In an era where most people get their books from a superstore or a .com, it might seem like libraries are behind the times and forgotten.
But here in Amsterdam, the largest public library in Europe was opened last summer… and is quite something to behold. From books to media of all kids to art to live performances to food to every magazine I can think of… it is perhaps the greatest example of the library for this era
24 Hours in Amsterdam has not allowed me to prepare a podcast. Mostly it involves unpacking, repacking, cleaning, and preparing my equipment for the 24C3 in Berlin.
If you have not yet seen the documentation video from last years Chaos Communication Congress, here is the link. I say a few lines in it, as do some nice folks that I know.
Some people might wonder what I say about the Bhutto assasination, sorry to disappoint but I don’t have much to say. They knew full well the risks they took and I commend her and her people for facing death so bravely. I’m not a huge Bhutto admirer, but the way she has carried herself in the face of so much pressure and hatred, I commend her and regret that this has happened. Unfortunately they will once again re-write history and hijack a tragedy by making this an excuse to dedicate more money for their crusade entitled “the war on terrorism”.
A friend of mine, the man who introduced me to ulimate frisbee, started the first ever league in Liberia. Years later he would introduce the sport in Trinidad and last I heard he was in Madagascar surely throwing disc with the local population.
Over the weekend I’m sitting down to dinner after the first day of an exhausting tournament here in Amsterdam, and one of the more recent arrivals to our league started talking about his own experience. Having recently moved to the Netherlands from Colorado, he spoke about how confident he was that he wouldn’t feel alone or lacking in things to do since there would surely be ultimate in the Netherlands. Indeed I’ve noticed, just as he said, the fact that in a very short time, he has become a beloved member of the Amsterdam frisbee family.
And that’s the magic that made me want to write today… the global tradition that welcomes you no matter where you are. The social sport that transcends language and culture, giving you that sense of belonging even in a place where maybe you otherwise don’t belong.
Then there’s the typical statement you hear for all team sports… the bringing together of different people from different walks of life.. for a social meetup and sporting competition. Where conflicts are resolved peacefully on the field, and differences are embraced as something to be cherished and shared. Classic explanation of a sport, but as far I’m concerned, the world could use less talk of going to war and preparing to fight allegedly insane and dangerous “enemies” that are – of course – so different from us. If they only designated more parks and fields, and made more funds available for these kinds of activities.. then you’d see real conflict resolution and cross cultural understanding.
But of course, compared to the military business that helps make certain politicians and corporations unfathomably wealthy – encouraging a nonprofit peace enhancing sport is apparently bad business.
After studying, working, and living in the Netherlands for 5, 10 or even 20 years, people are being deported on technicalities and bureaucratic errors. Faced with the choice of fighting or leaving the life they’ve built, many people are finding that there is no fair fight to be had. In this podcast the focus is on the Canadian example, the story of current and former residents. Asking the question, what kind of immigration policies are these?
Thomas here in Amsterdam
Sarah in Toronto
Dutch Immigration Lawyer (anonymous)