Sunday, November 29, 2009

More from Ewoud Broeksma

I'm still keeping an eye on Ewoud Broeksma's website, where he keeps posting photos of athletes. Here's his November 21st addition (translated from Dutch):

21-11-2009: Students also do sport. In fact it always results in particular combinations of beauty, brains and bodies. The patience and the commitment which the team members of Heeren 1 produced of the G.S.Z.C. Walvisch in the hired swimming pool is already legendary. The traditional reproduction of Alex, the action photograph with water or the team dressed only in ties. We must make a calendar of it. See more in projects page 5.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 52

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do." (Dale Carnegie)

"There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?" (Woody Allen)

"I suppose that I shall have to die beyond my means." (Oscar Wilde)

Jack Johnson - Inaudible Melodies

This morning I was listening to Jack Johnson's "Inaudible Melodies" and realizing how beautiful it is.

Slow down everyone
You're moving too fast
Frames can't catch you when
You're moving like that

Friday, November 27, 2009

The sexiest man alive

Every year, People Magazine offer their opinion on who is the sexiest man alive. This year: Johnny Depp.

See video of the 100 most sexy men.

As usual, it is amazing how many of the men on the list are from the US - apparently, People Magazine find US men very sexy compared to Chinese or African men...

London Olympics logo and Rorschach test

The logo for the Olympics 2012 is not simple to understand, at least not to an untrained eye (mine):

However, it turns out it works as sort of a Rorschach test - where what you see says something about your mental state of mind. So I'm fascinated to see that there's a Facebook group called 2012 OLYMPICS LOGO LOOKS LIKE LISA SIMPSON GIVING HEAD.

Rorschach go home.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

This blog 5 years – the best from 2006-2007

I'm continuing my "celebration" of the blog's five years anniversary by looking at the posts from this blog's second year:

I continued posting on art, for instance Tom Sachs, Das Städel in Frankfurt, Lego art and Charles Ray.

I've also posted on lots of movies I've seen, for instance Hedwig and the angry inch and Shortbus. I also posted my first opinion on the Oslo opera house. And in January 2007, I mentioned Magnus Carlsen for the first time.

In August, I posted an interview with journalist Bjørn Benkow, the guy known for publishing interviews without talking to the persons. It wasn't hard.

A Norwegian pastor claimed that animals should be cured for their homosexuality.

I posted the ad for "Ungdomstelefonen", and as I'm still using it in my teaching, I'll post it again:

From time to time, I've posted a list of where I've been. It's strange to see that in April 2006, I had only been to Taiwan once. That has changed...

I had an insane series of posts on the hottest stars of the 1996 world cup. I also posted on the Roskilde Nude Run and on sexy Norwegians. I've been linking to lots of photos, and many of the links are now dead. There is only one example of a link to one of my own photos being lost, however - on request of the person in the photo... On the other hand, here are my best photos of 2006.

In February of 2007, I saw Fiddler on the roof, mentioning Alexander Rybak in my comments. He went on to bigger things...

I also started to tithe.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cool Muppets videos

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

And Habanera:

Movie: 8 1/2

I keep watching movies that I should have seen long ago because they are classic movies. 8 1/2, for instance, is mentioned so often that I felt bad that I hadn't seen it. It even figured in Almodovar's Broken Embraces, the last movie I saw.

I can see why it is a classic and why it is mentioned so often. It is partly a surrealistic movie showing nonsensical bits of human life in a seemingly haphazard way. But it is partly a portrayal of a director who is considered a genius, but who is all the time afraid that people around him will figure out that he has no idea what the movie he's working on will be like.

However, the "ratings" I give to movies are not given by thinking about how "classic" or "important" or "fresh" the movie is or might have been as it was new. It is given purely on the basis of how much I liked the movie. Thus, the fact that I found the film terribly boring most of the time is far more important to me than the fact that it is considered a "must-see" by many people.

The movie, which is more than two hours long, was tiring, but that doesn't mean I regret seeing it. At least now I know what everybody is talking about...

