x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Why dabble with the undead?

A reader fears the worst about Tim Burton's new vampire film. Other topics: mini-subs, liquorice and Emirati brides

A reader is concerned that Tim Burton's latest feature, Dark Shadows, might lower standards. Courtesy Warner Bros
A reader is concerned that Tim Burton's latest feature, Dark Shadows, might lower standards. Courtesy Warner Bros

At last, someone has spoken out (Call for national strategy to boost technical training, May 16). The HCT (Higher Colleges of Technology) has long-forgotten its purpose.

It was set up as a technical institution but a succession of managers, practically all hired from western universities, have put all their efforts into trying to turn it into a university.

Whereas the teachers in most technical institutions are practitioners in their subject area, HCT has insisted on hiring academics - insisting on the need to have teachers with higher and higher academic qualifications at the expense of practical skills and hands-on experience in their subject matter.

The time has come to reverse this and return HCT to the real world and to the function for which it was originally intended.

LA Waygood, Abu Dhabi

Deeper concern about 'toy' subs

The National did a good job with The leaky sub and the skipper in court on a depth charge (May 17); the story and headline were entertaining.

But there is a serious subtext (no joke intended) in this: besides being toys for the wealthy, mini-submarines have some other uses that are not quite so droll.

There are several reports of quite sophisticated subs being used to transport cocaine and other drugs from South America to the US. And US security officials have not missed the potential for terrorist use of such hard-to-detect vehicles.

The Dubai police may have been puzzled about just what the mini-sub's user did wrong, but there is, unfortunately, a real need to regulate these costly gadgets.

Carlos Montoya Aguirre, Dubai

Australia rules with liquorice

I'm with Nouf Al Qasimi (My obsession with liquorice started at a young age and continues today, May 17). I, too, love liquorice.

But I don't much like the Panda brand mentioned in her article; there's something not quite right with the texture.

I haven't found the New Zealand brand she mentions, but the best liquorice I know, available in the US, is a soft type from Australia. It's sold in bulk and I don't know the brand name.

Kate Kearnes, Abu Dhabi

Exit of a fighter against corruption

I refer to Fayyad out as finance minister in PA reshuffle (May 17).

I don't pretend to begin to understand Palestinian internal politics, but it's rarely a good sign when somebody famous for fighting corruption is forced out of the leadership of any organisation.

Frank Lyman, US

A good partner is the greatest gift

I write regarding your story A dilemma for brides-to-be: where are the Emirati men? (April 23).

All over the world, educated young women are seeking compatible husbands. This kind of "dilemma" is not a phenomenon only in the UAE.

It is more difficult to find the right life companion than succeeding in a profession or business. It's the price of emancipation.

Angelika Lancsak, UK

A warlord by another name

I refer to the news story, A search for answers as UN trial of Bosnian Serb warlord begins (May 16).

I see that Ratko Mladic is simply referred to as a "warlord" while he is known worldwide as the "Butcher of Bosnia" and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and the killing of thousands of civilians in Srebrenica in 1995,

Mladic has been quoted as saying: "Tell me what I have done wrong." I am sure that both the prosecutors and the witnesses will tell him.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi

Cloning around with camels

Regarding Camel clone has the looks of a winner (May 14), it's probably cheaper just to buy them from Australia.

We have millions of them that we would love to get rid of.

Kim Asher, Australia

Fangs are out for vampire movie

Thanks for the interview with Tim Burton (Hit-making in his house of horrors, May 17).

Although I am a fan of a lot of his wonderfully inventive work, I am sorry that he has lowered himself to do a vampire movie.

He says it's a "supernatural soap opera", but I'm worried. I will go to see the film, but I fear the worst.

Patricia Hayem, Abu Dhabi