Saturday, December 19, 2009

To blog or not to blog...

That is the question...
Hey world, its been a while, a lot of untold stories, theories, adventures, life in general kept going despite of my disconnection with the blogsphere.
Honestly I don't even have a reason for this break simply could be bother to write stuff, either for the guilt of not witting much for my thesis, or because I didn't think it relevant to waste time on posts that matter very little anyway... Regardless of it blogging became a task, and that is something I think defeats it purpose, we should write and share when it feels write, true that at times it is good to force ourselves to write about hard topics, but at times breaks are positive, you can enjoy things without analysing them so much, which is inevitably what one does when writing about things.
As for a small update, life is OK, still stuck in the PhD life, with all the advantages and disadvantages of such life. I've been a bit more disconnected from the world than usual (not just from blogging), the thesis missing gaps do take more time than most might expect. All in all I can't complain about life, but the Portuguese in me tells me I shouldn't say that :P
I am back in Portugal for my Christmas break, should be fun...

And that is it for this first re-approach to blogging, I might write something very soon, or not, regardless of that, thanks for reading ;)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Growing Old Is Getting Old...

Came across this one in a tv series, at the time I thought nice song I should get it...
Once I realised the title and the lyrics I thought, how pertinent ;)
It is a great song, something that pushed me towards getting old, to write my pending Japan posts so I could share this one. At a time of choice, fear is always present, and has in dune "fear is the mind killer". The mind plays numb, makes you redundant, until it is out of your reach. You see it and yet... Well not the point of the post, enjoy the song, and get a bit older, in time and wisdom...



So we all
Are growing old
And it's getting old

Pressure on
Our hollow bones
And the (varicose)?

Suddenly
We decompose
But we're not alone

So we all
Are growing old

Maybe we're sealed in silence
And maybe we feel a guidance
Maybe your own devices
Will keep you afraid and cold
But I

Memorized
Your smile lines
From left to right

(Candlelight)?
And childlike
Reaction time

We're allowed
To expire

So we all
Are growing old

Pull out the fear of silence
And put out the need for guidance
And put out your own devices
And don't be afraid of the cold

And we sing, sing, sing.
Fight, we fight, fight.
We cry, cry, cry.
We slide, slide, we slide into the light.

We sing, fight, we cry.
We slide, slide, we slide into the light.

Maybe we're sealed in silence
And maybe we feel a guidance
Maybe your own devices
Will keep you afraid and cold, well.

Pull out the fear of silence
Put out the need for guidance
Put out your own devices
And don't be afraid of the cold
Afraid of the cold
Afraid of the time
You've got no where to go but here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Japan - day 5 (tokyo and toilets)

So last day in Gifu, I had to take this picture...



Where would you say this picture was taken? LOL I guess the title of this post gives it away :P yes the toilet...



Why would you need that there? I mean you are taking a shit and need a beer? Honestly don't get it.

Moving on to Tokyo, city of lights, city of confusion, city of chaos... Exaggeration? Not really, as an example in Tokyo the public transports do not belong to one company, which is good right? competition? Wrong, you end up needing different tickets to get places, and we are not event talking of different types of transportation, were are talking same type different companies. Some lines are for one others for another, a complete mess. It is quite hard to navigate there :P.
But overall it is a interesting town, however I didn't get to see much...





Finally the last toilet, check it out...



This one is awesome, so if you press the button a get of water hits your ass hole, but that is not the coolest part, it hits it regardless of weird you sit on the toilet. It has some sort of hole tracking system, LOL, I swear I tried different positions it is just funny. Someone told me after that they spend millions on this, money well spend, right? ;P

Japan - day 4 (last day of conference...)

Firstly let me apologise for the late post, it has been over a month since I left japan and I haven't posted the final days, for that I am sorry. For that and the fact that some stuff I will forget to say. Nevertheless I will try.
So for the last day in Gifu, another conference day, plus the conference dinner, some shopping and a few curiosities.
So the conference was nothing special, but during the day I found out about this...



Good that I could find a video, since I wasn't able to go to that event because it was on Saturday. However I need to share this with you, a bird that catches the fish, how cool is that? Cormorant Fishing on the Nagara River (ぎふ長良川の鵜飼 Gifu Nagaragawa no Ukai?) has played a vital role in the history of the city of Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Throughout its long history, it evolved from a means to live, to a profitable industry, to a major tourist draw. It runs from May 11 to October 15 of each year (except when the river level is high and during the Harvest Moon). for more on this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormorant_Fishing_on_the_Nagara_River

Moving on so after the proceedings there was a toyota automation special event where I got to see this live, check it out:(since my videos came out dark here youtube :P)



Same song and everything :P. Cool isn't it, they have a full band, and are working on a robot to play the violin. I could talk about the future and how it looks from the roadmap of toyota, but let me just say, science fiction is coming :P

Last but not least the conference dinner, it was great, nice venue, OK food(that wasn't the best, from UK standards it was brilliant but still :P), nice people, nice traditional puppet show. That reminds...

So you might not know this, but Japanese researchers in the field of robots are mostly on the humanoid robots, most of their papers, and they are considered to be in the vanguard of such systems. Well from looking at the puppet show I think they are obsessed with it for hundred of years. Each puppet need like 4-5 people to operate it, really complicated control if you know what I mean ;P

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Japan - day 3 (Extremely developed, but poorly developed)

So at the beginning of day 4 I am right on schedule to write about day 3.
In the morning of day 3 I when up for breakfast, in the 9th floor of the hotel and saw the first view from above of the city.





As you can see, this justifies the title. I am very impressed with the chaos of the city, the randomness of things, the sheer density of the buildings. This is a very different culture, but we'll get to that.

So I had my presentation, it went fine, managed to keep it under 15 minutes. The questions were easily answered.



After I had the most Chinese food in an supposedly Italian restaurant :P If they thing that is Italian food, OMG :P After some more presentations, the conference is very control driven thus my interest is not that high in most papers.
After this I went to the castle, or the Japanese version of a castle. The area has a lot of the traditional view for Japan, however with strange add ons, like plastic moulded to look like wood, from a distance might look ok, but up close well :P
The castle itself from the outside looks like a house, from the inside looks just like a tower.



Once inside you could see Japanese armour, weapons, etc. From the top you had a magnificent view, but what I like more, was the Portuguese connections ;P







And the view from the top...



A lot of pictures today :p Final picture is the view of the strange electric posts that would give any health and safety officer in the UK a heart attack





The final thought from this day is about food. Food is generally good, there is a lot of variety, and I still haven't eaten sushi or similar things. However the portions are small, cheap but small, and it is strange because the people always look at me and the other Europeans as weird for ordering so much food. The funny thing is, I have not eaten here and got full, just content ;P...

Japan - day 2 ( If it can go wrong...)

Hello, so day 2 in Japan and a bit late since today was the conference so yesterday I didn't have the mind to write anything.
So yesterday I went to the registration of the conference and I got the package for the conference, with the recites and all of that. So when coming back to town by taxi, I left these in the car. After 20 minutes I realised that I left this in the car, so I ran to the taxi place to see if I could find the car driver. After looking for this in about 20 cars I realised it was not there. As you can imagine I was starting to panic. The other drivers started to talk to me, and I tried to explain what happened. I had a recite from the taxi which helped a lot. After 10 minutes of trying to talk and explaining with gestures what was my problem, these very kind, patient and helpful drivers managed to call someone that got the driver to come there. The funny thing was when he got there, he acted like it was his fault. Seriously very stressful, however showing the niceness of the Japanese that having nothing to do with it helped me :)

Another interesting thing I realised on the second day was the toilet of my hotel room, in the mean time there are more things but from the second day I register the phone in the toilet just in front of the toilet seat, which has not numbers to dial, it is just for picking up. When I actually thought about it, this one seems useful, however the future ones wont :P I will take pictures and share them soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Japan - day 1 (Lost in Translation...)

