Sunday, September 16, 2018

#Fotown18

Ostend organized a competition for photographers between 16 and 25 years old this Summer. They had to send in pictures of what makes Ostend unique to them. The 27 winning pictures, which were announced on 14 September 2018, are on display at the Venetian Galleries until 25 October 2018. Below you find some of my favorite photographs.











Monday, August 20, 2018

Bruges... What Tourists Do Not See

Australian athlete Dominic Di Tommaso showcases our beautiful city of Bruges from an unseen perspective. As a tourist, Bruges’ typical canal boats are the perfect way to discover the fabulous city from the inside. Well, you might want to reconsider. World-class freerunner Dominic Di Tommaso reveals this stunning piece of UNESCO World Heritage from a completely different perspective in the amazing video ‘What tourists don’t see’. On and across the roofs, towers, stepped gables and even the Belfry of Bruges, Dominic invites us on an athletic, jump- and flip-filled journey along the most beautiful spots of the inner city. Always on the move, freerunning in its purest form.


Bruges, What Tourists Do Not See

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Jimmy Carter


Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

The 39th president of the United States lives modestly, a sharp contrast to his successors, who have left the White House to embrace power of another kind: wealth.

Even those who didn’t start out rich, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, have made tens of millions of dollars on the private-sector opportunities that flow so easily to ex-presidents.

The Democratic former president decided not to join corporate boards or give speeches for big money because, he says, he didn’t want to “capitalize financially on being in the White House.”

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said that Gerald Ford, Carter’s predecessor and close friend, was the first to fully take advantage of those high-paid post-presidential opportunities, but that “Carter did the opposite.”

Since Ford, other former presidents, and sometimes their spouses, routinely earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech.

“I don’t see anything wrong with it; I don’t blame other people for doing it,” Carter says over dinner. “It just never had been my ambition to be rich.”

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter 

Carter costs U.S. taxpayers less than any other ex-president, according to the General Services Administration, with a total bill in the current fiscal year of $456,000, covering pensions, an office, staff and other expenses. That’s less than half the $952,000 budgeted for George H.W. Bush; the three other living ex-presidents. Clinton, G. W. Bush and Obama  cost taxpayers more than $1 million each per year.

Carter doesn’t even have federal retirement health benefits because he worked for the government for four years — less than the five years needed to qualify, according to the GSA. He says he receives health benefits through Emory University, where he has taught for 36 years.

 The Washington Post

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin R.I.P.

“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, the eruptive singer who reigned atop the pop and R&B charts in the late ’60s and early ’70s with a succession of albums and singles of unparalleled power and emotional depth, has died. She was 76.
Franklin was suffering from pancreatic cancer, and had earlier undergone surgery in December 2010. Her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reported Franklin died Thursday morning at her home in Detroit.
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart,” Quinn said in a statement. “We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
She was the most lionized and lauded female R&B vocalist of her era. Winner of 18 Grammy Awards, and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement honoree in 1994, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Variety

Monday, August 13, 2018

International Day of the Left-handed

As a leftie I know what it is like. Spiral notebooks., three-ring binders, scissors... ouch. Social kissing, eating soup, writing, .... All these things can bother the left-handed legion.

Wikipedia says that International Left Handers Day is observed anually on August 13 to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of the left handers. The day was first observed in the year 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, founder of the Lefthanders International, Inc.
International Left Handers Day was created to celebrate certain people's sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world. It celebrates their uniqueness and differences, who are from seven to ten percent of the world's population. The day also spread awareness on issues faced by left-handers e.g. the importance of the special needs for left-handed kids, and also the likelihood for left-handers to develop schizophrenia.

I wonder if the latter is true. I wonder.