Sunday, December 17, 2006

I registered at last week. is a website that keeps track of the music you listen to, using plugins for the most used music players around. When you listen to your music, with your favorite music player, information about the songs you have heard, is sent to the website.
This information is used to make a profile of your listening habbits: what is your favorite artist, what kind of music do you like most, ...
This profile is then used to match you with other people who have a similar taste. You are provided with other music those people like and which you migth like too, as you have a mutual musical taste.

At least that's what the website is telling me. I have used the plugin for a few days now, but it will take a few weeks - according to their website - to build a profile.

BTW: I got the plugin working on iTunes (it keeps track of both the music I listen to on iTunes and my iPod) and on XMMS (Linux).

Saturday, December 09, 2006


It seems the plane on this picture is coming out of a cloud or flying through one, but in fact the cloud is generated by the plane itself. And no, the plane is not on fire or leaking any fluids.

The cloud is induced by the plane flying at a speed near but not greater than the sound barrier. The effect is caused by the Prandtl-Glauert Singularity.
In short: At speeds near the sound barrier and at certain pressure, the temperature drops, causing moisture in the air to condensate and forming a cloud.

Physics can be beautiful. :-)

Friday, December 08, 2006


(The title is in dutch, and can be translated as 'childhood memories'.)

A few weeks ago I heard a song when listening to Studio Brussel, a Belgian radio station. The song was picked up by the DJ on a website of a group called Fixkes.

It seems this band originates from a small town near the place where I grew up. Having left the region for some years now, I was quite pleased to hear their song because it brought back some nice memories of my childhood.

The band members must be of my age, as a lot of elements in the lyrics of the songs reminded me of things that happened when I was younger. The singer sang in his local dialect, which is not very different from mine.

It was quite nostalgic, hearing that song. And I liked it.
(I'm not sure about the title of the song, but you can listen to it on the website of the group)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lack of time

I just figured out that I need about 3 or 4 copies of myself (or the equivalent of 3 or 4 times the duration of a week) to be able to do all the things I'm interested and occupied in, in a sufficient way.
For instance: I'm a student and I would like to spend all my time on attending courses, making exercices, studying and preparing for the next class, writing papers, doing exams and reading articles and books related to my field of study, which is physics and astronomy, by the way.
But to pay for my living, I'm working part-time as a sysadmin and programmer. This consumes some of my precious time during the week, and all the time I spend working, isn't spend on studying. To combine both and be able to spend all the time I like on my studies, I would need 1,5 times the equivalent of a week.
But I like programming and I program some more in my spare time, as a hobby, so to do everything I would like to do, I would need another week. Which means I would need 2 times the equivalent of a week, to do all I would like relating my study, my work and programming.
And it doesn't end here. I'm a social person and like to hang out with my friends, play games, eat together or go to parties, visit family, ... This would add another half time the equivalent of a week, to do everything right and proper.
And to top it all off, I like to stay current with what's happening in the world: politics, economics, science, culture, ... And I like to read books and going to the theater or musical concerts. This equals another equivalent of a week.
Add to it that I need some sleep and need to wash, cook, eat, clean my appartement and go buy some food and supplies and it sums up to 4 times the equivalent of a week, to get everything done I would like to get it done.

Unfortunatly, it isn't possible to get 4 times the equivalent of a week fit into the period of one week. If you do know how to do it however, please let me know. ;-)
So there are several options to get things done:

  • copy myself 3 times, in such a way that I have a mutual brain of some sort, so that I 'know' what the four of me are doing/have done.
As cloning human beings isn't possible at the moment, this isn't really an option.
  • choose one of the things I would like to do best, and spend all my time on that one, neglecting all the rest for the time being, until I reach a point I get the feeling I have done enough and then start spending all my time on one of the other things.
This isn't a very practical solution, as I need to work in order to pay for my living while I'm studying. And I would stop to be a social being if I spend all my time programming, not to mention what a mess my apartment would become after a while.
So this leads to the more practical solutions:
  • plan the week so that everything gets enough but not all time, knowing that it will take longer (About 4 times longer ;-) ) to reach the same level of completion, compared to when every part gets full attention.
This means making choices and sacrifices, which is what most people have to do, and the way I'm doing it too.

But If I could find a way to do some things more efficient like programming for example, so that it's less timeconsuming, I would be able to spend more time on my other occupations and hobbies.
I'm going to reflect on this last thought and I will write some more about it when I come to another insight.