Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Flickr

The Netherlands? What a totally flat country can be but boring?

How people are at their best in transforming boring nature and environment.

1. The Netherlands? There’s really not much going on there.

The Netherlands? There's really not much going on there.

2. The scenery is pretty average.The scenery is pretty average.

3. Amsterdam is nothing special.

Amsterdam is nothing special.

4. There is no culture; you’ll be bored out of your mind if you go.

There is no culture; you'll be bored out of your mind if you go.

5. The dunes aren’t pretty at all.

The dunes aren't pretty at all.

6. Summers are just a pain in the ass.

Summers are just a pain in the ass.

7. Even the birds can’t wait to leave.

Even the birds can't wait to leave.

8. Nothing of interest happens on a Dutch beach.

Nothing of interest happens on a Dutch beach.

9. I bet this guy is SUPER bored.

I bet this guy is SUPER bored.

10. You won’t find anything tasty to eat in The Netherlands.

You won't find anything tasty to eat in The Netherlands.

11. Seriously, YUCK.

12. Dutch people do strange things to their fries.

Dutch people do strange things to their fries.

13. And look at this crap they call breakfast. And look at this crap they call breakfast.

14. You won’t be able to find a decent cup of coffee.

You won't be able to find a decent cup of coffee.

15. And there’s too much cheese everywhere.

And there's too much cheese everywhere.

Get your cheese away from me!

16. You can’t do anything fun in The Netherlands.

You can't do anything fun in The Netherlands.

17. All the cities are SUPER dull.

All the cities are SUPER dull.

18. There’s no sense of national pride.

There's no sense of national pride.

19. People love to just sit on terraces and chat to one another – WHY!?!

People love to just sit on terraces and chat to one another – WHY!?!

20. Cycling everywhere is such a hassle.

Cycling everywhere is such a hassle.

21. Children clearly hate it.

Children clearly hate it.

22. Parents even transport their kids in these weird crates – how cruel!

Parents even transport their kids in these weird crates – how cruel!

23. The way the Dutch like to celebrate is pretty boring.

The way the Dutch like to celebrate is pretty boring.

Their New Year’s Eve fireworks will send you to sleep.

24. And on New Year’s Day they all run into the icy North Sea. Show-offs.

And on New Year's Day they all run into the icy North Sea. Show-offs.

25. Amsterdam Pride? One of the dullest parties out there.

Amsterdam Pride? One of the dullest parties out there.

26. Dutch people don’t give a crap about their footballers.

Dutch people don't give a crap about their footballers.

27. The queen is just such an average woman.

The queen is just such an average woman.

28. And the royals travel around in ugly carriages like this.

And the royals travel around in ugly carriages like this.

29. The entire place is just TOO flat.

The entire place is just TOO flat.

30. And annoyingly colourful.

And annoyingly colourful.

31. You’re not cute, goat. Sorry.

You're not cute, goat. Sorry.

32. Dutch people are SO plain looking.

Dutch people are SO plain looking.

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

33. Yawn, go back to Westeros, Michiel Huisman.

Yawn, go back to Westeros, Michiel Huisman.

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

34. And the country is way too small. There’s no room for anyone.

And the country is way too small. There's no room for anyone.

35. Where the hell are you supposed to go and collect your thoughts?

Where the hell are you supposed to go and collect your thoughts?

36. You just feel so claustrophobic everywhere you go.

You just feel so claustrophobic everywhere you go.

37. And it’s such a hideous country at night.

And it's such a hideous country at night.

38. The houses are too cute; it’s irritating.

The houses are too cute; it's irritating.

39. How on earth could you live in one of these?

How on earth could you live in one of these?

40. So don’t ever go to The Netherlands.

So don't ever go to The Netherlands.

41. Don’t even think about it.

Don't even think about it.

42. You’d have to be out of your mind.

You'd have to be out of your mind.

 

Show me in pictures your New Year’s Eve Traditions

Wear brand-new pink underwear to attract love.

Worst-case scenario, you’re wearing nice undies 🙂

2. At exactly 12:00, step forward with your right foot to start the year off with…YOUR RIGHT FOOT!

4. Walk through the streets banging loudly on pots and pans at midnight.

6. Wear white to scare away bad spirits.

BuzzFeed

7. Jump seven waves for good luck.

One for each day of the week.