8 1/2 (1963)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nude photography in postcard store

It's still a rather rare occurence that people send me tips of things I should blog about. So when the guys at CampusMen sent me a link to this video, I thought I should post it. It's a cool enough video showing the trouble that may occur when photographing in the public space - with people walking around...


If you want me to blog about something else, send me an email (or commment in the comment field)...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movie: Los abrazos rotos

Sometimes I just miss crucial bits of information. Such as when I didn't notice the premiere of "Broken Embraces" (Los abrazos rotos). It was only a few days ago that I realized that there was actually an Almodóvar movie to be seen at Oslo's cinemas. So I had to go, of course.

The movie is 127 minutes long. I tend to prefer them a bit shorter, but in this case, the movie got better and better. It was only as I got to know the people and to understand the relationships between them that I started enjoying the movie - in the beginning it was just okay.

The main premise of the movie is simple: in an accident a few years ago, director and writer Mateo Blanco became blind, and he then stopped directing and concentrated on his writing. Or was it that simple? Certainly not...

It's not the best of Almodóvar's movies, but that would be asking quite a lot...

Los abrazos rotos (2009)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 51

"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." (Oscar Wilde)

"I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you being competent."

"An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it." (Jef Mallett)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Movie: Entre tinieblas

My image of life in convents is informed by the movie "Sound of Music". I'm not sure it's become more accurate by watching this movie by Pedro Almodóvar. Yolanda seeks refuge in a convent as her boyfriend kills himself (?). It turns out that her background as a drug addict and a singer in a nightclub makes her fit in perfectly in this particular convent.

I have decided to see as many of Pedro Almodóvar's movies as I can. That does, of course, involve seeing not only his biggest hits, but also movies that are a bit more of average quality. Although there is many interesting details in this movie, the overall impact is not too impressive - I actually manage to be a bit bored in the end.

Entre tinieblas (1983)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Norway's most sexy men 2009

Every year, Elle magazine tells us who they think are Norway's most sexy men. This year, they thought that Hermann Sabado (famous from his role in this year's best Norwegian movie: Upperdog) is the one.

Number 2 is Aksel Lund Svindal, while number 3 is Christian Rubeck, according to Side 2.

(Last year, André Villa was number 1, in 2007, it was Thorstein Helstad, while in 2006, it was Anders Danielsen Lie. Elle did better this year, in my opinion...)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Movie: Out of Africa

This is the kind of movie that makes you want to give up your job, sell all your assets and move to some faraway country. There is something tremendously romantic about the idea of starting a new life in a new place, with beautiful landscapes, exotic animals and plenty of adventures.

This classic movie also has wonderful actors, most notably Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. It won seven Oscars, including best picture and best director. Its main fault is its length. I would have liked half an hour cut away from it - in the end it just seems to go on and on. Of course I might have felt differently if I saw it in a movie theater and not on my small TV.

The movie also makes me interested in Karen Blixen and her writings - never a bad thing.

Out of Africa (1985)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Stalin Monument

Last weekend, I visited Prague. Among many other things, I visited the site of the Stalin Monument. The construction of the Monument was started in 1949 and finished in 1955. Sadly (for the communists), Stalin died in 1953, and in 1956 Nikita Khrushchev denounced the Stalin cult. This made the Stalin Monument fairly unsuitable, and it was torn down in 1962.

In 1991, a metronome was raised on the site, and it is still there:


Other photos from my Prague trip:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nudity news

I read two news stories today that are quite different:

In the US, authorities have nothing better to do than to prosecute a guy who was naked in his own kitchen. While in London, there's a new nudity bar.

The world is full of contrasts...

Funny Quotes of the Week 50

"Visualizing? I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth."

"The government is unresponsive to the needs of the little man. Under 5'7", it is impossible to get your congressman on the phone." (Woody Allen)

"If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates." (Jay Leno)

Why use Wikipedia?

In discussions on Wikipedia, people often claim that Wikipedia "cannot be trusted". That is beside the point - no encyclopedia can be trusted completely. The point is whether Wikipedia "can be useful". It can. You can use it to look up facts that you knew but had forgotten, or as a start to research new areas - working on from the references given in the article. (Many other encyclopedias do not include references.)

