Monday, November 23, 2009

A decent report on Windows 7

I am an absolute tried and true linux junkie. My work pretty much demands it. Recently, on my home PC, which I use for video games, I installed Windows 7. To my surprise, it was not nearly as evil as I thought it might be. For the most part, it left my third party software intact. As I learned more about it, I have grown to appreciate it more. It will never be a real operating system (read: linux) but it isn't terrible. For a good read, I would suggest the following. It likely the most intelligent review of the OS I've heard.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

email to myself

I'm feeling ill today. This is frustrating because I am thinking up ideas to solve some problems. I've been sending emails to myself so far. Here is a good example:

Notes for coding:

If I map 1/r, I need to have a 1/r falloff in my solution. This means I need spherical symmetry rather than a 1-D wave equation.

With a shrinking outer boundary, I need to store more data on the radial values.

With spherical symmetry, I can likely use a simple \partial_r\Phi = 0 as a regularity boundary condition at r=0.

Friday, November 13, 2009

So, uh, well, I hope you like this...

Float On, Modest Mouse

Rudie Can't Fail, The Clash

Losing My Religion, R.E.M.

I Feel it All, Feist

My Name is Jonas, Weezer

Gimme the Car, Violent Femmes

Fuel, Ani Difranco

Gone Daddy Gone, Violent Femmes

Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones

Chuck Al Hashib, Pain

Star 69, R.E.M.

Roadsinger, Yusef

London Calling, The Clash

Ugly, Violent Femmes

New Slang, The Shins

Plowed, Sponge

I Should've Known, Aimee Mann

The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

Broken Boy Soldier, The Raconteurs

The White Recluse, Pain

Goodbye Brown Eyes, The Suspects

What's the Frequency Kenneth, R.E.M.

King of New Orleans, Better than Ezra

Chutney Song, The Suspects

Good God's://Urge!, Porno for Pyros

My Doorbell, The White Stripes

Comanche, CAKE

Steady, As She Goes, The Raconteurs

Seven Nation Army, The White Stripes

Ruby Sees All, CAKE

Mr. Brightside, The Killers

With a Little Help From my Friends, The Beatles

In the Garage, Weezer

Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin

Dirty Harry, Gorillaz

Mirror in the Bathroom, The English Beat

Haze of Love, CAKE

Hello, I Love You, The Doors

Rotting Pinata, Sponge

300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues, The White Stripes

Square Pegs, Pain

Icky Thump, The White Stripes

Take, Take, Take, The White Stripes

Finest Worksong, R.E.M.

Even Better Than The Real Thing, U2

The Kilburn High Road, Floggin' Molly

Everytime I Dream, Yusef

Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes

What You Need, INXS

3-Eyed Fish, The Suspects

Pancho Villa, The Suspects

Should I Stay or Should I Go, The Clash

Mr. Jones, Counting Crows

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

Full Speed Ahead, Pain

As Is, Ani Difranco

Good, Better Than Ezra

So, well, can I call you later?

(I totally stole this idea)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

beer blog

I'm using this blog to push my other one. Check out my first review of a German beer at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Um Hanover.

I really liked Hanover. To start the story, I'll move past the travel and arrival. Given all the fears of terrorism around the world, I figure it's a bad idea to take pictures of any public transportation.

The first day in Hanover it was raining the whole time. The only picture I got in was of the University on the way to the conference.

It's a pretty building. Unfortunately, I didn't really have time to get a good angle on it. It was the next day that the sun came out and I got to really take some pictures. I took the following on the way to the conference building.

I had a drink here the night before. I thought the building was interesting. It's a German version of something like Chili's or TGI Friday's. The drinks were over priced and low quality.
I find that Germany has lots of nice things for children everywhere you look. It's really kind of nice. The country, as a whole, seems to have a great interest in making sure there are nice places for children to be and grow. This is actually one of the poorest examples.

Hanover has a lot of cool churches. This one is called Christchurch. It was huge.

I took this picture because what little artistic talent in me said, "I like lines!"

Germans love kebab. There are kebab joints everywhere.

Of course Germans also really like their beer.

I thought this was a good angle on a typical city road.

There was another cool church on the way to the conference building.

When I first saw this building, I thought, "now this looks like a physics building. This is the kind of ugly architecture they stick us in.

As it turns out, I was wrong. They stick physicists in a building only this ugly.

After the conference, I got to explore the city. The first thing I realized is that Germany will never forget WWII. You see, to remind themselves of the horrors they unleashed on the world, they leave some things they way they were after the war. Here is a chapel that was bombed out. It was in the middle of a cemetery.

Since the war, the Germans have been doing everything possible to reinvent themselves. Here is a picture of on of their modern city trams at a tram stop.

Another example of this reinvention was this building (the one on the right). I really liked it.

I thought this building was also pretty cool. I like to imagine that art brokers work there.

Of course, the Germans have preserved their history as well. It's amazing to me that a country which is today marked by such a recent horrific event, is rarely acknowledged for the rich history and culture that had grown and developed there for so many centuries.

Hanover was originally a walled city with a moat around it. Today, there are lots of bridges in the city like this one.

