August is always a wonderful month for sky-watching. The Perseids are coming, and Wednesday should be prime time!
Skywatchers set for meteor shower
From BBC: Science and Technology
Skygazers are getting ready to watch the annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on Wednesday.
The Perseid shower occurs when the Earth passes through a stream of dusty debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle.
As this cometary “grit” strikes our atmosphere, it burns up, often creating streaks of light across the sky.
This impressive spectacle appears to originate from a point called a “radiant” in the constellation of Perseus – hence the name Perseid.
“Earth passes through the densest part of the debris stream sometime on 12 August. Then, you could see dozens of meteors per hour,” said Bill Cooke of Nasa’s meteoroid environment office.
You can read the entire article on BBC News: Science and Technology by clicking on the blue type.
This caught my eye for a couple reasons – one of which is that Qatar has the second largest divorce rate after Kuwait. Second, while it is mentioned in the article, it is not mentioned at the end that the women have other options in Kuwait and Qatar, are more able to care for themselves financially, and are not bound to stay in unhappy marriages for reasons of financial dependency.
It is delightful to think that one unhappy marriage while young will not doom a still-young woman to a life of celibacy.
More Qataris tying the knot with divorcees and widows
Web posted at: 8/11/2009 2:41:41
Source ::: The Peninsula / By MOHAMED SAEED
DOHA: Qatar has the second largest divorce rate in the Gulf region after Kuwait, but a welcome development has been that now an increasing number of citizens prefer to marry divorcees and young widows.
Qatar being a conservative society, marrying divorcees and widows has been a taboo of sorts.So, since the largest number of divorcees is in the age group of 20 to 29 years, their remarriage is a healthy sign.
In 1986, for example, divorcees under 20 years of age accounted for 15 percent of the total. Their proportion has been declining and was down to 6.4 percent in 2007.
Studies conducted by the Permanent Population Committee (PPC) show the number of marriages breaking up in the country has risen from just 308 in 1986 to nearly a 1,000 in 2007.
And although the population of locals has also gone up in this period, the rates of marriage and divorce have risen at a larger rate than the population increase.
It is also interesting to note that nearly 85 percent of weddings ending into divorce are first marriages. In other words, a husband taking a second, third or even fourth wife has never been the cause for a wedlock to end.
With women having increasing access to education and employment, the number of married Qatari females asking for divorce (‘khula’ in Arabic) has been on the rise. The share of such divorces in the total is on an average between 16 and 23 percent.
The studies note that financial independence of educated women has much to do with the rise in the phenomenon.
And as for male citizens marrying young divorcees and widows, the number of such marital knots had increased to nearly 300 in 2007 as compared to barely 29 in 1986.
Among the Arab countries, Egypt and Syria have the lowest divorce rates, suggest the studies.
They point to erosion of social values, modern living, fading influence of families, as the major factors behind the rising incidence of divorce in Qatar.
I’m not saying my temperature gauge is correct. It’s made by Sharper Image, and the little measuring thing is in the shade on my windowsill. But while the Qatari weather station measured a high of 50°C (122°F), mine shows 62°C (144°F). Two of our air conditioning units stopped functioning yesterday. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for those who have to work outdoors. The air conditioning men don’t come until after sunset, because they have to go on the roofs, and they can’t touch anything without getting burned until after the sun goes down.
Qatar sizzles in record high temperature
Web posted at: 8/11/2009 2:38:39
Source ::: THE PENINSULA
The temperature outdoors as recorded by instruments in many cars in Doha yesterday. QASSIM RAHMATULLAH
DOHA: The mercury touched a record high for the season during the past two days in Qatar, with the temperature reaching 48 degrees Celsius on Sunday and yesterday. The thermometers in vehicles posted the temperature still higher, at 50 degrees Celsius.
The country has been experiencing a steady increase in temperature for the past few days. The maximum temperature had been hovering around 45 degrees Celsius for the past couple of weeks before it shot up to 48 degrees on Sunday. The minimum temperature has also gone up substantially, reaching 35 degrees Celsius yesterday.
Labourers working outdoors and families alike complained that the dry and extremely hot weather had been unbearable during the last two days. Doctors have advised people to take precautions against the weather.
The labourers who used to spend their day break in the shade in open areas have been missing from the Corniche these days. Many of them are spending the time inside nearby air-conditioned shopping malls. “The heat wave was so intense that we could not stand it”, an Asian worker said.
Compared to the same period last year, the maximum temperature is high this time. The country recorded a maximum temperature of 40 degrees and 43 degrees Celsius on August 9 and 10, 2008, respectively, against the 48 degrees Celsius recorded this year. The minimum temperature is also higher this year.
The daily weather chart issued by the meteorological department yesterday forecast a maximum temperature of 46 degrees Celsius today. The minimum temperature is expected to be 34 degrees Celsius.
The Met department forecast hot conditions with dust blowing during the daytime today and moderate temperatures at night. North-westerly winds may blow at a speed of 15-20 knots, reaching 25 knots at mid-day and 15-25 knots offshore.
According to some weather portals, the temperature of Qatar’s territorial waters touched a high of 34 degrees Celsius these past days. Last year, when Qatar’s maximum temperature reached 48 degrees Celsius, the temperature of the sea water stood at 37 degrees Celsius.
Experts point out that any increase in the temperature of sea water above 35 degrees Celsius is “abnormal.”
The year 2006 also saw the temperature of Qatar’s territorial waters cross the 35 degrees mark (36.5 degrees Celsius), and massive quantities of fish and invertebrates, including endangered species of turtle, had washed up on Qatar’s shores.
From today’s Gulf Times
Ramadan likely from August 22
Ramadan is expected to start on August 22, says Doha’s Arrayah daily quoting a statement issued by Abu Dhabi-based Islamic Project for Moon Sighting. Arrayah says that people in Central Asia and North Africa and in the northern parts of the US would be able to sight the moon with their naked eyes on August 21.
You might wonder why non-Muslim expats living in Qatar would care when Ramadan starts. There are multiple reasons, like not wanting to get arrested for drinking water in public, or eating, or chewing gum, or touching your mate, all of which could get you a fine or even arrested.
Another reason is that the Qatar Distribution Center (otherwise known as The Liquor Store, yes, there is only one in all of Qatar) closes for the entire month, so in the next few days, things are going to get mighty crowded at the Liquor Store, lol)