Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Why does my computer automatically do the titles in hindi?? I don't get it. Well it says "Christmas". And so I thought I would share my ultimate favourite christmas music video, it's amazing!
Oh I love the 90's:

East17 - Stay Another Day

Monday, 1 December 2008

Dow Plunges 600 Points as Recession is Declared, or, My Contribution to the American Economy

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's official. We are in a recession.

Since we all know that the best way to improve the economy and contribute to the national well-being is to go out and SHOP, I thought I'd do my patriotic duty and share with you three different brands that I am quite a big fan of.

Exhibit A: Moleskine
Oh, Moleskine. The famous notebook of Picasso, Dali, and everyone else. So pretty. This semester, all of my notebooks were Moleskine; I spent about ten to fifteen dollars more than I would have otherwise, and it was WORTH EVERY PENNY. I also have the calendar, which comes with stickers. Stickers! And I have to admit, I coveted the calendar so violently that I bought the 2009 one in July, and have just written the dates in the notebook section in the back.

(That's right. To buy.)

Exhibit B: American Apparel
Now, although I have always labeled American Apparel as an overpriced hipster store(1), I have secretly always wanted to go shopping there. I finally got my opportunity this past Halloween when I decided to dress up as a grape, and needed a purple hoodie to complete my costume. It was a little hard to part with $40 just for a sweatshirt, but it was not at all hard to put that sweatshirt on. And now I wear it every day. Every. Single. Day.

Exhibit C: Le Creuset
Well, this is a brand that I actually do not own anything of, due to its extremely expensive nature, but one of these days, when the economy recovers, maybe...

(1) HA HA HA. I hope everyone grasps the irony of proclaiming that all of my notebooks are Moleskine and then claiming to avoid Overpriced Hipster goods.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

इन होनौर ऑफ़ एल्स'स रेसेंट तेच्नो डिस्कवरी!

i have no idea why the title got automatically transcribed to devanagri. oh well. here's a cool video with respect to else's newfound love for electro!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

On behalf of the World and other Issues...

I cast my vote this fine morning for Barack Obama.

Good luck to all of us. Love you both!!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Is it okay to use the blog for commercial purposes?

If you are on the hunt for entertainment of exquisite quality, I have some splendid recommendations to offer: 

Dexter gives you an inside view in the nature of the notorious serial killer Dexter Morgan. The protagonist is a very sympathetic blood splatter analyst (we are about to watch an episode now).

True Blood is a series about an American village where vampires have revealed their identities to the public through mass media. The humans involve themselves in the lives of the vampires. This interaction has a number of interesting consequences... 

Sunday, 26 October 2008

One Hundred and One Cookbooks


I wanted to write a quick post to introduce you to a great source of joy in my life these days, After our beautiful night of stuffed peppers back in Glasgow in June, I know you will appreciate it! I'm starting to worry that I'm going to fail school because I like cooking so much. I just can't stop! Today I made chili, cornbread, and eggplant hummus. Yummy. I also went on a bike ride, and read the newspaper. Now, I guess it is time for homework.

But first, here are a few recent favorites from 101 cookbooks!

Beluga Lentil Crostini
Now, I don't know what the heck a beluga lentil is, but I did have the tail end of a batch of French blue lentils that I'd originally cooked up with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and cardamom sitting bored in the fridge, bemoaning me to do something with it. My friend Annie was having a last-night-in-America potluck, so I bought a loaf of bread, cut it into little slices which I then burned terribly, scraped the burnt bits off and put goat cheese and lentils on top, as inspired by this recipe. Both delicious and portable!

Curried Pumpkin Seeds
Okay, so I shouldn't need a website to tell me to toast pumpkin seeds. But it had never occurred to me to do it with curry, and it turned out deliciously! I actually used the seeds of butternut and acorn squash, but it's all in the same family.

Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash
I used whole wheat instead of farro, and, for lack of time, cooked the butternut squash, garlic, and onions in the wok instead of in the oven, and I was thoroughly pleased with the results! Raia and I often have huge containers of things in the fridge, and you've never seen us go through one so quickly. This is quite possibly my favorite recipe out of all of them, which is saying a lot!

