• Der Schrecksenmeister is here!

    Der Schrecksenmeister – Ein kulinarisches Märchen aus Zamonien von Gofid Letterkerl. Neu erzählt von Hildegunst von Mythenmetz (yes, it is a culinary fairy tale by a great poet, retold by a lizard-like novelist, translated out of the Zamonian language into German) is out! The newest book from Walter Moers has finally arrived!

    It didn’t get as much attention as Harry Potter number 7 and the lines in front of the book stores weren’t as big, but I’m sure there are many fans of Zamonian literature (me included) who are happy that the wait has come to an end. Or almost, since Amazon.de isn’t too fast sending books to the Netherlands.

    Lees verder
  • Now also for Internet Explorer!

    I never thought I’d manage it to get the site display roughly (in the sense that it looks like it should look that way) the same on every single browser but tadaaa, here it is. Look!

    Okay, so clearly now it’s time to start thinking about a new design again :D

    Lees verder
  • iSync Plugin for SonyEricsson S500i

    Alright, got my new phone today, a shiny black Sony Ericsson S500i which I chose for the looks, the fact that it’s a Sony Ericsson, that it has Bluetooth and as such could sync with my laptop using iSync.

    This device is not supported by iSync

    iSync however didn’t recognize it, because there’s no “plugin” for it yet. Luckily there’s a few companies who sell iSync “plugins” to anyone who needs them at rediculous prices.

    Because, if you delve a bit through the iSync package (the /Applications/iSync.app/ directory), you’ll find plugins for quite some other phones that have been on the market earlier. Since basically the protocols to exchange items don’t change (it’s been standardized by SyncML), the only thing that sets a plugin for one phone apart from that for another phone is the name and a pretty picture.

    So here you have it, an iSync plugin for the SonyEricsson S500i. Create a directory in Library called PhonePlugins if it doesn’t already exist and move the contents of the ZIP file there. Relaunch iSync and you should be able to add the device.

    Please leave a message if you found this page useful! Thank you!

    Double click to add this device...

    Lees verder
  • Back from Dresden

    I’m back from my little Germany Interrail trip to Dresden, stopped over at Düsseldorf to visit family for a few days.

    Dresden turns out to be a great city with lots of stuff to see and to do! Certainly worth another visit, I think. Thank you, Admar for some nice days.
    * Panorama of the Zwinger palace *
    * The beautifully restored (picture of 1991) Frauenkirche *
    * Statue for the Trümmerfrauen in Dresden *
    * Altstadt panorama from the Carolabrücke *
    * Altstadt panorama from the Marienbrücke *
    View over the Elbtal (on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger)
    * Blaues Wunder panorama to the north *
    * Blaues Wunder panorama to the south *
    * Ampelmädchen *

    More photos at P.hot.os!

    Lees verder
  • Mah Jongg Considered Harmful

    From BBC News Web Site:

    A study by doctors in Hong Kong has concluded that epilepsy can be induced by the Chinese tile game of mahjong.

    Nota that this is not about the solitaire game, but the one you play with four players.


    The game, which is intensely social and sometimes played in crowded mahjong parlours, involves the rapid movement of tiles in marathon sessions.

    The doctors conclude that the syndrome affects far more men than women; that their average age is 54; and that it can hit sufferers anywhere between one to 11 hours into a mahjong game.

    Lees verder
  • To Dresden

    Got my Interrail ticket today, on Thursday I’m leaving for Dresden to visit Admar – who really should post something new to his journal, by the way!

    So I’m leaving on Thursday morning, 7:02 with the Intercity 1917 to Venlo, wait 20 minutes, then with the RegionalExpress 9011 to Düsseldorf Hbf, wait some 40 minutes and then with the InterCityExpress 1759 straight to Dresden-Neustadt, where I will arrive 10 hours later, save one minute, at 17:01.

    I’m looking forward to it!

