Explain it to your dog

I’ve been reading this morning an excellent piece of science about quantum physic, with this guy explaining to his dog the many-world quantum theory:

I’m sitting at the computer typing, when the dog bumps up against my legs. I look down, and she’s sniffing the floor around my feet intently.
“What are you doing down there?”
“I’m looking for steak!” she says, wagging her tail hopefully.
“I’m pretty certain that there’s no steak down there,” I say. “I’ve never eaten steak at the computer, and I’ve certainly never dropped any on the floor.”
“You did in some universe,” she says, still sniffing.
I sigh. “I’m going to move the quantum physics books to a higher shelf, so you can’t reach them.”

Check at his blog for more dog-science explanation.

CopperIt looks like it’s far more understandable when you explain it to your dog, a bit like Calvin and Hobbes explain life.

By the way, check this other comic artists, also speaking to his dog and explaining tiny bits of life: Copper

Fabbing might be a coming revolution: far more accessible than nanotechnology, it would allow people to have a mini-industry at home to build common objects.
In coming months, my project it to build one of these 3D printers, that will be self-replating itself to spread fabbing in few places like Toulouse, Berlin or Madrid.

rr1_header.png

I’ve discovered RepRap this weekend, it seems the best options to follow, a great community around a small budget printer (400$ is their goal).
Now, let’s get it in practice, that’s a really extended project: electronic, software, mechanic, … a lot a new skills to learn!

Call me back in a month to see if something has been built yet :)

More links:

Feevy: Eating your own dog-food

Because we’re currently developping some WordPress extensions for Feevy, it’s time to integrate it on this weblog too.

Feevy Sidebar Widget

First release of Feevy sidebar widget, that would people using free wordpress.com account to get Feevy in their sidebars.

To test it on your ‘own-managed’ wordpress weblog:

  • Download and install Sidebar Widget plugin. Your WordPress theme need to be compatible, or you can modify it using these instructions;
  • Download and install Feevy Sidebar Widget;
  • Configure your Feevy widget in Sidebar Widget configuration panel.

You can add up to 9 Feevy in your sidebar (or sidebars). It would be particulary useful for people using tags.

Coming plugin: Feevy Blogroll

This plugin will insert a new panel in WordPress Blogroll section, allowing you to manage your Feevy directly from your WordPress admin.

More to come soon 😉

RSS extension: GeoRSS

Reading about Google Maps API today, I discovered GeoRSS features:

Some simple xml elements to add in item elements:

<georss:point>43.127697 -77.573776</georss:point>
<geo:Point>
<geo:lat>43.127697</geo:lat>
<geo:long>-77.573776</geo:long>
</geo:Point>

Add it to Flickr feeds with a simple attribute (georss=1): http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/[…]&format=rss_200&georss=1

WordPress extented by GeoRSS plugin can be ready in 5 minutes and do miracles.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Source: Moishe Lettvin

After discussing with David about The Fountain movie, he redirected me to Ayn Rand that inspired the movie script with her novel The FountainHead. Links after links, I finally reached the purpose of this search: Objectivism, a libertarian movement that could answer a lot of the recursive questions I had last few weeks.

What is Objectivism

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
— Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

“Objectivism holds that there is no greater moral goal than achieving happiness. But one cannot achieve happiness by wish or whim. Fundamentally, it requires rational respect for the facts of reality, including the facts about our human nature and needs. Happiness requires that one live by objective principles, including moral integrity and respect for the rights of others.”

“Objectivism is optimistic, holding that the universe is open to human achievement and happiness and that each person has within him the ability to live a rich, fulfilling, independent life.”

What is the Objectivist View of Reality (Metaphysics)?

“In the course of life, we all encounter specific conflicts between our spiritual and our physical values (as well as conflicts within each category), but there is no inherent, global conflict between these aspects of our nature. Indeed, our most important activities serve the needs of body and soul, together. We live best when our reason and emotion are in harmony, for example. We know true love when we combine mental esteem with physical passion. Productive work is both a means of earning our daily bread and an expression of our creative powers.”

March 2007: first month out

Life

March has been a month out, the experiement I’d like to continue during coming years. It’s surely a bit tiring, spending only 10 days out of 30 at a place called “home”, but things to see are so infinites that I could have spent these 10 days out to another place to discover/enjoy new things.

First in Spain, to burn a perfectly ‘lucky’ christmas gift, and to visit David&Maria from Las Indias. 10 days of pure blossom, confronting ideas with freakies living in the same strange world, one foot in reality, one foot in virtuality. Meeting David&Sarah from San Fransisco, ad discover with them inner-Spain, small corners of a country unavailable to common tourists. That have been a great time to start this new travel, joining a new team to continue on the trip, and getting to understand this “Feel Happy” philosophy.

The time to wash my clothes back to Toulouse, and time to take another train to Lyon to visit Fred. Now it’s time to learn how to live in a new lifestyle: meeting people during the day, leaving them to sleep at night while working, and having breakfast with them in the morning before to go to sleep while they work during the day. Feeling great, until the nights where you’ve drink so much that you’re not able to do anything useful in the night when everybody else is sleeping :) And as typical after meeting Fred, I’m back from Lyon with a lot of life’s lessons to put my theeth on, things are going forward.

Movies

The Fountain: this movie has been so ravaging that it shadows all other movies watched during this month. I couldn’t recommend it due to particular conditions while watching it, and it would be this kind of movie I’ll respect without being able to watch it again in the same conditions.
(click to view trailer)

Music

Artists of the month:

Radio this month, Seattle centric:

Books

  • Louves de Mer: first book I’ve found about XVI’s century pirates, and as all novels I love, main characters are women. The story of 2 women evolving in a man world, finding their way to the top. Love, passion, strange feelings in disguise when people have to trust their hearth to discover the truth below the appearance.
  • Nous les Dieux by B. Weber: to read
  • Ravage by R. Barjavel: to read

After discovering a new aiport command line for Mac OSX, the history command told me about my recent travels:

SSID auth cipher IBSS time stamp
0: Alx 2 2 0 11/10/06 10:18
1: lasindias 3 0 0 03/09/07 00:48
2: TECOM-AH4222-79D49D 4 5 0 01/16/07 17:43
3: THOMSON 3 0 0 12/18/06 22:09
4: sternschnuppe 3 5 0 12/20/06 12:16
5: HUBTELECOM 3 0 0 12/20/06 04:54
6: AFO 4 5 0 12/18/06 18:40
7: wifipass 3 0 0 12/18/06 18:28
8: Minijoan 2 4 0 06/15/06 12:40
9: iChat Bonjour 3 0 1 11/18/06 15:39

How to get a virtual world wall map similar to those you can find in most of students flat? with small pins on it to celebrate reminders of excellent moments abroad?

Using google map, it’s possible to add this pins (markers) on the map, and it’s possible to add lines between these markers, so everything is there to implement basic functionnalities.

Once the basics are done, the next steps could be more interesting: how wirtual maps can extend the experience?

  • Add a slider to navigate thought time, David‘s idea with his students about extending google maps with history layers (see google market sliders);
  • Have the possibility to add future markers, so your friends – or other people – can see your plans for coming weeks. Serious privacy issues, but all the tracklog concept lay on these issues;
  • Creating a multi-layer map with friends or other people on it, there we are really near a Global Surveillance concept;
  • Color change on path, depending on the transport – plane, foot, bicycle, … – or relate to the time slider with a nice gradient.

Interesting links around the same idea: