The Padacia
Notes from a pad in Oslo


The 76th Annual Academy Awards
Nominees: Best Foreign Language Film

 Les Invasions Barbares | Official Site

The Barbarian Invasions

Directed by Denys Arcand

When history professor Rémy Girard learns that he is dying, his ex-wife summons home their son, Sébastien, whose career as a successful stock trader has earned him his socialist father's disdain. In an effort to ease Rémy's last days, Sébastien gathers together a group of his father's oldest friends.

 Ondskan | Official Site


Directed by Mikael Håfström

Based on Jan Guillou's scandalous best-selling autobiographical novel from 1981, Mikael Håfström’s Evil focuses on sixteen-year-old Erik, whose life has been plagued by violence. Tormented by his abusive stepfather, he has hit back in the only way he knows: by giving a good thrashing to anyone in his way.

 Tasogare Seibei | Official Site

The Twilight Samurai

Directed by Yoji Yamada

In nineteenth-century Japan, a widowed samurai caring for his mother and two young daughters has little time or inclination to pursue his profession's traditional warrior life. That changes, however, when he steps forward to defend a young woman from an attack by her drunken ex-husband.

 De Tweeling | Official Site
Twin Sisters

The Netherlands
Directed by Ben Sombogaart

In Germany during the 1920s, twin sisters Anna and Lotte are separated following the death of their parents. A well-to-do aunt in Holland raises one sister while the other grows up in difficult circumstances on a German farm owned by an uncle. Both 'new' parents prevent any communication and both girls continue not knowing of each other.

 Zelary | Official Site

Czech Republic
Directed by Ondrej Trojan

During the Second World War, a medical student involved in the Resistance is forced to go into hiding in an isolated mountain village under the protection of the rugged Joza. As Eliska adjusts to her new life, she and Joza begin to form a complex bond despite their many differences.

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 My Morocco | 95 Images
My Morocco | Pictures by Bruno Barbey

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game where participants had to form sentences from a certain word, applying the word as an acronym for their sentences, Blogstop stalled its otherwise unstoppable game last November. To join the blog, applicants had to submit three sentences out of the blog's title – Blogstop – using every letter in the word to concoct their entries. From the blogmaster's folder, here is a list of those successful submissions as created by some its members.

Beautiful lines of grace symbolize tranquillity of poetry.
Braiding logical or grammatical sentences together? Ooh please!
Baking loaves of good stuff takes ounces of powder.
Breaking Lego oddly gives satisfaction - 'tis often placatory.
Bribing little orphans greatly suggests that one's peculiar.
Bikers like one good solid tumble on prairies.
Banshees lounge on grand staircases trimmed of petunias.
Barking lapdogs often give seniors tinnitus. Or pain.
Bright lights of green shook the open Pepsi.
Bathing little ogres gratifies some totally ordinary people.
Being lackadaisical on gin, strangely, tightens our posterior.
Before long, our German student toppled over pathetically.
Before lying on garden sunflowers tickle old penguins.
Being light offers great safety to other performers.
Belligerent llama opposes genuflecting senator’s taxation of Pampas.
Beware: Labyrinth. Observe glowing shiny things or perish.
Bifocal lenses obliterate genuine spectacle tradesmen - organise protests!
Big league owner gets sent to oldest penitentiary.
Brainless losers often gallop stupidly to order pharmaceuticals.
Beyond laughing, orphans get starved, trampled, or pummeled.
Being lugubrious on grandmother's sofa triumphs over pestilence.
Blimey! Lesbians on grass stopped traffic on pedestrian.
Bush learns of Gohzi scheduling tasks of plague.
Booming leaders only give salaries to obsequious peasants.
Big Larry once golfed sixty-two over par!
Bees loom overhead! Giant stingers threaten, ousting poison!
Blind love only gets situations tangled or problematic.
Brains lie on great scientists, tells one professor.
Beaujolais lovers of Greece sip tons on Parnassus.
Bloggers lavishly offering guidance soon torture other people.
Believing love only grows sour tells of pain.
Brilliant language offers great solutions to obscure problems.
Bright lines of ground saffron tied on plates.
Burgundy lights of green shades, tired on Paris.
Bears like octogenarians - great snacks, toasted or parboiled.
Butterfly latched onto gardenia; scent took over, passionately.
Brigand lives! Ordered garrotted; spotted taking off, permanently.
Begin lying. Once going, start trying others' patience.
Buying lots of gratuitous sex tapes, one pays.
Boys like onions, girl scrams to outer parts.
Boisterous lads ogle girls, so they owe penance.
Bi-girl loves orgies, goes sporting tiny orange panties.
Bureaucratic liberals officially grant sombre trespasses on pledges.
Biggus Loggus. Organ Gigantic. Super tube o' pleasure!
Boys like over-bearing girls, slaves to one princess.
Bashing lesbians or gays? Sad topic of politics.
By letting openly gay sexism thrive, objectivity perishes.
Blogging lines of grandeur, startling those of perfection.
Bring lots of giant, spicy, tasty ostrich pies.
Brown leather oxfords, green sweater, tripped out peon.
Banished, Lucifer overheard God sarcastically talking of purity.
Blogger literati offer glowing sagacious tapestries of prudence.
Belligerent laziness originates ghastly sin; transgression of Pentateuch.
Believing love of God seems to obfuscate people.
Bring lots of gelatine, sore tongues' original plaything.
Be like Orion, glowing, secluding twits on planets.
But loving our great Satan threatens oblivious peasants!
Boldly leaping over great spiky treetops obliterates pain.
Better living on green stuff; truth over perjury!
Because love outlasts greed, seasoned teachers often prosper.
Boring logistics orders gravitate slowly towards outgoing personnel.
Brainy Luddites operate green servers through original Pascal.
Barristers lather only Grendel since the odyssey predicted.
Bleating lambs often garnish serving tables of Portugal.
Bribing law officers gets seven terms of prison.
Brahms' lullaby only grants sleep - totally overplayed pabulum.
Brecht's later oratory guaranteed subversion, topping Orwell's Progressivism.
Bringing leftover orange gelatin stifled the office party.
Bran lets old geezers start their occasional pooping.
Byron left out gratuitous sex, testing our patience.
By letting Ostrogoths guard Syria, tyranny occluded prosperity.
Baghdad lives on garrisons, soldiers, touts, oily politicians.
Brethren, look over glittering swamps to overcome pain!
Black light offers great situations to ordinary people.
Bachelor loves outgoing girls - smart, trim only preferred.
Bloggers like organised games sometimes to offset paralysis,
but like orienteering games, should test our parameters
by linking one good sentence to other places.

