Archive for January, 2007


Brainstorming after rechecking some assumptions I never checked before:

During my university years in Germany I learnt to assume a lot of things. Contrary to pure physics, engineers tend to assume and work with simplifications. Often we just assume the existence of a lot of black boxes, where we only consider what is of direct interest, viz. what is going in and what is coming out. Our whole study life, and that is mainly our whole life, we are surrounded with assumptions and we get used to it. With time we forget the assumptions and if something goes wrong suddenly the assumptions come back to mind.

Life, that is apparently something what happens outside universities (hence a black box for engineers), is also – at least for me – a summation of assumptions. We assume so much without noting it anymore: Family, friends and those who care about us. They are all within a black box and we assume that everything is alright, because a long time ago it was like that and since then the assumption that everything is alright has been declared. We saved the information in a black box and never doubted it. Years have passed, family members or friends have deceased or we lost contact to them. Then, only then, the assumptions are rechecked and we find that the range of applicability had been crossed. Life and science are tight together, at least engineers don’t seem to have a life, or they made science their life.

Where am I, where are we staying? What is our life and what is our job? Where does life start and where does the job stop? I don’t know anymore, I lost track of my assumptions. Have to find my notes 🙂


What I don’t get

Sweets, ice cream and sweets are what I like the most. During school time I spend most of my allowance on water ice, and I even had to borrow money from some teachers on school trips, because I couldn’t control my ice consume. Nowadays, I have my own money and it seems to me as if I could buy as much ice cream or sweets as I want. The upper limit is just restricted due to long-term consequences, like my tooth problem or my gain in weight. Anyway this post is not about me, but rather about ice cream. What I don’t get is, why the following nice looking ice cream looses its nice chocolate sauce rather quickly. It just covers a few millimeter thick layer and then one is left with the white ice cream. No chocolate at all. But every time I see it I am forced to buy it, because it looks just nice and it is jummy. The good thing is that my wife doesn’t like too much chocolate (at least not with ice cream) and I can eat as much as I can and give her what is left over. So in the end both of us win.

eis vorhereis nachher

I feel like a black box, where the input is the picture on the left and after a minute the picture on the right comes out as the result of the process I am performing. I started to buy chocolate sauce separately and fill the white ice cream up with a thick layer of chocolate sauce, but it doesn’t taste as good as the original one. So I am not sure why they don’t sell the same sauce besides the ice cream so that I can fill the sauce up when it is finished.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Physic classes were one of those, which interested me the most, Besides mathematics, religion and history. Philosophy, art and sports on the other hand were not really my subjects, even though the marks in the latter fields were sometimes better than in the first ones. I am not sure if it was the fact that we watched a lot of clips and performed experiments that kept my attention, but one of the most famous clips I remember was the video from the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Few minutes ago, during my daily YouTube minutes, a found a color movie of the actual collapse and – as usual – had to post it here. I wasn’t aware that there existed a color version of this footage. It might be a post-processed version of original material. Anyway, here is the footage:

A nice anecdote, related to this and given to any fluid dynamicist is the following:

After the collapse of the Tacoma Bridge, the governor of the
state of Washington made an emotional speech, in which he declared
“We are going to build the exact same bridge, exactly as before.”
Upon hearing this, the noted engineer Von Karman sent a telegram
to the governor stating “If you build the exact same bridge
exactly as before, it will fall into the exact same river exactly
as before.”

Android teachers

During my high school years we had a physics teacher, whom we used to call Android. He could draw circles and other shapes in such a perfect way that we started doubting whether he is a human or an android. Now after many years I can say that there a not enough androids out there in the teaching business and I kind of miss those beings in some courses I took, because I have not only difficulties to read what they are writing, but also problems to decode what they draw. One example came across my daily surfing activity today and I had to share it with you. He is the master of circles (brought to my attention through him):

“Be your self …, part 2

I found some more classical Turkish movie clips (the old ones can be seen here), which I had to post. A clip from “Superman’s return” can be seen here (even I could watch the whole clip, but it was enough to see the perfect cuts and again the movie seems to be shot in my parents village):

Nowadays, however, Turkish movies are much more expensive and better, unfortunately they are mostly unknown to non-turkish speakers:

Agglutinative language, part 2

Checking my statistics recently revealed that one of the most favorite posts on this blog was Agglutinative language. They must have been quite disappointed to find just a lousy long word in Turkish. Although I don’t have anything to add to this matter (I am a language moron) I found a much longer word and hence sentence in Turkish language (found in the Turkish version of the last reference):

denmişsinizcesineymişmiş (I had to break the word in 2 parts)

Don’t ask me for the meaning of this sentence. I know what it means, but I am not able to translate it in any other language. What a disappointment I am! There are of course longer words in other languages, but they do not form a sentence as in the aforementioned example. German language has for instance long words, like (I had to break the words in parts)



Rinderkennzeichnungs- und Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungs

For those who are interested in many other extravagant word in the English language I refer to Wikipedia. Finnish expert could try to analyse a word consistent of 1787 signs. There seems to be a contest between agglutinative languages to find a very long and meaningless word. I on the other hand have still problems to compose a grammatically correct sentence in Turkish, Swedish or English. And I am afraid to loose my ability to do this in German within the the next years as well.

Update on update on food

It wasn’t so bad. In fact it was better than expected. I even found out what it was, never heart of it before: Pierogi
A desert is coming in few minutes: sweet pierogis.

I guess I watched too much Family Guy and expected something worse, e.g.:

But the best dinner so far is the White House Correspondents Dinner (2006), where Stephen Colbert presented his feelings about Bush right in front of him. If you haven’t seen it yet, take your time and watch it:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

January 2007
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