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March 31, 2010

Boyat of Arabia


Long story from the January 28, 2010 issue of The Economist short: Some young women in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are wearing baggy pants and cutting their hair short, causing unease among traditionalists.

Here's the article.


A debate about fashion in Qatar

Cross about cross-dressing — is it a wicked Western habit that should be stopped?

Cross-dressing is on the rise among young Qataris. The local press says that more tradition-minded locals are upset by the growing number of young women affecting a masculine style of dress, baggy trousers, short hair and deep voices. These women, who call themselves boyat, which translates as both tomboy and transsexual (and is derived from the English word boy), are being seen in schools and on university campuses where some are said to harass their straiter-laced sisters.

In an episode of a talk show on Qatari television, called Lakom al Karar (The Decision is Yours), a leading academic said that the “manly women” phenomenon was part of a “foreign trend” brought into Qatar and the Gulf by globalisation. Foreign teachers, the internet and satellite television have been blamed. So have foreign housemaids, for badly influencing children in their care.

The studio audience was divided over how to respond. Some called for the death penalty for cross-dressers, while others favoured medical treatment. A rehabilitation centre for Qatari boyat has been set up, but a local report says that as many as 70% of them refuse to give up their “abnormal behaviour”.

It is not just Qataris who are rattled. A year ago the ministry of social affairs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a campaign against “masculine women”. The project, entitled “Excuse me, I’m a girl”, involved workshops, lectures and television programmes, stressing the virtues of femininity and raising awareness of the presumed dangers of women looking like men. An emirates’ foundation is helping to fund a research project on “gender identity disorder among Emirati youth”.

One official describes the “deviant behaviour” of the boyat as a “menace” to society. But others sound less fazed. An American university lecturer in the region says the short hair and gym shoes worn by these young women would look perfectly normal on an American campus. That is just what unnerves the traditionalists.

March 31, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chef Peter Chang on Twitter


I just started chefchang on Twitter.

For those new to him, an excellent introduction is restaurant critic Todd Kliman's recent Oxford American piece on the Szechuan über-master, "The Perfect Chef."


Above, his Dry-Fried Eggplant with Hot and Numbing Pepper (sensational).

You can read the introduction to Calvin Trillin's March 1, 2010 New Yorker story on Chef Chang here.

Below, Roasted Fish with Green Onion and Pepper.


And — heartbreakingly, at least to me, after only having the presence of mind to eat at Chang's Charlottesville restaurant once before he bolted — the story behind the elusive chef and why his stint in my Podunk town was, like all the others, so brief.

But what a wonderful meal that one was.




Hot & Numbing Beef Rolls.

But wait: My crack research team tells me Chef Chang was in Atlanta last weekend.

And they offer photographic proof here and here.

Tantalizing hints in the various comments on the stories linked above that Chang will be returning to Charlottesville to cook.

I am SO ready and promise not to screw up if that happens: I'll be there daily until I've eaten through the menu.



the master at work.

March 31, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

LEGO Boardroom Table


"The table consists of 22,742 pieces clicked togother with traditional LEGO construction techniques (no glue).


A 136mm grommet is located in its center. It sits on a polished stainless steel hollow section structure built by B.A. Engineering of Prussia St.


and is topped with a 10mm sheet of toughened glass manufactured by Action Glass."


Designed by Dublin-based abgc.

[via Behance Network, Josh Spear and LikeCool]

March 31, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Knox Handroid

"... a Kevlar-, kangaroo-hide-, and, yes, exoskeleton-reinforced motorcycle gauntlet. Thermoplastic urethane spines run down the outside of each finger and flex with your digits. To keep the armor in place, a ratchet system cinches 19 strands of stainless steel wire, spreading the pressure across your entire forearm. Then, when the pavement tries to persuade your bones to move beyond their comfort zone, the Handroid answers no," wrote Joe Brown in the April 2010 issue of Wired magazine about this formidable piece of kit.

More technical video here.

$250 (or the local equivalent) at Knox stockists worldwide.

March 31, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Carbon Fiber Chopsticks

With matching carbon fiber chopstick rest.

Tensile strength: 1.8 million PSI.



[via RunningDive]

March 31, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

bookofjoe MoneyMaker©™®: A YouTube ring to rule them all

It just came to me, a stroke of genius parting the sea of idiocy I usually swim in.

This of course is directed to the many non-Technodolts™ who enjoy slumming here.

So simple, even a gerbil could do it.

Mashup a typical ring and a small battery powered video screen that screens random YouTube videos.

I'll take one.

March 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Van Diagram


This is so my kind of humor.


March 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lady Gaga iPad Decal




[via jennydeluxe's Twitter]

March 31, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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