Antera Gaming Truck

Post by Mark

The other day I was on the 4th Ring Road when I got stuck in traffic behind a huge trailer with Antera written on the back and PlayStation logos on the side. So I decided to check them out on Instagram and turns out they’re a gaming truck.

Inside the trailer are reclining chairs and large 65″ flatscreen TVs. They have PS4’s with the most recent games as well as online play capability. They also offer non-gaming activities like watching movies or live sporting events with beIN.

According to Antera the truck can hold 10 adults or 12 children and they provide snacks and beverages. The cost of the service is KD60 on weekdays and KD75 on weekends (2 hours minimum). I think it’s a cool idea and could be a lot of fun to park outside a kids birthday party. If you want to find out more you can check them out on instagram @antera.tech


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The Kuwaitis of Failaka Island

Post by Mark

Before the 1990 Gulf War, Kuwaitis used to live on Failaka Island. But, during the war, the island got destroyed and then was never rebuilt again forcing the “Failakans” to move and live on the mainland. Now 25 years later, Doti Watkins, a local resident is working on a project to preserve the stories of the Failakans. She’s trying to track down anyone who used to live on Failaka to interview them about their lives on the island, as well as hopefully share with her photos, documents or artifacts.

I think this is a really interesting so if you know anyone who used to live on Failaka, please get in touch with her (her details are below). Here is some more info on this project:

The Kuwaitis of Failaka Island
An Oral History Project

Failaka Island is a unique place in the Arabian Gulf in general, and Kuwait specifically. It is located 20KM from Kuwait City and is well known for its rich and diverse archeological sites. What is being overlooked is that the Kuwaiti settlement of Failaka is also an important archeological site and there is an urgent need to preserve the geography, culture, and history of the Kuwaiti’s who once lived there. They are the most recent people to settle on the island, with a history that is estimated to be 300 years

The Kuwait Failakans are of special interest because they were neither urban nor nomadic. Their landscape and resources were different from the Kuwait mainland. They had different soil and water sources for agriculture compared to mainland Kuwait. They lived in relative isolation and relied on marine travel for connectivity to the rest of their society. Additionally, their sense of place included the remnants of all the other settlements before them.

It has been more than 25 years since the Kuwait Failakans were removed from their homes. This means the surviving population is aging and it will only become more difficult with time to acquire firsthand information and preserve an understanding of what it meant to be a Kuwaiti Failakan.

The purpose of this project is to collect the oral histories of Kuwait Failakans and use GIS (Geographic Information Science/Systems) to develop a GIS database “library” which will store and preserve their histories, traditions, folklore, photos and other documentation as available.

Doti Watkins
dorothywatkins@hotmail.com
96007801
@doti_watkins


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3D Print Yourself!

Post by Mark

Best Electronics have a new service which uses tech by the company Doob to 3D scan your full body and then print you out as a miniature figurine. The result looks pretty realistic and they have a lot of different examples on display for you to check out. I held one figurine and it felt light and fragile, so I wouldn’t give it to a kid to play with, they’re more for displaying not for playing with.

Although it’s pretty cool, especially if you end up getting a 3D scan of you and your friends together, there are two big negatives. The first is that they print these figurines in Germany, which means you need to wait around three weeks to see the results. The second thing is the cost. They can print different sizes figurines but the smallest one which is shorter than your iPhone costs KD40, while the largest size is KD230. If you and your friends get a group shot you have to pay per individual. So if you’re four guys and you want to print out the smallest size that’s 4 x KD40 for one copy.

If you’re interested to check this out, the “Doob” booth is located in Best Electronics at Boulevard in Salmiya. [Google Maps]

Thanks Sabah


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A Kuwait Based Game Developer is Suing CBS and Netflix Over Star Trek Discovery

Post by Mark

Not sure how I didn’t hear about this earlier but Anas Abdin, an expat living in Kuwait is currently suing CBS and Netflix in the US for copyright infringement. Anas is an indie game developer and the new Star Trek seems to have copied a lot of ideas from his game Tardigrades.

I just watched the video on top that explains the lawsuit and I can’t believe how much Star Trek ripped off from his game so I hope he wins.

