Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I have added two more pictures to my collection of images of words.

WordCount™ is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonness.
Much more interesting is QueryCount:
Each time someone searches a word on WordCount, QueryCount takes note. Every few hours, QueryCount refreshes itself, rearranging its word rankings based on the number of times each word has been queried by WordCount.
I was curious where the words from my series rank on wordcount and especially querycount. A rank of one means it is a most commonly used or queried word.
no name        wordcount   querycount
0 word             487            35
1 auto           17171          1758
beauty          2381           796
salon           8969         14010
2 enter           1938          3212
at                20           241
own              127          1747
risk             835          3016
3 Louvre         19633         19107
museum          1506          4209
4 prisoner        4939         14093
5 hello           2588            16
6 bank             538           627
7 moved            676         19770
8 hole            2205          1338
9 rich            1482           427
10 toilet          5140           694
11 sex             1236             1          
12 virgin          4526           962
13 zoo             8456           243
14 noise           2173          4110
15 with              17           277
love             384             3
16 goal            1726          2338
17 exchange        1167          7146
18 seduction      23457         10641
19 aha             3548          7222
20 aha             3548          7222
21 exit            6013          2156
22 driving         1595         12151
school           226           106
23 exchange        1167          7146
24 women            210           416
25 taxi            4498          2700
26 I                 11             6
27 the                1             2
secret          1788          2102
life             154           114
of                 2            67
words            365          1471
28 museum          1506          4209
29 passion         3854          1383

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Russian Giants

THE ART OF PIANO 10 Emil Gilels & Sviatoslav Richter
This is wonderful and crazy, Gilels playing in front of soldiers in 1943, very surreal. Best I ever heard from him. Also, playing Tschaikovsky with sweat running down its cheek is priceless (and so is the music).

Extra points for hair and lip movement:
Gilels plays Rachmaninoff Prelude Op. 23 No. 5

Richter - Brahms 2nd concerto
Sviatoslav Richter plays Ravel
Ravel - Jeux d'eau
Ravel's Jeux D'eau played by Martha Argerich - just for comparison
Brahms - Intermezzo in E minor
Schumann Toccata
The date of the performance is December 12, 1985. This was actually Richter's first public performance of the Toccata in roughly 25 years.
Funny, someone took Richter's glasses off during the performance:).

Oistrakh plays Sonata 4 - Brahms - great duo (Menuhin/Gould and Fournier/Gulda are other great combinations)

From Russia's Great Modern Pianists by Mark Zilberquit:
I am an omnivorous creature and I want a lot of things. It is not because I am ambitious or try to do a great many things simultaneously. I simply love very many things and the desire to bring to the listeners all that I love never leaves me.
Gavrilov on Richter:
Richter is capable of learning one bar for an hour, or two, or three hours; more than once I witnessed him while practicing playing one page at least seventy times. Sitting in the next room listening to him, I was literally losing my senses. But he himself, whose patience in this sense has no limits, repeated the same passage again and again . . .

As a Man Thinketh

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance. Bestial thoughts crystallize into habits of drunkenness and sensuality, which solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease: impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervating and confusing habits, which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances: thoughts of fear, doubt, and indecision crystallize into weak, unmanly, and irresolute habits, which solidify into circumstances of failure, indigence, and slavish dependence: lazy thoughts crystallize into habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty, which solidify into circumstances of foulness and beggary: hateful and condemnatory thoughts crystallize into habits of accusation and violence, which solidify into circumstances of injury and persecution: selfish thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of self-seeking, which solidify into circumstances more or less distressing. On the other hand, beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of grace and kindliness, which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances: pure thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control, which solidify into circumstances of repose and peace: thoughts of courage, self-reliance, and decision crystallize into manly habits, which solidify into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom: energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry, which solidify into circumstances of pleasantness: gentle and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness, which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances: loving and unselfish thoughts crystallize into habits of self-forgetfulness for others, which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches.
Saw the following quote this week in an email regarding another book, but it applies here as well:).
Keep reading it every day until it is internalized and you have become the Borg.

