An Inside Job. [Weekly Head Voices #33]

Hiatus: temporarily over.

My sleeping patterns are not quite what they used to be, mostly due to the latest manifestation of our little gene pool over here. Added to that, I’ve been really busy. Added to that, work has been throwing unnecessary curve-balls that have done their part in keeping me (pre)-occupied. In the end, a dash of perspective, several extremely wise friends and a generally sunny predisposition go a really long way, so here I am. :)

In this post, I’m going to touch upon the highlights of the past seven weeks (40 to 46) and I’m going to do so with bullets, seeing as I’m in a bullety-kind of mood.

  • I spent a week in Stellenbosch teaching Information Visualisation! Read all about it in this special blog post.
  • The week after that my mom came to visit us. She really has the best genes.
  • I met my new work laptop: A Dell Latitude E6410 with Core i5 M540 2.53GHz CPU, 4G ram, 500G HDD, NVidia NVS 3100m GPU with 512 MB video mem. It’s a 14″ latop (15.4″ is a completely useless format, flame me in the comments), but due to the materials used quite heavy. I like it!
  • Another one of our STW NIG research proposals has been granted. I conceived and developed this one together with colleagues from the LUMC Departments of Anatomy, of Surgery and of Orthopaedics. The title is High-definition Atlas-based surgical planning for Pelvic Surgery and we get to combine high-resolution human histology, mega-volume rendering, , biomechanical modelling and surgical simulation. With this grant we can appoint two more Ph.D. students (one in my group, one at the LUMC) for four years to work on this!!
  • The week after that I went to Salt Lake City (Utah, US and A) to attend the conference previously known as IEEE Visualization. It was AWESOME! (blog post half-written, will soon publish).
  • The week after that I had a really cool dream: I was playing high-speed catch with a bunch of people outside. The ball was randomly changing shape between rock, papers and scissors. If you wanted to catch it, you didn’t only have to be at the right place at the right time, but your hand also had to be in the right complementary configuration to catch the shape-shifting ball.
  • Now that we’re talking about dreams: I finally saw Inception and was completely blown away. It’s not about being complicated, it’s about being a well-told story and a fantastically filmed movie. What I positively adored, is the fact that Nolan doesn’t require much: He only needs you to believe that dreams can be shared, without giving away too many of the details of the mechanism, and then builds a marvellous story on that canvas. My absolute favourite scene was the waking up on the plane, just before the landing, almost at the end of the film. I loved the way in which the characters looked at each other, and the possible interpretations of their expressions.
  • On the topic of the Underworld gig in the Heineken Music Hall: I hope I have my voice back before my morning lecture tomorrow morning. Thank you Fantastic Friends!

That’s it kids. If you’ve come this far, you’re now mostly up to date. Please leave me a comment, it’s good for my serotonin! I hope you have a great week. To get you off to a  good start, here’s a music video showing what an infectious idea could look like…

6 thoughts on “An Inside Job. [Weekly Head Voices #33]”

  1. I’ve never measured my laptops, not sure I care for any difference of an inch or two. I did just buy a netbook and it’s totally awesome. Knowing it’s limitations puts limits on what you expect yourself to do with it, and that’s kinda liberating.
    I believe I’ve also reached a critical mass of computing devices in my life and made dropbox type apps high on my priority list. I have had to remove MS Live Mesh because it deleted some of my files, and now and forever I cannot trust it. I’d be really keen to hear thoughts on cloud storage. ZumoDrive is a new one that came with my netbook that has features beyond dropbox. But which is the best… discuss.

    1. Dropbox has proven itself so many times on my personal setup (1 netbook, 2 laptops, 2 workstations of which one is dual-boot == 6 replications of my 20G of dropbox stuff) — Sometimes I’ve done strange things to it, and it just kept on robustly doing exactly what it should be doing, nothing more nothing less.

      That kind of trust doesn’t transfer that easily, so I’m sticking with the blue box. :)

  2. Regarding Inception, it is brilliant and well made, however it occurred to me there is one flaw that would have irritated a younger me: why does dreaming inside a dream go faster? The brain can only work so fast. The dreamer inside the dream doesn’t have a new physical brain so processing is limited to the original real brain.
    That said the flick couldn’t be made without this concept and I liked it very much.

    1. The speed-up factor is part of the little suspension of belief that you need to pay for a good story, especially since a good story is worth far more than consistent science (fiction). :)

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