Saturday, December 30, 2006

Watching Anathema live from Helsinki - Finnland!

What a special treat from Anathema! They are playing in Finnland and I'm here watching them  comfortably in my chair :-) . The gig is streaming live from Tavastia Club in Helsinki. I think i missed some songs cause I juz noticed a message from my friend a while ago. They have just played a new song, named "Angel walks among us", followed by a female-vocaled song. Now they are playing a different one, sound new too! Wow, this is amazing... gonna continue watching...12.01am now...

12.03: they are playing a cover song of Pink Floyd in album Dark side of the moon, can't recall the name now! ... oh no ... it's not from DSOTM, it's "Comfortably Numb"!! .... oh, i'm so numbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb..................

But this is the end of the show! Wtf! So I missed a lot not only few songs :( .

Btw... "Happy New Year! Get drunk! Don't die" ( last words from Anathema vocalist :) .... haha...

Carpe diem



Hanoi's cafe society

This article was written by KATHERINE ZOEPF, a research assistant at The Times. It was published on New York Times. An insight into Vietnamese coffee culture or more appropriately, Hanoi coffee culture.

YOU won't find the place at first. No one ever does. Tucked between two silk shops on a busy stretch of Hanoi's Hang Gai, down a narrow passage that leads to a little courtyard garden, the Café Pho Co has as much a quality of new discovery about it on the 50th visit as on the first.

Known by some residents of Hanoi as the secret cafe, it's an oasis quite apart from the motorbike-choked streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter. The low tables are flanked by vases of lotus flowers, and ornamental Japanese pigeons with feathery spats and fan-shaped tails wander serenely among them. The owner's art collection hangs on the walls, and the canvasses are deeply stained from the rains -- the water deepens the colors, he says. Midmorning, the cafe is empty, except for a few groups of old men playing chess over their coffee.

The coffee at the Café Pho Co is some of the best in Hanoi, a city that takes its coffee seriously. Unlike the rest of Asia -- a tea-drinking continent, by and large, and a wasteland of instant Nescafé packets for your java-loving Western traveler -- Vietnam has a cafe culture to rival Italy's. Along with the colonial architecture and the fresh baguettes that are still sold on street corners, coffee is one of Vietnam's most pleasant legacies from its years of French rule.

Teeming traffic aside, the pace of life is quite gentle here still, and almost any Vietnamese you'll meet, regardless of age or class, has a favorite local cafe, where many hours are spent gossiping and smoking and sucking down the ultrastrong, ultrasweet ca phe sua da (espresso served in a tall glass with crushed ice and sweetened condensed milk), which is the favorite local coffee preparation. Typically, you'll pay 20 to 40 cents a cup.

It's a restrained sort of cafe culture: no flamboyant umbrellas, no tables spilling out onto the sidewalks. People-watching isn't really what it's about. The typical Hanoi cafe is a tiny space, often just a storefront with a beaded curtain separating it from the street. Hanoi's Old Quarter -- the 36 market streets, each named during the 13th century after the trade guild that sold its wares there -- is packed with such family-run establishments.

The interior of these cafes, like Café Quynh on Bat Dan Street, is usually quite dark -- a relief from the tropical sunlight outside -- and the mood is hushed. A cup of coffee is an affordable luxury in a country where the average household income hovers around $300 a year, and Hanoi residents come to cafes to escape the heat of the day, to relax, and to sip a cup of a grainy, bittersweet local blend.

Like so much else in Vietnam, that cup of coffee has a bittersweet history. It was the French colonists in Indochina who established Vietnam's first coffee plantations, in the late 19th century, exploiting the local peasants as cheap labor. Ninety years ago, the cafes that lined Hanoi's boulevards were mainly the preserve of the city's wealthy foreign residents.

These are not things most people in Vietnam care to dwell on nowadays. Yet in early February this year, a spate of demonstrations in the country's main coffee-producing region, Dac Lac and Gia Lai Provinces in the Central Highlands, made coffee the political issue of the moment. Ethnic minority groups in the region were protesting the seizure of their lands, which were to be turned into government-owned coffee plantations, and Vietnamese troops were dispatched to maintain order.

