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New blog

Since my last post on October 5 I have been unable to load images or add links to this blog.

Since the support team at WordPress have not replied to my emails I have started a blog at tumblr for all my new posts http://shannybasar.tumblr.com/


Apple – Remembering Steve Jobs

Washington DC

Some photos from a recent weekend in the capital city:

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Author and journalist George Monbiot has some good career advice:

“So my final piece of advice is this: when faced with the choice between engaging with reality or engaging with what Erich Fromm calls the “necrophiliac” world of wealth and power, choose life, whatever the apparent costs may be. Your peers might at first look down on you: poor Nina, she’s twenty-six and she still doesn’t own a car. But those who have put wealth and power above life are living in the world of death, in which the living put their tombstones – their framed certificates signifying acceptance to that world – upon their walls. Remember that even the editor of the Times, for all his income and prestige, is still a functionary, who must still take orders from his boss. He has less freedom than we do, and being the editor of the Times is as good as it gets.

You know you have only one life. You know it is a precious, extraordinary, unrepeatable thing: the product of billions of years of serendipity and evolution. So why waste it by handing it over to the living dead?”

- Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed during the UK riots in August, talks to The Independent about being inundated with letters of condolence from all over the world and continues to set an example for us all:

Despite everything that happened, he won’t accept politicians’ rhetoric that we live in a “broken society”. He speaks of the sense of unity that drew 35,000 people to Haroon’s funeral. “It was amazing,” he says. “It was beautiful. It made me respect the public even more. There are a lot more good people than there are bad people… but unfortunately the bad people find a way into our lives a lot easier.” (The Independent)

My July and August 2011

Just realised that my posts for July and August have been sitting as drafts for ages without being published.  So, this is what I have been up to apart from going to visit my friends and family in the UK and Spain over the summer:

Books

Small Island & The Long Song (Andrea Levy) : the best kid of historical fiction as I learnt about Jamaica through great characters and storytelling

Let The Great World Spin (Colum McCann) : my favourite book so far this year which really captures New York

The Tiger’s Wife (Tea Obreht) : magical mix of superstition, tigers and civilian suffering during wars

Conversations with Myself (Nelson Mandela) : the great man in his own words

The Heart of Haiku (Jane Hirshfield) : everything I wanted to know about haiku and more

Cinema

Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky) : who knew ballet could be so scary

The Fighter (David O’Russell) : ever since watching this film I have become much better at keeping my hands up and defending myself when boxing

Saw the two films above on my plane flights and the ballerinas turned out to be just as tough as the boxers

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (David Yates) : my favourite book in the series and the film lived up to my expectations

Another Earth (Mike Cahill) : interesting and original concept which stays in your mind – a duplicate Earth appears in the sky and scientists discover it is exactly the same as ours, even with the same people. Does this give you a second chance at life ?

Senna (Asif Kapadia) : best sports documentary I have seen. I idolised Ayrton Senna so the film made my cry all over again despite the fact I knew exactly what was going to happen

I am lucky enough to have seen Mark di Suvero’s sculptures at Storm King Art Center. However, it was a completely different experience viewing them juxtaposed against the Manhattan skyline on Governors Island:

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Warrior

I went to a special screening of Warrior at Lincoln Center just because mixed martial arts  is my way of keeping fit:

Tom Hardy stars as Tommy Conlon, a former wrestling prodigy who returns home to Pittsburgh after a stint in the Marines and grudgingly enlists his estranged father (Nick Nolte) to train him for a tournament dubbed “the super bowl of mixed martial arts.” Meanwhile, Tommy’s brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a high school teacher desperate to support his family in a lean economy, also sets his sights on the tournament’s winner-take-all purse.

The fight scenes were great but what kept me enthralled was the story of this damaged family and the fantastic performances – especially from Nick Nolte. I knew going in that Tom Hardy was British but had no idea that Joel Edgerton wasn’t American until I heard his Australian accent when he was interviewed after the film.

One thing I took away from the film is  that Brendan’s trainer made him work out to classical music. I tried it yesterday with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and No.7 and had one of my best sessions – so I recommend it .

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