Archive for June, 2006

Of Faces and Flags (Group E)

June 30, 2006

And now for some of the more colorful and enthusiastic folks of Group E.

Ghana Fan Italian Fan

Czech fan  US Fan

[Photo Courtesy: Flickr:Merlix (Ghana) / FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Italy) / FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Czech Republic) / Flickr:nbabaian (USA)

Traffic to Syriana

June 30, 2006

Syriana

Some years back Stephen Gaghan proved his storytelling mettle by giving us the brilliant script for Traffic, helmed by the indomitable Steven Soderbergh. After the success and Oscar win of Traffic, he went into a worldwide travel hiatus researching the dark secrets and dealings of the oil industry. The result of that quest for the storyteller in Gaghan is the movie ‘Syriana’. This time though he got the likes of George Clooney and Jeff Skoll (ex-eBay executive turned venture capitalist interested in captivating movies) to back that script and assemble an ensemble cast to dance to the tunes of his director’s call. Yep he decided to direct it himself and let Soderbergh take the back seat as executive director.

And what a brilliant movie he’s given us. The one thing that is engrossing about the movie is that, like Traffic, he’s managed to tell us simultaneous stories taking part in parts of the world as varied as Texas to Geneva to the Persian Gulf. And the beauty is that, unlike most movies with multiple storylines which connects in the end, here the connection is made in the end without the actors or stories intersecting into each other at the climax of the movie. Here in the end, we do get the deeper more holistic connection of the consequences of the actions of the different characters in play ranging from the Texas oilman to the Washington DC attorney to the derivatives trader to the CIA agent to the oil labourer in the Middle East. It’s subtly and beautifully captured and provides us with a firsthand glimpse of the phenomenon called ‘globalization’ at work and how ultimately it affects us all. Pretty scary, but that’s what the tagline on the poster says – “Everything is Connected”. Watch it and make your own connection.

Quote of the Day

June 30, 2006

Once in a bluemoon you get a quote in four different languages. Today is that day. So read and act accordingly if you wish.

Value Life

[Source: Photographed at the Woodlands MRT station in Singapore]

Of Faces and Flags (Group D)

June 29, 2006

Group D super heroes.

Angola Fan  Mexican Fan

Iranian fan  Portuguese Fan

[Photo Courtesy: Flickr:BBC-Persian (Angola) / FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Mexico) / Mumbaimirror.com (Iran) / FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Portugal)

Tintin Vintage Car of the Month June 2006

June 29, 2006

Some of the brilliant cars from the Tintin adventures are for sale in die-cast formats. It is quite a steal if you are an avid Tintin fan as well as a vintage miniature model car collector. I’m dedicating one car per month from the classic Tintin Car collection. Cars we remember so well from Tintin’s adventures across the world. Here’s the first one, the Renault Reinastella 1931, that the villain Matsuhirato drives in Shanghai in ‘The Blue Lotus’.

The Blue Lotus1

The Blue Lotus2

Renault Reinastella 1931

Quote of the Day

June 29, 2006

“The key to every seesaw is balance.” – Mira Nair (Film-maker)

[Source: Time Asia Edition, June 12, 2006]

Of Faces and Flags (Group C)

June 28, 2006

And now for the heroes of Group C. Rock on champs!!

Argentina Fan Ivory Coast Fan

Serbian Fan Dutch Fan

Photo Courtesy: FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Argentina) / Newsimg.bbc.co.uk (Ivory Coast) / FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Serbia & Montenegro) / FifaWorldCup.Yahoo.com (Nederlands)

It’s a Cruel World

June 28, 2006

It definitely is a cruel world, especially if you were an Aussie football fan. Just 12 seconds left for the pre-quarter finals match against Italy to go into overtime, Australia’s worst nightmare came true with the unintentional foul against the Italian player. Resulted in a successful penalty shootout for Italy and they got to go home happy. Personally I wish this hadn’t happened to the Aussies who have entertained us with terrific performances in all their World Cup matches. Unfortunately, as Bill Gates once mused – ‘Life is not fair. Just deal with it’ – we all have to move on accepting our inevitable fates. Better luck next time for the Aussies.

Aussie-Debacle

Aussie-Debacle2

[Photo Courtesy of BBC Sports]

Quote of the Day

June 28, 2006

Collapse

“Throughout human history, in all politically complex human societies in which people encounter other individuals with whom they have no ties of family or clan relationship, government regulation has arisen precisely because it was found to be necessary for the enforcement of moral principles.” – Jared Diamond (Author, Professor, Bird-watcher)

[Source: From Jared Diamond’s best-seller ‘Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive]

Of Faces and Flags (Group B)

June 27, 2006

Whether their respective teams succumbed victory or defeat, here’s the real champions of Group B.

England Fan Paraguay Fan

Sweden Fan Trinidad Fan

[Photo Courtesy: Flickr:Howie_Berlin (England) / Fifaworldcup.Yahoo.com (Paraguay) / Flickr:Howie_Berlin (Sweden) / Fifaworldcup.Yahoo.com (Trinidad & Tobago)