Making of Nikon Lenses

March 12, 2014 Leave a comment

This video will probably make you fall in love with your lenses all over again :).

Stories are a way of melting the ice

March 10, 2014 Leave a comment

One morning when I was a child, my father came our to the lawn where I was playing with my box of wooden bricks. He picked up one of the smaller bricks, a yellow one, and said, “This brick is the house in which we live”. He picked up another, a larger, a red one. “And this brick is the village out there”. Then he took the actual box in which the bricks had come and placed it on the grass, a long way from the others. “This box is Afghanistan”, he said. “Do you understand?”

“Yes, Baba.”

“Are you quite sure that you understand?”

I nodded.

“Tahir Jan,” he said, “I am showing you this because it’s an important thing. I will explain it to you. If I go into the kitchen and take a dry sponge and put it in a bowl of water, it will suck up a lot of water, won’t it?”

“Yes, Baba.”

“But if I take the same sponge and put it in a bowl of ice, it won’t suck up anything at all. That’s because the sponge isn’t designed to suck up ice. Its structure — lots of little holes — can’t take in ice, only water.”

He sat down beside me, motioning with his hands.

“Ice is water, but just in a different form,” he said. “To make it into water — so we can suck it up easily — we need to change its form. The water is knowledge, Tahir Jan, and the sponge is your mind. When we hear information, a lot of it,” he said, “sometimes it’s too hard for us to suck up. It’s like ice. We hear it in the same way that the sponge touches the bowl of ice, but it doesn’t get inside. But as soon as you melt the ice, the water penetrates deep into the middle of the sponge. And that’s what stories do.”

My father always spoke very carefully to children so that they understood. He would pause and study the feedback, making sure what he said was getting through. I wasn’t quite sure what he was aiming at, and was rather keen to get on playing with my bricks.

“Stories are a way of melting the ice,” he said gently, “turning it into water. They are like repackaging something — changing it’s form — so that the design of the sponge can accept it.”

An excerpt from In Arabian Nights- A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams.

In Torque We Trust

February 12, 2014 Leave a comment
… there are couple of kinds of car people,
some people have to have lot of cars
and they buy and sell.
 
… I’m a very old kind,
I came across that car in late 80′s and early 90′s
and it’s just one of those soulmate types of cars,
the more I’ve improved on it, the more I’ve driven it,
the more it just become a part of my life
I can’t seeing getting rid of it.
 
– Bob Gough (owner of 1967 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S)

 

How Norway Scores So Much Olympic Gold

February 9, 2014 Leave a comment
Norway… With only five million people, it has won 303 Winter Olympic medals, far more than any other country on the planet.

…many experts think the answer lies in the culture and lifestyle of the country, where an extraordinary egalitarianism runs through youth sports. Before age 6, Norwegian kids can only train but not formally compete in sports, and before age 11, all children participating in a competition must be awarded the same prize.

Norway’s cities are relatively close to the wilderness, and children are encouraged to play outdoors even on the coldest days.

Neighboring Sweden, by contrast, has its major population centers farther from the wilderness, and the Swedes are more inclined to play indoor sports in the winter, such as tennis or hockey, rather than bundle up and go skiing.

Norway remains a largely agrarian society that places a large premium on being outside. A Norwegian concept called friluftsliv—enjoying outdoor life—has been studied in books and represents whole areas of study at universities.

How Norway Scores So Much Olympic Gold - An interesting article from The Wall Street Journal, which gives an insight into the Norwegian culture and approach that shapes it’s phenomenal success in winter sports

Smugmug’s Story of Photographers

February 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Smugmug has started a video series where they are covering some of the world’s most exciting photographers. These photographers get very candid in these videos. Listening to them gives me goose-bumps. I would say, it’s worth subscribing to this youtube channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/SmugMugFilms
Photography is our business, but it is no secret that it is our passion as well…
It’s not a “how to” or a “what’s in their bag,” rather, a small glimpse, an insight
into who they are, what they do, and what drives them ultimately.
We’re creating this series simply to inspire, celebrate, and share our love for the art of photography.
I’m the kid that always looked overhead when a plane passed by. Something about aviation drew me in. I love flying. I love photographing flying.
I’m a pilot, and I’m a photographer, and being able to combine the two with what I do is just amazing.
What makes air-to-air photography different is that you are up there with this flying machine in its element, watching an awesome pilot as your wingman.
I’ve got the best seat at my own personal air show.
I’ve found what I love to do, and I see myself doing this forever.
I’m Jessica Ambats, and I’m an aviation photographer.

