Archive for June, 2008

Elephants Dream

Due to “public demand” I have decided to post Elephants Dream here too. It is not as good looking as Big Buck Bunny, however it is interesting in many ways. Partly because of the open ended and rather mind bending story. The visual do take you on a journey through the mind. The other reason is that it is the worlds first Open Movie.



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more about “Elephants Dream“, posted with vodpod

I say Gazpacho…

On a warm summers day you rarely feel like eating a lot. At least not for lunch. But the problem is, heat makes it even more important to both eat something and get fluid into the system. That’s why I want to share a favourite of mine: Gazpacho.

Gazpacho with chopped ingredients

Gazpacho is a cold soup from the Southern region of Andalusia in Spain. It descends from an ancient Andalusian concoction based on a combination of stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and vinegar — a cold breadsoup. With the Columbian Exchange beginning in 1492, the tomato and the bell pepper were brought to Europe, and are now widely used as a base for the soup.

Here is one recipe I found on Wikibooks (Disclaimer – it seems good, but I haven’t tried this recipe yet):

Gazpacho is a hearty soup that is served cold, making it a perfect way to cool down and replenish the body on a hot, summer day in Andalucía. This is the classic gazpacho recipe, but there are many other variations. Gazpacho is typically served along with the main course, or afterward. Some Spaniards serve it in a glass, as a beverage to accompany the meal.



Ingredients for Gazpacho


  • 1 tomato, skinned
  • ½ green pepper
  • ¼ peeled cucumber
  • bread


Skin the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Remove seeds and stalks from peppers. Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks. Tear up the bread and soak it in water for 30 minutes and then squeeze it dry. Cut up the onion.

Blend all the ingredients until roughly chopped, not too fine, because the soup should have texture and discernible vegetable bits.

Gazpacho with mixed ingredients

[Here I just want to add that you don’t have to blend it at all, you can just dice it finely, add the ingredients in a bowl and stir it till it starts to blend. In some ways I think that is to be preferred, as it often gets too smooth in a blender.]

Pour into large bowl with some ice, add salt and pepper. Then prepare the garnishes. Dice the bread and fry it in a little olive oil until brown. Chop the other vegetables finely. Serve in separate little bowls on the table, so that guests can sprinkle on their own toppings.

Serve chilled.

Eat and enjoy!

I live on good soup, not on fine words.” – Moliere


Big Buck Bunny

Blender is an Open Source 3D animation program with a lot of promise. But perhaps the most intressting thing about it that there is also an Open Source based moviemaking community around it. They have previously released Elephants Dream which was OK, but nothing special. However, the look and feel of this movie, Big Buck Bunny, is more or less on par with Pixar. There is hope for the Open community still!

If you want to know more about Blender, you can for instance listen to FLOSS Weekly, Ep. 25.


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Who can be a druid?

Recently I found my self at a party in the north (well, Småland…) and after a while the subject turned to the meaning of the word druid. What does it mean to be a druid? Who decides who can call him/her self a druid? Does the word druid mean anything if it means different things to everyone? Neina recently blogged about all this, and I thought I’d add my two ¢ to the mix.

What does the word mean? This is a tricky question, even though it seems it would mean something like “the wise one” in a literal sense, even though we are not quite sure. But that is a general term if ever there was one. But it still offers an interesting thought. If it means that the person attached to that epithet is wise, that would suggest that you have to earn the title from someone. But who would that be? An election-style grove? Certainly. Given that the grove and/or order in question is anything like reasonable, getting your self chosen to become a druid should be a guarantee that you do hold some wisdom, at least in the eyes of the elders of that grove/order. In addition it could be an application style one as well, since the goal would be the same: screening. Possibly your friends could refer to you as “a wise one” as well, that is; society gives you the title, but needless to say, that is a lot less common these days…

Arhc Druid in Robe

So, it would seem that if you define “druid” as someone who is wise, then you can’t really give your self that title. But at the same time, I do think you could use it as a solitary for instance. That would mean though, that the literal meaning of druid means less to be wise. You can call your own person wise, but in the tradition of Socrates, that would be considered unwise… In the discussions at said party, most seem to hold the position that anyone could call them selves druids, as long as they were true druids. Needlessly to say, there is a flaw or two in that argument. Also they were very keen on separating wicca/witches and druids by saying that wiccans were much more dogmatic, needing paraphernalia and physical altars to do their thing. That is an issue for another day, as I do not agree.

Thinking about it, it doesn’t bother me that people call them selves druids. But, at the same time, the word needs to be defined in other ways. My thoughts on this would be that true persons would know if they can call them selves druids or not, but the world doesn’t work that way. Maybe the simple truth is that it has to be defined through deeds rather than definitions, at least in the solitary sense. If you do x you are a druid. What would x be? Well, I would list a certain respect for nature, connections with the spirits and gods, a will to know and learn etc. But it is still not enough of a definition.

Does this render the word meaningless? Yes, and no. In essence it could be argued that all the words we use are meaningless. They mean what they mean, because we have decided to decipher them in common ways. So to complicate matters further, I think that you can call your self a druid, and also say that someone else is not a druid, provided that you also define what you mean by being or not being a druid. 

Problems will arise in the confrontation between solitaries and grove members. I think the only way to solve that gordian knot, is to add “solitary” or “initiatory” as an epithet to the title.

Thus, in conclusion, I think that anyone can call him/her self a druid, but they need to realise that it is a complicated term, and they need to be ready to answer questions about why they call them selves that. If the answer is simply: “I’m initiated”, then fair cop to you. But if it’s you are a solitary druid, be prepared to talk of your deeds.

Obviously there are other questions surrounding this issue, and not everyone would agree with me. But this is a start. Let’s not forget, that even though the seeds of the neopagan tree are old, the tree it self is actually, at best, only circa a hundred years old. And maybe we need to accept that even if a tree has only one stem, it does have plenty of branches and roots.

/ | \ Thobias


Image courtesy of Wikipedia.