Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 Nobel Prize: Herta Muller

Ms. Herta Muller, from Timisoara, wins the Nobel Prize for Literature this year.

Her texts reflect her own biography and the complex situations in totalitarian systems and the human decay and degeneration: "This is not a topic that I chose, but rather one that my life has chosen for me. I don't have that freedom of choice. I cannot say: 'I want to write about that thing, or about that other thing.' I am bound to write about what concerns me and about the things that won't leave me in peace."

Being an advocate for the respect of cultures, Ms. Muller says: "In Timisoara [the main city in Banat] one can hear on the street all kinds of languages: Romanian, German, Hungarian, Serbian, Romany -- that's how it used to be and that's how it should be. Nobody should hide their culture."

Personally, I admire Ms. Herta Muller for her decency, just and noble attitude to life and also for her talent as an international writer.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The 2nd Mourning Day - Bucharest

20 years ago, people in Bucharest continued what heroes in Timisoara had started - but again the outcome was bloody - 40 new young heroes died in the first hour alone.

Highly-trained snipers were shooting civilians from the top of the buildings - mercilessly.

But people would shout: "We shall die, but we shall be free!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The 1st Mourning Day - Timisoara

December, 17th 1989 - the day when shootings against civilians start.

More than 200 children grow up without their fathers - like Monica Silaghi who sees her father's blood on her 15-year-old hands.

More than 100 families are forced to live with traumatic memories all their lives.

The "Romanian-Romanian war" starts. 'Securitate' people close the doors of the Cathedral so that civilians cannot seek refuge inside. Young heroic people die on the steps of the Cathedral...

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Silent Force

They were betrayed. And they were caught. The mountains had covered them for long but it hadn't been enough.
"The Americans" never came, as hoped, and the communist regime enforced its unifying destruction... But the year 1989 brought about the much needed change.

The force of the resisting spirit cuts through time. They have won!

Whenever I think of the resistance groups of brave men and women, Toma Arnautoiu is among the first leading figures who speaks to my mind and heart and whenever I see his daughter, which is a miracle in itself, I cannot help feeling the silent force of the look in their eyes - the force of justice and truth...

The BBC reveals in an article titled "Romania Securitate legacy 20 years after revolution" the haunting effects of a regime that lasted for too long.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gheorghe Dinica: "I am from Romania."

Gheorghe Dinica will always enchant audiences - with his endless talent as an actor but, moreover, with his spirit that will continue to live with us forever. Personally, I could never forget his melancholic deep voice or his roles in so many films and plays - especially "Take, Ianke and Cadar", which lies at the very basis of my own identity belonging to this culture.
The New York Times, in the article today, relates "his modesty, humor and his refusal to praise the country's late Communist dictator", in a time when many actors did this, and also his passion for life and people so that, quite often, when dining in restaurants he would spontaneously break into song...When asked abroad if he was Robert de Niro, he would simply say: "I am from Romania."

Monday, November 2, 2009

JCI National Conference - Success and Young Spirit

The 1st JCI Conference in Romania was held in Iasi these days, organized by JCI Iasi - Mr. Mircea Giosan and his fantastic team - and gathered over 100 participants nationwide, as well as the renowned international trainer, Mr. Filipe Carrera.
The event was a real success due to the business and cultural focus of the conference activities and its networking feature proved to be invaluable for everyone...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silvia Pintilie: Visual Artist

Silvia is the Winner of Salermo Talent of the year - Italy, the Winner of History of Contemporary Art, Marche – Italy and exhibits in Notre Dame de Sion Gallery - Paris. And she fully deserves all the praise when you have a look at all her fantastic paintings and drawings and work...

Creative Photography: by sergio

A few days ago a friend of mine recommended bysergio and I've been hooked. Sergio's concept of "creative photography" implies raw emotions transcending the visual and feelings of unique moments lasting forever...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Iasi Book Fair - Style and Freedom

As a huge fan of books, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the CAMUFI book fair in Iasi these days enchanted its visitors not only with selected good books, music and films but also with a special kind of tranquil stylish atmosphere. Whether you wanted to enjoy an international bestseller, an IQ game or a Discovery documentary and an organic cup of tea, you had all the space to do it - and the space was not accidentally one of the most interesting in Iasi - the famous Hall of the Lost Footsteps.
In a time when we are under the pressure of larger-than-life book fairs with their addictive rush and tension, a book fair like this one can re-invent the original idea of an exquisite book meeting with good taste.

