Dear friends, I was planning to write a nicely focused post, but it’s definitely not going to be this one. There’s just too much we need to talk about, and by “we need to talk” I of course mean that “I need to do my monologue”. Do strap yourselves in, as this edition of the WHV has tea, peanuts, chocolate milk, general nerdery, some ground-breaking science and even some thought-provoking art.
On Thursday July 14, 2011, it rained for 20.5 hours straight, and it did so from all directions at the same time (yes, apparently also in the upwards direction as my wet socks will attest). The last time it rained this much on one day, was on July 17, 1954, as confirmed by the paper this weekend. I believe I might also have broken several swearing records (in terms of duration, variation, originality and vehemence) whilst struggling through the water on my bicycle, on my way to my work.
Here’s a photo:Some train at the Rotterdam Station. I spent lots of time in these the past week. … and here are four things, most of which happened last week: I was honoured to be invited by the International Research Training Group (IRTG) of the University of Kaiserslautern to visit their institute and give a presentation on medical visualisation (my field of research, for those of you joining very late).
HEY! I’m still here, and it seems I really have to catch up on my backlog of WHVs, all the more as I was starting to notice the beginnings of BPP (Backlogged Posting Paralysis, of course). So I’ve spent a few minutes gathering a selection of life snippets of the past six weeks (week 21 through week 26) and will now proceed blasting them out this old Web 1.0 exhaust. I wasn’t completely idle blog-wise, however.
I’ve written before about EuroVis, the most important European scientific conference on visualisation. In 2009, it took place in Berlin, in 2010 it was in Bordeaux, and, an a surprise non-twist of alliteration, the 2011 edition was held in Bergen, Norway. With 216 attendees and a practically perfect organization, this year’s edition has been described as the biggest and the best EuroVis ever. In a bid to save some time (I still owe you a mega-edition of the Weekly (actually Monthly) Head Voices), I’m going to give my biased account in bullet-list form:
Somewhere in a remote but picturesque location in southern Germany, there’s a special castle called Schloss Dagstuhl. Every week, the castle fills up with a smallish group of Exceptionally Privileged Computer Scientists, who can only go there Because They Have Been Invited. Every week hosts a different field; In my case this was the Scientific Visualization seminar, one of the oldest participating groups. Everything has been setup just so to guarantee a perfect computer sciencey week for all guests.
(post summary: linkedin news, the week in bullets, backyard philosophy!) Dearest readers, Yesterday I made my 400th LinkedIn connection. Yes, I know there are people with zillions of LinkedIn connections, but mine are special. I’ve actually had contact, outside of LinkedIn, with each and everyone of them. In most cases the contact has been in person, in some cases even involving beer, and in the others the contact has been sufficiently significant, by my metrics of course, to warrant a real connection.
Seven years ago, a wise man gave the following advice on this blog: There are two rules to success in life: Rule 1: Don’t tell people everything you know. At that stage, twitter did not exist yet (the first tweet would only be made on March 21, 2006), so the clearly visionary post author had the habit of writing short, tweet-like blog posts. Because times have changed (my posts are slightly longer than 140 characters these days), but the advice is still sound, I’m repeating it here.
As you all would have guessed by now (ALL my readers are insanely astute, of course), GOUMEs stands for Genetic Offspring Unit Maturation Events. You see, the first week of May has the fantastic privilege of hosting the birth dates of both of my Genetic Offspring Units. One of them is too young to appreciate the significance of this event, the other is now at the stage where one tends to over-estimate said significance.
There’s a really big dude with a cowbell dancing around in my head: My life seems to be just full of cowbell at the moment. During the coming months, more will be revealed. During the past weeks, the following things seemed mention-worthy at the time: On Sunday, April 17, I went with a posse consisting exclusively of spectacularly hip people, who prefer to remain anonymous on this blog but who might pop up in the comments now and then, to the Coldcut Energy Union gig in Amsterdam.