September 30, 2011

Dust off the durndles...

 We're on our way to Oktoberfest!

We're driving from Amsterdam to Munich (which Google tells us should take roughly 8 hours) for the infamous beer festival in Bavaria. 2 days of dirndles, pretzels, sausages, a wee bit of beer perhaps and lots of singing! Can't wait! 
Its me + 2 guys driving a teeny tiny mini cooper to Germany so we'll need a good playlist to keep everyone happy (we've had to compromise a bit as our tastes differ tremendously)  

Here's a few of the tunes we'll be cruising to on the autobahn:

And ofcourse, no Friday afternoon would be complete without *Ri Ri - Cheers (Drinks to that) 

Have a great weekend! XXX

September 29, 2011

Snapshots of an Indian Summer

 The weather has been gorgeous, the birds have been chirping & the cutest dogs have been out in full force! Here are a few snaps taken over the last week here in Amsterdam during our Indian Summer.

Daisy my neighbour
With my future roomie Dotje (LOVE the histagram app, wish I had an iphone just for this!)

The Amsterdam Flower Market

Flowers blooming everywhere :)
Picnic in the Vondelpark
Another cute pooch
Flowers really are everywhere...

September 28, 2011

Window to the World : Dubai

Here's my first "Window to the World" post! I'm so excited to share these photos with everyone as they're all really interesting! I'm posting them in the order in which they were emailed to me :) Enjoy! 

"Mosque in Sharjah City and lagoon with Dubai skyline in background. Quality's not great though, what with all the desert sand stuck to the windows! There's all sorts of meaningful symbolism in there. The chasm of water between modernisation and mosque. The sun and all it respresents blocked out by the ugly new building. Even the cars all queuing up almost leaving the mosque and heading to the new city and setting sun...I could go on all day!"
© Steven Miller (2011)


September 27, 2011

Google becomes a teenager

Google turned 13 today.

In 13 years one company has magically transformed our lives and the way we interact, educate, learn about the world and settle simple dinner table debates by "Googling it". Remember life before Google was a word in the dictionary, before Gmail, YouTube, Google Scholar and Blogger, to name a few? I recently finished reading "Googled:The End of the World As We Know It" by Ken Aletta and it was really interesting to see how Google has also influenced business structures and traditional 'office thinking' by focussing on human relationships, stimuli and creativity as the backbones of success. Before I bore all non-geeks I figured I'd acknowledge this coming of age by showing some of my favourite 'Gloodles' - the daily doodles which brighten up Google pages. Some are country specific whilst others are used globally to commemorate events and holidays. These have generated somewhat of a cult following and many people collect them. The animated ones are some of my favourite!

John Lennon's 70th Birthday - Give peace a chance.

100th Birthday of Annie M.G. Schmidt
100th Birthday of Annie M.G. Schmidt (One of my favourite Dutch children's authors)

25th Anniversary of Tetris
25th Anniversary of Tetris

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street
Pi Day
Pi Day
Jackson Pollock's Birthday - Courtesy of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation / ARS, NY
Jackson Pollock's Birthday

Martha Graham's 117th Birthday. Animated by Ryan Woodward, choreographed by Janet Eilber, and danced by Blakeley White-McGuire.


September 26, 2011

Global Mosaic~One Day on Earth 2011

On November 11th, 2011 (11.11.11) documentary filmmakers, students, and other inspired citizens across the planet will record the human experience over a 24-hour period and contribute their voice to the second annual global day of media creation called ONE DAY ON EARTH. Together, they will create a shared archive and a film. This is similar to 'Life in a Day" which I mentioned before but the difference lies in the fact that One Day on Earth has partnerships with the United Nations Development Program, Human Rights Watch, World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam International. This shifts the focus slightly from it being a commercial venture to something more.. “We don’t want to just create a film...We’re trying to create a movement.”

Nita Deda was filmed on her wedding day in Kosovo, where the bride's face has to be painted in order to prevent bad luck.

