by admin
02/06/09. 03:28:41 pm. 0 words, . Categories: Photography, Seychelles ,

iPhoto '09

I learned my lesson. Never touch a running system. That's why I was still running Tiger on my good old MacBook... Then I was intrigued by the new features of iPhoto, since so far I've been lacking a user-friendly picture browser on the Mac. Well the damn thing would only run on Leopard, so I had to install it last weekend, which could be a whole post of its own, but I want to spare you some frustrated hacking. Well the next problem was to get my pictures into the iPhoto database. For the average photographer, this would probably not be so much of a challenge, however try getting some 95'000 pictures (450GB, and NO this is a collection of undecent pictures I "found" on the internet but my personal work) from my PC to my MacBook. Well I planned on placing the IPhoto library on an external hard drive anyways, however this would not solve my problem as iPhoto encodes and integrates them into its very own database, occupying more space than the individual files, and as my external drive had only 750GB, I could not fit both the original pictures and the pictures in the database. First I planned importing them over the network, which after a wasted Sunday afternoon failed because of a Leopard bug that is making a stable smb connection to Windows XP impossible (at least in my hands). I tried making a firewire network which failed due to the same reasons. I could connect from Windows to Mac just fine, but not vice-versa... Anyways, my semi-broken 1TB Iomega drive (dubbed Terabetz by some unforgiving lab collegues) had to come to a rescue. Well kind off, since he tends to crash every couple of minutes due to a power cable issue, robbing me of my last nerve.
After a couple of 24h shifts (for my laptop that is) I have most of the pictures imported, however a greater number seems to be missing and many seem to have gotten copied multiple times, and the lack of a remove duplicates feature makes this another big pain. There seem to be a couple of third-party apps that do this, I might have to consider those. Then I finally tried out the much discussed face detection feature. First of all I have to say that that it has some serious flaws. It works in several steps. First, during importing, the app scans every picture for faces. Then later you have to name the people in these pictures, and he offers you similar pictures, refining the process more and more. The big issue for now is that the software scans every picture only once for face detection, and for one reason or another it fails to scan quite a significant number of albums and their respective contents, without giving you the option to run it again. Obviously this will be fixed in a patch, hopefully soon.
Now to the face detection itself. It is truly awesome. There's room for improvement, of course, but it really can do a lot! After the first couple of annoying manual confirmations it gets better and better. An interesting sidenote is that it will also show you very often interesting results. For example, it picked up on several occasions my girl-friends siblings when I was tagging her pictures. This screams for an automated family tree feature... Or it can detect blurry pictures far in the background with shocking accuracy. Of course it can also fail on many occasions, depending on the faces you are tagging. People are reporting that it's quite good in keeping cats apart, but I had problems with my dog so far. Well I guess more fun to come, hope they can address some of these issues.

by admin
02/04/09. 04:32:14 pm. 625 words, . Categories: Does not compute , 5 comments »

Andrew Bird European Tour

Here are the dates, I haven't decided on one yet, but I can guarantee you that I won't miss this one!
Apr 24      Bourges, Fr      Theatre Jacques Coeur
Apr 25     Rennes, FR     Ubu
Apr 27     Paris, FR     La Cigale
Apr 28     Nancy, FR     L'Autre Canal
Apr 29     Nantes, FR     Olympic
Apr 30     Lyon, FR     Epicerie Moderne
May 01     Cologne, DE     Luxor
May 03     Stockholm, SE     Strand
May 04     Copenhagen, DK     Lille Vega
May 05     Hamburg, DE     Uebel & Gefahrlich
May 06     Berlin, DE     Admiralsplast 101
May 07     Amsterdam, NL     Paradiso
May 09     Brussels, BE     Les Nuit de Botanique Cirque Royal
May 10     Bristol, GB     Thekla
May 11     London, GB     Shepherds Bush Empire
May 13     Manchester, GB     Academy 2
May 14     Glasgow, GB     Oran Mor

by admin
02/04/09. 02:07:57 pm. 195 words, . Categories: Music, Indie Music , 3 comments »

D' Pianocktail-Mixtape-Stöckchen

I'm usually not a huge fan of these blog memes but this one sounds like fun. Basically the question in the Luxembourgish blog scene arose whether or not mix tapes are still the way to go. So I just got the request from Joel to add the 4th track, and it wasn't an easy decision. Should I go with something weird, something classic, something alternative... I desperately wante to add some John Vanderslice, Andrew Bird, Decemberists or Sufjan Stevens, however, I went for something completely different. So here comes, Moondog with Bumbo from the Rare Materials CD (incidentally also the 4th track). Some Luxembourgish stuff following to keep the meme integer. Here's the link to the meme btw.

