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2016-03-23

Interesting links and texts from previous years on my Facebook: 23/3



For over 70 years, the mafia-like company De Beers has managed to make artificially expensive diamonds a part of the engagement process. But this is purely a marketing invention - and diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Article in Priceonomics: http://goo.gl/KSZGBK

EXTRACT:
"De Beers owns most of the diamond mines. For mines that they don’t own, they have historically bought out all the diamonds, intimidating or co-opting any that think of resisting their monopoly. They then transfer all the diamonds over to the Central Selling Organization (CSO), which they own.

The CSO sorts through the diamonds, puts them in boxes and presents them to the 250 partners that they sell to. The price of the diamonds and quantity of diamonds are non-negotiable - it’s take it or leave it. Refuse your boxes and you’re out of the diamond industry.

So here is a modest proposal: Let’s agree that diamonds are bullshit and reject their role in the marriage process. Let’s admit that as a society we got tricked for about century into coveting sparkling pieces of carbon, but it’s time to end the nonsense."


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Spare a thought for the people of Turkey - the government there have closed Twitter and are enforcing very strict censorship on everything else, plus committing countless other human rights violations.

If this continues the country will turn into a ruthless dictatorship such as the United States! :)

I'm sure that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk would not have approved of the censorship, nor the continuing religious growth in the supposedly secular nation...


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A usual scene in Romanian restaurants and cafes when you order soft drinks like Coca-Cola:

1) The waiters pour them straight into the glass without tilting it, so all the fizz disappears and the drink goes flat. When you then show them how to pour it at an angle, they say "but you only do that with beer."

2) If you ask for ice cubes they often protest and say "but it's already cold!"


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"If there are no ups and downs in your life, it means you are dead."


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Are you making music on a PC or Mac? Try out the free and powerful Synth1, a virtual analog synth based on the classic Clavia Nord Lead 2.

It can be used for anything from leads, basses, pads, strings to effects, and is extremely light on the CPU. Download the synth, check out a sound demo and get over 10.000 free patches: http://goo.gl/1qbzQ


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All over Bali it's now completely dark and peaceful. Since it's Nyepi, everyone is in "house arrest". No one is allowed to walk on the streets from 06.00 AM this morning and for 24 hours thereafter.

There are no lights (except some hotels), no music, no one is making any noise. You hear natural sounds you never noticed before - the sound of the ocean waves, the crickets, the frogs, the rustling leaves, small trees moving with the wind.

Yesterday, after over a week of rain, the weather gods blessed Bali with sun, and the Balinese could do their rituals to celebrate their new year (Isakawarsa). I saw a beautiful ceremony, a spiritual dance that symbolized the battle between good and evil, and the whole village (banjar) participated or cheered. The dance ended the Ogoh-Ogoh parade of monsters, here's a video: http://goo.gl/aqst6

Here is some info about this amazing day:
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"Nyepi is a very special day to the Balinese, as this is the day that they have to fool all evil spirits that no-one is actually on Bali - hence the need for silence. If this can be achieved, then it is believed that the evil spirits will go looking elsewhere for their prey and leave the Bali island alone for another year. Balinese people are very religious and life is full of ritual - Nyepi is one of the most important days in their calendar. Police and security are on hand to make sure that everyone abides by this rule.

Nyepi also serves to remind the Balinese of the need for tolerance and understanding in their everyday life. In fact, Hinduism on Bali is unique because it is woven into and around the original Balinese animistic religion. The two now have become one for the Balinese - a true sign of tolerance and acceptance!

The silent day is part a series of celebrations to welcome the Caka New Year in the Balinese Hindu religion, and has been celebrated in Bali since the era of Majapahit. The essence of the feast of Nyepi is a self-introspection and reflection before the new year. For that a tranquil and quiet atmosphere is required to clear the mind and to ask the Creator that next year all the mistakes done in the existing year will not be repeated again in the coming New Year."


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I'm writing a speech for my beloved grandfather's funeral, which is today in Oslo. My brother Erlend will kindly read it for me, since I'm halfway around the world and can't attend.

My love goes out to all my family, who are there today to say goodbye.


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Just tried ChatRoulette for the first time. I didn't see any penises. Phew.
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