21 May 2007

warning signs

This is a warning sign for tourists - the hand-written small print claims the warning does not apply to Hungarians.
Smoking area - but smoking kills.

the weekend

Although i wasn't very pleased with the idea of going to Poiana Brasov again, my weekend turned out to be very nice and relaxing. I took the good, old Red Road up to Postavarul, took loads of bad pictures of trees and thought a lot about recycling, mostly following a very interesting and engaging "Focus on ecology" conference in the Czech Center. One thing is certain - one way or another i need to get involved in environmental issues, and try to make at least a small difference.
Walking in the woods is always fascinating for me - and i usually focus on one particular detail, which i observe all the way. This time the detail was snails.

And, speaking of snails, i can say that i had plenty of slow food (now that the movement arrived in Romania as well). And it felt so good to talk to the chefs, be explained all sorts of stuff about Romanian traditional food and recipes, as well as particular serving methods. I also admired an exhibition of pickles - those people develop pickling as a form of art :).

i support

A very nice recent campaign caught my attention - this year The Civil Society Gala gives all of us the possibility to help shape the Romanian civil society, by "adopting" an NGO - linking to it, promoting its projects, talking about them and so on. I think that's a really great idea, especially if all of us "adoptive parents" remember to keep an eye on the chosen NGOs.

I would adopt many of the featured NGOs, but i just thought that i should focus on one for the time being (and then maybe record podcasts with people from the other names on the list as well). And that one is The Ecology-Sport-Tourism Association (AEST). I like AEST because i somewhat perceive it as a sort of a gathering of planeteers (Captain Planet sense). They help form eco-volunteers, and i know how difficult, yet vital, this has become among the vast majority of young people. They have already formed over 600 eco-volunteers, who either developed their own associations, or they further collaborated in various eco-projects. And i strongly hope they keep on doing their great job (at this point, i am very tempted by the idea of becoming an eco-volunteer myself). Their projects for 2007 include:
  • 5 volunteer camps in Apuseni, Bucegi, Cozia, Piatra Craiului and Piatra Mare

  • eco-volunteer training courses, addressed to students

  • "Ecoturistica" educational magazine

  • implication, together with other organizations, in a vast campaign against the destruction of forests

Stay tuned for updates :).

18 May 2007

last night's meeting

Really enjoyable planner meeting last night. Even though we thought nobody would show up, we ended up with very nice company including Leo colleagues Andrei, Daniela, Monica and Stefan, IqAds mogul Costin and nenorocitu, whom i've been dying to meet in a loooong time.
I guess that research was the main topic on the list, with us chatting about focus groups, Leo Youth and Q methodology and IPA. Not much about APG Romania, though we did speak a little about the differences that might exist between planning in Bucharest and planning in other Romanian cities.
Oh...and we considered a bit starting a blog to mark down Costin's adventures. I think he'd make a great cartoon strip character as well.

17 May 2007

planner meeting

Apparently, out small APG Romania is starting to have a legal shape as well. I guess this means we'll gather every once in a while to discuss "serious" stuff like how to turn this into something meaningful and helpful and worthwhile. However, this seems to be fairly impossible every two weeks.

So, in the mean time, the Amsterdam series of planner meetings goes on with a brand new edition tonight, at 8 pm :). In case there are people still interested :).

14 May 2007

if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left", said Einstein

The feeling of getting back in mental shape is a very pleasant feeling - just like waking up from a very long, disturbing and torturing bad dream and realising that not everything is lost.
Anyway, i spent some time today reading various research studies, some of which revealed some really interesting or thought-provoking points (such as that search engines dominate modern epistemology, and that we suck at judging the quantity of food we're eating, because we're regularly tricked by size illusions).
One of the most interesting i've read, however, is related to mobile phones and a weird effect that the latter might actually have. I mean everybody keeps on having endless discussions with no clear result about mobile phones affecting people's health one way or another. But while most such human effect-related research remains inconclusive, another very interesting (movie-like) possibility is beginning to be taken into account: mobile phones might have something to do with the mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees. The Independent article talks about the results of a small study carried out in Landau University, which shows that "bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby". These conclusions have also been supported by other researchers who think that "radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops".

13 May 2007

i'm getting boring

what my weekend contained:

All this cause i've been really sick, and thus couldn't join my friends in Sibiu Jazz fest. But next week i'm off to Bran again. Unless i break something until then.

10 May 2007

we introduce....

McCann Creative Mentorship is a program i'm very excited about. It's an open-source education experiment which invites all aspiring creatives to solve briefs given by our creative directors, get feedback, improve their skills, and make the most of their chance to prove that they belong in a creative department. The website is due May 20th, and until then we launched a blog which will have all sorts of tips and tricks, inside details, valuable resources, and hopefully some surprises. And yes, it is for real.

6 May 2007

fooling around

I have been going number and number in the last couple of weeks. Until i figure out a solution to escape this horrid, mental-blocking mood, i felt like filling my time with continuous reading, movie-watching and attending dance shows. And not only. I've also bought a bagpipe (a Romanian beginner's bagpipe, obviously) and have been trying to learn playing it ever since. Of course, actually learning how to play will take me forever, but that's irrelevant :). What i've discovered browsing the net about bagpipes, however, is Expert Village - World's Largest How To Video Site. And while i'm sure everybody knows about the site already, it was really funny and fascinating for me to browse dozens of funny video tutorials from passionate people. This actually gives you a nice, cosy feeling, that there's nothing on this world you couldn't learn how to do yourself.

2 May 2007

bran, predelut, dambovicioara

I eventually had the break that i've been craving for for quite some time now. And instead of going to Paltinis, as i initially intended to, i accidentally ended up in Bran. The funny thing is that i thought i hated Bran, cause i felt like i knew it by heart, like it was a very visitor-crowded place and so on, but discovered something totally different from what i was expecting.

I stayed in a beautiful house far away from the madding center of Bran, in a small village called Predelut. The room had this splendid view of snowy mountains, combined with impecably green fields. I loved the air and the fresh smell of the place, the amazing silence, as well as relaxing nature sounds. I loved the farm animals playing freely all day long. And i loved to enjoy small details of nature, stare at these details for hours and focus on their simplicity and beauty. I only ate fresh traditional food and i walked for hours and hours (i also went to Piatra Craiului). It's amazing how alive i feel in such instances, how much i believe in living and in doing meaningful things, things that actually make a difference. Coming back to Bucharest was even more depressing than it usually is.