Wednesday, September 23, 2015

In fiecare zi

I don't listen often hip-hop music, but this song is addictive, I listen it "every day" (that's the name of the song) since I heard it on the radio. The bottom line is that you have to be careful when you buy cherries :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015


A few weeks ago we were in the car and we listened to a song on the radio.We didn't pay much attention, but the chorus caught our attention, it was something with: "abididou". Later on I remembered about that song and I tried to find it on the internet with no luck. There were too many songs with blah-blah lyrics and I didn't have any other clue about what to search for. So I gave up and I waited for the next time I would hear the song on the radio. I should pay attention to the lyrics so I can identify it later on. And that happened one day, I heard it again on the radio. It was totally different than what I expected, the singer was saying in fact "I'd leave it all" :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Playful Parenting

I always liked to play, even when I was at school or afterwards in my adult life, I found learning or doing something is always easier when playing with/around/about it. So when someone gave me this book about Playful Parenting I thought that this is what I wanna do with my child. The book is much more than a list of games, the author is a psychologist and explains how you can approach various difficult situations like getting close, communicating feelings, confronting fears through playing. Or you can simply explore the world and consume some energy :)

So if you want to be part of the most important part of your kid's life, her playing, and enjoy yourself while doing it go ahead and read this book. You can find more resources on this topic on the author's website here.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Common People

Common People from Pulp is one of my favorite songs from my student years. At that time I did not care too much about the lyrics of a song, as there were no sites with song lyrics yet and I was not very good at English, but I remember that part about seeing cockroaches on the wall which resonated well with a resident of Grozavesti :D Recently I found out this song was based on a real story, but the author would not tell who that Greek girl was. However, some journalists investigated who could have met the guy from Pulp when he was in college and they found that the most likely person is the wife of the current Minister of Finance from Greece (the story is here). Isn't it ironic? :) The socialist Greek politician who goes at E.U. official meetings like a rebel and wants to free Greeks from the evil troika is married with the girl loaded with money who wanted to live like common people. I guess an option would be to donate her money to the state to pay off some of the debts of Greece and then they could truly live like common people.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Libertarians in Action

Libertarianism covers many movements according to Wikipedia, but what I mean by this term is what Wikipedia defines as anarcho-capitalism: the political theory that all problems of human society are best resolved by market forces. So they want nothing more than to abolish the state and leave the market to take care of everything: from schools to health care and from defense and police to the justice system. These ideas originate from the group of economists known as Austrian School, like Mises and Hayek. The Austrian School had important contributions to the development of economics, refuting the marxist theory that was very popular in Europe at that time. For example they developed the subjective theory of value opposed to the labour theory of value proposed by Marx. They also predicted that implementing Marx's ideas will lead people to misery and dictatorship, but few people listened to them. We had to learn it the hard way, after 50 years of communism. However, libertarians took these ideas to the other extreme, idealizing the market forces in every aspect of our life. This is even more bizarre to me since even Hayek, the most recognized economist of this school, acknowledged in his works that there are situations of market failures, or other motives like moral grounds which legitimate the existence and intervention of the state.

I met once such a group, they were organizing a seminar discussing libertarian authors. They were very passionate about their ideas and would not consider any counter-argument. I remember somebody cheering the situation in Somalia on a forum, saying that the collapse of the state there 10 years ago will let people develop better since there will be only market forces at play. My reaction to this was to propose them to go on an inhabited island and build there the society they dreamed of. Recently I found that somebody did try to do exactly this. Not on an island (it's hard sometimes to eat your own dog food), but on the internet. This guy created an online marketplace, called Silk Road, using only encrypted connections so people cannot be traced. He wanted to seal this market from any possible government intervention, following the true spirit of libertarianism. And guess what trade flourished on this market: drugs, of course. It took FBI a couple of years to penetrate and dismantle this network. You can read the fascinating story on how Silk Road raised and fell in Wired in two parts here and here. A few days ago the creator of this market was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is not at large anymore...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

New Voices in Romanian Music

I was challenged today at work to name some new Romanian singers or bands that make good music and here is what I came with:
Note that I don't actively follow what's new on the music scene, this is just what I picked up by listening to the radio now and then. Radio Guerrilla used to promote new Romanian bands, but since they closed there was a gap in my knowledge on this topic. Luckily the team from that station regrouped in two other radios, some of them at Gold FM and others at Tananana Radio. I recently started listening to these new stations, so I might pick up new bands. Until then let's listen to the song dedicated by Toulouse Lautrec to Radio Guerrilla, "Nu se termina asa" ("It Doesn't End Like This"):

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Origins of Music Videos

I saw recently on Facebook a post about what is called the first Romanian music video. This was done for the famous song "Andrii Popa" by Phoenix, see below:

 By music video I mean a video telling a story together with the song, not just a recoding of the singer or band performing the song. I was curious to see how this special form of art appeared and I found some interesting facts. For example, Beatles were overwhelmed by requests to perform in TV shows, so they started recording performances for TV, which they sent to many stations. They got the idea to make them more fun by adding other types of videos apart from them just playing the song. An example is this video clip for their song "Help!":

On the other side of the world, in Australia, there were no that many bands willing to travel there in the seventies, so they made TV shows where they started doing collages to show while playing new songs on TV. They also starting producing video clips for local bands, like AC/DC, like this one for "Jailbreak":

The guy doing this work realized the potential of this new form of art and quit his job to become a director of video clips. Then MTV appeared and this business exploded, the rest is history :)
I found some of the information from this Wikipedia article on Music video, you can find more interesting details there.