xOSC keygloves

December 4th, 2016

In the randform post “Gesture steered Turing machine” I used data gloves, which were made following the instructions of Hannah Perner-Wilson who is a member of the gloves project. Being weary of sitting too much at the computer I had also written in this post that I would like to make more use of body movements and in particular include danse-like movements in computer interaction and in particular in programming.

Unfortunately rather shortly after I had written the post a not so nice medical indication in my vicinity which was -at least partially- due to too much computer sitting urged me to more or less dramatically speed up this project.

The gesture recognition for my gloves, which were used in the Turing machine example, works, but it is not yet fine grained and exhaustive enough. So I had to look for an easy and fast and at least to some extend workable and affordable solution which would insure a more direct and precise steering possibility, like some version of key gloves. To make it short: In the end I made my own version with Tims help. Again it’s only a start but still.

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radio technology museum Königs-Wusterhausen, part 2, the Dieselgenerator

November 19th, 2016

There was a bit of discussion going on about the last image in the last post which displays two emergency switches on a wall in the radio museum. On the switches there were the words “Diesel” and “Schaltfeld (switch board).” Above the switches there were two signs, each with the message: “Es darf nur eine Laufkatze betrieben werden” (There musn’t be more than one hoist in operation”). I was guessing that “Diesel” meant eventually the Diesel generator within the museum building which served -if I understood correctly- mainly as an emergency power system. So here now images from the Diesel generator.
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radio technology museum Königs-Wusterhausen, part 1

October 31st, 2016

Todays post deals with the transmission and radio technology museum at a former transmission facility in the town of Königs-Wusterhausen close by Berlin (the town is reachable by Berlin subway). The facility is located on a hill and rather big (Flight over the the facility including its museum (building with red tiles)). The museum is definitely a must-see.

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Friedhof Heiligensee

September 28th, 2016


Sandhauser Strasse in Heiligensee next to the old riflemans house

In the randform post Heiligensee I hypothesized that an ancient oral tradition from the village of Heiligensee might indicate that cults of the germanic goddess Nerthus could have taken place there. I am fully aware that this is super speculative and in particular that it is outrageously unlikely that there is an oral tradition in Berlin which is 1500-to 4000 years old (thats approx. when the semnones lived there). It would not be too far fetched to assume that the tales of Nerthus were converted into tales matching the surroundings of Heiligensee. Nevertheless it should be reminded of that there are oral traditions which lastet for rather long time like the vedas (with by the way interesting error correcting schemes).

Anyways for me the the oral tradition was so compelling close to the Nerthus tales and to the fact that there might have been an ancient sacred location that I was motivated enough to travel to the other side of Berlin and to look for something like a sacred grove, a thing location on a raised mound and/or even a tumulus like in Old Uppsala. That is I looked at the hills across from Sandhauserstr.99 which are called Schifferberge. It should be said that in this area dune hills are rather common, so that when I started out I was quite convinced that the option tumulus was rather a joke. That is I was convinced that the Schifferberge are just dunes instead of containing a tumulus, but I am not so sure anmore. But see the images.

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religious headcovers and such

August 31st, 2016


Me, wearing my newly acquired knotty headscar from Dublin (some of my math research involved knot theory)

School education in Germany is federal, so the choice of subjects may be different wether you live in Berlin or Bavaria. In Germany there exists a school subject called “religion”, which if obligatory may usually be substituted by an irreligious variant called e.g. “ethics.” There are still big discussions (even in Berlin) wether the subject should be obligatory or not.

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Gesture Steered Turing Machines

July 1st, 2016

A new astlab project, which comes closer to realize something which I have carried around in my head for now almost ten years.

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About Brexit

June 26th, 2016

“Bum faces – not allowed.” My british nephew’s clear message on his Berlin residence.

Some of you may know that part of our family is based in Great Britain. So for us the Brexit is not just a distressing fact with respect to the unity of Europe. Especially for my sister -a german citizen living in London and currently teaching architecture in Brighton and Brussels- life will get most probably quite a bit more difficult. So of course we are not happy about the Brexit. Nevertheless I feel rather uncomfortable with voices in the media which suggest that asking the British people to decide wether they would like to stay in the European Union or not as “problematic”. That is I think the referendum was a very democratic move and should be repected as such.
It is almost sure that the motivations for some of the votes were not connected to the actual question with all its consequences and of course it is important to understand not only the outcome of the Brexit but also those motivations but I think that rendering the Brexit referendum as problematic means implicitly to question (that form of) democratic decision making. So if some people want to question the procedure of a referendum as such then this should be adressed directly and not in connection with the outcome of one particular question.

p-values and Glyphosate animal tests

May 19th, 2016


Dead marten in our garden. Cause of death unknown. The head was unexplainably jammed by twigs (see image). The animal was already stiff when I found it. Could have been there at most for a day.

Here a comment about a specific problem in statistics which is often ignored by (mostly) non-mathematicians.

I originally intended to leave the comment in a mathematicians forum where this problem is discussed. As an example I looked at the glyphosate Renewal Assessment Report from 2013 where I think this ignorance leads to very problematic conclusions. Warning: some details about the animal test results are rather explicit.

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About maldeformation in Fallujah

April 30th, 2016


image from Wikipedia by Vincent de Groot.

In the context of the last post about the WHO and the assessment of health problems due to radioactivity I wonder about one citation in the BBC report Falluja doctors report rise in birth defects. The BBC report was linked to from the Guardians WHO critique which I had mentioned in the last post.

According to the BBC report the citation was by “British-based Iraqi researcher Malik Hamdan:”

Ms Hamdan said that based on data from January this year, the rate of congenital heart defects was 95 per 1,000 births – 13 times the rate found in Europe.

Malik is a male name, so I guess this is a misprint and who is probably meant is Malak Hamdan.

Why did I wonder about that citation?

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Commemorating the Chernobyl disaster

April 26th, 2016


Image of the new safe confinement of April 2015 by Tim Porter, Wikimedia Commons

On the occasion of commemorating the Chernobyl disaster which happened then 25 years ago an interview with Dörte Siedentopf (a physician who has since 20 years been working in disaster relief programs for victims of the disaster and an antinuclear activist) had been published on Germanys major public news website. It was reposted today on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the disaster. Amongst others Dörte Siedentopf drew my attention to a 1959 agreement between the IAEA and the WHO.
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