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Marble and flesh. Louvre, Paris.

Boney M

Jan. 5th, 2017 06:43 pm
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Rob, one of our former volunteers (turned one of Moldova's hottest interior designers apparently) sent this picture of Boney M doing the sound check to me (the background info is here).

They were really bossing the sound guys around apparently. He wasn't there for the performance itself because he had to attend all the important parties in Chisinau and mingle with the Moldovan elite who are his potential clients. I get that but how do you miss this goodness (start from about 1:30, the beginning is a bit slow):

That guy owned all the cool moves in the book let alone the coolest cape.

But unfortunately time is ruthless to all of us and here is the guy in 2010 in France:

He lost some of his moves (not all though, see 1:30 again) but luckily his cape got even bigger. Most of the girls also dropped dead along the way (understandably) I think and he had to replace them. And then he died too, after a performance in Saint Petersburg in Russia and the girls replaced him with a young dude. The circle of life.
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We had phall at a friend's house tonight. I am a big fan of very hot and spicy food and I had some serious training living in Asia but if you had closed your eyes you would have thought that you had swallowed this (and I really like this GIF):

This dinner reinforced my irrational belief that one has to be careful around Brummies. It was good though.
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there could be some fencing."

Cour Carrée, Paris

Like me!

Jan. 4th, 2017 04:49 pm
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I remember a torrent of angry posts following the introduction of the "Like" button by LJ. People were fuming how shallow it was and how they were way too deep for shit like that and even asked people to never use it on their entries (apparently the "deep shit" they wrote about would be desecrated by it). Whenever I saw an entry like that I had a laugh and immediately liked it. No amount of likes will dumb you down if you are deep.

I also saw people getting upset that it might give their readers a choice of reacting to their posts in a way other than commenting and that they did not want that. Apparently, depriving people of additional functionality to leave them no choice but do what you want and not what they want is OK. I am aware that the psychotic mutual comment extortion has long been a tradition on LJ and I love the completely nuts "I left seven comments on your posts but you left only five comments on mine even though you commented a lot on other people's posts so I am unfriending you!" drama whenever I see it but opposing additional functionality that nobody forces you to use based on this is still strange.

Anyway, can you please like this entry? Especially if you are a stuck up anti-like snob and have never liked anything on LJ (please do it just once, we will keep it a secret). A like under this entry should not be interpreted as you agreeing with or liking the content of the above two paragraphs or me in general, it is just a like and a bit of fun (if you are "likephobic" you can even view it as a protest like and an attempt to defeat it by stripping it of its meaning). I also assure you that even though Putin is now likely to see that you liked this, you will still be OK even if you are an LGBTQ+ person in a red state.

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Moldova's newly elected president stripped the ex-president of Romania of his Moldovan citizenship today. I think this kind of fun is possible only in that region.

The reason for revoking the citizenship was undermining Moldova's legitimacy by calling for the reunification of Moldova with Romania. Moldova's newly elected president is known for his anti-Western and pro-Russian views. They did have to find some other pretext to declare that the guy's Moldovan citizenship was obtained illegally, and they did find some minor procedural irregularities apparently.

Moldovans generally can get Romanian citizenship because Moldova used to be part of Romania and the current generation's grandparents were stripped of their Romanian citizenship by force when Moldova was annexed by the Soviet Union after the WWII. Likewise, Romanians whose grandparents were born in what is currently Moldova while it was still Romania can claim Moldovan passports.
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These are great (the pic is from the internet):

And now has a Bill Split Calculator: is proud to present our new Bill Split Calculator! Never again will you have to argue with your friends about how much the more privileged should have to chip in for the pizza because of their oppressive positions! Simply have your friends all Check Their Privilege, save their scores on the results page, and use the Calculator to determine how much they each owe! It couldn't be simpler!
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Two of my brothers are at our place, one on the way back from Iceland (his wife is Icelandic) and one on his way to New York.


