Archive for November, 2013

Book review: ‘Wie wind zaait’ by Nele Neuhaus. Aussi en français.

November 29, 2013

Hello to all,

This is short book review of ‘Wie wind zaait’ of Nele Neuhaus, the dutch version.

For our french readers: en français, le nom du livre est ‘Vent de sang’ édité par Actes Sud. For our German readers: it is called ‘Wer Wind sät’. I did not find yet an english translation. All Nele Neuhaus books can be found in bookshops in many countries, or on the website of Actes sud, Amazon Germany, Amazon Uk or bol.com for dutch versions.

This specific book ‘Wie wind zaait’ is the third book translated into Dutch about the colleagues at the police department K11 in mid-Germany: Pia Kirchhof and Oliver Von Bodenstein. The series has in Germany already 6 different books and the translation into Dutch is not in the same order as she wrote the books.

The book can be described as a thriller. It has multiple story lines, although the main story is related to the installation of wind turbines in a forest and residential area in Germany and the acceptance of the local population. A realistic theme nowadays, in close coordination with described climate issues. Next to that, there are several implications of the people involved including as most important the search of the murderer of the guardian of the wind turbines main offices and the murder of a close friend of the family Von Bodenstein.

The stories are well told and the characters are realistic. It may a bit difficult for some readers to understand the various characters as there are many people involved. However, Nele Neuhaus was able to present many surprises in the book and the 478 pages became fast page-turners for me.

I’ve read all 3 dutch translated books, and sofar, I found this book the best of the three. The other 2 books, ‘Diepe wonden’ and ‘Sneeuwwitje moet sterven’ were also good, but I found them a little less well written compared to this one. Nele Neuhaus also writes children books, and next year she will publish a different kind of book under her maiden name.

The last months I read many books, these days often described as ‘literary thriller’ or ‘psychological thriller’. This book, ‘wie wind zaait’, was again an old-fashioned normal written thriller. As they say in Dutch, this was ‘gewoon een lekker boek‘.

For me personally, I hope that her other 3 thrillers are also translated into Dutch as soon as possible. If you wish to read a good thriller during the christmas period, I definitely advise this book.

Take care, and have a good read,

Bas

Wie wind zaait

Vent de sang

Wer Wind sät

Moving around the globe : a new post on my trip to Australia

November 24, 2013

I added a new post on my trip to Australia. This time with focus on moving around the globe.

Click here to check my latest post on my trip to Australia

This week : Modern versus old-fashioned

November 24, 2013

Hello to all,

This week my blog on 3 elements which were in the news this week, 2 of them with modern elements, and one with old-fashioned aspects.

Lego : modern

Two articles this week on Lego. One article written on the success of Lego Friends product for girls: longtime seen as a non-viable product, the new Lego Friends products have conquered the world. No reason for little girls anymore not to play with Lego. The full ownership of boys, and grown-up men, is gone.  That’s what I call modern.

According to the product manager, the Friends product line is a huge success, even too much success, because Lego ran out of stock of certain products.

The second element of Lego consisted of the opening of a specific Lego exposition in Brussels. It is called the ‘Art of the brick’: full details can be found here. This exhibit, aimed at a wide audience, showcases more than 70 imposing and fascinating works of art, made with the famous LEGO® bricks. All these wonders are the product of the wild imagination of the US artist, Nathan Sawaya. The exhibition has already attracted over 1.5 million visitors in North America, Australia, Asia and Middle East. Check it out yourselves. This is also modern.

After a difficult period in 2004, Lego has concentrated itself on their core product, the Lego brick. Full focus, huge imagination, for youngsters and for oldies, small and big products, it’ s all there. Just to mention, for grow-ups, a 2900 piece construction : the Sydney Opera (a must have for me 🙂 after my trip to Australia). Lego manages to modernize and to convince parents and children to buy their products, which is surprising and positive in this increasing digital world.

Magnus Carlsen is the number 1 of chess: modern

Sven Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is the reigning World Chess Champion and No. 1 ranked player in the world. His peak rating is 2872, the highest in history. Carlsen, dubbed the “Justin Bieber of chess”, won the Chess World Championship on Friday in Chennai, playing a patient game and driving defending champion Viswanathan Anand to make self-destructive mistakes.

