Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Anti-theft Software: Prey!


Lets you keep track of your phone or laptop at all times, and will help you find it if it ever gets lost or stolen. It's lightweight, open source software, and free for anyone to use. Basically you install a tiny agent in your PC or phone, which silently waits for a remote signal to wake up and work its magic. This signal is sent either from the Internet or through an SMS message, and allows you to gather information regarding the device's location, hardware and network status, and optionally trigger specific actions on it 

And it just works! Go and get it, before it's too late! 

I heard this on the radio a few weeks ago. For people who understand Dutch here's a link to that radio-show on what it does, how it works, and some issues & difficulties concerning police intervention.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs talks about himself at Standford (2005)

Steve Jobs gives a frank speech about himself, his life goals, life and death. A memorable speech which he has reserved for graduate students at Stanford in 2005. The full text of Jobs' speech can be read here.

Farewell Steve...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where I (used to) Live...

...and read this newspaper almost on a daily basis. I was even published there with photo's and received a prize. The former online version was a disappointment but now it's in beta, it's a good read again...Check out this "Question of the week"  for instance:"Do you think the peaceful protests by the indignados at Syntagma Square will effect any change with the government?"
full story

 Much as to my shame as to my happiness I only found out recently where these indignados got their name: from the essay "Indignez Vous!" by German - French philosopher Stéphane Hessel (born in Berlin in 1917!) and I am going to read it today. Now!
It looks so promising, a must-read...

Where I Live...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Werchter 2011, nothing new under the sun?

Is it me but like Pinkpop 2011, I wasn't much impressed with RW this year. This supports the idea that this generation of festival-goers is traditional, conservative and o so obedient, or me just getting old...
Now, I have become a couch potato when it comes to festivals (hate huge crowds) so I can only rely on what I've seen and heard. But first the good news: Selah Sue (photo) was excellent, this little lady is only getting better and better! Another revelation for me be it also kinda traditional, mimetic even: Rival Sons Simple, heavy but sweet blues-rock, perfectly performed, great musicians.

But for the rest this has been one big déja vue...I am not gonna give you a complete list here, just see the line-up, but how many times can one get excited seeing the Kaiser Chiefs, The Chemical Bros, The National, Seasick! Steve to name a few...Often "new" bands were poor, especially when they came from the UK. Head-wanker of this lot, Lame Liam Gallagher brought us such classic rock that if you would listen only to the band, you would swear Chuck Berry was on stage! But most of the bands (QOTSA, Coldplay, Kings of Lion, Robyn and friends...) just did what they were expected to, perfect clinic performances for their fans, and the crowds seemed to have a great time and each time followed like a big flock of sheep. I am happy for all of them but for me that's not what Rock is all about...But again -not to be misconstrued- I was only virtual there, there must have been really great moments but I guess I will stay away....An end of an era? Click here to open a photo gallery (GVA).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rik Wouters, a biography by Eric Min.

Rik Wouters (1882 -1916) was almost a fictional character: a penniless artist, a tragic love, a genius died that died much too young. In his attic studio he created with clay, drawing paper and floodlight an impatient oeuvre, with the generous body of his wife and model Nel in a starring role. The woman of his life was immediately Wouters' first biographer and guardian of his estate, which she would manage with an iron hand. There are three places in the book: the art metropolis of Brussels, the village of Bosvoorde, where Wouters managed to grasp the earthy, golden glow of things in bronze and paint, and finally Amsterdam. At the very edge of the Great War, he would, in the Netherlands, struggling up and forth from his rented flat to the sick-bay, create his last works: consolation and pride for those who have everything to lose. Biographer Eric Min held the largely unpublished memoirs, scrapbooks and letters from Nel once more against the light. Along with other, unique resources that has brought us a wide panorama of the artistic Belle Epoque.
(translated description of the book, to be published on 07/04/2011)

The exhibition in Mechelen (09/24/2011-2017)
most interesting link on the lives of Rik and Nel (in Dutch)
Where Rik got some of his inspiration.
Rik Wouters on artnet.

A few of my favorite paintings & drawings of the master:

De strijkster (1912)  Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten te Antwerpen
Dame in blauw voor een spiegel (1914) KMSK  Brussel
Zelfportret  (1902)
Lachende vrouw (1910) 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's In It For ME?