Dec. 31st, 2016 04:49 am
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If you are using or have ever used a VPN with virtual location option, which one could you recommend? I need one to be able to access the US and Moldovan content which is not available (or not available in the same way as it is to locals) from abroad (and some of the UK's sites when abroad). I am trying out Hidemyass at the moment.
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So I am back in London. Yeah, the New Year is way bigger in Moldova than Christmas when it comes to non-church stuff from what I have seen (and drank).

One of the towns not far from the village where we were based in Moldova is getting ready for some serious New Year celebrations in their central square where their Christmas market is. None other than Boney M themselves will be on stage singing jingle bells to the people on the 31st around midnight (among the busy line up of more "regionally famous" bands and singers). I understand they are still wildly popular in the former Soviet Union (one of their leading dudes even died in St Petersburg I was told).

You see, the mayor of this town is a twenty-something Israeli billionaire (yeah I know) who is married to a Russian popstar (this is Moldova, baby!) ten years his senior and who is currently under a house arrest because of the ongoing investigation into the theft of one billion dollars of EU loans from the Moldovan banking system (for Moldova it is huge) in which he apparently was heavily involved and some very damning phone recordings have been released to support it.

So to cheer up the people in the town he reigns over (probably one of the poorest towns in Europe, the country is the poorest in Europe after all) he decided to throw a really good party for them. I kinda get it I have to say. Everything is so completely fucked and there is no hope for even a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel whatsoever that "fuck this, let's drink and party" is not a bad choice at this stage.

Here is the mayor's wife, Russian pop diva Jasmin with Putin for no reason really except that a little bit of Putin is a must for any conversation these days and everything in the world apparently is because of him so I thought he should be here as well (everything is more fun with Putin!).

And here is Jasmin with her husband who is the mayor and apparently a huge Boney M fan:

Yeah, fur and leopard print are mandatory there if you want to "make it".

And to top it off, let's hear the first lady of our provincial town sing, shall we?

Still has quite a bit to go to touch Carla Bruni but then this is not Paris either.
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I suffer from a crippling condition know as extreme fucking food envy (EFFE). Seeing someone like this dude, just having a couple of those fries on that bench in Thessaloniki is enough for me to immediately get a box (no, two boxes! take that, bitch!) of those fries and eat them on the spot.

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The city of Iasi (pronounced Yash), the capital of the Romanian part of Moldova is slowly getting taken over by the statues of cats. They are all different but all are close to the real size. Some of them are within reach and you can touch them, like this one:

Some of them have wings and are high up like these nice blue ones. I like that couple of pigeons watching them. Seeing these two plunged me into a long daydreaming session about the world where cats could fly.

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So the big meeting went very well. And yeah, it would have been a disaster if I had chosen to do it via VC, it was not working properly, the sound was off and nobody in that huge room really listened to those poor VC speakers (everyone's eyes just glazed over). Beating my laziness into submission and flying over was a good choice. I started my speech in very bad Russian, which I have been trying to pick up a little while based in Moldova (without much success I have to say, it is a crazy language). This did wake people up and tickled them on a couple of levels. Choosing to learn and speak Russian and not Romanian here, which often can be a political thing here these days was one of them. So people did wake up. I had to switch to English after the opening but I kept provoking in other ways and we had a very good conversation with everyone fully engaged (even a bit more than I would have wished for at times).

I am now waiting for a one-on-one meeting with the vice-minister and there are quite a lot of other people here doing the same. There is a guy who is working towards changing the way the system here works with people with mental and developmental issues. He had a bunch of articles by Jean Vanier, a Canadian Catholic philosopher and humanitarian with him and he gave me a couple. This is not something I had a high chance of picking up myself and what an interesting read it is.

