WTF? Area secured by DNA spray

Thursday night when cycling home from the north i spotted this sign on a lamp pole at the beginning of Ferdinad Bol straat close to where i live: Area secured by DNA-SPRAY – the police I am not even sure how many things are wrong with this sign, but here are a few that went through my head after i had taken this photo: how the fuck to you secure an area with a (DNA) spray? does it randomly spray something on people that are deemed to be a threat to security? or do they mix something into the air…

The motorized mountain bike(s) of Damascus

Back in december when walking through Damascus I ran into this mountain bike rigged up with small combustion engine: Mountain bike fitted with a combustion engine on Khalid ibn al-Walid street in central Damascus (photo taken from a different perspective here) If you ask me this is quite a marvel of engineering and although I never spotted a second one during the 3 days that I spend in Damascus I am pretty certain that this is not a unique modification but rather one of many that are produc…

I have changed my mind...

About the Noord Zuid Lijn: i really think that instead of finishing of the line and having subway trains running somewhen past 2015 they should just finish the tunnel and then turn it into a super deluxe underground bicycle express-path. The tunnel would dramatically cut down the time needed to get to the center, prevent you from rain and would probably be used by more locals on a daily basis than a subway ever will. The thing needs to have lots of smooth on- and off-ramps that connect it to the…

More ruralism and less urbanism

Spend yesterday afternoon at the paris photo exhibition/fair in the über-horrible carrousel du louvre in Paris. The whole thing did not really live up to the hype (and the long queues) but fortunately there was one photo that made it worth having ventured into the belly of the cultural-industrial beast: ‘un poco de historia, la havanna, mayo 1971’ by José A. Figueora. Bonus: services provided by Dr. Paul of Sese Island, East Afirica…

Streetfighting immigrants rocks

Photo of a grafitti on a metro bridge between the A4 motorway and the Amsterdam-Zuid schiphol train tracks near the knooppunt nieuwe meer. Without climbing fences and walking on railway tracks it is only visible from trains running between Amsterdam-Zuid and Schiphol……

Cuban recycling art: beautiful self made race-carts

Cubans are probably the global kings of recycling [not in our spoiled western meaning of the word though, they will happily leave their sandwich wrappers and cigarette boxes lying next to a natural pond in the middle of a national park]. it appears that they can prolong the active life of pretty much any vehicle by decennia using a welding gun and some imagination. The many custom build taxis and busses based on 1950’s american cars are the prime example of this, but there are many other example…

Big brother in Havana

Spend the last two weeks on vacation (and totally off-line) in Cuba and have begun uploading pictures to flickr. will try to give a bit of context to some of the pictures here in the next couple of days… The fact that cuba is one of the last remaining ‘communist’ one party states becomes immediately obvious once you arrive there: The most visible trace of this is an abundance of propaganda murals, hoardings and references to revolutionary heros (including pre-revolutionary, bourgeois independenc…

Louvain la neuve != zanzibar

Although the sign pictured below seems to suggest some kind of connection between a fast food store in Louvain la neuve and Zanzibar, i have so far failed to find one, which is unfortunate as this is about the most desolate place that you can imagine. Catharina has called it a post-nuclear cityscape, and the brochure of the UCL mentions that the university was ‘implanted’ here in 1972, which is exactly how the city looks. According to wikipedia this is the result of inter Belgian strife in the 1…

The funeral and the wedding all howling in the microphones at the same time

There is an intriguing article about the insane noise levels in the city of Cairo on the NYT website (‘A City Where You Can’t Hear Yourself Scream‘). makes me at the same time want to go to Cairo and worry about Nat who recently moved there for a year: “The noise bothers me and I know it bothers people,” said Abdel Khaleq, driver of a battered black and white taxi, as he paused from honking his horn to stop for passengers. “So why do you do it?” he was asked. “Well, to tell you I'm here,” he sai…

Run when you hear the sirens coming

(I suggest to listen to Dizzee Rascals ‘sirens’ while reading this post). so I am in Johannesburg (or some elite gated community called ‘Sandhurst‘ that tries hard not to be part of the rest of the urban fabric) for less than two hours and I am already not used to a lot of things: Physically i am totally not used to run up and down hills. it’s something we just don’t do in Holland (because of the general flatness of the place). Even worse i am not used to running up hills in the mid day summer h…