Month: December 2001

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Winter storm wreaks havoc in Europe. Well, for awhile at least it seemed that this time around it would be a calmer winter than usual. Not true. Nature has its own way of taking control when least expected in order to show the humans that they are just as vulnerable as any other living creature on this planet. Do not forget it. And while you are at it, appreciate the wonderful fury and whiteness, as far as the eye can see. Truly amazing. Okay, so what if I was born and raised in sunny California? I used to walk around in shorts all the time and had a continuous tan. And now this extreme coldness. I have never quite been able to get used to winters here in Holland, although I have lived here long enough to acclimate like most normal people do. Yes, beautiful but freezing at the same time. It should be an interesting experience cycling to my work. Wish me lots of luck.

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"The giant red star Betelguese - the red star in the shoulder of the constellation Orion - is 700 million miles across, about 800 times larger than the Sun. Light takes 1 hour to travel from one side of the giant star to the other. The name of this star means "The Armpit of the Central One" in Arabic, which shows that like many other constellations, Orion was recognized across many cultures."

My favorite constellation is Orion, by the way. It has always fascinated me for some reason, and I have gazed up at it many many times wondering and wondering.

Ever wondered how to pronounce it? This is how: Be·tel·geuse (btl-jz, btl-jz).

"A star's primary source of energy, during its lifetime, is the fusion of hydrogen occurring in its core. As the hydrogen is used up, the helium which is produced fills up the core. But the temperature is not high enough for helium fusion to occur, so core energy production slows down, its outward pressure decreases, and the gravitational forces cause the core to contract. As the core contracts the atoms bunch closer together causing an increase in density and temperature. When the core temperature is high enough, helium fusion begins. At the same time as the helium core is contracting and heating up, an outer hydrogen shell expands and begins fusing to form more helium. It is this expansion and fusion reaction in the hydrogen shell which pushes the star's envelope out into space. The surface of the now giant star is so far away from the hot core that it cools down and turns red (hence the name red giant)."

Betelgeuse is also known as:

  • Betelguex; Betelgeuze; Beteiguex; Al Mankib.

  • Alpha Orionis

  • HR 2061

  • HD 39801
  • Other scientific data about Betelgeuse:

  • RA 05 55 10.3

  • Dec +07 24 25

  • V 0.50

  • B-V +1.85

  • Spectral Type M1-2Ia-Iab
  • Betelgeuse is the 12th brightest star in the sky. It is called Alpha Orionis even though it is fainter than Beta Orionis (Rigel). This is because Betelgeuse, a variable star, was misclassified.

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    LIBRA
    "Your mission is to alert and inspire friends and strangers about all that can be. You're part evangelist and part motivational coach. All this inexhaustible energy may wear others out, but you're still welcome in any group."

    Great! So that is why I decided to take up blogging as my new goal in life. I have always had a slight form of stage fright. Nervous in front of audiences. Blogging is anonymous yet just as effective. Now I get it.

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    Will the real random thoughts blog please stand up? What a disappointment it was for me to discover that what I had initially thought up as a creative and unique name for my blog is NOT that creative nor unique at all. Bummer, man. I am really let down. This is a very sad day for random thoughts. I happened to discover by chance a link to "my" blog random thoughts and I was all excited. Wow, I thought to myself, I am getting more famous more quickly than I had ever expected. This blog thing is really great stuff! Okay let's click, and then? It was NOT my blog at all, but someone else's blog with the very same title. Yet another random thoughts. How could that possibly be? Hmmm. Some kind of deja vu. So out of curiosity I chanced a search on google. What did I find? A long, long list of blogs called random thoughts, out there on the Internet, all over the place. Here are just a few that I selected randomly (excuse the pun):

    random thoughts, random thoughts, random thoughts from a large head, random thoughts - ideas aleatorias, random thoughts, random thoughts, random thoughts, random thoughts by miguelito, random thoughts, random walks, random events, etc.

    And on and on and on...

    What is an honest loveable blogger like me going to do? No more random thoughts. Howabout: unrandom thoughts? minimal thoughts? non-thoughts? gibberations? ought? Time to change the blog title to something different. Don't know what yet. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

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    "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."

    - Gertrude Stein.

    Especially nowadays in the Age of the Computer there is so much information out there that it is impossible to collate even a tiny fraction of the infinite bits and bytes without straining one's sanity to the extreme. Lose their common sense, poor folks. Personally, I like many others out there suffer a slight form of infatuation, addiction if you will, enamored with the unknown crooks and crannies of information to-be-discovered. What it has to offer. Wherever that may be. One link leads you on to the other link, on to the other link, and so forth ad infinitum. Where to stop, that is the question.

