News

January 21, 2019

So I took a trip to the site of the world's largest particle accelerator at CERN. What about it?

Well, it was pretty amazing, is what's about it! My physics class went together with a bunch of students from the local upper secondary school. The purpose of the visit, apart from CERN, was to do some physics experiments first at the hotel we were staying (at 430m above sea level), and then almost at the peak of Aiguille du Midi, at 3777m. The point of the various experiments was to test the effects that lower air density has on weight and sound. But first, CERN!

(This post is heavy on pictures; click on an image to get a bigger version.)

In front of the reception. Here is a souvenir shop and a museum called Microcosmos, and here we were welcomed and had about an hour of information and questions from the audience.

The floor of the reception area is amazing.

In front of the Antimatter Factory. Yes, it's exactly as it says on the can: They manufacture antimatter in there.

Inside the Antimatter Factory is ELENA (Extra Low Energy Antiproton), a decelerator for antiprotons, making them easier to trap.

After that we were taken to the Data Centre, to a small museum there overlooking the server farm. I took a lot of pictures, but these two are my prize ones. This is me in front of one of the computers that none other than Tim Berners-Lee used to develop HTTP and HTML, so you can imagine my child-like joy in taking these two pictures! (The guide jokingly suggested I lick the mouse. I jokingly pretended to consider it!)

Next we were taken inside ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment), one out of four points on the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) ring where the particles actually collide. I was really hoping we would be able to visit the inside of the LHC tunnel itself, but alas, the guide told me security had been tightened in the last few years, and even if he could, he wouldn't be able to open up the door leading to it. So, the next best thing...

... was to take my picture next to it. Right behind those doors lies the tunnel which houses the world's largest particle accelerator, measuring 27 km in circumference! So close...

And for the last volley of pictures, here are a bunch of photos I took of a sculpture called Wandering the Immesurable:

Last, but not least, my good friend Even visited me this past weekend, and we had a blast! We also decided to do a synchronous update of our respective web sites, but I was a bit late. But out of pure whimsicality we decided to take a picture of each other from our phones at the exact same time (see his post for my picture):

December 27, 2018

Life is going remarkably well for me, better than I could have imagined five years ago.

I didn't get into NMBU in Ås, but I did get into USN (Universitetet i Sør-Øst Norge, The University of South-Eastern Norway) in Kongsberg! I'm enrolled in a five year course called LUR, Lektorutdanning Realfag (science teacher). I've finished my first semester, getting two C's (in pedagogy and mathematics) and a B (in physics, which I would have never believed), and I'm happy with the results, with the lesson being that I can get better in those two subjects. I've gotten to know a few of the people in my class, and I think we're a great bunch of people, and I'm looking forward to spending nine more semesters with them. During this semester we've also been two weeks at a local "Ungdomsskole" (ages 13-16) to get to know what it's like to be a practicing teacher. I quite liked that experience, and I had two sessions of mathematics with a class without assistance, something we weren't required to do, but I thought it would be fun. I think I did alright.

Next semester I have mathematics, physics, and programming. Am I looking forward to it? You bet!

Jovana and me. Jovana and me. Jovana and me.

I've known Jovana Ikić for a little over a year now (in fact, I'm writing this news update from her apartment in Serbia while she's asleep next to me), and we are utterly and deeply in love. She lives in Serbia and I live in Norway, but we are planning to move together when she finishes her internship at a local psychiatry ward. She is on her last year of a Master's Degree in psychology, and she is way smarter than she has any right to be! (I won't make a joke about getting free therapy sessions.) I first visited her in february 2018 for a week, then in the summer of 2018 for twenty days, and now I'm in Serbia again for the Christmas and New Years holidays. Among other things, we had a wonderful four days in Sarajevo (about five hours by bus from where she lives). See my Instagram for pictures.

I swear I will get around to a proper update on books I've read, and I swear I will be working on revamping the Books page. Sometime before the end of 2019 (I have to be realistic!).

March 22, 2018

I'm not dead, nor have I given up on my web site, contrary to the looks of things. (I'm referring, of course, to the fact that there has been no news update for almost four years!)

In short (and in vague terms) I've focused on cleaning up some things in my personal life, in addition to focusing on my social life. I might elaborate in detail about all of this, but for now I'm not really comfortable talking about it on my public web site for the world to see.