Cabbage Soup
The thought of cabbage in soup made me shudder, too, but I'd had such luck with the last recipe that I thought I'd just try it. Plus, I had a huge cabbage from my CSA and I didn't know what to do with it! It turned out to be quite yummy and nourishing, perfect for the sicky I was last week. I think the most important thing is to not put the cabbage in until the very end, and the texture is actually very nice!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup
My christening of my blender, just the other day! I don't have any of this Thai red curry paste, but I put in chilli paste, chilli powder, and paprika-seasoned salt instead, and I thought it was extremely good. Raia and our friend Brett and I ate this along with apple-radish salad and spiced cider, and then we really knew that fall was here!

Well, today I was cooking from imagination, but my next plan is Pepita Salad. 'Tis the season! What are you guys cooking these days?


I decided to write a book, mostly for therapeutic reasons, but maybe one day it'll be a book.
Much love

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Our love for Venn-diagrams

Shane has inspired us to utilize venn-diagrams as a tool to analyze our social reality. I thought it might be stimulating to get a debate going on the venn-diagrams presented in this post. Response to the following questions would be highly appreciated (as a comment or even a whole blog post):

(a) Which of these venn-diagrams can you best relate to your own life?

(b) In the diagram you chose in (a), what does A, B, possibly C represent? Are they people, emotions, thoughts, institutions etc.?

(c) In the venn-diagram you chose, what is happening in the overlapping area?

(d) Do you miss an alternative of mutually exclusive circles?

(or you can just write something else)

Have a good day cartoonish cute one and shane shane shane (like in the song "shane, shane, shane, shane is cool" my brother still sings this song pretty much every time I see him)!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Blog Activity

Hello friends, just showing a little sign of life here on the World and Other Issues.


Sunday, 5 October 2008

Ps, check out Knits'N'Bobs!

My new blog with Naomi!
(There is too much blood in my alcohol stream, remember?)

Click here to check it out. It's only up since yesterday, so no harsh critiques please, hehe.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Can I call you Joe?

how endearing!!!

For the Number Hungry

One of those posts that won't get any comments, because it's not about fashion. Except, wait, no, OMG! Sofie! Today I found the exact same H&M skirt that you got on Colaba Causeway on the way back from project week, that Barbara also had, the peachy colored one, at a thrift store in my neighborhood! It was amazing!

We could also discuss Sarah Palin's outfit at the debate last night, because what I really wanted to talk about was politics.

Check out the garish American flag pin. Ew.

Anyway, the debate last night, my mom and I agreed, was HILARIOUS, especially the part where Palin was like, "OMG, you love Israel? I love Israel too!" No, seriously. The exact quote was, "I'm so encouraged to hear that you love Israel too." Kumbayah, my lord, kumbayah. Unfortunately, she didn't sound quite as dumb as I had hoped, and her blatant untruths make good sound bytes, especially for those not poised at the lap top, madly Googling every exaggeration or outright lie.

This has to be short, but I'll leave you with this chart that my dad put together. Maybe these numbers are more eloquent than any argument I could ever make:

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Musical Retreat

My new project brief for this term is to design a musical retreat in Glenluce, Dumfries & Galloway in the south of Scotland, on a site adjacent to the ruins of the old Glenluce Abbey.
It is meant to be a building which offers a "sanctuary" for twelve young musicians and three resident musicians who run the retreat. Seeing as the main aspect of third year is to become aware of environmentally friendly strategies, the site for the retreat is very remote and does not have access to any electricity grid, meaning it needs to be completely self sustaining in terms of heating, lighting, ventilation etc. A pretty "daunting task" as my tutors like to call it, but very interesting and completely in tune with my aspirations as an architect! Of course, also, telling me to design a musical retreat is like sticking a big, fat lollypop into my mouth, seeing as i once was an aspiring violinist (hehe) who used to go to orchestra camps in the summer time. I should pick it up again, considering my knowledge of the violin is pretty much limited to the level of this:

Also, the fact that I did my summer project on sounds is quite appropriate!

In school we are underway with a lecture series with the title "retreat", looking at monasteries, churches etc, and also spas, hotels and the like. Today's lecture was on the "retreat as workspace", and we did a little historic tour of the working spaces of Le Corbusier, Heidegger and George Bernard Shaw. So far, it seems that a huge part of "retreating" is spending time in a pretty austere environment - monasteries and little huts in the mountains. I am quite interested in hearing your thoughts on retreat!
Also, the activities that happen in this building give a lot of meaning to the theme of retreat, seeing as the making and playing of music is definitely quite a sanctuary in its own right.

