Monday 31 March 2008

A reason to be proud to be a European

As an engineer I feel particularly proud to be a European these days, seeing as our space agency, the ESA, has accomplished and is accomplishing an impressive feat with the launch of Jules Verne, the first of a series of ATVs (Automated Transfer Vehicles) -- space "trucks" bound for the International Space Station ISS -- and its preparations for rendezvous with the ISS, which is to occur come Thursday. It is heartening to see how flawlessly nearly everything has gone for the mission so far!

Follow the news in ESA's ATV special and see some of the coverage by Jonathan Amos of the BBC's Science division, for instance about the launch and about today's beautiful approach "dress rehearsal" (at the bottom of which you can see a live plot of the ATV's path over the earth!).

Now if that can't motivate me to try and do some similarly high-quality European science...

Friday 21 March 2008

Obama speech

Last Tuesday, Barack Obama, the leading candidate in the Democrats' primaries for this year's US presidential election, gave a speech in Philadelphia, "A More Perfect Union", in which he took a critical stand on a questionable sermon of the former minister of his Chicago congregation, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
I really think the speech is a noteworthy example of some of Obama's "philosophy" and even more than that, of his ability to express himself, both his rhethoric and eloquence, so I warmly recommend you to read and/or watch at least a part of it (you may not have enough patience for all of the 37 minutes) if you haven't done so yet!
What a joy it would be to have this man as the next US President, after the incumbent blundering, if and when not criminal, babbling baboon!! Here's crossing my fingers...

A new kind of tube radio... [DE]

Deutschlandradio Kultur: Das kleinste Radio der Welt ist ein Röhrenradio... ein Nanoröhrenradio! :-)

Sunday 16 March 2008

Castles in the Air

I read this the other day and found it very apt: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
Maybe it's a bit too verbose really to fit Miguel de Cervantes' observation: “An aphorism is a short sentence based on long experience”, but that doesn't lessen its value as food for thought.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming, as long as you don't stop at dreaming but strive to make the dreams come true -- that's what I've made out of it. Any more ideas?


"At a blank sheet you can stare forever."

Hej, hello, hallo, my friends, family and pals!
As I was planning to start this blog I spent some thought on which language to write in.  Since I don't feel keen on awkwardly writing everything thrice (for my German-speaking, Swedish-speaking, and international readers), what I have now decided upon is to take lingua franca English as the default (what surprise!), but to liberally post, quote, or link to stuff in either language if the subject is mostly interesting for the speakers of that language anyway.  Hope that suits you all fine!
Other than that, the task for this post was mostly to overcome the barrier expressed in the first words: the harrowing experience of sitting in front of a blank sheet (or screen in this case) and not knowing what to write simply because I have not written anything on it yet!
Seems I have succeeded in that... so from now on you may expect to find new entries of mine here on a loosely regular basis. As noteworthy events come and go.
Cheers! /Sebastian