Saturday, 3 October 2009

Brazil's Olympics!

"No one is happier than Brazil's people. But maybe because we were a colony for such a long time, we always had this sense of inferiority, of not being important. We always thought that we couldn't do what the others could."

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

In the mind's eye

DSCF2641, originally uploaded by kmackenzie2003.

I snapped this goat with my trustworthy Fujifilm F10 Finepix camera - cigarette-pack size... no telescopes for this humble photographer-slash-writer - and was thrilled at the sheer detail of this photo. Look how the hairs swirl around this goat's eye, as it peers out through the centre of this whirlpool of fur.
It's quite remarkable. Beauty in the simplest things, really. All you have to do is look.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Tiananmen ‘incident’

Twenty years ago, I was a cranky 17-year-old teenager looking at a vast, open future full of possibilities. It was June 4, 1989, and I was just weeks away from the graduation of a lifetime. After this month, I thought, I'd be free to do anything and everything I wanted to do. That was a breath of fresh air. Particularly away from the bullies I had to deal with daily during my time in that institution.

But, in another part of the world, at the same time, there were mightier bullies. As a result of their actions, many breaths were taken away – some say 800, some say 1,000, some say 1,500.

The site? Beijing. The square? Tiananmen.

The event? None other than a massacre that shocked the world.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Cutting Obama's mustard

People, please.

I've been living on this planet for nearly 38 years now, and I dare say I've never seen anything like this.

It starts like a bad joke between friends in the pub: U.S. President Barack Obama walks into a burger joint in Virginia and orders a cheeseburger with - horrors of horrors - Dijon mustard instead of the standard French (sorry, I mean, Freedom) yellow mustard. He was crucified for being snobby, upper-class, whatever.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Signed, sealed and delivered in the EU?

Before I start, I ask for your forgiveness for my ignorance.

My ignorance of certain things that, really, require too much of my time and commitment to deepen my knowledge of the topic.

The topic, specifically, is about free trade, the WTO, the G8, and other acronyms related to control of trade between countries.

The issue? Canada’s rather hostile response to the European Union’s ban on seal products, which was just passed this morning (Tuesday, May 5, 2009).

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Shooting for zero

How many is it now? 21?

20 or 21, at least.

Vancouver 24 hours’ newspaper displayed Vancouver’s latest gun victim plainly on its website – you can still see it here, but be warned – if you don’t like photos of dead bodies, then you won’t like this. It’s not gruesome, it’s not gory, it’s quite simply a dead body lying on the pavement. But it’s quite striking.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

From favelas to Van-velas

Favelas. Oh yes, the favelas.

For the uninitiated – these are the slums, the skid rows, the dodgy ‘hoods of Brazil. Many people will be familiar with them from Brazil’s most famous movie, Cidade de Deus – or City of God. Perhaps some hardcore cinephiles will also recognize favelas in 2007’s Tropa de Elite, or Elite Force – somewhat of a flip-side version of City of God, in that it approaches the favelas from the cops’ point of view. Both are high-octane films that will make you feel like you’ve had too much coffee.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Everything old is new again

In the library on Saturday, I was struck by an odd sight - this one. A student, probably from China, hunkered over her studies in the ultra-modern downtown Vancouver library, while through the large window, on the side of the building across the expanse, sits a photo of the old library, complete with ladder and buzzing flourescent lights.
I had to look at this scene for a moment before realizing what it was: it was the old, juxtaposed with the new. Quite striking.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Coffee conundrums

Yesterday morning – a fair, drizzly Monday morning in Vancouver – I woke up and realized there was no coffee left in the house. None of the caffeinated kind, anyway.

On a normal day, I’d panic, pull on my jeans and head straight to the neighbourhood JJ Beans for a half-pound of fine espresso.

After all, my espresso machine is hungry, daily, and consumes quite a bit.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Twin towers of recession and global warming

It’s been somewhat of a bizarre week.
I write this with hungover head – a battalion of mojitos marched its way into my exposed brain and wracked joyful fury on my sensitive head overnight, and left me shuddering in its wake.
And now, I look at things in retrospect, namely two things: global warming, of which I have written already in my last post on Dec. 1, 2007 (bring on thy criticisms – I know I haven’t been a regular writer as of late), and the economic recession.
These twin towers of current events are more powerful than the fall of the twin towers on 9-11 will ever be.