Founded in 2008, ONE DAY ON EARTH's first media creation event occurred on 10.10.10. The collaboration was the first ever simultaneous filming event occuring in every country of the world. It and created a unique geo-tagged video archive as well as an upcoming feature film. Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman came up with the idea after attending a collaborative music festival. “All of these styles of music came together and, although it was kind of awkward at first, it turned into something incredible,” he said. “I wanted to do the same thing with film.” Read an interview with these guys in the New York Times Online.

Kriya Sraj/One Day on Earth 2010
Together, they are showcasing the amazing diversity, conflict, tragedy, and triumph that occur in one day. Everyone is invited to join the international community of thousands of filmmakers, hundreds of schools, and dozens of non-profits, and contribute to this unique global mosaic. 'One Day on Earth is a community that not only watches, but participates.'

Dan Chung captured a North Korean military parade for the film “One Day on Earth 2010”
Another difference between this project and "Life in a Day" is that One Day on Earth is supported by Vimeo (YouTube's rival), which unfortunately can't be embedded in Blogger posts! So here's the trailer for 2010 on YouTube but you can check out the trailer for 2011 on Vimeo here.

A coursemate of mine suggsted we contribute to this idea so we're going to brainstorm and come up with something a bit different. We need to figure out how best to represent a day in the life of a postgrad student in Amsterdam on November 11th, 2011, without just showing the inside of our library.

What will you be doing on that day?



September 25, 2011

Tilt Shift : Classic Revamp

The Starry Night, 1889
Red Chestnuts in the Public Park at Arles, 1889 
Prisoners Exercising, 1890
Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888
Wheat Field with Rising Sun, 1889
If any of these images made you do a double take, it's thanks to a new photomanipulation technique called tilt-shift photography, which developed a few years ago. After seeing how tilt-shift photography could make real world scenes appear like miniature models using a special lens, Serena Malyon decided to simulate the effect on Van Gogh's famous paintings. Using Photoshop, she manipulated the light and adjusted the focus to make us see these paintings in ways we could have never imagined.

Amazingly, nothing in these paintings was changed, added or removed. The incredible illusions are all created by the magic of Photoshop. Read Selena's interview discussing how she did this on My Modern Metropolis.


September 24, 2011

Indian Summer

It's a warm sunny weekend here in Amsterdam so we're taking full advantage! The Dutch had a horrible summer this year with non-stop rain and they're calling this sudden burst of sunshine in September their "Indian Summer". I'll share more on this after the weekend :)
Here's a peek at the Amsterdam Flower Market which I pass every day on my way to Uni.


September 23, 2011

I ♥ Prezi

So the only thing that helped me through this crazy week at uni was a new, engaging presentation programme which I think will eventually replace Microsoft PowerPoint. Gone are the days of struggling to keep your eyes open in class during yet ANOTHER group presentation....slide after slide of the sameee stuff... (I can't imagine how boring it must be for teachers + professors)

In steps Prezi, a a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for exploring and sharing ideas on a virtual 'canvas'. Prezi lets users zoom in and out of their presentation media and to display and navigate through information, giving it a non-linear, 3D affect. The beauty of cloud- based software is that it's all online and can be shared amongst different users; so everyone in a group can access the presentation and edit it individually.

You can also easily embed YouTube videos, without that awkward pause mid way through a presentation to open up a video link...

I'm always excited by new techie stuff and especially techie stuff that allows you to be creative!

Give Prezi a try fellow students (+ business people!), I promise it will brighten your work load :)
Unfortunately I couldn't upload a sample on Blogger for you but you can check out a Prezi presentation on Coca Cola on their website here; not only is it a good example of how Prezi works but it's full of interesting facts & figures on Coca Cola!



