Browsing All Posts filed under »at random«

zurich: giant leap for mariachis

March 21, 2006


by julie galante In a shocking twist of events, the city of Zurich has reversed its no-mariachis-on-trams policy! The pictures were quietly replaced over the past few days. A little internet research revealed that the Mexican consulate complained to the city about the signs after having received many angry calls from the community. The replacement […]

copenhagen: crap laws?

March 17, 2006



by sabine behrmann

Pets are good for your health - as long as you are not allergic to them. Pets that interact with humans like cats and dogs are better for you than e.g. fish.

Well, at least with dogs you can get some health benefit out of walking it, and walk it you should, at least twice a day.

In the early 1980s a walk through a street among many other dog owners could be quite difficult if you wanted to avoid stepping into their pets' waste matter. At the end of that decade, however, things had changed considerably, partly due to regulations in several cities that no longer tolerated filthy pavements.

Although the new rules were difficult to inforce by the police, peer pressure from a large group of considerate dog owners grew more intense. Increasingly people brought small plastic bags on their daily tours with their four-legged friends. They collected the waste, discarded it into the next dustbin and taking a stroll did no longer mean that you had to negotiate a smelly minefield.

reykjavik: weathering change

March 14, 2006


family on ice.jpg

by maria roff

Here’s a scene from a calm, clear and just-frozen day in Reykjavik, the kind of day that makes you happy to toss on a scarf and take a winter stroll with the family. Contrary to the recent spate of super-cold that’s paralyzed most of Europe, Iceland’s had it mild, to say the least. The town lake, pictured here, has been frozen-over and traversable maybe five days total all season…pretty odd for an island just skirting below the Arctic Circle! Though global warming may be a cause for our good fortune, its important to keep in mind our pleasant relationship to the Gulf Stream as well as the fact that Iceland was once fairly covered with flora, including tall and stately birch forests. In other words, its never truly been that cold in the land of ice!

paris: lick it!

March 8, 2006


by the paris blog Etienne Marcel gets a kick out of French stamp subjects, which lately include cassoulet, rillettes and choucroute: Can you imagine an American stamp featuring a hamburger? Or barbeque? Perhaps I am overlooking other American culinary delights that surely merit an official stamp. I laughed when I saw the “video game” line […]

copenhagen: tackling the future

February 3, 2006



by sabine behrmann

illustration via uncertainty park

Predictions are a tricky thing, especially when they deal with the future: that's what Danes will tell you when they know that it is a good idea not to commit themselves, and there is no reason to disbelieve them.

However, they do share the general curiosity about what time will bring with a big part of mankind and are prepared to read more than their daily horoscopes. Tea leaves are consulted, just like clairvoyants, hands, noses, toenails - and coffee grounds.

But nothing is as entertaining for the nation as the predictions ventured by the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies. This year they have published a list about all the things that will have disappeared by the year 2020. Three of them are cash, romance, and moonlighting.

Project manager Niels Bøttger-Rasmussen argues that credit cards and other means of handling money electronically will make bank notes obsolete.

athens: angry customers

January 28, 2006



by seawitch

When you become a permanent resident of Athens, you will also become a permanent victim of bureacracy. No matter how prepared you are, you will spend hours every week waiting in endless lineups to pay your bills or deal with the necessary evil called the civil service.

Just because you wait patiently in a line-up does not mean that you will complete your transactions. That's just the first step in a long and arduous journey of lost paperwork, misinformed staff, strikes, vacations, and numerous mistakes which will keep you running from one department to another, and they're usually never in the same building.

vienna: star search

January 26, 2006


Curiosity kills cats, but not Novalas. For the first time ever I visited a Sternwarte - an observatory and learnt about the birth of a star. Since I was listening to a Dust Astrophysicist please don't expect me to quote what he said about a bunch of little pieces in space that get involved with gas, glow a while and end up with billions of humans sending it to heaven in a pretty short time - in comparison to the time it needed to develop us. The sun by the way will fade out in 5 million years. "See, I knew it", the double-income-no-kids-folks say, "that's why I can't have kids - imagine their future!"

No matter what - the observatory in Vienna was built by two theater architects.

Sternwarte. (novala)