Archive for the 'Russian' Category

Wodka nights in the Russian embassy

Spend two hours infront of the Russian embassy in Stockholm and was told that I spoke to a ghost. I called the embassy Sunday evening for an urgent problem and the two people I spoke to gave me hope and told me to visit the embassy the first thing in the morning. I was the first there and had my hopes up, but after telling them that I spoke to two people from the embassy (Ok, I didn’t speak to the first one, because he couldn’t speak Swedish nor English) they told me that that would be impossible because no one works on Sunday at the embassy. I tried to repeat myself several times, that I got the phone number from their webpage and that I spoke with them. But she repeated that no one would be answering the phone, because no one would be in the embassy. In short: Either I spoke to ghosts or to the cleaning or security staff in the embassy, or they are not remembering their Wodka nights Sundays in the embassy while listening to Curky Buchek:


Going East

I am looking forward to visit St. Petersburg next week, so if someone has some most-see places there let me know. Don’t know how much time I will have besides the conference, but hope to see at least something besides the university and the hotel.

Weird stuff and a happy baby

I complained lately a lot about crying babies, so it is time to make a change and start writing how funny babies can be. You just have to spend 100% of your “free time” (the time normally spend on reading books and papers) to entertain these species and they start to be happy (they are usually not as happy as shown in the already mentioned Turkish commercial, but rather time consuming like here). However when properly entertained they sound like this:

(Something went wrong while converting from WAV to MP3, so the time history was somehow squeezed –> he is not so weird)

This post is slightly biased towards entropy (writing nonsense costs at least electrical energy, hence in any case ds>0 and entropy in the universe increases): We listened to a french baby song (thanks to Journaliya) and wanted to hear our favorite french song and now we wanna go to Paris, again. But we just booked our flight tickets to good old Germany for next week and I am also planing to go to St. Petersburg in September and my mother-in-law is coming as well in autumn, so it will be quite impossible to go there this year.

Crosspost from Alex’s blog

Almost every student of fluid mechanics knows the Album of Fluid Motion by Milton Van Dyke.

A book with exactly the same title is available since 2003 with much more beautiful images, see for your self.
Alex drew my attention towards the Russian translation of the classical book, which can be accessed online. See the post by Alex.

Update on fluid dynamics books

I just saw that the classical Statistical fluid mechanics book by two of Andrey Kolmogorovs students, viz. Monin and Yaglom (1971 & 1975) is being reprinted and will be available in April and May 2007 (strangely first Vol. 2 and then Vol. 1). The older versions were already out of stock and even hard to find in libraries, this is quite good news. Additionally I just found this interesting book about the history of fluid dynamics (it concentrates more on Prandtl and those who were in touch with him), which might make me forget about my first disappointment.

Our son just fall asleep in my arms and I had to sit in front of the computer in order not to wake him up. Mostly this time is used to google around for online lecture notes, papers or funny clips. Hopefully he will be a nice boy over the weekend so that I don’t have to sit in front of the PC with him (it is the only place where I can sit for ours without getting stressed), but could finally read what I am supposed to read. We all know how dangerous it can be to read too much, don’t we?

Google Scholar and BibTex

While searching around for lecture notes – a hobby of mine, because there is sometimes so much useful stuff out there, what couldn’t be published – I stumbled over an entry, which I had to post here, because it might help some of you LaTex nerds out there. Within the preferences of Google Scholar it is possible to activate the Bibliography manager. Ones active one is able to access directly the references in BibTex format (enlarge the picture), which can be transferred into JabRef.


Julius Christian Rotta (1912-2005), the author I typed into Google Scholar, was one of the outstanding German turbulence researchers. My former supervisor (who studied under Hermann Schlichting, who in turn was supervised by Ludwig Prandtl) used to tell us often from Prandtl, Schlichting and Rotta. So I guess it is my turn, to tell stories about the mentioned turbulence giants (stories, that is all I have, nothing more) 🙂 Rotta, who published papers about airfoil theory in 1942, didn’t had an university degree and when he got the change to listen to Prandtl’s lectures he got fascinated by turbulence and started to work for Prandtl. Without an university degree he was an accepted scientist and discussion partner for Prandtl, Weizsäcker, and Heisenberg and soon started to continue where Heisenberg stopped in his dissertation. His 1972 published turbulence book was and still is used at German universities, not only because it is the only one (to my best knowledge) about turbulence. The same year he received his honorary PhD degree at the age of 59. I hope this will encourage us and give us hope that we still have a chance to contribute to science and humanity. I mean, we are still young 🙂

PS: I ones heard there was an English translation of his turbulence book, but I didn’t manage to find it. I have the German one, but it still would be good to get hold of an English version. Does anyone have a reference?

PPS: Besides German fluid mechanics books, there are especially very good Russian books, which are nowadays translated into English. Thanks to the former GDR, where Russian was the first foreign language many classical books and papers where translated into German before they were translated into English, but those times are over.

PPPS: While reading about Batchelor (Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics,
Vol. 34: 19-35, G.K. BATCHELOR AND THE HOMOGENIZATION OF TURBULENCE, by H.K. Moffatt) I found a quite interesting passage, which might illustrate how one can become from nobody to somebody in a scientific field. The same story is also reported in an article by Barenblatt (George Keith Batchelor (1920-2000) and David George Crighton (1942-2000), Applied Mathematicians. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 48, No. 8, pp. 800-806.). The story goes as following (quote from the last paper):

At that time G. I. Taylor’s interest moved from turbulence to other fields, so the work of G. K. Batchelor in turbulence was to a large extent independent. Soon he understood that theoretical work in turbulence is impossible without permanent contact with experiment. He wrote to his friend and close colleague, A. A. Townsend, who remained in Australia: “You will come to Cambridge, study turbulence, and work with G. I. Taylor.” The answer came immediately: “I agree, but I have two questions:
what is turbulence and who is G. I. Taylor?
Townsend came and soon revealed himself as one of the most remarkable experimentalists working in turbulence.

This is more a turbulence insider joke, isn’t it?

Mon amour mon ami

It was sometime around last summer. I – as usual – in front of my Computer and my wife in front of the TV. It was a normal weekend, so we deserved to relax. Then suddenly she jumped up and called me, because while watching 8 Women on TV she wanted to show me the following scene:

or in its original version:

That night we searched for the song, listened to it the whole night while searching for cheap flights to Paris. That’s how things are in our live, very spontaneous. I never really wanted to go to France. My wife studied 2 years in Karlsruhe, close to the French border and every time I visited her we could have crossed the border within few minutes, but we didn’t. Two or three times we started in the morning and than somewhere around Strasbourg we stopped visited the town and decided to drive back; so we never made it to Paris 😦 Both of us do not speak any French, she had Russian and I Latin as my second foreign language, hence we would have been lost (that is what we thought, but since my Japan visit I know better, one doesn’t need to know anything just to visit a country; it is even more fun without :)). But that night, while listening to mon amour mon ami we just wanted soo deeply to go there, but somehow didn’t manage.

But since then that particular night that song is in my iTunes and I checked it this morning, I have listened to it knowingly or unknowingly for almost 3000 times! Evidence is here:


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