Microsoft Innov8

Microsoft Innov8 BerlinVor ein paar Wochen war ich auf der “Innov8”, einer Art Jam Session für Design und Innovation, ausgerichtet von Microsoft. Inspiriert vom Metro-Design sollte in kleinen Gruppen über Innovationen diskutiert werden, ich war Experte und Schirmherr für das Thema Kommunikation.

Die Herausforderung einen so breiten Komplex in so kurzer Zeit zu behandeln, nahmen wir und ich hatte viel Spaß in meiner Gruppe, die aus Designern, Unternehmern und Studenten bestand. Einig waren wir uns darüber, dass Design und auch das Grundsetup von Geräten in Zukunft noch viel mehr Filterfunktionen übernehmen wird, um die Informations- und Kommunikationsflut für jeden Einzelnen handhabbar zu machen. Außerdem wurde uns klar, dass sich Kommunikation in der Zukunft auf noch mehr Plattformen und über noch mehr Schnittstellen ziehen wird und konsistente Standards, auch im Design, daher auch für das Zusammenspiel immens wichtig sein wird. Die Macher haben einen schönen kurzen Clip gedreht, der einen guten Eindruck von der Veranstaltung liefert.

BMX bike controls digital DJ software

Am I getting this right? Did these crazy Japanese kids actually map the movements of their BMX bikes to the Traktor software to control music? Looks like it, the product is called Turntable Rider and the description reads as follows:

“The Turntable Rider is an epic bicycle accessory which converts a bicycle into a musical instrument.
The bike wheels, become jog wheels.
The handbrakes, become sound pads.
Mix and scratch at will.”


(via Roberdo)

Suicide Biking in Chile

Breathtaking point of view video taken in Chile by a Mountainbike racer. They just invent a racetrack within a city, no matter how dangerous or impossible it might be. The bike rides over endless stairs, dogs cross the way, kids leaning over the super narrow barriers. If you want to feel a bit nauseous, this is your weapon of choice!

78 facts about Germans

Liv wrote a highly entertaining, sharp and warmhearted list of facts about Germans and their way to pursue life at the Uberlin blog. I had to nod and laugh several times when reading through it. Here are the ones I could see myself in:

“7. They are very good bike riders – nay, they are exceptional bike riders. They manage to look elegant whilst freewheeling down cobbled streets, pashminas blowing out behind them. They are also highly adept at riding with umbrellas.”
Although I would never, never, never use an umbrella, freewheeling cobble stone makes up for that.

“28. They love the breakfast meal.”
Yes! Breakfast is awesome! Most important meal of the day.

“29. They enjoy a darker bread. The whiter the less trustworthy.”
Absolutely. The thing I miss most when I am away.

“31. Germans can always enjoy a hotdog/bratwurst, no matter the time, no matter the place. And they never seem to drip the sauce all over themselves.”
The thing with the sauce is a matter of practice.

“40. They don’t necessarily say it to you face, at the time … but Germans don’t like it when you go against the tide in the supermarket.”
Exactly. Learn that, expats.

“58.Germans are distrustful of any beverage that doesn’t sparkle.”
True, that’s why Evian and Volvic have a hard time here.

“67. Germany loves a public holiday. Bavaria in particular.”
Correction: Only Bavaria. We in Berlin have like 5 days less of public holidays. I never understood this kind of injustice.

“74. They are bizarrely superstitious about wishing people a Merry Christmas too early, opening presents early and celebrating birthdays early.”
Strange. But true.

Read the whole list!

Keine Wohnung, aber eine Bahncard

Der Autor des Buchs um das es geht, hat viele Namen. Früher war er MC Rene, dann mal Reen, ich kenne ihn als René El Kazhraje und einige Menschen kennen ihn auch als Stefan Eckert. Dieser Stefan war das Alter Ego von René als er nach seiner Rapper-Karriere als Callcenter Agent arbeitete. “Outbound” heißt das und eine Ausgeburt der Hölle muss dieser Job sein. Schließlich beschloss er, seinen Job zu kündigen und auch seine Wohnung, seine Sachen zu verschenken und fortan nur noch unterwegs zu sein. Er besorgte sich eine Bahncard 100 und ist seitdem als Stand Up Comedian in Deutschland unterwegs, seit mehr als 2 Jahren.

Dieses Buch erzählt seine Geschichte. Mit Selbstironie und einem freundlichen Blick auf das Leben erzählt René von dem Gefühl der Freiheit, den kleinen und großen Erfolgen und natürlich den niedergeschlagenen und einsamen Momenten eines Künstlers auf Reisen. Wir lesen von der Liebe zu seinem Koffer, von Flirts, alten Freunden und dem Vergleich von Lebenswegen. Dass Erfolg und Glück relativ sind und zuhause auch ein Zug sein kann.

Da man die Stefan Raab Folge mit MC Rene mal wieder nicht einbetten kann, habe ich hier noch Renes legendären Freestyle vor Busta Rhymes raus gekramt, der den Meister des schnellen Raps mit offenem Mund da sitzen ließ.

