Free Mobile Background – iOS7 lock screen

This is a photo I took with my old iPhone 4S in Gothenburg last year. It’s also my current iPhone background. If you would like to use it, I’ll give it a way;  free to use. Just click on the image down below, and the source photo will be opened. Right click on the newly opened image, save image, and then it’s ready for import to your phone.

P.S If you haven’t seen the next layout for Apple iPhones / iPads (iOS) this is it’s lock screen D.S

© Pedro Hansson - Gothenburg Road
© Pedro Hansson – Gothenburg Road

Best Album Of All Times – Number 7

@ Pedro Hansson - Joshua Tree - Ulriksdal Solna
© Pedro Hansson – Joshua Tree – Ulriksdal Solna in spring time – iPhone Photography

Best Album Of All Times – Number 7: U2 – Joshua Tree

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Joshua Tree (album of the year 1987) was the first album where I really discovered this supergroup, U2. Many U2-hardcorefans holds their third album – War – higher than this, the fifth – Joshua Tree, but I count this as the best. U2, formed in 1976 was named after a word game with “You Too” as well as the name of a U.S spy aircraft. The name was first not liked by Bono, but slowly accepted.

Musically U2 has its roots in post-punk, but later incorporated more popular music and with this album many other influences (more about that later).

For me U2 is all about a clean crisp sound, but most of all, a clean crisp sound that’s absolute unique. With “The Edge” (David Evans) on guitar, Adam Clayton on his solid base, Larry Mullens drive on the drums, and of course Bono’s (Paul Hewson) voice. Things can’t be much better, and more unique.

During this “Best Album Of All Times”-trip I’ve read quite a lot about the artists, and each album. What I found fascinating with this particular album was that U2, before this album described themselves as root less. Roots that they searched before making this album.

Realising that “U2 had no tradition” and that their knowledge of music from before their childhood was limited, the group delved into American and Irish roots music. Friendships with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Keith Richards motivated the band to explore blues, folk, and gospel music and focused Bono on his skills as a songwriter and lyricist. U2 interrupted the album sessions in mid-1986 to serve as a headline act on Amnesty International’s A Conspiracy of Hope tour. Rather than being a distraction, the tour added extra intensity and focus to their new material. Later that year, Bono travelled to San Salvador and Nicaragua and saw first-hand the distress of peasants bullied in internal conflicts that were subject to US political intervention. The experience became a central influence on the new music.

Source: Wikipedia

The search for roots is also  described in this interview with The Edge, and the live recordings with the Gospel Choir; for the song With Or Without You (watch video down below)

After releasing the “Joshua Tree” album U2 quickly got two number one singles in U.S: “With Or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For”. Two epic songs at the time, and still is. The tour after the album Joshua Tree was portrayed in the movie “Rattle and Hum”.

What I truly enjoy with U2 (and many of the best bands) is their strive for perfection, and at the same time passion and honesty for what their music/work is about. I’ve always believed that there are no shortcuts for success. It’s all about hard work, and I think that U2 truly reflects that opinion. I hope you like this album as much as I do.

Rare clip with U2 and Bruce Springsteen – Still Haven’t Found What I Was Looking For

Full album

Interview with U2, 1987


For more parts, click the You-tube link

Best album of all times – Number 18

© Pedro Hansson - Out of the cellar (photo from Bormio 2013)
© Pedro Hansson – Out of the cellar (photo from Bormio 2013)
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Best album of all times – Number 18: Ratt – Out Ot The Cellar  (1984)

Ratt, the band with the name that’s a synonym to Steering Wheel in Swedish was one of my big favorites as a teenager, and they still are. Risen from the L.A Glam scene, in competition with bands like Mötley Crüe, Van Halen and its likes, Ratt was a solid contender of the heavy metal scene back in my youth. In Sweden they had a few hits, but my feeling is that the group didn’t get the attention that they deserved, and experienced in other parts of the world.

The guitar sound from this record may be one of the most “cold” guitar sounds ever, and the tempo slow for this kind of music, while the vocals are “slow”; but wow this is a great album from start to finish. An album that’s solid and well-kept together as a whole. This was one of those albums that could’ve ended up on many places in this 40-top list; both higher and lower.

In my opinion Round and Round is the most significant contribution of all songs on this record. The song is almost a summary of the rest of the tracks.

I guess the lyrics won’t be mentioned in the lyrics classes in the 2100:s, but the clean crisp sound may end up in the musical classes.

If you want to explore more music by Ratt, check out the track Lay it down from the “Invasion of your privacy album” (1985), and while you’re at it, their more recent albums.

