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Dubai’s The World owners get a Dh100m ‘floating villa’ option


Dubai's The World owners get a Dh100m 'floating villa' option

Designed by a renowned yacht designer, promoters claim the 'Ome meets master developer Nakheel's design standards


  • Vicky Kapur

Published Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Dubai-based joint venture claims to have the answer to the need of a home for some of the "frustrated owners" of the 300-odd islands that form part of the emirate's The World project – a floating villa, or 'Ome, as its designer-developer are calling it. The JV between Palmerstone and Donald Starkey Designs has developed the 'Ome, a floating villa on a monocoque type structure, which can be manoeuvred between Dubai's coast and The World, the company said in a statement.

The 32m in-diameter floating villa was apparently designed in response to the demands of a UAE resident; however the design team had bigger plans. The 'Ome villa design is projected to change the state of The World – the luxurious Dubai archipelago – by providing a self-sustaining floating villa to aid maintenance and irrigation for island owners.

When queried by Emirates 24/7 on the pricing front, the company did not answer specifically on how much a standard 'Ome would cost. "When it comes to the cost of building an 'Ome," said Graham Henderson, owner of Palmerstone and the developer of the 'Ome, "while we have a starting budget in mind, we can't really gauge how much the cost to build will be, as that will depend on the clients' overall specifications."

However, speaking at the 2011 Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) recently, 'Ome designer Donald Starkey, a world-renowned yacht designer, said that the floating villa was estimated at anything between €17 million and €20 million (between Dh85m and Dh100m). "We're still investigating that [price of an 'Ome] but indications are it will be in the region of 17 to 20 million euros," Starkey said in an interview to during the 2011 MYS.

A number of buyers on the Nakheel-backed chain of islands have failed to begin work in the wake of plummeting prices in Dubai's real estate market. Now, when the Dubai property market is showing sure signs of a revival, the 'Ome offers hope to at-sea owners of the islands where construction had earlier ground to a virtual standstill in the wake of the economic downturn.

"The unique prospect of owning an island on The World brings its own set of challenges, and we believe we have created something that will deal with all the considerations that island owners have to deal with when it comes to developing their island," said Starkey.

The 'Ome can be built on land, and then can be floated to one of the islands on The World, and will have enough energy-generation capacity to provide for the infrastructure for the entire island as well as irrigation for growing vegetation, without the need to break ground.

Building on the mainland will therefore avoid the logistical problem that building on an island entail, the promoters of the 'Ome maintain. It is planned that 'Omes will be built on the Dubai mainland, but the design is applicable to almost any coastal location, and the company is considering the potential for builds in destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and other island or remote beach locations around the globe.

Featuring five bedrooms, large open planning living areas and a central 10m diameter seawater pool encompassing more than 1,400 m² of usable living space, the first available 'Ome will in a 32m diameter form, comprising an upper and lower deck configuration.

"The layout can be adjusted to suit each owner's requirements. The design is intended to align with maritime law, as well as meeting the design standards of The World's developer, Nakheel," the statement said.

Henderson added that smaller models were also being considered, which could be used to form clusters for use by hospitality providers such as for a hotel or short-term lease option with services provided. "It is estimated that each 'Ome will take around 22 months to complete," he said in the statement.

"Costs are anticipated to be less than building a yacht of comparable size, but the option of an 'Ome means you are not required to purchase a mooring as you own one already, and so can use the 'Ome as a conventional home, with your own choice of sea front views having created your own personal beach," he added.

"There are also the possibilities that a family or small communities can be created by having more than one per island and the fact that the 'Ome is self-sustainable, each will contribute to the overall maintenance of the island's landscaping thus ensuring The World is alive and very well," Henderson said.

Each 'Ome will be self-sustainable, with power, water and waste management included as part of the overall design. The 'Ome will also include photovoltaic cells on its roof, which will enable the property to be completely self-powered; it's estimated that each 'Ome would be capable of producing enough energy to power six large households, approximately 30,000 kW of pure renewable energy, which will reduce running costs for owners, as well as reducing their carbon footprint. Service and towing support to move the 'Ome will be provided by a facilities management company.

While the concept has just been launched in Dubai and therefore the firm hasn't received any orders yet, the developers told Emirates 24/7 that the 'Ome's designs were received with excitement at the recent Boat Show in Monaco.

The 'Ome has already been nominated for the International Superyacht Society's (ISS) ISS Fabien Cousteau Blue Award in recognition of its eco credentials.

"There really is no limit to where we can build the 'Ome, and considering the specific requirements  of people looking to the 'Ome as a solution, the interior design and fit out will also provide limitless options," said Henderson.