MANY challenges are coming my way though, in terms of technical strategies for a completely self sustaining building. I intend to start the project with the environmental issues safely planted in my head before i dive into the pool of options of forms and "stylistic language". I was thinking maybe you guys have some keen opinions on sustainability and building that you might want to share with me!

I'll end this post with a picture from one of my favorite buildings, the Mortensrud Church in Oslo by Jensen and Skodvin. Designed within a very strict budget, but so beautiful! This will definitely be one of my major inspirations for this project:

Please share your thoughts on a Sustainable Retreat!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Insane-o Crazy Fashion Discovery, or Foot Fetish v2.0

As you may already know, over here at Perspective Heaven, we have a passion for fashion (as well, incidentally, as silly rhymes). I have recently acquired a pair of stirrup leggings, and have been wearing them with pride and joy.
Now until very recently, I was under the impression that my fabulous new stirrup leggings were rather unique, more 80's jazzercise (which is awesome) than NYC hipster (which I guess is awesome too, in a different way). However, I seem to have been mistaken, because the other day down at NYU I saw three separate people wearing stirrup leggings! All, incidentally, were wearing them without socks, which supports my earlier hypothesis re: attractiveness of the exposed plane of flesh on the top of the foot. Anyway, I decided to do a little research, and look what I found:
Mary Kate and Ashley designed them! Neiman Marcus is selling them! OMG! So, SHOCKING FASHION DISCOVERY OF THE SEASON: stirrup leggings are in! Fashionistas of the world (and other issues), take note.

(Post on Greek Mythology to come soon.)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

God of Wine

My first post in the greek mythology series will be dedicated to the God of Wine (because we all love it so much), Dionysus.
Dionysus was also the patron deity of agriculture and theatre, and was often known as "The Liberator", promoting freeing one from one's normal self by means of madness, ecstasy or wine. His Roman parallel was Bacchus, here depicted by Caravaggio:

Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele, a human mistress (and the daughter of king Cadmus of Thebes).
When Hera, Zeus' wife, found out about Semele's pregnancy, she decided to befriend her to get to know the real truth and manipulate Semele. Semele indeed confided in Hera, and was fooled into asking Zeus to show himself before her in all his godliness, to prove his status.
Semele begged and begged for Zeus to do this, and when he finally did, draped in thunder and lightning, she died because humans were not meant to see the gods without disguise.
Zeus hurried to rescue Dionysus out of Semele's womb, and sewed him into his own thigh. A few months later Zeus gave birth to Dionysus on the island of Ikaria.

The stories about Dionysus are plenty, so I will just encourage you to read about them here

Apparently he loved traveling, and at one point he went to India and didn't want to leave. Much like us, hehe.

There was also a list of names deriving from Dionysus which I found quite interesting:

Dion, Deon, Deion, d'Eon
Denise (also spelled Denice, Daniesa, Denese, and Denisse)
Dennis, Denis or Denys (including the derivative surnames Denison and Dennison)
Nis (as of the Nordic surname Nissen)
Nils (Nicholas is another origin)
Dénes (Hungarian)
Bacchus (Roman)
Dionisio, Dyonisio (Filipino), Dionigi (Italian)
Διονύσιος, Διονύσης (Dionysios, Dionysis; Modern Greek)
Deniska (diminutive of Russian Denis, itself a derivative of the Greek)


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Imagine having one hundred eyes...

Darling readers (especially Shane and Sofie), here comes a post from a ghost. Ha ha, that was a completely spontaneous rhyme, which made a lot of sense in this context. I have been a blog ghost and for that I am sorry. I’m not going to make promises of writing every week from now on etc., but I WILL try to be a better blogger now that summer is gone and everyday life is back, which tends to include more internet time. Shanes’ philosophizing in the facebook-video made me realize and re-remember how inspiring and perspective-enhancing our communication from our different parts of the world is, and that I don’t want to be the blog-pooper (?).

Perspective heaven, it’s time to talk about Argus: my favourite Greek mythology character (credits to the Norwegian wikipedia site).

