Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Project

Holiday Project: Turning an antique phone into a USB headset

I just got this antique phone (probably built 1927) off ebay. It's interior is really torn, the outside definetely needs some paint-job and some serious polishing on the metal parts.

My plan is to marry this phone with a cheapo USB headset and then use it for skype :-) More pictures and a description what I did soon here :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Footnotes in history

So, the big success in Bali is a footnote with a reference (including a PAGE NUMBER!) to a formerly agreed document, which states that a lowering of about 25-40% in CO2 emissions might eventually prevent the planet going boink (of course we know, it is, just like evolution or the bible, just a theory).

We are all safe now. Birds sing, peace on earth will begin soon, and wolve and deer live nicely together. And if not, we just buy a new deer.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lights out...

Tonight we are supposed to turn our lights off between 20:00 and 20:15 to save the planet. This is advocated by Bild (a newspaper who is a strong opponent of high fuel prices and speed limits), Pro7/Sat1-Media (a TV group who will continue to transmit crappy programs and ads in this time and whose extremely bad reality shows are responsible for about 50% of TV caused energy consumption) as well as Google (an Internet company, whose founder is marrying on a tropical island, which has been enlarged by artificial sandbanks, who has his friends flown in by private jets and celebrates in air conditioned tents...).

The electricity companies are already stating that we will all die, because the huge changes when everybody switches lights on and off will kill the power grid.

Can we please return to planet earth sometime and start behaving like grown ups? I think, I'm going to be sick somewhere...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Time to say goodbye

I just seperated from all the interesting life-forms I have been sharing a fridge with. Unfortunateyl they started to take too much space, so I finally divorced from the herb-butter I shared my life with for about two years, the Terrine-au-lapin with which I shared fond memories of a holiday in france four years ago, the trusty swedish fish cream who accompanied me for so many months...

Now I am ready to move on and develop fresh emotional bonds with new interesting food items which develop fresh and interesting personalities in the next years.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Beim sinnlosen herumgoogeln gefunden: Die Kochschlampe hat ein paar nette Rezepte und lustige Kommentare. Mal schauen, ob sie in der Blogroll bleibt...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The problem being an atheist you cannot blame a deity for things...

Even though I handed in my thesis and started looking for a job, does not mean I believe anything will change, it just will be better paid which makes it easier to have short term fun. On the long run, it still does not make sense.

Having to learn for exams does not really put me into the best of moods. I have to fill my brain with stuff completely unrelated with my thesis, which I will immedeately forget after the exam. So completely useless... As you cannot fail the exam, I should have the cojones to just go there, tell the profs how useless it all is and that I preferr to spend my time drunk somewhere warm. But as usual, I don't have the cojones to do it and will play safe. And be frustrated.

This is post number 666 btw...

Monday, November 19, 2007

What happened so far...

This morning I had a job interview at Siemens, which I think went quite positive. This afternoon I handed in my thesis to my advisor and the second revisor. Tonight I'll probably will get drunk. So far a successful day...

Monday, November 12, 2007

The colourful world of ebay



You just can't make this stuff up...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

11.11.

“At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, one minute of silence will be observed to mark the signing of the Armistice and to remember all those who fell in the cause of their nations.”


At 11:11, 11.11. in germany carnival starts. But I think it's unrelated...

A post two days late...

The 9th of November is sometimes referred to as Schicksalstag (day of fate) in german history. A lot of stuff happened at a 9th of november...:


  • 1848 - During the german revolution the democrat Robert Blum is executed in Vienna by monarchists. He soon becomes the most famous martyr of the 48 revolution, and soon is forgotten (I never heard of him before...)

  • 1918 - Kaiser Wilhelm resigns. Philipp Scheideman proclaimed the republic at 14:00, two hours later the Soviet Republic of Germany was declared by Karl Liebknecht...

  • 1923 - The Hitler-Ludendorf-Putsch (also known as Beer-Hall-Putsch). It failed, Hitler was sentenced to only 5 years of Festungshaft (the more comfortable jail) because of his patriotic motives. Hitler only served 8 months of the 5 years...

  • 1938 - Kristallnacht, the first large Progrom against jewish people in germany and austria.

  • 1989 - Fall of the Berlin Wall.


And we do celebrate the Inventor's day... It is the assumed birthday of Hedy Lamarr, who as most sources say was born (as Hedwig Kiessler) on November the 9th 1913, 1914 or 1915. Or maybe at the 9. September, as in the birth certificate it first was written IX and later corrected to XI.

Hedy Lamarr was claimed to be the world's most beautiful woman by her Holywood Producers. Groucho Marx once said after leaving one of her films "I hate it if the male lead has bigger boobies than the female...". Together with George Antheil, composer of a Ballet pour instruments mecaniques et percussion
(for 16 mechanical pianos, percussion, sirenes and a plane propeller, according to the FAZ the loudest concert in the history of mankind...) and a self claimed experts on adenoids, who wanted to enlare Lamarr's breasts with lotions invented by himself, (to remind you of the beginning of this phrase: it started "Together with George Antheil") she invented the frequency hopping method of spread sprectrum techniques and had a patent for it. Unfortunately it wouldn't have worked... There is a nice article on FAZ.net, which deconstructs some of the otherwise nice story :-)

As last words of this post, a quote from Miss Lamarr:
Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.

Friday, November 09, 2007

LED



A prototype for a LED tail-light for a DKW 1000S (and probably also my DKW F8...). This 1W LED is really bright...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Remember, remember the Fifth of November


A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah hoorah!


Happy Guy Fawkes Night everybody :-)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Me versus Leonardo




Wired has an article called "Vinyl May Be Final Nail in CD's Coffin", in which they claim that vinyl discs are and will always be better than CDs. Although I am a great fan of vinyl discs, I sometimes wonder who ever writes such articles. It basically says that a good recording well mixed on vinyl sounds better than a crappy record badly mixed on a CD. Doh...

A fresco done by me looks better than a sketch done by Leonardo drunken, blindfolded and all gagged up while beaten with a cat-o'-nine-tails. Well, maybe it doesn't. But you get the idea...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Braune Häschen



The NDR send a drag queen to a party convention of the NPD, the extreme-right party (just to avoid the word neo-nazis). They are completely lost and have no clue whatsoever how to answer the very simple question "Why should I vote for you". Only one manages to give an answer "I just don't know..."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Three generations

Three generations


Micha: Der hatte auch welche :-)

Family

Aus dem Schuhkarton


I am scanning old negatives from my grand parents I found in a cigar box at my parents. It's quite interesting to see those old pictures, taken some 70 years ago, still usable, still full of details. Of these days, all the digital pictures we take will be lost. Our children and grand children will not have the fun of digging through old cigar boxes full of strange old glass negatives and films...

