Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Long and Short of it

Sometime last week UAE got her first GOLD ATM and is the first country after Germany to do so. Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel became the first hotel in the world to install "gold to go, a gold vending machine," The exterior of the machine is coated with a thin layer of gold and offers customers 320 items to choose from, ranging from gold bars that can weigh up to 10 grams, to customized gold coins. The Gold rates are constantly updated[every 10 mins] inside the shiny machine courtesy, a built-in computer connected to a dealer which sells gold online.

We discussed the news here in surprise and delight…….I mean, what next??? Imagine pushing money through a slot and getting gold in return. A definite jump from the age-old method of visitng a jewellery shop and selecting a piece after hours of careful scrutiny. Most of us got a kick out of it and are hoping they'll place a few of them in Dubai too......u bet 80% of the population will want to try it atleast once;-D.

Now that I think of it, UAE is always in the news for one record or the other. For a country which was just a desert in the 60’s to transform into the most happening hotspot of the Middle East in mere 20-30 yrs is a record achievement by itself. While the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan is credited with both holding the young United Arab Emirates together after the British withdrawal in 1971, and overseeing the development of his own state[Abu Dhabi] during his 38-year reign, Dubai is treated as the brainchild of Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum and his visionary son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler. Honestly, it’s hard to pick another country which has experienced such rapid changes in modern times.

Most of us are aware of the World’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa which was inaugurated early this year; at 2716.53 feet (828 m) high the Burj Khalifa located in Dubai has 160 floors & more than 500,000 sq m of space for offices and apartments-setting the new world record for the Tallest building.
It's about twice the height of the Empire State Building; you can see its spire from anywhere in Dubai[95km any direction] & lays claim to the highest occupied floor, the tallest service lift, the world's highest observation deck - on the 124th floor & with the world's highest mosque & swimming pool located on the 158th & 76th floors.

Spending more time on this line of thought I was staggered to find out so many biggest, largest, tallest, richest and fastest records of UAE that I simply had to put them down here…

Biggest man-made islands: The Palm Islands, Dubai are the world's biggest man-made islands and form the shape of a palm tree when seen from the sky. It houses a variety of tourist attractions like restaurants, spas and theaters, as well as residential homes.

Tallest hotel: The Burj Al Arab now synonymous with the image of Dubai is the tallest hotel in the world, standing at 320.94 m (1,052 ft) high from ground level to the top of its mast; built on a man-made island, the hotel shaped like a sail, has 202 suites, 28 'double-height' storeys and covers a total floor area of 111,480 m². It’s the world’s only 7 star hotel and every tourist takes atleast 1 picture with the imposing structure in the background as proof that he’s been to Dubai;-D.

Highest Date Palm cultivation: The UAE is recognised as the leading cultivator of date palms: In 2009, UAE received the Guinness records certificate, which reads: "The world record for the most palm trees planted in 10 years is 42 million and was achieved by the UAE."

World’s richest city: In March, 2007, the Forbes Magazine declared Abu Dhabi the richest city in the world. Its 420,000 citizens, who sit on one-tenth of the world’s oil, are worth about $17m apiece.

Fastest growing city: Dubai has been declared one of the fastest growing cities in the world; 15% of all building constructions during last 10 years in the world were done in Dubai and about 15 to 25% of the cranes of the world have been playing with 70 billion € have been currently invested in building projects there.

Among the other note-worthy records ….

The largest seashell mosaic: On 17 January 2010, Guinness World Records® was present in Dubai, UAE to adjudicate the record attempt for the largest seashell mosaic. The mosaic which was made entirely from seashells resembled Dubai’s police logo which is a dhow sailing on sea waves. The 60,000 seashells mosaic was built in 32 days and 59 persons took part in gathering and classifying the seashells.

Largest Acrylic Panel: The Dubai Mall aquarium was awarded the Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Acrylic Panel; at 750 mm thick, the acrylic viewing panel is built to withstand the enormous pressure of 10 million litres of water used in the aquarium, but transparent enough to give visitors clear views of the 33,000 plus marine animals on display.

Largest awareness ribbon of flowers: The largest awareness ribbon made of flowers was 28.71 m (94 ft 2 in) long and was made of 105,000 pink carnations. Unveiled on 16 November 2007, in Dubai, UAE, it was created on behalf of the Dubai Healthcare City to raise awareness for breast cancer research.

Largest inflatable sculpture: The largest inflatable sculpture in the shape of a bottle was 1500 m³ (52,972 ft³) in volume. The bottle was 25 m (82 ft) high and 11.9 m (39 ft) wide and was created by Vitaene C at the Dubai Shopping Festival in Dubai, UAE, on 28 January 2007.

Largest parade of Mercedes-Benz cars: The largest parade of Mercedes Benz consisted of 153 vehicles and was organised by Gargash Enterprises with the support of their customers. The convoy started in Dubai and ended at Endurance City, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, UAE, on 21 April 2007.

Tallest Flagpole: Abu Dhabi has a flagpole staking its claim as the tallest in the world, at 123 metres.

