• Began Speed Skating

    Long ago (four years to be exact) Breda got its own ice rink and I was determined to go there often and instead of renting skates everytime I decided to buy my own… Well, turned out to be a wrong choice, because I only went two or three times that year, the next year also a few times and then they just laid about in the box. Luckily, good skates don’t rot away, so I can use them now and they still fit (I didn’t really grow that much in the last few years)!

    Two weeks ago Tuesday (that was uhm… the 18th) I attended the open training of E.S.S.V. Isis, the students skate association of Eindhoven (especially students of TU/e and Fontys). I found it so much fun to stand on the irons again since last time that I decided to join Isis almost right away. I attended two more trainings on 25 and 27 October and today was my official first training as a member of Isis!

    So far, I qualify for practicing sport everytime according to the Admar definition:

    Sports is about pain. Physical pain. About suffering.

    I qualify because I managed to fall on all of the three trainings. Somehow, in skating, the place to fall on with your full weight is not only the ice, but it is also on your knee. Another place just is impossible to hurt, except maybe for your thighs when you fall in a very strange way. Oh, and Erben Wennemars showed that you can also hurt your shoulder very badly, but only at very high speeds.

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  • The Physics of Alien Civilizations

    Sebastiaan gave me a link to an interesting article by Michio Kaku about the physics of advanced alien civilizations (here’s a PDF in case the link doesn’t work) and how far we are of becoming an advanced civilization.

    Kaku asks himself the question “How advanced could they possibly be?” and answers it in this article. He divides civilizations in different types: Type I, II, and III, which have mastered planetary, stellar and galactic forms of energy, respectively. Earth’s society is a Type 0 civilization currently and he expects us to reach level I in about 200 years. Read this article only if you’re interested in planets!

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  • Visited Graduation 2005 at the Design Academy

    Yesterday, the whole bunch of the flat went to the Design Academy for the yearly Graduation show. Of course, flatmate Esther Ermers who graduated last December was there with her Spinning abc. She created 26 stools out of the letters of the (Dutch) alphabet.

    Esther Ermers, Spinning abc

    There was also a project, of which one part was this (sorry for the very bad quality picture):

    LED it be

    Uhm, OK. If it needs explanation: It is indeed a LED and a switch in a cilindrical case and nothing more.

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  • Sigur Rós in 013

    Yay, I’m going to see them again!


    the 7th of november concert in 013 in tilburg, netherlands has been rescheduled for the 15th of november. tickets remain valid for the altered date and, if required, refunds are available from the point of purchase. the band and its management are sorry for the inconvenience caused by this alteration and worked hard to make sure they could still get to play in tilburg. the reason for this date change is due to the recording of a bbc music television show in london of which we will have more information very soon.


    sigur rós will be appearing as guests on the bbc show “later with jools holland” in a few weeks. the show will be aired on november the 11th on bbc2 but will be recorded a few days prior to this and this is what caused the tilburg concert to be rescheduled. “later..” is one of britain’s most popular and influential music shows, with each show having several guests – some new and up and coming, some more established and some legendary artists. it promises to be an interesting and exciting event. more information as we get it.

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  • It's been a strange week

    It really has been a strange week.

    It all started the week before last week on Wednesday, when I received the mail from Reykjavík University. Right the next day, Thursday, I went to Wil Linders, the international programme coordinator of the faculty. He confirmed that an agreement had been made and that it was initiated by Jan Friso Groote, faculty director of study-related matters.

    Knowing that he can be very busy at times I sent him an E-mail on Sunday (I don’t know why didn’t do that earlier) and got a reply back within one hour: Luca Aceto, a professor at RU was in Eindhoven for a symposium and he would have a talk at 9:30 on Monday. I went there and in the coffee break we discussed about the possibilities of an internship at RU. Jan Friso and he had talked about me the night before and basically he was very enthousiastic that I was learning Icelandic and that I was interested in Iceland altogether. If I would sort out which research areas I find interesting, then he could get me in touch with the right people.

    That was Monday, Tuesday I watched Ring of the Nibelungs, unknowingly that it is not only based on the Nibelungenlied, but that it is mixed together with the Volsunga saga. And of course, the main character, Siegfried must follow his love to Iceland…

    Wednesday, there was a lecture on Internships and Study Abroad. I had a question, stating “Reykjavík” only briefly, but it was enough for an international programme coordinator of another faculty to give me a name of someone in Iceland. That this afterwards turned out to be a mistake is a bit irrelevant, I think.

    Thorsday… uh… Thursday, in Coupling Jane makes a reference to Thor… I know, it is far fetched, but the series hadn’t had any religious theme so far. Funny episode though.

    In the meantime, my parents are already checking out when they can come over… Hell, I don’t even have a project yet!

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  • An internship in Iceland?

    My day couldn’t be better when I received this E-mail:

    Komdu sæll Christian Hvernig gengur þér að læra íslensku? Það er gaman að þú viljir læra íslensku og viljir koma að læra á Háskólanum í Reykjavík.

