The first contest

I finally got my act together and I’m posting here the first contest which will be done on this blog. This is a way for me to give back to my readers and, let’s be honest here, get some more subscribers.

For this first contest I’ve chosen as prizes two copies of Mandela’s Way, a book about which I wrote here previously, and two copies of Secrets of Super Achievers, a book which I own, but I haven’t written about yet.

To get a chance to win one of the four prizes you only have to:

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The art of Ellen McDermott

Ellen McDermott is a conceptual photographer living and working in Dublin, Ireland, but her work is represented in New York by the Clic Gallery and has been exhibited in many places around the world.

I had the pleasure of seeing Ellen McDermott talk about some of her work in the Dublin Camera Club last Tuesday. It was very inspiring and she was nice enough to answer many questions from the audience.

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Chappie – Movie review

When I was little I used to have many record discs, and later cassettes, with different stories. One of those stories was about Pinocchio, that lovable puppet, sculpted from wood by Geppetto, who only wished it could become a real boy.
I can’t feel help feeling that this movie is somehow the modern equivalent of Pinocchio but, you know, with guns and crime 🙂
The funny part is that when I was listening to Pinocchio’s story I wasn’t thinking that it was a Sci-Fi story. It was just a story to me and that’s it. I guess that later in life we real feel the need to label everything.

The writer/director Neil Blomkamp also gave us Elysium and District 9, which were both written and directed by him. It seems that he prefers to be the director of the scripts he writes, so that he can bring the vision he had in his head when writing it to life. If you enjoyed Elysium and District 9, then you will most likely enjoy Chappie, as it has a lot of the same elements.

The main actor who’s the voice behind Chappie is Sharlo Copley who also played in both Elysium and District 9, so he clearly has a strong relationship with the director.
The real surprise, for me at least, was to see the two members from Die Antwoord play themselves, but with an exaggerated story.
You might know them for the Rich Bitch and Enter the ninja songs, which are both very controversial, so I’m not expecting you to like it, but let me tell you that they played their characters very well in the movie. The surprise part is that they don’t have any real acting experience, but they still managed to pull it off.

The movie itself seemed very complex and deep to me.
Firstly they address the subject of AI (artificial intelligence) and the consequences that appear when you create such a being. They compared the creation of the AI with the birth of a new child and, because the AI develops much faster, they could show how the parents feel throughout the life of the child. Of course, the AI was as easy to corrupt as a child/teenager is and as such it was easy to convince him to do crime.
This was certainly an interesting approach since most people believe that an AI wouldn’t do the same mistakes as we do, simply because its intellect would be superior.

They also touch on the idea that you can transfer the conscience of an AI to another body, and even the conscience of a human being to a robot body. Both of these are very hard to imagine, but I think they managed to depict this in an interesting way.

The soundtrack is dominated by music from Die Antwoord, which is not really unexpected seeing as they play in the movie.

The special effects where very well done, except for a few very short instances where it felt that the robots don’t blend as they should with the environment. This was only brief  and should not ruin your experience.

Overall I think this is a great movie and I have no problem in giving it 4 out of 5.

Focus – A Movie Review

I didn’t watch the trailer before going to the cinema, at least not recently. I’m getting into a habit of not watching any more trailers, which has been triggered by the directors who have gotten into a habit of showing the whole movie in said trailer.
That being said, I did know the subject of focus and it sounded good on paper.

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My best photos of February 2015

I’ve decided that every month I will create a post with the best photos taken by me in the previous month. This will be the first month when I do this, but expect a post at the beginning of each month. Some of these photos might be new to you, while some you may have already seen.
Generally speaking these will be photos that got positive attention on Flickr, 500px, Facebook or that I simply really liked and decided to include.

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How did I end up with a snake in my underwear ?

I was in Egypt for a week to see the pyramids, enjoy some sunny weather and discover some local culture. I discovered even more than I bargained for. Let me give you some context.

I was at a show called “1001 Nights” where I went to see a cultural show, followed by some belly dancing, some other Egyptian dancing and a show with hypnotized snakes. According to the description it was gearing up to be a great night.

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Why didn’t I take up photography earlier?

Back in August of last year I was telling you that I purchased a Canon 60D because I decided I want to take up photography. Since then I’ve done a quite a few courses online, mostly on Lynda.com, watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of articles. I feel that I barely scratched the surface, but that doesn’t mean that I feel discouraged, or that I don’t want to continue. In fact, I’m loving every minute of it.

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A letter to this brunette I was seeing for a few years

The first time I met you, I was still a child, innocent. It was probably a hot summer day, and I was vulnerable. You took advantage of me.
I approached you, and I head that noise you like to make, the one that would become scorched in my brain. A sound that I always wanted you to make when we met, and that I thought makes me feel good. At first you were a bit pungent, but then I realised you can also be sweet.

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