Thursday, November 25

The Philosophy of Software

My son-in-law David is out with hist last book The Philosophy of Software.
Probably not the first choice as Christmas gift to most book buyers in Norway, but if interested the book is now available at amazon.co.uk.
This is David´s third book. The first was Libre Culture: Meditations on Free Culture, with Giles Moss, and in 2008 he launched Copy, Rip, Burn: The politics of Open Source.

Next year his book: Understanding Digital Humanities: The Computational Turn and New Technology. will be published, and in 2012: Coding Creativity: Invention, Innovation and Digital Media.

Congratulation David and Trine who has been proof-reading book texts month after month this year.
More about David can be found Here .

Wednesday, November 24

Advent competition at Petunia´s blog


Petunia has once more given Norwegians a competition to join before Christmas.
However there is nothing in her blogtext that exclude bloggers outside Norway to join and hope for the big surprise in the early Advent times.
Her rules (in Norwegian) is:
Ved å legge igjen en kommentar her hos meg (=see link above), gir jeg deg ett lodd i dette gavedrysset. Hvis du besøker min mor sin blogg (= Nelly), og legger igjen en hilsen der også, får du enda et lodd. For alle som på sin egen blogg, forteller om dette gavedrysset, gir jeg to lodd (husk å gi meg beskjed om du gjør det.) Du kan altså få tilsammen fire lodd og øke dine vinnersjanser betraktelig. Jeg trekker ut to vinnere onsdag 1. desember!!
I found her blogpost this morning after returning from my Fitness Center using the back sack I won earlier in one of Petunia´s competitions.
Enter her blog and be a winner.

Monday, November 22

Bambi on Ice and at Inger´s home

One of the returning Christmas Movies on TV here in Norway is Bambi on Ice.
The Disney Classic cartoon has been on the favorite list probably not for our family alone, and more than 360.000 persons have watched the YouTube versions in Norwegian and English.
This morning Bambi visited the home of some friends, and with camera, email and some YouTube searches we ended up with a nice blogpost to share with you and eventually your families.

Then it it only to wait for springtime when Bambi and friends Hit PubertyHave a nice week up to the first Sunday in Advent 2010.

Saturday, November 20

Tips for a happy marriage

In the debate about time-squeeze, freedom to choose what is best for each families, etc. maybe these "good" advices (extracted from a "heimkunnskapsbok" from the 50's) will help females to understand their position in the marriage, partnership or relationship.
If right- or left-wing feminists think I am attacking them,
Read and learn:

Get your work done
Plan your tasks carefully and keep an eye on the clock. Get ready an hour before he is expected home. The man does not feel that heat flows toward him when he hears you break out "Are you home already?".

Have dinner ready
Plan a delicious meal at home the night before. When you show that you care about him and his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.Prepare yourself
Use fifteen minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Then you are also glad to see him, instead of being too tired to bother. Forget all the worries you may have, and be eternally grateful that you have the man who will soon come in the door. While you rest, you think about contracts and things you can do to give him spiritual uplifting. When you stand up, take care of your appearance. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little more fun and interesting than usual. He may need a lift after the long workday.
Clear away the clutter
Make one last trip through the house before he arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. in a bucket or wastebasket and put them in the bedroom for sorting later. Then you go over the tables with a duster. Your husband will feel he has come to a place of peace and order, and it will also make you feel more relaxed. Having the house in order is another way to show him that you really care about his homecoming.

Prepare your children
Take a few minutes to wash children's hands and faces (if they are small) comb their hair and change clothes if they are dirty. They are little treasures, and they should look like this.

Minimize all noise.
Especially note if your husband has run in rush hour traffic. After his arrival eliminate all noise from the washing machine (of course if this is on). Encourage children to be quiet when he arrives. Let them be a little noisy beforehand to get it out of their system.

Be glad to see him
Greet him with a warm smile and be happy. Say that it's good to have him home. This can provide additional value to his day. He needs all the romance he can get from you.
Not!
Do not greet him with problems or complaints. Solve problems before he comes home, if not, wait with them until evening comes. Also, do not complain if he comes home late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem compared to what he may have gone through that day. Do not allow children to rush at him with problems or requirements. Just leave them to briefly greet their father.

Be nice mod him
Give him the chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Be happy to massage his feet, but do not insist on this. Speak to him with a soft and relaxing voice. Let him relax.

Listen to him
You might have a dozen things to tell him, but his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first, then he better at what you have to tell him later.
Let the night be his
Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or the theater. Try to understand his stressful job and his need to stay home and relax. Is he sour and irritating not turn back, understand his stressful world.

