Friday, April 29, 2005

Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie. If you want to do a revolution, organise yourself. Organisam-se! Organisam-se!
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back in Erlangen after a bit more than a week of fun in the pit in Hamburg. Being in at the experiment makes me definitively more aggressive, wise-assy, annoyed and dump. Hope to recover soon, I'll be here in Erlangen for a whole month.

Today was faculty board. I not only was volunteered for writing the notes, I also volunteered voluntarily (all on my own) for making a redesigning proposal of the departments website. I always thought of it as not usable, ugly and generally bad. Then I saw this.

Physicists invented the web. And as usual the got interested by someting else and left the first attempts of making websites untouched. It seems that all physics departments in Germany have webpages which suck.

Now take a look at this.... No comments on why we are considered mediocre.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Either I need to get new friends or I need to get new stories. I think I have told all my friends the same stories at least fifteen times (including the all time favourites "Back then, when I was in portugal" and "How I was kept at the Romanian Border")...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Yesterday 70 years ago Emmy Noether died. And nobody knows it. Too busy with the Einstein-Year. Sad...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Just another reason to live in Italy. Although I would not have thought of italians to win by that...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The last couple of weeks in Hamburg haven't been too bad. I did work a lot, but I also started to get along much better with my fellow collegues and sometimes got convinced, that they know what they are doing. Having returned to Erlangen and just getting digest of what they do via mail, I am back thinking that they have absolutely no clue about what they are doing.

Either I got used to that back in HH, they did not behave that stupid when I have been around, or I also got stupid while being there. I think the latter. Working in a big research center makes you dumb, you do not think really about what you are doing, everything is only taken so far, that it just nearly works, nobody really understands his stuff. Mediocrity is the goal...

Saturday, April 09, 2005



¡Oh, quien tuviera, hermosa Dulcinea,
Por más comodidad y más reposo,
A Miraflores puesto en el Toboso,
Y trocara su Londres con tu aldea!

¡Oh, quien de tus deseos y librea
Alma y cuerpo adornara, y del famoso
Caballero, que hiciste venturoso,
Mirara alguna desigual pelea!

¡Oh, quién tan castamente se escapara
Del señor Amadis, como tú hiciste
Del comedido hidalgo Don Quijote!

Que así envidiada fuera, y no envidiara,
Y fuera alegre el tiempo que fue triste,
Y gozara los gustos sin escote.

-- Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha
Sometimes I have the feeling, some of my friends take me much too serious. Sorry, I'm as an idiot as anybody else.
Sure you can sing and whistle communist anthems about abolishing private property. But first you have to pay the copyright fee...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Been back in Erlangen since about a week. Something is missing, the thrill is gone. I started cycling again, I started riding, I've met a lot of good friends, I've met new people, life is much better than in Hamburg. But something is missing for it to be as much fun as in the good old days. When I meet new people, most of them are students and I feel like the nice and funny old granddad, but not like one of them (not mentioning the odds of meeting a potential girlfriend). When I meet some of my friends they turn out to be old as well or less interesting than I remembered.

The city is full of ignorant idiotic kids, the university is full of them as well. Erlangen has now a lot of arrogant elitist clubs, lots of self-focussed suits running around. But on the other hand, all the good pubs still exist, you still meet the same nice people there and it is nice there. There are still some islands, some retreats of the people and things I like.

Maybe it is time to move on, to leave all that behind, to just stay with the memories and not mix it with the time now. Finish my PhD and go somewhere. I start to like Kryptikmo's idea to go and shake hands with a gorilla...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Smoothly slides open to reveal the cunningly hidden camera.
Unique red glow display screen exudes mystery and excitement.
Complete your look with the stylish protective carrying bags and straps.
Stand out like a flame in the darkness with the unique rotator (no number keys, only select, send, end, and 2 soft keys).

Did you guess? It's a phone.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

THE WORLD IS GOING TO END. At least if you believe the IFO Index. There is a nice view from over the ocean on the IFO index on slate.
There is an interesting article on slate if peer review works. Read it here...

They found it. It took them at least 4 hours to find that and correct it (a collegue of mine found it around 15:00, I checked around 19:00 it was still the wrong version...). And still this graphic is crap. You do not get any more information from the graphic than you would have got from the table. You have always to go back and forth between table and graphic to figure out which coulor is which party. Can you tell if the light green section is bigger than the pink one? If yes, by how much? You cannot think about the data from the graph alone, you need a table beside it. If you have a table, you don't need the graph, as it does not enlighten you in any way. It is just a blob of colour on the page. And if you need a blob of coulor, than just put up an ad, at least you get money for it.

A table would have presented the same information in an as easy way, you can easily tell that 49.6% is something like a bit less than half of the whole (which, by the way, you cannot tell from the graph). OK, this argument is a bit flawed, as it took Spiegel more than 4 hours to find the error...


Found this on Spiegel Online. So 49.6% is more than half. Nice Plot. Go and shoot yourself.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." (Abraham Lincoln, 1809-65)

Grad school is the snooze button on the clock-radio of life. --- John Rogers

Being a scientist means living on the borderline between your competence and your incompetence. If you always feel competent, you aren't doing your job. --- Carlos Bustamante (Molecular Biologist, UC-Berkeley)
Hey, I'm getting famous, somebody from nokia has visited my blog. Lucky me that I have not posted anything bad about my mobile :-) (Which happens to crash everytime I use bluetooth and which has basically no Linux support. But it still is the best mobile around...)

Funny to see the old posts and how some things have changed. Or have they?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Although it looked like it's never going to happen and although my bosses are still not really aware of it, I am back in Erlangen... Let's see how long I can stay without the detector blowing up or the project getting at a standstill because nobody is around who has a clue (right now I have a competent substitute, but he will be in Hamburg for only a few days. The next possible substitute is not yet aware of having the responsibility about the whole detector. I have warned him that everything will be on him and he should shout NO as soon as possible, but he thought that was a joke...)