Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bikes and Logistics

After falling off my bike, I think, I've something to learn from the bikers on these pics about logistics and balance:

Friday, October 27, 2006

bokbier festival and remedies for hangovers...


I made a small Internet research on Hangover Cures. I skip the before drinking, as you drink, and before bed parts as I find them useless. One is only aware of a hangover once it is already there. So we will start with what is suggested by various different websites about the after-effects. You can see in capitals whether or not I agree with them as well.

- to drink more... water, that is. YESSS!

- OJ, Irn-Bru or Gatorade. DISAGREE

- Milkshakes, Coca-cola, McDonald's cola, peppermint tea, Lucozade, honey tea, strong black coffee, milk and peach juice (not all at once) ABSOLUTELY DISAGREE I CAN HANDLE A BIT OF PEACH JUICE MAYBE…

- strong black coffee DEFINITELY! (ALTHOUGH I MUST NOTE THAT SOME WEBSITES SUGGEST ITS SIDE EFFECTS: diuretic effect (which makes your dehydration worse), makes you a wide-awake drunk, irritates your stomach further… BUT IN MY CASE IT’S A MUST AS I WOULDN’T LIKE TO HAVE TWO DRUG WITHDRAWALS AT ONCE (ACTUALLY THREE AS HEAVY SMOKING MAKES ME WANT TO QUIT FOR A MORNING)

- Full English Breakfast NO WAY! I AM SURE IT’D WORK BUT THE PROBLEM IS GETTING IT IN.

- strawberry mousse and cheese on toast WOULDN’T WORK WITH ME EITHER.

- fried egg bagels, salt and vinegar crisps, gherkins with black tea, Marmite, oriental ramen noodles, 'two Texan steaks, four eggs, chips and beer', prawn korma with pilau rice, anything from Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Batchelor's Super Noodles… ARE THINGS I WOULDN’T CONSUME EVEN WHEN I’M FEELING PERFECTLY FINE… BUT IF YOU STILL HAVE THE APPETITE FOR SOMETHING WHY NOT GIVE IT A TRY. I'M GUESSING IF YOU CAN KEEP IT DOWN, YOU'RE GOING TO BE OK.

- In the middle ages, for example, hangover sufferers tried to relieve their pain by eating a mixture that included raw eel. UH OH…

- Sleep DEFINITELY HELPS. THE TROUBLE IS TO KEEP IT GOING AS I BECOME WIDE AWAKE AS EARLY AS 8 (SOMETHING I CAN NEVER DO NORMALLY)

- Time YES, EVENTUALLY ALL HANGOVERS ARE CURED IN TIME. EVEN KNOWING THAT HELPS A LOT. UNLESS OF COURSE YOU DID THINGS THAT MAKE YOU BLUSH ONCE THE SUN IS ON AGAIN. (NO, I DIDN’T KILL ANYONE AND AM STILL IN ONE PIECE…)

- The Hair of the Dog (to drink the same drink that you drank the night before) I DON’T TRY THIS. FOR A FEW REASONS: 1. I HAVE TO FIRST REMEMBER AND THEN SELECT FROM AMONG N NUMBER OF DRINKS I MIXED HENCE IT’S UNNERVING 2. IT MAKES ONE THINK “GOSH! IF I CAN DO THIS I MUST HAVE AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM”. 3. I NEED TO DEAL WITH THE PROTESTS OF MY STOMACH

- Bloody Mary OF POSSIBLE USE FOR MILD HANGOVERS

- Milk Thistle (may help the liver process alcohol better) DON’T KNOW

- Gingerroot DON’T KNOW VERY UNLIKELY THOUGH… I KNOW THAT ERKUT STILL CAN’T HANDLE HAVING GINGER (I MEAN THE ROOT) AFTER TRYING IT TO CURE SEASICKNESS.

- Fresh Fruit & Vegetables/Juices DEFINITELY HELPS ME…

- Soup IF IT IS COLD YOGHURT SOUP… YUMM. ANYTIME WITH OR WITHOUT HANGOVER…

- Recipes developed more to punish than cure:

o Bullshot: 1 1/4 - 2 oz vodka or gin, 3-4 oz chilled beef bouillon, 1 tsp lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and black pepper to taste. - Place ice cubes in glass, add ingredients and stir gently.

o Prairie Oyster: 1 ¼ - 2 oz vodka, 1 whole egg, 3 oz tomato juice (or V-8), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and black pepper to taste. - The egg should be swallowed whole. If made without alcohol, place ingredients in a shot glass and swallow all at once.

o Corpse Reviver: 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth, 3/4 Calvados (an apple-flavored brandy), 1/2 ounce Cognac - Stir well over ice cubes in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over and serve.

o Fallen Angel: 1 1/2 ounce gin, Dash creme de menthe (white), Dash Angostura bitters, Dash lemon juice - Shake over ice cubes, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.

o Prairie Oyster: 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 dash Tabasco, 1 raw egg, Few drops lemon juice, Salt and pepper to taste - Carefully combine ingredients in a shot glass. Down in a single gulp.

