Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas - Advent Badges

A very happy Christmas season to everyone involved, but not with a few hiccups. Since the informational website has currently gone down, I am very happy to announce that I still have some of the badges saved direct to hard drive (backups work!) So, for anyone who has missed them, here are some of the advent badges used in the advent calendar. Not any of them have the captions attached, but feel free to have a look at your festive leisure!


Up Comes the Tree
The obligatory first day in the advent calendar would be to bring down the tree from storage. Or cutting a fresh one, wood, sap and all. You are faced with the brainstaking task of untangling the lights and counting all the baubles and ornaments that are still in shape from last season. Maybe you're staying traditional and consistent, with the same decorations year by year. Or maybe you're changing tree fashions year after year. But hey, it's your tree. Just don't forget to check that all the lights are working, and that they're plugged to the power supply.

If Wonders of Life were still around... 
The Tower of Life would have been decked with fairy lights. Obliviously a star would have to sit on the top of one of the top of the four strands.
Counting Down The Days
Counting down the days until the big day is one of the usual traditions during the holidays, and love them or loathe them, the advent calendar is commonplace at this time of year. They come in different shapes and makes, from the decorative ones with miniature cupboards counting down the dates, through to the interactive ones passed around on the social media. And for those wanting the sugary taste of endorphins, there are prepackaged ones with a chocolate a day.

If Wonders of Life were still around... 
There would have been a small calendar structure counting down the days until the holidays.

Messages of Good Cheer
Communication is key during the holidays. The holidays are great times for people to show up on family doorsteps for the festivities, whether next door or halfway around the world. Others who meet through the superinfo highway are happy enough to send an email message, or at least a social networking wall post. But amongst all these, nobody can go past a handwritten message of hope and well wishes in a holiday card.

If Wonders of Life were still around... 
Cards would have been offered along with gift shop purchases, and also as a token of thanks on every ride.

Lighting Up Joy
Fairy lights are just one of many glimmering wonders the holiday season has to offer. Every neighborhood home uses this to their advantage to showcase their illuminating image (a little too bright) to their street, while streets and shop windows attract customers and bystanders on their magical displays. As far as some of us can recall, even Disney World takes advantage of such wonderful lighting magic indeed (which I wonder, if anyone still remembers the Osborne Lights Spectacular.)

If Wonders of Life were still around...
Either the Tower of Life monument, or the dome would have a fairy light decoration around it. It could be purely from aesthetic holiday patterns, through to messages of goodwill.

Snowflakes - Sight for Sore Eyes
Love or hate the cold weather, snowflakes are an astonishing sight to watch. Their minuscule size and unique pattern for each one makes snowflakes the most beautiful icon for the holidays. Of course, even in places where snowfall isn't commonplace, icons of the snowflake garnish places everywhere.

If Wonders of Life were still around... 
The snowflake icons would be hung on the main pavilion mobile, able to glimmer and glow in a shining light direction.
So far, my hairbrained composure was too frazzled to backup the rest of the quotes for the rest of the advent, but I will hopefully be able to keep an open eye on the rest of the quotes, however they may arrive. Here's to  happy holiday season, and a healthy one too, love WOL4EVA!





















Monday, December 22, 2014

Soapbox - Brainy Connections

Welcome back readers, and yet some sincere apologies as I have literally been brain drained due to external influences, that have gotten in the way of maintaining the blog.

( - "Melbourne?")

DRAT!

It's not being easy when reporting from a city as interesting and ever changing every year. But as this is a Wonders of Life centric blog, I'll try to refocus my mind back onto the things that literally matter, so let's consider this as a "welcome back", and just in time for the holiday season. So for anyone demanding an apology for the delay, then in this case, I'm sorry, and will hopefully try to regain some energy into the project. Actually, in the event that I too run into another blank, ring me up again in the comments or on social media.

On a better note, let's keep on dusting the blankets of dust that has covered the blog since the mid year, to reduce any chance of sneezing. And for this reason, there is some mind boggling news of interest for this blog, but it'll take forever for me to compact it into a nutshell, so hence this is how I'm going to summarise it...


