Archives for the month of: January, 2009

London’s regular Routemaster buses are going to get a facelift, with the submission of Aston Martin _45312417_fosters-aston_martinand Foster+partners  new design. The design retains the traditional colors and look, but gives it a facelift which is more in line with the times. Selected as the best from a design competition with a prize of 25000 pounds,  that included more than 700 entries from companies and even children,the bus is accessible by all including invalids through a side opening and also retains the hop-on hop-off back door. The buses will also feature solar panels and will be zero emission making them greener, than the current gas guzzlers. The buses are expected to be in service by 2011.

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masdar Masdar City, is a new development being built in Abu Dhabi. This city will be the first in the world which will be zero carbon and zero waste and powered totally by renewable sources. The city will also be car free and pedestrian friendly with only 200m to nearest access to public transport networks.  These public network transport networks shall consist of light rail transport LRT and Personal rapid transport PRT systems which will ensure both speed and privacy. Photovoltaic, Geothermal and reverse osmosis  are some of the technologies that are under consideration to build the new city.

This city will definitely be a pioneering effort, leading the way to a cleaner greener world. The costs of building a city of this scale is definitely huge, but the benefits cannot be measured on any scale.

One person who was conspicuous at the inauguration of Barak Obama was Secretary of Defense designate, Robert Gates. Apparently, Gates was taken to a secret location, and kept there for the duration of the inauguration, in order to ensure continuity, should something untoward happen at the event. With almost all the others in the line of presidential succession present at the Capitol, Gates was probably in the safest place possible in another undisclosed state, town or bunker. This procedure has been in place and followed for quite some time now to ensure continuity in case of a Nuclear attack or assassination attempt. The successor is chosen in consensus with other members of the parliament.

Eleven Forty Design is a company that custom makes cufflinks. The USP of these cufflinks are that they can made,  1140modeled on a person’s head. Once a photograph is provided, a 3D model is chiseled and made into a cufflink. The cufflinks will be side profiles of the head and can be put together to form a miniature bust displayed on a stand, when they are not used.

However, this is the small stuff.

The same technology called Doppelganger is used to create the Opus Luxury football table. The players on the opus football table can be customized to your own or your friends and family’s heads. Perhaps you can pit your own family against a team of celebrities. A great deal of detail is possible, to the extent that hair can be added and noses chiseled off a-la MJ.

The table features underplay lighting which can change the color of the field, Bubble levels which can help to place the table on level ground, solid cast aluminum player bodies and luxurious handles in leather, wood, metal or a combination of all. The table itself is made of oak, mahogany or walnut and is hand finished and has stainless steel adjustable legs. Being hand finished and highly customized using the latest in design technology, I can only imagine what a piece like this would cost.

apple_elder Out grocery shopping at the City Center in Salmiya, I came across the Kuwait Danish Diary- KDD shelves which were stocked with their latest release. Apple and Elderflower Nectar.

Elderflower is a flower of the Elder shrub or trees which bears fruits and berries and found mostly in Europe and more generally in the Northern hemisphere. Elderflower is used to produce Elderflower Cordial and champagne. Elder trees were supposed to ward of evil spirits and protects against them. Elderflower cordial is produced by steeping Elderflower heads into a concentrated sugar solution so that the flavor is infused into the sugar syrup. The sugar concentration allows the cordial a long life.

The Nectar itself, tastes mostly of Apple juice with a bit of rose water (or what I now know to be Elderflower Cordial), adding character to the tried and tested Apple nectar. The former combination would be my guess in a blind test or perhaps if I were to re-invent the flavor, without having to go through the trouble of sourcing Elderflower Cordial. Maybe its just my taste buds!!