Argus Panoptes was a huge monster, with one hundred eyes covering his entire body (pan=many, optes=eyes). As we all probably know, Zeus – the king of the greek gods and the god of heaven and thunder – was a god with numerous feminine sexual acquaintances. One time Hera, who was Zeus’ very jealous wife, made Argus guard one of Zeus lovers. Zeus did of course not approve of this and Asked Hermes (the messenger of the gods and the god of trade and music) for help. Argus always used to let some eyes sleep while keeping some awake. In this way he could see all day and all night, letting nothing come past his vision. Hermes however had his silver flute, which had the power of putting things asleep instantly. He played his flute in front of Argus, and Argus’ hundred eyes fell asleep all at the same time (some versions say that Hermes put Argus to sleep with boring talk). This gave Hermes the opportunity to cut off the poor monsters' head, so that Zeus could have access to his mistress.

Later, Hera took all of Argus eyes and put them on the feathers of the peacock.

This story explains the expression “argus eyes” and well as why peacocks’ feathers have eyes on them.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Worries, Hockey, and Arugula

Dear Friends,

There's been some silence from my end on this blog too! I suppose no longer being unemployed in San Francisco has something to do with it. Anyway, it's school time again, but there was a wonderfully full and fun month in New York beforehand, and I'm confident that this year will be just as full and as fun, if a little bit more of the former than the latter.

Anyway, as maybe you know already, I worry a lot. Much of the time, it's unwarranted, but sometimes, it's warranted. I hate it when it's the latter case. These days, I've been worrying quite a bit.

I went to Toronto right before school started, which was lovely; before I left, I planted beets, carrots, arugula, lettuce, and chives in little milk crates in my front yard, a fall vegetable garden! (I planted them in the crates because of the possibility of lead contamination in the soil, which I have yet to send for testing.) When I got home, a mere four days later, they had already begun to come up. As I told you both, and as I wrote on my new Official School Blog (which is exciting but which will never replace Perspective Heaven), I took this as a good omen for the new school year. I think it was, because I biked all the way to school and back the next day without almost getting hit by a car even once.

But these days, Hurricane Gustav has struck quite mightily, and my poor little vegetable sprouts are drowning. I should have just taken them inside, but I didn't think of it in time. And the problem with calling something a good omen is that when it changes, you begin to think of it as a bad omen. As the rain pounded down yesterday, I watched Sarah Palin's RNC speech on Youtube. She's a good speaker; she was sarcastic, funny, and confident. I understand her appeal, to a certain demographic.

She's also a fucking psycho: believes that Creationism should be taught in public schools, is against abortion even if the mother is a victim of rape or incest or both whose life is in danger, supports off, has an environmental policy "so toxic it would make the incumbent, George Bush, blush," is gun-happy and (obviously) pro-war, and promotes converting gay people to heterosexuality through the power of prayer. Et cetera.

It's obviously a very particular demographic she appeals to; the very demographic Obama has so offended with his arugula and bitter comments (the latter of which Palin alluded to in her RNC speech, predictably). I think the question is just how important that demographic is going to be in this election, and that, I suppose, is the million dollar question. It was certainly important in the last election. A little shining hope I have, though, is that it's been very clear from the start that Obama has been mobilizing people to vote who have never voted before, people who have felt so disenfranchised by American society that they didn't consider it worth their time to show up at a polling booth. We have a very low voter turn-out rate, after all, comparable to India's at the time of Independence when something like 70% of the population was still illiterate!! So the demographics of the American voting pool are changing, with this election. I hope they change enough.

Sometimes I wonder if in my worry, I might be committing the same Obama-esque elitism and underestimating a great many people in small towns across America. I mean I'm from San Francisco, I live in New York, and I grow arugula in my own garden! I hope that I am, and come November, the majority of the country will see that this woman, whether you agree with her policies or not, is in no way fit to be one heart attack away from the most powerful position in the world. But I don't know. Unfortunately, Simon Woods agrees with me, and there are also letters like this one, which strike me as particularly ominous:

To the Editor:

Many of us who feel that Hillary Rodham Clinton was treated very poorly by the Democratic National Committee and Barack Obama’s campaign are delighted to see Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as John McCain’s choice for vice president.

And yes, we are voting for Mr. McCain, because even though we are Democrats, we do not feel represented by the Obama-Biden ticket. There are 18 million voters who just might share this thought.

Joaquin Etcheverry

West Palm Beach, Fla., Sept. 1, 2008

We'll see, I guess. I miss India a little bit (like always), so I'm going to go eat Maggi and watch Monsoon Wedding. Love you guys.