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    The server is unreachable. Correction, I should say it "was" unreachable. Finally, after nearly three days in the complete dark, I can get back in touch with my blog. Whew, what a relief. A mad hop out there on the Internet going amiss, eaten up by the Globix link causing me and my web site to suffer the annoying yet non-fatal disease called server-unreachable-itis. Panic city! Life without your blog is no fun, and I would certainly not recommend it to any of my loved ones nor my friendly fellow bloggers. Beware and do not let it happen to you if you can avoid it. And of course, everyone blames everyone else. Isn't that totally normal? Wasn't the server. No, wasn't my ISP either. No, not the Internet, of course not. Try this, try that, if that doesn't work then try that again but first do this and do not touch that. I grew up with all my wise computer science teachers telling me so convincingly that the Internet was specifically designed with unpredictable network connections and media in mind. Lots of keep-alives going back and forth and rerouting over redundant connections to make sure that point A is "always" reachable from point B, no matter what. Even if there was a major earthquake or nuclear war. Uh-huh sure, so what went wrong then? Well, I will never know. Magically, as if out of the blue, the problem disappeared as quickly as it came. I'm free again! So here I am happy enough to be still alive with my good ol' blog. Blog, blog, blog. And then it was time to make amends and forgive the rest of the world. Being unreachable is okay, I guess. As long as it is temporary. Next.

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    Christmas day has come and gone and is over with. So many people joyous with their multitude of the newest gifts, fantastic. So many other people still out there waiting, unknowing. The greatest gifts of all have yet to be unwrapped. Let us never forget that. Never ever, please.

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    In case anyone out there just might happen to be reading this entry on this very special day of the year (what's wrong? bored? looking for inspiration? escape from your parents-in-law? just something different? miss me? whatever?) this note is especially for you. A very Merry Christmas and a very happy two-thousand-and-two filled with many days of pleasant blogging and other successful endeavors.

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    It is time to turn around the corner again, yet again. But first the usual holiday celebrations, including Christmas which is tomorrow. Turn around the corner again. Brings back old memories, some from a long long time ago, others that seem just like yesterday. Or so it seems. Trying to fall asleep in bed, so very excited about the next morning. All those presents, hearing my parents collecting all the boxes from the attic and carrying them downstairs. Try to sleep, try to sleep. Make the bed spin in my mind. I am lying in my bed, falling, falling. I could make myself fall into a deep and dark gorge, falling and spinning. Spin to the right and then to the left. Twist and turn at my mental command, spinning and tumbling. I have been unable to do that for a very long time. Since I was a kid, but it seems just like yesterday. Back then it would help me fall asleep, when most needed. Like the evening before Christmas. No more. Now it is my turn to be the parent, to put the presents out. I hope the kids don't wake me up too early in the morning. Nine o'clock at the earliest, I told them, and not a second earlier. Boy, kids-at-heart sure get boring when they turn into adults. I am a kid-at-heart, turning around that corner again.

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    we are the hollow men
    we are the stuffed men
    leaning together
    headpiece filled with straw. alas!
    our dried voices, when
    we whisper together
    are quiet and meaningless
    as win in dry grass
    or rats' feet over broken glass
    in our dry cellar.

    t.s. eliot
    the hollow men
    1925
    mistah kurtz - he dead

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    Sit down and relax. I am about to recount an absolutely amazing story to you. Are you ready?

    Two types of attraction defined by nature."There once lived this naive yet sweetly innocent young boy. At the telling of this story he is sitting casually in the bathtub, the water up to his belly button, just about. In front of him at eye-level is the faucet, chrome and shiny. So that he can see his face reflected in it, though due to the distortion of the reflection his eyes are tightly squeezed together and his chin explodes downwards like an uneven trapezoid with sharp corners. Okay. The faucet is dripping, very slowly. Each drop is a slow motion ballet as the adhesion properties of water keep it stuck to the rim of metal. The drop of water grows and grows and then dips down with the gentle tug of gravity. Dips down, the drip. Gravity pulling against the adhesion properties of water molecules. Two types of attraction defined by nature. Working together, working against one another.

