Tuesday, 31 December 2013

On the New Year

"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

(A view of the London Eye one lovely December night)

Monday, 30 December 2013

On Childhood Homes

Many people find it difficult to let go and hold lifelong connections with their childhood home(s).

(My grandparent's old home in Ceske Budejovice, CZ)

Sunday, 29 December 2013

On Tributes

There are countless ways to remember great people but songs/lyrics are amongst the greatest.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

On Fried Cheese

In case cheese was not fattening enough, there are countries that deep fry and serve it as a main course.

(Fried cheese served in a restaurant in Prague, CZ)

Friday, 27 December 2013

On Czech Food

Some cities/countries aren't really vegetarian-friendly so be prepared if and when venturing out on an empty stomach.

(Traditional Czech food at the Prague Xmas markets)

Thursday, 26 December 2013

On Bread

There are countries where starving to death is virtually impossible due to the extremely low prices of bread and other carbohydrates.

(A basket of cheap bread in Ceske Budejovice, CZ)

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

On Christmas Past

While many celebrate this special day with family and close friends, it is important to remember some tragic events that occurred/are occuring on this day in history.

1717: Thousands died in a massive flood along the Dutch coast.
1932: A 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed 275 people in China.
1968: In a retalian for higher wages 42 Dalits are burned alive in India.
1976: 100 people drowned when the Egyption SS Patria sank in the Red Sea.
2012: A plane crash killed 27 people in Kazakhstan while large fires in the Philippines left 8 dead and thousands homeless.
2013: The death toll in the ongoing Syrian Civil War is close to 130,000.
(A large Christmas tree in the skating rink near the London Eye)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

On Christmas Quotes

Some of my favourite quotes on Christmas seem to have little in common but they are all based on peace and loving one another.
"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on eart, good-will to men!"
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
-Bob Hope
"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the athiests went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the athiests) 'Look out for the wall!'"
-Dave Barry
(One of the main Christmas trees in the centre of Prague, CZ)

Monday, 23 December 2013

On Cultural Events

There are cities where high demand for cultural events by locals has created the need for additional "tourist" performances.
(An orchestra-less performance of Swan Lake in Prague)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

On Queen Elizabeth

Just because you may be declared an illegitimate child, it doesn't mean you can't live to do great things for yourself and/or your country.

(Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I at Oxford University)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

On Bike Helmets

Just when you think nothing new can be developed in the bicycle industry, along comes an invention so innovative and practical it's hard to imagine a world without it.

Friday, 20 December 2013

On Christmas Trees

Choosing an appropriate Christmas tree can be a challenging task but choosing one not made of plastic should be an integral part of that decision.

(A large Christmas tree at Oxford University)

Thursday, 19 December 2013

On Oxford University

Some people/institutions are capable of exceeding our expectations even when they are set very high.

(Part of the lovely Oxford University campus)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

On Beer

It is not a drink for everyone, but until one learns/tries the numerous types of beer one can never say for certain that it is not a drink for them.

(A glass of beer at a pub in Montreal)

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

On Dining Halls

Just because you attend one of the most prestigious universities in the world it doesn't mean you should get special dinnerware.

(The famous dining hall at Oxford University)

Monday, 16 December 2013

On Expired Food

Some people don't mind eating expired food, even when it's over three years past due.

(An expired box of After Eight chocolate in my flat)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

On History Books

"History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books- books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?'"

-Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code

(A crowd gathered around the Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

On the NSA

Apart from the "National Security Agency", the initialism also stands for the "National Sheep Association" in the UK.

(Sheep having dinner around Stonehenge, England)

Friday, 13 December 2013

On Triskadekaphobia

There is actually a legitimate medical condition for people who are afraid of the number thirteen.

(Number thirteen at the Science Museum in London)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

On Grammar

There are some people who take grammar so seriously it can be unpleasant to have a regular conversation with them.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

On Pantomimes

They are becoming an increasingly popular form of entertainment for both children and adults alike.

(Jack & the Beanstalk pantomime at a local theatre)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

On Authorised Graffiti

Allowing people the space to create whatever artwork they like can spruce up an otherwise dull or crumbling area. 

(The graffiti tunnel on the way to the London Eye)

Monday, 9 December 2013

On Roman Numerals

A scenario will always arise where knowing the value of these numbers/letters can prove itself useful.

  • I = 1
  • V = 5
  • X = 10
  • C = 100
  • D = 500
  • M = 1000

(Big Ben in downtown London)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

On Flavoured Cigarettes

Like with soft drinks, it's a myth that certain types of cigarettes are less harmful than others.

(Old Cigarettes on display at the Science Museum)

Saturday, 7 December 2013

On Christmas Lights

It can be the most wonderful time of the year but it yields the biggest waste of electricity for humankind.

(Christmas lights around Harrods department store)

Friday, 6 December 2013

On Nelson Mandela

"I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death."
-Nelson Mandela

(Magnificent ancient rocks at Stonehenge at dusk last month)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

On Winter Tires

There are cities/provinces where not putting on winter tires by a certain date is against the law.

(Large tire at the Science Museum in London)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

On Veggie Burgers

Many vegetarian burgers from grocery stores can be less healthy and more toxic than traditional beef burgers.

(A veggie burger from a restaurant in London)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

On Climate vs Weather

There are many who dismiss the notion of global warming due to the temporary state of the weather.

Monday, 2 December 2013

On Planet Earth

Despite knowing all the facts about pollution and its effects on climate change, there are many who simply don't believe in global warming.

(3D planet earth at the Science Museum in London)

Sunday, 1 December 2013


Although there is much more knowledge, acceptance, and treatment surrounding the disease than ever before, 25% of people infected are still unaware that they have the virus.

(Bustling Chinatown in downtown London, England)