Hello world, it is my first time outside of Europe. Japan an old country with so much history and culture.
Well the intercontinental flight was quite ok, I was very lucky to get the front seats in the economy class, which proved to be very convenient for a 12hour flight. First and only tip for these flights get a sit at the corridor, NOT the window, because you will go to the toilet and if people are sleeping it might be a problem :P.
So I landed in Tokyo, it was quite easy to get the railway pass I needed plus the itinerary for my trip. Didn't see much, besides being extremely tired, it just looked like a lot of apartment buildings. So I went from the airport to the station after Tokyo, and then to Nagoya. In Nagoya I had to catch the local train to Gifu, which proved to be tricky, well not tricky but I felt lost in the train and was afraid that I missed my stop. Why? Well it was all in Japanese...
But I got here, finding the hotel was easy, however the reception of the hotel was another matter. So the entrance to the hotel has nothing except stuff in Japanese and the lifts. So I managed to deduce that the reception was at the 5th floor, yes the 5th, and so I went up.
When I got there, I got my room sorted easily enough, just showed the paper, and got the room, people are very nice here, but their English doesn't allow for big conversations.
Got to my room just to realise that the plug adaptor I bought didn't work, so I went to the reception to see if they had any. This was when I realised that even the guy the spoke better English had a lot of difficulties understanding, but once he did, he got me what I need.
After settling down in my room, I went for a walk and for dinner. Luckily I ran into a friend that is attending this conference, he was here since morning and was very happy to find a familiar face, and a common language :P
We decided to to got a local place, like real Japanese, clearly we did not think this through :P
We sat down, and the girl spoke no English, it was very funny the process of getting food. Strangely enough the food was great, their little English was way more than our Japanese, and despite being hard to get the food, we got it in the end :P
The last thing to mention is the tip, we wanted to give a tip and the girl insisted on us taking the money, which makes me wonder if tipping is not good in Japan... I will keep you posted on that.
So you think I am done? Well almost, so I got back to the hotel and I wanted to get internet, so asked at the reception, after talking for a bit, the guy decided to go to the computer and use the translation tool from yahoo, he wrote Japanese and I in English ;P Honestly I know it is funny but it was the best way to solve the communication problems :P After a few minutes I sorted my internet.
The film "lost in translation" took place in Japan, I can honestly see why ;)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Resort...

Interesting title that could be the start of a long post... However it is more of a trip down memory lane. Last Saturday I hear this song, which is from other days where the tune seemed to speak so clearly to me... And now, well some feelings are cyclical, hey have a way of making themselves relevant again... Different time this one, but it felt good to hear the rage...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who Moved My Cheese?

So today I want to share a small fable with you, hopefully it will give you something to think about at least. I read this story a couple of years ago, and found it brilliant in its simplicity and its truth. For some reason I forgot about it, and I think it is something that should always be present in our lives.

Quick mention of the characters, they all represent one attribute of people, so you might have a bit of all in you, but which one is more you? Well check the story and let me know... Be honest about it, all of them have their strengths and weaknesses, and economics is all about transforming one into the other, and treats into opportunities... Or so I've been told ;)

Anyway, enjoy the tale...

Who Moved My Cheese ?

Monday, August 24, 2009

The beach? Really? That's what you call it?...

Well a quick post about something that I've been meaning to post about for the last month. The Nottingham "beach", or so they called it. So a couple of months ago I got the council newsletter saying Nottingham will have a beach this summer, they order 300 tons of sand and a lot of stuff to build one in market square. Nottingham is in the middle of England, so at least 100 miles from a beach, again the use of the term beach for any part of the British cost can be a stretch (But that is another story).
So, when I read about it I was like "this can't be good". So here are the photos of the "beach"...





It is actualy not as bad as it seems, the place has a lot of movement, the bars are nice, nice all around except for one tinny little thing, the pond they use to simulate the sea, I meant seriously the kids go in there that water seems, well you can see from the picture...But the brits will be brits, one can just enjoy the show...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

9 crimes...

Today I was in a mood to share not just a song but a feeling, not so much a literal interpretation of its lyrics, but more on the criminal side of it. The lyrics made more sense in another time, but the song still makes me wonder about me and what is alright... So the question becomes this is your life, is that alright?

Leave me out with the waste
This is not what I do
It's the wrong kind of place
To be thinking of you
It's the wrong time
For somebody new
It's a small crime
And I've got no excuse

Is that alright?
Give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright?
If u don't shoot it how am I supposed to hold it
Is that alright?
Give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright
With you?

Leave me out with the waste
This is not what I do
It's the wrong kind of place
To be cheating on you
It's the wrong time
She's pulling me through
It's a small crime
And I've got no excuse

Is that alright?
I give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright?
If you dont shoot it, how am I supposed to hold it
Is that alright?
I give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright
Is that alright with you?

Is that alright?
I give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright?
If you don't shoot it, how am I supposed to hold it
Is that alright?
If I give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright
Is that alright with you?

Is that alright?
Is that alright?
Is that alright with you?
Is that alright?
Is that alright?
Is that alright with you?

No...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

White Shadows... Just something to think about...

Well two posts in one day seems strange, but I wanted to talk about this and it wasn't really related with the previous post, so a new post is my found solution.
I want to go through some words with you, feeling up for it? Well if not stop now ;P

When I was a young boy I tried to listen
And I wanna feel like that,
Little white shadows blink and miss them
Part of a system, I am

When I was a kid I used to look around me, more than listening I observed, I felt a bit like the odd one out, as a strange body in a blood stream where all bodies made sense, all had a purpose... The need for a purpose is a great part of who we are, or at least that is what I think. The need to feel it, not just know it, is what in fact makes us human, or my definition of human anyway... Don't get me wrong feeling is fundamentally human, however showing these feelings is strictly related to personality ;)
Time at the time seemed like a surreal concept for me, things and events made it so for me. All things that happen where radical, and erratic, thus I making me feel more out of place... However I was part of it...

If you ever feel like something's missing
Things you'll never understand,
Little white shadows sparkle and glisten,
Part of a system, a plan

And you think, and you reason, and you find answers and justifications for things, maybe stuff is missing, maybe you are simple too young to understand, I mean that was what people told me as answers too more complex questions... But was I really to young to understand, or simply too young to grasp all that was happening, all I need to capture and see... Could the master plan simply be elusive for a kid...

All this noise I'm waking up
All this space I'm taking up
All this sound is breaking up

The randomness of things that disturbed me... The questions, and questions, lack of reasons, the lack of insight...

Maybe you'll get what you wanted
Maybe you'll stumble upon it
Everything you ever wanted
In a permanent state

The "what ifs..." in my thought process, the scenarios, the possibilities, is there something I want? Perhaps I will realise it once I get it, or not, perhaps the answers is what I want, and time will give them to me...

Maybe you'll know when you see it
Maybe if you say it you'll mean it
And when you find it you'll keep it
In a permanent state, a permanent state

Maybe is the key word, it provides hope for the hopeless, provides possibilities for those who have none, but mainly the possibility for the dream of leaving this permanent state of not belonging...