    Who is this little boy anyway?Okay, so this little boy is watching all of this happening in pure wonderment. The drop of water becomes a distorted bulb of liquid, a heavy water balloon, breaks off the rim of metal and falls. Like a sea bird diving, an arrow wiggling and turning and twisting. Splash, an inward motion, then as the elastic surface of the water in the bathtub pulls everything back in place, it inadvertently hurls back a similar blob into the air, a beautiful arch into the air and then back down again. Splash, little-splash, tiny-splash, one two three. This is truly amazing, and the naive innocent child realizes this. Hmmm. It hits him that while this is an amazing site, because of its triviality and its absolute nothingness compared to the rest of the universe the boy will never remember this ever again. Never ever. How many things in life, which to the trained eye are miracles of nature, go unnoticed and forgotten. Probably about nine-nine point nine-nine-nine percent."

    That is the story and it really happened.

    As you can see, the little boy has never ever forgotten this. Ironic. The fact that he thought he would never ever remember that site again caused the little boy never ever to forget it. Some day when he grew up he would even record it in his Blog. Whatever that would be. I have wanted to write this down for about thirty-eight years now but have never found the proper opportunity. And here it is.

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    Today is (almost) my last working day of the year 2001. Hard to believe, yet another year past the millenium. When I was a kid, the year 2000 seemed so very, very far away. The impression back then was that the lifestyle in the year 2000 would be quite similar to the Jetsons, our own rocket-cars flying around, robots and other gadgets serving us, almost a comic book way of life in the space-age. So much fun and so much to look forward to. And I would be alive then (I hoped). Boy was I glad to be growing up when I was.

    George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Astro and Rosey. Henry the handyman. Spacely Sprokets and Cogswell Cogs.

    Well, things have turned out slightly differently. Not quite as exciting as I had hoped as a kid, but good enough. For adults at least. For awhile I was into figuring out how old famous people had become by subtracting their date of birth from their date of death. I had this book I absolutely cherished, it was about the well-known thinkers throughout history: Plato, Kepler, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, etc. Inside the front and back covers were pictures of each famous person with the dates of birth and death. It was a simple mathematical chore to find out how old they were at the moment of death, an extra insight into the past which fascinated me and gave me the impression I was discovering something new, something very private, about these heroes.

    All of a sudden it dawned on me that I could calculate how old I would be in the year 2000, that fantastic futuristic era when I would be buzzing around in my own space vehicle. Just like the Jetsons et al. Okay, so I was born in 1957, so subtract 7 from 0 but first carry over the 1 and then another 0 minus... Hmmm, that means I would be forty-four years old. Forty-four. That's impossible, I would be an old man! Not a kid anymore. That wouldn't be fun at all. Or would it? Disillusion is hard for a child to deal with but shaken awake I decided to hang in there and make it. No matter how old and decrepit I was to become, or I thought.

    Well, it is true. Here I am writing about it. Today is (almost) my last working day this year.

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    To be true to yourself is not a very easy task at all. Everyone was born on this planet to express oneself by experiencing the surrounding world. Some say that creativity is a "gift from the gods" and that we should use it bravely but sparingly. You're free to do what comes naturally. However, the world does not always lend itself easily to this fusion of causes, meeting of opposites, poking and pursuing. The first and foremost task for all of us then is to discover for ourselves what this role of creativity actually is, what it means and what it can bring.

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    "Once you have declared an object variable, you must instantiate it by assigning an object reference to it. Instantiating an object allows you to use its properties, events, and methods..."

    Sometimes I feel like I have come from another planet. The plain fact that I am able to understand perfectly what this sentence means sets me apart from most normal human beings. What kind of weird foreign language is this?

    Does anyone out there know what this is?

    "...collection objects in an object hierarchy act as containers for groups of objects of the same type and provide another way to access objects in an object hierarchy."

    Surely there must be a better way to communicate with one another.

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    Okay so I have been living in The Netherlands now for more than twenty years, twenty-one years to be more precise. It is a small country, very flat and there is lots and lots of wind. The fact that the country is small makes covering most distances that much easier and efficient. Since there are bike paths everywhere bicycling is an effective means of transport, bringing one here to there and back again, often faster than with the car. Flat, flat, an occasional draw-bridge, flat, flat, turn right, then left, flat, flat, flat.

    However, the wind is everywhere, and it blows hard never soft. That is why there are so many windmills and now colossal wind turbines, in order to capture this energy to make lots of electricity. Lots and lots to keep us humans warm and happy with all our gadgets. While it is flat and one would imagine biking "should" be an easy chore (remember how small the country is?) there is a big very big problem. The w-i-n-d. The W-I-N-D is blowing. Hard. I do not know how nature manages it, but it is a very well known phenomenon in Holland (another name for the Netherlands in case you were wondering) that the wind is "always" blowing in your face, "always" against your direction of movement. Always, on purpose. In the morning on your way to work or to play. And then later in the afternoon returning home. Also in the evening after a training course. This is truly bizarre, but it is true. No wonder all of the Dutch folks have such strong legs, not fat at all but very muscular. Look at the legs on her!