Even with troops in Buon Me Thuot, the capital of Dac Lac Province, sales of Buon Me Thuot coffee in Hanoi's cafes continued brisk as ever, and life remained serene. The free-market overhauls of the last decade -- the so-called doi moi, or renovation -- are changing Hanoi, but the city, the seat of power of Vietnam's Communist government, is still far sleepier than Ho Chi Minh City to the south.

Development has been kept in check, and the many layers of the city's 990-year history are visible everywhere. The gates of ancient pagodas are dwarfed by the modern, narrow ''tunnel houses,'' and the crumbling villas of the French district have been converted into embassies or multifamily residences. The tree-lined avenues around Lake Hoan Kiem are decorated with propaganda billboards urging various things: attend to your children's education; protect against H.I.V.

In my previous life -- which is to say before I graduated from college and took an editing job in Hanoi -- a cup of coffee was simply a crutch for the sleep-deprived. I nursed acidic cups of student-center black through long lectures and sneaked 24-ounce thermoses of the stuff into the library during exam time. I developed a taste for coffee, to be sure, but can't recall very much of it that I really wanted to linger over.

Vietnamese coffee, on the other hand, taught me to linger. At the Café Mai, a small open-air establishment on Le Van Huu Street, south of Lake Hoan Kiem, you can order a ca phe sua da, and the waitress will bring out a glass of ice and syrupy yellow milk (sweetened condensed milk keeps better in the heat) with a lidded metal contraption perched on top.

The cup of the contraption contains a tin plunger, screwed down tight over a spoonful of powder-fine coffee grounds. Hot water drips down through the grounds, through small perforations in the metal, into the glass below.

There's an aspect of ritual to it: sitting, waiting, watching the coffee brew right over your own glass. The whole process takes about 10 minutes, and the resulting drink is so sweet that some newcomers to Vietnam find it overwhelming. But sipped slowly, through chips of ice, the sweetened condensed milk gives ca phe sua da a mellow, caramel flavor, and makes it a wonderfully cooling drink on a summer afternoon.

Once you've finished, you'll probably also be offered a cup of green tea -- said to cleanse the mouth -- as a chaser. Food is not generally part of the experience: it's not even available in most traditional cafes.

Though you won't find a Starbucks in Vietnam, there is no shortage of variety in Hanoi's cafes. Besides the standard four coffee drinks -- ca phe den nong (hot black coffee), ca phe den da (iced black coffee), ca phe sua nong (hot coffee with milk) and ca phe sua da (iced coffee with milk) -- available in any cafe, there is ca phe trung, hot coffee with a raw egg beaten into it, with or without milk, which tastes a bit like flavored meringue. With sugar, it is practically a meal. My favorite place for this is Café 129, at the southern end of Mai Hac De, one of Hanoi's busiest restaurant streets.

For the truly adventurous, there is the infamous ca phe chon, weasel coffee, which is exactly what it sounds like. Growers take the best beans from each crop, and feed them to a weasel. The weasel does what comes naturally, the beans are collected at his other end, then ground and brewed as usual. Apparently, the weasel's digestive system does something mysterious to the beans which makes them smoother and tastier than any other kind of coffee.

It took me some months to gather up the courage to try ca phe chon, which I finally did at the Café Trung Nguyen, near the Hanoi People's Committee Building just east of Lake Hoan Kiem, under pressure from a visiting friend. The drink is undeniably smooth, but it has a faint musky taste, which I can only assume to be the weasel.

The day a visitor to Vietnam can order a grande-skim-no-whipped ca phe chon to go is probably years away, yet the character of Hanoi's cafe society is changing. Since 1996, dozens of Trung Nguyen coffee shops, a nationwide chain that is Vietnam's first domestic franchise, have sprung up all over the capital. They are decorated with photos of pop stars, and packed day and night with trendy students. Hanoians complain that shops that used to serve only coffee are forced to diversify their menus and offer other things -- lime soda or coconut juice, for example -- just to compete.

