Monday, March 31, 2008

intelligence vs social skills

More and more often I come to the same conclusion:

Taken from here.

WOW - April Fool's almost got me...

It took me around one minute to understand that the new feature "Custom Time" introduced by that would allow you backdate your emails is only April Fool's joke. What a relief. It is scary to think that nowadays' technology would allow things like this to happen and that it is only up to our morality to accept/reject them...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

scuba (dooba)

Cats and dogs can do it, so hopefully I should also somehow manage to do it :)

Scuba Cat And you thought cats hated water.

Monday, March 10, 2008

thou shalt not carry out morally dubious scientific experiments

I guess this is not the last attempt of Catholic Church to discourage even further number of people to itself (read more on BBC News page):

The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly sins by adding seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming prevalent in what it calls an era of "unstoppable globalisation".

Those newly risking eternal punishment include drug pushers, the obscenely wealthy, and scientists who manipulate human genes. So "thou shalt not carry out morally dubious scientific experiments" or "thou shalt not pollute the earth" might one day be added to the Ten Commandments.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell".

camera upgrade

I know that I had said that I would only buy a wide angle lens for my SLR when the quality of my photos justifies further investment in photography, but I changed my mind :) I just couldn't resist anymore those sweet and thoughtful amazon recommendations of things that can make my camera even more happy and last Saturday I went ahead and bought following items:

1) Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
2) Tiffen 77mm UV Protection Filter
3) Nikon ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control for D50 & D70 Digital SLR Cameras
4) Nikon SB-600 Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
5) Sto-Fen OMNI-BOUNCE OM-600 - Flash diffuser
6) Digital Concepts TR-60N Camera Tripod with Carrying Case

I find it amazing that cost of all these accessories exceeds the cost of the camera itself. Also I also find it amusing that I will have to wait for my new lens 2-3 months as its demand is so high that Sigma can not manufacture it fast enough... Unfortunately, it probably means that it will not arrive before my trip to Italy at the beginning of May which is unlucky as this trip would provide great testing conditions for the new lens :(

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

30: rock engravings at Twyfelfontain

Twyfelfontein is one of the biggest and most important rock-art concentrations in Africa. The name means ''Doubtful fountain'' and it was given to this site by a local farmer who doubted that a spring which existed in the area could support cattle for a long enough time.

There are approximately 2 500 engravings around Twyfelfontein. They belong to several different rock-art styles, the most popular ones being the iconic style which depicts animals and their spoor; and the geometric style, which is characterized by abstract figures like ovals, circles, and all sorts of curving and wandering lines. It is unknown when and why these paintings/engraving were maid, but there is evidence that area was occupied as early as 6 000 years ago. It is also hypothesized that the engravings were part of the people's spiritual ceremony and were created by shamans while in a state of trance to represent their dreams = prophecies.

Soft red and yellow sandstones of Twyfelfontein provide an easy base for rock engraving, but are also susceptible to erosion:

Giraffes were supposed to symbolize presence of the nearby water source:

Iconic Twyfelfontain engraving - "Dancing lion":

Close up of dancing lion:

Other animal motifs:

Monday, March 3, 2008

frozen fruits with mascarpone cream

This dessert is always a hit among all my guests. At the same time it is extremely easy and fast to make. I got the original recipe from Beate (though probably I changed it a bit). Also with this dessert I won in two out of three categories at the food competition organized during one of the summer parties at my previous work (MPI-CBG in Dresden).

What you need:

  • 1.5 box (350-400g) of mascarpone cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3 table spoons of sugar
  • one bag (350-400g) of frozen fruits (e.g. berry mix)

What you do:

Beat eggs with sugar, gradually add mascarpone and mix everything together until it is smooth and creamy. Add frozen fruits, mixed gently. Store in the fridge. Preparation time: 5 minutes. Will feed 4-6 people.

vegetarian matoke

Matoke is a typical Ugandan dish based on plantain bananas. As plantains are easy to get in SF, I experimented with the original recipe to change it into a tasty vegetarian dish.

Here is what you need:

  • 3 plantains cut into cubes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 chile pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth

Here is what you do:

Sprinkle the plantains with lemon juice and set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan, fry the onion, tomatoes, pepper and garlic. Add vegetable broth and spices (salt, coriander, cayenne pepper). Continue frying and stirring until the broth starts to boil. Reduce heat, add plantains, simmer everything over low heat until plantains are soft and tender. Can be served either alone or with rice. Will feed 3-4 people.

bash on squash

[amir] It's funny sport, this squash. I noticed that the idea behind this game is to avoid getting hit on the face by your opponent, at the same time trying to hit her/him on the face with your racket. Additionally, there is this little ball which should distract the opponent to allow you to hit her/him more easily.

[amir] Śmieszny sport ten skłosz. Zauważyłem że chodzi w nim o to, żeby nie oberwać po ryju rakietą partnera, i żeby jemu zapakować swoją rakietę w twarz. Jest jeszcze taka mała śmieszna piłeczka, która ma na celu odwrócenie uwagi przeciwnika, co pozwoli na dogodniejsze wyprowadzenie ciosu.