Berlin week: All I want for Christmas is snow

A little more than a week till Christmas and there is no snow here in Bulgaria. There wasn’t snow in Berlin either, but at least the Germans know how to keep up the Christmas spirit..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Berlin week: Street art

It couldn’t be Berlin week without some of the great street art I managed to capture. I’ll share part of it today and the remaining awesome stuff will be a holiday surprise. Enjoy!

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Berlin week: Tierpark

I have this thing with zoos. If there is a zoo in the city I’m visiting, I always go. I’ve been to all the zoos in Bulgaria, I even worked next to the one in Sofia and had my lunch breaks there. So, naturally, we had to go the one in Berlin. Even though I was coming down with the flu the penguins were waiting for me :)

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Berlin week: kisses and selfies

I’ve been MIA for the past week but it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to share but because me and Martin went on a little German escapade before the holidays. We were in Berlin for approximately 5 days and although we both came down with the flu we had a great time. What I have to say for the city is that I don’t think it’s for everyone. It’s not your typical big capitol like London, Rome or Paris, filled with sights and tourists. Berlin has a more urban charm that suited us well and made the trip worthwhile. So this week I’ll try to share this charm with you.

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Bring on the hype: Star Wars Episode VII trailer is here

As you may know from some of my old posts (here and here), I’m a huge Star Wars fan. And here I am, in awe, and nerdgasming with every scene and just overall filled with joy, as short as this trailer may have been.

I wonder what it will be like though. Dragging out the franchise or actually offering something new? The Star Wars Universe is pretty big, so there is potential.

The trailer shows that the new movie still has the symbols of the soul of Star Wars — X-Wings and TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon. It also poses some very interesting questions.

Who is John Boyega’s unnamed character, springing from out of shot at the beginning and why is he wearing stormtrooper armor? Is he an Imperial deserter? Or has he borrowed a set of the iconic white coverings to pass as a member of the military just like Han and Luke in Episode IV?

Then there’s Daisy Ridley’s character that according to rumors is a Skywalker-esque figure called Kira, trapped on a desert planet and yearning for excitement and adventure.

In regard to the gruff voiceover that scores both Boyega and Ridley’s appearances: I think it’s a safe to say it’s a Sith.

All things considered, that’s a Sith wielding a distinctive (and much talked about) lightsaber. For now, his intentions aren’t clear, but if he’s anything like every other Sith in Star Wars history, he’ll either want to kill the movie’s heroes or turn them to the dark side.

The teaser ends with something more recognizable. As the Millennium Falcon tries to escape from TIE fighters you can see that the ship’s round radar dish, knocked off during the escape from the second Death Star, has been replaced by a rectangular model.

For me the trailer shows that JJ Abrams is no stranger to Star Wars. With The Force Awakens, the franchise has something new for a galaxy that was shaped in 35 years of filler material — it has mystery again.

Best graffiti artists: Banos

Considering that I don’t travel as much as I want to, and, respectively, I can’t share as much street art as I’d like to, I decided to start this post series. For the graffiti community this will be an easy and obvious choice, but I admire Banos’s talent so much that I just had to start with him.

An Australian, a member of VIMOAS and BGS, Banos made his mark in the European graffiti history by being one of the most productive writers and by making a considerable collection of metro pieces all over the world. Furthermore, there was a media hype around Banos and his accomplice Mckoy because of their stunt in Singapore that resulted in the arrest and sentencing of Mckoy (more information here). Whether people see graffiti as destructive crime representing an invasion of public and private property, a rapidly developing art form or an effective tool of social emancipation, I hope everyone is able to appreciate the talent behind Banos’ pieces.

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Banos Graffiti [ streetartandgraffiti.blogspot.com ] 09 banos_graffiti_mtn

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Love and time: An Interstellar review

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I know that there have been many reviews of Christopher Nolan’s latest film and all of them have high praise for it. I was also impressed by the visual effects, the acting, the music but the best thing about Interstellar is that I haven’t felt something like that in a movie theater for a very long time – immersed and shaken at the same time. And four days after seeing it I’m still thinking about it, so I decided I’d better share my thoughts.