Or listen to the whole book here (or on your mp3 player), it is pretty small: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Altstetten Alarm

Today in Altstetten across the street where I work in another UBS building there was a bomb alarm. This photo is from the free daily news paper 20 Minutes from their front page:

Here is the story (in German). A copy machine mechanic forgot his tool box because his sweet heart gave him a call. Police took a robot and blew his bag to pieces.

Here is a picture I made at the beginning (click here for the entire picture):

Anyway, this is the picture of the day (just looking in the opposite direction, click on it for a full screen version):

Collegue Vito next to his car (sivler one, not the big one). BTW, on there you see also three more UBS buildings.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Andrei Gavrilov

Next to Gulda, Gavrilov is my favorite pianist (on a par with Richter). BTW, at home the linux machines are named gulda, gavrilov, and gould (gilels is standing in line).

Prokofiev - Suggestion Diabolique, Op.4 - Andre Gavrilov

I had the pleasure to hear him play above piece live in Bonn, on two occasions even. He must have played that piece a million times. To hear him perform this piece was breath taking, playing like a maniac with full energie and temperament. And the live performance was just as perfect as this recording from 1980 (the link might or might not work, right now the piece is not available on CD).

From Russia's Great Modern Pianists by Mark Zilberquit:
"These are the pictures painted by my deceased father," says Andrei Gavrilov. "Some of his works are exhibited in the Tretiakov Gallery and other museums. He was a very serious and original painter. I was fond of watching him work and of course I also dreamt of becoming a painter. I was supposed to be taught painting and my mother planned for my elder brother (he is three years my senior) to study music. She was a pianist who had had a Conservatory education. She had been tutoring him quite zealously for three years and he was to enter the Central Music School with a rather complicated program for his age, when out of the blue I came up to the piano and . . . played his entire program by ear. Since that moment there was a reorientation in our family. As a result my brother has become a painter and I, as you know, a musician . . ."


I was made to practice a great deal indeed. It is enough to say that for at least an hour and a half I used to play scales, exercises, Hanon including. As a result, by the time I left school, technical hurdles of any kind practically ceased to exist for me. For instance, I developed such deftness of fingers that now it makes absolutely no difference to me with what fingers to play the trills: 1-3, 2-3 or 3-4 and 4-5.
Did you do this work willingly?
Of course not. I especially disliked the Czerny etudes. But what could I, poor thing, do about it? I was gripped in an "iron vise."
Somewhere else I red he was sometimes watching through the window with tears in his eyes the other kids outside playing.
It is difficult for me to answer this question. For instance, Sviatoslav Richter began studying music later than is customary. But never in his studies had there been any forcing. As a result he had certain technical hurdles that he had to deal with later. But on the other hand, he studied playfully, and hence his attitude towards practicing. That important quality has been preserved by him up to the present. But times have changed. It is difficult to judge what attitude is the correct one.


All my life, literally, since the age of three, my idol has been Sviatoslav Richter. In my childhood I even had a game with my mother: when I played well, in order to encourage me, she would say that I played just like Sviatoslav Richter. And then I was in seventh heaven. At that time, of course, I could not even suspect that Fate would grant me such happiness as to have close contact with that outstanding musician.
I always felt Gavrilov did not have the public success he deserved, but it probably does not matter so much - having been able to gain Richter's respect. Reminds me of Gulda saying Jarrett is more important as a pianist than Horowitz.
I love literature, theatre, cinema very much, not to speak of painting. I love whatever is nice, whatever is beautiful, whatever is talented. All the rest does not exist for me. No matter what serious faults a person has, if he is truly talented the shortcomings move to the background and in the foreground there remains only the Talent.


You may be right. Our art of performance wields a special power. It is the most communicable means of intercourse, however ephemeral. The concert is over and only memories remain. But that is not insignificant either.
There are many reasons why I don't envy musicians, but there is one thing I have envy for, it is their job to create emotions. But then, software has a feel to it too.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Claudio Arrau

THE ART OF PIANO 14 Claudio Arrau.(continued) - wonderful Beethoven op. 111 (1970)

THE ART OF PIANO 13 Claudio Arrau - skip the first fluff talk (till 01:45). But Arrau talking about the body and vanity is priceless, as is the music.

If there was anyone who knew how to be serious, it was him.

