Saturday, January 31, 2004

My music

Not sure why, this evening I checked my mp3 collection that I keep in this computer. Arrgh... was so shocked to find out that I devote 6.60 GB of my harddisk for mp3! There are 1632 songs which can be played non-stop for 4.2 days! And this doesn't include many mp3 CDs I have... and minidisks too.. Oh! I keep too many mp3!!

Anyway... it's better than keeping cassette or conventional CDs... will be thousands cassettes for all songs I keep. Thanks to mp3 technology!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

What a beautiful morn!

Yesterday evening as I cycled my bike home (it was actually almost midnight), I was so happy because the night was brighter than usual. No stars, no moon, but why it was bright? Because snow was falling, painting the ground with white color... and reflecting lights of street lamps.... it was beautiful. I was like a kid who got a surprise gift. I cycled slowly.. and then took sometimes to made snow balls (snow layer was too thin to make a snowman, unfortunately). Nobody to play around, I just threw snow balls to the ground.... again and again.... I finally stopped when I felt chilled.

All night long I was wishing for more snow to fall.... I was hoping to see the real white morning.... And wow, it came true! I woke up and saw a white scenery from my window. I was really really happy!

That morning I took some pics of scenery (and self-photos too.. with no shame!).... then I tried to hold snow with naked hand... so good.. yet.. so hot! Snow burned my hands! Fortunately it was just a temporary hot feeling...

What a beautiful morn I had!

[unfortunately... snow stopped.. and melted... boohooooooo!!... my Twente is no longer white... only wet and slippery.. ugh]

Monday, January 26, 2004

Let it snow... let it snow.....

This winter there has been no real snowy day in Enschede... Dutch friends said: Just wait.. must be someday in February...
So, I have been waiting... and looking at weather forecast.
Here what Yahoo forecast says:

Tomorrow: Scattered flurries and snow showers. High near 35F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Tomorrow night: Mostly cloudy with snow flurries and snow showers possible. Low 26F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 60%. About one inch of snow expected.
Wednesday: Snow showers and a steadier snow developing late in the day. High 33F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.
Thursday: Snow showers. Highs in the mid 30s and lows in the mid 20s.
Friday: Snow showers. Highs in the mid 30s and lows in the upper 20s.


So, it seems there will be a chance of having real snowy days.... cannot wait for them...

Sunday, January 25, 2004

The Political Compass

Do you ever wonder where you stand politically? Mostly I figured myself to be kind of a bit leftish... but not so much. But after taking a test in a cool political analysis tool, now I know where I stand (perhaps it's 'almost' correct). A tool that is called as The Political Compass is really cool & easy-to-use. What you have to do is just answering 6 series of questions covering variety of attitudes, values and opinions towards political issues. At the end you get a test result which is a pair of numerical scores ranging from -10 to 10 that cover two spectrums: economic left/right and libertarian/authoritarian.

So, what did my test say? Here is the result. See ... I come in as a red spot in far-left-down quadran. This means I'm pretty much a lefty (hey, I never thought I was). According to the analysis section of the Political Compass, this result puts me closest to Nelson Mandela and Gandhi - in political sense. Wow!! Well, perhaps I could get along so well with them (I don't mind Gandhi at all!)....:-)

Anyway, it's fun to do this.. Wanna try? Just click this: Political Compass

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Love... love changes everything

Love, love changes everything: days are longer, words mean more.
Love, love changes everything: pain is deeper than before.
Love will turn your world around, and that world will last forever.
Yes, love, love changes everything, brings you glory, brings you shame.
Nothing in the world will ever be the same.


Friday, January 23, 2004

A tale of two girls

Our world is so rich... yet is so poor for some...
Click here for a sad fact about our world: http://www.who.int/features/2003/11/en#

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Painting with Jan Brinkman

Here is first abstract painting in my life as well as my first experiment with tempera..... ***

Homepage of Jan Brinkman, click here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

A forgotten country....

Somewhere in the world... there is a country of 11.5 million where more than half of population are children. The average life expectancy there is just 37. About 1.5 million of population are infected by HIV, half a million have died from AIDS, and there are a million of AIDS orphans.

This is not an imaginary country. This is not a place in gloomy-themed science-fiction. This country is Malawi, one country in Southern Africa. And my statistics are not from a decade ago, they are today's numbers.. It's Malawi today.

I knew there was a country named Malawi, but never heard, read, nor watched anything about this country. I never tried to learn about it until three months ago when I met someone from Malawi, a very nice and warm Malawian who speaks in American-British English. Joe Kalilangwe, that is his name. Knowing Joe and even sharing an office room with for about three months does mean a lot to me. Not only learning about Malawi and Southern Africa, from the story about Malawi I have learned something beyond the story itself. With his passionate way of telling stories, Joe told me much about how it is to live in that country. I really learned a lot from him, at the same time I started to try to learn more about Malawi, mainly from the Internet.

One day, Joe forwarded me a URL about famine in Malawi, where I read the story that very severe food shortages threatening the populations of Southern Africa, but the most acute crisis was in Malawi. The situation was really bad that people had to dig for mice to feed their families. Just simply no more food to eat. No crop in the field. Just nothing. Thousands kids died of famine. Adults died of AIDS. Some babies were born with HIV.