I read with interest Humphrey Clarke's criticism of Encyclopaedia Britannica: "I have stood up for Britannica in the past but now I think I would sooner trust Wikipedia. At least there I can edit the mistakes out."

(Which also points to another good thing about Wikipedia: the "Edit" button reminds you not to put too much trust in what you read. Going to a library and looking up in some solid volume of Encyclopaedia Britannica does not inspire the same careful consideration.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Movie: Fatso

Fatso is a very uneven movie about Rino (Fatso), who is a fat, masturbating guy who lives in a flat belonging to his parents. When they decide to rent a room to a pretty, blond Swedish girl, his dreams come true - or do they?

The movie has graphic sexual images, but is as much about emotions as about sex. It is also funny at times. However, I've never liked movies in which a central ingredient is people embarrassing themselves - I tend to feel embarrassed rather than entertained by that. Therefore, despite it's obvious qualities at times, I did not find the movie very good.

Fatso (2008)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Monday, November 09, 2009

Movie: Goodfellas

Goodfellas is considered as the best gangster movie of all time by some, and I can see why. It tells an engaging story and portrays the gangster life with both its advantages and its obvious problems. The director is great (Martin Scorsese) and the actors are some of the best there is.

Even the soundtrack is good, with music from the 1960s and 70s.

So the only reason not to give it an even higher score is the simple fact that gangster movies are not really my favorite genre. And perhaps the silly thing that I heard the last sentence of this movie quoted on a podcast earlier this week, which meant that I knew all along where it would end up. I hate that. (So here's to you, "Stuff you should know podcast" - there are things you shouldn't know as well...)

Goodfellas (1990)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Funny Quotes of the Week 49

"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." (Winston Churchill)

"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls." (M. Cartmill)

"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world." (Oscar Wilde)

Nudity is not ok (for all)

A rather embarrassing discussion is taking place in Norway at the moment, after complaints were raised against the Jo Strømgren Company's "A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football" for including some male rear nudity. Some schools made their 10th graders (16-year olds) see the performance, and at least one of the pupils' parents have reacted negatively. Should schools warn their pupils and the pupils' parents when even the slightest bit of nudity is present in an artwork? (If so, what about violence, swearing, heteronormativity, gender bias...)

See the whole performance on Vimeo. (WARNING: there is a tiny bit of rear nudity in the end, but probably not more than you can handle.)

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Fun Principle

Cool ideas!

(Thanks to Virrvarr.)

Movie: The Importance Of Being Earnest

Of course, the text is wonderfully funny, it is after all one of the classic Oscar Wilde plays. And then the actors are Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench and Reese Witherspoon, which is a great team. In this film, everyone seem to be having a good time and to be full of energy. So if you want an laugh and some acid, well-written humour, this is not a bad choice.

The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Movie: How to kill your neighbor's dog

For at least half of this movie, it was a moderately interesting story with moderately funny bits of humour. But somehow it grew and I found myself being interested in what would happen to these people - the once young and promising playwright, the dance teacher who wants to have children and the girl next-door with an over-protective mother. And the dog, of course.

And mostly, I guess it comes down to the actors. Even though there's not much fantastic about this movie, I guess having Kenneth Branagh in the lead role makes the difference between a really mediocre and a quite tolerable movie...

By the way, no dogs were hurt during the making of this movie.

How to kill your neighbor's dog (2001)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Movie: Sweet and Lowdown

Woody Allen is a strange phenomenon. I've seen close to thirty of his movies, and still I have fun watching another one. This time, Sean Penn is Emmet Ray, a jazz guitarist that is considered the second best guitarist in the world - only being overshadowed by Django Reinardt. Sadly, being second best feels like a curse for him - he likes to brag, but can't say how good he is without mentioning Django.

Of course, Woody Allen loves jazz, and here there are plenty of opportunities to show it. There are also many funny situations and some comic dialogue. But mostly, the movie is about jazz and what makes some people (Django Reinhardt in particular) so special.

Woody Allen makes so many movies that it's almost hard to keep track of them all, and this one stayed out of my sight for ten years until I finally saw it. It is unmistakenly Woody Allen and therefore - obviously - well worth seeing.

Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

(See a register of all movies I've seen at