September 22, 2011

Windows to the World

View from my bus window when I first arrived in Shanghai in 2008. We were crossing over the Huangpu River into Shanghai; in the distance you can see the Jin Mao Tower (On the left - the tallest building in the world at the time) and the Oriental Pearl Tower (on the right) along the Pudong Bund - the famous Shanghai city skyline.
This idea was inspired by a blog I follow dedicated to creating a collection of individual views from individuals around the world. 

I've since thought of doing something similar but with people I know personally as it goes hand in hand with the point of Skip to Malou*; to share, discuss and reflect on interesting things in life with others. I'm so lucky to have interesting friends and family scattered all over the world, from L.A to Hong Kong, Dubai to Argentina. Some are 1000's of feet in the air whilst a couple of them are below the surface. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with them and follow their adventures. WhatsApp/Blackberry Messenger have allowed this to be taken even further by allowing us to share photos and snapshots of our lives instantaneously. I love it when I get a photo showing me where someone is at that very second!

We all get that feeling sometimes when we look out of our window at a grey sky or are just stressed out with work. Or, perhaps it's the opposite, where you are somewhere amazing and would love nothing more than for some of your friends to be there with you. I've had that numerous times with my travel partner-in-crime Christina, especially in Asia, when everything was ALMOST perfect but we both agreed that the only thing missing was close friends and family to share in the experience with us. A snapshot is that 'wish you were here' gesture.

Since I won't be traveling very much this year, I'll be experiencing something new through my friends and family. I asked them to take a photo of their view from a window - be it home, office or even car/public transportation at any point during their day - it can also be a church window or somewhere they don't usually go.  TRAVEL photos are encouraged! It can be ANYWHERE in the world, somewhere they're visiting on holiday or for work.

This is about sharing experiences with others in a snapshot, a window to the world. Every week I'll feature a photo sent in with a brief caption on where it is and perhaps a short story to go with it. I hope my readers will enjoy reading this as much as I have organising it!

Would you like to include a photo in this blog feature? Feel free to email me at maloumorgan [at] gmail [dot] com. I would love to make this as global and as interesting as possible :)


September 21, 2011

Take me there: Africa

I don't care where it is in Africa; Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana or the Congo! Anywhere that I can catch a glimpse of the African wildlife, the local tribes or the majestic landscape. These photos are the work of Steve Bloom who I will feature later on; I lovee this South African photographer! A great mid-week pick me up.


September 20, 2011

Bajan big up

WoohoOO!! Skip to Malou* was mentioned on one of my favourite blogs!
Thank you Barbados Free Press! Made my day ♥


September 19, 2011

Around the World for Free : Barbados

Just found this on Crop Over Files and I had to share it!

Have you heard of CBS show Around The World for Free? It's a reality series based on the concept of whether a person can circle the globe without any money. The show follows a reality star as they somehow try to make it around the country they are visiting... WITH NO MONEY!!! They merely rely on local guides and inhabitants for basic needs.

Here's an episode of Around The World for Free: Barbados.

I love the concept of being able to travel the world relying on people's hospitality and sheer luck. I especially love that this offers a glimpse into Bajan culture ; warm people with a relaxed attitude & an appreciation for rum and good food! (I love that is also shows a Bajan male's obvious appreciation for a good looking young lady...)




This is really funny for me to watch as well as my former sailing instructor 'Wipers' is the guy who ends up talking to her about the risks of going out with the approaching weather system - I'm sure they had to censor some of this as he usually curses like a pirate!

It's a pity she didn't stay in Barbados a bit longer to experience more of what our little gem has to offer.


The World is where we live

We are all connected...a great message by WWF


September 18, 2011

TED - Ideas worth spreading

I've mentioned TED videos and talks a few times throughout Skip to Malou* but a few people have recently asked me: what is TED exactly?
In short, TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. 

TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.

Started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds:  Technology, Entertainment, Design, TED has since broadened its scope to address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The annual TED conferences bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives - in 18 mins or less. 