Iasi International Film Festival - A New Beginning

Iasi International Film Festival took place in the cultural capital of Moldova between the 25th September and the 3rd of October and marked the first edition of a new film festival - young, dynamic and energetic.
I particularly admired the documentaries section, which proved to be extremely new and fresh, and the special vibe of the energies of a new beginning. I can hardly wait to see this film festival grow in the years to come.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Irina Predescu - The Butterfly Business

Irina Predescu is 23 and already manages a 4 year successful business - with butterflies.
For your wedding or even corporate events, Irina can make your celebration stand out by releasing hundreds of butterflies into the air at the right time...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Gruber's Journey": The First Small Step

Gruber's Journey, directed by Mr. Radu Gabrea, is a well-documented film that tries to do justice to a tragic historical event, silenced for too long.
Curzio Malaparte, as written in his own journal 'Kaputt', recounts how personal life mixes with grand history and how he himself turns into a key witness of the event. While coming to Iasi in June 1941 and looking for the Jewish Dr. Josef Gruber to treat his allergy, Malaparte finds himself involved in the dramatic event of 12,000 Jewish civilians being mass murdered at Podu Iloaiei.
Being present at the official premiere last night in Iasi, I was wondering why government funded films lack the brightness and the vibe to propel them to international heights. And also how embarrassing ass-kissing can be during these presentations...
I believe the film - as perceived sitting near probably the most elderly Jewish man in the audience - misses the point of revealing the deep tragedy and launches on an overrated narcissistic criticism of the inability of the local people to organize things (an image, in fact, that neither my friends nor I recognize ourselves in).
However, Mr. Marcel Iures is absolutely brilliant, indeed, in portraying Dr. Gruber and also notable are Florin Piersic Jr., as Malaparte, and Claudiu Bleont - highly talented young actors.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oana Pellea - A Different Kind of Journal.

Oana Pellea is not only the most beautiful actress I have ever seen, but also a truly inspiring person who has the mysterious ability to make us see insightful things in a lasting way... Memorable is the time for me when I saw her in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" some years ago when I was a student in Iasi. Her force as an actress is mesmerizing and her recently published Journal is a gift of emotions and life essence. I read her Journal as I read the Bible - before bedtime and opening the book at random and read - everything makes perfect sense with our own searching, and contradictions and tension and needs for answers and Light...Simply inspiring!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Violeta's Vintage Kitchen - Organic Slow Food

Great Passion and Honesty are the two key words that define Violeta's Vintage Kitchen - the new 'out of the box' kitchen in Bucharest for those of us who want to enjoy organic home-made food.
Being a Jamie Oliver's follower, Violeta turned her great personal cooking ability into a small but successful business because of her desire to share with the others high quality food.
And if we want Violeta to cook especially for us - no problem! Or if we want to learn from Violeta the secrets of her recipes for success, we can sign in for one of her workshops... For sure, my next trip to Bucharest will imply a visit to Violeta's Magical Kitchen...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"George Enescu" Music Festival 2009: The Legacy

George Enescu Music Festival and Competition - the 19th edition - is already a cultural brand with international recognition. Between 30th August and 26th September, classical music lovers are spoilt for choices in Bucharest at some of the most beautiful and impressive locations in the capital (National Opera or The Romanian Athenaeum).
There are also additional concerts in Tescani, Sibiu and at "Mihail Jora" Classical Music Concert Hall in Bacau.
Divided into 8 sections, the Festival and Competition will be attended by great musicians of the world: Joshua Bell, the pianist Christian Zaccharias, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Alexandru Tomescu, Diana Rotaru, etc. and orchestras: "The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra", from Amsterdam, "Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks", "Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse" and many more.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Searching for Bucharest...