When I was a young boy I tried to listen,
Don't you wanna feel like that?
You're part of the human race
All of the stars in the outer space,
Part of a system, a plan

All this noise I'm waking up
All this space I'm taking up
I cannot hear you're breaking up

Woaaooh

Maybe you'll get what you wanted
Maybe you'll stumble upon it
Everything you ever wanted
In a permanent state

Maybe you'll know when you see it
Maybe if you say it you'll mean it
And when you find it you'll keep it
In a permanent state, a permanent state

Swimmin' on a sea of faces
The tide of the human races, oh
An answer now is what I need
I see it in the new sun rising and
See it break on your horizon, oh
Come on love, stay with me

When I was a young boy... What about now? I am still that boy, wiser without wisdom, older without ageing (in my mind), truer without the truth, a real part of the system for other kids and yet still not belonging... Is this the truth? The system is simply the combination of non belonging parts together making it seem whole, look whole, a system made by individual humans that don't feel like they belong and yet form this completeness viewed from a kids eyes. The perfection of the imperfect joined together... Just something to think about...

Lesson on focusing...

Hello again, seems like every time I write here I need to apologise for the lack of posts, and while I always mean it, it seems I can't break the cycle of not writing.
The fact that I am at the end of my third year as a PhD student does help explain this, how could I lose time writing here, when I am having troubles writing for my PhD. This brings me to the point of this post, ever felt like you need to work but can't motivate yourself to do so? You sit in front of the computer and nothing comes out, you find excuses not to do it, talk with colleagues, read online news, search for random things, play games, in a word you procrastinate... Well if you relate to this I found a way to deal with it.
Go to a public place (I use Starbucks, but any coffee place should work ;)), no computer, just your required reading material, blank paper and something to write with. Force yourself to stay there, you will feel alone in a crowd, once this feeling sinks in you become aware that you are there doing nothing, thus you become self concious that other people might find that strange. I mean the Starbucks I use usually has a lot of couples there, if I don't work, well I feel like a stalker, and probably look like one :P. So I work, it is a way to try and force yourself to focus and to work, doesn't do wonders for motivation, but hey at least you work ;).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A late Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie review...

Quite a long post title, I wanted to write something, but nothing too insightful...
So for those freaks who don't know Harry Potter, well what planet are you on? This leads me to my raw classification of people within the Harry Potter realm.
The freaks who don't even know what it is...
The ones that heard about it, but just disregard it as another strange social following phenomenon...
The ones that heard about it, but like to think they are different so of course they don't give it the time of day...
I could go on, there are several sub types of these people, however I think it is a enough to get the picture.
The ones that watched one or more movies, but don't really see the interest...(at least gave it a chance these... let's say strange minds :P)
The ones who kinda like it and follow the movies, however can't be bother to read the book...
The ones that never care, watched the first movie simply to see what the fuzz was about, thought it was okish, had a lot of free time on their hand after the movie, stop in a book shop, read a bit of the second book, took it home, 2 days latter came for the 3rd, and a couple of days latter for the 4th, and then waited over a year for the 5th, and then 6th, then 7th. Waited in line at midnight at the day of the release....(people like ME :P)
The core fans, started with the books, and loved them....
I could go on but it would be a raw classification :P.

I am a movie person, I normally keep clear of the books, usually the book is better than the movie, although there are some exceptions, or at leas movies that work better than the book. In the case of Harry Potter the 3rd movie is clearly the best one, and is also the best adaptation, meaning follows the book best...
This is the thing, I don't see the movie as a book fan, for example Interview with a Vampire the movie is good, the book is also good, but the story is quite different. This is fine, on Harry however there is a tendency to stick to the book, which is quite impossible, so you don't fully understand the movie without the book. The 3rd is the exception.

In the Half Blood Prince, the movie shouldn't eve have that title considering the pour explanation for why it is so. More than half the book is about this fact, in the movie 3 minutes at most... The movie tells bits and pieces of stuff that you kinda get, but only fully understand with the book. It is also a bit scattered doesn't follow a flow. As a movie it is average, nothing special, and in my opinion gives away too clearly the 7th book. Things are more black and white in the movie, the book is more hazy and dark, as is the 3rd movie....

So all in all, watchable movie, but very pour in content and plot...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The surprise at Christmas... Late post...

So as promised ages ago, here is my Christmas surprise. Some background knowledge for those who aren't Portuguese. It is an old tradition of University students, when they finish, to burn their ribbons, actually, bless then and burn them... But i am getting off track. The ribbons are different colors, namely your university colour, your degree colour, and some special ones, for girlfriend and family, namely red and white. So it is tradition to give these ribbons to friends and family to write their thoughts and wishes for you. Then you would take the ribbons put then into a special folder and take them to the ceremony where they are blessed. Afterwards, there is a party that is to "burn the ribbons", a party for the next stage of your life. You don't really burn the ribbons, at least not the ones that people wrote. Now for my story, for years i got these bloody ribbons where I had to write stuff, and don't get fooled by the blog, I am not a writing person :P. Obviously, I didn't follow this tradition, didn't want to put the people through it, and mostly didn't want to put myself through it. So apparently my complaining about it, when i got a ribbon to write for a friend gave her the idea, since i said maybe one day I'll make you write one so you know how hard it is... Of course this was ironic, people don't get irony nowadays :P...
One last thing before the plot, because I am a control freak it is hard to keep stuff off my radar...

The plot:
So two of my best friend decided to join forces to give me a Christmas present... The folder with all the ribbons. It may seem easy, but my friends don't all know each other, so orchestrating something like this without my knowledge was hard enough. The fact that I am not in Portugal worked to their advantage, however they managed to get people from the UK to write the ribbons. That was something, since they knew nobody in the UK. Let's take a moment to thank the social networks that allow then to contact my girlfriend behind my back. Yes, they didn't know each other at the time. So all plotted and kept their mouth shut... And the result is my surprise in these videos. There are two because both wanted to record the moment to share with some of their fellow conspirators... And now the world can see it, enjoy ;P

Irina's:
video

Joana's:
video

Did you notice my surprise to the names...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back from holiday and got my Prince 2 Foundation certificate...

Hello world, so the plan to write more on the blog fell through, that will teach me on promises :P. The time in Portugal was full of topics but lack of time so.... After that was in Mallorca, no computer so just stories ;P.
Got back last Sunday and been a bit busy with the Prince 2 shit, did the exam yesterday, passed with flying colour so that is done.
Now back to the real PhD life, abstract for another conference, it seems I am being haunted by conferences, hopefully it is the last paper for a big while. On the upside it is just an abstract for now, the paper is due in October and a lot of watter will go under the bridge before that.
Write that is a sum update, I can't really force myself to write anything else, this was already a bit hard to write, my mood for sharing is not at all time high lets say... However not promising but, a bigger post will come soon...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm Back and with a question :P

Hey, so long time no see... I want to change that at least for a two weeks :P
So a lot has been happening, a lot of posts to write... It is funny how they simply pile up, in my Portuguese trip next week, I'll try to post as much as i can, some on people, life, politics, maths, papers... a lot of nothings :P.
So today a very light post, just finished with another paper, on another interesting topic, which I'll post latter, but today I want to raise a simple question...
Does alcohol make you forget? Meaning do you do things that you forget? And don't take this the wrong way, I mean we forget things even when we are not drunk, so I mean more things. There is no question that your senses are impaired when drunk, but do you physically forget things you did? Note that passed out does not count :P
So you are aware, but very drunk, do you forget things? or do you just wish to? or do you forget just because it is painful to remember? My knowledge till today is that you don't forget, sometimes it is simply easier to say you do... I don't drink, so I only have my analyses with other to guide my results, people have a tendency to know a lot about things they claim to have forgotten, others simply admit it when confronted, so what do you think? Feel free to express your view, I would like to have extra inputs on this...

