Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Motes from Maastricht

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‘back across with the car on the train; fourth-quarter and year-end reporting ahead, hopefully happy times with friends and a bit of a break.  Tulips help to break the dim, watery light that greys the days, bulbs to anticipate spring in a month or so.

There’s time to sit in the window, sip strong coffee, watching the river and the people flow by beneath, to read and to clip a few notes to share.  It’s like watching dust motes, lively in the rays of sunshine.

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The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it’s comprehensible,” Einstein said. But I don’t think human relationships are ever fully comprehensible. They can clarify for small, beautiful moments, but then they change. Unlike a scientific experiment with rigorous, controlled parameters, our lives are boundless and shifting. And there’s never an end to the story. We need more than science—we need storytelling to capture that kind of complexity, that kind of incomprehensibility.    the Atlantic

DSC02920 (1253x1001)The Dutch highway system is monitored by 24,000 sensors, embedded in the road surfaces, used to detect traffic jams and assess road quality.  A software engineer, Michael Dubbelman, has used the underlying data base to create an algorithm that can detect speeding cars.  His interactive map has found over  240,000 cases of drivers traveling in excess of 170 kph in the past 10 days…

DSC02912 (1300x970)The expat question in question is, “How are you?”  The answer Americans give, of course is, “Fine.” But when Russians hear this they think one of two things: (1) you’ve been granted a heavenly reprieve from the wearisome grind that all but defines the human condition and as a result are experiencing a rare and sublime moment of fineness or (2) you are lying, unable to fully express your unquenchable suffering…  NY Times

DSC02960 (1300x1054)At Schiphol airport, the average passenger transfer time is three hours. To help travellers endure the wait, there are 20 works of art from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, a library with books and iPads, as well as shops and more than 70 food and drink outlets.  It would take more than six hours to sample all of the cuisines on offer...  the FT

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