Mrs. Tessa Dunlop, journalist for The Independent British newspaper, writes from an interesting perspective on the Romanian capital after 20 years since the downfall of communism.

Married to a Romanian man, she seems to be well-acquainted with the country's problems but I bet she does not like to live here much.
Mrs. Dunlop reminds me of the English playwright Caryl Churchill who came in the early 90's for a project-play on the Romanian revolution in 1989 - with the critical eye of the outsider, unemotionally involved and probably with the perspective of both sides - she could exactly pinpoint the critical issues.

Just like Mrs. Churchill then, Mrs Dunlop speaks about the chaotic architecture, poor management of local attractions, too many casinos in Bucharest, but also the beautiful women who are very well dressed...

However, 20 years of capitalism taught people here that Ceausescu was not the real problem in the past, but a whole well-structured system which is still visible today - so, associating Bucharest with Ceausescu may work for a British readership but it is quite far-off from the real truth. Also, I wonder whether Mrs. Dunlop has really known the real beauty of Bucharest - with its old streets, museums of art, old houses and gardens... And I also wonder whether she really took the time to feel the spirit of this authentic city which lies in little details and in people's gestures not in focusing on problems, frustrations and critical issues. Personally, I have learnt to re-discover Bucharest and I am very happy I can really see its beauty now - it's about the Spirit - of sophisticated eclecticism, not the communist buildings, for sure...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trei Parale - Discovering Antique Music

The 19th century music that was sung and listened to in the Carpathians region by various communities - Romanian, Jewish, Hungarian, Gypsy, etc. - is being re-discovered, with the help of detailed research and passion of three musicologists at the Romanian Village Museum in Bucharest. Florin Iordan, Daniel Pop, Beatrice Iordan and Dinu Petrescu use archaic traditional music instruments and call themselves "Trei Parale" / "Three Pennies".
Whenever you listen to their music you are taken back to immemorial times...

The Pain Memorial - "History Which Is Not Taught At School"

The first and the second DVD of the collection of interviews, reports and research conducted by Mrs. Lucia Hossu Longin and Mr. Dan Necsulea under the already famous title "The Pain Memorial" focuses on the state of Bucovina region, in the north of Romania, immediately after World War II and the Soviet destruction of the villages and of the people there - ready to implement the new communist regime. Heavily documented, the dvd tells the story of how the local fighters confronted the oppressors, hiding in the mountains and hoping for American aid to come to set the country free. Leaders like Dumitru Craciun, Dr. Gheorghe Vasilache, Constantin Cenusa, Vasile Motrescu - "the last fighter in Bucovina, caught due to betrayal" - are the people who kept the faith and hope of a whole country alive.
In Fagaras region, resistance against communist crimes and terror was possible thanks to "the Boys in the Mountains" - called like this because of their very young age. Ion Gavrila Ogoranu, Ion Buta, and many students and a few teachers at Radu Negru Highschool in the town of Fagaras "placed freedom above their lives in full terror" (Octavian Paler). The Soviets and the new local communists acted with a view to systematically destroy families, by turning one against the other and 'rewarding' the traitors, and through 'collectivization' they confiscated every possession and property in order to make people subject and dependent on the communist state. These young boys, with love of God and of the country, could not accept this "Soviet colonization" (Octavian Paler).
Along with students, writers and journalists had to suffer the same torture and terror. Between 1945 and 1948, 8,500 literary works on identity are forbidden from publishing. The poet Radu Gyr is sentenced to prison for his famous poem - "Stand Up George, Stand Up John" - for 20 years...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Miss Pogany - the Essence of Feminity

Mademoiselle Pogany, worth $100 million, is one of Constantin Brancusi's most famous works of art with a destiny that does not seem to be very calm. Her stillness, however, seems to ignore financial interests and enchant art-lovers.
The New York Times writes about her story.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"The Trap" - Another Lesson We Must Learn

The day of April the 7th marked another day we should remember - thousands of Moldavian students and youngsters came together in an act of freedom - of opinion, of communication, of rights. Can they all be wrong? Can't they all be heard by the big democratic officials? "The Trap" is a striking recount of what happened...
Quite often I am under the impression that history is just repeating...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Police, Adj." - A Case of Consciousness.