Sunday, 27 July 2008


Dear Friends and Other Readers,

I apologize for the major lack of blogging lately. I am working 9 - 5 every day, and when I'm not, I tend to stay in the sun, where there is no internet.
Also I guess the fact that we all met up in early June sort of caused the blog to get a bit superfluous for a while, considering we debated the world and other issues pretty much around the clock for a whole week. But now the longing for the good conversation has kicked in yet again, ironically because I was sitting outside my aunt and uncle's summer house where I am staying at the moment, alone, listening to the extreme silence of the waves hitting the shore a couple of meters away.
I love the silent sounds but I also love the good conversation.

I have been thinking about this lately because I have a summer project for school where I have to record how an interior changes from sunrise till sundown based on some external (environmental) factor and I decided to analyze sounds. It was amazing how sitting in my boathouse listening for a whole day made me realize that there are silent-sounds and noise-sounds. Like birds are silent sounds because they're always there, like the water against the boats, like the wind in the trees. Unlike the construction work our neighbors are doing at the moment and my mum's footsteps on the floor above, the noise-sounds.

Anyway, what do you think girls, do you listen to things? Like the cars on the street outside your flat, do they make silent-sounds or noise-sounds?

Here is my noise laboratory:

Monday, 30 June 2008

Shane Crochets

maroon&green peek-a-boo, originally uploaded by shanecrochets.

Well, I guess you already knew that; as Else and I recalled, I typed that very phrase into her cell phone the infamous night of "There's too much blood in my alcohol stream!" Anyway, all the delightful crocheting I did in the UK with you guys, as well as my current unemployment, has prompted me to take my hobby to the internet, and now I have started a new crochet blog for myself. I have also started a shop on Etsy, but so far, so bad. We'll see though. I guess it just takes some time, and in any case, it doesn't hurt to put things up there!
So I just wanted to share that. It most definitely does not mean that Perspective Heaven isn't my first love, though, just to clarify. And you should let me know what you think about the crochet blog and shop!
Love love.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Travel Guides for the Lost!

Once upon a time, Sofie and I dreamed of creating our own guide to India. We wrote it on notebook paper in Varanasi, beginning, most logically, with Paud.
Now, as I have told Else on Skype today, a friend of my dear friend Emily is going to spend next year in Pune! So I have excitedly scribbled this out for her:

Read this document on Scribd: pune

It's a little unclear, because such is my spatial awareness and memory, but it was so fun and I thought maybe it would be fun for you guys to see it! Additions? Corrections?

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Artemis, or, All about my Sister

Remember when we were going to make a series of posts about Greek mythology? I think we still should. Therefore, today's post is going to be about Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, and also about my sister, Jil, because it was her birthday on Monday and I'd like to celebrate her, and also because if Jil were a Greek goddess, she would be Artemis.Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto (a daughter of the Titans and one of Zeus' many lovers), and the twin sister of Apollo. She was all about contradiction: the goddess of the hunt, she spent her days chasing down animals and killing them, but was also considered their protector. This was a role she took seriously; for example, after Agememnon killed a stag in her sacred grove, she punished him by stalling his ships on their way to Troy and forced him to sacrifice his daughter in order that they might sail. More contradictory still, Artemis was a vehemently virgin goddess, yet was also worshiped in cities as a goddess of fertility and goddess of fertility and childbirth. Even in within the realm of the latter, she's paradoxical -- she's the protector of women in childbirth, but it's said to be her arrows that shoot them down when they die in labor.
Why is my sister like Artemis? Well, I guess she's contradictory too -- anyone interesting is. Artemis was the goddess of purity and, while hunting, she ran a lot, and Jil has recently embarked on a mission of purity that involves a lot of running. She's trying to detoxify herself in order to spend two months hiking through the New Zealand wilderness in the fall. According to, Artemis' "main vocation was to roam mountain forests and uncultivated land." Sounds like Jil alright.
But enough about Artemis. More about my sister. One thing you should know about my sister is that she's HILARIOUS. Cases in point:
1. Last winter, we were driving home from Lake Tahoe. My dad and I were sitting in front of the car and Jil was sitting in the back, filling out university applications. She was a little frustrated: "Fuck college!" she said. "It's not like I know my GDP or shit!"
2. A few days ago, my sister and I were in Santa Barbara visiting my grandfather. We were at the graveyard, looking at my grandmother's tombstone. My grandfather stood on the empty patch next to it and said, "Well, this is where I'm going to be buried." "Oooh!" said Jil. "Let's take before and after photos!"
3. That evening, my sister and I were hanging out at my aunt's house. I was sitting on the couch, crocheting, and she was lying on the bed with her legs up against the wall. She told me to think of a topic of conversation, and I asked what she wanted to talk about. "I don't know," she said. "Honestly, I'm only thinking about one thing right now." "What's that?" I asked. She replied: "How FUCKING tan my legs look against this wall!"
4. It's Pride week in San Francisco right now, and Jil was trying to convince me and her friend Cristina to accompany her to the dyke march this coming Saturday. "Come on, Cristina," she said. "I know my calculus. It says YOU + ME = DYKE."