    Okay, let's try to trick the wind this time around. At the very last moment, I decide to stay home in the morning, ha ha fooled you wind. Instead I leave in the afternoon, but the wind is blowing in my face. Return home for a quick lunch break with the family. Wind in my face again. Okay then, in circles, a big circle past my work and turning around again, sweeping a large arc to cover all possible wind angles. Doesn't help. Wind in my face, the whole way. Am I being paranoid? Huffing and puffing and sweating after my self-imposed detour to prove my point, I explain it to my fellow Dutch colleagues.

    Yes, of course.

    They are perfectly aware of this so-called "bizarre phenomenon" as I describe it in my garbled Dutch with a heavy American accent. Of course. Like trying to trick your shadow or reflection in the mirror. Only possible a couple times in your life when you are a kid (see, I moved first, yes I did!) but after that no longer feasible. Not anymore in the world of adult thinking and imagining. But I will keep on trying.

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    So what's an experienced telecom expert like myself doing for work lately?

    Well, howabout some visual basic programming? Web design? Other internal projects at the company? Yes, that's true. But I have nothing to complain about. At least I have work, and I am enthusiastic about it.

    Who says that the natural progression of one's career is: baby-kid-teenager-student-junior programmer-programmer-senior programmer-team leader-project leader-project manager-team manager-and then who knows what?

    I have done it all. However, not enough.

    But before I get too carried away in my career as a future-famous who-knows-what, it will be a good lesson in life to do what I am doing now. Humble myself, roll up the sleeves, and get to work like everyone else. The most important thing to keep in mind is to remain positive, very positive. Because.

    Whether you like it or not your thoughts do and will influence the world around you to one degree or another, more or less, more than you realize. The world consists of outlines and it is up to you to fill in the empty spaces. With positive energy. Fill in the empty spaces. Spaces.

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    you're livin in your own private idaho. idaho.
    you're out of control, the rivers that roll,
    you fell into the water and down to idaho.
    get out of that state,
    get out of that state you're in.
    you better beware.

    b-52's
    private idaho

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    Now I have been reading this book by Eckhart Tolle called "The Power of Now." One of those self-improvement books where this so-called spiritual sage explains to us lost souls how we need to concentrate our lives better on living in the Now. The Now. I started enthusiastic enough with an open mind, but now half a year later I am struggling to complete the very last chapter. The meaning of surrender. This stuff is getting pretty repetitive, warped towards appealing to a modern society. Now now now and now. If I hear that word Now one more time I am going to become crazy. Even crazier than I am already, if that is possible. There are alot of good and interesting ideas, I have to admit it, but nothing really original that was not already figured out thousands of years ago. Back then and Now. One thing I did like is the following quote. Have alook at it Now:

    "Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life."

    "The only place where you can experience the flow of life is Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation."

    Now. Okay, so I am being boringly wishy-washy here. On the one hand I can get overly critical about some book, and then on the other hand I go out of my way to put down a quotation from the very same book. What is really happening Now?

    Now.

    Now. Check it out for yourself by visiting the Excerpts from The Power of Now page. You too can become inspired and learn to live in the Now.

    Now. When I was a teenager and thought I knew everything there was to know in life, one of my favorite sayings was "Flow with the stream." Funny how I still believe that and lead my life according to what some smart-ass kid used to say with so much confidence way back in the Seventies. Now.

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    It took me most of the weekend, but I think I am "finally" getting the hang of things in the wild wild world of cascading style sheets. That's long for CSS, short I mean. My new-and-improved blog will make me famous some day. Perhaps, but does anyone out there notice any difference, improvements? I had to make it slick and daring for the new droves of visitors I am expecting soon. At least after the grand review I received recently. Okay, so I am still waiting. Waiting. I think I see them coming, way off over there on the horizon. Here they come. Do you see them too?

    Do you also wanna become a CSS freak like me?

    For those of you folks interested in learning more about the ins and outs of this wonderful Internet technology, I invite you to take a look at CSS Layout technigues for fun and profit at the glish.com, great stuff.

    Hey, a very very special thanks goes to one of my favorite fellow bloggers out there from that blog site we all love and cherish called Emerald Sky. You chatted with me, so patient and helpful, we exchanged style-sheets, you fixed up my many errors, wow and now it looks really great.