Interstellar is truly a sci-fi epic like no other. I’ve seen people are trying to compare it to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ but for me the movies are almost nothing alike,although they share some plot elements. Furthermore, I’ve always thought that Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel was aiming mostly to make art rather than to ponder the philosophical questions that occurred with the story. With Interstellar, Nolan made his most personal and emotional film to date about love and time (time being a recurring theme throughout all of the director’s movies). But it’s so much more than that too. I have no words to express the epic journey Nolan takes us on in the film, but needless to say, it’s tear-jerking and emotional throughout. The acting is first-class, especially McConaughey, who gives, in my opinion, his most emotional performance yet. The soundtrack from Hans Zimmer is, without a doubt, one of his best and most influential, helping drive the film’s bold and breath-taking vision (the church organ was stunning). The visual effects are easily the best of the year. Seeing a black hole created through visual effects in such a way, with pages theoretical equations provided by Kip Thorne (theoretical physicist, of whom’s work inspired the film’s genesis) was mesmerizing.  What you see in Interstellar is the most realistic depiction of a black hole, and even offered new insight to accretion discs surrounding the anomalies. But even everything else, from the alien planets to the Endurance, the visuals are astounding. And the center of the film is the touching story with a script that continually pours or oozes emotion, keeping the audience tethered to the film.

This is the sci-fi movie of the decade, and probably the best movie Nolan ever made. Simply go see it, without a second thought.

Weekend dose of Churchill

I came to notice that since I’ve started blogging again I’ve showed you Churchill only one (here). And because he’s the funniest most adorable big fat puppy I think it’s time you see how much he’s grown up for the past few months. Moreover, I realized how much I’ve changed since we’ve got him. I’ve never been a morning person and I believe that nothing can change that. But now I get up not 10 min before I have to go to work but 1 hour and after the initial shock of waking up is gone I’m pretty ok with our morning walks. Another great thing is that now that it’s cold if it haven’t been for Churchill I wouldn’t move my ass out of the apartment. However, the best thing is when I come home from work and I see how happy he is to see me – that just makes my day. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my boy :)

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My fashion icons: Diane Kruger

From finalist in the Elite Models Look of the Year ’92 competition to Hollywood star and red carpet sweetheart, Diane Kruger is my German style icon. She goes for vintage-inspired dresses for her red carpet appearances and for laid back chic for her casual attire. She’s just the perfect fashion combo!

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Rocking The Lord of the Rings

A few days ago I got talking with my friend from feralc4t about music inspired by the biggest fantasy saga The Lord of the Rings. Needless to say, I’m a die hard fan and, the nerd in me rejoicing, I had to make a research. I knew Led Zeppelin were big Tolkien heads but it appears they are not the only ones. This is what I found out. Enjoy!

Led Zeppelin
The 1969 classic “Ramble On”, that also happens to be my favorite Zeppelin song:

Two songs from 1971: “Misty Mountain Hop” which is named for the place where Bilbo Baggins and the dwarfs spend some time in The Hobbit and “The Battle of Evermore”:

There are subtle allusions in “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” and the iconic “Stairway to heaven”:

 

Black Sabbath
Another classic rock band, Black Sabbath were also inspired by the epic fantasy novels and wrote “The Wizard” for their first album.

 

Genesis
The 70’s were great for LOTR-rock, as you can find in Genesis’ “Stagnation” and the reference for Gollum: “Will I wait forever, besides the silent mirror/And fish for bitter minnows amongst the weeds and slimy water.”

 

Rush

Neil Peart, Rush’s drummer and lyricist, wrote both “Rivendell” and “The Necromancer”:

 

Megadeth
Although “This Day We Fight!” takes its title from a line in The Return of the King that wasn’t in the books, I thought it should be on my list.

 

Pink Floyd
It’s not 100% clear what “The Gnome” is about, but you can see it’s at least partly Lord of the Rings-inspired.

 

Styx

The band has a song called “Lords of the Ring” on their Pieces of Eight album.

 

Leonard Nimoy
And the crown jewel is the Star Trek star’s nerd extravaganza “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.” Mr. Spock himself singing about The Hobbit…what more can you ask for.