Tag Archives: dark

Distressing To Discover That ‘Skin Whitening’ Is Becoming Popular In Sri Lanka.

by Anura Guruge

This appeared on my Facebook as being from ‘Colombo, Sri Lanka’. Name caught my eye. Click image to access.

The claims being made for Glutathione.

Click to ENLARGE and enjoy here. From above Facebook page.

Oh, dear! I guess it was inevitable. Brown people wanting to be white. Yikes.

Well, I of all people, cannot claim to be surprised. My adoptive mother, as I have mentioned before, so hated being dark. She would have opted for this like there was no tomorrow.

A shame.

I had never heard of ‘Glutathione’. I knew that there were drugs that claimed to make you whiter but it was not something that was of import to I. So, you live and learn.

Did some quick Googling on ‘Glutathione’. Appears that it is not harmful per se and MIGHT do some of what is claimed above. But, whitening skin is not on the list of things it is good at doing.

Yes, my life would have been very different if I had been white. But, having been born brown I would never have considered any kind of chemical treatment to make me white. But, that is I. Maybe I should have.

Click to access post.

Last Google Doodles:
Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’.

by Anura Guruge

Novotel Times Square, New York — Good, BUT Poor Room Design Choices.

by Anura Guruge

Click any & all pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

You can’t beat the location. Just a couple of blocks north of Times Square. [The hotel is to the top left, if you haven’t spotted the vertical sign as yet.]


You can’t beat the view either. This was our views from a “Time Square View” room on the 31st floor.



This is what I could see, from our window, with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 at 400mm zoom.


At 800mm zoom it was just like being down there with ‘them’.

We spent 3 days in New York City, prior to 2016 New Year’s Eve, staying (2 nights) at the Novotel Times Square Hotel. I booked and paid for a ‘Times Square View‘ room with 2 Queens. When we visit New York City the kids and I like a room with a ‘Times Square View’ (notwithstanding the higher cost). Deanna always says that it is a waste of money but then again always agrees that the view is ‘wonderful’ once we get to the room. In previous visits we had stayed at the Marriott and DoubleTree, both in Times Square. Having lived in Paris and with my adoptive parents having lived there from 1978 to 1992, I was no stranger to Novotel. I first stayed in a Novotel, as it happened in Paris, in 1983 when I was over there to do a seminar and my adoptive parents were in Sri Lanka.

Overall the Novotel Times Square is a great experience, modern, bright, very-hip and airy — with exceptionally friendly and helpful staff.

We could not complain about our Times Square VIEW from the room they gave us on the 31st floor (two floors from the top, in that it has 33 floors). Moreover, they gave us this room at 11:30 am when we turned up (with our baggage) though the nominal check-in is slated at 3pm. We fully expected to check-in our baggage and come back later for a room. Not so. VERY FRIENDLY. Very nice. They saw the kids. They chatted with the kids. They gave us a room on the 31st floor. Cool.

So overall NOT bad at all. We would stay there again.

1. Great location. 3 blocks max. from Times Square and easy access to Radio City and Rockefeller Center. There is, furthermore, a McDonald’s and (discount) convenience store on the same block — which is great when you are travelling with kids.

2. The view from our “Times Square View” room definitely was of Times Square, and from the 31st floor it was quite spectacular. The view of the Hudson from the windows by the elevator was also cool.

3. Friendly, helpful and ever cheerful staff, some of them French and others that could speak French, which meant that there was a French flavor that permeated the lobby area because you would invariably hear French being spoken or that unmistakable French accent.

4. Very compelling, very modern lobby/bar/restaurant area.

5. Very fine breakfast buffet, with hot American fare and a delectable selection of European cold cuts and cheese. (Also see below.)

1. No coffee maker (let alone a microwave) in the room. [Luckily the girls agreed that they could go and get us coffee from McDonald’s. That worked out well.]

2. The room, with two queens, was small, not cramped BUT with four of us you felt that you had to hunch your shoulders to make yourself small.

3. The lighting bathroom — from BUT one ‘low energy’ light frame around the bathroom mirror — was woeful and TOTALLY inadequate. See picture in gallery below. You can’t miss it. This was beyond a joke. It was DARK in the bathroom. You were constantly reaching out to see if there was another light switch. This was stupid.

4. The Wi-Fi was adequate BUT each time you signed-in (which was quite often) they tried, hard, to sell you an upgrade for $15/day. When I am paying $500/night for a room it kind of feels insulting to be asked to pay more to get better Wi-Fi.

5. Lobby is NOT on street level and one cannot get from room to street WITHOUT changing elevators. The Lobby is effectively 7 floors up from the street. 2 slow elevators Lobby <-> street. There were lines for these 2 elevators. To get to the stairs, you had to go OUTSIDE (in the rain) — and they were service/emergency stairs, badly maintained. That was a hassle (though I took the stairs, for the exercise, a few times).

