Twice as fast = twice as nice

So today the dutch railways (NS) ran a one-time Amsterdam Berlin intercity service that was 27 minutes faster than the usual 6 hour 30 minutes Amsterdam Berlin intercity service. They achieved this by omitting all stops between Amsterdam and the German border (Hilversum, Amsersfoort, Apeldoorn, Deventer, Amelo and Henglo). According to the NS it should be possible to further reduce travel time to four hours by aquiring engines that are capable of running 200 km/h on the Dutch and the German rail…

Berlin before the internet (part 2)

From a Guardian piece about digital exiles in Berlin: Another reference to post fall-of-the-wall berlin as that strange place where the internet did not exist yet: But then, it is the blink of an eye. It’s 25 years since the wall came down. And, in a strange historical collision, 25 years since the world wide web was invented. When I first came to Berlin, the internet didn’t exist and I was still some years away from sending my first email. In a historical time frame, the evolution of digital te…

Berlin wonderland

slavin: I remember getting there in 1992 and feeling like I had already missed the main event. Inside my head, the whole period has the quality of dreams, not memories; it was so long ago and the images in my head feel simply too implausible to have been real. i also remember some of this although i mainly remember longing for more of this as i was only able to make it to Berlin in the weekends. what i find most striking tough, is that this was the end of the pre-internet era, recorded only in…

Brickland

Went to see Constanza’s latest piece at the Schaubühne in Berlin on Saturday and quite liked it. With Brickland Constanza (and the equally amazing rest of the the Dorky Park ensemble) manages to combine usual chaos with something similar to a narrative that does not get lost in 2 hours of brutal chaos. Brickland is about despair, insanity end everyday evils behind the walls of gated communities (the name is taken from an existing decaying community in the vicinity of the international airport on…

The bittorent demon

This photo (by Rasmus Kopimi) is just too good not to blog. I am not even sure when it was taken but it is timeless (or very early 21st century) anyway: Guess this is also a good occasion to thank the oil of the 21st century crew for a number of highly inspiring events, royal amounts of data and the 2 best breakfasts i have head this year……

Phantom menace

Lawrence gave a pretty amazing presentation on ‘what can be learned from asian cinema?‘ at piratecinema on sunday morning. His general point was how new forms of distribution (read shameless copying) slowly lead to another form of aesthetic/cinematorgaphic practice in Asia (or to be less general China & India). towards the end he showed a couple of slides form an earlier presentation he had given at the Asia commons conference in Bangkok last year. I really liked this diagram, which gives a…

Beirut safer than Berlin...

The German government advises against trips to lebanon unless you have important business or family matters to attend and recommends to stay well clear of political gatherings and the south of the country. It seems a bit exaggerated especially as the ongoing protest by Hezbollah and their allies in downtown is about the most peaceful demonstration i have ever seen. Most dangerous thing that has happened to me was being forced to sit down with a couple of Lebanese teenagers from boston to smoke t…

TXL --> BEY (revisited)

This post does not really make sense (in the sense of being one coherent entity) but rather shares a couple of observations that have nothing to do with each other. Fortunately i can tie them together by pointing to my first ever blog post (the ones that appear to have been posted earlier have actually been inserted at a later point in time) which was also written on the plane to from Berlin to Beirut. What i wrote then also holds true for the behavior of the passengers on tonight’s flight (the…

Observing elections

If I was an election observer i would definitely sign up for the early shift. the one were the city is still half asleep and disgruntled volunteers head to the polling stations they have been assigned to to open them hours before the first 10% the electorate show up to exercise their democratic rights. If there is a mood that expresses the status of those tired, self-defeating and worn-out parliamentary democracies societies it is probably the mood which prevailed in the streets of Berlin this m…