Costliest License plate: Another record-breaking feat for the capital came in February 2008, with the sale of the most expensive car plate in the world. License plate No. 1 was bought at auction for a staggering Dh52.2 million by Abu Dhabi businessman Saeed Al Khouri, breaking the previous record of plate No. 5, which was sold to his cousin for Dh25.2 million.

The world's largest cylindrical chocolate bar - weighing 370 kilos and measuring 2.25 metres in circumference and 82 cm in height was unveiled at Hamarain Centre as part of the Dubai Food Surprises event in Dubai.

The Not-So-Remarkable But Nevertheless Records……

Largest Cardboard Box Pyramid: Lulu Hypermarket in Dubai has built the ‘World’s Largest Cardboard Box Pyramid Display’ out of thousands of Air Wick Automatic Spray units.

Largest Kandoora: At 2008's Dubai Winter Shopping Festival, millions flocked to see THE WORLD'S LARGEST KANDOORA

Most clothes pegs clipped on one hand in one minute: is 48 and was achieved by Mohammed Ahmed Elkhouly (UAE) at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, UAE, on 21 April 2007.

World's biggest shopping trolley: Measuring 639cm in length, 250cm in breadth and 900cms high, it took 15 people five days to build it, and was constructed by Century Mall.

Largest Banner: The world's largest banner measuring 20,000 m² (215,278 ft²) was created for Sorouh Real Estate PJSC (UAE) by Ad-Air Group Plc (UK) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 22 October, 2007.

Largest mattress & bedset: Intercoil International who make beddings and orthopedic sleep products in the Middle East, won an accolade by the Guinness Book of World Records for manufacturing the largest mattress in 2000 and the largest bed set in the world, during DSF 2007.

Longest chopsticks: In April 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records sent a certificate to Dubai's Marco Polo Hotel confirming the hotel's entry for the longest wooden chopsticks in the world. At 22.5 feet long, the pair of chopsticks in Dubai beat the record set by China's Shenyang Province.

Highest amt of Cans crushed: The Coca-Cola Company sets the 69th new Guinness World Record in UAE for having the highest number of Burn energy drink cans crushed[61,106 cans in three minutes] during a monster truck show in Dubai, UAE, claiming a record announced by Guinness World Records.

The future records in store:

The largest Airport: The Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai is planned as the world's largest passenger and cargo hub, ten times larger than Dubai International Airport[this one is impressive by itself] and Dubai Cargo Village combined. With a 100,000 parking slots this air facility will also bear the distinction of having the largest parking facility in the world. It is 50% complete and if everything goes according to plan it will be fully operational by 2017.

Rotating Tower: The Dynamic Tower is due to be up and running by the end of 2010 will be the world's first moving building! This amazing 80-story tower with revolving floors will give the building a shifting shape, and will house 80 different suites and will never look the same twice, according to developers.

Longest driverless train: The Dubai Metro launched into operations in September last year is now only partially working; once both the red and green tracks are complete, Dubai Metro will enter the record books as the world’s longest as in lengthiest driverless train system.

UAE maybe a tiny dot on the world map but there’s no doubt about the fact that she’s keen to make her mark. Money has never been an issue in this part of the world; dearth of a good idea the only holdup. As of now the recession has been hard on the real-estate & automobile sectors but there’s no doubt that it is only a temporary hitch; the best my dear friends is yet to come.

P.s: I got some of the information from here, here, here and here. There could be a few records I may have missed out, so if any of you who know more drop me a line I’d love to add it here.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Aaa bayle mujhe maar

I don’t have a single thing to tell you other than the fact that I’ve been cleaning and scrubbing and mopping and washing and rinsing and……..yeah, yeah I know you’ve heard it all before and its beginning to get boring listening to the same ole nonsense sad story again and again.

And oh to crown it did I tell you that I’ve got a cold again…all that working in the water you know;-(…ok…ok…..no I’m not, yet again going into detailed explanation of my symptoms.

But other than these 2 things I really have nothing to write about….infact my fingers are vigorously protesting against being forced into typing simply to fill the page.

Most of the time if I’m not complaining loudly about my misfortunes to the better-half I can be found using my broken vocal cords crooning & trying to needle him. Tell you what, I’ll sing a song….like I said I love singing when my throat is bad and walking around pretending to be a duplicate Usha Uthup. Now the thing is I have no clue how to upload it into blogger. Let me google it and see if it can be done. I know videos can be embedded but no idea how to make that video….in this case audio.

[An hour later]

You know it took me so much time to read up all the stuff on how to record and embed it in blogger. And guess what, when I'm adding the audio file what I'm doing is making a PODCAST....sounds hep huh;-D.

Goodness the things I do to make a post, I wanted to sing Dumaro dumaaaa but the thing is I just know the 1st 2 lines.....gimme some time.......

Ok here’s the song….now don’t laugh, it’s a very special song for the better-half & me actually. The very 1st [or was it the 2nd] wedding anniversary, the better-half and I spent it apart with me in Bangalore & he in Dubai. We were quite heart-broken naturally. When he called to wish me I told him to switch on the computer & play a particular file…….he called me back after sometime & the response was very gratifying;-D.

