Shanghai – first impression. From utopia to reality

My first impression about China turned out to be fairly utopistic. ;) Since my plane landed in rain & fog, i accepted in no time, that the general weather condition keeps constantly being this, and you can never see further than 80 meters, and dont have the chance to see the sun, or clouds, not even ufos or yeti, unless they come close enough to get unfolded. Just like in ‘Matrix’ or ‘Highlander’.. etc. I gave the chance to Shanghai to surprise me and show the opposite of the above listed beliefs, later..

First Impression about Shanghai: Empty fields.

First Impression about Shanghai: Empty fields & working construction machines in the background (“maybe they are already extending Shanghai here?” :)

10 minutes later: road & cars

10 minutes later: road & cars & “smog”‘

40 mins later:  road & cars & houses

40 mins later: road & cars & buildings & smog? (caution: the photos are massively digital-effected :)

So in the first hour it turned in my mind, that maybe from now i not going to see the Sun for a few months.. Okay, i said to myself: “never mind dude, since every given fact is part of our new experiences, thus we should accept everything as it comes (or not comes;).”  What is more, i immediately (forced myself to) turned to be happy by realizing that i will have even more time to deal with my chinese language studies, since there won’t be any disturbing parameters such as: good weather, sun-tanning, laying/sleeping in a park or riverside, hiking and other “time-consuming”, “ineffective” activities. ;)   ..After a short while my new plans and ‘hopes’ were seemed to be sabotaged again..

By arriving from the Pudong Airport Shanghai seemed to be an ugly, utopic, post-communist area fully populated by these living-units.

By arriving from the Pudong Airport, Shanghai really felt like an ugly, utopic, post-communist area fully populated by these living-units all over the way.

Then a bit later you can realize that the overall image can look far better if the weather sets to be better. (Yes, so clouds are egzisting on the Shanghai sky as well! Good news! ;)

Then a bit later you can realize that the overall image can look far better if the weather sets to be fine (Yes, so clouds are truly existing objects on the Shanghai sky as well! Good news! ;)

Then soon it turned out, that Shanghai is just a normal city, no crazy utopia, no dark cloud-curtains and acid-rains,  (to date:). Haha, there are other crazy places for that.. check Linfen city, oh my gosh! Even more, Shanghai has just as good sunsets as any other place i have been to. From this point me and Shanghai were kickstarted our good friendship, the symbiosis by which i accept every gift that Shanghai hands me, and Sh have to accept my activity on every squaremeter of his / her (?) territory.

My first sunset in Shanghai. I'm satisfied. Let's collect 'em all!

My first sunset in Shanghai. I’m satisfied.

Let's collect 'em all!

Let’s collect ‘em all..

Food-shot challenge #02 – The “bun question”

Some ingredients are not visible in the picture, unless i replace the top of the buns. Okay, but that’s not the typical way that i eat them.
Both the left and right side gives us important information, but about two different aspects, which exist at the same time, but (maybe) impossible to show at the same time! So i cannot compress all the information* into one picture.
I try to document my food on the most logical way, however it’s not an easy business to keep the reality unmanipulated in such extreme situations, however i do everything to not to manipulate or pimp the ‘design’ of my meals just for the sake of the photo-documentation!

Food-shot challenge #01 – Flash vs. natural light

iwanwilaga's food-photo project rules, requirements. Flash usage advantages versus natural lights.

Easter Menu (and behind that..)

Easter menus consumed by iwan between the year of 2006. and 2012.

iwanwilaga's default Easter Menu - ham, horseradish, eggs, bread - the core basics

Why i think, Easter-breakfast worth a blog post?

