The times, they are a’changing in Russia 13, November 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in China, Russia.
Tags: Changing time zones, China time zone, Russia, Russian time zones, Time zones
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Russian President Putin Medvedev announced that he is considering cutting the number of timezones in the country. Currently, Russia spans 11 timezones which, for example, makes business difficult for those at opposite ends of the country. Looking at the map above, it doesn’t look too difficult to do. The +4, +6 and +8 ones look like ripe candidates for the chop to start with. Then again, he could go the Chinese route and make everyone work by a unified Moscow timezone. And to think that people in the UK think that Britain is too London-centric…
Collective Nouns 13, November 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Middle East.
Tags: Aminal collective nouns, Collective nouns, goldfish, Middle Eastern collective nouns, ravens, weasels, woodpeckers
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No, this isn’t too much to do with the Middle East but it’s just plain interesting. Here are my top 10-ish favourite collective nouns for animals. As far as I know these are all correct. To crow-bar some Middle Easternyness into this post, I’ve come up with a few collective nouns for some regional bits and pieces too.
- A descent of woodpeckers
- A sneak of weasels
- A hover of goldfish
- A storytelling of ravens
- A murmuration of starlings
- A bouquet of pheasants
- A tidings of magpies
- An ascension of larks
- A memory of elephants
- A tower of giraffes
- A shrewdness of apes
- An implausibility of gnus (some quasi-wilderbeast thing)
Some Middle Easterny ones:
- A bling of Gulfies
- A rage of extremists
- A grope of Egyptian men
- A pedant of Arabic teachers
- A tick-tock of Mubaraks, Bashirs and Ghadaffis
Please feel free to come up with your own. The best entry will win the fabled squashed Kit Kat.
Algerian players injured after arriving in Cairo 13, November 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Egypt, North Africa.
Tags: Algerian footballers attacked, Egypt, Egypt - Algeria football, World Cup
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Algeria’s football team arrived in Cairo to play their crucial World Cup qualifier only to have their bus assaulted with stones. Four players were injured and one had to be taken to hospital. In a PR exercise worthy of Iraq’s Comical Ali, a police spokesperson said that none of the Algerian players had been injured.
There is hugely bad blood between the two football rivals stemming mostly from the infamous 1989 encounter which Egypt won 1-0. After the game there was widespread rioting and a former Algerian footballer blinded Egypt’s team doctor in an assault. Charming.
- There is a football tradition of killing owls in order to jinx your opposing team. It has been relayed to me that an Owl holocaust was started last week and is continuing until this very moment.
- Tamer from the popular TV show el beit beitak went on TV a couple of days ago and informed the egyptian audiences of the Hotel the algerian team will be staying in, and urging the egyptian people to “go there and hang out” until the day of the game.
- Algerian municipality workers have stopped the paperwork for an algerian girl getting married to an egyptian guy, telling her that she can come back for it after saturday’s game.
- Egyptians dying for a ticket to the Game attacked all ticket selling centers in droves today. The Elite Heliopolis Sporting club managed to secure a couple of thosunad tickets to sell to its members, only to have word of this reaching the egyptian population and having hundreds of egyptians storm into the private club to get their hands on tickets. 40 police cars were called to secure the facility.
- Algerian airlines has donated 3000 free tickets to hardcore algerian fans in order not to have their team stand by its lonesome against the cheering might of 80,000 egyptians.
- Algerian hackers hacked the egyptian football association webpage today, and put the Israeli flag on it (??!!!?).