Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Human is awesome!

Twitter-style story of the book: Human

Author: Robert G Berke
Human novel by Robert G Berke, from amazon

This book is a sci-fi thriller and was a page turner until the end. Really fun!

Lines that i enjoyed:

"Which is simply another way of saying that the soul is perfect until it becomes corrupted by knowledge, rather than the other way around wherein knowledge is accepted as being perfect until corrupted by the soul. Looks like we've reasoned our way back from Einstein at his blackboard to Adam and Eve in the Garden." Smith reflected. 

"Isn't that the ultimate question, really? What is a human? Who will decide if you're alive or dead when your entire body becomes divorced from your brain and your brain is divorced from all living tissue. If all that is human can be quantified, measured and stored, in ‘x' or ‘y' megabytes or so many boxes, then we would have to reach one of only two possible conclusions about the soul, which we've otherwise discussed to death.

Either a soul can be quantified and measured and hence replicated and thus, by definition not be inherently unique, which negates one of the fundamental religious beliefs about souls; or (2) there is no such thing as a soul and thus the existence of a soul is not a part of being human, which would be more compatible with scientific method. Of course, all that begins with the presumption that you are still human. We can't ignore the possibility that once you are quantifiable, you aren't human anymore. Take your pick."

"How can there be a selfless act in the absence of a self.

The scars and callouses, like heiroglyphs on the wall of a tomb, memorialized an ugly and violent history.

Truly, a man has to decide whether he will shed his humanity in order to become a god or retain it and remain a prisoner of his own flesh and blood.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yongsan Electronics Market in Seoul

With bigwigs like Samsung and LG ruling the roost here in Korea, electronics, i thought, would be dirt cheap in Korea. Why lug around the old fridge and washing machine from India, when I probably have to dump it when it has some problem? And the garbage disposal is a big deal in Korea, with my luck, I'd probably end up paying for the disposal of the items again.

So anyway, we packed our stuff for the move minus the huge appliances. Couldnt bear to leave the brand new Bravia, though. 220V in South Korea too, we figure.

On reaching Seoul, the first thing was to get those appliances. Asked around, browsed through and found out that the best place for appliances shopping is the Yongsan Electronics Market. Anything electronics, it is available here. All the latest stuff, with the discounted rates. Right from pretty shiny Lights to computers,  DVDs to kimchi refrigerators, its here.

We got our fridge and washing machine here, after a lot haggling (: without a drop of Korean knowledge, only with the help of the google translate :) with the very sweet Korean man who gave us some discount and a lot of free stuff including free tickets to a movie in CGV :) 

Yongsan Electronics Market is a few minutes walk from the Yongsan Station which also houses the IPark mall, Emart, CGV movies, IMAX movies. This IMAX cinema is the biggest in Seoul.

Emart at Yongsan Station
The blue lights infront of the emart is beautiful during night time when there are dozens of kiddos doing cycle stunts.

Ipark mall in Seoul, Yongsan station
Long shots of the Ipark Mall in Seoul on a gloomy day, with a huge parking lot.

Yongsan Electronics Market in Seoul. ETland
ET Land with the yellow, red, green and blue diamond is a huge mutli-storey building in Yongsan Electronics Market. Lower floors house the appliances like washing machine, refrigerator. There is a dedicated floor for computer memories, gaming, laptops etc. It is supposed to be a reliable shop to buy even latest gadgets at a discounted rate.

There is a small movie complex on the top floor along with some small game area.
ET Land in Seoul- The top floor

Appliances at the ET Land, Yongsan Electronics Market, Seoul
The lower floors filled with appliances with their prices and product details in red.

fridges, washing machines at the bottom floor at the Yongsan Electronics Market, Seoul
Latest model refridgerators, washing machines at the ET Land

Appliances at the ETland, Seoul
Bidets with English Translations :)

Yongsan Station is also part of the Seoul city Tour shuttle service.

Blue Monday
Yellow Mellow Monday
Our World Tuesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Skywatch Friday

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cant stop doodling flowers

Flower in black ink
Flower in ink
Border tiles drawings in black ink
Maybe a border?
pencil drawing of cactus
A sudden urge for cactus!
pencil drawings of a mismatched flower
Mismatched flower
Flowery tile in black and white
Flowery Tile
Black and white borders in black pen
Vine borders
Sunday Sketches

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice story, twitter style

One of the most romantic novels i have ever read.
Author: Jane Austen
Available free on Kindle

Interesting lines: 

truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character.

Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.

is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."

Those who do not complain are never pitied."

It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.

I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned.

Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."

The importance of being Ernest

Twitter style book review of the Book: The importance of being Ernest

Really funny and sweet book. The heroes, though, grown up men, seem to act like boys!
Author: Oscar Wilde
Available free on Kindle

Lines that i enjoyed:

The very essence of romance is uncertainty.  If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact. 

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.  Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!

Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.

All women become like their mothers.  That is their tragedy.  No man does.  That’s his.

Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of physical weakness in the old.

Skyscrapers in Seoul

Seoul is such a terrific city.  Owing to the fact that the 1/3rd of the Korean population lives in Seoul, the city's skyline is jutted with tall, magnificent skyscrapers. As far as i know, Gangnam area takes the cake for the most of them. Some pictures of the colossal buildings...

Skyscraper with circle in Seoul
A interesting skyscraper with a splash of red found close to the Jogyesa Temple in Seoul

skyscrapers in Gangnam area, Seoul
Skyscrapers in Gangnam area piercing the blue sky

Skyscraper in Gangnam area with a huge doll in Seoul
Interesting advertizing trend along the tall buildings in Seoul

View of the skyscrapers in Seoul from Namsan Tower, Seoul
View of the skyscrapers in Seoul from Namsan Tower, Seoul

Skyscrapers along the Han river
Skyscrapers which are mostly apartments along both sides of the Han river
Circular practise session
Practice session: Interesting symmetry captured from the Namsan Tower in Seoul.

Circular practice session for the performers in Seoul
View from the Top: Symmetrical arrangement of the contraptions for the show

ABC Wednesday- B for Buildings
Outdoor Wednesday
Midweek Blues
Thursday Challenge- Symmetry

Monday, July 23, 2012

Flower borders and doodles

With the arrival of the Wacom Bamboo tablet, i put my drawing skills to the test. These were the very first doodles.

blue, yellow flower
Blue, Yellow flower

Black and white doodle flower borders

black and white borders
Black and white doodle borders
pink, blue and yellow flower
pink, yellow and blue flower

Blue Monday
Yellow Mellow Monday
ABC Wednesday F for Flower borders
Wordless Wednesday
Midweek Blues

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Aloe Vera- The most impressive herb of them all

Aloe Vera is one plant i have not been able to grow in my garden. I tried enlisting the help of my good old gardener and he chides me saying that all the sunny areas in the garden have already been taken over by my ardent love for the roses and hibiscus. Anyway, i have my neighbour aunty growing them, who is also kind enough to share it with me whenever i want. After all, it was she who introduced me to the healing properties of the aloe plant:
  • Aloe Vera can help moisturize, soothe and hydrate the skin. When applied regularly, it makes the skin glow!
  • Aloe Vera is supposed to be anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral. The gel, when applied on the wound, is cured without scars!
  •  I just read that Aloe Vera helps with the building up of the body's immunity. It is also helps in destroying cancerous cells
  • It also reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in the body when taken internally.
  • Helps reduce constipation. 
Aloe vera gel for external use
Aloe Vera gel for external uses.

Here, in Korea, Aloe Vera seems to be doing a booming business. There is the aloe gel, used for soothing of inflammations and moisturizing the skin. But the fun way to have Aloe in Korea, is the Aloe Vera juice. It comes in green bottles but it is almost transparent with a pretty greenish tinge and with tiny bits of aloe floating around. The juice is sweetened, of course, but tastes so good, it always accompanies my morning breakfast :)

Aloe vera juice
Aloe Vera Juice for healthy drink!

Tiny bits of aloe in the aloe drink
Tiny bits of Aloe floating in the drink

I found more interesting information about the Aloe Vera plant here.