Seven Quick Steps To Feel Better

Getting Back to Wellness
Seven Quick Fixes to Feel Better

Anxiety and fear dissipate quickly when countered with conscious breathing.

The signals our bodies use to tell us we need to cleanse ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally are multifaceted and often mirror symptoms we associate with illness. If we heed these signs, we not only feel better quickly but also stave off poor health before it can start. These quick fixes for common ailments can get you started.

1. Applying pressure to the acupressure point between the thumb and forefinger can release blockages causing pain, tension, and fatigue. You can relieve a headache naturally by squeezing for 20 seconds and releasing for 10 seconds, without letting go, four times.

2. To breathe freely, irrigate your nasal passages with a neti pot and warm salt water. As you clear and soothe the sinuses, congestion associated with allergies or infection will gradually disappear.

3. Apple cider vinegar is a powerful purifying and detoxifying agent. Soaking for 20 minutes in a warm bath infused with two cups of apple cider vinegar pulls toxins from the body and can clear blocked energy.

4. The foods you eat can have a profound impact on your outlook and mood. Eating a small yet satisfying meal rich in complex carbohydrates can lift your spirit and help you let go of feelings of anger, irritability, and depression. 

5. Anxiety and fear dissipate quickly when countered with conscious breathing because concentrating on the breath enables you to refocus your attention inward. You can ground yourself and regain your usual calm by taking a series of deep belly breaths as you visualize your feet growing roots that stretch miles down into the earth.

6. Though tuning out can seem counterproductive, a few minutes spent lost in daydreams or listening to soothing music can help you see your circumstances from a new angle when you feel frustrated.

7. If you feel ill health coming on, brew a wellness elixir. Simmer three sliced lemons, one teaspoon freshly grated ginger, one clove freshly minced garlic, and one quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper in five cups water until the lemons are soft and pale. Strain a portion into a mug and add honey by tablespoons until you can tolerate the taste. Drinking this potent mixture of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal ingredients three times each day can ensure your symptoms never progress into a full-blown illness.

Resolving Conflicts

Win-Lose -- One way to resolve a conflict is for one party to force the other to agree. This is the kind of conflict resolution that happens when one person has power over another and exercises it.
Loss – Loss -- Temporary – Smoothing minimizes the disagreement by making differences seem less important. This kind of resolution occurs when either one of the persons disagreeing or another person in the group attempts to make the differences smaller than they seem.
Loss – Loss -- Compromise is similar to smoothing. Using this type of conflict resolution, each of the parties gives up something to reach a common ground. In this resolution the parties themselves agree to give up on some points but not others. In doing this they reach a common agreement that has relatively few points of disagreement.
Problem Solving / Confronting
Best Solution – Win-Win
Yield – Lose -- Temporary

The Effect of Not Doing

When We Don't Take Action
Life is sculpted on a moment-to-moment basis. Every one of the thoughts we think, the words we speak, and the actions we take contributes to the complex quality and character of the universe's unfolding. It simply is not possible to be alive without making an impact on the world that surrounds us. Every action taken affects the whole as greatly as every action not taken. And when it comes to making the world a better place, what we choose not to do can be just as important as what we choose to do.

For example, when we neglect to recycle, speak up, vote, or help somebody in immediate need, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to be an agent for positive change. Instead, we are enabling a particular course to continue unchallenged, picking up speed even at it goes along. By holding the belief that our actions don't make much of a difference, we may find that we often tend to forego opportunities for involvement. Alternatively, if we see ourselves as important participants in an ever-evolving world, we may feel more inspired to contribute our unique perspective and gifts to a situation.

It is wise to be somewhat selective about how and where we are using our energy in order to keep ourselves from becoming scattered. Not every cause or action is appropriate for every person. When a situation catches our attention, however, and speaks to our heart, it is important that we honor our impulse to help and take the action that feels right for us. It may be offering a kind word to a friend, giving resources to people in need, or just taking responsibility for our own behavior. By doing what we can, when we can, we add positive energy to our world. And sometimes, it may be our one contribution that makes all the difference.

Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action for Project Managers

Project managers have the immense task of juggling requirements and resources that are often not under their direct control in order to produce the required project deliverables within the limited constraints to which they must adhere (scope, time, quality, etc.). Even if the perfect project plan could be designed and executed, it would not remove all of the risks that could ultimately impact a project. Plans must inevitably change for one reason or another.

