Category Archives: life in it’s simplest form…

Google Street View

So it does not matter weather you like it or not, I personally do not really know what to think of it – but [stag]Google Street View[/stag] is here to stay.

But now there is a change for you to make sure that you’re now where close to where they take pictures (if you don’t like being on the photos), or show up and make silly things, which people will have to look at for years.

Google have for that purpose created a website which shows where the photo cars are right now.

Now should one make a competition, to encourage people to do silly things??? (I’m in no doubt that Google’s legal department isn’t going to like that)

The Language

As a non-native English speaker it can sometimes be difficult or awkward to use a [stag]language[/stag] I did not grow up with (my English teacher actually failed me in verbal English – in High School). But it also makes me allergic so to say, to ‘add’ words to my native Danish – not mine (as it have not really developed for the last 9 years), but the language in general. I do not listen to a lot of Danish, I normally get my daily input from online news papers, and sometime I really get worked up over ‘add’ words which do not fit into the context or simply look like they are used by the writer just to “look” cool.. no good.

All languages have developed over the years (maybe except for Icelandic… they where cut off from the rest of the world for a while), and every language borrows words from neighboring languages, which means that in Danish there are German, Swedish (god forbid), English, Latin and so forth words, which have over the years found their way in, so that they are a part of the language, natural language development.

Thanks to the TV, movies and the internet it has now accelerated to the extent that people use English (actually American English which is even worse) words in combination with Danish where the words are used out of context. Which makes it very annoying for a native Danish speaker who is using English as the first language. It would be as using käfer (German nick name for the VW Beetle) when describing a normal beetle found in nature, if one would know that the käfer is a beetle (tough a car) then one would also know what the person would talk about, but otherwise be utterly lost.

Now in English it’s slightly different, here words are created (or developed) so that they describe something for which there earlier wasn’t a word, or simply because the object for which the word is being used didn’t exist before. Like ‘Social Notworker’ which is a person who is so busy with social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc) that this person does not find time working (nerds are like that – non-nerds think so). Unfortunately these words also find their way into other languages, and by that pollute them, why not use local words instead?

[stag]Paul McFedries[/stag] have created a website for these words (the English ones); called [stag]wordspy.com[/stag], have a look and see how bad it can get…..

I got a headache (I’m a mere speck)

One of the things I like to think about is [stag]’life, the universe, and everything[/stag]’, yes Douglas Adams had a profound impact on my way at looking at the sky. And I’m still happy that earth was not removed to to make space for a interstellar highway (or was it). And no I’m not a philosopher, I just have keen interest in every thing.

So how about that headache, first visualize yourself in you comfy chair in your living room, then continue to put your self in perspective in you city (or country if you live in a small town). See that was not too difficult, then continue to include the earth (yes it’s actually kind of biggish, but will get smaller shortly).

Now that you have the basics in place, you can continue to include the Sun (Sol), Mercury, Venus, Earth (we already covered that), Mars (are there still creatures living there?), Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, at this point you could also count in Mars, but that was made into a non-planet a couple of years ago.

At this point you should starting feeling kind of smallish, and start having difficulties coping, we’re not there yet, so stay where you are!

Now they say that the galaxy (that is the Milky Way for you) contains billions of suns (that is 1 in the power of 9 ~ 1.000.000.000), actually it’s in the range of 200-400 billions of suns, now start imagine you statue taken this into considerations. Then is starts getting really unpleasant, as suddenly you’re no more that a speck on the tip of a needle – a very small needle that is.

To get from there to the really big numbers, take the Milky Way, put it in together with billions of other galaxies each of roughly the same size (that is 200-400 billion stars in a universe which contain more than a billion gallaxies); (200-400^9 * x^9), where x is the number of galaxies in the universe (which is still unknown), now we’re talking.

Now we have reached the point where nothing really doesn’t matter anymore, as the numbers are so big that just thinking about it, is causing a headache.

I always like the way [stag]Douglas Adams[/stag] explained it; the number of people in the universe is nil, that is because the number of inhabitable systems, is so great and most of them would probably not be inhabited, then take the number of people and divide that with the number of inhabitable system and you should get a number which is close to 0… there for the number of people in the universe is nil….. read the books and you will be enlightened:-)

How’s the headache doing?

Look up the numbers on wikipedia.org

To Darwin or not to Darwin

Politikken (Danish Newspaper) just published an article (english via google translate) where they say that a majority of Americans (that’s the people living in the USA), think that God created the Earth, in Denmark it’s minority.

Some years back I heard this small story which puts a bit of color on the whole thing;

Moses walks up to the mountain where he receives the tables from God, and part of the conversation which took place was told as;

Moses; “So how did it become?”
God; “what do you mean?”
Moses; “how did all of this become, you know, life, universe, everything?”
God smiles, and settles down and says: “billions of years ago there was nothing, and then suddenly there what this very big explosion, which started the process of creating stars….”
Moses looks at God (very confusing at this point), and says “aehhh, could I get the short version please, this is too complicated”
God; “Ok, on the first day….”

Not saying that this is what happened or not, as no one who is alive today was around to witness this conversation, but it is always healthy to ask questions, and if one put what is written in a book (and rewritten, more than ones) as a fact then something is wrong.

Also weather [stag]Book of Genesis[/stag] is true or false, or if [stag]Darwin[/stag] was right or he was wrong, should not stop us from asking questions.

Persons

Just a small note…. It’s “people” and not “persons”!

One person, does not become persons where there is more of them. They become people…..

And yes, my [stag]English[/stag] is not that great either.

Update.

It seams that I am wrong, according to a dictionary;

— snip —
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French persone, from Latin persona ‘actor’s mask, character in a play,’ later ‘human being.’

USAGE The words people and persons can both be used as the plural of person, but they are not used in exactly the same way. People is by far the more common of the two words and is used in most ordinary contexts: : a group of people ;: there were only about ten people ;: several thousand people have been rehoused. Persons, on the other hand, tends now to be restricted to official or formal contexts, as in : this vehicle is authorized to carry twenty persons ;: no persons admitted without a pass. In some contexts, persons, by pointing to the individual, may sound less friendly than people:: the number should not be disclosed to any unauthorized persons.
— snip —

My fault… should have looked it up before I started complaining.

Lost crafts

One may sometimes wonder what the [stag]computer[/stag] have given to us, I hear do not think of easy access to information, email, etc. more in the way of what have lost by having the computer.

I was having a discussion with some friends this weekend, and one of the things which came up it looks like “just” because we now have the computer, and there are tools which can help in our work, and somethings are easier to do, it then does not mean that it’s done the right way.

For example, retouching photos. In the “old” days it was a pain staking job to do, now anyone can scan the photo (if we are talking about photos), use Adobe PhotoShop to stretch/repair the photo, and everyone can do it with a bit of trail and error. But is it done the right way?

And how can it be that some crafts are no longer taught, my dad was a blacksmith and was taught to make horseshoes from raw metal, these days it looks like one can buy horseshoes off the shelf and then “just” do the fitting.

I do not think we should expect that most of the known [stag]crafts[/stag] will be around in another 50 – 100 years, and that means that we will not know the basis, which in some cases could be required to create something which is not possible to do with a computer and a CNC machine.

And will it actually help our society if we don’t know how to produce things by hand?