Archive for January, 2008

Dubai’s Chillout Restaurant

Posted: January 26, 2008 in culture, For fun

Vikram Singh Barhat, Staff Reporter _ Deep-freeze dining debuts in Dubai. 



Temperature at Dubai’s Times Square mall will crash to sub-arctic levels as the Middle East’s first ice lounge, Chillout.


Frost things first

Almost everything at the restaurant is sculpted out of ice. Diners will sit on ice benches or chairs, eat at ice tables, out of ice plates, drink from ice glasses served from a bar made of ice.

We want Chillout to be part of people’s lifestyle and not just a unique experience that will fade away with time. Spokesman, Sharaf Group

It even has an ice gallery showcasing Dubai’s landmarks. Complimenting that is an ice portrait of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Freezing at minus 6 degrees Celsius the dining area is, well, biting cold.

A whopping Dh9 million investment, the restaurant is Dubai-based Sharaf Group’s enterprise while technical inputs came from Canada-based Iceculture Inc, who are credited with building ice lounges around the world, informed a spokesperson for Sharaf Group.

“We want Chillout to be part of people’s lifestyle and not just a unique experience that will fade away with time,” he said.

“It was a special operation which took a year and a half to carry out.”

Chillout specs

The 2,400 sqft restaurant has three areas. The lobby and the lounge areas are separated by what is called the Buffer Zone. Once in the lobby, visitors will be given thermal gear to protect themselves from the chilly conditions. It comprises a hooded parka (a heavy jacket), disposable woollen gloves and a pair of shoes.

Visitors are advised to first spend a few minutes in the Buffer Zone to get acclimatised. The temperature in the buffer zone is set at 5 degrees Celsius which gives the body time to adjust to the sharp drop in temperature in the dining area.

Cold and beautiful

Once inside, the first thing I learnt was that, contrary to my fear, nothing was wet or dripping. I touched the walls, the sculptures, the tables and chairs to see if they were wet. They were all made of ice all right, but wet they were not.

“It is a popular misconception that furniture at an ice restaurant is wet. It is the moisture on the surface of ice that gives it the wet feel. There cannot be any moisture at minus 6 degrees. Every bit of it turns to ice,” explained the spokesperson.

The restaurant, which will serve cold cuts, cheese, juices, ice creams and mocktails, can accommodate 40 guests, including relatively intimate table-for-two arrangements for couples.

Seats are cushioned and acrylic-topped tables are adorned with decorative pieces sculpted from crystal clear ice. Vapour-mouthed visitors can feel secure in the knowledge that there are sheepskin throws for the asking should things get too nippy for their comfort.

A looming chandelier in the middle of the lounge is made out of ice blocks strung together by cables, as are ice-beaded curtains in the couples’ section.

Impressive lights

In addition to the fact that this is a non-alcoholic restaurant, what makes Chillout different is that the lighting here is amazing. “It almost makes the ice a secondary feature,” said Julian Bayley of Iceculture Inc.

And it shows. The diffused lighting is constantly changing colours as it filters through clean blocks of ice, filling them with low-lux hues of varying patterns.

“As far as the ice component is concerned, there are several features that are exclusive to Iceculture Inc. Also, the ability to produce portraits in ice with nothing more than food colouring and snow is something I don’t think has been done before, to my knowledge,” added Julian.

First-timers must be cautioned that the only thing hot in this restaurant is the samples of spices framed with ice blocks and embedded into the wall – of course, made of ice – providing a curious backdrop to the juice bar.

Coming as it does in the hottest part of the year the timing of the coolest place in Dubai couldn’t have been better.



  • The ideal time to spend inside an ice restaurant is 30-40 minutes. While in other countries people are asked to leave after that period, Chillout will not follow that policy.
  • There are no toilets inside the restaurant.
  • The workforce comprises people from cold countries such as Romania and Russia to ensure they can withstand sub-zero conditions.
  • Workers at the restaurant are instructed to step out to normal temperature at regular intervals.
  • Special lights called LEDs have been used. They do not emit heat hence do not cause the ice to melt.
  • All the ice work was done by Iceculture Inc in Canada and was shipped to Dubai in temperature-controlled reefer containers.
  • The flooring of the restaurant is made of special anti-skid ceramic tiles.
  • Chillout is claimed to be the only ice restaurant in the world to serve food round the year.
  • Other countries that have ice bars and restaurants include the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Cool facts

