Belgian crisis: when will it be over?



Yet another small political rant about Belgium. I know, I know, but it’s something that I read about every morning in my two newspapers (one Flemish, one French-speaking).

For those not in the know, Belgium (that little country of just 10 million inhabitants, housing most of the EU Institutions and NATO in Brussels) has been undergoing the most “serious” political crisis it has know since its birth in 1830-1831. And as a foreigner, a European, a “Brusseleer”, a silent observer, I’m really annoyed at how things have been going on for the past year.

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Law firm internship: dealing with a PC



If you’ve ever come to this website before, you may have noticed I’m a Mac fan. I think mostly good things about Apple products, and feel unnecessarily proud about having a Mac (some say smugness is caused by Apple products; others say smug people buy Apple products).

Therefore imagine my despair at finding out on the 1st of July that I was going to have to work on a PC for one month. And to top it all, I can’t transfer my modified Dvorak keyboard layout to it!

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Euro 2008: where were the great nations?



The Euro is over. Of football, that is (“soccer”, for those who think “football” is played holding a ball in one’s hands).
Some amazing games, a few fabulous teams, and a couple of surprises.

But all in all, one question kept creeping back into my mind: what ever happened to the great teams of two to ten years ago?
If today’s wars (the European ones at least) are played on a football pitch, it seems the balance of power has changed.

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And thus cameth the holiday



Finally. After a total six weeks of toiling, of studying so hard the life was sucked out of me, I have prevailed. I have vanquished the devil. I have finished my exams.

In Belgium, university teachers still haven’t understood that what we call the “blocus” (i.e. studying for a fortnight without courses) is bad for students, because they force themselves to memorise things they’ll forget after the exams are over.
Sure, some of the learnt notions will stay, but only a few compared to the massive amount of stuff you’re supposed to know off by heart.

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“No!”: how the Irish proved their ignorance



What makes people vote “no” to a text they have never read?

The Irish “Say No to the Lisbon Treaty” campaign has been the perfect occasion for people to express their dislike of a number of elements: the “Europe of Defence” military idea, increases in taxes, …

Yet who are the Irish to say “no” to a project they do not approve in its entirety? When has a veto on a small part of a project had any positive impact? Especially when the issues at stake had nothing to do with the Lisbon Treaty?

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Snow Leopard, iPhone: certainties, hopes



I’ve been studying all day for an exam I have on Wednesday, and I only started learning anything useful two hours ago.

It so happens that this Monday, the WWDC kicked off with a keynote by Steve Jobs, the prophet who guides all Apple fans throughout the world. For the uninitiated, “WWDC” stands for “Worldwide Developer Conference”, and it is one of the major yearly Apple-related events.

Last year, Steve Jobs showed the world a feature-complete version of Mac OS X Leopard, among others. But this year, big disappointment if you’re not much into the iPhone and were hoping for a sneak preview at “Snow Leopard”, the next version of the OS. Disappointment, but surprise right afterwards.

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Appreciating incomprehensible art



Have you ever looked at a painting or sculpture and wondered what influence the artist had been under while creating it?

When I grew up, I was taken to many art galleries and shown all the kinds of painting styles. But after a while, I’d lost all appreciation of a number of forms of art.
This was notably the case for any kind of painting that, to me, was incomprehensible, anything illogical.

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Hello Flanders



Hello Flanders,

How are you? Long time, no see.

You may not remember me, so here’s a little reminder: my name is Peter, I’m twenty-one years old and I’m British. I’ve lived in Belgium, Brussels to be precise, for the past 16 years. I speak English and French, am fluent in Dutch and know basics in German and Japanese.
I read Le Soir and De Standaard every day, and watch only the television channels you have to offer. I’ve had university Law courses at St Louis and the KUB in Brussels, am now at the UCL and am hoping to do a “Master na Master” in Leuven in a year and a half.

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Google’s new favicon: the end of an era (poll)



There are times when a company decides to change its logo. And there are times when it decides to change its favicon.
Either way, it has a huge effect on the consumer, because he/she has to adapt to the change.

Ambrosia Software did this recently, to illustrate, and it showed that “ASW” was letting go of its “sketched” look to go towards a new “modern” look.

And now, Google is doing the same thing.
Continue reading Google’s new favicon: the end of an era (poll)