Tuesday, July 27, 2004

On the weekend when I was in Erlangen they just build a huge crane in front of my house. Looked pretty impressive...

Monday, July 26, 2004

They say that the left side of the brain
Controls the right
They say that the right side
Has to work hard all night
Maybe I think too much for my own good
Some people say so
Other people say no no
The fact is
You don't think as much as you could
I had a childhood that was mercifully brief
I grew up in a state of disbelief
I started to think too much
When I was twelve going on thirteen
Me and the girls from St. Augustine
Up in the mezzanine
Thinking about God

Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much

Have you ever experienced a period of grace
When your brain just takes a seat behind your face
And the world begins The Elephant Dance
Everything's funny
Everyone's sunny
You take out your money
And walk down the road
That leads me to the girl I love
The girl I'm always thinking of
But maybe I think too much
And I ought to just hold her
Stop trying to mold her
Maybe blindfold her
And take her away

Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much
Maybe I think too much

Song by Simon and Garfunkel, written by Paul Simon

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Random Science Picture:

Friday, July 23, 2004

Don't you just hate it if you sit on your sofa, reading, trying to have a quiet evening and out of a sudden a salsa band creeps out of the woods beneath your window and starts to party...?

(No, it is not a Monty Python Moment. Today is fiesta latina in the cultural centre just next to my flat...)

Carlos Paredes died yesterday. He was one of the greatest players of portuguese guitar...

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I just like dictionaries... The former "Penguin dictionary of troublesome words", now just called Troublesome Words by Bill Bryson just arrived from Amazon and made me pick up my "Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers". Interestingly enough it just fell open at the page describing 42. 42 is the constant of the smallest magic cube. (Vaguely remember some article in nature about a cube shaped universe...)
Diving into the blogosphere I hit theomorph.

Not unlike the real world you are only seperated from any person in the blog world by a few degrees of seperation (you might want to call it clicks, though)...
Some Ideas turn out not to be as good as they sounded in the beginning...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The only thing you learn in university is learning. You do not learn actually doing things. This might happen during your phd. Sometimes it doesn't. You are basically dropped into the water: "you have learned something, so now just do something completely different. No we won't tell you how to do it, figure it out." Sometimes I wish to be back in the days of studying, where you just sat in the library and read books (and sometimes did math stuff)...
People who program stuff like while ((bk = bg + ((*(int *) bg) >> 1) + 4){} should be shot.
I called this blog gajo simpático, as I heard quite often that I am a really nice guy, but. (Here the sentence ends usually.) I just hate that.

There is one thing I hate more. Having to listen between the lines because you actually get a lot of talking but nothing said. "Yes", "no", "I do not know" are all valid answers, but only one at a time. Sometimes a "well, no" is better than talking about weather and having to figure out what we are actually talking about.

Monday, July 19, 2004

PHD life sucks (as micat already stated...). I am trying to squeeze in two weeks of holiday some time in August to visit some friends in Portugal. Sent a mail to my (kind-of-)boss in Hamburg. Every five minutes came an answer: No, this has to be done, that has to be done...

Seems I am the only one in Hamburg at that time and have to build the *****ing detector myself. So I will spent August with two mad russians in a cellar building a detector, turning into a gollum like creature and having a nervous breakdown in September. What a great life.

There is still hope for a week of holiday, but I am sure, there will be something why I cannot go.

Just to be clear: it is OK that I cannot make a holiday whenever I want. But our project is so badly organised that everything (which has to be done in Hamburg) dumps on me. Our so-called management manages by asking everybody to do the work for them... Asking for time to make a holiday I got the response: Make a detailed timeline for the project and then figure out yourself. Fun.
What would Jesus drive? Well, I think he would ride a mule. Or a donkey. I cannot imagine him trying to go around the deserts of palestine in a small japanese eco-car, nor driving there with a hummer. So Americans, do like Jesus did. Get a donkey! (Or do like Jesus did: get nailed to a cross, but that would be a nasty comment.)

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Welcome to micat aboard the blog-train. One more way to procrastinate :-)
Another Bibliotaph on the net...

