Larsblog - personal

Antwerp and the Kulminator

About a month ago my girlfriend and I went to Antwerp to relax, do some tourism, and try some new beers. Antwerp turned out to be perfectly suited to all three pursuits. The city isn't too big—a little smaller than Oslo—and the city center is very compact, and packed with historical buildings. The size is deceptive, though. Antwerp is one of the world's biggest ports, and has been a world center of trade since the 16th century. In fact, for a while in the 16th century Antwerp was northern Europe's second biggest city, before its role as a trade center was taken over by Amsterdam. ...

Read | 2007-03-25 20:47 | 3 comment(s)

#100

I've reached a small anniversary here, in that I've finally gotten to blog posting #100. That doesn't mean I've done exactly 100 postings, since there are some posting IDs for which there is no published post. Some of these never got written, some are half-written, and a couple got too personal to be publishable. Still, it's a good time to reflect a bit on how this blog has developed. ...

Read | 2007-02-20 22:13 | 4 comment(s)

Ominous thaw

This has been the warmest autumn in Europe since the 16th century, and for the first time I can remember there is no real possibility for skiing in the woods around Oslo. From Japan my friend Naito-san writes that the winter has been unusually warm, and in Trondheim the local microbrewery has named their winter warmer beer Global Warming. It all points to the same thing, doesn't it? ...

Read | 2007-02-04 20:55 | 2 comment(s)

Imperium

Ryszard Kapuscinski is very well known to what appears to be a rather small group of people. I read this book in 2006, and it was my introduction to him. I liked it enough that I'm going to read the rest of the books he's written, although they are unfortunately not that many. (I wrote this while in the middle of "The Soccer War".) ...

Read | 2007-02-04 20:13 | 3 comment(s)

Two Stalin biographies

Svein's recent review of Simon Sebag Montefiore's Stalin biography finally made me write up some book reviews I've been planning for a long time. Originally I planned a posting with a "Russian bibliography", consisting of the books on Russia I read the last couple of years, both to prepare for the holiday, and because I'm interested. I had to stop after four books, however, since it became clear that this would be much too long for one posting. So here are the two Stalin biographies, at least. Whether any more will appear remains to be seen. ...

Read | 2007-01-06 23:26 | 6 comment(s)

Travels in 2006

Last year I did a Google Map of my travels in 2005, and so of course I wanted to do it again this year. I'd written scripts that built the map from my photo topic map, but they were lost with the old laptop. That meant I had to write them all over again, but the benefit is that they are much cleaner this time around. It gave me a nice, recreational task that didn't require too much concentration to do over Christmas, too. (For more detail on how it was produced, see last year's posting.) ...

Read | 2007-01-06 14:27 | 0 comment(s)

Moscow

I was rather surprised to find that the largest European city is neither London nor Paris, but rather Moscow. With a population of 10-12 million it is easily the largest city in Europe. And of the great European cities it must also be by far the least visited. I think pretty much every person reading this would recognize the names "Kremlin", "Red Square", and the outline of the St. Vassiliy cathedral, but very few have actually seen these things. ...

Read | 2006-11-18 14:03 | 4 comment(s)

Lost and found

I thought my holiday photos were lost forever, when suddenly it occurred to me that there was a way to get them back. I was reading a local IT newspaper in the office kitchen, waiting for my tea water to boil, when I spotted an ad for Ibas. Ibas is a Norwegian company specializing in data recovery. I mostly associate them with really spectacular recovery operations after fires and shipwrecks, and so on. However, the ad said they also did this for private individuals who had lost their digital photos. ...

Read | 2006-11-17 21:08 | 4 comment(s)

Backup solution

Following the laptop theft I decided to put together a backup solution for myself to avoid getting into trouble in the same way if something similar should happen again. ...

Read | 2006-11-12 13:28 | 2 comment(s)

A laptop disappears

Losing a laptop is a traumatic experience, and Monday evening it was my turn. I was staying in a hotel in Amsterdam, and after the day's meetings I sat on the bed to quickly scan my email and look up the nearest good beer bar. Going out, I left the laptop on the bed, still running. I hesitated for a split second, wondering whether this was safe, but decided I didn't want the extra weight in my backpack, and left. ...

Read | 2006-10-04 16:32 | 5 comment(s)

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