  • Location:Times Square mall, between the 3rd and 4th interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road
  • Opens: Thursday, June 21
  • Timings: 2pm to 10pm (Saturday to Wednesday and 2pm to midnight on Thursday and Friday)
    Tel: 04-341 8121
  • Cover charge:Dh60, includes thermal gear and a free mocktail
  • Cold cuts: From seating to glassware to cutlery and crockery, everything is cut in ice




Host a Game-Night Party

Posted: January 26, 2008 in Family, Health

Host a Game-Night Party 



Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Come winter, we often want to linger at home, enjoying its familiarity and warmth.
On a dark winter’s night, brighten your spirit with an impromptu get-together filled
with colorful board games, aromatic comfort food, and good company.
The gathering may be such a hit, you’ll welcome the chance to stay in when
the temperature drops. More than just dusting off a Scrabble board and snacking
on microwave popcorn, the gathering, with the aid of a few artful touches,
can become a mood-boosting tradition for family and friends.

Choose games everyone will enjoy. Discount and drug stores often stock inexpensive games to add to the routine lineup. To avoid spending your evening reading directions, stick to simple selections and review before playing time. Check that your board games have all their pieces and improvise (substitute a large button or poker chip for a missing checker, for example) when necessary. If the gathering is multi-generational, plan to create adult-child teams. The evening can hold some fun surprises when the kids aren’t paired up with their parents.



Make food satisfying–and yet easy to prepare, serve, and eat. That means lots of finger foods, simple to nibble between rolls of the die, and a hearty main course to provide sustenance as the night–and games–linger on. With a few pantry staples, such food can be prepared on a whim–key in a season when one is never sure how the winds will blow.
Quick Tip: Stock up on pantry basics. Chicken breasts, cheese, mixed nuts, marinara sauce, and Italian bread ensure you can pull together a memorable party quickly and easily.
Chicken Fingers recipe



Assemble snacks on a tray for easy shuttling between the kitchen and the playing area and then back again. Appetizers arranged and presented on trays with raised edges minimizes messes. Pass out finger foods while guests play a few rounds. And establish an accessible place to set food, drinks, napkins, and dishware. Extra trays come in handy for quickly clearing away dishes between rounds. Then serve dinner with everyone seated around the dining table. Quick Tip: Snacks such as celery and carrots can be prepared ahead. Store them submerged in ice water to keep them crunchy; blot with a paper towel before serving.


Plan ahead and make the dough for the Cheddar Goldfish Crackers. Wrap it well; after chilling it for 20 minutes, you can store it in the freezer for up to two months.
Cheddar Goldfish Crackers with Peanut Butter Spread recipe





Individual soup tureens with their own lids mimic bright-toned game pieces–and keep soup warm until everyone is ready to gather at the table. Display antique game boards on a wall, buffet, or dining table and transform miscellaneous playing cards into place cards.


Warm, hearty soups are perfect for a night of nesting at home.
Herbed Meatball Soup Recipe






Vegetable lasagna’s universal appeal and easy preparation make it a game-night staple. Try using an enameled cast iron lasagna pan to maintain heat while the dish is carried from the oven to the table.




You can skip the lasagna and serve soup, salad, and garlic bread as a main course if you’re short on time. To prepare the Garlic and Herb Bread: Sprinkle a halved loaf with olive oil, chopped garlic, oregano, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, then wrap in foil and bake.





Keep root vegetables–Carrots, potatoes, leeks–handy for a super-simple side dish of Roasted Root Vegetables: Cut vegetables to similar-size pieces, then toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and an aromatic herb such as dill or rosemary and roast at 375°F until fork tender (watch; some vegetables will cook a little faster than others).




Enjoy one more game along with dessert. This last course can be a help-yourself affair, particularly if you offer cookies and pre-slice the sticky upside-down cake to make serving convenient.
Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe





Cake and cookies call for milk. For fun, fill an ice-packed bucket with individual containers of whole, low, and nonfat milk. Name tags on straws look neat and keep beverages organized. Give adults’ milk a spike of the hazelnut liqueur Frangelico and serve in individual shot glasses.