Geek level still low: 31.6%

Os americanos se passam! Vi no slashdot um Thread sobre uma pagina para fazer comunidades, que começou em inglês, mas agora ja há muitos que falam brasileiro (ou brasilês). E qual é o problema? Há paises, que não falam inglês. Tambem no net. E há pessoas que falam mais que uma lingua. Aber anscheinend nicht in den Staaten...

And there is the fish...

Saturday, July 17, 2004

the last time somone listened to a Bush, a bunch of people wandered in the desert for 40 years

found on bash.org

Around 2000 BC some egyptian priest sat together around a pyramid and were frolicking around a big jar of grape juice turned bad. One of them started to think aloud: "." (This translates in modern english to something like "Why don't we take some wheat, let it sprout, rost it. Then put it in water, boil it, add yeast and hops, wait some time for it ferment and drink that stuff. Might be a jolly good Idea, don't you think?") Well, it worked. Beer had entered the world's stage.

Some 2000 years later romans were the masters of the world. Egypt was just one of the provinces of rome, but the idea of beer had kept on. Roman soldiers transmitted the Idea of beer to the germanic tribes they were fighting in the cold and wet north, what is now known as southern germany. Teutons by then were used to mead, honey mixed with water let rot for some weeks. Despite fighting the romans they caught some ideas from them. What is now Frankonia used to be teutonic border region, heavily influenced by the romans. That is why franconian wine comes in "Bocksbeuteln", a bottle modelled after roman bottles (the shape has been source of many disputes with Portugal. There they use the same shape for Vinho Verde, everybody wanted to have it patented...)

Teutons got the idea of beer. Some time later the christian monks found out, that beer is something to keep you alive during lent. Beer got perfected by the monks, a variety of thousands of different beers was born. And then, sometime somebody got the idea of putting some benches outside a cloister, beneath some lovely trees, maybe serve some food... Thus, the biergarten was born. The best invention of mankind enters world history. Not even electricity can come up to the ingenuity of a biergarten. Maybe the running hot water is better. But not much...

In a biergarten, there are no social differences. The only difference is if people are prussians or non-prussians. This is something not defined by where you were born, but how you behave. If you are narrow minded, chances are high to be a prussian. If you are narrow minded, but after a beer don't care, chances are high not to be a prussian. Biergarten is the best thing germans (or teutons?) have ever given to the world.

In case you wonder why there are so many quotes today...: getting bored I just read big part of the fortune database. I just put up some I liked, to find them again; some day I might need them...

A woman may very well form a friendship with a man, but for this to endure, it must be assisted by a little physical antipathy.

The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized -- and never knowing.

David Viscott

The feeling persists that no one can simultaneously be a respectable writer and understand how a refrigerator works, just as no gentleman wears a brown suit in the city. Colleges may be to blame. English majors are encouraged, I know, to hate chemistry and physics, and to be proud because they are not dull and creepy and humorless and war-oriented like the engineers across the quad. And our most impressive critics have commonly been such English majors, and they are squeamish about technology to this very day. So it is natural for them to despise science fiction.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Science Fiction"

Just googled for fish shops in Nürnberg. One of the links said "Offers for fish at eBay". Cool. Just imagine, fresh tuna fish, starting bet 1 Euro, auction ends in two weeks. Can be send by express. Whooohooo.
I am always amazed about how much we talk, how little we say. Sometimes I should say things instead of hoping that people will get it. Sometimes people should say things instead of hoping, that I will get it... Life is complicated enough, there is no need to make it more complicated.

Friday, July 16, 2004

<>When I was a young man, I vowed never to marry until I found the ideal woman. Well, I found her -- but alas, she was waiting for the ideal man.

Robert Schuman

Being a nerd: On Heise there is a discussion thread about the shadow of the earth moving with more than the speed of light if you are far enough away. I am really amazed how stupid these argumentations get... (Yes, it is Heise, yes, I know people are dumb. But this dumb?) Seems that we are still deep in the dark middle ages concerning the physics knowledge of ordinary peasants.