Still my favourite is to have someone to tell me that it’ll be fine, and I’m still an ok person. ;)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

nip/tuck & green apples

According to New Scientist,
"Last year, 291,000 American women had bags implanted in their breasts, 324,000 Americans had fat vacuumed out of their bodies, and 231,000 had fat, skin and muscle cut from around their eyes. Add less common operations such as buttock lifts, pectoral implants and vaginal rejuvenations, as well as "minimally invasive" procedures such as Botox injections, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that Americans underwent at least 10.2 million cosmetic surgery procedures last year."
The article also notes that in the United States "people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder may be 45 times as likely as normal to commit suicide" and that "over 56% of women and 43% of men are dissatisfied with their appearance."

On the one hand we have "beauty" defined by the advertisements, media, fashion and cosmetic industries making women evermore insecure about their divergence from the "standards". (I do recognise that there are all kinds of gender issues involved here but it isn't my main concern for the moment.) On the other, women become the agents to reproduce these images by 1) consuming the images and products generated by these industries and 2) through plastic surgery, as they have gained relative economic independence in the last few decades. The article in New Scientist was about the US, where these developments are very visible, but one can see it growing globally, too...

"We don’t need Afghan-style burquas to disappear as women. We disappear in reverse—by revamping and revealing our bodies to meet externally imposed visions of female beauty."

-Robin Gerber

It's one other way to control "nature" of course. We are never happy with what is out there. We have to change and shape it. So much so that “what is out there” (and even in there if you care to look at the ratios of psychiatric patients and hence the use of related “medicine”) to be changed and shaped now also includes our bodies. The beautification of female body is no longer a ritual, as it appears to be in history. The body is no longer ornamented but is transformed. This is not limited to cosmetics, fashion, surgery, or diets. It also relates to medicine. More and more often natural cycles and processes are seen as obscure and almost unwanted -hence modern medicine tries to rid women from their natural "burdens". One of the latest examples being the pills that would stop women's menstrual cycles until they want to reproduce. Sounds horribly liberating, don't you think so? The predecessors of such “progress” have been PMS reducing tranquilisers, all the procedures that have been suggested to stop mothers' milk, or anti-aging pills / creams / hormones and the like, as well as smaller and more cosmetic examples such as all those pills that would allow you to be tanner or whiter regardless of the season / colour of skin you're in, anti-perspirant deodorants, or the requirement to remove body hair.

This also reminds me of the “green apple culture”: Anything that can make you feel/be anything less than an icon of healthy-fit-young (and hygenic in an almost sterile way) individual is regarded as evil. Moreover we can no longer pursue ways in which we can remain out of the norm, either. Think of non-smoking parks and beaches, think of legislations that require obese people to pay more for the health services / insurance everyone is entitled to, think of the social and peer pressure that forces us into things.

It has been marketed so long now that one can hardly recognise it. Nor its health effects on women that end up in bulimia or anorexia.

Is it too big a leap to make? I don't think so. Everything is at our service not to be what we look like and not to be happy with what we are like. Our individual freedoms are at risk, as we are no longer allowed to make “mistakes,” and hence “be ourselves”…

There are n-number of social problems it brings, or course, but going back to the minor issue of beauty, even the sheer time it takes for each women to perform (or even consider how to or whether or not to perform) all these "duties", make it impossible to direct our energy and focus into what WE might find important and worth changing in our modern patriarchal societies...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Planet Is Fine...


This is my favourite George Carlin piece of all times... It's from his Jammin' in New York show which is available at youtube these days...

"We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the fucking planet?

I'm getting tired of that shit. Tired of that
shit. I'm tired of fucking Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a shit about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question,

- Why are we here?

- Plastic...asshole!

So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's hard to be from Turkey these says...

It's been so long since I couldn't post anything, due to the moving process.
In the meantime Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel Prize for literature and the French government banned to think or say that there might not have been an Armenian
génocide. Even the NY Times called this decision "absurd" and even Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs mocked it by saying "We cannot be like France, we have to do something about our legislation", referring to the law that restricts the use of the g-word on the Armenian question.

In the Netherlands, some political parties have turned it into an election issue for their Turkish candidates[*] (neither elegantly nor craftily I must say...) which came out in the news a few weeks before an opinion poll that claims that young people of Turkish origin are turning radical[*]. Now at the political level the limits of integration are fixed by the Armenian question. At the identity level, I think this creates a rupture and contradicts the idea of integration which suggests some kind of amalgamation of old and new identities.

On the other hand Turkish patriots and populist media went crazy on the Nobel prize given to Pamuk. He doesn't seem to please their patriotic one-sided devotion to a particular discourse sufficiently. The best article I read on the issue is by Yıldırım Türker at Radikal: Türk'ün Nobel'le imtihanı

In the meantime, GWBush signed the infamous Guantanamo bill (tr / eng) allowing torture to be a part of US law. You might want to help Amnesty International's campaign on this by clicking here.

