Transition of Thoughts

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Tag: Sweden

H for Helgeandsholmen in Stockholm

H for Helgeandsholmen in Stockholm

The sun sets over Lake Malaren on another cold winter day in Stockholm

Helgeandsholmen is one of Stockholm’s numerous islands. It includes the Riksdag (Parliament Building), Stockholm Palace, Gamla stan and the Museum of Medieval Stockholm.

H for Helgeandsholmen in Stockholm

Evening sets in over Lake Malaren

The views in and around Norrström, (the part which connects Lake Malaren with the Baltic Sea) are splendid to say the least.

H for Helgeandsholmen in Stockholm

Lake Malaren in full flow

H for Helgeandsholmen in Stockholm

Love the architecture and the colours of buildings in Stockholm

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G for Gamla stan

G for Gamla stan

Narrow alleys of Gamla stan

G for Gamla stan

Stockholm is a city of churches

Gamla stan is the old medieval town of Stockholm. It’s full of some fantastic attractions like a host of churches, palaces, souvenir and handicrafts shops and more. I bought a couple of souvenirs, bookmarks and candies.

G for Gamla stan

Cobbled Streets of Gamla stan

G for Gamla stan

Colourful buildings at Gamla stan

When I entered one of the shops, the shopkeeper excitedly asked “Aur bhaisaab kya haal hai? (How are you in Hindi)”. On asking, I came to know that the guy was from Afghanistan. Sweden has for long welcomed people from various parts of the world and it surely was on display at this souvenir shop. The cobbled streets throughout this town along with buildings of various shades and colours give it a unique feel.

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Stockholm Diaries: Landing at Arlanda Airport

Landing at the Arlanda Airport

The Nordics (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark) have been in my bucket list since the time I can remember. The quality of life, the natural beauty, the helpful people have for long attracted millions of tourists as well as immigrants for years.

Landing at the Arlanda Airport

One would usually expect a lot of snow while landing in Stockholm in the peak of winter. But as is the case with the rest of the planet these days, (global warming et all), the day we landed it was just 0 degrees. From high up above, we could see patches of snow, but there was nothing to be too alarmed about.

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Skywatch Friday – View from Helgeandsholmen Island, Stockholm

Helgeandsholmen Island in Stockholm

Dusk falls over Stockholm on a cold winter day..

“The light is amber, the air still; the daylilies have folded in on themselves. Soon, the hooded blue of dusk will fall, followed by the darkness of night and the sky writing of the stars, indecipherable to us mortals, despite our attempts to force narrative upon them.”

― Elizabeth Berg

Linking to Skywatch Friday

Guest Post: Around The World in Just A Day or Two!

No, it’s not really about Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or any reference to any form of communication on the Internet or movies for that matter.

I love to travel. Looking at the list of countries I have visited, I’m quite proud to say that I’ve been to Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, Cambodia, Turkey, Italy, and France. I am 25 and recently got married and moved from Malaysia to the United Kingdom. Of course, I don’t intend to end that list just yet!

I was enjoying a nice long bath not too long ago, and this triggered the thought of my friends back in Malaysia. Don’t get me wrong – we don’t share baths! But the nice warm feeling reminded me of the common poolside area we have in the condominium where I used to stay. That was where we neighbours usually met, gathered with friends, ate and bantered about life. That made me suddenly realize that I probably know more about the rest of the world than without realizing it!

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Rewind 2010 – The year of Wikileaks!

Julius Assange and his team of hacktivists were somewhat of an unknown quantity at least in most countries of the world before 2010. But the year 2010 turned them into celebrities so much so that Julius was condemned openly by leaders across the world, had threats of arrest and murder and was also finally jailed. Jailed that too for having sex without condoms with two Wikileaks employees (He has been subsequently bailed out). But even while he was jailed, the joke around was that he was arrested not for “sex without condoms“. But instead for raping country after country and leader after leader across the world!

