Sunday, August 19, 2007

Battle at Kruger video

Most people have probably seen this by now, but if you haven't, it's a must watch--truly incredible footage of the awesomeness of life. From Wikipedia:

Battle at Kruger is a viral video posted on YouTube in 2007 which was widely praised for its dramatic depiction of life on the African savannah.[1] It is one of YouTube's most popular videos, with more than 13,000,000 views and 13,000 comments as of August 2007.[2] It was also the subject of an article in the June 25, 2007 issue of Time Magazine[3] and was featured in the first episode of ABC News' i-Caught, aired on August 7, 2007. A National Geographic documentary is also planned.[4]

It was originally filmed in September 2004 by videographer David Budzinski and photographer Jason Schlosberg at a watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa. The video depicts an unfolding confrontation between a herd of Cape Buffalo, a small pride of lions, and a pair of crocodiles.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sarajevo ljubavi moja

Yesterday I saw an amazing film, Grbavica, winner of the Golden Bear (i.e., Best Picture) at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, among other awards. The story takes place in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where a single mother and child are trying to get by after the devastating Yugoslav wars of the 90s. It's a moving mixture of the mundane and the breathtaking, resulting in a heart wrenching tale that is certainly one of the better films I've seen of late.

The movie also closes with a beautiful song, "Sarajevo ljubavi moja" ("Sarajevo Love of Mine"), by Kemal Monteno. Here's a live acoustic version of it from YouTube:

Additionally, a studio cut (the version used for the film credits) choreographed to a slide show of Sarajevo photos:

The song alone is also available from Imeem:

And in case you want to see the lyrics:

Sarajevo ljubavi moja
Zajedno smo rasli grade ja i ti,
isto plavo nebo poklonilo nam stih,
ispod Trebevica sanjali smo sne,
ko ce brze rasti ko ce ljepsi biti.
Ti si bio velik a rodio se ja
s Igmana uz osmijeh slao si mi san
djecak koji raste zavolio te tad
ostao je ovde vezan za svoj grad.
Bilo gdje da krenem o tebi sanjam
putevi me svi tebi vode,
cekam s nekom ceznjom na svijetla tvoja
Sarajevo ljubavi moja,
Pjesme svoje imas i ja ih pjevam
zelim da ti kazem sta sanjam
radosti su moje i sreca tvoja
Sarajevo ljubavi moja.
Kada prodju zime i dodje lijepi maj
djevojke su ljepse ljubavi im daj
setaliste tamno uzdasima zri
neke oci plave neke rijeci njezne.
Sad je djecak covjek i zima pokri brijeg
park i kosa bijeli al otici ce snijeg
proljece i mladost ispunice tad
Sarajevo moje jedini moj grad.
Sarajevo, love of mine
We grew up together city, you and me
the same blue sky gave us rhymes
under Trebevic we dreamt dreams
who will grow faster who will be nicer
You were great, and I was born
From Igman with a smile you sent me my dreams
A boy growing up fell in love with you then
He stayed here, connected to his city
Wherever I turn, I dream of you
All roads lead me to you
I wait with some longing for your lights
Sarajevo love of mine
You have your songs, and I sing them
I want to tell you what I dream
The pleasures are mine and happiness yours
Sarajevo love of mine
When the cold passes and fine May comes
The girls are nicer, give them love
Walk the walkways with sighs in the dark
Some blue eyes, some tender words
Now the boy is a man and the winter covers the mounatin
The park and hair is grey, but the snow will go away
Spring and youth will then fill
my Sarajevo, my only city

Finally, if this has wet your appetite for all things Bosnian, you may want to check out the following blog, a great resource especially if you plan to travel there one day:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Louisiana last!

Photos from my New Years trip (12/30/06 - 1/8/07) down to see some friends from Louisiana, traveling all over the state from Baton Rouge to Lafayette to New Orleans...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Costs of War Remembered...

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the first atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima 62 years ago, with the second bomb hitting Nagasaki 3 days later on the 9th of August, 1945. Mitsuyoshi Toge,* a survivor from Hiroshima, left us with the following haunting poetic images of his experience:
How could I ever forget that flash of light!
In a moment, thirty thousand people ceased to be,
The cries of fifty thousand killed
At the bottom of crushing darkness;

Through yellow smoke whirling into light,
Buildings split, bridges collapsed,
Crowded trams burnt as they rolled about
Hiroshima , all full of boundless heaps of embers.
Soon after, skin dangling like rags;
With hands on breasts;
Treading upon the broken brains;
Wearing shreds of burn cloth round their loins;
There came numberless lines of the naked,
all crying.
Bodies on the parade ground, scattered like
jumbled stone images of Jizo;
Crowds in piles by the river banks,
loaded upon rafts fastened to the shore,
Turned by and by into corpses
under the scorching sun;
in the midst of flame
tossing against the evening sky,
Round about the street where mother and
brother were trapped alive under the fallen house
The fire-flood shifted on.
On beds of filth along the Armory floor,
Heaps, and God knew who they were …
Heaps of schoolgirls lying in refuse
Pot-bellied, one-eyed, with half their skin peeled
off bald.
The sun shone, and nothing moved
But the buzzing flies in the metal basins
Reeking with stagnant ordure.
How can I forget that stillness
Prevailing over the city of three hundred thousands?
Amidst that calm,
How can I forget the entreaties
Of departed wife and child
Through their orbs of eyes,
Cutting through our minds and souls?
Let us never cease seeking after the peace that our broken world needs ever so badly.
* "Mitsuyoshi Toge, born in Hiroshima in 1917, was a Catholic and a poet. He was in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city on August 6, 1945, when he was 24 years old. Toge died at the age of thirty-six. His first hand experience of the bomb, his passion for peace, and his realistic insight into the event made him a leading poet in Hiroshima. This poem is from Hiroshima-Nagasaki: A Pictorial Record of the Atomic Destruction (1978)." (

Friday, August 3, 2007

Surprise, surprise...
Wal-Mart found to be exploiting poor kids in Mexico.

A interesting story comes from Newsweek recently about thousands of unpaid teenage "volunteer" workers in Mexican Wal-Marts:
Wal-Mart is Mexico’s largest private-sector employer in the nation today, with nearly 150,000 local residents on its payroll. An additional 19,000 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16 work after school in hundreds of Wal-Mart stores, mostly as grocery baggers, throughout Mexico—and none of them receives a red cent in wages or fringe benefits. The company doesn’t try to conceal this practice: its 62 Superama supermarkets display blue signs with white letters that tell shoppers: OUR VOLUNTEER PACKERS COLLECT NO SALARY, ONLY THE GRATUITY THAT YOU GIVE THEM. SUPERAMA THANKS YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING. The use of unsalaried youths is legal in Mexico because the kids are said to be “volunteering” their services to Wal-Mart and are therefore not subject to the requirements and regulations that would otherwise apply under the country’s labor laws. But some officials south of the U.S. border nonetheless view the practice as regrettable, if not downright exploitative. “These kids should receive a salary,” says Labor Undersecretary Patricia Espinosa Torres. “If you ask me, I don’t think these kids should be working, but there are cultural and social circumstances [in Mexico] rooted in poverty and scarcity.”
Even if Wal-Mart is "going green" and efficient in many good ways, this type of exploitation is still downright despicable.