30 March, 2012

He's Still Standing

Elton John was in good form tonight at the Yas Arena. It was 2 and 1/2 hours of the man and his piano, while he was accompanied on a few numbers by his longtime percussionist. The performance was reminiscent of Elton John's famous and historic 1979 tour of Russia. He had the same percussionist with him and amazingly performed many of the same songs.

It was very much a 1970's affair with most of the songs performed from his 1971 and 1972 albums. Not quite "60 Years On," although he did sing this song, but certainly 40 years on.

Elton John sings with as much passion as ever, although there is a recognizable quiver in his voice which was not discernible when he last performed in Abu Dhabi in 2008. On the other hand he seems to be becoming ever more the piano maestro. I doubt that there is anyone in the world who can work the piano and vocals together as skillfully as he does. Elton John IS the piano man.

20 March, 2012

GeekFest Sharjah

Just in case you have been travelling to remotest Baltistan over the past week and didn't hear about it already, GeekFest is taking place over at the Al Maraya Art Centre, which is at Al Qasba, the funky canal-side recreation area down by Al Tawun.

It's a big space and there's loads of room, but there's also plenty going on, too.

The event will 'start' at 7.30pm and the talks start at 8pm, each lasting for 15 minutes - there's a talk from creative community website TripleW, from manga Geek Qais Sedki, art collaborator Alex Tohme and amateur historian me. There are workshops, too - on photography for post-processing by ace lensman and digital tinkerer Catalin Marin and one on origami from JUKI, the Emirati/Japanese collective. We'll also have a team from Sharjah Museums on hand displaying images and chatting about two important new exhibitions that have opened in Sharjah this week, British Orientalist Owen Jones and Sudanese artist Ibrahim El Salahi, the painter of 'Africa's Guernica'. There'll also be an exhibition of photography from Mohammed Azimuddin and if that's all not enough, there's GameFest, powered by tbreak and megamers and a technology showcase from Nokia.

GeekFest Sharjah takes place at the same time as the Al Qasba Food Festival, so there's an unusually wide selection food and drink and there are a couple of surprises as well.

What's not to love? And please, Dubai types, spare us the moaning about traffic. We do it every day. It's time you lot came up north and explored the boonies!

BTW, Al Qasba's easily reached by turning off the Dubai-Sharjah highway towards Al Taawun and it's really not that congested. Honestly!

More details over on the blog if you fancy more info. No registration, no limitations, no rules - just pitch up when you like and enjoy yourself! Oh, and I've promised not to do any readings from or talking about Olives!:)


15 March, 2012

The fish always stinks from the head...

The new-so-called "Loan Agreement" of €130 billion, imposed to Greece by the IMF (International Mother F*ckers) and their euro-colleagues will be allocated as following:

1. €30 billion will be paid as cash incentive to the pirates holding Greek bonds.
2. €40 billion will be paid for the recapitalization of the Commercial Banks operating in Greece.
3. €60 billion will cover unaudited debt repayments.

09 March, 2012

Wheelchair Accessibility

It's unfortunate that the facilities invested in here go to waste so often because of people acting selfishly. In this case it causes a wheelchair user to take more than 10 minutes to board an RTA bus.

Taken from the video description... "The challenges that people with special needs face sometimes while commuting in Dubai. We appreciate a lot and thank the government of Dubai and RTA for creating a network of transportation facilities that equality treat the able and the disabled so that now people with special needs can travel around Dubai with ease. However some irresponsible and uncivilised people get into the way and cause a lot of inconvenience to to others."