DIARY 2002















Sun, Jun 30

<00:24> He drew a deep breath. "Well, I'm back," he said.

<20:19> Early day in Rantasalmi, at the summer cottage, was a nice start for my life back in Finland. The natural environment with its peculiar complexities and structures brought to mind the recent experience, and I decided to focus my Canon on textures and surfaces. As I later watched the pictures and listened to Shpongle I regained some of the euphoria.

Might be worth the mention that Friday was my graduation ceremony, parents accompanying. We left Cambridge for good early Saturday morning. Travel was quite painful with the massive luggage, but it was a good reminder: one of the reasons why I'd like to stay @fi for some time.

Nothing much to tell about the ceremony. Ordered the photo of the actual moment of admission to the degree; gotta make that public as it's silly if explained in words only. I was disappointed to note that the M.Sci. academic hood was not quite pink, but silvery grey with just a hint of pink :-). Parents impressed, admittedly it's a a higher order of magnitude in pomp and tradition (mind the horrible English pronunciation of Latin phrases) if compared to the matter-of-fact style of Finnish universities.

Wed, Jun 26

<16:01> "I believe in angels
something good in everything I see"

from the Abba musical Mamma Mia. Yesterday in London with my parents. This genuinely feel-good piece of musical drama had such intense moments, that reminded me of last Thursday's psychedelia. I could probably say this is the Rock n' Roll bit of the holy trinity I've just experienced, Jesus Green Flash Run being the 'sex' bit.

Moreover, that quote leads me to one strong analogy I felt during the Thursday trip. In the brilliant Anime film Princess Mononoke, there are scenes of thorough positive energy and universal love, where the forest is filled by appearances of homuncular nature-spirits. They are not much different from the sugardolls I encountered. That night I recalled those scenes and it was an easy interpretation to make, that I was being accompanied by the animate forces of nature. They were moments of fundamental peace, love and understanding between me and the universe.

Sun, Jun 23

<13:29> Willow back on track after a system breakdown... GLIBC update failed.. you don't want to know more.

Friday evening was Juhannus or Midsummer, but I was too deep in my thoughts to enjoy the picnic and pubbing. I didn't want to stay out, because of the obligation I felt about co-organizing it. I still can't complain, having tasted some Koskenkorva and rye bread after a long break.

Why was I deep in thoughts? Before going on, I should remind You, the Honourable Reader, about some basic issues. This diary is a collection of events that may be of interest to others to read at their discretion. If you feel distressed of offended by what you read, you are free to stop and do something else. This is my life, and I'm not telling you how to live yours. So please don't try and tell me how to live mine. Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, you know... now read on for one of the biggest adventures in my life!

Thursday night was the fulfillment of a long-term desire to experiment. Last Sunday I had been offered this possibility by Mindbender; his friend Wanja (from Germany) would be coming from London and I could join them.

On Thursday afternoon at 5pm we first went punting, it was a lovely weather and of course Wanja wanted the traditional Cambridge experience. Despite my punting experience I didn't feel any better than the guys, but we had a good time anyways. Which was a useful preparation for the rest of the night.

It was probably closer to 7pm when we got to Mindbender's place. There were six drops of LSD left in the vial, two for each (i.e. 200μg) which was a good dose. Dissolved into a glass of water we imbibed its holiness.

I had talked about beauties of the University Botanic Garden before, and we agreed to start the trip there. Normally it might have been closed by that time, but there was a jazz concert that night. Quite a luck! So after paying a little extra we got in. It was nice to have the music in the background, although we didn't go to the concert itself. Preferred walking deeper into the forest and enjoying nature.

Flowers and other plants somehow seemed to exude beauty. The colours were more intense, as were other sensations. One plant had soft hairy leaves not unlike a rabbit's ears.

Solitary trees looked wonderful, giants of eternal wisdom. The patterns on their trunks were captivating, even though we know they had always been there that way. The beauty of small things in nature had gone unnoticed until then. Vast walls of hedges started to look interesting.

I got to the next stage when Mindbender sat under a tree to stare one of the hedges. I was on the other side and looked at the tree. I started to notice the circular and spiral patterns on the ground, centred on the tree trunk. The slight variations in the soil colour were massively amplified. I started looking more carefully, if there might also be some height variations; the ground gradually rising towards the tree. To see this I thought I should defocus my vision, like watching a 3D picture.

