Museums and Museums

We spent the day visiting several galleries and museums. First up was the Kathe Kollwitz museum (very close to our hotel) featuring her paintings, etchings and sculptures depicting the weavers’ revolt and themes of war and death (personified). Amazing talent and memorable pieces! The museum also seemed to be situated in a local gallery row, so I’m sure we’ll be back to that street.

Next we went to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Alte Nationalgalerie) – a pretty awesome building that was a work of art in itself. We saw some awful paintings mixed in with some gems, in particular one piece (forgot the name) that Ben was excited to see in real life. It reminded me of *Shadow of the Colossus*.

Finally we went to the DDR museum which we had been planning on for a couple days. It is supposed to be an extremely hands-on museum depicting the rebirth of social culture in Berlin post-wall falling, but is pretty underwhelming. There are some neat moments though.

Determined to get on some sort of normal sleep schedule, we “napped” until about midnight, then got some food (really good kebab stand) around 2:00am and now it’s 4:00am and time for real sleep.

I’m a big fan of jackets, and I got a killer one from a nearby store. The cold and gray
isn’t so bad now. Still gray though.

Berlin Beginnings

Well I finally got Internet working at the hotel by guessing some router settings. It’s colder than we thought here and they eat a ton of sausages and potatoes (which are really good).

The airport in Zurich is an amazing piece of design… would be cool to spend some more time in Switzerland.

Our sleep schedules are still all messed up.

We were exploring how the subways work (pretty straightforward) and ended up stumbling upon a whole exhibit dedicated to the large hadron collider! Spent a lot of time reading how everything actually works, some hands on demos, and questioning a scientist who works on one of the four detectors (ALICE).

Tchau & Ciao!

So I’m all packed up and ready to go.. German and Italian adventures up ahead.

I’m going to try micro-blogging from the trip, partly for fun and partly to test out some new technologies. I’ll be taking plenty of photos to post when I get back, but I’ll also be using my iPhone to take a couple pics a day and post them to flickr at night, which will also automatically post it to my blog.

In fact… this post is the first test… hopefully this goes through. I’ll try to update most evenings if we have wifi.

See you all in a couple weeks!


Lots of people out there voting early… nice.


So I moved my little face-maker into a new section: Toys! Not only that, but I’ve added a new toy! A melody-maker! I was actually looking for a way to combine my hobbies, and I thought about coding up a way to generate semi-random melodies (in key) as a springboard for songwriting… so I did! I’m using the awesome midilib ruby gem for this. It turned out to be more fun than I expected! If you set the tempo to 240 and turn on the “harmonize” option, you’ll get some retro Nintendo-ish tunes.

I’m going to be messing with this more in the next couple of days… hopefully adding more scales, maybe chord progressions behind the melodies, and a simple metronome so you know where the beat is. Fun!