Of course, there is the obligatory German artwork everywhere.

I think this was a part of the old city wall. Today it's a historical museum.

From here, you could just make out the Rathaus which was built in 1901.

It's a really impressive building once you get closer.

It was really easy to take pictures of that place.

On the left, there was this guy. I think he had a sword.

On the right, there was this fellow.

The poor lion had gotten stuck.

Side entrances were made grand,

and spires rose above them.

Inside was just as impressive.

It had cool spiraling staircases.

I really liked this view.

Behind the Rathaus was this gorgeous park and lake.

The Rathaus looks just as impressive from behind as well.

I thought this tree was cool.

Turns out there were bunches of them. Imagine the effort. Each of those is twice as tall as I am.

Across the street from the park was the classic art museum.

It was right next door to the modern art museum.

This, of course, comes with the obligatory modern German art.

One good turn deserves another.

We then found this cool office building.

I think it would be cool to work in a science fiction setting,

with obligatory modern German art, of course.

Here was another bombed out church.

It's striking to me that these buildings have been left that way.

I think it's to remember the horrors of that time,

and perhaps seek repentance.

Hanover has it's fair share of interesting architecture, both old,

and new.

It's got it's nooks and crannies,

and as Stephen Colbert would say, it's got balls.

Monday, September 28, 2009

nach Hanover.

I'm going to Hanover for a conference tomorrow. Thursday afternoon I'll get to wander around with the camera. Pictures will be posted soon.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Um Jena.

So we took a little walk around Jena with the camera today. We started here at our home in Jena Ost.

We moved in here on the first of the month. The first four full sized windows on the lowest level are ours. The apartment is not large but big enough for the two of us. Currently, we have a roommate. We only pay half rent this month but we don't have the full space. From here, we caught the tram. It's across the river Saale to get to the fourth stop: StadtZentrum (city center). This was the goal of our trip. From anywhere in Jena, one can see the Jena tower:
Jena Tower was built when this was all East Germany. It's not entirely ugly, but definitive of the time and place. It does make me wonder if the Communists were trying to say, "you see, we have sky-scrapers here too." To the right of this view, there is a great showcase of older European buildings:
On the left, you can see a tower that at one time served as the main entrance to the city. A wall surrounded the city and outside of that, a moat. There are just a few remnants of the old fortifications (to be seen later). First, we wanted to have lunch, so we walked past Jena tower and the surrounding mall to find our way to Wagnerstrasse:

Wagnerstrasse still resembles it's premodern self as a narrow street made of brick. The pattern of the brick street resembles that in the Imperial City in Oblivion. Anyhow, these days it is lined with restaurants and bars. This is where we had lunch. You find the wierdest thing if you turn back towards Jena tower on this end of Wagnerstrasse.
Yes, that bar is called Cheers. They serve hamburgers with french fries, BBQ, chicken wings and everything else you expect in an American sports bar. My wife and I ate there once. We each had a burger. At first, it tasted good because we hadn't had anything American in a few weeks. After the third bite, however, we realized these were the worst burgers on the face of the Earth. Mine sat in my stomach like a lead brick. Moving away from Jena Tower, along Wagnerstrasse, you get more romantic views.

It's a pretty street. You can see a hill in the background. One thing I've learned about Jena is that it seems there isn't any crime. People don't seem to steal things and so stuff is often left just sitting in the most convenient place. The only exception I have heard of is bicycles. The one on the right is, in fact, chained up. Going further up Wagnerstrasse, on the right, there is a church, Baptist I think.
As we looked around, we also found this view.
Taking a better look at this tower, we discovered the tower for a whole other church.

This other church was in a cemetery and thus I didn't want to take pictures where people might not want me to. Instead, I did get this better shot of the church tower.
I almost forgot. In the same little area was this gorgeous old house. I presume this is where the pastor lives.
From here, we turned back along another road towards town. I got this shot at another part of the old city wall.

I decided to get some better views of the remnants of the city wall. Here is the same tower viewed from the opposite side.
In the other direction, you can see the main city entrance again.

This area is pretty open and my wife took a picture of this great statue/fountain.
We still wanted to end this journey taking a look at the old Catholic church, Friedrich-Schiller University and the market square. You head directly east to see the old Catholic church.

Along the way, there was interesting German art.
We finally did get to the church. Here is another view of it's clock-tower.

I liked this view of the church.

I also liked this one.
Past the church, you can see the university.
Notice it too, has a clock tower. There are multiple options on getting to the market square. We could have chosen to go past this pretty building.

Instead, we chose a cosier route.
Once in the market, it is impossible to miss the old Rathaus (city hall).
Not to mention it's clock tower.

We also noticed this pidgeon in the market square.
My wife claims she wanted a picture of the fountain here, but I think she just likes the birds.

The other side of the market square gives a good view of some of the architecture.

If you haven't noticed yet, I like taking pictures of towers.

Being done at the market, we started to head back home. I couldn't help though taking another picture of the city.
Ok, two.

We finally got home to enjoy the little yard our building has in the back.

I think that seems like a nice place to enjoy a beer now.