Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cars, Pimps, and Düsseldorf or The lifestyle of the rich, the famous and the average PhD studends

Markus and me went yesterday to Düsseldorf. Markus went to not buy a Rolls Royce (partly because it wouldn't fit into his garage, partly because his Golden Credit Card (TM) was on limit). Me to look at an old DKW and probably not buy it.

After arriving at what we thought would be an industrial area somewhere outside Düsseldorf but indeed being a side street of the Kö (Düsseldorf's most expensice shopping mile) entering the car saler. Spent some time looking at Bentleys, Rolls, Jags, Car-brands I never heard of the owner steps in. Just back from Cuba, sweetheart of Düsseldorf's high society, dumped his super-model wife for a 17 year old school girl (as we learned from the newspaper snips on the wall). While showing me the DKW he greets his friends, who just entered. Two guys from Köln, white clothing, just arrived with their Porsche Cayenne, both with bubble-perms, one of them huge golden sunglasses, looking suspiciously pimpy. Beginning four hours of interesting fun, chatting about Rolls, Jags, old cars dumped in a forest as art with them. I decided to buy the DKW. But I have to wait, as an arabian prince arrives in a Maybach he drove to try out, wanting to buy the Maybach and a couple of Mercedes. An hour later, I got the contract and hopefully the car will arrive soon...

So this is my new car:

A DKW F8 Meisterklasse, 2 cylinders (two stroke engine), 684ccm, 17kW (20HP), three gears with strange gear-stick (same technique as in a 2CV), build in 1939. Four seats, suicide doors, brilliant state. And mine :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Ientends & veulx que tu aprenes les langues parfaictement. Premierement la Grecque comme le veult Quintilian. Secondement la latine. Et puis l'Hebraicque pour les sainctes lettres, & la Chaldeicque & Arabicque pareillement: & que tu formes ton stille, quant à la Grecque, à l'imitation de Platon, quant à la Latine, à Ciceron. Qu'il n'y ait histoire que tu ne tiengne en memoire presente, à quoy te aydera la Cosmographie de ceulx qui en ont escript. Les ars liberaulx, Geometrie, Arismetique, & Musicque, Ie t'en donnay quelque goñt quand tu estoys encores petit en l'aage de cinq à six ans: poursuys le reste, & de Astronomie saches en tous les canons, laisse moy l'Astrologie divinatrice, et art de Lucius comme abuz et vanitez. Du droit Civil ie veulx que tu saches par cueur les beaulx textes, et me les confere avecques la philosophie. Et quant à la congnoissance des faitz de nature, Ie veulx que tu t'y adonne curieusement, qu'il n'y ait mer, ryviere, ny fontaine, dont tu ne congnoisse les poissons, tous les oyseaulx de l'air, tous les arbres arbustes & fructices des forestz, toutes les herbes de la terre, tous les metaulx cachez au ventre des abysmes, les pierreries de tout orient & midy, riens ne te soit incongneu. Puis songneusement revisite les livres des medecins, Grecs, Arabes, & Latins, sans contemner les Thalmudistes & Cabalistes, & par frequentes anatomyes acquiers toy parfaicte congnoissance de l'aultre monde, qui est l'homme. Et par quelques heures du iour comme à visiter les sainctes letttres. Premierement en Grec le nouveau testament et Epistres des apostres, & puis en Hebrieu le vieulx testament. Somme que ie voye ung abysme de science: car doresnavant que tu deviens homme & te fais grand, il te fauldra issir de ceste tranquillité & repos d'estude: & apprendre la chevalerie & les armes, pour defendre ma maison, & nos amys secourir en tous leurs affaires contre les assaulx des malfaisans.

Rabelais - Pantagruel - Les horribles et espouvantables faictz & prouesses du tresrenommé Pantagruel Roy des Dipsodes, filz du grand geant Gargantua, Composez nouvellement par maistre Alcofrybas Nasier.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Re-read some posts from two years ago. Kind of interesting to see what I thought at that time, what my mood was at that time and how I thought I will only spend half a year or so in Hamburg. It's now something like one and a half year I have spent between Hamburg and Erlangen and I still prefer the little province town to the big booming city full of opportunities. Fun to see where you change and where not...

