Archive for March, 2007

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Geeks and humour

March 30, 2007

I saw a great comic/thingy on xkcd.com; it’s so great because I’m a scientist (or that’s how I like to see myself), and I base decisions and theories on some sort of logic. That’s why I fail so often in love… it doesn’t make any sense. Therefore, it perfectly expresses my feelings (also, as a geek, expressing feelings is not one of my sellingpoints … ;) ).


(This is the t-shirt version)

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Abstract pictures

March 25, 2007

It has been a long week, without much time to post. But I made a few pictures, and to be honest I like them. Click on them to get the large version.




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Why is ice slippery?

March 17, 2007

There’s an article in the December 2005 episode of Physics Today written by Robert Rosenberg, titled ‘Why is ice slippery?’
A simple question, but the answer is however not so simple. The first part of the solution is the following: for example, when you’re on ice skates the pressure (force per unit area) is very high (the blades of the skates occupy a small area, whereas the weight on them is large). This increase in pressure results in a lower melting temperature of the ice below the skates: -3.5 degrees Celsius. Thus, the ice melts, and you skate over the water. Simple. Or not?
However, what happens when the outside temperature is below -3.5 degrees? Can’t you skate below that temperature? Nonsense. Also, the pressure on the snow exerted by a skier is not enough to make it melt (larger area). What happens when you slide over the snow or ice, is frictional heating. The author then mentions an experiment, with the following brilliant remark:

“The increase in temperature with velocity, they observed, was consistent with frictional, localized heating of the ice underfoot to create a thin water layer. Were pressure melting -an endothermic process- the dominant contribution, the researchers would have expected a decrease in temperature.”

The heat created due to friction causes the temperature to rise, so a waterlayer is created, and you can skate over the ice.
There, problem solved. Not quite.
But why can ice be slippery when you’re standing still on it? This question is analyzed in the remaining pages, where he shows what evidence there is for the existence of a liquid-like film at the surface, even at temperatures below zero. He concludes with a discussion of experiments about the thickness of the film and temperature-range of the effect.

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New name

March 16, 2007

We changed the address of this blag; now it’s zerofication.blogspot.com, as you’re probably aware of. The new name is more original, and stands for everything in life that is diminished into nothing. Nullified. Zerofied. Zerofication: the process of zerofying. Or something like that. Like television news reporting on ‘human interest’-stories, instead of the really important news.
By the way, a good news source is The New Standard, in their own words “independent. non-profit. commercial-free. uncompromised”.

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The joy of a forum

March 15, 2007

A lot of people reside behind their comps to relax and socialize. Some enjoy the company of other people in an instant message conversation, while others play games like World of Warcraft. Personally, I love to visit sites where you can post comments, make threads, play some games or just read random amusing nonsense.A good example of such a site is Gaia online. It is a site based around anime. Yes, anime. Do not be discouraged if you are not into anime. There are a lot of topics and subjects and for everyone at least something they like. You can discuss serious subjects on the debate forums. Have a go at roleplaying as a vampire or make a puzzle. A reward is given for every action or post you make. This is in the form of a currency. It is virtual currency of course. This ‘money’ can be used to gain items by buying them on the marketplace or trading in one of the many threads. Another good waste of time is Zantarni. This is a site much similar to Gaia online. The biggest difference with the first is that it does not have a lot of spammers and random posters. Zantarni has less visitors. It does not have the nice graphics like Gaia, but it has it’s positive traits. The site gives a more familiar feeling to it all. The thing is that Gaia, because of it’s immense userbase, makes you feel lost and alone in a big new virtual world. Making new friends would be difficult for a newbie, because of the acquired status of the older users. Zantarni is new and does not have such an upper clash yet. I must add that there are still problems on the Zantarni site. One of those problems has been a glitch. It produced a lot of virtual money and caused the economy of Zantarni to crash (Yes, like in the real world.). That combined with the sudden ‘missing in action’ of the administrator made some users quite angry. A lot of people have left the site because of all this. Even I have not been on it for a while. But it seems that the site is steadily rebuilding itself with some new members in the staff.The last site that caught my eye is Menewsha. It is still under heavy testing and in Alpha phase. You can register yourself and post on the forum. They have a lot of items already, but for now not a site that is on the same level as the two previous ones. I hope that will change. It has quite the potential to grow into a big forum based game like Gaia.

The reason for me posting this bit of jibberish is because I have been asked to join the staff of a similar gamesite. It is still work in progress. I do not even know if I will stay with them, because I am always doing other things. The pixelart is quite remarkable and the people are very friendly. So for now something you definitely have to visit in the future.

For the people who are interested in joining one of these games:
I can refer you for the two first ones. The third had to take down the referral system, because some users were abusing it. You get extra gold on Gaia, if I refer you. On Zantarni it is the opposite. I will get 100 gold for referring you, but I will give it to you of course.

Do not hessitate to add me on Gaia online or Zantarni. I do not know if Menewsha has the feature to add friends. I will just add it also. Please personal message me on the sites, because I will not add you if I think you are a random person. Just tell me you visited this blog.

My usernames:
Achaia Crucifix (Gaia online)
Achaia (Zantarni)
Jade Crucifix (Menewsha)

(I made my first post! Yay! )

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Lou Reed in Amsterdam

March 15, 2007

I was happy when I saw that Lou Reed is coming to town. Lou Reed. To Amsterdam. Performing Berlin. Live. Until I discovered the ticketprices: approximately between 60 and 73 euros. Fucking hell. I expected it to be around 45-50. Not sure if I still want to go; it’s a lot of money. I can (or I have to) eat for a month with that money. But still haven’t made up my mind.

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New pictures

March 14, 2007
Here is some new experimental art I created. Maybe you’ll like it.


(No, it’s not some kind of love-toy … what women think of these days …)