A Sunday in April

Weather was better than forecast.

It’s been fairly dry. So today’s rain was a welcome change. But despite dark clouds and rain symbols on the Swiss Meteo app, the rain was over by lunch.

Time for a bike ride.

WOD: I cycled to Rheinfelden at a leisurely pace.

Grenzach-Wyhlen – Herten – Rheinfelden – Kaiseraugst – Birsfelden

Mad about March

I like March. It’s my favorite month of the year.

I like the blue Baselworld flags. Remind me of the first time I ever came to Basel. All hotels were booked out. I stayed in the Basel youth hostel in St. Alban, a part of town that I really like.

Snow

snow

Still find snow exciting. Like a little kid. Frozen water falling from the sky.

The tag: living in a deep freezer

Metropole Switzerland

Before I moved to Switzerland I read an article discussing the idea or rather the vision of Switzerland being one metropolitan area with ultra-fast trains zipping to and fro between the commercial centres.

Recently this topic has filtered through to me again. I’m assuming that in a specialized context it has been discussed all along.

metropolitane schweiz

metrobasel

As I mentioned in one of my Flickr comments, the urban area around Basel will probably continue to grow and it would better if cities and towns cooperated on important regional issues such as traffic, public transport, waste disposal, city planning and education.

In October I took part in an interesting architecture tour called Birsstadt, which discussed and highlighted the importance of regional vs town assembly planning and management.

But I’m just a private person noticing a trend and commenting…

Portes Ouvertes this weekend

Last minute pointer:

Kunstschaffende aus Basel und der Region öffnen alle zwei Jahre an einem Wochenende ihre Ateliertüren, um einem interessierten Publikum Einblick in ihr Schaffen zu gewähren.

Portes Ouvertes is happening this weekend. Various Basel artists are taking part. A great way to see how artists work.

Hat tip: Martin Gyger, who is also taking part.

My BlogCamp Switzerland Talk

As announced on Twitter, I presented a talk on mobile technology in Malawi at today’s BlogCamp in Zurich to share what I’m learning from the African blogs and tweets that I follow on a regular basis.

I started my talk with a short intro on Chiperoni (I am a bridge blogger somewhere between Basel and Blantyre) and why I blog. How much I appreciated Alex Antener’s news stream published on a Polytechnic server during the last Malawi general election. Then pointing to White African’s blog post discussing Twitter’s decision to discontinue its SMS service to the rest of the world. I tried to point out the potential a “Twitter to SMS” service could have for Malawi, where most of the population does not have access to the internet or even a plain old fixed telephone line.

Soyapi Mumba's Blog: The Potential of Twitter in Africa

I described the current situation. And how this is changing with mobile technology. I pointed to Mike McKay’s blog post about a rural area in northern Malawi where villagers climb an ant hill to get a better signal.

In Switzerland we take a lot of things such as the excellent infrastructure we have for granted.

I shared some of my observations from my recent holiday in Blantyre, some data on the pricing models and how public wifi is being introduced in urban areas.

tnm || always with you

Zain Malawi - SMS text messages - Prices

I was a little shaky on the stats side of things, telecommunication regulations, as well as who owns the major cell phone service companies, TNM and Zain. I’ll need to do more research here. I might have got some of my facts mixed up.

I did refer to the new airtime tax that is being introduced.

Examples referred to:

This talk was inspired by White African’s and Soyapi Mumba’s tweet streams. Zikomo kwambiri. Keep on tweeting.

Flickr credits: White African, Hackerfriendly, all other photos are my own.

Big zikomo to Persillie and Mlle A. for reviewing my slides!

I enjoyed presenting very much (note to myself).

Oh and I forgot to mention my chat with a Limbe internet cafe manager during the talk…

Limbe Internet Cafe

Workspace of an artist…

Just a quick note pointing to some snapshots I took on Saturday in Martin Gyger’s studio.

I visited Martin Gyger's art studio

I visited Martin Gyger's art studio

I like seeing other people’s workplaces…

Martin told me that he will be moving into a new workspace very soon, but before he moves out he’ll organize an exhibition. I forget the exact date but this should be some time in early September. And Martin says he’s planning to take part in this year’s Portes Ouvertes on 18th and 19th October.

Martin displays much of his work on Flickr. His work is for sale. Contact him directly if you’re interested in getting an original or a print.