Sunday, October 30, 2005

DST - Depression Saving Temperature

Again it's time to do the rounds around the house - setting the clock of the DVD player, the VHS player, the iPod, the wristwatch, the alarm clock, the mobile phone and making sure that the PC adjusts to the end of "Daylight Saving Time" on its own. The point of the whole exercise is to fool people to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning in summer by calling it 6 o'clock, so that they will go to bed at 10 in the evening (calling it 11), thereby decreasing the need for electricity.

That's a bold idea (although tasting a bit of central planning), and it would be interesting to see how much money this saves us (taking into account all the work and problems it leads to - for public transport, for instance).

Now we're heading for winter time, with depressingly low temperatures. People stay indoors because they see "-10 degrees" on the thermometer. I have an idea. Why don't we start using a "Depression Saving Temperature" in winter? Let's all adjust the thermometers by five degrees! Instead of calling it "-10C", let's call it "-5C (DST)". It will of course not do a bit about the actual temperature (just as the Daylight Saving Time does not really affect the amount of sunlight), but we will probably be fooled into believing that it's not really as cold as it feels, and therefore spend more time out and about.

At the same time, I propose the introduction of the "Diet Saving Weight". On October 29th, we will adjust all weights by 5 kilos. This will give us all a bit of useful slack during the Christmas season. On February 1st, we adjust it back, which will give us a very handy motivation in time for the beachwear season. (I'm looking forward to seeing the ads in the newspaper: "We got a beautiful son. He was born at 6:44 am (DST), was -1.43 kg (DSW) and 83 cm (ISL)."

Or, come to think of it, we might not want to adjust the weight back at all.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Norway's soccer season over

Congratulations to Vålerenga as Champions of the Norwegian soccer series!



For me, the most important thing was that Ham-Kam managed to keep their place in the division, despite a terrible end of the season. Today's draw against Brann meant that Ham-Kam ended up in 10th place. Newspapers today claim that Ham-Kam's coach Ståle Solbakken is headed for København next season - I hope Ham-Kam finds a good replacement for next season...



Obviously, the soccer season is not really over - the cup final is still ahead, and Norway also have two qualification matches for the 2006 World Cup to play. But after that, the soccer balls may be safely put to rest, and the winter sports will take over the airwaves. For instance ski jumper Bjørn Einar Romøren.

Movie: Pitbullterje



Pitbullterje is a comedy about lies, social pressure and friendship.

A new boy, Terje, joins Jim's class. Terje is huge, doesn't get friends easily (partly because he keeps threatening to send his pitbull to kill them) and has a father who likes beer a lot and has a part time job as Santa Claus at the nearest mall. Terje's arrival changes Jim's life: Jim now have to choose: should he grasp the opportunity of joining the cool kids (because they now have an even easier target than Jim), or should he try to make friends with Terje?



Yes, I know that stories like this have been filmed a lot of times before. What makes this a good movie, instead of only okay, is good actors and lots of small details. Jim's fantasy world (inhabited by Playmobile characters) is also fun.

This movie managed to entertain me (in my EARLY thirties, but maybe younger at heart), and I'm sure it will entertain lots of others - especially teenagers. Go see it - and get in the mood for Christmas...

(The movie's premiere is November 4th in Norway.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ten Best Albums: #10 Lisa Ekdahl: Lisa Ekdahl

Thanks to iPod and iTunes, my music collection is no longer just a bunch of CDs on a shelf, but it's become possible to rate the songs and to look at the listening stats in detail. The iTunes Registry in addition creates all kinds of charts, and the one I'll be looking at now is the Album chart (created by multiplying the total playcount of an album with the average rating of the songs there). This gives the following list of my favorite albums:

1. Ole Paus: Jeg Kaller Det Vakker Musikk
2. deLillos: Mere
3. Lystad and Mjøen: Bedre Sent Enn Alvor - Universets Morsomste Radioserie...Ever
4. Sondre Lerche: Faces Down
5. Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert In Central Park
6. Øystein Sunde: 40 Beste
7. Morten Harket: Wild Seed
8. A-Ha: Hunting High and Low
9. Odd Børretzen: Noen ganger er det all right
10. Lisa Ekdahl: Lisa Ekdahl

Some of them are "best of"- or concert-albums, but I don't mind...

