rolisz's site

Paris Revisited

Pyramid from Louvre

After feeling a bit down under at home, I decided to go places again. Because I haven't seen my good friend Alida in a long time, I decided to go to Paris again. And this time not just for an afternoon. It made me feel un­com­fort­ably excited to have something in­ter­est­ing to do.

Because flying, with security checks and everything, is not much faster than the train, I took the latter. It's really nice to go with the TGV, to see all the cars whizzing by on the highway. But the numbering of the train cars was in­ter­est­ing: it was decreasing from 8 to 1, then you had continue.

Hanz Zimmer Live on Tour

Hanz Zimmer Live on Tour

Hanz Zimmer, a composer for many movie sound­tracks, has gone for the first time on a tour. He started off on the 6th of April in London and he will finish on the 16th of May in Sofia. And, more im­por­tant­ly for me, he was in Zurich on Monday. I had seen some billboards for the concert, but I never really considered going, until on Monday a colleague was selling his ticket because he was sick. So, I decided to buy it from him and go for the first time in my life to an orchestral concert.

And it was tremendous fun. It was really great to continue.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

I am a huge fan of the Tomb Raider series. I still remember playing Tomb Raider II for hours when I was little. So of course I bought the new one as soon as it came out. I bought it on Steam, because I don't even have a DVD reader in my computer. I was in the US at the time, but I couldn't wait to get home to play it. I arrived sometime at 10PM at home, among the first five things I did was to install it, look at the intro level and then I went to sleep. I was anxiously waiting for the continue.

Musings about free will

Red pill vs blue
pill

Sometimes when I don't have anything in particular on my mind, like when I'm on the train and I've already checked the Facebook newsfeed, or when I'm washing the dishes, I like thinking about various philo­soph­i­cal issues. I haven't studied too much philosophy, I mostly limited myself to Wikipedia, so usually I don't get too far in my ponderings. But about free will I have thought more than usual, I also read several in­ter­est­ing blog posts by other people, which have all inspired to finally put down my thoughts in writing. I am curious to see what my readers think about it too.

Can't fall asleep?

First, let's start continue.

Fixing the bike

Bike rear wheel
Annoying thingy in the middle that made it really difficult to take the rear wheel off

Exactly one year ago, I went for the first time to the office with my bike. Today, for my birthday again, I went with the same bike, for the first time this year, now to church.

But, there is a biiig difference: I "fixed" my bike myself this year :>:> And by fix it I mean I took off the rear wheel, because I thought I had to replace the inner tube (nope), put it back and then I adjusted the brakes because they weren't catching well.

Mechanical skills++++++.

If only the weather continue.

Midway goal checkup

Three months ago I set up some goals for myself. Because ac­count­abil­i­ty is key to ac­com­plish­ing goals and sticking to them, it's time I review them, see how I did, and possibly adjust them.

Losing weight
I'm at 82 kg right now, so I believe getting to 77 kg is still achieav­able in three months.
Doubling my benchpress
That one is not pro­gress­ing as well as I hoped. I managed to increase to about 45 kg. I was gone, with limited access to the gym for 4 weeks, so that might have something to do with it. I think I can make it to 60kg, instead of 80. continue.

Revisiting Romania

Easter Bunnies in Marghita

It's that time of the year again when the Easter Bunny I visit Romania. History likes to repeat itself, but there are changes.

First change, which I welcome with open arms (and mouth), is that they have good orange juice in Romania. The packaging claims it's all natural, fresh, only pas­teur­ized. And it actually tastes quite similar to the one I buy in Switzer­land. \:D/

Second change is that they recently (in the last month) passed a law banning smoking in all public closed spaces. This means that you can go into a restaurant or coffee shop and enjoy your meal without coming out reeking of smoke. It's awesome. continue.

The Museum

Almost two years after I went to The Dungeon, I went with Eliza and Ruxi to The Museum, another room escape game in Cluj.

The Museum has two different puzzles and for some reason we chose to go to the second one, which is more difficult. Because one person bailed on us at the last moment, the host was a bit worried that we won't be able to finish it, because usually teams of 4-10 people solve it. But we did it in 71 minutes \:D/

The concept is the same, you are locked in a room and you have to solve various puzzles to find the continue.

The Master Algorithm

The Master Algorithm

Having a goal to read books really helps with reading them. I finally started reading through the mountain of machine learning books that have been sitting on my shelves for half a year.

The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos, a professor at the University of Washington, is an user friendly book for introducing lay people to machine learning. It contains maybe 2-3 lines of math, 0 code, but a lot of explanations.

Professor Domingos divides up all of machine learning into five "tribes": symbolists, connectionists, evolutionaries, bayesians and analogizers. He describes various algorithms that are in each tribe, usually managing to make it quite understandable. However, for some reason, continue.

Mayumana

Mayumana -
Momentum

The Israeli dance troupe Mayumana was in Zürich this weekend and I went to see one of their shows. Colour me impressed. That was amazing. It was a really good show.

The theme of the show was time. They started off by showing a video about flies and how their perception of us is in slow motion, “so that when they see our hand coming down to hit them, they know they still have time to finish lunch before escaping”. So the troupe made its way onto the stage in slow motion. Then various clocks starting ticking, slowly ac­cel­er­at­ing, and the dancers started moving faster and faster, according continue.