Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kuwait drivers - NOT

So I can't go another day without recording how bad the Kuwaiti drivers are. They are inconsiderate and dangerous. They read magazines in the car will driving in the fast lane, I kid you not, saw one this morning on my drive to work. They talk on their cell phones and ride on your rear with inches to spare while flashing their lights at you to get the hell out of the way. Death on the highways are a way of life here. Just hope I can make it for a few more months.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Kuwait Electrical Woes

So the electrical power shortage in Kuwait is getting worse. Now the Kuwait ministry responsible for electricity is sending out its power nazis looking for people who are using too much electricy. We are still having 45 rolling brown outs between the hours of noon and 5PM. Heard on the radio the other day that some portable electrical generators have been purchashed and have arrived but won't be operational until sometime in July. Mean while new building construction continues at a mad pace, construction cranes everywhere. Where is the power for these new buildings going to come from? Seems to me that it the Kuwait ministry responsible for electricty needs to plan more power generation facilities and slow down growth until they can produce enough electricity for the people currently living here. 3rd world country.
An editorial in one of the local newspapers went on about how the expats are living 3 and 4 to an apartment so they use more electricty. What about all the locals who have 10,000 sq foot houses mostly empty, bet their ac is running.

Monday, June 25, 2007


It has been said the news is the first draft of history. More news is moving to the blogsphere so our first draft of history is getting closer to the participants in the events that we later call history. But history changes with every new draft; from blog, to news web site, to newspaper, to news magazine, to books, and in the long run in the analysis. Where is the truth? People in the middle of todays headlines do not have perspective but they have skin in the game. My hope is that we learn from history but what gets reported and later analyzed needs to be relavant. Too much is recorded that is of no lasting value. Who cares if some starlet lots 3lbs while in jail? I want to know what events lead to todays headlines and how we can change for the better.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Think about it

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."

Omar Khayyam

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Budget Car Rentals SUCKS!

Consumer alert for anyone needing a rental car in Kuwait. Do NOT rent from Budget Car Rentals at the airport. The cars are in very poor condition and the attitude of the staff is that we will take your money but we won't take your complaints or listen to your issues. When it is 120F you do not want to break down on the side of the road. Calling the Budget car rental phone number gets you nothing. They just say bring the car in! So do not rent a car from Budget in Kuwait. You have all the other car rental places to choose from including Avis. Budget sucks!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yellow Jumpsuits

On the drive to and from work I see all of these guys along the road dressed in bright yellow jumpsuits. They carry a bag and or a small household broom and with that equipment they keep the roadways (highways and side streets) clean. What a dangerous job to have the way the local Kuwaiti's drive. But every day in the blazing heat these guys sweep up and pick up the roadside trash. Thank you for all your hard work and be safe.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Science 2.0

This YouTube video is very intersting and talks about how science is communicated in the media.

Iran Nuclear Program

Saturday Talks on Iran Nuclear Program
The Associated PressTuesday, June 19, 2007; 1:14 PM

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator and the European Union's foreign policy chief will meet Saturday in Portugal for a new round of talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, state television reported.

From my experience this week in Kuwait I would say nuclear based electrical power would be a good thing. Perhaps Kuwait could buy electricity from Iran. But remember folks the Bush adminstration will never allow WMD's in this region. I don't want them anywhere in the world. We have more pressing needs, like stopping the electrical brown outs in Kuwait so I can surf the web 27X7 and have something cold to drink.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kuwait Electricity

KUWAIT-RATIONALIZATION Kuwait's power rationalization cmte holds 3rd meeting
KUWAIT, June 16 (KUNA) -- Kuwait's Executive Committee to rationalize electricity and water consumption met Saturday under chairmanship of Ministry of Electricity and Water undersecretary Yousif Al-Hajri.The Ministry said in a statement that the committee members focused on procedures and plans to decrease consumption of power supplies during peak periods.Recommendation to reduce electricity loads was also on the agenda of the meeting today, indicated the statement.

And today I found a notice on my apartment door providing a list of suggestions on how to save electricity. Looks like Kuwait is not providing all the electricity it needs to support all the new buildings. On my drive to and from work and just looking out my window I can seel all kinds of new buildings going up. Why would you build more buildings when you don't have the electrical generation capacity for what is already built? Poor planning....

Sunday, June 17, 2007


More from George packer an article in the New Yorker titled Betrayed. Click on the post title "Betrayed" to go to the original article. The Iraqies who trusted America the most.

We tend to leave behind those who help us at great risk to return to the safety of America. I have two hopes; 1 is that those we leave behind live long and happy lives and 2 that we can always return to a safe America.

Assassins' Gate

I just finished reading "The Assassins' Gate - America in Iraq" by George Packer. Excellent read which gives insights into the indivdual human side of the war and it's aftermath in Iraq. It also begins to examine the historical context of the war and the lead up to its execution and what may happen next. From my perspective I hope that America moves back and let's the Iraqis begin nation building. Our role should be to provide the protection to give them the chance to do it on their own terms. We need to keep Iran, Saudia Arabia, Syria and others at arms length. Let's hope they can survive religion.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Astronomy Photo Album

So click on the title to this post to see my first web based (Picasa) photo album devoted to astronomy. Astronomy is a love of mine, especially viewing the spectactual photos taken from space based telescopes and probes sent from Earth to Jupiter, Saturn and beyond! The Hubble photos of deep space objects really put life into perspective for me. We can't be alone. And my hope is that we are not the best.

