Brotherhood of the Wolf

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I watched this again and totally loved it all over again. A highly entertaining French period thriller, to me Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) has shades of Sleepy Hollow (1999) though rawer, that sort of deliciously dark mystery written in a rich and interesting historical setting. This one features swash buckling fight scenes and even martial arts scenes by one of it’s primary characters, the Native American Mani, played by American action star Mark Dacascos.

Wikipedia describes the beginning of the plot as follows (the entry there describes the entire plot and so contains spoilers, so you might not want to click the link if you haven’t seen the film.):

The film begins during the French Revolution with the aged Marquis d’Apcher as the narrator, writing his memoirs in a castle, while the voices of a mob can be heard from outside. The film flashes back to 1764 when a mysterious beast terrorized the province of Gévaudan and nearby lands.

Grégoire de Fronsac, a knight and the royal taxidermist of King Louis XV of France, and his Iroquois companion Mani, arrive in Gévaudan to capture the beast. Upon arrival, they rescue Jean Chastel, an aged healer, and his daughter, La Bavarde, from an attack by soldiers. The young and enlightened Thomas, Marquis d’Apcher, befriends them.

Fronsac is initially skeptical about the beast’s existence, since survivors describe it as much larger than any wolf he has ever seen. However, by studying the bite size on a victim of the beast, he deduces that it must weigh roughly 500 lb (227 kg). Captain Duhamel, an army officer leading the hunt for the beast, has killed dozens of ordinary wolves, but has not come close to the actual killer. While staying in Gévaudan, Fronsac romances Marianne de Morangias, the daughter of a local count, whose brother, Jean-François, was also an avid hunter and a world traveler, before losing one arm to a lion in Africa. Fronsac is also intrigued by Sylvia, an Italian courtesan at the local brothel.

Sultry and charismatic Italian actress Monica Belluci plays Sylvia, and is the main reason I picked up the DVD years ago. Her French husband, the inexplicably but smolderingly sexy Vincent Cassel, is also in this movie, as Jean-François.

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Day 82

 

An inspiring life

I saw this sweet video of a Thai ad from the blog Bryan Patterson’s Faithworks a couple of days ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Yeah sure, it’s an advertisement designed to tug at the heartstrings but I love it nevertheless. The story depicts the kind of person most of us wish we were and so strive to be, without fanfare or praise, but just as a matter of habit, quietly and in peace. It also reminds me of someone I have the privilege of knowing, but who I’ve lost touch with, and who I should try to contact again, just to say hi.

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A snapshot in Bangkok

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Day 81

 

 

Purple noodles

Out of curiosity I had tried the ‘regular’ one as pictured on the left in the picture below, when I first noticed it some time ago. Noodles in purple! What a lovely surprise. It tasted alright.
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It must have been received well, because the makers, local company Tat Hui Foods, came up with three other flavours. I’m glad to see that. There is not enough purple in the world. Of course I’m going to try them. If I’m going to have instant noodles anyway, it might as well be purple.

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Related:

  • The Ramen Rater – Koka Purple Wheat Noodles Aglio Olio Flavour (11 Jan 2014)
  • Metronews - Researchers develop colourful purple wheat to boost health, economy. (26 July 2012)

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Day 80 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

 

 

 

Water tubes for flowers

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I decided to grab some orchids I saw while at an NTUC supermarket today, those already packed in small bunches, because they look good and fresh, and they’re purple. When I got home, I found that the ends of the stalks had been individually inserted into tubes of water. I guess this is a new way of packaging flowers. Previously the stalks would be kept hydrated simply with a bit of wet cotton wool that is wrapped around all the ends together. It’s kept wet by being enclosed in a tiny, thin plastic bag and secured with a rubber band.

While a bit fancy and nice to look at, the little purple tube indicates to me the mass production of yet another new plastic item we don’t need. Adding on to the discarded rubbish that we produce, as if our planet is not suffocating enough. How silly. It’s just too much, when you think about it. The bouquet is already wrapped around with plastic, and of course at the cashier you’re offered a plastic bag to put it in to bring home.

I was about to remove the tubes from the stalks when I got the idea to plonk the whole thing into a vase, so that the tubes serve as something decorative. Looks interesting. Good for today, then I’ll have to remove them to get the flowers fresh water tomorrow onwards. I don’t think I can be bothered to carefully and patiently wash the tubes individually then fill it with clean water every single day, for a week or however long the flowers last.

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I’ll have to remember to get flowers elsewhere. Hopefully the suppliers of other shops don’t use the tubes. As cute as I think they are (and they’re in my favourite colour!) I don’t want to keep having to throw stuff away unneccessarily. I do love the flowers, though. So pretty. And only $2.50, haha.

Related:

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Day 79

Orchid trees

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For some reason, I just like this arrangement a lot. When I came across it at some hotel, I stood there for a while just looking at it in wonder. I felt a bit like a sucker at first, feeling I’m drawn by some dubious random arty-farty thing. They’re just vases containing two stalks of orchids each, arranged in a certain way. Then I realized they made me think of trees along a sidewalk, and for some reason the thought made me relieved and happy, like it was a eureka moment or something. I still like it a lot.