There's a song I just love to hate: "What's In It For?" from Avi Buffalo. Now yesterday on national radio the program "Peeters & Pichal" had the great idea to phone up hotels in Greece and ask them what,- in return for the 1 billion € support from the EU- they would get extra for free:. a percentage, free mini bar, lunch, beach towel, drinks, paid TV... ??? I felt bitterly ashamed in their place, angry even because it (again) represented so well what this radio show actually stands for: "What's In It For ME?" and also felt this time I just had to post a reaction. Here it is:
Translation: "Typical for this program and the me generation. Crisis in Greece? What's In It For ME? Particularly embarrassing because it's all "virtual" (telephonic) and so fake. GO and take look at the real Greece and enjoy their hospitality, learn what "tzappa*" means and learn from their experience and solidarity. And then look back at your hostile, perverted contribution." 

Here you can re-listen to this most embarrassing section off the show. (in Dutch)
And I wasn't the only one who really hated this segment. (other reactions in Dutch)

* btw: Tzappa (τζάμπα) meens free, for nothing, gratis in Greek.

Although the female presenter Annemie Peeters (°1960) is not really part of the me generation she sure acts like one. Sven Pichal (°1979however is a perfect example. Both of them believe they do such important work, and while Peeters has a great radio voice, her tiny, irritating laughs always throughout an interview only show how big she feels about herself. On a few occasions there are some moments of emphatic behavior, however impossible to trace it  in cold fish  "pilchar" Pichal...Just look their pictures, they speak for themselves...
The charter they allegedly set up for better customer services provided by major telecom operators and public services shows their picture as the authorties in charge. As if they where the sole executers of this charter. They may have found this very funny, but I see this as sheer narcissism. See photo below; aren't that....

Dafodills (Narcissen in Dutch) in the background ?
Their tattoos: "Dragonfly, symbol of beauty and passion" & "I Love Annemie"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Griekenland failliet: hoe kon het zover komen?

BRUSSEL (KerkNet/Kathpress) – Volgens mgr. Nikolaos Foskolos, de katholieke aartsbisschop van Athene, zijn Griekse politici zelf verantwoordelijk voor de rampzalige economische situatie van hun land. In een interview met ‘Radio Vaticaan’ verwijt de aartsbisschop de politici een gebrek aan moed en doortastendheid. “Vele Grieken beschouwden de Europese Unie jarenlang als een melkkoe, die geld geeft zonder ervoor iets in ruil te vragen. Griekse politici ontvingen geld uit Brussel, maar deden niets ermee voor de ontwikkeling van hun land, hoewel dat in de Europese richtlijnen nochtans opgedragen werd.” Mgr. Foskolos is behoorlijk pessimistisch en gelooft niet dat Griekenland nog zelfstandig de zware crisis kan overwinnen. “Griekenland was tot een kolonie van Europa verworden als de Europese Unie geen ingrijpende maatregelen had geëist.”

Mijn reactie, woensdag, 22 juni 2011
Het is nogal makkelijk om één schuldige te vinden voor de Griekse crisis. De katholieke aartsbisschop van Athene heeft natuurlijk gelijk wat betreft de Griekse politieke traditie van vriendjespolitiek en corruptie (de meeste Grieken vinden dit namelijk ook - al jaren) maar vergeet dat eigenlijk iedereen "de Europese Unie jarenlang als een melkkoe heeft beschouwd", denk maar bijv. aan de landbouwsubsidies. Belastingontduiking is net zoals hier een nationale sport alhoewel de gewone Griek dat helemaal niet verdoezeld, integendeel!

Frank Vandenbroucke vatte het heel goed samen in Terzake gisteren. Frank for President! Trouwens  Giorgos Papandreou jr. gaf dit ook duidelijk aan in zijn laatste toespraak voor steun van het parlement: “Ik ben dit gevecht begonnen en zal er niet uit stappen. Ons doel blijft gelijk: de zoektocht naar een eerlijkere samenleving.” Maar meent hij ook en/of kan hij het wel ? Inmiddels is gisteravond dus om 5 voor twaalf (!) is dat vertrouwen verkregen. Slechts echter met zo'n tien stemmen meer. De zomer (inkomsten*) mag beginnen en net als bij ons zal het debacle pas daarna weer echt vuur vatten. Alhoewel in Griekenland is er echter nog de cruciale stemronde op 28 juni.  Dan wordt gestemd over het nieuwe pakket bezuinigingsmaatregelen en dan kan het nog een zeer hete zomer worden daar, al zou dat eerder zeer onverstandig* zijn, mijns inziens.