The last and least important thing that has taken place through this period is that I went to IKEA for the first time in my life. And I am sorry to say dear IKEA-fans but it was as terrible, as corporate, as useless, and as frustrating as I thought it was before ever being there. Actually... It was even worse! I'm back to my recycle, repair, reuse mode.

Recycling and remixing two quotes from Kermit the Frog and Janis Joplin, I have my own version: It's hard to be green, but once you do, it sure is worth it!)

Monday, October 09, 2006

qUOtE oF The dAY


"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Eastern Docklands

One of the most exciting things about living /being in Amsterdam is to see the effort and attention paid to creativity in architecture. Almost every building has a small touch to it that makes it all the more loveable. Otherwise it is the area, like the Olympic Village, that makes it remarkable because it is undertaken as a project, etc.

My favourite part is the Eastern Docklands these days... ;)

here are some photos to demostrate why as well as some info from "the official holland site":

"A well-hidden and surprising new area in Amsterdam is the Eastern docklands, situated between the Central Station and Zeeburger Island. In the past ten years it has developed into Amsterdam’s architectural showpiece [...] Formerly the heart of Amsterdam's industrial harbour, these four man-made peninsulas were built between 1876 and 1927 to provide the maximum length of quayside for Amsterdam's thriving docklands.
Now reborn as the cool place to live, an address on Java, KNSM, Borneo or Sporenburg "islands" is highly sought after by Amsterdam's trendy population. With their cutting edge architecture admired around the world and KNSM island's design shops it's easy to see why. Borneo island has sixty unique houses as a result of the 'Live in a house of your own design' project. The only things they have in common are their height, a door on the street side and a private area behind."

Towards Dutch Elections - I

The Candidate List of Dutch Greens (Groenlinks)

(For information on candidates click here)

1. Femke Halsema

2. Kees Vendrik

3. Wijnand Duyvendak

4. Mariko Peters

5. Ineke van Gent

6. Naima Azough

7. Tofik Dibi

8. Jolande Sap

9. Mathieu Heemelaar

10. Isabelle Diks

11. Jup van 't Veld

12. Mária van Veen

13. Cees Korvinus

14. Rik Grashoff

15. Nen van Ramshorst

16. Jaap Dirkmaat

17. Birgül Dönmez

18. Iwan Leeuwin

19. René Kerkwijk

20. Maarten van Beek

21. Xaviera Ringeling

22. Saranna Maureau

23. Riza Diktas

24. Tof Thissen

25. Symone de Bruin

26. Gon Mevis

27. Jan Atze Nicolai

28. Adri Wever

29. Vincent Bijlo

30. Kathalijne Buitenweg

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Winter Pageant

was it really so long ago
we were taking photographs
of each other in our winter pageant clothes
skipping school going home
running for shelter from a sudden thunderstorm
kissing raindrops on your nose

what part did I play
in making you the way you are
what more can I say to convince you
you didn't have to go so far
you didn't have to go so far

you may as well live a universe away now
I'll probably never see you again
I wonder where you went
where did you go what did you see
and do you ever think of me
and california
and all that time we spent

what part did I play
in making you the way you are
what more can I say to convince you
you didn't have to go so far
you didn't have to go so far

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

hazy shade of winter

Time, time, time
See what's become of me

Time, time, time
See what's become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a hazy shade of winter

Hear the salvation army band
Down by the riverside
It's bound to be a better ride
Than what you've got planned
Carry a cup in your hand

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a hazy shade of winter

Hang on to your hopes my friend
That's an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again

Look around
Grass is high
Fields are ripe
It's the springtime of my life

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me

Look around
Leaves are brown
And the sky
It's a hazy shade of winter

Look around
Leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground

Well the patch of snow on the ground is a bit of an exaggeration but winter is here for sure... So I'm trying to learn to love, enjoy, and celebrate it. It was something I couldn't learn in Japan, despite the pagan traditions I'd probably appreciate at this point in my life but I think this time I know how to learn better ;) -cheers to growing, Maria (who accompanied me with a glass of cognac), and hopes of finding myself in the other side of the sphere to recover
at some point...

Monday, October 02, 2006

If Sparta and Rome perished, what State can hope to endure for ever?

If we would set up a long-lived form of government,
let us not even dream of making it eternal.
If we are to succeed, we must not attempt the impossible,
or flatter ourselves that we are endowing the work of man with a stability
of which human conditions do not permit."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Not moving there...

No, I wasn't lying. That was the initial plan. But now I've better plans. Such as... moving to an island... One that smells seasalt. Faaaar away from the university hence necessitating long bike trips. looking towards some water from big windows, a tabby cat as a neighbour etc.

hope everything works! wish me luck...
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