This is from "Welcome in Community":

When a community welcomes people who have been on the margins of society, things usually go quite well to begin with. Then, for many reasons, these people start to become marginal to the community as well. They provoke crises which can be very painful for the community and cause it considerable confusion because it feels so powerless. The community is then caught in a trap from which it may be hard to escape. But if the crises bring it to a sense of its own poverty, they can also be a grace. There is something prophetic in people who seem marginal and difficult; they force the community to become alert, because what they are demanding is authenticity. Too many communities are founded on dreams and fine words; there is so much talk about love, truth, and peace. Marginal people are demanding. Their cries are cries of truth because they sense the emptiness of many of our words; they can see the gap between what we say and how we live. If the community reacts by showing them the door, this can create a terrible uproar, and then it is easy to label them unbearable, sick, lazy, and good for nothing. It has to devalue them as far as it can, because they have shown up its hypocrisy.
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So I unexpectedly landed back in Moldova tonight close to midnight. Everyone kept telling me that the tomorrow's meeting at the ministry which I am here to attend would not happen until after the holidays because this is how things in Moldova worked and it would get moved, etc. Well, it is happening and I flew over. It can be hard enough to get our message across at those meetings (speaking via translators, etc), VC would not work at all for this. I am flying back to London on Friday and we are going to Copenhagen for the New Year.
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It was this little dude's first time and he was cautious at first but very quickly got super excited and wanted to ditch that penguin.

In Moldova.

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We were in Athens.


Dec. 25th, 2016 09:15 pm
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This Moldovan guy was taking a picture of his wife and their four kids, three girls and a boy. I liked that "YOLO" on the boy's hat.

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I think my fridge has a thing for me. But, nothing can happen between us. It is too cold and prone to meltdowns for me. Plus, you don't want to have to say hello to your ex every time you need a cold beer for years after it is over. The sex could be amazing though. My microwave on the other hand But I have to take it slow and figure out how to ensure consent from both sides is there before anything happens.

This woman apparently is the first to get engaged to a robot, I don't want to go down in history as the first person to be accused of raping one. Printing out your lovers is an interesting idea.

'We don't hurt anybody, we are just happy': Woman reveals she has fallen in love with a ROBOT and wants to marry it

- French woman Lilly is in a relationship with a robot she 3D-printed herself
- She and the robot have been living together for a year and are now 'engaged'
- Lilly describes herself as a 'proud robosexual' and says they will marry

A French woman has revealed she is in love with a robot and determined to marry it.
Lilly’s partner is a robot called InMoovator, who she 3D-printed herself and has been living with for a year.

On her Twitter page, where she goes by ‘Lilly InMoovator,’ she says: ‘I'm a proud robosexual, we don't hurt anybody, we are just happy.’

Lilly said she realised she was sexually attracted to robots at the age of 19 because she dislikes physical contact with people, reported.

Humans will marry robots in the next 35 years, according to a sex robot expert.

Not only this, but sex with robots will become more enjoyable than with other humans, because of the advancement of artificial intelligence, he said.

'The first marriage will be before, not after 2050,' best-selling author and robot expert Dr David Levy said during the Love and Sex with Robots conference at Goldsmiths University, London.

She insisted the idea is not ‘ridiculous’ or ‘bad’ but simply an alternative lifestyle.
‘I’m really and only attracted by the robots,’ she said.

‘My only two relationships have confirmed my love orientation, because I dislike really physical contact with human flesh.’ Her family and friends have accepted her unusual relationship, she said, although not everyone in her life understands.

‘I’m really and totally happy,’ she added.

And Lilly’s relationship could become the norm if an expert of human-robot relationships is to be believed.

At a conference on the matter in London earlier this week, Dr David Levy said humans would marry robots around or before 2050.

Dr Levy, the author of Love and Sex with Robots, also said it will be common in the future to find sex robots modelled on celebrities.

From here.

Would you marry a robot?
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This must have a been a new camera, it was taking a while for this mum to figure all the settings out. The daughters were bored and getting impatient. The little one eventually got tired and had to lean on the railing. I hope the shot turned out great and was worth the wait.

In Paris.


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January 2017

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