Carlsen, just 22, defeated Anand in ten games in Chennai scoring three victories and seven draws. The young winner, who earned lucrative sponsorships such as a modelling contract and coverage on tabloid front pages, started already at the age of 8 to win chess tournaments. Fully supported by his parents, he grew very fast, and learned all phases of chess games. Garry Kasparov, who coached Carlsen from 2009 to 2010, said that Carlsen has a positional style similar to that of past world champions such as Anatoly Karpov.

In this Wikipedia post, you can read all details of this young person, of we will hear much more in the future.

Chess is of all ages. And still a modern game. With young masters. And for those of you, who wish to be the next number 1 : start here.

Diplomatic immunity rules : old-fashioned

An incident happened this week in The Netherlands: a journalist was hit on his head when asking questions to a specific embassy about a wrongly parked car. The incident was “blown up” and will be probably followed by some court actions in the near future.

My blog does not speak further about the incident itself, however the issue gained my attention on the diplomatic (and consular) immunities. As one can read on Wikipedia, Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws, although they can still be extradited.

It was agreed as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), though the concept and custom have a much longer history.Many principles of diplomatic immunity are now considered to be customary law. Personally, I do not have any issue with this principle. I can accept that diplomats, and politicians, under certain conditions have to be protected as they represent their country.

But I do have an issue when there is abuse. And abuses, there are many as one can read regularly on various internet sites. These abuses go from parking tickets (millions of euros in several cities, such as London), traffic accidents, tax or other frauds, and sometimes the well-known spy and murder activities, as described in many books.

And do not think that this is only for specific countries. No, it happens also with UN diplomats, EU politicians in Brussels, local embassies and consulates in smaller cities, everywhere.

I suggest we should modernize the diplomatic immunity rules. My proposal is that this diplomatic immunity is only valid within the walls of their respective consulates or houses, or for politicians within the institutes. But not outside, such for cars, accidents, taxes, or any other normal part of life. Just behave as, and treat them like, normal people.

We have just to convince our politicians to vote for making this immunity rules more modern. Hmm, I guess that will probably be difficult. Maybe better focus on Lego and Chess.

See you next week. Take care.

Bas

New post on the planning for my trip to Australia

November 19, 2013

I added a new post on the planning for my trip to Australia.

Click here to check my latest post on the planning for my trip to Australia

Mini or not to Mini

November 19, 2013

Hello to all,

Just a small info : a new Mini is just introduced by BMW. The 3th generation (if you count only the ‘new’ ones), or the 4th when counting also the original.

The latest model is growing a bit further. No real design changes on the outside, except the rear lights. On the inside, some changes.

To me, it looks good !

Take care,

Bas

4 generations Mini

4 generations Mini

Tramways in Brussels – the last yellow 7700

November 19, 2013

Hello to all,

As almost all 7700 series trams in Brussels are painted into the new MIVB/STIB colors, a a special event was held last Sunday, November 17, organized by a group of enthusiasts of the Brussels Tramway Museum (MTUB).

The event consisted of a special tram journey through Brussels with 2 tramways: 1 yellow (number 7725), and one in the green colors of the tramway museum (number 7725). With a large group of people we visited a large part of the Brussels tramway network.

We started at the north-east side of Brussels in Bordet, and went via Schaarbeek to the north (Esplanade and Heysel). We then travelled via West (Jette and Grand Bigard) and South (Anderlecht and Stalle) back to Schaarbeek and Bordet. A long trip, however with nice pictures and memories.

For more information on Brussels Trams, go to the MIVB/STIB website, or the Brussels Tramwaymuseum.

It was cold, a bit dark as we are in November, but I enjoyed it a lot. See you next time.

Place des bienfaiteurs

Place des bienfaiteurs

Between Buissonnets and Araucaria

Between Buissonnets and Araucaria

Esplanade

Esplanade

Heysel with the Atomium

Heysel with the Atomium

Grand Bigard

Grand Bigard

Mennekens

Mennekens

Place Meir

Place Meir

Place des Palais

Place des Palais

My trip to Australia

November 15, 2013

trip to Australia

I am preparing a trip to Australia. See my special blogposts for this upcoming event. Do not forget to follow this blog also.

Check the blog out here :  My trip to Australia

Take care,

Bas