Concert in Kaivopuisto 
Sunday, 12 .June, 2005, 19:35 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Music

Today was Helsinki Day and besides lots of other events a concert took place in Kaivopuisto, admission was free.

It took me quite a while today to get myself together, so I managed to come rather late to the concert, sometime around 17:00 and I only saw the last three acts, which were Maija Vilkkumaa, 69 Eyes and Fun like you (not sure if I got that name right - he was hip hop anyhow).

The sky was overclouded, but temperatures were still around the 16 degress (Celcius, for those of you who calculate in other strange measures - and plus degrees, for those of you from Lapland, who leave away the minus, but never the plus when it comes to degrees). It was an ok day for being outside without a jacket.

I have been to Kaivopuisto several times now. It is the biggest park in Helsinki, all grean meadow, hills and trees. Lots of space and inbetween that more space. And today it was full. Already entering the park by bike was not possible - there were everywhere people. And when I reached the concert place there was the whole population of Europe (and as it seemed also half of Asia) already there and singing and jumping with Maija to her rock songs.


They all danced

The singer of 69 eyes ended his gig with a sentence worth remembering: "Helsinki! The Rock-capital of the world" - some people laughed, but most agreed wildly, including me.


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Seen: Hostage 
Sunday, 12 .June, 2005, 19:32 - English Entries, Movies

"Hostage" was the first movie for some time that managed to drag me into a cinema. The critics were quite good about it and compared it with "Die Hard" (the first part).

Well, Hostage is a very good action movie that goes further in introducing comic-book-like elements into film. Already the intro is an eyecatcher: the outside scenary of a hostage place, police everywhere, backyards, helicopters hanging up in the air - but all is more like drawn and the only thing that moves is the camera, as if it was showing us a picture. I don't know if director Florent Emilio Siri stole this idea somewhere, but even if he did, it was a good theft.

The movie itself is not for a minute boring, it takes your breath away and keeps it until the last evil doer has turned into a corpse and a dubious dawn ends the film with a bloody red sky. At some points we see super heroes fighting in the firey hell of a buring house and it all is presented in such bombastic pictures and gestures that you just love to buy it for real.

Yes - really good and well-made, but what about the comparison with Die Hard? Bruce Willis is there - great! As usual he is best when he is desperate and has taken already several bullets. This time he is in a deep moral conflict and even is able to act wrong. What shall he do - it's all about his family.

But then - it is really quite a bit about family and therefore very serious. It is hardly anything to laugh in this film. But there are few pictures of dead kids that I was not too eager to see. The value of family is underlined in thick red with blood and dead bodies and in such a sourrounding it is not easy to crack jokes.

Don't get me wrong, I dislike it too when a good story gets messed up with the usual funny guy who spoils half of the movie with his unnecessary comments. This is not what I meant. Willis nevertheless is capable of mixing more attitudes into a personality than just the traumatized cop that has to get back to hard-boiled in order to save his wife and daughter.

So it is worth seeing - definitly, no question about that. I stick to the 8 out of 10 points and hope you'll all see and like it.


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Mankind Consists of 10% of Itself 
Saturday, 11 .June, 2005, 19:30 - English Entries, Thoughts

Many people think, that 90% of mankind are stupid. These people, who think so, always count themselves into the 10 remaining percent.

Following this line of thought, everybody, when asked, will be sure to belong to the 10% of intelligent people. The remaining 90% seem not to exist at all.

Mankind therefore consits of only 10% of itself. This means that all mankind is of high intelligence and the overpopulation of earth is no problem at all.

As if that wasn't clear from the very beginning.



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GPS & Cycling 
Friday, 10 .June, 2005, 19:29 - English Entries, Travel, Technology

I bought the Nokia LD-1W GPS receiver a while ago, in order to keep track of my cycle trips. The device itself is pretty easy, it receives GPS data and cannot store them itself. So one needs to connect a mobile phone via Bluetooth to it and on that phone needs to be an application running that is able to receive the GPS data.