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    Someone out there discovered yet another new and exciting weblog. "So what?" you may be asking. Well, it just so happens to be MY weblog! I cannot believe it, but it is true. I am not bragging (like usual). There is actually another kind person out there who has been sufficiently moved by my "gibberations galore" that she has taken the time to review my stuff. Check it out by clicking here. Hey, thanks alot Cynthia at ikastikos is nice.

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    Snowflakes are falling...Just the other day summer ended. Then came fall, and slowly but surely the temperature dipped downwards. Until below freezing, that's zero degrees centigrade. Brrr. Now the very first snowflakes are falling. Falling, falling, ever so gently, sticking to the surfaces everywhere, collecting and collecting. The thin white layer becomes slightly thicker until all around it is white, white and white. Millions, billions, trillion, zillions of snowflakes. An amazing and wonderful site.

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    Diagonals. The world around us is not what it seems. Every fraction of a second, an amazing amount of information is being perceived by the five senses, passed on up through the nervous system, and simultaneously collated by the human brain. Electrical impulses from every which way. Absorbing nearly an "infinite" amount of data is no easy task, in fact it is pretty much impossible. The human brain is a complicated piece of living intelligence, but it has its limitations in size as well as processing speed. In order to get over this obstacle called infinity, in order to be able to survive in a constantly changing and unpredictable environment, the brain filters out what is necessary and interpolates in order to fill in the gaps. Just like an unfinished drawing from a coloring book in which the lines are evident. Must scribble in the interior afterwards with various colored crayons in order to make sense of it all. Not to mention the subconscious we all entertain to extrapolate, extrapolate.

    Therefore. We perceive the outlines of reality. Nothing more, and alot less. And yes, this filtering process may break down at times, completely fail for the sake of clarity and swiftness of operation. Our thoughts create movement and/or objects that are not really there, partly there, partly not. Appear and disappear, tangle together and interweave. Have a look at the diagram at the beginning of this entry. They are diagonal lines which are parallel. Or are they? What is wrong? With me.

    Conclusion. Most of what we see is filled in and non-existent. There is no reality except for the outlines. The shadows reflected on the walls of the cave as the real forms walk outside on the other side of the campfire to which our backs are turned. Real tables, Plato, real people, real sky, real trees, real ocean, real moon, real sun, real starry, starry night.

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    After all these years of dedicated service and unending dedication, my poor Opel Corsa was relieved of duty. I had tears in my eyes, but I am also boringly sentimental sometimes. Had it for more than seven years and driven more than one hundred thousand kilometers. Brought me effortlessly from here to there. Each and every season. Still runs just fine, in fact it purrs. But it also rattles alot over the slightest bumps in the road, and it has two large holes in the chassis which have been eaten away by rust. Getting old and sick. So I brought it to the garage where it will be passed thanklessly onto the dump. Oh well, I will miss you.

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    Late in the evening, pounding away behind my computer monitor. Trying to make sense of it all. Work has tired me out, but it is too early to go to bed. Okay Emerald Sky, come on line. From who knows where but it does not matter. My instant messenger rings a ding-a-ling announcing that that little yellow icon door has opened. Arise the Emerald Sky. Normally I do not do those kind of things, but the other day while surfing happened to catch an AOL screen name on a fellow Blog site: The Storm Brewing. Saved it just in case, but why? Nice surprise, Emerald Sky. My evening has brightened up, instantly. Chatted some and it was fun. First acquaintance with the mystery person. Man or woman I don't know, but it doesn't matter. Married, children, interests, hobbies, etc. Did you say MI? The typing was quick and the mental gears were oiled well as the random thoughts took over. They call it chatting. More than you would ever want to know. Spontaneous, envigorating, (mentally) stimulating, educational and just plain fun (the most important, afterall). Bloggers unite and seem to attract, even over long distances. A very very long underwater cable submerged deep at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean connected us over a time difference of six hours. At the speed of light. Truly amazing. Well, Emerald Sky that was a blast, liked it alot. Perhaps another time, in the not-so-distant future. Is that okay with you?

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    jejune
    jih-JUNE (adjective)
    1: lacking nutritive value
    2: devoid of significance or interest: dull
    3: juvenile, puerile

    "I read several favorable reviews of this play," said Joan during intermission, "but so far I'm finding it rather jejune."

