Thursday, June 30, 2005

My country is more progressive than yours

There's a race between Spain and Canada to be the third country to legalise gay marriage. Canada's Senate still has to approve it and Spain's law will only come into force by the end of July. Who will get a place on the podium of history? Who will end in the oblivion of a fourth place?

Most Canadian provinces already legalised gay marriage up to two years ago.

The French Tower

I'll be moving to New York this fall, so I'm especially interested in the real estate there. Hence, my interest for the Freedom Tower. Or should we call it the French Tower since these words have been made interchangeable?

This very critical "appraisal" published today in the New York Times provides a lot of interesting side info on the tower, including some comparisons between the current tower and the original design by Daniel Liebeskind. After the NYT free access expires on July 6th, you can still see the current design on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation website.

I wonder if they're not giving in a little too much to security issues. As the author says "The Freedom Tower embodies, in its way, a world shaped by fear." Heck, how many skyscrapers are built less than 30 feet from the street and don't rest on an elephantesque base? That's sad considering that most of the time when you walk downtown what you notice are only the first 3 to 4 stories of a building (to verify this, start looking up when you walk in a city you know: you'll discover a brand new city up there). If this 20-story concrete is really built, that's probably the only thing you'll see when you're in Lower Manhattan. Wow. Sounds like Back to the Future Part II scenario.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

When I was your age...

The commencement speech is one great American tradition. World leaders such as Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, the Afghan President Hamid Karzai; and artists such as Stephen King and Tom Hanks have adressed cohorts of graduating students. Of course, many are American since universities often pick one of their own alumni.

The most touching I've ever read is by Steve Jobs, Apple and Pixar founder, to the Standford Class of 2005. Most commencement speech are drowned in evidences and old formulas, but this one has the rare quality of ringing true. From one of the most influential men in the world, who just escaped death.

The funniest I've ever read - and I read it once a year for a good laugh - is Conan O'Brien's speech to the Harvard Class of 2000.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Oh, sunny Geneva. I spent the whole Sunday outside. I put on some sunblock, but not everywhere. Result: I'm white where I had sunblock and red where I had none.

I wonder if you can find a tanned skin on the black market.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

A tsunami of money that spared the poor

I've long been suspicious of "tsunami generosity" that allowed greedy countries to pose as generous and linger in memories as such despite strong evidence of the opposite. But I didn't even see this one coming. "Tsunami aid" wouldn't even have benefited those who needed it the most. I wonder who got the money. Club Med?

Left or right: A third way

Satellite navigation is said to lower the level of stress for couples travelling together by car. The last time I drove a rental car with my ex-girlfriend, we had no argument about the directions (she was a fairly good navigator), but an argument about satellite navigation. I got enthusiastic about the idea since I hate getting lost and would fancy a nice voice telling me where to go without a hint of a doubt. In return, my ex pretended that she wouldn't like to have one since she likes reading maps so much. What bad faith. As I said, ex-girlfriend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cash City

"Ah, the rent is so expensive... Not to mention the price of meat and a haircut." Are you right to complain to your friends living in another city? Now, you can check.

Today, Mercer published a list of the 50 most expensive cities in the world. Tokyo tops them all by a head, but Geneva makes it to the top ten. I guess quietness comes at a price, but paying more to live here than in New York, Paris or Rome is rather... surprising. But hey, who else has tap water coming from the Alps?

Now I wonder: are Geneva watches expensive because they're good or just to cover the rent of their makers?


On my way home from the laundromat, I was feeling lazy for finishing my laundry past 10 pm. Then, I saw a Christmas tree in an apartment I was passing by.