Saturday, February 28

Olav H. Hauge in Chinese

The letters in the photo above are not Chinese but they are carved in the floor at Oslo Airport Gardermoen showing the poem "Sledgehammer" by the Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge.In Norvegian the text is:
Eg er berre ei sleggje. Eg stend der no. Eg lyt berre til når det røyner på.

Olav H. Hauge lived a reserved life as fruit farmer in western Norway. His poems revolve around nature and everyday life, they have been translated into many languages and continue to have a large influence.

Hauge's first poems were all in a traditional form. He later wrote modernist poetry and in particular concrete poetry. Hauge was inspired by the simplicity of Chinese poetry, and it is reflected in several of the poems. In the poem "to Li Po" he writes:

To be emperor of the Divine Kingdom
No doubt appealed to you, Li Po
But didn’t you have the whole world, the wind and clouds
and happiness when you were drunk?
Greater still, Li Po, is
to master your own heart
In "One word" he writes:
One word
- one stone
in a cold river
One more stone -
I must have more
if I`m to get across
and in "The Cat" he writes:
The cat is sitting
out front
when you come.
Talk a bit with the cat.
He is the most sensitive one here.
Today, February 28th his works will be published in Chinese, translated by Norwegian professor Harald Bøckman and Chinese contemporary poet Xi Chuan. Xi Chuan was born in 1963 in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, and is now resident in Beijing. He was a frequent contributor to unofficial poetry journals in Beijing, Shanghai, and Sichuan during the 1980s and 1990s, and lent a hand in editing Tendency倾向.

Friday, February 27

Antarctic glaciers melting faster than thought

( Foto: FOTO: HEIKO JUNGE / SCANPIX )
Associated Press has written an article about the climate challenges.
"
Glaciers in Antarctica are melting faster and across a much wider area than previously thought, a development that threatens to raise sea levels worldwide and force millions of people to flee low-lying areas, scientists said Wednesday."
I do not know if that is the reason why this lady is running up to the Nordmarka Forest (for skiing), but agree that if the sea level rise of 7 to 23 inches by the end of the century, the world will see millions of people migrate and seek a future in new areas. That is not why the sign at Ullevålseter shows the distance to Dakar (12924 km) Have a nice trip where ever you go this weekend.

Thursday, February 26

Norwegian West Coast Peaks

One of the most interesting web sites I know is WestCoastPeaks.com managed by Arnt Øyvind Flatmo.
One of his interests is to visit most of the peaks in my childhood district Møre og Romsdal County and make them available for the world through his site.
He has highlighted five areas:
1) Sunnmørsalpene (Sykkylven, Ørsta, Stranda) are defined by long and sharp mountain ridges. Some of the mountain tops on these ridges require climbing. The most prominent ridges are found on both sides of Hjørundfjorden - a "sanctuary" for the mountaineering pioneers in Norway, and the generations to come. Kolåstinden, Slogen, and Molladalstindane are well known names to every Norwegian mountain enthusiast.
2) Romsdalsfjella (Rauma) are primarily located around Åndalsnes and the Romsdalen valley. Although not among the highest in this region, Romsdalshorn (picture to the left) has perhaps the most characteristic mountain face in Møre og Romsdal county, and I am not forgetting Slogen, Kolåstinden or Molladalstindane. In this region, you will also find "Trollveggen", a notorious wall that offers Europe's longest vertical drop (1000m+) and a haven for climbers. Basejumping is forbidden here. This region offers also some of the very finest Norwegian mountains for Telemark skiing. Kyrkjetaket, for example, offers 1000m of straight-line descent, and Finnan can be skied in July!
3) Among Tafjordfjella (Norddal/Rauma), you find Puttegga (1999m) - the highest mountain in Møre og Romsdal. A number of other mountains in this region exceed 1800m and the area is considered "remote". While the majority of Sunnmørsalpene and Romsdalen peaks can be done on day-hikes, people normally spend a night or two in tents or in mountain huts, when visiting the high Tafjord mountains. This area is better for cross-country skiing, as most of the area is high-country terrain.
4) You will find some large and interesting mountains that define the Sunndalen and Innerdalen valleys. Follow the Sunndalen valley, and it will lead you to (a.o) Dovrefjell - one of three mountain regions in Norway that has peaks exceeding 2000m elevation. In this region, you will also find the highest mountains in Sunndal kommune
5) Let's use the city Ålesund as the common denominator for the Coastal region stretching from Herøy to Vestnes, also including Ålesund, Hareid, Ulstein, Giske, Haram, Midsund, Skodje, Ørskog and Sula. This region has a large number of interesting viewpoints, where the sea view brings in the extra dimension. Blåskjerdingen (Haram), Trolltinden and Sprovstinden on Ørskogfjellet being a few of those viewpoint.
Do not miss this opportunity to visit his site, click on his photos and see the fantastic mountains in a 360 gr view with names of the peaks.Being at the summits like my friends above at Slogen is a great experience although the vertigo feelings can be a challenge.
Other Norwegian mountains can be seen here. I visited a few years ago one of them: Skogshorn and found the view incredible.

