Saturday, May 19, 2012

Color in the city - Walking Madou

A photographers dream
Walking Madou, a project by the architects Suède 36, changed the once so busy and grey area between Place Madou and Place Saint-Josse into a colorful and car-free area.  So I went to walk my old neighborhood earlier this week.  What a joy it was, despite the drab weather.

The whole area will be refurbished and in the meantime everybody can enjoy the craziness and the abundance of yellow.  The yellow paint will last another two months.

I can only applaud the architects to creatively use a space under construction and hope similar projects will be seen in Brussels and other cities whilst the neighborhoods undergo major changes.

Marleen.



PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.





Sunday, April 15, 2012

Of cats and photography

It never seizes to amaze me how cat pictures (good, bad, and anything in between) are so incredibly popular on photo-sharing sites and social networks.

Cat in Frituur Fabiola
It looks we might have to thank our brains for this.  It dawned on me earlier this week while reading 'The decisive moment' by Jonah Lehrer.  Lehrer talks about an experiment done by Timothy Wilson (So Wilson Came: Wilson et al., 'Introspecting about Reasons').  In this experiment the psychologist asked a group of female students to make a choice of their favorite art poster.  They were given a choice of a Monet landscape, a van Gogh painting and 3 - yep - cat posters.  The group was split up; one group had simply to rate the posters; while the other half had to answer a number of questions as to why they liked or disliked the posters.  Every one was allowed to take their favorite poster home.

The two groups made completely different choices.  The 'non-thinkers' took the Monet or the van Gogh while the 'thinkers' were almost equally split between the cat posters and the art posters.  In follow-up interviews the women who took the art picture home were happier with their choice than the cat posters. 75% percent of the cat poster owners regretted their selection.  None of the art poster owners regretted theirs.

The women listening to their emotional side made better decisions than the women reasoning about their decisions.

So the next time I see a hugely popular cat picture on a photo-sharing site, I know that (maybe) the viewers really thought about it :-)

Marleen


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring colors

Photo taken in the Haller Bos - April 2011

My favorite time of the year!  The days get longer, the weather gets warmer and the trees are finally getting some foliage - at a remarkable speed.  The beautiful fresh colors only stay a short while before the darker greens take over.  Throw in some bluebells and the color scheme is breathtaking.

Marleen







PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.











Thursday, April 5, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring



I know I am ready for Spring when I start looking for something 'springy' to work on and to post.

We don't know what happened but one day the parents didn't show up at the birdhouse to care for their eggs anymore. After a couple of days, my Mom carefully removed the nest from the birdhouse so other occupants could move in.

Marleen


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.




Sunday, April 1, 2012

Did you get framed today ?


How many of you did fall for an April fool's day joke today ?

                                          Photo taken last week at The Egg, Brussels


When I was a kid we got sent to get non existing stuff from the store, or sent for foolish errands. Nowadays it seems most jokes are funny articles in the press. An interesting story today when the Google algorithm sent a spoof story to the number 1 spot in the news - see here.

There seems to be a bit of confusion as to where the April Fool's day originated. Some people think it started when the switch was made to the Gregorian Calendar, as New Year was celebrated between 25th March and 1st April before the new calendar. But this story is probably not true. Le Poison d'Avril was first written about in France in 1508, in Flanders there is a poem dating from 1560 mentioning 'verzenderkesdag'.

In the middle ages, there was a festival called 'La Fête des Fous', which was very popular in France in the 5th through the 16th century. What the basis was for this festival, we don't know.

Marleen




PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oscars 2012

With Rundskop/Bullhead nominated for Best Foreign Language film, the Belgians are a tad more interested in the Oscars this year.

     Picture taken an early morning last year at another Film Festival.


It is the sixth Academy Award nomination for Belgium.

Other Belgian nominees were:

1970: Paix sur les Champs
1988: The Music Teacher
1992: Daens
1994: Farinelli: Il Castrato
2000: Everybody Famous!

I hope they come home with the statue!

Marleen



PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The weather gods love Carnival

Yesterday it was raining cats and dogs well into the late hours.  But today, the weather held up !

                               The Kings in Waiting for their turn to be shown in the parade today.




More impressions of today can be found in this Flickr set.

Marleen


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

City Under Siege

As the city of Aalst is preparing for 3 days of Carnival celebrations, it looks and feels now like the city is under siege.

                                                         Photo taken today in the city center 


As from tomorrow though, parades, music, thousands of people and lots of alcohol.

Marleen



PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spread it a little

No way one could miss Valentine's Day as the retailers use this day to get more sales (who can blame them?).  Today is supposed to be a 'special' day.

Wouldn't you rather be loved all year round?  Wouldn't it be great if we all would spread our love around 365 days a year ?

Marleen

                        Photograph taken on a train ride this weekend 





PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.




Monday, February 6, 2012

Earmuffs

With temperatures not rising above the freezing point in the next week, we all could use some !

    Photo taken at a shopping center in Brussels early January.

Keep warm,
Marleen




PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.




Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strike first, ask questions later

Another wild strike this morning.  The fifth train strike in less than a month (only two were announced beforehand).  60 trains cancelled, other ones delayed, commuters late for work and left in the cold.

The conductors apparently 'were afraid their might be a problem in the future in the planning of their holidays'. This because the coordination office moved away from Brussels South - to a building 200 meters from the current spot.

     Foto taken on a Sunday afternoon sometime in 2006.

I always thought strikes were a last resort, but it would seem that these days strikes are used as a starting point and bargaining chip in negotiations.

Strange world.

Marleen




PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.







Sunday, January 29, 2012

fifty


Better, faster, stronger.

Will give attention to more focus and less ballast this year.



Marleen




PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Opting out ?


Google's new privacy policy and Terms of service will come into effect on March 1, 2012.   All of  the Google services you use (including Search, Gmail, Picasa, YouTube and sixty other services they offer) will integrated  so Google can use the integrated data to learn more about you.   No chance of opting out. According to them, Google will be able to offer so much more to us.  

I wonder what the privacy advocates will have to say about that.





PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.




Monday, January 23, 2012

Commute


I've joined the commuter classes recently.  No more sitting in traffic but taking the train into work.  Yes, I do spend more time on the commute, but so far it's been bliss.  Everybody runs to get the fast train, while I've chosen to take the slower train, which leaves five minutes later, virtually empty.

This commute actually adds time to my day for reading, writing, photographing or just enjoying the silence and relax. Can't wait until the days get longer and I get to watch the scenery as well.






Photo taken during my commute to work.



PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Driving Licence



In a month or so the boy turns 18. Ah, adulthood!  With this magic number comes the much wanted driving licence.  He even gets the theory  as part of the normal school curriculum.  As his mother it comes with dual feelings.

Yes, great to see the boy growing up, love the idea I won't be the sole driver of the household anymore but letting go is not always that easy!



























Photos taken at a car tuning event some years ago.

PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my Flickr photostream or my website.




Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012


After years of creating this blog, I finally decided to do something with it.  It is a new year after all!  It's this time of year where the grayness gets to us, and I am not different.

Scanning my hard drives for colorful objects or colorful places, anything but the hundreds shades of gray we experience in these winter days.

Hope these cheer you up as well !

Marleen

Hooked

Polkadots 

Keeping it cool