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Monday, September 27, 2004

Caravaggio to Dali

Went to the exhibition "Caravaggio to Dali" at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth this weekend. It showcased 100 Masterpieces from the collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, which is internationally renowned for its quality, rarity, and beauty. Ranging from the Renaissance to the mid-20th century, the exhibition features major works by Caravaggio, Zurbaran, Hals, Goya, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Dali, and many other outstanding figures.

(Interesting note: while the Kimbell Art Museum is among the youngest of the great American art museums, the Wadsworth Atheneum is the oldest.)

strozzi-catherine-of-alexandria.jpg One of the most important paintings of the Baroque period is Bernardo Strozzi's Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Born into a noble, possibly into a royal family, St. Catherine was a beautiful, learned, and wise maiden who converted to Christianity after receiving a vision. When she was 18 years old, during the persecution of Roman emperor Maximus (or Maxentius), she offered to debate the pagan philosophers. Many were converted by her arguments, and immediately burned. She even converted the empress and many soldiers, all of whom were martyred as well.

The emperor then ordered her strapped to a spiked wheel in the hope that the physical pain would break her spirit, but she touched it and the wheel was destroyed. (In the painting, the saint treads on the broken wheel.) She was finally beheaded in Alexandria, Egypt, whereupon milk, rather than blood, flowed from her severed head. Her body was whisked away by angels, and she was later reported as one of the divine advisors to Saint Joan of Arc. In the painting, she holds a palm leave in her left hand, which is another symbol of martyrdom.

When Bruce and I saw this painting, we were both reminded of Gloria. Maybe it was her look and expression, maybe it was her fighting spirit... well, martyrdom or not, we hope Gloria has a much happier ending than St. Catherine!

dali-apparition-beach.jpg I'm not a big fan of surrealism art, but Salvador Dali's Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach sure created an impression. It's like an optical illusion, you're not seeing what you think you're seeing, or that what appears to be in one POV (point of view) turns out to be something totally different and unrelated in another POV. Yes, there are many works like this, by Dali and others, but I guess the face was kinda haunting and therefore etched in my mind. Well if I viewed it as a fruit dish first, it might not have the same effect I suppose. But it was worth the 2-hour drive to and from Fort Worth just to see this painting up close, as well as standing a few feet away from it. Different perspectives, different observations, different conclusions, different feelings.

Getting to know this painting is also like getting to know a person. There are some main elements in the piece of work, like the dog, the face, the beach, and the fruit dish. Similarly, a person can be a spouse, a parent, a friend, an employee etc. Upon first glance we usually see one or two sides/views. Only when we spend time and attention might we discover the rest of the elements. However, even at this point, it is only superficial, surface knowledge. There are so much more intricate details in the painting that you can't see from an online jpeg or perhaps a reproduced poster. But even when I have all the details memorized, I would only know the painting from my own interpretation. If I talk to another person about the painting, I would probably learn a whole lot more that I didn't realise. And so on...

cybette wrote this at 02:20 AM ... Comments (1)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Cellular... starring Nokia 6600

(Adapted from article in Nokia news service)

It's got good memory, plenty of colours and it's packed with entertaining features. Now it gets to do what most humans on this planet can only dream of, that is to co-star with Oscar winner Kim Basinger on the big screen. It's the Nokia 6600 and it's one of the key characters in Cellular, the new action thriller by director David Ellis.

A young man (played by Chris Evans) gets a random phone call from a kidnapped woman (Kim Basinger). He must stay on the line with her and find her before the battery runs out. If the signal dies so does she, goes the slogan. Grabbing his Nokia 6600, the hero goes for rescue.

Hobnobbing with Hollywood is nothing new to Nokia, whose products have featured in several blockbusters, including Matrix, Charlie's Angels and Minority Report. So how did the Nokia 6600 end up in the hands of David Ellis?

The challenge was to convince the production team to choose Nokia over competitive proposals. In early 2003, the Nokia 6600 was in prototype stages. Its innovative specs, design and look seduced and convinced production. After a demo was organized in Los Angeles, production accepted to revise the script, adding video recording to the original version.

The Nokia 6600 is truly co-starring in the film, its multimedia features not only shown but verbally incensed. It will most certainly help to portray Nokia's everyday effectiveness and its reliability in critical situations.

While showing a video clip on his Nokia 6600 Chris Evans' best friend claims: ?This is the single greatest phone ever made?. Don't we all agree?

cybette wrote this at 12:06 AM ... Comments (0)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Dare to DREAM

With the ongoing presidential election heating up, and all the talks about terrorism, Iraq, the economy, jobs (or lack thereof), this bill is probably buried somewhere and forgotten in most politicians' minds. It passed the senate judiciary committee 11 months ago but seems to have since lost momentum. I'm not saying the other issues mentioned above are trivial, but I hope the next president, once elected, will soon move this bill for a vote on the senate floor. Considering the fact that the Dream Act has strong support from both parties, I don't think it will be a problem for it to become a law, but it needs to get moving.

