Friday, November 28, 2008

The freshmen...

Well today I had a funny topic but this song jumped into my head, and well I had to talk about it. Age brings several things, namely experience. This is somewhat of an abstract concept when we are young. It is not that we don't understand it, but we simply don't really understand its value. Therefore when we are told how important it is, we simply disregard it, after all we know better. The absolute knowledge is a young indicator, and although I am one of those people that still acts will a lot of hints of absolute knowledge, I can say that age does provide me we better insight on which situations it is acceptable to do so.
"When I was young I knew everything", something very exaggerated? Perhaps, but how well did you think you knew yourself? And did you? We are all more idealistic when young, and become more cynical with time. The world shapes us to be smart, or at least for those of us who survive better than others. Don't take this the wrong way, but how did you make friends when you were young? How about now? I can picture some of you saying it is quite different, but think about how different is it? More suspicious? Why is that? Because you have bigger knowledge about the world perhaps? A better understanding of how wrong things can go?
"For the life I cannot remember what made us think that we were wise and we never compromised...", can you? The simplicity of being young, of only seeing the potential, living on expectations, like freshmen...
Freshmen are full of expectations and dreams, time provides the sad realizations of life. Don't get me wrong life is not sad, or at least it doesn't have to be. What I mean is things are how they are, and a freshmen can't see things for what they are but for what he expects them to be. As usual we are our own worst enemies, hoping too much kills even the best things in our lives, and this realization comes with age, you learn and if you are smart adapt to it... And the cycle continues...
Sometimes I feel the need not to know but knowing, have the experience without having it. Like right now I am pretty sure that the future me could kick my ass into shape, but only because I am living through this period... The answer will come, one way or the other, but you have to wait for it... In the mean time you can always reminisce about your previous time as a freshmen...

P.S.- Take a break and look at the lyrics in the video...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

O pastor (the pastor)...

In a day that my football team is humiliated, I too feel with them, as such I want to share a song with you, it will be a quick post but I'll translate the simplicity of these lyrics, which I think wont make justice to the song. Listen and feel...

Ai que ninguém volta (Ai = Hard realisation, pain)
(Ai that nobody returns)
ao que já deixou
(to what one has left behind)
ninguém larga a grande roda
(nobody is detached from the big wheel)
ninguém sabe onde é que andou
(nobody knows where one self has been)

Ai que ninguém lembra
(Ai that nobody remembers)
nem o que sonhou
(not even what one has dreamed)
(e) aquele menino canta
(and that kid sings)
a cantiga do pastor
(the song of the pastor)

Ao largo
(In the wide space)
ainda arde
(it still burns)
a barca
(the naval ship)
da fantasia
(of fantasy)
e o meu sonho acaba tarde
(and my dream ends late)
deixa a alma de vigia
(leaves my soul on watch)
Ao largo
(In the wide space)
ainda arde
(it still burns)
a barca
(the naval ship)
da fantasia
(of fantasy)
e o meu sonho acaba tarde
(and my dream ends late)
acordar é que eu não queria.
(waking up is what i didn't want.)

Doesn't make sense? Well I feel sad I don't have to always make sense...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Robots and beyond...

