Queues at a popular Parisian Lebanese ice cream parlor sparks mixed reactions

Glace BACHIR (Paris, France) (Facebook)
Glace BACHIR (Paris, France) (Facebook)
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Updated 12 July 2022

Queues at a popular Parisian Lebanese ice cream parlor sparks mixed reactions

Glace BACHIR (Paris, France) (Facebook)
  • The Bachir ice cream shop was first established by founding brothers Maurice and Edward Bachir in the Lebanese town of Bikfaya in 1936

LONDON: Long queues were spotted in Paris on Monday in front of Glace Bachir, a popular Lebanese ice cream shop, evoking mixed feelings among Lebanese expats and citizens.

A video circulated on Twitter showing tourists and locals standing in long queues waiting for their turn to get a taste of the famous Lebanese-style ice cream at Rue Rambuteau, in the Marais district.

Many Lebanese and Arab expats took to Twitter to share their excitement about the ice cream shop, with some reminiscing over their childhood memories.

One social media user said: “Oh my God, I love the ice cream of Lebanon.”

Another wrote: “I love this” and featured a picture of a freshly purchased ice cream.

Others, however, were less than amused by the queues and criticized the ice cream shop’s lack of flavor and variety.

“Imagine waiting that long for Bouza Bachir lmao,” said one Tweeter.

Another had mixed feelings about the opening and tweeted: “Happy to see this, but it’s mega overrated.”

The Bachir ice cream shop was first established by founding brothers Maurice and Edward Bachir in the Lebanese town of Bikfaya in 1936.

Since its Parisian opening in 2016, “Glace Bachir” has enjoyed long queues of customers, even in the winter.

The ice cream parlor is a popular food destination for the many Lebanese living in Paris, as well as residents and tourists, who have queued in front of ice cream shops to fight the torrid heatwave that has gripped Paris in the last week.


Air New Zealand asks passengers to weigh in before their flights

Air New Zealand asks passengers to weigh in before their flights
Updated 31 May 2023

Air New Zealand asks passengers to weigh in before their flights

Air New Zealand asks passengers to weigh in before their flights
  • Month-long survey for pilots can better know the weight and balance of their planes before takeoff
  • Health statistics show New Zealanders are becoming heavier

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s national airline is asking passengers to step on the scales before they board international flights.
Air New Zealand says it wants to weigh 10,000 passengers during a month-long survey so pilots can better know the weight and balance of their planes before takeoff.
But the numbers from the scales won’t be flashing up for all to see. There will be no visible display anywhere, the airline promised, and the weigh-in data will remain anonymous even to airline staff.
“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft — from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold,” said Alastair James, a load control improvement specialist for the airline, in a statement. “For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”
Indeed the numbers are required by the nation’s industry watchdog, the Civil Aviation Authority.
Under the authority’s rules, airlines have various options to estimate passenger weight. One option is to periodically carry out surveys like Air New Zealand is doing to establish an average weight. Another option is to accept a standard weight set by the authority.
Currently, the authority’s designated weight for people 13 and over is 86 kilograms, which includes carry-on luggage. The authority last changed the average passenger weight in 2004, increasing it from 77 kilograms.
Health statistics show New Zealanders are becoming heavier. The latest national health survey put the adult obesity rate at 34 percent, up from 31 percent a year earlier. Childhood obesity rates increased to 13 percent, up from 10 percent a year earlier.
Customers on Air New Zealand domestic flights were asked to weigh in a couple of years ago.
James said there was nothing for passengers to fear by stepping on the scales.
“It’s simple, it’s voluntary, and by weighing in, you’ll be helping us to fly you safely and efficiently, every time,” he said.
The airline said the survey began this week and will run through July 2.


Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale

Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale
Updated 30 May 2023

Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale

Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale
  • Bake bread, see an AI robot designing, weave a tapestry, get inside a space pod, visit a virtual garden

LONDON: Dubai is set to take part in this year’s London Design Biennale, which is an interactive, musical and kinetic exhibition of creative innovation from across the globe, organizers have announced.

Dubai will feature a pavilion entitled “And Beyond,” in line with the theme for the fourth edition — “The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations” — from June 1 to 25.

Over 40 international exhibitors will showcase world-leading design, confronting global challenges and inspiring audiences with thought-provoking installations, organizers said.

 

 

“Bake bread, witness an AI Robot designing, weave a tapestry, get inside a space pod, find inner peace and visit a virtual garden,” according to a statement from the organizers.

Overseeing this year’s event is Nieuwe Instituut, the Dutch national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, led by General and Artistic Director Aric Chen.

The theme of this year’s biennale aims to go “beyond borders and territories to enact new forms of international cooperation and participation through design.”

Launching this year, the Eureka exhibition will share design-led innovation from leading research centers featuring cross-disciplinary invention and creativity, involving academics, leaders and problem solvers.

“The London Design Biennale provides a wide space for constructive dialogue, anticipating the future of design, encouraging the exchange of experiences, and showcasing best practices in the creative sector, which Dubai attributes special importance to and works to enhance and push towards its growth and prosperity,” Khulood Khoory, Director of the Projects & Events Department at Dubai Culture, said.

“This global event contributes to enhancing the competitiveness and strength of the design sector in Dubai and elevating it to new levels.

“Design is an essential element in creative expression, consolidating creativity, innovation, and sustainability. At Dubai Culture, we seek to highlight the emirate’s cultural identity on the global map through our participation in the exhibition,” she added.

