Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Tripp to Osnabruck

Last week me and a group other AI students went on an excursion to Osnabruck (Germany). Here we visited the cognitive science department of the university of Osnabruck. Which was very exciting! They have a very brought approach to cognitive science and AI, that reminded us a lot of our own AI study, here in Groningen. The most noteworthy difference being that they have a lot (a lot!) more robots there! I wish we had some more robots..

Of course, visiting the university was not the only thing we did. We also crashed a party at a catholic student association, who where looking very shocked when we started dancing to their, initially rather slow but admittedly later much better, music (or we just had a little more to drink later on and thought the music was better, that could also be it).

After happy hour, when the drinks where getting more expensive, we moved to some other place (which's name I forget..), where that night it was rather empty. But we did not care, the Tequila Sunrises went for 2.50 euros, so we where happy and drunk :).

When we got back to the hostel I took a shower, on my way back from which, in my boxer shorts, I found some people lingering in the common room, so I decided to join them for a minute.. or the rest of the night, as it turned out.. It was a bit embarrassing though to have to leave the common room through the kitchen the following morning, while people where having their breakfast... and I was not wearing more than my shorts and a towel.. but we had fun :)..

So, the following night we decided to go back to the Tequila Sunrise place, where unfortunately the Tequila Sunrise was a lot more expensive than the previous night. It was also a lot more crowded, which was fine, good even. It was an interesting place, they had plants in toilet bowls with glass on top of them, used as tables. A television on which, presumably, the girl who's bra was being taken off by two of her (also, presumably) friends could see if her parents where not coming through the front door (as that was where the camera was pointed at). Also there was a shower in the male toilet which was only to be used naked, according to the sign next to it (which we considered moving to the couch that was in the womens toilet, but for that it was stuck rather well to the wall...)..

Further more we had a nightly tour trough the city by a night watch man with an interesting sense of humor (although he actually was rather funny :)), climbed a church tower and looked over the city. We also visited the industry museum, at which the very long and dark mineshaft.. anticlimactically ended all of a sudden behind a door, in bright daylight, next to a house..

It was all fun! I had a really good time. Got to know a lot of people a lot better and had the best cup of chocolate milk with whipped cream ever (it was like a soup bowl in size, and it tasted like real coco made chocolate milk! Delicious!).. And most importantly, I got to dance, which I hadn't done in a long time!

I loved it, I wish we where still there!


Sunday, November 4, 2007


The season finally is absolutely brilliant! I'll won't give any spoilers, but to say that I love that the season ends with the same song as with which it began! I am a bit scared about the chances of a second season though. It's a really, really, really good show, but it does not seem to be able, to carry on the same kind of storyline, given the ending.. But then again, Dawson's Creek was also very good at these kinds of story spins, and I believe there are some Dawson's Creek writers working on Californication! In that case, I'm very curious about the next season and I can't wait!! I can't wait at all!

See you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Boring Fun Paradox

I'm boring aren't I? I wonder that sometimes. I mean, I want to be interesting, but isn't it kind of boring to want to be interesting? Maybe it is more interesting to want to be boring? Would that be better? I don't know. I just want to be interesting. It's just stupid. Here I am, wanting something again. I always want things, isn't it boring? Here I'm whining about it. How bad can it get?
Now I'm having fun about whining about being boring? I really don't get it anymore! I'm enjoying myself by writing about being boring? What now? I'll start to bore myself about joy? Maybe I can write something about that!
So the real question is: Is it bad to have fun while being boring? It's probably better than being bored by having fun? Isn't it? Is being fun and having fun the same thing? I don't think so.. That's too bad.. I'm good at having fun. Maybe I should let fun have me? Would that be better? I think that if fun had me, that wouldn't be boring! What would you say??

Thank you, you're a great audience!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Short on Californication

So there is this new series I'm watching. It's called Californication, it's with David Duchovny and it has some raw edges, but it is actually a really nice series. A bit twisted, but really nice! Duchovny playes a writer (Hank Moody) and he has a daughter and an ex girlfriend (the mother of his daughter) who is now engaged to, currently, his boss. So it is all a bit screwed up and I'm leaving out a lot of sexual messes, which gives it an interesting character.
But what I wanted to say about it, is that every time I watch an episode, I get the urge to write something in my blog or actually write something period. I like that about it too.

Just a short entry now..