But smaller, traditional cafes still abound, and they are a good way for a first-time visitor to experience a bit of Vietnamese daily life. So, when you're wandering through Hanoi's Old Quarter and the afternoon heat and the haze and the traffic become too taxing, go in.

Let your eyes get used to the light, and find a table with a good view of the street. There are family photographs on the walls, perhaps a battered Happy New Year! calendar. And the usual display of the cafe's wares are on the counter at the back: cans of Coke and Sprite stacked in neat pyramids, bottles of Tiger beer, jars of Ovaltine, big glass jars of apricots in syrup, Vinataba cigarettes, Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum in their little revolving display case.

A child may bring a menu. Then you can make your request: ''Xin cho toi mot ca phe sua da'' -- one milk coffee, please.

For a respite, with a coffee worthy of Deneuve

Most of Hanoi's cafes open at 6 or 7 a.m. and close around 9 p.m. While English isn't likely to be understood in the cafes, many menus have English translations, so visitors can point to their requests.

Café Mai, 79 Le Van Huu Street, has been in operation since 1936, and prides itself on its French grinding techniques. Several varieties of Arabica and Robusta coffee are available for 20 to 40 cents a cup, at the
rate of 15,000 dong (pronounced dahm) to the dollar.

The cafe's shop, across the street at 96 Le Van Huu, sells beautifully wrapped packages of Vietnamese coffee for about $4.30 to $13.30 a kilogram (about 2.2 pounds).
Café Pho Co, 11 Hang Gai, the ''secret cafe,'' has a limited menu, but the setting is otherwordly, a narrow courtyard decorated with the owner's collection of ancient and contemporary Vietnamese art. A glass of ca phe sua da costs 30 cents.
Café Quynh, 46B Bat Dan Street, is one of the most popular Old Quarter coffee shops. It is run by the family of the cafe's namesake, Nhu Quynh, a popular Vietnamese film actress, and her pictures hang on the walls. The cafe attracts an artsy crowd, but is in most respects an old-fashioned Hanoi cafe, dimly lit and calm.

Coffee is about 30 cents a cup, Tiger beer 50 cents, and a glass of salted apricot juice -- which tastes a lot better than it sounds -- 30 cents.
Trung Nguyen, Vietnam's first domestic franchise, has branches throughout the city, serving about a dozen different coffee blends in their noisy, trendy cafes. These cafes, with their distinctive brown-and-yellow signs, are very popular with students and young professionals.

One of the largest Trung Nguyen shops in Hanoi can be found on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, on the eastern shore of Lake Hoan Kiem, in the heart of the city. A large range of coffee blends starts at 20 cents a cup, with a cup of ca phe chon, weasel coffee, costing 80 cents.

Café 129, 129 Mai Hac De Street, is one of the few coffee shops in Hanoi offering fresh milk for coffee. It also serves an excellent rendition of the ca phe trung (with raw egg) for 40 cents. The shop is very popular among expatriates for breakfast and brunch. A full English breakfast, including eggs, baked beans, bacon, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, costs $1.30.
Café 252, 252 Hang Bong, at the far western edge of the Old Quarter, serves wonderful coffee for 40 cents a cup, as well as croissants, pains au chocolat, apple turnovers, raisin buns and the like, all baked on the premises and costing from 20 to 50 cents (the owner, Le Huu Chi, learned his baking skills in New Caledonia, a French territory). Café 252 is also famous for its homemade yogurt, served with honey or fresh fruit, for 30 cents.

As pictures on the walls document, Catherine Deneuve had breakfasts there while she was filming ''Indochine.''

Hanoi's cafe society

Carpe diem

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trivia 1

I will number the trivial facts that I found interesting enough to make me post. This is 1st one :P

I realized that I have 4 browsers o_o already. That's too much for anyone but for me each serves different needs:

Avant Browser: I use this to surf websites, forums... in short, it's for daily entertainments

Firefox: Use this to test and run my email-client that I'm developing sincely it's reliable. Study purpose.

