Category Archives: Culture

Arrested Bloggers

Vietnam arrests blogger for ‘law-violating’ activities

nguyen-quang-lapThis is a file photo of blogger and writer Nguyen Quang Lap who was arrested Saturday 

Nguyen Quang Lap, an award-winning Vietnamese writer and native to the north-central province of Quang Binh, ran the popular Que Choa (Dad’s Homeland) blog.

He had graduated from the University of Hanoi, as a radio engineer. But he choose to pursue a writing literature career. He was the scriptwriter of a number of Vietnamese movies that won both international and local prizes.He also has the pseudonym Hong Japan, Hong Duc Quang Quang.

Nguyen Quang Lap join the army from 1980 – 1985, the army air defense missile Air Force, stationed in Cai Bau Island (Quang Ninh), then moved to Da Nang, Quang Nam.

Some of his early works were written during this period. He always defined his audience aged 25 years and older and with a high education who watch his movies for brooding and reflection rather than just pure entertainment.

Nguyen Quang Lap, 58, was taken into custody on Saturday 7th Decfor “law-violating” activities. as police combed his house in District 2 in Ho Chi Minh City, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on the same day.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Nguyen Quang Lap wife, Mrs. Ho Thi Hong, said that her husband was caught by police while he was paralyzed and needed treatment. Further she said to have been told that the investigations against her husband may take up to 3 years. She and his brother said police had accused him of publishing articles that went against the authorities. For publishing criticism of the Communist government on his blog.

HCMC police are launching further probes into his “law-violating” activities to deal with bloggers in accordance with the law, a statement said without elaborating.

On November 29, the HCMC police said they had detained blogger Hong Le Tho, 65, who ran the Nguoi Lot Gach (Brick Layer) blog, for posting “bad and distorted content” about the state, discrediting the state and undermining the public confidence in it.

Unlike many bloggers detained in the past, Mr Lap is part of the mainstream of Vietnamese literature, regularly appearing on state media and winning state-backed prizes.


The Communist party maintains close control over Vietnam’s media

His blog is accused to serve as a platform where he and his friends express sometimes critical views about Vietnam.

The one-party state is often criticized by rights groups for its intolerance of dissent.

Protests are rare in Vietnam and the mainstream media are state-run and heavily regulated.

However, the internet has emerged as a forum for criticizing the authorities.

The press freedom group,
Reporters without Borders,
says Vietnam has 34 bloggers in prison.



Recently Acquired

pingback not working properly and this article is not featured on the page. WP please fix !


3D Christmas Yumm-Yumm

3D printed cookies
Ho Ho Ho
so good looking

santa 3D cookie


Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece

i was still working on this pic for yesterday’s post when time ran out. so i’m glad for this present it today



Calamity on Flight VN242

Le Pho

This day was never a good day for Kym cuc. Breakfast had started alright, the tea was strong and fragrant, the buffet had catered all her favorite dishes and the short flirts with a businessman at her table as well as with the concierge left her self-confident and trusting Quan Yin to be on her side.

Today Kym cuc was going to acquire a painting. She had flown into Hong Kong from Hanoi the night before for that sole purpose. An oil on canvas by Le Pho, a country-man of hers. It was a unique painting.

Kym cuc possessed quite an art collection. Some she had inherited from her father and lately she had ventured into securing a few impressive works with a safe collectors potential. She had learned enough to know what to look for. And this painting had caught her eye.

The original had been bought by a governor of Tonkin, a French colonial province in northern Vietnam in 1937 and was titled “View From the Hilltop”. From Hanoi it was shipped to Paris and eventually to Oslo where the Frenchman’s grandson Patrick Lorenzi, the owner, is based.

Today this painting was up for auction at Christie’s Hong Kong and Kym cuc estimated it might go for around 4 mio HK dollars, considering the last Vietnamese auction record a year ago was 3.03 mio HK$. It was not her usual purchase for investment. She loved this painting. It pleased her emotionally.

It sold for HK$6.52 million ($840,000). Kym cuc was near tears when the price was rising and rising and she was unable to bid any higher.

Now she sat in a window seat in the late afternoon flight VN242 from Hong Kong back to Hanoi. The two seats beside her were empty and she never would have guessed that her day could get worse.

Just before the plane would get ready for departure, a couple arrived in a hurry, shoved luggage in the overhead lockers and settled into the seats next to Kym cuc. She had been annoyed and had been looking out the window, grumbling, but when she finally gave a glance to her neighbors-in-flight, she couldn’t help herself to lose control immediately and started yelling at the man next to her.

“No way will you sit next to me with that woman on your side! Go! Get out of here. Go! Sit somewhere else.”

The man obviously very embarrassed tried to calm her. But Kym cuc was like a wild bull buffalo. “No way! If you don’t go then let me out of here. I will not sit next to you and that woman.”

Anh dung still tried his best to save the explosive situation and asked Kym cuc to sit quietly and not to make a scene. At that Kym cuc addressed the woman next to Anh dung “You stole him from me. Give me my peace and leave me alone. Let me out of here”. When Doan vien also tried to calm her, Kym cuc reached over to Doan vien to push her to get up so she could get out from her caged-in seat. Doan vien shrieked at that and hit Kym cuc in the face and reached for her stiletto which Kym cuc managed to grab and started hacking into Anh dung screaming “Let me out! Let me out!”. Doan vien had managed to unbuckle herself again to get up from her seat and viciously started kicking Anh dung: “You never told me about this tramp. Who is she? How dare you!”

