Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Free hugs

Australia has promoted the "Free hugs" which is comprised as the name suggests, of hugs from and to citizens. This idea has been welcomed by the European and American countries, being considered a very good opportunity for people to remember or learn, whichever being the case, to express themselves in an open and close manner.

In Xian Chinese city, after the announcement for the "Free hugs" movement was published on Internet, volunteers gathered on the streets and started putting the campaign message into action.
The passing 'victims' hadn't find out about this new concept. Therefore they were shocked, some of them stopped to wonder about what was going on, others rushed away and the majority were appalled that such activities could happen. Even some incidents occurred which needed to be solved by police intervention. The cause of this failure is of course simple: Chinese tradition does not imply hugging. It was imported from foreign cultures and the Chinese people are not used to this form of expression.

Evidently, this campaign would have had success in Romania, for example, where people were accustomed with socializing and expressing their feelings, during many centuries of culture and tradition.
For the countries who have a permissive tradition for this kind of expression, I think the idea is very good because it reminds us that one we do not have to be alone, even if we lead busy lives, we do not have to run everyday back and forth on streets and do not even notice the other people passing by.
They are like us and we all share a small place in each community. We can actually remember how it is like to notice people around us, to smile once in a while and to socialize, without any alterior motives.

All this being said, would you like to take part in such a movement and come up with suggestions related to this idea?

The event was described from "Evenimentul Zilei" newspaper.

Tags: Free Hugs , Free Hugs on YouTube ,
Free Hugs on TEN News Australia


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Independent women

Independent women have nowadays their own funds, ideas, hobbys and friends. They do not need to listen to what men say and think. They pay their own bills when they go out with possible partners (of course when they find time in their busy schedule). These women lead a very interesting life, full of targets, deadlines, meetings, presentations, responsibilities, aerobic classes, cars and good clothes. They always look sharp, nice hairdo, makeup, the latest trend in business dress code and the latest duo technology for their notebook processor. This dynamic rithm is continued until the women reach 30-35 years and they suddenly realise their friends think in 2 because they all have spouses. When they walk in the park they look with contemplation to the women who look after their babies and small kids, talking about the problems and they joys they encounter. Our case study women notice that they would like to have some other source joy in their life, except money, properties and car. Then the ides comes into their minds: find a man, marry and make kids. The only problem is it may be too late, the target men already have gone through these procedures with other women, not so independent, not so career oriented, who did not sacrifice so much for their development, stable income and targets.
After this our women agree that this is the price they need to pay, go to the office, plan the project organization for the next 3 weeks and go home at 3 a.m. After 1 week they decide to buy a cat or a dog and take care of the pet, substituting this way the need to care and be cared by someone.
Around the age of 35-40 our women have already adopted the 'Sex and the city' lifestyle. Therefore make a baby with the first man they have intercourse with after a long period of abstinence. Or find an older man tired of many failed relationships with top models lacking of personality, find a waiter which you can transform into a successful actor or fall in love with a man who can't marry you because you are not of the same religion as him.
Even Forbes magazine gives this advice to men: "Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career". A recent study has shown that even career women prefer the man to be the primary breadwinner of the family.

So, my dear women, do you think the future sounds nice? Don't worry just yet, this post is exaggerated and it is meant to make us prioritize everything in our lives with better care: ourselves, family, job, friends and so on. What do you think about all this nonsense?

Tags: Career women, Girls Blogosphere Club, Most powerful women


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Viewing Ploiesti....

This weekend I went with my friend Alina in her hometown Ploiesti. Although I had passed by this city plenty of times before, when going to the mountains, I never really visited it until now. I admit it was a very nice experience, I saw nice architecture of modern buildings and also old cathedrals.
The weekend was also productive for me because I finally purchased nice costumes at reasonable prices and studied a bit for my master's exams next week. Also the conversations with Alina were interesting as usual and hopefully in the near future we will prepare a develop a lucrative surprise.

Now it's time for some details about Ploiesti. Extract from Wikipedia:
The city was founded in 1596 during the reign of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave).In the mid-19th century, the Ploieşti region became one of the most important oil extraction and refinery sites in the world. The city was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1940, but managed to become the main source of oil for Nazi Germany during World War II, when Romania was allied to Germany. The city was captured by Soviet troops in August 1944. If you want to know more, read here the full history.