Monday, 26 May 2008

Notes from the CSD

Hello my loves!

This is just a small note to let you know that I've been slowly posting notes about my experience at the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development up at the blog of Real Food New York, in case some of you might be interested in hearing about it. They're pretty dry, but interesting nonetheless!

I'm in London; I absolutely love it. That's all for now.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Book Club?

Hello dear girls, I cannot believe I am only 20 days from seeing the two of you.
I was just browsing through the blog and I came across a blog post where Else suggested reading the same books, and I was wondering if we should start it now, and what books you guys suggest...

I hand in my project on monday, cannot wait.
More pictures will come, although most of my drawings are done by hand, so the ones uploaded will inevitably be slightly more lacking in personality, feel and tactility.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Bharatanatyam Centre Nearly Finished!

And Andrew is the happy picnic tourist!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Fashion?: The Sequel

Dear friends and other readers (who are of course also friends).
I have been surfing around the blog world for a while now, and i am always surprised by how many good blogs are out there. It seems though, that the ones i like the most are always picture blogs, and most often fashion picture blogs. so, considering I cannot contribute anything of my own wardrobe to that cause of looking good and being well dressed, I will contribute to the world of fashion blogging with some pictures i took of my personal fashion guru, David (well known for uttering frases such as "I love animals, but I love fur more' and 'isn't this just sooo equestrian chic?' in a ringing Northern Irish accent):

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sisters in arms

When you finally sit down to write a blog post to your dear friends, and the world, it is quite disconcerting to discover that you do not have an issue that you are truly eager to put out there. I am apologetic that I’ve been a lousy contributor to our cyber community. I have been thinking that I should write around the issue of the Olympics in Beijing, from my little Amnesty point of view. But then I thought the media covered that in such depth, that I didn’t feel like it after all. And then there are all sorts of issues that you think you could say a word or two about, but no. Well, the truth is that I am not entirely sober in this authoristic moment (world spelling does not approve of “authoristic” but I like it. What do you think?).

My parents are visiting in Tromsø this week. They both lived here in the seventies. 70’s! Tromsø is actually where my parents met each other, and then got engaged and moved to Mandal (my father’s home town. This night he proclaimed the seven reasons why he left Tromsø for Mandal). So, in the occasion of visiting me, my parents are living with their old friends from the days back then. This night, and then night before, we had dinner and wines with these old friends, and I got a deeper acquaintance with my parents youth-life. What comes forth (which I already know) is that my parents were so politically engaged. And so engaged in general! And while sitting there as the little child and bystander (who is about the same age as the one they are reminiscing about), I feel like a vital potential hardly exhausted. Is this because my youth is not taking place in the 60’s and 70’s, or is this because this generation/individual (me!) is dull? I want to be out there on the parole. But can I do better than for example engage in Amnesty international, when the political parties are more and more “catch-all” parties as the political scientist like to call them? I guess I want a discussion going back to the broad lines of how we can make a contribution to changw this ever worsening world (outside from doing our recycling, fair-trade ++ micro scale efforts)! Shall we go political comrades?

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Pimp My Blog!

Ok, so it might just be that I am suffering from severe procrastination syndrome, but what better to do in such a situation than revamping the blog!?

Hit me with your appraisal or hatred, I shall try and accommodate for everyone's opinion; this is after all the Democratic Republic of the World (And Other Issues).

