Handheld shapshot taken along the river banks of the Rhein

Here is a handheld shapshot taken along the river banks of the Rhein during dusk yesterday evening:

Basel hat keinen See

When I moved to Basel many years ago, some of my conversations went like this:

Nchenga at Chiperoni.ch: I really like Basel. It’s got a lot of cultural events, museums, cinemas for a city of this size. It’s well-connected, has a great public transport system, just the right size, etc.

Swiss counterpart: Basel doesn’t have a lake.

I heard the same comment several times. Until it occurred to me.
Many Swiss cities are located near a lake. Zürich, Geneva, Lausanne, Luzern, Lugano, Locarno. A sizeable city needs a lake.

Murten walk

I followed another recommended walk from the little yellow booklet, published by the Swiss heritage society.

for my photo tours this spring

This time I headed to Murten to see the city wall.

day trip to Murten and Bern

It was snowing quite heavily. The lake was invisible in grey clouds. But still fun.

Especially with a cup of hot chocolate.

day trip to Murten and Bern

nchenga’s Web 2.0 roundup: Links and comments

How many online services did you sign up for, use once or twice, and then never return again?

In my case, that would be lots of ’em. Some of them are really popular services like Digg or Mister Wong, where I just haven’t found a personal use case, or I’ve got a substitute or workaround. While some of them have disappeared, like leze.de or gada.be.

Here’s an idea for a blog post which I’ll update as I go along and find more unused websites in the backwaters of my Internet history.

Sites I tried, but which I don’t use anymore:

  • Digg
  • Mister Wong (I keep forgetting the url and typing mrwong.de)
  • MyBlogLog (I wanted to un-subscribe, but I didn’t see the corresponding info, and now I’m too lazy and too busy. I don’t like the automatic delurking. Sometimes I want to lurk around for a while to get an opinion on the site…).
  • Stumbleupon (I tried this once or twice, got really frustrated by the navigation and the tool bar, and couldn’t find a way to un-subscribe and leave).
  • Web.de (changed the policy for their free email service to make it unusable, a clear goodbye from my side.)
  • Blog-city.com (the hosted blog service I first tried out when I started blogging in 2003, at the time it had long and frustrating upgrade cycles, the reason that I moved to my own installation of WordPress)
  • Blogger (I read some Blogger sites… but I hate it if I need to sign in into Blogger to leave a comment, I’ve got about 2 Blogger logins floating around and I just find it cumbersome).
  • Bloglines

Sites or services that I visit regularly:

  • Flickr
  • del.icio.us
  • Gmail, Gtalk…
  • Wikipedia
  • Technorati and blogsearch.google.com (mainly due to lack of alternatives, I think there’s lots of room for improvement in both)
  • Slug.ch and blogug.ch (for the Swiss perspective)
  • Youtube, Revver
  • Skype (I recently signed up for SkypeOut and used it to call Malawi, very good sound quality, comparable or lower pricing compared to telecom carriers)

On the content side of things, I read:

  • Scoble
  • Dooce (you’ve got to have at least one mummy blogger in your Webtwodotoh portfolio)
  • Metablog.ch (although recently this blog has slowed down a bit… I guess, Matthias has a lot of other duties)
  • Climb to the Stars
  • Gapingvoid (all time favorite)
  • Google News, and I’ve set up Google Alerts for a couple of keywords.
  • WordPress and WordPress.com (WordPress goodness hosted for you)
  • Lorelle on WordPress

My favorite RSS feed by far:

  • Dilbert

New explorations:

  • Twitter
  • Stickis
  • Vox.com (they offer a smooth integration into external sites like Flickr. Pretty cool!)
  • Jumpcut (downside: another Yahoo! company…)
  • Afrigator (Blog aggregator for African sites, I like their crocodile icon!)

TV Sunday

I just zapped into the making of Vitus on Swiss TV:

Die VITUSmacher

A film I really enjoyed. If you get a chance, go see it esp. in dialect…

It’s raining cats and dogs in Basel. I hope this rainy weather will not result in floods and landslides in the mountains.

open air cinema on the Muensterplatz

Yesterday I saw War of Lord* at the open air cinema on the Muensterplatz. I was lucky: it didn’t rain! It’s a good movie and realistic. And the movie definitely brings its message across. Category: Must see.

update:
*an offline commentator pointed out that I got the film title wrong. It’s Lord of War, starring Nicholas Cage.

Swiss weather in Swiss German

Stopped by at the Swiss TV blog for the very first time, and do you know what:

“es hudlet”, “es chuutet”, “es strääzt” oder “es chunnd ganz schöön cho schütte”

Looks like I’ll need to learn more Swiss German dialect to find out what kind of weather’s being forecast for tomorrow.

Just wondering if there’s another European country that has a similar language constellation. I mean, if we consider the German speaking part, there’s:

  • Standard High German – variant required to speak with Germans;
  • Swiss High German – often mistaken as being Mundart by German visitors. (Typical duh comment: Swiss German isn’t as difficult to understand as I thought it would be);
  • And then there’s the various regional dialects such as Basel-Deutsch, Bärn-Deutsch, Zuri-Deutsch. Basically every valley has its own language.

Swiss German has a lot of French loan words. New discovery of the week: couronne as in couronne de Paris. Never heard of the expression before, but Wikipedia had this description.

Agglo and quartier are regular expressions heard often in Basel.

(I know, I know. A very boring blog entry. Nothing new. But I did say “I’m blogging this” at the time 😉 )

A couple of interesting links:

My only hope is that the Swiss German weather will be sunnier than in High German…

Blogger Meetup in Basel

Just got back from the Swiss Bloggers meetup in downtown Basel. It was fun sharing experiences and talking about tools and seeing the blogger “in person”. As bamboozled had announced a couple of journalists came by asking questions about blogs, star bloggers… and the future development of blogs.

freie sicht aufs mittelmeer

Here’s an interesting production playing at the Theater Basel.

The stage is the streets of Basel…
I saw an interview with Dani Levy, and I’m planning to go see the show.

[Update Saturday Oct 30] I managed to get hold of a ticket despite the fact that the show is sold out for the season. Sometimes it helps to voice your leisure plans at work…

The play starts in the courtyard of the city prison. Headphones and rain capes are distributed. And then the entire set, audience, sound and light engineers move from building to building in the St. Johann’s Quartier of Basel. Video and live scenes mix. And there’s an excellent use of the real setting. At times I felt I was witnessing real disputes as a passer-by, in other cases I felt I was watching a movie.

Highly recommended. A great show! Different but not too experimental. Plus you get to know another part of Basel…

See also: NZZ | Wikipedia