Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
THEODOR HOLMAN LIEGT | BOOKS, COLUMNS
'Theodor Holman Liegt' is a Dutch publication, a selection of columns written by Theodor Holman for Parool (newspaper in the Netherlands) in recent years.
He writes about personal relations but also, from a distinct personal perspective, issues in media or current affairs (e.g. Islam, royalty). He can be quite cynical, which I like but which is not appreciated by everyone.
He studied Dutch language and History at the University of Amsterdam. He was editor of the satirical student newspaper Propria Cues. Holman (b. 09Jan1953) has also worked for Dutch television (AT5, KRO).
Very much enjoyed this book, found it ideally suited as bedtime reading.
I SUPPORT WIKIPEDIA
Thank you for your invaluable gift of bringing knowledge to every human around the world.
My name is Lila Tretikov, and I’m the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the past year, gifts like yours powered our efforts to expand the encyclopedia in 287 languages and to make it more accessible all over the world. We strive most to impact those who would not have access to education otherwise. We bring knowledge to people like Akshaya Iyengar from Solapur, India. Growing up in this small textile manufacturing town, she used Wikipedia as her primary learning source. For students in these areas, where books are scarce but mobile Internet access exists, Wikipedia is instrumental. Akshaya went on to graduate from college in India and now works as a software engineer in the United States. She credits Wikipedia with powering half of her knowledge.
This story is not unique. Our mission is lofty and presents great challenges. Most people who use Wikipedia are surprised to hear it is run by a non-profit organization and funded by your donations. Each year, just enough people donate to keep the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Thank you for making this mission possible.
On behalf of nearly half a billion people who read Wikipedia, thousands of volunteer editors, and staff at the Foundation, I thank you for keeping Wikipedia online and ad-free this year.
THE SANDHAMN MURDERS | SCANDI CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
I stumbled on this series recently, in a dvd box; 9 episodes on 3 dvd's, 3 stories.
Thomas Andreasson (Jacob Cedergren) is a police officer who gets sent to Sandhamn, a small island 2 hours away from Stockholm. It’s a quiet and quaint place Andreasson knows well as he used to live there. He is sent there because a body is found and foul play is suspected.
The Sandhamn Murders are based on a series of books by Viveca Sten.
USA CONTINUED MORAL DECLINE | WORLD MEDIA
The USA continues to illustrate why they have forfeited their leading role in morality. These two illustrations from The Economist (13Dec2014) illustrate if not document the CIA torturing ('enhanced interrogations') under George G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney Administration, as well as the shame on the American police force and law-enforcement system (full page article in pdf HERE..)
EUROPA VOLGENS MAARTEN VAN ROSSEM | BOOKS (WORLD MEDIA)
In this essay in slightly under 100 pages, Maarten van Rossum manages to paint, with a broad brush, the economic history of Western Europe after WW2: the rebuilding, the seeking of a commonmarke resulting in (a.o.) the EEC, the stragglers, the exceptions, a desire for a single currency, the unification of Germany, creation of the euro and the EU plus dealing with the economic crisis since 2008.
Van Rossem describes (in Dutch, I don't know if there is an English translation, perhaps of his book to be published on this subject) in his usual sober style, devoid of the populist hysteria and mixed variations in daily reporting.
For me a very useful description of the basics of European economics during the past 60 years.
MIDSOMER MURDERS | BRITISH CRIME DRAMA (TV)
Last week I watched episode 96 ('Series 16', 2013-14) of Midsomer Murders, featuring the first appearance of Gwilym (a Gealic interpretation of Guilleaume and William?) Lee as DCI Barnaby's sideskick, DS Charlie Nelson.
TRUE DETECTIVE | US CRIME FICTION, DVD
I am not big fan of US (crime) series, consider most to be two dimensional crap and will avoid watching that stuff. I have to make an exception on this HBO series, True Detective.
My objections to this series is that, as usual in the American series, no caricature is avoided: the whole Deep South is full of tattood weirdos, and Marty & Rust are boozing, cursing machos but with a fight for justice on their mind, willing to risk their lifes.
The strong point of the series is beautiful photography of the Lousiana landscape, the music and enough of a plot to keep you hanging on.
AMERICAN TABLOID by JAMES ELLROY | BOOKS, CRIME FICTION
"America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrtets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set circumstance. You can't lose what you lacked at conception".
"Jack talked a slick line and wore a world-class haircut. He got whacked at the optimum moment to assure his sainthood. It is time to dislodge his urn and cast light on a few man who attended his ascent and facilitated his fall".
SINTERKLAAS & ZWARTE PIET | DUTCH FOLKLORE
Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands ('Nederland') yesterday, alas under much controversy (even, or perhaps caused by, international criticism).
In the 4th century Saint Nicholas (in Dutch floklore 'Sinterklaas', in German 'Sankt Nikolaus'), the bishop of Myra lived in a small village in what is now Turkey.
Why in this old Dutch tradition Sinterklaas resides in Spain is not clear. Perhaps because he was the patron of sailors in the 17th century, with shipping of great importance to the Dutch in those days and with many Spanish contacts. This would also explain why his helpers are coloured, resembling moorish people (the Moors ruled Spain for centuries).
I hesitate to decide whether such tradition should remain unchanged or altered, to pacify those who criticise Zwarte Piet and feel offended by his black appearance.
People claim that he, she or someone they know have been called a Zwarte Piet and feel offended. As a result this tradition of Zwarte Piet needs to be eradicated.
Frankly I cannot see how someone with dark coloured skin identifies themselves with Zwarte Piet: look how they dress? And what would it solve to make Zwarte Piet white: should Caucasian people then be offended? Or are we considered to be less touchy on colour of skin issues?
BAD MONKER by CARL HIAASEN | BOOKS, FICTION
When I arrived in Portland,OR for vacation recently and visited Powell's bookshop ('used & new'), I was more than pleased to find there a new book by Carl Hiaasen.
Apparently published in 2013, I had given up looking for his books as I had read them all (from mid-1980s) and there seemed no follow up to 'Star Island' (2010) forthcoming. Glad I was proven wrong, for this is once more a very enjoyable book set in Hiaasen's familiar tone and unique, off the scales humor.
Mr Hiaasen is an award winning reporter, since 1976 for the Miami Herald. His stories always take place in Florida and he incorporates acts of govermental incompetence and political dealings bordering on corruption which may have been inspired by actual occurrences; but then he throws it back into fiction by introducing the weirdest characters and situations.
No one does this better than Carl Hiaasen.
How the 'Bad Monkey' story starts:
THE PEARL by JOHN STEINBECK | LITERATURE
In this short book, The Pearl, the author John Steinbeck retells an old Mexican folk tale: the story of the great pearl, how it was found, its promise of wealth to its finder Kino, for a better life for him, his wife and an education for their baby boy.
It is a beautifully written book, crafted really.
The Pearl is one of six books in the deluxe Steinbeck Centennial Bookcase, which I treasure, for many decades ago while still at school it was Steinbeck who introduced me to literature when the Grapes of Wrath made such a huge impression on me.