pianocktail mixtape

Lidd Nummer Eent

kennt vum Thorben

heescht Je temmène au vent vu Louise Attaque

bedeit him laang Owenter bis moies em véier am Flying mat sou villen Leit an esou villen gudden Momenter.

an passt heibai

Lidd Nummer Zwee

kennt vum Chris

heescht Skinny Love vum Bon Iver

bedeit him e wonnerbaren Album, deen en am Dezember 2008 entdeckt huet a bis well rop a rof läuschtert.

an passt heibai

Lidd Nummer Dräi

kennt vum Joël

heescht There Are Some Remedies Worse Than The Disease vun This Will Destroy You

bedeit him een Lidd, waat wéi gemaach ass fir dobai ze schreiwen, am Reen mam Auto ze fueren an dobai ze fëmmen, fir dGedanken op dRees iwert groniweleg Länner ze maachen, iwert denen en Zeppelin schwiewt.

an passt heibai

Lidd Nummer Véier

kennt vum Charel

heescht Bumbo vum Moondog

bedeit him een Lidd, waat ee fesselt an dobäi an eng parallel Welt eranzit, déi wäit eweg an dach nobäi ass. Eppes lieweges fléisst duerch seng musikalesch Oderen, de systolesche Rythmus erënnert mech un draam-ähnlech Sequenzen, déi ech nëmmen aus Lynch Filmer an Luciden Dreem hier kennen.

an passt heibäi:

Komm mir probéiren mol de Bengel weiderzeschéissen un de Staater


by admin
02/02/09. 12:19:15 pm. 335 words, . Categories: Music , 2 comments »


Pix are here.

by admin
02/01/09. 06:11:13 pm. 3 words, . Categories: Life in Basel ,

Liewerkniddlen - Liver dumplings - Leber Klösse

Continuing my series of Luxembourgish national dishes and gastronomic specialties, I present you today the Liewerkniddelen, which you could probably translate by liver dumplings. It's one of my favorite dishes, and for a very long time I could not prepare it because I was lacking a proper meat grinder. Well Xmas was my lucky day, and I must agree that while not many people would be happy to find a mincer under the Christmas tree, I was. It was a Alexanderwerk Fleischwolf inherited from my great-great grandparents. The quantities will be enough for 2 person. First I bought a cabbage head because I could not find any Sauerkraut, chopped it up in thin slices and incubated (yeah I do too much science) it overnight in the fridge with tons of salt. You need 300g fresh calf liver, 2 eggs, white bread and milk, parsley, onions, bacon ("Fette Speck" instead of "Moëre Speck", meaning the fattier the better) and potatoes (small ones). I began by carefully washing the cabbage in order not to get a salt shock, and then I cooked it for an hour in bouillon. I made "Gebootsche Gromperen" with the potatoes, so you peel them, take your bacon (around 70g) and fry it in an adequate pot (teflon coated is excellent for this), then remove the bacon but leave the liquid fat, add the raw potatoes and put on medium heat with a closed lid (no not your eyes!). Every couple of minutes, you shake the pot without opening the lid. So for the dumplings I chopped up the liver in thin slices, put them in the mincer, added the milk-soaked bread (100-150g) as last to get it all out. You have to pass it through twice, the second time adding the bacon and parsley.You then mix it with the eggs and some breadcrumbs (depending on how liquid it is), 2-3 chopped onions, season it (salt and pepper etc, use enough salt) and bring some bouillon to cook. You form fist-sized balls and place them in the boiling water and let it cook for some 10 minutes. Taste the cabbage, if it is still too salty wash it again and heat it shortly before eating in a pan with some oil. You can add some fried bacon (Gréiwen) on the potatoes and liver balls. They go great along some mustard!

by admin
02/01/09. 05:54:02 pm. 391 words, . Categories: Recipe of the Day , 4 comments »

I knew...

... I was in the wrong scientific field... People are just too stupid not to rip them off!

by admin
01/30/09. 09:41:41 am. 17 words, . Categories: Bad Science , 5 comments »

Jungle Blues

by admin
01/30/09. 08:59:13 am. 0 words, . Categories: Photography, Seychelles ,

Bacterial Growth Calculator

This fantastic tool saved me a couple of OD measurements yesterday night!

by admin
01/29/09. 08:11:06 am. 12 words, . Categories: Great Tools , 2 comments »

Step by Step

by admin
01/28/09. 11:54:52 am. 0 words, . Categories: Photography, Seychelles , 2 comments »

Help needed!