Much love.


today i read an article on about the young, up and coming fashion bloggers of norway, and i must admit i was a little tempted by the idea of starting a fashion blog. maybe a nicely sarcastic one like, or just a nice little thing of inspirations. so i looked through my photos to see if this was feasible.

clearly not:

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Bad Music

So, as you all may know by now, on Saturday my poor little computer had a bit of a catastrophe (no one knows why!) and when it finally woke up in the hospital, it couldn't remember shit. As in, there's not a note of music in my iTunes library anymore. Therefore, I have been using the "Shared Library" dealio that iTunes have, and I have discovered that I have really truly disgusting taste in music. Like really really terrible, I would never own this crap awful (actually I think I used to own some of it); I LOVE IT!!

Highlights include:
1. Gasolina (Daddy Yankee)
2. Dhoom Machale (?)
3. Wonderwall (Oasis)
4. All the Things She Said (Tatu)
5. Girl's Not Grey (AFI)
6. Does your Mother Know? (ABBA)
7. Sk8er Boi (Avril Lavigne)

What are your favorite awful songs?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

the new oslo opera house

dear friends, now that we have discussed issues of both smell and olympic torch relays, i feel it is time for me to get into my field and discuss a little architecture.

the occasion is the opening of the new opera house in oslo, designed by norwegian architects snohetta (picture from saturday's opening galla)

following the opening of this massive new opera house comes, of course, much debate about whether we need an opera house, whether everybody should pay for the opera house (it is financed through taxes and cost approximately 4 billion norwegian kroner, or approx. 800 million dollars.) etc.

it is built in the harbour area of bjorvika in oslo, in front of the central station (when seen from the sea), and takes on the shape of an iceberg rising from the water. this whole area is one that is under development at the moment (anthony is doing his thesis project on the site right next to it, designing a new ferry terminal and hotel). i find it quite astonishing that, from what i can deduce from the debate pages on, nobody seems to understand the importance of this building in terms of regenerating this area.

to enlighten you a bit more, the area around the central station has always been a major hang out spot for the drug addicts and hookers of oslo (the drug addicts have moved elsewhere after a government initiative was implemented a while back, but the hookers were definitely lined up two weeks ago when me and anthony went for an evening walk down there) and whereas most of the motorways in oslo are underground in tunnels, at this tricky place the road comes back up from the tunnel and separates the whole harbour area from the rest of the city.

in order to make the opera house work they have built a pedestrian bridge over this motorway, connecting the opera to the central station.

having studied issues like this in my "built environment" lectures, i found it incredibly interesting when anthony took me down there a couple of weeks ago. the whole area is rather cut off from the rest of the city, which was clear to me because it took an englishman doing his thesis to drag me down there (i had never been before, and i am from there. uhoh.)
i have since developed a burning interest in the development of the harbour area, because it is one where nothing has been done for years and years and there is so much land which has been left derelict because of this incredibly disruptive motorway (and also the train lines from oslo central).
i am very excited to learn from anthony that work has already started on building a tunnel for this road to go in. there is also a project called the "barcode" which will be a business park of high rise buildings organized in a "barcode" way behind the opera house. the first one has already been built and i happen to think it is an excellent building.

so i guess my concern is that people only seem to think of this as a building which has cost way too much money for everyone that is not going to use it (the common man doesn't go to the opera etc, but in fact let's say we have 4 million people in norway, so if you do the maths the opera will, if it stands for 100 years, cost each of us about 4 kroner pr year. which after all is pretty much the price of half a pack of bubblegum), but i think most people fail to see the real point of this. not only is it the first time in YEARS that a major new cultural building has been erected in oslo (i believe the last one was the national theatre in 1899), but it is also oslo's very first landmark building which will undoubtedly speed up the process of the urban renewal of oslo's harbour which it so badly needs.

also, i have real doubts that it will only be used for opera - rock concerts are already scheduled.
also, (again) i've already immensely enjoyed this building simply by walking around it and taking it in. also, the installation in the lobby by olafur eliasson is VERY nice.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

On a lighter note...

One thing I have been struggling with recently is the concept of perfume. My roommate feels the need to spray it all over herself, and it is a very sweet and jarring smell to wake up to. I don't quite understand why she wishes to change the way she smells, because she bathes regularly and has pretty good hygiene habits, but I guess that's her business and none of mine.

I had attributed it earlier to the fact that my roommate is kind of a "fashion diva," by which I mean she has about twenty pairs of shoes in a nice straight line under her bed, and a cacophony of shiny, flimsy material in her closet. It's pretty admirable the way she puts herself together; it kind of makes me feel like a hobo.