Well this post is a bit late because yesterday I had to leave in a rush, nevertheless the promised post is here. This is not really my research topic, but it is a topic within my skill set. The fact that I am talking about this is simply because I spent yesterday discussing the matter, and finding solutions for a given problem involving robots.
So lets start how I start my classes on the matter, robots are as dumb as the program that they are running, so for those of you who think robots are intelligent think again. The robot is a piece of hardware which has the potential to execute tasks, some are more complex that others. The key aspect to determine the flexibility of a robot is how many degrees of freedom does it have. What does this mean? Well basically it means in how many axis can the robot move on. A simple example is a Cartesian robot that moves on the "X" axis and "Y" axis, thus having 2 degrees of freedom. If you can rotate on the "X" axis as well then you have 3 degrees of freedom. It seems more complicated that it really is, since normally we don't go above 6 degrees of freedom for articulated robots. These are the robots based on the human arm. A cool exercise is to determine where you have you joints in the arm and determine why you have 6 degrees of freedom, but this is a exercise for geeky people ;P.
Before moving away from the basics I should mention kinematics, robots use kinematics to execute their movement. What this means is that there is a complex mathematical model behind the each movement, however this is not taken into account unless you are planing trajectories. Normally you "tell" the robot to go to a position, and the robot control using kinematics gets the robot to go there. Why do we need kinematics? Well basically when you are moving 6 joints to reach a point, all joints affect each others movements, thus they have to be compensating for it towards reaching the given point. If you are curious to understand more about this you can google it ;P.
Now that we cover the very basics, I can introduce the problems I was handling yesterday. So different robot manufactures use different control algorithms and different ways to interface with the robot. This cases a problem when you are integrating a robot into a assembly line, since there is no guaranty that it will operate with the control structure you are using. In fact all equipment in the line has this problem, thus why integration ends up being more expensive than the actual equipment in the line. To try and tackle this we are using a "plug and produce" concept, which is based on the computer "plug and play". For those who don't know anything about this, basically it is the concept that you plug for example your MP3 player to the computer and it works. The difference is the USB standard interface doesn't really exist. Sounds simple just create an interface, right? Wrong, the problem is that in assembly the equipment has different needs thus requires different and complex interfaces, plus the fact that manufactures want to keep their market share, so the collaboration between competing companies is hard. But I am going of topic here.
For the robots, the suppliers provide little insight on the robots control, and as such makes it hard to do what we are trying to do, which is to create a rapper around the whole unit and provide automatic reprogramming of it. To achieve this we need to interface directly with the robots commands, but the how to extrapolate this into a common control structure? Well mapping is crucial, like the drivers are crucial in your computer, when you don't have the drivers you can plug in all you want because you wont be able to operate it. Drivers come from the mappings and the creation of models, which is part of what we do. Also we want to take this to the next level which is the automatic reprogramming of it. What does this mean, well it means that there would be a generic software that would provide the tools to deal with your MP3 player, but instead of you installing it from your Mp3 player manufacture, you would have a standardize one that would work with any kind of MP3 players. I guess this is enough to give you some insight on the sort of stuff I sometimes have to think about ;P.
I hope it wasn't too boring, thanks for reading ;P...

Monday, November 24, 2008

To write or not to write?

So today I'll write a old style post, no title to start with and seeing where the words take me. The thing is I've spent the whole day not writing what I am suppose to be writing, at this rate I'll never finish the bloody paper. Right maybe I should point that out, I am writing a conference paper, which shouldn't be a big problem. A conference paper doesn't need to be, lets say perfect. It is the lower class publication, the first stone some might say, the direction of the research, preliminary findings etc.
I have enough material for more than one conference paper, I have enough material even for one journal paper, which is the high end. But the fact of the matter is, I can bring myself to write it. I know people say writing is hard, because it depends on the mood, some days you write nothing some days you write loads of pages. I have experienced this before when writing my progress report, but them I was more lost about it, here I know what to do but I don't. It pisses me off, because it is only my fault. I have the time, I have the ideas, but the words don't come to me. Actually that is not even true because once I leave the office I start thinking of it, what needs to be written, how to argue it, etc. As soon as i sit down anything goes for an excuse not to work on it. It might be that I don't think it is good enough for a paper, I guess everybody thinks that, but it is not even that, I've discussed it with others including my supervisor and it is fine. SO WHAT THE FUCK. Some frustration obviously, mainly because this makes me wonder about the whole PhD shit, if I should be doing it. This is a issue that rises every time I write something for the PhD, but now it is even more present, it is like now it is PhD time but I can't focus in it. When your life is going well this sort of shit just makes you feel like shit, it is not that you can't do it, it is simply you can't bother to do it. So how do you get motivation to do what you must, when it is about writing and inspiration? If you find out let me know, I'll also keep you posted.
Writing is the art of bullshiting in a coherent way, when there are no lifelines like seeing peoples expressions, you need to anticipate questions and lead the reader toward what you want to say. It has to make sense, be appealing, it has to flow, it has to sound good, it has to look it as well. The thing is sometimes you are not aware of what you want to say, I mean not in general terms, but in concrete terms you want to say a lot, but you are unsure of what it your ultimate point. Sometimes this comes out of writing, basically you had not point to begin with, but at the end well... I am writing a post from nothing ;P
Anyways I am rambling, tomorrow my post will be about technology, whatever I managed to write tomorrow will be summarized in a post that is a promise. I am better at promises, or so I hope...
Anyway this is the end of the post, so the title should be "To write or not to write?" that is indeed the question.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Feeling adventurous? Can I interest you in some Chinese Cuisine...