In another note, had difficulties with a part of a lyric so here it is a song and lyric that is catchy, although you wish it wasn't :P

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Being Portuguese...

So today I got a break from my thoughts about an hour and a half. The Portugal vs Albania was on. The thing is despite the last minute victory, and the suffering, and everything, I need to say something. Football is one of the modern ways of clashes between countries, we have evolve from war, or at least we like to think so. But we still have the need to protect our colors and be proud of our roots, defend them... As such I want to say that I am behind Portugal regardless, however I don't support all Portuguese people, people are different, that is a simple and universal statement... As such we might disagree about the best way to bring Portugal forward. This is the thing, for me the coach of Portugal, despite being a smart, intelligent professor is not the best coach, I can't imagine this guy passing passion to is wife, let alone to a football team... Victory in war is based on strategy from the generals but also on the heart of the colonel, majors, sargents, lieutenant, etc. These officers need to pass the passion to the soldiers, since there is no victory without the confidence to win, even if unrealistic. This is the thing the current coach, is not a leader of men, he is a theoretic, a overviewer, a planner, but not a doer, a executor. This is a clear thing for anybody to see...
This is actually the same with the PM of the UK, Gordon brown is not a leader of people, and the thing is a leader should understand a it of everything, get advice from the best, but at the end of the day they need to find a way to pass the message to the people, and that by itself is a special skill. There is no shame in not being a leader of men, my question is why don't these smart people admit what they are, and use their skill set to help? I mean don't we all want the same thing? Or is their pride too big?
Well from my perspective they have no pride, because honestly if people don't want you why would you make a point to stay? To prove them wrong? Well if they are wrong if you leave that would be proven, seriously I have a issue with people clinging to power, simply don't get it... If you are smart you see the logic, so... Like someone said sometimes "no good can come of it", for my national team, we won but honestly with this coach, no good can come of it...

P.S.- If I am wrong I will gladly admit it, if not, well it doesn't leave this blog anyway. Like I said people are different, I guess that is the answer to all my questions :P

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making sense saying nothing...

Finally a post worthy of the name of the blog, towards nothing, I haven't wrote one of these on purpose in a while... Anyway, life with morals put you in a strange situation, human beings are moral beings, yet morality is not a straightforward notion. Every person has their own concept of morality and acts accordingly. This is tricky, although you tend to surround yourself with people of the same morality, you never really achieve this. There are as many moralities as people on hearth, so one day or another you will clash with people around you on morals, it is just odds... So the odds are against you on this, if it hasn't happen, well wait for it because it will, if it has happen, well continue to wait for it because it will happen again...
So establishing the clash is the easy bit, the question is what do you do about the clash? Do you stick to your morals, do you abstain from the situation, do you respect others morals, do you impose your morals, etc? the options are endless, the big question is what to do when your morals go against the actions of the people you respect most? This only happens because of different moral values, but what then? Not even adding more variables like logic, and common sense, just morality, what makes us rulers of morality? should we be less strict? At the end of the day my question is when is it OK to push our morals to others, and when is it out of line? When we are doing the right thing? Well in our moral system we are always doing the right thing, so how to know for sure? Ask others? well that would just increase the entropy, after all it is just adding more morals to the pot...
In summary, can anybody follow what I said? and if so any clues on the answers to my questions?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Noise...

The post on the little noises of life...
No, this is not a post on the normal meaning of the word noise, this is a post about the things that make noise in your head. This is not a post about a washing machine that is making noise so that you can't sleep, it is a post about the noise your head makes because of it, the fact that it irritates you, the simple things that make you angry. The wrong conversation looping over and over in your head, the recursive problems that you seen unable to solve, the way you wish things were...
My question why do we run these scenarios in our heads over and over to see the same exact things over and over, most of the time not doing anything about it?
I heard in the audio book that I am listening to a way to deal with this sort of noise... Basically use noise, the girl in the book simply got a hard music CD, put her headphones on, and she put the volume at a level that made her ears hurt, thus blocking all other things, and more importantly thoughts... This is actually a good way to do it, I normally make myself watch some pointless movie or series, in order to dive in to a new reality, stopping all thoughts, trying to achieve a vegetative state that allows me to rest...
So why am I writing a post again? Well I am not posting as much as I wish and it is not due to lack of time, it is due to lack of patience, which is quite stupid considering I have so much to post about... Stupid? Well it seems the more one has to say, the less one is able to say it... It is easier to talk about trivia, after all trivia doesn't really impact you...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Infering nothing...

It is 3 am, and I am starting to write, I feel a bit puzzled on the topic of this rant, perhaps not a rant, perhaps some meaningless words in a meaningless blog.
As with all things, once created they tend to get a life of their own, that is for all interesting things... This is true for my blog, and is true for this post...
Things have a way of getting a life of their own, I find that all constants become variables if you apply time to them... This sounds mathematically a bit stupid, but if you just think of all the constants in your life 15 years ago, you'll realise that at the very least they have evolved into something else... Some disappear, some change... The good news is creation is all around, thus replacements exist... No, not replacements in the cheap sense of the word, but replacements in the sense that it fills the void left by the absence of others, regardless of the reasons of that absence... You move on, they moved on, people move on... This notion of perpetual movement, like if we ever stop it would be a bad thing, in fact from my previous statement one can infer that it is impossible to really stop... Time is the only real constant in life, and although it is a strange constant, feeling longer or shorter depending of the circumstances, it is in fact the only certainty we have... You might move left or right, or not move at all, while others do the same, but at the end time moves pass you regardless of effort of the decisions we make, the actions we take, time simply does what time does, giving a pace to our life, a sort of measurement we can use to check the now from the past and future...
It is 3:15 and I am still here, looking at the screen thinking was this what I wanted to say? Well it wasn't, but like with all things it is...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Early post... (Baker Street)

Good morning, at least for those in the same time zone as I am, or if you are getting to read this in a morning. So I have been under the radar for a while now, struggling to find the time, better yet the right motivation to write something here. Yesterday I fell asleep quite early and today I woke up way early, and decided to sit down and write something. A good status update is that I finally have Internet at home, sounds stupid to mention but I've been trying to get Internet for 2 months, so I still can't really believe it :P.
Honestly I have a lot of topic to put out, however none of them seems good for now, so I'll go for a all time classic. This is one of those songs that when I heard it for the first time (that I can remember) I had the feeling to know it, but never could place it where from. The curious thing about our brain that retains stuff from the past, but just a glimpse, not a real memory,just an impression of a memory. Funny how this happens with loads of things, I mean sometimes you don't really remember people from the past just a impression of them...
Well too many words, here is the original and the version that I heard first, or more likely the version I heard first and can place...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blue...

