Lars blogs

Migration to WordPress.

Sun, 24 Jan 2010

Since I got the job to set up a blog for someone, and since it was decided that the blog should be done with WordPress, I started to play around with this blogging package a few days ago. To learn how to set things up and make modifications, I tried to replicate the style of my own blog, which is based on the very simple, perl-based blosxom. One thing came to another and finally I tried to import all of my blosxom blog entries into the new WordPress database – and here we are! I decided to switch to WordPress because:

  • it is maintained much more regularly
  • it is much more comfortable to use
  • it offers more and more useful plugins
  • I hope it will make it easier to keep off spam
  • it finally allowed me to make a tag cloud

I changed the setup of my blosxom based blog so that it won’t be possible to enter any new comments and so that visitors will eventually be redirected to the new, WordPress based blog. (I decided against keeping the content in the same address location because of the cgi blabla that I did not keep out of the old blog’s address because I did not know how at the time I set up my first blog.) Please update your bookmarks and feed readers to go to the new address: http://userpage.fu- Thank you for sharing the blosxom-ness for several years!

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A change of air. Once more.

Tue, 18 Aug 2009

I like all seasons in their own peculiar ways. During the last years, summer has been Berlin–Germany–home in-between time. Work obligations and monetary restrictions did not allow for real holidays, so that July and August became a mix. A mingling of places: refreshing apartments so that they can be sublet once more without a bad conscience; reading and writing and applying for jobs and wrangling with deadlines; hanging out on balconies; visiting family and seeing friends and trying not to get caught up in obligations too much to not enjoy seeing all of these; enjoying Berlin nights; saying goodbye again to the place that you miss but do not want to miss, because this only makes things harder; riding the bicycle through warm summer fields; trying to keep an eye on expenses; looking out for good deals on necessary and not so necessary stuff; loving to be where you are right now, while trying to be looking forward to where you will be tomorrow, and not being too sad about where you left the day before… Tomorrow, I will let the wind will carry me back to Oslo.

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Leaving Boston and re-enabling comments.

Sat, 28 Feb 2009

Well, well, the stay in Boston has been very nice – new friends and old friends together created a very rich social life. And I even got an article finished! (More about that in another post sometime in the future.)
I had disabled the comment function after a massive spam attack and forgot to turn it on again afterwards. Now comments should be working again!

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ozean wrote (2009/3/10 13:41):

Well, re-enabling is all nice and sweet. But somehow one should check if the new spam filters actually let any post through… which was not the case. So now posting comments should finally work for real. Thank you for your patience!

Boston, where the financial markets left me in the cold.

Wed, 18 Feb 2009

greyscale picture taken in the South End galleries areaBoston in the winter is cold. But since Oslo is not exactly a warm place in the winter month, this is not much of a problem to a winter-hardened yours truly. However, there is one substantial difference here: I do not have to freeze in the when I sit in the library.
Freezing indoors is a familiar experience to many US visitors in the summer. It usually goes something like this:
Walk into a public building, a store, a cinema. Encounter a wall of cool air. Sit down. Do not have an additional layer of clothing available. Start freezing.
In the winter, I am used to this being the other way round. As stupid as it is, at least it is familiar.
Now, switch settings: We are in the medical library of the richest university of the world. It is really, really, really rich. Ridiculously rich. I arrive from outside, where there is snow and ice. I choose a table. Get rid of my jacket, hat, and extra sweater. Plug my laptop in, sit down, and fire up all of my procrastination-enhancing applications. Fool around a bit. Feel a strange cold. Put on my sweater. Work a bit. Start to feel cold more deeply inside. Feel very foolish, but put on my jacket.
So it seems they have turned the heat down. Maybe the message about climate change has finally arrived? After suffering through this for a few days (and adapting to the circumstances by putting on long underwear and nice woolen socks), an inquiry about the temperature is made. The staff says that because of the loss of money that Harvard University has suffered in the financial crisis, it has been decided to save money by turning down the heat in the Countway Library of Medicine. In parts of the library to about 59°F. That is 15°C. Very funny.
In Berlin’s university libraries there might be leaks in the ceilings, torn off carpets, file cards, and construction noise. But at least I don’t get sick because I have to work for several hours, sittig still while the temperature is at 16 or 17° Celsius.
If you thought that Harvard would be this great place, the place where academics are pampered and where you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else: be warned! I for my part am looking forward to enter the welcoming warmth of Oslo’s university library when I get back…

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Some blog functions currently broken.