If you are an atheist..
..and don’t deal with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at all, ..never mind, you may even find it a tasty meal, which you eat once a year, out of sheer habit. No question, the yearly basis might be one of the key components of our sympathy towards this tradition (however I’m not an atheist at all, now let me speak & think like an atheist for a few seconds;). Thanks to this once a year – “feature”, it isn’t really counts, what the menu is about. It could be literally anything. It could be – for example – just a glass of water.  Pre-eminently if in the rest of the year i only could drink drinks that consists no water..;P. I would desire it as hell the same way because of it’s curiosity. Waiting for something (or someone) for one entire year – most of the times – used to do it’s job. Intrinsic value runs up by inverse ratio to the occurrence. And by this fact we instantly arrived to the good-old topic of classical temperateness, which we such easily forget in our daily life, nowadays..
I think, we deal with temperateness much less consciously than we should do. Our life quality and happiness factor can extremely depend on managing temperateness properly. We can revalue almost anything if we set up some limitations towards doing or reaching a specific thing, or person. Just think about blooming long-distance relationships, or try to think how it feels like to take a shower (or to drink a glass of fresh water) after 3 days walking in a desert, or getting into a dry, warm bed after 12 hours of continuous hiking in cold,  rain and dark, or a minute of silence after a whole day construction in the neighbour. Or just not watching tv for a day and “re-exploring” other useful activities in the room.. Things valorizes up. Yeah! I think, the real Art & Knowledge is to be able to approach the things of life by this way, default..

If you are a believer.. know well, that the Easter feast after the Lent period is even “much more fun..” i mean, much more sophisticated, deeper experience, ..but leave this part to the next post;).

What the World Eats

families from different countries and the food that they consumes for a week time

photos from the book: "Hungry Planet - What The World Eats" by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio

I’ve met this project first around the year 2007.  I was amazed by the simplicity of the concept:  Choose typical families representing such different countries, and ask them to buy that they usually eat and drink for an average week. Then make a nice family pageant/portrait photo with all the purchased products and family members in their kitchen or living place.  The concept is simple, but ingenious. We know, a lot of simple concepts are ingenious;). But someone have to make them real!

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio made it real, and now i repost it as a tribute to this spectacular, informative and thought-prvoking representation of life-quality in different places of Earth.
Here you find the full project.

You can check how much money they spent and can compare it to the other families spendings (thus it’s calculated in US dollars as well). It’s quite familiar with the idea of the Big Mac Index which also represents well the purchasing-power parity of the different countries.

Compact camera vs. iPhone 4S

image and flash quality comparison between a compact=I have to admit, i still was a bit afraid of the photographic capacity of the iPhone 4S when i tossed the money for it in the store. I checked some comparisons on websites before and found, maybe it is the first model, that could retire the compact cameras, which i used since 2006. My main doubt was about the flash capacity and quality, since i use flash for ALL of my documented meals. It’s in my “design” policy.

Now i want to show, that Apple dudes made quite eligible job with the 4S, because there is not a big difference between the two images in my comparison picture above. Or at least it’s above the line. I’m glad, and sure, that the new generations of iPhones will give even better image quality.
Iwanwilaga project is kinda satisfied at this moment. iPhone 4S passed ;)

Grenade to the rainforest

There is a quite spectacular OCD* disease named Compulsive Hoarding . The main sympthom of it, that the victim simply cannot throw out / get rid of any object, which is normally not necessary anymore. So the things, (mainly rubbish) are slowly accumulate at the living place of the patient..

*:obsessive-compulsive disorder

There are different levels of this disease:

A kitchen owercrowded by pizza boxes versus a shopping bag filled with reuseable paper sheets

The results of this behaviour are truly frightening – sometimes kind of artisticly spectacular (with a little pinch of irony).

Why i deal with this phenomenon anyway? Cause i realized, that i may be related to this kind of behaviour in a way. Fortunately not at that hardcore level ;) . In fact for several years i often preserve and collect all kind of papers, sheets which has any remained empty surface on them to draw or write! That’s what you can see on the right picture above. The left picture is NOT MY ONE ;) . It taken somewhere in the U.S. i guess (this disease may affect up to 2 million people in the United States).

