How to walk a cat

2011/07/12 § 1 Comment

Yesterday night it was warm and humid in my bedroom, hence I opened the window and took a fresh breath of air, leaning over the windowsill. What I saw intrigued me. A man walking up the road stopping for no apparent reason. He stopped, walked back. Obviously waiting for something. A moment later a black cat sneaked around the corned. The man turned and walked on up the road. At first I thought this is a coincidence. Noone does walk a cat. No one actually could walk a cat. But I kept observing in disbelieve. The man walked on up the road. He took slow strides, eventually stopping again. The cat seemed to follow him. But I was not convinced, as the cat stopped to explore the cars and sidewalk. But sure enough, after he had walked on for quite a distance and the cat had left my sight completely he turned again. He could not see the cat (she was in between cars I had seen from above). so he returned for a few meters. And sure enough, the cat showed up again and followed him again. This game went on for some time until I lost sight of the pair. I was intrigued. Another thing learned. You can- contrary to what people say, walk a cat. Just lo(o)se(n) the leash. They key is patience. I should have figured. I am sure though the cat was convinced she walked the man. It is all make believe with these creatures. Cats…

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Stockholm

2009/08/09 § 2 Comments

The day I arrived at the place I would certainly want to call my beloved home by now, I expected some fundamentally touching emotions. I entered the familiar airport bus, drove by my former flat, drove by yet another former flat of mine and got off at one of the city-squares that had represented the center of my personal universe for some of the happiest years of my entire life.

I expected to be overwhelmed by memories. Some moving memories, causing me maybe laughter of joy or possibly tears. To my surprise there was nothing of that kind, not even remotely- not at all. I admit, somewhat to my disappointment. My friends asked me how it felt to “come home” after these many months, actually even countable in years by now. But I could not report anything unusual. Nothing else than that moving between the parks, channels and bridges was all too familiar. Also, the language surrounding me was tinkling my ears in a familiar way and I immediately was set to auto-pilot when roaming the streets of this breathtakingly beautiful city which I would want to call “mine”.

Stockholm du fria...

Stockholm du fria...

I had some nice barbecues, reunions with friends, almost forgotten friends and rediscovered friends and warm welcome-back-celebrations. We picked up the topics that we had left partially unfinished when I left and it felt all like it had been yesterday since I left. Eventually, while wandering around the pictures and memories of the past crept up on me while they were lingering just around every corner of every street, sometimes dealing me joy sometimes calling for remorse but always with tremendous emotional value.

The summer was unusually generous to us. The perfect Swedish sun was as always in full splendor during the days and the remaining warmth of her playful outbursts more humble during the nights. I watched the boats and ships softly rocking on the waters between Mälaren and the baltic sea, glimmering in brilliant white due to the post midsummer-sun. There is NOTHING as enchanting as a summer in a place where people adore the too few warm days of the year due their notoriously rare appearance! Nothing.

I was walking around with great strides, taking back what was once mine and still belongs to me, and to me alone. I felt like I was showing off the city to myself, and showing myself around the plenty wonderful and very familiar sights of the – this time of the year- touristic areas, trying to spot any significant changes. But there was so pleasingly little in terms of change. Some things in life are pleasantly stable. Just as my love for this city and what it means to me and ever will.

Then, finally, when roaming between goose-bumping beautiful water-ways and medieval buildings, I realized what my initial emotion of almost indifference of being back had entailed. It struck me that it is not what this place gives me emotionally as much as what it does NOT give me. I felt an ease due to a lack of stress and distress that I had been lacking in many places of the world, at least to that extend. It is simply a lack of negative emotions.

A lack of displeasure that creates a feeling that can hardly be described. The love for this town is best described in negatives. Described in what it is not, which ultimately sculptures my personal picture of her and which is an incarnation of pure bliss to me. Not being like ANY other means being truly unique.

It sure is good to come HOME.

The search had an end- the perfect earbuds

2009/06/03 § Leave a comment

As regular reader of this blog (I know that type does not exist, so calm down) you are aware of my quest for a perfect set of earbud headphones, and how I tried Shure, Sennheiser, Bose, Apple’s own iPod earbuds, Skullcandy and Klipsch Image X5. Yes, the Klipsch were great, but who wants to buy earbuds at 250$ a piece? Anyhow, maybe the 100$ Shure, Sennheiser, Bose and Apple headphones would have done the job one could think? But I did not think so. I was disappointed by all of them. The popularity of the Shure in the US can only be explained by the American taste for overload I think.

