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Walking (!) Home in Abu Dhabi

April 16th, 2015 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi

A person can walk in the UAE. From December through March, usually you will be OK.

Before and after … not a good idea. Not at all.

And I had been thinking, since we took up residence near the landward end of Abu Dhabi island, that I would like to walk home from the office. But in 2.5 years I had never done it.

Today, I got it done. But it was more difficult than I expected.

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What’s in a Name?

April 15th, 2015 · No Comments · Football, soccer

I came across a particularly unusual name while reading a story about the English Championship, which is the official (if misleading) name for English soccer’s second division.

He plays as a winger for Wolverhampton Wanderers, and his name?

Rajiv van La Parra.

Think about that for a moment.

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Today’s List: Possible Food Offerings at Dodger Stadium

April 14th, 2015 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers, Lists

The Dodgers sent out a press release last week describing the “new menu” items at Dodger Stadium for the 2015 season.

Nos 1 and 2 on the list? (And these are real.)

–Lasorda’s Meatball Marinara Specialty Fries

–Lasorda’s Meatball Marinara Cone

Also, La Taqueria’s Carne Asada Specialty Fries … and Fried Dodger Dogs at Extreme Loaded Dogs — located on the Field Level, Aisle 48.

And those sound so … shaky/scary … it seems to cry out for a Letterman-style top-10 list, of “dishes” the Dodgers might be inspired to offer up. So we count down, from 10 to 1.

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UAE Population by Nationality: Surprises

April 13th, 2015 · No Comments · UAE

A Qatar-based business web portal known as bqdoha has published what it purports to be fairly accurate statistics on the population breakdown, by nationalities, of the UAE.

This is a fascinating batch of numbers to look at, for those of us who live here. To see some assumptions validated, but also to find numbers we never expected. Low or high.

We start with the three at the top, which line up in the order we expected. And Emiratis, as we all knew, are not the most populous group in their own country. Not even close.

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Cheatin’ Chess Grandmaster

April 12th, 2015 · No Comments · Dubai

My favorite story of the weekend.

The cheating chess grandmaster in the Dubai Open tournament.

Cheating how? Rigging the clock to give him extra time? Telling his opponent, “Hey, is that Bobby Fischer behind you?” and then swapping pieces?

No. It’s better than that.

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April 11th, 2015 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi

That was the temperature in Abu Dhabi today, in Fahrenheit. The hottest day of the year, and the first in 2015 in triple digits.

It will not be the last. Oh, no.

The notion of 103 is depressing, really. On April 11. And it is bound to get worse, far worse, before it gets better.

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Soccer’s Missed TV Opportunity

April 10th, 2015 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Football, soccer, UAE

The world is covered by soccer clubs. Nearly every country on the face of the planet has a league. Most of those leagues play from the late summer into mid-May.

Why, then, did I have almost no live soccer to watch for two days in April?

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Today’s List: The 10 U.S. States I’ve Never Been In

April 9th, 2015 · No Comments · Lists

I think “bucket lists” are silly concepts. Mostly, it seems like doing cliche tourist things.

But I concede I did think of the “bucket” thing when I was mulling the concept of visiting all 50 U.S. states.

I’m not that far off.

Ten states to go.

I could knock off most of them in two semi-local road trips. And then one big trip. I’m close. But close is not enough, if you’re want to be 50 for 50.

Those missing from the list:

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One Question

April 8th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Many religions speak an afterlife and, in particular, of heaven.

An eternity in another realm … that’s an important concept, and one that is a comfort to many people.

It is interesting, however, how divergent the views are on heaven, even within Christianity.

It is generally described as a place of eternal happiness and bliss, living with God and other believers.

The other day, however, I had a thought about heaven that I do not recall seeing discussed.

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Many Manny Photos

April 7th, 2015 · No Comments · Boxing, The National

Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao is a big deal in the UAE, too.

Interest seems to be high, and most of it seems to focus on Manny. In part because the UAE is home to about 500,000 Filipinos. In part because Mayweather seems a bit arrogant, from the other side of the world. His ability to generate enormous amounts of cash for prize fights doesn’t seem to be as lauded over here as it is back home.

So, in our efforts to give readers as much of this fight as we can, today we launched a three-day series of photo essays focusing on Manny.

The pictures, never before seen in print or online, were taken by a very fine sports photographer, Mike Young, who spent 18 months as part of Team Pacquiao and, before that, was sports photo editor here at The National.

Here are the photos from Day 1: Manny the Fighter.

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