Maar ook de Orthodoxe Kerk mag best nog eens in eigen boezem kijken. Die is namelijk niet alleen hoofdaandeelhouder van de Nationale Bank, maar ook de grootste eigenaar van onroerend goed in Griekenland. Die moest dus ook inleveren, "De kerk is rijk en kan het land uit de crisis te helpen, en is dit niet waar de kerk eigenlijk voor staat, om mensen te helpen?" zegt een 36-jarige buschauffeur. De Kerk zou meer belast worden. Maar de Kerk, meer bepaald in de persoon van bisschop Anthimos van Thessaloniki sloeg al vroeg op de borst en stelde verkeerdelijk -en lafhartig-  dat zo vooral de gewone (lees arme) priesters en nonnen op die manier getroffen zouden worden. Die laatsten stonden dan natuurlijk al op 31 mei 2008 op Syntagma te protesteren en de belasting is niet doorgegaan. Maar in tegenstelling tot deze zeer omstreden bisschop hebben andere bisschoppen bisschop Anthimos van Alexandroupolis en bisschop Nikolaos van Mesogaia vorig jaar al besloten om het voorbeeld van Nana Mouskouri te volgen en hun loon als bijdrage van het herstel van hun land af te staan. Dus verdeeldheid is hier ook alom.

En dan zijn er nog de banken, de corruptie op grote schaal, de rijken die hun rijkdom frauduleus hebben vergaard en die steeds maar ver buiten shot blijven.

Daarom blijft het gewone Griekse volk maar morren en protesteren en vergeet niet dat de Grieken trots en zeer koppig kunnen zijn. Het water staat hun aan de lippen, het is genoeg geweest, de Euro, heel de Middellandse Eurozone & Europa kan hun geen barst meer schelen...

bronnen & links:

Michël Van Droogenbroeck in Athene - De redactie (één journaal van 7- gisteren)
Wanhoop en radeloosheid bij Grieken in België (radio 1 de ochtend - gisteren)
Geef de Grieken ook een perspectief  (Frank Vandenbroucke in Terzake - gisteren)
Griekse premier krijgt vertrouwen van parlement, zoals verwacht (NRC- gisteren)
Het Griekse eiland Skopelos probeert de strijd aan te binden met corruptie, belastingontduiking en vriendjespolitiek. (maandag 20 juni 2011)
Nana Mouskouri op TSR (Télévision Suisse Romande) (zondag 5 juni 2011)  (Nieuws van over de hele wereld op de Orthodoxie) (dinsdag,16 maart 2010).

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Pasaran: Why the Greeks* are furious....

© Photo: all rights reserved by Dimitris Tsoumpas
* (and some others)

Today in "De Morgen" Political commentator Yves Desmet writes:

You must have it from your neighbors. The Luxembourg Prime Minister  Jean-Claude Juncker warned as chairman of the eurozone that if private banks would contribute their share to the salvation of Greece, this could lead to an expansion of the debt crisis in Belgium and Italy. Dramatic consequences the Cassandra from Luxembourg predicted, and that this way we are playing with fire. This makes a man pretty furious...

The financial sector has caused the economic crisis, and threatened by her recklessness to go overhead. She survived thanks to billions infused by governments. In turn this created the need to cut into public finances, primarily in countries where they had been too creative with budget figures, Greece in the first place. So draconian measures were to be taken on the backs of ordinary people that took the price tag for all this debacle. But the suggestion that the real cause of the crisis is also a part of their responsibility and loss is playing with fire and threatens to expand the debt crisis. How dare one say this ?

If Greece threatens to go bankrupt, especially due to the speculation of the same global financial forces, who would continue to pursue their profit maximization, often run no more than by emotion and irrationality . But they should be spared, while the common man and woman in Greece have to turn in half of their pensions for which they have worked their entire lives? Again, how dare you?

Debt Restructuring and diversification over the longer term is the most normal thing in the world when it comes to business, but with countries that cannot be possible? Greece will not go bankrupt, Herman Van Rompuy said, simply because all alternatives are better. Let's hope he's right. But that assumes that the EU, under certain conditions, shows its solidarity with the isolated sheep of the flock, now being attacked by financial wolves, and thus a part of the Greek debt converts in euro-bonds. Because only when the wolves see the herd closes into itself, they'll stop the attack.