Something collapsed sideways in my field of vision. Suddely the ground was painted with human shapes: athletic, partying, active and happy. The classical psychedelic sugardolls. I realized they were formed of the grass, leaves and other debris on the ground; it was just that my brain interpreted them in patterns I hadn't found before.

The patterns were often changed if I took another look. At one point I could see my own 'shadow' repeated on the ground, moving as I did, of course there was no direct sunlight to make a real shadow. The tree in the middle looked even more wonderful.

I recalled the film A Beautiful Mind, where John Nash started seeing patterns in newspaper text. Later I saw the same effect in some writings at Mindbender's place.

I started seeing sugardoll patterns on grass and other simple textured surfaces. They were wonderful and euphoric to look at. Seeing similar coloured patterns on dull-coloured surfaces like asphalt was quite provoking: the patterns were greatly amplified in colour and they seemed to jump out of the surface. Most of the patterns had cartoon-like human or animal characters interlocked in Escher-style lattices.

Luckily Wanja and Mindbender were there to remind me of other wonderful things to see, like flowers and other individual plants. At some point we concentrated on the clouds and the sunset. When sober, people often find familiar shapes in clouds, but this effect is massively exaggerated when on LSD. They start moving according to your imagination, but your rational mind isn't going anywhere, and just by blinking your eyes you can come back to normal -- if you want. Also, there is no dull or tiring effect like what alcohol does.

Looking back at the ground after a while, the candy people were back, and more hilarious than before. As we weren't alone in the garden, a woman asked us if we'd seen her daughter running around. We told we hadn't, and managed to contain ourselves from telling her what other things we'd just seen :-)

The pattern recognition effects became more apparent with plants that have obvious fractal structures. It normally takes some effort to spot the structure, now the effect was instant and very gratifying. It was easy to see the fractality in other forms which had more randomness in them. This brought to mind Stephen Wolfram's ideas of how the universe can be described in very simple structures that are appropriately repeated. I wondered if he had been on acid when making that discovery. I could certainly see the fractal patterns pervading the universe.

On the other hand, when looking at clouds I often saw sharp lines forming, as if there was a crystalline order within the clouds. I realized it's my subconscious that wants to see everything in terms of precise geometries. The same idea was more obvious, when sometimes the pattern that came superposed on textured surfaces, had letters and numbers, which I doubt are inherent in nature; they certainly come from my own mind.

Then again, an old idea of mine came back: we find these certain formulas and models of nature, because we are made of nature ourselves, and therefore our ideas of nature must be right to some extent! It's like nature is trying to tell ourselves something about herself, through our own minds. It's no surprise that this idea was more intriguing to me while tripping, but I was also able to reject it. I can't stress enough how cool it is, that you can retain your rational mind while having these wonderful sensations. In fact, I've read that it's the 'creativity centre' of brain that is most strongly accelerated by the LSD.

Since the most stunning and straightforward visuals came with repeating or random textures instead of macroscopic forms, I recalled the artistic tradition of Arabic cultures, where repeating patterns are favoured over other abstract forms and portraits. Also, while alcohol is banned by the Islamic law, there is a considerable tradition of using other drugs such as opium. Doesn't this make you say Hmmm?

As it got darker, we decided to go to Mindbender's place for a different kind of experience. The walk back there through the streets was mildly annoying, because the bright lights and noises were so strong. I can imagine you could get a bad trip if you stayed in a busy city centre.

While walking through the college grounds, I saw something moving on the grass, I thought this is it, it's getting deeper. Fortunately when we got closer, it turned out it was a real hedgehog. Cute, as some of us had been hogging the hedges just a while ago in the garden :-)

Mindbender's room was the setting for another stage: we dimmed the lights, lay down, and listened to experimental and electronic music. This was a completely different and yet another wonderful experience. The set-up was fruitful for synesthesia: visual sensations from audible phenomena. Not surprisingly I'd already seen the neon-coloured candy folk even behind my closed eyelids, but this was something more. The fractal and crystalline lattices were there as usual, but in addition I saw individual characters: One was a punk, whose nose grew into a long spike, and his hair got spiky as well, and soon he was a smiling blowfish-like head. Also saw Giger-style creatures made solely of flexible tubes/intestines, and they didn't feel frightening at all!