As you see, #10 is Lisa Ekdahl's album "Lisa Ekdahl".
(see lisaekdahl.com)



The album opens with the beautiful "Öppna Upp Ditt Fönster" (Open your window), insisting on the chance to rearrange a relationship to let everything be as it once was. *****

(The terrible translations into English are mine, of course.)

"Benen I Kors" (Legs crossed) is also a love song, although of a more flirting quality. (I'll only sit here with my legs crossed - and why do I want that - that's easy to see - because you're sitting next to me, of course) The rhythm is busy and jazzy. ****

"I Tveksamhetens Tid" (In the time of doubt) is a song of the comfort of love in times of difficulty. (May I rest my head - against your safe breast - dare I ask you to stay - may I hear your voice) *****

"Jag Skrek" (I cried) is a bit more stubborn. It describes a quarrel and the refusal to change ('Cause I'm like this, and this is how I'll stay...) ****

"Åh Gud" (Oh God) is a slower song - seems like a song that can be sung in the evening after a wonderful first date... (I'm seduced and confused he makes me dumb) ****

"Sanningen I Vitögat" (The truth in the white of the eye) is a bit stronger - to me it is a story of a woman in a difficult relationship, who wants to make changes, but is unable to do it the moment she meets him again... ****

"Det Är En Nåd" (It's a gift) (It's a gift to get such love, and a crime to let it go). To me, this is a tiny bit less interesting than many of the other songs here... ***

"Vem Vet" (Who knows?) Lisa Ekdahl's breakthrough hit, a beautiful jazz love song wondering about where love comes from... *****

"Jag Bara Vet" (I just know) is not as good as many of the other songs... ***

"Flyg Vilda Fågel" (Fly, wild bird) is a little dream of how it would be like to be a bird for a moment - but the dream has a bitter aftertaste... (If I had wings, I'd fly away and disappear) ****

"På Jakt Efter Solen" (Hunting for the sun) is another slow, flirting song. ('Cause humans should not be lonely, so come and share this far too dark night) ****

"Kunde Jag Vrida Tiden Tillbaka" (If I could, I'd take time back) A sad melancholy song. (I'm crying cause now I see that what is done is done) ****

"Du Sålde Våra Hjärtan" (You sold our hearts) This is the final song of a relationship - full of bitterness to a heartless man. It's a sad song, but still beautiful. (I give what I have, but you give nothing back) ****

"Data" (Data) is a very short bagatelle of a song (less than half a minute long), which I give four stars just because of habit. ****

I notice that I've described the lyrics much more than the melodies. That's probably because I don't have language to describe the music, but also because the texts are so important. The album is calming, but also involves lots of feelings... Wonderful. (I'm very happy that I decided to write this blog, as it meant hearing this album in full again - nowadays I just hear a song at a time, usually...)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Brussel


brussel1
Originally uploaded by BjørnS.
Some of the best holidays I've had, had been the ones where I have visited someone I knew. That leads to a combination of the excitement of being a local and the know-how of being a local...

I visited Brussel with a friend - and stayed with a friend of his. It was just for a (long) weekend, but it was a wonderful weekend. This picture is from Grand Place, where we had taken a rest on the pavement, and where this guy carrying baguettes suddenly became a part of my photo.

In the same trip, we visited the beautiful city of Brugge - and we had several great dinners in nice, neighbourhood restaurants - as well as interesting varieties of beer...

Best of Eurovision Song Contest

Today there is a show to celebrate 50 years of Eurovision Song Contest. 14 songs have been picked to compete for a special prize - and Abba's Waterloo is the favorite, of course. Here are my opinion (in order of appearance in the show):

1. Congratulations - Cliff Richard (England)
A happy song, but a bit too sweet for me - 3 stars (out of five)

2. What's Another Year - Johnny Logan (Irland)
Oh, so sad - but I've got a bit tired of it after all these years... - 3 stars

3. Diva - Dana International (Israel)
Yes, certainly the best of the first three, but the refrain gets a bit too repetitive - 3 stars

4. Eres Tu – Mocedades (Spania)
I can't remember having heard this song much before, and I have a feeling why. A bit boring... - 2 stars

5. Ein Bisschen Frieden – Nicole (Tyskland)
Yes, it's a nice tune, but this is also far too sweet for my taste - 3 stars again...

