DIARY 2001















Fri, Mar 30

<13:37> Phew. Finally, a couple of minutes break. I've been busy working with Sohail and Rend all week, hardly getting any sleep during the nights (well, [3..5] hours or so). The work on Rend's PhD data has involved writing a huge Perl script - I'd never used that since this Tuesday, and early this morning I wrote some self-generating code :-). Wonder if it is possible, that due to quantum uncertainties, somewhere in the Universe there are Perl scripts emerging out of vacuum. Even a tiny eval statement could grow exponentially, if lucky. 8-]

Oh, btw, got my summer placement sorted out. That's a real relief, I didn't like all that application mess. Physics near Geneve, you know what that place is. 8-]

Fri, Mar 23

<01:57> This was a weird evening. I left the Scientific Society meeting a bit early because I'd sent Lauri an ICQ message to meet him at the Mitre pub at ten. He'd asked me to go for a pint this evening. I didn't get a reply but somehow I felt he obviously must have read it. I was there on time (unlike usually) and I decided to wait outside, which is what he usually does. Well, after only a couple of minutes he's there, coming from the pub next door with some women. He had _not_ got the message. In fact it turned out that the message never came to his computer, probably because of a bug in my software. Moreover, I have the habit of checking for replies before waiting for anyone this way. And I usually wait indoors - had I done that I wouldn't have seen Lauri there. Hence, we have now scientifically proved that telepathy is more reliable than ICQ. Hope email still works ;-)

Sat, Mar 17

<04:05> Well. If you don't know anything about my philosophy of life read here, the go on. Rend had invited me to the Scientific Society annual meeting just for company, for free drinks and meeting new people. I got persuaded to join by a couple of people, and I genuinely got interested in the idea of the society, I thought I could just as well do it to vote Rend for president. Of course it was great when she won the election. Then there were a couple of committee posts with no candidates, so I decided to go for it and now I'm a general committee member after about half an hour of ordinary membership. We went to celebrate and do further planning over a few drinks, then an Indian dinner, and more drinks. At some point Rend asked me to become the CEO of bluesci, I said I could try it for now. It's all pretty weird and wonderful, dunno how it's going to turn up but at least I followed my instinct of unpredictability. In addition, it was an excellent day for Rend's other business Publistra in many ways. Should I put an :-) here? No. Oh, wait, I already did :-)

Fri, Mar 16

<01:45> Q. That was some pardey. Despite the over-promising title 'Retro Electro' of the night which turned out mostly retro, the Q club was actually a nice venue and we had a good time. Rudi and Lauri were there with me, even though both had declined the offer in advance. But after a pizza at Eraina, we decided to go and see a fashion show because of a Finnish friend involved, and that made a good contibution to the pardey mood. The guys changed some pardey gear on and off we went. In fact the place reminds me of a couple of venues in Kuopio, which is probably why it felt almost like home. 8-]

BTW the term is now finished, I still have some coursework to do and the literature essay. So it's three weeks before going to Finland, but then I'll be able to enjoy pure holiday without a trace of work. :-)

But now I'm tired, hardly slept last night. It's been a tough term, but you know what they say: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Wed, Mar 14

<19:34> Almost forgot it's Pi Day - thanks to /. for the reminder. Quite appropriate that I have some physics work to do, but it's the last bunch this term. Now, let me remind you of the first few digits of Pi, by noting the number of letters in the wollowing words:

How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics! :-)

Sun, Mar 11

<06:43> More Tea Vicar? Rave yes. The difference between fatigue and laziness, chapter 1: "I didn't bother working so I just went clubbing for nine hours." -~ B-]

Wed, Mar 7

<22:14> A lovely, warm day, something that should be forbidden by law in early March ;-). Had the first 'terassiolut' of the spring. In fact you could see it was warm already around 3:30 am as I was walking home from Rend's place. It was nice to meet again, everything feels like the same even though I'm not working for the web sites this term. But maybe I will later on this year...

Mon, Mar 5

<19:28> Gave my ~15 min talk on my Lit. Review topic, Macroscopic Quantum Coherence. Not assessed, but it was fun to prepare and give anyway. And there was at least one guy who was a lot more prepared, really fluent, impressive.

That kind of ended a tough working period of over a week. There's more to come, but now there's a little time to relax. :-)

Fri, Mar 2

<21:40> Absolute Perfection yesterday. Admit a slight overstatement, but it's been one of the best afternoons/evenings for many weeks, along with the Canterbury trips.

It was all quite simple. But, then again, it had taken a few thoughts to schedule. Sauna at 4, pints at about 6:30, excellent food at Eraina around 7. The only real deadline, however, was a film at 9. Now, it had been a virtually perfect sauna trip of the quasi-official Finnish Society, quite special because Tuomas was here with the old gang again. But there was this film I'd planned to see even before the sauna plans. In the film, the idea of a 'deadline' grew into unforeseeable magnitudes.

Before describing the film, it is quite apt to mention what Maikki told us about her biochemistry research, over a pint at Hogshead. In the lab they use tumour cells which can develop into almost anything with suitable growth factors applied. She told in some of the specimens you could see teeth, hair and even throbbing hearts, while her own research focuses on growing the muscles of blood-vessel walls. Now that was creepy enough, and the film had not yet started.

Ring. Japanese horror about a reporter trying to solve the mystery of a cursed video. Very touching, not a pleasant experience. Refreshingly different from "Hollywood gore-fests". Truly surprising, disturbing end scenes. Something of a minimalism as well, with the unforgettably disturbing music samples, very powerful. In conclusion, one of the few films I'd rate as *****.

It still disturbs me, fortunately Tuomas stayed the night at my place and we stayed up discussing that and many other interesting topics until about 4am. Amazing what we both learned from each other, how much we agreed on, while we're in quite different realms of study - he's a theologian, but on the other hand we're both interested in the deep questions of the universe, if only taking different approaches.

Found out today that both a sequel and a prequel (Ring 2 and 0) have been made. The sequel should be good, but the very end of Ring gave a strong taste of a certain kind of completeness. Anyway, you go and see the film as soon as you find it. Please, for the love of Buddha, try to get a copy within one week.. ;-)

Thu, Mar 1

<15:30> Tuomas is back @cam to see some of us old friends. He graduated last year (he's a div grad ;-). I had this week's schedule full of work, but it has to wait when there's someone you haven't seen for almost a year coming over. We're having the traditional sauna+beer+food etc. tonight with some other Finns. Should be nice, and I still have one supervision tomorrow. :-)

Risto A. Paju