Always distrust this question, and if followed my the next statement beware bad omens expect you ;P. OK I might be exaggerating a tiny bit, but first some background knowledge.
There is a Chinese restaurant where I leave, but instead of the traditional western style Chinese places, which have a sort of westernized Chinese food (meaning the flavor is somewhat adjusted :P), I went to this Chinese Chinese place. So you have an idea of the place, there is only a sign in the road only in Chinese (thus I have no clue what it says) in front of a really dodgy alley. How dodgy can an alley be? Well you can only fit a person at a time in the gap between buildings, no lights, so pretty dodgy. At one time I went in, realized it was a restaurant and ate a quite good meal. Bare in mind that there where only Asians around. At that time I ate stuff that I more or less knew, which leaves me with the first advice:
- Don't order things which you have no idea what it is (same goes for eating them ;P).
I went back to this place a couple of times, exploring more and more, and my view of the quality of the place was decreasing exponentially. Until yesterday hit the top bottom (which is a weird English expression, top bottom ;P).
So I got this, well some might call it fondue, but honestly it is a crime to even suggest this comparison, so lets call it the soap on the hot plate. This comes with raw ingredients for you to add into the soap, and then you can fish them out of the pot. Doesn't sound too bad so far right? Well if it did I wouldn't have ordered it :P. The ingredients where vegetables, fish related things (yes things is the right adjective :P), meat (or so it seemed, the taste was a different story) and other things which I still don't know what they are. Why didn't you ask, you might wonder. Well the people serving barely spoke English, thus that wasn't really an option :P.
The result, well see for yourself...

In case you don't think it is too bad, well let me say that I thank the existence of Coca Cola, it is the same pretty much everywhere, and it saves you in these silly adventures. It was so bad that I was full after eating a bit, but really I felt full, like my body was telling me " dude it is OK, we can cope without food for a week if it is necessary, and from what you are eating, IT IS NECESSARY" ;P

Don't get this post wrong you should try different things, but please, please follow the next advice:
- Take a native (In this case a Chinese) you can trust ;P

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Introducing Catherine Tate...

Today I needed a bit of humor, and so I decided to share one of Britain's comedian Catherine Tate, plus you get a taste of the Chav's English ;P

And even the prime minister ;P

Monday, November 17, 2008

Is there such thing as trivial tasks?

This is the sort of question that you ask on the days you have a lot of trivial things to do, and as such you think it won't take much of your time, after all they are trivial... And suddenly it is the end of the day and you did nothing besides the trivial things you had planed for the day. Maybe this only happens to me, but today I came with a big working mood, at the end of the day I have all the trivial things done, which kind feels too little. But the fact of the matter is, didn't surf the web, read the news only once, and the day is gone. I gave my classes, prepared them before hand obviously, had lunch and went to the bank, reply to some emails, fill in my Sweden expenses claims, did my moms coursework and now doing my post. Seriously I don't get where the time went...
Tasks are trivial, but that doesn't make the time pass in a trivial manner does it? Time is that constant that passes regardless of you, but it is such a pain in the ass that sometimes it gives you the perception that it passes faster and slower. When things are good, we have the perception of time flying by (like today, good working mood), when thing are shit, well time lags... I don't know maybe it is just me needing to complain today...
To answer the question, there are trivial tasks but their are bound by the same time constraints as the regular tasks (I don't want to go into complex ones ;P).