Trip done today by bike through Helsinki
Recorded with PowerNavigation 2
Visualization by gpsvisualizer.com

I am not really interested in a navigation system, i.e. in a software that shows me how i get from A to B. Although that would be nice to have, it is too complex and is also very expensive. All I want is to see where I went and how fast I was.

The whole business of keeping track and putting the routes finally on maps is everything else but trivial and I am already several days hanging over the devices and different PC applications to get something out of it.

There are several applications for the phone type I have, that can connect to a GPS receiver. Of all of them I first thought AFTrack as useful, as it can store the track (i.e. the route that is drive/cycled/walked) in the IGC format, which is a standardized format. Yes, AFTrack can do that, but most of the time it suddenly stoped when I moved. So it looks perfectly working for a while and then - sssssddd - disappears. Thank you, that is not useful.

Some days ago I found now PowerNavigation 2 - this tool is keeping track reliably. So this is now running on my Series60 mobile.

Next step is to get the route on maps. There is no easy way for that. Some programs allow scanning of maps and calibrating them to the latitudes / longitudes that are drawn on it. The OziExplorer is such a program, it really works fine, but the scanning of maps is a nightmare. I tried it and it all works fine as long as I have only one piece of a map. But usually I want a whole map scanned and as my scanner is not big enough I need to break down the map into pieces (tiles). I tried to combine these scanned tiles to a big map on the PC - I used several graphics programs and also specialized programs for this purpose. It simply does not work, most likely I am too stupid.

But there is a nice online tool, the GPS visualizer. It has basic maps, which seem to be made from satellite photographs. These maps do not contain any city names or whatsoever legend, but still they give a basic backround for the covered distance.


Trip (by car) from Quebec to Montreal

This all seems to be a science on its own. If somebody here knows more about such tools or how to use them more efficiently, I would be happy to read about it.


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Eagles and Angels 
Monday, 06 .June, 2005, 19:27 - English Entries, Literature

During the flights to and from Canada and the stay in Quebec I read the German version of Eagles and Angels (German edition: Adler und Engel) of Juli Zeh

It is hard to judge this book. Juli Zeh is a German writer and she for sure has the most poetic language that I have read in any modern German book. The book is never anything like boring - it is a crime and a brutal love story (nothing romantic for sure), it is the European version of a drug delirium report and the disillusioned selfexamination of a man willing to die but not knowing how to do. Yes, it is not exactly a funny story - you better read Harry Potter if you dislike the thought that people on the edge do really exist in your country.

Zehs language, as already said, is pure gold. She puts sentences, paragraphs, chapters one after the other and every metaphor hits right into the back of the brain, makes it impossible not to listen further to the words. One could say this is brilliant, that is for sure right, but most of all this is new and daring. This is a tongue never tried for such purposes.

The characters are all described with the care that they need, because they are all maniacs, drug addicts, self-centred and mentally ill. The perfect community for a good read. Frustration about life and society drops from every page, mixes with Zehs sarcastic humor and the few true feelings that are left for overfed and bored-to-death consumers.

I do not know how Juli Zeh (22 years old) found out about the lightless depths of a middle-aged mans mind. Her descriptions of the main characters thoughts are in many places well-known to me. It makes me afraid to see that a mans mind seems to be so obvious to a 22 year old woman.

But this is where the fascination is in this book: in the words and the personalities. The story is good, but the more it comes to an end it seems constructed. The whole case has one or two coincidences too many, the bigger background picture just seems too unrealistic. The story leapes over the beautiful frame of the book and leaves a strange taste.

Nevertheless a book for sure worth reading. If it would not be summer, it would get 10 out of 10 points, as it is so beautifully depressed. But the temperatures are over zero, so I am only able to give 8 out of 10.

And for those of you who know and love Vienna I especially recommend this book. The bigger part of it is settled in the Austrian capital. There are sentences that describe the city better than anything read or heard up till now. One example may be allowed "The city lay flat like a person awaiting death from fever, without movement, dryed out, halluzinating under the surface" (see German edition, page 97, last paragraph).



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