Monday, November 15, 2010

MIT speedcubing competition

Me and Jason attended the speedcubing contest at MIT. Unfortunately, both of us performed much worse than our usual times. The 39.77 in the third picture was my best registered time, but is actually worse than my usual non-competition average. Apparently I'm not good at cubing under pressure. On the bright side I now have a "Time Machine".

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Some pictures from Harvard

Monday, March 02, 2009

My neighborhood, part I

Since my last day at work is tomorrow I thought it was time to post some images from where I have been living all this time. The main reason for the delay is mostly that the neighbourhood is not exactly scenic. But here goes...

The dolphin bridge

From My neighbourhood

This bridge crosses my local river supposedly one of, if not the most polluted river in Japan.


From My neighbourhood

Noisy car with loudspeakers, yelling sales slogans.This is just one of many cars/loudspeakers that patrol my neigbourhood. There's also at least one other advertisment truck as well as an octopus bus and a noodle car. Each playing their distinct shrieking tune or pitching sale slogans.

Local shrine

From My neighbourhood

Note the Alice in Wonderland wall.

Local bowling alley

From My neighbourhood

Haven't been there yet though.

The Great Garou
From My neighbourhood

From My neighbourhood

Not been here either, but planning to go tomorrow. Pachinko is certainly one of the more Japanese pastimes there is. The delay in exploring this particular aspect of the culture is due to the somewhat intimidating prospect of entering such a place. It is shrouded in smoke and the noise is overwhelming even by Japanese standards.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

While few dare ponder from whence they came, I imagine that it went down a little something like this...

Super-Boss: "The researcher have been looking a bit down lately."

Humble-Underling: "Could it be because they are working 10 hours, 7 days a week for virtually no pay?"

SB: "Nonsense. They just lack a bit of stimuli. Something arty perhaps? A new voice for the vending machine maybe? No, it has to be a bit more kawaii. Hayaku! Underling, what do scientist find cute?"

HU: "Ehm. Bunnies are cute..."

SB: "Shrewdly observed. Bunnies are indeed cute, but what's even cuter than bunnies?"

HU: "Uhm."

SB: "Pink bunnies of course!"

On the prowl
From Bunnies

Hiding in the hallway
From Bunnies

Secret breeding ground
From Bunnies

Yes, these are from my workplace. They suddenly appeared one day all over the building.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PhD's are bad for you.

Apparently 10% of my peers have considered suicide (at least at Berkeley) and 57% "felt so depressed they had a hard time functioning":

Grad school fosters depression

Unfortunately, you need subscription for the actual article. Considering that frustration is the most common feeling experienced on any given day I am not altogether surprised. I obviously have some way to go before reaching the average level though. Well, back to work I guess...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Today I heard the voice of God.

It is not the first time, that was about a month ago. Around 22:30 on a Wednesday (God is very memorable). Having arrived from work about an hour earlier I was pretty tired and decided to watch an episode of Flight of the Conchords ("formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo a capella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo") in bed.

Suddenly, a booming voice erupted from my kitchen. To put this in perspective "my kitchen" is also my hallway and it is not at any time possible to get more than 4 meters away from it unless leaving the apartment. In bed this distance is considerably shorter.

Naturally, when someone you are not aware of starts yelling in your apartment, there follows a short interval of confusion. The voice however, oblivious to my panic continued its thundering monologue. God, in his wisdom, wanted me to know that the elevator was now in order. At least that was my interpretation of God's message. You see, even if addressing a supposedly "international" student house, God's preferred and often only method of conversation is Japanese. He is also surprisingly loud, appears to live in the ceiling and his Word is preceded by beeping noises one can only assume is the celestial choir.

God only knows why it is imperative to inform me about the status of the elevator before I go to sleep.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pictures from P's visit. Trip to Sapporo Snow Festival as well as some Tokyo scenery.