Friday, November 14, 2008


Inertia is the tendency that bodies have to maintain their state of motion or rest. In other words if something is moving it has a tendency to keep moving, and if something is at rest (no motion) it has the tendency to stay that way. This is a basic rule of physics that most fail to realize but all assume their consequences. How? If you are standing in a moving bus as soon as it stops you have a tendency to continue moving, thus you need to grab something not to fall. Same thing goes when it start moving again, but this time the opposite happens, you tend to stay at rest.
Physics, this marvel that allows us to understand the concepts and give then names...
Why the physics class? Some of you might be wondering, it is not like I normally bore people the science geeky stuff (or so I hope). The answer is simple, although inertia is a quite known concept applied to the physical world, its relevance in the social behavior is somewhat more obscure (At least in my limit knowledge, I don't know this bridge has ever been done).
I think inertia goes way beyond the physical measurable world, it is a concept that is also present in human behaviour. In fact I think it is something you can't avoid in human behaviour, it is always in the background of our actions or inactions.
Before I go any further, remember that inertia is just a tendency, thus it can be nullified quite easily, at least in the physical world, after all we don't really fall while standing on the bus, do we (Some do but come on ;P)? I stress this because obviously when there is a will inertia has little grasp over the actions and inactions. When you really want something it is not a mere tendency that can stop you, besides after you start it works in your favour ;P. But I am getting ahead of myself...
This tendency is all around us, workaholics can't stop because they are moving thus have a tendency to stay that way. People that never worked have a problem starting, because there is a tendency not to. Starting a new project is always tricky, but working on it is not (at least usually ;P). Personally it is hard for me to start writing for example, but as soon as get going stooping is the problem. I could go on and on but the fact of the matter is examples are all around us...
What I want to do with this post is to say, beware of inertia so not to confuse it with dislike of doing what you need to do, beware of inertia when you feel tired so that you can see the big picture and rest. Simply beware of inertia and remember it is a tendency not a certainty.

P.S.- But I must say fighting it is quite hard, I normally say "A inercia e fudida" freely translates into "Inertia is a bitch". Normally I only consider it while in non motion ;P.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Macbeth : Under health and safety regulations...

So yesterday I went to the theater to watch the Shakespeare's classic Macbeth. Nothing worth noting, besides my thoughts on the play. I think it is as expect a play for different times, and not so much for the language (it is funny how much you pick up living in the UK for 2 years) but more for the content. It is a good story told in the wrong way considering the last 300 years improvements on entertainment, plot and character depth. Something nice to check once, but way to long to check again. Some other Shakespeare plays work better even in today's time, but Macbeth is not one of them.
I am not doing a more detailed analysis on the play because there was drama at the theater, although Shakespeare has very little to do with it. Near the end of the play the lights went off, obviously the actors carried on acting. Suddenly a women in a very stressed manner starts talking and saying could you please evacuate the building as soon as possible. She had a very stress voice like something terribly wrong happen. The people started evacuating in a unusually fast manner, that is for English standards. People gathered outside, where at least one had a major panic attack. People wondering what was wrong, no information which seemed weird considering the stressed woman's evacuation order.
Finally the said for us to go back in, where they same woman said there was a blackout and that was the reason for the evacuation, ending her statement with "better safe than sorry".
Honestly I can't even begin to comment this, as such I leave it at your discretion to assume what I think of the whole think. But I can't resist saying "Oh no! No electricity? How can we survive?"...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To the Facebook'ers...

