Monthly Archives: December 2012

ein?

from Urban Dictionary: “Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities”

they “also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities?”

you must be kidding me.

ps. and that my friends is the virtue and the flaw of the internet – anybody can write whatever they want. and/but i celebrate it.

de júbilo

“júbilo – m. Alegría extrema que se manifiesta con signos externos”

Está claro, de ahí debe venir la palabra “jubilación”

solitude

this is the first time i spend vacations in solitude. they recently taught me the different between loneliness and solitude in the english language. i know, i still have so much work ahead of me.

anyway, yes. i decided to spend quality time relaxing (in my own way, you know me) and without having to care about the world too much (which i never do, you know me again). it’s true one can never truly escape the world completely, but i’m doing my best these days, and it’s sort of working, or working good enough at least. the peace levels have raised in me, projects are evolving, and i feel good. i really needed this break.

this is the first time i put a xmas tree too. it’s now ten years i don’t live with my parents anymore, and during all this time i never had an actual xmas tree. xmas lights are installed in my apartment permanently over the whole year, but i never owned a tree.

my best friend bought a (fake) tree a few weeks ago, but she planned to travel home during the vacations and leave the poor tree in loneliness (not solitude) in the dark of her apartment. so i promised i’d take care of it by transplanting it to my own apartment. another friend helped me dress it with decoration and more xmas lights (on top of the usual all-year ones), and we put it next to Teresa, the piano. they seem to like each other.

i like it now in the living room. i think i’m moving from my usual desk in the bedroom to the living room during these vacation days, where Teresa and the xmas tree are. it’s so much more magical and peaceful there.

re-revelations

i didn’t know bicycle lamps were so valuable and precious.

eight times i’ve left the lamps in my bike while parked in the last two years, and four times they’ve been stolen.

this unexpectedly high robbery rate of a fifty percent for a booty which isn’t worth more than ten dollars means that, perhaps, ten dollars are in fact not such a small prize after all and are clearly worth the harm, and that consequently, indeed, there exists a very active search for such easily robbable items.

both things are surprising revelations, or perhaps, re-revelations.

strangers

i remember thinking “the sky must be beautiful out there, pity i cannot enjoy it”.

i could barely see a tiny fraction of the whole sky, through that minuscule and distant window. because to my right, there was an empty seat first and then a beautiful gothic young lady sitting next to the window after it. she was there guarding the view, looking through the window that i’d loved was mine instead. “the sun must be setting right now in that side of the sky, for we are flying south”, i realized, which made me feel miserable for not being able to enjoy the beauty of the abstract shapes the clouds frequently form when lit under a orange and purple sunset.

i was immersed in these thoughts until the moment the girl made it clear she had magically been able to read either my body language or my mind: “come seat here by my side, then you too will be able to enjoy the view”.

i smiled, moved my ass, sat next to her and started looking through the window to the, indeed, very gorgeous sky.

we stared at the magnificent show together in silence for a few minutes. two strangers that sit together can choose to ignore each other. or they can choose to talk to each other. but also, they can simply choose to share a sunset.

after some time she plugged her huge red headphones and browsed for some music. i thought that was a great idea, so i plugged my headphones too. i decided to start with Sur Le Fil, from the movie Amelie. once we both had our headphones on, we resumed looking together through the window as the sun set till the sun completely set far beyond the horizon line and everything became pitch-black.

then, a lightning flash illuminated part of the sea of clouds that had become otherwise invisible, showing us beautiful silhouettes and shapes for a fraction of a second. we both removed our headphones. “wow, that was awesome, have you seen it?”. “yes i have!”. we wondered if there would be a second one. we stayed in silence, like hunters patiently waiting for their pray. and then, there was a second one. “that was beautiful too!!, huh?”. it seemed to us a storm was coming, and we thought of taking a picture of any of the ephemeral but surreal and amazing cloud shapes created by the lightning. we tried a few times, but failed.

however we weren’t too disappointed, it had been fun trying anyway, she pointed out. i agreed, then asked “what music were you listening to during the sunset?”. she made a pause. “Amelie, the movie, you know”. i smiled. “sure i do, i was listening to Amelie too!”

i think the storm arrived and that the lightning continued out there ferociously, but i must admit i’m not completely sure as i didn’t pay too much attention to those anymore.

wtf? – what the food?

people who claim that enjoying a good meal or food is like having sex, and even use the word foodgasm, really puzzle me to total perplexion and confusion. cause it means that, either they know something extraordinary about food that i don’t, or, more probably and sadly, they’ve never had good sex…?

the perfect answer

i remember she had been been gone somewhere else for a few seconds. she was still sitting in front of me, but her eyes had relaxed and she remained in silence, as if she was holding a big secret. she was moving her lips in that special way that i’had never seen in anybody but her. that’s why i decided to talk to her, a year back, when we were nothing but strangers traveling in the same metro car. i had found her subtle facial movements and slightly smiley face magical. now i knew she did that when she was thinking, when she was diving in her own world. and this time she had been doing that for a few seconds.

i was dying to know where she was, what she was pondering, envisioning, or remembering. i wanted to know what was that that was making her smile.

– so, why do you have your own business? is that your dream?

she waited for three or four seconds, then her eyes focused on me again, and finally her consciousness joined us back too. she moved her hair behind her ear with her hand, a clear sign she was a little nervous, but at the same time she was radiating so much contagious energy that i could almost feel and touch it in the air.