US Americans are used to be overloaded, and seem to like it. Just look at fast food. Loads of fat and protein and sugars. Gaaarrrreeeeaaaattttt! Well, not for a more balanced European taste 😛

So I went for the Sony MDR EX 90 headbuds. Great stuff! Well balanced sound, and as one reviewer said “All-in-all the engineers at Sony hit a homerun with the MDREX90’s in my opinion. I believe sound quality compromises were made in all the right areas for this design.”. Even though I am not crazy about the home-run metaphor I agree with the conclusion!

These buds are insane for the 80$ price-tag. The bass is not just wobbling around as with the Shure and yet it is deep and still defined. And if the snares at the end of a song are hit you wonder how long they last, and how you have never noticed that before. The resolution is a hit with the voice being clearly separated from even the worst mess of rock music insanity. The same goes for all the different frequencies.

Test your buds with Kyuss song Phototropic from the album And the circus leaves town, and Spaceship landing. If you are looking for a defined bass you should get the picture listening to these songs. Also Catamaran gives you a good idea of what a well defined drum sound should be like.

If you are about to test the treble of your headphones you may go for Air’s “Universal Traveller” or “Surin’ on a rocket” which gives you a range of frequencies to test, (beside it being a beautiful song) from the album Talkie Walkie. Then you also get a good feel for what a decent medium range frequency should look like.

Well, well, sure enough that brings me to the real point of this review; if you are into any deviant 😉 music style like rap, R’n’B, Jazz, Classics or what the heck else there is out there I do not listen to on a regular basis, you may want to reevaluate. However, I have tried Jazz, Blues, Classical Music, Heavy, Prog Rock, Indie, Metal, Ambient, Synth, Pop and many more types of music on my Sony’s and I am thrilled.

Why is it that a sucky company like Sony makes such great earbuds? I have been wondering myself! I have a working hypothesis; maybe it simply is due to the fact that A) we have here a company that has been doing individual music listening for a while (they did after all invent the Walkman), and B) that Sony has not been doing that well lately in terms of financial success. Hence, who would not assume that a company in dire straits should be keen on selling great product for very competitive prices? Whatever the reasons, I am at the end of my search… 🙂

PS They come with a pretty useless carrying case, at least they do not tell you not to wrap your earbuds around your iPod as SkullCandy does, which fucks the cord up in two months as happened to me… So in the end it is a good advice, but where do you keep the earbuds, SkullCandy? Thank you…

UPDATE:

Almost two years on, and endless times of wrapping the headphones around my iPod (f*** you SkullCandy) keeping them in my pocket there is no crack in the cord, and endless times stepping on them (it happens) there is no damage, and endless times of ripping them out of my ears by accident, they still do not need substitute rubber thingies (you know, the stuff that you keep loosing with many other earphones- thanks Phillips), and best of all they still sound great. Man, what great value for money! I have never been as satisfied with earbud headphones before.


http://forums.ilounge.com/archive/index.php/t-186708.html
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=11038874

Day 206 – 2012: the end of the world is near

2009/04/05 § 2 Comments

Now it is official. The end of the world- Armageddon- will come over us in 2012. More precisely on December 21, 2012. This date is the exact day when the Mayan calendar ends. The calendar has been counting for some 5100 years after its starting date on August 11, 3114 BC.

It is obvious that the world as we know it will come to an end on this day. Probably, even very likely, this means the destruction of human kind, maybe the entire planet, apparently even the entire universe. All existence will cease. Whatever you planned for the time after that day: don´t bother! (count down timer here [1])

Not all go that far though. A “Spiritual healer” predicts, a restoration of a “true balance between Divine Feminine and Masculine” Another guy anticipates a “change in the nature of consciousness,” assisted by indigenous insights and psychedelic drug use. [2]

Probably you have to have taken drugs to get ideas like that. And what in hells name means “true balance”? Which change of consciousness? Being vague means to be right for these guys I suppose. Keep it as much undefined as possible and simply claim afterwards that whatever happens is what you meant.

Similar to the way some people interpret the bible and come up with things like Armageddon or the rapture [3]. It obviously is easy enough to mush up all different “theories” and come up with a date. Loads of dates. There were doomsday prediction for all kind of dates, which came and went (220 of them here: [6]). The Y2K [4] was one of them. 2012 is the new kid on the block.

As USA today explains in an article [2]: Part of the 2012 mystique stems from the stars. On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years.

