Monday, April 28, 2008

Chew on This!

M&M's candy maker Mars Inc has teamed up with billionaire Warren Buffett to buy No. 1 chewing gum manufacturer Wm Wrigley Jr Co (WWY.N) for $23 billion, creating the world's largest confectionery company.

Mars and Buffett to buy Wrigley for $23 billion - Yahoo! News.

$23 billion for a gum company. This is a little over KD 6 billion. Unless I got the math wrong, it is a whisker over the market cap of KFH, the highest in the Kuwaiti market. Keep chewing!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Structured Life

I knew a man who lived a lovely bohemian artist life into his 50s, embracing poverty in the interest of freedom, and then was offered a nine-to-five job by his brother-in-law and took it and found it liberating to have at last some structure in his life.

This is true. Freedom is hard work, and art is lonely: You sit at an easel by yourself and await inspiration and time can get very heavy. He found it a huge relief to put on clean clothes every morning and be at an office by nine and complete a string of tasks and feel part of a team.

The joys of a structured life - International Herald Tribune.

Think of this before you quit your day job!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Prime Performance

After a slow start for the year, Federer captures his first title in Estoril Open. Lately I have learned that achieving peak performance is not exactly a good thing, cause there is only one way to go from there: down. Better yet is to achieve prime performance which is consistently performing at high level. Best wishes for a prime season Roger!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to Defeat Extremism

“Syria has a long history as a cosmopolitan and commercial place; its traditions are tolerant and diverse,” he said. “This is what prevented the victory of the Islamists in the 1980s.”

The violence of that period eroded those traditions, he said, tincturing the whole society with intolerance and brutality. “We haven’t had a setback like this in 1,000 years,” he added. And though the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that led the armed rebellion in the 80s, is banned, Islamic fundamentalism “has grown and penetrated our society, especially among the young.”

“All this has harmed Syrian society so much,” he said sadly. “If what happened in the 1980s were to happen again, I think the Islamists would win.”

A Bloody Era of Syrias History Informs a Writers Banned Novel - New York Times.

Those were the words of Syrian author Khaled Khalifa. His latest novel “In Praise of Hatred” is a finalist for International Prize for Arabic Fiction, even though banned in Syria. His comments above show that the path to defeat extremism is not brute force, but tolerance and diversity. This explains why extremists wish to turn back the clock and impose an intolerant and single minded society.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Angel's Whisper

It’s easy to wrong

much tougher to right

I did not want to be part of this

it just did not feel right


I am getting tired of living upside down

why do we have to care for the world

and ignore those around?


I know I should be there for you

celebrating your day

I wish I had felt part of it

maybe that’s for another day


I gathered myself

and put a smile on my face

this is your day

and I will embrace


To tell the truth

I wouldn’t have come near

but only made it

for an angel’s whisper in my ear


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Toughing it Out

An unflinching Trevor Immelman won the Masters by toughing it out, by staring down all challengers, by laughing at bad breaks and by doing what his lifelong golf idol told him to do.

He listened to a voice mail message left by his idol, his fellow South African Gary Player, on Saturday night. It helped Immelman prepare for what he would see, feel and do on Sunday in the crucible of the back nine at Augusta National.

"You know, it gave me goose bumps," said Immelman, 28. "He told me that he believed in me and I need to believe in myself. And he told me I've got to keep my head a little quieter when I putt. He said I'm just peeking too soon.

"He told me to just go out there and be strong through adversity, because he said that adversity would come today, and I just had to deal with it."

He dealt with it.

Immelman stays tough to win Masters - International Herald Tribune.

Whether it’s golf or other life challenges, true words on toughing it out. Just when tiger lurks behind the woods.. believe in yourself and let your best come out. This will see you through the day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

If You First Don't Succeed..

“If I’m being frank, it is hard,” Roddick said. “But at the same time … the good thing about tennis is you pretty much start over at the beginning of every day. Even after some of my tough losses, I think I’ve always been pretty clear that I would get up the next morning and keep going. You know, I’ve had a pretty good career doing that so far.”

Roddick tries again against nemesis Federer - Tennis - Yahoo! Sports.

Roddick ended up winning this time around (not that I am happy about it!). But life is truly like a game of tennis; don’t let losses hold you back. Everyday is a new day and success can be yours.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

On Chesil Beach

They were young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible. But it it never easy.

With this powerful statement, On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan opens. And the door is never closed. It is no cheesy novel. It has been short-listed for The Man Booker prestigious prize. It struck me how talking about this young couple in England of the 1960s could be so similar to our Islamic societies today.

A girl is brought up with a certain attitude towards sex, then a magical transformation is expected to occur all of a sudden upon marriage.

Here was a boundless sensual freedom, theirs for the taking, even blessed by the vicar – with my body I thee worship.

But when that moment arrives, fear gets in the way.

She took his earlobe between forefinger and thumb and gently tugged his head towards her and whispered, ‘Actually, I’m a little bit scared.’


He said at last, ‘I think I am too.’

And it does not end up like the fairy tale marriage is made out to be. In the end there is anger and resentment.

His anger stirred her own and she suddenly thought she understood their problem: they were too polite, too constrained, too timorous, they went around each other on tiptoes, murmuring, whispering, deferring, agreeing. They barely know each other, and never could because of the blanket of companionable near-silence that smothered their differences and blinded them as much as it bound them. They had been frightened of ever disagreeing, and now his anger was setting her free.

Then comes the sober reflection after time has passed and anger subsided.

Love and patience – if only he had had them both at once – would surely have seen them both through.