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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Huangdao, illumination of buildings


Recently, many of the buildings in Huangdao are illuminated at night, giving a spectacular light show around the bay of Tang Dao Wan. The large-scale connected LED lighting decorates the buidings and LED-based animations are displayed on the buildings.

At night, the lights from the buildings are reflected onto the bay and form dramatic images that captivate people watching it. The connected LED lighting creates dynamic light effects and images displayed on the buildings including blossoming flowers.

The beautiful lighting is also highly energy efficient and illustrates LED leadership in connected lighting. It is said that the LED lighting system can save up to 75% electricity as well as reduce operational and maintenance costs.

So if you are in Huangdao, see the buildings illumniation at night and enjoy the LED animations displayed on the buildings. 
Huangdao  which means  "yellow island" in Chinese is a district of Qingdao, Shandong, China, located southwest and west of the main urban area of the city on the western shore of Jiaozhou Bay. 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Huangdao in Summer


Huangdao  which means  "yellow island" in Chinese is a district of Qingdao, Shandong, China, located southwest and west of the main urban area of the city on the western shore of Jiaozhou Bay.


The Tang Dao Wan Bay Park located in Huangdao is a beautiful park around the the bay of Tang Dao Wan, which serves as a place for family recreation, picnic, cycling and gathering.

Huangdao's early summer is quite an enjoyable season, although it can be humid near the sea shore. Late summer can become hot, while other places of Northern China start to feel cooler. The climate in late fall and winter can be harsh but snow patches can generally last no longer than a few days. It is a fun place to bring the family for a bike ride along the Bay.

In summer, the park is especially beautiful with colorful flowers grown in well arranged landscape. This coastal park perfectly blends nature, culture, and entertainment. It is famous for its beautiful natural scenery and leisurely walkways.

You can rent bikes in this  scenic area. The coastline involved in the scenic area is very long, about 7 km. This place is a good place to ride a bike ride along the scenic Bay .

Flowers have a privileged position in Chinese culture. Chinese believe that flowers convey positive messages and play a significant role in the day to day life.  In this park during summer you can find various flowers, roses in red , pink, white and yellow, lavenders, chrysanthemum, lotus etc. A beautiful scenery at one time.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

An Interview with Victor





That Friday morning I rushed to Le Consulat CafĂ© to meet Victor for a chat.  I was so excited to meet him as I have many questions to ask about his famous novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. When I arrived he was already there sipping a warm une noisette coffee.

I said:
“Bonjour Monsieur, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. I have abundant questions to ask, hopefully we can discuss them all and finish the discussion on time.”

Victor:
“Tell me, mon amie… “

I said:
“Monsieur, the original title of your famous novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” is actually “The Notre-Dame of Paris”. With this original title do you wish to emphasise the historical Notre-Dame or rather the human drama staged in the Notre-Dame?”

Victor:

“As told in Book 3 Chapter 1 the Notre-Dame had been growing old due to the numberless degradations and mutilations which time and men both caused. Time had had notched its surface here and there, and gnawed it everywhere; political and religious revolution had torn its rich garment, carving and sculpture, burst its rose windows, broken its necklace of arabesques and tiny figures, torn out its statues.
Then the restoration efforts made it even more grotesque and foolish.  The restoration had adjusted, in the name of "good taste," upon the wounds of gothic architecture, their miserable gewgaws of a day, their ribbons of marble, their pompons of metal, a veritable leprosy of egg-shaped ornaments, volutes, whorls, draperies, garlands, fringes, stone flames, bronze clouds, pudgy cupids, chubby- cheeked cherubim.

But the Notre-Dame is also the home of Quasimodo, the ugly Hunchback-man with a heart of gold, as well as home of Claude Frollo, the solemn priest turned to evil, who adopted Quasimodo abandoned as a child on a bed in the Notre Dame. And Esmeralda took refuge in Notre-Dame for a while hiding from the royal soldiers. It was also the stage where Esmeralda, Frollo and Jehan fell to their tragic death“.