Police, Adj. is Corneliu Porumboiu's latest film - written and directed in his unique style of filming, with long shots, long deep pauses, minimal but precise and sharp dialogue. In a world where we have been framed into receiving films and movies in a typical, standardized way, Police, adj. comes to challenge us into de-framing our mind, un-learning 'to watch a movie'. The best part of it is that it actually gives you the space and time to think . Every little pause, every little detail makes sense and is part of this apparently simple ordinary texture but masterfully and minutely crafted.
My friend and I last night took the director's opportunity to piece together little details like words written on walls, the position of houses, angles, shades, etc. For example, Cristi the young policeman asks his colleague to check a certain number plate and gives him the letters containing it - "AIC" - "A for Anca (female name), I for Iuda (Juda, the traitor), C for Cristi (male name)" or we could see these words written on a wall - "AF Trandafir executa / Rose Family Association Executes" which are very funny and ironic at the same time, linking directly with the end of the film.

Mr. Porumboiu works as an unseen creator who gives viewers the freedom to develop in time with the movie and his characters. At the latest edition of the International Film Festival in Sarajevo, he spoke about the link between film and time and the "time of being" as the essential element of his film vision - that the time of moving in a character is more important than any dialogue - and I think the concept of 'time of being' can be applied to viewers too as they - too - have their own time of being, of internalizing the film texture and the story. In this case, the story of the film is acutely modern and current - how young moral professionals succumb and accept defeat under the pressure of an artificial social system, but not only...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sighet Memorial - The Form of Justice.

The former political prison in Sighet turned, after the Revolution of 1989, into The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance. The Council of Europe designated the Sighet Memorial one of the main memorial sites of the continent, alongside the Auschwitz Museum and the Peace Memorial in Normandy.
The amazing work of a handful of specially dedicated people keeps the memory of this country and continent alive - the memory of who we are, of our own identity.
Without the Sighet Memorial my life as a simple citizen inhabiting Europe and this world would lack an essential dimension...

"Home Alone" - Documentary on Migration Effects

The local TV station 1TV has recently broadcast their striking "Home Alone" documentary on the situation of the elderly people left behind by those who go to the west in search of a better financial life. What do they leave behind? - "Pain - Loneliness - Poverty - Hope - Tears". Home Alone shows the naked heart-breaking truth of thousands of people over 60 years old who live a real drama under the powerless gaze of authorities... "You haven't died for 90 years, you won't die one or two months" is the shocking answer of a Romanian youngster to his elderly mother before heading for the west...The problem is they never stay away for just one month - so easily months turn into years until they themselves get tangled in their own life problems and become powerless themselves ...
Again, I believe that this is not just a local problem - as we have recently seen, any local problem is a global problem that will affect us all - in one way or another, sooner or later...

Friday, August 14, 2009


From the Latin word "lumen", meaning "light" ("lumen solis" meant "sun light" for the Romans) there is the Romanian word "lume" - meaning "people", "world" ...

Tescani - Artists' Creativity Hub

When I arrived at Tescani Mansion this week, which is the home of George Enescu Cultural Center in Bacau county, the place was very quiet and still and brightly lit by the sun - the trees and the field were inviting and protective though and the 250-year-old elm tree - the Rosetti-Enescu family tree - was guarding the mansion as forever. When I stepped inside I found out the reason behind all this sought-after tranquility: there was an International Painters Summer School going on. The most passionate curator I have ever met revealed to me the stories of George Enescu's destiny as an artist born to give life to all the artistic tension that vibrates in the Romanian space and when I was about to leave I noticed the French musician who was minutely studying musical notes and laboriously working on his individual project close to an old piano...I believe this space is ready to be discovered by international musicians and artists because it is inviting and has a fantastic energy that is so inspirational - my favourite place in Tescani is Enescu's Hill (Movila lui Enescu) - a place I discovered in the big park surrounding the mansion and where, as I was told, Enescu used to climb up to get inspiration for his music - I did too and the magic combination of generous sun light, fresh fir tree smell and hight triggered a myriad of emotions immediately. Tescani is a magical place which is for sure worth experiencing on your own...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Faust at Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival is getting very close now and great performances are ready to be shown on stage. "Faust", directed by Silviu Purcarete, is one of them. It seems to be a massive undertaking - like any other play directed by Silviu Purcarete...
Laura Barnett from The Guardian writes the review of this ambitious play.