A stewardess and a group of other passengers were not able to help and were glad to give way when airport security arrived to escort the trio and their hand-luggage back into the terminal.

Finally back home Kym cuc was still furious. Vietnam Airline had fined her and Doan vien each VND 7.5 million ($350) and let Anh dung off the hook. They argued, while Kym cuc and Doan vien were still yelling, Anh dung was innocent, tried to keep the peace and was himself attacked by the two women.

Innocent! Yeah right!

red-heart klpingback

impulsive beat

my heart beats

in crisp’ impulses

of flowing anxiety

needing to cool off

like the wind

burnt on hot sand


Panna Czinka Hungarian violinist

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Panna Czinka ( 1711-1772)

Panna Cinka was a famous Hungarian violinist. Legend has it that she started playing the violin at the age of 9.

Her father was a court musician of Ference Rákoczy II, Prince of Transilvania amongst other titles and engagements who is still today considered a national hero in Hungary. Her father is said to be the componist of the Rákóczi March.

She studied music and later combined her musical talent with her brothers-in-law and her Romani musician husband. She formed a famous band and played first violin in that ensemble.

Panna was born in Sajógömör, Hungary, which today is annexed to Slovakia. She was a lyric poet musician and she still survives today lovingly called “The Gypsy Sappho” and she is celebrated by composers like Jókai, Kodály and Dózsa in their works.

Cinka Panna played by the “Bohemiens”

ETA :: “Surely Hungarian fiddle music IS gypsy music? Yet within the country you will find considerable resentment towards this stereotype, and, whilst there is much appreciation of the skill of gypsy fiddlers, it is considered to be Hungarian music, not gypsy music, and the widespread revival in folk music since the seventies has been largely non-gypsy in origin. The controversy is not a new one. (”

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Cigány himnusz

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Tiszafüred Táncegyüttes – Szucsági táncok


click here for more contributions to the Ready, Set, Done! the ten-minute free-write


The Snow Leopard


……. and then my dear friend the snow leopard said: “when I was a boy living in Tibet I used to retreat to a roaring waterfall and tried to out sing it”. that’s how he trained his voice.


‘Crane Nomad Song’ and ‘Snow Lion’ by Tenzin Choegyal and the Metta String Ensemble

crane, lend us your wings so we can fly

red-heart kl

heart sutra

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Second-Hand Stories

I never thought I would survive

It happened on many occasions since my birth that I thought I am very finite. Actually I’m surprised that I am still alive. But with every resurrection I believe more and more that I am immortal.

Today you would call me a luxury Beaux-Arts palace although I was born in 1816 and you would not always have called me that.

4 early view, source Library of Congress

Not always was I as luxurious as I am now. As a matter of fact I was born, on 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington DC, as six small houses by an architect called Tayloe and only a part of me served then as a hotel which changed names often in those early days of my existence. They were tough years for me. I hardly reached the young age of 30 when my structures were in bad need of repair and I wondered for the first time about my mortality and faced my first death.

Lucky for me Tayloe and his family were rather dissatisfied with me and in 1847 I was rebuilt by an energetic entrepreneur named Willard.

5 1860 willard's

Willard expanded me from 40 to 150 rooms with elegant dining rooms, parlors, large halls and wide staircases and I was called Willard’s Hotel.

By 1861 I feared for my life again when a fire broke out in the tailor shop next door and threatened to suffocate me because the Washington City firemen were nowhere to be found.


I received further extensive renovations after that. I turned out that grand that in 1864 the Willard brothers made me their own.

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My frivolous years were numbered again and I fell from the height of fashion and prestige and grew that outdated that by 1897 I suffered another serious near death experience. One of my owners refused to spend money on me for many years. A disaster that was only solved after his death. By then they had to tear me down completely – I thought I will die – but they rebuilt me better than ever and I received the reputation to be the first skyscraper in Washington. My doors were opened again for business in 1901.

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1922 I received yet another blow to my existence. A fire broke out on the top-floor ballroom after an annual banquet.

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Lucky again the damage from this fire could be cleaned up and the ballroom was rebuilt. My saga continued for another few years, I never felt as immortal as then.

In 1934 I had air-conditioning installed and in 1937 even bathrooms added to every room. The years during the war seemed to do me good, that good actually that my owners sold me in 1946. This however turned out to be another turning point towards ruin. By 1950 I was called an ‘old man’ rather than a ‘grand dame’. By 1964 I was very run down and struggled again with my mortality. I knew my days were numbered and in 1968 my doors were shut without notice – the worst was to come.

Terrible things happened to me in the following decade. My interior was sold at auctions and I was stripped. I truly thought this is my end. My owners even tried to win the right to tear me down.

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And again I was lucky. In 1974 key government agencies decided to save me. More settlements had to be reached but finally in 1978 they started to spend $8mio on me, only to run out of funds with needing different financiers. Finally in 1984 my first-class restoration was under way and I was reopened in 1986 to much critical acclaim.

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Now I am a 14 story single complex with many de luxe guest and huge function rooms. I house several restaurants, the Willard Hall, the famous Round Robin Bar and the Peacock Alley with many shops.

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My name is Willard Intercontinental and because I stand two blocks away from the White House I always had enjoyed the most flamboyant of guests from Presidents to Senators, Movie makers and actors, composers of music and literature, corporate grands and many more holding conferences, balls, events or just relaxing.

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Again I feel extraordinarily strong and absolutely immortal. Except for expecting the extraordinary as my history has taught me. My history, as a matter of fact, is that interesting that I recommend you to read more about me.

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