I said:
“The sufferings of Quasimodo, the Hunchback-man in this novel, seem to be so  gross beyond human. As a child he was abandoned because of his ugliness, his body deformed, has only one eye, his head placed directly on his shoulders, his spinal column was crooked, his breast bone prominent, and his legs bowed.
The ladies who saw the child in the bed of Nortre-Dame were so horrified that one of them asked: “What is this, sister?", and the other lady said: “"What is to become of us, if that is the way children are made now?" and then the other: “it must be a sin to look at this one."

Victor:
“He then also lost his hearing being the bellringer of the Notre-Dame, the bells had broken the drums of his ears, he had become deaf.
But such sufferings are not comparable with the suffering of Stephen Hawking. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neurone disease, when he was 22 and was not expected to live for more than a few years.  The disease causes weakness of either upper motor neurons or lower motor neurons or both. He could not walk, move and bound to a wheelchair, he also could not write and speak. He started using a menu controlled by a computer system to communicate. “

I said:
“But people respect and adore Stephen Hawking for his intelligence, for his his life spent seeking to unlock the mysteries of the universe through physics. I can imagine it was very aggravating for him to have a disease that constraint his movement in pursuit of the “theory of everything”.
On Quasimodo’s case it is different, people make fool of him all the time, he was even crowned the Pope of Fools during the Festival of Fools. “

Victor:
“The hardest part must be the feeling of being ugly in front of Esmeralda, to be watch by the woman whom he adored and loved so much… In Book 9 Chapter 2 he said to Esmeralda: “I frighten you. I am very ugly, am I not? Do not look at me; only listen to me.”

I said:
“ Yes, it is such a heart wrenching scene, to be uncomfortable on front of the woman he loved  so much that he risked his life saving her from execution, and brought her to the sanctuary of the Notre-Dame as an escape. “

Victor:
“More than that, in Book 9 Chapter 4 it tells us: “Once Quasimodo came at the moment when Esmeralda  was caressing Djali, her pet goat. He stood pensively for several minutes before this graceful group of the goat and the gypsy; at last he said, shaking his heavy and ill-formed head,--"My misfortune is that I still resemble a man too much. I should like to be wholly a beast like that goat."  She gazed at him in amazement.”

Hearing that, I was speechless fo a moment… then as if to console Quasimodo of his unfortunate fate I said:
“I cannot forget the scene in Book 8 Chapter 6, when Quasimodo saved Esmeralda from execution, rush to the two executioners with the swiftness of a cat which has fallen from a roof, knock them down with two enormous fists, pick up Esmeralda with one hand, as a child would her doll, and dash back into the Notre-Dame with a single bound, lifting the young girl above his head and crying in a formidable voice,-- "Sanctuary!"
And then, "Sanctuary! Sanctuary!" repeated the crowd; and the clapping of ten thousand hands made Quasimodo's single eye sparkle with joy and pride.”

Victor:
“Yes the medieval law dictated that Notre Dame was a place of refuge from the law. Esmerelda could not be harmed by the executioners as long as she stayed inside the walls of Notre-Dame.”

I said:
“But Notre-Dame is also the home and sanctuary of Claude Frollo the solemn priest turned into evil. This man, at first was the angel that adopted Quasimodo despite his deformed, ugly look, for the love of his blood brother little Jehan.”

Victor:
“And the Book 4 also tells us:” Claude's compassion increased at the sight of this ugliness; and he made a vow in his heart to rear the child for the love of his brother, in order that, whatever might be the future faults of the little Jehan, he should have beside him that charity done for his sake.
When a little lad, it was between Claude Frollo's legs that Quasimodo was accustomed to seek refuge, when the dogs and the children barked after him. Claude Frollo  aslo had taught him to talk, to read, to write. We will say then, that out of gratitude Quasimodo loved the priest as never a dog, never a horse, never an elephant loved his master.”

I said:
“Then how on earth this compansionate priest, this angel, became an evil sorcerer?”

Victor:
“ From the cloister, his reputation as a learned man had passed to the people. He studied medicine, astrology and hermetics. His latest obsession was alchemist as he wanted to develop gold from stone. During the Middle Ages we ought to mention however, that the sciences of Egypt, that necromancy and magic, even the whitest, even the most innocent, had been considered as the act of sorcery.”