Chopin Balada Nº3 Op 47 Claudio Arrau
He plays Chopin (or Mozart) like Beethoven. But so what, it is too bad he never recorded the Mozart piano concertos. He practiced them so long and hard (and played them all from memory) that he got a hand injury and the whole project got canceled.

Ovation to Maestro Claudio Arrau - at age 80.
Actually he started playing the piano before he could talk and his mother had to fed him at the piano.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Command and Control Management


Joel on Software: The Command and Control Management

The third drawback is that in a high tech company the individual contributors always have more information than the “leaders,” so they are really in the best position to make decisions. When the boss wanders into an office where two developers have been arguing for two hours about the best way to compress an image, the person with the least information is the boss, so that’s the last person you’d want making a technical decision. I remember when Mike Maples was my great grand-boss, in charge of Microsoft Applications, he was adamant about refusing to take sides on technical issues. Eventually people learned that they shouldn’t come to him to adjudicate. This forced people to debate the issue on the merits and issues were always resolved in favor of the person who was better at arguing, er, I mean, issues were always resolved in the best possible way.

This actually makes me aware of the fact that I can not remember a single technical argument in my current team, but instead managers or not directly involved developers get briefed on open issues and take part in finding a solution where no one is ego involved with his solution.
Can't say the same about previous jobs.

--- comment from Dani Mueri 2006-08-10

From the book "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell ...
You've got to let people work out the situation and work out what's happening. The danger in calling is that they will tell you anything to get you off their backs, and if you act on that and take it at face value, you could make a mistake. Plus you are diverting them. Now they are looking upward instead of downward. You've preventing them from resolving the situation.

There are several standing orders for soldiers. Number one: if you are in a mine field, freeze. Makes sense, right? It was drilled into you repeatedly during basic training. Every once in a while the instructor would shout out “Mine!” and everybody had to freeze just so you would get in the habit.

Standing order number two: when attacked, run towards your attackers while shooting. The shooting makes them take cover so they can’t fire at you. Running towards them causes you to get closer to them, which makes it easier to aim at them, which makes it easier to kill them. This standing order makes a lot of sense, too.

OK, now for the Interview Question. What do you do if you’re in a minefield, and people start shooting at you?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose Show - Compilation

Miroslav Klose Interview
Miroslav Klose Interview Polenspiel
Lukas Podolski Interview über Klose
David Odonkor Interview
Odonkor says nothing about Klose, maybe he is just too happy:) - BTW, gewonnen is the past form for geWINnen, the German word for to win.

It is too much, but here is another one...
Miroslav Klose - Ehehemm..

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Gulda Legacy

Body builder pianist plays Prelude & Fugue by Friedrich Gulda.

Gulda sons Rico and Paul playing with Friedrich Gulda student Martha Argerich Mozart's concerto for 3 pianos.
As far as I know Friedrich Gulda never played on stage together with Martha Argerich.
If you want to tune in just a couple of seconds, fast forward to minute 22:36 where Paul interprets his father's Aria.

You might or might not find here the original Friedrich Gulda interpretations of his Prelude & Fugue, Aria (instrumental, solo), For Rico, and For Paul compositions, which are unfortunately not available on CD anymore.

And, nothing todo with Gulda, but because he loved Mozart so much...

Young Martha playing a Chopin scherzo.
Martha having fun with Kissin (I don't recommend listening to it, but I found it funny to watch:).

Finally some really great piano stuff from Google Video: Richter and Bunin (it is really a pitty that Bunin didn't have a great career so far - and I hope that I can hear him live some day).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Steve Pavlina

Lots of wisdom here:
Thanks, Richard, for the tip!

E.g. check this article: How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes

The following still has to stand the test of time for me:)
How to Become an Early Riser
BTW, other tips I heard before about this topic:
- move the alarm clock out of reach so you are forced to stand up
- use fragrance products to get your senses up
- a special Slayer CD (track 2 in particular) I got from Cris for this purpose
- some inner NLP self motivating talk to get yourself fired up
What was new to me in the article above is to train your subconscious mind during the day to make getting up in the morning automatic without any inner arguing...

Here is a separate blog entry for his article 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job.