Also interesting: not only do I look like a nearly exact clone of my father, also I do look like a nearly exact clone of my grand-father (I'll post a picture soon for you to compare). And all three of us have (or had) the same unreadable handwriting (similar not only in readability but we could all fake each others signatures without effort), which in the case of my grand-father is even worse, because he wrote the completely undecipherable Sütterlin.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ich habe fertig.

At least partially. Today I finished the first draft of my thesis. I think I still have to include some corrections, but that should be a matter of days. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, right now I should hear the sounds if it were a train...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pinkle

You might have heard about blackle, which was created because somebody calculated that using a black background for google would save the planet or at least some energy (which is a at least doubious assumption).

Now there is also greenle and my new favourite search engine: pinkle. Probably more energy could be saved if you switch your computer off instead of creating stupid websites...

Friday, September 28, 2007

The strange notion of getting old but not growing up

Today I just wanted to drop by at a birthday party of two friends, just say hello, have fun and not stay exceptionally long. I was the last to leave. Twice.

Around midnight everybody left, just me and another guest stayed. Then some guests arrived late and left again after some time. Leaving me and the other guest as the last ones to stay for the second time...

Pretty weird if your the last to leave for the second time...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fußballgucken

Nachdem ich gerade einen Fernseh-Empfänger da hatte und die Kollegen informieren konnte... Die Chat-Mitschrift


(15:44:35) gajosimpático: schuss richtung tor, aber deutsche abwehr kein problem damit
(15:44:40) gajosimpático: schon wieder
(15:45:33) gajosimpático: jetzt gehts noch mal richtung norwegisches tor
(15:45:49) gajosimpático: wieder bei den norwegern
(15:46:03) gajosimpático: torabstoss de
(15:46:31) gajosimpático: norwegen hat den ball
(15:46:39) gajosimpático: aber mehr auch nicht
(15:46:42) gajosimpático: einwurf no
(15:47:02) gajosimpático: schuss aufs tor, deutsche torfrau hält
(15:47:13) gajosimpático: sehr niedliche norwegerin
(15:47:32) gajosimpático: drei minuten verlängerung
(15:47:42) gajosimpático: einwurf de
(15:48:16) gajosimpático: reporter faselt über teamgeist
(15:48:51) gajosimpático: schuss aufs tor, torfrau von NO hält
(15:49:02) gajosimpático: wieder richtung NO-tor
(15:50:01) gajosimpático: ausausausdasspielistaus
(15:50:31) gajosimpático: lauter hopsende frauen
(15:51:51) gajosimpático: sauberes eigentor, die norwegerin hatte echt keine chance
(15:51:57) gajosimpático: war spiel mit bande quasi
(15:52:06) gajosimpático: die anderen beiden tore waren auch sehr schön

Service

As you might have read in the last post, I lost the password for a website. So I tried to contact the hoster... They have a feedback-form which you can fill out for questions related to your contract and technical problems and they have an expensive phone hotline.

I filled out the form. I did fill out my contract number, my client number, my e-mail-adress, my name, the domain-name, my shoe size, everything they asked for. Today I got a response.

We are sorry to inform you that we don't answer not authenticated mails, please use our expensive hotline

WTF!?!?! Why do they have the form in the first place? To make sure their clients get seriously angry before calling them? If I hadn't found out how to quit the contract by Fax and already did so yesterday, I would have done it today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Security by obscurity

Today I got a mail from a specialist on computer security. His name appears on a web page I did for my school some years ago, he asked for his name to be removed, as his private background should not be on the web. I already forgot that the page existed and of course I have no clue what the password was... So, I mailed him that I will remove the page as soon as I find the password. Hurray for showing competence :-)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Old Skool Communication

I just returned from an expedition. I tried to send a letter (for those born after 1980: letters are a paper based form of communication, like printing out your e-mail, giving it to somebody and hoping it will arrive somewhen within a week). The problem: the post office has moved about three times since I last wrote a letter...

So I went to the all new and shiny shopping center (which will be feature of another rant soon), which is where the post office used to be. And, behold, I found a post office. Or at least something similar. Just at the back of a post bank, hidden behind the mobile phone shop hidden behind the bank, there was something like a post office counter. After having fought through the bank salespeople ("No, I do not have any money"), through the mobile phone salespeople ("No, I don't want a mobile phone, I have one already, that's why I don't have any money and passed through the first line") I managed to squeeze in. Tried to find an enevelope, but for some reason they are only sold in family packs (100 envelopes for the prize of 110). Well, also facing the enormous queue at the stamp sales counter, I just gave up the hope of interaction with a semi-human post sales-drone, and just went to the stamp machine.

Now faced with the problem, if I want to send a Maxi-Letter, an oversized letter, a XXL-letter, a huge letter or a Happy-Weekend-Letter (wait, the last one doesn't exist, happy weekend is railway...). None of the options had any explanation, nowhere any information about sizes could be found. Just these fancy names. I just bought a random stamp, went home, found an old envelope and threw the letter in something yellow I believe to be a letterbox... I hope it will arrive.

I start to like e-mail.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

PhD

An amazing amount of people doing a PhD comes out of it with stress related problems, either psychological or physical. Some develop stomach ulcers, some turn into near-alcoholics, some are depressed. If you are lucky, you just survive your PhD with a major frustration. Not sure if this is supposed to be like that or if it is worth it...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Logic

In spain's schools religion is now substituted by a course about citizenship and how the state works. It is thought to explain people's rights, democracy and how the law works. Some of the books also explain that homosexual marriage is allowed in spain. Which made the catholics go berzerk...

Now the catholic parents organisation tries to fight this course. In an arte interview their speaker explained that it is the parents right to teach their believes to their kids, be it atheist, be it catholic. The state should not try to teach children anything about religion. This is why the state should teach catholic religion instead of democracy. Around this point he completely lost me in his argumentation...

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's improving!

»Há dez anos havia o dobro do dinheiro, mais professores e menos alunos, o mesmo resultado, o mesmo insucesso escolar, o mesmo abandono escolar«

De Rerum Natura cites the portuguese prime minister: »Ten years ago we had twice the money, more teachers and less students, but the same failures in school, the same amount of students dropping out«

This is an improvement. Crappy as ten years ago, but now much cheaper. This seems to be a very common way of thinking these days...