Flock: For photobucketting and blogging :P. It heavily supports photobucket & blog users

Internet Explorer: Nothing. It just sits there like a bad stain. I don't know what to use it for! Can't remove it either -_-


Carpe diem



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ronaldinho

I laughed my arse off for 5 mins, hahaha... hilarious ^^ ^^ ^^



Carpe diem

Misheard lyrics of "Fucking Hostile" - Pantera ^^



Carpe diem

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What European city do you belong in?

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.


Carpe diem

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nemo - Nightwish



This is me for forever
One of the lost ones
The one without a name
Without an honest heart as compass

This is me for forever
One without a name
These lines the last endeavor
To find the missing lifeline

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart
Lost in the dark
For hope I'd give my everything

My flower
Withered between
The pages two and three
The once and forever bloom gone with my sins

Walk the dark path
Sleep with angels
Call the past for help
Touch me with your love
And reveal to me my true name

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart
Lost in the dark
For hope I'd give my everything

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
Oh how I wish to dream again
Once and for all
And all for once
Nemo my name forever more

Nemo sailing home
Nemo letting go

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart
Lost in the dark
For hope I'd give my everything

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
Oh how I wish to dream again
Once and for all
And all for once
Nemo my name forever more

Nemo my name forever more


Carpe diem

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Opeth & Paradise Lost @ Carling Academy Birmingham 8/11/06

Paradise Lost played opening

Nick Holmes
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Greg Mackintosh
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Opeth - main players

Mike
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Peter in action
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and in a pose :P
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A girl threw her bra on the stage so that's why we got this video ^^



Carpe diem

Saturday, November 04, 2006

SP Graduation Day 2005

Found this when checking Azhar's blog ( my SP 3rd-year course mate )

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From left to right: Chinho - Victor - Azhar - Me - Daniel


Carpe diem

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Firework @ The Vale 2006

It's already one year from that milestone! Time flies!

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I like this photo :D
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A little video


Carpe diem

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In Joy and Sorrow



Oh girl we are the same
we are young and lost and so afraid
there's no cure for the pain
no shelter from the rain
All our prayers seem to fail

In joy and sorrow my home's in your arms
in world so hollow
it is breaking my heart
in joy and sorrow my home's in your arms
in world so hollow
it is breaking my heart

Oh girl we are the same
we are strong and blessed and so brave
with souls to be saved
and faith regained
all our tears wipe away

In joy and sorrow my home's in your arms
in world so hollow
it is breaking my heart
in joy and sorrow my home's in your arms
in world so hollow
it is breaking my heart

In joy and sorrow my home's in your arms
in world so hollow
it is breaking my heart
in joy and sorrow my home's in your arms
in world so hollow
it is breaking my heart

and my home's in your arms
and it is breaking my heart
my home's in your arms
and it is breaking my heart

Carpe diem

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Harvest - Opeth



Stay with me a while
Rise above the vile
Name my final rest
Poured into my chest

Into the orchard i walk peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait
Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death, all i see is departure
Mourner's lament but it's me who's the martyr

Pledge yourself to me
Never leave me be
Sweat breaks on my brow
Given time ends now

Into the orchard i walk peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait
Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death, all i see is departure
Mourner's lament but it's me who's the martyr

Spirit painted sin
Embers neath my skin
Veiled in pale embrace
Reached and touched my face

Into the orchard i walk peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait
Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death, all i see is departure
Mourner's lament but it's me who's the martyr.