S. Purcarete and D. Buhagiar: The Mountain Giants

The last unfinished play written by Luigi Pirandello - The Mountain Giants - is a real challenge for any director, set designer, actors and entire team.
But the internationally awarded director Silviu Purcarete and the highly talented young set designer Dragos Buhagiar, together with the actors from the National Theatre in Iasi have taken up the challenge and came up with a remarkable production to experience. I saw the play in Iasi 2 months ago and I took part in the talk with the actors after the play and I can say it was indeed a remarkable play - the very thin line between fiction and reality and fictitious reality is a real delight of both the intellect and the senses. The very complex structure of images, sound, lights, costumes, high tech, make-up and messages could only be mastered by masters...Spectacular!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pitesti: the Brainwash 'Re-education'

Beyond Torture: The Gulag of Pitesti is a documentary on a terrifying truth - in 1949, Soviet activists started to take young people from universities or high-schools and send them to a 're-education' prison in the city of Pitesti to turn them into communist thinkers... Father George Calciu says: "Many of us died, many of us got mad, but in some of us the good triunphed...They tried to destroy our souls." But he and a few others survived to tell the truth and even forgive their opressors.
This DVD contains impressive paintings by the young artist Sorin Feraru.
In my opinion, a continent, a world who do not know these past events is doomed to repeat them - in one way or another...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Anamaria Marinca: The new 'Meryl Streep'

Anamaria Marinca is a young actress that I personally admire - for her mysterious grace and for her intense and controlled force as an actress. Every time I see her I admire her spiritual balance that comes from the inside - from hard work, fight with texts but also personal character. Inevitably, she reminds me of the force of Meryl Streep... Probably already famous for her awards and also intriguing but warm smile, Ms Marinca, I'm sure, has many more things to show in both films and theatre.
At the moment, you can see her in 4.48 Psychosis, by Sarah Kane at Young Vic in London. As we know, this text is hard even to read let alone to act on stage - but Anamaria is ready to take the plunge and act it as a solo monologue - ay, I'm so sorry I'm gonna miss it! I hope some of you can make it tough...

4 3 2 - Cristian Mungiu

The year 2007 brought the director Cristian Mungiu the greatest film award in Europe: Palme d'Or at Cannes with the most acclaimed film - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
Needless to dwell on the story of abortion during the totalitarian regime, I must emphasize the art of silence that the young generation of Romanian directors seem to master so well and want to develop it further into 'unbearable suspense', laconic space, implied messages or even horror. Also, the talent of young actors like Anamaria Marinca or Laura Vasiliu proves to be extremely creative.
On the other hand, the movie is absolutely shocking and I think that movie-lovers should get introduced first to the context of this film story in order to be prepared to receive it as the judges at Cannes did and avoid feeling 'unconnected' to the characters in the end.

Friday, July 31, 2009

M. Matica: "Everybody sells something."

Mr. Madalin Matica is probably the best Romanian motivational speaker I have ever listened to. He is part of that special category of proactive individuals in their late 30's/early 40's who act on the local markets as both business people and trainers, thus their expertise is invaluable. Madalin Matica works on devising online payment platforms in Eastern Europe and also works in collaboration with major cities in the country to elaborate city strategies. Here are some useful tips he gave at the seminar at Iashington to young entrepreneurs:

- the entrepreneurial world is getting divided into Tribes (social networks, clubs, societies) and new Barbarians (those who challenge the systems and have real competitive advantages over the big players)

- learn to be rejected and learn to be humble as early as possible

- the best time to start your business is now

- try to build lovemarks, not just brands

- "good" will kill you - good is not enough, the product you want to sell should be excellent and unique

- if you target your product at the man on the street outside you're dead - your target should be the whole world

- people shop not because of needs but because of wants

- Dunbar's number of 148 represents the number of individuals with whom we can have a stable interpersonal relationship. Apparently, our noecortex cannot process more because of its size. This number can directly affect the way in which we organize both our business and social life.