    Lees verder
  • Cellphone kaputt

    To anyone having my cellphone number; my phone is broken and is now turned off pretty much all the time. It had a hole in the display for a few weeks, now the keys 2, 5, 8, and 0 don’t work anymore.

    Update: I’ve been to the Vodafone store, where they could tell me that on August 9, my contract will enter its 3 last months and I can choose between a new phone or a SIM-only discount. So I’ll just wait for that and see what they’ll have on offer by then. The keys magically started working again, by the way.

    Lees verder
  • Spam in Icelandic?

    Hmm, found this in my mailbox today:

    Og einn dag . .inginu er menn gengu fj.lmennir til L.gbergs og er .ar var lykt a. m.la l.gskilum .. kvaddi Gunnlaugur s.r hlj..s og m.lti: “Er Hrafn h.r .nundarson?”

    Accompanied by the picture of a certain female I’ve never met, a text of a sexual nature and a web address.

    But that last part wasn’t even the most interesting, it was the text. It obviously is no English; but by a coincidence I could clearly recognize it as being written in the language of the Icelanders.

    A little searching revealed that we’re dealing here with an extract from chapter 11 of Gunnlaugs saga:

    Og einn dag á þinginu er menn gengu fjölmennir til Lögbergs og er þar var lykt að mæla lögskilum þá kvaddi Gunnlaugur sér hljóðs og mælti: “Er Hrafn hér Önundarson?”

    And on one day of the thing (an assembly) many people gathered to the Lögberg (the hill on Þingvellir where law was spoken) and there was a smell of talk about the definition of a law when Gunnlaugur took the floor and spoke “Is Hrafn here Önundur’s son?”

    Jæja… Well, I haven’t read the saga yet, but now I might, thanks to some spam on a rainy day :)

    Detail for the Lord of the Rings fans; Gunnlaugs nickname is Ormstunga; Worm-Tongue or Snake-Tongue. Guess where J.R.R. got Gríma’s name!

    Lees verder
  • Synchroniciteit

    Wim de Bie had het er al over, synchroniciteit, het verschijnsel dat twee ongerelateerde gebeurtenissen onafhankelijk niet eens zo heel opmerkelijk zijn, maar wanneer ze tegelijk optreden wél. Toevallig net gisteren nog trouwens, synchroniciteit aan het werk, want precies vandaag produceerde Nu.nl een knap staaltje!

    Neem nou deze twee koppen:

    Wat gebeurde er, ontstond eerst de brand waarna de Eerste Kamer besloot waarschijnlijk tegen een referendum te stemmen omdat de stemmachines op zich zouden laten wachten en nog meer uitstel ongewenst zou zijn? Of lekte het nieuws uit dat de Eerste Kamer het wetsvoorstel zou verwerpen en heeft daarom de directeur van Nedap de vlam erin gezet om zo toch nog iets van de verzekering te vangen van die onverkoopbare stemmachines?

    Lees verder
  • One Europe: Let's start with the railroads

    A great idea this week by the high speed train operators Eurostar, Deutsche Bahn, SNCF, SNCB, NS Hispeed, ØBB, SBB and Thalys, Lyria and Alleo; they’re going to create a single tariff system for their combined high speed rail system. Reductions and special offers in one country will be available to customers in all the other countries etc. One step closer to a united Europe.

    So far, so good. I found out however that while the tariffs become clearer, the names don’t. Today on the website of Deutsche Bahn I saw the mention of an ICE Sprinter, which is an extra fast InterCityExpress train that halts only on a few stations on the line, thereby winning time. French long-distance TGVs do this by default.

    Ironically (?), Sprinters are the new and hip trade name (well actually the name existed already since the 70s for the SGMs) of commuter/regional trains of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen - replacing the clear but rather dull name Stoptrein. Now, I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but commuter trains are quite the opposite of extra fast.

    Both sides have a fair argument for their choice of name; Sprinters are usually fast (point for DB), but they’re also specialised at short distances (point for NS).

    One Europe, what a great idea. Let’s start with common and clear names for our products.

    Lees verder