and Lorenzo are located and it right away became my favorite Monstariam graffiti work yet. Now TJC Films has uploaded a video of the making of so if you’re curious to see how the spaceman came to be check it out above. [YouTube]


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The Kuwait Cat’s Meat Crisis

Posted by Mark

catstory

The Qatar Digital Library have published an article about a scandal in Kuwait in the 1930s when one restaurant was accused of using cat meat instead of mutton. It’s an interesting read and it also sounds like an incident that could take place today. Kuwait really hasn’t changed much. [Link]


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