Changing the music and mood, the lights were on at times. The corners of the room seemed warped. The carpeting was an excellent substrate for some more Escher-Paisleys. Donuts and fruit juice tasted amazing, although the latter may have been a slight mistake; I've read that vitamin C can speed up the dissolution of LSD. After that the effects were slightly milder, but it may also have been the natural pace of coming down.

Some of the music was quite intense, and it was a good experiment in hearing enhancement. For a while I used the headphones, and a track of Hux-Flux contained lots of weird stuff that made me giggle. I particularly noted a drilling sound which made me feel like I'm being operated by a dentist :-)

The final destination on our checklist was Grantchester, and it was dark enough then. Most appropriately we listened to Grantchester Meadows by Pink Floyd before departing. It may be they had been on acid or something while recording the Ummagumma studio album.

On the way towards my place, we had to walk through a meadow. It felt like walking in a tight passage in the midst of shoulder-high weeds; yesterday I checked that it was really a wide path among plants barely knee-high :-). We also stopped at several places to marvel at different plants, and clusters thereof.

Grantchester by night on acid wasn't quite as amazing as I'd anticipated. The stuff was wearing off, though in the street lighting I could still feel walking in a candy house. We wanted to lie down and watch the sky, but it was too damp and in the end (around 3am) we lay down in the middle of the path for some time. At one occasion we stared at a distant row of trees; Wanja said it looked like they were passing by each other, and suddenly I saw the same thing. Similar effects of collective hallucination had been there already, for example with clouds.

Once we were approached by a cyclist in a hurry, and I recalled the idea that other people in those conditions could look frightening or weird. At the first sight he looked OK but as I pondered on that idea, I suddely saw that he had a big, green alien head. :-)

Around 4am the trip really started to feel it was over, and I headed home. Took a shower and checked mail and Slashdot (there was a story with "periodicity, patterns and chemicals" :). Before going to bed after 5am, I still noticed the funny glowing patterns on my carpeting. I slept soundly until 10-11am, feeling no extra fatigue. I didn't recall any dreams that night; of course, I'd just had enough REM stage for several weeks :-)

So, I've mentioned that Friday went by in a very meditative and pleasant state. Took long glances at plants, trees and hedges. As Mindbender had told me: "You'll never see reality again like you used to." Somehow, the trip had brought back my usual self which is quiet, pondering, philosophical, and appreciates the beauty of small and simple things; that which I'd partially lost in the busy maze of studies and work. I've now found it very easy to focus and meditate, and I like this state very much and believe it is beneficial.

I felt that everyone should experience LSD once, to remind them of that beauty. But what I had seen could not be generalized; there are many negative-minded people who would probably become much worse with the experience. More importantly, it takes a strong mind to tackle the power of acid. If it's your first time, do it with experienced and trusted friends, in good surroundings and a positive state of mind.

Today I feel I'm starting to lose the afterglow. It's probably psychological to a large extent, and last night's computing problems which took hours to fix, may have played a role. But of course I haven't lost the general effect of the trip: There is more than one way of seeing the world. There is more to nature than meets the uninitiated eye. And there's a lot of beauty around us which we often fail to appreciate.

I know most of the structures I saw were products of my own mind. Yet I felt like I was seeing the underlying patterns of the Universe: the code of the Matrix (This is a powerful analogy which I can't stress too much). There may be an apparent contradiction; however, if you think further it may not be so. For the scientific models can never tell how the universe really works, rather they tell about our relation to the universe. Secondly, if the world is a Matrix in the Buddhist sense, it is in fact created by our minds. It is therefore my humble conclusion that our peek into the deeper mind, was equivalently a sneak into the fabric of the Universe.

<23:35> A general note on tripping is worth the mention: the senses of time, hunger and thirst, virtually disappear. I believe this is due to the fascination factor. You see everything like a newborn baby, or like a person who, after years of serious visual impairment, suddenly has a perfect pair of eyes.

