08 November 2008

Quantum of Solace


The latest James Bond venture was one that incorporated too many nausea-inducing action set pieces created using jerky hand-cams for added realism. Quantum of Solace recalled the old unenjoyable Timothy Dalton Bond films of the late eighties where it was decided then to have a unglamourous, gritty and realistic Bond. Revenge was also featured as a theme then. For Quantum of Solace, the plot was a continuation of that left from the splendid Casino Royale but it was unfortunate that paper-thin and unconvincing. Would owning a majority of a public utility be enough to blackmail Bolivia? Heh. 5/10

Addendum

The title song was awful. 

06 November 2008

Camp Nou



Camp Nou, the 100,000-seater stadium of Barcelona F.C., one of the best clubs ever in footballing history.
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Palau Güell



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Palau Güell


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Florists along Las Ramblas



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Pet Shops along Las Ramblas


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Placa de Catalunya



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Placa de Catalunya




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05 November 2008

Obama World

Kuoby was disappointed. He was supporting McCain. He believed that Obama would be weak against rising threat of Islamic extremism. An exchange with Kuoby this morning after the US presidential elections:

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:11 PM):
Florida didn't matter after all?

Kuoby says (12:12 PM):
no it didn't

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:12 PM):
Hmmm

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:35 PM):
Whatever Obama's whims, his decisions will be moderated by his advisors.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:36 PM):
Obama took Florida too.

Kuoby says (12:44 PM):
the democrats have control of both houses and presidency

Kuoby says (12:45 PM):
maybe some good can come out of this disaster

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:45 PM):
They can pass reforms successfully.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:45 PM):
Hopefully.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:45 PM):
They need to pull out of Iraq.

Kuoby says (12:45 PM):
and kill bin laden

Kuoby says (12:45 PM):
and wipe out hamas and hizbullah

Kuoby says (12:45 PM):
the lands of israel must return to the jews

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:46 PM):
Yes, I support the Iraq War.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:46 PM):
but not a 500 billion dollar annual defence budget

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:46 PM):
and a 3-trillion dollar war.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (12:46 PM):
It doesn't make sense to fatally weaken the USA just to assist Iraq.

Kuoby says (1:25 PM):
what's the media saying

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:26 PM):
Not much.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:26 PM):
Just the concession speech from McCain.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:28 PM):
Will he be pro-globalisation?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:28 PM):
Indications are that he will not.

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:29 PM):
He may adopt protectionist measures. Drop free-trade agreements.

Kuoby says (1:29 PM):
high risk

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:43 PM):
Do you think he can pull out of Iraq within a year?

Chuang Shyue Chou says (1:43 PM):
He will not pull out of Afghanistan though.

Kuoby says (1:43 PM):
probably can

Kuoby says (2:01 PM):
have a good day SC. welcome to Obama world.

Occupation does not make sense. Iraq and Afghanistan will not become the postwar miracles of Germany and Japan. So what if the surge has succeeded? In the grand scheme of things, it would do little. It would not reduce Islamic extremism.

Protectionist America?

I wonder if Obama will move against globalisation and adopt protectionist measures. Will he drop or amend the free trade agreements?

333 : 155 McCain crushed!

Based on the projected results, McCain has been crushed! Florida didn't matter this time round. A new team is now in. Will Obama bring the same excitement to American politics as Kennedy did? 

Addendum: 338 : 155. Obama took Florida too.

President Obama

History has been made. The first black American president.

Kodak DC-210 Digital Camera


5570 photos later, my faithful 1-megapixel, Japanese-made Kodak DC-210 digital camera has finally given way after nine years of use. This old camera, which I paid about nine hundred dollars for then, was been used for web graphics and also small images of products at work and was more than adequate for my needs.

My sister's Canon IXUS 4.0 had also died after almost 5000 shots.

Oh well, I shall be seeking a cheap digital camera of under a hundred dollars.

04 November 2008

Plaza de toros Monumental


Architect: Ignasi Mas i Martorell. This 1915 structure with neo-Arab and Neo-Mudejar influences is apparently a bullring.
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Swiss Re Building, 30 St Mary's Axe




I took photos of this futuristic building in London in 2006. This is the Swiss Re Building as designed by Foster and Partners.
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Torre Agbar (Agbar Tower)





This 142m tall skyscraper, designed by the Jean Nouvel Architects, was built in 2004.
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03 November 2008

Faulty inflight entertainment systems

Recently, I took a Boeing B-777 flight to Barcelona and back. My inflight entertainment screen was not working. I had watched a movie before it crashed. A few attempted reboots by the air-stewardess later, all that remained was a white screen, the inflight entertainment system simply would not work. Fine. I had a few books with me anyhow.

On the return trip, the three screens on the row in front and those on my row did not work despite repeated reboots. During the one hour transit at Milan, two Panasonic Avionics Corporation engineers came onboard. They tinkered with the system, replacing six modules in metal casings under the seats. Then, they effected a reboot. Well, the Linux-based systems stubbornly remain non-fuctional. I overheard the engineers saying that the individual systems could not locate an IP address.

Five frustrated passengers demanded a change of seats and the senior steward had to scramble and secure seats with working systems for them. As for me, I was merrily reading away. More space for me. Yeah! Heheh.

Boeing and Panasonic Avionics Corporation do need to get their act together.