Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

This is another of my movie pick for 2011, The Lincoln Lawyer.

Truly, Matthew McConaughey was born to play the role of Mickey Haller, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of his Lincoln Town car.

lincoln lawyer Pictures, Images and Photos
Credit: gokbiloz

The cast is solid and one of my favorites, after Haller, is William H. Macy's Frank Levin, Haller's investigator.

lincoln lawyer Pictures, Images and Photos
Credit: gokbiloz

There are lots of twists and turns. This thriller is a must watch!

The Lincoln Lawyer Pictures, Images and Photos
Credit: bobrulz600

Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei
Adapted from the novel by Michael Connelly: The Lincoln Lawyer. **The author was very satisfied with the movie.**

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet tooth at Resorts World Sentosa

GF jokingly mentioned that these 7lbs 8oz. Hershey's syrup can be used for baths.

Hershey's syrup

Reese's mini cups

Reese's mini cups


Candilicious and their candy trees



How to get to Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore: HarbourFront MRT, and bus RWS8, or take the Sentosa Express Monorail from VivoCity Shopping Mall

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Angus and Julia Stone

Love Angus and Julia Stone's songs! They are a brother-sister duo from Australia.

Angus singing Big Jet Plane



Julia singing And The Boys

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chiffon cake challenge

orange-chiffon-cake

It was my first attempt in baking a chiffon cake, and I'm now a fan of it. The process wasn't as difficult as I initially thought it would, and the result is amazing. I wouldn't have found the recipe on the net, if it wouldn't have been for my family's honest and uncensored critiques. The perfect cake for them is a light, fluffy, and moist cake with a balanced blend of sweetness. The chiffon cake fits the description. I don't think I'll bake another cake if it's not in the foam cake category.

orange-chiffon-cake-close-up

A few months ago, I baked an angel food cake, which was delightfully light by the way, but it was very very sweet. The additional sugar was needed to hold the cake, as no egg yolks are used in the angel food cake recipe.

The chiffon cake, on the other hand, uses little sugar as compared to the angel food cake. However, it contains oil, in minimal quantity, while the angel food cake (and also the sponge cake) contain none at all.

orange-chiffon-cake-side

I used an ungreased tube pan to bake the chiffon cake, and inverted it after it was removed from the oven. After 10-15 minutes, the cake gracefully fell out of the pan.

tube-pan

The chiffon cake tastes great as is, even without any topping.

I'm already planning for my next baking challenges: two types of sponge cakes, with and without flour. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Brittany, France

I was looking at the beautiful pictures of Brittany's landscape on Flickr group, and it made me read more about its tourism and history.

Brittany, called Bretagne in French, is a cultural and administrative region in North West of France.

I was led to this news report about parents in Brittany trying to save the Breton language, which used to be the dominant language in Brittany. Transcript at 0:49 seconds of the video, "For decades, the French authorities had forbidden children to speak Breton in school, punishing and humiliating those who disobeyed. Very quickly, speaking Breton became shameful." Today, French is spoken throughout Brittany.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Best drugstore face wash

Clearasil is so far the best drugstore face wash for my combination skin, prone to oil. It doesn't leave the skin dry, and it does a good job in clearing pimples. A small drop is enough. I use morning and night, and looks like this 184g bottle can last up to one year.

clearasil-facial-wash

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photography and model release form

Some photographers are being creative enough to have a short form of the model release printed on the back of their business cards, an easy to carry format. A template goes like this:
"I hereby give permission to [photographer's name] to use my photos and photographic likeness in all forms and media for advertising, portfolio, demo, trade, stock photography, editorial, altering without restrictions, and all other lawful purposes. I understand I am entitled to no compensation. I release the photographer all forms of claims and liability related to my photo usage.


Date: _______________________________________


Print Name: __________________________________


Signature: ____________________________________""

Talking about cards and word of mouth marketing, a successful portrait photographer gave out a great tip in printing out rep cards with one of the client's pictures on the reverse and giving a batch complimentary to the client.

There were comparisons made between ACI labs and WHCC, the former wins for sharpness and colors.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Copyright and Photography

A recent article on Photo Tuts+, Copyright and Creative Commons Explained, led me to research into the Canadian Copyright Act ("Act"), R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42, which is current to May 29, 2011 at the time I was writing this post.

Disclaimer: if you have a specific copyright concern, please consult your lawyer. Information on this blog should not be taken as legal advice.

In my research, I was led to some sites, that can be misleading, but others are helpful.

From my understanding of the Act, the moment you snap, you are deemed the author of the photograph and automatically own the copyright of your photography work. No paperwork filing is required, but you do have the option to apply for the registration of the copyright at the Copyright Office if you want to further protect your photos.

