Best snapshot of 2013

The question is:
How do I find the best Chiperoni snapshot of 2013?

My most productive month on Flickr in 2013 was May. Least productive – at least in terms of uploads – was August.

Here’s a quick review of my year on Flickr:

January 2013

February 2013

März 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

BTW, you’re seeing a new kind of image embed that Flickr is rolling out now.

ET phone home

I like this blog post on the Crossroads website: Home for Christmas.

ET phone home.

ich bin ein star

Growing up in Malawi, I probably don’t share the same level of contemplative Christmas (“besinnliche Weihnachten”) memories that my fellow German compatriots may have experienced. It’s difficult to emulate some Christmas traditions when it’s over 30 degrees warm.

merry christmas

My mom remembers how I had to learn a lot of english carols in my first year of primary school, many of which she had never heard of. Like Good King Wenceslas. Or God rest ye merry gentlemen. Or Away in a manger. I faintly remember walking to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Blantyre for carol service rehearsals.

merry christmas

Christmas was a very special celebration for my grandfather. My mom told me about a lot about the Christmas parties he organized for his family despite being very poor.

And many years later, I remember my first Christmas at German uni where everybody in class said they’re travelling home to be with their family. Even the tough-looking punk with dyed red hair and rings in his nose was travelling home to celebrate Christmas with his mom. I was truly fascinated.

last minute

I am thankful for this Christian holiday. And I like some of the traditions associated with Christmas. I just dislike and still rebel against the commercialization.

shop window

I’m planning to attend the Christmas Eve service at Crossroads Basel. If you want to join me, here are the details.

Christmas card...

A fave for http://www.wenger-2-rad.ch/

This is a blog post to say thank you to http://www.wenger-2-rad.ch/.

On Monday morning, I noticed that I had forgotten my bicycle lock at home. Since I don’t have a lockable place to store my bike near work, I hurried to the closest bicycle shop planning to buy a substitute. When I noticed I’d forgotten my purse in the same place where I’d left my bicycle lock.

Great way to start the week.

I usually attach my bicycle lock to my bike rack.

The owner of Wenger 2 Rad was kind enough to lend me a bicycle lock for a day. Without charge. Which is great, ‘cos I already own at least 3 bicycle locks and don’t really need a fourth one to forget.

Thank you Wenger 2 Rad. I appreciate the help.

Papaya is a super food

Via “50 foods you should be eating”, papaya is highly recommended:

34. Papaya
If you’re feeling the onset of a cold, reach for this tropical fruit instead of an orange next time. One papaya has more than three times the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and is also stocked with flavonoids, vitamin B, potassium, magnesium and fiber. All in all, it’s good for the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

See also the anamed website

My wish list

Inspired by various gift lists that are showing up in my timeline, I thought I need to write my own wish list.

On my wish list:

New takkies.
new takkies
I’ve started running again on a regular basis. And I noticed I need to replace my Asics with a fresh pair. Bought my current pair in 2010.

“Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur schlechte Kleidung”
I need to buy some clothes for winter.

I’m very happy with my current line-up of gadgets. Favourite gadgets in use in 2013 are a good old 13″ MacBook, an iPad and a Lumix camera.

Android smartphone.
I don’t need a smartphone. But looking at current reviews, I’d probably get a Nexus 4 or an LG G2. I’d like to learn more about Android. My multi-operating system strategy is a good excuse, don’t you think?

Apple TV.
I remember a meeting with an online marketer who strongly recommended getting an Apple TV, when it first came out. Maybe he’s right. Or maybe Google Chromecast is a cheaper alternative?

But these are all material wishes. Not essential.

Happiness, health, peace, love, joy, wisdom, kindness, goodness, knowledge are worth much more. And much more difficult to gain.

kraft

One wish of mine is to improve my writing skills. There is more fun in creating.

riding a bicycle

Banana Bread – December 2013 version

Four, very overripe bananas in my kitchen… means it’s time for banana bread.