Happily returning to ivory tower, staring at my computer screen and trying to figure out why my program dies...

38.095238095238095% of me is a huge nerd! How about you?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Today at 8:24 pm CEST the 1000st vistor passed by (from t-dialin.net)...

Whoever it was, you won the honorary title "tambem um gajo simpatico"... :-)

Still gajo simpatico. Some things never change... :-(

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Human beings make a strange fauna and flora. From a distance they appear negligible; close up they are apt to appear ugly and malicious. More than anything they need to be surrounded with sufficient space - space even more than time.

        Henry Miller - Tropic of Cancer

(Image (c) Columbia Tristar, used without permission...)

Went to see spiderman 2 yesterday. Really nice movie. Aren't we all a bit like spiderman? Heroes, but we can tell nobody?

Well. Not really... but we try.

I only know intelligent people. Everybody I know who participated in a study from Spiegel and McKinsey about competences in languages, work experience and so on performed something like the top third or better... (me too)

(OK, statistics so far is 3...)

Monday, July 12, 2004

In soviet russia computers were programming you!

I am trying to understand some non-documented software written by a mad scientist fifteen years ago, ported to Linux by mad russian scientist some years later and modified by a mad polish scientist two years ago.

We are talking about deeply nested gotos, variables with instructive names like a,b,c,..., random stuff like a not-yet set variable b (which is a pointer to c, which is used for five different purposes and full of some bytes of data and some bytes of random garbage), ok returning to b, so b is handled with random stuff like b[5]=b[17], b[3]=b[19] and b[17]=0. This indented FORTRAN style (the first seven columns empty, then everything with no further indent...)...

Ah, and did I say already no comments, no documentation. The original programmer now lives in Australia, the russian is in Russia and busy with other stuff and the polish nobody understands...

Physics software sucks!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

George W Bush's Desktop

It takes 180.11 cans of Coca Cola Classic to kill me by caffeine...

Seems I do not understand politics. The richest part of germany, bavaria, which also has the lowest unemployment rate and the highest productivity has 12 bank holidays per year. The poorest part, with the highest unemployment and the lowest productivity, has 9 bank holidays. Conclusion from that is we need less holidays to improve productivity and lower the unemployment rates. I fail to see the logic, but I am stupid anyway...

(Yes, of course this is simplistic. But so is anything I heard from our politicians so far...)

The server where I host most of my images is down (not really down, but the firewall is in the default state of blocking everything...). I will only get to repair it in two weeks or so. Please be patient, you will get nice pictures soon again :-)

Some sane people on the net: Chaos Computer Club

Thursday, July 08, 2004

30 Years of Hobbythek. One of the best shows ever, although the bavarian TV did not think so (at least on the episode about marital helpers...). In 70s TV people were allowed to smoke, to drink, to behave like people. And it was really intelligent. Half of the words Jean Pütz used in that show are no longer understood by kids today...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It seems that my prophecies of doom come true. This morning germans turned into nice and smiling people... A really nice girl at the gas station gave me her bonus-points, smiled at me and she and everybody else in the shop were nice. Time to prepare for apocalypse...

I read in a news-ticker, that only 7.500 germans do blog. I am one of the selected few...

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Γαίος Σιμπάτικος congratulates the greek team, but fears that there will be no olympian games. The greek will party from now on for half a year, nobody is going to work on the stadions... Only if Rehakles takes over the organisation...

ELWOOD: Jake! Are you allright?
JAKE: The band... The band...
REV. BROWN: Do you SEE the LIGHT?!?
JAKE: The band!
REV. BROWN: Do you SEE the LIGHT???
ELWOOD: What light?
BROWN: Have you SEEN the LIGHT?
JAKE: YES! YES! Jesus H. Tap Dancin' Christ! I have seen the
JAKE: The Band Elwood! The Band!
ELWOOD: The band. The band. The Band? The band!
REV: Praise God!
ELWOOD: And God Bless the United States of America!

I for one welcome our new football overlords.