Why not stick with the evening’s theme all the way to dessert? These Chocolate Domino cookies are sure to be a hit.
Quick Tip: No time to bake? Visit the bakery at your supermarket for fresh cookies or cake. Most will accommodate a special order even the morning before your event.
Chocolate Domino Cookies recipe


Treasure Hunt

Posted: January 26, 2008 in Health

A New Kind of Treasure Hunt


It’s creative, active, and fun for the whole family

By Maggie Spilner , Former Prevention Walking Editor, Maggie Spilner, is the

author of Prevention’s Complete Book of Walking. She is currently organizing walking trips, lecturing, and working on a new walking book.

Do your kids slink between the sofa cushions when you suggest a walk? Try a
treasure hunt instead, and watch them desert their Play Stations.


About 5 years ago, a new, informal treasure-hunting sport called letterboxing
migrated to the US from Great Britain. The object of the hunt is to find letterboxes, which are usually hidden in natural areas such as parks. Inside the box you’ll find a notebook, a unique stamp, and a stamp pad. Stamp the notebook inside the box with your personal stamp. Ta-da! You were here! Then stamp your own letterboxing notebook with
the stamp you find in the box. Nearly 4,000 boxes are planted across the US and in
Canada–that’s a lot of stamps to collect.


Another way to enjoy letterboxing is to create and hide a box of your own. Then
write up clues so others can find it.
On a Quest
Some letterboxes are placed along a single route, and you can
find several in one afternoon. Many of the clues will give you
an estimate of how far you’ll have to walk. Give yourself at
least 30 minutes per mile when traveling with children. Remember:
You’re out to enjoy the scenery and each other’s company.
Here’s what you’ll need:


Clues to an existing letterbox. You can find loads of
them online (such as Letterboxing North America). Or get
some families, or your church, scouting, or other community group, to set up boxes
and share clues with each other.


Compass. Some clues recommend using one.
Personal rubber stamp and stamp pad. It can be
handmade or store bought. The idea is to use the same
stamp on every quest so others will begin to recognize you
when they see your stamp in a letterbox notebook.
You may want to create a family stamp too.


Map. A good safety idea if you’re going to an unfamiliar area.


Walking gear. Comfortable off-road shoes, water bottle, healthy snacks, walking
poles, fanny packs or backpacks for cameras or extra clothing, whatever makes
outdoor adventuring more comfortable, safe, and fun for you and your family.
Create Your Own Box
Explore various sites to find a good location for your box. Create clues that will lead people to it. Clues can be simple and direct or mysterious and poetic. Write them
down, then follow them again to make sure they work. Have some friends test your
clues before you share them with others. Your letterboxes and clues can be something
you share only with family and friends, or you can put them on the Web for the whole
 world to enjoy. Here’s what you’ll need:


1. A plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
2. Plastic bags that lock shut to ensure that the contents stay dry.
3. A small notepad to register stamps–art-supply-store quality is best.
4. A unique stamp that commemorates your letterbox. It’s fun if your stamp
somehow reflects the area where it’s hidden.
5. A community to share your clues–either online or with a private group, such as scouts or people in your neighborhood. You could even plan a block party, and have everyone set up a letterbox. Then post the clues, and let the quest begin!
Don’t Forget
  • Put letterboxes back where you find them. If a box is missing, report it, so it can be posted as such or replaced.
  • Respect the environment, and honor the “leave no trace” wilderness policy. Ask permission whenever possible before placing a box, even on public land.
  • Don’t dig your letterboxes in or make them hazardous to find, such as placing them where someone might fall.
  • Stay off all private property.
  • A High-Tech Hunt  

    If you have a child who has a Game Boy growing on the end of his hand, or you love high-tech gadgets, try geocaching: the 21st-century treasure hunt that uses a satellite-assisted, cell phone-size compass called a Global Positioning System (GPS). Prices start at about $100. Simply enter your location and the coordinates of the treasure (cache) into your GPS, and it will tell you in which direction to walk and how far to go. 


    A funny advertisement

    Posted: January 24, 2008 in For fun

    This advertisement is really funny.

    see how is the secretary is cought by his Boss

    to see the video, download the zip file






    Environmental life with computers

    Posted: January 23, 2008 in Art
    It’s really amazing how people think and create new and extraordinary things
    what’s below is the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life
    I don’t know what to say about it
    Lovers of nature and the environment won’t see it strange at all
    enough talking
    Leave you with the pictures….

    weird!! but still a piece of art!!