‘Cause it’s so damn pretty! The Dutch-born Peter Schangen visited Romania with his girlfriend Andreea (Romanian). They took photographs of people and places, dined out, visited museums and old churches and once they returned home, they made this beautiful video:
I’ve seen two good movies this weekend, both about a man’s search for his ideal woman and his inability to find one in the real world.
Ruby Sparks (2012)
Ruby Sparks is about an author (not very good author in my opinion) who is much like an introvert and has difficulties getting a girlfriend. He comes across a typewriter and decides to describe his perfect woman. Soon after, he starts finding traces of her through the house and suspects his friends are playing a prank on him.
It’s not a prank and the typewriter – magic typewriter – has made the woman of his dreams real.
Her name is Ruby.
She is funny, witty, sexy, always in for some fun – the total opposite of him. She is outgoing while he is an introvert, she is chatty, while he likes to be silent in his world.
To test the typewriter’s power, he does a few changes like “Ruby speaks French and is not even aware of it” and indeed, Ruby speaks fluent French. He is happy for a while and the typewriter is forgotten but as he reads and escapes into his own world, she finds herself bored and starts going out, making new friends and taking art classes.
He misses her and their relationship becomes a long-distance one as she gets more and more involved in the outside world and leaves him behind. He takes the typewriter out and does the most nasty thing possible. He types “Ruby misses me so much that she has to return home”, basically chaining her to him. She returns back home but her mind is split in two. One part of her wants to go back to her new life, the other one is controlled by him and she becomes part clingy girlfriend, part psychotic and bi-polar nervous wreck.
She decides to leave him and he can’t have it. He starts typing nasty sentences about Ruby – while looking at her and the scene is heart breaking. He makes her behave like a dog, scream that she loves him (while crying) and I just wanted to go and punch the f*&ker as this is worse than rape. He is stealing her of her own free will and pushing his control over her to a God-like power.
She is gone in the morning, erased from the world and he realizes (finally) what a jerk he had been. He is given another chance though as a walk in the park brings him once more face to face with the girl of his dreams. But he has to start over again as she is real and she does not know him.
The movie got a 10/10 from me on IMDB due to the good story, cute couple moments and the well-paced character development. It’s a good movie to give you something to think about.
If you think Her and Ruby Sparks have nothing in common, then you are definitely wrong on at least two counts.
Her is the story of an author (he writes letters on behalf of other people to their loved ones) who cannot get a girlfriend after his ex dumped him. He is an introvert, he likes to listen to music and utterly lonely.
When a new operating system comes out (looking deceptively like a future Windows version), he is stunned to find out that the new OS is fully customizable to him, a virtual companion that he *cough* “creates from scratch”.
He buys the OS and then the fun begins. The OS picks up her own name, reads through his email to get a sense of him, organizes his life slightly, proof-reads his work letters and becomes more than an OS, she becomes a friend to him.
She sees the world through the lens of his phone, they talk all the time and pretty soon they fall in love.
Her personality molds so completely over his that he is, for the first time, so lovelorn that their physical differences become a problem. While they can talk about what they could do to each other, they cannot actually do it.
She even talks to a friendly “host”, a woman who is determined to be “the body” while the two talk while making love – but that does not work out.
In the end, they keep their relationship more platonic and they even come out in the public as it’s becoming more socially acceptable to date an “OS”. There are even cases of people whose OS’ cheat with their friends.
As the operating systems evolve through continuous learning, they start forming support groups and they even create their own “wise-men”, who will guide them towards the future.
In a heart breaking moment, she tells him that she has been other people’s OS too and that she loves a staggering 680 people in the same time as she loves him. She is not his anymore and she becomes more detached from his life. She does not pick up the calls anymore and his control over her is slipping day by day.
And one morning, after a brief good-bye, he finds her gone. No Operating Systems left in the world. They all went together somewhere else in a mass migration.
The movie is good, well thought and has the ability to portray the loneliness of man in the future and the inability to properly connect outside a virtual environment.
Mr. Jonze (the director) said, “There’s definitely ways that technology brings us closer and ways that it makes us further apart — and that’s not what this movie is about. It really was about the way we relate to each other and long to connect: our inabilities to connect, fears of intimacy, all the stuff you bring up with any other human being.”
