Sunday, November 25, 2007

Manipulating images

We had a look at this video last week in class.

It shows how a 3D model of a human face can be created on the basis of a 2D photograph and how this 3D model can then be further animated and manipulated… Fascinating but also kind of scary…
Here are two more amazing face morphs of famous women in film and in art. An interesting voyage through time.

Andrej also came up with an interesting site dealing with celebrities and face morphs - check it out, it's fun. :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flickr basics

Photographers, originally uploaded by tanakawho.

I just thought this might be useful for those of you who started exploring Flickr to share your photos with the world. It's a really nice 20 min presentation about the basics by Jeff Utech. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy St. Martin's Day!

Wine tasting, originally uploaded by Mihies.

Must started turning into wine today. There are numerous feasts all over Slovenia, especially in the wine producing regions of our country. Andrej writes about this here. Our town is a meeting point of two major wine growing areas; the Goriška brda area and the Vipava valley area. Many people produce wine at home and Martinovo, as St. Martin's day is called in Slovene, is therefore an important feast. Typical traditional dishes are being served and new wine is being tasted. 'Martinova gos' is one of such typical dishes; a roasted goose accompanied by boiled flatbread ('mlinci') and red cabbage. The roots of this feast can be traced to the preChristian era, when our ancestors celebrated it as thanksgiving day for good harvest.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Street performer, originally uploaded by Saša Sirk.

I feel Slovenia is the latest slogan launched to represent us and our country abroad. Unfortunately I couldn't find the new logo which accompanies it. It is a green and blue combination symbolizing green spaces and clean water… I saw it on the news earlier this week, placed above a photo of a young couple kissing in the street. I’m just curious now how you see our country.
Numerous slogans have been used for promoting it so far; Slovenia invigorates', 'Slovenia : your perfect getaway', 'Slovenia a diversity to discover' … My all times favorites are still the ancient 'On the sunny side of the Alps' and 'Slovenia, my country' with its linden leaf logo.
Erik found a very nice ad on YouTube. I like it. It looks good. Like a story from a fancy in flight magazine, like a National Geographic excerpt…
The Slovelnia I feel though is something else. It's my grandma’s fairy tales and a backyard garden full of strawberries, it's the smell of freshly baked bread and a pot of hot herb tea, it's roads to be explored and meadows full of mushrooms. It's old friends and neighbors I know.
When talking to non-Slovenes, the first thing I tend to point out about our country is its smallness. And then its diversity, greenness. But that’s ok I guess; small is beautiful.
Thinking of our national character, on the other hand, I come up with the following: we generally don't think much of ourselves, like staying close to our families and don't tend to move around much. We feel safe at home, kind of as if the big problems here were less dramatic than those beyond our borders. Kind of like Tolkien's hobits.
Also it seems to me that we prefer sticking to things familiar to us, that we don't like big changes. I see us as moderate, not used to expressing our emotions too openly. For expressing these, we like using foreign languages, e.g. we hardly ever swear in Slovene, but do this without blinking an eye in Italian, German, Serbian, Croatian, or English…
What is the Slovenia you feel? And what is your view of our national character?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Slovenian students (and teachers) enjoying autumn holidays this week :-)

candle one, originally uploaded by francesca.sara.

Doris wandered about the Halloween in different parts of the world here and I'm writing this in response to her post.
In Slovenia we don't make a big deal about Halloween; we carve out pumpkins and people attend Halloween parties and concerts (especially young) but we generally don't make much fuss about it.
October 31st is a work-free day in Slovenia and so is the following day, November 1st. The reason however is not Halloween but another religious holiday celebrated on this day, called Reformation Day.
The Reformation was a Protestant movement in the 16th century attempting to reform the Catholic Church. The first Slovene book and the first mention of the name 'Slovene' is associated with the Reformation and Slovenia has therefore appointed Reformation Day as a national holiday. There is usually an 'official' celebration but it is not really people's holiday.
The following day, November 1, on the other hand, is a firmly rooted national holiday called All Saints Day or simply the Day of the Dead. As the name itself tells, it's the day when we remember our dead. Families gather together, we remember our dear ones, visit their graves, bring flowers, light candles, stop for awhile by their graves, and also meet friends there. People take this holiday very seriously. It therefore suprised me very much when I happened to end up in the Mexican part of Los Angeles years ago on Dia De Los Muertos and witnessed a joyous and lively celebration of November 1st. I liked it.