Today I have no clue what to write about, but yet i feel the need to write.. Strange isn't it? Well perhaps it isn't, after a isolated weekend one might find the need to talk to the outside world, yet not being sure of what to say...
I feel blue, which is a strange word, why blue? I mean blue means sad, but why the hell, wouldn't grey make more sense? I mean when you see blue you see the sky, thus the sun is out, thus happy day. Grey would be no sun. Anyway, just a randon thought that crossed my mind.
Back on track i do feel blue, and I have beenfeeling blue for a while now, but a secluded weekend just showed me how blue I feel. My girlfriend is in portugal for the weekend, and honestly she has been a positive in my life, more than I figured. So lonelyness is good to figure stuff out, but if you aren't very happy what do you do? Change, well change is just a word, change what? I mean you can change for worst so that you appreciated how good you have it, or just randomly change and see where that leeds you. The thing is, if you are smart you know the answers to change, and they are not better, so what do you do in such a case? Yes i am rambling, sorry for the non rambling type readers.
Is it possible to have a mid life crisis at 28? Well at least a lost crisis...
Anyways here is a nice little song from the past...


Yo listen up here's a story
About a little guy that lives in a blue world
And all day and all night and everything he sees
Is just blue like him inside and outside
Blue his house with a blue little window
And a blue corvette
And everything is blue for him and hisself
And everybody around
Cos he ain't got nobody to listen to

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

I have a blue house with a blue window.
Blue is the colour of all that I wear.
Blue are the streets and all the trees are too.
I have a girlfriend and she is so blue.
Blue are the people here that walk around,
Blue like my corvette, it's standing outside.
Blue are the words I say and what I think.
Blue are the feelings that live inside me.

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

I have a blue house with a blue window.
Blue is the colour of all that I wear.
Blue are the streets and all the trees are too.
I have a girlfriend and she is so blue.
Blue are the people here that walk around,
Blue like my corvette, it's standing outside.
Blue are the words I say and what I think.
Blue are the feelings that live inside me.

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

Inside and outside blue his house
With the blue little window and a blue corvette
And everything is blue for him and hisself
And everybody around cause he aint got
Nobody to listen to

I'm blue da ba dee da ba die...

I'm blue (if I was green I would die)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Winter...

In a grey day like today, when words are short and thoughts are immense, I found this classic Tori Amos song...
When short of words, one can always rely on the poets of the world, specially the great ones that talk not only in words but also with music... Hope you enjoy...



Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens
Wipe my nose, get my new boots on
I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter
I put my hand in my fathers glove

I run off where the drifts get deeper
Sleeping beauty trips me with a frown
I hear a voice you must learn to stand up for yourself
Cause I cant always be around

He says when you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that Ill always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Boys get discovered as winter melts
Flowers competing for the sun
Years go by and Im here still waiting
Withering where some snowman was

Mirror mirror wheres the crystal palace
But I only can see myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know, dad, the ice is getting thing

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that Ill always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Hair is grey and the fires are burning
So many dreams on the shelf
You say I wanted you to be proud
I always wanted that myself

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gona change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that Ill always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Monday, April 27, 2009

The PEZ...

Well today I wanted to talk about something trivial, what better topic than PEZ. What is PEZ? Well if you are asking you should be ashamed of yourself... PEZ is a candy that is loaded into a PEZ dispensor, which can come as several characters. One of my birthday presents was a huge dispensor, that dispenses loads of PEZ for the smaller dispensors. Anyways just wanted to state PEZ is awesome :P. For more infomartion, well go to ...

http://www.pez.com/

And enjoy a classic...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Loneliness factor...

First I want to apologise for the lack of posting, it has been a bit difficult namely because I still don't have internet at home (Long story, let's just say virgin sucks).
So I've been reading up on swarm theory and swarm intelligence, which by itself has probably little interest to the regular person, hey I work in the field (sort of :P) and have little interest in it :P. But I came across a "interesting" fact (notice how I stated "interesting" :P) about human cells. So apparently they commit suicide if they, and I quoting now, "feel lonely". When I first read it, I was like what? But after checking with people more in the biology field, this is actually true. The question is how do you quantify this "feeling"? I mean honestly it is suppose to be science, the cell feels alone and commits suicide? At least sounds a bit off.
The thing that fascinated me was the cell awareness to its loneliness state, I can imagine it communicating "is there anybody there?", "yes", "yes", etc... But the question is does it ask, or waits for someone to ask? I mean seems a bit redundant to ask if someone just asked? :P
Anyway the point of this post is even cells need company, the happiness is only true when shared thing, even the cells know it, well maybe knowing is a bit word :P

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Wii...

Well, eater break is over, my mom came to visit and bought me Wii for my birthday (which was a month ago). Went to Cambridge and I want to write a post on that but now, a simple post for the Wii.
First I think they should put a warning on it saying probable muscle pain when used ;P my arm is killing me, on the upside, my muscles should be getting bigger, or one would hope ;P
The Wii seems to be a awesome piece of equipment, not for the graphics or games, but for the interaction, plus I was never that good at playing bowling, first time on the Wii 164 points, when in real life I barely passed 100, once :P. All in all just fun, action and games, instead of the normal fun and games :P.
Ohh be careful with the baseball, pitching will destroy your arms :P
I'll keep you posted on new developments, for now the Wii rules :)

One interesting video enjoy :P

Friday, April 3, 2009

Amitriptyline...

So today I am making a comment on the fucking anti-depression medication for curing headaches. The headache does go away, but you become numb, not even just that, it is like you feel your headache but not really, you feel that part of the brain but it doesn't hurt, you are simply aware it is there. You become slower in thought, which for me was quite annoying, plus yesterday night when I choose to stop the medication, the headache was quite heavy, more so than usual. Another side effect of this shit is the need for sleep, and although this is on the warnings, it doesn't say if you take it at night you will have 100 times more difficulty getting out of the bed in the morning. All in all, I don't recommend this shit to anyone, at least for headaches...
For depression, I really feel for the people that need to take simmilar drugs, the numbness is confusing, seriously not a nice feeling. You feel like it is you, but you are not really there, anyway my comment is made ;)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lack of motivation...

Today I want to ask a question, and hopefully by the end of the text I will produce an answer, if not please help ;P. How do we deal with the lack of motivation? The type of feeling that overwhelms us making it impossible to act? The feeling when we know we can do it, we see what needs to be done and how, and yet the power of this feeling prevents us of acting.
Motivation is a tricky feeling, but to understand it let's look at the definition of the word:
1. the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior; "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"
2. the condition of being motivated; "his motivation was at a high level"
3. the act of motivating; providing incentive

When looking upon the definition one clearly sees the reason for the action. The question is what if the reason is clear, but you don't feel it. I do something towards achieving an objective, but this objective might be define by a third person that can in turn provide yourself with an objective, something like do this for me because I can help you with that. This should obviously degrade the motivation, since it is a second tear motivation, right? Well not really, it really depends on how much you want something. At the end of the day you are motivated to do several things on different tear levels, but you do feel it, you see it, and this is what I ask. Is motivation a feeling or a logical thought? Because I see all the logical sense on what should motivate me, but that does not provide me with motivation.
It is a puzzle for me, how to trigger the feeling of motivation when, and this is the tricky part, you seem not to want anything? And don't get me wrong, I want things, but I don't crave for them, meaning if I don't get them, well it wont matter that much to me.
Which raises another question, if you don't bother you shouldn't so it, but in reality to be in this world and society you need to do stuff, even if you don't bother. Like most people don't bother about their job, but they still do it, the question is why? To live in this world one needs to take part in it, I guess, but where do you find the motivation to do so, if you can follow this reasoning? Well I don't know do you?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Depression medication?

