• Tjörnin panorama

    This is the last panorama from Iceland I have, made on my last weekend there, when it after some days of frost suddenly started snowing and the frozen-over lake Tjörnin (The Pond) in the center of Reykjavík became a big snowfield.

    On the far left, in the distance, the Askja building of the University of Iceland can be seen, where I had my introduction to the Icelandic language and culture in August. On the far right is the modern city hall of the city of Reykjavík.

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  • Jökulsárlón panorama revisited

    And yet another series of collected images which become a panoramic image when arranged in the right way… I can’t recall myself making so many of them :D But that’s alright, because panoramas are good.

    We’re once again at Jökulsárlón, this time at the other side of the river. You can see the place where the other panorama was taken on the left, on the hill, somewhere around the electricity mast.

    On the other picture, you can see a hill next to a little restaurant and amphibious vehicle base (during summer, you can take a trip on the lake between the ice blocks). It’s where I stood and took this one.

    The lake looks very different on this side, big blocks float directly (but very, very slowly) into the sea, the smaller ones get trapped in the bay on the other side. The largest blocks can’t get through the narrow stream to sea and have to stay a while to melt away.

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  • Gullfoss panorama

    When we were at Gullfoss, the golden waterfall in the river Hvítá (White River), I took a series of photos. They weren’t really intended as a panorama, but I could somewhat stitch them together like I did with the Jökulsárlón panorama.

    It has lots of stitching errors, there’s even a person cut in half. Like last time, there is a somewhat bigger version.

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  • Hyves

    Okee, ik heb toegegeven aan de sociale druk van m’n huisgenoten :P

    Het is gebeurd, Christian hyvet. Natuurlijk puur uit wetenschappelijke interesse met betrekking tot user-interface-miskleunen.

    Even een snelle review van de site: zet Johan stem op Nou, het is een rommelige compositie, chaotische structuur, slecht en onoverzichtelijk spel, dus dat zal wel weer populair worden, maar dat is logiesch.

    Serieus, hoe kan zo’n chaos zó populair worden?

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  • Drawn! I'm going on the study tour

    I got a message that finally the draw for the places in the Kalmar study tour took place and that I was in fact drawn to join them.

    There is a maximum of 24 participants, 27 subscribed, 13 of which are computer science students and the first 12 of them are placed with the 13th put on hold. I was number 6.

    For the remaining 14 mathematics students, case studies will have to be found, but I’m sure they’ll manage.

    In the end it will mean that we probably are going with 27 after all.

    And now? Now we wait for our case study to come available and the excursions and lectures to prepare for the tour.

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  • Visualization finished - Vökvar 1.0.0 released!

    Finally, after two years, I got my grade for the Visualization course today. Not that great, merely a seven, but well, it’s done.

    I decided that Fluids is a boring name, because it is just an English word. So I renamed it Vökvar, which also is just a word, but at least it’s an Icelandic one — intrinsically cooler however — meaning exactly the same.

    • [Vökvar 1.0.0 intel]/files/fluids/Vokvar-i386-1.0.0.dmg) (dmg)
    • [Vökvar 1.0.0 powerpc]/files/fluids/Vokvar-powerpc-1.0.0.dmg) (dmg)
    • [Vökvar 1.0.0 source code]/files/fluids/vokvar-1.0.0.tgz) (tarball)
    • [Report]/files/papers/visualization%20-%20fluids.pdf) (pdf)

    Update: I forgot that the usage is not at all trivial :)

    So, here are some keystrokes that do stuff (they’re also mentioned in the report):

    • 1: Switches the “smoke” on and off
    • 2: Switches the speed vectors on and off
    • 3: Switches the streamlines on and off
    • 4: Switches the isolines on and off
    • p: Switches between palette (rainbow, rainbow with 5 discrete colours, grayscales)
    • o: Switches between isolines method (by value, by number, by point)
    • a: Temporarily freeze simulation and animation
    • f: Switches to and from fullscreen view
    • t/T: Changes timestep
    • s/S: Changes scale of vectors and streamlines
    • v/V: Changes viscosity
    • i/I: Changes number of isolines
    • q: Quits Vökvar
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  • Kleinur

    Kleinur (sg. kleina) are a tasty type of Icelandic cookie. They’re deep fried, and have a taste reminiscent of grandmother’s apple pie without the apples. So basically they taste like cookie :-)

    The recipe is pretty simple, take 85 grams of butter and 200 grams of sugar and mix them. Add an egg, baking powder and baker’s ammonia (I tried to get this here, but failed, even in the biological supermarket and at the local bakery, maybe I’ll try again next time I’m in Germany – they tend to have every possible bakery supply at any supermarket), graped zest of a lemon, some cardamom, and 100 ml yoghurt or buttermilk (actually you should use súrmjólk but that’s unavailable outside Iceland). Mix this very well and add up to 700 grams of flour, preferably less until you have a smooth dough.

