Monday, June 13, 2016

North Sea Waves

The video below is of the Borgholm Dolphin. It is a 274 man accommodation unit in the North Sea. It is an spread moored semi-submersible. This is an Aker H3 design hull built in 1975. In heavy seas, it is customary to slack the anchor chains to prevent dragging and to pump out ballast, giving more "air gap" for waves to pass under the deck.

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ramadan Road Rage

Dubai police reported that there were 250 traffic accidents on the first day of Ramadan. Two of them were very serious. They reported that most of them happened between 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM. The root cause given was people driving badly when they were in a hurry to get their feed on at their Iftar meal.

Meanwhile, over in Germany, a group of Arab migrants burned down their asylum center because the Iranian guards didn't wake them up before dawn and they didn't get to eat before the Ramadan fast began at sunrise. (and in case you weren't aware, Arabs do NOT like Iranians, or as they call them, Persians)

Seems to me that this whole Ramadan fasting thing should be taken into tactical consideration. Will Allah (PBOH) allow you to skip the fast if you are on jihad?

Finally, Saudi Arabia is reported to be considering an income tax on expats. Since most expats choose to work in the Kingdom to avoid taxes, this would seem to be counter productive. It's the expats that make sure the trains run on time over there. I expect many squirrels will change trees if that happens and the KSA will have trouble filling key positions with people who know what they are doing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Get High

Abseiling is a procedure that uses ropes to put a workman in an otherwise inaccessible place. The video below is an abseil at Burj Kalifa, the highest building in the world. The location is on the mast at the very top of the building. The job was to seal several light fixtures located in the mast. Unlike Hollywood, there is no stunt man and no FX camera tricks. The fall is over 800 meters. You do the math.

10 minutes of work but years of preparation.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ramadan Mubarak!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Ramadan began yesterday. This means either a cessation of Radical Islamic Terrorism or an increase in the same, depending upon who you listen to. This month of charity and introspection in the Islamic calendar could go either way. Be alert and be safe.

Ramadan will end on July 5.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Head Count

Five murderers and two drug dealers had their bodies separated from their heads last month in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It appears that they have cleared out their backlog of criminals deserving of the sword and are back to single digit execution numbers. The year to date total is now 92.

In other, less lethal, news....in the United Arab Emirates, a female American tourist was found not guilty of insulting the country and allowed to leave the country. She was arrested back in February after she had a confrontation with some locals at the airport. They can do that in countries with Sharia law.

In similar news, a former Miss Turkey was given a 14 month suspended sentence for insulting President Erdogan. You see how important that First Amendment is? When was the last time you cursed our President?

And also this week, the courts in Dubai sentenced American businessman Zack Shahin of financial impropriety and sentenced him to 15 years. He was CEO of the development company Deyaar. He was first arrested back in 2008. He was let out on bail and tried to flee the Emirates but was caught and was extradited.  Being a foreign business executive there can be a dangerous job.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Night Manager

Jonathan Pine is an Afghanistan war veteran who is hiding from the world as the night manager of a swanky Cairo hotel. He gets into a relationship with the girlfriend of a local mobster. She then tells him about a pending arms deal her boyfriend is working on and Jonathan leaks that information to an old friend of his back in the UK. The leak costs the girl her life and Jonathan leaves town ending up as night manager in another hotel in the Swiss alps. Who should appear at this hotel but the British industrialist who brokered the arms deal in Cairo. Johnathan seeks revenge and so starts the plan for an obscure British intelligence agency to recruit Jonathan as an undercover agent.

This is a 6 part series presented by AMC and is based on a John Le Carre novel (He even has a bit part). The lead is played by Tom Hiddleston who some of you may recognize as Loki from the Thor movies. This part gives him an opportunity to show off his acting ability. Hugh Laurie (remember "House"?) plays the evil industrialist. It is suspenseful and will hold your attention for the entire run. Stream it at your own peril.