Electrified in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

After visiting more than half a dozen Asian countries (including six months in India), I left on my staggering excursion to Japan in June of 2014. I felt the little hairs on my arms standing up as I boarded the Airbus A330-200 at Frankfurt Airport, waves of excitement running up and down my spine, knowing I would end up on the other side of the world, in Tokyo.

After the seventeen-hour journey (via Beijing), and a loud bang, I awoke to a hazy, electric glow, which was almost too much to bear in my awfully jet lagged state. Tokyo glows.

Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay, Japan
Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay, Japan

Tokyo is perhaps the most gorgeous ugly city in the world. It’s a super-dense riot of mismatched buildings, overhead wiring and one of the planet’s best mass transit systems. In other words: Blade Runner city.

It’s like being surrounded by embers from a fire on speed at nighttime. There’s lights, such a large number of lights, all different colored sparkling lights reflecting all around, and people, so many people, and sounds, sounds that don’t stop.

After deciding I needed out after some days in Tokyo, I headed to Hakone for a respite from the Shibuya crossing

Gothic Majesty of Siena

Duomo di Siena
Duomo di Siena
Streets of Siena's medieval center
Streets of Siena’s medieval center
Basilica di San Domenico
Basilica di San Domenico

Truth be told, the real gems of Tuscany are the historic town and cities. One of my favorite is the Gothic majesty of Siena. Legend tells us that Siena was founded by the son of Remus, and the symbol of the wold feeding the twins Romulus and Remus is as ubiquitous in Siena as it is in Rome.

The streets of Siena’s medieval center are humongous and gorgeous. During the day the stone ground sizzles under the sun and the wonderfully crafted buildings bake from exposure from an incredible clear sky. To be on the safe side and because I love film grain, I decided to load my camera with an ISO 200 Fuji film to capture the town (click on the photos to enlarge them and to see the grain).

Our first stop was Duomo di Siena, a cathedral originally designed and completed between 1215 and 1263 and Siena’s main landmark. The dome rises from a hexagonal base with supporting columns. The magnificent facade of white, green and red polychrome marble was designed by Giovanni Pisano. The lantern atop was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Later we visited the Basilica di San Domenico, which was constructed between 1226 and 1265, but was enlarged in the 14th century resulting in the stunning Gothic appearance it has now. In the afternoon we continued to stroll around Siena and had plenty of Gelati at Palazzo Publicco…

Music on the Lawn & Beach Party

Am Samstag war Music on the Lawn, ein kleines Konzert auf dem Gelände von CERN. Die Mitglieder der Bands sind allesamt Kollegen. Besonders gut spielten “Miss Proper & the Moving Targets”. 😀

Weniger Rock, dafür um so mehr House und Trance gab es dann am Abend. Am Lac Léman ging es weiter mit einer Beach Party.

Top 10 Angels&Demons Questions

CERN Exhibition: Top 10 Angels&Demons Questions
CERN Exhibition: Top 10 Angels&Demons Questions

Gestern haben wir Angels & Demons (deutscher Titel: Illuminati) im Kino gesehen. Die Verfilmung des gleichnamigen Bestsellers von Dan Brown war vor allem visuell sehr ansprechend. Tom Hanks hat wie schon in Da Vinci Code souverän die Rolle des Protagonisten Robert Langdon verkörpert.

Ein Teil der Handlung des Films spielt am CERN. Tatsächlich wurden einige Einstellungen am ATLAS-Detektor des LHC gedreht. Regisseur Ron Howard sah sich ebenfalls das CERN-Gelände an, um den Film authentischer zu gestalten. Die Herstellung einer Bombe aus Antimaterie ist hingegen ebenso Fiktion wie die “Schöpfung aus dem Nichts”, welche im Film lediglich dazu dient den Konflikt zwischen Religion und Naturwissenschaft zu entfachen.

CERN hat Angels & Demons eigens eine Ausstellung (siehe Foto oben) und eine Website gewidmet, um “the science behind the story” zu erläutern und auf häufig gestellte Fragen (“Does CERN create black holes?”, etc.) einzugehen.