Well apparently I am going to try that now :P, but for headaches. Today went to the doctor and told him about some recurring headaches that I have. So told me about this drug that is an anti depressive, but that they use it in small doses for such cases. So far so good right? Go to the doctor, explain the problem, get a solution. But what I found funny was the fact that he was worried that I might take offence on the type of medication. After thinking about it, it obviously makes sense, people might feel that depression whatever is something to stay clear of. Sounds stupid, but it is funny with the right type of humour. Nevertheless it was interesting and now I am on prescription anti-depressives medication ;P, at least if it helps with the headaches ;P

Friday, March 27, 2009

Twitters...

Well I thought I posted something on this, but I couldn't find it, so a small post turns into a bigger one.
Twittering, one of the new cool words, came across it watching the daily show a couple of months back. Don't get me wrong I heard it before, but just didn't catch my attention. But in the daily show, well jon makes fun of members of congress that are Twittering during a important speech. Like he said how desperate can you be to look trendy. So Twitter is the, how do they put it, ahh, what happens between mails and blogs, well now you can take the gap between mails and blogs and twitter! How awesome isn't it? Unless you actually have a life, with like things to do, but hey that never happens :P.
I don't even see the point considering facebook has status updates and all sort of other bullshits, which I already find, well, lets say pointless, so WTF?
Please tell me what is it about this, I really don't see it, "look just got up", "hitting the shower now", I mean what have we come to, how low and boring and decadent can life be to do this? Would really like thoughts on this, but like I said this is a small post, I wanted to share a funny one for all the Twittering people...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another update?

Well it appears so. The time to actually put a lot of content in the blog is quite thin. So a quick update is the option for now.
Last week I was skiing in the Pyrenees, it was great except for a minor accident, but I will post about it later with some pictures and videos.
I came back from this holiday directly into a cold, and a project meeting on Monday. The meeting was in London so I was up at 5:30 am which is never nice, train, meeting, train, effective but not helping in the illness department. Tuesday was feeling like shit, came to work but couldn't do much so when home, and bed does actually help. But don't try to get out too soon or you end up there again, Wednesday.
Today back to work, and obviously the lost days are making a difference. Although I am not 100%, well at least I am doing something.
Some family problems from Portugal on Tuesday, also didn't help the matter at all. So pretty hectic week with very little to show for it. Oh well... Update complete...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Doop - Doop

So today just a funny sound, I enjoyed walking to the it. A sound to make you happy and silly, like I said a perfect song for an inspired soul that seeks a funny choreography. Enjoy...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Overkill...

Hello, been a bit busy with life, and so the time for writing has been reduced, time and patience, but who is keeping track anyway.
Today gave another lecture, this one was on short notice and I simply did the slides I was given. It was fine since it was a lecture to prepare the students for the lab demonstrations, which I normally do :P. I must say that it is funny how much you can say when you know a lot about a topic, I was expecting the class to be half an hour, but I managed to talk for a full hour, and I started making it short when I realized the time I was taking.
But this is not a post about the class, it is about my nights, more on the falling asleep part. I am one of those people that struggles sometimes to fall asleep, but if I do waking up is the problem. But sometimes I have periods that I wake up during the night all the time, so bad sleep, and also with troubles getting to sleep. The funny thing is in the morning I can sleep with nothing disturbing me. I guess I am really a night person. I always say I that I am, no problems postponing going to sleep, problems waking up :P. Nevertheless this is a song that comes to mind in these sleepless times, hope you enjoy it as I do, and hopefully help you realize when you are overkilling yourself about stuff. For me it helps to realize, but doesn't really help to stop it, so if you find that remedy let me know.



I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know I'll be alright
Perhaps it's just imagination

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away

Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
It's time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation

At least there's pretty lights
And though there's little variation
It nullifies the night from overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Come back another day

I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know I'll be alright
It's just overkill

Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away
Ghosts appear and fade away

Friday, March 6, 2009

Grub 1.5 and the error 22

Hey, so this is a overdue post from last Wednesday, nevertheless I think it is important to share this experience. So I was installing Linux Ubuntu 8.10 on my newish laptop (Since Christmas I have bean meaning to do it) and I ran into some problems. In the course of events I ended up having to format my computer, I know in the course of events sounds too wide, but I don't want to describe the whole process. So I'll describe what happens, I installed Linux, that was fine, Grub 1.5 which is the boot loader was working fine, but as soon as I went to Windows Vista, the system detected something in the partitions and suggested to do a diagnostics. Until here it nothings strange, but this actually messed up the Grub 1.5, so when I restarted I got the "the error 22".
Long story short, the best way to get rid of this is to reinstall Linux but do it on the partition that you used before. It took me some iterations to reach this conclusion. Now I have all of it set up, but it took a lot of work to reinstall Windows and Linux. On the upside the several iterations helped me learn this simple thing, learn how to install Linux manually, that is not the guided way, it saves you a lot of trouble. And if you get "the error 22" well hope this helps.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everyday is Exactly the Same?

Is it? Well depends on the point of view, as for all things. The point of view lesson that I learn from one of my top 3 movies of all times, the dead poets society. There are always several views for the same situation, and in the end the only one that counts is the one we see at the given moment. The same day, same job, same things to do... Or is it different, I mean you can see answering phones as always the same, but it is rarely the same person that you are answering.
Lately I've been beating up my mind because of lack of vision, not foreseeing a outcome, not being prepared for it, when I should have at least have it in mind. People are as they are, giving them extra leverage is not useful, if they will change they should do it under the harshest conditions possible, and even them it is likely that they won't change (bare in mind I am talking of people's core, change is always happening to the human being, just not to its core).
This title is an excuse to blow up some steam, and on a day like today, not all is the same, but fuck, how many things can one do wrong. Not many, gain points of view, I messed up my laptop, took me the whole afternoon to get it running again, fixable? Yes, but come on, if there was a god, this is one of the situations that you would say "what kind of god would let this to happen?". And this was the latest, yesterday did a mess at home just by bumping into the table...
Regardless this is not the topic, and this should be one of the worst posts I have posted, should be confused, should be messed up, because guess what, that is my head at the moment.
Work, well wish I could tell you can't focus so, it is rather pointless.
Girlfriend, well there is my rock, otherwise I would be so fucking destroyed. At this time in my life I see the point of view of how happy I should be, and I am, but I can't be completely, but them again who can?
The song for this post, from the movie wanted, which I liked the idea of the story, I enjoyed the soundtrack for this song, but the movie itself was merely OK.
Enjoy...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Setting up JADE in Netbeans... Extention: starting up agents.

So today a very quick technical post. This is intended as extra information on:
setting-up-jade-in-netbeans
So if you want to run the agents when the platform begins it is quite simple and it would be step 11.

Step 11. On the arguments where you have "-gui" add "NameForYourAgent:packageName.AgentClass". So my agent name is pedro, in "project" package and helloAgent class this would look something like "-gui pedro:project.helloAgent"

Step 12. Run and test.

Next post I'll describe how to interface with Protégé, I just don't do it here, for title purposes and also lack of time today. Hope this is somewhat useful.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

University challenge...