I found this recipe while searching for the keyphrase “coconut banana bread” and decided to give it a try:

Ingredients

4 bananas, (2 1/2 cups mashed or 575 grams)(they can be yellow bananas)

4 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter (140 grams)(or coconut, sunflower seed, macadamia nut, etc butter)

4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted (can substitute coconut oil)

1/2 cup coconut flour (75 grams)(or almond flour, macadamia nut meal, etc)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free or homemade)

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of sea salt

via Paleo Banana Bread at Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.

Throw everything together, mix and bake at 180 C.

I used tahina instead of almond butter.

Banana Bread ”“ December 2013 version

Underperforming students at Chanco

This is sad news: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2013/11/29/university-of-malawi-withdraws-116-unperforming-students-at-chanco/
It’s so tough to get to Chanco in the first place and then this. Their relatives will be devastated. I’m sure lots of aunts and uncles paid towards their secondary school and exam fees.

I know very few students that make it to uni level in Malawi. Most lack the points required to go on to tertiary education.

If you pass MSCE but don’t have enough points in Maths and English, your only hope is to try again. All career options require a good MSCE in Maths and English. And there are only a limited number of training positions. Competition is high. Most school leavers end up repeating the exam 2 or 3 times.

IMHO, the educational system requires more vocational training options. Like in Germany or Switzerland. Like Tevet but on a larger scale.

But this is not easy to implement. I don’t know enough about the Malawi education system. I’m an outsider. I’m sure Malawi blogger Steve Sharra can provide more insight.

There are few options for middle-of-the-road school leavers with a MSCE pass.

Sidenote:
Reminds me of a quote by John C. Maxwell to treat all your students well. Cos your C-level students will one day return and fund the expansion of your school.

Also confirmed by this Business Insider article.

Rapid fire trading

Wow.

Compare and contrast with Kevin Slavin’s Lift 11 talk.

A November Snapshot http://flic.kr/p/hNSpaB

I took this snapshot while cycling in Basel.

cycling in Basel

Temperatures dropped to freezing point and once again it’s time to wear lots of layers, scarves and gloves.

Hard to imagine that once upon a time I didn’t own a winter coat.

I still prefer cycling in the cold. If temperatures drop further as they often do in January or February, 0 degrees will feel like summer. It’s all relative.

Here’s the direct link to Flickr: Velo fahren.

Scott Adams on Goals vs. Systems http://bit.ly/1gfOojJ

Recommended: Scott Adams Blog: Goals vs. Systems

“Before long your body will be trained, like Pavlov’s dogs, to crave the psychological lift you get from being active every day.”

Lots of food for thought in this article.

I particularly like the notes on writing and using blogging as a system to find new opportunities. Also what Scott is talking about here, evolved over several years and took many writing hours. Not some instant magic that some people try to sell us.

Where is Mount Chiperone?

Another Chiperoni reference: This blog is named after the drizzle rain we get in the Shire Highlands.

Where is Mount Chiperone located?

Mount Chiperone in northern Mozambique is a semi-isolated peak situated some 50 km south of the Mount Mulanje massif in southern Malawi. It lies in Milange District of Zambézia Province, 40 km SSW of the District Centre of Milange.

via THE BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION OF MOUNT CHIPERONE, MOZAMBIQUE

See also: Wikipedia

Google Hummingbird links

The latest addition to the SEO zoo is a hummingbird.

The algorithm change was announced in September 2013 but went live a month earlier.

Searchengineland has some useful background information:

FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm

Hummingbird’s Impact On B2B Sites

Apparently this release will improve Google’s ability to predict a user’s search intent.
Conversational search has been improved.

Looks like Google+ might be another factor to add to the 200 items Google looks at? Search Engine Journal says:

If you are joining Google Plus Communities and building an audience on Plus, answering questions, creating video content via Hangouts and Youtube, and using hashtags, you will be jumping on the Social Search bandwagon that Google is actively promoting.

SEJ infographic

Apparently the advice remains the same: develop original, high-quality content.

See Searchengineland’s SEO success factors.

Affordance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I read a new, unknown word today: Affordance – See definition on Wikipedia.

A potential action that is made possible by a given object or environment; especially, one that is made easily discoverable.

Hadn’t heard of it before.

This is the context I heard it in:

The term has further evolved for use in the context of human”“computer interaction (HCI) to indicate the easy discoverability of possible actions.