Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bandung Creative City: Creativity Nurtured

Creativity, a mental and social process whereby new concepts or ideas are generated, is a complex phenomenon. Different branches of sciece have studied it. However, up to this point, there are no unified authoritative explanations yet of how it is generated or how it can be nurtured. Some say, it's a Divine gift. Some others say it has to do with personality traits or social environment. There are even people who believe that it happens by chance.

Regardless of the theoretical debates, there is enough evidence that some communities are more creative than others as shown by the creative works they have produced. This phenomenon can probably show that creativity is to a large extent socially generated and nurtured. Based on this assumption, Nickerson (1999), for example, proposed some techniques whereby creativity can be generated and nurtured. Some of these techniques include encouraging confidence and willingness to take risks and providing opportunities for choice and discoveries.

Bandung Creative City is not just a title that has been awarded to this city for nothing. A lot of trend-setting creative products of fashion, designs, architecture, and music have been made in the city. 80 percent of Indonesia's top music groups, for example, originates from this city. Big names that are currently at the top music charts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, such as Peterpan, The Cangchuters, and Kuburan - just to mention a few - are originally from Bandung.

The emergence of these groups does not come by chance. This city nurtures creativity by providing a lot of opportunities for young aspiring talents to experiment, show, and perform their creative works. These photos of young emerging music groups performing on stages set on Braga street sometime ago are just some examples of how the city nurtures creativity.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

1967 VW Beetle

Just by looking at the shape of this headlamp - and before you even look at the embossed VW logo on it's lid - you can definitely tell that this is a photo of VW Beetle. And if you happen to be someone who has a very keen interest in this one of the most influential cars ever built, you'll know that this is of the 1967 model.

1967 is an important year in the development of VW Beetle. It was in this year that the drivetrain or powertrain of the car was significantly improved and the engine capacity enlarged. It was also in this year that the invention of first air conditioning system that was specifically designed for this car was granted a patent. (It was invented by Don P. Dixon of San Antonio, Texas.)

Here are some of the features of the 1967 VW Beetle:

Engine: 1500 cc OHV H4, 40 kilowatts (54 hp) @ 4200 rpm, 105 N·m (77 lb·ft) @ 2600, bore 83 mm, stroke 69 mm, comp ratio 7.5:1
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Wheelbase: 2400 mm (94.5 in)
Length: 4079 mm (160.6 in)
Width: 1539 mm (60.6 in)

As I said in one of my previous posts, VW Beetle is called by different names in different parts of the world. In Indonesia it is called VW Kodok (Toad or Frog VW). To my knowledge, the same name (frog, frogy, toad, toady) is only used in Iran (where it is called folex, which means frog), Iraq (agroga or frog), and partly in Malaysia where it is commonly called kura (turtle) or kodok.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Police Boots and Uniform

This is one of the uniforms of Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia or POLRI (the Indonesian National Police). Different units have their own sets of uniforms whose designs are made not only to indicate which unit a policeman or policewoman belongs to but also what function he or she is performing at the time. Regardless of the designs, the colors are the same. They are the colors of the Indonesian Police uniforms.

Boots like these are worn by the traffic police or police patroling on motorbikes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Youngest Election Observer

I snapped this photo at the balloting station where I voted in the Legislative Election on April 9. While I was waiting for my turn to go into the voting booth, this young girl suddenly approaced the KPPS (The Balloting Committee) desk and observed how they worked.

For your information, Indonesia has just completed the Legislative Election and is now preparing for the Presidential Election, which is scheduled to be held on July 8, 2009. Three pairs of candidates are running in this year's presidential election:

1. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY, the incumbent, a retired Indonesian National Army general and chairman of Partai Demokrat or the Democratic Party) and Prof. Boediono (who is currently the governor of Bank Indonesia, Indonesia's Central Bank. He is a non-partisan candidate chosen by SBY.)

2. Jusuf Kalla (JK, the current vice president, a former businessman, and the chairman of Golkar Party) and Wiranto (a retired Indonesian National Army general and chairman of HANURA or People's Conscience Party)

3. Megawati Soekarno Putri (Mega, the 5th Indonesian President [2001 - 2004], and the chairwoman of PDIP or Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) and Prabowo Subiyanto (a retired Indonesian National Army general and the chairman of Gerindra or Great Indonesia Movement Party).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lotus, Nelumbo, or Water Lily?

Most of you would know what this flower is. Many would call it water lily or lotus. Some would probably call it nelumbo. So, which one is it?

Water lily is the generic name of this kind of aquatic flowering plant that has its roots in the soil submerged in a body of fresh water and whose leaves and flowers float on or above the water surface. It belongs to the family of nymphaeaceae. Lotus or nelumbo used to be traditionally classified into this family for their apparent similar characteristics. However, lotus or nelumbo is now considered to be a separate family of nelumbonaceae. Unlike the water lily which belongs to the order of nymphaeales, lotus or nelumbo belongs to the order of proteales.

Now that you know that water lily is not the same as lotus (nelumbo) in their botanical classifications, you may want to know what characterizes their differences.

The lotus or nelumbo has peltate leaves, that is its leaves are fully round with an underneath stem. Water lily's leaves, on the other hand, are notched (v-shaped) from the edge into the center of the lily pad. In addition to this, the lotus or nelumbo has a very distinctive seed pod that water lily doesn't.

Now that you know this, can you tell which flower is on the photo? Water lilly or lotus (nelumbo)?

This flowering plant is one of the hundreds of decorative plants cultivated at the village of Cihideung, Bandung.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Colors of The Street # 4: Colorful Baskets

These colorful collapsible baskets are sold on the street side by some street vendors on Jalan Kapatihan in the center of the city.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Padaleunyi Toll Road

The Padaleunyi Toll Road connects the town of Padalarang in the west of Bandung with the town of Cileunyi in the east of the city (hence the name: Padaleunyi), covering the distance of 35.62 kilometers (about 22.13 miles). The road was constructed in two phases. The first one was completed in January 1991, and the second phase in April of the same year. The Padaleunyi currently has eight exits (Padalarang, Baros, Pasteur, Pasir Koja, Kopo, Moh. Toha, Buah Batu, and Cileunyi) that conveniently connect various parts of the city and its suburban areas.

In April 2005, the Padaleunyi toll road was connected to the Cipularang (Cikampek - Purwakarta - Padalarang) and the Cikampek - Jakarta toll roads, making the road travel between Jakarta and Bandung a lot faster and more convenient. Many toll road constructions are now underway to connect major cities on the Java island.

Like many other toll roads here, the Padaleunyi was constructed and operated by PT. Jasamarga (Persero), Tbk. (Indonesia Highway Corporation), a public company which - according to its official website - now operates nearly 500 kilometers (310 miles) of toll roads or about 78 percent of the existing toll roads in Indonesia.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Rain Bearing Clouds

I took this photo sometime ago from the balcony of my office. These gigantic dark clouds looked menacing, and I was awed. Dispite their look, however, I knew that we all need the water contained in them. Mother nature certainly has her own peculiar way of showing her mercy. Like a mother, a stern diapproving look does not always mean bad. Sometimes it's her way of showing that she cares.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in this week's Skywatch Friday.