Monday, September 24, 2007

Lady Grey

I just read a bit through my old blog. It's interesting to see the change over the years. January 06 says:

I'm reading Naomi Klein's "No Logo" at the moment. It's a wonderful book. It was recommended to us in my lecture on Popular Culture in Oxford, and I finally got around to buying it. Klein shows a nicely critical view on how branding works and how brands influence our society. I didn't think I could get really interested in such a topic, but the book has really been an eye-opener (not that it's any likely I'll change my consumer habits, but at least I'm aware of certain things now).

20 months later my consumer habits have changed dramatically (and quite a lot of other stuff too, i.e. my relationship with sports). I still hold Naomi Klein's book in the highest regard. I guess it's my personal bible of sorts, if you define bible as "book that carries an ideology which causes people who read it to take over that ideology and maybe even go a step further".
And what we can learn from that is to never say never and that change is often unsuspected and good.


I put some colour on the lady:

(Now I wish I had a dress like that ... or at least the top.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You violate the ninja code by falling in love

There's now a Black Google. If you're on a CRT, you're saving energy by using it. There seems to be a dispute over whether black on white is easier to read than white on black. But it's easier on the eyes to look at a screen (/TV/etc.) with a brightness adapted to your surroundings (which is why you should generally have a small light on at night to reduce the contrast). So if you do a lot of web-surfing at night, Blackle is probably closer to your surrounding brightness than Google.


I stumbled upon some brilliant Japanese Tradition videos on sushi, chopsticks and, best of all, apologizing.


Aaand, a character sketch:

Monday, September 17, 2007

RIP Robert Jordan

I've followed Robert Jordan's blog, in which he wrote about the progress of his disease, since I found out that he suffered from amyloidosis. His updates showed so much strength and determination that I believed he would live forever. Reading that he died yesterday came as a surprise and was followed shortly by disbelief. Although I stopped reading his books some years ago, his blog entries made me look up to his courage and optimism. The world has lost a great man.


In remembrance of Robert Jordan: Lady Moiraine, the WoT character that appealed to me artistically from the beginning.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Incest Reading in a Castle

The whole last seven days were spent by me and several other students reading at the castle Alt-Pernstein. Some of the students had organized a reading trip to this idyllic place so we could get some of the compulsory reading for our reading list done and discuss the books (which were themed around incest).
I spent a week reading, walking around in the massive forest that surrounds the castle and talking and listening to these highly intelligent people sharing their ideas. There was no TV and no computer. The serene silence was only interrupted whenever one of the students took his viola to play for us (and although I'm not into classic music, I found that it served quite well to order your thoughts and ponder on all sorts of stuff). It's amazing how many hours a day can have when you don't spend it among technology.
Coming back from the castle was almost like a culture shock. You're among these highly educated and thoroughly kind and pleasant people all the time. There are no arguments, only focused discussions on a civilized level (friendly, productive arguments, so to say). When you come home from such a trip, even a not-so-serious argument seems quite harsh. You realize how uncommunicative it is to sit in front of the TV while talking (because suddenly people don't even seem to hear your questions, when you got used to having even a hint of an attempt to say something recognized).

This made me once again realize how much influence the people who you surround yourself with make on you and your sense of happiness and satisfaction. As the article from my last posting says: "True satisfaction comes only through direct relationships with living realities. A good conversation with dear friends is far and away a greater source of joy than viewing a DVD."
It makes such a big difference to be among people who are not trying to be better than you or put you (or others) down, or who have so much anger inside that they forget to enjoy the small pleasures life offers. But within a few days, I'll probably go back to my old ways without realizing how harsh parts of it are. It's a shame you can't bottle feelings in small vessels to preserve them.