On the other hand, I have read some people's experiences that involve non-trivial projections/slices of spacetime. Interesting indeed; but in the overall fascination, that effect is easy to miss, especially for a first timer like me :-)

Of course the guys were aware of the thirst issue, and we kept a bottle of water with us, sipping every now and then.

Fri, Jun 21

<16:18> Thursday afternoon, finished reading The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Probably the best novel I've read since LotR, and one of the best I've ever read. Written in 1983, it's quite an early example of different styles working seamlessly together: classical SF, steampunk, fantasy, alternate history -- and massive adventure which easily rivals neoclassics like Fifth Element in its pace and turns.

From the first stages I was expecting a self-contained plot, but it turned out more like a fantastic story with unpredictable turns every now and then. One element reminding of plotted adventures was the locking together of crucial bits which you could sometimes guess in advance, but this didn't diminish the overall sense of wonder.

Added to the goings-on, the science bits worked well enough without detailed explanations. More interesting was the steampunk, which took the form of alchemy and magic used for travel across spacetime, telecommunications, and more eerie things I should leave unspoiled.

An important philosophical backbone emerges from two ideas: the switching of minds to different bodies, and the un-changeability of history. The latter, as you might know, has in the recent years been studied by serious physicists such as Igor Novikov. This is what really constitutes the SF of the story. Not surprisingly, there is much more to think than you might expect from the thickness of 464 pages (paperback). The cherry on the cake is the wonderfully open and optimistic ending.

Later that afternoon it was great to join Lauri J. and his friend Wanja for a different kind of reading: the book of Nature. It's fascinating what you can find when looking at things the right way.

Thu, Jun 20

<14:51> Last evening, as I hadn't got a ticket for T.H.Event, I professed my Finnish studentness taking advantage of a free barbecue here at Owlstone. Didn't particularly like the food, but at least had a good chat with Apostolo. We were both concerned about going abroad, getting new experiences and changing ourselves.

Later that night, as he came back from the film Spider-Man (well made but naïve it seems), the chat turned into a deeper discussion of a couple of hours. I was particularly stunned by the idea of the Greek Amphitheatre he explained: unlike the closed circle of e.g. football stadia, the half-open amphitheatre leaves the mind more open and concentrated. There is also the physiological view that the eye needs to see the infinite distance behind. It comes neatly back to the idea that I want away from the closed cities of England into the Finnish scenery which is better superposed with nature.

I should also mention Drop Dead Gorgeous that I watched on Tuesday night -- after selling my bike and the speaker system. While it's supposedly a comedy, I only chuckled mildly at a couple of points. It was profoundly absurd, just the way it was meant as a fake documentary extrapolated. The American lifestyle gets the mockery it deserves. So in a weird way I enjoyed it, and thought it was far more tasteful (in my weird taste) than the sick jokes of Farrelly movies.

Tue, Jun 18

<15:52> Punts. Lots of them, next to Trinity and the Tit Hall library. Obviously Trinity Ball had sucked and the folk wanted to escape into Clare. The river was so packed that you could have walked across it by stepping on the punts. Watching this with Lauri O, Lotta, and some cider in Tit Hall gardens. In fact we were there to watch the Trinity Ball fireworks which were quite amazing.

Mon, Jun 17

<13:35> It's sunny again. Looking in the mirror I see the bright eyes of a person who is one step closer to enlightenment than my yesterday self. How the heck did this happen?

Spontaneity reared its pretty head last evening. I had met Lauri J. in the afternoon, and we agreed to let each other know if there's something to do in the evening. I was waiting for a message from Lauri O. who had finished the May Bumps and was drinking with other boaties. Around 8 pm he said he'll stay that way all night. So I messaged L.J. with a note to go to Clowns for some philosophical chat.

At 10:40 our discussion hadn't really yet started, when L.O. phoned me with an invitation to a Grantchester walk with some whisky. What can you say? Off to the countryside night it was. Glenmorangie and Bowmore were excellent in the summer night with a hint of cool in the air. Kewl it was whenever we saw people with various lights from a distance. They didn't admit it was part of any sacred ritual, except one dedicated to Bacchus.

Talks got quite deep when we reached our usual tree stump next to Grantchester village. Just enough room for three to sit, without meddling with the bovine excrement. L.J. got massively pissed and the walk back was notably convoluted, but nobody got seriously hurt.