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Day 78

And the Teacher of the Year Award goes to

It’s always fun to be enlightened and titillated at the same time. Not an everyday occurence. I had to play the video a few times because it was hard to keep my eyes on the spelt-out pronunciation of the words. Not complaining, though.

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spaghetti alle capesante

And this is Spaghetti Alle Capesante. That’s ‘Spuh-get-tee Ahl-lay Kah-pay-sahn-tay’

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Some other amusing examples of teachers behaving badly:

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Related:

  • 79 Common Mispronunciations by Mental Floss

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Day 77

A stroll up to Mount Faber Park

At the very start of the Southern Ridges, a 10km walk of trails, bridges and walkways, is the Marang Trail, located right next to Exit D of HarbourFront MRT station. It takes about just 15 minutes to walk the trail, climbing some steps to reach Mount Faber Park, the equivalent of a 24-storey building, according to a guide from the National Parks Board. Perfect for lunchtime, if you happen to be in the area. Grab a sandwich and a bottle of water, walk up there, and enjoy the view and relative quiet while you eat. I enjoy this short walk when I happen to be in the area.

Marang Trail

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Cable cars from the station at Mount Faber Park which go to Sentosa Island. A return ticket costs $26 for adults and $15 for kids aged 3 to 12.

Related:

Related to cable cars in last photo:

  • Singapore Cable Car’s website
  • Trip Advisor reviews of Cable Car
  • The Jewel Card – according to website, the card offers unlimited cable car rides for $39 for individual, and $99 for ‘family’. Click link if you wish to find out more.

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Day 76

Sprue Sculpture

A sculpture seen at Raffles Place. I like how it uses a popular toy item to relay its idea. After some checking online, I found that this type of panel of components is called a sprue, thanks to this post.

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What I like about it is the void at the bottom left where there’s a dedicated space for two persons to stand, to be part of the sculpture. I thought that was a cute touch.  DSCN3047_reduced 2

Related:

  • mocoloco.com – TURBO Car Kit Wall Sculpture by Jellio (20 December 2005)
  • jellio.com – ‘Drive-In’ sculpture
  • makezine.com – Life-size boat model kit sprue (16 December 2009)
  • designboom.com – Michael Johansson’s injection molded assembly sets (01 September 2013)

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Day 75

 

Eros Ramazzotti

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Randomly picked a disc to listen to and I got ‘Ali e Radici’ (Wings and Roots) by Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti. One of those singers I probably have ten CDs from. I haven’t counted, but we’ve been fans for a long time. This is his tenth studio album, out of a total of eleven, which he released in 2009. Most of his albums are released in both Italian and Spanish. I remember years ago when I was not aware of this yet, I had mistakenly bought a Spanish version of one of his albums. Which is okay but some time later I went back to buy the Italian one as well.

I haven’t played his music for a while, and forgot how much I love his unique voice and his gorgeous catchy songs. He has written and sang a lot of beautiful ballads too in his career that has by now spanned more than three decades. He was born in Rome in October 1963, so now he’s fifty.

The following is one of my favourite songs from Ali e Radici. Parla Con Me (Talk To Me) is the third song in the album.

I love so many of this songs, but just to pick two more to put here, well I love his two duets with not one but two ladies of music I absolutely adore, Tina Turner and Cher! Cose Della Vita (Can’t Stop Thinking of You) with Tina was released in 1998. The song is a ‘remake’ of a song he wrote and sang solo on in 1993. The beautiful ballad Più che puoi (All You Can) with Cher is from 2001.

Related:

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Day74

Ravioli

Bert felt like making some gamberetti (shrimp) ravioli and it was such a nice treat for me. Homemade ravioli is a special treat. I don’t even normally order it when we eat out at an Italian restaurant. Actually I believe I did exactly just once in my entire life, many years ago. I will always remember that when my order arrived, there were like just three or four pieces of ravioli on my plate. As if they were so friggin’ precious because they contained gold nuggets or something. I was appalled by how stingy the portion was. It was not some haute cuisine place, just a regular restaurant in a hotel. Okay, a rather nice one, but nothing posh or fancy. Italian food is mainly hearty country food anyway, and just how I like my food.

Bert and our other dinner companions laughed at my unfortunate choice while they feasted on far more generous portions of other pasta and pizza. I sucked in my cheeks like a supermodel and cut my four precious ravioli into tiny pieces so my dish could last as long as theirs as much as possible.

I never ever ordered ravioli again when eating at any Italian restaurant, not even in Italy. Of course one of the joys of cooking at home is that there is always lots of food, even leftovers for a meal the next day.

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Having a bit of the munchies standing around in the kitchen while he worked and I, err… watched him work, Bert whipped up some bruschetta with some bread he had made which was just perfect for it. It was satisfyingly thick and meaty, perfect for bruschetta, and just the load of wholesome carbs to make me happy. DSCN1499_reduced

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Day 73