Thursday, March 31, 2011
I döda språks sällskap by Ola Wikander
Menneske uten hund by Håkan Nesser
Musketerenes siste bedrifter, volume 2 by Alexandre Dumas
Kullunge by Monica Kristensen – AUDIO
Et hav av språk by Åshild Næss/Atle Næss
En helt annen historie av Håkan Nesser – AUDIO
Trusselen av Guillermo del Toro/Chuck Hogan
Vårlik by Måns Kallentoft
Volvo lastvagnar by Erlend Loe - AUDIO
Å by Knut Nærum
The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini
Stille dager i Mixing Part by Erlend Loe - AUDIO
Ø by Knut Nærum - AUDIO
Baa Baa Black Sheep by Rudyard Kipling (a Penguin 60)
I never learn ... :-) I'll be updating this later (tomorrow?) with some more info and some links. :-)
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Anyway, in addition to being such a wonderful actor and a natural born diva, she was also by all accounts a wonderful person. She really did a lot for the causes she believed in. For those not in the know, this was first and foremost the rights of the mentally disabled. She also changed a lot of lives for people in this group by the very valuable example she set. When she was 36 years old she had her first child - the first of two sons, the second of whom is now the mayor of Oslo. :-) This little boy had Down's syndrome. At that time - this was in 1953 - children like him were something people were ashamed of, they were kept away from the public eye and nobody talked about it. But Foss refused to be ashamed of her child and was open about his disability. She did more than anyone else, I think, to change people's minds on this issue.
Unfortunately, the boy got leukemia and died when he was only four years old. :-( So she had sadness in her life as well as success. But when you live to be 93, what more can you really hope for. :-) She was a fantastic woman and a fantastic artist. R.I.P.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I'm not entirely sure what to say about this entry. o_O Is it really cool or is it a waste of space? It seems to be both. It starts out well, it seems to be catchy and it's a bit unusual. Like it may stand out a bit in the lineup this year. The first time I heard it I really liked it ... at least for about a minute.
The problem with this song, I think, is that it doesn't have anything worth mentioning in the way of distinction between verse and chorus. I mean, it's there, but you have to really focus to catch it. So it becomes like just this wall of sound and ... well ... just annoying. Not to offend any Irishmen who may randomly be reading this, I don't know ... this song just gets really old really fast. Even hearing it twice in May - assuming it gets through from the semi, which I'm not at all convinced it will - may be too much for some of the audience.
This could have been really good, but is in fact just annoying. Too bad for Ireland. :-( This may do well ... the young audiences down east may like it ... but I think that depends a lot on the presentation. Not too weird. :-) Their hair is perhaps weirdness enough. ;-)
I'm not a fan of this song. It gets on my nerves. It could have been fun, but it's mostly irritating. I kind of hope it doesn't get through from the semi. I'm sorry. But it gets on my nerves. All the more so since I suspect it could have been so much better.
Oh well. This is Jedward - identical twins, yes - performing Lipstick by Dan Priddy, Lars Halvor Jensen and Martin Larson. They will be competing for Ireland on Thursday, May 12th. They will be closing the show, which may work to their advantage. We'll see. I'm not convinced. :-)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Yes, you really are seeing what you think you're seeing. Item is not in daily use ... o_O
Thursday, March 24, 2011
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I chose Hello Kitty as my ... model. (You should see my new mp3 player that I got in Spain. James, you're going to absolutely hate it. >:-) Isn't she adorable?? I made her with mini Hama beads. They are soo tiny to work with but the result is soo cute. :-)
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Like many zoological gardens, Barcelona Zoo is infested with peafowl. It was quite extreme, in fact. They were everywhere. Photo ops galore ... ! :-D
There were daisies growing on one of the lawns. Daisies!! In the middle of March! These people don't know how good they have it, I tell you.
The preserved skeleton of a whale that washed up somewhere in Spain a few decades ago. Mmm, whale ...