I have some site-related updates, but I'm saving them for another time: Right now I really just want to push out a news update to give myself an incentive to keep going with this. I do still have great plans for expanding and remaking the entire site, especially the Books page.

In my real life, quite a lot of things are happening. If all goes according to plan I will be enrolling in a five-year course at NMBU in Ås, at the end of which I will be a science teacher. I have been working part time as a substitute teacher in mathematics at a local high school (or the rough Norwegian equivalent thereof) for a bit over two years now, during which time I discovered that this is something I really enjoy doing. My life is taking unexpected, but good, turns!

In other awesome news, I am completely and utterly in love with a wonderful Serbian woman whom I've known for almost half a year now. We are both deeply in love, in fact, and it looks like it's going to last. I'm very, very happy about this! She is smart, attractive, attentive and loving, and I would soon run out of adjectives if I were to heap them on. Naturally I'm learning Serbian, albeit slowly! :-P

More to come. Watch this space.

September 29, 2014

A Wilburer has been lurking in my inbox for five years, and has now been correctly relocated to its proper place. What am I talking about?

August 25, 2014

I finished reading part 1 of the roving mad adventures of the Knight of the Rueful Countenance (Don Quixote, he of the windmills). Being somewhat tired of that, I'm postponing part 2 for another time. In the meantime I will read other things, my busy (heh) schedule permitting.

I have linked to an extremely fun (and free) racer called Nitronic Rush. Why don't you go play it?

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down. / You can't let go and you can't hold on. / You can't go back and you can't stand still. / If the thunder don't get you then the lightnin' will.

July 29, 2014

What's up, you ask? Enjoying life, I answer.

There's a heat wave sweeping over Norway, which means taking a walk in the day is out of the question, so I've been taking late evening walks when it's cool enough to do so. I don't feel like writing much in this heat, but I'll give an update of the books I've read recently, in category form.

Science fiction:

Other fiction:

Non-fiction:

"Hidden so deep in veils of deceit, imprisoned in twisting spells. / Are we the plaything of fiends, or merely the dreams that we're telling ourselves, telling ourselves?"

March 6, 2014

My web site is now much more mobile-friendly. I've taken advantage of CSS Media Queries to apply custom styling for "desktops" (width above 800 pixels), "tablets" (width between 500 and 800 pixels) and "mobile" (width below 500 pixels). To see the effects of this, if you're on a desktop, change the width of the browser window until the changes kick in. Immediately you'll notice the navigation bar changing and various margins and padding becoming smaller to compensate for smaller screen real estate, but there are a lot of subtle changes here and there. I'm still working on making this better. Most conspicuously, tables still look horrible on smaller screens and the Books page needs more work.

There is also a scroll-to-top button in the bottom right corner of the screen (if you scroll below a certain level).

I have a lot of updates. More another day.

June 9, 2013

I've finally gotten into a good reading groove, and I've managed to read a bunch of books. The Reason-Driven Life, Bad Science, Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar..., The Hunting of the Snark, Odd John, The Abominable Earthman, and Cosmos. I also read two Clarke books, The Songs of Distant Earth and Imperial Earth, and bought a couple of more that I'm planning on reading very soon. I also read a short manga series, Uzumaki, and I'm currently reading some others (which I'll hopefully complete soon).

I spent some time pruning the books database, culling irrelevant books or books with poor reviews, or simply books with no review which I plan on re-reading and giving a proper one.

I also noticed a horrendous mistake on the Books page which has been there since the beginning: manga books would have their cover images (back and front) reversed for the simple reason that they're read from "back" to "front"! (These are relative terms, of course.) That was a silly mistake, and it's fixed now.

And I added a link to Ektoplazm, an excellent repository of free music (of varying quality, but a lot of it is good).

January 30, 2013

I spent an hour fixing something on my Books page that's been bugging me for a long time: You can now toggle the visibility of the contents of books when there are multiple books being displayed, independently (example), whereas before it was limited to one book (when multiple books were displayed you'd get a permalink to that book's own page).

Amazing, right?

January 18, 2013

I read the Scott Pilgrim series of comics and watched the movie of it, both of which I found mildly entertaining.

I did some minor janitorial work here and there on the site.

There's a cold wave sweeping over this part of Norway, which means I get to take far fewer walks than I'd like to.

Do I blog?

Something I forgot to mention which happened a few months back: I got a job working for a company called Etrip as a programmer, which explains the dearth of updates.

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