Mink Machine

Entries of year 2009

Having a nice time in Nice

I just got back from a trip to the French Riviera with my colleagues. We had an entire house in the countryside at our disposal, complete with private pool and large kitchen. It was situated at 500 meters above sea level, so we could see all the way to the cities of Nice and Antibes as well as the Mediterranean. Another nice feature was the palm tree with a few resident squirrels.

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Across the dunes

A few days ago I was driving around in Denmark with friends. We discovered an unusually large dune by the horizon and drove there. At sunset we climbed the dune with sand flowing into our eyes and throats. As we reached the summit we discovered the old lighthouse Rubjerg Knude, built in 1899 at the top of Lønstrup Klint.

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Bunker safari

I recently got back from a roadtrip in Denmark where the main topic was German bunkers from World War II. I believe we saw almost a hundred of them and entered several dozen. For some it may seem like a wierd vacation but it’s a very real part of history which we always need to learn more about.

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Little 15

Another year has gone by and this site turns 15 years old this week. That’s pretty old in the web world. The web of 2009 is very different from 1994. Back then there were no blogs, communities or RSS feeds. Google was not even started and popular sites like YouTube, Flickr and Pirate Bay were a decade into the future.

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The joy of road trips

If you want maximum travel experience in minimum time, a classic roadtrip is the way to go. The freedom of roaming with a car is simply unparalleled. You are free to choose between the packed freeways and the lonely dirt roads, and wherever you end up it cannot be stated enough that the journey is the goal in itself more than the actual destination, as TS Eliot almost put it. You will see the scenic side and get immersed in the unique culture of the country.

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Euphoria renders the future

Euphoria is a system for simulating 3D characters with muscles and skeleton, instead of using predetermined keyframes or motion capture. They have a beautiful demonstration video of the system in action. This is probably the coolest thing I’ve seen in this field since a video in the mid-nineties where interacting AI objects were visualized as flatshaded polygons.

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XHTML2 bites the dust

XHTML was the new black a decade ago and a lot of loud people said it was the best thing since sliced bread. Even though it wasn’t half bad, it had one important culprit: it was allowed to be served as text/html instead of only application/xml. There are many reasons for that design, the main one being that Internet Explorer doesn’t support application/xml which would break the web for most people.

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Featured stories

Visions of Singapore

"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."

Roaming through Banff

"Even though the main town is surrounded by mountains with names such as Sulphur Mountain, it is as far away from Mordor as one could imagine."

Memories of Skye

"The countryside is charming and some places even have coffee."

Vineyards of southern France

"Not far from Sauternes is the village of Saint-Émilion, also a famous wine region but what got me hooked was their impressive limestone caves."

The sound of Salzburg

"It is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp, even though I suspect she didn’t go singing alone in the mountain ranges."

Roaming in Valletta

"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."