Staged in Kuwait Lunch

Post by Mark

Staged in Kuwait are getting ready to start their 6th season, continuing the long legacy of community theatre in Kuwait that started in 1948 out in Ahmadi at The Kuwait Little Theatre. To welcome the start of season six, Staged in Kuwait are having a lunch to get you excited about all the activities they have planned for the year ahead.

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So if you’re interested in learning what shows they have scheduled, when the auditions are, want to know how to get involved behind the scenes or if you just want to meet other theatre inclined friends, then join them for lunch next Friday September 15th. To RSVP and more details, visit their website [Here]


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Vigonovo is Closing Down

Post by Mark

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Vigonovo, the cute and cozy Italian restaurant in Al Khalid Complex is closing down today. Due to a number of factors including an increase in their rent, today will be their last day of operation. So if you’ve been meaning to check the place out then this is your last chance. @vigonovo_kw


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The Sultan Center Hiku Shopping Device

Post by Mark

Over the holidays Sultan Center sent me a Hiku device to play around with and try out. The Hiku is a small device that lives in your kitchen and can scan barcodes, recognize your voice and is basically used to create a shopping list. I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets, even my egg tray connects to the internet so I wasn’t going to say no to adding another gadget in my kitchen. Plus, I enjoy scanning barcodes for some reason, I even owned a CueCat back in 2001 which strangely is considered one of the worst inventions ever. Anyway, enough throwbacks for now.

The Hiku is a pretty tiny device that connects to the internet and the Sultan Center phone app. The way you use it is pretty simple. Say you’re running out of popcorn, instead of opening your notes app or whatever app you use to remind you about what you need from the supermarket, you just take the Hiku device and scan the barcode on the popcorn box. The Hiku automatically recognizes what you just scanned, beeps once letting you know all is ok and then adds that item to your Sultan Center shopping list. If the Hiku doesn’t recognize the item, it will beep three times. Some items like bananas for example don’t have barcodes, so instead of scanning a barcode, you press the button on the Hiku and just say bananas. The Hiku device will recognize your voice and add bananas to your shopping list.

Once you’ve got everything on your list, you can then add the stuff to your shopping cart and purchase them using the Sultan Center app or, you can just open the list the next time you’re shopping and use it as a reminder.

So what do I think of the Hiku? Currently I use the Clear app on my iPhone for my grocery list reminders. It launches instantly and its very easy to add an item to a list and swipe it off once I get it. I don’t think I’ll be changing my habits and start using the Hiku especially since I don’t buy my groceries online. The Hiku makes more sense for people who do order grocerries to their home, by having all the items added to your Sultan Center account, it makes it super practical to just checkout and have the items delivered.

But, the biggest issue I faced is that not all the items I scanned got added to my list even though the Hiku recognized the items. For example the popcorn I used as an example in this post, when I scanned the box the Hiku didn’t add it to my shopping list even though it beeped once to let me know it recognized it. I scanned a different flavored popcorn box and it also didn’t get added to my list. I figured maybe the items were out of stock so I manually checked for the popcorn on their website and one of them wasn’t available, but the other was. Even if both items were out of stock I think they should still get added to my shopping list so that when they’re back in stock I could purchase them. Popcorn wasn’t the only thing it didn’t add to my list, I scanned a bunch of items in one of my kitchen drawers, and in the end it just added two of them to my list even though again the Hiku recognized all the other items. Super annoying.

Another issue I have is with the price of the Hiku. Although the device costs KD12 on Amazon, Sultan Center are selling it for KD25. I don’t know why they’d sell it for double the price, if anything they should be selling it at cost price so that they could get more people to buy it, which in return will lead to more people using their app and website.

With all that being said, the Hiku is a fun little gadget. If you want to find out more about the Hiku, visit the product page on the Sultan Center website [Here]


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The Onam Festival 2017

Post by Mark

The Onam Festival is back and will be taking place tomorrow Monday the 4th of September. Onam is the biggest and most important festival of the state of Kerala in India and it’s also celebrated here in Kuwait. A few Southern Indian restaurants in Kuwait offer the traditional vegetarian dish the Onasadya during the festival and below are some of those restaurants.

Caesar’s Dakshin Restaurant – Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Al Jawhara Building
Price: KD3.500
Telephone: 24319191, 24310303 [Map]

Udupi Restaurant – Fahaheel, Green Tower
Price: KD2.250
Telephone: 25456565 [Map]

Saravanaa Bhavan – Fahaheel, Humoud Towers
Price: KD2.500
Telephone: 23929099 [Map]

If you know of any more places serving Onam, let us know in the comments.


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Four Seasons Now Open

Post by Mark

I just got back from having dinner at Dai Forni, the new Italian restaurant at the newly opened Four Seasons Hotel. The hotel just opened up a couple of days ago along with the restaurants Dai Forni, Elements, Al Bandar and Al Soor lobby lounge.

Dai Forni is currently fully booked for the next 5 days because of Eid, but you could call and reserve spots for after Eid. Sintoho the Pan-Asian restaurant is still not open for now but will be opening in the next 2-3 weeks.

Four Seasons is located in Kuwait City opposite Discovery Mall [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @fskuwait. Their phone number is 22006000.

