When The Government Collapses, Drive South

I figured in honor of the pathetic Dutch government finally admitting they can’t hold it together, I would take a little visit to Paris. I’m sure it sounds flashy, Berlin last week, Paris this week; but please note: each journey costed under 60 euros round trip. That is the wonder of using the automobiles and sharing the cost among passengers. This particular journey I made use of, for the second time in the last year, hitchhikers.org. Great site and interesting people participating in the simple act of offerring a ride in exchange for a small fee… i.e. money for petrol.

Speaking of 4 wheeled vehicles that I normally avoid. You often hear about how the US has too many cars or too many big cars. Yet I think one point that deserves more attention, is Europe’s car addiction. Take the Netherlands; Im sure everyone things of bicycles.. but in fact.. highways full of traffic is also quite characteristic of the country. Today, en route through Belgium, near Antwerp and Brussels, huge traffic jams. And of course, on the outskirts of Paris.. I could have gotten out and walked here faster. Although all these countries have excellent rail systems, and even a decent bus option for collective international transport.. people still insist on the car. Even down in my dear Portugal… there are cars everywhere. People don’t even have money to buy them, but the wonders of credit will help to bring every man, woman, and of-driving-age child, a little hatchback with which to sit in traffic somewhere.

Maybe this isn’t news to the world, but I find there is an exaggeration of the US situation versus that of Europe. Both are in big trouble in terms of future prospects for going anywhere by car, not to mention the air quality.

But let me be a carefree tourist for a moment and ignore the harsh realities of the world. I’m here at B and E’s place, my dearest expat friends since waaay back. And if I ever get to sleep, I shall meet up with Madge in the morning and together, me and the sweaty Lesbian will get on a train and go visit Madame L at her secret undisclosed hideout way out where google maps can’t see.

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Easter Egg Hunt Redux – A Vlog

Naturally I can not close the book on easter without putting out a vlog. This one features my family in Belgium; specifically my cousins, as they scour their yard for eggs and gifts. The little dialogue there is in mostly in French, some in Portuguese. If you listen close you’ll hear me in French for the first time ever in a vlog. But really you don’t need to speak any language to soak in the overal feeling. Oh, and the tune is from my fellow Portuguese Amsterdam resident Fernando Lameirinhas.

Watch the Video

And since professor Chris Weagel of Human-dog productions has been poking around this blog, it’s a good time to recommend his team of scientists’ hard work.

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Surprises While in Belgium

I guess I’m a small time internet celebrity. Maybe not. But in my daily life, it sure feels like it. things happen, people get in touch, do things for me, connect with me…. its a crazy feeling. Kind of like a walking on air, I can do anything type of feeling. Which is amazing cause I don’t even know how Im going to afford health insurance this year, nevermind fighting the forces of evil in the world.

But nevermind that. I’m in Brussels doing a post-christmas visit, which means I’ve acquired some lovely and practical gifts, and I get to run around discussing important issues in French most of the day. – Mais di donc! – So instead of writing any further, I shall present to you a series of links that have somehow instersected with my offline and online life:

Ditta called
from somewhere in the amazon. Apparently they’ve chopped down most of the trees and they have internet cafes equipped with skype.

Gil of BeligumFM sent word that he was coming to Amsterdam for the day, both through his podcast and email, turns out we switched locations at the wrong time.

Emmanuel from 2600, who barely knows I exist but I love and help support his radio show, was actually in amsterdam for a night on his way back from the Kaos Communication Conference. unfortunately I heard that podcast just as his plane was arriving back at JFK.

BlondeButBright
arrived in Amsterdam tonight. After many a month back in Mini-Soda. To say that I’ve missed alot her would be an understatement.

this is all very cosmic…

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bicyclemark92: What is (wrong with) journalism?

While saying goodbye to 2005, I respond to a critique that what I do is not journalism. I also break down what podjournalism is about and why it exists as a response to a flawed tradition of designating newspaper reporters as credible.

AudioCommunique #92(mp3)
35min+, 80kbps, 21Mb+

Discussed:

Back in Amsterdam, constant explosions outside
Is what I do journalism – feedback from Germany
Journalism Defined
Radio Open Source on Participatory Journalism
Newspaper and journalistic bias
the myth of objectivity
Fred Friendly interviewed around 1989
Money, Markets, and Media, the terrible combination for the public good

Shows I wanted to mention briefly: Belgium FM, the Podreport

Thanks for a great 2005 to everyone who listens or reads, without you this wouldn’t mean much. Expect more in 2006.

Music:

Bloc Party – Blue Light (Silent Alarm Remix)
Mathieu Boogaerts – Bien (Super)
Slackers – Knowing (the question)
Motorcycle Diaries OST – Leaving Miramar
Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek (Speak for Yourself)

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