Sunday, April 27, 2014

Copenhagen Sand Sculpture Festival 2013

I should have posted this earlier, but better late than never.

Copenhagen's annual Sand & Sculpture Festival for 2013 was hosted between May 17 till August 25th. I managed to visit it just in time, during its last few days. Displayed in a small campus near the Copenhagen Harbor, the sand festival had an entry fee of 50 DKK. I visited in the evening, after office hours- not the best time for photographs, but still it was a worth visit.

Below are some of the photos and description of Copenhagen Sand Festival 2013, taken from my mobile camera (Couldn't carry DSLR)

The Copenhagen Sand & Sculpture Festival, 2013 had 17 different sculptures from all over the world. Interestingly, the award winning one was the one from India- created by Mr Sudarsan Pattnaik of Odissa, themed Go Green- Save the earth. This was the only colour exhibit while all other art works had colour of sand/clay.

1. Award winning Sculpture- Go Green-Save the earth by Sudarsan Pattnaik, India

As you see, the sculpture is simple but effective- depicting tree branch, leaves, mother earth and human beings, stressing the need for harmony among these elements of nature.

Above right- 2. Control Freak, by Patrick Steptoe of Denmark
3. In the mind of a mask- by Bob Atisso of Togo (Togo is a small country in Africa, between Ghana and Nigeria)- We are all incomplete human beings!

 4. "A stolen heart" by Anique Kurzenga of Indonesia-notice the missing heart in the man's chest. (He also has stolen shirt, trousers and inner wear!)

5. Bye Bye Mister Money! by Etual Ojeda of Spain... Yeah! Let us abandon the concept of money and go back to history where people used to barter one good for another!

6. Antartic by Katsu Chaen Japan and Bagrat Stephanyan Russia - Notice the polar bear holding a seal
7. Big Mama by Ulrich Baentsch Germany
 8.Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark with king python, Created by Bagrat Stepanyan (Russia)

Prince Henrik's sculpture was carved showing him carrying the king python on his head. This sculpture was inspired by below photograph

9.(Above right) Reverse Engineering by Guy Oliver Deveau of Canada-It represents the story of a human as depicted by a robot

10. Still life by Pavel Mylnikov Russia

11.Time Curves by Gianni Schiumarini, Italy

12 Metropolis- at the Copenhagen Sand Sculpture Festival.

13. No Spoken Words, Michela Ciappini, (Italy)

14. Technology or Nature, Irina Taflevskaya (Ukraine), Ruslan Korokov (Bulgaria)
Some more sculptures

Exhibition campus also had a children play area where kids could try their hands on clay and sand and build something they feel like.
 Entrance to Copenhagen Sand Festival 2013 (CPHSAND 2013)

Overall it was time well spent. It was great to see artists from around the world presenting their ideas and creativity at Copenhagen Sand Festival 2013. It would have taken weeks of hard work to create each of these pieces
Copenhagen Sand Festival (Kobenhavn Sandskulptur festival) as seen during canal tour

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Israel Model for National Security

Recently Israel Navy intercepted a ship carrying rockets and other weapons headed to Gaza strip, to be potentially used against Israel. [CNN Report] This incident is latest to the series of examples of Israel's smart intelligence and execution capabilities. I did some reading about Israel recently and the way Israel defends itself is remarkable. Over time Israel has built brilliant intelligence system which it has been using effectively to safeguard itself and hit back at its enemies.

Some Examples:
1. Operation Entebbe (Operation Thunderbolt): July 1976- An Air France flight from Tel Aviv was hijacked and flown into Entebbe, thousands of miles from Israel. Most of the passengers were Israeli nationals and terrorists demanded release of several militants held in Israeli prisoners. Terrorists wouldn't have remote idea that Israel would attempt a daring rescue mission. One brave Israeli commander lost his life and one civilian was shot dead as he was mistaken for terrorist, but every other (102 hostages) were rescued. Israel did what was best and right for its citizens- didn't worry about diplomatic impact and didn't hesitate to take a risk. Do watch below video.

2: Revenge for Munich Olympics Massacre
11 Members of Israeli Olympics team died in Munich, 1972 as terrorists took them hostage from the Olympics campus. The German rescue effort backfired and all athletes and terrorists died. But over years, Israel managed to track all key individuals behind the planning of this attack and eliminated them one by one.

Apart from these, Israel faces constant border disputes with its neighbors and has been successful in defending every inch of its land so far.

This photo really represents the true spirit of Israel.

India has good military relationship with Israel and is one of its biggest customers for military goods [Details]. If only we had the political will, we could have built special teams similar to Israel's and dealt with our enemies accordingly.

When IC 814 was hijacked to Kandhahar, something similar to Operation Thunderbolt could have been attempted.

When 26/11 happened, India could have identified the perpetrators and eliminated them one by one, similar to how planners of Munich Massacre were traced and destroyed.

I am sure we have the men and technology to counter national threats. What we lack is the political will. That is my expectation from next government. Let us see

Europe-Images from Baltic Sea crossing

Below are some images clicked during the ferry ride between Berlin and Copenhagen, across the Baltic sea.

Though I've already written about the journey between Berlin and Copenhagen by bus earlier, this post shares lots of photos specific to the ocean leg of the journey- crossing the Baltic sea in Europe.

Below: Taken from the ferry- vehicles lined up to be boarded into the car deck of the ferry.

A light house spotted on the way

Another ferry that went in opposite direction

This is what a life boat looks like. Baltic sea had its share of marine accidents in which ferries sunk into bottom of the ocean. (Watch Youtube videos on MS Estonia and Scandinavian Star). After these disasters lots of safety measures were put in place and ferry ride is fairly safe now.

A church on the shore 
 A crane
 People on the shore

Several small solar powered buoys were deployed in the ocean- these sea mark buoys help captains navigate their ships safely in and out of the port without running into shallow waters or obstacles

Cars and other vehicles are also shipped across the ocean in ferries- one such barge loading cars. 
Another interesting part of the journey was watching birds. Lots of birds flew along the ferry, because of their food prospects were higher as the displaces water might cause the fishes to come near the surface.

 The birds were fairly fearless. I clicked lots of photos from very close distance- they didn't fly away
 Sunset was another attraction-Sunset happens pretty late- something like 9-10 PM in the night.

 Have a nice weekend.
Check more posts from my Berlin visit