The goal
Try to make your home a haven of peace and in order where your husband can refresh himself in body and spirit. Doing this he will rather be with you than anywhere else in the world and he will spend all their time on you and your children. Try to live by these rules for homecoming and see what happens. This is the right way to get a man home to you, not to complain and be in irritation.

Have a nice weekend

Thanks to Eldar Tandstad [mailto:eldar@leathermaster.no] and Asbjørn for letting me know.

Friday, November 19

Staying home or searching for other environments

The pre-Christmas renovation of our 128 years old apartment is progressing.
The living room has gone through smaller repairs in stuccos and fireplace, and the 134 inches high walls are repainted white by professional handymen.
A new parquet (Oak Country Brown Woodloc) is covering the floor waiting for the Tabriz rug and Chesterfield furniture.
At the moment we are surfing the internet about cleaning and maintenance of parquets by wet or/and dry mopping.
The question is therefore how long we shall stay in this working place, or asap run out for a more relaxed environment at a restaurant or pub. The Christmas time has already been launched at "fru Burum´s" so we know where to go.
It´s Friday and week end start.

Sorry, all photos have been deleted

Thursday, November 18

A Darwinian theory of beauty - Denis Dutton (2010)

TED has done it again.Take a look at this fascinating video when TED.com/Talks collaborates with animator Andrew Park to illustrate Denis Dutton's provocative theory on beauty -- that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.Have an interesting 15 minutes and experience where Dennis Dutton suggests that humans are hard-wired to seek beauty.

Wednesday, November 17

The Beatles 1963 - 1970 downloaded

My wife has her favorite: Eugene Onegin and I have mine The Beatles.

The 1879 opera Eugene Onegin, by Tchaikovsky, based on the book / novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin, is a classic in Russian literature. It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832, and the first complete edition was published in 1833. The currently accepted version being based on the 1837 publication, is part of the standard operatic repertoire; there are various recordings of it, and it is regularly performed.

The complete works by The Beatles was yesterday available at iTunes and some minutes after the launching my MacBook Pro and iPhone have all the music ready for listening.
In 1964 the Beatles arrived in USA as seen on the first photo. I cannot get my 1964 hair back, but all the memories and activities linked to these four Liverpoolians will forever be part of my mental and emotional development; first during the sixties but also in the remaining part of last century.
Take some minutes and listen to one of my favorites from Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Tuesday, November 16

Development in 45 years, then and now

Sometimes I wonder if times are changing faster now than before, or if people became older in a shorter time half a century ago compared to our times.
Times are running more or less in the same intervals (or the SI base unit) = seconds

The official SI definition of the second is as follows:

The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom.

Just for your information.

When looking at images of myself taken with an interval of 45 Julian years (aprox. 1 420 092 000 seconds) I certainly see the diference,but are the changes like those you may see on my grandparents photo from 1920 (top) to 1965 (below) different when we talk about age-changing. Do they look younger or older after 45 years compared to me.
Was life harder then, do we keep up with camouflaging the age process better or worse today, is outfits, fashion or make-ups part of how we think of age-changing, is time-squeezing an old or modern process, etc. Or it it only how we see ourselves compared to others and others see us.

I don´t know, but it gave me an opportunity to make a blogpost presenting some old photos of my mother´s parents, and that was the main objective.

Sunday, November 14

Greetings from grandchildren on MY day

Greetings from Sagene and Swansea. Klick on the video below.
Or see the greetings on this link.
Thanks to you all.

Saturday, November 13

Erected Tulips

From one morning to another.
Friday morning my Tulips had emptied all the water in the flower vase. The position of the hanging heads was a new experience. Ready for the garbage bin or? or could they be saved.
Saturday morning.
After filling fluid in the vase the erected Tulips can be compared to Penile Erection which can occur due to a full urinary bladder. I take it for granted that the Tulips not got erection as a result of the complex interaction of psychological, neural, vascular and endocrine factors, which is usually, though not exclusively, associated with sexual arousal.
Well you never know everything about nature.