There were quite a few turtles in the reptile house, and one of them was ... in a really good mood. He kept trying to mate with one of the females - if indeed it was a female - and she was SO not interested. :-D I'll be uploading a video of it on Youtube soon. Something to look forward to. ;-)
One of the elephants was having its feet cleaned by one of its keepers. You may not be aware of this, dear reader, but foot rot is the leading cause of death in captive elephants. It's a very dangerous condition, so proper foot care is essential for pachyderms in captivity. Barcelona Zoo's elephant keepers were taking advantage of the lovely weather to carry out this chore outdoors, so visitors could see it. Smart. I was pleased to see that they practice protected contact, at least while in sight of visitors. What you see in the photo is testimony to how used this animal is to this procedure ... standing still while the feet are tended to may become boring for the elephant, so another keeper served as a distraction with a bucketful of tiny treats (radishes, strawberries, goodies about that size). The elephant - as you see - folded its trunk away on the top of its head and stood with its mouth open waiting for treats to be inserted. :-D As Homer Simpson would say, FOOD GOES IN HERE! :-D
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Iceland has become a country to watch in recent years. They've sent some memorable entries. It's been a bit hit and miss, though. I'm afraid I think that this year may be another miss. I am not a fan of this song. It may grow on me ... in fact I'm pretty sure it will, I've only listened to it a few times so far ... but the problem with that should be obvious, ie, it won't necessarily have time to grow on the voting audience. Most people aren't as crazy as me. So. There's nothing wrong with the song, it's rather fun, it's charming and kind of sweet, but it doesn't really have much of a personality, so I'm afraid it does run the risk of slipping people's memories. They need to hope that there are a lot of older people in the audience, because I don't think this will appeal much to younger viewers.
The one thing I really don't like about this entry is the presentation. They look like a Swedish dance band (which to me is seriously not a compliment). Six grown men in identical outfits is usually ... just ... no.
The one thing I like the most about the song is that it's in Icelandic. But in Düsseldorf, as you see, they will be singing in English. So scratch that.
I won't be able to influence the fate of this song in the initial stages anyhow, because they're in the same semi as us, so we can't vote for them. I do hope they will get through, though. Just because it's Iceland. :-) I would SO love for them to win the whole shebang some day. But I don't think that's going to happen this year.
Anyway, judge for yourselves. :-) This is Sjonni's Friends, or is it Sigurjon's Friends, performing Aftur heim by Sigurjón Brink and Þórunn Erna Clausen. They will be competing for Iceland on Tuesday, May 10th.
Lyrics in both Icelandic and English here.
Monday, March 21, 2011
My phone died this weekend, or at least almost died ... enough for it to be rendered unusable for all practical purposes, and enough for me to be incommunicado for most of Saturday without realizing it. That's not such a big deal, except that it resulted in me missing something super cool - lunch, a guided tour of the Viking Ship House and dinner with, among others, James Randi. Yes, seriously. Instead I spent the day in a 300 year old basement. A basement full of chocolate, but still.
What's really annoying is that it was all my own fault, because first of all I should have switched over to my new phone ages ago, but didn't because of misplaced affection for an inanimate object, and if I had done so this would not have happened, and second, if I had tried to call one of my fellow podcasters instead of pootling around among the chocolate, I would have soon realized that something was amiss and that this was the reason why it had appeared that they had not called me. (My phone would not have worked, but we have a phone at Friends too, so.) In other words, I have only myself to blame, and of course that only makes it worse.
And what is totally annoying is that now I have lost I don't know how many people's phone numbers - the very thing I have always thought I would somehow guard myself against. Drat. Again, I have brought it upon myself. Some numbers survived, some I actually remember and some I have dug out from here and there ... but far from all, so if you have my number and you think I should have yours, please text me and include your name in the message. I need some help reconstructing my metaphorical phone book. Some of you may already have been contacted. :-)
Of course one misfortune doesn't come alone, so naturally we had to have a meeting with our new boss* at work this afternoon and it had to be seriously frustrating and ... well, I probably shouldn't go into too much detail. Except to say that the way this guy treats me really raises my hackles. I'm sure he thinks it's all fine and dandy. But he would never ever talk to me that way if I were a man. And it's flabbergasting that he thinks we can get a great dialogue going when he won't even let me finish my sentences. o_O He doesn't treat the guys like that. Not that he's super swell towards them either. But there is a difference - the guys picked up on it too - and it is because I am a woman. That seriously pisses me off.