Carpe diem

Saturday, May 20, 2006

No more beating as one ( Live )



She was no longer precious to me
I guess my hate grew much stronger than my love for her ever did
(I was) so tired of chasing that person who made me feel loved
and as we were embracing I cut and spilt the dearest blood

I'm praying for her soul as this blood on my hands stains me whole

You were my life, from you I fed of
And now parted by knife - the suicide of our love
So callous and frigid was that stillborn soul
yet no other half could ever make me whole

You promised: "'til death do us part", and then you made a stone of my heart
And with the last rays of the setting sun the loveless pulse fades away
No more beating as one, no longer burns the flame

Gone are the times when I felt alive
Gone are those nights with you by my side
And now here I stand as the shadows grow deep
With the death on my hand at your grave I weep

We were one yet not the same
Once passion abundant, now pain

And with the last rays of the setting sun the loveless pulse fades away
No more beating as one, no longer burns the flame

Love laved with stillness like the grave in my heart
and all the reasons huddled in your seeping blood

And with the last rays of the setting sun the loveless pulse fades away
No more beating as one, no longer burns the flame
And with the last rays of the setting sun she bled her love away
No more beating as one, no longer burns the flame



Carpe diem

Thursday, May 18, 2006

No one there



The axe, the bottle and the rope
The feeling there really is no more hope
The thought of the great unknown
And facing it alone
The dark, the silent and the cold
The feeling I have come to the end of my road
Yes, these are the things I spend
My remaining moments with

And the wind blows through my heart
Shivers me one last time
As I now reach out in the dark
No one there

Why did it have to be so hard
For us to live our lives
Again I reach out in the dark in despair

The desperation and the snow
The feeling of finally coming back home
The melancholy and the hole in the soil so hard and cold

And the wind blows through my heart
Shivers me one last time
As I now reach out in the dark
No one there

Your love for me, my love for you
Things we somehow managed to lose
Now there�s only the ruthless wind
To blow right through
It freezes my heart, my desperate heart
It freezes my heart, my desperate heart
It freezes my heart, my desperate heart
To think we both will die alone

And the wind blows through my heart
Shivers me one last time
As I now reach out in the dark
No one there


Carpe Diem

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Katatonia & Novembre @ Mean Fiddler - London - 22.4.06

That was the first time I could stand in the front row, it just felt so good, so near to the bands ^^ Novembre played the open set. Well, I heard about them but never listened to any albums of them before. Their music are dark, similar to early Katatonia in the 90s. I was quite impressed with the bass player, his bass-lines are impressive and more than good. Quite disappointed with the guitarist, or more appropriately, the guitar sounds. It was simply lost... Well, in conclusion, Novembre is a band worth checking them out.
Katatonia was the main character of the show because this show is for promoting their new album "The Great Cold Distance", they played a couple of songs from the new album, from "Viva Emptiness" and only few songs from earlier album like "Tonight's Decision" and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down"... sadly, no songs from "Dance of December Souls" or "Brave Murder Day" era were played. The band really showed off their level... They were perfect! That night was the guitarist's birthday as well, he poped a champagne and sprayed over the fans! ^^ I was not prepared to capture that moment, haizz...
Enough said... here are the photos...

Novembre

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Katatonia

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Carpe diem

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Katatonia - My Twin

This video is awesome! Song taken from just-released album "The Great Cold Distance"



Katatonia rulezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!


Carpe diem

I've just found this is so amusing

My address in Singapore: 33 Jalan Limau Manis
My address in UK: Flat 33 Elgar Court, Birmingham

^^


Carpe diem

Saturday, April 15, 2006

First post in Vietnamese, hehe... sorry guys ^^

Nao thi trac nghiem ^^


1. Trong một cửa hàng bánh kẹo, bạn nhìn thấy có rất nhiều loại kẹo khác nhau và loại nào cũng hết sức ngon lành. Bạn sẽ chọn kẹo nào đầu tiên?

c. Kẹo chocolate

Bạn chọn chocolate chứng tỏ bạn khá coi trọng hình thức, vì chocolate thường có hình thức bắt mắt nhất trong cửa hàng kẹo.


2. Khi bạn về nhà và mở túi kẹo của mình, bạn phát hiện ra người bán hàng đã bỏ thừa một ít kẹo nữa. Nó có chừng bao nhiêu viên ?

a. 1-2 viên

Nếu những người trưởng thành, sống độc lập thường chọn câu trả lời này.