It’s a .wav file around 4.3mb, sorry it so big; I did try to convert it to an mp3 but the laptop kept insisting that the system administrator had to give permission[to download the software] & the SA is right now working hard to bring in the supper, somewhere on the other side of town;-P.
Ok go ahead and listen but before that I need to convince u that .....
...if u find the song off-tune, please go immediately and get checked up. I'm sure there's something wrong with ur ears.
...if u find the lyrics all jumbled up..... u r way out of touch with the new stuff, u bet I'm singing the latesht remixed version.
...and the trembling excitement in the voice, its pure stage-fright adrenaline, I assure u.

p.s: Honestly this is the best thing about blogging; I learn something new everyday:)

p.p.s: The few of you who’ve come here the 1st time & didn’t follow what I was rambling about I need to tell you that this post is a sort of continuation of a previous post…infact 2 posts.....yep its a never ending story;-P

p.p.p.s: The title is a proverb in hindi which loosely translates to...."U r asking for it"

p.p.p.p.s: Bring in the brick-bats gently…….if you didn’t like it, start of with “Nancy it was ‘nice' but......”.

[20 mins later....]

p.p.p.p.p.s: Ummm......the much-hyped podcast is not working........while I figure out how to fix it, u can listen to the song here[if u want to ie;-P].  

[a day later...]

I still havent figured out how to do it.....I mean the links are added as per instructions from 'Blogger Help' but it doesnt show on the main page, no idea why;-(. Is there anybody who can throw some light on this?????

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Alister Cameron says blogging is not about writing posts....

I was frantically googling “How to maintain a spic & span house, especially when guests are arriving in 15 minutes“ when I came across a few quotes on Blogging. Entranced, I did some digging and came up with some more interesting and candid views about blogging. Some were astute while others were plain hilarious. Here, judge for yourselves:

“Your blog is your unedited version of yourself.” – Lorelle

"The heart of blogging is linking...linking and commenting. Connecting and communicating - the purpose of the Internet." ~ George Siemens

"Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant." ~ Sufia Tippu

"Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining 'blog' is a fool's errand." ~ Michael Conniff

"Bottomline of a successful blog is what else but solid contents" ~ Partha Bhattacharya

"The ease and appeal of blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world." ~ Unknown

"Blogging is not rocket science, it’s about being yourself, and putting what you have into it." ~ Unknown

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” ~ Brian Clark

“People have often described me as a blogger. I generally shy away from the term because, to me, bloggers are boring, self obsessed narcissists who use their website mainly as a means to discuss the inconsequential minutiae of their day to day lives.” ~ Anonymous

“I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” ~ Michael Arrington

“But there’s a bigger trend I’m seeing: people who used to enjoy blogging their lives are now moving to Twitter.”~ Robert Scoble

“The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both the blogger and their readers.” ~ Kevin Anderson

“It should feel genuinely good to earn income from your blog — you should be driven by a healthy ambition to succeed. If your blog provides genuine value, you fully deserve to earn income from it.” ~ Steve Pavlina

“The more popular a person thinks he is in the blogosphere, the thinner his skin and the thicker his hypocrisy. This should be exactly the opposite: the higher you go the thicker the skin and thinner the hypocrisy.” ~ Guy Kawasaki

“In China, blogs enable millions of citizens to express their opinions with reduced political risk simply because of the sheer number of like-minded opinions online. Facing these independent voices, the old ideological machine starts to crumble.” ~ Xiao Qiang

“Yes, blogging is entertainment. It is performance. Each blog post a show, sometimes an opera, sometimes a 30 second commercial. Like a show, it may start with a bang, lead you along from song to song, have a great climatic moment, then leave the audience wanting more.” ~Lorelle Van Fossen

“As I have repeatedly written in one form or other, blogging is not about writing posts. Heck, that’s the least of your challenges. No, blogging is about cultivating a mutually beneficial relationships with an ever-growing online readership, and that’s hard work.” ~ Alister Cameron

“Unless you restrict your reading habits to a really small segment of the blogging population, or you are a blogging machine like Robert Scoble, a feed reader is only going to give you a small window of what is happening in the blogosphere.” ~ Andy Beard

“I read blogs every day, for all sorts of reasons, but I turn to blogs especially when I want to hear alternative viewpoints — for example, information on a particular medical treatment from the viewpoint of patients receiving it, rather than doctors administering it; reports from the battlefield seen through the eyes of soldiers rather than politicians; thoughts on a particular technology from the standpoint of engineers rather than executives.” ~ Jim Buckmaster

“Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression. Some are better at it than others.” ~ Hugh Macleod

So many people, so many views, I simply enjoyed browsing through them. There were lots more but my guests were arriving like in 3 minutes so I reluctantly closed the window but not before saving the links. U know me, always considerate;-D. So if you are interested, you can check them out here, here and here.

Now you tell me, what does Blogging mean to You???????????