6. Nel blu di pinto di blu - Domenico Modugno (Italia)
Also known as "Volare", this is the first one which is almost getting 4 stars. But only almost... - 3 stars

7. Waterloo - ABBA (Sverige)
Still a little bit of spark left in this after all these years - that's not bad... 4 stars!

8. Fly on the Wings of Love - Olsen Brothers (Danmark)
Not too bad! A bit too "cleverly" arranged, but otherwise catchy. 3 stars.

9. Poupée de Cire Poupée de Son - France Gall (Luxemburg)
Beautiful and not like every other tune. 4 stars.

10. Everyway that I Can – Sertab (Tyrkia)
Another song I can't remember having heard. Not too good. 2 stars.

11. Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi - Celine Dion (Sveits)
Yes, her voice is great, but the song doesn't do anything for me... 3 stars.

12. Hold Me now - Johnny Logan (Irland)
I just don't feel that romantic this evening - a sad song that was beautiful once, but now I'm tired of it... 3 stars.

13. Save Your Kisses for Me - Brotherhood of Man (England)
This song still feels fresh after so many, many years... It deserves 4 stars.

14. My Number One - Helena Paparizou (Hellas)
Wow, I don't have this song in my collection - and it's not even in the iTunes Music Store. ? stars...

Which gives the following ranking:
1. Save Your Kisses for Me - Brotherhood of Man (England)
2. Waterloo - ABBA (Sverige)
3. Poupée de Cire Poupée de Son - France Gall (Luxemburg)



(And I must admit that there are more great songs on an average deLillos record than in this collection of 14 of the best Eurovision Song Contest songs...)

Full frontal flip flop



Minnesota Women's Press writes about artist Kristen Copham who has turned the tables in her latest exhibit - consisting of 20 large-scale paintings of local male artists in the nude.

"It was a major twist for the male artists, who are accustomed to controlling the medium, to sit passively on the other end of the artist’s proverbial gaze. Some approached her idea as a great lark, Copham said, and others had more trepidation about taking off their underpants."

Interesting concept this, to explore the relationship between artist and nude model in this way...

Movie: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy



Of course it's highly improbable that making a movie out of Douglas Adams' fantasyextravaganza that is "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" would succeed. Garth Jennings tried anyway, and - for some reason - managed to make me enjoy the experience.



The start of the book/movie is not very heartwarming - Arthur Dent experiences his worst nightmare: his house is destroyed to make way for a motorway. Then he experiences what he has never had the imagination to fear: his planet is destroyed to make way for a intergalactic expressway.

By picking small bits and pieces of the books, the filmmakers have managed to create a story of suitable length for a movie, giving a taste of the hilarious happenings in the books, while not ruining the fun for everyone who hasn't read the books. Because the movie will never replace the books...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oral sex on stage

Dagbladet writes of a concert yesterday when the vocalist of Jimbo Jones, Max Boner, undressed. A guy from the audience also undressed, and the thing ended with Max Boner giving this other guy "something resembling oral sex", according to a bystander.



"If people don't see the fun in this, but are offended instead, then they deserve to be offended," says drummer Stian Andreassen.

(On their webpage, there is a video showing Max Boner in the nude, by the way. There is also some music which I don't really like...)

That was enough news from Norway for now... :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

My hometown - Stange


stange3
Originally uploaded by BjørnS.
Something strange happened to me two or three years ago. I was visiting my parents, as so often during the 15 years since I moved out. I decided to pick up my camera and go for a walk. And suddenly I realized that Stange is a very beautiful place. I had never really thought of Stange as beautiful before this.

The good thing about walking around with a camera is that you "have to" look for the beautiful or interesting things, instead of just walking around, not really seeing anything.

This photo is one of the photos I took this day. Yes, fields may be more boring than mountains, but they can also be beautiful.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Asterix: The sky falls on his head



A new Asterix album is always welcome. This one, the 33rd in the series, is a little disappointment.

It is interesting how fantasy and reality must go hand in hand in literature for it to work. In Harry Potter, for instance, the world is just as in the real world, except an addition of magic. And that is a magic which is restrained - the HP world would have been uninteresting if, in every tight spot Harry could just draw his wand and solve everything.

Asterix has traditionally tried to be historically correct - in a way, you can say that the Magic Potion is the only difference between the real world and the world of Asterix. In this new album, there are a whole menagerie of things that do not belong in this world. That makes it a far less engaging read than most Asterix albums, in my opinion.

In conclusion: it's always good to be back in this little village, but I hope next time will be much better...