Fashiosm

Eva Herrman (a german TV presenter) saying that back in the good ole Nazi Times, Mothers were much more appreceated, families were still great and so on.

Cardinal Meissner going on that Culture which does not praise god is to be considered abnormal (»entartet«).

And you could go out on the streets back then without being molested, and they built great Autobahnen, and everybody had work, ...

Seems that the collective memory forgets pretty fast.

Gimmie 5!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

We have both, geeks and nerds.

[Note: the string of thought of this post is neither finished nor homogeneous]

Of some people you meet at university you hope that they get lost on a lonely island far far away. (Occasionally you also meet people you'd like to get lost on an island with, but this happens very rarely. One of the latter triggered this post...)

University seems to be a cradle where people can survive who, in other surroundings, would get declared mad and handed over into medical care. Science is a collection of weird people, some of them harmless, some not. Most of them don't realize how weird they are and that they sometimes annoy people or scare people (sometimes I fit into this category as well). And it will get worse, as we want more and more "elite" students. It is only possible to reach the high demands to enter these closed circles of higher education if you sacrifice your life. Pupils need to do only science in school, then as students only do science, as PhD only science, as Postdoc, as Prof, only science.

The only social contact they get will be with other nerds, exactly like them. Althugh this might be an interesting psychological experiment, this will create some seriously disturbed people, especially in physics, where (at least here in germany) 90% of the students are male.

This is the part which scares me most in the race for the best students and the "elite of tomorrow": the creation of Frankenstein's Monsters en masse.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Cricket

England 188-3 (36.2 overs) won over India 187 (47.3 overs) by seven wickets. What I really like about cricket is the descriptions and names:

Sourav Ganguly, who was peppered with plenty of short stuff, was hit on the helmet before being snapped up at second slip and Gautam Gambhir was well caught by Wright between square-leg and mid-wicket.

I have no clue [1] what this means, but it sounds like an interesting match. The full article is here

[1] Actually, a small clue, thanks to Phil teaching us a bit about it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Strange

It's friday evening and I am programming like mad... It seems that finally motivation has caught in to get my thesis off the desk as fast as possible.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Food



Finally Bacalhau again! To all of my friends over here in Erlangen: start finding excuses, sometime next week I might invite you to a bacalhau...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gumboots


[...]
It was in the early morning hours
When I fell into a phone call
Believing I had supernatural powers
I slammed into a brick wall
I said hey, is this my problem?
Is this my fault?
If that's the way it's going to be
I'm calling the whole thing to a halt

You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could
You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could
[...]


Just finished watching Graceland, still one of the best concert videos ever.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The End is nigh!

I am running out of "Blabla"-Parts to write for my thesis. I already wrote "The Experiment", "The Theory" and "A general Description of Stuff". Now just two chapters are left: "Stuff I actually did" and "Conclusions and Outlook". Those will be the hard part...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sommerloch

Today at the physics institute, around 5pm: we were having coffee and chatting, the medicine physics people were playing cards, the work shop people were already at home. Only the astro-particle people where working and appearing generally over-motivated. They scare me...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Circles

A possible solution to my current bad mood would be finishing my thesis and getting a girlfriend. Which won't happen soon because of my bad mood not providing sufficient motivation do finish the first and get anywhere close to the second. Catch 22...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hiking


Größere Kartenansicht

I have been hiking again this weekend. I started to do the Xacobeo, St. James Way. There is a way which passes close to Erlangen, which I eventually want to do from here to Santiago. I started in Kronach, which is the northern most point of the bishopry Bamberg (which this year celebrates 1000 years of existence). I managed to do 28km, which I think is not bad for a start. Most of it was asfalt, so now my ankles hurt like hell... Next time I'll take a bike with me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Just to scare you (and myself): sunday, 6:25am and I am having breakfast :-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gajo Simpático listens to music

A couple of Albums I bought recently:

dunkelbunt - Morgenlandfahrt


"A mix of Dub, Reggae, Bossa, Jazz, Electronics, Trip Hop and Break Beats woven with a Balkan Twist" says the liner note. It'S an intercultural mixture, created by an Hamburgian in Vienna, covering everything from Hamburg to the Balkan. Unza Unza Music, electronics meet Reggae. A very relaxed and cool Balkan influenced album. See for a taste the video to "The Chocolate Butterfly"

Oi Va Voi - Laughter through tears and Oi Va Voi


Klezmer crossover with the singer KT Tunstall. Very cool Klezmer and Balkan Beats inspired albums with a great singer. Very creative mixing, a modern dancable Klezmer meets Balkan Sound.

Balkan Beat Box


A nice compilation of Unza Unza Music, but to be honest, not up to par with DJ Shantels Bukovina Club.

Pink Martini - Sympathique, Hey Eugene and Hang on Little Tomato


A very nice Jazz combo, with brilliant songs. The sound of an upper class cocktail party from the 50ies. I especially like the song "Sympathique" on the album of the same name, a brilliant Chanson based on a poem, first you think it's about the normal work frustration, then you understand the tragic love story behind it...

The Puppini Sisters - Betcha Bottom Dollar


A sound from the 40ies, swingy and jazzy. Three sisters bringing back the jive of ye goode olde times... With brilliant cover versions like Wuthering Heights and I will survive as well as the standards like Bei mir bist du schön (בייַ מיר ביסט דו שיין) and Mr. Sandman. A very nice Swing album.

Hurray for Lawyers

So, I am not allowed to write "GEZ Brief". I need to write "Informationsschreiben der GEZ und/oder Schreiben, mit dessen Hilfe der gesetzliche Auskunftsanspruch des § 4 Abs. 5 RGebStV geltend gemacht wird". I am all in favour to only allow completely correct law-speak whenever anything is published. No longer these spongy formulations, if GEZ-Brief actually means the "Informationsschreiben der GEZ und/oder Schreiben, mit dessen Hilfe der gesetzliche Auskunftsanspruch des § 4 Abs. 5 RGebStV geltend gemacht wird" or actually only means a love letter or anything else in letter form send by an "Beauftragtendienst der öffentlich rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten oder Rundfunkgebührenbeauftrag".#

BTW: that's the same guys who annoy the hell out of you with letters and threats if you don't confess that you have a TV. I am paying my TV fees, but nonetheless they sent my parents (sic!) about 20 letters that I have to pay my TV fees for the TV I have at my parents home for sure (I don't). They only stopped after we threatend to call a lawyer. Public Broadcasting Service Mafia, of the worst kind...

