Archive for April, 2009

Remember Contax?

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Back in 2005 when  Kyocera decided to terminate the 35mm Contax branded business, I wrote a small piece about this issue, outlining possible causes that led to the failure. Today, after four years, I receive a link with Chris Sandström’s presentation, Contax, Disruptive Innovation and Digital Imaging. Also, Japan Exposures recently published an article in two parts called Tales of Glass and Ceramics covering the same issue. What is still more puzzling is what exactly happened to the Contax 645 line of products, as it wasn’t part of termination announcement.

Mr. Kurtz’s final words

Friday, April 17th, 2009

‘One evening coming in with a candle I was startled to hear him say a little tremulously, “I am lying here in the dark waiting for death.” The light was within a foot of his eyes. I forced myself to murmur, “Oh, nonsense!” and stood over him as if transfixed.

‘Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before, and hope never to see again. Oh, I wasn’t touched. I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror — of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision — he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath:

‘ “The horror! The horror!”

“I blew the candle out and left the cabin. The pilgrims were dining in the mess–room, and I took my place opposite the manager, who lifted his eyes to give me a questioning glance, which I successfully ignored. He leaned back, serene, with that peculiar smile of his sealing the unexpressed depths of his meanness. A continuous shower of small flies streamed upon the lamp, upon the cloth, upon our hands and faces. Suddenly the manager’s boy put his insolent black head in the doorway, and said in a tone of scathing contempt:

‘ “Mistah Kurtz — he dead.”

— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Autocolante pentru autoturisme parcate aiurea

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Pentru ca s-au saturat de nesimțirea unor conducători auto Matei și Radu au facut autocolante pentru lipit pe parbrizul autoturismelor parcate necorespunzător. Cinci dintre autocolante sunt personalizate în funcție de greșeala comisă, după cum urmează: blocat pistă bicicleteblocat trotuar, blocat trecere pietoni, blocat acces autoblocat parcare. Mai există un autocolant generic în șapte limbi pentru șoferii care nu înțeleg semnele de circulație. Fișierele de mai sus se listează pe autocolant de hartie. Înainte de aplicare, pentru a îndepărta praful, ștregeti bine locul unde doriți să aplicați autocolantul. Aplicați ferm într-un loc în care să incomodeze, de exemplu pe geamul lateral din partea conducătorului auto sau pe parbriz în partea cu volanul. Ideea este ca îndepărtarea autocolantului să fie mai incomodă decât parcatul necorespunzărtor. Evitați conflictele. Textul de pe autocolantele personalizate e gândit să fie cât mai explicit, fără a fi jignitor. Intenția noastră este de a educa pe căt posibil conducătorii auto, fără a cauza distrugeri sau a genera conflicte.

Rice cake

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I wrote this recipe for Fabien & Valentina and I thought of sharing it with you. In order to make rice cake, you need:

  • a glass* of rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 50-150 grams of coconut
  • 1/2-1/3 glass of wheat, barley or rye flakes (improvise)
  • 100-150 grams of cottage or riccota cheese
  • 100 grams of sweet cream
  • 100 grams of raisins or other chopped dried fruit (improvise)
  • 50 grams of nuts or seeds (improvise)
  • some amount of sugar or honey to taste
  • some amount of milk
  • some flavourings if you like

*1 glass = a 200 ml glass

Boil the rice, drain it. Put the rice in a bowl, add the eggs; stir. Add the cocnut; stir. Add the cottage/riccota cheese and the sweet cream; stir. Add the raisins, nuts and flakes and then stir and add milk if necessary. The mixture should have the consistency of cottage cheese. You can add the sugar or honey and the flavourings at the end. You shouldn’t put too much sugar or honey if you plan to serve it with jam on top. Get a deep baking tray and some cooking paper (I have the waxed, brown kind). Put the paper in the tray and pour the mixture inside. Bake for at least 40 minutes. Let it rest for another 30 minutes in the oven after you turned off the heat in order to become solid. Cut the desired amount into pieces and serve with some fruit jam on top. My personal favourites are blackcurrant or blueberry jam with whole fruits. Rice cake is particulary good with tea so it’s great to serve it at tea parties.

Feel free to improvise as much as you like.