Regensburg

Last weekend I had some time to take some photos of my home town Regensburg; unfortunately I had forgotten my camera, so a mobile phone camera had to do the job. The sunny weather motivated me to take a walk along the Danube. The old town with the cathedral (just called “Dom”) reside above the river which is crossed by an old stone bridge. The other pictures were taken near the train station at Ernst-Reuter-Platz and in front of the Arkaden, a commercial centre with a bridge connecting it to the station.

Santa Inferno – [2009] Desert Music

Santa Inferno - [2009] Desert MusicThis is the first review I write in which my opinion about the music is ambiguous. Santa Inferno has released this very intense rock album, yet in a – probably artistically justified – horrible sound quality. While I find this style fitting for their more aggressive tracks it spoils my listening experience. Let me show you what I mean by two representative tracks. Continue reading “Santa Inferno – [2009] Desert Music”

Diablo Swing Orchestra – [2009] The Butcher’s Ballroom

Diablo Swing Orchestra – [2009] The Butcher's Ballroom

Take Nightwish’s voice, add a Cello played like Apocalyptica and mix it with a skilled hard rock band and – voilà – you can imagine how the Diablo Swing Orchestra sounds.

Their music is a wild mixture of (partially Symphonic) Metal, Rock, Jazz, Swing and Blues; sometimes they make me think of Mr. Bungle (another great Band, by the way), yet they always stay within the limits of melodic music. Continue reading “Diablo Swing Orchestra – [2009] The Butcher’s Ballroom”

Streetlife Festival

Concert on Streetlife Festival

Yesterday I visited the Streetlife Festival in Munich which takes place since the year 2000 and is located prominently right on Leopolstraße between Münchner Freiheit and Odeonsplatz. Its main idea is to inform people about means of transportation which can replace use of cars in cities. In addition to that, other non-profit organisations present themselves and their work. Artists perform music, theatre or dance and make it fun to just walk along the whole area which is about 1.5 km long.

XKCD – Tech Support Cheat Sheet

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I usually don’t post plain links to stuff I found on the internet. But this is an exception. This web comic on the right is just so true. The author of this (and 626 other) comic strip(s) is Randall Munroe. On his homepage xkcd he publishes new comics three times a week.

Other episodes I find worth to be mentioned are: Geohashing because of its originality and the idea of creating this “random adventure generator”. Height, a logarithmic overview from the border of the observable universe down to us. Random number: simplistic and funny. Other motives are quite romantic with a mathematical flavour, like in Useless. A final hint: read the tooltips which appear when you place the mouse over the comic image. The tooltip for the comic I included here says:

‘Hey Megan, it’s your father. How do I print out a flowchart?’

Hallo Peter – [2008] Gutz of Glory

Punchy breakbeat from Germany. Kicking drums and pulsating synth pads for glory!

Hallo Peter - Gutz of Glory

This album popped up at Jamendo when I was searching for free Breakbeat music. This genre is most prominently occupied by artists like The Chemical Brothers or The Crystal Method. While there are some similarities, the obviously German artist of this release has his own characteristic style. The essentials are all there: punching drums, ultra-cool bass riffs, synthetic sound effects. But as I said, something is different: Continue reading “Hallo Peter – [2008] Gutz of Glory”

Museum Brandhorst

Recently I visited the Museum Brandhorst which had opened on 21 May 2009. It features modern paintings, sculptures and video installations. These works are presented in an astonishing building which not only looks good but is also built with respect to energy efficiency. Sadly I can only show you pictures from the outside here.

Read on for more details and links to spectacular panoramic views of the interior. Continue reading “Museum Brandhorst”

Leon Somov, Jazzu – [2008] Offline Remixed

Essential IDM remix album. Timeless classic with carefully produced soundscapes.