2nd Anniversary

Micha kindly reminded me that today is the 2nd anniversary of this blog... So I watched a movie. Fitzcarraldo. For me, one of the best movies ever. For various reasons:

They did carry a fucking big ship over a hill in the amazonian rain forest.

They passed some rapids with said ship. The main actor and camera crew aboard, resulting only in a dislocated shoulder of the cameraman.

And Kinski at his best. During shooting of the movie one of the indian chiefs offered to kill him, as he was always fighting with the director and generally mad.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Around 70% of the 11-15 year olds questioned said they did not picture scientists as "normal young and attractive men and women".

Among those who said they would not like to be scientists, reasons included: "Because you would constantly be depressed and tired and not have time for family", and "because they all wear big glasses and white coats and I am female".

Found at the BBC. As it speaks for itself I will refrain from any comments...

UPDATE: Also an interesting post on the same article on cosmic variance. Especially nice are the pictures :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Been to an art museum on sunday. This is the most impressive painting I saw. (Actually it isn't. This is Monochrome 79. I saw Monochrome 43 (or something). But you get the idea).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Women in Physics

A lot of physicists grew up as socially awkward adolescents — not exactly the captain of the football team, if you know what I mean — and have found that as scientists they can suddenly be the powerful bullies in the room, and their delight in this role helps to forge a strangely macho and exclusionary culture out of what should be a joyful pursuit of the secrets of the universe.

CosmicVariance has a post on women in physics and why there are only so few of them. Above quotation not only might indicate why, it also shows why working in physics sucks. It's not only the treatment of women, physics I think is gender-indifferent in most physicist being socially retarted idiots. Men are just used to it, as we are more prone to be one ourself. So, instead of concluding that we need more women in physics, I would conclude we need more socially apt people. Which might not necessarily be women, but, as you can also read in the post (there cited as an argument of macho-idiot-phyiscists like me), women actually do look better...

Monday, January 16, 2006


Found some web-gallery which actually seems to be nice...: Original.

You need to run a local script to generate the gallery, then copy it to your webserver and then, voilá, nice gallery. Very easy to add information or protect individual galleries with a password (put into info.txt restricted_user|<username> and restricted_password|<password>)

To rotate images before use exiftran.

Weekend trip

Hamburg - Achim - Erlangen - Köln - Hannover - Hamburg. 1510 km. Two parties, one social security number, an art museum and a bit of paperwork... Busy weekend it was.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Random Philosphy

Passionate in english usually refers to love and sex. In portuguese apaixionado means in love. In german "passioniert" is usually used in conjunction with stamp collecting and other really passionate stuff. Strange people.


New toys arrived. Now I can enter the world of glamour portraits (and normal portraits as well), the only thing I need is models. Any volunteers?

Monday, January 09, 2006


Your Social Dysfunction:

You're a happy person - you have a good amount of self-esteem, and are socially healthy. While this isn't a social dysfunction per se, you're definitely not normal. Consider yourself lucky: you walk that fine line between 'normal' and being outright narcissistic. You're rare - which is something else to be happy about.

Take this quiz at

Please note that we aren't, nor do we claim to be, psychologists. This quiz is for fun and entertainment only. Try not to freak out about your results.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

"Abuso di Credulita Popolare"

Seems you are not allowed to publically fool people in italy. Now a court has to decide if it is the church or the atheist fooling them...

Working on weekends...

The bottom line is that, in my experience, one will in general be healthier, happier, and more successful if one takes reasonable amounts of time away from work, doing whatever helps you to relax. Don’t let the culture of crazy work schedules and macho bragging about them drive you to unhealthy practices. Find out what works for you and, as long as it isn’t clearly unreasonable, stick with it, and explain that to anyone who tries to persuade you not to.

--- Found on Cosmic Variance

Seems I am not the only one thinking that having time off is better for your mental health...