It really strucked me. Made me... ah, cannot say... so speechless. Too sad. It was 1.5 months ago and we never really talked about this issue deeply. It was just too sad. Joe left Enschede 2 weeks ago, but he didn't take the word 'Malawi' with him. The word 'Malawi' remains in my mind..

Today as I learned about the world statistic of life expectancy, I was shocked to find out that Malawi's life expectancy is the shortest in the world... 37 years old?.. ah.. and even later I found out that in December 2003, the life expectancy there dropped to 35 only.

My friend Anne-Marie who visited Malawi last year told me that she found some places in Malawi where there is no shop nor kiosk. Just nobody sells anything. The only shops she could find are furniture shops. Yet the only furniture they make is nothing but coffins. She also said that most of teenagers (16-17 years old) have already lost their hope.. they don't have no goals nor dreams in their lives... they just simply hope to not die too soon.

Imagine half of million innocent little creatures just wait for their time to die.... Imagine a place where people just go to funeral today, bury the neighbor tomorrow, and lose their relatives the next day.

Why such place exists in this world? Why we cannot help? I believe we can.... In today's world, such situation like in Malawi shouldn't exist.... We shouldn't ignore it... I believe we should do something... I believe we should care...

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Detik_Slemania: Freedom fighter or Law Breaker?

this article is published in Southeast Asia Media

Even in the cyberspace the old maxim, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" is still alive and well. What is terrorist? what is freedom fighter? and what is Law Breaker? what is hero? The ambiguity in the definition brings indistinctness in action. Today's terrorist can be tomorrow's hero. In cyber-community, an email bomb may be considered hactivism by some and cyber-terrorism by others. One's cyber-fraud doer may be considered others' global hero - like the case of DVD-Jon, (Jon Lech Johansen) a hacker who wrote and distributed a free program that unlocked copy-protected DVDs.

Today... or yesterday in Indonesian time, one newly born website Detik @id.or.id was temporarily closed. This 'temporary' (but could be eternal) closure, according to the owner of this website, was due to the 'suggestion' of APJII (The Indonesian Association of Internet Service Providers) and 'Internet community'. Giving Detik.com nightmares, the website that was initiated by Ogi Sigit P and Sayid M, two youngsters from Sleman, Yogyakarta - Indonesia, basically was showing the 'grab' version of the Indonesian most popular news portal, Detik.com. Without changing any materials but cleaning the newspage from all advertisements, Sigit and Sayid's website was indeed a copy of Detik.com. However, without any blinking colorful advertisement boxes, Detik @id.or.id offered a much nicer look. Using grab-technology which is commonly used by syndication-bloggers these days, this Detik_Slemania (let's name it this way!) website was trying to show how convinient it was to be in an advertisement-free domain. With very simple design, clean from any 'accessories' and 'unnecessary elements', the site provided a very nice environment to read news. Also for Net-users in Indonesia, whom mostly access from not-so-high speed Net connections, reading Detik.com from Detik_Slemania was much faster rather than from the original site.

This unusual site brings readers closer to the realization how important to have a moment in 'space'.... without any intrusion from 'corporate economy'. Such 'space' is rare... even in the so called 'free space' like cyberspace. Indeed, our cyberspace now is fully dominated by flashy-poppy advertisements....

The Detik_Slemania could be closed forever tomorrow. It perhaps will become a news website with the shortest life in cyberspace. Detik.com may sue Ogi Sigit P and Sayid M or at least ask them to apologize publicly and some may accuse these youngsters of being irresponsible, criminal, or law-breakers (like some comments in Detik Slemania already pointed out). These two Slemanias had, perhaps inadvertently, created resistance identity which could be seen as being destructive and as a misinterpretation of the freedom of the internet through irresponsible action. Or, their act might be seen just as the action of 'wanna-be-fame'.

Yet, pause could also be given to think about such episodes in terms of how commodity relations occupy the Internet and what kind of identity challenges and limits they generate. Certainly not heroic in any way, such acts are not isolated from domination and perhaps neo-colonization of space by the corporate world and the feelings of being marginalized. It can also be a product of rising expectations, as the Internet glorifies commodities and the identities of personal worth that goes with advertisements for them while keeping them economically out of reach.....

Freedom fighter or law breaker? You can decide......

relevant link: http://tempo.co.id/hg/ekbis/2004/01/07/brk,20040107-50,id.html
[it is not inline with my opinion, though..]

Thursday, January 01, 2004

The World's New Year

it is 01:00 pm in Enschede... afternoon in most of Europe...
it is 07:00 pm in Bandung.... and late evening in some Asian cities...

and the first day of 2004 just started in Hawaii.....and even moreso in Samoa...
yet it ended in Tonga... next to Samoa...

now all parts of the world are in 2004....

there were bombs in Baghdad, Aceh and Srinagar....
there were earthquake and thousands people killed in Bam...

but there are many new laughters and hopes.....
faith will stay... and loves will grow..

Welcome to the year of 2004, world...
Happy New Year for all of you...

Welcome 2004!

detik-detik 2003 telah berakhir..
2004 menyambutku dengan hangat...
tuk masuk ke masa depan yang penuh misteri..
namun didalamnya kutahu..
ada jalan untukku...
yang harus kulalui...
dengan iman, pengharapan, dan kasih..

my last seconds of 2003 were eaten by the night....
the dark sky pulls me to the new line of time...
2004... is open for me...
to think more... work more....
and especially to love more...

enschede, 00:13 am