    No one in their right mind ever uses the word jejune, or do they? There is a famous Woody Allen film in which parody is made of this funny-sounding word. Who out there has ever used jejune seriously and not caused laughter? Another question. Who can tell me the name of the film to which I am referring? Not that I am offering a prize or lots of money, but just curious how many serious fellow bloggers out there dare to take the challenge.

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    I would have liked to meet Richard Feynman..."I would like to meet Richard Feynman because of his unique ability to fascinate audiences of all ages and backgrounds. His way of thinking was based not so much on science and hard fact as it was on intuition and feeling from the heart. His theories were considered quite bizarre and inappropriate at the time. In the long run however these very theories have proven some of nature's phenomena which have avoided the finest scientists for centuries. I refer to his Feynmann diagrams and theory of quantum thermodynamics. However, while Richard Feynman had an absolutely brilliant scientific mind, he was also a down-to-earth lovable type of person. He provided a model father figure for young physicists like myself by radiating warmth and goodwill, always laughing at difficult problems in order to overcome them. He liked to fool around and act spontaneously, playing his bongo-drums for instance. He never smoked nor drank. He helped develop the first atomic bomb and was able to forgive himself. It was this unique balance between living and enjoying the now together with a serious from-the-heart attitude that allowed him to accomplish so very much. He died at a much too early age which is too bad, but during his shorter than average life he achieved what takes many lifetimes for the masses. That is why I would like to meet this happy-go-lucky genius."

    This is the essay I wrote and sent via email for the BBC Online - Play Space contest, called "Space Heroes." I thought I was being real clever, taking so much time and composing this fine piece of prose, tears in my eyes late into the night. Little did I know that down there below in the small print it stated that I had to be a resident of the United Kingdom. What a fool I was! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. If you are interested in space then I can still recommend highly the BBC Space site. I would of REALLY liked to win the Space DVD they were offering as first prize!

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    Everywhere around me they are laying people off. It is not going that great with the economy and the so-called lucrative world of mobile telecommunications has taken back seat to the more important goals in the world. In the world. People tend to go into panick mode. They act differently. Rash and bizarre.

    Take myself for instance. I am a senior consultant whose expertise is in the area of mobile telecommunications. I have pushed my career significantly into the nether nether world. Wow, a senior. One year ago not even the sky was the limit; if your sites weren't pointed higher than the sky, you were trampled upon and lost in the dust. We become overly optimistic (and greedy), and we never learn from our mistakes.

    Stupid mistakes. The noble path from here to there, from A to B. Each person starts at the beginning, called point A. The goal is way over there (can you see it?) off on the horizon, called point B. Make sure that you get to that point as quickly as possible, in as straight a line as possible. Go! Do not look to the left or to the right, no time, just keep your eyes fixated on point B. Until you get there.

    Okay. What a shame that it is if when we finally sweat and struggle to get there that the there is no longer there. Indeed a shame. Point B has completely disappeared. Oh dear! We will never learn from our mistakes. History keeps on repeating itself. Repeating itself. I say, and so many philosophers and spiritual leaders have repeated this endlessly in the past and will say it again and again in the future, why not fully appreciate the path inbetween point A and point B, experience it for what it is, enjoy it if possible?

    The middle path. Not that easy to follow but absolutely essential. "Now on a full moon day of July, 589 years before Christ, in the evening, at the moment the sun was setting and the full moon simultaneously rising, in the shady Deer Park at Isipatana, the Buddha addressed them."

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    Rumor has it that we are all manifestations of the very same primordial form. Each person should be respected for his and her unique traits and talents, that little bit of extra cytosplasm that makes this world an even better place. A bit more crowded but better nonetheless. Love thy neighbor and respect your fellow workers. This is extremely difficult to uphold during trying times as these now that the economic situation is quickly deteriorating. Even your closest acquaintances are acting selfishly. The ME culture, it is coming back. I also grew up in the ME culture back in the decade of the nuclear family. Coming back to haunt us. Thanks alot Dr. Spock for the creative freedom you allowed our parents to give us. Making us much better little people. All these little people have now grown up. As long as the times are flowing along okay then we can flow with it, right? The ME culture. ME ad infinitum. Come a dip followed by major bumps in the road, then it becomes another story. My fellow human beings, even if they consist of the very same clay from which I am also made, they can become very annoying and irritating. Selfish and uncaring. Survival of the fittest. Just keep on respecting them. Try to understand. Laugh and smile. Smile and irradiate. Goodness.

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    "Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness."

    - Blaise Pascal, Pensées (1670), No. 414.

