Hello again, friends & strangers!
After a considerable lapse of web inactivity, I hereby announce that I've moved. From April 23,2011 on, the new Landlocked Port will be here.
Some time has passed and new projects developed, for which landlockedport.com was created. And that's the place to know further news.
You're most welcome to visit the new website. Thanks, regards & see you soon.
LCD Soundsystem, 'All My Friends'
Somewhat close where somehow was stopped when something was lost.
The 'Bangkok Express' leaving PSA's Noordzee Terminal
You can find more pictures by following the link "My Pictures" on the right-hand frame or by clicking here.
Weekends always promise more than they can deliver. Usually, one thinks that it will be the perfect time for indulging or working, depending on the respective needs. Unfortunately, when Monday is already on the horizon and one looks behind, the all-beautiful plans were transformed into laundry, ironing and cleaning, and you're happy if you managed to at least have a stroll & a drink in Carouge.
If that's true, what can I say? I'm happy, I've just came back from there. Now let's finish what we've started, port communities are waiting for us.
LCD Soundsystem, 'Losing my Edge'
But I was there.
"Build your seaport in a game and learn about complex systems"
by Geertje Bekebrede, Igor Mayer
J. of Design Research (JDR), Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006
Abstract: The authors demonstrate how simulation games can be used to test and explore initial infrastructure designs before they are implemented. Games can provide important learning experiences for (future) designers and managers. The case study of a computer-supported simulation game, SIM Maasvlakte 2 (SIM MV2), uses a game whose object is to design and allocate land for the Maasvlakte 2 port area, to be built between 2006 and 2036 in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The evaluation aimed at improving the game, examining the system complexity of the seaport, and establishing corresponding learning effects among the participants.
I found it by chance today, when I was searching for one article about port communities. It looks interesting and funny, but my curiosity goes all to knowing how realistic is the game. Considering the way the Maasvlakte 2 project is evolving in real life, a realistic game should allow two or three generations of port planners to play around during their free afternoons. Better than an end, a never-ending loop instruction would be needed!
P.S.: More information about the game can be found here.
When I first saw this during the Fêtes de Genève, I thought it was another Swiss identity crisis. Only after I realised that Swiss humour goes a long way: a fairground attraction with several cars with the EU flag (27?), bumping into each other, is a wonderful way of showing your opinion about your neighbours and the will you have to be in such a mess. A politic statement full of wit, I'd say.
... was an intense day or raining, thesing, intern coordination and data basing. I also had my worst pizza ever at the UN cafeteria, smiled to bad weather for the first time since I arrived and keep broking my promise according to each one of these days I'll be in bed on time.
Work is piling up and it starts to be scaring. At the same time, the idea of a 3-week final effort for finalising everything is somewhat good and makes me look forward to speeding it up. And now that the sketch is set and ready, it's just a question of writing (and one or another finding along the way). GOOOOO!!!
A new attempt to have another windsurf lesson, a new weekend without any wind at all. I expected during all Sunday just for a light breeze, but I haven't got even that. Hence, I ended up trying wakeboard, which was a big mistake. I hated it and I will spare you from all my complains. But the company (and the sun) was nice, though.
Saturday was spent at home, with a small Portuguese dinner prepared by me. Not that bad, I guess - the guests are still alive.
This is the last volume of the "AGV Trilogy" that I've been uploading to my YouTube channel. It was shot in the ECT Delta Terminal, Rotterdam, on the 5th February 2007.
The weather is bad again. And a bit cold.
During the afternoon, I felt like taking some air for an instance and I went to the scenic cafeteria on the first floor. I grabbed my café au lait and seated at the table I usually had in my morning coffees with a former office buddy. Once I decided that table had the best view in the cafeteria, and we started to seat there every time we're going for the morning coffee, as it was the best place to indulge on the landscape and talk about work, life & beyond.
Today I stayed there alone, sipping my coffee and looking at the gigantic window facing the lake and the mountains. It was the first day I haven't seen any mountain. Mont Blanc is not a regular, rather a difficult client. One only has it in days of clear skies. But today there was no mountain at all. Not even Le Môle with its solitary, distinct form and sharp peak. Only clouds, mist and a vague idea of the lake.
Today I realised I only have five more weeks to finish, wrap up and put the pink ribbon on my thesis - it is due on the 24th September. Maybe I should have started to count this a bit earlier...
Today I also tried to improve my time management. From now on, I'll try to use the early minutes of my morning to sort out all the "intern coordination" stuff: answering questions, updating lists, sending notifications for events, etc. It's not that much work, but it's popping up at all time and I need some method to deal with it.