Friday, October 10, 2014

Soap Box - There's a Storm Coming

To the readers worrying about me and other WoL related ideas currently gathering dust, do not worry, and do not fret. Okay, some of you may be fretting for different reasons, but I'll explain two sides of the story, and chances are you are really familiar with them. One is happening globally and at home, and the other a significant blow to Epcot, depending on how you interact with it.

So let's start with the lesser significant blow to Epcot. Many visitors from mid-1988 recall the World Showcase thrill ride Maelstrom - a tale of Norwegian trolls and spooks, along a whirlwind tour of what makes Norway, well, Norway, with mystical awe. For some reason, Wonders of Life would be home to Body Wars, the second thrill ride in Epcot (but the first ever in Future World), but in comparison, Maelstrom outlasted Body Wars, 25 odd years to 17 respectively. After the confirmation of the Kingdom of Ariendelle given full reign to represent and take care of the Norway pavilion, the ride now said farewell and attracted scores of people, to be the last to pass through this adventure. Never mind the scores of people looking forward to new developments from the beloved ice-princess sisterly duo, bigger circles had the opportunity to deliver an emotional farewell to an Epcot classic, where Wonders of Life sadly never did.

And now, to sadder, distraught and frightened news on a disease outbreak. Yes, outbreak, one topic which could have been brought further to attention by Wonders of Life. Since around August and September, the infamous Ebola outbreak has held Central and West Africa in crisis, with hundreds facing infection, and tragically dying so soon. Even now, there is word that after volunteering to care for the infected and assisting in healthcare matters, little by little, some volunteers managed to get infected too. I know some of you readers are frightened by the news of another outbreak setting foot in your country, but specialised disease control procedures will hopefully be effective enough to isolate the disease.

Which brings me to some thoughts... had the Miniaturised Exploration Technologies lab been around to see the outbreak, chances are Dr. Cynthia Lair would have broadcast a speech mourning the tragic losses and championing those who are risking their lives in fighting the disease. In the worst cases, Body Wars would have closed out of respect (but sadly meaning that even MET is not even immune to such infectious diseases either), and probably in memoriam to those suffering and far gone.

Our soul.

But there is another bright light, especially with word of a vaccine and prevention plan to curb the spread of Ebola, and if feasible, even eradicate it. Had Frontiers remained open along with the pavilion, that would mean a greater insight in isolating, weakening and eradicating infectious diseases before they strongly wreak havoc around this planet.

It is a somber realisation in the coming wake of the Wonders of Life memorial anniversary of 25 years, but that doesn't mean the blog has reached its end. Not with loose ends and unfinished chapters and so little bubbles of discussion willing to expand and spread the word. No, Wonders of Life Eterna is not nearing its end in the wake of the storm, but will forever salute those who are weathering it, and urging others to stay safe, and study, gather, learn a lot. A lot.

And don't forget, Halloween is not very far away, but only time will tell how WOL4EVA could try to mark the occasion.

At ease, readers. If you have any words or thoughts, please discuss and I'll catch up shortly.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Soap Box - MH17, 7/17/97 - 7/17/14.

Federation Square, 7/24/14. The flags at half mast correspond to the nationalities of the passengers who perished in the plane crash.
While this blog is not the centre of very sad news, we are all too soon touched by the news of the downing of flight MH17, and the many related issues connected to the flight. As of the date of this photo (taken from the 16th floor of a building miles from Federation Square, Melbourne), people are fixated on the many news and issues, tempers and tears shared in the midst of the crash. As observed, many countries and organisations have lowered their flags at half mast out of tribute to the many people killed in the flight, and memorial services for the victims were held.