3. Hôm nay là một ngày đẹp trời, gió thổi mát rượi. Bạn sẽ ước là mình đang ở đâu trong ngày hôm nay?

a. Một vùng tuyết trắng mênh mông

Nếu vùng tuyết trắng cho thấy bạn có biệt tài nhận thức tình hình rất nhanh và do đó có thể giải quyết nhanh chóng các vấn đề phức tạp.

4. Bạn mới mua một chú chim về nuôi cho vui. Nhưng đến khi mang chú chim về nhà, bạn mới phát hiện ra nó có khả năng thay đổi màu lông. Hôm đầu tiên, nó màu xanh lam, hôm sau chuyển sang màu vàng, hôm sau nữa thành màu đỏ và đến ngày thứ tư thì là màu đen. Theo bạn thì đến ngày thứ năm, chú chim có màu gì?

c. Chuyển sang một màu mới khác.

Màu khác cho thấy bạn là người bình tĩnh. Người khác hiếm khi thấy bạn tỏ ra quá cáu bẳn hay vui sướng điên cuồng, đơn giản vì bạn luôn biết kiềm chế cảm xúc của mình.

5. Bạn rất thích đọc tạp chí, và bạn hay xem mục nào đầu tiên trong một tờ báo mới?

a. Tất nhiên là chuyên mục bạn thích nhất.

Nếu bạn lật ngay chuyên mục mình thích nhất có nghĩa rằng bạn thường vung tay quá trán. Bạn sẵn sàng tiêu hết số tiền mình đang có để mua một món đồ bạn thích mà không cần đắn đo suy nghĩ.

6. Bạn vừa mua được 100 hạt giống hoa hồng để trồng trong vườn nhà. Theo dự đoán của bạn thì sẽ có bao nhiêu hạt phát triển thành cây?

d. 41-60

Bạn không tự tin lắm vào khả năng của chính mình, và chính sự thiếu tự tin này đã cản trở bước đường thành công của bạn khá nhiều.


7. Bạn còn nhớ chi tiết nào nhất trong truyện cổ tích Cô bé Lọ lem?

c. Lọ lem đánh rơi chiếc giày khi đồng hồ điểm 12 tiếng.

Bạn nhớ chi tiết Lọ lem đánh rơi giày vì bản thân bạn cũng thường rơi vào tình trạng luống cuống ấy. Bạn luôn dựa vào người khác để vươn lên, do đó bạn không tự tin vào những gì mình đang có.




Carpe diem

Monday, March 27, 2006

In Flames & Sepultura @ Carling Academy Birmingham

Short review:

Dagoba was the band played the opening for the show. They are French. They are brutal. They are undergound... but they are very good, a promising band. IMHO, they were better than Sepultura and In Flames at that night. Heavy, simple guitar riffs with relentless double bass drum and astounding vocal... they blew everything away...

Sepultura was the next. They were legend but they music is not attractive enough nowadays... their new songs lack guitar solos - an important factor to distinguish a great band among loads of mediocre bands out there. But still there are Brazilian folk music elements so they can define themselves: We're Sepultura!

In Flames was the main character of the show. They played most of the song from Come Clarity 2006 album with hits like: Come through knives, Take this life, Come clarity. Some songs from "Reroute to Remain" like Trigger, Drifter and some from melodic death metal era like Moonshield, Only for the weak. I was quite disappointing with the vocal: it was almost lost! ... can't hardly hear it except in some semi-ballad songs...

Anyway, it was still a great show and it was a great pleasure to see they playing live in here - Birmingham.


Carpe diem

Friday, March 24, 2006

Black Country Museum - Dudley

Background info:
The Black Country is the industrial region to the west of, and separate from, Birmingham in the Midlands of England. It gained its name in the mid nineteenth century due to the smoke from the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges and the nature of the countryside which had been covered by dark spoil from the working of shallow and relatively thick (30ft) coal seams.