He has a bit more information about the lawsuit on his website so check it out [Link]


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Work to Begin on Kuwait Rail Project

Post by Mark

Not to be confused with the metro project, the rail project is designed to connect Kuwait with the rest of the GCC via rail. Once the project is completed you’ll be able to take the train from Kuwait City all the way to Oman. The first phase of the project will connect Kuwait City to Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

Although there is no relationship between the two, I’m sure everyone here would rather they began work on the far more interesting and useful metro project (pictured on top). [Link]


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Customer Service Over Instagram

Post by Mark

Last night I was at The Avenues and decided to pass by the newly opened Pick. When I got there I walked up to the tiny 2 person line behind the cashier and waited for my turn. While waiting, I noticed a long queue on the left side of the place lined up behind another cashier. I realized it might be a one-line queue for two cashiers and that I might have been cutting the line. Or maybe the other people didn’t realize there was a second cashier?

I decided to leave Pick because the situation was confusing, but decided to message them on Instagram just out of curiosity to see if it was actually two separate lines, or one line with two cashiers. My exchange with them was so good I felt it was worth posting about.

Firstly, someone saw my DM right away, they then quickly responded to my question and were apologetic and admitted the situation was actually confusing. The whole conversation was so friendly and sincere, they made me an even bigger fan of the brand.

The situation made me realize again how amazing social media has become for communicating with brands, especially when you have a problem. I’ve DM’d brands a ton of times either to complain, give feedback, ask questions or even to try and cut through lines at clubs (Thank you @the.garten). Other than my internet provider I no longer contact brands any other way. When I had an issue with AVIS in the US I tried calling them on the phone and after spending an hour either on hold or trying to navigate their robotic call center, I decided to tweet them. I ended up getting a response back on twitter in less than 5 minutes! In Kuwait it’s been no different, other than the local Ikea and Jeep dealer (still waiting for a response guys), my experience with customer service on instagram has been pretty good so far. I love it.


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Kuwait on the Muppets Show (1978)

Post by Mark

This is a random little tidbit sent in by a reader. Back in 1978, the British-Irish comedian Spike Milligan appeared on an episode of the Muppets Show sporting a t-shirt with Kuwait written on it in Arabic. You can watch a clip of that episode above (Spike pops in at around the 1-minute mark) while the story about the controversy behind is t-shirt is below:

For years, it has been said that Milligan’s shirt translated to “hashish,” and this was a sly opportunity by Milligan to sneak a drug reference into the show (hashish is a preparation of cannabis). As the story goes, no one noticed what he was doing until the episode had already aired. Is it true? It is not true.

What Milligan’s shirt translates to is “Kuwait.”
Why Kuwait? Well, Milligan was, at the time, doing the TV series Q, which was a sketch comedy show that had a different number attached to it for each season it was on the air, beginning with Q5 in 1969. Because of the similar Monty Python’s Flying Circus program, which ran from 1969-1974 (it began a few months after Milligan’s series), it would not be until 1975 that Milligan was allowed a second season/series of Q, titled Q6. Q7 followed in 1977, and in 1978, as the time of the Muppet Show taping, Milligan was doing Q8.

Q8 was, appropriately enough, nicknamed “Kuwait” because of the fact that, well, you know, Q8 sounds like Kuwait! So no, no sneaky drug references for Spike Milligan! [Source]

So random.

Thanks Dalal!


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Sultan Center Installing Recycling Machines

Post by Mark

Last night I spotted a recycling machine at Sultan Center Salmiya. It wasn’t working so I’m assuming they’re still setting it up but from what I managed to find out its a TOMRA Reverse Vending Machine.

One of the benefits of these machines is that it works with a loyalty program, so how I am assuming the way they will be used is when you recycle plastic bottles or cans, instead of getting money back you’ll get points added to your Sultan Card. If that’s the case then it might just get people to recycle.


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Kuwait Airport Terminal 2 vs The Avenues

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got a very detailed presentation on the new airport terminal that’s being constructed along with a site visit (you can check my story on instagram @mark248am). There is a lot of information I need to figure out how to condense into a post, but for now, I wanted to share the slide above.

If you’re wondering how large the new terminal will be, the picture above is a comparison of T2 next to The Avenues.


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Viva Renames Network to Ramadan Kareem

Post by Mark

This morning I noticed that Viva had renamed their network so that it shows up as Ramadan Kareem on the phone. Didn’t know that was something that could be done easily, very cool and smart.


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