June 2005

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Just a quick tip for spending your bandwidth: The BBC made (respectivly will make) Beethovens symphinies 6 to 9 available for free download for one week (as mp3, performed by the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda).

It is always fun too see what journalist do with numbers, especially when they represent probabilities. Today’s Kurier writes that the "probability [to win in Lotto] is 1.800.000". So let’s all run to the next "Annahmestelle" and buy a "Lotto-Schein". When you hand it in, your are not only sure to win, but you will win with a 1.8 * 10^8 % chance!

Speaking of numbers and newspapers. A while back the Standard wrote that "10^50 is an enormous number – a one with 49 zeros at end".

See this open letter, why schools (in the US) should not only teach evolution theory and the theory of Intelligent Designs (fortunately most don’t do the second), but also that the universe was cr5eated by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

What I like most about this letter is the demonstration of how easy it is to devise statistical nonsense, which sounds very scientifically:

"For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature."

Support OpenRAW.

Just finished reading the Glasperlenspiel (The Glass Bead Game) by Hermann Hesse today. I really liked that book. Hesse touches so many subjects, is full of wisdom and gave me a lot to think about. And all of this in a fantastic language. This is one of the books one just has to read – especially while being a student interested in "pure" subject (in contrast say to an applied one). (And, yes Johannes, this is an allusion that you should hurry up finishing the book ;-) ).

In other news, here are some videos from this years Guadec. And after lurking on deviantArt for more than one and a half year I uploaded my first contributions.