Sunday, October 30, 2005

More pictures...

Originally uploaded by perreira.
Seulement pour le plaisir des yeux...

Friday, October 28, 2005


...I am getting Micro-Managed!

The youth of today

Since the beginning of mankind people keep on complining about the youth of today. If you would believe in it, we would have had the perfect society around three to four hundred years ago where everybody was intelligent, well educated and so on...

On the other hand: we have not been such naïve, stupid, narcistic idiots. I am the first to admit that I am socially inept, kind of naïve, having a political point of view far from real life, but I am always amazed how dump people can get... (Just returned from the Fresher's Party of our faculty, amazing amount of dump idiots between them, just very few people I would think of being intelligent enough to be in university)

I am getting old, elitist and intolerant. I am loosing confidence in my idea of people...


Originally uploaded by perreira.
more photos...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Why popular science is evil...

Saturday the Erlangen Night of Science took place. Lots of Institutes, Factories etc where open to the public, showing their research to the interested. So was the physics institute, we got something like 2500 visitors. I was there to stand in front of some posters and explain what we are doing...

Basically you could divide the visitors into two categories. The interested who knew not much about physics and just came by to see what we are doing, and the more interested who read a lot of popular science books and watched a lot of TV science shows. The latter had the worst misconceptions on physics...

Most of the popular science bits explain stuff. Better, they give you the truth about stuff. What the usually fail to mention, all of the pictures they use to explain stuff, are, well, pictures. They are not reality. They are a story to ease the understanding. Which most of the time does not work. Quite often it seems, that these pictures provide a heavy misconception or just add to the confusion. Mostly this happens with pictures which seem to be easy, but the author has missed to mention some iportant point... And what stays in mind is the stuff which did confuse you most, so mostly the wrongest picture or the least understandable misconception.

Also popular science is about spectacular stuff like light waves surpassing the speed of light and therefore seem to violate the theory of relativity. Stuff which has deep philosophical implications. The only problem is: nobody really understands that stuff, not even the proper physicist doing the experiments. They have a theory, which might prove wrong. This is work in progress, a lot might happen. Combine this with people who are bad in communicating, trying to explain that to journalist who do not even know the terminology you end up in stuff like "Einstein was wrong" even when nobody ever said that. Science is not trivial. If everybody could understand it without work, there would be no need for scientists. Of course everybody should know something about it, most people actually have the ability to understand it, but you can't explain string theory in 30 minutes. You can maybe get some ideas across. Unfortunately you have to pass that to the viewer/reader as well (maybe have something like this scrolling along the screen "WARNING: THIS IS NOT THE TRUTH, THIS IS JUST A STORY WHICH MIGHT GIVE YOU AN IDEA...")

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Urban Glow

Urban Glow
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Put up some new pictures on flickr...


Dear Erlangen Cyclists:

please use your fucking headlights. In a dark night in a dark road dark clothed cyclists on a dark bike are usually not looking very bright. Please signal when you turn direction, look around you before you turn. Don't jump off randomly of your bike. There might be somebody much faster than you trying to get by you. Use your gears. It really helps when you shift the gears of your shiny 37 gear bike when you go uphill. Just don't be generally idiots.

Dear Erlangen Pedestrians:

bikeways are for bikes. So don't look pissed when a cyclist rings to get you off his ways. Don't run into a bike going at 30 km/h, it hurts.

Der Erlangen Cardrivers (especially Forcheim Car Drivers):

there are cyclists. Yes, you might not know them, but they exist. And they can go pretty fast. If they are coming from a direction you don't expect them, that usually means you don't know the traffic rules of that place, sometimes it is actually allowed to go in both ways. Sometimes they appear although there is a traffic law which states they shouldn't. Don't stop and stare at them. They won't disappear, you will get a heart attack soon if you get angry evertime stuff does not happen as you would expect it and the cyclists will get angry because of you being a narrowminded idiotic Korinthenkacker. Sometimes stuff does not happen as you like it, just go on. That's life.

Return tomorrow for a shiny new post on why popular science books are evil.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The advantage of being behind...

"The 20th century is a cul-de-sac," says Claudio Prado, Brazil's digital culture czar, in London with Gil. "And the engine of progress doesn't have a reverse gear, so it's hard for the first world to get out of the cul-de-sac." The fact that many Brazilians still live in 18th or 19th-century conditions, he says, means that the country has an opportunity to accelerate into the 21st century without entering the cul-de-sac in the first place.

--- found in an article of The Guardian you should read...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Instead let's try something new in class: thinking.

--- E. Tufte

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Homebanking Fun

I tried to get homebanking to work. Tried first linux, then gave up as it didn't seem to find my HBCI-Card. Switched to windows. And the fun started...

First no Java installed. So install Java. Reboot. Then the java applet did not load but I did also not get any error message in Firefox. Tried IE. Got "Your Java is too new". Damn. Downgrade Java, reboot. Not working. Deinstall new Java, which did not happen automatically. Reboot.

Finally I get the Java Applet. Now I need some weird DLL, which I copy from the net (address found on the FAQ of the bank). Then got error message native DLL could not be copied. After various reboots and an hour found the DLL, copied it to system32 dir, and see, it works. That was *really* easy.

Now trying Linux on my laptop...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Vedi Napoli e poi muori

Well, it seems I did not get to Bamberg again. Everytime I try to see Bamberg, something happens and I won't go. This time a cold got in the way. Well, I'll try again. Maybe I see it some time...

(In case you wonder about the title, it's an italian wordplay, which was cited by Goethe and lost it's pun in translation...)