During the phases of a project, it could be said that there are three major activities focused on reducing project risk. The first risk reduction activity occurs during project planning, when a proactive risk assessment is conducted and the identified risks are either mitigated or avoided (e.g., by modifying the project plan), transferred (such as through insurance) or accepted (by doing nothing and accepting that "if it happens, it happens"). The second activity is the continual assessment of risk throughout the project. The final risk reduction activity is to hold a retrospective "lessons learned" at the end of the project, which will have the least impact on the current project but will serve to benefit others in the future.

However, for the unforeseen problems that occur throughout a project, risk management is too late, since it has already been completed, and lessons learned are too early, since that is conducted at the conclusion of the project. Corrective action is then a critical process for dealing with ad-hoc problems encountered during projects.
Unfortunately, actions taken to resolve an issue often only address the problem itself, not its underlying causes. Symptoms of the problem are addressed and project resources are adjusted to compensate for the problem, but true corrective action may not be taken. In other words, the causes of the problem remain unknown, meaning the problem may reoccur later in the project and/or in future projects.

Consider this example:
Problem: A design project to develop a new vehicle has come to a complete stop because one of the key work packages for it is on the critical path but is behind schedule.
Action taken: The work package behind schedule is deemed to be a low risk, so it is decided that it will proceed in parallel with other modules, changing the critical path. This means that if no major problems found are with the module, there will be no additional delay.
Note that while the action taken in this example may allow the project to proceed along a modified critical path, nothing was done to identify why the work package was behind schedule in the first place. That is, while the problem was resolved (corrected), no action was taken to ensure that the same problem would not occur in the future (corrective action). In our example, was the module behind due to inadequate capacity of the assigned resources, or for some other reason?

Corrective action consists of two major phases:
·         Diagnosis: Performing an investigation to find the root causes of the problem
·         Solution: Taking action to prevent the causes from recurring

To provide a more detailed breakdown of these steps, we put forward an example "10-step problem solving model" that we hope will be of use in guiding you through a corrective action process. Steps 1 through 5 are for problem diagnosis, and 6 through 10 for solution implementation.

1.   Define the Problem: What occurred, where and when was it identified, when did it begin, and how significant is it?
2.   Understand the Process: What were the process steps that should have been carried out before the problem was found?
3.   Identify Possible Causes: If they did not occur as planned, which of the process steps could have caused the problem?
4.   Collect Data: What information could indicate which of the possible causes actually occurred in a way that would create the problem?
5.   Analyze Data: What does the data indicate about which of the possible causes did or did not contribute?
6.   Identify Possible Solutions: What changes to the processes of project planning and execution might keep those processes from failing in the future?
7.   Select Solutions: Which of the possible solutions identified are the most viable?
8.   Implement Solutions: Plan and carry out the selected solutions.
9.   Evaluate the Effects: Were the solutions implemented and have they worked?
10.Institutionalize the Change: Update project management guidelines and tools to ensure that future projects are carried out in alignment with the improved processes.

Note that steps 1 through 5 are typically done iteratively, until the causes found are at a depth sufficient to prevent recurrence. For example, if on a software project testing, delays are due to inadequate capacity of the testing software, the reason for the capacity problem would need to be determined in order to prevent such a failure in the future.
Of course, it is not necessary to carry out this level of investigation and action for every problem that occurs during a project, so an important component of the corrective action process is risk assessment and agreement on a sensible course of action. That is, for each problem that occurs, the relative magnitude and likelihood as part of a risk assessment should be considered before assuming root cause analysis is required.