But it turns out that this smell-changing phenomenon of changing one's natural smell doesn't stop at my roommate, and that's why I've decided to write about it. The other day I was cramming myself into a crowded elevator (as usual, for that is the way of NYU) on my way to class when a wall of musky cologne seemed to wash over me. This was a boy! And he did not seem like a "fashion diva" at all. Intriguing...

So, let us delve into the concept of changing one's scent! As I was saying, it's something I don't quite understand. I mean, I use deodorant, but other than that I don't really smell like anything, at least not anything I can detect. I've tended to quite like the unadulterated smell of the boys I've dated (maybe it has something to do with why we dated?), and been off-put by boys wearing perfume. We're animals, after all, and we learn a lot about each other and our potential compatibility from the way we smell.

That's my side of the story, anyway. I think I need to interview my roommate to get the other side of the story, because if I remember correctly, neither of you guys alters your smell, either. Readers? Scientists?

Monday, 7 April 2008


so, after huge protests in london yesterday, the olympic torch relay has come to a finish in paris, with the torch actually being extinguished and transported though the streets on a bus rather than by foot.

i was sat in my bed yesterday, watching the bbc news from under my array of green, yellow, blue, red and white flags, following the torch on its way from a modest ceremony at some stadium to the streets to stop by gordon brown back to the streets and finally back into some other stadium. i am really torn about this. is it right for the olympics, the ultimate arena for peaceful (though rather sweaty) interaction between nations, to become the ground for political conflict? or is that just what the olympics should be; a way of highlighting relevant issues and pushing for change?

i am excited that the whole world seems to be engaged in this issue (except for inhabitants of beijing, it seems, answering with questionmark-like faces when asked by a bbc reporter yesterday about the protests in london) but also i am sad that the olympics have become an arena for world politics rather than sport.

as an avid olympics fan, who at 11 woke up in the middle of the night for two weeks in february 1998 to catch the action in nagano, i remember when the torch relay passed my house in 1994, how excited i was, and how proud we all were to organize the olympics. lucky for us our government was not torturing and depriving the lapps of their culture at the time.

thank god for the deserved publicity the tibetans struggle is getting.
i'm just upset it took the flame of the olympic torch with it.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The World in the Most Obvious Pictures

The other night, Ola & his friend Gautam were passing through New York on their way to Spring Break in Brazil (bitches). Over some over-priced hookah, we got to talking about national stereotypes, and I mentioned the photo to the right that Else had posted on Facebook that was just stereotypical Norway, in my mind. I described it and Ola said, "Yeah, that would be like the very first photo if you looked up 'Norway' on Google Images." Thus the idea for this blog-post was born (actually it was Gautam's, originally). So here are the first pictures, excluding maps and flags, that you find when you type in the names of the following countries.

Norway: The real one.

Uzbekistan: My friend Adam and I gave each other assignments over winter break to each research a country; he was supposed to learn about Switzerland and I Uzbekistan. We didn't really follow through, at least I didn't, so now I am -- visually! Now this is random.
Our Beloved Mother India: Gee, this one's a shocker.
Mali: The Mosque of Mud.
Yemen: Wow that blond woman is really a good Samaritan.
Ecuador: Now that I'm not so exhausted, I see that it really is a stunningly beautiful country.
Brazil: In honor of our intrepid friends. Oh man they are going to have an awesome time -- this comes up even before the map or flag!Samoa: There's a place in Humboldt County (Northern California) called Samoa, because so many Samoans live there, or they used to anyway. They have a cookhouse for lumberjacks, and I ate breakfast there once, even though I'm actually not a lumberjack. Not to be confused with this Samoa, the real Samoa.
Lichtenstein: Poor little guy. I actually had to search "Lichtenstein country" because when you type in Lichtenstein, all that comes up is the art of Roy Lichtenstien (which is, after all, amazing in its own right).
U.S.A.: Last but not least, the land of the free and the home of the brave. You have to wade through a number of flags to get to this one, but OMG. Thanks for representing me to the internets, lady!

Switzerland: Looks like Adam did his research too!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

the glory of the story

I think most of us in the prosess of growing older gradually uncounsciously supress the creative part of our intellect. Meaning that we don't use the ability to make up stories as much as we did as children. I've started working as a substitute kindergarden assistent! It's stressful and tiresome but gives so much energy at the same time. And the other day when I was there I became aware of how the children constantly made up random little stories with no connection to reality. Do you make up stories? Should we write some stories on the blog?