Assange created Wikileaks to show to the world the kind of information which is hid from them by so called democratic governments and the kind of extreme torture perpetrated by dictators. Wikileaks rocked the world and especially the USA when it showed the collateral damage video where the US Marines blatantly shot many media professionals in Iraq suspecting them to be terrorists.

http://hoowstuffworks.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-wikileaks-operate.html

Since then they have released more than 3,00,000 cables covering Afghanistan’s war, Iraq war as well as other documents involving leaders from Hillary Clinton to King Abdul Aziz to even Asif Ali Zardari.

So how does Wikileaks work?

Anyone and everyone can go to the Wikileaks website and submit the documents they have found out. Now these documents could be related to anything and everything. From India planning to start a Cold Start Doctrine against Pakistan after its attack on Parliament to showing magnanimous abuse against Afghanistani people, Wikileaks has shown it all.

After the documents are sent, the hacktivists go through the documents which are authoritative or real. The real ones are then published and the authors names are kept secret and they are also given legal protection for the same.

How does Wikileaks protect itself?

Julius Assange was part of a hacker collective called the International Subversives during his teens and the time there seems to have helped him build the entire system and protect it from hackers and other problems. This is why he has its servers in multiple continents and information passes through countries like Belgium, Sweden, Iceland to name a few.

The most interesting aspect of Wikileaks was the time during which Assange was arrested. Hacktivists across the world hacked into site after site from Master Card to Paypal who tried to freeze its accounts. And they also released thousands of cables even after the arrest showing their ability to work despite his arrest.

Wikileaks’s popularity is in part due to the controversy it has generated but more so because of the presence of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. where it has become such a common conversation that Twitter has barred it from trending.

Wikileaks – A completely stateless whistleblower organization! Is this the future of media and journalism? Your guess is as good as mine!!!

Movie Review – Endhiran / Robot


Any movie from the Rajnikant stable is bound to create frenzy not only in South India but also other places across the world from Singapore via the Gulf to the USA. But then Endhiran / Robot made at a budget of more than 200 crores spanning locations ranging from Kathipara Junction in Chennai to Machu Picchu in South America is no ordinary movie. Release in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi across 2000 screens worldwide, Robot is India’s widest release in terms of number of countries / theaters ever. It released in countries as far as Sweden (An Indian movie released for the first time on the very first day). There are also plans of dubbing it in Japanese.

Everyone is talking about the special effects. But more on that later. This movie is not all on technology or high tech gadgets. It has a story as well. Vasigaran (Rajnikant) is a famous scientist who develops an andro – humanoid robot (Chitti). It has a speed of 1 tera hertz and 1 zeta byte. He aims of developing such robots for the army to protect from enemies. But he has to get the approval of a committee headed by Danny Denzongpa before he can do that. Sadly he doesnt approve it for various reasons and finally Rajnikant is forced to teach the robot human emotions. But this has an effect which he couldn’t have ever imagined.

The extended climax is what holds you spellbound. You really wonder whether you are watching an Indian movie or a Hollywood one (I am not kidding on this!). Godzilla + Jurassic Park + Terminator + Anaconda and much more is what Chitti can do. From turning into a one headed monster to a snake to cloning himself into millions, there’s nothing he cannot do.

It’s always been a joke among a lot of people that Rajnikant can do anything and everything in his movies and still get away with. But this time he has a way to justify his actions as a robot can do anything. Can’t it? The best part about the movie is the fact that it has a story and that too an emotional one. Oh wait, there’s Aishwarya too in the movie. How could I forget her? From what I can understand she should be grateful for getting a role with the superstar himself. She has nothing to do other than dance in a few songs here and there and cry a bit and recite some crappy dialogues like “Chitti is my toy friend.”

Though there are a number of irritating songs and some sequences like where Chitti talks to the mosquitoes, the aura of Rajni manages to make one forget all of that. All in all its RAJNI all the way from Macchu Picchu to Chennai! And this time he has taken even North India by storm (Robot has earned the highest amount ever for a dubbed movie!).

Only 1 Rajnikant is enough normally to kill thousands and entertain. But here you get hundreds at the price of a few hundred bucks!!!

Rating – 4/5 (Mass entertainer – Highly recommended)

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