This is a post I and intended to write yesterday but got delayed, anyway on Monday I caught on TV this show called University challenge. Until here nothing strange besides the fact that I normally don't watch regular TV.
So this a quiz show where teams from different universities battle out their knowledge. My first reaction to this was nice idea, but what sort of questions do they ask? Well from my brief understanding all sorts, including things like who won the silver medal on the 84 Olympic games for darts or whatever. The funny thing is that the freaks on the game show actually know this shit :P.
I mean who know this stuff, you can know one or two trivia for whatever reason but these people seem they memorized the whole encyclopaedia. Like someone in the room said they don't have a life.
This was a very humbling experience, since I actually felt quite stupid while watching. Which raises the question why do people watch it? To know how dumb they are? Seems stupid... Then again I also watched it so what does that say about me :P.
Nevertheless on the following day, I notice by watching it online that the speed of the questions is one of the issues, the guy speaks quite fast, and the tension, so well I am posting also a video, you make up your own mind. Are they freaks with no life, or just fast thinking regular university people. Honestly I am doing a PhD and it was humbling, but scary ;P...


Friday, February 20, 2009

Perpetual associative movement (Movimento Perpétuo Associativo)

I was told there was a very good band with a Fado style, but I just checked it out during this week. This is a awesome song that captures the inertia concept for staying still. IN fact one might say that whole nations have this behaviour. I like the contradiction in the song, it is just so true ;). I translated it but it really doesn't give it justice, so if you are not Portuguese you will just have an idea of what it is ;)



Agora sim, damos a volta a isto!
Agora sim, há pernas para andar!
Agora sim, eu sinto o optimismo!
Vamos em frente, ninguém nos vai parar!
Yes now, we'll turn this around!
Yes now, we have the legs to walk!
Yes now, I feel the optimism!
Let's move forward, nobody will stop us!

-Agora não, que é hora do almoço...
-Agora não, que é hora do jantar...
-Agora não, que eu acho que não posso...
-Amanhã vou trabalhar...
Not now, it is lunch time...
Not now, it is dinner time...
Not now, that I think I cannot...
Tomorrow I'll go to work...

Agora sim, temos a força toda!
Agora sim, há fé neste querer!
Agora sim, só vejo gente boa!
Vamos em frente e havemos de vencer!

Yes now, we have all the strength!
Yes now, there is faith in this belief!
Yes now, I only see good people!
Let's move forward and we shall win!

-Agora não, que me dói a barriga...
-Agora não, dizem que vai chover...
-Agora não, que joga o Benfica...
e eu tenho mais que fazer...

Not now, that my belly hurts...
Not now, people are saying it is going to rain...
Not now, that Benfica is playing.
And I have other stuff to do...

Agora sim, cantamos com vontade!
Agora sim, eu sinto a união!
Agora sim, já ouço a liberdade!
Vamos em frente, e é esta a direcção!

Yes now, we sing with will/feeling!
Yes now, I feel the union!
Yes now, I can hear the freedom!
Let's move forward, because this is the direction!

-Agora não, que falta um impresso...
-Agora não, que o meu pai não quer...
-Agora não, que há engarrafamentos...
-Vão sem mim, que eu vou lá ter...

Not now, a form is missing...
Not now, my farther doesn't want to...
Not now, because there are traffic jams...
Go ahead without me, I'll meet you there...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A life update...

A life update... Sounds like something boring, well hopefully it is not, it is because I want to talk about several different topics and I couldn't find a better title.
I'll start with my lecture, just gave it, it went well, at least from my point of view (the students might disagree :P). I tried to make it interactive, not just tell them things, I asked questions even though I got little feedback, but I did get some which I liked. At one point I was just chatting with them about things that I didn't include in the slides, just to give them different perspectives and I got at least some of them to think about things (or so it seemed). The material was not enough for a 2 hours lecture, either that or I gave it too fast, but considering I added a lot to the original material I got for the lecture I assume it is the material :P. I finished roughly after an hour, then took some of the students to the lab (the ones who where interested, so half :P) to see some of the things that I spoke about, namely a nano precision assembly platform we have there. All in all I got good feedback, and I actually like the talk style lecture, getting them to tell me stuff instead of me just stating stuff. Always wanted to try this style of lecture, I did not do it completely this time, but I tried it at certain times of this lecture, and I honestly think it is the best way to teach. I might post something latter on this class, I am finding out that work related posts attract some visitors, which means people are in need for posts about what I do.
On a completely different level, on Sunday I managed to speak with an old friend, the one I've talk about before, the one I tried to get in contact with after the MSN adding thing. Well, is answer to the email is not negative, meaning he does want to talk to me about stuff and try to figure things out, but it is hard to do so. Time is a weird thing, this is the person I was closest to 5 years ago, but time produces a awkwardness, I know so little of who he is now, and the same is true. I have come a long way since those days, I got to think about it because of this realization, in so many ways I am different and so many ways the same, makes you wonder what time does to you. Well, on this case not sure of anything, but I would like to try and go beyond breaking the ice, as he put it, the ice is broken but that is really nothing on the scale of things, a first step is an important step, but at the end of the day it is just one of many, or few, the question is how many steps in one direction you take. On a personal note, I liked talking to him, despite of the amount of things that are still unsaid, well it seemed natural in a very awkward way, if that makes sense. Also I found out that my friends surprise over Christmas (Which I will post here as soon as I get the video in this computer) was supposed to involve this old friend of mine, one of the ribbons was intended for him. One of the organizers of the suprise told me this, and said it seemed natural since he was a big part of your life when you where at university. This make me think of how that was true, but in the end, he didn't write it, thus he didn't took part of the surprise, which is a shame and makes me think that the current status quo is really not appropriate. Sorry this part of the post is probably understood by people that know the matter.
Another matter is the house, still haven't move in, still waiting on the process, bahhh. So basically everything is OK with the application, credit checks are fine, so what is taking time? Well the house was missing a sofa and a table with some chairs, so the agency said that would be put in, which is fine, but apparently the landlord is taking is time to do this. How thick can this person be, I mean we will pay a first rent and deposit as soon as we get the contract, so he takes his time and loses money because... Well I also don't get it, but it does piss me off, like I said before. I really want to move so I can settle down, and be able to decide things, I want to be able to plan holidays, work, weekends off, etc, and this is in the way, like something that has to be done before. Really just annoying.
Valentines day, this is one of those days that I consider to be a private day, but still worth mentioning. It was awesome, my girlfriend is awesome, so just putting that for the record :P.
Much more to mention, just got a very interesting mail about something I wrote in the past, that might be a good post, if I get around to translate it :P. I will try ;).
Setting up ubuntu, was also fun, and you can expect a post on that. It looks quite nice now.
Agent posts are to be expected, and the robot actuators post, so some posts about work.
Also I want to start posting on social considerations, I have been a bit away from the social scene, this is bound to change ;).
Pretty much it for this post, hopefully I will post more frequently and thus have more dedicated posts that allow me to write more about things ;P.
Lastly a brilliant song, in a brilliant album, but I have to put in enjoy the magic lyrics, and sound...



Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I would cross

Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get
What I deserved
No better and no worse

I just got lost
Every river that I tried to cross
Every door I ever tried was locked
Ohhh and I'm...
Just waiting 'til the shine wears off

You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
'Cause a lonely con
A bigger one

And you'll be lost
Every river that you tried to cross
Every gun you ever held went off
Ohhh and I'm...
Just waiting until the firing stopped
Ohhh and I'm...
Just waiting 'til the shine wears off

Ohhh and I...
Just waiting 'til the shine wears off
Ohhh and I..
Just waiting 'til the shine wears off

Friday, February 13, 2009

Robot actuators...

