Friday, October 22, 2010

Time Flies Like a Drunken Robot on Jet Fuel

Wow, so I didn't write here for a year.. Time flies!

I came back here because I just finished watching the last episode of season four of Californication. Still rubbing the last tears out of my eyes, I decided I needed to come back here and write something. To be honest, the season picked up somewhere in the middle and it had a really strong finaly! I almost wanted the series to finish their, I so much wanted Hank and Becca and Karen to just stay happy together and move to NYC.. But as I said before, a happy Hank does not make for a nice series. So I guess we'll be going back to self-destructive Moody in January. Poor Becca.. Poor Karin.. Poor Hank... I hope he writes something again though!

Anyway, so much about Californication!

It has been an interesting year! I've been to Montreal, Ottawa, Boston (even to a real on campus party in the home of a Harvard professor in Cambridge!), New York and Washington.. That all sounds very cool for a year, was it not that I did this all in November of last year. The rest of the year has been extremely slow in the foreign countries and big cities visiting part. Mostly due to me working on my masters thesis.. And, it is almost finished! It is really exciting to see it finally slowly coming together!

Oh, I did do some cool things two weeks ago. We had a weekend of robotics and worked on the robot jeep (yes a real-world-sized car!) of TNO (dutch research institute) and the also on segway platform.. I love robots!!

As for writing.. I wrote a lot in my thesis, even there I really like the writing part. I didn't write to much of the fictitious kind sadly though.. But, Californication did get me excited again as it used to make me! I even thought of a cool story, so who knows I might start writing again in the near future!

So until next time my brave non-existing readers! For now I bid you farewell!

Good night!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Californication used to make me want to blog. It always sort of spoke to me.. to the literary side of me I guess.. But lately it doesn't do it for me anymore. I don't like that...

It worries me about maybe losing this already underdeveloped side of me. Because, believe it or not, I enjoy writing. I can't really explain why, but there is just something about the weaving of words that feels good.. I miss it occasionally even. Even when I'm not in the mood for it, I sometimes wish I were.

Still it might be the show, it's missing something at the moment. I don't know exactly what, but it was more interesting earlier. Maybe Moody is not moody enough anymore, that might be it. Maybe he is lacking the alluring quality of screwing up his life at the moment. I really wish he would write something, I really think that would liven up it a bit.. Bring a little more depth, maybe..

Anyway, it could still be me.. I changed.. But still, I would like to keep a sliver of my joy in writing. I think I might start thinking about a story again..

Good night!

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Poem


Here I am, again.

It's a bit dusty.

Haven't been here for a while.

Spider rags on the wall...

Slightly crooked, the dust is falling of the words.

Lines have lost their meaning, just a bit.

The bearing is lost, the direction has missed its point.

Page corners are curling, the book is veil, the rickety desk is failing..

Life has gone by, time has seeped through the cracks, happiness has filled the holes.

Love has slowly but surely filled up to the edge of the void and is now merrily trickling down the edges.

The feeling of freedom of rest and of the warm sun are shining through the blinds of eye lashes and blue eyes are staring at mine..

The beauty of the world rests her head on my breast and sleeps restlessly and I love her all the more..

Taking flight in the sky's pool of empty glad moonlight, sliver strings singing, their song and the birds are there too..

Here it is, the glimps of this, the inkling of why, the question of what and the puzzle of how.


Until next time dear friends...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brain Computer

Hello there,

I've been doing some thinking about neural networks lately, because I find it an interesting subject. And with neural networks I don't mean artificial neural networks but real neural networks, like the human brain and it's peripheral nervous system. Starting from there I'm going in the direction of ANN (the artificial version) or, the way I like to think about them, Neural Network Models (NNMs).
Tonight I wrote down about 6 pages of stuff I thought up about them, while trying to sleep and today I was trying to make sense of my nightly thoughts. This way I came to make some calculation of the brains processing power.
Now first, lets have some statistics.
I've always been taught that the brain has about 10 billion neurons and according to [1] each neuron has a connection to about 10 thousand other neurons. All these connections go through an axon, a synapses and a dendrite. The brain has about 4 kilometres of axon according to [2]! These neurons communicate over these connections via impulses or electric spikes. A spike is binary, it's either there or it is not. The bottleneck on information transfer probably is the refractive period of a synapse which is the time needed for it to regenerate after having transvered a spike. This part is a bit shakey, because unlike in computer processors, spikes do not come all within a certain clock tick and thus there is no such thing as an atomary event in the brain which I'm assuming does happen in these calculations. I suspect that because of this my calculations can be off by no more than a factor of two, though some more complexity could show up in the synapse cleft.
So this refractory period of a synapse is about 10 miliseconds, thus a synapse cannot fire more than a 100 times per second and thus cannot convey more than 100 bits per second.
Every neuron connects to about 10 thousand other neurons, which implies about 10 thousand synapses per neuron and thus every neuron processes about a million bits per second.
Right about now you might think: "Hey, thats not so bad! My computers memory pipeline does about 8.5 GB/s, which is about 8.5 billion bits per second.".
Bad news, you still have to multiply with 10 billion, the amount of neurons in the brain. Which brings the brain at about 10 quadrillion (which is a 1 followed by 16 zeros) bits per second and this is not the worst part, besides the neuronal environment which also has influence on every synaps, which is very important on the processing done in the brain, but probably has a neglectable amount of bits per synapse, we are currently only speaking about information transfer, not processing power.
My guess is that one neuronal communication "cycle" can probably be emulated in a current computer processor by about 5 instructions per synapse per bit of information, which brings the grand total of the brains processing power to 50 quadrillion instructions per second, or about 50 petaflops. To put this in context, the worlds fastest super computer can reach about 1 petaflops.

