An unlikely group of social innovators: The Amish

Planet Money has a gem of a story on ‘the Business Secrets Of The Amish‘. The story zooms in on how the Amish, who have made their living through small plot farming for centuries, have adapted to an environment that does not allow for this lifestyle anymore: What you see in this hall is the transformation of Amish culture. Up until certainly the 1970s the vast vast majority of amish men were farmers. They lived at home, typical plot size would have been about a 130 acres, which is enough for a f…

Santa muerte / Swine flu

The always entertaining big picture has an edition with pictures from the non-event of the century: ‘the 2009 swine flue outbreak‘. i particularly like this picture depicting ‘a woman, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu who holds a skeletal figure representing the folk saint Santa Muerte during a ceremony in Mexico City: Bonus: check out this picture with a woman wearing a face-mask & a megadeath t-shirt at the same time. i would doubt that she is aware of the irony……

'Terrorist' watch list... (weekend reading list)

So the Atlantic has another well written article (‘The Things He Carried‘ by Jeffrey Goldberg) that shows the absurdity of the security theater that we endure at the airports (note that the situation in europe is a bit different, as they do check your boarding pass against ID at the boarding gate), which among other things illustrates that no-fly lists are a rather dumb instrument if you want to catch Terrorists. So if the ‘terrorists’ are not on the no-fly watch list, where are they then? Conve…

Salat | ‏صلاة‎

I spend last weekend at ars electronica speaking at the symposium on a new cultural economy curated by Joi and hanging out with an amazing bunch of people. Did not see much of the exhibitions, but at least managed to see the cyber arts 08 exhibition in the OK center and found another nice CFL for my collection. Most of the works were rather underwhelming. One of these exceptions was ‘Salat‘ by Johannes Gees which was documented at the OK center. Salat (the arabic/quranic term for prayer) consist…

Santa Muerte == San la Muerte

Reading trough my dead migrants rss feeds i ran into a new blog post about san la muerte today. this time it is a short blog post about the Santa Muerte cult that is thriving in Mexico and among Mexican migrants (this is why the blog post got caught in my ‘dead migrants’ filter) in the US. From what i can tell it does look like the Mexican version of this cult is much less intresting (but more ceremonial) than the variant existing in Argentina and Paraguay that i wrote about back in 2006. Time m…

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk > Grand Ayatollah Sayid Ruhullah Musawi Khomeini

At least when one is to believe the flight schedules of Turkish airlines and Iran Air. Since november 2007 both airlines have a daily service connecting Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport with the new Imam Khomeini International Airport just south of Tehran (actually it is quite a bit south of the city but very close to the shrine of the the late Grand Ayatollah). Is it just me or isn’t it at least a tiny little bit ironic that there are direct flight’s between two airports that are named…

On new media [back in Buxelles again]

[no external keyboard so spelling is fucked up again] Am in Bruxelles for okno public1. It is cold and rainy as usually so people are freezing and are coming up with clever ways to keep their seats warm: Or is this just an very effectie and selfish way of claiming a seat while you are ordering your next drink? [anyway it is good to see that my old powerbook is doing much better than the current one]. Yesterday the festival was much strange as the same building was also the host to a endless asce…

What is that strange black box to the right?

… and why does the url of this site begin with www.voyantes.net? [Answer:] long before i had this blog i started collecting little paper flyers from people calling themselves ‘voyantes’ that where thrown through the letterbox of my apartment in Amsterdam [later i also started to find them on public transport in Paris and Strasbourg]. On these cards individuals, who claim to have special healing powers and the ability to look into the future, offer their services. most of them also claim to be me…