Monthly Archives: April 2009

Sunset, Boats and Silhouettes

On the way from Galle.

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Green

Moist green plant of tea, taken at Watawala. Good Morning all.

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global recession – spotlight on Islamic finance

Could this global financial crisis have been avoided if Western banks had been more open to incorporating Islamic principles in the first place ? according to experts the answer is yes.

Two Key principles in Islamic Banking :

1.Interest is Forbidden

2.Profits can only be made with tangible assets.

The global recession is said to have begun with sub prime lending which surfaced in the mortgage sector, where almost anyone was able to mortgage a house without having to prove that they can pay back the loans – in other words not being in possession of tangible assets, which could always have been there as something that can have been liquified if the need arose.

What happened in the subprime mortgage industry ? basically this was a large group of banks that allowed financing to people regardless of their credit and more often than not they could avoid proving income. They didn’t even have to bring money to closing (which inflated home values even more because people weren’t putting real money into buying these homes).

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Father and Son..

Well yes, technically i am not meant to be blogging. But i thought this very moving short film about a father and a son had to be posted. I highly recommend this video and its only about five minutes long.

I was told some people got an email forward on a similar theme.

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Lonely..

By the Polonnaruwa Lodge, Polonnaruwa.

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Castle, Clouds, Sand and the Horizon

Lindisfarne Castle, Holy Island. Lindisfarne

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I am leaving..

Well yes..For some time. I am in my last 7-8 weeks of my course and things are really piling up. I have been procrastinating a lot on computer vices these few days, rather unlike me but I have.

This will be my last post for quite some time, I may post the odd photo on my photo blog, but other than that I will be nonexistent where blog posts are concerned. I am sensitive to certain issues discussed by other bloggers, mostly political ones, some are rather immature and don’t deserve a response, but some others which are brazen stupidity (despite some being disguised in genuine ignorance)do tick me off and I can’t resist the temptation to give an ethical yet vicious response. I intend not to let my vulnerability of being tempted to get the better of me, so I will stay silent and let the barking dogs lie, so to speak (wrong use of the metaphor – but you get the gist).

These few days have been extremely monotonous, the wakeup-eat-assignments-sleep-wake up cycle has had such a monotonous consistency that the lack of variation in my daily routine has made me forget which day of the week I am in (yes I don’t have calendars hanging anywhere),fortunately for me I am in my Easter break and I have no submissions over the vacation, so I won’t be accidentally missing a submission date.

The last few days have been particularly boring, because I have been very busy with typing endless pages of feasibility reports, at least if it is design it won’t make me bored. This boredom I am having now is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time; every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face.

Anyway, I will be around reading the odd post on Kottu and regular reads if I can spare a moment, and will be rather uncharacteristically turning a blind eye to what I don’t agree with or don’t endorse.

Over the next few weeks I have at least about 17,000 – 18,000 words to type, and have immense amount of writing and tearing papers before I come to the typing stage, not to forget the amount of drawings and research I have to do. And time is brutally against me!

So for these reasons and these reasons alone I have made a conscious decision to stay away from the lures of the internet i.e. blogging, reading blogs, and yeah blogging for sometime, and focus purely on my studies. I may not be very accessible over the next few weeks, but will always try to be there if needed to talk.

As a coincidence, this blog happens to be three years old next month.

Enjoy the weeks ahead.

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Of all things to happen in a kitchen!

Right so here i was this evening craving for a cup of tea. The tea i make can never match what my mom makes, try as i may, hence i have quite by default got used to the rather “unlike me” practice of drinking dark tea.

Anyway, this evening I just could not have another cup of dark tea and set out to make a rather ceremonious tea with milk, just the way we Sri Lankans like to have it. Opened the Kitchen larder only to find out that my can of Nido was empty and that I had to go out and buy one, i just couldnt be bothered to out to buy another can, Newcastle is still cold you see.

So I rather innocently opened my flatmate’s part of the kitchen store and stole a few spoons of milk from his can. I thought it had a rather fancy label, but being in the hurry that i was i just went on to prepare my cup of tea.

Finished my cup of tea over a few youtube videos and some biscuits, i felt the tea wasn’t like how milk tea usually tastes, and deduced that by not having drunk milk tea in a few months I would have forgotten how it used to taste. Having finished my tea I went down to wash my cup when on impulse i thought i’ll check the fancy label my friend’s milk powder can had, and of all things it happened to be a substitute for breast milk!

So i had rather pompously prepared myself a cup of pseudo-breastmilk tea! not bad for my growing expertise in the kitchen department! It intrigues me to think of why my flatmate uses that particular type of milk!

No side effects so far! a tad bit energized.

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Anyone good in English?

I just read the following –

‘The diverse religions are conceptualized as cultural-linguistic grammars or idioms for engaging in soteriologically oriented forms of religious life that ultimately refer to one radically transcendent reality.’

I am sure there is an easier way of putting that across! And i am usually accused of using big words! pah!

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My two cents on Bawa!

Ok I know i am coming in rather late, but I really couldnt help but say something about Bawa and join the drama!

Bawa is a hero to many, many others have learnt to loath the now cliched glow of admiration to Bawas work, albeit the fact that he was too old to achieve what he became famous for he still did become famous and thats what matters to most.

I have seen debates about Bawa taking place in circles where he may be held in esteem. I like bawa, i used to at least, but then this fanatical following he got made me spurt mixed reactions about him. Whatever said about this man i personally would credit him for taking Sri Lankan skills and local industry to the international stage and carving a name for Sri Lanka in an arena where Sri Lanka is not that well known. Bawa’s work was great in marketing what otherwise was little known about Sri Lanka.

But what most people who are masters in industry in their own way say about Sri Lanka is that as opposed to common expectation Sri Lanka does have quality Architecture and Geoffrey Bawa had a great role to play in carving out a niche for Sri Lankan architecture to incubate and project to greater heights.

I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Murphy, the architect who designed the new British High Commission a few weeks ago.Murphy met some of us students during cocktails after his presentation. Murphy, in this building in bauddhaloka mawatha has quite successfully echoed sentiments which are very reminiscent of Bawa’s work and his design i think is unique in his own way.

Inspired by his Sri Lanka visit, Murphy developed a design which echoed Bawa’s architecture and incorporated a range of local materials. But it was also rooted in the experience of his own practice and his preoccupation with courtyards, with the interconnection of inside and outside space, with the creation of naturally tempered environments and with the articulation of richly coloured and textured surfaces on a framework of simplified modernist forms. His design was developed from a trio of basic premises: that the building should be built on a single level, that they should be disposed around a series of courtyards and that they should incorporate a section which encouraged natural stack-ventilation and introduced controlled amounts of natural top lighting.( link )


Murphy said during his lecture something that sounded like, “feel free to copy what you want, copying someone elses work and changing it to suit the conditions makes it original”. I guess he did just that, and a job well done with the high commission!

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