See you later!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Happyness is What Happy Brings

Time for some optimism! My last post was a little bit on the gloomy side, I think. But It's much nicer to write happy messages :). In fact, this reminds me of when I and my team (The Little Green Bats) participated in the RoboCup world cup 2007 in Atlanta (and incidentally we won second place :)). A lot of the teams against which we competed were from china and well they have a different culture than, at least, where I come from and they sort of seem to take everything very seriously. When their agents were playing, they just sat there, not showing any emotion. And I have to say, when you are playing against another team, it is really exciting, to the point that it is down right scary! Every time we were going to be playing, I just got the urge to go to the bathroom, I dared not watch!
But to come back to it, we acted a bit differently. We got up and went to stand close to the screen and, we were really excited, so we ooh-ed and ah-ed and applauded and screamed and laughed. We had to, we couldn't help it. I mean, it was the World Championship, we worked almost two years on it, we wanted to win! And that was when someone said, what was almost the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me (well our team), she said: "You are a happy team!".
It is nice to be called happy. I never realized that before.. but I think it is a really great compliment to be called happy. I should thank her, when I see her again next year, in china..

Bye now! You're Happy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Life Is Not for the Fair

Life. I always expect it to be fair. I expect it to be easy, that it won't hurt you. That if you want something bad enough or love someone bad enough, that is enough. That somehow it will always turnout for the best.
Then I'm always surprised that when I have a particular strong emotion, especially if it is directed at someone. Nobody notices it. Nobody can feel it. My emotions sometimes scream in my head. It sometimes feels as if the power of the emotion is enough to turn the whole world inside out. And sometimes I can feel so connected to someone, it feels as if maybe our auras connect, like some kind of energy intermingles and surrounds us both. Like I can feel the warmth flow between us, it feels so good. I really wish I could share it with someone..
People are so blind towards one another, it's really scary. How do we survive as a species if we cannot even communicate our strongest feelings or our deepest wishes? Isn't it depressing that a synonym for our "strongest feelings" is "our deepest feelings". As if we by definition are not allowed to tell anyone what we really feel, as if we are supposed to hide them, deep in our selfs, where nobody can reach them!? God forbid, they might find out what we feel. It is cruel that our inner feelings are so separated from the world out there...

My love to you all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What I Really Want...

What I really want is to be me. I always wanted to be a few things.
First of all, a movie director. Yep, it sounds lame, but I do. I once made a (very) short film. It wasn't brilliant or anything but it was the single most best thing I ever did. I so much loved it! I knew exactly what I wanted and it was just having pure fun from there on out! (Ok and quite a lot of work, but it was worth it!)

Another thing I always wanted to do is be a writer. I really love the idea of creating wor(l)ds, inventing people and imagining relationships between those people. But more than that, to sketch and explore interesting circumstances and strange social entanglements. And to inspire people, to make them think and to give them something to think about and even cry about, to make them see the world just a little bit differently than before.. I wish I could do that...

Also I want to study medicine. I know it is something completely different than the things above (maybe except for the romantic notions involved) but I have always had a strange fascination with how people work. In a lot of ways, but mostly anatomically. I have some kind of insight into that. Somehow I can see the human (and probably more generic the mammal body) as a sort of abstract machine in my head. From the neurons in our brain and central nervous system to the blood vessels all over our body, to the digestive system to the inner workings of our cells.. It just really interests me!

There are just so many interesting things in the world, not even speaking about the universe. I wish I could see it all. But luckily it means that I'll won't get bored in the coming eons! ;)

Time for bed boys and girls!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Notebook of My Life

I have a notebook. In that notebook I write things. Different kind of things, but the one thing they have in common is that they are all important to me. I write about story ideas. I write about philosophical stuff that pops up in my head. I also write about girls I like. I am a passionate person, sometimes the only way to get something or someone out of my head is to write it down. Interestingly enough a lot of those things that I write down have something else in common. They make perfect sense when I write them down, but when I read them back at a later point in time, they usually just don't make sense to me anymore (ok, maybe except for the things I write down about girls, those I usually still can relate to in the future).
A few examples of things I wrote down and I don't fully understand anymore or that I don't get at all:
  • "Now I am who I wanted to be... Now only to find my self in it...".
  • Movie idea: "A woman with an orange headscarf".
  • "Brain Images/Ideas. But don't know how to express them!".
  • "This is where it's about: - Inevitability".
  • "The split-second laps in faith of understanding".
  • "The over my shoulder perspective".
But there are also some things that I still get. Here is an example of something I wrote that I liked to read back. It is written at a time in which I was reading (part of) The Illuminatus Trilogy:


Maybe the acceptance and lack of taboo of/on sexuality is an act of enlightment? Because is the act of being who you are and accepting the self and building from there on out not enlightment? Wat more is there to seek than peace of mind, body and soul at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel of life, learning, living, feeling, being, traveling, experiencing, seeing. What I seek at the end of that tunnel is wisdom and the purest wisdom, I think, brings enlightment...
... The Search For Light ..."

