Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Birthday

A big happy birthday to everyone's favourite weatherman, Nate Byrne (and his magnificent dimples).

Sharks and dots

Damien Hirst, the British artist famed for his sharks (and other animals) in formaldehyde, has produced a new body of work which he entitled 'the veil series'.

The similarities with aboriginal art from the Utopia region of Central Australia are remarkable.
And so are the US$500,000-1,700,000 price tags.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

What were they thinking?

I was fortunate enough to visit the National Gallery of Australia's exhibition Indigenous Australia when I was in Berlin.

The exhibition was touted as masterworks from the NGA's extensive collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. And for me, it was certainly nice to see so many familiar works on display on the other side of the world.

But I was left wondering what the German audience would have thought of the show.

Oddly, there was not a single gallery label in sight. According to the lady at the front desk, "labels are no longer fashionable".

In my view, the NGA missed an extraordinary opportunity to educate the German audience about the spiritual, historical and political context behind the works.

Without any context, most audiences will just see a bunch of pretty painted canvases and barks, and a few odd-looking sculptures and video installations.

Design fail?

I was excited to see a Lufthansa plane painted in their new livery as I boarded my flight out of Frankfurt on Tuesday.

I like the clean, new look. It's very chic. Here is a picture I found online.
But it seems I'm in the minority.

Some marketing and design experts have been highly critical of the new design overhaul. Fans of the airline have also lamented the loss of the iconic Lufthansa yellow from the planes.
And it seems that the company is now having to go back and retweak the blue they have chosen, which looks unintentionally black under adverse weather conditions. Luckily they have only painted two of their planes in the new colours so far.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Venice and Berlin

I'm getting ready for my return flight back to Melbourne. I've had a terrific time in Europe (though it feels like I've been away for ages).

I thought I'd post some snaps from my trip.

Unsurprisingly, given the all the water, seafood is a speciality in Venice and surrounding.
Of course I had to have pizza...
...and pasta (with seafood) too.
After Venice, I had made plans to visit my friend in Berlin. The weather was generally crappy for most of my trip to Europe (though not as bad as the week before my arrival) but I did manage to get a few hours in Berlin with blue sky and sunshine.
One of my most favourite places to visit is the food hall at the up market department store KaDeWe. The food hall is stocked with all kinds of weird and wonderful produce form all around the world (including emu eggs!!).

I remember seeing bright red carabinero prawns during my last visit to the food hall two years ago. These delicacies come from the deep sea off the coast of Spain. I was excited to find out that customers can buy the seafood from the counter and a chef will then cook it up for a small fee.
Naturally, I got me some of those carabineros (I only had two because they were almost 100 euros a kilo). I also had some monkfish.
This is what a monkfish head looks like (basically, it's all teeth). Not the prettiest fish but boy was it tasty.
We wandered around the food hall afterwards and my friend invited on showing the sausage counter. Germans love their sausages.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Impressions of Venice

I like Venice. The weather hasn't been great but the light rain adds to the charm and romance (Venice is definitely a place to share and experience with someone you love).

It's low tourist season so I guess the place is far less crowded than what one might expect in the Summer.

It's been fun exploring the little laneways, trying not to get lost (so far, so good) and experiencing Italian food in Italy.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Safety first

And speaking of flying, Qantas is rolling out a new safety video in April. The video showcases Aussies being Aussies in exotic locations around the world. It also features one very handsome Qantas pilot.

Europe bound

I'm off to Europe late this evening for a conference in Italy.

I'll be flying Qatar. The travel agent said it's a terrific airline and the service is suppose to be excellent. The online reviews certainly seem to be glowing. Not sure about onetime performance though. I was checking flight tracker this morning and the last three flights out of Melbourne have all been severely delayed (one by as much as 12 hours). I'm keeping my fingers crossed it departs on time tonight.

The vector

My colleague had been in Japan attending a conference. He was not due back at work until next week so I was surprised when he dropped by my office on Thursday.

He had caught a bad cold and decided to come back early. I told him he should be at home resting instead of coughing and spluttering in my office.

He tried to reassure me, in between coughing fits, that he was at the tail end of his cold and was no longer contagious (why do sick people always try to tell others that they are not sick?).

This morning I woke up to a runny nose and a sore throat. Grrr.