Mon, 10 Nov 2008

Dear readers, please bear with me! The university that hosts this blog, Freie Universität Berlin, is currently shifting web services to a new server system. One of the neat side effets of this change is that now we can use PHP and MySQL goodies for the websites hosted by zedat, the university’s IT department. One of the bad side effects is that some things may be broken temporally. In the case of this blog, the archive, permanent links, and everything that does not appear on this front page is broken. My guess is that the new cgi script service does things differently when scripts want to generate dynamic web pages… I am confident that this problem will be resolved soon: the zedat team offers the best university IT service that I have had the pleasure to deal with. Stay tuned.

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ozean wrote (2008/11/12 14:16):

what did I say? the zedat team is really quick – all problems with the dynamic page content seem to be resolved…

Say hello to my 100000th visitor.

Tue, 19 Aug 2008

screenshot of SiteMeter report for 100000th visitorWoot! After being online for more than six years, my website got the onehundredthousandth visitor. It’s been a while and quite a few things have happened during this time. A blog was added, the layout changed a bit here and there (mostly on the main home page) and quite a bit of video and text content was uploaded. Some of the changes to the website can be tracked in the Internet Archive’s WayBackMachine.

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The smell of sulphur.

Wed, 13 Aug 2008

early morning at the harbor in Reykjavik, IcelandMany people know that Iceland is a volcanic island: the rocks and the beaches are grey-black, there are many geysirs and hot water pools. However, that is only part of the story. Think about other places where you would find black stone and perhaps a small stream of lava here and there. Pretty hot place, said to be somewhat on the uncomfortable side. Dude with horns is bossing people around. Got me? So, what would you expect of the smell in this place? Kinda sulphurous, right? Correct. But what does that mean: kinda sulphurous? Well, a bit like rotten eggs. The funny thing is that here, you inevitably encounter this smell in the place where the smellscape is supposed to be on the opposite side of rotten: the bathroom and the shower. Ugh? Yup. I guess this is because the hot water here is not ground water that is being heated in the house, but instead comes out of the ground being pretty hot already. Heated by your energy-providing friend, the vulcano. Thus the sulphurous smell. Enjoy the island!

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Wed, 30 Apr 2008

our balcony at breakfast time during full spring cherry blossom timeThis is how life in spring should be. (Luckily, pollen do not transfer via the internet.) With a breakfast on the balcony on a gently warm spring day, life is unfolding like it should. See the cherry blossom tree in full flower? I am so grateful that is exists at exactly this spot on the earth’s surface. I really am. I made some more pictures for my future research project on the perception of nature in the city, thinking it should definitely encompass a visit to Japan during the time of cherry blossom. Ah! The ephemerality of aesthetics… :)

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Schöne Suche.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008

Heute hat jemand nach wer hat den Ozean erfunden gegoogelt und ist in diesem Blog gelandet. Sehr hübsch. Ich weiß nicht, ob ich es bedauern soll, die Antwort nicht zu wissen…

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stralau wrote (2008/4/29 19:33):

Sehr schön. Mein Etymologisches Wörterbuch (Pfeifer) meint dazu:

Ozean m. ‘Weltmeer’, entlehnt (17. Jh.) aus lat. Ōceanus, griech. Ōkeanós (’Ωκεανος), womit in vorklass. Zeit der große, Erde und Meer rings einschließend gedachte Weltstrom, seit Herodot aber, der diese Vorstellung verwift, das ‘Weltmeer’ bezeichnet wird.


Fri, 07 Dec 2007

Does that look like the past to you? In the year 1999. To me it did, and I was surprised when I typed this in today and was confronted with the past-like feeling of this number…

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Live-Report aus dem Seevegarten.

Thu, 09 Aug 2007

Foto der Wiese im Seevegarten mit Zeltsack und StangenEs ist soweit, es ist soweit. Hier zu sehen: vor dem Zeltaufbau
Vater Frers planscht in der Seeveund danach beim Abkühlen. Denn es ist warm. Schalalalaaa.

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Sich beblasebalgen.