Yves Desmet
Political commentator
translation: Google translate & topete

Friday, June 10, 2011

Atlas shrugged: Indignados Griegos!

Meanwhile in Greece...Here are some pictures from last demonstrations in Athens against the IMF and Greek government from my friend and great photographer John D. Carnessiotis. And as pictures speak louder than words, I will have a comment later....;)

Indignados Griegos 98

Indignados Griegos 97

Indignados Griegos 102

Indignados Griegos 95

Indignados Griegos 100
The whole set can be viewed here

Some time ago I saw on BBC the excellent documentary "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace", that really stirred my mind not only by the "egoistic" theories of Ayn Rand but by the doings of Alan Greenspan and his "partners in crime" as well as the role of the computer herein. Just watch this excellent piece of research and modern journalism to see how the IMF, bankers and politicians toy around with YOUR money, as they are doing now with the Greeks and soon with the Belgians. So far the latter having received only "recommendations" from the IMF. Recommendations that will bring austere measures also to this country (with still no governement after one year after elections) and setting our whole social security system at risk. Therefor I predict that after summer demonstrations like the above will also be seen (and heard?) the streets of... Brussels. 
And to end on an even more heavy note, Ayn Rand reminded me to one of my all-time vision on dead: "I will not die, it is the world that will end.", from an unknown ancient... Greek philosopher...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Johnny Too Bad

BBC 4′s wonderful John Martyn doc “Johnny Too Bad”:


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rémy’s Secret Ratatouille Recipe!

Orginal recipe can be found here (in Duch but with step-by-step pictures).
I've translated/adapted the introduction and ingredients (with Google Translate)

"I think everyone or almost everyone has seen the great Pixar movie "Ratatouille" on a rat who dreamed of becoming a cook. After I've seen this movie I wanted to make the Ratatouille Remy had made. I had looked everywhere but found nothing until I suddenly stumbled on an American site and finally found the real thing. I've made ​​a few adjustments and you now can steal my recipe for Ratatouille: "

Ingredients for 4-5 persons:


* 350 gr peppers ( & yellow)
* 350 g tomatoes
* 200 gr onions
* 2-3 minor sprigs of thyme
* salt
* Olive Oil


* 500 g zucchini
* 500 g eggplants
* 500 g tomatoes


* 5 tbsp oil
* 2-3 cloves of garlic
* seasoning to your taste
* salt
* pepper
* some balsamic vinegar

One note: Make sure your vegetables have the same size & thickness to make the recipe perfect. Count them as you slice them!  Here"s a perfect example (not mine) :

Bon Appetit! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Issuu, great service and free!

This one comes from a Power Point Presentation that I've simply uploaded while Issuu does all the work. It's a draft (part 1) from a larger presentation on ancient Greek iconography  which can be found here. Read-Only so press the read-only button on the right. While Blurb looks great,  intuitive and very adjustable still there is a price tag on it, that however you may (or may not) recover by selling your books. I'll stick to this one for now...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Art Forn: IOGraph

Formerly known as MousePath it was made by Moscow designer Anatoly Zenkov to brighten up the routine work. Posting it at Flickr caused informal interest and afterward Anatoly Zenkov and his colleague Andrey Shipilov decided to evolve the app. IOGraph is an application that turns mouse movements into a modern art. The idea is that you just run it and do your usual day stuff at the computer. Go back to IOGraph after a while and grab a nice picture of what you’ve done! Of course we have some social pages to follow: IOGraph Twitter and Facebook page for example. You can download the program here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

En vanuit het woestijnzand...

verscheen de eerste kerk. Geen Photoshop hier, nee, Turnhout lijkt deze dagen wel Bagdad of een middelgrote Afrikaanse stad. Overal worden maar al te ijverig gebouwen afgebroken en van opbouw geen enkel spoor. Cultuurtempel de Warande staat beschaamd in haar nakie en deze St-Pieter dendert onder tientallen bulldozers. 2012 staat immers voor de deur en we zullen het geweten hebben. Meer foto's later.

And from the desert sand ...
appeared the first church. No Photoshop here, no, these days Turnhout looks like Baghdad or a medium sized African city. Everywhere buildings are demolished all too eagerly and construction seems far away. The Temple of Culture "De Warande" is stripped down to her shame and Saint Peter  trembles among dozens of bulldozers. 2012 is close and we all are paying  the price... More photos later.

Friday, April 1, 2011