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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Ankh-Morpork Times goes YouTube!

Or at least two videos I made during my vacation in Indonesia. Both were shot with my Canon Digital Ixxus 800IS, which is a photo-camera so don't expect any wonders ;)

The first one shows ceremonies I observed in Padangbai and the Kecak Fire and Trance Dance I attended in Ubud, Bali:


The second shows clips shot under water:

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Winter arrived!

Finally Winter arrived in Mettmenstetten. Here a first impression:

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Does Google know me?

I've been interested for a couple of days how much Google knows about me. Today was time for the ultimate test: I googled for my name ;). I was surprised, there were 702 hits. Within the first 20 there were 19 relevant pages, afterwards it kinda deteriorated.
I did discover an interesting fact though. My former school (ZHW) doesn't really know me! In the listing with all the graduated students they listed a wrong town with my entry. Add to that the fact, that I was almost placed into the wrong course of study when receiving the Swiss Engineering Award. Fortunately, one of my teachers spotted the mistake in time...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Verdi Gala

Culture was yesterday evening's topic. I went to a Verdi gala. Several pieces of Verdi's work were presented by the Mink Orchestra, supported by Soloists and the choir of the city theater in Winterthur. The conductor explained that most of Verdi's works had a common theme: Unhappy love and death. Apparently there isn't one opera where people do not fall unhappily in love and kill or get killed before the piece is out.
You might wonder, why the sudden interest in classical music ;). For one I do like to listen to classical music from time to time, but the main reason was Alex's participation in the choir :).

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Even though this Japanese anime is 23 years old, it just now played in one of Zürich's cinemas. Nevertheless it is still very up to date and shows clearly the pointlessness of war and the dangers of environmental pollution. I was captured by the stunning visuals and the moving story and can recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who isn't afraid of insects ;). Check out Wikipedia entry for more information.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

An Lár @ Stadtkeller, Lucerne

My first concert of 2007 was a blast. An Lár played in Lucerne a fantastic concert that lasted over two hours with three encores. It was a special evening for another reason too. It was Karin Hook Widmer's last concert and to honor this occasion a couple of special songs were played that heavily depend on Hooki and will thus leave An Lár's repertoire with her. The sound deserves a special mention, because it was perfect! One could hear every instrument as well as the vocals and was extremely well balanced, chapeau!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pictures from Indonesia

Just in the latest pictures from my travels in Indonesia can be found in five thrilling albums:

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The last dives

Stranded for two days in Manado with nothing to do but Scuba-Diving. So that's what I did. My two last dives of this vacation took place at Bunaken National Park in North Sulawesi. The dives were fantastic. We saw millions of fishes, as well as the rare Hippocampus Pontohi, a small seahorse that's just been discovered two years ago.


However, there was a lot of trash on the water surface, as well as underwater. Making me wonder what they use the National Park entrance fee for...

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Diving with the Pindito

From Bali I went to Sorong (via Makassar and Manado) to board the Pindito. This is a terrific dive boat operated by a Swiss. We've spent 12 wonderful days on board, doing 33 very interesting dives. We saw Pygmy Seahorses, Manta Rays, Frogfishes, Leaf Scorpionfishes, Barracudas and many more marine life. The crew was extremely helpful and we could completely relax between the dives. Normally there were 4 dives a day: 1st at 8am, 2nd at 11am, 3rd at 3pm and a night dive at 8pm.

There are just too many memories to write about them all, but I'll post the best pictures in mid-January.

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Bali wrapup

Long time no post, because I've been busy with scuba diving, but first things first.

After returning from Mount Rinjani I went straight back to Padangbai in Bali. There I could witness a Balinese temple ceremony and dive the Liberty Wreck, a us ship that was shot during the second world war and deposited on the beach. After the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 the boat sank and is now resting 27 meters below the surface. Diving there was fantastic, the wreck was completely covered in corals, but still recognizable as a ship. And there were so many fishes there :)

Next stop was Ubud in the center of Bali. This place is known for its many cultural performances, I visited a Kechak Dance, a unique spectacle with 100 men singing.

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