Hello, so today the topic of the post is Facebook. For those few, if any, that aren't familiar with it, this is one of these social networks sites, that as all of them, has grown beyond its original intentions. But I am getting ahead of myself...
I've learn to live with this tool, after all in England you don't exist socially without Facebook, or so I hear... Before I go any further with this I want to emphasize that this tool has its benefits, and can be extremely useful, or I would not be using it. Namely the tagging of photos, organizing things, keeping in contact with friends of old, etc.
But how do you react to a poke? What the fuck is a poke anyway, it is like when people got mobile phones and just missed called people for no reason. I am bored, hmmm, what can I do, ahh I know, lets miss call someone. Why? What was the point, I am thinking of you while I am bored... Honestly some people. But moving on, this trend passed, and now poke is the new thing, I have nothing to say but I want to mess with you. Honestly if you poke me in real life I will probably punch you, so what can i do to a virtual poke? Poke back? Well I noticed this becomes a never ending cycle, so FUCK POKING. By the way it should be more like in MSN, a nudge, it sounds better,but never mind that.
I want to say why I am doing this post now, during the weekend someone told me it is not real until it is on Facebook... WHAT THE FUCK? Don't you think you are taking this Facebook too far, when a relationship is only official when it is on Facebook. Friends and family who cares, Facebook is the official record... Seriously people that act like this are scary, like truly scary...
I want to say for these people, THERE IS A LIFE BEYOND FACEBOOK, use it for its positives but please realize at the end of the day it is just a tool. Most of my closest friends don't have a Facebook account, so what?
Now for the final one, what the fuck is up with all of these applications, zombies, vampires, likeness test. Who gives a fuck? Seriously? And even if you do, well WHY BOTHER OTHERS WITH IT?
So to all you Facebook'ers, JUST CHILL, at the end of the day who gives a fuck? Use it, but wisely ;P check these out...

and the last the Facebook Anthem

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sweden post...

Sorry for the absence, was in Liverpool for the weekend and Sweden after that.
Just wanted to drop a quick line on Sweden, as a nordic country I always assume it has nothing much to see, well as usual on such matters, this prejudice is wrong.
The Romans had a saying about people from the north, that the land was so barbarian that it produce no civilized people. Well nothing could be farther from the truth.
Stockholm seems to be a great city, unfortunately I was too busy and had too little time but I will definitely go back there. Check it out...

It is a small post, but it is a post worth mentioning...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Take a look around...

Take a look around, perhaps you'll find more than I see lately. The simplicity of being is bound to contracts, without comparing things it is nearly impossible to determine what is to exist. I think therefore I am, doesn't quite cut it :P.
When you compare you enable yourself to see beyond what you feel, you force logic into the picture. The biggest problem in the world is always our own. Although rationally we might dismiss this statement, but the fact of the matter is we live by it, regardless if you think it to be true or not. What pains us most is what we can feel right now, this reminds me of the movie Major Payne, let me see if i find it...

Not the best find, but it is still funny, the part that I care about for this post is, if you have a head ache and want it to stop, simply break a finger, I bet the head ache will be the furthest thing from your mind ;P. This is a funny way of putting things, but the fact of the matter is when i am hungry, I don't think there are people that haven't ate for days in the world, I think its been a couple of hours since my last meal.
Now I got lost on what I wanted to say, LOL, great ;P.
The logical mind might tell us how great our life is, while the little aches of it prevent us from fully enjoying it. It is a stupid affliction of the human condition, we need problems. This reminds me of the matrix and yet I could find the transcripts of it but it is when Agent Smith reveals to Morpheus that there was another matrix that preceded the one currently in place. In the first matrix human life was perfect but it was rejected by man (according to Agent Smith) so the second matrix world included suffering. This is a lot like the Bible's record of Adam and Eve (the first man and woman created) who defied God and were then cast out of the perfect Garden of Eden and into a world of sin and pain.
The fact of the matter is, if thing are too perfect we do have a tendency to distrust them...
On the up side, when we do look around we can, even if it is just for a bit, we can see how things are, not binding ourselves to our own existence. When the good comes to bad, the bad comes to good, but im a live my life like i should (like i should).
Which brings me to the end of this post that concludes with life is a lesson, you'll learn it when you are through.

I can't resit giving emphasis to :

does anybody really know the secret
or the combination for this life
and where they keep it
its kinda sad when u dont know the meanin
but everything happens for a reason (everything happens for a reason)
i dont even know what i should say
cause im an idiot
a loser, microphone abuser
i analyze every second i exist
beatin on my mind every second with my fists
and everybody wanna run (wanna run)
everybody wanna hide from the gun (hide from the gun)
you can take a ride through this life if you want
but you cant take the edge off the knife (no sir)
and now you want your money back (money back)
but your denied cause your brains fried from the sack
and there aint nothin i can do
cause life is a lesson
you learn it when your through

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Remember, Remember...

