August 2005


Kottke is connecting the dots on all the activity around the web and what he is coming up with kind of WebOS. The basic idea is that desktop webservers will morph into the next desktop application platform supplanting to a certain extent the traditional operating system and applications. On the one hand it makes a lot of sense because of the added performance and the freedom from from a web connection, but on the other hand internet connections are becoming universal and mobile and even though maintaining local web applications gives you OS independence it still requires you to keep them updated. I'm skeptical but it is still worth reading because of its review of all the things happening around the web.

500 usd in eur

Finally google has added a currency converter to it’s already great conversion calculator. Just plug in the amount followed by the three letter currency code followed by "in" followed by the three letter code of the currency you want to convert to. Examples: "300 eur in usd" or "5000 sek in hkd" or you can even use symbols "2500 € in £".

Banksy in the West Bank

Banksy, one of my favorite artists for the moment is sowing his disruptions on the west bank wall.

99.9% of graffiti is crap and vandalism but Banksy proves that the medium can be interesting. I would love to see public service graffiti. Something around dog shit in Brussels seems sort of appropriate, or some kind of pirate signalization to make people in Brussels stand on the right in escalators.

Peter Jennings

John Simpson has an obituary on Peter Jennings that rings very true. I had the privilege to meet him a couple of times when I worked as local ABC News gofer in Brussels whenever there was a presidential visit to NATO. I was amazed how nice he was and how generous he was with praise towards us gofers. I will always remember my experiences working for ABC News as some of the best learning experiences of my professional life. Rosemary Henderson the girl that first got me the job told me on the first day, "Whatever they ask you say yes, then you turn around and ask the next person how". I learned a lot of things real quick from that.

It’s incredibly sad that TV News in the US has almost been reduced to pure entertainment, sadly it will only get worse with the loss of Peter Jennings

More Skating and the Gazon

Of course this being Belgium it rained for Rollerparade so that was canceled, but on saturday morning the Euro Rollers invited me to skate along to the Atomium. We went by the Chateau Royal and had some nice thrills going down the hill by the japanese tower where someone clocked over 50km/h on their wrist GPS, don’t think I reached that speed but it was scary enough, I learned that the trick when the skates start to wobble is to put more weight on the heel and wiggle your toes.

On Saturday night I fooled part of the gang to come along to the Gazon where Leeroy Thornhill was DJing to crowd of maybe 2000 people.

On sunday morning after a couple of hours sleep it was off again but this time out to the Bois de la Cambre via les Etands d’Ixelles and back again via the Brussels Observatory and some incredibly stupid hills selected by me.

I really enjoyed meeting all the Eurorollers during these couple of days, they are an incredibly warm and welcoming group, furthermore I think they are on to something, it must be one of the best ways to visit cities as you really get a feel for them and not only the tourist parts but also the neighborhoods.

Some more pictures

Travel and skating

Something massively cool happened to me tonight, just as I was skating home a group of about 20 inline skaters zoomed passed by my place. Curious if this was some kind of organized group I caught up with them and asked but they explained that they were just traveling and instead invited me to join them. Off we went to the EU parlament, the Cinquantenaire and back via the "Park Royal" and "Galeries de la Reine". While skating they explained that they were from all over the US and do these trips every year to different cities in Europe. It must be a great way to get a real feel for a city. It is also feels very safe to be a gang of skaters cars have to acknowledge a cluster like that.

We finally ended up at the "Halles Saint Gery" to have a couple of beers, a fantastic group of people. And then to top of the experience it turns out that Meg sitting next to me is also an Information Architect. Tomorrow we are off again but this time in the context of the Rollerparade for a different kind of experience.