I simply feel awful, and kind of defeated when i have to throw out any paper with only 1 page filled out. So mostly i manage to avoid these situations somehow. To go further, i feel the same every time, when a toilet paper roll is finished. I don’t throw the roll out, instead i cut it with scissors and put it to the “paper repository” (right pic above again) which is a simple shopping bag fully filled with papers. From faulty printed office papers, to corn-flake boxes, pasta-, rice packets(inside of them is empty, so i used to unfold / lay out them), toilet-rolls..

The evolution of making an emtpy toilet paper roll to a fine piece of sketch paper
I collect them for about 5 years. Since  “occuppied”  my university dorm room, and i started to be a conscious consumer or something like that.  For me it’s a pleasure to draw sketches, graphics, plans, thoughts  on them with my black brush-pen / marker. I feel, i do a bit of redemption/adonement to the nature with this gesture. It’s one of the best feelings i know. It’s amongst the top 10 feelings i know ;) .

Thats what i feel when i throw out or destroy a reusable paper:

When i throw out a reusable paper, i feel that i throw a grenade on the rainforests. Infographics by
If this post has motivated at least 1 reader,  it worth to do it!

Here are some cool ideas of using toilet paper rolls for different things ;) And here is some hot ART..

(note: the illustrations of this post are draw onto toilet-paper rolls, and rice-box insides) doubt

wire transfer the money to the bank account of World Food Programme organization. Is the money really arrives to the hungry people, kids?

WeFeedback is a social media initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian organization. WeFeedback’s mission is to enlist your help and the help of your social networks in the fight against the chronic hunger that burdens families all over the world.

All donations are voluntary, and we are proud to say that more than 90% of every dollar donated is spent on food or the costs associated with getting it to the hungry. In fact, WFP’s administrative costs are among the lowest of all global aid agencies.    Read more..

Yeah, that’s fine. BUT..

My only question is: How can i stay ensured, that my money surely flows towards the hungry mouths, stomachs, and not to a different back account finally? I won’t be extremely happy, if it would turn out, that i sponsorate someone else’s – let’s say – newest piece of vintage Dino, or the very next Klimt picture hunted down from an art auction, etc. In fact, i loose sight of my money at the moment, when i press ok for wire transfer it to the bank account of WFP. I only can see huge field of ‘clouds’.

This case with the WeFeedBack is just an example. My question is absolutely global.

Where is the transparency. I want to track my money through it’s entire “journey”, like a registered post. It would be nice to see or receive a list of, what and who my money spent on. This world is wired, hardcore bureaucratized. So it should be possible to manage that.
I love the idea of the WeFeedBack and their short videos there, and the WFP, and Donating, entirely. But, i’m just sceptic. However, i try to be as naive as i can. Sorry. Maybe i just happen to read too many news, and scandals. Shall i just trust? I think it’s simply not enough in this world any more. Any ideas?

Big Mac vs. Cheeseburger Math – Get the most out of it!

Balanced scale with Big Mac sandwich and Cheeseburgers on it. This infographics shows, how much calories you get from them for the same cost.

Little prudence, always can be useful. If it happens to be the only way to gain some energy around, let’s take the most out of Mc’don*lds! If you buy 3 pieces of cheeseburgers you can suffice your stomach 1.6 x more than with 1 piece of Big Mac at the same price (according to the Mc Donald’s official nutrition data). In other words, if you buy 1 Big Mac instead of 3 Cheeseburgers, you get only ~ 0.62 % of food material into your hands. Let’s decide if it’s better or worse for your health ;) …  I havn’t investigated any other (fast) food restaurants, chains, franchises yet. Let’s collect other tricks and ideas about living and eating well ;P.

“Good practices for hungarians and all the others over the recession-shaked world..” Born as a part of Advanced Life Optimizing Technics in Hungary (ALOITH) series.

