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…

The intriguingly strange motor cycle product names of Pakistan

One of the most intriguing things that i noticed during my short visit to Lahore, Pakistan last week were the product names for the local motor cycles. In Lahore the Honda 70 (and its various knock-offs from local brands) is a near ubiquitous motor cycle that seems to be the primary means of transport for the cities less affluent inhabitants. At some point, while walking through the old city i noticed that the product name of the Honda is Cash Forever 70 (or CD70). As it turns out all of the kno…

X-mas in the desert

Sitting here and reading this: […] The tourists come for the desert’s skyscapes and crumbling adobe buildings, its mysticism and tequila and Instagrammable earth tones. I’m a tourist, too, of course, even if I’m moving at a pace of years instead of days. When people ask me how long I plan on staying in Marfa, I answer vaguely: “It’s not my forever-place.” Whatever that means. Between the fancy grocery store and Amazon Prime, Marfa is hardly a place of deprivation. But even with kale and art open…

1 plus 8 - the room is a map of the territory

Yesterday we saw 1+8 at the opulent Galata branch of SALT. 1+8 is a dynamic eight-screen video installation about Turkey and her eight neighbours based on the feature film of the same name directed by Cynthia Madansky and Angelika Brudniak. I usually do not have much patience for video installations but 1+8 managed to capture my attention for quite some time. If you are to believe the catalogue text this thanks to an the brilliance of a ‘custom made algorithmic computer program’ powering the dis…

How to not run a high speed train service

Earlier this week i had the ‘pleasure’ of travelling down to Brussels using the new so called ‘Fyra‘ service by NS Hispeed for the first time (the service is operational since 9 december 2012). While the Fyra is making news mainly for the unreliability of the service (said to be somewhere between 55% and 75% on-time performance in the last week, with 5% of the trains ‘never making it to Brussels at all [1] both journeys where perfectly on time. Still the entire experience really sucked. Here are…

Flying dutchman

On a recent trip to Mexico city (to attend a Creative Commons LatAm meeting) while we were waiting to be cleared for take-off, i overheard my neighbour in seat 21C (one of the best economy class seats on this type of plane, that is usually occupied by frequent flyers) talking on the phone to his family at home. Somewhat surprisingly he expressed astonishment about the size of the plane (‘there is a staircase next to me’) and curiosity about how he would handle a flight this long (12.5 hrs). Whil…

Emancipation gone wrong

After being in Iran for a week one of the biggest dissapointments so far (right after the food, which is the most unimaginative i have come across so far) is the fact that they seem to have banned ghalyun smoking in most places outside of Teheran. If you belive the daily star (which of course would be a foolish thing to do) this is part of the ‘toughest moral crackdown in years’ which is otherwise fairly invisible (at least to my eyes). When we were looking for a tea house to have a smoke in Isf…

Collateral knowledge...

… used to be the subtitle of this blog for a while (in fact it still is, but i have not really found a place in the layout where i could put the subtitle). in the meanwhile (which is the title of the blog) collateral knowledge has teamed up with identity & aesthetics and got promoted to be the title of the second el-hema koopavond (evening shopping event) at mediamatic in Amsterdam on the 13th of September: According to the programme i will present my idea of ‘collateral knowledge’ by ways o…

My macbook had the lifespan of a hamster

I had the sentence ‘this macbook has the lifespan of a hamster’ as my desktop background for a while now. had assumed that hamsters do have a lifespan of about two years. Yesterday Tamara mentioned that her hamster had died after one year when she was 10 and coinciditially my macbook died yesterday evening (after about a year of good service). This happend while taking notes during the reflection group meeting of the ECF in Amman for which i am supposed to write up the report. So now i am stuck…