Sunday, March 30, 2008

Carnaval on the streets of Strasbourg

Lovely weather, people and on top of it a street carnaval with clowns, devils, witches all parading the streets of Strasbourg. More wonderful photos of this colorful event -- here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

In Strasbourg for two weeks

I just arrived in Strasbourg for a DIMETIC doctoral program in Innovation for the next two weeks. Hopefully it will be a good & fruitful experience. Otherwise, still good to change the atmosphere from cold & rainy Kiel to sunny 22C of Strasbourg. Tres bon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

UN Internship - follow-up-

No surprises here. We are all proud Romanians (heritage of Romans and the Dacs) so we maintain things just the way they should be. Meaning...well, all the bad things in place. Too much words right now are urged to come out but in the end it is pointless since the old habits, people and connections are still the way things are working for Romania. Bottom line: I haven't heard anything from the Romanian mission along the UN bodies in Swizerland/Luxembourg, they must be really busy over there, doing (?) to their best of their abilities until the next political regime arrives and purifies a part of them at least. See you on the other side then..

Long Easter Weekend in Ireland

I took this trip for two reasons: 1)desire to visit more countries and 2)RyanAir. Thank God for the latter, not so much because it is flying and allowing more and more people to get in more and more places (remember people everything comes up at a cost, and I do not refer here at the monetary ones) BUT because it does it in such an efficient/great manner.
Ireland resembles a lot the US with its industrialized looking cities but also keeps its specific look of green land once you get to the country side. Overall, I liked Dublin and its kind of cosy atmosphere with good pubs, nice shops and some impressive pieces of architecture. Also I expect it to rise further over the next couple of years since the legacy of a gloomy past is still there.

Spring is always late. But does it still exist?

Late is a bit mild. Especially here in the North, we can pretty much discard Spring, since probably in May we are going to jump to "extremes" (e.g. 25 C) during the day. But now I am pretty much indifferent, actually I like cold even more than before. The power of routine, I guess.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wondeful Kiel Easter Weather

Amazingly enough, this was one of the coldest days ever since I am here with big winds and snow storms. Hopefully, we are I am headed (Dublin) will be a lot friendlier. And I mean, it cannot be worse than the snow storm I have seen on the eve of my Irish journey. Not even in December I have experienced such things.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Internship UN for a Romanian - Utopia or ..?

I was fortunate enough to get selected for an internship at a UN institution in Geneva. However, as any other grad student from developing/transitional countries, my mom and dad cannot really support this endeavor and no piggy bank will do it either. Now, I am trying to get some support from the Romanian Embassy along the UN bodies. For other guys (Western Europe) that wouldn't be an issue, but in my case somehow I don't see it happening so easy.

Running after Spring

Although in northern Germany there is no Spring's almost mid had to start doing some running around the Baltic sea and the adjacent hills. Although the wind and cold are no pleasure, you get used to them pretty quickly and even start to enjoy them. I will miss them...probably in the humid, warm US East coast summer climate.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Slow Blogger

I am not sure if it has been like this for a while now...but today the was very slow. At least for me. It reminded me a lot of the old one (prior to Google's involvement) which is not good @ all. Hopefully, it will go away soon.

3 Movie Reviews

I finally had some time these last two weekend to watch three recent productions:

I AM LEGEND (2007)
Same ol' scenario with the virus that wiped out mankind. naturally, New York is ground zero. for a moment, we could try not-to-think that much in blue,red and white..but again..probably not much different. The plot is identical to 28 Days Later and the action moves in the same way. The first part is indeed nicer, hunting dears in Times Square is something exotic indeed. Bottom line: not so bad as others have described to me.


A rather better than expected vampire movie where Lucy Liu becomes the revengeful female from Kill Bill who takes revenge on the vampire Lord (Bishop) that has turned her into a creature of the night. Least cheesy of all vampires movies that I have seen so far.

RENDITION (2007)A more and more present theme in Hollywood: Islam, righteous migrants, discrimination, non justice. Still the actors (Omar Metwally, Reese Witherspoon, Aramis Knigh) have a great performance and although the action is painfully slow in the beginning, it certainly picks up towards the end. All in all, a good one.

The Cost of War in Irak - Joseph Stiglitz

The Three Trillion Dollar War: Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Economist Linda Bilmes on the True Cost of the US Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

One week after President Bush rejected charges the war in Iraq has hurt the US economy, a new book puts a conservative estimate of the war’s cost at $3 trillion so far. In their first national broadcast interview upon their book’s publication, Nobel laureate and former chief World Bank economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and co-author Linda Bilmes of Harvard University say the Bush administration has repeatedly low-balled the cost of the war—and even kept a second set of records hidden from the American public. (

Although this book or this report doesn't bring anything new to the table, at least Stiglitz is making a stand for the huge sunk cost that this war is going to pass onto next decades US economy.

For video here -45 minute interview...but not that interesting-.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kiel Festival with Medieval scent

From time to time there are things also happening in Kiel. Yesterday was a semi-hurricane, today was the end of a local festival. With good in bad, all of them worth something. I really enjoy today's getaway in the city and got some lovely shots in the process. See them here.