52 States in 8 Months

Yum yum, Indian Cuisine!

Posted in Meals by Ulf on June 23, 2009

Some weeks ago my office mate Vivek and his brother Vishal invited me so some Indian restaurant. They’re both vegetarians, and they’re used to Indian food, so I believe that I’m the one who enjoyed the Indian food the most :-). I basically tried everything the buffet offered. I guess that Mascha would say something like “Yum yum in my tum tum” :-).

So, what are my memories: The Indians also serve some bread to their meals, it’s called Naan. I like that! They have about 10 different curries, yammi yammi :-). There was some very tasty potato-like thing with peas inside (Edit: Samosa). And of course, there was the desert:


Besides the melons you see basically pure sugar. (Edit: Not true! It’s almost pure milk. With sugar. And the yellow sauce is Mango pudding.) Wow, great, want more, amazing! And the best news: Vishal said that I would pay just about 2 Euros for such a meal in India. That is almost a must-go, isn’t it? *g*


Busted in Cape Verde

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on June 6, 2009

250px-LocationCapeVerde.svgFrom time to time I tell you about Graham Hughes who just travels around this planet. Just few days ago I mentioned his trip to Cape Verde. He was a bit scared about that one. Actually, he was more scared about the trip itself then about Cape Verde, but now read this: He was arrested in Cape Verde on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. The Odyssey is really an adventure! Details are on twitter and in his blog section about Africa.

Update: There is press coverage on those “illegal immigrants”. The “Irish” guy from Liverpool is actually Graham who travels around the world and paid for this trip. It’s also in the British press. Here are some automatically translated Portuguese news articles. Also, his girlfriend keeps his Twitter updated.
Such a crap…

Update: Graham finally got a lawyer who speaks English. They’re in court at this time.

Final Update: Graham is free. I’m looking forward to read/watch his comments on that adventure! So far I have to rely on some newspaper from Liverpool.

I cannot mention this often enough: Good luck, Graham!

Graham Hughes’ videos :-)

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on June 1, 2009

I’m following the adventures of Graham Hughes closely. He is trying to visit every country on this planet within this year. Sounds simple, right? But he may not fly and he may not drive — what makes the whole thing a bit more complicated.

While he traveled through South America he published a lot of great videos. Unfortunately the Odyssey videos are offline at this time (since he signed some contract which gives him a job…). Some good news: He said that his videos will come back around July 1, there is a lot of content on his YouTube channel (e.g. videos about a trip to Serbia) and he has just released this intermediate video:

This is where Graham lists some more facts on why we should support WaterAid, and this is where you can donate.

If you’re looking for recent news from Graham, look at how he makes his way through Africa and read his twitters. Actually, Africa seems to be a place where you need quite some experience as a traveler to get around. His Mauritania Disaster sounds boring compared to his latest Twitter news: “Ifthis Twitter feed doesn’t get updated by0500GMT on Thursday morning, send a search party. I’ll be somewhere between Cape Verde and Dakar. Seriously” (he is on a 600 miles trip to Cape Verde and back in a little wooden boat with a bunch of African fishermen that don’t speak a word of English).

Graham, good luck!!

We’re listed!

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on May 3, 2009

Fefe got a list of the websites which were blocked in China in 2007. And guess who is on that list?


One of the servers of our student dormitory made it to the Chinese censorship list! :-)
We’re important :D

Graham went through Germany!

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on April 30, 2009

crossgermanyOk, this one should have gone into one of the previous blog posts: Graham, the around-the-planet adventurer who is writing a great blog, has just published his notes on how he crossed Germany. Everything worked on this day, he even got his hamburger in Hamburg. It reminds my of my eating at KFC in Kentucky.

So if you’re looking for something more exciting, try the story of how Graham got busted after entering Russia without a visa. His latest twitter is about some Moldovan border guards who thought his passport was a fake, so I’m also looking forward to his blog post about that :-). Also, don’t forget that Graham writes his great blog to make us donate money to WaterAid.

Go Graham!

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on April 27, 2009

I told you a long time ago that Graham Hughes tries to visit every nation on this planet in 2009. And Graham isn’t cheating as I am, he doesn’t use planes at all and almost no cars.
Well, he is a bit behind schedule, so he only made it to Europe a few days ago. Anyway, I wanted to let you know when he visited Germany. Bad news: I missed it! I followed his Twitter news and his website, but only his map reveals that he has already been to Germany:

Graham, I’m looking forward to reading about your illegal visits to Cuba and Russia. Must be funny stories!! Haha :-). Good luck! And please find a solution with Lonely Planet such that we can see your awesome videos again! I’m so curious about the next episodes!!