Attention:  This calculation had been initialized at a Mc’Donalds table, somewhere in Budapest, Hungary, 2011, May. You are allowed to try this at home too.

Blooderhood Project paused

“Ooops i did it (too) often!” – it’s almost like a Britney Spears song.. ;P

Well i ‘ve just tried my best, and – according to my Blooderhood Project – i went to donate my blood as soon as it was possible, so in every ~56 days. Last time, in the 28th of April, all the process worked well UNTIL the very end of my blood giving, (4.5 decilitres been donated ✔). When the nurse plugged me out of the “system”, i immediately felt: ” i’m sweltering like in a sauna”,  and   “no doubt, now i may perfectly turned pale like an unsuntanned C++ programmer in the middle of the summer“.  I felt, i’ll swoon in seconds, or at least vomit a bit. But it just not happened. I asked the nurse, “am i white?” She told: “- No, you are grey”      ..Much better..

I asked, what are the root causes of a blood donation failure / unfinish (with passed blood test). Nurse and doc (who jumped beside me with some rapidly mixed ‘steroid cocktail’) told it has a lot of factors such as inadequate amount of food and liquid in the body 4 hours (not 4 minutes!) before donation, or body exhaustion, tiredness, stress, illness, high heartbeat rate (eg. if someone rush into the donating place in the last minute like a racehorse) or current constellation of the stars (that was my favourite)..

So i have learned, that it’s better to change one gear down, and leave at least 3 months between two blood donations. I have time to think it over, because I have been BANNED from blood donation FOR ONE YEAR. So project is frozen till 28th of Apr, 2012. Ouch.-

So see more about my blood-donation project by clicking here.

Daily Art – u.f.o. by God and/or artists in heaven

u.f.o. by god ? or someone else on control

I like these kind of surprises, daily randoms, which forces me to stop and search for my camera, .. and rarely take some shot between two food photos… %)

Living, But Not eating (part 1)

Photographing, and digitally processing all our daily food -every day-  is such a straining activity, believe me. In the hope that i will catch up with the food processing one day, -apparently – i investigate some of the methodologies  and solutions that can help us evading our natural demand for food, -nutrients, -calories. For sure i always find some “guru”-s on the web, who tried to deal with various technics on not eating any more. If once i would happen to find a real, working method, that would finally determine the End of my Lifelong Food-Photo project, so thus i would get back my ‘missing’  ~40-60 minutes per-day! I would save not only the time i now spend with digitally processing my eaten food, but i would save the time of the eating procedure  as well! Hm, i would produce empty food-squares, throughout my remaining days / months / years.. ;) With an average work time of 5 minutes per day.           Ha-ha.

Here is a (far not complete) list of people and stories related to the topic:

Inedia (Latin: “fasting“) is the ability to live without food. The word was first used to describe a fast-based lifestyle within Catholic tradition, which holds that certain saints were able to survive for extended periods of time without food or drink other than the Eucharist. (Wikipedia)


I can go for months and months without having anything at all other than a cup of tea. My body runs on a different kind of nourishment.

Interviewers found her house stocked with food; Jasmuheen claimed the food was for her husband. In 1999, she volunteered to be monitored closely by the Australian television program 60 Minutes for one week without eating to demonstrate her methods. Jasmuheen stated that she failed on the first day of the test because the hotel room in which she was confined was located near a busy road, causing stress and pollution that prevented absorption of required nutrients from the air. “I asked for fresh air. Seventy percent of my nutrients come from fresh air. I couldn’t even breathe,” she said. The third day the test was moved to a mountainside retreat. After fasting for four days, Dr. Berris Wink, president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association, urged her to stop the test.