ABC Wednesday -A for Aloe Vera

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Ixora coccinae flower

The Red Ixora or Idli poo as it is fondly called in Tamil has been growing well at my garden. This was actually my old garderner's dream to have this flower at my home. He flatly refused my suggestion at getting different colors of the same variety. He said that the red ones were the best and those are the ones that grow well. I know it to be impossible to even sneak in another one, under his watchful eye. I had my eyes on the yellow one, but i let the old man choose two healthy plants and let him have his dream, for now. He is actually a kind old soul who has a passion for plants and i have learned quite a lot from him.

Well, they did grow well and there is atleast one flower in full bloom at any given time and they bloom throughout the year. How great is that! The vibrant red flower has been doing a great job of inviting many buggies including many colorful butterflies to our garden. I actually was able to see and show the kids the proboscis sticking out from a butterfly while it was drinking the nectar from this plant! I was also able to make my point to the kids (much to their dislike) that we got our dexterity in our fingers by making dainty garlands out of this flower (by attaching the flower onto the middle of another flower) while sucking in fresh air and its nectar; unlike the kids of this generation who move their fingers to the tune of the xbox, cooped up at home :)

Bud of the red ixora flower
Bud of the red Ixora

red ixora bud
Red Ixora Bud

red ixora flower in full bloom
The Ixora in full bloom.

red ixora flower blooms
Beautiful ball-like flower

Outdoor Wednesday
Color Connection
Flower Art Friday
Floral Friday

Monday, July 16, 2012


Finger printing, painting on the walls, getting my hands dirty with colors and mushing through clay!
Digging out the weeds, watering the plants, cutting the flowers for display;
Climbing trees, plucking fruits, aiming for the highest one.
Jumping from the branches, rolling on the green grass, laughing with everyone.
Getting wet and dirty and dancing in the rain,
Picnics in the sun, sodas and ice cream, Oh, cant i rewind and go back there again?

Summer holidays spells fun for me along with the kids! I am reminded of the painting my kids did, few years ago, (which feels like just now) while i gave them the outline!

green and gold car
Green and gold car with a submarine nearby

Finger prints on the wall
Tiny multicolored finger prints on the wall

Yellow train
Yellow Truck with diamond shapes on it
Yellow and blue flowers
Yellow and blue flower

Tiling the pictures
Then, there came a day, when these pictures had to go away and make way for the tiles
Blue Monday
Yellow Mellow Monday
Midweek Blues
Wordless Wednesday

Friday, July 13, 2012

National Museum of Korea

Seoul is in for rainy times, people, at least for now. Thunder and lightning struck us with heavy rains during the night.  And the days have been quite cloudy, gloomy and hot with the Heavens ready to open up the minute i step out of the home. "Lets bite the bullet and take the leap", i said, enthusiastically. And for once, my guys agreed. We decided to go to the National Museum of Korea.

We took the favorite 0018 bus. No crowds and set at just the right temperature. We got dropped at the entrance of the museum. The National museum of Korea is free and is huge. It also has a separate section for children. We decided we would not push ourselves too hard and would tackle it one floor of the main museum per visit. This time, we visited the Neolithic age their tools and life and then moved on to the bronze age, Baekje Kingdom.

Entrance of the National Museum of Korea
Entrance of the National Museum of Korea.
The museum sits next to the Yongsan Family Park. So, this is a green-covered area, which is quite rare to find in Seoul. The Reflection Pond caught my attention, with the traditional Korean building structure and colors.
Reflection Pond at the National Museum of Korea
Reflection Pond
Trees and shrubs at the National museum of Korea
Greenery between the concrete

Main building of National Museum of Korea
Translucent Main Hall of the National Museum
Dome of National Museum of Korea
Skylighted dome. I really enjoyed the occasional sunlight through the glass and the view of the sky through it and the various patterns
Head dress and waist belt of the Josean Dynasty at National Museum of Korea
Elaborate Headdress and intricate designs in the waist belt
bronze shoes
There were many interesting items in the museum including Bronze shoes worn by the Silla Dynasty. Ouch how it would have hurt, if the wearer were to kick the enemy during war? But how could he walk comfortably to the war, in the first place?
Bus in Seoul
Our cool ride back home
National flower of Korea
Found a pretty pink flower on the way home

Mugunghwa flower- National Flower of Korea
Pink flowers- actually the National flower of Korea The Rose of Sharon or Mugunghwa flower
Skywatch Friday
Color Connection
Floral Friday
Our World Tuesday

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