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posts for 2007. (page 3.)

i’ve been there, though just briefly. expect some more pictures (and panoramas) next week.

posted in: photos traveling
places: france paris

if you’ve ever seen the cover of opeth‘s fifth masterpiece blackwater park, you’ll know what i mean with opethesque (if you haven’t, look here). i took some similar shots this morning throu the train’s window:

unfortunately i missed to catch some more impressions which were even more opethesque… well, maybe next time.

yesterday i started reading the xkcd archives (maybe you’ve already noticed that yesterday). if you don’t know xkcd, it’s a webcomic “of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”. here are the ones i found particularly interesting, funny, or whatever:

  • pi equals. reminds me of the classic “help, i’m trapped in a fortune cookie factory!” joke.
  • what if.
  • barrel – part 3. i wouldn’t say “wow!” in that situation, though.
  • fourier. poor cat.
  • secrets.
  • useless. standard approachs suck for love.
  • su doku. even i can solve these.
  • national language.
  • binary heart. if you check the parity of the read ones in every column, you’ll notice most of them are even. is this a coincidence? (and don’t ask why i stumbled about that…)
  • laser scope. sometimes the primitive word jokes are the best.
  • riemann-zeta. about love & primes. this one is not only for number theorists.
  • nihilism. squirrels! cool!
  • alice and bob. the real story of eve.
  • matrix transform. if i’d ever had to solve linear algebra exercises again, i’d try to turn this one in.
  • valentine’s day. nothing to add.
  • cat proximity. yay, how true. meow!
  • code talkers. another one on cryptography.
  • fixed width. nerd talk on irc. i don’t know what scares me more, laughing about this one or thinking that i’m probably knowing people who would really do this.
  • exploits of a mom. well. if you don’t know what an sql injection attack is, read about it here.
posted in: computer daily life math www

i first met swallow the sun on their concert in the z-7 in april, as a co-headliner of moonsorrow. lately, i’ve again started listening to their album hope, which i bought directly after the concert, and decided to get more, namely first their second album ghosts of loss and, finally, their debut, the morning never came. their music is dark, really dark. full of beauty, of intensity, of gloom, of melancholy. so intriguing, gripping me, making me longing for more. slow moments alternating with blasting, heavy moments. clear voice alternating with death voice, giving another example where death voice fits perfectly, increasing the intenseness of the music. as the line “insane pain” in the giant—one of my favorite songs—which, if presented in clear voice, would not making me shiver that much, would not paint the pictures in my head in such intense, vivid colors. a few lines from that song:

“i’ve been hiding this giant for too long
and it’s grown like a parasite inside me
under this shadow i’ve been walking
now it’s taken over me, and she…
the pure girl, leave me before it’s too late
or i will cut your wings”

another favorite of mine, gloom, beauty and despair, another song from the great ghosts of loss album (containing several twin peaks references), is not using clear vocals after all. the first three minutes, the music being slow, melodic, melancholic, the lyrics, telling the story of someone mourning the loss of his loved one, being barely understandable, as it’s screamed and whispered at the same time, making me feel the desperation, the anger, the mourning. simply beautiful. then, piano hits in, picking up the theme from the beginning, until the guitars and the death growls take over, the music still being slow, melancholic, but heavier, more desperate, making me feeling with the narrator.
i’m really looking forward to see them again.

today i watched léon (imdb), one of my favorite movies (next to dead man and fight club). it’s really beautiful. so tragic. filled with emotions and lack of emotions. it’s about love, and it’s about death. it’s about learning to value life, to enjoy life, about losing life. about how good and bad life can get. at one point, mathilda is asking léon, “is life always this hard, or is it just when you’re a kid?” he simply replies, “always like this.” he’s so right…

posted in: feelings movies

yesterday and today i was traveling by train. here are some impressions:

it’s amazing how fast it is getting dark outside; it’s pretty obvious that summer is gone. even though, today the weather was pretty nice, at least during the afternoon: the sun was shining, and in the sun it was pretty warm. well. after spening two more hours in the darkness (why are there seminar rooms with no window to the outside?), i decided to grab the chance to enjoy the scenery at the zürisee, and then, on the way there, i decided to take a boat trip. and so i did. it was really beautiful, watching the waves, the sun, though it tried blinding me, letting the thoughts wander around, listening to good music (communic, unholy, swallow the sun). it was fantastic. even though the sun began hiding, swallowed by the mountains, the air getting chilly, even cold. the waves are fascinating, changing from a plastic like look to very complex patterns in a minute, somehow reminding me of fractals.
then, coming home, while darkness is crawling upon the sky, changing into blackness, as it is now, only artifical light left. me sitting here, typing, drinking hot chocolate, thinking. the sun is gone for today.

consider the field of all numbers. meaning, of course, the complex numbers. we say that a number is representable if we can describe it by a text (for example, by a binary coded string of 0′s and 1′s of finite length). the set of all representable numbers is countable, as there’s a surjection of the set of binary strings (which is countable) onto it. moreover, it is a field, as if a and b are representable numbers, we have that a + b, a − b, a ⋅ b and a / b are represented by strings as “sum of (description of a) and (description of b)”. obviously, every algebraic number is representable, so our field of representable numbers contains the algebrically closed field of the algebraic numbers. but then, our field also contains euler’s number e and archimedes’ constant π, so it’s strictly larger. this opens the question: how does it’s algebraic closure looks like? not too surprisingly, it turns out to be already algebraically closed: every element in its closure can be represented by “root of polynomial with coefficients (description of coefficients)”, as all coefficients are representable. hence, our field, being countable, is strictly larger than the smallest algebraically closed subfield of the complex numbers, but still countable. and it contains lots of transcendental numbers. isn’t that cool?

yesterday i fell in love. again. with a song, called into cold light, the first track on unholy‘s third album rapture. it catches me. absorbs me. makes me feel like floating, like sitting on a boat, moving on the water with high speed, like flying through space, stars passing by, infinitely, monotone, yet never boring, full of power, psychedelic. somehow reminds me a bit of dream theater‘s constant motion, in particular it’s video, as it looks to me as if everything is in motion, no way to stop, no way to rest, no way to look back. reminds me a bit of life. constantly moving forward in time, not able to stop for a moment, no possibility to rest. making decisions in every moment, some of them good, most of them not. what happened cannot be undone. the music’s intenseness increasing every second, then, guitars hitting in, increasing the pace. hell breaking loose. drop-dead gorgeous. stunning. haunting. so intense, so beautiful. then, fade to black. the stream flows away, leaving me in blackness. again.

a piece of poetry which i really like is p. b. shelley’s sonnet ozymandias:

“i met a traveller from an antique land
who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone
stand in the desert. near them on the sand,
half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
tell that its sculptor well those passions read
which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
the hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
and on the pedestal these words appear:
“my name is ozymandias, king of kings:
look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
nothing beside remains: round the decay
of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
the lone and level sands stretch far away.”

percy bysshe shelley, 1818

i first got in touch with this poem when i was listening to the black league‘s album ichor, which contains the poem in form of a song. a very beautiful one which, in my opinion, makes the poem even more affecting, powerful, than it is already in text form. after some oriental tones, the first nine lines of the poem are read out by taneli jarva‘s baritone voice. then, for the two lines quoting the inscription, the music gets hard and heavy, whilst the two lines are screamed. (i’d say that this is one of the best examples where screaming as a singing style fits perfectly.) after that, the music returns to the slow, oriental sounding style from the beginning, and the rest of the poem is spoken. then, music slowly turning to an end, the two lines of the inscription are whispered in the background over and over.