Being creative has just become a way of life. I don’t think it begins with a desire to wake up in the morning and say, ‘Today, I’m creative.’ It just comes down to, ‘Today, I want to live, I want to do what I love, I’m going to go out and I’m going to do that.’

My name is Benjamin Von Wong, and I’m an artist.

I like to think of my photography as something epic, something larger than life. It takes a vision, and it exaggerates it so that you can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake.

 
 
 

Michael Schumacher

December 30, 2013 1 comment

Legendary Formula 1 driver and multiple champion Michael Schumacher is in coma after a ski accident. The 44-year-old German suffered a blow to the head …  Full Article

One can get a sense of Schumacher’s legend in Formula One racing from the words of Damon Hill (former Formula One champion and ex-rival of Schumacher) -

“He is incredibly professional. If you had to go for a heart operation you’d want somebody who was the Schumacher of the heart surgery world to do the job, because you can rely on him…. He laughs as he considers the dominance of his old enemy. Fortunately Michael wasn’t like that in 1996! The fact he is still winning makes me feel a lot better. It’s not so bad to be beaten by the best driver who’s ever lived. Nobody really knew that then. I was first into the arena, the first Christian thrown to the lions…”

My only personal connection with him is the sketch below, which I drew more than a decade ago and which remains one of my favorites till date. To an extent he is also one of the inspirations behind my passion for driving.

Michael Schumacher

I hope he comes out of his coma, like a champion, which he has always been. A few of his quotes which I like:

“In sport there is never any moment that is the same as the other. I have been in Formula One for 12 years, and out of that I had one year with the perfect car. .”

“Never think that success is down to your own performance alone. If you start listening only to yourself you take the first step back towards the bottom. The flowers of victory belong in many vases.”

One of his famous taxi stories [Source]:

Seven-time formula one world champion Michael Schumacher shocked a cab driver by taking over the wheel in order to be on time for a flight.

Schumacher flew into the aerodrome at the Bavarian town of Coburg on Saturday and took a taxi to the village of Gehuelz, 30km away, to pick up a new puppy – an Australian Shepherd dog called “Ed”.

But when the 38-year-old, plus his wife and two children, caught a taxi back to the airport they were short on time and, after a polite request, cab driver Tuncer Yilmaz watched in wonder as Schumacher took the wheel.

“I found myself in the passenger seat, which was strange enough, but to have “Schumi” behind the wheel of my cab was incredible,” Mr Yilmaz told the Muenchner Abendzeitung.

“He drove at full throttle around the corners and overtook in some unbelievable places.”

Mr Yilmaz was well rewarded for the unusual journey – on top of the 60 euro ($100) fare, he was also given a 100 euro ($167) tip.

Because Ahmed has the best memory

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Five boys were sitting at the far end of the bench. They were dressed in weatherworn clothes, all caked in mud. Their leader said something fast. The others groped through their pockets and pooled their funds: six marbles, four bottle tops, a painted twig, a blunt penknife, and a few coins. The money was separated out. Three of the boys started arguing, shouting at one another. Their argument broke into a scrap. One of the older boys suddenly turned on the smallest. They fell into the dirt, punches flying. The leader pulled them apart. He handled all the coins to the youngest boy, whose shirt had been ripped in the fight, and sent him off toward the cinema.

The others began playing marbles.

I asked why only one of them was going to the cinema. The leader glanced up, his sienna eyes catching the light.

“We only have the money for one to see the matinee, Monsieur”, he said. “So we send Ahmed. We always send Ahmed.”

“Why him?”

The leader flicked a marble into the dirt. “Because Ahmed has the best memory,” he said.

An excerpt from In Arabian Nights- A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams.

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