Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I have been silent here for far too long, mainly because there were a number of other things that had higher priority on my list. So, just as some sort of sign of life here is a video of a cool gadget that I have been toying around with recently:

The Wiimote can be found for less than 30 Euros on Ebay and there are probably many fun things to do with the IR sensor and the accelerometer. Maybe combined with an Arduino.

The whiteboard functionality just cries for an application combined with a USB digital TV stick and gromit. This should be just in time for a Kloppomat for the semi-finals starting tomorrow (which will be watched chez the Christandls).

Currently, I am trying to do damage control on my failure to update my laptop from Etch to Lenny (this post is written while I wait for the backup of home directories to be finished).

There are many other items in my pipeline to to be written about. Let me list them so I have some additional motivation in the near future:

  • In april I attended a conference on different approaches to quantum gravity which was a lot better than it sounds. I would like to comment at least on the talks on exact renormalisation group and a non-gaussian fixedpoint of gravity and

  • the talks by the loop people (including Ashtekar's talk which he last week also presented as an ASC colloquium here at LMU). Just as a teaser: In the extended discussion sessions at the conference Thiemann claimed that by coupling to his version of gravity he can quantise any theory. We was then asked about anomalous theories and still claimed that that wouldn't matter. Ashtekar however seemed to smell that that was not the best answer and chimed in by mentioning that maybe later the anomalous theories do not have flat low energy limits. Nice move according to the classic "blame it on the part of the theory nobody has any idea about" strategy.

  • I have a little project going trying to join some archeological data with google earth/maps. What seemed like a trivial coordinate transformation in spherical coordinates turned out to be much more complicated due to the precision required (one has to take into account not only that the earth is an ellipsoid but also that there are different reference ellispoids used by different people etc).

So watch this space!