Thu, 29 Mar 2007

Mal wieder ein neues Wort für die Rechtschreibkorrektur. Ein verbreitetes Missverständnis bezieht sich auf den Blasebalg. Man denkt nämlich, der diene bloß dazu, Sand, Staub und andere unliebsame Partikel fort zu pusten. (Und zwar ohne sich darum zu kümmern, wo der kleine Wind die unerwünschten Kleinigkeiten ablegt.) Nach dem Spaziergang entlang des bestürmten Strandes: blas, blas! Fort mit dem Sand von der Kamera. Fort mit der Erinnerung an Salz und flatternde Ärmel. In den Momenten, in denen man sich noch nicht aufraffen kann, weiter zu tippen und einen neuen Gedanken zu fassen: blas, blas! Fort mit den Resten der alten Brötchen, die zwischen den Tasten hervorlugen. Vielleicht schafft das ja Platz für eine feine Idee.
Damit könnte man den Balg dann wieder an seinen Platz befördern. Ab in die Schublade, die Fototasche oder den anderen düsteren Ort, in dem der Balg sein Dasein fristet. Da liegt er dann und wird nicht mehr Verbalgt. Das Ventil geschlossen. Die Düse in stiller Luft. Ein tragisches Schicksal. Ein Schicksal, das die Existenz des Balges links liegen lässt. Ein Schicksal aber auch, das Potentiale schlummern lässt, die in diesem Gegenstand bereit sind. Denn nicht nur Tastatur und Kamera brauchen gelegentlich einen gut gezielten frischen Wind. Nein, auch der werte Autor mag sich manchmal etwas eingestaubt fühlen. Sitzend im eigenen Dunst. Steht aber ein Blasebalg bereit, so kann der träge Schleier vertrieben werden. Einmal links, einmal rechts wird der Balg gedrückt: blas, blas! Fort mit alten Gedanken, die sich niedergelegt haben. Etwas hand- und hausgemachter Wind im Antlitz, schon geht es weiter. So einfach ist das. Und vielleicht erinnert der kleine Wind ja auch an seinen großen Bruder und ist so Anlass, mal wieder vor die Tür zu gehen. Ab mit dem Balg in die Lade! Oder man erfreut sich doch einfach nur an diesem Gegenstand, der nicht nur total haptisch ist – nein! – er trägt auch noch so einen famosen Namen, dass er einfach der Niederschrift bedarf. Aber am besten hält man es mit dem Namen so wie mit dem Ding. Man füllt ihn mit Luft und bläst ihn in die Welt. Und wen es erfreut, der macht den Namen zu einem selbstreflexiven Tuwort.

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Dunes, wind, the whole package.

Fri, 05 Jan 2007

dunes on the island JuistAh, what a wonderful time. This year we spent our new year’s break on the North-Sea island Juist. The weather was a perfect mixture of wind, rain and sun. Sadly, the last grains of sand have been washed away during yesterday morning’s shower. Since my new research project will take place on this island, you can expect more pictures and a story or two in the coming two years…

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Wed, 18 Oct 2006

So, who’s who? First, there are the people from Darmstadt. They sent me a letter today. If you were listening to the sounds of the rumor mill you might have already guessed what is inside… Yes! It did work out as I hoped. 11 a.m. September 22nd I handed in my Dissertation. Two hours later I had my job interview for a postdoc position in the new post-graduate college Topology of Technology. Today I received the written approval of the college. Yay! Beginning sometime in November or December, I will not be dependent on the totally incompetent and not-so-subtly cruel social workfare system. That, I can tell you, is a relief in itself. However, it is of course much better than that because I really wanted to work exactly in that position: a post-doc in a Graduiertenkolleg, and even better, a post-doc in a Graduiertenkolleg that consists of people that are intellectually brilliant, socially competent and personally likeable. More about all of this in later posts.
But – as the title of this post hints – this is not all the news that I got. The above was, quite easily guessed, the good part. Now comes the bad. Last week, construction work has begun right across on the other side of the street. Yes, that is also right in front of our beloved balcony. Meow. We’ll see how the construction site develops but it appears as if the greatest and most marvellous part of the whole Choriner Straße will be left standing: the huge Cherry tree that astounds everyone when it becomes a world of blossoms in the spring. It would have been a grievous loss indeed. This was the bad.
Now comes the ugly. As usual, it has something to do with our Landlord. The property management firm Kirchner & Freund, which manages the building we live in, is not exactly shining in the bright light of competence. This in itself could be bearable. However, their letters also hint at a certain vice that is fostered by what one may quite righteously call capitalism. Thus they raised the rent by about ten percent a few years ago. We complied grudgingly. This year, they again wanted to raise the rent by roughly nine percent. We did not agree and sent them the necessary objections. They did not accept. (No surprise there.) We agreed to a partial raise by a bit more than one percent and paid the respective sum. To this partial agreement they never replied. Instead, I found a letter in our letterbox yesterday. It was utterly official and sent from the local court. They actually sued us! Sadly this is a joke but the ugly truth. We’ll see how things go. Since all the prior steps had been made in accordance with the Berliner Mieterverein, we will be financially supported by the renter’s association. I already contacted a lawyer and sent all the documents to his office. Ugly business. But better have the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly than ride with the trio of the apocalypse…
*starts playing the harmonica*

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katrin wrote (2006/10/21 09:09):

Glückwunsch... zum Guten natürlich...

University of Oslo’s Library.

Fri, 06 Oct 2006

reading desks in empty library during the eveningThis is the place where I like to catch up with work. Bit by bit, in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
During the day there are people sitting at the desks, of course. But I did not want to shoot them with my brand new digital camera (more on that in one of the next posts), even though they tend to forget turning their mobile phones off.

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