In my opinion the more recent contributions doesn’t share the same quality as before but still some good music to explore… and yes, they are (as a brand at least) still active with new albums on their way.

Best wishes for a great Tuesday.

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Music – Best albums of all times – First up, those that didn’t make it to top 20

@ Pedro Hansson - Barcelona 2013 - On Every Street

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Today I started wondering about which albums, no matter the category, that are the best of all times in my opinion. With “best” I don’t necessarily mean the most historic or changing. I just mean, the best albums for me. The albums that I come back to time after time, some of them just for the memories connected to them, and others simply for the amazing music.

It might be good to know that my musical background has its roots in west coast/AOR, old school heavy metal and more instrumental genres, even though I listen to almost everything nowadays. In my music tab you can find my current favorites.

So instead of just posting them all in one post I figured that I’ll split them up in 11 separate posts, and today I begin with those that didn’t make it to the top-20 list and a special around the runner-up for top-20.

Some of my favorite artist would have more than one album on this list, but I’ve chosen to keep just one album from every artist, and mention others worth noticing.

And remember, best album doesn’t mean best two or three songs that are good or maybe even awesome. Best album is “Best album all together”.

So, here we go…

Which albums didn’t make it to the top-20 list? (Spotify linked)

21 Dire Straits – On every street (Special mention Brothers in arms)
22 The Fray – The Fray
23 Metallica – Metallica
24 Adele – 21
25 Top Gun – Motion Picture Soundtrack
26 David Foster
27 Nirvana – Nevermind
28 Peter Gabriel – So
29 Abba – The Album
30 Robert Plant / Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
31 Johnny Hates Jazz – Turn Back The Clock
32 Bruce Hornsby – The Way It is
33 Level 42 – Running in the family
34 Chicago – Chicago 17
35 Marc Cohn – Marc Cohn
36 Richard Marx – Richard Marx
37 Gun’s n Roses – Apetite for Destruction
38 Europe – Wings of Tomorrow
39 Saga – Wildest Dreams
40 Elvis Presley – G.I Blues

P.S I also try to post a photo of my own that I think is connected to each album in some kind of way. D.S

Runner up, Nr 21: Dire Straits – On every street

This album is, as Brothers in Arms one of the albums that are heavily used as a reference album when it comes to demonstrating sound in HiFi-shops. The sound is really clear, and you can separate all the instruments really well, and I guess the subtle music also makes some sense in a public place.

I guess many listeners would’ve voted Brothers in arms as the better album of the two, but I favor this album since I think the feeling / atmosphere as a complete album is more tight. Brothers in arms holds many of Dire Straits top selling hits but the album feels straggly compared to the more collected On every street.

This is maybe not one of the albums that I’ve listened to the most, but it’s an album that I come back to every now and then and the title song, On Every Street is one of my long time favorites.

The high points, except the already mentioned title song, is Iron Hand, Calling Elvis, fade to black and the country inspired The Bug.

Dire Straits in short, from Wikipedia:

Dire Straits were a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). Dire Straits’ sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band’s early years, the band’s stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more “rootsy” influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits’ compositions were melancholic.[3] Dire Straits’ biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies.[4]

They also became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million.[5] Dire Straits won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards.[5] The band’s most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, “Lady Writer”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Telegraph Road”, “Private Investigations”, “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms”.

Dire Straits’ career spanned a combined total of 15 years. The band originally split up in 1988, but reformed in 1991. Dire Straits disbanded for good in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. There were several changes in personnel over both periods, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band’s career.

Love locks – A loving trend

© Pedro Hansson - Love locks Malta
© Pedro Hansson – Love locks Malta – http://instagram.com/pedrohansson

During the last month I’ve visited Malta and Amsterdam and of course spent time in my hometown Stockholm. In almost every scenic place around the world people are getting more frequent in hanging up locks to show their feelings for one another.

© Pedro Hansson - Love locks Amsterdam
© Pedro Hansson – Love locks Amsterdam

The tradition is to right something on the lock, hang it on a bridge, a wire or anywhere with the scenery behing it,  lock it, and then throw away the key.

In these secular times, maybe this is a modern way of getting married?

All the photos are taken with iPhone 5.

© Pedro Hansson - Love locks Stockholm
© Pedro Hansson – Love locks Stockholm

Olloclip Photo part 2

I previously had a post about my purchase of the Olloclip Macro lens for iPhone. I really start
to appreciate the small format, but at the same time I also appreciate it’s form which makes it easier to find in the pocket (compared to previous lenses).