This one goes to my Luxembourgish readers I guess: A friend of a friend will be doing an internship in Luxembourg in the European Court on the Kirchberg. She will be there from February 28th till July, and we all know that it can be quite difficult to find a decent place to live for a couple of months, especially in our Grand-Duchy. So maybe anybody knows somebody who rents a room for a decent price, that would be awesome! She can speak Polish, English, French and some German (and probably tons of other languages that are not too relevant). So please, if you know anyone, just pass me a comment or mail. Thanks a lot!

by admin
01/28/09. 09:35:06 am. 116 words, . Categories: Luxembourg , 8 comments »

Luxemburgish Beer Evaluation

Since most of the people from the international student community in the Biozentrum had significant doubts about beers made in Luxembourg, I imported (with the help of Anne) a selection of 10 Luxemburgish beers, which still did not include all of the beers produced in our country, but still gave a very decent impression of its dynamic range. So yesterday before Movie Mondays, we finally found some time to devote our taste buds and other sensory inputs to the task of evaluating the whole lot. Results are interesting and will leave a lot of interpretation and analysis to statisticians and beer makers for years to come, but still, here they are, ranked from lowest to best. If your wondering about the origin of our international beer tasting committee U=De; D=It; Aa=Us; J=Us; S=Ch; T=Ch/Us. There was also a Polish judge who preferred not to give any comments but just contributed to the rating. Pix are here btw.