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This week’s release comes from the netlabel Sutemos. It features experimental ambient electronic music. This remix album contains several versions of some very good songs; overall, the sound is calm, blended with long-stretched instrumental samples. Well produced vocals with whispered voices seem to be the label’s signature move. Continue reading “Leon Somov, Jazzu – [2008] Offline Remixed”

From finite to renewable energy

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Fossil resources, i.e. coal, oil and gas, are finite. This fact is not surprising, but is worth to be mentioned. Its direct consequence is that in near future we will have to be able to generate (more precisely: convert) all energy we consume from renewable sources. This need is independent from any consequences that arise from the combustion of fossil fuels (i.e. greenhouse effect). The climate change just adds another “incentive” to realise that necessary shift more quickly. This article tries to give a non-exhaustive overview over the current dependency on fossil fuels and scenarios of possible replacements. Continue reading “From finite to renewable energy”

Back to Munich

München, Blick vom Peter

I really like Munich. It has everything a metropolis has to offer yet succeeded in not becoming grey and dusty. Many festivals are organised every year like the Tollwood in the Olympic Park, which is held in summer and winter. Then there is the lovely old town featuring Marienplatz, the Frauenkirche and the big market place called Viktualienmarkt. Then there are several renowned museums like the three art galleries Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne, each of them covering a period of art history. My personal favourite is the last one; its architecture is a pleasure to watch and photograph every time I visit it.

Sanremo

Some impressions from my visit in the Italian town Sanremo. The old town rises up the hillside and features arches over tiny lanes, rendering it very dark. Near the coast there is a Russian church which looks bigger from distance than it really is. Finally, in the morning there is a big market on the central place which offers flowers, clothes and “original” watches from mobile traders.

Pandoras.Box – [2009] Barriers

Excellent indie rock. From Lower Bavaria. Who would have thought?

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One of the best moments during music discovery is the one when you hear an album the first time and instantly are addicted to it. To know that you will hear it over and over again, that after hours of mediocre or boring music you found a new pearl in the ocean of music.

The independent rock band Pandoras.Box from Lower Bavaria with their album Barriers gave me the last incarnation of such a moment. The album could as well be sold on CD, the quality of song-writing and production does not need to hide behind commercial releases. I would be surprised to not see their next release in stores. Continue reading “Pandoras.Box – [2009] Barriers”

Home (film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2009)

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Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006) was the first big documentary film that received international attention. It covered the current scientific knowledge global warming caused by the artificial greenhouse effect.

Now the film “Home” by the French director Yann Arthus-Bertrand is published. It tries not only to focus on the climate issue but to show the whole picture: exhaustion of natural resources, energy consumption, biologic diversity, pollution and the rising gap between industrialised nations and the rest of the world. Continue reading “Home (film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 2009)”

Photos of Nice

After about 5 months of frequent visits in Nice it is time to post some photos. The city has much to offer: beginning with Place Masséna and the Avenue Jean Médecin which leads to the train station. In the neighboured side roads you can find spruce residential houses. The picturesque old town is located east of place Masséna. Its alleys house a significant number of restaurants, boutiques and galleries.

Directly beneath lies the Promenade des Anglais which connects the city with the airport in the west along the coastline. The Mont du Château offers a great view over both the harbour and the old town. There are other lookouts like the Cascade de Gairaut up the hills which rise in the north.

Kenny Beltrey – [2008] Yako Emulator

Kenny Beltrey - [2008] Yako Emulator

Here is one more of the musical treasures from the depths of the Kahvi netlabel. Though its recent release date this album sounds more like a disco dance release from the early 90’s. I like it much because of its “kicking” beats. The production is of high quality and sounds fresh. Some vocal samples are woven in and harmonise well with the synthetic chords. Continue reading “Kenny Beltrey – [2008] Yako Emulator”

Technical University Munich

Time to publish some photos from my university in Munich. While I think the interior of the building 9 (the cool building on the left of the nightly photo) is crime, I quite like the university itself. About two years ago, the place in front of the northern building N1 (fourth photo) got new trees and become quite comfortable, given its location next to a busy street.

Self-replication

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Self-replication is the ability of a machine to reproduce all parts it consists of. In a more strict sense it stands for the capability to create a fully functional copy of itself, explicitly including the final assembly.

The interest of this concept on the one hand lies in the possibility of conducting long-term space missions, on the other hand there are strong economic implications: A machine capable of reproducing itself is consequently also able to manufacture a broad range of products. Continue reading “Self-replication”