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25 February 2011

I Should Think that the Answer is "No"

Is Google Street View photojournalism?, asks the British Journal of Photography

"I found it a fascinating medium." indicated German artist and photographer Michael Wolf, who received an honorable mention in this year's World Press Photo juried competition for this work "A Series of Unfortunate Events", based on Google Street View.

13 February 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\2-D

Quick! Hide the livestock!

Apophis Asteroid Heading Toward Earth - 2011 CA7 Asteroid Passes Today!
While the Apophis asteroid has little chance of hitting Earth in 2036, there is a car sized asteroid nearing Earth today! Is it going to hit

12 February 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\2-C

When did Einstein enter into this?

Einstein was right - honey bee collapse threatens global food security
The bee crisis has been treated as a niche concern until now, but as the UN's index of food prices hits an all time-high, it is becoming urgent to know whether the plight of the honey bee risks further exhausting our food security.
How long will it take for some "bee constituency" starts implying that their pet panic-issue IS the cause of comodity prices?

10 February 2011

English Language Government External Service Radio Stations

Tune in now, before the world runs out of radio waves.

Radio station




Deutsche Welle



48 Kbps
64 Kbps

Radio Netherlands



32 Kbps
32 Kbps

Polskie Radio dla zagranicy



64 Kbps

Various languages

Radio Romania International 1



64 Kbps

Various languages

Radio Romania International 3



64 Kbps

Various languages

Voice of Russia Ch.2



64 Kbps

English service

Radio Ukraine International



128 Kbps

Ukrainian, English, German

BBC World Service

United Kingdom


32 Kbps
32 Kbps
24 Kbps

ABC Radio




Radio New Zealand

New Zealand


32 kbps

China Radio International



64 kbps

Radio Taiwan International

Rep. of China



32 kbps

32 kbps


KBS World Radio




In 11 languages

Voice of America

Music mix

News now




32 kbps

32 kbps






TV audio

Radio Habana Cuba



20 kbps

Spanish, English

Other: TV Links

International TV online



Iinks not verified

News TV online



Iinks not verified

Hail! Fellow Camel Jockey!

Even Penn State had it's Lou Kahn. In this case, "Wild Bill" Hajjar, the youngest son of a Lebanses immigrant family definately done the tribe proud.

As for me, I had my own, "we knew Mister Kahn" cross-carrying bunch of smug professorial types who i REALLY wish would have just shut up and moved ON with their lives. Some were fantastic, aside from the dropping the names of dead, others sufferd from fecal impaction of the circle of willis...

09 February 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\2-B

CTIA Insists There Is No Spectrum Conspiracy
What people are debating is whether or not there's a spectrum "crisis," or if the nation's biggest companies are squatting on a precious public resource.
Of course you KNEW that the conspiracy would say that!

07 February 2011

The Near Distant Ago Becomes Even More Distant

Slab Magazine, a journal of Architectural fixations sums it up best in review of new work and urbanism is what used to be the death strip between the two Berlins:
Floating Further out into the Cultural Vacuum

Everything looked clean and new and in a certain sense no less reflective than the polished glass of the new building’s curtain walls. In a world of Photoshop effects, smoothing filters, color balancing and corrected saturation, it seems there’s an irresistable drive to create a world in the image of the image.
Which in reflection, seems as unreal as the DDR's Potemkin villages, or West Berlin's Architectural social experiments.
People use the metaphor of a desert to describe a place -or a state- in which you feel empty or placeless, but my childhood in New Mexico gave me a sense for the richness of life to be found there. At HPI I felt a truer form of emptiness, and now I wonder why I became so transfixed by the polished reflections of the new learning and research center. They seemed to have a cathartic effect, somehow canceling the irritation I’d felt from sustained exposure to high levels of bogusness traversing the vicissitudes of The New Death Strip . To just look away entirely, straight into the sky or towards the rail line or a group of trees outside the campus’s border, seemed like the denial
Please note that I called it TWO Berlins, as it really DID diverge culturally into two cities and two cultures.

05 February 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\2-A

Go Green, Jennifer Parrish: The buzz about bees
"A diet primarily of bread and gruel may be our future if we do not address the honey bee crisis"...
Pedantry and malthusian excess, all in one mouthful. What more could you ask for?

01 February 2011

Getting Around

While frequently thought to be used mainly by students backpacking, drifters, and new immigrants, busses are quite frequently the best option available to travel within a certain range of travel.

Range Issues

There are two ways to look at this based on your temperament as a passenger. One question to ask is whether or not one could tolerate sleeping on a bus, as this opens up savings on travel to places the intrepid sojourner would either take a train or flight to, or not consider the destination a high priority.

The other issue is to ask oneself how long a ride one can tolerate.

That Social Thing

Chances are that you will not meet the boy or girl of your dreams on a bus. You will not meet a sports or entertainment talent scout. You will, however be left alone if you don't engage with others too much.

Another matter to consider is whether or not you can tolerate the 'modesty' of the locations of most of the bus terminals that serve major cities, since they are not normally centrally located. For example, the bus terminal serving Paris is just outside the Periferique, connects to a station near the end of a Metro line, and is situated in the parking lot of a shopping center.

The Eurolines terminal in Berlin is rather close to the center of the city, and is served by transit, but is by a highway and near the city's conference center (Messe), an impersonal place to be when an event isn't taking place.

As everywhere else on earth, these things are BYOB, and BYO Eats.


Unless tickets are purchased well in advance, or time is spent waiting for discounts, taking a bus is almost always cheaper than trains and airliners. Discount cards promoted by national train operators and airlines appear to make flights and train fares cheaper, but those too have a cost, and often exclude travel during the most desirable times of year to travel. The pitfall I have found is that unless one travels almost continuously, discount cards such as those vended by Deutsche Bahn don't derive much in the way of savings. In fact the array of cards one ends up with turn into 'just another thing to keep after'.

Comparisons, Par example...:

The date of Friday, 1 October was used to illustrate the cost based on off season travel, but without deep “day of week” discounts.

Berlin to Krakow

Best deal overall: €41- on the Eurolines bus, 10 1/2 hours for both the afternoon departure or the overnight trip.

Best discounted flight or premium rail: on Deutsche Bahn's 2nd class, the fare is €55,20, but €29- with a €57- discount BahnCard Ride durations run from 9 to 13 hours

Paris to Amsterdam

Best discounted flight: returns a flight for €118,- before taxes that bounces you through London. Hell. It's only 11 hours of your life, not to mention the €20+ it costs to take transit to CDG and from Schipol.

Best price on standard rail: France's state railway operator, SNCF, shows one discounted fare of €71 for that day on the Thalys high-speed über-choo-choo, but the basic reserved 2nd class fares are in the €82.- range, and takes 5 1/2 hours to get you there in quasi-bling style.

Best deal overall: the bus or "coach" if you insist on imposing yourself, is €45.- and runs 7 hours, with 5 departures per day, including a 11 PM departure that gets you to A'dam at a little after 6 AM. Travelling on the day before runs €35.-

Munich to Vienna

Best discounted flight or premium rail: €83.50 on ÖBB, the only rail operator I know of that uses an umlaut, which I simply find special. Again here, we find deep discounts with an annual card for €99,90 (unless you're old, disabled or special in some other way) which you may never used again before it expires, with rates as low as €31.- offered.

Best deal overall: Da bus. It's €44, but only 31 euro-smackeroos each way on around trip.

Best of luck with it all.