[Edit] Nice article from jetzt.de

Sympathy



Nice e-cards to show your friends your sympathy :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Writing...

Writing theses sucks. You stop having social contacts because you are always busy with writing. In the short times where you wait for your software to run you mailbomb friends and the time you are neither working or writing you annoy your surroundings by being generally weird. Not a good time to meet people...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Culture Shock

View on the Virgental

Back from the holidays. A nice week of hiking through the alps. Now I am in a state of cultural shock, there is much to much people outside, it's to noisy, to hectic, to confuse. Adding to it this morning at 5 a couple of drunken russians started to sing russian folk songs very loudly below my window. Thank god I don't own any weapons. (I should have thrusted one of my hiking socks at them though. Even if that would oppose the Geneva conventions.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Procras^H^H^H Gaining Experience in GIS and Mapping



I bought a new mobile phone. My old Siemens SK65 started to annoy me by being generally shaky and having a flickering display (as you might have noticed I am not that into Flickring anymore...)

So I got a Nokia, it has WLAN, can do VOIP, has lots of other stuff with fancy abbreviations. And it can talk to a GPS via bluetooth. So I bought a bluetooth GPS mouse. I tried the Nokia Sports Tracker which is quite cool but cannot do a lot. It can do tracking though.

I then found AFTrack, which can do everything, from tracking to moving map. If you use a bitmap map, you need to calibrate it, which really sucks doing with the mobile's keypad and it is really slow. So I tried to find a better way...

AFTrack can read OziExplorer map files. OziExplorer can read GeoTIFF with a plugin (via Import Map->Import single DRG Map). So taking a scanned map, reading it in GRASS, marking coordinates in GRASS, saving as GeoTIFF, transfering to my Laptop (Windows...) to read it in OziExplorer and save as map-file. Then editing the map file by hand to convert from UTM to Latitude/Longitude using a web-based converter. Then saving it on the microSD card of my mobile, importing it in AFTrack and voilá, now I know where I am and find my way around Erlangen. Not that I didn't before...

(If you ask now why I needed GRASS, and did not use OziExplorer from start: I hoped not to have to use OziExlorer. And knowing a bit what a GIS does is also fine. And it can do a lot of warping around the map to get rid of distortions...)

Next Step: get the maps of the Virgen-Valley onto my mobile, so that I can get lost in the alps next week.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Competent Publishers

In Ferbruary I went to a conference in Vienna, where I presented a poster. The proceedings I wrote got accepted and will be published in NIM A, a high reputation journal published by Elsevier. Today I got a mail where I had to sign a copyright transferal. The copyright on the article, all included figures etc. has to be given to Elsevier. They can now do whatever they please with it. This is just the normal procedure how science publishing works: scientists (and people like me) write articles, where they do not get any money. The articles are then peer reviewed by other scientist, who also don't get any money. Then the article gets published, the original writer looses all copyright and the publisher sells the journal for some thousand Euro per edition. So far I did not really worry more than normal...

They did however address me as Dr., which is still wrong (and will be for some time...). So I sent them a mail:

Dear Sirs,

my contact details are not completely correct, I am not yet a Dr.
Can you please remove the title?


Tonight I got an aswer:

Dear Dr....


Should I trust publishers who cannot read mails?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No Comment.

Slight Redesign

As you may have noticed I changed the colours and the fonts of this blog. For best viewing experience you should have one of the fonts "Day Roman" or "Linux Libertine" installed (both free).

I also added a link to a portuguese science blog, which looks nice: De Rerum Natura

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Digitising Slides


Dirty Digitiser


I am trying to digitise slides with this setup. For Sample images and more info follow the link at the picture above...

Smoke

Smoke


Taking pictures of smoke is harder than I thought. You need to be faster than 1/60s, you need to focus fast and you need good smoke. And a CF card that works would also be nice... I lost about 50 pictures due to a crappy card.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Discalculy

Just saw an ad on TV:

Phone Flatrate: 0,--
DSL Flatrate: 0,--
No Base Fee: 0,--
Various other stuff: 0.--
-----------------------------
Sum: 29,-- Euro

Is it just me or do you also find this summation strange?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two of my Hamburg pictures on flickr made it to a tourist guide on the web: one, two

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thesis

It seems that everything I was directly involved failed. While writing up it seems that all data that I took was useless, all tests I conducted showed that the detector is not understood and that the tests were useless. At least it will improve my english when I try to make it sound that everthing was great.

Else: this weekend my car wouldn't start (empty battery), my mobile broke (wrong pin entered three times while it was supposed to sit in my pocket being switched off), I met a lot of advanced-level-geeks and had a lot of good wheat beer. The beer was definitely the high point the last couple of days...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Weekend

Start


A loaded weekend: saturday samba festival in coburg, sunday up at 4am to follow friends in a balloon to pick them up after landing, then back again to the samba festival. I took something about 700 photos this weekend. Now I have to wade through them all to pick the good ones and delete the bad ones...

But for some strange reason I am close to motivated to work. I should do weekends like this more often.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

WTF?

Instead of ranting about our minister of interior going completely nuts (wanting targetet killings etc.) I'll blog about a city in Oregon who discovered that their traffic pilars look like penises:



I think they are right in banning these things. There is an awful lot of stuff which looks like penises and should be banned. Examples? Here they come:

Obelisk

Very Typical...

Need to say more?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Moving slowly to the 21st century...

Today a lot of laws got passed by the Bundestag. Inbetween them is §202 E-StGB, which makes software illegal which has the purpose of attacking other computers. This includes nmap, ping and other usefull network tools, because they can be used to figure out weak points in your IT. It also includes all the tools any decent IT security person would use to check the systems he is responsible for.

Also passed got the second bucket of the Urheberrechtsnovelle, basically the copy-right law. From now on you can only access electronic publications from your university's library on special computers. The electronic subito is no longer allowed. To access research result's which were funded by tax money, published with tax money paid to the publisher, peer reviewed by tax money paid scientists (who don't get anything for this review), you now need to spend even more tax money to access. Elsevier and others will get rich, science will go boink.

Hurray to our well informed and competent politicians. [Note to those who can't understand German: it's politicians saying: "Internet, yeah, I think I have heard of it..."]

