Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shanghai prepares for Expo 2010

wiki Universal Exposition or Expo (short for "exposition"), also known as the World Fair and World's Fair, is the name given to various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world.The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, in 1851 under the title “Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations”. The main attractions at World's Fairs are the national pavilions, created by participating countries. At Expo 2000 Hanover, where countries created their own architecture, the average pavilion investment was around €13 million. Here are some pictures of the work in progress for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Above is the Dutch Pavilion. More pictures... Pictures are from The Big Picture, a really great news photography blog by the Boston Globe.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Amateur pictures of the Earth from near space

The Icarus project is a home brew project to send a camera high into the stratosphere to take pictures of the Earth from near space. The camera is enclosed in a flight box and attached to a helium weather balloon which lifts the camera to an altitude of approximately 35,000 meters above sea level. The camera is controlled by a small micro computer which takes pictures at timed intervals in various directions. Other sensors to measure temperature, barometric pressure and altitude are incorporated into the flight box.
Website and pictures. Apparently it only cost him around £500.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

De Baas van Nederland

De Baas van Nederland is een website opgezet door Willem Vermeend en Rick van der Ploeg en heeft als doel dat iedere Nederlander zijn eigen pakket bezuiningsmaatregelen kan doorrekenen. "In dit programma bent u de baas van Nederland. U zult een balans moeten vinden tussen het stimuleren van de economische groei en werkgelegenheid, een aanvaardbaar beleid op de verschillende andere beleidsterreinen, zoals onderwijs, veiligheid, inkomenspolitiek, sociale zekerheid en het realiseren van gezonde overheidsfinanciën door het terugdringen van het begrotingstekort. Daarnaast speelt het klimaat en milieu een steeds belangrijkere rol binnen het overheidsbeleid. Veel succes!" Site, informatie en uitleg over de werking. Ik zal ergens deze week mijn score presenteren.

More examples of Adobe's content aware fill

Saturday, March 27, 2010


The free GIMP's free resynthesizer plugin can do the content aware fill thing right now, as it can since 2005. On Linux and Windows. Debian/Ubuntu users simply do "apt-get install gimp-resynthesizer".

And video one and two showing the content removal function.
Free software needs better marketing. I only found out about this after the Adobe video.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions

A nice TED Talk. I think Harris makes some good points and is an eloquent speaker.

I'm in love...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

To know about the Giggle Loop, is to become part of the Giggle Loop!

From the series "Coupling".

House and Senate Seats

With the upcoming election in the Netherlands, several parties have suggested for a reduction in House seats (Tweede Kamer) and to suspend the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer). I did some comparison to other European countries to see how common the unicameral parliament is. From wikipedia: where the blue countries are bicameral and the orange unicameral. As you can see, of the European countries, the unicameral system is common for northern and eastern European countries. The following fancy graph shows the number of citizens per house seat for different countries.
Groenlinks suggested that the Dutch should decrease the number of seats in the Tweede Kamer to 100, resulting to 165000 citizens per seat, making it the seats with the highest density of Europe. Here is a less attractive graph:

On a Clear Day...

I can see the NZ Alps during lunch,
which is the same view as this,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photoshop OMGWTF!?!

Keep watching, it gets crazy towards the end. Did I just see uncropping? :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Apple Shooter

The best part of this flash game is losing. Try it out, there are many different ways to lose :)

Google finally stops censorship on its Chinese search resuls

BBC News
China has said Google's move to stop censoring search results is "totally wrong" and accused it of breaking a promise made when it launched in China. The US giant is redirecting users in mainland China to its unrestricted Hong Kong site, although Chinese firewalls mean results still come back censored.

The largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island

View Larger Map

Feynman - The Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures

"Chosen by the New Scientist - best on-line videos 2007. A set of four priceless archival science video recordings from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) of the outstanding Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman - arguably the greatest science lecturer ever. Although the recording is of modest technical quality the exceptional personal style and unique delivery shine through.

For the young scientist, brought up in this age of hi-tech PC/Power Point-based presentations, we also get an object lesson in how to give a lecture with nothing other than a piece of chalk and a blackboard. Furthermore we are shown how to respond with wit and panache to the technical mishaps that are part-and-parcel of the lecturer`s life."
A must watch for those interested in physics. This is about photons and electrons. Feynman tries to explain  things to the  educated layman.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The most dangerous drug

"In summary: if I've learned anything, it's that I don't much care for mood-altering substances. But I'm not afraid of them either. With one exception.
It's perhaps the biggest threat to the nation's mental wellbeing, yet it's freely available on every street – for pennies. The dealers claim it expands the mind and bolsters the intellect: users experience an initial rush of emotion (often euphoria or rage), followed by what they believe is a state of enhanced awareness. Tragically this "awareness" is a delusion. As they grow increasingly detached from reality, heavy users often exhibit impaired decision-making abilities, becoming paranoid, agitated and quick to anger. In extreme cases they've even been known to form mobs and attack people. Technically it's called "a newspaper", although it's better known by one of its many "street names", such as "The Currant Bun" or "The Mail" or "The Grauniad" (see me – Ed)." Read more...