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 Lithuanian Photography

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 Agent Orange: 'Collateral Damage' in Vietnam

In 1960 the United States war machine concluded that an efficient deterrent to the enemy troops and civilians would be the devastation of the crops and forestry that afforded them both succour and cover for their operations. Initial descriptions of the scheme included "Food Denial Program", later adapted to "depriving cover for enemy troops". They gave the idea the name "Operation Hades", but were advised that "Operation Ranch Hand" was a more suitable cognomen for PR purposes.

The US had developed herbicides for the task. The most infamous became known as Agent Orange after the coloured stripe on the canisters used to distribute it. The planes that carried the canisters had 'only we can prevent forests!' as a logo on their fuselages. They were right. It was very effective.

Unfortunately the herbicide also contained Dioxin, probably the world's deadliest poison. In Agent Orange, Philip Jones Griffiths has photographed the children and grandchildren of the farmers whose faces were lifted to the gentle rain of the poison cloud.

 Magnum Photos | Feature
[ Agent Orange 101 Photographs by Philip Jones Griffiths ]

Some maintain that the connection between the maimed subjects of Griffiths' photographs and the exposure to Agent Orange is not scientifically established. However, the compensation payments made by the herbicide manufactures to those Americans sprayed in Vietnam refute this assertion.

Historians will find it sufficient to say that there will always be collateral damage, that useful PR phrase, in war and that Philip Jones Griffiths should understand the consequences of martial endeavours. He most certainly does. Here he has catalogued a pitiless series of photographs, and there can be no doubt that they should and will be recognized.

- excerpt from the publisher

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 Online Painting

Graffiti online at ZEWALL - The website that allows you to paint on virtual walls.
Galleries included.

Body | Image | Backdoor | Space| End

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My Political Compass
Economic Left/Right: -2.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.00

Body | Image | Axis

 The Political Compass | Click to Start

Body | Image

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 Tim Flach Photography

Tim Flach Photography

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Origins of New Year's Words

Auld lang syne is a phrase that literally means "old long since" or "old long ago" and became famous in Robert Burns' 1788 song:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne

The germ phrase has been traced back to an anonymous ballad in the Bannatyne Manuscript of 1568, Auld Kyndnes foryett.

Champagne is the name of a province in eastern France and the varieties of still or sparkling wine made from the grapes there. As defined by French law, only sparkling wine from Champagne can be called "champagne." It must be fermented in the bottle and varies from brut, the driest, to sweeter doux champagnes. Champagne is sometimes called "the wine of love."

Resolution is from the Latin resolutio, resolution- from resolvere meaning "to loosen or dissolve again," (re- + solvere) which was the original meaning of resolve. The meaning "to determine or decide upon a course of action, etc." was first used in English around 1523.

The practice of drinking a toast started in the 17th century with the naming of a lady at a banquet to whose health the others present were requested to drink. Pieces of spiced toast were once placed in wine and the idea of this practice was that the lady's name flavoured the drink as pieces of spiced toast once would have.

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