Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fog TV

Its Thursday night meaning my TV marathon night so I don't have much time to write a proper post so I'll just post some pictures for you to see.

This is the future of television believe it or not. Its basically a projected moving picture onto a thin wall of fog so viewers can watch the moving picture like they do on a conventional television. My pictures don't bring out the image too good but if you were to check it out yourself at ACMI at Federation Square you will be amazed as I was when I saw it the first time!

The FogScreen creates a thin wall of fog that makes objects appear and move as if in mid-air. You can even walk through them! It's based on a new technology fog-generating device. Using water and ultrasonic waves, it effectively creates a frame-less screen, onto which high quality images are projected. (source)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chainsaw Carving

Today lets come back to learn a bit more about a renowned artist by the name of Leigh Conkie whose specialty is chainsaw carving! Leigh's main tool is his trusty chainsaw which he creates work of arts from lumps of wood.

He was at the Manna Gum Festival demonstrating his skill as he continued with his Ned Kelly sculpture while onlookers like myself could just look with awe!

He drew a crowd to his demonstration like these pimply teenagers who obviously were amazed by his talent. They even decided to stay a while to watch him work, until the flying saw dust sent them packing!

Inside Leigh's stall he had a few finished works he brought along for all to see like this rendition of an owl with a human face. All his works are for sale and he can even do request works. He's done a few works requested by local councils to tree stumps all around the state.

Watch Leigh works with his chainsaw below;

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Strange Fruit - The Three Belles

The Three Belles is part of a Melbourne-based company called Strange Fruit that produces and performs works of arts outdoors using four-metre high flexible poles.
Its repertoire, blending dance, circus, comedy and spectacle.

Seductive and charming, The Three Belles transport the audience into a dreamy world of period charm and quirky manners.

Mannered and graceful, the characters are destined to eternally relive the enchanting night of their first ball.

With an unearthly soundscape that uses haunting music of strings, galloping horses, the sitar and the Wedding march.

So you want to know how they get down the poles after the dance? Well, first they drop their skirts! Now you can see what's underneath the gowns! They have a special harness that securely lock their lower bodies to the poles so they'll never fall off while performing.

Then later they just slide down the poles like the firemen do in their fire station! You should check out the short clip I included below, I' sure you'll like them too!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Manna Gum Festival

Well what can I say, I went to another festival on Saturday but at unusual time cause this festival starts at 3 pm till 8.30 pm. Thank God for day-light saving! It started out a warm day but quickly cooled down when the festival started.

Nevertheless a good crowd turned up at the festival. An event for the whole family, the festival offered arts, foods, music and games for everyone. It was held in Poulter Park in Greensborough.

Among the attractions there was Madam Bustle and Lily who are puppets controlled by the puppet masters from Polyglot Puppet Theatre inside her. Madam Bustle was a hit with the kids but little tots were a bit scared by her size and faceless head!

These ladies will show you that you are never too old to be flexible! They're the Kaleidoscope Women's Circus and they're all over 40 years old who enjoy a fun way of keeping fit.

Strange Fruits - The Three Belles is what these 3 ladies call themselves. I first saw them at the Commonwealth Games Festival back in March. Didn't expect to see them again so soon. I'll write a more detail post on them soon.

These gigantic flowers are called the Empress Stilt Flowers. Be enthralled by them who will delight audiences with their 'root loose' and fancy free antics. They even stopped to camwhore for me, thank you!

This guy has talent! His name is Leigh Conkie and he is a chainsaw sculptor. Here he's carving out a Ned Kelly from a log of timber. I will post more on him later also.

This shipping container will be full of furnitures donated for charity in an African country. They decided to ask the children to help paint it before they ship it out! Great idea,let's have fun while we're at it!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Make Poverty History Festival

This post is a week overdue but better late than never. This happened last Saturday on the 18th when the Make Poverty History Festival was held in the Alexandra Gardens. They had the free concert the night before at Docklands which I didn't go because I didn't try hard enough to get the free tickets online, me so lazy can die!

That's supposed to spell MAKE POVERTY HISTORY but I think they're just a bit too playful that day or they're still suffering from the hangover the night before at the free concert!

I guess there's no need to mention what Make Poverty History is all about since everyone in the world would know that by now. Call me a pessimistic if you like but I think that is unattainable! But we can try to make things better, not eradicate completely.

This is the Micah marquee. Micah Challenge Australia is part of a global movement of Christian agencies, churches, groups and individuals which aims to deepen people's engagement with the poor and help to reduce poverty as an integral part of their faith. (source)

Get off your butt for poverty! That's the Micah Challenge, giving you the opportunity to speak out against slavery and apartheid facing our generation: poverty. Plus, you get to contribute to their montage of undies. (source) But make sure there's no skid marks before you give it to them!

Walk For Water is dedicated to draw international attention to the critical lack of clean, safe drinking water worldwide. It is a time when we are encouraged to pause and consider the largest public health issue of our time-the global scarcity of clean water. (source) Right now Australia is suffering from drought and every drop of water is gold!

When I got there this choir was performing. They call themselves "South of River Gospel Choir" and they're very good. Its a 40 member gospel choir singing traditional african american gospel music and world music. You can catch a glimpse of their singing in the video I posted below.

Later on in the day they had different performers more suited to younger generation. And that's when the party really just got started. But it was too wild for me!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

~Marilah Mari, Pergi Mengundi!~

~Marilah mari, pergi mengundi~
~Jangan lupa kewajipan pada negara~

I can still remember how the song went when election ads were played on TV back in those days, I hope I spelt the words correctly but if they're wrong feel free to correct me!

