Хогвартса Chernivtsi National University Ukraine Gauss

"If you think that "Hogwarts" does not exist, then you are mistaken. It exists, of course is not the same as in the Harry Potter films and magic was not taught. This unique architectural ensemble came into being through the efforts of Bishop Yevhen Hakman. In 1863 he obtained a permit from the tsisar for the construction of a new spacious residence worthy of the capital of Bukovina.  The design is by one of the best architects of its time Joseph HlavkaComposition of the ensemble is quite complicated, but it’s planning is celebrated . It consists of three monumental buildings: the main, the seminary (together with the Church of Three Saints) and presbytery. Currently, the University is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.”

This library “Read?” poster is from a recent episode of the tv show Gravity Falls.  The more I look at it the more fascinating it becomes.  Why does one book have legs and arms and the other one doesn’t? Why is the fish freaking out?  Why is the fish presumably sentient, but the butterfly isn’t? So many questions.

This library “Read?” poster is from a recent episode of the tv show Gravity Falls.  The more I look at it the more fascinating it becomes.  Why does one book have legs and arms and the other one doesn’t? Why is the fish freaking out?  Why is the fish presumably sentient, but the butterfly isn’t? So many questions.

Software Carpentry Week 4

This week’s assignment has me stumped once again. The blog post we are supposed to write is on the topic of “demotivation”, specifically one of those moments where you go into a learning situation neutral or highly motivated and something the instructor says or does turns you off totally. 

I think we can all recognize that feeling, and I think my difficulty in coming up with an idea for the post is that I’ve had it happen too often.  Of course, as a person who suffers from depression, finding motivation to do anything is pretty hard to begin with, so that’s also part of it.   

For example, there was no “girls are bad at math” moment where a teacher said something and I got turned off math.  As a grade 4 student I was too anxious to respond to a math problem out loud under pressure in front of a crowd of kids or do a set number of problems in a set amount of time, so I was labelled “bad at math” and internalized that.  My parents felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough because just doing math problems as homework made me anxious.  I am probably not inherently better or worse at math than your average person, but my teacher’s pedagogical choices made me suffer unnecessarily and every grade after that I slipped further and further behind because of my anxiety. 

I definitely know I’ve had moments in classes where a teacher has said or done something and I just immediately checked out like “NOPE” but the number of times I’ve enjoyed and felt motivated by a class are far outnumbered by those times I’ve been barely going through the motions.  So I’ll have to keep thinking.



Animating Virtual Characters using Physics-Based Simulation by  Thomas Geijtenbeek

The PhD research of Geijtenbeek is about using Genetic Algorithms and physics simulation to train bipedal characters to walk.

"The total optimization time depends on the character model and the type of experiment; the number of evaluated generations varies between 500 and 3000. On a standard
PC, optimization time takes between 2 and 12 hours.”

Video embedded below:

Life Update

  • I am now living in my parents’ house in New Brunswick, Canada.
  • There is not a lot to do here.
  • Most of my things are still in my uncle’s garage in Ontario.
  • Co-ordinating a mover between there and here is going to be a pain.
  • Explaining the past four months of my life over and over again to people is getting old.
  • The last time I was at home for longer than a week was about five years ago.
  • I’m still working on my Software Carpentry instructor course.
  • I’m currently reading this heavy tome on the CIA in Afghanistan that is proving very relevant to current events.


The Codex Gigas

The Codex Gigas (or ‘Giant Book”) is also known as “The Devil’s Bible.” A curious illustration of Lucifer gives the tome its nickname.

The 13th-century manuscript is thought to have been created solely by a Herman the Recluse, a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice near Chrudim in Czech Republic. The calligraphy style is amazingly uniform throughout, believed to have taken 25 to 30 years  of work. There are no notable mistakes or omissions.  Pigment analysis revealed the ink to be consistent throughout. The book is enormous - it  measures 36.2” tall, 19.3” wide, and 8.6” thick; it weighs approximately 165 pounds. There are 310 vellum  leaves (620 pages).  The leaves are bound in a wooden folder covered with leather and ornate metal.

The manuscript is elaborately illuminated in red, blue, yellow, green and gold.  The entire document is written in Latin, and also contains Hebrew, Greek, and Slavic Cyrillic and Glagolitic alphabets. The first part of the text includes the Vulgate version of the Bible.  Between the Old and New Testaments are Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews and De bello iudaico, as well as Isidore of Seville's encyclopedia Etymologiae and medical works of Hippocrates, Theophilus, Philaretus, and Constantinus.  Following a blank page, the New Testament commences.

Beginning the second part is a depiction of the devil.  Directly opposite is a full picture of the kingdom of heaven, juxtaposing the “good versus evil.”  The second half, following the picture of the devil, is Cosmas of Prague's Chronicle of Bohemia.  A list of brothers in the Podlažice monastery and a calendar with necrologium, magic formulae and other local records round out the codex.  Record entries end in the year 1229CE.

In 1648 at the end of the Thirty Years’ War, the Swedish army invaded Prague and the Codex was stolen as plunder.  It is now held at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.  For more information, check out this short National Geographic documentary and/or flip through this digital copy.

( Wikipedia entry, et. al)

Several short National Geographic videos ~

One Helluva Book

Who Wrote The Devil’s Bible?

Super-human Scribe

The Devil’s Bible - Part 1.flv  (9:59) (derived from full video bleow)

The Devil’s Bible - Part 2.flv  (9:59) (derived from full video below)

** If you have the least amount of intellectual curiosity or interest in history, the short vids above will only whet your appetite: might as well grab a cold drink & some popcorn, then settle in to watch the whole thing ~

NatGeo : The Devil’s Bible - Full video  (44:58)



Scape House FORM | Kouichi Kimura Architects

"The house is located in the tiered-developed residential area on a hill. From the site, the beautiful view of the lake can be seen.The client requested that the view be fully utilized and that the space be open. In this project, versatile spaces that incorporate light and scenery were located by the windows in order to bring out the best in this house."