With regards to Wonders of Life Eterna, and its focus on the incident, the news of the 298 passengers killed were due to attend the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne (current reporting city for Wonders of Life Eterna) is not just a tragic blow to the health community, but also the whole world. Add to the 1.6 million people who have died from AIDS-related complications in 2012 to date (UNAID, 2014) and we now know how important a health issue has become escalated for the following reasons

  • To quell the HIV epidemic through education - safe sexual practices is one area of focus.
  • To improve recovery and resilience in the lives of those living with AIDS
  • To build and deliver awareness of medical innovations against HIV and AIDS
  • To pay tribute to those who have died of AIDS, year by year.

All eyes are now on Melbourne as the conference is running underway, discussing solutions and tackling issues of the disease and loosening its grip on society. With regards to Epcot Center, had the Wonders of Life pavilion been operational, nurtured and updated (instead of left to ruin in New Years' 2007) to see the event, it would have closed out of respect, and remained closed until mourning day. As blogmaster, I remember the last time Epcot had responded in tribute to a recent traumatic event, where cast members of the Norway pavilion in World Showcase have presented a temporary shrine in tribute to those killed in the Oslo bombing and Utoya shootings on July 22nd 2011.

Documented by a CM from the Norway Pavilion; image found on an archived website (http://web.archive.org/web/20130109095407/http://norwaypavilion.com/2011/07/)

I can imagine a small shrine in memory of those the passengers who perished on the flight - families, young couples, students, businessmen, friends, doctors and important leaders - starting their holidays or going home from them, going to work or attending wonderful events - the six delegates and activists destined in the AIDS 2014 conference, many internationally known, would have been honoured.

So on behalf of Wonders of Life Eterna, breaking the writer's block in the midst of a saddening current event, we deliver condolences and support to grieving families and populations of the horrific crash; we also hold a minutes silence to remember those who have died of AIDS - famous and civilian - as we gain resilience to not only combat the disease through education and innovation, but in tribute to the six who were lost too soon.

Signed, the blogmaster, due to update soon.

:')


References:

UNAID, 2014. Fact sheet. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/globalreport2013/factsheet/. [Accessed 24 July 2014].

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG TO BRING YOU: Soccer Fever

Greetings, yet again, followers. It's a long time between posts, and yes, it's probably because of all the football fever gripping the world yet again this year. The World Cup in Brazil has finally reached centre stage for the Grand Final, but why oh why am I writing on this blog? Let me explain further.

Epcot Center has just taken advantage of the Odyssey restaurant and showplace space (it was formerly a counter service eatery operating at the park's early years, and definitely before Wonders of Life showed up in 1989), to take advantage of the tournament game showings. Of course, there appears to be no hope in having the opportunity to reintroduce the crowds to Buzzy and the road map to the human brain, or let alone anything health and life related in particular. Sigh.

But alas, I'm very happy, despite being practically thousands of miles away, to allow others to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime presence should you want to be in Epcot for the World Cup Grand Final. And the first destination would be to show up on social media. While you may be occupied with the game progress, chances are you may be clouded with memories, and would want to spark the conversation of the pavilion's past somehow. Person-to-person conversations can work too. If you are stuck, try hashtags #WondersOfLife or perhaps even say hi to #wol4eva if you would like to interact or send a message!

If you appear clouded in nostalgia, yet a little bored with the goal drought, how about a social networking game? Simple, with the little hashtag #WOLCup where you can happily discuss how Wonders of Life would have hosted the worldwide soccer tournament (or any sporting tournament) if it were still with us today. You can be frank, or imaginative, or even go crazy if you like.

Or maybe you can happily dress the part (as long as it complies with park regulations, so no fancy stuff here). Perhaps a tshirt playing mention of the pavilion and its attractions (try searching online) could be interesting to wear, and can spark some interesting conversations, particularly with previous visitors of the pavilion and other CMs. Maybe smuggle the famous WOL insignia and pin it conspicuously if you are brave enough to be patriotic about a pavilion gone by. I don't know – go crazy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful soccer season, and I am very happy to hear your ways of sharing your creative ways of keeping the pavilion's memories alive.

And now returning to normal transmission in three, two...