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Computer

The next time some hardware fails I'll get a Mac. I just bought a new motherboard for my old PC and it took only some 5 hours to get things working again. Now I still don't have graphics via the DVI port, only some not very sharp output on the analogue port. But at least it works and I hope it won't crash that often as the old one did. As for the barebone which I had and where the porwer supply died: you cannot get that power supply anymore. This barebone is less than two years old... Hurray for short product cycles.

[Edit] Finally got the DVI working. It seems that envy is pretty useful if you have an nVidia or ATI card and want to use it with Linux. Also the nVidea settings program is quite OK (you have to run it as root though and the user interface is not really intuitive). So I have now a working graphics output on my DVI port, with 3d acceleration (including wobbly windows and desktops on a cube)

Monday, June 25, 2007

How to print an a5 booklet

You've got a file full of a5 pages and want to print it on an a4 printer so that you can fold it and it will be a booklet:


psbook -s<number_of_pages> file.ps file_sorted.ps


Number of pages is here the number of pages in a stack (normally the number of pages of the document plus a bit that it is dividable by 4). If you are binding a real book, it is the number of pages which will be folded and sewn together.


psnup -2 -pa4 -Pa5 file_sorted.ps printme.ps


-p is the page size of the output file, -P the page size of the input file.

Print with flipping on the short edge. This is tricky on the command line, but if you print from a viewer this should be easy...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Think. flickr, think!


Think. flickr, think!
Originally uploaded by perreira
As flickr seems to go the same way compuserve did go back in the early nineties (from a successfull community to a huge coorporate hell which ignores it's users and only focuses on shareholder value, from being great to being bancrupt because they overlooked what it really was they had...) I am now trying some alternatives. There is a good overview of alternatives (in german only though). I signed up at zooomr and 23hq, experiences will be posted here...


[EDIT] This is how flickr treats it's customers... (For those of you who do not speak german: this guy sent a mail saying that he is leaving. He got a response which basically tells him "We don't need you, just f*ck off")

[EDIT2] I also signed up at ipernity which looks quite nice

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Politics



According to the political compass questionnaire I am belonging to the classical libertarian collectivism of anarcho-syndicalism. I am more left and liberitarian than Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama (Economic Left/Right: -5.50; Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Think. flickr, think!


Think. flickr, think!
Originally uploaded by perreira
lickr sperrt uns aus! Und auch dich!
Seit gestern werden für deutsche Nutzer keine Bilder mehr angezeigt, die als 'moderate' oder 'restricted' markiert sind! Es gibt keine Moeglichkeit das umzustellen - das ist eine grobe Unverschämtheit und Frechheit von flickr!

In English:
If your Yahoo! ID is based in Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong or Korea you will only be able to view safe content based on your local Terms of Service so won’t be able to turn SafeSearch off.
In other words that means, that german users can not access photos on flickr that are not flaged "safe" ... only flowers and landscapes for the germans ...
We will not let this happen! Copy and upload this picture to your account - show flickr who we are!

Lade dieses Bild runter und poste es in deinem Account! Lass uns das Bild überall auf flickr verteilen und es in 'Interestingness' heben!! So geht es nicht!
Original Version: farm2.static.flickr.com/1299/543864623_7aadef1e69_o.jpg


Weitere Infos:

-http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/91085
- www.flickr.com/groups/404938@N23/discuss/72157600347681500/
- www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/42597/

----- Addition -----
Grundgesetz Artikel 5
[Meinungs-, Informations-, Pressefreiheit; Kunst und Wissenschaft]
(1) Jeder hat das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern und zu verbreiten und sich aus allgemein zugänglichen Quellen ungehindert zu unterrichten. Die Pressefreiheit und die Freiheit der Berichterstattung durch Rundfunk und Film werden gewährleistet. Eine Zensur findet nicht statt.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bikes and Computers



I got a new saddle for my bike today as the old one was falling apart. It has a ventilation system which keeps your rear end cool. Actually quite a nice feature...

I did a short cycle trip to check the saddle, to play with my GPS and to get some training. See picture for the trip, in total 19km.

The power supply of my computer died today, taking the fuse with it. So my living room (where also my fridge is located) was without electricity for some time... Fortunately the fridge is mostly empty. The computer was switched off while it happened, the computer has some fancy display which is always on, so the power supply was doing something. As it smelled quite badly, I think one of the capacities just exploded. This computer had about a year and a half... Hurray for reliable technology. So I am sitting now at my old desktop and wonder why I bought the new computer as it does not feel slower.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Berch


Der Kessel
Originally uploaded by perreira
Pictures are online here...

I actually liked the days when there weren't that many people. I am getting old...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Web 2.0

Just returned from a field trip with fellow flickrites to the bergkirchweih... As we talked also a bit about geotagging, I was wondering, if you can include geo-tagged pictures in google earth. Well. You can... So, here is a google earth link of all my photos :-)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fliegende Kinderscheisse


5. An Age of Confusion, or an Ancient Age, is
one in which History As We Know It begins to
unfold, in which Whatever Is Coming emerges
in Corporal Form, more or less, and such times are
Ages of Balanced Unbalance, or Unbalanced
Balance.
6. An Age of Bureaucracy is an Imperial Age in
which Things Mature, in which Confusion becomes
entrenched and during which Balanced Balance,
or Stagnation, is attained.
7. An Age of Disorder or an Aftermath is an
Apocalyptic Period of Transition back to Chaos
through the Screen of Oblivion into which the
Age passeth, finally. These are Ages of
Unbalanced Unbalance.
HBT; The Book of Uterus, Chap. 3


It seems, we are now in the Age of Bureaucracy (although today is Boomtime, the 6th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3173). I will go and eat an hot dog as it is friday.

WIECZNY KWIAT WTADZA!!!!!

(In case you wonder: uni is turning surreal...)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oh, the youth of today

It seems that the youth of today is to busy binge drinking or downloading ringtones to go up to the bergkirchweih and get decently drunk. Nobody up there, us the only once dancing on the table to the music of a quite bad band.When ordering a beer, the waiter was saying something on the lines of "Thank God, finally somebody ordering a beer!" The only ones I met at the way down were the usual suspects of the biologists and the old physicists fraction. Back then when we were young, we wouldn't have been like that. We would have been on the Berg, ruining tables by dancing, getting seriously drunk and then annoying people in the city. But nowadays...

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Organizers


The Organizers
Originally uploaded by perreira
Amazing where your pictures might end up when you put them on flickr...

This one is used (correctly) by some italian school organisation (my italian is not good enough to figure out what the do exactly, but it looks like improving and coordinating didactics...) as a stock photo on the news page. I have no clue why somebody associates swedish carneval organisers with news on didactics in italy...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Contacts


L1110191.JPG
Originally uploaded by COOP666
Why don't good looking women come around and undress for a modelling session at my pad?

