April 02, 2006

The case for two passports

I never really thought I'd fall direct prey to geo-political polarization, but my trip to Israel these past few days really highlighted the state of affairs.

Due to a combination of late bookings and scheduling, I arrived in Tel Aviv at 2:30 in the morning only to find myself interrogated for 3½ hours by immigration officers. Noone was disrespectful or rude and most of the time was spent just waiting while the system was "checking up on me" -- and, in particular, on my trip to Pakistan last summer.
At 6:05 when they finally recognized that I wasn't a fair-skinned New Delhi-born jihadist, I was granted admission.

Case in point came when I was asked whether I wanted an Israeli stamp in my passport, only to be convinced by the immigration officer that it afterall would be a bad idea should I ever again want to travel to an Islamic republic. As a Dane who has always enjoyed full freedom in travels across the world, it was a true wakeup call of what the world now looks like.

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January 16, 2006

Turn left

morgenthaler on vacation.gif
I'm taking a left for the next three weeks.
See you back on Feb 4!

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September 21, 2005

Why airline codesharing sucks

I'll be heading stateside early October, hopefully with a visit to O'Reilly's Web2.0 conference. Ticket booking was a bit hurried yesterday but I opted for SAS due to inflight Wi-Fi and because the price was right.
Today I checked the actual itenary and of course, the first leg to the US is operated as codeshare flight in cooperation with United Airlines. No ip - this is outright deceitful to geeks like me.

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July 08, 2005

In Islamabad

I'm in Islamabad for a few days together with Tommy, Umar, Farrukh and Babar, officially hunting down Osama, unofficially having a good time meeting great, hospitable people.
A few intitial pictures have been uploaded to 23people (Flickr go home).

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Chick Corea in the Copenhagen Operahouse

Update: Bootleg of Dantas mbira solo uploaded. (Use Quicktime to listen).

One of the highlights of any Copenhagen summer is -- in addition to strawberries and elderflower lemonade -- the annual Copenhagen Jazz Festival, around this time for the 27th time.

Last year we were fortunate to get two of 50 tickets for the Montmartre Revival concert with classics Toots Thielemans, Albert 'Tootie' Heath, Johnny Griffin, Mads Vinding, Didier Lockwood, Lisa Nilsson, and Niels Lan Doky. The concert was recorded and is now showing in movie theatres amply titled "Between a Tear and a Smile."

This year we've had a hard time scheduling any concerts, but we managed to be at last night's concert with Chick Corea and his Touchstone band in the new National Opera. While an opera concert hall with room for 1.500 people is by no means an ideal locale for a jazz concert, it was a great experience.
The first set started with what could have been Chick Corea 20 years ago but quickly moved into more latin rythms, particularly powered by the presence of several of Paco de Lucia's former house musicians. The second set went absolutely wild, including a beautiful solo (mono bootleg recorded on cell phone) by percusionist Rubem Dantas on an mbira, the African thumb piano I remember as a central musical element from my childhood in Kenya (while my sisters would practice the piano, I'd try to keep up with them on my mbira). Towards the end Chick Corea managed to make the 1.500 audience purposeful by engaging it as a huge choir. Possibly a cheap show-trick, but extremely effectful.

I'm sorry that we missed so many other great concerts, but I'm happy to have once again been reminded of the magic of great musical performances.

Bonus link: PBS Kids has a great Thumb Piano site where you can play your own tunes.

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July 06, 2005

Stay hungry, stay foolish

As most of my friends know, I have an ambivalent relationship to Apple. While I love their products, I'm just not comfortable with the west-cost-democrat-apple-saab-acacemic-comfortable-clothes-creative-fast-company-out-of-the-box-kind-a-company storytelling thingie they've been running since Jobs' return to the CEO chair.

To me a good story is something that will make me send my father to the Bolaven Plateau in Laos (who wouldn't want to go?) to buy a certain unroasted coffee (yes, I am a Coffeegeek), or which will make me bike a few kilometers detour home, in order to buy the right brand of milk.
To me a good story is honest, and frankly what I see coming from Apple is generously overdone. So while they have no taste (quote by Steve Jobs in Triump of the Nerds, 1996), Microsoft's current upward surge in openness and outreach, beats the black turtleneck and silver Saab at Apple.

To this extent it's a great relief to be proven wrong while reading the transcript from Jobs' Commencement Address at Stanford just a few weeks ago. (Thank you, Per!) Take a few minutes yourself and read.

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April 27, 2005

For sale on Ebay?

Why is it that there is a Huge Selection of me on Ebay (indeed at Low Prices)?

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April 12, 2005

HuskMitNavn goes Jazzy

Notorious (and favourite) street artist HuskMitNavn is behind the traditional poster for this year's Copenhagen Jazz Festival.

Anyone who has roamed around Copenhagen this winter will remember his Morgenmad til Aftensmad igen posters and last year's Vinterpik posters which are still visible here and there.
Apparently, the Jazz Festival poster is his first mass produced poster -- all prior posters have been drawn individually by hand.

Also, the first name for this year has been announced, namely Chick Corea in the Copenhagen Opera on July 6. While it won't beat Niels Lan Doky's beautifully staged Montmartre Revival -- the most touching musical experience in my life -- he will be a sure-go for any jazz lover in Copenhagen this summer.

Update (in Danish only): Niels Lan Doky says:

Biografpremieren er 1. juli (bl.a. Dagmar og Grand biograferne i København) og samme aften spiller hele holdet på Plænen.
Jeg regner med at soundtrack albumet udkommer 15. juni, men det er ikke helt på plads endu.

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February 14, 2005


While I might well have chosen the same words as when I first hit MovableType's publish back in January 2002, it is a vastly different space that I am returning to. Weblogging has gone beyond personal publishing and is now a standard tool for anything from teenagers gossiping to personal branding to talkheads podcasting, and - amid it's continued mockery of the medium - mainstream media has slowly been noticing.
Yet one thing has not changed; blogging and its derivative forms are the most candid and direct ways to communicate and it is this which draws me back.

I'm returning to public blogspace for the first time since killing the otherwise well-attested Digital Identity weblog sometime in mid 2003. Blogging digital identity was a great encouragement, but time moved me away from the subject. While I don't expect this weblog to have the same uptake on subject authority that blogging digital identity did, I really look forward to having a space for engaging in public dialogue.
I forget exactly whom (and Google is of no help), but an early Microsoft blogger formulated something along the lines of that the true power of weblogs is reaching all those whom you did not expect to reach.


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