    This is an interesting quotation because it implies that there is no such thing as pure sanity. Nor is there such a form of madness some mixture some ever slight delusion of ours which more than likely has something to do with madness. Whatever that may be. At a very very early age I quickly concluded that if I thought I was crazy then that was proof that I wasn't insane at all. Hey, I guess that I am not crazy. I am not crazy. Whatever pure craziness really is. How many people do you know around you who walk from day to day pretending that they are perfectly normal? One, two, three, four hundred. They would never admit they were crazy would they? My conclusion now rests, to be contemplated by others. So true even after all these centuries. Man has not changed that much at all.

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    For a number of survivors who have decided to come back to this world because of unfinished work, the moment of death reveals a splendid portal of radiant light which opens up. There are countless accounts of this visual impression, often referred to as "near-death" experiences. Could this actually be a spiritual awakening or is it simply a lack of oxygen to the brain which results in fantastic hallucinations? If it is an actual awakening that brings us closer to some hidden world that really exists (whatever that means) then it is perhaps a good idea to take such phenomena more seriously. Let's say, experience death from within in preparation for that day (hopefully in the distant future) when you and I will die. In other words, think of death but in a positive way. Prepare yourself and be thankful that you are living in the now as it is and not as it was supposed to be.

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    Okay so I decided to take it easy this weekend. First things first. Did not wake up until ten thirty. Ten thirty, that's a record but I guess I needed it. Dreamt I was trapped someplace in a faraway land, and I had to get back home in time. Right away. But the airport was nowhere in sight and to make things even worse I was unable to find my plane tickets. Damn, pretty frustrating. That's why it took me so long to wake up. Good start, but too bad I already missed a large chunk of the weekend during which I had told myself I would take it easy. Would have liked to take it easy. Next step is to unglue myself from the computer, pry myself loose. Difficult. Spend more useful time where I belong. Where I belong.

    Woke Up Dreaming by Chad Essley. This is a tip in order to understand a little better what I am trying to get at. Chad is an artist who translates his reoccurring dream of flight and abandonment into a visual, Freudianesque examination of the mind. You might want to check out his homepage Cartoon Monkey. Some pretty neat stuff.

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    Another week has passed by. The onward march of time keeps us occupied with the future, future riches yet to be grasped. Forget about the past, they tell us. The future is where it is at. Strive now for never. Never, never. The weekend was originally meant as a period of rest, and for good reason. However, modern civilization has compressed this period of rest, so much so in fact that it has all but disappeared completely. All of us are active most of the time and most of us are active all of the time. In the meantime, the seconds, minutes, hours, days and weeks flow past us without reserve, that dauntless clicking away. Clicking away of time. Time spent.

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    Alright, so I decided to join "yet another" one of those so-called blog webrings. I am a full-fledged member of quite a number, but I am not sure what the benefits are for me up to now (besides the hassle of signing up and adding the extra link to my site). However, this time around it is not your everyday type of webring. No, it is the soon-to-be-famous MT Blog Ring. Dedicated to those fine folks out there who use Movable Type for their online weblogging activities. Hey, that's me. I decided to sign up for this new and provocative blog ring because I have found Moveable Type to be a REALLY wonderful enhancement for the Internet.

    Like the title of this blurb says, MT Blog Ring will save the world. But I need proof. Some kind of proof that, yes, it is worthwhile signing up for this webring, different from and much better than all the other so-called webrings. Hmmm, I have an idea, and here it goes.

    "If you are reading this because of a link through the MT BLOG RING then you are kindly requested to prove this by commenting on this entry (see below)."

    That is if you have made it this far and have mustered enough nerve to go through with such a challenging series of events. Go for it, please. Should be interesting to see how many people react to this. I will start waiting...starting...NOW.

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    This morning I woke up and it was gone. My beard that is. All right, so I finally decided to shave my beard off. So many people were complaining about it that I couldn't take it any more. No way. Broke down and allowed their unfound opinions get the best of me, again. It was indeed a slightly messy process, removing all of that growth from my face. I was too impatient (and perhaps also a little mad that yet again I was letting all these other people define my life and what I should look like) and just started hacking away. Shave, shave, slice, shave, oops. Some accidental gashes and lots of blood. Feels weird, like all of a sudden I got naked in front of everyone. The cool winter breeze has become even colder on my exposed face. Nothing more to hide behind. Will have to be myself from now on. Happy?!