  1. Battin Edelpils:        3.86±1.57 out of 10. Smell: beerish (U.), ... (D.), bitter Pils (Aa.), strong wheaty smell (J.), pilsy (S.), beer (T.). Color: gold, slightly blurred (U.), just yellow (D.), dark for a pils (Aa.), golden (J.), bright gold (S.), yellow (T.). Taste: OK, average (U.), plane (D.), bitter, flavorless (Aa.), watery, bitter to the tongue (J.), thin (S.), bitter blond (T.). Comments: Good aftertaste (U.), there are better pils (D.), If we had a dump bucket, I would not drink this (Aa.), not something I'd want to drink again if I can help it (J.), a little bitter, thin average (S.)
  2. Mousel: 4.14±1.35 out of 10. Smell: unconspicuous (U.), intense (D.), cheap beer (Aa.), again slightly grape-like (J.), weak beery (S.), ... (T.). Color: OD 0.1-0.15 (U.), gold clear (D.), hazel light (bad) (Aa.), clear gold (J.), yellow (S.), light, slightly green (T.). Taste: ... (U.), sweet adieu (D.), plain (Aa.), tangy, bitter(J.), fresh but body-less (S.), bitter light (T.). Comments: ... (U.), tlight beer, to drink quickly if you are in a hurry (D.), Pilsner but lacking (Aa.), not a fan (J.), similar to the Diekirch, a bit weak, no after taste (S.)
  3. Bofferding: 4.80±1.3 out of 10. Smell: sourish (U.), low PH taste (D.), young wine/beer (bad) (Aa.), kind of wheaty, not strong (J.), little plain (S.), ... (T.). Color: pale (U.), yellow, light (D.),light super (Aa.), very light gold (J.), LB + Amp (S.), ... (T.). Taste: fresh (U.), plane, very light (D.), young, unexperienced (Aa.),  no after taste, just beery (J.), sour, refreshing (S.), ... (T.). Comments: ... (U.), blonde beer, acid adieu, if you don't like you can't appreciate it (D.), like a virgin, doesn't know what it wants (Aa.), ok, nothing spectacular (J.), similar to Braugold, no help at all, I know (S.)
  4. Simon Dinkel: 4.80±2.59 out of 10. Smell: malty (U.), intense, gets your attention (D.), yeast with floral (Aa.), strong yeasty smell (J.), milky (S.), sourish (T.). Color: pale, slightly blurred (U.), yellow, yellow (D.), yellow (Aa.), golden, slightly cloudy (J.), turbid (S.), turbid (T.). Taste: fresh (U.), little sweet (D.), deep but sweet (Aa.),  slightly sweet - vanilla like hues (J.), sour, fermenting, milky (S.), half-fermented, chemical (T.). Comments: ... (U.), drinking beer, doesn't bother you (D.), could be a great beer but falls short with finish / sweetness (Aa.), a bit of an after taste, but a nice beer (J.), very special beer, guess you like it or you don't... I don't... sorry dude (S.), brr (T.)
  5. Diekirch Premium: 5.29±1.8 out of 10. Smell: hoppy (U.), clear (D.), bitter (Aa.), bitter, slightly grape, stella (artois) like (J.), sour (S.), ... (T.). Color: golden (U.), light yellow (D.), light (Aa.), clear gold (light) (J.), yellow-apple (S.), ... (T.). Taste: slightly bitter (U.), dry, long (D.), surprising, not bitter, smooth (Aa.),  dry, slightly bitter (J.), light (S.), ... (T.). Comments: ... (U.), good if you are thirsty, light alcholoic (D.), good, different but smooth (Aa.), all right, but not something I would pick for myself (J.), very light, no distinct aftertaste, a juggy beer (S.), ... (T.)
  6. Battin Cambrinus: 5.43±1.62 out of 10. Smell: not very strong (U.), ... (D.), wheat (Aa.), wheat (J.), beery (S.), non existant (T.). Color: yellow (U.), gold, limpid (D.), golden (great) (Aa.), golden (J.), bronze goldish (S.), dark yellow (T.). Taste: ok, but a bit blond (U.), dry, bitter (D.), sbalanced (Aa.),  wheaty, slightly crisp (J.), bitter, dry (S.), old sock (T.). Comments: ... (U.), good for company drinking in a crowded and smoky pub (D.),good mouth feel (Aa.), good, drinkable, everyday beer (J.), it's great for hot sommer days, sitting at the pool (S.), next... (T.)
  7. Simon Pils: 5.6±1.41 out of 10. Smell: malty (U.), ? (D.), Classic Pils (Aa.), not a very strong smell, slightly sweet (J.), fresh, bitter (S.). Color: pale, slightly blurred (U.), very light yellow (D.), hazel blond (Aa.), light (J.), gloriously yellow (S.). Taste: Bitter (D.), great fullbodied Pils flavor (Aa.), very smooth (J.), light but with a nice after taste (S.). Comments: Can't rate it, ate shortbread before (U.), something more from a pils, the bitter doesn't last too much (D.), nice finish, filling (Aa.), little after taste with a nice finish (J.), aftertaste was interesting, excellent choice of name, all in all a very satisfying beer (S.)
  8. Simon Régal: 6.2±1.3 out of 10. Smell: normal (U.), ... (D.), missing (Aa.), ... (J.), somewhat like me (S.), ... (T.). Color: yellowish (U.), full yellow (D.), light gold (Aa.), golden (J.), applemint candy blue (S.), ... (T.). Taste: very nice, well balanced (U.), full, bitter (D.), strong, unexpected (Aa.),  very strong, a bit wheaty (J.), sourish (S.), ... (T.). Comments: ... (U.), impegnative high alcholic beer, good if u wanna get drunk quickly (D.), strong on tongue, middle and finish, great mouth, taste... low expectation on smell but surprising flavors (Aa.), the taste is very sttrong, but very hard to describe... kind of wheaty, kind of not... no real after taste (J.), a nice beer for drinking all night long (S.), ... (T.)
  9. Diekirch Grand Cru: 6.5±1.95 out of 10. Smell: ... (U.), ... (D.), ... (Aa.), slightly sweet (J.), undistinctive (S.), ... (T.). Color: dark amber (U.), ambroise (D.), cooper (Aa.), median amber (J.), copper dark (S.), ... (T.). Taste: great! malty, strong, sweetish (U.), soft, smooth (D.), off sweet (Aa.),  wheaty (J.), malty, slightly sweet (S.), ... (T.). Comments: ... (U.), sweet too long (D.), cooper ale, nice but blond, too sweet on finish (Aa.), very smooth, a bit of an aftertaste which lingers with you (J.), somewhat weak in taste (S.), ... (T.)
  10. And the winner is: Wëllen Ourdaller: 7.21±2.04 out of 10. Smell: malty (U.), wild (D.), acidic off and flavorfull (Aa.), sweet yeasty (J.), strong (S.), myxococcus lutens (T.). Color: intransparant (U.), torpid amber (D.), unfiltered copper (great) (Aa.), cloudy amber (J.), amber (S.), turbid dark yellow (T.). Taste: like unfiltered beer (U.), bitter begin, sweet adieu (D.), a little off (Aa.),  slightly sweet, smooth (J.), strong, very tasty (S.), sweet yeasty (T.). Comments: yeast is clogging! (U.), excellent meditation beer, not to drink in company or hurry, just take time to tast it (D.), unique but off putting too (Aa.), very nice beer, strong tastes but not overwhelming, extremely drinkable (J.), very nice, completely different to the rest (S.), ... (T.)

Ps: The Luxemburgish delegation preferred to remain neutral, as did the Israeli and Indian.
Pps: I also uploaded the pix from Poker night.

by admin
01/28/09. 09:15:47 am. 1207 words, . Categories: Luxembourg , 4 comments »

Anse Yasmin

by admin
01/27/09. 01:56:59 pm. 0 words, . Categories: Photography, Seychelles , 2 comments »

Anse Lazio

by admin
01/26/09. 03:27:05 pm. 0 words, . Categories: Photography, Seychelles ,


by admin
01/23/09. 09:06:28 am. 0 words, . Categories: Photography, Seychelles , 2 comments »

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