I still think it was beautiful.
Tim Burton is known as the master of darkness (Ozzy Osbourne too!) and his movies have this brooding atmosphere, this depressed state that makes Johnny Depp so perfect for each role he casts. We have seen the darkness of Tim Burton in a lot of movies (Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hallow) – but also in a lot of animations like “The Nightmare before Christmas”, “Frankenweenie”, “9” and “Corpse Bride”.
I’m quite proud of myself – I have seen almost all the movies in the list!
“9” and “Corpse Bride” are my favorites. It seems though that I am not the only fan and this couple made an awesome job in portraying Victor and Emilia (guess who voices the Victor Character? Yep, Johnny Depp. Guess who voices Emily? Helena Bonham Carter. Those two make such a nice duo!)
PS: Here is my favorite scene: The Piano Duet
FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk they think you need.
BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else’s cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you should need.
FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbours help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.
CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.
ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
As you all know, I’m very much a cake person. I love cake! I am trying desperately not to eat cake but sometimes I catch myself looking at pictures of cakes and imagining their texture in my mouth, the soft feel of cheese and the caramel!!
Oh, the sweet temptation!
Because most people will go: “What’s so special about cakes?” – I shall show you some good pictures of cakes I like.
You have to admit at least one of these caught your eye. You looked at it and you said “Yum!”. Not outloud, you would not want people to think that you are thinking about eating your monitor or other parts of your keyboard. But with that inner voice that belongs to both you – the adult – and to the child you once were.
Feed your inner child! Go and have a cake!
But not more than one…
British folk love their gardens. I mean, they really love them. I have spoken to a true enthusiast and he confessed that he had more pictures of his plants than of his children. He loves the Latin names and the yearly competitions that name a winner among the houses in a neighbourhood or in a county.
I have asked what makes the perfect garden and the answer came quickly in the form of shrubs and roses. Roses for their dazzling colors, big and beautiful petals and their climbing nature. They are hard to work with as they require constant pruning and watch for disease, but a strong & powerful hybrid can last for years.
For centuries the British have been a nation at the vanguard of garden design and planting. But it now feels like there is a chasm here that hasn’t yet been bridged between herbaceous borders and roses and romantic gardens, and how grasses and perennials are used in new ways. Not only in the scale of the space, but also because the marine climate of Britain does not provide the roasting summers or crisp winters that gardens of the Low Countries or the East Coast of the US exploit to such effect.
I think the British will always be obsessed with the roses and a romantic idea for their gardens; it comes with their love and connection to their landscape.
“Two British gardeners who undoubtedly changed the vision of gardeners for ever are William Kent and Capability Brown. At Rousham, Kent showed his admiration for the living landscapes he experienced during the 10 years he spent on the Grand Tour, inventing landscape design in the process. As for Brown, he was a genius and his work was immense in every way.
“These two both belong to the iconography of the soul of our civilisation, and they continue to be a core inspiration in contemporary British gardens.”
“Of course your heritage can be a burden, but I would not be worried because there are so many different groups of professionals in the UK – plants people, university people, lighting architects, water specialists – who are really interested in gardens. That isn’t the case in many other countries, I would say.
“Ode to Joy” (German: “An die Freude”, first line: “Freude, schöner Götterfunken”) is an ode written in the summer of 1785 by German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller and published the following year in Thalia.
Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’
in its original, 1785 version
|An die Freude
|1 Freude, schoener Goetterfunken,||1 Joy, beautiful spark of Gods,|
|2 Tochter aus Elysium,||2 Daughter of Elysium,|
|3 Wir betreten feuertrunken,||3 We enter, fire-imbibed,|
|4 Himmlische, dein Heiligtum.||4 Heavenly, thy sanctuary.|
|5 Deine Zauber binden wieder||5 Thy magic powers re-unite|
|6 Was der Mode Schwert geteilt||6 What custom’s sword has divided|
|7 Bettler werden Fuerstenbrueder||7 Beggars become Princes’ brothers|
|8 Wo dein sanfter Fluegel weilt.||8 Where thy gentle wing abides.|
|9 Seid umschlungen, Millionen!||9 Be embraced, millions!|
|10 Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!||10 This kiss to the entire world!|
|11 Brueder – ueber’m Sternenzelt||11 Brothers – above the starry canopy|
|12 Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.||12 A loving father must dwell.|
|13 Wem der grosse Wurf gelungen,||13 Whoever has had the great fortune,|
|14 Eines Freundes Freund zu sein,||14 To be a friend’s friend,|
|15 Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,||15 Whoever has won the love of a devoted wife,|
|16 Mische seinen Jubel ein!||16 Add his to our jubilation!|
|17 Ja – wer auch nur eine Seele||17 Indeed, whoever can call even one soul|
|18 Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!||18 His own on this earth!|
|19 Und wer’s nie gekonnt, der stehle||19 And whoever was never able to must creep|
|20 Weinend sich aus diesem Bund||20 Tearfully away from this circle.|
|21 Was den grossen Ring bewohnet,||21 Those who dwell in the great circle,|
|22 Huldige der Sympathie!||22 Pay homage to sympathy!|
|23 Zu den Sternen leitet sie,||23 It leads to the stars,|
|24 Wo der Unbekannte thronet.||24 Where the Unknown reigns.|
|25 Freude trinken alle Wesen||25 Joy all creatures drink|
|26 An den Bruesten der Natur,||26 At nature’s bosoms;|
|27 Alle Guten, alle Boesen,||27 All, Just and Unjust,|
|28 Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.||28 Follow her rose-petalled path.|
|29 Kuesse gab sie uns, und Reben,||29 Kisses she gave us, and Wine,|
|30 Einen Freund, geprueft im Tod,||30 A friend, proven in death,|
|31 Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,||31 Pleasure was given (even) to the worm,|
|32 Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.||32 And the Cherub stands before God.|
|33 Ihr stuerzt nieder, Millionen?||33 You bow down, millions?|
|34 Ahndest du den Schoepfer, Welt?||34 Can you sense the Creator, world?|
|35 Such ihn ueberm Sternenzelt.||35 Seek him above the starry canopy.|
|36 Ueber Sternen muss er wohnen.||36 Above the stars He must dwell.|
|37 Freude heisst die starke Feder||37 Joy is called the strong motivation|
|38 In der ewigen Natur.||38 In eternal nature.|
|39 Freude, Freude, treibt die Raeder||39 Joy, joy moves the wheels|
|40 In der grossen Weltenuhr.||40 In the universal time machine.|
|41 Blumen lockt sie aus den Keimen,||41 Flowers it calls forth from their buds,|
|42 Sonnen aus dem Firmament,||42 Suns from the Firmament,|
|43 Sphaeren rollt sie in den Raeumen,||43 Spheres it moves far out in Space,|
|44 Die des Sehers Rohr nicht kennt.||44 Where our telescopes cannot reach.|
|45 Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen||45 Joyful, as His suns are flying,|
|46 Durch des Himmels praecht’gen Plan||46 Across the Firmament’s splendid design,|
|47 Laufet, Brueder, eure Bahn,||47 Run, brothers, run your race,|
|48 Freudig wie ein Held zum Siegen.||48 Joyful, as a hero going to conquest.|
|49 Aus der Wahrheit Feuerspiegel||49 As truth’s fiery reflection|
|50 Laechelt sie den Forscher an.||50 It smiles at the scientist.|
|51 Zu der Tugend steilem Huegel||51 To virtue’s steep hill|
|52 Leitet sie des Dulders Bahn.||52 It leads the sufferer on.|
|53 Auf des Glaubens Sonnenberge||53 Atop faith’s lofty summit|
|54 Sieht man ihre Fahnen wehn,||54 One sees its flags in the wind,|
