Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Reading habits…

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Inspired by Mathias, here is my own, rather poor, list. I do much like Mathias come to the same conclusion; it is rather scary that I don’t care to read most of the books on this list. :/

“The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. Please copy and paste your bolded books read, italicized books as ”want to read”, and then sum up with a head count, so to speak. What does the list say about your reading habits?”

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
  18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  34. Emma – Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
  45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  52. Dune – Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth.
  56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses – James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal – Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession – AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

9 read out of 100, that pretty much sucks. 6 that I know I want to read (I could probably expand the “want to read” list a little, but frankly, most of the books I haven’t heard of, and the ones I have heard of, only 6 have sparked an interest.)

FSCONS 09

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

What a conference it was. Like last year, I volunteered (well actually, this time I voluntarily volunteered, unlike last time when hesa volunteered me ;)) which resulted in me not seeing much of the talks, but we managed to tape most of them, and those videos will become available through, I guess youtube, as well as our website as soon as they have been transferred and recoded (and licenses have been thoroughly discussed with the speakers).

In the meantime, some of the slides (we are working on getting them all) can be found at slideshare.net/fscons2009, and photographs from the conference can, among other places, be found here.

Just like last year, I walked away from the conference bruised, a bit battered, VERY tired, and extremely happy. I finally got to meet some people I’ve talked to or only heard about online and made some new friends on site as well. It was all just great.

I’m not going to lie, there where some hiccups, not everything went smooth, BUT, and it is an important but, there is no doubt whatsoever that we are learning, improving, with every year.

The social event during Saturday evening, where buses relocated everyone to Berg 211, and Berg 211 in itself, and the atmosphere and … yeah, everything this year was really better.

I can hardly wait for FSCONS 2010. It will be fantastic!

In closing: A great big THANK YOU to all the organizers, all the volunteers, all the speakers, and all the visitors, who together made this such a wonderful experience that I am proud of having gotten the chance to be a part of.

See you again next year :D

I got “volunteered”

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

That headline sounds so horrible, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Internal jokes and all the new interesting people you meet and get to work with might be the best thing about it all. So yeah, “I got volunteered” ;D into helping out at the Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit.

The conference will be held at the IT University of Göteborg (campus Lindholmen) during three days in October (beginning  on the 24th and ending on the 26th). The three big names behind arranging the conference is Free Software Foundation Europe (free software), Creative Commons (free culture), and Wikimedia Sverige (free content).

Sounds interesting? OF COURSE IT DOES! Now be so kind and clear all other arrangements during these dates, and register ;)

Seriously though, I attended last years conference as a guest (the first FSCONS ever, and when it was named Free Software Conference Scandinavia, and thusly only covered free software) and that was a big hit. I may be biased, but had I not enjoyed it the first time around, I wouldn’t really volunteer to help out, or shamelessly give it any advertising space here, now would I?

In closing, I would like to name a few of the talks scheduled, which I personally look forward to seeing/hearing:

  • Squeezing the Evil out of the Music Industry (by John Buckman)
  • The End of Free Communications? (by Oscar Swartz)
  • Agile and Scrum (by Niclas Nilsson)

and many more…

BOXMAN/RÖD

Monday, April 14th, 2008

While not the smartest thing I’ve done in my entire life, I suppressed all the warnings my body was sending to me and went to the tonight’s performance at the Opera. I feel even worse now than I did before, the headache just doesn’t want to go away and I can feel that the fever hasn’t left me either.

I am however still glad that I didn’t stay at home. BOXMAN/RÖD was two performances by two different choreographers. The difference between the two “plays” was quite tangible. Of the two, I liked BOXMAN way better. My grandma wasn’t as pleased, but conceded that BOXMAN did have more in line of a story, whereas RÖD was more of a visual experience accompanied by classical music. (Granny did not like the music played in BOXMAN)

I confess, in the beginning I too was skeptical, the initial drums where ferocious. But it definitely got better from there on. I even caught myself thinking that I didn’t want to stay and see RÖD, I just wanted to get home and blog about BOXMAN, since there was no way RÖD could surpass it.

Sadly though, I think I might have been one of a few agreeing with me. To my right where two younger females (possibly a bit too young) who saw it fit to giggle through most of the performance, irritating most if not all of the surrounding people. And to my left I heard someone whisper a question about how much longer the performance would be.

But it reached out to me, and it managed to touch me. Granted, I don’t really know what the story was, or what was being communicated, but I do know what it told me. And I liked it a lot. Normally this would probably not have been my cup of tea, what with the “modern ballet dancing style” and all, but it all worked in a wonderful harmony.

The dancers, top notch, the music, or perhaps possibly better described as a “sound experience”, also top notch. The choreography… spectacular, especially using walls to add a third dimension to the dance, and not to forget, in some of the “scenes” it reminded of ancient martial arts. Beautiful. And the stage, a very minimalistic approach compared to other performances (ok, RÖD was even less cluttered, with nothing else but dancers on the stage) but as they saying goes, “perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove”.

In my mind BOXMAN managed to project a varied range of images, thoughts and concepts such as madness and paranoia, how hard it can seemingly be to find ones way in the world today, in this enormous world, filled with people, rushing by, it can be hard to find your bearings, how easy it is to become lost. How we are measured and put under scrutiny from everyone, even ourselves, based on what we think that others think of us.

It filled me also with the sense, that even if the world is large, and I am but one individual, from a paranoid perspective, the government could, theoretically (the practical implications have been solved, just look at London and their network of CCTV cameras) single out an individual and conduct targeted surveillance.

It also brought my mind to Ghost in the Shell. I can’t really say why, possibly because two of the dancers had Asian ancestry. The stage with the streetlights coming from all directions (from the street as well as from somewhere up above stretching down) also gave it a very… “future” look, but at the same time a bit run-down. I think that helped put GitS in my mind. The movie portrays a pretty run-down city.

Also, the character in the beginning, the slightly paranoid person, in the later scenes, gave me thoughts about both “V” from the movie (V for Vendetta) as well as the phenomenon that is “anon” on the Internet. Other things springing to mind is “1984”, and the movie Equilibrium.

Towards the end it started to break up a bit, I wasn’t getting everything being “told” but then again, I am sure I interpreted most of it way wrong anyway ;)

One scene which I really did enjoy towards the end, was when one lone character was standing in the middle of the stage, with the other dancers passing him by. At first he was lost, but then beginning to follow them around, and performing single dance moves, which was then mimicked by the person he was following.

To me it kind of symbolized that in this world, we are all individuals, we all have different goals, different motivations, and different agendas, but we share some of these, with others. So we can interact, cooperate, do the same thing, for a short while, on some level for some unspecified time, connect. Until our paths once again separate. Although we are different, we are also the same.

As I said, I like BOXMAN because of the effect it had on me. I probably misinterpreted it all, but even so, the experience was beautiful and valuable to me. (A lot of “me” going around here, but I think it best to clarify that I liked it because of how it made me think and feel. Others may, or may not, like it.)

It managed to move me, and bring up things I hadn’t thought about in a while, and I think it might even have helped me to realize a thing or two, which are bit more personal than I will divulge here, but with all this in mind, I cannot call it anything other than a smashing success.

RÖD on the other hand… I have no desire to badmouth that performance, the dancers where the same, again superb, but the music needed visual stimuli, and the visual stimuli the dancers provided wasn’t speaking to me the way that BOXMAN did. So I would probably have to say that the one good quality of RÖD which immediately springs to mind (unfortunately) is that it was on about forty minutes in length. It kills me to have to be so brutally honest, but BOXMAN blew it out of the water… completely.