Monday, June 07, 2010

Dept. of Off Topic - Kuwait Sights

I'm currently on my second of two weeks in Kuwait working with ARETAS and their client here. We ventured out a bit on Friday (first day of the weekend here) to see a bit more of the city than the routine of the inside of the car to the office, the office, the car and the hotel each day.

We started out with a stop at The Scientific Center, a museum that features a dinosaur exhibit and IMAX theater among other things. We saw The Fires of Kuwait, a IMAX documentary about putting out the oil field fires that raged after the war. They expected it to take four years or more to put them all out but they ended up getting the job done in just nine months. Pretty impressive!

For me, it's a tie for the coolest (pun intended) techniques they used to put out the fires. A tie between using explosives (C4) in a barrel and the pair of Soviet jet engines used to "blow" the fire out. They mixed water into the stream of air generated by the engines. They created the contraption on the chassis of a tank. Pretty amazing images, you could almost feel the heat from the fires. The velocity and force of the oil spewing from the pipes and the intensity of the fire was incredible. I can only imagine what the teams felt right there. The narrator, Rip Torn, said that they'd sweat out 12 liters of water per shift.

After the movie we walked around a bit and then caught a ride to the Kuwaiti Towers. They are one of the more recognizable landmarks of Kuwait City naturally.

Great views of the city from the observation level at 120 meters (at least that's what the elevation read out when we got to that floor). There is the new Al Hamra 74 story tower rising, nearly topped out, designed by SOM. This is it, but not the interesting twisty side of it though.

Dan and Haitham walking along the path around the Kuwaiti Towers, the SOM building under construction in the distance.

Another twisty tower (Al Tijaria Tower) on the way out of the city heading back to the hotel that was done by KEO. You can just see it in the previous image at the left side.

This is my view from the hotel room, made me a bit nervous about construction noise but there hasn't been much activity while I'm in the room.

I used AutoStitch to create the image above. It's an iPhone app that Phil Read sold me on while riding the ferry back to Manly (when we were in Sydney). He stitched together a nice panorama of the harbor as we left. (used Autostitch to do it)

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