There are many barriers that prevent corrective action from being carried out effectively. We have already alluded to … a lack of guidance … a process … for carrying it out. That's the purpose of steps 1 through 10. Other barriers and resulting imperatives for project managers include:
·         There is often a tendency for a single individual to try to perform the investigation and solve the problem without help. However, project failures are often the result of incremental variations within multiple processes, and a single individual is unlikely to be sufficiently familiar with all processes to be able to evaluate them effectively and without bias. Therefore, project managers must ensure that they involve multiple players in the diagnosis of complex problems. They need to encourage their team to "put their hand up for help".
·         In the rush to solve problems, people make assumptions and jump to causes or solutions without having data to back them up. This leads to tampering with processes, which can result in further problems. Project managers need to be certain that adequate information is available before deciding which actions to take.
·         Corrective action often has a negative connotation in organizations, which means people don't look forward to being involved. However, many studies have shown that humans and organizations learn more from their failures than from their successes, so corrective action needs to be viewed as simply the process of learning more about how processes actually operate. Project managers need to employ positivity when assessing the need for corrective action and putting the case forward to do it.
·         Corrective action is seen as something that is in addition to the "regular work", rather than as part of effective business management, as indicated by the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Project managers who emphasize the PDCA cycle as part of day-to-day thinking, as well as during major milestone reviews, will help others see the more complete picture of their roles. It is certainly an embedded part of Quality Management.
·         Many organizations want to automatically assign the cause of all problems to human error. The problem with this is that it is insufficient to provide identification of solutions, since the cause for that human error would need to be known. Many of the causes of human error turn out to be deficiencies in information, equipment, and management processes. Project managers who focus on process deficiencies rather than blaming people will find that others are more willing to dig down to the real causes of problems.
·         There are also challenges specific to project management which serve to make the activity of corrective action more difficult. These include:
·         Many projects involve multiple organizations, each a separate legal entity having unique knowledge/skills for which they are being contracted. This means players may try to protect their own turf (think of the BP disaster in the Gulf, and how the various contractors blamed each other), making the truth hard to find.
·         Project personnel may only consider the current project, rather than future projects, as potential beneficiaries of corrective action. The reality is that all players should be able to learn from investigations and often carry that knowledge into future projects.
·         Similarly, due to the fact that each project has an end-point, it may be difficult to do a full-on evaluation of effectiveness. The value of solutions may only be appreciated in the course of future projects.
Another significant advantage of developing better root cause analysis skills within the project team is that such thinking is fundamental for risk management, quality management and the creation of a "learning culture."

Kids Activities Tracking - Good for parents

Most of the kids can do
Half of the kids can do
A rare kids can do
• Follows objects briefly with eyes
• Vocalizes: oohs and aahs
• Holds head at 45-degree angle

• Vocalizes: gurgles and coos
• Follows objects across field of vision
• Holds head at 45-degree angle
• Can bear weight on legs
• Notices his hands
• Makes smoother movements

• Squeals, gurgles, coos
• Blows bubbles
• Turns toward loud sounds
• Visually tracks moving objects
• Recognizes your voice
• Can bring hands together, bats at toys

• Can bear weight on legs
• Coos when you talk to him

• Recognizes own name
• Sits momentarily without support
• Plays with his hands and feet
• Mouths objects

• Turns toward sounds and voices
• Sits without support
• Mouths objects

• Waves goodbye

• Bangs objects together

• Says "mama" and "dada" to both parents (isn't specific)

• Points at objects
• Indicates wants with gestures

• Plays patty-cake and peek-a-boo
• Says "mama" and "dada" to the correct parent

• Bangs objects together

• Waves goodbye
• Says "mama" and "dada" to the correct parent
• Indicates wants with gestures
• Puts objects into a container

• Says "mama" and "dada" to the correct parent
• Plays patty-cake and peek-a-boo
• Puts objects into a container
• Stoops from standing position

• Takes a few steps
• Indicates wants with gestures

• Enjoys gazing at his reflection
• Combines words and gestures to make needs known
• Rolls a ball back and forth
• Empties containers of contents
• Initiates games
• Matches lids with appropriate containers
• Points to one body part when asked

• Responds to instructions (e.g., "give me a kiss")

• Plays with ball
• Runs
• Puts his fingers to his mouth and says "shhh"
• Adopts "no" as his favorite word

• Stacks three blocks
• Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object

• Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., the telephone)

• Sorts toys by color, shape, or size
• Likes riding toys
• Takes toys apart and puts them back together

• Stacks four blocks
• Runs
• Recognizes when something is wrong (e.g., calling a dog a cat)
• Points to picture or object when you call it by name

• Enjoys helping around the house

• Dumps an object in imitation, such as throwing garbage away

• Names several body parts
• Names simple picture in a book
• Able to set simple goals (e.g., deciding to put a toy in a certain place)

• Stacks six blocks

• Does simple puzzles

• Names several body parts
• Understands opposites (e.g., tall vs. short)
• Names simple picture in a book
• Opens doors
• Talks about self (likes, dislikes)

• Names at least six body parts
• Talks about self
• Begins to understand abstract concepts (e.g., sooner and later)
• Half of speech is understandable
• Arranges things in categories
• Becomes attuned to gender differences
• Stacks six blocks
• Opens doors

• Names one friend
• Recites own name
• Uses two adjectives

• Points to objects described by use

• Alternates feet going up and down stairs
• Names one friend
• Uses prepositions (e.g., on, in, over)
• Wiggles thumb
• Carries on a simple conversation
• Expresses a wide range of emotions

• Stacks eight blocks
• Describes how two objects are used
• Hops and skips
• Balances on each foot for three seconds
• Follows a two- or three-part command
• Gets dressed without help
• Names two actions (e.g., skipping, jumping)

• Rides a tricycle