For more pictures of the hotel, check out my previous post [Here]


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Movies Showing in Kuwait Over Eid

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
American Made (7.5)
Birth of the Dragon (4.1)
Inhumans (N/A)
The Dragon Spell (6.2)
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (4.5)
Wind River (8.0) ♦
Wish Upon (4.7)

Other Movies Showing:
Annabelle: Creation (7.2) ♦
Blind (5.2) ♦
Bling (4.6)
Bushwick (6.4)
Dunkirk (8.6) ♦
Kidnap (6.0)
Logan Lucky (7.5)
Security (5.8)
Seven Sisters (6.9)
The Beguiled (6.9) ♦
The Emoji Movie (1.7)
The Hatton Garden Job (6.6)
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (7.3)
The Recall (5.1) ♦
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (6.7)
War for the Planet of the Apes (8.5)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.


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Shows to Watch: 13 Reasons Why, Atypical and Ozark

Post by Mark

Now that Game of Thrones finished for the season last night, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share some great new shows I recently watched.

13 Reasons Why
This show first aired back in April but I just got around to watching it a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t sure at first if I’d like it but I got hooked right away. 13 Reasons Why is about a high school girl called Hannah who ends up committing suicide. Before she died, she recorded 13 tapes with each tape discussing one of the 13 reasons why she decided to commit suicide. The show is 13 episodes long with every episode covering one tape and I loved that format. Although a lot of people found the show disturbing when it was first released, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Actually the only thing I found disturbing in the show was her suicide scene which I forwarded through anyway since I don’t like watching emotional scenes like that (or rape scenes for that matter). If you have Netflix, watch this if you haven’t already.

Atypical
Atypical aired a couple of weeks ago and I binge watched all 8 episodes back to back in one day. I loved it and its right up there in my top 5 or 6 shows of this year but thats probably because the show deals with autism, a subject I’ve been fascinated with for some time now. The show follows an 18-year old high school student called Sam, who is autistic and has decided to try and find a girl friend. The result is a lot of super awkward scenes and some really great development of characters including the dad who’s played by Michael Rapaport. This show is also on Netflix, and is also a must watch.

Ozark
Starring one of my favorite comedians Jason Bateman, this show is far from being a comedy. Ozark is a super dark drama in which Jason Bateman plays the role of a financial advisor that ends up relocating his family to the Missouri Ozarks after his dealings with a drug cartel go wrong. It’s such an out of character role for Bateman especially when he’s mostly know for his character Michael Bluth on the television sitcom Arrested Development. But Bateman played the role so well that now its going to be awkward for me getting used to him again as Michael Bluth when the 5th season of Arrested Development premiers. This is the last show on my list here but if you had time to just watch just one, this would be the one I’d recommend.


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Every Car Needs a Lithium Jump Starter

Post by Mark

I’ve been wanting to review this lithium jump starter ever since I got it, but I didn’t have a reason to use it until last night. While leaving the gym my car wouldn’t start because the battery had died. Usually in a situation like that you’d start asking cars around you if they had jumper cables and if they could help you jump start your car. Super awkward and involves you having to rely on and get help from complete strangers.

But a few months ago I read about lithium jump starters and decided to order one to keep in the car for situations exactly like the one I experienced last night. Lithium jump starters are small lithium battery packs that you connect to your car’s battery when dead to help restart it. It’s super easy to use, you just turn on the battery pack, connect the red jumper cable to the red terminal on your car battery, the black jumper cable to the black terminal and thats it. You then go back into your car and turn on the ignition and voila! Even if you’re not a car expert its pretty easy to do.

There are different brands of these battery packs with different strengths, I got the NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 1000 from Amazon which has 4.5 stars and over 1,300 reviews. The battery is good enough to jump start a car 20 times and the model I got can jump start engines as large as 6 liters (so basically overkill for my needs). This battery packed saved me a lot of time and awkwardness last night and got me out of the horrible humid weather back into my air conditioned car pretty quickly. Even though it’s not something you’d use often, a battery pack like this should definitely be in your car as part of your emergency kit. You can even use it to charge your phone and has a built in flash light.

I’ve seen similar jump starters available locally, but I wanted the NOCO branded one and so bought mine from Amazon for KD29. It’s extremely well built and the overall quality of the case and cables is top-notch. Here is the [Amazon Link]


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Jazeera Plane Collides with Military Balloon

Post by Mark

Yesterday, a Jazeera Airways flight coming in from Riyadh collided with a military balloon similar to the one pictured below (actually might be the very same one). A friend sent me the video above which shows the balloon falling through the air and the damage done to the Jazeera plane. According to Jazeera, the plane continued to operate normally and land safely with all the passengers disembarking normally.

The Directorate General for Civil Aviation is currently investigating the incident to identify the on-ground and in-air circumstances that led to this incident.


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Report Violations to the Baladia

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Municipality have launched a campaign asking citizens to take photos of violations and send it to their social media accounts so they can fix the issues. They don’t mention the kinds of violations to report, but based on their instagram it looks like garbage related issues, abandoned cars, illegal banners and food related violations. To report an issue you’ll have to photograph the violation and then send it to their instagram or twitter accounts @kuwmun.

It’s a pretty great crowdsourcing initiative, but I just wish the process wasn’t so clumsy. A better solution would be a dedicated app like Deera. The Deera app allows you take photos, share the GPS location, mention what kind of issue you’re reporting and it doesn’t require you to have a social media account allowing you to remain anonymous. It would also make the municipality’s life easier since managing instagram messages isn’t the most practical thing in the world and instagram messaging lacks basic features such as flagging.

What I’d really love is an app like Metrash2 which allows citizens in Qatar to report traffic violations. Now that’s an app I’d have a lot of fun with.


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