Some pages that I keep a close eye on the matter:

cybette wrote this at 10:14 PM ... Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Sting in Concert

Free tickets ($120 each) and a chance to meet Sting in person and take pictures with his arm around my shoulders.... ah.. what an experience. A little too tired (plus a headache) to really enjoy and remember what was happening though. Sad.

Anyway, the concert was a blast. Annie Lennox was the opening act. She's much better than I expected. But when Sting came on, that's something else. The great singing, the ever changing back drops (really beautiful too, I wish I had taken more pictures of them), the two drummers going back and forth...

Oh well, a few pics if anyone's interested...

cybette wrote this at 02:18 AM ... Comments (1)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Red. Black. White.


Nokia Launches New Fashion Collection

nokia-7280.jpg September 09, 2004 - Inspired by the glamour and elegance of the lavish 1920s, Nokia introduces a new fashion collection of three mobile phones, launched today at the Totally Fashion event in Shanghai. Pushing the boundaries of traditional mobile phone design, the collection, which features the Nokia 7280, Nokia 7270 and Nokia 7260, blends old world art deco styling with an edgy, modern day twist. Core style influences such as flow and movement, colour, geometry, detailing and graphics were the inspiration and creative energy behind the collection.

Nokia 7280: Lean, Sublime Lines
The sleek and sexy Nokia 7280 offers a completely new mobile phone design, foregoing the traditional keypad for a discreet keyless dial. A fine lacquer-inspired high-gloss finish, complemented by leather and mirror accents, add sophistication and style making this device as much a work of art as an advanced piece of technology.

Perfect to whip out at cocktails, the Nokia 7280 is geared to attract attention and become the talking point at any high glamour soiree. Its VGA camera can snap the latest and greatest while the active slide means calls can be answered or ended with a flick of a wrist.

The handset's chic strap and carrying pouch keep this hot accessory close at all times. Using the Nokia Collector, you can transfer your favourite photos, ringtones, wallpapers, music and videos from the Nokia 7280 to and from your Mac. For a fashionable handsfree experience, style mavens can plug in the Nokia Wireless Image Headset, also introduced today. Truly, the Nokia 7280 is the fantasy phone for the fashion-conscious.

nokia-7260-7270.jpg Nokia 7270: Detailed Deco
The boldly stylish Nokia 7270 draws its design inspiration from the Garbo-esque glamour of the 1920s. Encased in an etched stainless steel housing, this fold design accents your wardrobe with a matching textile wrap, carrying strap and pouch to reflect your personal style and mood.

Whether shopping in New York, Paris or Shanghai, a second opinion is merely clicks away thanks to the Nokia 7270's VGA camera. Converting clothes or shoe sizes is a snap with the clever Converter application. Tune out in style with the FM radio and fashion headset or tap away on games like Chic Pinball.

Nokia 7260: Flamboyant Fashion
Materials, graphics and colour palette set the Nokia 7260 apart. Featuring chrome and steel accents, this Art-Deco-meets-Industrial-Design concept is certain to be a favourite of fashion-minded crowd. To stand out in a crowd, consumers can enhance the style of their Nokia 7260 with daring accessories, like stylish straps and carrying pouches.

Jetsetters can easily call home with the Nokia 7260's tri-band capabilities, or send celebrity sightings using the VGA camera. The Nokia 7260 allows users to step out in style every day.

About Nokia
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia is dedicated to enhancing people's lives and productivity by providing easy-to-use and secure products like mobile phones, and solutions for imaging, games, media, mobile network operators and businesses. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on five major exchanges.

Editors Note:
- Images and technical specifications of the Nokia 7260, Nokia 7270 and Nokia 7280 can be downloaded from www.nokia.com/press.

Media enquiries:
Tel: +358 7180 34900
e-mail: press.office@nokia.com

cybette wrote this at 01:11 AM ... Comments (3)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Nokia and Six Apart

(Since I'm too busy to write in my blog regularly, I'll post some interesting news and articles instead...)

Nokia and Six Apart Announce Mobile Web Logging for Content Sharing

Nokia Lifeblog will become compatible with Six Apart's TypePad and enable multiplatform blogging

San Mateo, CA and Helsinki, Finland, September 8, 2004- Nokia and Six Apart today announced that they are collaborating to create a powerful blogging experience for people who want to share their lives online as they happen. Mobile web logging is one of the most dynamic areas in content sharing today, making people able to publish content on the World Wide Web using their handsets. TypePad's enhanced set of media features have been designed by Six Apart and Nokia to enable blogging both with mobile phone and PC. Blogging provides the rapidly increasing number of camera phone users a new way of benefiting from their mobile phone.

"Several trends are converging, making it not only possible but also easy to document your life and share it with others, from anywhere," said Barak Berkowitz, Six Apart's CEO. "Use of camera phones is now widespread, and weblogging is being increasingly adopted by consumers. The ubiquity of Internet access makes it possible to remotely share your experiences with family and friends. By combining Six Apart's TypePad and Nokia Lifeblog enhanced mobile capabilities, we're making it easy for people to stay in touch no matter where they are."