Wednesday, November 10

"There is a jungle out there"

We are in the beginning of the repainting process of our apartment. The ceilings and walls need to be renovated and the time before Christmas has been chosen. However, doing the 300 sqm of painted surface (with ceilings and stucco 340cm over the floor) is a job for professional craftsmen, and "there is a jungle out there" a friend told me when we asked for support in finding some that was trustworthy, efficient and cost-effective. We used his references and starts on Monday.That gave us some chalenges in moving heavy furniture and gathering plants from different parts of the rooms away from the working area. On the table in the dining room we have thus put a lot of large green plants, recalling some of the memories from our stay in Asia Pacific some years ago. The jungle har moved home.
The narrow path outside our apartment in Ardmore Park and down to our Gourmet Grocer - Jason´s is shown on this photo. No need for using the car if we had forgotten something for dinner. Walking among snakes and lizards with the jungle sound in our ears became a natural cause.
The Bukit Timah Rainforest was another unforgettable jungle memory. Bukit Timah is Singapore's oldest primary rainforest. The forest was never extensively cleared for cultivation and shelters a vast variety of plants. Bukit Timah was declared by Alfred Russel Wallace to be 'exceedingly productive'. Indeed, species new to science continue to be discovered here, even today!
We used the nature reserve for weekend walks and exercise like HHHS the Hash House Harriers, Singapore. The Monday 15th run will take plce at Pulau Ubin
Moving around in rain forests and playing in jungles became one of the maturing activities for our children, and here you see Rikke swinging in a liane.The Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves are home to more than 840 flowering plants and over 500 species of animals. These include towering trees, climbing palms (better known as rattans), ferns, orchids, gingers and strange blooms such as the Black or Bat lily. The forest is home to all kinds of animals. The most commonly encountered are the Long-tailed Macaques or monkeys.

The jungle on my dinner table has no animals or creeps.

Tuesday, November 9

Virus probability here and there

Manchester United have been hit with a virus ahead of tomorrow's derby against City with Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes all believed to be among the victims, we can read in Guardian.co.uk

Normally Virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of organisms. Within the IT-world we know Computer virus as a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability.
Hopefully the virus is not following Ole Gunnar Solskjær on his return to Norwegian fotball and Molde FK. At least this confirmation of a Virus/malware-free Mac Book Pro can stand as a artificial confirmation that the virus in Manchester not already has reached our part of the world.

If you want to check your computer yourself, take a look at ESET Cybersecurity
and be sure: This blogpost is no invitation for an attack against my compurers.

Sunday, November 7

Weekend in snowy Ålesund

A break from the normal weekend activities in Oslo.
A house warming party at Harald and Solveig´s brave new home in Ålesund after their many years stay in Trondheim, could not take place without our participation.Saturday morning weather was cloudy, windy and with random showers. The temperature fell close to minus and the rain changed color to white during the afternoon and evening.
Sunday morning the snow had covered the mountain further down the hillside, and I found my new bought green galoshes very useful.
The snowfall made problems in the trafic, but SAS carried us back to Oslo on schedule and in time to follow this season´s last football match. (RBK - Aafk 2-2). Congratulation to Rosenborg BK and the same to Aalesund FK with being 4th in the serie 2010.

If you expect details from the party, I am sorry to tell that something have to be private also in my life. However the homemade Tapas produced by Solveig and the excellent Italian red Ruvei Barbera d´Alba 2007 served by Harald made the house warming party perfect.

Friday, November 5

First Heart Transplant, BonFire Celebration and Weekend

We don´t need to celebrate Bente and the RH-team83 every year, but just to keep you updated: Today it is 27 years since the first TX Cor took place in Norway. All the best wishes to those involved and their developed competence making me successfully the 294th Heart Transplant (and the first simultaneous Heart and Kidney Transplant) in Norway in 1998.

But today there is another celebration too.The History behind the Night 405 years ago you can read yourself on the British Life and Culture Site. I expect however to receive photos and Twitter updates from the celebration my family in Wales probably takes part in.And as an end to this week different activities in- and outside the walls: Have a nice weekend wherever you are.

Thursday, November 4

Big Brother monitoring ordinary Norwegians?

Almost straight across the street where some retired Norwegian secret service police officers and ex-military personnel (on behalf of USA) had a secret nest for monitoring life and attitude of other Norwegian citizens (according to Norwegian TV2), you may find this beautiful sculpture by Auguste Rodin from 1902. Today you can go and see the beauty without being afraid of the watchdogs. The nest has moved somewhere else or is closed. The square outside the US Embassy is on the other side of the nest with view towards Parkveien / Henrik Ibsensgt. In March 2008 I stayed a long time (a litle longer than normal) in this area waiting for some friends arriving by train at Nationaltheatret Railway Station. I took this photo of the embassy while waiting, but did the monitoring system from the window on the other side find it suspect and registered me in their system?
I don´t know, and as long as I have a good conscience I have nothing to be afraid of either. And as long as at least one of these guys visited USA and New York earlier this autumn, I can take it as a small evidence of not being interested for the secret service.
Maybe this blogpost will make everything upside down. What Big Brother is monitoring on digital media we still do not know.