Sometimes my Flickr contacts make me feel miserable...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Response for Phil

Judging now having returned from the After-Berg-Party I would opt for a skewness of the sky being the cause for the peak at 1.5 instead of 1.65. Knowing our detector I am positive about the detector being misaligned, the analysis being wrong and all other possible effects anybody could imagine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The sky is still above

For those who were wondering why my page counter seems to be stuck: I fought a battle with two year old data during the last three weeks. First getting it converted, then getting it combusted by our tracking software and now the last few days getting the output analysed. Thanks to a lot of my colleagues who I bothered with stupid questions I today produced my first own physics plot containing actual particles (after nearly five years of my PhD):



It shows that cosmic rays are coming mostly from above (Phi being the angle to the horizontal plane). That's great neaws, as it means current theories about the universe are still correct. (OK, there is some ambiguity, they can also come from the bottom. We can't distinguish with that detector. But there is a 50 % chance that they mostly come from above.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The left

Don't leave the political left to the left! Everytime I read an article containing an intelligent point of view which takes apart critically the madness of our times, I think there is hope for a politic inspired by traditional left ideas. Then I get to the comments section and see all those would-be-revolutionaries fighting about the exegesis of Marx and distributing their conspiracy theories, generalising not-generalisable stuff, making up examples, misquoting, making up history etc, and then I loose all hope. Why can't there be any intelligent people on the left? All intelligent people I know who have been politically left gave up because of these trolls...

Maybe we should get together and create a new intelligent left (or something which is outside the classical left-right scheme, I think this is obsolete anyhow).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

GPS



I got a PDA with GPS, WLAN and a lot of other stuff, including TomTom Navigation for west europe. So now be prepared to more boring posts about GPS...

This had as a consequence a lot of fights with the GPS and my computer. The PDA is running Windows Mobile, which is a pile of crap and annoys me with sheer stupidity. The WLAN connection is dying randomly, but else you can work with it under the normal annoyance level of Windows.

I installed Outdoor-GPS for tracking and general GPS purposes. It's free and looks quite nice. Tracks are saved as opx, so in a format which is actually usable. With gpsbabel you can convert it eg to kml and import the track in google earth, which you see in the screenshot (I took the GPS with me on the way to the supermarket. Inside it had no GPS reception, this caused the track to look like I went swimming in the pond.)

Getting google earth to run again was also some pain in the ass, for some reason it froze at the splashscreen and ate up all my CPU. What helped was exchanging libGL as mentioned here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Conference Talks



This is basically how a conference talk is recieved by the people who don't work on the specific area of the talk. Which is everybody but the speaker.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Grongrpieeurovisiongdelachangsong

Eigtenlich gibt es nicht mehr zu sagen, als es die SZ tut. Außer dass ich für die Estnische Moderatorin gewesen wäre...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Grammophone


Grammophone
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Yesterday I went to germany's biggest flea market in Nürnberg, the Trempelmarkt. I couldn't resist this grammophone...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

»¿ʇı̣ əsnqɐ ʇ,uɐɔ noʎ ɟı̣ ɓuı̣ɥʇʎuɐ sı̣ pooɓ ʇɐɥʍ«

Fun with Unicode. Found in a signature...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

No milk today...

Saturday evening, 19:30. You can't get any milk at the supermarket anymore. Meat would be difficult, for sure including a rant that everything has been cleaned already. So far for the 21st century...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Supervillain

13256278887989457651018865901401704640

It seems that for posting this number you can get arrested in some countries as it violates the DMCA in the USofA.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Recipetable



This Table looks cool. You place food items on it and it suggests a recipe what to make of them. Re-arrange them, and you get another recipe. I want one of these!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Instant Food

Today I tried an instant salad dressing. You add some powder to olive oil and water and are supposed to get a dressing italian stlye. It just tasted like sodium-glutamate. Yukk. Are people actually liking that stuff?

I think I will continue to not buy stuff which contains sodium-glutamate. I don't like the taste of it and it makes me edgy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

How to write a thesis

I am currently reading a lot of PhD theses to see which I have to mention and were I can copy^h^h^h cite stuff. It also helped to figure out how a thesis shoud be written. The general structure seems to be:

1) Intruduction:


From the dawn of mankind people have always wondered about <obscure purely academic problem you write about>. This thesis will present the latest and best theory and/or data and will show mankind the way to a brighter future, where there is no hunger, no wars and everybody knows and cares about <obscure purely academic problem you write about>.

2) Theory:


I have read a lot more papers than you did, and I cite all of them. I even cite stuff I haven't read. I cite more stuff. I can use fancy words which nobody, even me, has any clue about what they mean.

3) Experimental Apparatus:


We have the best apparatus ever. You can't even imagine how great it is. The latest technology, the best ideas, blablabla.

4) Methods used:


I took some software, changed some parameters and let it run on a bunch of data. This took two years until I realised everything was wrong, because of a stupid bug and I did a fast workaround and got some results which might be correct.

5) Results


I got some numbers. Of course these are the best numbers, better than that of the other experiments. Some fancy plots and some vague statements where you have no clue about your data. Try to cover up the discrepancies by comparing plots with different scales and axes so that nobody notices that they show inconsistent data.

6) Conclusions and outlook


Paraphrase introduction.

Bibliography and Acknowledgements


Be sure to include advisor, referees and anybody who will have a say on your exam/defense.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Trend



Thanks to XL, who graphed my progress in writing :-)

[EDIT]: Just to clarify: the graph was kindly produced by Axel (or short XL) who has a job in industry and is therefore excused for the use of Excel (or short that-crappy-program-which-cant-calculate-stuff-decently). I of course would have done that in root and have used the very convenient drag and drop feature to get the points closer to the fit. Or maybe in PAW because it's FORTRAN and I like self-flagellation.

Guernica



70 years ago the german Luftwaffe attacked the basque village of Guernica. This air raid was one of the first with large scale bombing of civilian targets, one of the first with large scale destruction, large scale killing of innocent people. Not for the first time but for a very prominent time, a military target (the bridge across the river Oca) was the excuse of bombing a complete city. The bridge was not even hit by a bomb. Hundreds of civilians died.

The german leader of the attac afterwards complained that it was no fun (because of being too easy and being annoyed by the smoke of the bombs) and senseless, as no troops took the town after the bombing...