Abdalla Almulla, founder of ‘MULA’ design studio, said: “‘And Beyond’ takes visitors on a creative journey from camel caravans to the Hope Probe via scenes inspired by my observations and experiences in Dubai, whose desert environment I rediscovered and prompted me to think about the nature of the challenges our ancestors faced and their ability to face harsh conditions and adapt to them.

He continued: “I juxtaposed their story with the remarkable success achieved by the Hope Probe, which is an example of human ambition and our infinite capabilities.”

Almulla stated that the installation aligns with the biennale’s theme, ‘The Global Game: ReMapping Collaborations,’ adding: “The design installation is based on the idea of collaboration and its role in encouraging creativity and innovation. It helps introduce different points of view, allowing us to reach various solutions that lead us to a better future.”


Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein

Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein
Updated 30 May 2023

Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein

Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein
  • The results “have not shown the presence of toxic elements in the samples analyzed,” the statement said, without specifying the origin of the substance

ROME: The spectacular transformation of a stretch of Venice’s Grand Canal to fluorescent green was due to fluorescein, a non-toxic substance used for testing wastewater networks, local authorities said on Monday.
Residents noticed a stretch of Venice’s Grand Canal turned bright green Sunday, prompting police to investigate amid speculation it could be a stunt by environmentalists.

In this image released by the Italian firefighters, a firefighter on a boat looks at the arched Rialto Bridge along Venice's historical Grand Canal as a patch of phosphorescent green liquid spreads in it, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)

But analysis showed “the presence of fluorescein in samples taken,” said the the Regional Agency for Environmental Prevention and Protection of Veneto (Arpav).
The results “have not shown the presence of toxic elements in the samples analyzed,” the statement said, without specifying the origin of the substance.
The change in color noticed by residents raised eyebrows, with police looking into whether Sunday’s development could be a protest by climate change activists, according to local daily La Nuova Venezia.
It is not the first time the Grand Canal has turned green.
In 1968, Argentine artist Nicolas Garcia Uriburu dyed the waters of Venice’s Grand Canal green with a fluorescent dye during the 34th Venice Biennale in a stunt to promote ecological awareness.
 

 


Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh

Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh
Updated 29 May 2023

Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh

Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh
  • Al-Qarni and his fellow astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi are the first Saudi nationals to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS)

LONDON: Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shared a photo of the Saudi capital Riyadh from space on his Twitter account on Sunday.

Al-Qarni and his fellow astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi are the first Saudi nationals to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS), with the latter the first Saudi and Arab woman to be given the honor.

Both have shared images of their homeland and the Middle East from their vantage point more than 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

“Riyadh is shining even in space,” Al-Qarni tweeted alongside a photo of Riyadh and a photo of the Saudi flag inside the space station.

Al-Qarni and Barnawi are conducting experiments and research including cancer prevention and prediction, microgravity, cloud seeding and cell reprograming, according to reports.


Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn

Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn
Updated 29 May 2023

Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn

Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn
  • Disappearance of stars is having consequences on humans, animals
  • Singapore, Qatar and Kuwait top list of most light-polluted countries in the world

LONDON: Light pollution could darken the night sky in just two decades, making stars invisible to the human eye, scientists warned.

Martin Rees, the British astronomer royal, said in an interview with The Guardian that light pollution has worsened rapidly in recent years and could soon wipe out our ability to see the night sky.

“The night sky is part of our environment, and it would be a major deprivation if the next generation never got to see it, just as it would be if they never saw a bird’s nest,” Rees said.

“You don’t need to be an astronomer to care about this. I am not an ornithologist but if there were no songbirds in my garden, I’d feel impoverished.”

Rees noted that in 2016, astronomers reported that the Milky Way was no longer visible to a third of humanity. He attributed this to the increasing use of light-emitting diodes and other forms of lighting, which are now brightening the night sky at a dramatic rate.

The World Atlas of Night Sky Brightness, a computer-generated map that provides data on how and where our globe is lit up at night, shows that vast areas of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia are glowing with light, while only the most remote regions on Earth (Siberia, the Sahara, and the Amazon) remain in total darkness.

The map, based on thousands of satellite photos, reveals that Singapore, Qatar, and Kuwait are among the most light-polluted countries in the world, highlighting how densely populated areas are most affected by the issue.

According to research by physicist Christopher Kyba, of the German Centre for Geosciences, light pollution is now obscuring the stars at a rate of about 10 percent per year.

Kyba explained that a child born where 250 stars are visible at night today would only be able to see about 100 by the time they reach 18.

“A couple of generations ago, people would have been confronted regularly with this glittering vision of the cosmos, but what was formerly universal is now extremely rare. Only the world’s richest people, and some of the poorest, experience that anymore. For everybody else, it’s more or less gone,” Kyba said.

Aside from astronomical and cultural repercussions, the excessive or inappropriate use of outdoor artificial light is affecting human health and wildlife behavior.

Scientists warned that the increased use of lights wreaks havoc on natural body rhythms in humans and animals, destabilizing many wild species that rely on the night sky for their migration movements.

In 2019, scientists found that the issue is contributing to an “insect apocalypse,” after discovering that light has a significant impact on how bug species move, search for food, reproduce, grow and hide from predators.

Nevertheless, introducing only a modest number of changes to lighting could considerably improve the situation and have “an enormous impact,” Kyba argued.

These moves would include ensuring outdoor lights are carefully shielded, point downwards, have limits placed on their brightness, and are not predominantly blue-white but have red and orange components.