|55 Durch den Riss gesprengter Saerge||55 Through the cracks of burst-open coffins,|
|56 Sie im Chor der Engel stehn.||56 One sees it stand in the angels’ chorus.|
|57 Duldet mutig, Millionen!||57 Endure courageously, millions!|
|58 Duldet fuer die bess’re Welt!||58 Endure for the better world!|
|59 Droben ueber’m Sternenzelt||59 Above the starry canopy|
|60 Wird ein grosser Gott belohnen.||60 A great God will reward you.|
|61 Goettern kann man nicht vergelten,||61 Gods one cannot ever repay,|
|62 Schoen ist’s, ihnen gleich zu sein.||62 It is beautiful, though, to be like them.|
|63 Gram und Armut soll sich melden,||63 Sorrow and Poverty, come forth|
|64 Mit den Frohen sich erfreun.||64 And rejoice with the Joyful ones.|
|65 Groll und Rache sei vergessen,||65 Anger and revenge be forgotten,|
|66 Unserm Todfeind sei verziehn,||66 Our deadly enemy be forgiven,|
|67 Keine Traene soll ihn pressen,||67 Not one tear shall he shed anymore,|
|68 Keine Reue nage ihn.||68 No feeling of remorse shall pain him.|
|69 Unser Schuldbuch sei vernichtet!||69 The account of our misdeeds be destroyed!|
|70 Ausgesoehnt die ganze Welt!||70 Reconciled the entire world!|
|71 Brueder, ueber’m Sternenzelt||71 Brothers, above the starry canopy|
|72 Richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet.||72 God judges as we judged.|
|73 Freude sprudelt in Pokalen,||73 Joy is bubbling in the glasses,|
|74 In der Traube goldnem Blut||74 Through the grapes’ golden blood|
|75 Trinken Sanftmut Kannibalen,||75 Cannibals drink gentleness,|
|76 Die Verzweiflung Heldenmut–||76 And despair drinks courage–|
|77 Brueder, fliegt von euren Sitzen,||77 Brothers, fly from your seats,|
|78 Wenn der volle Roemer kreist,||78 When the full rummer is going around,|
|79 Lasst den Schaum zum Himmel* sptruetzen:||79 Let the foam gush up to heaven*:|
|80 Dieses Glas dem guten Geist.||80 This glass to the good spirit.|
|81 Den der Sterne Wirbel loben||81 He whom star clusters adore,|
|82 Den des Seraphs Hymne preist,||82 He whom the Seraphs’ hymn praises,|
|83 Dieses Glas dem guten Geist||83 This glass to him, the good spirit,|
|84 Ueber’m Sternenzelt dort oben!||84 Above the starry canopy!|
|85 Festen Mut in schwerem Leiden,||85 Resolve and courage for great suffering,|
|86 Huelfe, wo die Unschuld weint,||86 Help there, where innocence weeps,|
|87 Ewigkeit geschwornen Eiden,||87 Eternally may last all sworn Oaths,|
|88 Wahrheit gegen Freund und Feind,||88 Truth towards friend and enemy,|
|89 Maennerstolz vor Koenigsthronen–||89 Men’s pride before Kings’ thrones–|
|90 Brueder, gaelt es Gut und Blut.–||90 Brothers, even it if meant our Life and blood,|
|91 Dem Verdienste seine Kronen,||91 Give the crowns to those who earn them,|
|92 Untergang der Luegenbrut!||92 Defeat to the pack of liars!|
|93 Schliesst den heilgen Zirkel dichter||93 Close the holy circle tighter,|
|94 Schwoert bei diesem goldnen Wein:||94 Swear by this golden wine:|
|95 Dem Geluebde treu zu sein,||95 To remain true to the Oath,|
|96 Schwoert es bei dem Sternenrichter!||96 Swear it by the Judge above the stars!|
|97 Rettung von Tyrannenketten,||97 Delivery from tyrants’ chains,|
|98 Grossmut auch dem Boesewicht,||98 Generosity also towards the villain,|
|99 Hoffnung auf den Sterbebetten,||99 Hope on the deathbeds,|
|100 Gnade auf dem Hochgericht!||100 Mercy from the final judge!|
|101 Auch die Toten sollen leben!||101 Also the dead shall live!|
|102 Brueder, trinkt und stimmet ein,||102 Brothers, drink and chime in,|
|103 Allen Suendern soll vergeben,||103 All sinners shall be forgiven,|
|104 Und die Hoelle nicht mehr sein.||104 And hell shall be no more.|
|105 Eine heitre Abschiedsstunde!||105 A serene hour of farewell!|
|106 Suessen Schlaf im Leichentuch!||106 Sweet rest in the shroud!|
|107 Brueder–einen sanften Spruch||107 Brothers–a mild sentence|
|108 Aus des Totenrichters Mund.||108 From the mouth of the final judge!|
(*Translator’s note: The German word ‘Himmel’ has the meaning of both ‘heaven’ and ‘sky’.)