    I will now switch to English to prevent misunderstanding. We have just set up an Erasmus/Socrates exchange agreement with Eindhoven University of Technology so you could come as part of that agreement. We do offer an MSc. programme in Computer Science and it would be great if you could join in and use your period of academic intership to do some research work here. Would that be an option?

    Kærar kveðjur frá Reykjavík,

    Wheeee, an opening. Now I just have to find out what to do here in Eindhoven. Oh yeah, and wait for about a year.

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  • Utopia 7 Years Meeting

    I almost cannot believe I am the only one posting about this…

    Last weekend we went with Utopia on a meeting in the Drenthean village Drouwen, in the bungalow parc Drouwenerzand, right in between Emmen, Groningen and Assen (that’s in the North of the Netherlands).

    My compliments go to the organization: Paul, Lotte, Sjoerd and Lise, you did a great job, we had three great days!

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  • More sightseeing

    Some more nice places:

    • Bolungarvík is where they shot Nói Albínói. You most probably cannot get any further away from the European continent (except for Greenland) within Europe.
    • Aletschgletscher (the largest gletscher of the Alpes) compared to Vatnajökull (yes, that is the same scale!). It is truly an enormous ice mass! Now you see why I’m fascinated by Iceland? ;-)
    • I wonder what Akranes looks like from the ground. Are these rocks above or below the surface? Edit: They are above the surface, seems a friendly town to me.
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  • Google Sightseeing Berlin

    What do you do on a Sunday? You embark on a trip to your favorite places :-)

    • Warschauer Strasse: The border was exactly through the Spree river, thus cutting the last station of the track. For 36 years, it was a pointless piece of track. Along the River, if you’re coming of the bridge to the west is a piece of Wall of about one kilometer long preserved. This, however is not historically accurate, as it was the Eastern side of the Wall and thus no grafitti could be found on it. Consequently, it gives an impression of how the wall looked at the Western side.
    • Alexanderplatz: You can see the Fernsehturm, the train station. While this was an important place for Socialism and Communism, now big firms like Kaufhof and Saturn have their biggest stores of Berlin here.
    • Platz der Vereinten Nationen: This is where I stayed with the exchange student in 1998. Formerly, this place was called Leninplatz and the round pavement in the grass with the dots is where the Lenin statue used to stand.
    • Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse: The border crossing place for West-Berlin inhabitants. The track of the West-Berlin S-Bahn went straight through East-Berlin and all stations were closed down during the Wall-period, except for this one. There is also a U-Bahn track from West to West through East near Under den Linden. These stations were also closed and barricaded. It is this madness which I find intriguing of the whole situation.
    • Lehrter Stadtbahnhof: The future Hauptbahnhof. Currently all trains stop at Berlin-Zoo and Berlin-Ostbahnhof (which was called Hauptbahnhof in DDR-times). When this station is finished, the legendary Zoo station will become a insignificant one.
    • Tempelhof: The airport where the Rosinenbomber landed during the Soviet barricade of West-Berlin in 1948. A monument was erected in the circular park to symbolise the three air corridors from West-Germany to West-Berlin. The barricade was a direct response on the currency reforms the west-allies carried out in West-Berlin on 23 june 1948. In order to prevent hyperinflation in the east by flooding of worthless Reichsmarks coming from the west, DDR carried out currency reforms, too. That same night, power lines to the west part of the city were cut off and all transit streets were closed (while the air corridors were secured in a treaty, securing the transit roads was ignored by the west-allies). Basically, it was the first step of real division of West and East Germany (and yes, it was America who took that first step, thank them for it).
    • AVUS: Automobil-Verkehrs- und ÜbungsStrasse, probably the first Autobahn in the world. First plans dated from 1909, finished in 1921. It was in use as a test track and during races. It is basically a 10 km long straight highway with two U-turns at the end. When no testing or training were carried out, the road was open for private traffic between Berlin and Potsdam. The road was a success and would lay the foundation for the very good Autobahn-network in Germany.
    • Potsdamer Platz: The hippest place to be in Berlin currently was ironically the most dangerous place to be in Cold War times. Standing here was equal to signing your own death certificate. S-Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz was the subject of many illustrations of the division of Berlin.

    *Potsdamer Platz* Oh, it is fun to go back to Berlin this way :-)

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  • Google Maps Düsseldorf goof

    Hmm, Düsseldorf now has two airports, one on the original location and one in the Rhine where the Theodor Heuss Bridge used to be? Of course I reported this to Google.

    It’s quite an old photo, the bridge over the Rhine they are building in the left is in service a few years already.

    Update: In the meantime, Google Maps was updated extensively (higher resolution pictures are now available of the area) and the error has been removed.

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  • Trimester 4.1

    My first second week of classes is over, and I dropped already two three courses, leaving 6 5 courses with classes and three more independent assignments.

    Furthermore, these three assignments are still open.

    I clearly will have my hands full on this, plus that I will be working as a student assistent at the Systemenlab of SAN.

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