Kuwait Reference Data

Orientation map of Kuwait

The flag of Kuwait


So here I sit in my apartment in Kuwait city dreading the drive into work, you all know how I feel about Kuwaiti drivers - they are nuts, inconsiderate and very unsafe drivers. Anyway I am still reading the book Assassins Gate about America in Iraq. A very good book which I recommend to all who want to understand the sources of many of America's problems in Iraq. The Bush administration did not do the planning required for "after the war". Great insights into the peoples lives both Iraqi and American soldiers. Makes my "hazardous" drive to work and rolling electical brown outs seems very insignificant.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Brown Outs

So this is new, I come home from work today and stuck on my door was a note from the apartment manager informing us that Kuwait City is starting 45 minute a day electrical power brown outs. How 3rd world of them. We are to conserve our use of electricty so that Kuwiat will not increase the duration and quantiy of electrical brown outs. Getting to be like Iraq now. This development, along with the usual drive home consisting of dangerous, inconsiderate and rude Kuwaiti drivers makes we want to go home, and I just returned a few days ago.

It's all about where you place your efforts

In Iraq the Sunni's and Shiites are blowing up each others holy shrines, killing each other by decapatation. While up in space the US, Russia, Japan and the ESA are working together on the International Space Station trying to fix a problem with a computer that helps maintain the orientation of the ISS and regulate the oxygen. So what is a better use of your time? Cooperating to take humanity into the last frontier or killing each other? I'll let you decide. For me I want to be on the International Space Station fixing the computer rather than down here in Kuwait designing computer and communications systems.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why do we need Philosophers?

Many of the worlds problems result from religion. I think more people have died from religious differences than from any other source. That is one reason for philosophers, they reasonably investigate and discuss religious issues.
Our generation has seen more advancement in the areas investigated by scientists. The rate of advancement in the areas governed by scientists (and engineers) is increasing and affecting us all every day. Philosophers investiage the why of this advancement. That is another reason we need philosophers.
Their is a huge intersection, getting larger, between the domains of religion and science. Who investigates both these subjects? The philosopher. One area of philosophy is augumenation, which in the classical sense means reason giving. That is carefully investagating subjects that make up our universe. Who can better discuss the debate between evolution and creation? The philosopher. From theological conceptions to philosophical investigations to secientific facts; the philosopher provides the rational path for a meaningful dicsussion take place, without violence.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Keep an eye on North Africa

So now the jihadist are surging in north Africa from Egypt to Morocco. Keep an eye on this area as more and more sucide bombers practice their trade.

I returned back to Kuwait from a six week trip to America today. I'll try to get back into a routine again with my blog.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Great Projects

Great Projects move all humans forward in history. Great projects like sending a man to the moon, building the pyramids in Egypt, cell phones and the Space shuttle and international space station. When we come together to build something that is bigger and will last longer than the people who built it we move the human race forward. What will be the next great project. Why do we spend so much time, effort and money on the small things? What will our generation be remembered for in 1,000 years?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

US needs to back out of Iraq

So I think that the US needs to accelerate its movement of troops out of Iraq. We need to move towards a force that assists in keeping the boarders safe and secure and let the Iraqis attend to the internal affairs.

Gates gives gentle prod to Iraqi government to move faster
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
AP Military Writer
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave the Iraqi government a gentle prod Tuesday to move faster toward political reconciliation during the American troop buildup in Baghdad.
``We would certainly be happier if there were faster progress on the political front,'' Gates told reporters during a joint news conference with Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov. He noted that the Iraqis had missed a May 31 deadline for passing a hydrocarbons law one of many political obstacles yet to be overcome.
Gates was asked whether it appeared to him that U.S. and Iraqi forces were making slower-than-expected progress in establishing security in Baghdad neighborhoods, as news reports have indicated in recent days. He said he had not seen any early projections by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, of how many neighborhoods were expected to be cleared of insurgents by this point.
``So I'm not in a position to judge whether that is faster or slower than General Petraeus anticipated,'' he said. ``If it's slower it's clearly because al-Qaida and others are trying to make as much difficulty as possible for us and for the Iraqi government.''
Petraeus, meanwhile, said it was too early to judge whether the U.S. counterinsurgency push, which required the addition of about 30,000 extra U.S. troops, is working. ``We haven't even started the surge, the full surge, yet so I'll answer that in September,'' when he is scheduled to report to Washington on the operation, he said.
``In about two weeks or so we'll have all of the forces for the surge, all the combat forces, on the ground and you're going to see the launch of a number of different operations in a number of areas to go after al-Qaida and other extremist elements,'' Petraeus said in an interview aired Tuesday on CBS' ``The Early Show.''
Since the troop buildup began in January, the U.S. casualty rate has increased substantially.
``General Petraeus has been pretty clear from the beginning that this was going to be a difficult process,'' Gates said.
Gates noted that Petraeus ``has been pretty clear from the beginning that this was going to be a difficult process,'' Gates said, referring to the counterinsurgency campaign, which required the addition of about 30,000 extra U.S. troops.
Gates applauded the effort of Iraqi security forces, saying they are suffering casualties at twice the rate of U.S. forces.
``Their willingness to fight and die for their country is not in doubt,'' he said.
Gates stopped in Bishkek to consult with Kyrgyz officials about the U.S. use of an air base outside the capital, where U.S. cargo and refueling planes are stationed for operations related to the war in Afghanistan. U.S. soldiers also transit through the Manas air base on their way to Afghanistan. Gates was in Afghanistan on Monday.
(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Photos of Kuwait

Flickr Maps is a great site to see photos that people have taken of Kuwait. Visit the link and search on Kuwait. There are over 3,000 photos on the site the last time I checked.
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