L.O. had suggested that, since it was a time of post-rowing celebrations for him, and the last May Week for me, us two should venture a naked run around Jesus Green. Which is exactly what we did. It was brief period of revelations, it felt perfectly natural to run in the park wearing Adam's leather suit. I couldn't help smiling. Legends tell of these events and finally we had done what a student's gotta do.

We had a fair amount of discussion afterwards, along the following lines: "What's wrong with running outdoors naked? Could the police punish us for not possessing certain garments? Why should anyone care if they had seen us?" To quote Mark Twain, "If God had meant us to run around naked, we would have been born that way." After all my attempts to break loose from the fashion limits, this was probably my most extreme one. I think L.O. now understands the point about wearing skirts in the 'regimental' way, it's just pure freedom.

It was like the ultimate exam. I have now finally done Cambridge.

<18:28> Armed with sunscreen, brimmed hat, camou kilt and a thin shirt I went to enjoy the midday at the botanic garden. Once again I realized that it's less about seeing the exotic plants, and more about the meditation on nature. Even though road noise is definitely higher there than in Grantchester, there's something tranquil in that place that's missing in G. Combined with last night's intellectual revelations, the sunny weather has a positive definite effect.

Sat, Jun 15

<22:01> Feeling content after a day in London. It was a slow start, however, and last night's bop with drinks played a part. The morning was fortunately the sunniest in two weeks, so I went for my new camou kilt and a t-shirt. Walking in Camden that way I felt relatively invisible. I remarked a triplet of Gothic ladies with aptly chosen backpacks: one like a gargoyle or bat, another like a small coffin. Also noticed a bloke with a long skirt over trousers, which looked cool enough, but on such a warm day it must have been quite a ball-boiling choice.

There was more than the usual thrill of going to Town, as I'm reading a book set in early 19th century London, full of familiar places. In the afternoon Hanne arrived, and it was a nice sharing of new events between old friends. It actually felt like we've grown up a little since the IB :-)

One notable reason for my trip was the Morphean leather coat I decided to acquire. After all, my future in Finland requires some more clothing, so why not do it in a fashion fit for The Finn. The matching boots I've already got. Too bad I'll probably wait until the autumn to start wearing the coat, but then again it's a long term investment for many years. I'm very pleased with the material, cut, and overall quality. More than I expected, that is. It's not a genuine Morpheus model (which costs fortunes with its exotic materials) but as TeknoHog I'll happily settle for something slightly different. This should also improve my skirting frequency, as the combination just works so much better.

Back to last evening. Antti R. and I went to Gandhi for a change, and it was not a good experience. Waiting was poorly organized and the food wasn't quite on par with the usual curry places. Not a disaster, but it'll certainly keep us away from there for a long while.

Thu, Jun 13

<00:58> Another expectation of Wednesday was fulfilled, I got the pleated camouflage kilt/skirt from Midas Clothing I'd ordered early this term. Basically a lightweight alternative to the real kilt, equally masculine, but more casual.

I wore it to see the May Bumps where Lauri and Lotta both row in 1st division boats. The weather was good for this trip, it's over an hour to walk there, so the scorching sunlight I keep expecting would have been less pleasant.

From the comments I [over]heard, my garment was sometimes mistaken for shorts. Other than that, the experience (including my confidence) was equal to real kilting, i.e. harmless, and I got the usual amount of nice smiles from ladies :-). The shorts/skirt confusion is important for what it tells about people: once they realize I'm wearing a skirt, they sometimes start acting funny. Even though the appearance of the garment doesn't change in the process. Does this mean, fashion is about something else than look and feel? Let me exaggerate:

That guy looks really masculine, confident and relaxed. But, oh my, that's a skirt he's wearing so he must be a queer pervert.

Something's wrong with that picture. Hope you see that too.

Wed, Jun 12

<14:12> The year's grade is 2.1. I feel strangely neutral about this, even considering it was my expectation value.

Tue, Jun 11

<03:13> The Farrelly brothers are putrid pieces of pure sick joke. Why I ever chose to watch this movie, is interesting, but it becomes apparent considering what a day of sheer passivity and boredom I had. Apparently, the past week was enough of relaxation and I could actually use something to do.

