Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pallalink

[from BoingBoing]

Simply amazing: Kazuhiko Kawahara's intricate cut and paste re-works of architecture photographs.



more

Friday, February 23, 2007

Stick to your First Life

Most of you will have heard about Second Life. The online free-to-all, build-everything-you-want and live-happily-ever-after world set up by LindenLabs. At the moment the whole world seems to be obsessed with it. Take for instance the things we have seen in the Netherlands: a funeral company based a 'virtual' store where, among others, you can design your own coffin, political figures have their own avatars, companies have organized events and concerts inside Second Life. At the moment there is the biggest thing yet: the Dutch government wants to ban the child porn which is happening in Second Life. A bunch of weirdos are making avatars who look like children and let them have sex with other players.



But why? I played it once during my time at MediaMatic. You all know that I am some kind of a geek so I can familiarlize myself pretty fast with things like this, but not Second Life. First and foremost: it looks hideous! The aesthetic appeal of Second Life is nil. Child porn? Well, you need a pretty darn good imagination to be turned on by what you see in Second Life. Second: the controls, which don't respond and are not intuitive whatsoever. Next: the loading times and horizon. If you play a Massive Multiplayer Online game, the world stretches endlessly before you. In games as World of Warcraft or GuildWars, you can actually SEE this world, in Second Life everything is continuously building itself up painfully slow, with ugly textures, cheap JPEG pictures and uninteresting architecture and if something is interesting it will be so heavy on your system that it will take so long to load that you won't even bother.

And finally: it is just no fun! And you want to know why? Read this [link from BoingBoing]

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

*coughs*

"Ok, ok I'll go already!!"

After several urgent pleas to see a doctor about my cough, I went and saw Dr Tim Moss - a friendly, big bellied and happy gentleman, today. After the obvious confirmation of Dr. Moss that I indeed had a rather persistent cough, he prescribed me a puffer. With the prescription in my hand I went on to the nurse and had my third hepatitis B shot, after which the presentation of the bill followed - 50 dollars for the lot. Happily I paid - this was a bargain!

In good spirits I went to the pharmacist to get my prescription medicine. The girl was nice and, I guess fueled by my radiant smile, started talking enthusiastically about what kind of medicine it was ("See, it has two main working ingredients, one is a steroid which calms the lungs down and suppresses the irritation. The other one opens the lung vessels again, which might have been clogged by your mucus or by the severe coughing spasms). This very friendly and nice scene quickly turned around when she finished with:

"Well, that is 89,24 dollars than!"

WHAT?!
90 dollars for a puffer?!
But wait! I've got insurance - don't panic.
You'll get your money back Jaag.
And even if you didn't - can you really put a price on your health?
No, you are right

But I still hated to swipe my credit card through that machine!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Potential

I have been brooding over this for quite some time, but now that I am nearing a conclusion I would like to share it with you all.

I smell opportunity in the air.

There you have it! I said it! I may be a complete arrogant prick, but I smell opportunity and potential for myself. Coming to a new country, with new people, different standards and different views you are confronted with yourself as you really are. You go back to your core, to the essence of what it is that makes you "you". And you discover that some parts of this essence work, but that others don't. At home I wouldn't change these habits, because everybody would think: "What has happened to him? Who is this person? Where is Jago?" but here nobody knows that Jago, here Jago is completely modifiable and can be changed at will. I can experiment with it, with different personae.

And this is showing me something very evident: there is potential everywhere! Some of you already know that after I had a picnic 2 weeks ago, a professor from Adelaide Uni who was present there, offered me a job as tutor (werkgroepdocent) for some media topics. I was flabbergasted! Just like that. I had spoken with her for 5 minutes, that was all, but apparently I hit the right spot. Most of you also know that I've always had the ambition and wish to become an university teacher, so this really felt like a godsend. A once in a lifetime opportunity, up for grasps.
I already started thinking about what I could talk about. One of the topics was about semiotics: "How can I make that difficult differentiation between icon, index and symbol clear?" "Should I use the French terms from de Sausurre: signifie and signifiant or the English translations?" "I could totally use that cool assignment I had to make myself once about analyzing the trailer of a movie!" Basically - I had already started.
But then it hit me: this is what that professor saw - my energy. She could smell it. And they want that everywhere! Not only here in Adelaide, not only this professor. There is a whole world out there who wants that energy. This is just the beginning! Hell, I am beginning to think that one of my other silent dreams might be within reach: studying / working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where everything BIG in new media theory happens.

.. but I shouldn't run off to chase these future prospects just yet.

I have some papers to finish and damn...

I wish I had a bit more energy that focused on seeing things through and finishing it up instead of dreaming the life that is to be lived as a dream!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Real love

Valentine's Day has passed me by completely uneventful, but here is a reassuring post-Valentine message to all of you that love does exist!

Click on the picture to see this amazing love story (18+):

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Capoeira!

Yes, I went to capoeira tonight!

And it was great fun! I have bleeding blisters on my big toes, but it was cool! A lot of moves were fired upon us and of course I made a big mess of it all, but at the end of the lesson I felt that I could at least grasp the essence of what I was supposed to do. I even stepped in to the ring or "roda" to do a sparring session with the teacher.

I showed my double kick, but I don't think the crowd was very impressed ;) Some of the people are so good, they make enormous jumps and mid-air somersaults! Oh well, practice makes perfect. At least my cartwheel is already good, that's a good start.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Say goodbye to the speed of light

[from Neatorama]

Light travels fast, libraries full of scifi books have been written about the promise of time travel when we humans will be able to travel faster than light. Traveling leisurely and constant at 300000km a second all physicists agreed: light can't be slowed down.

