Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Emergency mug surgery

My good friend Aniger (who hasn't updated her blog for ages - bad girl!) was not at all interested in my spiffy new lens, but voiced concerns about the state of health of my sheep mug.

And indeed, the poor mug has suffered terribly at my clumsy hands. But fear not, all you sheep-mug lovers out there, thanks to the magic that is cyan-acrylate, said mug is as good as new!

Also, note the shallow depth-of-field of my spiffy new lens, which makes close-ups like this much more interesting.

Have I mentioned that I like my spiffy new lens? Thought so.

Friday, December 14, 2007


A new lens requires a new camera-bag, of course. And luckily for me, this one (on the right, the one on the left is my old one) was on sale.

Hmm, but now my bag is too big - there would be enough space for another lens in there - what to do, what to do?

Also, a close-up of my bookshelf, because I felt like it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


my new lens arrived, the scrumptious Canon EFS 55-250 IS.

Yes IS. If the picture to the right is a bit blurry, it is because I shot it my old EFS 18-55 (also a very good lens, but unfortunately no IS).

Go on, look below. Guess what shutter speed I used for the two photos below. Guess.

250mm, f/5.6 1/40s

250mm, f/5.6, 1/8s

0.125 seconds! at a 35mm equivalent of nearly 400mm focal length!

Awesome. I can't wait for the weekend...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Huh. I seem to have simulated a breast. It was by accident, I swear, even if I was using a software insidiously called Femlab.

It probably is all the fault of my girlfriend, who is holed up in Geneva for at least another week to totally stress out over her exams - without any regard how the lack of the above mentioned (and much appreciated) anatomy-feature might affect my work!
Callous I say, most callous.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Swiss Honesty

Sometimes, prejudices can turn out to be true - and sometimes you are darn glad they did. A couple of weeks ago I lost my wallet. I didn't even notice until the receptionist of the EPFL called me and told me somebody had handed it in. Then I proceeded to explore my vocabulary of swear words in English and French, because I had about 400 CHF inside, and was sure they were gone. Au contraire! My heroine, Mademoiselle L. (who is from Bern) had found my wallet and handed it in without even taking a centime.

All hail Mme. L!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bloody Ulnar

I have written before about bloody Ulnar, the viking-nerve that got irritated and consequently caused my fingers to go numb.

I tried to get rid of him by eating anti-inflammatory drugs, wearing a splint, invoking the old Norse gods - nothing helped. So I went again to my friend, the orthopedist (who really likes to take my money) to complain. He hemmed and hawed, prodded me here and there, and then in a flash of insight asked me whether I was practicing martial arts intensively?

Damn straight I am - 4 times a week at least Sir, and no mistake!

Well, it seems that he once had a Karateka as a patient who had the same problem: We are too strong!

Apparently if you have shallow nerve-channels, the muscles can press on the nerve and irritate it. Martial Arts lend themselves especially to this kind of problem. I am too strong for Ulnar, ha!

So I have basically three possibilities:

*) If I am lucky, it will go away on it's own after a while

*) If it doesn't get worse, I can just live with it

*) If it does get worse, the will stick needles in my nerve, zap it with electricity to check where it is pinched, cut me open and widen the nerve-channel with a Dremel-tool

Since the last possibility sounds vaguely unpleasant, I think I will stick with number two, and hope for number one...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Argh! Canon has extreme supply problems with their new EF-S 55-250mm IS lens, so the one I ordered ages ago (and already paid for, goddammit) still hasn't arrived, and probably won't before next year!

I can't understand why they don't produce enough of a product they must have known would be immensely popular. Well, actually I can, because everyone who wants one is going to get one anyway, because they can't just order a Nikon lens to go with their Canon DSLR. So they refuse to take the (small IMHO) risk of producing too many lenses, because the sheep, ah, customers, will wait. And buy. Stupid lock-in marketing, there ought to be a law against it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Typical swiss tree

It seems that the poor tree is disgusted by the very un-swisslike graffity, and so it is balancing on one toe...


Monday, December 3, 2007

Things I learned this morning

It is not a good idea to leave on the interior lights in your car during the weekend. While your steering wheel might feel better because it is not all alone in the dark, your car might have trouble starting its motor on Monday morning.

However, if you must leave those lights on, it is smart to do that right next to a garage, where they have these portable car-starting things. Anyway, the next time my steering wheel will just have to toughen it out. I am cruel that way.


Last Saturday I visited Yverdon-les-Bains. Unfortunately, it was overcast and rainy the whole day, so my photos didn't amount too much - except the one I call "Beneath a steel sky". I had a look at the Maison d'Ailleurs - Musée de la Science Fiction et Utopie. They had an exhibition of paintings inspired by H.P. Lovecraft - weird stuff.

I didn't go into the castle itself - I am saving that for when my girlfriend has the time to come with me.

The old city of Yverdon is very nice - I especially like the cobblestone streets and the colourful houses.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Beneath a steel sky

Continuing the sky series...

Yverdons-les-Bains, looking out north-west over Lac Neuchâtel

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bleeding Sky

Friday, on my way home, the sky was bleeding...

View south from the Piscine de Renens