This are the kind of things that I write about in my notebook, this are the kind of things that preoccupy me, this are the kind of things that I think about.. Maybe I'll put some more of my notebook in here later.

Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Seven Gates

I'm currently reading this book called The Gates of the Necronomicon which is basically about magic and it sort of gives an interesting overview about things that ancient and not so ancient religions and/or mysticisms have in common. It is interesting to see how many of them seem to be based on learning how to do magic. And also that they are sort of interrelated, such as having gods or key figures that have very similar names and functions. Such as the Egyptian goddess Sheshat who, among other things, helped the builders to line up pyramids with the great celestial gate (called The Stretching of the Cord) which was the area of the heavens where, according to the ancient Indians and ancient Chinese, humanity came from. She, or at least someone who has a similar name, function and symbol (a seven pointed star on a pole) above her head, also shows up in other mysticisms.
Furthermore it tells about gates between our plane of existence and another plane. Which is the underworld or maybe just the spiritual world. If you gain access to this world you can learn the nature of magic or even achieve immortality. But it is dangerous to go there, you need to make sacrifices, you need to come apart or go insane (the destruction of the self) before you reach the end (where you are reborn). There is an interesting Sumerian story about the goddess Inanna, who descents unto the underworld and, during which, at each of the Seven Gates must remove a piece of clothing. She comes to the end of her journey naked..

O well, it's just interesting, that's what it is ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Innocent Casually Smile Dilemma

I am a very curious person and I also am a rather perceptive person. You might think that is a good combination.. well, it is most of the time, but you know what the problem is? If you are perceptive, you see more things to be curious about! It can be very frustrating. I can look at a picture of someone I know and think nothing about it at that moment, but then lay awake remembering the simplest thing, like her smile and all of a sudden I am very curious; what is behind that smile? That sort of mysterious though innocent smile which she sort of almost casually throws into the world.. what kind of thoughts and what kind of emotions are behind that smile? I am almost jealous, for she knows it and I do not..

Good night, my friends!

Friday, April 27, 2007

God Natured

Hi everyone,

Maybe I am in an optimistic mood, but I'm having the distinct feeling that we have done something right, we as a species, that we sort-of like have past the global-warming test or something like that. Do you know that optimistic feeling you get when you see that progress is made? The kind of progress that is sort of pivital, that might possibly be a catalyst for more good in the future? That "god" (note: I don't believe in a traditional god, I use it as an analogy) has decided that we might be fit for the future after all.
Look at some of the advancements in science that happened in the last few days; a cancer fighting drug is found in dirt, advancements in fusion technology... Ok that's all I can think of, but there might be more. Still I have that feeling! :)

Greetz, Mart!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Robot Fever

This period I did a Robotics course in which we (in teams of about five) had to program a robot to do one or more of the tests of the RoboCup @home league. This league is made to be more realistic than the RoboCup soccer leagues and is set in a random living room and kitchen environment. There are a number of tests in which a robot can participate, all of them are pretty hard and rely heavily upon advanced vision and user-robot interaction.

We participated in three tests: Follow & Guide, Lost & Found and Who is who. To make it a little easier we only ran in the proof of concept phase, in which we could tweak our envionment a little. Which meant we where allowed to use brightly colored objects. This made it a little easier for us on the vision side, but we still had to deal with things like color-consistency (If for instance light from outside shines on an object, for a camera it has a different color as opposed to when another kind of light source illuminates the object. The same thing go's for shadows as opposed to not-shadows. This problem is called the color consistency problem).

In follow our robot had to follow a random human, in lost & found our robot had to find a not previously specified object and in who is who our robot had to learn to recognize four persons and after that it had to identify an intruder (someone who wasn't there before).

During the match, which was yesterday, our team competed against four other teams. There where a lot of problems for everyone, us included. But we gained the first points and despite that we had a time shortage problem and didn't test a lot and our vision obstacle avoidance wasn't finished, we did pretty well. We came in fourth. This doesn't sound all that well, but considering the difficulty and the small amount of difference in points between 3th and 4th, we are really happy! And sort of glad that it is over, because it was a tremendous amount of work for seven weeks..

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Seriousity Killed the Cat

I just noticed how serious my posts have been so far! Well, ok there always is the underlying tone of not taking myself seriously, which I think is important, I don't like people who take them selfs to serious.. In fact, I think I just found the universal thing I don't like in people I don't like! People who are to serious about them selfs just are irritating, I always have the stupid tendency to make them want to see how wrong they are in being serious about them selfs! It always irritates me when I get irritated and it irritates me even more when I'm being stupid!
So, I don't take myself seriously! Really I don't! If it sounds like I take myself seriously, please don't take that seriously! Got it!?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Vampires at the End of Time

Hello dear blog..