Andy Szekely - "Leadership is a State."

In a world where leaders are in great need, Andy Szekely trains high profile business people on:

- how the intellect, the "cognitive mind" works together with the body, the "somatic mind". So, by "defocusing the eyes" and losing details around, your both minds gain breadth and completeness. The best decisions are taken under these circumstances.

- the importance of good questions to oneself: what are opinion leaders beginning to say? what rules are being broken? what is important to you about...? why is that important? Which are your core values (e.g. freedom, expertise)?

- Clean your desk! our mind cannot focus effectively otherwise

- Micro prototyping : if you need to tackle a big project which seems overwhelming, then break it down into micro projects and take one step at a time.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iashington - International Conference in Iasi

Iashington is a young international conference run by AIESEC members which is getting better every year. The young spirit of the participants is most appealing and attractive due to the innovative and creative ideas that come as a result of various workshop interactions. In addition, the quality of the speakers is outstanding.

Garett Gravesen and Kevin Scott, from Atlanta - Georgia, were surely the highlights of the event, with their pure American vibe and enthusiasm. They are 2 fantastic youngsters under 30 who managed to raise 1 million $ for AIDS kids and who are now promoting their Global L.E.A.D. program around the world, to encourage American graduates to get involved in global community service. Their useful advice was:

- "Create a Cause - not a business."

- the power of 1: when you deal with many cases that have to do with a certain problem, take 1 example and make up a story that will 'sell'.

- Be You - Brand You!

- make up your Bucket List - you'll be surprised how your mind works when forced to come up with 10 major things to do before dying.

- create a Mission Statement for your life: narrow your list down to a few key things and then stay focused on it. keep it in your handbag or close to you.

- Real happiness implies a limit - too many cars, too many trips, too much of anything does not bring authentic happiness (cf. Authentic Happiness, by M Seligman).

- the 3 Fs: Family, Friends, Faith - the most important things in life.

- “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi

- a new book: The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss: Tim is from Silicon Valley and delivers speeches at Princeton.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Al.I. Cuza Palace

Built in 1806 in Lapusneanu Street in Iasi, Alexandru Ioan Cuza Palace hosts the Union Museum and it also used to host kings and queens in the not very distant past. The reason why this place is worth visiting is because it is not just a palace but a home where you feel isolated from the hustle and bustle of a city and can feel the quietness and peace of a most warm royal house which does not bear the height of great empires but the humbleness of dignified royalty...
Currently, you can see a temporary exhibition on The Year 1939 which represented the peak of Romanian civilization and culture but also the critical point of downfall.

The National Museum of Art

The National Museum of Art of Romania is probably the first thing you must visit in Bucharest. It is a grand building and if you want to see all exhibits you need several hours. There are 2 main parts: the European Art Gallery (with works by El Greco, Breughel, Monet, Rodin and reps of German, Dutch, French and Italian Schools) and the Romanian Art Gallery (with remains of orthodox churches after the communist destruction, and also works by the greatest painters and sculptors like Brancusi, Grigorescu, Tonitza, Luchian).
I have the impression I have never seen enough and I go there to rediscover something new every time. The NMA seems to keep the same high quality standard like the National Art Gallery or Tate Museum in London.

Sutu Palace - Window into the Grand Past

Built in 1834 for the great aristocrat Costache Grigore Sutu by the architects Johann Veit and Conrad Schwinck, Sutu Palace hosts the Bucharest Museum now. The beauty of the building is unforgettable due to the inner staircase, tall rooms and crafty decorations and details...Until the 30 August you can see a temporary exhibition titled "C.I.Nottara and the Romanian Theatre". Personally, I was impressed by Nottara's private armchair and study desk, as well as the make up that endured time, backed up by his grand performance stories on the stage.

