Category: Bits and pieces

Van Gogh and Amsterdam

When in Amsterdam we went to the Van Gogh Museum. This museum has the world´s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh: more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters as well as van Gogh´s own collection of Japanese prints.

We went there on a Friday, the museum is open longer (until ten) and there is music in the evening. The exhibition is great with many beautiful paintings.

My favourite painting is called “Almond blooms”. It is – to me – different from his other paintings. This one has much more life, joy and energy. People have commented that this painting looks Asian. Probably Van Gogh was influenced by some of his Japanese prints.

There is another website, The Vincent van Gogh Gallery, where you can browse Vincent van Gogh’s works and letters in a complete online catalogue.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Rembrandt and Amsterdam

I have been in Amsterdam and while there we went to Rijksmuseum – National Museum of Art and History. While the restoration of the main building is underway, the Rijksmuseum displays the crème de la crème of its permanent collection in the Philips Wing. The exhibition is titled “The Masterpieces” and offers the unique opportunity to view all the highlights of the Golden Age in one place.

One of the paintings shown is of course the famous “Night Watch”, a large and beautiful painting (see image). We went to the museum on a Saturday. Word of advice, do like we did and go early. That way you avoid long lines waiting to get in and it is less crowded inside which makes it easier to get a good view of the paintings.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

The consultant and the shepherd

Once upon a time there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the edge of a deserted road. Suddenly a brand new Jeep Cherokee screeches to a halt next to him.

The driver, a young man dressed in a Brioni suit, Cerrutti shoes, Ray-Ban glasses, and a YSL tie gets out and asks the sheperd – If I guess how many sheep you do have, you give me one of them?

The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the sheep which graze and says:
– All right.

The young man parks the car, connects the notebook and the mobile, enters a NASA site, scans the ground using his GPS, opens a data base and 60 Excel tables filled with algorithms, then prints a 150-pages
report on his high-tech mini-printer. He then turns to the shepherd and says:
– You have excactly 1586 sheep here.

The shepherd answers:
– That´s correct, you can have your sheep.

The young man takes the sheep and puts in the back of his jeep. The shepherd looks at him and asks:
– If I guess your profession, will you return my sheep to me?

The young man answers:
– Yes, why not.

The shepherd says:
– You are a consultant!

– How did you know?, asks the young man.

– Very simple, answers the shepherd.
– First, you come here without being called. Second, you charge me a sheep to tell me something I already knew. Third, you do not understand anything about what I do, because you took my dog!

Amsterdam

Last week I was in Amsterdam for an SAP event. It was the 6th SAP International Utilities Conference 2007, around 1500 attending. The conference was Wednesday to Friday at the RAI Exhibition and Congress Center.

Thursday it was Celebration Night at a place called The Factory. We saw a performance by Blue Man Group (NL), I liked it a lot. It seems the Blue Man Group is a big concept, their live stage shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Berlin, Amsterdam.

We stayed over the weekend too. Amsterdam is an interesting city, easy to get around in using their trams. We stayed in Hotel V, a small hotel with only 24 rooms. The hotel is within walking distance from the RAI Conference Center and has three tram lines close by.

We were out for dinner at Restaurant SOLO and Beems Brasserie. I enjoyed both places, great food.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Having fun with creativity

This weekend I attended a course about creativity and the subconscious. It was fun playing around with colours, using “the other hand” and finally trying to find a running thread in what we had created. One thing is pretty clear though, I will not make it as an artist but it was great fun.

“The other hand” is a very interesting concept. It is defined as the hand you do not use for writing. What happens is that what you paint or draw with your other hand is quite different from what you do with your “right” hand. Not only in quality (less practice with “the other hand”) but also in style.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Heal Your Body

Louise L Hay has written a nice little book called Heal Your Body. On her website it says this about the book:

This handy “little blue book” offers positive new thought patterns to replace negative emotions. It includes an alphabetical chart of physical ailments, the probable causes, and healing affirmations to help you eliminate old patterns.

I have this book and have worked with some of the healing affirmations. The process helped me feel better, it changed though patterns as well as make physical ailments much less of a pain and problem.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Zen and the Art of Harmonica

While surfing around for harmonica information I came across David Harp and an article at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. The article is titled Zen and the Art of Harmonica which sounds really interesting to me. This means I can combine my new harmonica with my interest in meditation and mindfulness.

The article starts like this:

Some people might consider the harmonica an unlikely vehicle with which to explore and transcend that mysterious and often mutinous entity known as the human mind. But as we’ll see in this article, the unique qualities of the harmonica are particularly well-suited to those in pursuit of a healthy, integrated approach to life. From its direct relationship with the breath to the fact that you can’t play a wrong note, the harmonica offers a pocket-sized key to meditation and mindfulness.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Harmonica

I am a fan of blues music and I think it is great when there is a harmonica player in the band. Once when I was at YouTube I stumbled on Harpdog Brown who has several videos in his Harpdog profile.

Today I went and bought a harmonica for myself, to play with (in more ways than one…) just for the fun of it. It will be done when I am on my own though, I doubt anyone else can stand listening to it 🙂

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Sex cues, men and their decisiveness

BBC has an interesting article about Sex cues ruin men’s decisiveness. It might not be a big surprise though that catching sight of a pretty woman really is enough to throw a man’s decision-making skills into disarray. The more testosterone he has, the stronger the effect, according to work by Belgian researchers.

Men about to play a financial game were shown images of sexy women or lingerie. The study found they were more likely to accept unfair offers than men not been exposed to the alluring images.The suggestion is that the sexual cues distract the men’s thoughts, preventing them from focusing on their task – particularly among those with high natural testosterone levels.

Dr George Fieldman, principal lecturer in psychology at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, said the study confirmed what had been suspected by many. “If a man is being asked to choose between something being presented by an attractive woman and an ugly man, they might not be as dispassionate as they could be.”

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.