8. Give some gifts to goddess Iemanja.

She’s the goddess of water, and she loves gifts, especially flowers.

Throw some into the ocean — if they come back, it means she didn’t accept them. Don’t worry, you can try again next New Year’s Eve.

9. Watch Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, even though it’s awful and everyone hates it.

11. Eat a spoonful of lentils at midnight for a year filled with work and money.

And don’t complain if you hate lentils!

12. Sweep your house inside out to remove bad energy.

Brandon Cripps / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: brandoncripps

13. Walk around your block with an empty suitcase for a year full of travel!

15. Make a doll (more like an effigy) to burn to signify the burning away of the old year and the welcoming of the new one.

Men dress up in drag and pretend to be the “widow” of the doll and beg for coins in the streets “to save my husband from being burned.”

17. Crack an egg in a glass at midnight and leave it on the window sill overnight. Whatever figure it has made in the morning, that’s what your fortune will bring next year.

19. You tell your fortune by throwing melted metal into cold water.

21. At 12 a.m. on New Year’s Day, grab 12 pennies and then go outside your house and you throw the pennies behind you while you face the opposite of the street.

This will bring you money in the new year.

23. Eat oliebollen, which are like big oily balls of dough, deep-fried and covered in icing sugar.

25. Turn on all the lights in the house on New Year’s Eve to ward off evil spirits.

26. Open all the doors, cabinets, and windows and then run around shutting them after it hits midnight.

28. Fill pots and pans with water and throw the water out the front door once the clock strikes midnight.

29. Write down a wish on a piece of paper, burn it, throw it into a champagne glass, and drink it before 12:01.

nito100/nito100

Gross but fun!

31. Immediately after the bells, the first-footing begins, which means being the first person across a friend’s or neighbor’s threshold.

The first-foot usually brings several gifts, including a coin, bread, salt, coal, or whisky, which respectively represent financial prosperity, food, flavor, warmth, and good cheer.

32. You must eat a grape with each bell strike at midnight for prosperity.

It’s harder than you’d think to get all 12 done in time.

34. Get pomegranates and throw them from our balcony to the street below.

The more they “burst,” the more plentiful our year is supposed to be.

36. Wear yellow underwear for “good luck.”

Wear yellow underwear for "good luck."

 

“Down with this Classist Society”:

A Letter from Mahienour El-Masry

An Egyptian girl serving a 2-year prison sentence or allegedly organizing an unauthorized protest during the Khalid Said murder retrial.

Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
[Image originally posted to Flickr by Gigi Ibrahim.][Image originally posted to Flickr by Gigi Ibrahim.]

[The following is an English translation of a letter circulating in social media by Egyptian activist Mahienour El-Masry, who is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for allegedly organizing an unauthorized protest during the Khalid Said murder retrial. The letter was translated by Reem Abou-El-Fadl]

“I do not know much about what is going on outside, ever since the sentence against me was upheld. But I can imagine, based on what we used to do when one of our “circle” was imprisoned, that slogans of “freedom for X” and “freedom for the brave” and so on are now filling up cyberspace.

As for me, ever since I came to Damanhour Women’s Prison, and was placed with the prisoners of Ward 1 – relating to Public Funds Fraud – all I can repeat is “down with this classist order.”

Most of the prisoners in the ward with me are in jail because of IOUs they could not pay back, whether it was a woman buying furniture for her daughter’s marital home, a woman collecting funds for her husband’s medical treatment, or a woman who borrowed 2,000 pounds only to discover that she owes three million.

The ward itself is a small society: the rich get all they need, and the poor sell their labor while in prison.

The ward is a small society, in which the prisoners discuss current affairs in our country. Here I found women who support al-Sisi based on their belief that if he wins, he will grant amnesty to those imprisoned in IOU cases.

There are some who choose him because he will deal with terrorist demonstrations with an iron fist – that is, despite their sympathy for me and their feeling that I am probably innocent and wrongly imprisoned.

There are others who support Hamdeen (the challenging candidate in the Presidential election) because he is the son of the same earth, and because they believe that he promised to free the prisoners – only to be screamed at by the first camp, who insist that Hamdeen was referring only to political prisoners.