A lot of men tend to think that Norway is a totally equal society - that the job is done here, so to speak. But it's not. It probably never will be, human biology being what it is. But it's much further from being done than a lot of you guys think. Because there are so many among you who will say things to a woman and act towards a woman in ways that you would NEVER act or speak to a man. It would never occur to you. But if the other person is a woman, it is second nature.
That's something for my male readers to think about. You may not think what you're about to say is necessarily patronizing and/or infantilizing - for instance - but think for a moment - would you really say the same thing to a man?
*Not a new presence at the company, but newly become our boss.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I have to say one thing before anything else in this post: I LOVE the French entry this year. Seriously, I LOVE it. LOVE it!!! :-D It is FANTASTIC and I LOVE IT!!! :-D
OK, with that out of the way, I won't be at all surprised if this entry totally bombs and they end up with a really shitty result. Not that they don't have a chance of doing well ... there's always a chance, you never know. I will certainly be voting for them. IMO, they deserve to do very well with this song. But I can't in all honesty say that this really is an ESC song. This is more of a West End song. It sounds like it's out of Les Miserables or some other musical in that vein. It's a wonderful song, it's beautiful, but I can't help but thinking that the ESC really isn't the place for it.
It's also sure to draw some intimations of plagiarism, because, let's face it, it sounds almost exactly like Con te partirò. There is what is sometimes referred to as an eerie similarity. :-D That's not a plus. What is a plus, though, is that it's in Corsican. At least it's a plus to me. I like it. :-) The singer's voice is good and he's young and pretty. The song is quite striking and, as I've indicated, unusual for the ESC. Unusual may very well translate to inappropriate in this context. But I'm hoping for the best.
One thing that gives some legitimacy to that hope is that the UK did surprisingly well with the same type of song two years ago. Andrew Lloyd Webber came fifth with It's My Time. However, he's Andrew Lloyd Webber. He is quite probably a fluke. :-)
But don't let me keep you from enjoying this brilliant song any longer! This is Amaury Vassili performing Sognu by Daniel Moyne, Quentin Bachelet, Jean-Pierre Marcellesi and Julie Miller. This quartet will be competing for France on Saturday, May 14th - they will not have to go through a semi-final as France is one of the Big Five*. But that too will, alas, most likely be in this entry's disfavor. :-( The best of luck to France!!
Lyrics with translation here.
*Big Five, rather than Big Four, is in fact correct this year, because of a surprising but wonderful development - Italy is in the ESC again!! For the first time in 14 years!! Yay and hooray!! :-D
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Chateau Neuf at Majorstua, 6pm. Be there or miss a great experience. Be there early! :-)
Entry is completely free, so you have no excuse ... !!
ETA that it was a lot of fun, and I recorded the whole thing, so look out for it on my Youtube channel very soon. :-)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
The longest bench in the world, by Antoni Gaudí in Park Güell.
Interior, Santa Maria del Mar. The church made famous by the novel Cathedral of the Sea. A brick, but well worth reading.
Facade, Casa Batlló, also by Gaudí.
Interior, Sagrada Família. Guess who. :-)
There were soo many lovely and decorative streetlights.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This is transparently untrue - they're saying that the IP addresses are too old, but this investigation has been going on for three years. The data relevant to crimes committed by Norwegian citizens was handed over to our police in July last year. So even if we had had the DRD, the necessary info would have been erased either way. As I say, a transparent excuse.
But what I want to rant about is what a blatantly obvious setup this is for the police to push their own political agenda, and how depressing it is that our media is so worthless that they're allowing themselves to be used in this way. If we had media worthy of our respect, we would be getting some real facts, and we would be getting the info we need to really make sense of events. But no. Our media, like everywhere else in the world, is useless and almost worthless. It's pathetic.