Everybody else: Graham is not only a month behind schedule on his journey, he is also still almost a million pounds away from the amount of money he wants to raise for WaterAid. Please read about his great journey, and then donate some money (I donated £5 so far, but I might feel obligated to donate more unless I see the names of a couple of friends of mine in the list of donors *g*).

Some search engine hits

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on April 27, 2009

Some time ago a friend of mine (or maybe just one of her friends) published a list with search engine terms that were used to find her blog. At that time this blog was still rather small, and I had no search engine hits at all.

Nowadays this has changed, Google really directs people to my blog (although they will most certainly not find what they’re looking for). These are a few of the Google terms that were used. For some of them, I don’t have any clue why Google (or any other search engine) would return a hit for my blog. Do you?

  • “automatic control” + wordpress
  • 52 states wikipedia
  • antidifferentation lecture
  • avocado de colombia
  • banana bread for surfers
  • big milk
  • big milk jugs
  • british airways cutlery
  • bundesadler
  • buy propylene glycol nicotine
  • car sales statistics
  • chinese food
  • evoting germany
  • german electronic vote
  • harlem
  • harlem bronx
  • google-birthday-doodles

  • how we got all 52 states of america
  • http://ww3.unipark.de/uc/facebook_survey
  • international spy museum
  • j fullsize 4dr
  • juergen ruettgers boston
  • karl-theodor maria nikolaus johann jacob
  • landesamt für besoldung baden württember
  • las vegas, new mexico
    (There is a Las Vegas in NM, but we visited the one in NV)
  • lbv kundenportal
  • lohnsteuerbescheinigung
  • lohnsteuerbescheinigung 2008
  • lohnsteuerbescheinigung usa
  • look new yorkais
  • monument valley
  • museum of art el paso tx building
  • natural logs
  • naturholz wikipedia
  • neuland mckinsey miami
  • nyc sights
  • propylene glycol
  • steffi graph
  • t1 el prat
  • things to do in nyc
  • weihnachten marchen
  • weihnachtskarten aus hawaii
  • why did electronic voting end
  • witham station
  • wordpress hawaiiphotobank

Additionally quite a few people google for “52 states in 8 months”, and I guess these are the only ones who really find what they are looking for. Now, having published this list, I’m afraid I’ll get even more random traffic of disappointed Google users.

Chopstick action — or just my third Chinese meal

Posted in Meals by Ulf on April 25, 2009

When I first talked about my Chinese meals, Caro proposed a chopstick eating challenge, and Pingu asked for some action scenes. To give you an impression of how superior my chopstick eating skills already are, let’s have a look at my third Chinese  meal.

bild5972 bild5973

The name of this dish is Guo Bao Rou. It’s very simple. Just take some large pieces of pork, coat them with breadcrumbs, fry them and finally serve them together with rice (and very little vegetables such that there is a little bit of green color). And finally, eat it all with chopsticks. So here we go:

I guess it takes a lot more training until I can really compete. But I’ll take my new chopsticks with me, so we can start the challenge in Stuttgart!

Update: Unfortunately the cook who prepared Chinese food for us every Wednesday has gone back to China for three months, so this might have been my last Chinese meal here in Newark.

She wants a pony…

Posted in Forreign blogs, People by Ulf on April 14, 2009


What Paul really saw…

Posted in Forreign blogs by Ulf on April 11, 2009

A long time ago Paul posted some pictures from Canada on his blog. This was one of them:image013
The picture reminded me of the flag of Dominica, some island nation in the Caribbean Sea which is always confused with the Dominican Republic. This is Dominica’s flag:
125px-flag_of_dominicasvgSo, what is wrong about Paul’s picture? The vertical river is missing, and the red reflection is in the wrong place. It turned out that these flaws were pretty easy to correct:

You’re not impressed? Okay, stop reading this blog post, there remainder will only tell you how I created this picture.

So, how did I do this? Well, creating the vertical river was easy. I just copied some piece of the horizontal river and mirrored/flipped it a few times such that one doesn’t see the pattern immediately. Moving the red reflection was a bit more challenging. At first I split Paul’s image into three channels, representing the red, green and blue parts:

red green blue

Then I calculated the difference between the red and the green channel (and I forced all negative values to zero):difference_red_green
Voilà, the red reflection was identified! The next steps were obvious: I amplified this difference a bit and then added it back to the red channel of the original picture. The next two pictures show the results with amplifications of γ=1.0 and γ=1.4:

rot_fast_weg rot_fast_weg

Finally, I added a new red reflection near the intersection of the two rivers by simply increasing the red channel, but this was once again a straight forward task after eliminating the first red reflection…