Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The future has come

Yesterday I took part at a very interesting speech of Professor Hiroshi Ishii from MIT, which was the keynote of the TEI Conference taking part in Bonn. He presented very interesting work in the area of Tangible User Interfaces coordinated by him at MIT. It wasn't one of that boring technology speeches, but more like a quick look into the future. It was more like a vision of a creative and happy humankind interacting with high-tech physical objects.

At the end of his presentation, one of his students showed the video of a project on which he worked on, and which will be released in 2-3 months from now: G-Speak (an identical application like the one Tom Cruise used in Minority Report). Cool! That's even more science fiction than Microsoft Surface! Imagine 3 years from now, every police department having such a wall.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Plumb - Damaged

Here is a song that just sticks in your memory once you hear it. I like its soft & melancholic rhythm (doubled from time to time with short piano strokes), simple lyrics and the spatial and dreamy melodic line.

Recommended by Tudor.

Monday, February 11, 2008

UAE shocks again

After shocking the world with Burj Dubai, an almost 1 kilometer tall skyscraper, UAE does it again: Masdar City will be the first non-polluting city on Earth.
I definitely would like to see other cities investing big amounts of money in that, in the near future.

Friday, February 08, 2008

German grade conversion formula

Today, I got my first result from a German exam. If you didn't know, the German grading system is a bit different from the Romanian one: the grades are from 1 to 5, where 1 is the maximum grade and 4 is the last passing grade (5=failed). So, if you get 1 at your exam in Germany, you don't have to cut your veins, or jump from a building - but rather go out and buy your friends some beer, because you're da' man.
Also, you can have grades with fractions, like 1.3, 1.5, and so on.

Today I got a result that didn't tell me too much, because where I come from, the grading system goes from 1 to 10 (where 10 is the maximum grade). So, I came up with a formula to convert from German grades to Romanian grades:

RomanianGrade = 5/3 * (7 - GermanGrade)

If you want to have fun converting your grades from Romanian to German grading system, use the following formula:

GermanGrade = 7 - 3/5 * RomanianGrade

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Glass noodles

Today, my colleagues from China gathered in my flat's kitchen to celebrate Chinese New Year's Eve. They also cooked "glass noodles", and invited me to try. They are really tasty, and very spicy. Actually, delicious!!!

Plate of "glass noodles"

The upper-left part says "medium spicy", but my mouth was already burning :D

This is how the pot looks like.

People gather around the pot, and eat for a couple of hours. It's more of a social thing like shisha, or chimarrao. Everybody picks stuff from the pot (shrimps, noodles) and when it gets empty, they refill. Cool!