6. Paucity of drawers, especially by the beds! Yes, very modern shelves BUT no drawers and what was infuriating was that there was clearly plenty of space, below the shelves, to fit in some nice, useful drawers. I like to have a drawer by my bed to put my wallet, glasses etc. That was again stupid. See the gallery below to see what I mean.

7. The breakfast buffet as mentioned above was very good, but at nearly $29 per adult (before tip) is expensive THOUGH the kids (under 16) eat FREE made it worthwhile for us (with our 2).

8. $1 an item check-in fee for baggage. Not unreasonable and I normally give this as a tip anyway, BUT seems ‘cheap’ to ask guests to pay this just after they have paid $1,300+ for a 2 night stay.

Click to ENLARGE.

Inside the room.

The Hotel.

More views from the room.

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by Anura Guruge

24 Days Till Hogmanay (New Year’s): An Explanation Of The Tradition & The ‘Dark Stranger’ (ME) First Footing (Kissing) Tradition.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> ‘Auld Lang Syne’: Proper Way

>>Dec. 31, 2012.
>> Hogmanay — Dec. 29, 2012.
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From ‘Scotland.org’. Definite must read. Click to access.

So, this is the part where I came in.

There was a need, in the early 1980s, for DARK strangers in Glasgow to fulfil the ‘tall, dark, handsome …’ part.

Well, tall and handsome I am not, though at 5′ 9.5″(+) I was above average for Brits in that time. So, my only qualification and saving grace was that nobody could deny that I was ‘dark‘.

This ‘tall, dark, handsome …’ requirement, as you can see from the 3rd image below morphed into ‘chimney sweeps‘. They were also scarce in the early 1980s.

So the poor Scots had to do with average height, funny looking wogs like me.

I wasn’t complaining. It was a night of great revelry (and I can’t remember who paid … not that it mattered in those days … before I had kids … plus I had very generous expense accounts to cater for my entertainment costs since my job, as a Customer Support Manager, was to entertain).



Where the chimney sweep tradition came in. Click to access.

Ice Age III: Continental Drift in 3D Puts Disney’s ‘Brave 3D’ In the Dark Ages.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related post: Don’t Waste Your Money On Disney ‘Brave’ In 3D – If You Have To See It Skip The 3D. Movie Way Too Dark In All Respects — June 27, 2012.

After the unmitigated disaster that was ‘Brave‘ in 3D that we saw in Hooksett on June 27 we were all leery of going to see another 3D movie — though prior to Brave we have always enjoyed and relished the experience.

Ice Age is a family favorite. I think it is awfully clever. I really wanted to see that acorn coming at me in 3D — we all knowing that that was bound to happen; a move made for 3D.

This time we went to Hoyt’s in Concord, NH. It was more convenient and as far as I could tell they were not showing any 3D movies in Hooksett that day. Maybe Hooksett is experiencing technical troubles or people are just not willing to cough up the extra dough for 3D, especially if they got badly burned by Brave.

Ice Age III continues the magical legacy established by the first two episodes, though this one is probably the most violent of the three and is devoid of any real tear jerk moments. The color and 3D are good. I would recommend Ice Age 3 in 3D.

Click for official Web site.

Don’t Waste Your Money On Disney ‘Brave’ In 3D – If You Have To See It Skip The 3D. Movie Way Too Dark In All Respects.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

We just got back from seeing ‘Brave in Disney Digital 3D‘ in Hooksett. We were all highly disappointed. By far the WORST animated movie of recent times!

After having seen ‘Puss in Boots‘ in IMAX 3D we have been hooked on 3D — IMAX whenever possible. We saw ‘Tintin’ and ‘Lorax’ in 3D. They were all outstanding. The 3D was breathtaking and the colors were exquisite.

95% of Brave is set in DARKNESS — night scenes, inside a dark castle at night, and within an even darker cottage. 3D doesn’t work when there isn’t enough light for contrast! Disney knew that. Pixar knows that. This was a disgrace.

So this is what most of the movie looked like — in 3D, and I kid you not. My wife spent much of the movie taking off her glasses to make sure that it wasn’t the glasses that was making the picture dark (and yes, polarization does make the picture about 10% darker).

Scotland as seen in Disney’s Brave Digital 3D. Trust me. You are paying to watch pitch black in 3D.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am a great fan of Pixar. I owned Pixar stock when it first went public c. 1995. We have all 3 Toy Stories. I also am a huge admirer of Steve Jobs.

This was the worst digital animation we have seen in 5 years — at least. Nothing stood out. There was no ultra realistic furs, skin, textures or anything else. Just lots of blackness.

So don’t waste your money on 3D. If the kids must see it tell them no 3D on this one. I am kicking myself that we didn’t see Madagascar 3 instead. We will go see that, in 3D, soon.

Hope this helps. Cheers, Anura

P.S., The story line wasn’t that great either. As connoisseurs of Scottish music (oh, and I am an adopted Scot) we can confirm that the music was lame. This really was a missed opportunity. Disney bombed.