Archives for October 2011

Vote Bu Tinah

Or else.

Yesterday Grades 2 and 3 went on a field trip and lo and behold, this one was actually educational! For the past few weeks a giant dome in honor of Bu Tinah Island has been open to visitors at the Corniche Beach. Bu Tinah Island is northwest of Abu Dhabi in the Arabian Gulf. It was also the only finalist in the region for the New 7 Wonders of Nature and is therefore quite the source of pride. In addition, it’s pretty neat. The worlds healthiest population of dugongs (like manatees) live there!

While the dome is essentially a giant advertisement to vote Bu Tinah, it’s also pretty cool.

Inside is a faux boardwalk above a tank with young mangroves and sea turtles. There’s also a large replica of the island that shows where each species of animal likes to congregate.

My only complaint regarding the visit was that it was brief. Our time spent on the bus more than doubled our time spent inside the exhibit. Oh well, any excuse to leave school is a good excuse.

If you’d like to vote for Bu Tinah, there’s only 10 days left!

Watch a neat video here.

xo, jill

Kiva Loan: October

10 down, 2 to go!

When I checked the balance in my Kiva account this month, I was pleasantly surprised. Nearly $21 dollars had been repaid since last month. That’s almost enough to fund a new loan!

This month I selected an entrepreneur in Kenya. I figured that with all the new trouble happening there, Kenya would be a good place to support. Annah is a tailor and plans to use the money from her loan to purchase more fabric for the upcoming holiday season. I also liked how Annah described herself as quiet, peaceful, and wise.

Photo from Annah’s Kiva listing.

Did you know that you can also give Kiva gift cards? I sent one to my dad for his birthday last week! I figure that most of the people I know don’t need new “things” but might appreciate contributing to the success of others.

xo, jill

Abu Dhabi Film Festival 3

Shorts, whales, and krishna.

The last batch of films I saw was a bit of an exhausting experience. I rushed to the theater after school to meet Mike for a quick lunch/dinner before our first film. Then it was on to the next. I left home in the morning at 6am and didn’t make it back until well after 9pm. Long day. I needed to rest up for our last film the following day… a 3+ hour endeavor.

5. Shorts Program 1
Directed by many many people
Premise: This showing was a selection of a variety of short films from around the world. To be honest, about half of them weren’t that interesting. One in particular was long, slow, and strange. I took a nap, I couldn’t help it. I enjoyed these three in particular.

a. Luminaris: Impressive stop-motion and unusual subject matter.

b. Bear: Very funny. Very dark. (No trailer available, this is the best I could find.)

c. Short Memory: Shocking and very, very sad.

6. Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson
Directed by Trish Dolman
Premise: Paul Watson was an early member of Greenpeace. It didn’t take long for it to become apparent that Watson was a bit too radical for the group. Differences regarding Greenpeace’s strict non-violence policy resulted in Watson founding his own organization, Sea Shepherd. Sea Shepherd’s goal is to prevent whale hunting, and the group will go to the extent of putting themselves in danger to do so. Oh man, this film did a number on me. If it was socially acceptable to full body heave sob in a packed movie theater, I would have done it. It’s difficult to explain why. Obviously, whaling (and seal clubbing) is a very brutal thing. The images in this documentary are very graphic. But in addition to the images, I found elements of Paul Watson very sad. Let’s just say that his opinion of humans is not very flattering. All that being said, this film is excellent and despite being very sad (for me), it was also inspiring.

7. George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Premise: A documentary on the Beatle who was always a bit more mysterious than the rest. If you are already familiar with the life of George Harrison, this film won’t teach you much. I knew a rough outline of Geroge’s life (Beatles’ rise, travels in India, solo career, died of cancer), so the film filled in a few holes. It’s always fun to see old photographs and video clips, and to hear what people’s friends have to say. The film is in two parts. Part one ends as the Beatles break up. Part two finishes the story. I personally preferred Scorsese’s documentary on Bob Dylan, but that could be just because I knew less about Dylan beforehand.

That’s a wrap!

xo, jill

Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2

Chimps and trash.The next two films I saw were brilliantly made documentaries. I love a good documentary. I could watch one on just about anything. A friend used to tease me when he found out I watched a documentary on Tupperware. But you know what? It was fascinating and I’d do it again.

3. Project Nim
Directed by James Marsh
Premise: A chimpanzee was taken from his mother at birth and raised in a New York human family. He was the subject in an experiment that aimed to explore a chimpanzee’s capacity for learning language. Unfortunately for Nim, chimpanzees grow up and become stronger than their handlers, which mostly leads to disaster. What to do with a chimpanzee who is caught between human and animal? Chimpanzees who were raised as humans is an especially interesting topic for me. Have you ever heard about Lucy?

4. Taste the Waste
Directed by Valentin Thurn
Premise: Taste the Waste details the amount of food that is wasted each day in Europe and North America. It examines why literal tons of perfectly edible food are tossed in the trash on a daily basis. This film definitely got me thinking. I felt especially frustrated when I thought about how guilty I feel when I toss out a rotting tomato, meanwhile wholesalers dump pallets of tomatoes in the trash for being the wrong size, color, or too ripe. It also made me miss my compost bins.

xo, jill

Abu Dhabi Film Festival 1

Chicken with early cinema.The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is wrapping up today. The event is always highly anticipated. During the 10 days of the festival, movie-goers can view interesting and independent films from around the world. The usual cinema offerings are typically the major blockbusters from home (and sometimes edited).

This year I saw seven films and I thought it would be fun to share a few clips or trailers from each one.

1. Chicken with Plums (2011)
Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
Premise: After his tar is ruined, acclaimed muscian Nasser Ali loses his will to live. He retires to his bed and decides to die. Over the next 8 days the story of his life unfolds, revealing the real significance of his tar and musical career. It sounds like a downer and it is pretty sad. However, the film was very fun to watch and included humorous elements. It is based on Satrapi’s graphic novel of the same name. If you liked Persepolis, you’ll probably like this although the two are very different.

2. Saved from the Flames
Presented by Serge Bromberg
Premise: This was a special early cinema feature of the festival. Bromberg, a film historian, put together a series of films that narrowly escaped destruction. He explained that most cinemas used to throw out old movies in the same way we toss out newspapers today. Therefore, sadly, many important early films are lost. Some of the more interesting films and clips he showed included the earliest film from the Middle East (1903), a travel film from India (190?), and a previously forgotten Buster Keaton film, Love Nest (1923). The highlight of the presentation was a viewing of the recently restored in color, A Trip to the Moon (1902).As you can imagine, most of these films are not available on the internet, but here’s the first part of  Love Nest with Buster Keaton.

xo, jill

Super speed*

Mike had a lot of fun this summer playing with the super-speed function on his camera. I took all of his little clips from the countries we visited together and made a little video.

Five countries in less than two minutes… here we go… !!!


xo, jill

*Where my travelators at?!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...