But the problems don't stop there. Our police are also lazy incompetents. I can conclude in no other way from their desperate and undignified pursuit of the DRD. I don't believe for a second that they would catch any more criminals with it than without. They will catch more criminals if they do a better job investigating. That's it. Of course they'll tell you that the DRD will be a fantastic tool to help them investigate. Personally I don't believe that for a second. But even if it were true, it would still be unacceptable.
The police say that if they had the DRD, and could monitor digital traffic 'properly', they could solve so many crimes, in fact they could head off x number of crimes before they even happen. Hey, you know what? If the state were to install surveillance cameras in all our living rooms, you could prevent even more crimes from happening, you'd know while we were still just planning them. So maybe that's an idea? Arne Johannessen might actually think so. I used to have some respect for him, but not any more.
He actually recently presented as an argument in favor of the DRD the following: that if we had the DRD, it would be much easier for people 'to prove their innocence'.
How can you be a police officer in this country for decades and not understand the fundamental principle of the Rechtsstaat? How is that possible? How does that even work? And why aren't more people freaking over it?
As a citizen, it is not my business to prove that I am innocent. I am innocent. It is the business of the state to prove that I am not.
Do your jobs, pigs. You don't need the DRD for that. Less coffee and more work is what you need. >:-(
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Plants and flowers! Green grass! And, best of all, no snow! These people don't know how good they have it, they've got palm trees growing in their parks. Huge palm trees. Bah! But yay! :-)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
For my part it will end tomorrow. At least for a little while. I'm going to Barcelona. Yay!! Goodbye snow!!! I'll be back on Monday night. I may be able to get online while I'm there and I may not. But in any case I will be getting away from the snow. Whee!! :-D
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Et lite hjertesukk, inspirert, eller hva man skal si, av en kommentar på Trine Grungs blogg ... fra kommentarfeltet på den såkalte HelseHildes mest forskrudde innlegg hittil. Og det sier jo ikke så rent lite. Kommentaren er en nærmest total kollaps av forståelse og innsikt. Det er nesten fascinerende. Read it and weep.
Du store min. Det er tydelig at mange føler seg tråkket på tærne her, i forhold til sine "sannheter" og hva de selv har lært og tror på. Slik er det når noen kommer med noe nytt, vi føler oss angrepet og må gå i forsvar. Og tydeligvis treffer Hilde spikeren på hodet, og det er supert. Det er begynnelsen på en stor forandring. Det er slik det alltid er før store forandringer skjer, først kommer noen med en helt ny måte å se tingene på, så blir det rabalder, og så kommer forandringen i hele samfunnet. Så dette går etter boka. Supert.
Vitenskap er ikke alt. Selv vitenskapen har tatt feil, mange ganger, og mye som er såkalt vitenskapelig er vridd og vendt på for å få ønsket resultat. Finnes mye grums i vitenskapen. Det finnes også fenomener som ikke kan måles vitenskapelig. Det betyr ikke at det ikke er sant eller at de ikke eksisterer. Jeg synes synd på mennesker som er så trangsynte at de ikke er åpen for annet enn vitenskap.
Vi mennesker har alle våre "sannheter", og mange av dem begrenser oss. Vi kan ikke lære noe nytt hvis vi stenger ører og øyne. For å bevirke et annet resultat, må man forsøke en annen metode! Å være lege eller å ha jobbet med reumatikere i 20 år betyr ikke at dere sitter på sannheten. Det betyr bare at dere har prøvd de samme metodene om og om igjen, uten å få noe godt resultat. Hvis bare ETT menneske greier å bli frisk ved andre måter enn de skolemedisinske, så er det verdt å sette fokus på, for å se om flere kan dra nytte av det.
