its been a while since a movie got me interested enough to find out more about who made it. drive is one of those movies. from a relatively unknown Danish director Nicholas Refn, it is wonderfully atmospheric, well acted, stylish and engaging. a simple story with a minimalist approach to dialog. the opening sequence is what i’m dubbing a “cerebral car chase” and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. the electro-synth-pop soundtrack works perfectly too. highly recommended.
outrage. controversy. nothing spreads like wildfire around ye olde information superhighway like a good old witch hunt. it seems to me that there is some sort of correlation between the rising popularity of social media and the declining lack of critical thinking. rumour becomes fact, popular opinion becomes your opinion, snappy headlines obscure the nuance and everybody just gets a little bit dumber.
so here’s my request of you: slow the fuck down. before you RT or post to your wall, take a minute to find out what’s really going on and try to understand it. apply a bit of critical thinking. for any piece of news you digest, ask yourself: who wrote it, why did they write it, and what do they stand to gain from writing it. form your own opinion, only you can think like you. you’ll start to see the world a little differently and your brain will thank you for the exercise.
walking to work has its benefits; like being able to let your mind wander rather than expending energy thinking about traffic. speaking of energy, somehow i got on the random topic of energy usage while walking. so here’s my random scientific question of the day.
to maintain a set walking speed of say 3km/h:
does the momentum generated by swinging your arms while you walk reduce the energy expenditure of the legs enough such that your total energy expended is less than if your hands were in your pockets and your legs had to make up for the lack of forward momentum generated by swinging arms.
something to ponder. if you actually know the answer please hit me up on twitter and tell me.
i’ve been feeling the need to get out of here again. despite having just returned from abroad three months ago. vancouver just always feels like a backwater hovel to me these days. been repeatedly hammering various airfare deal sites/forums and getting obsessed with CPMs, fare classes, etc, etc. two destinations repeatedly make their way into my searches: NRT, CDG but can’t decide which one to go back to. its a touch choice. gyoza vs croissants, viridi-anne vs margiela, hare vs kooples, takashimaya vs printemps, tokyu hands vs e.dehellerin, suica vs… the french need more mascots.
third time’s a charm? its been almost two and a half months since we got back from paris and we’re already starting to look at heading back again. kinda just waiting for some airline seat sales.
this time around we timed it in order to be in town for the start of ‘soldes’. great sales but not as successful for me as i hoped. still backing the japanese brands and fit. mildly impressed with Kooples though. kind of a stylier version of club monaco. lots of locations around paris. l’eclairieur has some great retail spaces, their new store in the Marais is pretty amazing with a gajillion (yes that’s a real number) of embedded video screen everywhere in the store. the new Uniqlo near Printemps is pretty big. way better than their la defense location. bummed that i missed the launch of the J+ spring collection by a few days. but for some odd reason, one of my favourite stores which i luckily remembered on the last day was e.dehellerin, a 100+ year old cookware store where the local chefs shop. its a goldmine and got some mauviel saucepans for dirt cheap. of course the gorillas known as baggage handlers at KLM managed to dent one of them inside my luggage.
expanded our culinary adventures this time around. the highlights being lunch at Nomiya, the temporary restaurant on the roof of palais de tokyo and dinner at la regalade in the 14th. deliciousness in every way where i became addicted to rillette du porc, which i have since learned how to make.
managed to get last minute tickets to see werther at opera garnier. pretty cool experience. finally got around to going inside the pompidou centre and ended up going back to versailles since steph hadn’t been there before.
i’m sure there’s more but i can’t remember anymore.
seriously. it is. nothing’s ever good enough and there’s always something bigger, better, faster to fuel your gadget lust. as you may have read earlier, i picked up a Sigma 18-55mm f2.8 lens, which came highly recommended by the salesperson.
it was the same all around focal length that i wanted but with a super fast aperture. sounds good on paper and the price couldn’t be beat. well after two weeks with it i’ve exchanged it. my biggest gripe? it continually hunted for focus 1/3 of the time and spent another 1/3 of the time focusing just plain wrong. not exactly what i was hoping for that price. of course, the only other option with a similar spec was the canon 17-55mm f2.8 but at more than double the price. that’s what credit cards are for right?
well so far i like it. the AF motor is super fast and super quiet and seems to achieve focus much more easily than the Sigma. haven’t really had a chance to do much shooting with it yet but hopefully it works out. i already have an eye on what my next lens will be. except this time i think i’ll rent first. maybe a 400mm f2.8 to bring to the montreal grand prix?
yes i really did build a custom wordpress install for my pupster. http://santoslhalper.com
i’m chalking it up to self-learning, after all i did learn how to use jquery and hack together a second Loop in wordpress. still some things i want to do though. version 2.0 coming shortly.
gadget lust got the better of me again. i am now much lighter in the wallet thanks to a Canon T2i with a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 lens. still getting the hang of it and can’t figure out if the crappy focus is user error or faulty lens. probably user error but i better figure it out before the exchange period is up…
I had such high hopes for Belgium. I guess I still did mostly enjoy myself but my girlfriend got pickpocketed in Brussels within 3 hours of arriving so that tends to make a bad first impression. The hotel sucked too which didn’t help. Oh and its the only city i’ve ever experienced a sheisty taxi driver. Most expensive mediocre breakfast I’ve ever had. And world’s most useless metro ticket machines. The main old square in Brussels is super rad, love the architecture but I don’t have much else positive to say about Brussels. Well OK two things. The store Stijl is amazing and we had breakfast in a little ma & pa deli/cafe with a friendly dog who liked to beg for table scraps from the customers.
Antwerp was funner. More to see/do. Our hotel was f’n amazing. If you get a chance go to m0851 guesthouse. delicious waffles from random street vendors. I didn’t get a chance to sample too many belgian brews but Stella’s here in Vancouver’s got me covered on that front. belgian fries aren’t as good as I remember. i guess i’m used to the thinner double fried stuff we get here now. and i love their sparkling water. can’t remember the brand but its soo fizzy pellegrino is flat by comparison. mmm… bubbles…
well so much for german efficiency. the curse of our time spent in berlin was the breakdown of the u-bahn and s-bahn. not a day went by without us getting screwed on the rail system due to some sort of construction or other problem.
most likely it was the arctic weather, but berlin did not make a good impression. if it wasn’t for our friends showing us around i probably would have left after a day. however, with the local knowledge i did have a good time.
on the culinary front i had some great schnitzel from markthalle, discovered the highly addictive soda named bluna, developed a taste for kasespatzel and i’m still upset that i wasn’t allowed to try the half-meter bratwurst.
damn knut was sleeping when we went to the zoo but we got to see giraffes. i love giraffes. campbell, owner of darklands, and his lovely girlfriend estefania led an expedition to one of their haunts, the wonderfully enigmatic clarchens ballhaus for a chamber music recital. i also experienced THE nuttiest new year’s eve ever. let’s just leave it at russian dance party and enough fireworks to simulate the invasion of baghdad.