OK, the movie was a laugh -- I could have stopped the DivX any time -- and there were some nice dramatic ideas. Unfortunately the comic bits were mutilated by excessive morbidity. The brethren F obviously have lots of creative energy around, and I wish they could channel it into something more intelligent. Well, shouldn't we all.

<18:50> Interesting theory paper here. QM meets GR in superconductors. Apart from the grandiose implications -- EM<->GR wave converters and the ideas of quantum gravity -- this gives a nice intro to gravitational waves, in an approximation which is blatantly analogous to classical EM. There's also quite a bit of impedance matching involved, which makes this a good 'revision' paper for non-specialist physicists like me. Importantly, the paper shows that there's a lot of groundbreaking physics going on outside the massive superstring/particle industry.

Mon, Jun 10

<00:11> It was raining almost all day. In fact, most of the past week has been a 'Welcome to Britain' weather. I felt really futile as I wathed a mallard land on the concrete on the back yard, as it looked very desperate in his attempts to find a mate (based on the quacking I thought so). It didn't seem to mind the rain. So why did I feel so powerless, having to shop for food in that weather. I guess the frame of reference has quickly changed from the exam/project pressure to sheer indulgence.

After my Jalfrezi meal, it was time to enjoy A Beautiful Mind. This is one of the films that really verges on perfection in its class. To put it short, it is a powerful feel-good movie about the academia, grepmaster Nash, conspiracy theories, schitzophrenia, and the philosophy of reality itself. And by the way, it's the true story of John Nash, ending with his Nobel Prize award in 1994 - over 40 years after his groundbreaking theory :-/.

An amazing feat, as it manages to work in so many levels, both as a touching drama for the mundane folk, and deeply provoking to the scientifically minded. There is a Fight Clubish revelation of different realities, but even after the end you are left wondering where the line between reality and hallucinations actually went. While the film offers many things to different audiences, it is a wonderfully solid depiction of life and love.

After the film I met David (from the meditation class) who noted: "Very very good. Makes me want to do more math!" Agreed. Notably, the sky was now clear and I couldn't help smiling all the way back home. A powerful film, yes, but I was also thinking of new hope for next week's weather. After all, it's my last weeks of free time in Britain, so it might just as well show some 'Farewell Britain' weather :-)

Sun, Jun 9

<17:53> Fargo. A raw piece of Coen brothers meat. Quite candid and spontaneous, not overly graphic despite lots of killing and some mutilation. Things simply happen. Enjoyable to watch, with the numerous side plots and jokes, but left me nothing to think about afterwards.

Sat, Jun 8

<20:24> ..and the Illuminatus number mysticism goes on! Tonight's Finnish national lottery took a strange turn and the machine kept on spitting balls after the 7 main and 3 auxiliary numbers had been drawn. Apparently, the machine went nuts when the first auxiliary number ball, 23, went to the wrong side. This was the 23rd round of lottery this year. The next auxiliary number was 17 which also bears some Illuminating significance. Despite these odd incidences, yours truly still didn't win anything despite his deep involvement with 23. :-)

Last night was another scarcely participated Sauna event, with only Antti R. accompanying me. This was not a problem as we had plenty to discuss on graduate studies, particularly those of signal processing. Thai curries at The Hopbine were good as ever. Finished the night at two fewer frequented pubs nearby: first Zebra and then Citrus Bar. The latter was not the best of pubs, but an interesting place in some ways. They had some Jamaican lager on tap.

It's amazing how I've managed to stay half-active with all the studies behind. Naturally, there are many running affairs that I have to take care of, like replying to the many emails from old friends :-). On Thursday I went to see Lauri for some CDs he'd burned for me, and picked up some DivX CDs as well to kill -9 time. Watched one of these that night, the refreshingly different Being John Malkovich. There's enough of philosophy to keep the SF-oriented like me interested; it's fun because of the interesting and spontaneous ideas, not because of silly comedy. Different pieces lock together quite neatly, but the whole is slightly too simplistic, I expected a bit more. Still, for a mainstream film it is not bad, and might provide a lust for further philosophical pondering, which is what I personally would like it to do.

