A number of people have asked me to upload my TEDxBahrainona talk onto YouTube especially those who couldn’t attend the event and couldn’t see the live webcast.
People who did attend the event told me that they couldn’t read the slides as they were either too fast or had a red watermark on the middle of the slide which was covering some of the text. Others told me that the audio wasn’t so great.
I tried to rectify these problems by making my own edit of the talk where the slides last longer on the screen and don’t carry any watermarks. Because YouTube only allows 15 minutes of video in one file, I had to split the video into two halves.
I am looking for help in typing up a manuscript of the talk in Arabic, then translating it into English and Japanese. If you would like to help, please reply in the comments section or by mentioning me on Twitter @yslaise
Without further ado, here is my TEDxBahrainona talk and I hope you enjoy it and please leave any ideas, comments or questions you might have about my talk!
It’s been almost six months since I last posted anything on this blog, during that time I became a father for the first time and been focusing on my research (which I had to scrap altogether once, but on track now with a much more fun idea).
Anyhow, I just wanted to post today about a couple of Twitter projects I’m doing at the moment, one for my thesis and the other just for fun really.
The first one is http://www.twitter.com/japanarabia which is a Twitter account that’s exclusively written in Japanese and Arabic, aiming to bridge the gap between Japan and the Arab World by sharing links and interacting with Japanese people living in Arab countries and vice versa.
in 2007, Bahraini Nayef Omar Al-Kalali published a collection of Gulf Arabic proverbs with their translations into English in addition to world proverbs which carry similar meanings in a coffee table format called “Pearls of Wisdom from the Gulf and the Globe”. I personally fell in love with it and enjoyed the English translations of the proverbs where the writer tried his best to keep the rhyme and musical tone of the original proverb.
I thought his book would make great Twitter material due to the short and snappy nature of proverbs and a light-hearted break from the waves of links and breaking news etc.. You can find it on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PearlOfWisdomBH
So please feel free to add any of these accounts into your Twitter timelines!
It’s already 2010 over here so for starters Happy New Year and あけましておめでとうございます！
During the first three days of the new year, many Japanese spend their time between friends and family touring round the many temples scattered around wishing for good luck during the new year and ‘purify’ their sins by banging a gong with a thick rope for 108 times (apparently each person commits 108 sins every year).
Other than that, it’s like most religious holidays, where families gather and eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow!
The Japanese also have a tradition of writing a single Kanji to express their feelings for the new year.
But before I go into that, most Japanese would agree if they were to sum up 2009 in one word it would be:
read (kibishii) which means strict, hard, tough and severe.
With the economic crisis battering the Japanese economy and leaving many Japanese and foreign workers jobless and eventually homeless, not forgetting an extremely strong yen (great for traveling abroad but not for anything else). The word ‘tough’ wouldn’t be enough.
As for 2010, Japan has opted an optimistic view for the coming year making the year’s Kanji
read (shin) which means ‘new’ , symbolizing the change that already happened in 2009 mainly the election of Yukio Hatoyama leader of the Democratic Party of Japan ousting the long reigning Liberal Democrats out of office, and the optimism of building a new economy and a new Japan of the future.
Another Kanji growing popular these days is:
read (yume) which means ‘dream’ as it is playing a part in the lead up into the upcoming World Cup in South Africa. Apparently they are aiming for a place in the semi final this time around.
Finally, my Kanji for 2010 is:
read (aka) which means ‘red’. Other than a sign of undying patriotism towards Bahrain, it is also a hope that I stay out of the red. Red is also the color of dawn and dusk, hopefully a beautiful peaceful end of a chapter and a beginning of a great new day.
But most importantly, we’re hopefully expecting our first born child somewhere around March and in Japanese, babies are called 赤ちゃん (aka-chan) which literally means ‘red kid’.
Recently, a very good friend of mine had her second art exhibition in Japan exploring her new found love of the colour red in Japan and I’m gonna finish off this post with one of the “私の赤” (watashi no aka) or ‘My Red’ series…
According to today’s Al-Wasat [Ar] newspaper, MP Adel Al-Asoumi has suggested building a nuclear (read like former US President George W Bush ==> new-clear) reactor to combat Bahrain’s continuing electric blackout problem.
This article make me giggle for two reasons:
- Just the day before, the UAE and South Korea signed a nuclear power plant deal. Al-Asoumi seemed to have just read the news before entering the parliamentary chambers and thought “hmmmm… I’ll suggest the same thing here [fluorescent light flickers above him]“.
- I used to remember when I was in intermediate and secondary school that we the GCC were aiming to use solar power in the near future. I remember reading articles in the newspaper that University of Bahrain bought some solar panels to use in experiments and I thought “Wow! I hope the school takes us there for a trip” (Yes, I was a wee bit nerdy back then)
What really baffles me is why has nuclear power become so ‘hip’ all of a sudden. Is it because neighbouring Iran has nuclear capabilities? Is it because President Obama gave them the green light?
We GCC countries are located in what is being called ‘The Sun Belt‘ which spans from the deserts of North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. According to research, if solar power was generated on this Sun Belt, only a mere 0.4% of the energy generated would be enough to power the whole of Europe.
We are talking about being the world’s prime energy provider after the ‘Oil Age’. Yet, hardly any sort of research never mind development is being done in our region.
Whilst here in Japan, the summer fad in the mobile market (other than the iPhone 3GS) was solar powered ones. Also quite a considerable amount of rural homes have installed solar panels on their roofs (based on a few train/bus rides here and there).
Solar power has finally hit the domestic market (outside solar powered calculators…remember those?)
Renewable energy is the way to go… We’ve said this for decades.. Let’s actually do something about it and invest in this market (not just buy solar cells, but actually develop our own!)
A few days ago, I came across an article in one of the local mags here, describing a national project in Japan recycling old mobile phones.
According to the article, every mobile phone has an average of 40mg of gold and 120mg of silver and other metals, and with Japan having an estimated 200 million old and unused mobile phones lying around in cupboard drawers and closets, in the case that half those mobiles were recycled, you would end up with around 3.2 tonnes of gold and over 9 tonnes of silver.
or in other words, Japan, a country with hardly any mineral resources, has created a new industry – “Urban Mining”.
Urban mining isn’t just restricted within mobile phones. Microwaves, washing machines, televisions, digital cameras and every other electrical appliance you can think of can now be recycled to extract the rare metals within them such as cobalt, indium, zinc and platinum.
Recycling has been around since the 1970s , yet in Bahrain, there’s no awareness whatsoever about conserving the environment nor recycling except in some very small circles, who are predominately expats living in Bahrain.
The closest thing we’ve had to recycling probably would be a ‘Zari Ateej’ (زاري عتيج)