Sunday, 31 January 2010

photo of the day | clearing the airport runway from snow

A snow blower clearing Schiphol's runway from snow. [Photo taken in Haarlemmermeer, the Netherlands]

Friday, 29 January 2010

blog award day

To my amazement, today, I was rewarded a blog award: the 'Beautiful Blogger Award'.  Many thanks to Isabella and Tiffany for the thought.         

The rules of this award are to:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Paste the award on your blog.
  • Link the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
  • Nominate 7 bloggers  (if possible) or less. 
This is how it goes for me |  7 things I find beautiful [in general] are:

1. The woods in all shapes and forms. They are very diversed and can be found all across Europe and even in the Netherlands.

2. Wildlife: I enjoy birdwatching and same goes for observing the wildlife in national parks.
3. Fluffy creatures are beautiful: cats, dogs, foxes etc. but these days I'm pretty much into cats. I'm lucky to have a neighbourhood cat adopting my home as her own.      
4. I find architecture beautiful. Plenty to see of old and new buildings in the Netherlands and elsewhere [1st photo: Amsterdam Zuidas | 2nd photo: the City of Lodon by St. Paul's].

5. Autumn is a beautiful season...

6. And so is winter...

7. A beautiful ray of light is sometimes the best thing to see first thing in the morning.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

movie review | AVATAR

Last weekend I went to see the so-talked-about-billion-dollar-award-nominated movie: AVATAR.  These Hollywood blockbusters are usually not my cup of tea but my other half convinced me to go and...BOY was I in for a surprise! 

Already familiar with 3-Dimensional motion pictures (also known as 3D), I can  definitely tell you it makes more sense to watch Avatar in 3D than in 2D in order to be totally drawn into this spectacular and beautiful planet called Pandora.  The creatures of that world are quite unique and intriguing, for they are blue and super tall and even have their own language. They are called the Na'vi.  [Wow!! Sounds already so much like a far away world.] Once your eyes adjust to their unusual features you may eventually find them beautiful, especially since the movie is so colourful with a fairy-tale like set, you quickly let yourself sucked into their 'jungle' (not to say too much).  The special effects, which actually make most of the movie, are indeed fantastic; not only because a friend of mine worked on this movie but because the amount of work and money involved are really worth the talk. 
The story is suitable for both the young...and the not so young.  However, there is a bit of a déjà-vu feeling of good guy/bad guy scenario. A hero originally sent to learn from an indigenous tribe and relocate them so the humans could take over their land, is later faced with the dilemma of turning against his own kind in order to save the  that tribe. And to make the matter even less original he is confronted with his old tough old bastard of a boss who always knows best and has to be the last one standing for a while until...he no longer has the last word, hehe! :0) Then again that's usually the way it works in this type of Christmas box office movie, which although aimed at the general public mainly targets the gullible kids and fans. So I can understand that for the length of the show. Even if everything else seems impeccable, there is no doubt there is a lack of originality to the story.

Having said that, it is still worth seeing at least for the sake of 161 minutes of phenomenal special effects making this brand new world so appealing with its characters and animals.  Just arrive on time to grab your 3D glasses, which by the way fit easily on top of regular spectacles (if you wear some) before the start of the movie and enjoy the show.
James Cameron has once again done well for himself and for the fantasy-world/scifi fans out there by adding one more hit to his already strong list of box office little wonders such as Alien, Terminator, Titanic and this time beating the previous budget record held by Titanic.  

Movie:      AVATAR  
Type:       Action/adventure
Director:  James Cameron
Main cast: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Lang, Peter Dillon, Joel Moore, Laz Alonso

AVATAR 3D (I know I just can't stop reminding people what the movie is, haha!) can been seen at the Pathé Imax in Pathé Arena, Amsterdam and Pathé Schouwburgplein, Rotterdam as well as in the main (non-Imax) Pathé cinemas across the country (in my case: the Netherlands):                       Pathé Arena

Sunday, 17 January 2010

support for Haiti

Following the earthquake disaster in Haiti, donation to major international charities can be made via Giro555 to the following:

Red Cross


Save The Children



World Vision and a few others.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

a thought for the Haitian people

It has now been reported that the death toll has reached 100.000 after the Republic of Haiti was hit by a major earthquake on Tuesday 12 January shortly before 17:00 (local time). The earthquake, magnitude 7 on the Richter scale, has detroyed most of Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti.
My heart goes to Haiti and his people who have already endured enough. Fos é kouraj!