Okay, there is some good news. These values are based on a brain that is communicating at its theoretical limit, which is probably totaly unfeasable, it would take to much oxygen and energy and would probably produce way to much heat, also even with reuptake in synapses the brain would probably poison itsself in the process with too many neurotransmitters and too much other waist products. My guess would be that the brains real peak performance is about a tenth of that and the brains everyday performance probably a tenth of that. So my guess would be, that the brain probably can be simulated by a computer running at 500 terraflops. Which means that there is a computer out there that probably can simulate a human brain, cool huh?
O yeah, one obstacle: we don't know how all these neurons are connected inside the brain and every synaps also has it's own characteristics (kind of receptors, types of neurotransmitters, reuptake speeds, etc.). Thus we still have a few problems here... Still, in the mean time, there are simplere brains, like those of cats, which comprises of about 10 million neurons and about a trillion synapses according to [3], thus in my estimates would probably use about 5 terraflops of computing power.

O well, it's so intressesting though!

[1] Maass, W. Computing with Spikes, Technische Universitat Graz (2002)
[2] Vreeken, J. Spiking Neural Networks, an Introduction, Institute for Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University (2003)

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Just one thing: "It always gets worse before it gets better.".

It's a universal theme and the more you think about it the more you realize how often it is true! Lets mull this one over for a while, I'll get back to you on this.

Stay tuned! ;)


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ch.., Ch.., Changes

I've always had a hard time with the passing of time. My mother theorizes that it has something to do with me being born way to early. I don't know, it may be true, I've had it all my life. Literally and figuratively I always tend to stay in one comfortable place and keep staying there for as long as I can until I get chucked out and have to move on. Sounds familiar? Luckily I have some sense of ambition, otherwise I would have come nowhere.
Life is cruel in this way, there are always things, bad things but especially really great things that at a certain time come to an end. I hate that, I love the things I spend time with and I want to hold on to them. I always miss them, but the worst thing is the anticipation of it all. If I start with something new, I always almost immediately note the fact that it is going to end someday.
When I was little and we had a cat I would sometimes come to my mother, when I was supposed to be sleeping, crying because one day our cat would die and I was already sad about that.
I'm not a doom thinker. I always think that every thing is going to work out, I'm an optimist, but I think I might be a realist too. If there is the slightest chance that something is going to work out, I think it is going to work out, but if there isn't any chance at all, it sometimes makes me sad years in advance.
But life goes on, I'm moving the day after tomorrow, to a bigger apartment with my own facilities and even a spare bedroom where someone can come to sleep over. Now I have to say goodbye to my old room. It has been good to me and I love it for it. It's a room with a lot of positive energy and I'm proud of that. I really hope my new home will have that too..
Life goes on and I've discovered a new thing this weekend. Well I've discovered two things this weekend. One, that I really like to paint! I did a sort of workshop model painting with my former girlfriend and I absolutely loved it! The other thing I learned, was that love is even more important than being together. I've had some difficulties letting her go in the past and I still love her, but it seems that it isn't to be. I've mostly accepted that now I think. This weekend we spent some time together and now that I'm back home, I found out that I had a really good time and I'm glad to have spent the time with her and that I love her and that I accept being apart as long as I'm aloud to love her..
I love people, I love a lot of people but some are more special than others. The good thing about change is, that it shows you exactly what was important before. Change makes you live, change makes you love..

Good night and good bye.. for now ;)



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

RoboCup in China


Okay, so I've been to China, since we last spoke. Interesting people, the Chinese! I was there for RoboCup 2008, the world championship of RoboCup. I was helping organize the Simulation League (specifically the 3D Simulation League) and also I was there as part of a team competing in it (The Little Green Bats (yes, we were drunk when we made up that name ;)). We did very well, the team won the third price and I got promoted to chair of the organizing committee.

Although China is,politicaly, a bit of a difficult country, the people are really nice and helpful and I would really recommend it as a place to visit on holliday! I have enjoyed myself there immensely, if it were only in observing the differences in culture. Also the food is great and it's all very cheap! We ate with eight persons for less money than it would have cost us per person here in The Netherlands..

Interesting, I almost said: "Europe" there instead of "The Netherlands"? This year I've visited both the US and China (and was invited to visit Iran, but sadly couldn't go) and as a result I'm starting to get a more global perspective I think. For americans and for chinese, we come from europe but to us we always come from our separate countries.. but is that changing? I think, slowly but surely, we are coming to see ourselfs as Europe. I think this is inevitable, we are economicaly, politically and culturally pushed in that direction.. One day we are probably going to be Europe! And I think we are probably going to speak English here.. I hope so, I like English :).. But this will happen slowly.
Then again, a lot can happen in a short time, just over 50 years ago we were still having a world war over here and now look at us? Maybe in 50 years China will resemble a democracy, Europe will be one big English speaking nation (in which England will have joined as the very last separate country of course), and in a big show of "civilization" China, Europe and the US will be the new "west", together with Russia of course.. We could call it: The North .. + australia ... or something like that :)..

O well.. maybe I'm overreacting here :).. time for bed I think.

See you later!