Well this is the topic for my lecture next week. Since today I had a teaching dedicated day with a practical class/lab demonstration and preparing this lecture. The good news is I have all of it planed out, so I have all the skeleton slides with all the images and diagrams, I also have in my head all I want to teach. The bad news, well still need to put meat into the bones, text and bullet points about it plus the notes for myself, so I don't forget to teach something. So a day of robots, sensors, programing and actuators. Seems nothing much? Well actuators means loads from several types of electrical motors to pneumatic and hydraulic shit. Electromagnetic fields and shit bahh.
So I just wanted to share this frustration of preparing slides for which you already know what you want to say but it still takes a hell of a long time to prepare. For those of you who don't understand, well what can I say, it is not like I can put just what I like, I have to talk about all the shit. And in the end it is all shit, right? Well one can hope not...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Catch 22!

Hi there, sorry for the absence but it has been truly busy days, although that doesn't really work as an excuse. I have been a bit off to actually be able to write something, but I am begining to feel bad that I don't. Thus a catch 22 situation, what is a catch 22? Well it is a non-win situation, feel bad if I do and feel bad if I don't.
Since I tried not writing, today I decided to write :P. So a lot has been going on, migrating my system into Linux at work, setting everything up, which might be an interesting post. Also the conference paper, some editing in it, hopefully it will be off my desk soon (although there is already another on the forge). Working on my PhD, meaning programing software agents to communicate, after which I need to make them collaborate. Preparing a lecture that I am giving next week on Robot Actuators, so basically revisiting my electrical engineering background, and being amazed of the things I still know and disappointed at the things I don't (Catch 22 :P). Waiting to hear the green light to move into the new house, I really want to move. I mean after something is decided it just pisses me off to drag it, but maybe it is just me... And a couple of other things also I had to deal with...
So as you can see the busy is clear :P, I really wanted to write the post about my Christmas surprise, but the video is in my Portuguese mobile, so it will have to wait. Nevertheless it is on the pipeline with high priority.
Well today is dedicated to create the slides for the lecture, so I guess this is it for today...

The prototypical Catch-22, as formulated by Heller, involves the case of John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier, who wishes to be excused from combat flight duty. In order to be excused, he must submit an official medical diagnosis from his squadron's flight surgeon, demonstrating that he is unfit to fly because he is insane. In order to get the diagnosis, he must approach the surgeon to ask for one.

Here some Wiki trivia :P

However, “catch 22” — the twenty-second of the guidelines used by military surgeons to “catch” those falsely claiming to be insane — is that an insane person should not believe or suspect that they are insane. Thus, to be recognised as insane, a person must not ask for an evaluation, because doing so implicitly shows that they suspect themselves to be insane. But, if a person does not ask for an evaluation, they cannot be recognised as insane because the evaluation is the method by which such recognition would occur. Thus, nobody can ever classify themselves as insane (even if they genuinely are), and thus nobody may ever use an insanity diagnosis to escape flying combat missions, ignoring the possibility of someone else recommending an evaluation for a peer.

A logical formulation of this situation is:

1. (Premise: If a person is excused from flying (E), that must be because they are both insane (I), and request an evaluation (R));
2. (Premise: If a person is insane (I), they should not realise that they are, and would thus have no reason to request an evaluation)
3. (2, Definition of implication: since an insane person would not request an evaluation, it follows that all persons must either not be insane, or not request an evaluation)
4. (3, De Morgan: since all persons must either not be insane, or not request an evaluation, it follows that no person can be both insane and request an evaluation)
5. (4, 1, Modus Tollens: since a person may be excused from flying only if they are both insane and request an evaluation, but no person can be both insane and request an evaluation, it follows that no person can be excused from flying)

The above describes the concept commonly referred to by the phrase “Catch 22”. The book adds an element of complete absurdity to the situation, adding that the same regulations also stipulate that (because flying combat missions is so dangerous) any sane person would not willingly fly combat missions. Thus, any person who flies missions must be insane and thus should only need to be evaluated in order to be excused from flying. However, because requesting an evaluation is a sign of sanity, no pilots are grounded for insanity. The “catch 22” statement is the only reason anyone is in the air at all.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blindness

Today I was going to shed some light into the terminology of my previous post, so that people that aren't from the field understand it. But yesterday I saw the movie Blindness and it screams for a review...
This movie is based on a book from a the Nobel prize winner José Saramago. This might be relevant if the movie is faithful to the book, for this review I will assume it is, if it is not please tell me. So if this assumption is false I would consider reading the book, if not NO CHANCE.
The movie is based on a good idea, which had potential or so I thought, but I am getting ahead of myself. So in the idea is what if a strange illness started to infect everyone in the world, and turning almost everybody blind. What would happen? How would people react towards the infected? How would society react to this lack of vision? How would the non-blind use their non-blindness? What about the ones that were blind to begin with, would they adjust better? Well if you feel puzzled by this questions, you understand how I felt when I first heard about the movie, thus I wanted to watch it.
The problem was I didn't give a second thought to who wrote the story, and basically I ended up watching a idiotic view of what would happen, based on the preconceptions of a very left wing mind. Yes this author is a communist, I have a lot respect for him because I heard his writing is quite good, but fuck are the concepts stupid. The absence of the individual from the whole story, this view of the group without the understanding of the individual. The story is random, you find yourself questioning the mind of the author, isn't it obvious what the person should do? Well apparently not, you see people doing things that they don't need to do, things happen with no explanation, I mean a really bad movie. I had a lot of respect for this director, but honestly I was shocked with the whole thing, mostly because the potential for a very good movie was there, the idea is good the execution is a utter waste of time. As a simple example of the stupidity of the movie, in one scene the guy just saved his wife from a mob of people, they got away with food, they hadn't eaten in days, and he goes back for clothes that he forgot, bear in mind half the people in the city where dead and their house was nearby. How stupid can you be I thought, and then she stays behind and gets in the church because it started raining. And then, she sees (yes she is one of the people that can see) all the saints were blindfolded, which is utterly stupid just by itself, I mean I am blind what can I do, lets put blindfolds on the saints? Why? And most importantly how? You are fucking blind! But the icing on the cake was even the glass images in the windows also had the eyes of the saints covered. WHAT THE FUCK. Anyways, I don't advise this movie, unless for demonstrating how you destroy a good idea.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Setting up JADE in Netbeans

Well today a very geeky post and irrelevant for most of you, but I didn't find a quick fully description for this online, and it was a while since the last time I set this up. So as you would expect you tend to forget some steps, so here goes mine minus the use of google :P.

1. Have Netbeans installed, I think that is pretty straightforward so I am skipping the details.

2. Download JADE, just the minimum if you want, but I recommend all of the packages because if you are going to use JADE you will probably end up using them.

3. Extract the files into a folder, if you have all of the packages I suggest different folders.

4. Run Netbeans, create a project, etc. Again this is quite straightforward and if you are using JADE in Netbeans you should have basic knowledge of the tool.

5. Right click on Libraries, Add Library.

6. Create Library.

7. I would suggest the name to be JADE

8. Add the .jar files contained in the "bin" folder that you created (In the minimum JADE package you only have this folder), the files should be the folder you created + "/jade/lib/".

9. Right click on your project, Set Configuration, Customize...

10. Write on the main class "jade.Boot", and on arguments "-gui".

Now if you run the program it will launch the GUI that allows you to run agents.
Hope this is clear I could have used some screen shots, but I think this is quite straightforward, or at least I hope. In the unlikely event of a blog reader using these steps and have some questions, please fell free to leave a comment, and I'll get back to you.