Monday, July 26, 2010

Impressions from the olpc realness summit

At the end of May I participated in the olpc realness summit which the fine folks from Waveplace had organized. Reading my corresponding announcement on olpcnews it’s not hard to see that I was excited about that event, and not just because it took place in the Caribbean;-)

“To say that I'm excited about this gathering of people would be quite the understatement. In fact this summit will likely turn out to be the single most interesting and exciting week since I first got involved with One Laptop per Child 3 years ago!”

To say that the days I spent on St. John were awesome would also be an understatement. On the one hand it was great to meet lots of very awesome and inspiring people and hear about their work. On the other hand I also had the chance to spend 1 1/2 hours each day at Gifft Hill School where some of the girls from Columbus School for Girls, led by Christine Murakami and Dana Paine, were teaching a group of students eToys. I loved being in that room every day to work with the pupils and also ended up giving some short introductory lessons on various aspects of Sugar.

100_4105 Gifft Hill School pupils

Anyway, I finally got around to look at the photos I took on St. John and upload a bunch of them to the olpc realness summit 2010 album on Flickr. At the same time I’ve also started following up on some of the ideas discussed during the summit and I hope to see some progress made in that area over the coming weeks.

100_3958_stitch Maho Bay Panorama

More photos from Uruguay

I arrived in Paraguay’s capital Asunción last night and given that it is a Sunday I decided to go for some relaxing here at Casa de Innocenti (a.k.a. Beertarium). Among other things I spent some time looking at the photos I took over the past few days and uploaded several dozen of them to the Uruguay album. I always have a hard time choosing favorites but the ones below are some of nicer ones in my opinion.


Lunch is served


Awesome store front


Pupils in 3rd grade


Perfect light


Another sunset

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photos from a weekend in Piriápolis

My weekend was spent hanging out in Piriápolis – a popular coastal town east of Montevideo - with my Uruguayan hosts Pablo & Micaela and Mark from Holland. It’s safe to say that the grand majority of the time was dedicated to purchasing, preparing and eating asado.

When we didn’t eat we mostly talked about OLPC, went for walks (where we talked about OLPC), read (mostly about OLPC stuff), and wrote (about OLPC related topics).

Can you see the pattern? Do I really need to explicitly say that a weekend focused on sharing asado and thoughts about OLPC with great company was amazing? :-)

Anyway, I just uploaded a bunch of photos from this weekend to Flickr and you can find them all here. In case you want to see the full Uurguay album then this is the link to click on.


/me is Apostle of the Apoxolypse

While taking a spin around the Web by checking some RSS feeds in Google Reader I saw that a new blog post called “Apostle of the Apoxolypse: Derndorfer's wandering star" had been published over on the OLPC blog. Not being quite sure what to expect I read the entry and basically couldn’t stop laughing all the way through. So obviously I’ll have to recommend you to read the entry which you can do here.

Thanks a lot SJ, you totally made my week!

apoxolypseLook ma, I'm on the Internet

Friday, July 16, 2010

eXpO fotos in Montevideo

Yesterday I went to see a photo exhibition here in Montevideo. That alone wouldn’t really be blog-worthy but what was special about this exhibition is that all the photos had been taken by Uruguayan pupils on their XOs (remember that in Uruguay every pupil who goes to a public primary school – about 400,000 – has received an XO as part of Plan Ceibal). I wrote up a quick, and photo-heavy, story with my impressions for olpcnews so I’d suggest you check out the article for more information and photos.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First photos from Montevideo

After spending the majority of the day catching up on news, e-mails and arranging a bunch of meetings for the coming days I went out to wander around Montevideo for a bit. Unfortunately the light wasn't too good for taking photos however I think the ones I uploaded to the Uruguay set do give a decent first impression of what things look like around here.

House on Av. 18 de Julio

Monday, July 12, 2010

Phil Zimbardo - The Secret Powers of Time [video]

I stumbled across this video via the blog of Caterina Fake (a Flickr co-founder) and found it to be interesting in a number of dimensions. First of all I've been interested in the topic of time and how it's perceived differently by individuals and cultures for quite some time. Secondly the way the video is animated is simply spectacular and thereby really adds to the content that's being presented. After some quick googling I discovered that the video was prepared by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and they provide a number of other videos that seem worthwhile watching (if only I had the time to watch them...;-). Thirdly the video is based on a lecture by psychologist Philip Zimbardo who, as I discovered via Wikipedia, is well known for being the brain behind the famous Standford prison experiment. To cut a long story short: I'd definitely recommend you to watch this 10min video, I promise it will be well worth your time.

P.S. Paul Graham's latest essay deals with "How to Lose Time and Money" and therefore complements this video quite nicely...

olpcnews South America road trip

Yes, I'm back on the road doing some traveling!! This time 'round I even have a name for my trip: the olpcnews South America road trip. While I'm not going to go into all the details here - this is what this olpcnews article is for - I'm going to be traveling through Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru for the next 6 weeks to visit the OLPC projects in these countries. So while my focus will very much be on documenting my findings and impressions over on olpcnews I'll use this blog for posting my more personal and non-olpc ramblings.

For now I'm going to leave with you with a photo of Palacio Salvo here in Montevideo but rest assured that I'll be adding plenty of photos to my Flickr account over the coming days and weeks...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Google's Urs Holzle on speeding up the Web [video]

I stumbled across this video of Url Holzle, Google's Senior VP of Operations, talking about speeding up the Web at the Velocity 2010 conference over on Data Center Knowledge and found it to be absolutely fascinating!