Let's say the photographer (author of the copyright) was commissioned and paid for by a third party for an event, the third party will be the owner and deemed author of the copyright to the photographs (Subsections 13(1),(2) and 10(2) of the Act). Yes, that's right. This rule applies as long as there is no agreement between the parties that states otherwise (Section 13 of the Act).

For example, a wedding photographer wants to showcase on his website some of the pictures he took, he would need the permission from the bride and groom, author of the wedding photos, who commissioned him. In this case, it would be a safe bet to assign a clause in the agreement that allows some of the wedding pictures to be used, with the bride and groom's consent, to promote the photographer's business (on his blog, website, studio samples) without identifying them by their full names.

Let's say the photographer hires and takes pictures of a model on the street for his personal project and he wasn't paid for by a third party, he would own the copyright to the photos he took. If he decides to sell the images with the model in them, to a stock photo company for example, he will then need the model to sign a model release form. I guess the exception would be the editorial images that you see in photojournalism.

If the model didn't get compensated for the shooting project, a consideration in prints is a good way to saying thank you for your model.

Term of copyright

If the owner of the copyright is a person, the term of the copyright subsists for a period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year the author died, assuming that there is no negative. In other terms, the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years (Section 6 of the Act).

If the owner of the copyright is a corporation, the term of the copyright subsists in the remainder of the year of the making of the initial photograph plus a period of 50 years (Section 10 of Copyright Act). So yeah, the copyright term of a photography work is shorter for a company. Let's say a photographer incorporates his business, and owns the majority of the voting shares in the company, the rule of his life plus 50 years (same as above paragraph for natural person) will apply to the copyright of his photos.

Hopefully, the above is not too confusing.

Apart from the legislation, a photography without the copyright symbol (c) does not give the right for the non-authors to exploit it. Unless the photo is under the Creative Commons license, a permission from the owner is the best policy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

I did not read the reviews before watching The Adjustment Bureau. From the film title, I thought it would be a crime thriller, but it's actually a romantic science fiction thriller. It caught my surprised, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

adjustment bureau Pictures, Images and Photos

The case officers / angels:

the adjustment bureau 2011 2 Pictures, Images and Photos

In this scene, Thompson explained to David that he has to choose between love or a successful career. If he decides for love, i.e. to be with Elise, she will end up teaching dance to six year old, instead of being one of the world's greatest choreographers. This decision would also ruin David's chance of running for the presidency.

What would most people end up chosing, can't we all have both?

The Adjustment Bureau (2011) Pictures, Images and Photos

My favorite quote from Thompson:

"This is what you do, David. This is what you did getting into a bar fight the night you first got elected. What you did to get that embarrassing photo in the New York Post. We give you opportunities other people would kill for and you squander them with impulse."

the adjustment bureau 2011 1 Pictures, Images and Photos

Though I find the ending anti-climatic (see Harry's quote below), this movie is a must watch! I was expecting to see the Chairman and his caseworkers "reset" (lobotomize) the couple's brains, and they would both end up in a psychiatric hospital. But luckily, this didn't happen.

Harry Mitchell: "Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you'll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that's The Chairman's real plan. And maybe, one day, we won't write the plan. You will."

Written and directed by: George Nolfi
Stars: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt
Based on: Phillip K. Dick's short story "Adjustment Team"

Credits: movie quotes from moviequotesandmore.com, photos from media.photobucket.com.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Too cute it hurts

Got a Happy Meal instead of the adult meal because I wanted the Hello Kitty rubber stamp. Sanrio products are too cute it hurts >_< hello-kitty

Interestingly, McDonald's remains one of the largest toys distributor.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rubber stamp effect - Photoshop CS5

Finally, a tutorial with Photoshop CS5 that I can follow through from start to end. It's the best, couldn't find a video tutorial that can match to this written one.

I used Stencil font instead for this rubber stamp effect, which I'm happy with the result:


Once done, save it as a JPEG file (or as a PNG file if you prefer to save it in a transparent background). Here's the instruction on how to use the JPEG image as a watermark on any of your Word document.
  1. Open your Word document, in this case an invoice document;
  2. Select "Page Layout", then "Watermark", and click on "Custom Watermark";
  3. A window Printed Watermark will pop up. Select the 2nd option: "Picture Watermark";
  4. Click on "Select Picture" to locate the JPEG file you just saved;
  5. Scale to 50%, and deselect "Washout" option;
  6. Click Apply and OK.
I find this digital rubber stamp very handy, if I need to store the soft copy, rather than using the printer:


Remarks on some of the places I've stumbled in the tutorial:
  • Create a new layer for text tool;
  • Be careful: after you convert the layers to smart object, and later double click on the smart object again, you will be directed to the smart object file. Make sure to save the changes, if any, on the smart object, and return to your original file to continue with the pattern section.
  • When using the magic wand tool, I had to click at several predominant gray color on the layer to get the same effect as on the tutorial.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ippudo x Tao

This Ippudo x Tao branch is located at UE Square, Singapore. The restaurant design looks classy, while the dim-light inside reminds me of a stage. It is different from the first Ippudo, and their menu slightly differs as well.