And there are still others who see the whole process as a farce, and say that if they had been abroad they would have boycotted the elections.

The ward is a small society. I feel that I am among my family – they all advise me to focus on my future prospects when I get out.

I tell them that the people deserve better, and that we have not yet attained justice, and that we will keep trying to build a better society.

Then I hear the news that Hosni Mubarak has been given three years in the presidential palaces case, and I laugh and tell them: obviously the regime believes that Um Ahmad, who has been in prison for 8 years and has six left, because of cheques whose value does not come to more than 50,000 pounds, is more dangerous than Mubarak. So what future prospects do you want me to look out for in an unjust society?

Mubarak, who supports al-Sisi, is seen by the prisoners as their saviour. But they still talk about social justice and the class society without trouble.

We must not forget our main goal in this battle of ours, in which we are losing our friends and comrades.

We must not turn into groups that call for the freedom of X, and forget the demands of the people, who need to eat.

Alongside chanting against the Protest Law, we must work to bring down the classist order, and organize ourselves, engage with the people, and talk about the rights of the poor and our solutions for them, and we must call for the freedom of the poor, so that people do not feel that we are distant from them.

Ultimately, if we have to raise the slogan “freedom for X,” then I say freedom for Sayyida, Hiba, and Fatma–three girls I met at the police station, accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, among other charges that can lead to death sentences. They were arrested randomly, and their detention has been renewed since January without them ever appearing in court.

Freedom for Um Ahmad who has not seen her children for eight years, and freedom for Um Dina, who is the breadwinner in her family, and freedom for Ne’ma, who accepted illegal means to feed her children.

Freedom for Farha, Wafaa’, Kawthar, Sanaa’, Dawlat, Samia, Iman, Amal and Mervat. Our pain is nothing in comparison to theirs.

We know that there is someone thinking of us, openly proud because they know us, whereas those who are proud to know them only speak about this in family gatherings.

So down with this classist society. We will not be able to achieve that unless we never forget the truly oppressed.

Mahienour El-Masry

Room 8 – Ward 1
Damanhour Prison
22 May 2014

“Talk About Cyclists as you would talk about Road users”: Freshest concerns

After cycling deaths and serious accidents it’s common to see people talking about red light jumping, pavement cycling and so on – and yet this rarely happens when pedestrians get knocked over or there are multiple car pile-ups. So we wondered: what would it be like if we talked about everyone else the way we talk about cyclists?

Rachel Holdsworth posted this Nov. 14, 2013 on the Londonist

If We Talked About All Road Users The Way We Talk About Cyclists

“I know the woman crossing the road was in my blind spot, but if she’d been wearing a high-vis jacket I’d have seen her – in my blind spot.”

“I nearly got knocked over by a bus on a zebra crossing once. It was a dual carriageway, the van in the lane nearest to me had stopped but this bus went sailing through and missed me by inches. This actually happened.

I now hate all buses and think they shouldn’t be allowed on the road.”

traffic_141113

Photo by Homemade from the Londonist Flickr pool

“If the pushchair didn’t have lights on, then I’m not surprised it got hit. What? Yes, even at 2pm.”

“I’ve got no sympathy for the little old man knocked down at the crossing. If he wasn’t wearing a helmet he should take what’s coming to him.”

“I see buses jump red lights all the time. Just look on YouTube, there’s loads of videos. Therefore all bus accidents are the fault of buses jumping red lights. I bet all the buses that hit people in London (one a day) jumped red lights. Bastards.”

“1.2m drivers don’t have insurance. I think police should wait at big junctions to check all drivers’ documents.”

“Did you hear about that horrific accident? Where the car ended up under a low loader and the driver was killed? Bet he was texting when it happened.”

“Bloody mobility scooter on the pavement! Get on the road where you’re not a danger to pedestrians!”

“Bloody mobility scooter on the road! Get on the pavement where you’re not a danger to motorists!”

It’s almost as if road users are individuals who sometimes do stupid things but can’t be held representative of that entire transport mode. Perhaps we should just concentrate on making infrastructure safer for all vulnerable road users.

Hannah Padgett wrote:

“If you look at taxonomies of car–bicycle collisions or car–motorcycle collisions, which tend to be very similar, you see that the majority of collisions happen in just a few circumstances.