Panorama Software

Just an update on Panorama Stitching software.
For windows:
Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (Free, beer-wise)

For GNU/Linux/Mac/BSD:
Hugin (Free, software-wise)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

One Button Bob

A fun and original flash game that can be played using only the left mouse button. Click here to play it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nuke it

Someone made a little program that show the effects of various nuclear bombs, ranging from the Hiroshima bomb to the Tsar Bomba, on a place of your choice. The picture below shows the heat damage a Hiroshima sized bomb would cause if dropped on Utrecht. You can play with it here. Click on the marker to see what the colors mean.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Superb Lyrebird doing its thing

The Superb Lyrebird was featured on the blog before and is renowned for its ability to reproduce sounds from the environment. This one is Chook, a male Superb Lyrebird at Adelaide Zoo. There was a lot of construction going on in the zoo and it picked up the sounds.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Phobos Flyby

Images from the recent flyby of Phobos, on 7 March 2010, are released today. The images show Mars’ rocky moon in exquisite detail, with a resolution of just 4.4 metres per pixel. They show the proposed landing sites for the forthcoming Phobos-Grunt mission.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


If only Odin was a black cat, we could try it with him.

Meet Limax Maximus

My new cat :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Leaf Spectrum

Waimairi Beach

Today I went to the local city beach, a 15 min bus ride. It's a normal sand beach. The first clouds rolled in yesterday so it was not really a beach day. Also no dolphin swimming because of the weather. Still a nice day outside.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Top 20 5-second films

More at 5secondfilms' channel.

Generic News Report

From Newswipe with Charlie Brooker.
In related news: Some bullshit happening somewhere
Luckily the news in the Netherlands isn't this bad (yet).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yes Prime Minister - Surveys and polls

Private A380

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud spent $485 million on the custom Airbus A380, with interior and amenities designed by British firm Design Q. The plane usually seats 600, but lots of room had to be cleared for various perks. Naturally, there's an on-board garage, so that the prince can be driven right to the threshold of of the airplane's elevator. After arrival, he can retire to his master suite--one of five with king-size beds, and computer generated prayer mats which always face Mecca (one must always be humble); up to 20 extra-guests have to make due in sleepers that are the equivalent of first class. But the real insanity begins elsewhere on the plane's three floors: There's a concert hall that seats ten and has a baby grand piano; a boardroom with a holographic projector; and a full-size steamroom. The most entertaining perk is a "Wellbeing Room" which has a floor upon which is projected an enormous image of what the plane is flying over--thus creating a "magic carpet" effect.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Google empire

I'm not that scared about Google yet, but this is an interesting presentation on all the domains Google is getting involved in.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Ukraine silly music


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Google hits a deer

The images can't be found on Street View anymore, but it's not fake, Google has actually apologized for it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Blood Falls

Atlas Obscura: This five-story, blood-red waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. When geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, they thought the red color came from algae, but its true nature turned out to be much more spectacular. Roughly 2 million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist without heat, light, or oxygen, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.
More @ wiki

Cherenkov Radiation

"Cherenkov radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle (such as an electron) passes through an insulator at a constant speed greater than the speed of light in that medium. The characteristic blue glow of nuclear reactors is due to Cherenkov radiation.
Cherenkov radiation results when a charged particle, most commonly an electron, travels through a dielectric (electrically insulating) medium with a speed greater than that at which light  (photons) propagates in the same medium.
In normal circumstances, these photons destructively interfere with each other and no radiation is detected. However, when a disruption which travels faster than light is propagating through the medium, the photons constructively interfere and intensify the observed radiation
A common analogy is the sonic boom of a supersonic aircraft or bullet. The sound waves generated by the supersonic body propagate at the speed of sound itself; as such, the waves cannot propagate away from the body and form a shock front.
In a similar way, a charged particle can generate a photonic shock wave as it travels through an insulator."

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stemwijzer gemeente utrecht

Heb vanochtend de stemwijzer gedaan en mijn nummero 1,2 en 3 zijn D66, PVDA en de VDD. Vind het altijd wel dat dit soort testen enige vorm van nuance ontbreekt. Maar hier is mijn uitslag: De mooiste vrouw van D66 is denk ik: Nr. 6 Anita Vink. Dus als ik geil ben krijgt ze mijn stem anders stem ik op de eerste man van de lijst.

Smart bird

Monday, March 01, 2010

Christchurch - Walk around the Block

Hello boys! I made a little walk around the block and made a few pictures to give you an impression of my new neighborhood. I have to get my ass to the university for my first meeting now, more later.