Stradivarius violin and Alex Tomescu

After a tough national competition, Alexandru Tomescu earned the right to make use of the famous Stradivarius violin which goes back to 1702 and has a specific unique sound. It's a privileged experience, indeed.
Mr Tomescu is currently touring the country to raise money for the Visually Challenged People Association.

Omagiu - 'Remix Culture' Magazine

Omagiu is a completely out-of-the-box visual art magazine which deals with highly creative young artists and producing shocking images of everyday objects or concepts. As Mr. Patapievici once said, you need to learn how to read this magazine first in order to fully appreciate it - it's shocking and disturbing and it's printed in English.

Rromak - Authentic Musicians

Rromak is a new group of professional Rroma musicians forming a traditional taraf. It consists of 9 highly qualified musicians with degrees in music but with a lot of gypsy passion and talent.
Lavinia, the lead singer of the group has a spectacular voice and huge talent and every time they perform - always live - they impress any audience with their songs inspired by Russian, Spanish and Balkan music.


Ar. <hafiz> means "the guardian" and it is an Arabic word used for somebody who has completely memorized the Qur'an. But practice and understanding of the text has much to do with being a hafiz / hafiza...

Love in Arabic

There are more than 20 words in Arabic for the concept of "love", as my friend told me - who can beat that?!


If you mind your <kefi> it means you take care of your spirit of joy, passion, frenzy and exhilaration. As a result of achieving kefi, you might feel like smashing plates in a very Greek way... Let it be KEFI!


Aren't we all enchanted by this Japanese miracle every year?
The best thing about sakura, the cherry trees, is that they are natural and unmodified genetically, as my Japanese friend explained it to me - beautiful!


Ro. <neam> means family, kinship, people, nation, nationality. It is a "word in progress" because it covers a very large area of identity.
The young nations of Eastern Europe have been created as independent units because of some strong families that gave identity to a whole community and then they were able to preserve, protect and adapt it...


Ro. <Dor> means a mix between pain and pleasure, search and un-find. It can be connected to love but in a very large sense. Many traditional songs deal, in fact, with this state of mind and heart.

Exeter College. Oxford

Exeter comes from excellence, in this case. Undoubtedly! This Oxford College offers top world class studies because of the tutors here. This is the place where you can learn the real value of individual and small-size group study and where you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a real Gentleman - like the one you read about in books and think they no longer exist.
If you want to have a taste of the atmosphere that JRR Tolkien or Phillip Pullman enjoyed then this is your place...Never have second thoughts about the Summer Schools they offer - they are second to none!

"Cuza" University - Tradition and Modernism

Cuza University of Iasi is the oldest university in the country and it is a cultural place where traditional authentic values confront modern times. Far away from 'big' politics, this uni manages to keep independent and establish links with many top universities abroad. Located on Copou hill, in a most welcoming friendly city, it accepts everyone making them feel at home no matter what. I have German and American friends who studied at Cuza and who name it their 'personal best'.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Vanish" - Protective Distruction of Data

Roxana Geambasu, a 28-year-old PhD student at Washington University, is part of the team who are devising a new system of self-destruction of digital data we no longer need. In a world where personal data is no longer 'personal', Vanish seems to be in great need.
Vanish seems to be user friendly and probably it'll catch on very quickly. As "The New York Times" writes, "the technology is at the heart of most modern electronic commerce systems".

"Mathematics Gazette"- 111 Years of Tradition

For many students, "Gazeta matematica" has represented a real creative challenge to better themselves and to connect with a long tradition (since 1895) in the field.
Even if my subject was not maths, I remember with great pleasure this magazine and I could feel even the legacy of the great scholars like G. Titeica or D. Barbilian while holding it.
Personally, I believe this is a 'lovemark', not just a brand, and since so many Romanian students receive international awards in maths I'm sure it is also due to GM. Now it is available in electronic format to challenge people around the whole world..