skip to main content.

posts for october 2010.

the last week, i was in bellevue, attending the 14th workshop on elliptic curves and computation, held at microsoft research. during that time, we also visited seattle a bit. unfortunately, i left my good camera at home, but i took my powershot. which is good when there’s enough light. most of the photos had not enough light. but some are still quite ok, i think. and yes, i was really missing my ultra-wide angle lenses. enjoy.

the strange tower is the space needle, and the troll is the fremont troll.

around 2 o’clock in the morning, i was suddenly startled by a very intense beeping. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. so i checked the fire alarm, muted the one inside the apartment and heard more from outside. there was a strange smell on the corridor, so i put on minimalistic clothing (it was -3 degree celsius outside), grabbed my mobile phone, my laptop and my camera bag (unfortunately, i forgot my passport, i have to think of that the next time), a jacket, some socks (no time to put them on), jumped into my shoes, ran downstairs, and joined a bunch of neighbors waiting outside. after some time, sirens approached, three fire trucks showed up. some firemen, armed with hoses, got into the building. we were waiting. i walked up the street a bit, nothing unusual to see from the other side of the house. eventually, the beeping stopped. two of the trucks left. and finally, someone came out of the third truck, and told us that we can go back in. the strange smell was still there, but apparently everything was fine. gladly.
well. i also learned a thing: its impossible to overhear the alarms. in fact, when i walked to the stairs on the corridor, while passing a buzzer, it feld like i’d become deaf if i stop there for just a few seconds. oh well. its time to go back to sleep ;-)

while eating dinner, i watched a movie called babel. i somehow got the feeling that i already saw parts of it, or at least somehow know the story. don’t ask me why… nonetheless, the movie is really good, and centered about the theme of death. (nonetheless, nobody actually dies. at least not during the movie.)
the movie consists of a stream of intertwining stories, playing in morocco, japan, the us and mexico. on the first glance, there’s no relation, but eventually the jigsaw puzzle is completed enough to get an idea of the global picture. the movie is very emotional. love. envy. disputes. panic. fear. pain. desperation. happiness. suicidal.
there’s blood. hopeless situations. overreaction. triggered by two boys, herding goats in morocco, playing around with a rifle, a rifle they were supposed to use to protect the goats against wild animals. not understanding consequences until it is too late. an american tourist gets shot. local police searches for terrorists. one of the brothers almost dies. meanwhile, a girl, frustrated, bitter, seeks love. seeks sexual encounters. unsuccessful. haunted by her mother’s suicide, eventually appearing suicidal. her father, a hobby hunter, left his rifle in morocco. another scene, far away, two american kids taken to a mexican wedding by their nanny, as their parents did not come back in time. the parents are in morocco. returning from the wedding, the kids and their nanny end up in the desert. eventually rescued, the nanny is deported to mexico, despite living for sixteen years in the us. meanwhile, in morocco, a husband is trying to get help, for his wounded wife. stranded in a small village, far away from everywhere, the only doctor at hand being a veterinarian. almost bleeding to death. endless pain, finally ended by a helicopter ride, after a long wait.
somewhat, a happy end? maybe.
life is cruel.

posted in: feelings movies

…came, and went a few hours later. nice try, winter.

a current earworm of mine is an old song called radiant star by the swiss band samael:

[[for legal reasons, i do not want to include youtube videos here anymore. please click on this link to watch the video at youtube.]]
posted in: daily life music

today, i saw a modified the simpsons intro by banksy. apparently inspired by rumors that another portion of the animation work should be outsourced to south korea.

[[for legal reasons, i do not want to include youtube videos here anymore. please click on this link to watch the video at youtube.]]

edit: well, apparently twentieth century fox didn’t like the intro that much, since they asked youtube to delete it. apparently, they don’t understand the streisand effect – as most companies. too bad.
edit2: looks like the video is back online.

posted in: daily life

when i read yesterday that today, two red panda cubs would be presented to the public, i decided to pay calgary zoo another visit. here are some impressions of the really cute two little ones:

after that, i decided to pay the dinosaur section another visit, since i heard that it was heavily updated. indeed, things changed. there were a lot new dinosaur models, looking much better, which were even animated – they move and roar.

even though, there are still some artifacts from the past available, and artifacts due to low water:

anyway. i guess i’ve seen enough of the dinosaur section. there are other, more interesting parts of the zoo to see :)