I just returned from a 5 days vacation: cross country skiing at Ramsau-Dachstein one of the cross country skiing centers in Austria. I have been there in summer time, as well, and hiking through the woods I found baskets full of fungi (especially chanterelles and ceps).

And it came to my mind that some of the fungi live for-and-from special wood-wide-webs (common mycorrhizal networks), where plants and mycorrhizal fungi are linked to transfer, say, carbon-hydrates and minerals.

Research suggested that plants could facilitate the growth of other plants, which could play an important role in seedling establishment, forest succession, and other plant-plant interaction. (see MykoWeb )

In Disrupt Or Re-Invent Ourselves I mentioned our new mission: closing the customer feed back link by transferring know how. Is it the typical New-Years intent?

No, 2010 will be the year of intensifying our know-how packages business. We are highly committed to building common quantitative finance networks with our customers - for mutual development and growth, open innovation and networking will become our business principle.

A Pocketful of Experiences

it was a year of tough lessons and, as Dan Tudball writes in his Editor's Letter, Wilmott magazine Nov-09, getting back on the old horse for some ...
Not for us. In Disrupt or Reinvent Ourselves I wrote about our transformation to a know-how packages deliverer.

Step Across the Border

is the title of an experimental-music film and CD from the music professor Fred Frith ( I mentioned it in Nowhere to Run ).
The following miniature Morning Song by the Czech musician Iva Bitova is from this film.

How to Pick a Good Fight?

This article in the Dec-09 HBR is about the benefits of companies intra-competition cultures (traders and investment bankers would not share ideas, but compete for business), concluding the biggest predictor of performance is complacency; conflicts can shake things up and boost creativity.
A good future-facing fight speaks to what is possible. I like this. It connects organisations and people.

Nowhere To Run?

Amazon frequently reminds me that I have bought some obscure music and there is something that fits to the patterns. Yes I like Fred Frith's Step Across The Border and they offered me Nowhere Fred's sixth CD for music of dance. With pieces like Nowhere to Hide, Going Nowhere and Nowhere to Run.

Tall Tools

For tall buildings you need tall cranes. This impressive crane is not tall enough to maintain the Centre Point in London. But, the principle construction of the crane looks to me configurable from parametric building blocks.
Computers give us even more flexibility for parametric design.


This weekend my wife and I made a lightning-visit to London. We dived into the shopping-parades, like at Regent Street, but most important visited our favorite small spot for arts, the Serpentine Gallery at Kensington Gardens. Current exhibition: Design Real, curated by Konstantin Grcic, one of the world's leading industrial designers. As the title of the exhibition suggests, all of the selected products are 'real', mass produced items that have a practical function in everyday life. Grcic: good design admits to the deeper insight that beyond performing a purpose in a good way, the purpose itself has to be good.


No, I do not recommend this "phantasy" movie about King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan Warriors.
Seing the trailer, I just remembered that the Battle of Termopylae, has been an integral part of the curriculum in my high school, and I am sure many others.

It is believed from mythology, that Leonidas and 300 (risk-trained) Spartan warriors were the dominant force of a Greek army of between 5000 and 7000 strong to hold the pass of Termopylae against the massive Persian army under Xerxes.

Risk aspects: the oracle of Delphy has warned Leonidas that either Sparta would be destroyed or he would lose his life. The pass was chosen with care. The Greeks were armed with long spears to prevent persians to getting close with their weapons. After they have repulsed the attacks for the first days an unexpected risk was caused by a Greek traitor, who showed the Persian a path around. Knowing that they will be outflanked, Leonidas sent away all Greek troops, because he cared about their safety to preserve them for future battles (only 900 Helots and 700 Thespians stayed).
They finally were cut down, but saved Sparta and in the following Athens and Greece.

Away from weapons, wars ... what we want to do for risk management: provide powerful technology optimized for certain usages ( a clever handful is enough ) in a minimalist infrastructure, giving in-time decision support. A system that is widely usable (even from smart mobiles) , act powerful and robust where required and collaborate with the surrounding systems. And we train risk experts.