(case status: attempt FAILED)

Wiley Brooks -  founder of the Breatharian Institute of AmericaWiley Brooks

As Founder of the Breatharian Institute of America, Brooks explains that the “Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese” meal from McDonald’s possesses a special “base frequency” and that he thus recommends it as occasional food for beginning breatharians. He then goes on to reveal that Diet Coke is “liquid light”.   (…)

n 1983 he was reportedly observed leaving a Santa Cruz 7-Eleven with a Slurpeehot dog and Twinkies. He told Colors magazine in 2003 that he periodically breaks his fasting with a cheeseburger and a cola, explaining that when he’s surrounded by junk culture and junk food, consuming them adds balance.    (…)

(case status: “Ridiculous”)

Hira Ratan ManekHira Ratan Manek

(born September 12, 1937) claims that since June 18, 1995, he has lived on water, and, occasionally, teacoffee, and buttermilk. Manek states that sunlight* is the key to his health, citing the Jainist Tirthankara Mahavira, ancient EgyptiansGreeks, and Native Americans as his inspiration.

*: Sungazing is a practice that includes gazing at the sun for nourishment or as a spiritual practice. Looking into the sun is dangerous, and can cause solar retinopathy and lead to permanent eye damage or blindness. Sungazers claim their eyes are capable of converting sunlight into energy for their bodies. They claim the methodology is similar to photosynthesis. Sungazing is also part of the Bates method, an alternative therapy intended to improve eyesight. Ophthalmologists do not regard the method as useful.

According to his website, three extended periods of his fasting have been observed under control of scientific and medical teams, the first lasting 211 days in 1995–96, in Calicut, India, under the direction of Dr C. K. Ramachandran. During that period he is reported to have lost 41 kg.

The second study lasted 411 days in 2000–2001. One of his doctors says: “Fasting is a method of curing the meditation of mind and body which has been proved by great jain monks, sanyasis and munis of ancient times. There is a need to propagate these methods during this age of increasing diseases of the body and mind due to over consumptions and increasing with fasting would help maintain perfection.” Most surprisingly, he had himself climbed the famous Shatrunjay mountain (Palitana hill) on 4.4.2001, on 401st day of his legendary fasting along with 500 fellowmen without anybody’s help, within 1.5 Hrs. only”. The paper reports that the subject lost 19 kg of weight during the study period. Neither the experiment, as described in the paper, nor the paper itself have been validated by any other well-known scientific or medical journal.

(case status: attempt sounds good ; ) but Not scientifically proved).

Prahlad Jani ("Mataji")Prahlad Jani (“Mataji”)

is an Indian 81 year old sadhu who has claimed to have lived without food and water for the last 70 years.

A study concluded that Prahlad Jani was able to survive under observation for two weeks without either food or water, and had passed no urine or stool,[38] with no need for dialysis. ..Jani’s only contact with any form of fluid was during gargling and bathing, and the doctors said they measured the fluid that Jani spat out.. The case has attracted criticism, both after 2003 tests and after the recent 2010 tests. Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association*, criticized the 2010 experiment for allowing Jani to move out of a certain CCTV camera’s field of view, meet devotees and leave the sealed test room to sunbathe.

(case status:  attempt sounds good, but Not scientifically proved)

*: i love this term. Ahahah, Hilarious. ..But Weird! What a paradox. I really think, that there is NO MORE thing left on this Planet, that is not already existing..  %)    I-N-D-I-A-N   R-A-T-I-O-N-A-L-I-S-T   A-S-S-O-C-I-A-T-I-O-N…


The last sentence with which i close my lines, is:  Maybe it would be a better idea for me, to not to search and find all the unveiling cases of people who tried to beat their bodies, who tried to be more than what is naturally allowed. Sometimes it would be splendid, and great just to remain naive (more or less), and to wait for the news, which says:

“Finally human-kind invented the food, that you don’t need to eat anymore..”

(sources mainly digested from:

Pictures of a birthday-party

Gota's Birthday party (the way iwanwilaga paying tribute to it)

At any event, by taking pictures only about the meals consumed there and that time, we can get a (rough?) characteristics of the whole atmosphere.. Food cooked by a specific person works like an individual ID-card. For me  ..leastwise.