– my dream? oh no, owning a business is not my dream. my dream is to go to the russian space station one day, as a tourist. i’ve been reading about it, and had a look already. it is expensive, but doable. that’s why i’m having my own business, so i can make money and one day afford going to the russian space station.

and that was, to me, the perfect answer.

still too many camels and lions

as i was telling you, that’s one of those things that really saddens my heart. in fact, i sometimes think that things haven’t changed so much in the last 112 years, my friend. wherever i look, i still see far too many camels, and too many lions too. i can barely spot but a few children. look, i took this picture for you.

but despite the horrific realization of this self-injury men impose on themselves, i’m certain things will change for better one day. one of the amazing qualities of men is that they always surpass their own short-sighted expectations.

… please

christianity – ruining everything that is worth and beautiful in this world.

(probably the same applies to the other two abrahamic religions)

leave us alone…

apetRecer

apetrecer – v. intr. Deseo o ganas de tentar a la mala suerte.

etimología – contracción de “me apetece un trece”

failed

i sometimes challenge my intuition and try things which i know are doomed to fail, with the hope i’ll be wrong.

this morning i was thinking on Fractional Brownian Motion and other “fractal” noise constructions, where different octaves of perlin noise are additively combined with a 1/f power spectrum. the traditional construction takes a basic noise function, then it scales it down to half its amplitude and increases its frequency by two. then the process repeats. in music, increasing a note’s frequency by two effectively transposes that note to the next octave, hence the use of the term for multiplying frequencies by two in other contexts than music, like in our FBM case.

now, i was thinking, what if we constructed a fractals signal not by playing the same note (say, C) over different octaves, but if we were playing full chords. in that case we wouldn’t just be multiplying frequencies by two, but also by intermediate proportions. for example, what in music people call a major 3rd is basically a 4 semitone distance, or in other words, a 1.26 frequency multiplier (2^(4/12). an octave is a 12 semitone distance, indeed a 2 frequency multiplier.

so i constructed some fractal noise functions which contained not only pure octaves, but also intermediate frequencies in form of chords. i tried a C Major and a D Minor chords, two of the most common chords you can find. the results, as expected, are not any visually interesting, for the power spectrum hasn’t changed really. but it was worth giving it a try, just in case. you never know.

three octaves of different chords: left is C (traditional FBM), middle is C Major (C E G) and right is D Minor (D F A). bottom line of images is the derivative of the signal (the gradient, used in combination with some lighting)

metapost

what would you write if you had promised yourself to go to bed at 1:00 am (this time i’ll fucking do it, promise!), and therefore you had not more than one minute and a half left to conceive, develop and finalize one blog post. i’m sure you wouldn’t write much more than a self referencing post.

using “alright” is all right

if “anymore” doesn’t spell “any anymore” anymore
if “always” has not always been “always” but “all ways”
if “another” is another way to express “an other”
if “somehow” somehow evolved from “some how”
if “already” already superseded “all ready”

then, it should be all right to use “alright”.

yes, i do welcome (well come?) evolution of language

specialization of words

“faculties”, plural of fac·ul·ty (noun),
1. an inherent mental or physical power.
2. an aptitude or talent for doing something.

that’s a generic word. in the right context, one might want to use this one instead:

“fuckulties”, plural of fuck·ul·ty (noun)

i leave the completion of the definition to the reader.

ps – during pure random chatting with a friend – actually the joke originally came up in spanglish

just found two new gems

one might think that in the field of computer graphics, which is terribly popular to the point of massification and crammification (does that word exist?), there’s little to be discovered or even invented in the foundation ideas of the field, in the basic concepts. how could it be differently in a field where (hundreds of?) thousands of people all around the planet, from phd scientist to industry professionals and gifted teenagers, have been playing with it and have been building new concepts on top of that foundation for around 40 years now? well, perhaps surprisingly for some of those people, the basics of computer graphics are still to be explored, and one doesn’t have to dig too far or examine things too closely to start finding hidden gems.

anyway, this sunday i found two such little gems, around the idea of voronoi patterns. i know, i know, these are used by thousands of people every day around the world, but, well, seems nobody dared to explore them too much?

ths first gem is a way to (finally, boys) get correct and perfect cell edge widths and correct internal isolines to voronoi patterns: http://www.iquilezles.org/www/articles/voronoilines/voronoilines.htm

the second gem is a simple trick to avoid the annoying C1 discontinuity, which had traditionally limited the use of these patterns in high quality rendering applications (due to aliasing): http://www.iquilezles.org/www/articles/smoothvoronoi/smoothvoronoi.htm

facts

* fact: the US population is the most heavily armed society in the world.
* fact: still, countries like Honduras, Colombia or Brazil have a 10 times higher rate of firearm homicides per capita than the US
* fact: of course, the US wouldn’t like to compare themselves with Honduras, Colombia or Brazil, but with Japan, Norway or the UK
* fact: the firearm homicide rate per capita in the US is 300 times bigger than the Japanese, 60 times the Norwegian and 50 times the English
* fact: correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation. but often, it does

i’m not going to discuss on the topic of the problem not being the guns but the people, cause in either case, there’s something fucked up – why should a modern society need to be armed anyway? no other first world society is, they simply don’t need it. and that’s just a fact too!

you might think i complain too much about this place, but remember you can get disappointed only by those things you love

and don’t be just demagogic with the issue of mental illness being the real problem here. important as it is (granted), it’s a pretty orthogonal problem. and in the meanwhile, until it is addressed, i think it wouldn’t hurt taking some guns out of circulation. please picture a mentally ill person in crisis with a knife, and a mentally ill person in crisis with a gun. then let me know who you think can do more damage.

like a sandwatch

men are born with hair in their heads and no beard. when they grow old, some develop beard and loose their hair in their head. it would be great if those men could turn their heads upside down…

…and start counting again, like a sandwatch