Thandie Newton was one of this year's speakers at TEDGLobal in Edinburgh during Session 8: Embracing Otherness 
The TED videos are amazing and the whole programme has focused on offering free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. Speakers range from world leaders to celebrities and street artists, from teachers to roboticists and architects.
Anonymous artist JR speaks during Session 4: Future Billions during TEDGlobal in Edinburgh. JR won the 2011 TED Prize as a result of his concept and great work and I featured it on a post here.
TED is best thought of as a global community. It's a community welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. TED seeks out the most interesting, unusual and potentially groundbreaking ideas on Earth and then provides a platform on which to share them.

Tracey Chapman at the TED Conference in 2007

There's so much I can say about the TED videos, I try to watch a few each week. They force you to think outside of the box, tap into concepts you never knew existed and hear some awe inspiring stories from really motivational people. They're refreshing, frank and support my belief that great ideas are meant to be shared and accessible to those who wish to learn.
Read more on the TED conferences here and promise me you'll watch at least ONE of the videos. I guarantee you'll find at least one that you like. It may even, perhaps, hopefully, inspire you or positively change the way you look at certain challenges or issues.

September 17, 2011

?The human heart stripped of fat and muscle, with just the angel veins exposed.?

The human heart stripped of fat and muscle, with just the angel veins exposed.
*Taken from here.

Bit creepy but beautiful :)
♥ this!

September 16, 2011

What's in a name?

Have you ever stopped to think about the meaning behind the powerful companies that infiltrate into our daily lives and what the meaning is behind their brand name?
The Next Web put together a list of over 30 tech companies and how their founders made that important decision. From home towns, to birthdays, to personal nicknames, a lot of the names have a very personal meaning for the founders.

Here are a few of my favourite:

 Google’s name was an accident. Originally going with googol, a misspelling led to the name that has since become a noun, verb, and an ever-present part of our online lives. The original choice of name googol was a reflection of the company’s mission to take over the world. Just kidding. Google’s mission was to organize the boundless amounts of information available online.

Ok so Lego is not a tech company, but it’s a company of utmost importance to any self-respecting geek. Lego is a play on the the Danish expression, Leg godt, which means, well, Play well. Lego is also a Latin word meaning I put together but the company claims that is entirely coincidental.

You might not realize it but the actual Japanese company, Nintendo, was formed in Kyoto in 1889. From producing handmade playing cards, to a cab company, to a love hotel, the business went through a variety of incarnations, but held on to its original name. In 1974 the company ventured into the electronics world, and a year later it entered the video game arcade industry. The name can be roughly translated as ‘leave luck to heaven.’


The company name started out as Sky-Peer-to-Peer, was shortened to Skyper, and was then shortened some more, to Skype. The reason for dropping the R was due to what has become a major issue today when deciding on a business name – the domain was already taken.


Sony’s name is a double entendre. It refers both to the Latin word sonus meaning sound, and it also refers to the American slang expression, sonny boys, which is what co-founders Akio Moritom and Masaru Ibuka described themselves as, back in the day. In the 1950s in Japan, sonny boys had connotations of a young, smart and presentable men. Sony was also chosen because it was easily pronounced in many languages.

 Quite a few names were mulled over when deciding what to call Twitter, including Twitch and Jitter. In a interview earlier this year, co-founder Jack Dorsey explained how they arrived at the name Twitter:
We wanted a name that evoked what we did. We wanted something that was tangible. And we looked at what we were doing and when you received a tweet over SMS, your phone would buzz. It would jitter. It would twitch. And those were the early names, Jitter and Twitch. And neither one of them really inspired the best sort of imagery.
He goes on to say:
One of the guys who was helping us build and create the system, Noah Glass, took the word Twitch, and he went down the dictionary. And we all looked at the Oxford English dictionary at the T-W’s, and we found the word Twitter. And Twitter means a short inconsequential burst of information, chirps from birds. And we were like, that describes exactly what we’re doing here. So it was an easy choice, and we got for some very low price, and we named the company Twitter.


September 15, 2011

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