Es gibt aber auch einen tollen Trailer zum Buch!

MC RENE Alles auf eine Karte (2012) from mc rene on Vimeo.

Ich habe dieses Buch in einem Zug (haha) durchgelesen und war ein wenig traurig, dass es so schnell vorbei war. In jedem Fall eine klare Leseempfehlung, die unterhält, zum lachen und nachdenken bringt und Lust aufs Reisen macht. Und Vertrauen darin, seinen eigenen Weg zu gehen.

Hier geht’s zu “Alles auf eine Karte” bei Amazon.

My sexist, simple, political hometown

What is it with my home town Göttingen? The little picturesque student city in the middle of Germany produced two strange news in the last week.

First, I stumbled upon this video by Kathleen Leinemann which is supposed to become the “city’s hymn”. It’s a very, very, very simple song with a country appeal and the video is of the kind where your parents clap your shoulder and say “at least your not in prison”. The video went a little viral on Facebook, since these kind of embarrassing oddities do get their share. But well, maybe my home town deserves it, I know why I had to leave when I was 19.

The second story is about students, football and sexism. Apparently Göttingen’s students teams have a tendency to chose sexist names. One team is called “FC Siewillja” (“FC she wants it”) and one of the many word games people play when choosing a hobby team’s name. Other teams are called “FC Nuttich” (“FC Slutty”), or “Borussia Bunga Bunga”. This team had to face a shitstorm after giving a sarcastic answer to a concerned female student on their Facebook page.

The story unfolded and was discussed on many blogs and pages. Like always, there is no real consensus to be found. One part claims that language is power and by using words to degrade women sexual harassment is manifested. While others can’t understand the uproar and just laugh about a wordplay. The FC Siewillja team at least felt sorry for being sarcastic and not answering appropriately to the first comment, they changed their logo from a naked women to a full beer glass. To be fair, most teams use metaphors from alcohol for their names like “Wacker Durchsaufen” (“Bravely Binging”, referring to the second league club “Wacker Burghausen”). Or AS Rum.

What does this tell us about Göttingen? Göttingen has always been a very political city. With a strong leftist alternative scene in the 80ies and 90ies it saw many demonstrations and had one tragic incident where a member of the local antifascist group was killed in a police car incident which hardened the situation and produced many violent anti-police demonstrations in the beginning of the 90ies. Then, during the last years, Göttingen’s university received elite status and thus many conservative and success focused students moved there, clashing with the former leftist political milieu at the university.

I assume that while student football teams have all sorts of pseudo-funny and sexist names all over the country, the shitstorm had to happen in Göttingen. Because of this clash and the political heritage. Or I am going too far here. And Göttingen in the end is the simple minded place that the video in the beginning likes us to believe.

Perfect Spanish summer feeling videos

In Berlin, we had a glimpse of summer about 10 days ago. It was wonderful, girls wearing skirts, boys wearing shorts, we were riding our bikes with sunglasses on, off to a barbecue. Now it’s cold and rainy again and we remember that we used to go on a summer holiday. To Italy, Spain or Greece. We’d live in a summer house owned by friends, go down to the beach, cook together, drink beer, dance in the street. These videos wake this feeling of mediterranean easy-going and living into the day.

The first one tells the story of Max who is in a bus, looking over a sunny landscape, on his way to meet his friends and family. Everybody is really happy to see him, they go collect chairs in the narrow streets of the old town, have diner, go fishing, play domino and eventually a little flirt evolves. Cute pictures and a great song produce a dense atmosphere which makes you wish you where there. The video is done by Estrella, Catalunya’s most famous beer and my favorite when I used to live there. It’s shot in the beautiful landscape Serra de Tramuntana on Mallorca.

In Barcelona, Sonar, one of the most important festivals about electronic music and media art is about to start next week. The city, the beaches and the roof tops become official stages and off-parties, and I am still a bit proud to have started this trend of the after-sonar beach events back in 2004 with Intro magazine. Now, the Mobilee crew is known for their Sonar parties, like you’ll see in this hotel roof video.

And if you like it a bit more kinky, after family reunion on Mallorca, intellectual partying in Barcelona, you should take a flight, or a boat, to Ibiza, where the most infamous parties unveal. Being the place with the most expensive clubs, like the Amnesia, you should try to connect to all the promoters and organizers and let them put you on the list for the evening. It’s actually less hard than you think.

My new favorite comedian: Hannibal Buress

I stumbled upon a video with Hannibal Buress the other night and I was fascinated by the laid back style of this rising star of the US comedy scene. He is not as noisy and annoying like many others of his league, screaming and jumping all around, his magic lays more in the subtleness, the repetition and the minimal variations of face and voice. He has a rap infused speaking style and builds up smart storytelling jokes with slow confidence like a chronically underestimated stoned nerd with glasses. And he can be mean and nice at the same time.

Visit his website and follow him as he is also an avid twitterer

Photo taken from