And that's exactly what millions of victorians did today including yours truly. Today we got to use our power of the votes to elect our new leaders for the state of Victoria. Didn't want to get stuck with the crowd later, we decided to go early when there were very little voters.

The polling station is at a primary school and it didn't take us long to wait our turns to get our names ticked off before going into the voting booths. We were in and out in just a couple of minutes.

We got to choose who to represent us in our district and also who we want in the Legislative Council. If you want to pick the person then you have to number 20 or 30 boxes! I did the lazy thing and just pick the party so I just had to number 1 box. Last count I think the ruling party is coming back for another term.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Polish Festival

They should call Melbourne the city of festivals because you can find festivals happening just about every weekend. Just can't keep up with all the festivities!

Last Sunday at Federation Square it was the Poles' turn to celebrate. As usual with every festival comes huge crowds to the square. There were stage performances featuring folkloric dances all day long.

According to Federation Square this year the festival attracted approximately 32,000 visitors as a whole for the entire day and is generally considered one of the stronger multicultural festivals held there.

This was my first time at the festival, I quite like their costumes..very colourful and unique. Now lets see where else I can go this weekend..have a good weekend people!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Row, Row, Row Your Boat...

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hispanic Fiesta

Sunday afternoon was getting hot but there was a hispanic fiesta I wanted to go to in Johnston street. The festival was held all weekend but I've only had a small window of opportunity to check it out so I had to go.

If you like latin music and dance then you should come down here every night coz this is where you can shake your bon bon all night till you drop! You can find clubs and bars playing latin music every night here.

Stupid organisers should be shot! Who's bright idea was it to put the VIP guests on the stage and the performers on the road causing the audience to gathere all around and blocking all the short people at the back!

I managed to find a slightly higher ground to see a little better when these Peruvian dancers were performing. These are the same dancers I saw at the Peruvian Festival not so long ago.

But the best part of it is the Flamengo Dance by these lovely senoritas! Always love latin dances be it Flamengo, Merengue, Salsa or Rumba. Too bad I can't dance! Anyway I didn't stay long because it was too hot and crowded with bad view of the performances. So crowded that I kept smelling people's BO! Couldn't stand it anymore so had to cabut! Got a mass wedding to catch at the Federation Square. Watch the flamengo below..

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lighting The Christmas Tree

Saturday evening in the city we all came to the city square to see the lighting of the giant christmas tree.

The event was scheduled to start at 8 pm and but when we got there at 7.45 it was already jam packed with kids and their parents. All the front row seatings were taken and we had to settle for standing rooms only.

Santa's little helpers were there to keep all the kids amused before the ceremony starts like making animal balloons and stuff.

At 8 pm the ceremony started with a christmas choir singing the christmas carols. We just want to see them light the christmas tree but somehow I think we had a bit of wait before that happens!

Then the kids were entertained by the characters from the Wiggles like Dorothy the dinosaur, Wag the dog, Captain Feathersword, Henry the octopus and of course Santa Claus who has come all the way from the North Pole to help light the christmas tree!

After 9 pm the kids were getting a bit restless and tired but the mayor John So was just making his speech before the big event. After the speech with the help of all the kids in the audience shouting their lungs out, Santa turned on the "ON" switch and the christmas tree was lit!

Yay! What a beautiful christmas tree! Shouted every kids, including the big kids like me! Watch the 2 minute clip of the light below..

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Do, I Do, We All Do!!!

I've heard and seen mass weddings on TV and the newspapers but yesterday I had the rare chance of witnessing it for myself first time round at Federation Square. I didn't even have to be invited coz everyone can go!

This is a joint event organised by Melbourne city council and the council of Tianjin in China as a gesture of friendship between the 2 cities. All the 72 wedding couples are newly weds from China and are in Melbourne for their honeymoons.

The ceremony started quite suddenly with wedding couples marching in much to the delights of the audience amidst cheers and applause. The audience sitting on the aisle even got the chance to throw rose petals at them when they walked down the aisle!

When they've all settled down and seated, there were speeches made and national anthems sang both the chinese and australian ones! Following tradition the couples had to make a bow towards the east symbolising respect to their parents over in China, bow to the 2 mayors of the 2 cities and bow to each other!

Then of course we must have a few words from the host city's mayor Cr. John So giving the couples his blessings and congratulations in english but translated into chinese. The whole ceremony was conducted in 2 languages.

Next we had the deputy mayor of Tianjin giving her speech, blessings and congratulations to her countrymen and women. I learned that each couples paid AUD4,000 for the opportunity to be here today!

Lastly we had some councillor or minister or celebrant I can't remember giving his blessings to the wedding and asking that symbolic question to all the couples in which they all replied; "I do!"

So there you go, a mass wedding done in under 1 hour. 72 couples married in one swift blow. It was quite amusing since I've never been to something like this. I wonder if they have a mass reception somewhere and if we are invited also!

After the confetti the wedding couples lined up to go on stage to collect their certificates and gifts from the 2 mayors. With 72 couples, its going to take a while I think.

Especially if every couple wants to camwhore with the mayors. Lets say each couple takes 1 minute to camwhore, its still going to take them 72 minutes to get through all of them!

After camwhoring the bride gets 3 gifts on the way down. I don't know what they are but they looks like perfume maybe, or trinkets? Or tongkat ali!

Anyway it was a good ceremony! I enjoyed the occasion, I wish all the couples happiness, long lifes and plenty of babies! Now how about a mass wedding night?