// cities on wheels

For the past year, I’ve had the privilege to live/work in two of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. Amsterdam and Copenhagen share a very similar bike culture in that both cities support and encourage the use of bikes as the primary mean of transportation. Infrastructures catering to bikes are well implemented in to the city traffics, compelling almost half the population to commute on wheels.
Besides being a mobile and reliable commuting tool, it also brings you closer to the mainstream lifestyle of the locals. I purchased my bike the day after I arrived in Amsterdam. The moment I start paddling, the initial stint of being that awkward and insecure tourist starts to fade away. In a way, conforming to the bike culture was the first step to establish myself in the city, as if I’ve been officially integrated into the flow of the society. Additional benefits of cycling include daily exercise, economically sustainable, and nothing beats the thrill of cycling home intoxicated at two in the morning.

the synonymous bike scene of Amsterdam and Copenhagen
The bicycle parking garage beside Amsterdam's central station, this thing houses 2500 bikes.
The bikes gets a magnificent view overlooking the IJ River.
The steel truss column that holds up the cantilevered parking platforms.
Your bikes will be 'towed' if not retrieved after 28 days.
My trusty folder bike.
a headshot of Danny Devito printed on the bike seat, a gesture of love...or detest.
The shed also comes with a handy attendant.
Some shabby parking spots under the train tracks, apparently 2500 spots are still not enough.

The bicycle parking lot beside Copenhagen's Nørrebro Station, the busiest station in the city.

I find bicycles to be extremely photogenic =]


// soccer frenzy-Dutch style

About a month ago, I attended a soccer game along with my buddies Pete and Zak. Let me preface by pointing out I am a diehard sports fan and this is not my first time to a sporting event, but boy I was really impressed by the energy of the crowd, especially for supporting just a B team...

This was a match between the Jong Ajax (Younge Ajax) and the Jong PSV, respectively the reserve teams for the cities of Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Since they were only the B teams, entrance was free, and only the bottom half of the arena was open. The whole time we were shoulder to shoulder with thousands of drunk, rowdy, Dutch soccer hooligans. Every pass and tackle would trigger the crowd into a beautifully synchronized Ajax team song, choreographed with bobbing and hand motions. I don’t remember what the final score was, at the end it was much more entertaining watching the crowd reactions. If this was a sneak peak to an official Ajax game, imagine what it would be like to witness a World Cup soccer match.

Photos taken from Amsterdam ArenA. 


// inside the box

These are iterations of the table of content for my portfolio starting from first year.

Am I incapable of thinking outside the box?

// the double forward slash


Ever wondered about the motive behind the double forward slash in your internet addresses? I'm glad you asked...

The "/" is a punctuation mark often used to represent "or" & "and", but in the computing world it is used to separate directory and file components of a path, ie what you see in URLs. So get this, after almost two decades since Sir Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web, the knighted scientist recently confesses that the "//" in internet addresses "were a mistake" here's what he had to say during a recent interview.

“When I designed the URL, this thing which starts http://, the slash was to indicate we’re actually starting at the top, not starting down at the next slash. Really, if you think about it, it doesn’t need the //. I could have designed it not to have the //. Boy, now people on the radio are calling it forward slash forward slash’. “People have to use that finger so much. Look at all the paper and trees that could have been saved if people had not had to write or type out those slashes on paper over the years - not to mention the human labor and time spent typing those two keystrokes countless millions of times in browser address boxes,”
The // is used as a prefix to all my blog entries, it is as superfluous as it is in our browser address boxes. Frankly I just love the way it looks, perhaps Sir Tim Berners Lee felt the same.


// elephant parade

The Elephant Parade is a campaign aimed to raise money and awareness for elephants in Asia that are facing extinction. It is a herd of over a hundred life sized baby elephants each decorated by distinguished artists. Each elephant is unique in its character, they can be amusing, funky, odd, together they form amazing public exhibitions that are being displayed in major cities around the world.
It reminds me of the Cow Parade which started in 1998 in Zurich. The Cow Parade was proven to be an innovative way of using public art to benefit conservations. Perhaps this could start a trend for all animals threatened by extinction.  But could this could work on animals that are not equally cuddly and sympathetic? Would you be equally willing to support the Lowland Gorilla Parade or the Bamboo Lemur Parade?
The elephants are currently parading around Amsterdam, pictures were taken in Westergasgabriek Park.


// ambigram

After the launch of Angels and Demons there was a significant increase in the awareness and popularity of ambigrams. For those of you who are still out of the loop, an ambigram is a typographical design that can be read as the same word or phrase in different orientations.

For a long time I've been obsessed with my initials for having a 180-degree rotational symmetry. In a way it is a self-made ambigram without the excessive tweaking. I wonder if this happened as a coincidence, but for now I will settle on the fantasy of my parents being members of the Illuminati.