But Harvard professor Hau has done it! And not only that, she stopped it all together, transformed it into matter, transported it and then send it on its way again, completely unchanged, or if you want: changed! With added or encrypted data. This is simply unbelievable. Watch the short video and read the accompanying explanation. It will bring a completely new way of looking at travel, communication and data storage.

[quote from article]

"Light carries information, so think of information being manipulated in ways that have never before been possible. That information can be stored - put on a shelf, so to speak - retrieved at will, and converted back to light. The retrieved light would contain the same information as the original light, without so much as a period being lost.

Or the information could be changed. "The light waves can be sculpted," is the way Hau puts it. "Then it can be passed on. We have already observed such re-sculpted light in our lab."

A weird thing happens to the light as it enters the cold atomic cloud, called a Bose-Einstein condensate. It becomes squeezed into a space 50 million times smaller. Imagine a light beam 3,200 feet (one kilometer) long, loaded with information, that now is only a hair width in length but still encodes as much information."

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Privacy: from exposed to exhibited

Today I read a fantastic article in New York magazine:

Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy

Where just before the millennium everybody was dreading the loss of privacy, the potential danger of saved data about us and the irreversible traces, pictures and thoughts we leave everywhere on the web - the current generation is embracing all of this in a celebrity kind of fashion. A new generation gap is dawning.

I have a blog, I have a Flickr account, I have a MySpace, I have a Hyves profile, I have a Gaydar profile, Googling my name brings you at the things I have done for Mediamatic and Flinders, as well as some comments I have posted at several places. In short - I am all over the web, readily available for anyone interested in me. My email addresses have leaked out to spambots, people who really dislike me can trace me back with relative ease - use my 'private' pictures against me, could wipe my blunt reactions and blogposts in my face. Question is, do I care?

No.

And that is what the zeitgeist of 'my' digital generation is all about. We know that we are exposed, in full view, that maybe the person you show ur body to on your webcam is recording that on his side of the screen, or that for a job interview people might trace back what you write on your blog, or that stalkers put all the bits and pieces together to retrieve your telephone number, address, bank details and other highly personal information - information which we used to hold dear. That is why we are entering the stage which comes after the fear: the indifference. We are not afraid of being exposed anymore, we are celebrating the exhibition of ourselves.

We are becoming the celebrities of our own life, always aware of being watched and followed. And we laugh about it, otherwise we would crumble to pieces, holed up inside our houses with fear of the world. We are throwing off the shackles of privacy, fear, shame and prudence:

Here I am, enjoy!

But it is not this enjoyment alone, it is above all a cry for this: link back to me. Link back to me, so my network grows. Let us connect and contact each other. Leave comments on my blog, send me a Friends invite on MySpace, send my pictures to your friends. Fullfill my and our need to be seen and acknowledged.

Now you know everything.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

YEEESSS!!

I MADE IT THROUGH!

And with a 7! Thank God THAT'S over!

It was helpful as well that I now understand that for me, when someone asks:
"be more specific"
I need to answer it as if they asked:
"be more general"

Another academic mystery has been solved!

*super happy mode!*

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Alleinich fur die Niederländers

[stolen from Spunk which had a "Queen special"]



O M G! This is sssoo fucking hilarious, I couldn't stop laughing. THE ACCENT!!!!

Monday, February 5, 2007

The date is set...

...Wednesday night I am having my oral exam.

Pray for me!

Other updates:

Coughing like an aids patient
Went out on Saturday, same old, same old
Sunday:
For the first time in my life I have made a budget of my expenses.
The shock was great, but not devastating.
Today:
For the first time in my life I did groceries for the whole week

So tomorrow I am having a Mexican stew
Wednesday chicken stir fry
Thursday is the only night eating out
Friday I am having home made burgers with lots of roasted veggies
Saturday chicken curry
Sunday... crap... I dont have something for Sunday!
The money I save is going to my savings account for my travels here in Oz.

And when I have my first job back home, I want to invest money in stocks.

and the Lord saw it was good
.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Webtag!

Ok, I have to admit, I havent been tagged myself, but it is still heaps funny! :D

I'm subscribed to a lot of weblogs and recently there is a webtagging frenzy (oftewel weblog-tikkertje!) going on in the blogging community. Bloggers are tagged by other bloggers after which they need to write down 5 things which probably very few people know about them and afterwards tag 3 other bloggers to do the same!

So guys, here are my 5 things and read below who I chose to tag (and I havent told them yet, so that will be heaps funny!)

1. My childhood dream was to become an eye-surgeon - however, after I saw an actual eye surgery on television, I was cured of this desire.

2. I have the strong belief that it is much better NOT to put your toothbrush under the tap prior to brushing your teeth and let the saliva take care of it all.

3. I judge people according to the shoes they are wearing, especially men.
A brief introduction to how this works:
Nike Air Max: trouble!
Cheap sneakers: boring!
Ugly fake leather shoes: please don't let ur mom decide anymore
Shoes with really big and fat rubber soles: always walks on the safe side
Converse: interesting
Cowboy boots: confidence and charisma
Stylish leather shoes: potential
Thongs: AUSSIE!

Of course this is a gliding scale and there are other factors who determine a positive or negative result.

4. In my imagination and daydreams I like to think that I am a very lethal and stealthy assassin who takes revenge on all the people who did me wrong (very Freudian.. it is probably the way for my subconsciousness to deal with stress)

5. At some points in time I have faked orgasms (yes! You cán do that as a guy and sorry! I just didn't know anything else!!)

Well these were my revelations and I can't wait to read what Astrid, Laura and GJ will write!