Guernica is and always will be a symbol for the stupidity of war.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Almansa



300 years ago today the battle of Almansa started. This battle placed Catalunya under spanish government, making Castellano the official language and starting the suppression of Catalan. As a sign against this imperialist movement, I will start learning Catalan next week (there are lectures at my university...)

Interesting factoid found in a blog (from where I shamelessly stole the image):
The city of Xàtiva was burned, and its name changed to San Felipe in order to punish it. In memory of these facts, nowadays the portrait of the monarch still hangs upside down in the local museum of L'Almodí.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Electrical Typewriter


Electrical Typewriter
Originally uploaded by perreira.
I found this beauty in my parents basement. During easter I cleaned it a bit and checked if it works. It does, but only the small letters. For some reasons the shift-key does not work. It didn't work some years ago when I last played with this machine, but back then I coul only type capitals LIKE THIS. After taking it apart, it changed to small letters only...

Maybe I'll still be able to finde someone to repair it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spam

Since some time I recieve quite often spam originating from portuguese adresses, most of them have some legal garbage in them that it would be allowed to spam according to european law. Well, it ain't. Actually, there's a portuguese law (Decreto-Lei n.º 7/2004, Art. 22.1) against it, which implements a european directive. So I tried to find where to complain, but unfortunately the website of the portuguese telecom legislative organ is an unbearable burocratic moloch. What I did find was the address of the OECD Task Force on Spam, so I sent a mail to them.

Today I received a mail from them, stating that they received my communication and are analysing it. It was a simple question: "To whom should I complain?"... If they need a Task Force to analyse this, I fear it will take some time till spam stops. Anyway, let's hope they can do something.

I also complained to the sender of the spam, which is a real estate agency franchising from cascais, which I hope won't do any buisiness anymore soon. I asked them to remove my mail from their databases and send me an acknowledgment that they did so. Up to now they didn't...

Maybe this is a little bean-counterish, but if I can find out the sender of spam, I complain and send them a link to the law which forbids spamming. It won't help, but it makes me feel a bit better.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dear youth of today,

please memorise the lyrics of bella ciao. I hate it when I am the only one singing revolutionary songs out of tune aloud at Bucovina Club.


Una mattina mi sono alzato,
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Una mattina mi sono alzato,
E ho trovato l'invasor.

O partigiano portami via,
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
O partigiano portami via,
Qui mi sento di morir.

E so io muoio da partigiano,
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
E so io muoio da partigiano,
Tu mi devi seppellir.

E seppellire sulla montagna
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
E seppellire sulla montagna
Sott l'ombra di un bel fior.

E le genti che passeranno
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
E le genti che passeranno
Mi diranno «che bel fior».

E questo è il fiore del partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
E questo è il fiore del partigiano
Morto per la liberta.


This is the german translation:

Eines Morgens, in aller Frühe,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
eines Morgens, in aller Frühe
trafen wir auf unser’n Feind.

Partisanen, kommt, nehmt mich mit euch,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Partisanen, kommt, nehmt mich mit euch,
denn ich fühl’, der Tod ist nah.

Wenn ich sterbe, oh ihr Genossen,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
wenn ich sterbe, oh ihr Genossen,
bringt mich dann zur letzten Ruh’!

In den Schatten der kleinen Blume,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
einer kleinen, ganz zarten Blume,
in die Berge bringt mich dann!

Und die Leute, die geh’n vorüber,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
und die Leute, die geh’n vorüber,
seh’n die kleine Blume steh’n.

Diese Blume, so sagen alle,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
ist die Blume des Partisanen,
der für uns’re Freiheit starb.


And next week: the lyrics of הבה נגילה (Hava Nagila)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Script Foo

In case you want to convert a bunch of eps-files to pdf-files (e.g. root generated plots, as the pdf output of root sucks and the eps sometimes produce strange encoding-effects when converted directly...):


#!/bin/bash
for epsfile in $*;
do
echo "Converting $epsfile ...";
eps2eps $epsfile ${epsfile%.eps}_temp.eps;
epstopdf ${epsfile%.eps}_temp.eps -o=${epsfile%.eps}.pdf;
rm ${epsfile%.eps}_temp.eps;
done

Getting Serious

I think it is a sign of old age when you start cleaning out all those mp3s you never listened too when sober, those party-tracks for which you need at least half a bottle of vodka to like them or find them remotely funny...

Anyway, I got to the letter H tagging and cleaning my mp3 collection. Though it's only legal mp3s it's much too much to listen too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Die ächte Verachtung haßt nicht,
sie ist reine Ueberzeugung
vom Unwert des Anderen

--- Arthur Schopenhauer

Just to correct the citation I made when standing in front of one of the local discotheques.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Book Fair


Reading
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Today I went to the Leipzig Book Fair. It took about 5 hours by trains (local trains, as I went with the "Schönes Wochenende" ticket) to get there, which was a torture. But it was worth it, very nice fair. More when I got some sleep...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Flohmarkt





As I had to get up early anyway on sunday, I decided to get up really early and go to the flea market. Most of the stuff they had there was 80ies crap, but I found some nice books, including this handbook for drivers and car-owners from 1914. It explains everything you needed to know to get a drivers licence in 1914, which includes knowing how your car actually works and how to repair it.

I also got an engineers handbook from 1896, which belonged to a railway engineer. It still has a paper in it with a mark from the Königlich Bayrische Staatsbahn, the royal railway of bavaria. Maybe some scans will follow...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pagecount

As I am getting more and more frustrated and might answer questions on how my thesis is going on in a style which might annoy people you can now find a page counter in the sidebar. It is updated daily, everything more I would tell you would be on the lines "don't ask..."

In case you want to know how I did the counter:
convert -background white -fill black -font Helvetica -pointsize 24 -size 50x label:`pdfinfo $THESIS | grep Pages | awk '{print $2}'` $PNGFILE

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Vienna


Cafe Central
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Back from Vienna. A week of conference, on detectors and how to build them. Lots of physicists around, some nice, some annoying; amazingly enough there were some good looking female physicists, two from Brazil, one from Poland, one from somewhere else.

I managed to see something of Vienna as well, I think I have got an overdose of culture on friday after visiting two mueums and the theater...

Pictures will appear on flickr as usual.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Conference

I am off to a conference in Vienna. Luggage: about 3kg of laptop and stuff for the laptop, about 5kg photography equipment, 5kg in beer, 1kg in food and some t-shirts. Hurray for light travelling...

