A taste of brilliant Brazil

Wow, wow, wow. As hinted to in a previous post, I was on my way to Brazil. The hint took more concrete shape with me visiting Dr. Rosane Minghim and colleagues at the Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC) of the Universidade de São Paulo. One of the many perks of my job is that I get to travel (nice) and meet many exceptionally cool people (great): The week in Brazil was an extreme example of that.

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Life update

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the M.Sc. defence of a probably soon-to-be-famous medical imaging researcher :) and the additional pleasure of chatting with a bunch of exceptionally pleasant BIGR people. In passing, it was mentioned that I had not updated my blog in a while. Together with the fact that my most recent posting (before this one) has to do with new computer hardware (blargh) and definitely doesn’t count as one of the better contributions in the illustrious history of this weblog, and therefore shouldn’t remain on the front page for too long, this has finally convinced me that I should definitely make a new posting.

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Pleasure Apparatus 2008

As I mentioned, no lamented on, in this post, it was high time for a new computer in my life. On Saturday June 14, 2008, I managed to acquire the necessary components to construct my latest computer machine. For you viewing pleasure, I took the photo below of the various parts lasciviously arranged: Niiiiice! After a truly delectable BBQ with Really Good Friends, I set about putting the beast together.

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The art of effective verbal communication

At work, a large part of my day is taken up by speaking. I spend a significant amount of time in meetings of some sort, both where other people are primarily talking and also where I have to talk most of the time. Because I started noticing that many of these hundreds of thousands of words were being applied less effectively than they could have, I began trying to derive some rules of thumb for effective verbal communication.

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Ultimate Dutch Snack

While it’s true that Dutch cuisine is the brunt of far too many less-than-flattering jokes, it definitely has its highlights. Ontbijtkoek is a very typically Dutch spiced cake that is often eaten in the morning, whilst Hagelslag is the Dutch word for chocolate sprinkles, which people from around these parts like to use as a bread topping, also mostly in the mornings. By themselves, each of these is an interesting contribution, but probably not a culinary breakthrough.

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Outraged

The year is 2008. A young Iraqi woman falls in love with a British soldier. Her father hears of this and subsequently, assisted by his two sons, stamps on, suffocates and stabs to death his own daughter. He is outraged that she has shamed his family in this way. Furthermore, he claims that she deserved this, as what she did was unacceptable to any Muslim that honours his religion. The father is not prosecuted for his barbaric behaviour.

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Recording screencasts on Windows with free software

(This post was first written in May of 2008, but I’ve been updating it periodically. See also the updates right at the end.) Screencasts refer to video recordings of screen activity, often with narration. These can be used to demonstrate software or to serve as a kind of visual HOWTO. We often make screencasts of software we design in the Medical Visualisation group at the TU Delft to use in presentations at conferences or to distribute online.

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I have an official course code!

I am currently designing a new master-level course at the TU Delft, creatively named Medical Visualization, and it’s just been assigned an official course code: IN4307. Whooo! Keep an eye out for IN4307: This 5 ECTS course will run in the 3d period (February to April) of the 2008⁄2009 academic year and it’s going to rule. I’m integrating more modern educational techniques (thank you TU Delft BKO for the inspiration) in that the whole course will be run as an interactive workshop (I lecture, you immediately try it out on your computer machine), and assessment will be based on weekly practice exercises as well as a more extensive project that will have to be orally defended at the end.

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New work laptop

I think I just might have found my next work laptop. Imagine the surprised and definitely jealous expressions as you plonk down your new Hello Kitty laptop at that next power meeting or important research discussion. Marvelous! Click on the image for the accompanying site (found via engadget.com).

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Dr Werner, you are a singularity of stupid

We all know that homeopathy is really stupid, just like most alternative medicine. However, when I saw this “lecture” by Dr Charlene Werner, I was astounded by the depths of stupidity that she is able to attain. It’s almost like she’s a kind of Superheroine of Stupidity, with the special power of creating a singularity of stupid. This is of course stupidity that’s so extreme that it tends towards infinity and temporarily makes all reason disappear into a black-hole of scientific incompetence.

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