IppudoxTao

Just opposite of the restaurant is an interesting mix of old and modern building architecture.

Ippudo-UE-Square

Ippudo x Tao is famous for its ramen. The Shiro style ramen has thin straight noodle. The below picture doesn't illustrate the actual size of the soup spoon though. It was huge, much larger than the everyday normal spoon.

Ippudo-x-Tao-ramen

Ippudo Tao Kuro style ramen, with thick chewy noodle.

Ippudo-x-Tao-ramen-tao

Japanese salad dressing never disappoints me. I guess it's about time to try the miso salad dressing recipe one of these days. This tofu salad is served with Ippudo's special spicy miso paste and mince meat.

Ippudo-x-Tao---Tofu-salad

This is the pan fried Gyoza. The thin crispy top hide the delicious chicken dumplings underneath. The dumplings taste succulent when you dip them in the soy ginger sauce.

Ippudo-x-Tao-Gyoza

We were full after dinner at the Ippudo x Tao, and we enjoyed the evening with our hosts.

Waiting

When there are things that you cannot control in life, you have to go with the flow, like a stream that follows its course.

Wait for the right time and the right place.

clouds-18-105
(Nikkor lens 18-105mm)

Good things come for those who wait.

clouds-55-200
(Nikkor lens 55-200mm)

Landscape photography has taught me to be patient... I'm still waiting for the weather to be kind (consoling myself).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

KOKIA

I heard KOKIA for the first time when she sang Arigatou (meaning thank you in Japanese). Initially, I did not like the song at all, like most other sad melodies. Somehow, I kept on listening to her voice, and I'm now hooked to KOKIA. She sings beautifully, her voice is sublime, it is fragile and strong. She is a trained singer and musician, and is very appreciated in Europe, where she performed live.

Live performance in Paris. Youtube video by Kotankulukamui:


Lyrics translated
"Everyone loses something
Before they even realise it
I suddenly realise that you've gone
Leaving behind only memories
During the time we were busy, we lost our words
Like dolls
Like all those lost cats on the street corner
I hear a silent scream


If I could see you one more time
I just want to say one word: Thanks, Thanks


Even if we hurt each other
I want to keep feeling you
At least I have my memories to comfort me
I'll always have you here


If I could see you one more time
I just want to say one word: Thanks, Thanks


Even if we hurt each other
I want to keep feeling you..."


I notice that KOKIA likes to be barefooted on stage. Her voice is so amazing that she doesn't need to physically entertain the crowd much, except for moving her right arm during the entire song.



In this live performance, KOKIA sings Ave Maria. She has the voice of an angel. Youtube video by Poochie2poochie33:



KOKIA has inspired many young people on Youtube, including Loch3124side who self learned piano to play KOKIA's song, and non-Japanese like Kyandisouk and PiaMosca to sing her songs.

This video is from KOKIA channel, a song from her latest album Moment (2011-05-18). A perfect song to end this post:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dreams of large public toilets

I have this recurring dream where I'd be in a public toilet. Each time, I'd be in a different setting and location. But every time, the public restroom is a large area with dozens and sometimes unlimited stalls. Some stalls are covered, and others are half-covered whereby you can see the person from shoulder up. When I get a peak inside the stall, the toilet bowl overflows, some with clear water, others with pebbles of feces remains (left by someone else).

A list of the public toilets I visited in my dreams, in a span of several months. Hmm... just noticed that the restroom becomes nicer each time:
  • mall public toilet;
  • girls gym toilet;
  • outdoor beach toilet;
  • public toilet at a Chinese style garden for tourists.
In the beginning, I wasn't disturbed. I didn't even remember, until yesterday morning when I noticed how my previous dreams have the same recurring theme.

Out of curiosity, I searched and found this link and learned that many people have had similar dreams. I don't think I'll ever know the true meaning of my dream, but I like these two interpretations though:
"to see an overflowing or flooded toilet in your dream symbolizes your desires to fully express your emotions";
"bathrooms are a place for cleaning up, and indicate emotional purification."