Miró on UCLA


la4
Originally uploaded by BjørnS.
This cute bird lives at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. It is a Miró, and I immediately fell in love with it when I saw it. (There were lots of other works of art in the same area, but this was by far my favorite.)

I don't know if the students coming out from their lecture hall thought I looked strange - I was lying on my back on the ground, to get only trees in the background of the photo. Well, it was worth it, anyway, as I like the photo...

The world's first nude disco

Dagbladet has an article with the title "The world's first nude disco" today. As usual, the story is a bit wrong, but still it's interesting...

"The club South Central in Southern London brag about being the world's first permanent nude disco, and according to the owners, people flock to the club to shake their body parts," writes Dagbladet.

All guests have to be nude (except shoes), while the bartenders may keep their underwear on. Interesting concept.



However, the idea of this being the first in the world seems a bit imaginative. I seem to have heard of concepts like this in the gay world for years. And the article that seems to be the source of the story, does only claim it's "the country's only nude disco".

By the way, Dagbladet desperately wants to illustrate this story with a nude photo, and while they don't have a photo of nude clubbers, apparently, they choose to print a picture from the Vienna art gallery where naked guests were given free entrance earlier this year. Well, nudity is nudity, they seem to think, even though the circumstances were a bit different...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Looking forward to the soccer world championship

Okay, the world cup qualifications is almost finished. It's still unclear if Norway will go on to the World Cup, but the World Cup will still be fun.



So far, the following teams are qualified:
African Zone:
Angola (ANG)
Cote d'Ivoire (CIV)
Togo (TOG)
Ghana (GHA)
Tunisia (TUN)
Asian Zone:
Japan (JPN)
Iran (IRN)
Korea Republic (KOR)
Saudi Arabia (KSA)
European Zone:
Germany (GER)
Ukraine (UKR)
Netherlands (NED)
Poland (POL)
England (ENG)
Croatia (CRO)
Italy (ITA)
Portugal (POR)
Sweden (SWE)
Serbia and Montenegro (SCG)
France (FRA)
North, Central American and Caribbean Zone:
USA (USA)
Mexico (MEX)
Costa Rica (CRC)
Oceanian Zone:
No qualified teams as yet
South American Zone:
Argentina (ARG)
Brazil (BRA)
Ecuador (ECU)
Paraguay (PAR)

(From fifaworldcup.yahoo.com)

This will be fun!

(I just hope Norway will not have to beat Spain to go to the World Championship...)


(Fernando Torres, Spain)

Oh, and by the way: The rest of the teams in the 2006 World Cup will be (FIFA Rating in parantheses):
Trinidad and Tobago (56) or Bahrain (53)
Spain (8) or Slovakia (45)
Switzerland (38) or Turkey (12)
Norway (37) or Czech Republic (4)
Uruguay (25) or Australia (50)

(Maybe I should start thinking of getting tickets for this event? It's quite close to Norway...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mr. Gay 2006

As competitions go, Mr. Gay is one of the silliest. It is on the same level as "Miss Universe" and that sort of thing. It does, however, provide an excuse to show some nice-looking boys, and that's always appreciated.

Therefore, I would like to mention that a competition called "Mr. Gay 2006" were held in Palm Springs this weekend (a bit early, it seems to me, but maybe the California gay community has another calendar than the rest of us). David Thorkildsen, the guy who won the Mr. Gay Europe title in June, did not win.



Instead, the winner was Jesse Basham from San Diego. I'm quite certain that he looked better on stage than in this photo...



As a service to the public, I'll also include a few photos of other guys who didn't win:







...and this guy didn't even take part:

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Windows default settings

Nearly nude sand volley

Usually serious newspaper Aftenposten writes today that FIVB, the international volleyball federation, is about to decide that male players will be barechested in future.

- Won't this lead to a sexification of the sport, asks Aftenposten.

- I don't know. What is certain is that it is more comfortable to play barechested, compared to a wet t-shirt, answers Jon Grydeland, who is coach of the Norwegian team.

I don't really care how comfortable it is - I think it is a good idea no matter what. And why not soccer, tennis and a whole lot of other sports at the same time?


(Picture from www.holiday-vasto.it.)

Come to think of it, nude sports is also quite cool. I bet David Beckham, Michael Owen and so on will be willing to play nude if the money is good enough...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Kiss


Kiss
Originally uploaded by BjørnS.
I had a wonderful time yesterday, when I (again) walked around in Frognerparken with my camera, trying to get good photos of some of the statues there.