"Nokia Lifeblog is further evolving into a great tool for life sharing. Thanks to the collaboration with Six Apart, a shaper in the blog community, users will be able to upload multimedia like photos, videos, text messages, and multimedia messages to their TypePad account," said Christian Lindholm, Director of Multimedia Applications, Nokia Ventures Organization. "With the Nokia Lifeblog application and TypePad from Six Apart, we can help operators and other service providers to offer their customers the best possible mobile blogging experience."

TypePad's award-winning personal publishing service provides a simple, elegant environment for people to communicate and share their life. TypePad's full-featured intuitive interface requires no installation or technical expertise. With these new enhanced mobile capabilities, users can more easily send photos and images directly from their mobile devices and digital camera phones and have them posted on the web in professionally created designs optimized for mixed media.

Nokia Lifeblog is a mobile phone and PC application solution that keeps an organized multimedia diary of the items you collect with your mobile phone. Nokia Lifeblog can be used with the Nokia 7610 phone and later on with selected other Nokia Series 60 phones. Nokia Lifeblog 1.0 will be available during autumn 2004.

TypePad's new mobile features and the web features of Nokia Lifeblog will be demonstrated at DEMOmobile, a gathering of mobile industry key players in La Jolla, CA. The blogging capability of Nokia Lifeblog is based on the open ATOM standard, and will be available early 2005.

About Nokia
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia is dedicated to enhancing people's lives and productivity by providing easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, and solutions for imaging, games, media, mobile network operators and businesses. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on five major exchanges.

About Six Apart
Six Apart Ltd., based in San Mateo, CA, is the company behind the Movable Type publishing system and the TypePad personal weblogging service. Founded by husband and wife team Ben Trott and Mena G. Trott in 2002 and funded by Neoteny Co., Ltd., Six Apart creates tools that enable hundreds of thousands of individuals, organizations and corporations to participate in the Web's full potential by publishing their ideas on the Internet with simple, yet powerful software and services. For more information about Six Apart, TypePad and Movable Type, visit the Six Apart corporate weblog at www.sixapart.com.

Media enquiries:

Nokia Ventures Organisation
Tel. +358 7180 36117

Tel. +358 7180 34900
E-mail: press.office@nokia.com


Six Apart
Jane Anderson
Tel. +1 650 854-3883
E-mail: jane@krause-taylor.com

cybette wrote this at 05:56 AM ... Comments (1)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering 9/11

"Nineteen hijackers flew two commercial jets into the World Trade Center's twin towers and one into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers tried to stop the hijackers.

Today, three years after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, people across the United States and the world paused to remember the 2,973 people who were killed that day." (excerpts from cnn.com)

I still remember that day... 9/11/01. Bruce had moved into his new house (now our home sweet home) not two days earlier. I was still at my apartment with my sister. I slept in (as usual) and woke up to an email from Bruce telling me to "Watch out for strange flying aircraft". I had no idea what he was talking about. Then I turned on the TV and saw the horrific scenes on the screen. Evana joined me and we sat there stunned for hours listening to news reports and seeing what was happening (or rather, has happened). It was like a bad movie, except that it was not make-believe, it was real.

Those poor souls, may they rest in peace. The thing that got to me was how some people had to jump out of the buildings... For those who were killed immediately by the main crash into the buildings, they probably (hopefully) died quickly and painlessly (ok, maybe not painlessly, but quick enough so the pain was not prolonged). However for those who were trapped in the towers on other floors, they had to make a decision: either to be burnt to death or jump to their deaths... not much of a choice is it? My heart goes out to all of them. Also the firefighters and policemen who sacrificed their lives in the process. Also the people on the hijacked planes. And not to mention the families of the victims who have to deal with the painful losses even till this day.

I'm not a religious person, nor have very strong political views. But those terrorists are bad people, evil people. I hope and pray they get their just deserves, and soon. In the meantime, God bless America, and all of the world. We need more peace and love all around. Hug your loved ones today and make each day count.

cybette wrote this at 11:34 PM ... Comments (0)

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Bonus horoscope

From Dallas Morning News, Friday 9/3/04

"Leo: The possibilities for a bonus look good, due to work you've already done. You make even more if you follow through on promises you've made."

But what's the good of having a bonus if I don't have a LIFE to enjoy it?? Besides work, school, doing things for others, more work, little sleep... there's no time left for myself.

Yes I'm thankful for the job. I said I won't complain (too much). But I've lost touch with myself. And my family. And my friends. I feel like a disposable piece of crap. If they lose me, they'll just find another worker (or two??) to replace me. If my friends don't see me, it's ok, they have other friends. I'm of no value anyway, except to _ _ _, maybe.

Idealism. Time to say goodbye.

cybette wrote this at 12:47 PM ... Comments (1)