A Humane Turtle

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Selective Sensibility

This Too Shall Pass

Thank you for kindness, openness, and unbounded love
Thank you for mistakes, the struggles, and heart-breaking desperation

Because without all that

I wouldn’t be
Where I am now

 

A Rare Rose

Rose

 

On a night out, many months ago
A stranger gave me a rose
On the dance floor, the inconvenient rose
Was passed on to me. Although:

The rose was not the usual kind
Yes, after few days, it sunk its head.
Its blossom went all dry and dead.

The leaves, though, had their own mind.
They stayed alive, day after day
And new leaves grew and followed their way.

The rose is still with me
Alive, without a head
Without its roots, but doubtless instead
Full of life.

 

Heavy Head

Beauty is what makes me smile
The ordinary with a twist
Like Lithic Lady, for a while
With her avine accompanist

Both look out onto the sea
Away from crowded cobble lanes
While volatile it is to be
A photo memory remains

2011-09-15 19.17.59.jpg

Proud

Jens Stoltenberg,  Norwegian’s Prime Minitster, in an Interview with the CNN:

I think it’s too early to say how this will change the Norwegian society. But I hope that we will be able to maintain some of the most important things we see in the Norwegian society: that we are  an open society, that we are a democratic society, and that Norway is a society where we have a very close relationship between politicians and the people. And also that Norway is a country where young people can be active in political youth movements/organizations without being afraid; where they have the right to have controversial opinions without being afraid; and that we will maintain our ability to be an open and free and democratic society. So at least I will do what I can do for succeeding in that task.

 

Jens Stoltenberg giving a moving speech (transcript from a Telegraph article) at an Oslo memoral service:

Amid the tragedy I am proud to live in a country that has managed to stand firm. I am impressed over how much dignity, care and strength we have. We are a small country, but we are a proud people. We are still shaken, but we will never give up our values. Our answer is more democracy and openness, never naivety. Nobody has said it better than the girl from the AUF [the youth Labor party] that was interviewed by the CNN: “If one man can show so much hatred, imagine how much love we can all show together.”

 

Mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, when asked whether Oslo needs greater security:

 I don’t think security can solve problems. We need to teach greater respect.

 

I feel proud to live in Norway, where inconceivable cruelty is met by a pledge for freedom and democracy, and love for each other.

The Former Crown Prince

The Austro-Hungarian Empire feels awfully long ago to me. Yet, until last week, the son of the last Austro-Hungarian emperor was still alive. Otto von Habsburg (or, really: Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius Habsburg-Lothringen), son of Charles I of Austria, was the only person alive in my lifetime that still radiated an atmosphere of monarchy. With his death, it feels to me as if a chapter of Austrian history finally closed. Funny feeling.

Otto von Habsburg with his great-great-uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph I

A Little Longer

 

In certain areas of my life, I actively seek out solitude. Especially for someone in my line of work, solitude is, more or less, an inevitable circumstance. Sometimes, however, this sense of isolation, like acid spilling out of a bottle, can unconsciously eat away at a person’s heart and dissolve it. You could see it, too, as a kind of double-edged sword. It protects me, but at the same time steadily cuts away at me from the inside. I think in my own way I’m aware of this danger – probably through experience – and that’s why I’ve had to constantly keep my body in motion, in some cases pushing myself to the limit, in order to heal the loneliness I feel inside and to put it in perspective. Not so much as an intentional act, but as an instinctive reaction.

Let me be more specific.

When  I’m criticized unjustly (from my viewpoint, at least), or when someone I’m sure will understand me doesn’t, I go running for a little longer than usual. By running a little longer it’s like I can physically exhaust that portion of my discontent.

Haruki Murakami – What I talk about when I talk about running

Beautiful People

Today at the Oslo Pride Parade, I had a really nice chat with a woman who had approached me to ask me about my shoes. I was wearing my Fibram FiveFingers, you see, and in this town they are still kind of hard to get. After I had talked to her, I thought to myself: What a nice person! She, and her girlfriend (?),  seemed to be the kind of people I’d like to hang out with, I thought. There was such a beauty in they way she acted, the way she seemed to approach life.

A few hours later, on the way back home, I went to my all-time-favorite organic store (a.k.a. my second home) to buy some groceries. And who do I meet there? That women from the parade! I had never seen her in the store before, not consciously, anyway. Turns out she lives right next to the store, and she’s a vegan.

It is beautiful people like her that make beautiful days.

Serious Personality Tests

… should be consumed in moderation (“Everything in moderation, even moderation.”). Therefore, here’s my result for: What Classic Movie Are You?

I need to see this movie now..

It is About Time

In fact, the "about now" was about right!

:-)

Last!

I like Google’s search. I like the fact that it gives me answers to questions, helps me learn new things and re-discover old ones. I like the convenience of only having to look in one place. And I like that I mostly find what I (think I) need in the first couple of results. Of course, this ranking isn’t purely based on content, it’s also a representation of power: which site has a high profile, many regular visitors, and has put most time/money/energy into search engine optimizations?

So I was wondering today: how interesting does it get? How many results are worth looking at, and how many entries does Google think are worth showing? What is the last, the least interesting search result? Turns out that some people have thought of that before: ‘Last Google’ gives you the last Google result for your query, and you can even try “I’m feeling unlucky” to go to the found page directly.

In short:

  • The search for “vegan” gets me to a nice blog post about homemade vegan candy
  • The least important entry for “Opera Software” is one of their very own help pages (the voice feature :-) )
  • And the unlucky page for “Austria” is an entry about the Austrian town Fucking

Of course, some results are not that interesting, and innocent search terms might lead you to porn sites (thinking about it, you might actually want that). But all in all, if you are bored and don’t have anything else to do, it’s worth a try. And speaking of porn: ‘Last Google’ links to another search site where you can explicitly search for unsafe content (pun intended). I like their statistics.

(Credits for the Google search screen-shot to go my brother Michael)

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