This particular statue is outside the park. Hope you like it...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Moorea


moorea4
Originally uploaded by BjørnS.
I think I'll pick a picture from those I've published on flickr from time to time, and comment a little...

This photo is from Moorea. I remember the week there as perfect. It was warm. I had a great cabin. I went in to Papeete to meet a colleague a few times, so I was never feeling lonely or bored. (I also talked a little with my "neighbours", who were friends of George Bush sr., but didn't like jr.'s actions much.) I even had the job interview (by phone in the rain at midnight) which landed me my present job.

But most of all it was the beautiful surroundings that made the week som great. One day I walked to the top of the island - a great walk.

The trip to Tahiti/Moorea ended - I had to catch a plane to Los Angeles. On the airport, I met a Norwegian guy whom I saw Universial Studios with, and whom I have met several times afterwards. A great way to end a nice stay.

This trip is a nice memory to enjoy now that autumn darkness is approaching...

A brief look back at the election...



This poster for Kystpartiet (Costal Party) is sadly not for real, but is from NRK's "Alltid moro" site at "Alltid moro" site.

(The text is: "Dress up all the wheening southern kids in navy uniforms and send them up north. We will teach them to behave!")

Underwear...

I stumbled upon the webpage of something called ItalianModa. I have no great excuse to show the pictures I found there, other than that they were good-looking advertisements for the underwear they were selling...





As always, it would be tempting to take a picture of me in the exact same underwear, to show what it REALLY looks like - although that would be quite a contrast I'm afraid...

Norway ready for play-off

After an expected win against Moldova yesterday, and with the results in the other matches going our way, Norway is ready for play-off matches for the soccer World Cup in Germany next year.



In my childhood, a Norwegian qualification for a world cup was only a dream, but then Norway suddenly qualified for two world cups in a row, and we got used to it... However, I must admit that I have enjoyed some of the matches Norway have not been playing more than the Norwegian ones in these world cups - when Norway plays, I'm too nervous to enjoy much at all... But a qualification would be great fun, of course...


John Carew, an important man for Norway in matches to come.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Movie: Howl's Moving Castle





I've just been to the opening of the 15th International Films from the South Festival in Oslo - this year opened by Crown Prince Haakon. After he had stumbled through his speech, we were treated to "Howl's Moving Castle" ("Det levende slottet" in Norwegian) by Hayao Miyazaki.

The Moving Castle is a fantastic creation, and there are several other wonderful ideas in the film. One of the more fascinating character is the flame Calcifer - who is very powerful, but still in constant danger of dying out if not taken care of. The landscapes and cityscapes are beautiful, not to mention the "hero" Hauru, who is just adoring - at least in his more human-like form.

However, the film is a bit too long (two whole hours) and sadly lost its grip on me after about one hour.

I heard some children talking excitedly about the film after the screening - maybe it's better suited for them after all...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Equal rights for gays in Norway?

The election a few weeks ago led to a socialist majority in the Norwegian parliament, and a majority government will be formed consisting of the Socialist Left Party, the Workers' Party and the Centre Party (often regarded as the Farmers' Party).



One issue they are currently debating is whether gays and lesbians should finally get equal rights with straights in Norway. The issue at hand is a new marriage law that will remove any mention of the sex of people who want to get married. The Socialist Left Party and the Workers' Party support this (together with several other members of parliament), while the Centre Party is split. As long as gays' rights are not again negotiated away, it seems clear that discrimination of gays by the state will finally end.

Big thanks to everyone who has fought for this new law - I hope it will soon be a reality...

Paris!


Paris 017
Originally uploaded by queegeebo.
I just bought a ticket to Paris for Christmas time (where I will spend time with a very special man)!

Good ideas on what to do in Paris are welcome - Louvre is already on the list...

Monday, October 03, 2005

rotorua


rotorua
Originally uploaded by BjørnS.
Now I've put 117 of my favorite pictures on flickr, so now they are available for seeing...

That was today's work - now I don't have time to blog about anything substantial... :-)

Flickr


Sean
Originally uploaded by Beautiful Boy.
Okay, I admit I'm a bit slow... Only today did I notice flickr (after reading about it in The Economist...) It seems like a cute place to upload pictures, though - and look at some of the pictures others have uploaded...