Thursday, August 30, 2007


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


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


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


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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


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