La de som har erfaring på området få uttale seg, for det er nemlig de som vet hva de snakker om.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Not that there is much of a celebration, necessarily, this year either. :-) For me it was just a regular working day. I actually have never marched in a March 8th parade in my life. I blame my mother - or I should say my parents, of course - for never taking me to one. They never took me to a Labor Day parade either. So I never really learned that it was normal and something I ought to do. Shame on them. :-)
Anyway ... Norwegian women have it so good, anyway, we're not the ones who need this day to help us remember this and that. I'm not saying that we don't have problems here too, of course. Just that whatever our problems may be, they are minuscule, minute, compared to the problems women in so many other countries are faced with. They are usually what we call 'luxury problems' in Norwegian. This is true of most problems Norwegians have, in fact ... and it's one of the most galling things I know that so few of my countrymen are able to take this in. But today is a day to consider women. Please do so. Please take a moment to think of all the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of women who don't know where their next meal is coming from, or how they will feed their children tomorrow. Those women who willingly take the risk of being brutally assaulted and raped, because there is no other way to get hold of drinking water for their families. Those women who leave their homes and move hundreds, thousands of kilometers away to work in factories or brothels to put food on the table for their children at home. Those who move to the other side of the world, leaving their own children behind, to care for other people's children. Quite a few of the latter are actually here in Oslo.
I could go on and on with this, but you get the point. If you're on a computer and able to read this, you are already fantastically lucky. Be grateful for it and spare a thought for those less fortunate.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Ooh!! Happy birthday to my mother!! :-)
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The Netherlands have been wandering in the desert, metaphorically speaking, for years now ... they haven't qualified for the final since 2004, and even then (before there were semi-finals :-) it's been more than a decade since they made it to the top ten. I feel for them, I really do. They're wonderful people. :-) They just don't get this right anymore.
Will things be different this year? Well ... probably not. :-) There's nothing wrong with the song, as such, it's not at all bad ... but it's just so completely bland. It has no personality, no hook, no real rhythm. It's a soothing ballad. That's exactly what it is. It's quite charming, nothing wrong with it. But I have no idea how they imagine that this will stand out against the competition in any way. o_O
Depending on which slot they get and on the other songs in their semi, they may get through to the final. But I'm not willing to bet any money on it.
This is 3JS performing their own song, Je vecht nooit alleen. They will be competing for the Netherlands on Thursday, May 12th.
Lyrics with translation here.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
We don't have this species of salamander in Norway - unsurprisingly - we only have great crested newt, Triturus cristatus, and smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. Wonderful animals too of course, but they rather pale in comparison with the amazing fire salamanders. Literally. :-)
More in the same vein: If you like salamanders, then take a look at this video I made with footage I've shot over the past few years, showing various salamanders. I love saying salamander, it's a brilliant word! Salamander!! :-D
Friday, March 4, 2011
Suzuki was talking about his own country, Canada, but this is sadly all too true about Norway as well.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I haven't watched it for years and years though, I've been planning to get it on DVD for a long time, but never got around to it. Until now! :-D I actually first bought the first season of the remake, mostly on a whim, I've been leery of watching it, because, well, remakes. Remakes are bad, mmkay? But I got it so cheap that I couldn't resist. And I have to say that I was very positively surprised. Of course it's very different from the original ... the CGI available today just doesn't compare. But I loved it. I really like what they've done with it. One thing though - it made me even more eager to see the original again. So then I just had to buy it. :-)
Now I've finally got hold of the whole thing - not sure how many hours it is, but quite a lot. :-) I've been a little worried about watching it again because, as I may have mentioned before, when you watch things you loved as a kid, you sometimes discover that you were dumb and had no taste as a kid. Alas. But it's not happening with V. I'm watching it now - literally right now - and I'm totally loving it. It's just as good as I remember. It looks kind of old-fashioned, but it rocks. If you haven't seen it, and you like SF, then you MUST see it. Your life is incomplete if you haven't seen it. :-)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Anyway. A weird and interesting play, entertaining, I recommend it. We enjoyed it. :-) I personally especially loved the music they used ... an absolutely wonderful song that I had never heard before but totally loved. I was going to email the theater and ask about it, but Anéa did it before I got around to it. I am slow. :-) Here it is, with a very unusual video ... White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I love it!! :-)