This means that “whatever energy typically streams to Earth from the center of the Milky Way will indeed be disrupted on 12/21/12 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time,” the “healer” writes (did they say 11:11? 11.11 a.m. on November 11 is a crucial date in the German calendar, every year! Coincidence? I don´t think so…[5]).

Despite the “spritual” guy’s ideas, no scholar seems to agree. They strongly doubt that the Mayans had any idea of these things going on.

Astronomers generally agree that “it would be impossible the Maya themselves would have known that,” says Susan Milbrath, a Maya archaeoastronomer.

What’s more, she says, “we have no record or knowledge that they would think the world would come to an end at that point.”

Never mind, if the end does not come our next chances for the end are predicted to be 2016, 2034 or September 14 2047 [6]. Sit back and enjoy!


1)http://endworld2012.com/
2)http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2007-03-27-maya-2012_n.htm
3)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapture
4)http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,990020,00.html
5) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karneval#Beginn
6)http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/y2k/bible_ca.htm

Day 194 – Atomic Latina tits

2009/03/23 § 1 Comment

Mannquin with big boobs

Mannquin with big boobs


There is an interesting gradient in South America all the way up to Panama. The boobs are getting bigger. And not just on real women but also on the display dummies in cloth stores. On the dummies to an extend that looks preposterous. I won’t complain about the ones on real women though- that would be rude….

While the ones on the mannequins in the shops are 100% plastics many male experts still discuss which mammaries on “real” women are fake and which are not.

Most amazing from a sociological view point is that women seem not to mind the fact. Or do they? And also: how is the interaction of the two? What was first; plastic in real women or huge gazongas on the dummies? Do the dummies influence how women feel about their boobs and encourage them to get plastic themselves? So many questions…

At the same store I saw a girl who’s T-shirt made me smile (I am so sad I did not ask her if I could have her picture, especially since she smiled back- sorry folks- next time…). It read: “Who needs big boobs?” The owner of the shirt was a cute Latina without plastic as I assume. It seems to at least answer the question if women think about it. I guess so, otherwise there were no market for such t-shirts. To answer the question the t-shirt posed is somewhat harder: who indeed needs them boobies? Women themselves, men, kids, i.e. babies, the gay designers of the fashion industry or…?

The science of geeks and nerds

2009/03/09 § 1 Comment

During my regular reading up on new scientific findings (geek alarm) I have stumbled upon an interesting if somewhat less scientific article discussing what the nerd culture is and why it has such a negative connotation. The article concentrates on why women shy away from computer associated jobs, and goes on to speculate that it has to do with women not wanting to end up being looked at as nerdy.

While this is pure speculation- at least in regards to the data provided in this article [1]- I am wondering what chances male nerds have with women? The article seems to suggest that women are drawn to geekiness or at least nerdiness like the devil would be attracted to holy water!

If you have recently checked an episode of “the big bang theory” [2] you have found that these guys struggle to get women. However, I wonder if these guys are nerds at all. Or are they geeks instead? Or should we rather think of the CSI [3] scientists as the cool geek type?

The article suggests that there is a difference between geeks and nerds, in that a nerd is what you are while a geek is what you do. In some more words: the fact that I am sitting at a bus terminal writing this story, sending it of via wireless internet connection using my netbook supposedly would make me a nerd a la “The big bang theory”. On the other hand; the fact that I do so in Colombia, at night, on my way to Medellín, after having penetrated (pun intended) the party scene of Bogota quite heavily would suggest me to be a geek in the spirit of CSI. Or to quote the article: PC users are nerds, MAC users are geeks. Exactly my thinking. So far this perfectly acceptable definition.

Nevertheless, as I see it, the real problem is that people have not realized that geeks are indeed cool. Or to put it another way; it is not of much help if girls think that (as one once said to me) “it is ok to go for a nerd/geek (she did not distinguish I think to remember) when you are a bit older, because they are the right guys to be with when you look for some stable relationship” (presumably you are done screwing around with the cool guys at that point, who ended up in jail, while the nerd is bringing in the cash at that point…frustration… 😉 ).

Would someone please tell those women that it is alright to go for nerds and geeks basically at any stage of your life, please?

But then again, if I understand the article right (and that is my personal somewhat free interpretation) maybe we should rather turn many more of those hot chicks who have some brains (where to be found? 😉 ) into computer-whiz-nerds and science-geeks! Then we get the steaming lover who brings back home the cash as well… what a nerd´s dream… 😀

—–
1) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303123810.htm
2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_big_bang_theory
3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI:_Crime_Scene_Investigation

Day 177 – Science rules, you suck!

2009/03/08 § Leave a comment

Yet one more time someone forced me into one of these fruitless “discussion” about science and how the world “really” is. What is it with you people? Why can you not simply go, learn SOMETHING about science first, then come back (if you then still need to discuss then) and tell us scientists how to do it better. Or something…

Do people feel so inferior and intimidated when they meet a scientists that the only way to inflate their deflated ego again is by trying to deconstruct what they believe science is and scientists do?

This chick from Canada (who, as you can see seriously annoyed the hell out of me) tried to explain to me how science works and that it is wrong- and that scientist are not open minded. Well, first off, as always when people say things like this, she had no science education, other than what she was forced to at school (which has nothing in common with a science education in most cases).

I mean, I do not walk around and try to mock, let’s say fashion designers. Maybe what they do seems pathetic to some, but I cannot claim however that I have a clue about what they do, so I zip it.

Why is it that when it comes to science everyone seems to think they are entitled to an opinion about it? Trust me, if you are not an educated scientist or have familiarized yourself with the facts in another fashion you are not entitled to an opinion about what we do, because you do not know what you are talking about. I am NOT trying to tell a fashion designer what to do, since I do not know what it is they do exactly. The same is true for you when it comes to science. Zip it!

Now, let me give you some of the “esoterical” arguments the Canadian girl had: “Science only proofs itself” (what does that even mean, she could not really say, when I asked her). “Science changes its opinion all the time, there is nothing for sure in Science” (is that so? Her proof was, that it was not ok- she believes to have heard someone say- to eat eggs because of cholesterol. Now it is ok To eat eggs, she believes to have heard someone else say now).

“There is no real reality, so Science has no meaning”, she then threw at me (if there is no really real reality, what the heck are we doing talking in the first place, for all you know I may not even exist). When I said that this was an insane believe she said that she was in trouble for that believe when she was younger. Why am I not surprised? And why did I again continue the conversation with this insane person? Too much time at hand in Mancora, I guess… 🙂

I asked her if she has ever taken a plane. She must have had quite a lot of trust in science in order to do so, I said. She was visible startled by the argument, but insisted that that was a different thing, since there were different sciences at work. (I fail to see how one Science can be crap while in a bunch they rule and are cool?)

If this “conversation” would have been an exception I would be cool about it, but in the last couple of months I have not been lucky, there are too many of these people around. I have a proposal: you people read up about what it ACTUALLY is you are trying to attack about science and then we argue. As long as people like this girl, do not even know the scientific principles and the scientific method I must require that you stay in your corner of the ring.

Interestingly, the fallacy here usually is a straw-man argumentation. People say: “science is like this and it works like this, and it wants this”, and then they start hacking away at it, while the truth of the matter is, that science is not all the things they maintain it were.

Fact 1: Science does not come up with random ideas and then tries to proof them. In fact, the modern scientific method maintains that you cannot “proof” a theory, you can merely disprove a hypothesis. Hence, in most cases the ideas come from the fact, that former ideas were disproved by experimentation. Check Karl Popper [1] for more details! (Check “falsifiability” of hypothesis’ [2])

Fact 2: Science does not try to proof or disproof God. While we can agree that pre-scientific scholars had that in mind at times, scientific revolution [3] roughly during the Renaissance was the exact opposite: the attempt to separate religious ideas from the systematic endeavor of understanding the material world by experimentation.

Fact 3: Science is of practical use, and all of us use it on a daily basis. If it were just make-believe and made up stuff this were not possible. Think of examples of things we use daily that are based entirely on our scientific knowledge: every drug you take against maladies, your daily transport based on combustion- or similar engines, your entertainment, like iPods, TV, computers, etc, your food is in your supermarket to the largest extend because we have used science to make fertilizers and optimized agriculture so you can have cheap and high quality food. Basically, your life would not be the same without science. In fact, you probably would not be here, because you would have been killed by some infection already, were it not for the invention of antibiotics and vaccination.

You may not like it, and you may not have the mental and/or psychological faculties to comprehend it, but science is the single most influential development in human history. Please, just do me a favor: as long as you are obviously so unaware of all this, stop having “opinions” about science. Thank you.

P.S. The Canadian girl furiously left the table to sit somewhere else after my explanation (which I extended here for you- you’re welcome!). So much for being “esoterically open minded”… 😉

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