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!)
It has been a hectic month getting married, going on our honeymoon, spending time with the whole family (which is very rare because we have a London branch!) and preparing for our new life back in Japan.
In all my life I have never been to four countries in a space of a month! So as you would imagine, I practically lived in airports.
I like discovering new places and cultures but completely despise the thought of going to airports, getting on a plane and sit for hours and seeing my feet swell up like watermelons
But what tops the hate list, is the never ending questioning and ‘random’ bag checking and security checks which when you just want the leave the souless beings that are airports, is just like pouring salt on a flesh wound!
The worst experience was when I first came to Japan after what was a marathon flight from Bahrain-Dubai- Hong Kong then from HK-Taipei-Nagoya and with my feet barely fitting into shoes when we finally landed and from that moment I was bombarded by security checks, very long questionings all in badly broken Engrish and opening every single piece of luggage I brought with me including my little passport bag.
But the cherry on that sh*tcake was the second I exited the Arrivals gate, two uniformed officers come up to me casually with one of them telling me in better yet still broken Engrish that his friend (the other officer) has recently learned Arabic and wanted to practice some with me.
So after an excruciating 10 minutes with him destroying the Arabic language and myself speaking to him in the slowest and clearest Fusha that made my first few minutes in Japan even more surreal!
This was in the Bush/Pre-Obama era
Chubu Airport (Nagoya)> One bag checked which was my wifes, with the customs officer embaressed because he was checking through her things (Nobody told him to check the huge Bright Pink bag in search of narcotics, weapons and exotic animals in the first place!)
and that was it!
God Bless you Obama!
Today is Japan’s National Foundation Day which is celebrated every year and is a one day holiday..
Which I realized only when I went to university to polish off my presentation for my entrance exam, only to find the whole university closed!
Also as part of my entrance exam, I have to sit a English exam (in Japanese!) which I need to bring an English/Japanese dictionary and since i only have a handy dandy electronic dictionary which I’m not allowed to use, I had to shed some cash and help the Japanese economy.
So in doing so, I went to one of the bookshops downtown in search of a dictionary..
The first thing I noticed were hundreds of photos of President Barack Obama, and hundreds more in the form of CD and DVD books!
Each book is basically a compilation of President Obama’s speeches from his Democratic Nomination till his inauguration all translated word-by-word into Japanese all as a way to help improve Japanese people’s English (especially advanced learners). It is a far cry from George W. Bush’s butchering of the English language through his memorable Bushisms.
But President Obama isn’t the only political figure helping books fly off the shelves!
Japanese Prime Minister, Taro Aso, is renowned for two things: His love for Manga comics (whenever I mention that Aso has a typical Manga villian mouth and grin, my Japanese friends burst out laughing) and his many misreadings of Kanji.
After quite a few public blotchings of Kanji by PM Aso during speeches, many Japanese have turned to bookstores to buy books on how to read complex Kanjis to avoid such embaressing situations. Two women who were standing in front of me in line were buying such books, at the same time making me feel better than I’m not the only one struggling with reading Kanjis with each one at least two or three readings, some even reaching 12 and 13!
As for our politicians, the only time we see them reading is when the Book Fair is in town and all they do is collect books to fill their shelves (mostly religious books) to make them look ‘smart’ and ‘knowledgable’ whilst on the other hand, we have ministers whose job is to encourage people to read and learn about the world around them and write and express themselves, goes and attempts to block the internet…tsk tsk!
Once again please sign the petition against Internet censorship in Bahrain