Tags: Ploiesti, Alina


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Journey to a great woman

I have recently discovered a blog written by an impressive woman. This discovery was done through Alina's post on Girls Blogosphere Club. After you read a few of the posts from Naomi's blog, you will regard the author as a source of strength, positive attitude and unconditioned love towards her children and grandchild. I have read many stories full of grief and suffering belonging to different people and in general the majority of them didn't have any hopes left for a better life. The major difference which is very impressive in Naomi's life stories is that she always keeps a positive attitude towards the events, even if they are worse than anyone can imagine.

She thanks God for not being in more troubles than she is, in some situations when we would all be upset, angry that we were so unlucky. Naomi finds strength in herself to continue her life, to make the best choices for her and especially her daughter and grandchild, who are the center of her universe. I admit I felt ashamed that sometimes I am dominated by minor things that are irrelevant in comparison to the real problems people like Naomi face. And these people deal with the situations in an admirable manner, which is even more to appreciate. Let us all learn from her and in the same time encourage her to remain the wonderful person she already is and to fulfill her dreams.

Tags: Naomi's blog, Girls Blogosphere Club, Single mother


Monday, October 16, 2006

Let's tolerate...

A new amendment was proposed by the Muslim Cult from Romania in the Romanian Chambers of Deputies. The intention is to include the additional settlement within the Cults Law. This project is currently under debate and it specifies that any forms, means, acts or actions of defamation or instigation towards religios feud wil be forbidden. If the amendment is approved , one of the effects will be that certain rock concerts, movies, books or theatre plays will be banned. Therefore, fans of the respective bands, who wear Tshirts with their idols signs, photos or crosses can be penalized based on this law.
As a protest movement, the Solidarity Organisation for Freedom of Conscience will set up a concert in
Piata Constitutiei on 28th of October, in Bucharest.

What do you think of this new settlement? Do you agree with it, are you among the young fans that will protest or simply a citizen appaled of the free expression right being taken away?

Tags: Source article, Chamber of Deputies, Blogs about cults


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Venice Carnival

I've just seen the description of the events for the last 8 years carnival in Venice and I thought this is a "must see" show. It doesn't matter if you're 20 or 50 years old, with your girlfriend, family or friends. This 10 days event is for anyone who is willing to dress in a ball costume and enjoy the historical palaces, streets, canals and everything else Venice has to offer. As a carefully organized event, the schedule is available in due time. Also the festival website offers the possibility of making reservations for hotel rooms.
Last year the stars of the carnival were, in my opinion, the characters shown here:

Tags: Venice carnival, Costumes photos, Blogs about Venice carnival


I got shot!

The winter season is getting closer as we've already noticed this week by the low temperatures. It's time to start gathering our ski/snowboard equipment, to check out the weather reports for the mountain areas and to start polishing our boards. But the first thing we need to do is to participate in the warm-up party and the media (photos and videos) competition for snowboarders at the "I got shot!" event.

Cafe Terrace (next to Ateneu) will host this event, on 28th of Otober starting from 19:00.
The music is provided by the artists Grasu XXL, Paco 10 Grei, Bitza, and the club mixing is handled by Skiller, DJ Bully, Konspirator, Trg.

Everyone is welcome to join the party and in the meantime to celebrate the beginning of snowboard season. If you want to participate in the contest you need to gather the best 3 photos and or a video to show us your boarding skills. Send them here and the jury will analyze them. You need to show in the media what snowboarding means to you, what is your lifestyle and how boarders have fun.Then join the event and you can win a backpack full of awards. The organizers have announced they will also prepare additional surprises.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Soccer game? Not really....

Today at Howard Johnson a soccer game was simulated in order to demonstrate that anything can be managed and monitored using business processes environment.

The event "Improve Your Team Play" was inspired of course from the Soccer World Championship and it was used to exemplify the use of Process Performance Manager of ARIS platform. The provider of this business solution is IDS Scheer. It was a very interesting presentation, even for a newbie like me who has no idea about the business flows.