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    "When the universe was created, everything was one. Later when life formed and humans came along, this oneness became many. Existence has never been the same again. Evolution continues, and slowly but surely things have become more and more disconnected. The universe is expanding, and recently astronomers have discovered that this expansion is actually accelerating. Not slowing down like we were all hoping. Oh dear me. However, there is still hope because now there is the Internet, and better yet there is a new form of independent journalism thriving on this new medium. Call it blogging if you want, everyone one is doing it and everyone is connecting to what everyone else is doing. Ad infinitum. Interconnectedness, an infinite interweaving of bits and bytes is now bringing all of us together. The cycle completes and we become one. Too bad I am just making this all up to get invited to write an essay and get famous. Sorry to let you guys down. Sorry, but that's life and the pursuit of the future independent web."

    This excerpt is taken from a recent email I sent to the Independents Day Essay Contest in which one is supposed to send in something relevant to the theme: "The Future Independent Web: Visions of What's to Come." I wonder if they will even consider looking at this.

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    If you look carefully around, you will notice that most people are pretty much fixated on a number of "mundane activities" that seem to define their lives totally. This is part of society, and therefore includes myself also. Myself also. Looking outwards rather than inwards, whereas the so-called famous spiritual leaders of our times and throughout history proclaim that you should "absolutely concentrate within." Forsake the world around you for what is REAL. Absolutely and totally, nothing less. Our development from birth, childhood, puberty, adulthood and finally old age is dependant on an unbelievable amount of external stimulations that lead us onwards, help us development the personality, improve. So what is it with all this spiritual stuff that is supposed to improve our lives? If only we would forsake the pursuit of fixations and replace the void with internal gibberations. I do not think so.

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    "HEr green plastiC wateringcan for her fake chineserubberplant in the fake plastic earth, that she bought from a rubber man in a town full of rubber PlanS to get rid of itself,- it wears her out. SHe lives with a broken man, a cracked polystyreneman who just crumbles and burns. He used to do surgery for girls in the eighties but GRAVITY always wins and it wears him out. She looks like the real thing. She tastes like the real thing, my fake plastic love. But I Can't Help The Feeling. I Could Blow Through The Ceiling. If I Just Turn And RUN. and it wears me out. If i could be who you wanted all the time.." - Radiohead, fake plastic trees.

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    People have often asked me what the word "gibberation" actually means. Have a look at the descirption below the title of this blog at the top of the page in case you have not already seen it. Well, think of it this way. It is a so-called clever attempt of mine to combine the words "gibberish" (rapid and incoherent talk, chatter) and "aberration" (a deviation from the normal or typical, NOT mental derangement oh no) to create an eye-catching term. Makes the readers want to come back again and again and again or not at all. If you know what I mean. That is what gibberations are all about.

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    Amazing piece of art
    (enlarge)
    Alright so my seven year-old son Maarten has turned out to be a real prodigy, an amazing artist. One evening when it was time for him to go to bed, I could not find him anywhere. I made it up the stairs to the attic room. There he was hard at work and concentrating behind the computer, making a very curious drawing using the simple Paintbrush program that comes with Windows. What was he thinking? What creative thoughts arose and combined to cause him to make all of this? What does it mean? With such a simple tool, he was able to figure out how to make an amazing piece of art. Probably sounds like I am bragging, but surely I am not at all. Check it out and judge for yourself. Keywords: colorful, repetitive, faces, bright, lines at right corners.
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    Late in the afternoon and I was driving back from the shopping mall where I had just purchased yet another Radiohead cd. Around five in the afternoon it is already dark, dark enough that my headlights were on and I was driving extra carefully. When I looked both ways I knew it was okay to leave the parking lot, or that is what I thought. I drove out and slammed on my breaks before even realizing it. Some kid on his bike almost crashed head on and swerved off to the side. His blond-haired girlfriend was sitting on the back, and she jumped off with a start. Stupid idiots! They had not turned on their bicycle light and that is why I had not seen them. Dammit you [#$%@] watch out [%$@*&] dummies! My adrenaline (a hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to stress, trade name Adrenalin, stimulates autonomic nerve action) was pumping and I become unbelievably irate, cussing out loud. Strange, I could have killed them and I was mad. I should have been thankful that they escaped injury. Could go on living. Grow up and get married. Have tons of children, future leaders of the world. Yes, I had changed the course of history thanks to my quick instincts. Nature at its best, not quite under my control but to some small insignificant degree affected by my physical reactions. A sense of relief. Then I drove home, went upstairs to write this entry. Listening to the new cd. Thinking that I am some fine writer exaggerating the actual situation in order to have something to write about.

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    Information

    This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

    So far this blog contains no less than 2288 entries and as many as 1877 comments.

    Important events

    Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

    Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

    Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

    Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

    My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

    First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.