March 30th, 2009

2D barcode

Interview meme

nathreee asked me these questions:

1. I know some people who were in college with you, or sort of with you. They all have different stories. What was your time in college like?
Roughly, it can be divided into three (slightly overlapping) parts. There's the part where I study for my computer science propedeuse. Lots of partying and MUDding, stuff with girlfriends -- you know the drill. Took me three years, that.
Then the part where I started studying cognitive science. Learning about psychology and stuff, learning about philosophy and the scientific method. I got serious back then -- this was why I went to university. I still had time enough to do fun stuff on the side, though!
The third part is about graduating. Working hard to create a piece of software that works, designing and conducting the experiment, collecting and analysing the data. And then a really concentrated burst of writing to finish my thesis. By then, I was quite done with being a student, and ready to be graduated.
I think my experiences are quite different from those of the people you know who were in university with me.

2. What is it you love about your work?
The idea that I can really make a difference -- that I can help people do their work better. There's so much that wasn't done in the absence of the previous manager -- but that doesn't mean that stuff wasn't important. I'm slowly clearing the debris, while tackling new stuff. It's not going as fast as I would like, but I'm making progress.

3. What do you think of live roleplay and why is it not your thing?
You've already asked me before. I'll grant you an extra question instead of this one. :)

4. What was the greatest geocaching puzzle you ever managed to solve?
"Great" as in: a cache with an impressive story and really well themed waypoints? Then GCDAFD. Undoubtedly it ranks in the top three of caches.
"Great" as in: a cache with many different puzzles to get from point to point? Then GC14DNW. It has a really innovative way of coding the waypoints, and you have to use every trick available on your GPS to find it.

5. What do you enjoy most to do with your friends?
Sitting around and talking is not my thing to do all day. Something fun, something that's low-impact, something semi-active, something that leaves enough time to chat. Geocaching ranks quite high.
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    calm calm
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geocaching

Ticks

Many nature preserves in the Netherlands are home to ticks. Some ticks (around 33 percent) are infected with the borrelia bacteria, which causes Lyme's disease. If, like every geocacher, you stray from the path and walk through the vegetation (even if it's for a short distance), you run the risk of being caught by a tick. If the tick bites you and transfers the borrelia to you, you're in trouble! It's not a coincidence a set of tick-tweezers and desinfectant is a standard part of our geocaching equipment -- I've had ticks embedded in me twice...

In some nature preserves, 'large grazers' such as Scottish highlanders and konink-horses have been introduced. And it turns out that the grazing actually reduces the number of ticks in the area!
flex brain!

Stamp art

I've become pretty proficient with carving stamps, but designing the art myself is (still) beyond my grasp. As such, I'm always interested in finding suitable art to use -- preferrably rights-free or at least under a license that allows using the image.

As to finding stuff, Google Image Search is really good -- it has an option to search for 'line art' specifically. That gets you all sorts of black-and-white art on a certain subject. Excellent inspiration, and if you see something that's interesting you can see it in context and see what license it's published under.
Another good source of royalty-free images is Project Gutenberg. The advanced search interface can be used to search for image files as well!
Tattoo designs, spraypaint stencils and pumpkin carving patterns are quite good for offering vivid black-and-white art as well.
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    hyper hyper