The demo included the famous France-Italy soccer game from this year's championship. The conclusion is that the players performance can be monitorized using the above mentioned solution, resulting in reports, charts. Of course the results of the analysis can be used to improve the team performance and also detect the best, the worst performance per each player. It would be interesting to know if game strategies will be implemented using a database which includes not only all the possible combinations of attacks, defenses, but also the players' qualities, specific performances for each training and competition days, field conditions, referees, country and so on.

Tags: Improve Your Team Play, IDS Scheer,
World soccer championship, Soccer


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Not Hollywood movies

'Annonymous' festival was held this year in Danube Delta at Sfantu Gheorghe and this weekend the retrospective was organized in Bucharest at Studio cinema. Films participating in the competition, short movies and the awarded movies were shown this weekend.
The only short movies that brought something new and was interesting to follow, in my opinion, were the German anime "Not the end", the Romanian "Love close-up" and the Australian movie "Wait please".
The first one won the first prize for "Best short anime" and it ironically presents the strange relationship between 2 people who end up cheating each other, the modern people who always seem to work out and the omnipresent cactus flower who apparently is connected to all the characters.
The story described in the Romanian movie is obviously, as the title suggests, a love story triggered by a brief encounter between a Russian student coming to visit Bucharest and a suicidal Romanian. The woman saves his life, takes care of him and spends one and night with him. The memory of a simple, beautiful love affair is just what both of them needed.
The Australian movie depicts a suicide attempt in a funny way. The desperate person makes a phone call to a help line and from here on the well known procedure for any call center needs to be followed in order to actually manage to speak to an operator.
"Offside" Iranian movie has won the "Best Director" award presenting the strict regulations in Iran related to women spectators at soccer matches. Irony, smart comments and funny situations are a nice blend for explaining the passion of several women for football and the extent they would go to in sacrificing almost anything for sneaking into the soccer field. For me, the most impressing character is a young girl who went through many attempts and difficult moments in order to enter the stadium for celebrating the memory of her boyfriend who had died at a soccer match.
The great festival prize and the award for best image went to the Maroccan drama "Heaven's doors". Three independent stories are described in an alert rythm specific for modern Casablanca, all having in common one symbol: the mother. She is always the person who stands by her children no matter what wrong paths they choose, what insults they have for the person who gave them life or for the disappointments they 'bestow' on others. A hard life with illegal activities handled by poor, desperate citizens is described in fast moving images backed up by suitable songs. The directors are the Noury brothers, one 28 years old and the other only 23. Therefore we expect many other masterpieces from the talented young directors.

Tags: "Annonymous" festival , Heaven's Doors, Offside


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Time for theater

Last evening a friend of mine, Ionut Grama, a talented young actor had his debut with the play entitled "Belgrade Trilogy". This is one of the projects for his diploma due to graduating Theater Academy.

The script written by Biljana Srbljanovic describes three stories related to Serbian citizens, all forced to flee the country due to the war. Their aspirations of starting a new life are completely different from the real situations. Even though their financial status has improved, they suffer from personal dilemmas, created by the change of environment. The immigrants are presented in three locations (Prague, Sydney and Los Angeles) at the New Year's Eve celebration. Each character is led by frustations and dramatical situations are sometimes described with dark humour. At the end of the play we realize that nobody is happy with the new life and everyone has a feeling of unaccomplishment. Whether the reason comes from financial status, carreer pursuit, marital life or sexual inability, their lives seem to be cursed. The rich young lady suffers because she had to leave the country due to her husband will, the loving brother longs for his lost love, the alcoholic husband cannot satisfy his wife anymore, the workaholic is permanently criticized by his spouse, the pianist becomes a waitress and the actor fails to receive any theatrical parts.

The only character that seems content with his life is the Serbian man born in USA, full of arrogance, paranoia and violence towards strangers. When the play reaches the end, we do not feel we have witnessed a great art performance or have relaxed after a long day. It is an intellectual display where the viewers are forced, in a way, to reflect upon its meanings. I believe there is a double meaning of the script, one national and one personal. The characters are depicted through the difficult circumstances found in their homeland and each individual has to reflect on one's choices and to adapt one's goals to each encountered situation. On the other hand, the US citizen is described in an ironical way, full of flaws, not capable of analysis, only following his first insticts and no quality whatsoever.

