Charles Reade


Mind your thoughts for they become your words; mind your words for they become your actions; mind your actions for they become your habits; mind your habits for they become your character; mind your character for it becomes your destiny.– Charles Reade

60 Hours in Berlin

I just got back from Berlin this week, there for a gathering of researchers studying and making signing avatars; good stuff. It was my first time in Germany though I don’t think it was long enough to give a great opinion on the place. Here’s a list of pros and cons just the same:


  • Airport access via bus and U-bahn: TXL to the city center in 30 mins.
  • All the Germans I spoke to had rather good English.
  • The French and American embassies are new, beautiful, and open (unlike the US embassy in Paris, with its makeshift barriers and guards outside, which makes a citizen feel wholly unwelcome).


  • Dirt and trash everywhere. Berlin did just get some snow, but it seemed much worse than I’d have expected.
  • A rather soviet feeling, even in the old Ally sections: the architecture of the city needs an overhaul.
  • There was some shopping, but nothing like Paris.

Guess I’ll have to get back some time and be a real tourist. Maybe in springtime.

Here’s a few pictures from around town: Berlin Jan 2011

Follow-up: Oh those Belgians!


Belgian 2 Euro coin

(Click here to read part 1)

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, Belgium minted a special €2 in 2008, as pictured above.

On the obverse of the coin, the country name is written in its three national languages, Dutch, French, and German. However, so as to not offend anyone’s language choice, and thus not impede on anyone’s human rights, the coin designer decided to include a single logo commemorating the anniversary with the English phrase “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

How apropos!

Snow blocks thousands in Vannes!


Snowy Vannes

Ah, yes it’s that time again, when snow falls and nobody is prepared. Take Vannes for example: we’ve had an impressive inch-and-a-half of snow since Sunday and streets and sidewalks are still covered. I even got a cancellation email today because someone is “blocked” by the snow. Seriously?

All this because someone forgot that you put salt down before it snows, rather than gravel down after it snows. Oh well!