Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Painting Elephant

and an elephant painting

This is just amazing! Watch till the end...

Elephant Paints Self Portrait

Click on both pictures below if you want ot see the full size of Mwana from the Magdeburg Zoo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Die spinnen, die Schweizer!
Welcome! For all of you visiting this website: this site is still in ALPHA-phase, we keep on developing. The current view is based on the Swiss traintimetable, and does not yet show the actual GPS-positions of the trains. But, as Swiss trains are almost always on time, most of the time the position is accurate.
In the meantime, please help us solving the buglist by mailing me at robert (at) swisstrains (dot) ch .

23.1.20008 - We're happy to inform you that we will shortly be adding the realtime position of the trains, based on the delay-information on

One of the coolest functions is one that is a bit hidden: click on a moving train, and click in the unfolding menu on the button "Follow". This will show you from a bird's eye view via satellite images, the moving train.
My English collegue Bill once told me about his consternation, that all the Swiss people were nerviously looking at their watches on the platform because the train was 2 minutes late when working here and waiting for the train home. No one in London would have been the least surprised.

Thanks to Aldo for the pointer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tale Of Two Brains

Comedy by Mark Gungor on how the male brain differs from the female.

Thanks to G.

Friday, March 07, 2008


This week I have been twice to a choir. First time ever (of course, only the first session). Would have never thought. Yeah, astonishing how people can change :o).

Practicing Paulus Oratorio from Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.
Here is a really bad sound quality sample from Amazon. Still I get goose bumps listening to it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Linus On Source Control

Tech Talk: Linus Torvalds on git

In case you want to see the Linux creator - an embodiment of common sense, pragmatism, independent thinking, and good judgement.

The topic is very technical. Source code versioning systems (or however you want to call them SCM/software configuration management systems bla bla).

Few people care about that. But, most software is written in teams. For comparison, imagine a book written by many authors. Everyone can edit everything. You sure would like to have a way to restore and get back previous versions. If something stops making sense, you would want to know who changed what when. You can imagine the whole process has lots of social "dynamics". So the software you use to version computer files has quite some impact on the way people work together and how software is build. Now the funny thing is, in most cases the software used is actually an ancient piece and the world hasn't settled yet on a new system. And also, it is actually a difficult problem to understand and also technically quite challenging to address.

So enter Linus Torwalds, as he had the same basic problem (or pleasure) as every other programmer out there. How to work together with other programmers.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Plane Almost Crashed

A plane almost crashed in Hamburg. See the video.

Addiction Research

The Economist: Going by the book
A group of Chinese scientists has discovered the main biochemical pathways in drug addiction - and without having to do a single experiment
Pointer is from This is China! BLOG.