...the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

It seems a nice way to start the post of congratulations to all the US citizens for their new President Elect, I congratulate specially the American youth which demonstrated that age is not crucial for having political views, stands, etc.
It is always been something that trouble me, the fact that the younger generations do not care in masses, basically you find the one or two odd people that look into politics, that have passionate views and so on, but the masses stand clear of it. People do have an opinion, don't get me wrong, but they don't seem to bother enough about it. As such this turnout on the American election is even more impressive, I just hope it goes beyond the US.
Well the 5th is a good date for the post election, Guy Fawkes day here in the UK, bound fire day. What is this? Well people gather at night around a huge fire, and just hang around there and watch fireworks. It is simply a symbolic day, not even a bank holiday, the symbol? Well I leave you with a nice speech from V for Vendetta which is self explanatory...

I do think this 5th of November will not be forgot ;)...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I was going to be a bit more descriptive on the title, but anything I combined with unease didn't quite cut it, thus I go for the feeling more at hand even though it says nothing (well I didn't call it towards nothing for nothing ;P).
This is quite a strange time in my life, but as usual I don't want to focus on the particular aspects of my life. I rather try to create abstractions that reflect my life which might be of better use for others.
The feeling of unease is a quite tricky feeling, you don't feel bad per say, but it prevents you from feeling good. This feeling triggers doubt in your mind, which cases you to question, which cases you to stop, which could be potentially destructive (the hesitation issue mentioned in a previous post).
Being unease might have a source, or it might be a generic feeling, you might be unease about something, for example work, but you might be generically unease due to your current circumstances, which at the end of the day might be just feeling unease about several things.
Unease cases you to think about things that you already consider, rethinking is a tricky business, if conclusions where there, they where there for a reason even if you can't see it clearly. Something you should consider before reconsidering.
I guess I am putting out guidelines for my own unease :P.
This feeling also cases you some insomnia, which reminds me I got a comment on my Insomniac post. Which actually fits perfectly with this topic of unease. The fact of the matter is one tends to be quite defensive in life, if we don't protected ourselves who will? The feeling of unease threatens our safety zone, our comfort zone, well it might just be that this zone has changed because you changed, but you just can't see it. The clairvoyance that time provides can not be rushed, thus we need to live life with questions that time will soon provide the answers for. Our fears are realized or not through time, time this concept that enables all existence, sometimes a foe sometimes a friend, you can rush time (Well theoretically you can but that is physics ;P) and at the end of the day would you want to?

Now the music in my mind not for what I feel, but the wider picture... and perhaps also for me... enjoy...

Monday, November 3, 2008


Hey dear readers, after the usual weekend break on posts (or at least usual nowadays ;P) I am back with a post I should have wrote on Saturday. I do have a lot to talk about but this was the first topic I had and it is the easiest to write about.
I had my first open water dive on Saturday, went until 12.5 meters which is quite nice. I am doing the dive course in England which probably isn't a brilliant idea considering the temperatures, but the 11 degrees of the water was quite OK considering outside it was 7 degrees ;P. Seriously it is fine, I had a semi-dry suite and it was fine, no need even for a dry suite. The break between dives is a bit of the hard part, but never mind that, lets talk about the dive.
Don't know if you read my post called "The dive", that is all still valid, but I have to add some stuff because this was an open water dive.
The danger of diving does sink in, I mean in a pool, you can dive without any equipment, but here well at 12 meters there is no way you don't feel the danger not doing things right. So you have an idea, you don't see the surface when you look up ;P. As the dive progresses you see fish, the simplicity of water life, the silence, some reeks, and suddenly you feel the peacefulness, feeling weightless, the cold water doesn't feel that cold, but rather feels like a natural contact with you body reminding you that you exist, that this is real, that you are real.
Anyway I am getting lost here, not a good sign for the rest of the day. What I want to say is, diving is a good way of relaxing, or better a awesome way to do so.
It is a sport, you do get very tired after doing it, but also very light, when you take the equipment out, take a hot shower, have some food because you'll be starving, and after a nice relaxed sleep...

Something at Stoney Cove where I went :

P.S.- If you are thinking I am crazy for doing this in the UK, well if I can dive here I can dive anywhere ;P