In the morning, I finished some side-work I'm doing to help my colleagues with a project for Angola. Knowing Portuguese is still handy sometimes, after all... Let's hope that people keep forgetting about that, about Angola, Brazil and all their potential - yes, because we, in Portugal, already had our time 500 years ago; and it won't come back... - and stay focused on the now-trendy Spanish and Chinese.
The rest of the day revolved around my thesis, my writings, the path to follow and the comments and guidance of my supervisor. I have my first commented draft and also advised readings to help me finding my ways. But that's for tomorrow. Tonight I know exactly where I'm going.
UN headquarters in Baghdad, 19.August.2003 (credits: UN Photo UNE 3719)
Four years ago, a terrorist attack on the United Nations headquarters at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad killed 22 UN staff members, including the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Mr. Sérgio Vieira de Mello, a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
This fourth anniversary of the Baghdad bombing was marked throughout the world by the UN, with several initiatives taking place on Friday, the 17th. In Geneva, a small ceremony was held, with a minute of silence observed and a wreath laid by UNOG's Director-General, Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze. The Secretary-General of the UN also released this note.
Wednesday, August 8: A "professional talk" with Mr. Khalil Hamdani, Director of the Division on Investment, Technology, and Enterprise Development (DITE) of UNCTAD, and a "talk & drinks" session about corporate social responsability and principles for responsible investment.
Picnic-ing in Geneva
Weekend #6 (August 11-12): An early morning tour to the known and typical Ferney market, just across the border, and a picnic by the lake with the product of the morning incursion. Later, the fireworks of the Fêtes de Genève. Sunday was spent at home - cleaning, working, et caetera.
Wednesday, August 15: An almost-farewell Japanese dinner after a busy day at work. Time's running out of control.
The cafeteria with a view
Thursday, August 16: The eagerly awaited lunch at WMO and the consequent disappointment due to high expectations. Not that it is bad, but I bet the view tricked many of the people who sold me this as the best cafeteria of all. But I still manage to see the machines they use to do the weather, though. Later, the intern coordinator meeting, where I was as representative of UNCTAD interns. Quiet calm, with no big frills. Me and my UNCTAD colleague decided to show how people from the right countries of Iberia - Portugal and Catalunya, respectively - enjoy meetings in bars and pubs by leaving the table to get food and drinks. It was a pity they had already finished when we returned...
The weather-makers at WMO
Friday, August 17: It was yesterday, for me. Work, lots of work. The last stop of the Cafeteria Tour, with the Red Cross Museum delivering its usual (good quality). And a this-is-it farewell dinner at a Portuguese restaurant (no, I didn't get any fee for arranging this!) and a late-night (and early morning; well, not for usual Portuguese standards) out in a club in Pâquis, dazed by being listening to kuduro in Geneva. Yah!
Weekend #7 (August 18-19): Home, sweet home.
Billy Taylor and Max Roach, 'What Am I Here For'
The perfect way to start a joyful-busy Sunday. Also a tribute to the recently deceased Max Roach and a subliminal message to myself.
Today, together with some friends, I started my tour around UN cafeterias. The challenge is to find out what is the best UN-related cafeteria in Geneva and our first stage was chez Guterres.
António Guterres, also know for his nick-name Guga, is a former Portuguese Prime-Minister and the current UN High Commissioner for the Refugees. The UNHCR building, in the picture above, is not the nicest one from the outside, but the interior is something: bright, confortable, modern, it represents well a living metaphor of the different feelings of being outside or inside a home, alone or together with your people.
The gastronomic moment, even if without Mr. Guterres or Angelina around, proved to be a very decent experience. I chose a tuna steak with couscous, deliciously cooked and served with a good sauce. The set was also nice, as we stayed on the balcony, facing the sun and a small square behind the building. A good grade, for sure, but probably not enough to dethrone the cafeteria of the Red Cross Museum. Next stop: the WMO.
Fortunately, life is not only going to cafeterias: there are also restaurants; and work. Thus, the afternoon was the continuation of a busy morning and evening was the epilogue of a very busy day. Besides my own work, today I also helped some colleagues in the office with another project for which some knowledge of Portuguese is key. Yes, there are still works like this!
Thesis-wise, I issued a questionnaire and I'm praying to get some answers on time. A supervision meeting helped to keep the tram on tracks and a blind believe must guide me from now on in order to accomplish all my commitments on time. Otherwise, I must try to find a way of having 38-hour days...
Preparing questionnaires isn't easy, but getting responses on time - or getting responses at all - is even harder. Thus, one must perform some PR actions a priori, in order to assess the availability of key potential interviewees. It all went well today. Let's see how it'll be tomorrow, after the victims getting the questions in their mailboxes.