oysters

although the only time we ever ate oysters a few years ago was quite memorable (for the worst reasons), i still think they’re pretty fascinating. how come this contorted ugly shells can produce such smooth interiors and even pearls sometimes?

even the ancient romans were intrigued by them, and decided to farm them off the coast of italy. these days, the local people continue this tradition here in the brackish waters of the ria formosa lagoon.

the whole operation looks surprisingly low-tech. the larvae are grown in tanks and later transfered to these mesh envelopes which are just laid on the floor or in raised beds, and get covered in water when the tide rises. they can stay there for over a year, depending on the size.

and apparently, unlike other forms of aquaculture, oyster farming is actually benign for the environment, as the bivalves filter the water for the bad stuff, at an incredible rate of up to 4 liters/hour.

intriguing as they might be, i think i’ll pass on them for the next few years at least…


pop-up card

killing a bit of time with a friend yesterday, we fetched our craft supplies, watched some youtube videos and quickly crafted our first pop-up cards! doing one has been on my 101 list for some time, and it wasn’t nearly as tricky as i had thought it would be.

once you grasp the basics, it’s just a matter of cutting, folding and gluing in the right places.

maybe something to incorporate into our tradition of unusual christmas cards? :)


the gdpr

george dantzig’s story goes a bit like this: he got late for class in college one day, saw 2 math problems on the board, assumed they were homework and copied them down (not knowing they were famous unsolved statistical problems). so he got to work, figured out the math and delivered the homework sometime later. easy-peasy.

one of my university teachers used to tell this story and the lesson wasn’t so much that you can accomplish anything with some ingenuity, but more along the lines of “give a student an impossible task and a deadline, and he’ll come up with something — anything”. it was certainly true in my experience of university, where it feels like we were scrambling most of the time, trying to improvise a solution that would somehow answer a question… though not always THE question.

and sometimes it feels a bit like that with the GDPR too, as if everyone is just struggling to grasp the concepts and come up with a solution without much confidence of a good result. in theory, “don’t be a jerk with other people’s private data” should cover it… but the devil is always in the details, isn’t it?

as an european entrepreneur, these past few months have brought some frustration and simultaneously, an interesting learning curve. but as an internet user and EU citizen, i’m definitely looking forward to may 25th, and the rights and freedoms now enforceable. hurray for the GDPR!


analogue wednesday #142

last crops from R4R-31, that melissa and i double-exposed between london and melbourne. this was a good one, and the more i look at it, the happier i am with the results. hurray for film swaps!


gum rock rose

these days, the hills of algarve are covered with the beautiful white flowers of esteva, or gum rock rose. everywhere you look, the landscape is peppered with an explosion of white dots!

the sticky bushes where they grow are tough and not much to look at, but the flowers are such delicate things, tissue-thin and blowing in the wind.

this is such a beautiful season!