26 June 2019

Detlev Glanert's Oceane

It's been a while since I have been to the opera. So when an interesting production came about, we opted to go and buy tickets. We chose to see Oceane, by Detlev Glanert. I must say, I knew nothing about the opera nor about the composer when I came in. But when I came out, I also must say that I enjoyed what I have seen, and my sixth opera experience (and second in the Deutsche Oper Berlin) was something I really liked.

24 June 2019

A Voyage to Vietnam: The Temple of Literature

The last place we have visited in Hanoi was the Temple of Literature. This is a Confucian temple built by the Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, back in 1070. And as with several other temples we have seen, the layout and structure are quite similar, with courtyards, ponds, statues, offerings, and other Confucian symbolisms.

22 June 2019

Watching Airplanes

Every now and then, I find myself feeling under the weather, wanting only to cover myself with blankets and do nothing. Sometimes I feel like this on weekends, when I don't have an external force that would tell me to get out of bed. Usually, when this occurs, I go to the airport and visit the visitor's terrace. Somehow, watching airplanes take off and land gets me exciting.

20 June 2019

A Voyage to Vietnam: The Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long

After checking out the One Pillar Pagoda, we walked a few blocks and headed to the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long. This is a royal fortress right in the middle of Hanoi, originally built in the 11th century, during the Ly dynasty. This area was the royal palace until the emperor decided to move the capital to Hue during the 19th century. Nowadays, the buildings found within the fortress are in various states of disrepair.

18 June 2019

Book Review: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer

This book is tough. It's tough to the point that I emerged at the end having ethical dilemmas that now make me reconsider how I live my life moving forward. So yeah, after reading this book, I have some thinking to do.

See, this book didn't come to my attention until it was recommended to me by a reader (Renan, if you're reading this, I apologise for the time it took me to finally get to this book. As you may have known, I have a long list.). It took me a year or two, but eventually I got my hands to this book. I never realised it's such a powerful book, that at the end, I cannot say I still have good arguments why I am eating meat.

Yes, this book is about animals. It tells readers about the cruelty that humans expose animals to on a regular basis, either in the context of animal experimentation in the name of science or commerce, or in the context of animal farming. I never really knew what was happening to these laboratories or farms until I read this book. Chapters 2 and 3 are definitely hard to read, and given that psychology is an academic field that is rather close to me (cognitive science, which spans psycholinguistics, my former field, after all, is very related to psychology, which has a lot to do with animal experimentation), I found myself feeling guilty by association. And yes, after reading Chapter 3, I find myself feeling that it is harder to enjoy my steak, now that I know what has happened to the animal when it was still alive.