... in rain

The big umbrella massacre of 14-7-11

14 Jul 2011 | 16 words | amsterdam rain

Cycling home from central station tonight, i counted 59 wrecked umbrellas. here are 9 of them:

Best cycling jacket ever

12 Jul 2010 | 208 words | amsterdam cycling fashion rain urbanism

Usually i do not promote products on this page, but i am so happy with my (relatively) new cycling jacket that i make an exception here. My new kättermusen einride jacket is more or less perfect for a cycling jacket:

The einride jacket (which is for some strange reason marketing as a mountaineering/trekking garment) has the perfect cut for cycling including a hood that that protects your head against the rain without impairing your field of vision or your ability to move around your head. but the best thing is the fabric: instead of some highly engineered synthetic fabric the jacket is made from super densely woven cotton. Apparently the fabric, called EtaProof was developed during the second world war:

At that time the fabric was developed for British Hurricane pilots who often were forced to bail out with the parachute or make an emergency landing in the ice-cold Atlantic. During the nineties, Stotz & Co. adapted the fabric to the newest standards and turned it into EtaProof. Today this high-tech product made of pure cotton…

The stuff is not exactly rain proof, but it feels super nice and gets you dry through 15 minutes or so of rain. in other words it’ perfectly suited for Amsterdam summers…

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 cross streets and of course tourists need to be prevented from using it.

North south line tunnel under the sixhaven by Mauritsvink

Parallel infrastructures

28 Jun 2009 | 221 words | africa india europe migration rain

Have been spending the last 2 days in Torino for a succession of workshops and conferences, and have used my spare time to revisit some of the places that here we had planned to install the expertbase during the big torino biennial back in 2002 (before we were kicked out of the exhibition). Seems that those parts of the city that we were working in have remained relatively unchanged by the construction madness caused by the 2008 winter games.

However it appears that there has been a change among the migrant street hawkers selling all kinds of goods on the streets of the city. It appears that this trade has been taken over by Indian migrants that have replaced the Senegalese migrants that were all over the place back in 2002. However they still seem to operate in the same networked fashion that i observed back in 2002. On friday evening there was a brief (and relatively unannounced) thunderstorm, and all the street sellers were conveniently offering umbrellas:

I talked to one of them under the arcades of via Po and he confirmed that they do receive advance warnings that bad weather is coming from migrant street sellers in other cities. This enables them to anticipate on the type of merchandise they are offering (and provides a very convenient weather forecast).

Rain vs. the border (long live the rain!)

26 Oct 2008 | 116 words | africa border european union europe migration rain

A storm washed away part of a wall designed to keep out illegal immigrants crossing into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Sunday and heavy rains flooded many of the city’s streets (via reuters).

Update from bbc news [27/10/2008]:

As many as 30 African migrants have taken advantage of flood damage to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, from neighbouring Morocco.

Update from typicallyspanish.com [29/10/2008]:

Three Guardia Civil were injured in Melilla yesterday when a second wave of immigrants tried to cross over the border fence from Morocco into the Spanish enclave. […] Despite the help of the Moroccan security services several Sub Saharans made their way into Spanish territory at 7am yesterday morning.

Change & rain

20 Jul 2007 | 154 words | amsterdam architecture mobile networks photos rain

It is a bit more than a month that i have left Waag Society and started working for Kennisland | Knowledgeland. Although i have not really had time to reflect it feels really good to work for a new organization (and with new colleagues!!) after almost 5 years at the Waag and there is lots of exiting stuff ahead.

However for some strange reason the time i have been at KL more or less corresponds with the period of extremely shitty weather here in Amsterdam, which is best illustrated by this picture of the building that houses KL’s offices (on the 4th floor) taken on monday evening:

Picture taken from the at5 website, where it is credited to 'Inge

Which somehow reminds me of this picture of the Waag (sorry no higher resolution available), which also explains my sisters reaction (looks like disneyland again!’) when she first saw the picture of the KL building.

Schlechte stimmung

03 Oct 2005 | 350 words | italy rain soccer

I went to a soccer match for the third time in my life today: AC milano against Reggina (still have no clue where or what reggina is though). The first time was Hannover 96 against Bayern München and the second time was Celtic Glasgow against 1FC Köln. Doing this i saw my first ever live goal. I missed the two goals in of 96 against Bayern because i was looking the other way when they were scored and i missed all 5 goals during Glasgow against Köln because the day before a truck had run over my glassed and i could see shit. Today i missed the first goal (i was still walking up one of the spirals of San Siro) but i saw the 2nd (Milano) and the third (Reggiano).

Empty south curve of San Siro stadion I had gone to see the match because it rained and i did not know what to do and i always wanted to immerse in the atmosphere of serie a match. I bought a ticket for the fan block of AC only to be found out that the fans where boycotting the match and would not let anyone in during the first half of the match. Apparently they were protesting against the ever stricter regulation football fans in italy have to face. There where banners saying ‘+ decreti -spettatori’ All over the empty blocks in San Siro. So i went for a non boycotted section for the first half. Of course this completely defied the aim of immersing in the atmosphere as the stadion was almost silent with the hard core fans being outside. (hence the title of the post which translates into ‘bad mood’). The second half had a much better mood to it but as the 2 goals for Milan where scored in the first half the whole thing was less than satisfying…

Did i mention that it rained?

Update (07.oct.05): there are a couple of pictures taken from the opposite site showing the southern tribune during first and second half of the match on the fossa dei leoni site.

More rain

10 Aug 2005 | 73 words | netherlands media rain

Seems like it has been raining for more than a week now. While this is really getting on everyone’s mood it it provides the newspapers with an opportunity to fill their summer gap with good news stories. Today’s Volkskrant had the following two stories on page three (which is main domestic politics page): ‘Mild summer weather reduces mortality among old people‘ and ‘Increase in visitors at weatheronline.nl due to rain‘. Positive thinking indeed…

What the rain

30 Jul 2005 | 93 words | bombay india rain

Alright we might have a little rain problem here at what the hack, but i think we should put it into perspective. Just read a really impressive first hand account by Prashant Pandey from monsoon-struck Bombay on the reader-list. it ends with the following sentences:

[…] I want to get out of this gorgonic jam. I tell him all these are middle class losers who are stuck with their cars with their fat wives and we don’t have any (cars and wives).

Read the rest (beginning) of it here.

Picture by Grey Area

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

Other things that i have made online: