archive for the 'travel' Category

the market’s clock speed is laughable

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

just finished reading ‘Red Plenty‘ by Francis Spufford which has replaced ‘Turing’s Cathedral‘ as my favourite book from this year. In fact the two books probably should be read together. Red Plenty picks up approximately where Turing’s Cathedral ends and offers a rather fascinating peek into how the invention of electronic computers interacted with the […]

time travel is here

Monday, June 4th, 2012

so apparently time travel has finally arrived. Walked by the bus shelter opposite of Berlin Hauptbahnhof this morning and was greeted with a ‘Willkommen in der Zukunft’ (‘Welcome to the future’) message scrolling across the LED display. Have not entirely figured out how the future is different from the present nor how i can get […]

Rio de Janeiro as a smart city

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

the New York Times has a longish article portraying the Operations Center of the City of Rio that has been build by IBM’s smarter cities unit. In the article both the city of Rio de Janeiro and IBM portray the operations center as some kind of magic wand that enables the benevolent city government to […]

fish(sticks) with(out) eyes | vis(sticks) met/zonder oogjes

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

recently a friend mentioned that his kids (who have the daycare mother as y) observed that at fatima’s (the daycare mother) they would get ‘vis met oogjes’ (‘fish with eyes’) as opposed to the vis(sticks) without eyes that they were served at home. for some reason i really love this observation/expression which is perfectly captured […]

public policy vs. ideology

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

earlier this week i found myself in the bathtub reading through this list of voting recommendations by the ‘Audiovisual Coalition/EP CULT Committee‘ on the ‘Proposal for an orphan works directive’. The voting list makes voting recommendations with regards to amendments (proposals to change the text of the proposed directive) suggested by various Members of the […]

what airlines can learn from how casinos are run

Friday, November 18th, 2011

So the latest Planet Money podcast consists of this absolutely fascinating interview with Harvard professor turned casino CEO Gary Loveman. The interview is fascinating on a number of levels, chief among them this detailed look into data-driven behavioral manipulations: Gary Loveman: Everybody who gambles knows that the house has an advantage. They are not unhappy […]

delhi metro now moving more people per day than the entire dutch national railways

Friday, October 14th, 2011

this was mentioned in passing in an item on carbon trading that ran in today’s NOS evening news: the delhi metro is now transporting more passengers per day than the dutch national railways. a quick check on wikipedia shows that this is a bit of an understatement: daily ridership of the delhi metro system is […]

Brussels – a Manifesto: Towards the Capital of Europe

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

‘Towards the west, the border is sharp because of natural conditions…’ [Brussels - a manifesto, p.27] i have mentioned before that Bruxelles is one of my favorite cities in the world and certainly in Europe. This is in spite of (or rather because) the city is a mess: European institutions reside in buildings that most […]

‘all this trouble from this matchbox’

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

when i visited Al-Jazeera back in november last year, Moeed showed me around the campus starting at the brand new Al-Jazeera English newsroom (depicted in the photo above) and ending the tour in the original Al-Jazeera newsroom that now seems to serve as a rather unorganized tape archive (this is the newsroom that features so […]

exploring the Paris Métro

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

speaking about required reading: head over to for wonderful (and long) write-up by a guy who has spend the last years exploring (at night on foot) the Paris Métro system. The article is illustrated with a bunch of terrific photos. Reading this makes me jealous. Personally i have never come any further than maybe […]