Friday, November 27, 2009

More GREEN, Genius!

From biodegradable super tall plastic trash bags to news & tips on how to be more green, this website is super cool to navigate and quite helpful indeed! Check it out:

Thanksgiving in France

Thanksgiving actually doesn't exist in France which makes sense considering the holiday commemorates a relationship between pilgrims to the New World and its native inhabitants. Still, we felt it necessary to reenact the celebration that most of us Americans have grown to love, by bringing a Thanksgiving meal to our natives in France!

It was really nice to share this tradition with international students because it was an opportunity to share American culture. I sat with some students from Germany who absolutely loved the food: butter biscuits, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, endless breads and desserts, and a chicken turkey-substitute!

"Oh wow, the US has more than just hamburgers and hotdogs!"

Our Thanksgiving evening's festivities consisted of a school wide bar trip and 'American' influenced beer-pong tournament organized by the student government. What a wonderful way to celebrate American culture :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creative Ways to Go Green!

A friend of mine sent me this fabulous blog that not only connects you to the GreenWorld but also provides you with creative solutions to encourage a GreenLifestyle of your own!

Check it out: Go Green

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Northern Exposure: Copenhagen, Denmark

Hey there! I had a great time in Copenhagen last week! After a short visit in Lund, Sweden to help my mom prepare an international conference in Lund scheduled for next summer, we crossed the Oresund Bridge to Copenhagen. It was a cold and windy day but we were excited to be there nonetheless. With only two days to explore we didn’t waste time. We covered nearly the entire city on foot and couldn’t find the rental bikes to save our lives! Our itinerary was relatively spontaneous combining recommended tourist sites and the most appealing museums listed in the guidebook.

First on the list was The Little Mermaid – from the imagination of Denmark’s own Hans Christian Anderson. We were told that you can’t go to Copenhagen without seeing her and now when you go, you can also see an artist’s interpretation of the “Survival of the Fattest…I’m honestly not sure why Copenhagen decided to place the latter next to the Mermaid, but if you’re interested in the concept behind the design read more.

Next, we headed to the Kunst Industry Museet, also known as the Danish Museum of Art & Design. This museum was awesome and highly inspiring with a visual history of poster advertising available for viewing until December, along with the museum’s permanent collection of art and design specific to Denmark, and the evolution of styles including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and of products of the Industrial Revolution up to the 1960’s & 70’s. The museum also has a wing devoted to the work current Scandinavian artists next to a fantastic café with yummy soups and teas!

Another museum we visited was the Danish Design Center which houses prototypes of innovative product designs and concepts. I was especially excited to see the work of architect Bjarke Ingels who is a key member on the board which is working towards making Copenhagen CO2 free and reduce their carbon footprint woo! They’ve already worked to solve the problem of traffic congestion during rush hour – perhaps LA could look into their plan. In terms of sustainability and global impact consciousness, Denmark is the country to watch and model after right now. They’re presently preparing for the United Nations Climate Change Conference which will be held this December.

And let us not forget the food! Chicken & steak fondue with a ton of specialty sauces and a herring tray as an appetizer! Herring makes for a great Scandinavian treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The visit was quite lovely! I'm looking forward to going back for the conference, summer 2010. I'm sure Copenhagen will be even better in the summertime!

How Do You Say...

As I've mentioned before, some of the most important phrases for first time country/language interactions are probably some of the most simple: hello, goodbye, yes, no, please, and thank you! Since I'm in Denmark for the first time, I've been practicing my Danish:

Hello - Hej, "hey"
Goodbye - Farvel, "farvel"
Yes - Ja, "ya"
No - Nej, "ni"
Please - Vaersgo, "vairsgoh"
Thank you - Tak, "tak"

Monday, November 9, 2009

To Copenhagen I Go...

I'm going to Copenhagen, Denmark tomorrow! I will be in Malmo, Sweden for part of the time and Copenhagen for the other part. During my research on transportation between the two countries, I came across this trivia tidbit:

The high bridge part of the Oresund Bridge has the longest cable-stayed main span of all bridges in the world. That goes for both road and rail traffic! And, this Scandinavian tunnel is the world's longest underwater tube tunnel for both road and rail traffic.

20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

"On November 9, 1989 the Berlin Wall - a physical and symbolic boundary between communist East Germany and democratic West Germany - began to come down, ending decades of separation and marking a turning point of the Cold War. Widely regarded as one of the most influential events of the 20th century, we felt it important to recognize this historic moment". Find out More

Monday, November 2, 2009

Botany of Desire, PBS Special

PBS just aired Botany of Desire, a documentary taken from the book by Michael Pollen. I'm not just promoting this because my mom is interviewed in it... In fact, you can actually learn a lot about your relationship with some very interesting plants and their impact on the lives of people.