Wednesday, February 25

Snow once more

According to the Norwegian Newspaper VG and Scanpix, we have a 22 year record of snow in the capital. The depth was on Sunday 67 cm and close to the 71cm frm 1987. The highest record is 79cm from 1968, a month before I moved to Oslo.
And the weather will continue to be bad in the days to come all over the country.

If I still was participating in the ABC Wednesday meme, what world on F do you think I had chosen.

Tuesday, February 24

Weather and clothing here and there

I have been posting a lot about the weather lately. Bad weather. The weather statistic for Oslo is shown here: and based upon these figures you will see there is still some weeks until we can start believing in spring.

Oslo has the coordinates 59° 56′ 58″N, 10° 45′ 23″E. If you go more than 80 gr to the south, you end up at Tropic of Capricorn. Here you have places like Alice Springs in Australia, the Kalahari Desert in Africa, the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific, and at coordinate 22° 54′ 30″S, 43° 11′ 47″W Rio de Janeiro. I should have loved to be in Rio this time of the year, but must find substitution by looking at photos from the Brazilian Carnaval leading up to Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent which occurs forty-six days before Easter.The difference in clothing here and there is equivalent to weather condition, but i drop the "all-weather-jacket" and winter boots this time.
By the way, it is only ten months to Christmas Eve 2009, so why not make a pre-wish for your Christmas gift today.

Monday, February 23

The entrance to Parliament

This autumn we have election to the Parliament in Norway. The campaigns have already started, and no political decisions can be taken without taking the election into account.

The Parliamentary election 2009 takes place September 14. Early voting will be possible from 10 August 2009, while municipalities may choose to also hold open voting on 13 September. Voters will elect 169 members for the Storting, which is elected for four years at a time.
I will cover this event later this year, but as a follow up of my photo of the Parliament building yesterday, and under the Doors logo, here is the main entrance to the Parliament facing Eidsvols plass

Saturday, February 21

Satyrday Urban Life - Snow and more snow


Almost not possible walking the streets at "Vestre Uranienborg" at the moment. Loads of snow have landed, and no snow-plough available since the large clearing on Tuesday. Budget done.
Walking down to C.C. is a challenge these times, but no taxi, busses or trams are in traffic, so the only way is to be a pedestrian (as usual)
The city main street, Karl Johan, looked like this (ready for setting potatoes?),
but the Parliament was as beautiful as always. This Saturday without demonstrations, only snow, snow and more snow.

Friday, February 20

Friday afternoon drink and the Norwegian Miracle

Friday drink at "fru Burum´s" has been covered many times in this blog. So also this evening.
The special announcement this Friday is only the portrait of myself with the black pirate looking protection of the stitches closing my eyelids.
I am not ashamed of my look, and may be someone also find it .................
You never know.

Back home the dinner was prepared for enjoying a great Norwegian Miracle

Once a year a miracle takes place in the Arctic Ocean. Between January and March the Norwegian coast is the scene of one of nature's most magnificent events. From the enormous, nutrient-rich grazing areas in the Barents Sea in the north, the arctic cod arrive by the millions, migrating into the spawning fields along the wintery coast of Norway.
This cod, which when spawning is called skrei, the goal is the area by the beautiful and fascinating island kingdom of Lofoten, about 400 km north of the Polar Circle. In the Barents Sea, the skrei has spent at least five years maturing to adulthood. It is then sexually mature and strong enough to make the long journey from the ocean far in the north to the coast of Norway.
The "skrei" is cod in its prime, full of energy and fertility.

The traditional Norwegian preparation is simple: fish, liver and roe (each in a separate pot) are poached until tender in boiling, lightly salted water and served with boiled carrots and potatoes. Served with red wine, you are close to heaven when finished your meal.

After this delicious Friday meal, we serve home made Pizza tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19

The day after or hangover

I was close to say that birthday celebrations sometimes may be a little heavy the day after. But knowing the fact that these photos on an ordinary Thursday has nothing to do with yesterday birthday, I use "Exhausted" only as an illustration of my works.
However, I still use some time in the studio and fight the troubles with bad depth sights and only the right eye open. Superior and inferior tarsus are closed with sutur stitches to hold tissue together.Maybe the eye troubles make results like this remembering a lady leaning on the wall and looking out the horizon.
Landscape paintings are not my favorite. In relation to the yesterday birthday girl, a painting of the "Storfjorden", "Sykkylven" and Skopphornet seams appropriate.
Have a nice World Campions TV Thursday.