Wednesday, November 3

The Nordic Federation once more

Today I directly copy a Comment by Eirikur Bergmann in The Guardian yesterday. (However I cannot see why he did not chose Ålesund as the Capital.)
The Nordic nations together would have economic and political clout – if they could overcome their fierce independent spirits

Today the leaders of the five Nordic states are meeting to discuss the possibility of creating a Nordic federal state. Ever since the Kalmar Union of the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden – reaching to Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Shetland and Orkney – collapsed in 1523, the idea of reinstating some sort of a supra-national Nordic state regularly crops up. Now this old idea has resurfaced in a book the Swedish history professor Gunnar Wetterberg submitted to the Nordic Council in Reykjavik today.

Wetterberg argues that together the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, with the three micro territories the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Aland), will be stronger and more stable and prosperous than they are on their own. After Sweden and Finland joined Denmark in the European Union in 1995, leaving Norway and Iceland in the European Free Trade Association (Efta) (and within the European Economic Area, which brings them in to the European internal market), the Nordic Council has been in search of renewed purpose. Over the last 15 years the cracks have become ever more obvious in Nordic co-operation: it has been downgraded to cover soft policy issues such as culture, while economics and other hard policy has been transferred to the European level.

With a joint government and a parliament based on a common constitution, the federal Nordic state should concentrate on foreign policy and defence, the economy and the labour-market, and research, leaving most other policy areas to the regional authorities in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik and Stockholm. Wetterberg compares his Nordic federation to the Swiss model and links it with the creation of the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy, which he claims developed from a similar situation as the one now found in the Nordics. This Nordic state would have 25 million inhabitants and, because of its wealth, would be one of the larger economies in Europe, equalling that of Spain. Its economic size would secure the federation an influential seat at the G20.

The discussion on a possible federation speaks directly to the fierce debate on Europe still raging in the Nordic states. However culturally and politically homogenous they might be, the Nordics are split on different sides of the EU fence – and while Denmark, Norway and Iceland are founding members of Nato, Sweden and Finland remain neutral. Finland is the only one to have adopted the euro, and Denmark has remained defiant in the face of the continuing changes within the EU and refused to sign up to either the Maastricht treaty or the euro. The Norwegian electorate has twice rejected EU accession. And Iceland only decided to apply for EU membership last year, after the economic crash.

In addition to common European values and identities such as protection of democracy, human rights and being based on Christian heritage within a stable nation state, scholars have also identified a set of joint Nordic values and identities. They include a belief in the welfare state and high taxes, systematic corporatism between government, interested organisations and civil society. These societies are built on Protestant ethics and emphasise equality, with special focus on woman's rights. Most of them share a similar language, and strong national sentiments can be found in all of them – put more negatively, one can even spot a joint xenophobia. Taking into account this sense of a common cultural space, the apparent difference in foreign policy becomes even more interesting.

A Nordic federation might be feasible from and economic and security perspective but if the debate on Europe tells us anything, it is that all of the Nordics guard their independence fiercely. The EU is a supra-national institution of independent states that have pooled sovereignty in specific, limited areas, but joining in a Nordic state, by definition, would end the independence of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and create a completely new state. Wetterberg therefore proposes much greater integration than can be found in the wildest dreams of European federalists.

Interestingly, 42% of the inhabitants of the Nordic five support the idea. Ironically, the proposal has even been welcomed by many of the anti-EU movements in the Nordic states. Many of them might see the Nordic state as an alternative to the EU, but Wetterberg actually argues that it should be one of the main pillars within the EU. That would surely be the worst of both worlds for those who believe in independent Nordic states outside of the EU. After a long and hard-fought struggle for independence, Norway and Iceland finally gained sovereignty and independence from Denmark in the early 20th century, and Finland escaped from the Swedes. It's difficult to see them surrendering to Copenhagen or Stockholm again.

It can, however, be a stimulating academic exercise to speculate about what this Nordic federal state should look like. In that spirit I propose beautiful Stockholm for a capital (the only never conquered by an foreign force), that we all share the Danish royal family (which is mostly German anyhow), that the Scandinavians return to Icelandic (the old Norse) as a common language, that we adopt the Norwegian kroner (with a stake in the large oil fund) and then, finally, bag our troubled past, hand on heart, under the Finnish flag.