    Split the dough in a few pieces and flatten them until quite thin, cut 3cm by 6-8cm diamonds, cut a slit diagonally, take one corner and turn it through the slit.

    Put the kleinur in a frying pan at 180 degrees, after 1 to 2 minutes they’re nicely brown coloured. Eat hot with cold milk or cold with coffee.

    During Jólatíð, so around Christmas, they’re served with chocolate icing. Also very nice.

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  • Punt ennel en snel!

    Kom op mensen radio-reclame-makers, een beetje originaliteit mag wel weer hè. We luisteren nu al zeker vijf jaar naar het compleet afgezaagde “voordelig en snel op … ennel”.

    En niet een keer, nee, de makers van elke reclame in het het hele reclameblok lijken over de jaren collectief inspiratieloos te zijn geworden, want overal moeten we snel naar een of andere punt ennel.

    Het is ook niet dat ik nu zo kan opnoemen over welke reclames het gaat, want ze zijn allemaal hetzelfde, dus ook dat doel zijn ze voorbijgestreefd.

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  • Lichtvervuiling

    Vergelijk deze foto:

    Nachtelijke hemel boven Snæfellsness, IJsland

    Nachtelijke hemel boven Snæfellsness, IJsland

    met deze:

    Nachtelijke hemel boven Eindhoven, Nederland

    Nachtelijke hemel boven Eindhoven, Nederland

    Beiden hebben exact dezelfde instellingen; 20 seconden belichting, f/3.5 diafragma, ISO 800. Dit is gewoon vreselijk en nu zie je gewoon objectief hoe donker het is in IJsland en hoe licht hier in Nederland. Geen wonder dat we het noorderlicht hier nooit zien, als het zich eens in de zuidelijkere regionen laat zien.

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  • Jökulsárlón panorama

    Played a bit with some photos I had still laying around waiting to be processed and found the seven images that make up the following panoramic image of Jökulsárlón in Iceland. That’s the same lake as you see in the header, except the photographer thereof was a bit more lucky with the weather :-).

    Anyway, the full size picture is over 28 megapixel large, I also have [a smaller version]/photos/iceland/jokulsarlon-panorama-small.jpg), still around 2 megapixel.

    If you’d want to print the full size: at 150 dpi it would be 2m50 by 30cm.

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  • So, how did the command key get this ⌘ next to the ?

    When I came to Iceland, I saw the same symbol the command key on Apple keyboard carries (⌘) everywhere there was something interesting to see. It is called the Saint Hannes cross and is an old viking symbol and now used in the Nordic countries and Estonia to denote sites of touristic interest.

    I wondered about this and apparantly there is a funny anecdote about how the “clover” sign as some refer to it came on the command key.

    When Steve Jobs first saw the large application menus of the MacDraw application, he saw a list full of  logos. He didn’t like this, thought it would take the logo in vain and ordered them to find another symbol to take its place.

    Update: Hmm, I forgot to mention that I keep running into the clover. Those were actually the reason for this post!

    German band Silbermond uses it on the cover of their newest album ‘Laut gedacht’. No idea why, but they have one track called ‘Das Ende vom Kreis’. The End of the Circle as universal symbol of infinity and is ⌘ the new one?

    In Die 13 1/2 Leben des Käpt’n Blaubär by Walter Moers, the protagonist lands inside the Eternal Tornado which is describing a course in the form of the Saint Hannes cross of about two thousand kilometers long.

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  • Das Palast der Republik

    p(right). The Palast is on the right

    In Berlin there is… or rather was a building which apparantly was too ugly to survive the reckless Westernization of former GDR(German Democratic Republic) culture. It is called Palast der Republik and was the seat of the Volkskammer - GDR’s parliament - as well as an entertainment centre for the people with art galleries, restaurants, auditoriums etc.

    Sure, it is ugly and completely out of time and place on the monumental Museumsinsel between late 19th century cathedrals and other buildings along the historical street Unter den Linden. But it was also part of the history of 14 million people who see it being demolished in record time.

    The destruction of their past gives a feeling of being second-class citizens, of their past not being worth saving, that everything was bad in the east. Some things should be kept to serve as a warning, as a memory to what can happen if the wrong decisions are made.

    The Palast der Republik is being torn down now, only to make place for a nice piece of parkland until they know what to do with it (and find proper funding to do it). Where once stood a Prussian palace, destructed by the war, torn down in the 1950s and rebuilt in the incarnation of the new palace, will have nothing new in its place.

    Ole Tangen jr. created a short documentary film, Brokedown Palast about the socialistic building which I found by coincidence today.

    Other interesting videos somewhat connected to the subject:

    So, when I’ll be back in Berlin… The palace will probably not be there anymore.

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