Today I wanted to talk about those scary blood sucking creatures, you know, vampires.
Scary and dangerous as they may be, to me they always had some kind of beauty and charm. Especially the female vampires, the forever lasting beauty. The unrelenting black hair. The perfectly white skin. The marvelously bright blue or sometimes even sort of purple eyes. But also the fact that they live for a really long time and that some of them have seen so much of history and must be so much the wiser for it!
This interests me a lot. I've always sort of wanted to live forever. Most of all I want to watch. I want to watch the history of the future, how will mankind turn out, how will the world or even the universe turn out? What mistakes will we still make, what good will we do? In that way I always sort of envy the vampire. Sentenced to watch the world change around him or her. Sentenced for eternity to see and experience, to lose and to gain to live on until the end.
What will the end look like I wonder? Will it just end, without us knowing it? Will things break down first? Will the universe reach a stable point, will chaos cease to exist? Will there be a big sign with "The End" in a big black void, or will it be rather the French "Finn"? Will there be ending credits? Or a sequel? I wonder...
And the vampire sees it all, right down to the final garbage collection of the great virtual machine we call Existence..

Will we ever know, dear blog? Will we every see?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

What's The Opposite of Life

I just saw the final episode of Dawson's Creek. Besides from it being a tear-jerker Dawson raises an interesting point somewhere during the show. He points out that the opposite of death isn't life, it's birth. Although one might argue that the opposite of being born is dying and that definitely the opposite of being dead is living (and that the opposite of being death is being life, or god. Which bring me to the hypothesis that life is heaven, or paradise), lets assume for a while that death isn't the obvious opposite of life as we take it to be. What then is the opposite of life?
If you see existence as a two dimensional plane, with a line dividing it (infinite space above and below) and life is above the line, what do you think is the opposite of life, under the line (call it the great divide). I know what I would think was on the other side. I would think that was on the other side, meaning that I would think that life after death was on the other side... But who knows; the other side might just be the mirror image of this side. Which gives me a very interesting dualistic idea: mind (the spirit, soul, etc.) lives in another universe/existence (on the other side of the divide), with not identical, but functionally comparable physics, which makes mind always run exactly in sync with our bodies. Thus not needing to pass energy through the divide, but still having some sort of synergy between them.. I call it: scindoism. The ism of the divide.

And that's how you get from Dawson's Creek, via paradise, through physics, to spiritualism..

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Day of the Aliens

Today I saw a documentary about extraterrestrial life, the movie ET and the movie Signs, all at the same time on TV. What? Is it alien day or something?
It's an interesting subject though. I like the idea of extraterrestrial intelligent life, I can't wait for them to show up! I've always wanted to travel in space, to the moon and mars, but most of all, to travel much farther, see other planets, solar systems, even galaxies. See other civilizations, I'm really curious about alien civilizations!
I've been watching a lot of X-Files episodes lately and the whole Man In Black thing, I like that to. The in the loop thing, to know a secret that almost no one else knows, to work in secret on something which is for the good of the entire planet, it has a strange attraction. For as long as I remember I've been really curious, I always wanted to know everything, even if it is a great and heavy burden to carry. I just want to know everything, especially things that only a few people know ;)
O well, so much for now! Farewell!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Robocup or Robocop?

Robocup is a good starter subject I guess. Me and four friends competed last year in the World Championship RoboCup, 3D Simulation League (under the name LittleGreenBats). It was really exciting. It basically is a virtual soccer match in which our team had to compete against a whole lot of other teams from all over the world. We ended about 20th. Which really isn't all that bad. Most of all it was just fun! This year we're trying again. We've been at it since September. We redesigned most of our architecture and it is starting to come together.
The only pitfall is that it is decided (by the league) that this year we need to play with humanoid players (last year it was more or less floating spheres), which means that we need to program them to run and to have any chance we need them to run really fast and precise too.. We need to qualify no later than the 10th of March, which is pretty quick and as of yet only one team member has succeeded in running the server that supports the humanoid players... But still I think we are going to make it!

I'll post any progress here! So come back if you're interested..

Inspiration, Inspiration

Cool I have a new blog! Lets put something in it! Lets blog!... But what to tell? Well I'm sure something will come up soon. So until then, my faithful crowd of none!

My New Blog

Hello imaginary people reading this! So I decided to give this blog-thing a try. For as long as I remember I wanted some online page where I could put my thoughts and opinions on the everyday and not so everyday things that cross my mind. Today, for the first time, I realized that such a page is called 'A Blog' and that I really don't need to code it myself, I can just go to my Google account and click on 'blog'! Silly me.. Come to think about it, I think that I wanted a blog even before they were called blogs. Well, for now, that satisfies my fright for doing that hype-thing..

Good bye imaginary people! You might hear from me again.