If you are interested in finding more photos from Olloclip, you can find them in my instagram feed at http://instagram.com/pedrohansson

© Pedro Hansson - Tear
© Pedro Hansson – Tear

Tested: Olloclip for iPhone 5, part 1

© Pedro Hansson - Ant - iPhone Macro photo taken with Olloclip
© Pedro Hansson – Ant – iPhone Macro photo taken with Olloclip

This will be my first post in a series of two where I try one of the three lenses in total that comes with the Olloclip package. It can also be found on my more technical site: http://lifeinsumpan.com

With my previous iPhones I really enjoyed using those small macro lenses that could be attached on the phone by using a simple cover (Tested in a previous post). Now I’ve bought a similar lens for my iPhone 5, from Olloclip.

© Pedro Hansson - Olloclip lens
© Pedro Hansson – Olloclip lens

The price tag differs quite much from the old lens. For this lens Apple Store want’s $100, which I think is rather expensive and I guess that it could be found for far less money than that in other stores than Apples own store.

This lens is attached to the phone by sliding it over the edge of the iPhone 5, and over the camera lens. The first impression of this solution is that even though it’s nice to use a lens like this without attaching some kind of magnet, or using a complete cover it doesn’t feel tight enough. It really feels that the lens might slide off someday.

With all that said it’s really easy to bring the lens, and maybe I will use this more than the previous one for the iPhone 4S.

© Pedro Hansson - Leaf - Photo taken with the iPhone 5 and Olloclip lens
© Pedro Hansson – Leaf – Photo taken with the iPhone 5 and Olloclip lens

Summary – Olloclip Macro lens: I really enjoy the possibility to be able to take macro photos with the phone, even though it’s hard to keep the subjects still and get a sharp image, but the possibility in itself, to see nature and other things better than it’s possible with the real eye is a real thrill sometimes. So if you have $100 lying around somewhere, and enjoy the creative part in getting up close with things, you’ll have a good time as long as you don’t drop the lens due to the light fixing.

Do not ask why

© Pedro Hansson - Swedish Countryside from a car window - iPhone 4
© Pedro Hansson – Swedish Countryside from a car window – iPhone 4

Yesterday I received a text, written by Olaf Röhlander. One of those texts that, when I read it, it felt almost like it was written directly to me. It felt rather liberating to read what another person – who’s in a similar situation – had written,  and set so positive and inspiring words for that particular situation.

DO NOT ASK WHY

I attended a dinner which I call ‘The Good call’, where the goal for the evening is to leave that evening as a wiser man.

One of the guests were wondering why I do so much. It’s podcast, newsletter, lectures, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, apps and books and all that it is. She honestly was wondering what’s behind my momentum.

I replied that sometimes it’s not good to ask why. The question is only needed when you’ve lost something you want back. When you’re no longer whistling on your way to a meeting, when you don’t feel like anything is at stake anymore, when you don’t have something new to look forward to, then the question is relevant.

I do not know all the reasons why I do what I do. I just know that it’s fun and it feels right. That’s enough for me right now and I do not want to dig into it more than that. The question “why” can sometimes be overrated.

If you always seem to land on your back, if you ever seem to end up in the wrong place in the wrong context, if you do not have an internal compass, then the question of “why” will be relevant. Then, but not always.

If you have no glow left, if the morning coffee no longer tastes anything, if the sun rays of spring shines through the window and it won’t do do anything with you. Then, ask “why”, but not before.

Humans have a desire to know, we are curious. If you want to explain, understand or change anything, the question is good, but just because someone succeeds in formulate a question, it does not mean that it is automatically entitled an answer, as I see it.

The word “why” open for analysis and brooding. Sometimes the whole is more important than details. If you know that someone loves you, do not ask why the person’s doing it. If you do that, then there is also the risk that you will be as violinist who can not enjoy the concert anymore, because she just analyzing the strings.

Some things are enjoyable precisely because of the lack of analysis, and should also be that way. Do you feel ok, the you feel ok. Do you feel happy, you are happy, do you think you’re in love, then you are in love. If things are that way. Enjoy it more and think less.

The Seed

© Pedro Hansson - Flower
© Pedro Hansson – iPhone Macro – Flower

This is quite a long story, but I really think that it’s worth reading.

I hope you enjoy it.

The image is taken with an iPhone 4S with a Macro lens

 

In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom togetherone day. He said, “”It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.” The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today–one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.”

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by–still nothing in Ling’s pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened.

Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey, nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”

Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!” 

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory

If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap tomorrow.