One of the key circumstances is: the rider is going straight along a main road and are hit by a driver turning right (in the UK), either into a side street or out of one.

There’s actually a (very) small psychological literature on this, particularly the ‘looked-but-failed-to-see phenomenon’, which is where the right- turning driver looks at the rider but does not consciously become aware of the hazard.

Unfortunately, this literature is so small it doesn’t provide very hard answers, but it’s likely the problem is drivers’ expectations, making it a top- down processing problem.

The hypothesis is that drivers don’t expect to encounter cyclists at junctions and so their visual search patterns go to the parts of the road where cars and trucks are to be found, skipping the parts of the road where cyclists (and, to an extent, motorcyclists) are found.”

Email Boris Johnson NOW to prevent more deaths petition.lcc.org.uk
Ultra Shocking Video about Lorry Blind-Spots. dutchbikeguy.wordpress.com
TfL (Transport for London) have made a video showing just how blind lorry drivers are in some circumstances.
This is great evidence for the argument that heavy-goods vehicles and bikes shouldn’t ha…

Free and Zero are unbeatable lures; (September 14, 2009)

You have this experiment. A group is offered a choice (they won’t be paying): an expensive Lindt truffle chocolate for 15 cents and a Hershey for one cent.  A significant majority of the group was willing to pay 15 cents.  In the next experiment, the prices were altered: the piece of Lindt is priced 14 cents and the Hershey is free; the price difference is the same in both trials. Almost all the group could not skip the attraction of the free Hershey.

My hypothesis is that the reverse must be true for the “haut de game” or the most expensive items.  A group of wealthy individuals who knows quality is offered the choice between two expensive items of exactly the same quality and appearance; one item is priced $900,000 and the other $800,000.  My contention is a significant majority would select the less expensive item in this trial. Now the prices are changed from $900,000 to $1,000,000; exactly the same price difference.  I am pretty confident that a significant majority would opt for the one million dollar item, simply for the additional zero; an all rounded number that may stun acquaintances.

Now and then you read challenging or controversial best-seller works such as “The tipping point” by Malcolm Gladwell (see my series of reviews), “Earth is flat” by Thomas Friedman, or “The long tail” by Chris Anderson that sort out “leaders of opinion”.  Chris Anderson (longtail.com) published another challenging book “Free! Enter the free of charge economy”.

So far, there are many aspects in the economy that digital technology made free of charge from free programs, free loading of digital books and music, free access to many internet networks, to publishing webs, to information webs such as Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, Trillian, Tripod, Twitter, and so on.

The musician Derek Webb permitted free loading of his album in return of the loader’s electronic address.  Webb gathered 80,000 mailing addresses which packed his concert tour. The one who can afford to pay is willing to pay if he wants the product. This one was willing to pay far expensive concert ticket than listening to a lasting album, simply because this free loading enabled him to appreciate the album and return the gesture.

Yes, someone has to pay. The basic model is the “freemium”. A standard version is disseminated for free so that those professionals who can afford to pay for the “premium” version cover the expenses and generate the profit. This model is adopted by the photos site Flickr, the instantaneous messages plate-form Trillian, and the loading of iPhone applications AppStore.  The McKinsey Journal is applying the same economic model for business investment; only the professionals would purchase expensive targeted advice. This economic model is working because digital technology has reduced the basic cost for standard versions.

Before WWI, the economic principle was “Demands carry the economy”.  This is exactly what “free of charge” trend is emulating: you buy what you urgently need after testing and loving the product. Basically, it means “We make profit from those who can afford the product”. The previous principle was upturned in the next century; it stated: “Offers drive the economy” which means “We produce and then we find ways to encourage consumers to purchase.  We entice the consumers by promotional gimmicks, by much lower prices, by creating new trends of standards of living, and by lavishing plenty of credits.”

Fundamentally, “Offers drive the economy” means: “We make profit of the pennies from the million of customers.” It worked for a while, until what is being produced is getting too expensive, of lower quality, and basically not that essential in tight financial downturns.

How about educating the consumers of what is essential for resuming a decent life without the faked propaganda of what constitute a “high standard of living”?

They say “Free and zeroes are sources of irrational excitation”.  I beg to differ. The excitation is not irrational at all.  Only the most boring individuals are not attracted by zero and free of charge.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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