The region was described as 'Black by day and red by night' by Elihu Burritt, the American Consul to Birmingham in 1862 and other authors, from Dickens to Shenstone, refer to the intensity of manufacturing in the Black Country and its effect on the landscape and its people.


Today the Black Country is made up of most of the four Metropolitan District Council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton and the collections and displays are derived from throughout these areas.

The industries included:

coal & coke
iron & steel
locks & keys
nails
chains
ships anchors
glassware
beer & stout


Black Country Museum (BCM) located in Dudley which is only 30 mins away by car from Birmingham University. The trip to BCM was organized by my School of Computer Science. Around 10 international students joined the trip, i was in too as usual ^^ . The weather was freezing that day :(

Photos:

Inside exhibition halls
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The Black Country was famous for the Staffordshire Thick Coal, which lay beneath much of the area. The coal occurred in seams of up to 10 metres thick, far bigger than anywhere else in Britain. I joined "Into the Thick" , an underground experience created by the Black Country Living Museum to show how miners worked the Thick Coal and other seams in the Black Country in about 1850. It is a drift mine, with a sloping tunnel down. No photographing allowed but I still managed to capture one shot on the way out of the tunnel ^^
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The 1920s cinema showing silent movies: we were watching Laurel & Hardy ^^
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19th century street setting

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The dock

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Cast iron house ^^

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Overview

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Misc

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Me ^^

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Carpe diem

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I did cry today....

To be told that I was never ever been loved before ... sad but true :(


Carpe diem

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Destination: Cardiff

Cardiff - the capital of Wales is the youngest capital in Europe. It is a small city with population of around 300,000. The trip to Cardiff from Birmingham took approximately 2.5 hours. "I am travelling from England to Wales". That sounds far away but the distance is not that much. About equal to distance between Birmingham and London. And now, here I am ... in Cardiff - Wales ...

Millenium Stadium - the place where FA Cup Final Match held every year!

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Cardiff Castle - a "must visit" tourist attraction in Wales!

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Norwegian Church - Originally built in 1868 for the Norwegian sailors visiting Cardiff when it was one of the busiest coal exporting docks in the world. The Church is also the place where the childrens’ author Roald Dahl, famous for writing "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", was christened in 1916.

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Wales Millennium Centre - is a huge, architecturally spectacular building in the heart of Cardiff Bay. The use of slate, wood, metal, and glass pays tribute to Wales and its industrial past. Words written: "In these stones horizons sing" in English and Welsh!

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Cardiff Bay - claimed as the most exciting waterfront development in Europe

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St John's Church - is Cardiff’s second oldest building after the castle and is one of the five Beacon Churches of South East Wales. The tower dates from the 15th Century after the original 11th century tower was destroyed by Owain Glyndwr’s troops.

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Cardiff City Hall - Built in the English Renaissance style, City Hall was opened in 1906, a year after Cardiff was granted its city status. Within the magnificent exterior carved from Portland Stone can be found elegant rooms perfect for wedding ceremonies. City Hall is licenced for marriage ceremonies with its unique atmosphere making it an outstanding choice for a wedding
I happened to see a wedding celebrated on that day too ^^

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National Assembly for Wales - consists of 60 Members elected throughout Wales. The Assembly has delegated many of its powers to the First Minister, who leads the Welsh Assembly Government

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Pierhead Building - Incorporating a French-Gothic Renaissance theme, the Pierhead boasts details such as hexagonal chimneys, carved friezes, gargoyles, and a highly ornamental and distinctive clock tower. Its exterior is finished in glazed terracotta blocks

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Cardiff downtown - I guess every cities in UK must possess this kind of walking street, for people to walk and shop around without interference of vehicles

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Buskers

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Misc:

The Kiss - a famous sculpture by Rodin. Found in National Museum of Wales ^^

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Sign post - in English and Welsh

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Dunno what they call this ^^

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The Dragon - symbol of Wales

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The so-called arts ^^

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Some ( rare ) photos of me ^^

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Carpe diem