I said:
“But this angel really turned into evil, after he fell deeply in love with Esmeralda, or rather after he was trapped in lust to Esmeralda.”

Victor:
“In his mind Claude Frollo believed that Esmeralda’s destiny is faith, in Book 7 Chapter 5 it tells us how Claude Frollo said in a voice which seemed to proceed from the depths of his being, "behold here a symbol of all. She flies, she is joyous, she is just born; she seeks the spring, the open air, liberty: oh, yes! but let her come in contact with the fatal network, and the spider issues from it, the hideous spider! Poor dancer! poor, predestined fly! Let things take their course, Master Jacques, 'tis fate! Alas! Claude, thou art the spider!”

I said:
“I can see that in this chapter Claude Frollo spoke about how the fly reaches to open air, the full daylight, but did not see the window glass which opens  to the other world. The fly does not have the sense to understand the trapping of the spider’s web in front of the window and flies head-on into the spider’s web. The fly struggles with head broken and mangled wings in the web. Such is the fate of the fly.”

Victor:
"Further he said: “And even couldst thou have broken through that formidable web, with thy gnat's wings, thou believest that thou couldst have reached the light? Alas! that pane of glass which is further on, that transparent obstacle, that wall of crystal, harder than brass, which separates all philosophies from the truth, how wouldst thou have overcome it? Oh, vanity of science! how many wise men come flying from afar, to dash their heads against thee! How many systems vainly fling themselves buzzing against that eternal pane!"


I said:
“ It is like what happened to Esmeralda, she escaped execution as Quasimodo released and saved her, brought her to the sanctuary of the Notre-Dame.  Also, when the vagabonds raided the Notre-Dame, she was rescued by Pierre Gringoire, “her husband on paper”, but actually she trapped and caught again by Frollo.  Sister Gudule, her real mother, tried to free La Esmerelda from Frollo's trap, but the attempt failed as Esmeralda suddenly noticed Phoebus, the man she loved, in the troop and she shouted his name calling to rescue her. This gave away her hiding place and the royal  soldiers caught her. Then her fate was sealed.”

Victor:
“Like the way Dante describes Beatrice as the “Beauty in white robes”, that is how beautiful Esmeralda died, in white robes. She died because of her own act of love, although unrecruited, rather it was an infatuation with Phoebus. They only met a few times, like Dante and Beatrice, only a few times. But Phoebus didn’t love Esmeralda, he just wanted to sleep her.  He did not hear Esmeralda calling his name for help from her hiding place, that let to her capture and death, in white robes.”

I said:
“You know, Stephen Hawking whom spent his life in pursuit of the “theory of everything”, once said  when asked what he  thinks most about during the day: "Women. They are a complete mystery."

This is an imaginary interview in memory of Victor Hugo.



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Strasbourg, the city of Europe


Strasbourg as the capital of Europe, is rather small and peaceful city, not as big and busy as Paris or Milan.  It seems that Strasbourg is very sweet and easy , compared with Paris.


Strasbourg is located close to the border between France and Germany in the historic region of Alsace. The name Strasbourg is of Germanic origin which means "Town (at the crossing) of roads”. It is a symbol of French-German reconciliation and European unity.

It is the official seat of the European Parliament, alongside Brussels and Luxembourg. Strasbourg is considered to be the capital of Europe due to the presence of several European Union and other institutions in the city.

In the historical centre of Strasbourg stands the Notre-Dame cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic art, owes much of its charm to the pink  sandstone used for its construction. Although some of its parts are still in Romanesque architecture, the Notre-Dame Strasbourg Cathedral  is widely considered to be among the finest  Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions to the cathedral  architecture from 1277 to his death in 1318.

 Its rose window, which is about 15 meters in diameter, is  one of the biggest Gothic rose windows in Europe. It's very beautiful and majestic, especially when seen from the inside of the cathedral as it gives off a coloured light.

Strasbourg is also called The Capital of Christmas as the Christmas markets here are world famous, decorated with a huge Christmas tree in the town square. The first markets were held in 1570, making them one of the oldest in Europe and the very first in France.

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