OCCI Meeting

Friday saw the first meeting of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, chaired by OCCI deputy chair Ayman Bin Abdullah Al Hasani.  At the meeting, challenges in the industry sector and how important this is to support Omani products were discussed. As well, Abeer Al Abdwani was appointed as the committee’s deputy chairman.  Topics to be bought to the table on Industry Day were reviewed, as well as working out ways to deal with national products; how large shopping centers could promote national products through display space and how to establish an authority for Omani products and to boost the Omanisation programme.

One Word: Amazing


A lady who was born with Sacral Agenesis, gave birth not once, but twice, to two healthy children.  The disorder she was born with rednered her with half a body.  Her parents made the decision to amputate her legs – a decision Rose later said she was happy about – so that she wouldn’t be confined to a wheelchair and could lead a “normal” childhood.  At school they wanted her to be fitted with prosthetic legs so she’d “fit in” more but she fought them and won.

Anyway, some years later she met Dave Siggins, they fell in love and got married.  Siggins does not have any kind of disability.  He managed to take her problems in his stride, joking that he didn’t have to worry about her getting cold feet before the wedding and that the cake was bigger than the bride!  The two had a normal sex life with Dave again joking that her legs don’t get in the way.

Rose found out she was pregnant two years into their relationship.  Every doctor told her to abort except Dr. Wilson who pointed out, “this couple have committed themselves to a pregnancy and she is, basically, laying her life on the line because nobody knows what this means, no-one has lived this experience before.”  He did however warn that should she go ahead, she could die.  She told her mother that if it came to it, the baby – not her – should be saved.

Her miracle baby was born but then two years later Rose’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer so it was left to Rose to hold the family together. Meanwhile her father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, so, like her mentally disabled brother, did not understand what was happening. Rose looked after them all and then had another baby of her own!

When asked quite simply, how she does it, she replies, “a lot of people with disabilities feel that life owes them something, and I was raised in a way that no, no-one owes you a dime. The world doesn't owe you anything, this is what you have and you use your resources and you get through life. My personal opinion is, get up and go for it, just do it.”

Like I said, one word: amazing.

Finnair Celebrates India’s Republic Day


One might ask, what does Finland have in common with India and why would Finnair want to make such a fuss about celebrating India’s Republic Day?  Well, it all started when a Finnish employee of Finnair got in touch with an old colleague from India and started remembering the great culture of India and Bollywood.  A scheme was hatched and what resulted was the “Take-off to Bollywood” song and dance that passengers aboard a Finnair flight AY 021 Helsinki to Delhi enjoyed last week, January 26, marking India’s Republic Day.

Finnair Runway blog poster decided to make something of this – a Finnish-Indian (or Findian) joint endeavor through Finnair’s company slogan, “Designed for you.” The result was, those who were on the flight on that day, began it not with a speech about how to deal with gas masks should the need arise, but a beautiful, colorful song and dance by the stewardesses (some in full Indian attire) in celebration of India Day, Bollying around to send passengers (and thereafter YouTube viewers) a greeting on this special India day.


Facebook Users to Design a Beer?


It seems that if you want to design a beer these days, all you need is a Facebook account. Well, not quite, but that’s the first step.  US Beer brand Samuel Adams joined forces with social-media mogul Guy Kawasaki to set up the competition that is asking FB beer lovers to design a beer by February 5, 2012.  Using the FB app Crowd Craft Project, anyone who loves beer has to put in their two cents worth on the new brew.  They will vote on: body, clarity, color, hops (bitterness), malt, and yeast.

Next, brewers from Samuel Adams will take the favorites from each category and implement them in their new recipe for the ale that will be brewed during February. Then, that beer will be debuted at Guy Kawasaki’s Girl + Guy party in Austin the following month.  It will thereafter be available in various bars around Austin as well as the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery and Adams himself will let people know when the beer will be on the markets, through Facebook.

So it’s all about fun and it’s definitely a great marketing ploy on the part ofAdams and Kawasaki.  Good team work guys!

The Super Bowl is Going to the Dogs…Sort Of.

This year’s Super Bowl commercial looks like it will be quite interesting.  Animals have been used in previous such commercials, but this year Volkswagen is teaming up with some furry friends along with an untraditional rendition of Star Wars music! Last year a child was dressed up as Darth Vader with the Star Wars music in the background.  But this year is going to be quite different…

The difference this year is that there will not be a child dressed up, but several dogs decked out in Star Wars clothing. But, instead of listening to the actual Star Wars theme tune, you will be privy to hearing the dogs barking the Star Wars theme song! 

There is a teaser video for those who cannot believe this is actually going to happen.  And for those who want to wait for a surprise, they can enjoy the full version of it at the upcoming Super Bowl.

Coffee and Type 2 Diabetes

Research has found that those who drink a lot of coffee have a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.  According to a report in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry compiled by Kun Huang, Ling Zheng et. al, those who drink at least four cups of coffee per day have a 50 percent lower risk of developing this debilitating disease (which accounts for up to 95 percent of cases of diabetes).  Perhaps even more interesting, each additional Cuppa Joe that is consumed per day brings with it a further 7 percent of reduced chance of being afflicted with Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee Composition

So what is it in coffee that is causing this preventive health benefit?  According to the study, it appears that one of the substances in the beverage is a potential hIAPP blocker.  hIAPP – human islet amyloid polypeptide – could be able to be blocked by a substance contained in coffee.  The researchers have identified two categories of compounds contained in coffee that “significantly inhibit hIAPP.”

So keep the dark brown granules in your cup and throw over that boiling water without any guilt of coffee being bad for you.