Wed, Jun 5

<17:59> I must be going almonds. Walking home from the college -- I'd enjoyed tea and cakes with the Dean -- I heard a beginner play the Finlandia Hymn with the trumpet or some other brass. I know there are quite a few foreigners living in Owlstone Road, but the possibility of En Finne Igen is just hilarious. On the other hand, there are plenty of Sibelius fans among the British. It's still quite amusing because I once played the Hymn with the trumpet in an important occasion. That was in 1990.

<19:08> As I have finished the studies, I suddenly find myself with lots of free time. Some might say, now is the time to look back at my four years. The temptation to dwell on the past is apparent. Particularly when Antti the Rigorist told me about his feelings when he saw the celebrating youth at the end of their school year. However, we should remember that humans have eyes at the front of their body, so that they can see where they are going. Even if there once was a backwards looking man, evolution has stripped it away from this planet. Dwelling on the past is futile because we cannot change it. Or can we? This question has become the subject of a famous novel and a number of related films.

Last evening Jaakko asked me to join him at the cinema, to see 40 Days and 40 Nights. It seemed like a silly comedy which addresses important sexual taboos, so I got somewhat interested. Then again, you could probably give the same description for American Pie. Fortunately 40D40N was sold out, and we decided to enjoy some Steampunk in the H. G. Wells style. The waiting of more than an hour, took the form of pints at Tram Depot nearby.

As the opening sequences of The Time Machine rolled on, I felt a great sense of coincidence: discussions on dwelling on the past, and the question of changing it. Later on came the taboos on this very topic, which neatly enough were broken. Also the idea of finding answers in the future were close to my present situation.

As a film, there is not much to complain. This is both steampunk and classical SF with the significant philosophical bits. Not surprisingly, the physics does not work out quite right, but at least the equations of electromagnetism on the blackboards are correct :-).

It's a long time since I'd read the book, but the film had obviously some new ideas which could only come from modern culture. However, this did not break the original atmosphere in any way. Effects were used quite sparingly, but those few big ones (for example when Earth changes from the year 2037 to about 800000) were mighty stunning. Personally I very much liked the cyber-gothic style of the morlocks' lair and their leader.

Mon, Jun 3

<13:49> TJ! Gonalla wäbä!


I won't let you down
I will not give you up
gotta have some faith in the sound
it's the one good thing that I've got

I must admit, this is pretty cool. I had reserved two ciders with me at Cavendish. So when Cathy and Sam enjoyed their post-physics ales, there was just enough cider for Andy and me. Cathy said it made the situation quite symmetric...

OK, the obvious comments on the exam. It was harder than my trial papers. Probably the exam conditions take their toll. Still, I believe I did well, (remember First limit is 67% of normalized result) but this is only 20% of the year's grade.

Yeah, there was too much of post-morten analysis and gloom over our pints afterwards at Queens' bar. It didn't help when Sam was counting his expected score. He even had the question paper with him. Well, enough of that shit, I'm off to make some lunch and check out the outdoor jubilee party ;-]

<15:46> Compiling a new kernel while listening to Hux Flux's 'Kernel Panic'. What could be more kewl?

Sat, Jun 1

<01:05> Nice, full feeling after sauna and a decent dinner. Only Rudi showed up, but be had plenty to discuss, for example future plans and summertime plans: Juhannus == midsummer .. Midsummer Common barbecue perhaps? For once the weather was so warm, there was no real need to go back inside after cooling down, but as we'd paid for the sauna, of course we went. Rudi was enjoying his free time - he's leaving for Mexico for a holiday - and of course I tried to convince him, that my worst strain was over with the project and now it's fairly relaxed revision time.

Speaking of the (Maxwell's?) devil, I did an old General paper in about 1.5 hours, it was so easy it was insulting. There are a number of conclusions you could draw:

  1. Mr. Murphy knows that 'easy' and 'insulting' are oscillating just enough that they will be inverted on Monday morning.
  2. I was lucky with those questions, it could be totally different on Monday.
  3. The paper does just what I've always wanted of an exam: it measures real skillz, and does not rely on memorizing the mass of the strange quark. So it can honestly be easy. But then again..
  4. ..normalization of the results means that it'll be easy for others as well, and I can still get a 2.2 or something.
In any case, I still can't decide if I'm the most confident optimist, or the most pathetic pessimist, of the known world.
Risto A. Paju