Defenitely looking forward to visit the Esperanto Museum in Vienna (just one floor beneath the globe museum).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Decimal Day (not to be confused with Domino Day)

On the 15th of February 1971 Great Britain switched from a currency system based on the traditional LSD system (yes, it's called that way - Librae, Solidus, Denarii) to a boring decimal system. The old one was much more logical...:

4 Farthings are a penny, 3 pence a thrupence, 2 thrupence a sixpence, 2 sixpense a bob, 2 bob a florin, 1 florin + a sixpence are half a crown. 4 of these half crowns are a ten-bob, 2 ten-bobs are 20 shilling or 240 pence or 1 pound. One pound and a shilling, or 252 pence, are a guinee.

And now: 1 pound are 100 pence. How boring. Anybody could remember that...

And before you ask: yes, I spend too much time surfing wikipedia.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Wrath of God will come upon you!

Those sinners in Portugal who voted for unchristian and abnormal things shall fear the wrath of god! Todays earthquake shall be a SIGN!

Sometimes nature has a sense of timing which amazes me... Back in the middle ages (and maybe still today in the more rural areas of portugal) this would have made people burning a lot of witches.

Welcome in the less uncivilized world!

Yesterday about a quarter of the portuguese entitled to vote placed portugal on the map of countries being on the way from the middle ages to more civilized times. Though only 43% voted, 59% of those voted for the change of a law, which up to now lead to up to three years of prison for women having an abortion. The law resulted in those considering abortion going to spain (the rich) or doing clandestine abortions (the poor) with horrible conditions, leading to the death of thousands of women each year. A referendum in 1998 failed to change the law, as the supporters of change stayed at the beach and the voters against change were all sent to vote after church by priests who seem to have been stuck in a mindframe appropriate for the year 1100 (and even then considered conservative). (This is my polemic version, your truth may vary...)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Burn!

Yes. Just burn those witches. And their family. And their village. They all are sinners and must go to hell. BURN! BURN!

(For those not reading portuguese: the link is about a bishop stating that not only the women considering abortion should be penalised, also their husbands and doctors.) Middle ages are still alive in Europe.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A disgrace to all craftsmen

Today I wanted to get the battery in my watch changed. It is a swatch, so nothing fancy. It eats standard batteries. So I went to a, well, not a clockmaker, not even a shop who sells watches, more like a shop who tries to sell watches but failing.

The sales drone there was the most incompetent sales drone I ever met. He stared at the swatch as he had never seen one before and then said they don't have that type of battery (which might be true) and he didn't want to change the battery because he didn't know how to do it. Well, changing the battery of a swatch is an artform which only the best craftsmen ever manage. You take a 10cent coin, put it in the slit of the battery compartment and then turn the battery holder about 10 degrees counterclockwise. Then it falls out, you change the battery, put it back and turn the thing in the other direction. That's hard to do. I know. But sometimes people master this craft...

Worse yet, in the house that shop is in Emmy Noether was born, one of the greates mathematicians. What a step down.

Then I went to another watch-shop, a very good looking and nice girl changed the battery in about a minute, chatted a bit with me, set the watch correct and was generally nice. Much better...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Invasion of the Brain eaters

Sometimes modern world just pisses me off. I tried to contact ebay that their e-mail server apperantly has a clock going wrong. All mails I get from them are in no way in a correct time-zone or time. (Well, maybe ebay has their servers sitting in a time bubble which is 5 hours into the future, but I think they only have this at google.)

I got an answer by one of the customer satisfaction bots, made of pre-fabricated sentences. It seems they have a very small pile of these sentences, as they were exactly the same as in a mail I got from them on a different problem. Instead of: "well, we have looked at the mail header, you are right/wrong", they sent me some customer satisfaction brabble, at least addressing me five times by name to get that personal touch. Is it only me or does nobody see that this is not taking me serious? Why do they have sales bots? Just put the emacs psychatrist there, that would at least be some 20 minutes of fun for everybody...

In the fear of not being friendly and unsatisfactory to their clients, they hide behind their shield of pre-fabricated sales-blubber. I very much prefer the way they treat me at local workshops. They grunt at you, they are not really friendly, but they take you serious and take care of your problems. They won't bullshit you with these false friendliness of shareholdervalueoriented companies.

Ah, and ebay wanted me to fill out a survey on how to improve their customer service. Luckily it's all multiple choice questions, where neither the question nor the answers fit to anything I would tell them. And when I tried to fill in the free-form text area, it just stopped working. Yehaa.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

25.000 Views


Stylish in Barcelona
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Not on this photo. This photo had only something like 30. But my flickr-stream hit the 25.000 views mark yesterday :-)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sometimes...

you just should go home. I tried to help cleaning up after this years winter party, being quite intoxicated (still being intoxicated while posting this, so sorry for the spelling).

While I tried to lower one of the speakers from its stand, I moved a cable, which resulted in a lamp tipping over, falling down, hitting the bar, catapulting one of the candles on the bar into the air, which spilled liquid wax all over a friend of mine. While this might look like a comedy, all his outer clothing was full of wax and most probably can only be used in hard weather conditions as a wax jacket again, he also got some of the wax in his face which is as far from funny as you can get. Thank got he did not have any major injuries (at least none were discoverd up to now)... Hope he is alright...

So: Lesson for today: when drunk - leave.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Scientific Progress goes Boink

Well, another week nearly over. Nothing done for science, done a little for the car, done something for the party tomorrow, done some politics (well, sitting in a meeting), done nothing in special...

Just another week.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Todessturm tobt über Deutschland

Fest wie unsere Eichen halten alle Zeit wir stand,
wenn Stürme brausen übers Deutsche Vaterland.
Wir sind die Niedersachsen, sturmfest und erdverwachsen.

Wer es auch noch hören will: mp3s gibts hier, nehmt die Variante von Herbie G.

Monday, January 15, 2007

State of mind

It seems that I am entering the writing up phase of my thesis. My flat gets cleaner everyday, without me remembering of cleaning it up on purpose. The same already happened during my diploma thesis. You just start cleaning, to not need to write...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Engine Block


Engine Block
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Successful week: I managed to seperate the engine head off the motor block of my DKW, cleaned out all the rust and dirt. It looks like it needs a bit of honing and some cleaning, but else it looks usable again.

I also managed to make two plots for my thesis and to copy a couple of pages into my thesis taken from an old report.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cap d' Any


Sagrada Familia
Originally uploaded by perreira.
Back from Barcelona. And not very motivated to go to work again...