Wednesday, February 18

Anne Katharina jubilerer

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANNE KAT!
The mountain Queen, Anne Katharina, is 60 years old today. I have no problem telling the world about her age, because she is carrying all these numbers with beauty and dignity. I have known her for a number of years (> 30) and will celebrate her border-crossing later this year together with other friends in "Gamlegjengen" (the old Ålesund bunch)
This photo is taken almost five years ago at Bjorli.
and this one at Norddal last summer.
AnneKat, married to Asbjørn, have a beautiful second residence at Flemsøya, close to the North Sea, and we had a lovely week together last summer.
Once more Happy 60 year´s Birthday!

Tuesday, February 17

Snow clearance - Update

This is an update of the first tuesday post. Did anyone say My World Tuesday?
My Album: Room with a view covers most of the photos taken during this winter´s street outlook including the snow clearance today.
However here is a brief review of today work in progress:
First cars had to be removed
Then heavy equipment was used to scrap the street and unfasten the ice before the rotary snow cutter moved it onto the lorry
Other parts of the clearance was done with tractors and grabs
I do not know the volumes in these trucks
But more than hundred were filled up and taken away.
Thanks for the help this year.

"Vardøger" or do I have "guarding spirits"

According to Norwegian popular belief some people have a "guiding spirit" which precedes them wherever they go. On Sunday Feb 13. I published a post with concern for the troubles Fire Brigades could have in the city street due to very limited snow clearance. During the last days the challenges have only increased.
Sunday night was however this sign raised in the same street:Maybe the fire brigadiers in their truck saw me taking the photos, or the "higher alien powers" became active. If the clearance tools appear within short this morning, I will take a photo and post it as an enclosure to this post. In the meantime you can have a look at the slideshow video made by me during March 2007 snow clearance. Heavy hardware tools had to be used.
video
( music by Abba.)

Monday, February 16

Monday Doors

Mondays are used for a lot of blogging activities world wide, and a numbers of memes are active on this day. I have been participating in "Monday odd shot and "Broer som binder", and have lately found out that The Doors (not necessary on Mondays) is interesting. Especially when the founder opened for the use of gates.
The doors I have chosen to show this time, was taken last Friday on my way to the afternoon drink.
First we passed the open door/gate to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The commitee awards the Nobel Peace Prize each year. Its five members are appointed by the Norwegian parliament.
Fifty meters from the peace offices we have a special memory linked to the second world war. The gate to "Sommerrogata 1" is covered with the Swastika.
Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. It occurs mainly in the modern day culture of India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol. It remains widely used in Eastern religions / Dharmic religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Though once commonly used all over much of the world without stigma, because of its iconic usage in Nazi Germany the symbol has become stigmatized in the Western world.

This iron gate is from 1931 and thus before the nazi occupation of Norway, and (I believe) therefore not removed or changed.

The third door is the entrance to "fru Burum´s" with the opening hours written in a copper plate. Inside you will find a special environment, friendly people and good drinks. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, February 15

Fires and Contingency

(Photo by Svein Gustav Wilhelmsen)
During the last weeks we have seen TV and read about the fires in Australia. Although the dimensions are completely different fires are always filled with horrible possibilities.
Last night several houses have been on fire all over the country according to the media in Norway, and values of many millions have been lost. Lucky no persons have been killed.

That gives a second scenario. What can happen when the Fire brigades cannot reach the place where their services are highly needed. Where hurdles are built up of snow and parked cars.For example in the streets in western Oslo. When will the city council clear away these fire traps.
The next photos are examples of the bad contingency plan regarding this challenge. Will they ever learn before the tragedy occurs.
We feel however safe and have our Saturday Cheese and Wine while relaxing in front of the TV and the Grand Prix (MGP) show from Ålesund on Valantines Night.

Friday, February 13

Photo Safari and Happy Valentines day

As usual Friday afternoon is time for working people (and some disabled) to gather at "fru Burums" for a pint or some glass of wines.
Today the pub was completely full with teachers from Hartvig Nissen and employees from NAV Frogner, tired from all the work-searching persons knocking on the door after 3 pm when the office was closed due to weekend and winter holiday in Oslo.
Take contact with Salvation Army, they advised.

The senior bartender celebrated his 40 years birthday on this Friday 13th, and lot of friends wanted to greet him at the pub with flowers, gifts and champagne. The building above is not presently hosting the pub, but a lot of possibilities may occur if we get rid of the ancient custom like the monarchy, and the Riksantikvaren does not always get his wiches come through. If King Harald wants company for his Friday afternoon drink, we are ready in short notice.
On our way to our "local" we passed the royal castle (building above) seeing the statue of Maud of Wales (our Queen Maud)I don´t know anything about the relation between Queen Maud and King Haakon on Valantines Day, but I am quite sure that the PR Towers during their reign did not look like thisHappy Valentine!

Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source

Dr. David M. Berry published 20 September 2008 the book Copy, Rip, Burn: The Politics of Copyleft and Open Source
Yesterday, 12 Feb. 2009 Times Higher Education presented a review by the blogger Gabriella Coleman who is assistant professor in the department of media, culture and communication, New York University. Her research interests include computers, hacking and free and open-source software.

I copy her review in my blog, and want to tell David that we are proud of him and his work.
The production of non-proprietary software, more commonly known as free/libre and open-source software (FLOSS), has taken parts of the academic, activist and governmental world by storm. It has not only forced an intellectual reassessment of theories of human nature and creativity that help justify the expansion of intellectual property regimes, but it has also inspired academics, journalists and activists to craft similar endeavours.

David Berry, mindful of these developments, has written a persuasive account on the politics of copyleft and open source. Copy, Rip, Burn stands apart from its cohort because of its overtly critical bent. Berry offers a rich discursive analysis of FLOSS, but also situates it within the backdrop of capitalist forces that ultimately blunt, he argues, its radical potential. Within this general frame, he also builds - and this is the intellectual heart of his book - a typology drawn from the Roman legal system, which he uses to explode the binaries between private/public and property/commons commonly used to describe FLOSS. Given Berry's fresh intellectual contribution, this book is a must-read for any scholar or activist interested either in FLOSS or the general politics of IP regulation.

Because political economy is so integral to his otherwise discursive analysis, Berry assesses in broad strokes the state of capitalism and the information society. As the book progresses, he narrows his focus to offer a genealogy of the concept of property, using sources that range from John Locke to the critical theorists of empire, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt. Not content with mere description, he also builds the following typology to reclassify the meaning of and relationship between property and public things: res nullis (things belonging to no one); res private (private things); res publica (public things); res universitatis (things belonging to a group); res communes (common things that cannot be subject to ownership); res imperium (things owned in the international arena); and res divini juris (things under the jurisdiction of the gods). He continues to deploy these categories normatively to describe FLOSS (it is an example of res universitatis, he rightly insists) but he also uses them prescriptively (to ask, for example, how FLOSS or the commons can scale to become res imperium).

The final three chapters address FLOSS proper. Berry provides an illuminating analysis, again discursive in nature, on the ethical differences between free software and its ostensibly non-ideological counterpart, open-source software. The terms "free and open", while distinct, are often paired together, in part because they designate the same alternative licences and collaborative methodologies but differ in their moral orientation and linguistic framing. Berry situates free software within an Enlightenment moral sensibility that integrates an overt commitment to rights and technical progress, and seeks to build a commonweal. Open source, on the other hand, articulates its project in strictly rational and utilitarian terms whose sensibility is hyper-individualist and that overtly seeks recognition and integration within the corporate sector.

While distinguishing these two is an important intellectual exercise (and Berry notes that in practice the line between them is not so clearly defined), he might have mentioned that they are still part of the same general liberal project, albeit positioned at different ends of the liberal spectrum, one articulating communitarian ethics and the other a libertarian sensibility.

Berry ends with a passionate political assessment. Since FLOSS contains only a "kernel of radicalism", he calls for a more expansive politics that would exceed the commitment to productive autonomy that forms the political warp and woof of this domain, and proposes a "re-enchantment of the commons" whereby an international body such as the United Nations could act as a steward of shared resources. While in theory this project is laudable, in practice, given the unimpressive track record of international bodies in implementing and upholding treaties, it may not be the most feasible or pragmatic route for a radical politics. Instead, one might discuss and expand upon the existing, vibrant and extremely politicised arena of technology activism, which receives very little mention in this book.

Since the protests in 1999 in Seattle at the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference, radical technology collectives have mushroomed around the world (although they are concentrated in North America, Europe and Latin America). They have excavated and made public the "radical kernel" of free software and, most important, they have helped underwrite a vibrant global social justice movement. Given Berry's stated desire to create a technological commons that works independent of the circuits of capital (and in fact might challenge or limit it), this might have been a productive area of analytical inquiry to follow.

This book is theoretically incisive. While it does not provide a window into the lived reality of FLOSS, nor a sense of how programmers co-ordinate technical or social production, what it does well is provide a new intellectual history and understanding of FLOSS. Most significantly, it offers analytical categories that I suspect will be adopted by advocates and academics alike to refine their understanding of how to build and advocate for things, objects and resources that should be common to all.
By David M. Berry. Pluto Press, 272pp, £50.00 and £16.99. ISBN 9780745324159 and 4142.