Below I included two photos of the New Year's celebration in Sydney in which Ionut Grama acts.

Scene for New Year's Eve in Sydney

Tags: Bucharest Theatre Academy , Belgrade, Biljana Srbljanovic


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

View the world through lenses

I saw a link to a photo workshop organized by a Romanian professional photographer Mihai Moceanu. As I was browsing through his photos taken in the Alps, Romanian mountains Retezat, Maramures area, Valea Vaserului. Then I thought that the idea of training others into a few courses and practical exercices taking photos in a beautiful Romanian landscape is quite useful and of course business wise (the course has a fee of course). Very good idea indeed.
Then I moved on to more exotic places this planet has to offer: African continent, New Zeeland and South America. These landscapes were offered by Ladislav Kamarad, an artist who enjoys taking photos from above 8000m altitude.

Namibian desert

"Dark Planet" - Moeraki Boulders in New Zeeland

"Golden Peak " in Peru

Then, from the impressive landscapes, peaceful nature, as a 180 degree turnover I browsed and discovered the winner for the 2006 World Press photo.

The photo shows the emaciated fingers of a one-year-old child pressed against the lips of his mother at an emergency feeding clinic in Niger. A devastating swarm of locusts and the worst drought in decades left millions of people short of food in the African state.
Here is another photo of the winner photojournalist Finbarr O’Reilly, that depicts the "beautiful Africa" as he described it.

The gallery for the winners at the World Press Photo contest includes shocking images of news from this year all around the world, from bomb attacks to starving people in African villages.

These images along with their stories offer a devastating image of our world and I can't help thinking that while there are healty, fortunate people worrying over all the silly things in their lives, analyzing all the minor details (their choices, thoughts, beliefs, desires, fights and so on), in another area of the world or maybe in the same city, terrible events take place. Thus the "unlucky" people have important problems which are seen only by a few journalists, the members of a few social organizations and the entertainment stars who wish to leave their own share of good deeds(for whatever reasons they may have).

Tags: World Press, Mihai Moiceanu, Ladislav Kamarad

Monday, October 02, 2006

Phoenix tour for Baba Novak

The legendary band has announced the Baba Novak tour in ten Romanian cities. It doesn't matter what age, social background, income level, the vast majority of Romanians are familiar with Phoenix songs. Some lyrics have remained famous, have been added to the Romanian vocabulary as generally valid sayings. Also several songs after the comunism period that are included in the folk and pop genres are remakes of Phoenix well-known melodies. Even though the configuration of the band has changed over the years, Phoenix has remained our favorite choice regarding the Romanian music. These famous people delivered anti-comunism messages through their songs when no one else even dared to say a word on this topic. The messages were of course expressed in metaphores and therefore a connection was created between the public and the band: people who understood and felt in the same way. Being forced to flee the country, they returned after freedom of speech was restored in Romania and exactly as the phoenix bird is resurected from its ashes, the same way the musical "bird" returned to Romanian scene. Besides the meaningful lyrics and good melody line, what impressed me related to this band is its longevity: since the original band entitled "The Saints" in 1962, until nowadays.

The tour schedule is presented below:
11th october 2006 Constanta - Casa de Cultura
12th october 2006 Braila - Sala Sporturilor
13th october 2006 Brasov -Sala Sporturilor
14th october 2006 Pitesti - Casa de Cultura
18th october 2006 Craiova - Casa Studentilor
19th october 2006 Arad - Casa de Cultura
20th october 2006 Cluj Napoca - Casa Studentilor
22th october 2006 Bistrita - Sala Sporturilor
23th october 2006 Iasi - Casa de Cultura
25th october 2006 Bucuresti - Sala Polivalenta

For those of you who are interested in finding out what songs are included in the Baba Novak album:

1. Zori de zi
2. Fluier in cer
3. Orasul scufundat
4. Pasarea de foc
5. Singur
6. Apocalipsa
7. Baba Novak
8. Haituit
9. To My Brothers…
10. Orient Express
11. Orujo
12. Mila 2 de langa 3

Tag: Phoenix lyrics