Amsterdam (again)

I’m in Amsterdam (again!) and the cats are fighting in the backyard.

My girlfriend just bought me a holga for my birthday 1.5 months ago and the camera thanked her by falling apart while we were putting the film in. The black tape that came with it was put to good use immediately to keep the camera together.

My plan is to finish my first film tomorrow and hopefully get it developed before I have to go back to Bergen on Sunday. I love this little toy.

It’s also nice to see the economy falling apart like that, the whole thing is surreal, at least I get my revenge on investment bankers who think they know it all and should be paid ten times as much as everyone else.

Five underrated albums from the eighties

I was listening to my ipod earlier and I realized that there is music from my childhood that deals with much heavier stuff than the rest of the fluff from that age. I found five albums from five artists that wrote about much more mature subjects than their listeners were able to comprehend.

Nik KershawHuman Racing

Nik Kershaw got famous for his summer hit “I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and the lots more depressing “Wouldn’t It Be Good”. I’ve slowly come to realize that the album is quite underrated. On different songs he deals with complex and mature subjects like career chasing, shyness, loss of love etc. It’s a pity that this artist is only remembered for a handful of hits that were above average, but on the whole rather forgettable for all others than eighties fanatics.

Recommended tracks: Faces, Shame On You, Human Racing.

Howard JonesHuman’s Lib

Howard Jones’s debut album is also an interesting listen due to its’ subject matter. The opening song “Conditioning” deals with how we are conditioned into roles at a very young age. Listening to it at the age of twelve, it meant little or nothing to me, but at twentyfive, I realized what a difficult subject he had made the theme of a rather upbeat synthpop-tune. His big hit “What Is Love?” deals with how we often feel insecurity in love and how natural this is. The whole album deals with themes like equality, liberation and self fulfilment, ideas I had little knowledge about in my early teens.

Recommended tracks: Conditioning, What is love?, Hunt The Self

Tears For FearsThe Hurting

Everyone remembers “Shout”, the only pop song about primal scream therapy to reach hit lists. The debut album of Tears For Fears mostly deals with mental disease and therapy and it’s a rather dark affair. In addition, it has a rather sparse production making it sound outdated already in 1985. Listening to it ten years later (someone gave me the record on vinyl) revealed a rather sincere album with a rather mature subject matter.

Recommended tracks: Mad World, Pale Shelter, Change

The TheInfected

This album was never underrated, but has been largely forgotten. Matt Johnson (who for all practical purposes is The The) sings about war with the islamic world, lost love and the americanization of Britain under Thatcher. If you’ve never heard this one, you should. It was considered one of the best albums of 1986 and it hasn’t faded much.

Recommended tracks: Infected, Out Of The Blue (Into The Fire), Sweet Bird Of Truth

AlphavilleForever Young

Back in 1999, I was a DJ at a vernissage, and one of the gallery owners said it was nice that I played Kraftwerk but I should have kept off the other stuff (I played Alphaville). Alphaville easily attracts criticism, partly for the song that gave the album its’ name (it’s quite horrible) and the other hits that it spawned. The problem with this album is that in addition to several catchy hits, and a song about divided Germany, is that it also contain some rather bad fillers at the end. I can never bring myself to listen through it all.

Recommended tracks: A Victory Of Love, Summer In Berlin, To Germany With Love

Auf Deutsch

1. Weißt Du, wie man die BH-Größe misst?
Nein

2. Was ist Deine Lieblingseissorte?
Sorbet-eis!

3. Welche 3 Dinge hast Du immer bei Dir, wenn Du unterwegs bist?
Schlüssel, telefon und uhhm… taschenbuch(?)

4. Rechts- oder Linkshänder?
Links.

5. Welche Zeitungen und/oder Magazine hast Du abonniert?
Die Morgenblatt

6. Redest Du mit Deinen Blumen?
Nein, sie sind alle tod.

7. Kennst Du die richtigen Namen Deiner Email-Freunde?
Ja, oder… ich habe keine email-freunde.

8. Hattest Du mal ein pinkfarbenes Kleidungsstück?
Nöh

9. Beißt Du Dir in die Lippe, wenn Du nervös bist?
Nein.

10. Frühaufsteher oder Nachteule?
Nachteufel.

11. Kannst Du einen BH mit nur einer Hand öffnen?
Ja, natürlich!

12. Loft, Villa, Bauernhaus oder einfach nur Wohnung?
Loft

13. Wie trinkst Du Deinen Kaffee?
Ganz schwarz

14. Weißt Du das Alter Deiner Eltern?
Mais oui.

15. Schau nach rechts, was siehst Du?
Meine küche

16. Kaust Du auf Bleistiften oder Kulis rum?
Ik versteh nix

17. Wenn auf einer Tür steht ‘ziehen’, drückst Du trotzdem?
Natürlich

18. Riechst Du an anderen Menschen?
Manchmal

19. Spielst Du ein Instrument?
Als Kid hab’ ich das Piano gelernt.

Til utbygger fra Helvete

Notat fra befaring i Strangebakken 12.08.2008

På oppfordring av eier er vi blitt bedt om å komme med en uavhengig uttalelse angående mulige feil eller mangler vedrørende leilighet i 1etg. i Stangebakken 6.

Vi besiktiget bad, vindu på soverom, vindu på stue og kjeller bod.

Konklusjon er som følger:
1. Bad – Hele gulvet må utføres på nytt.

Årsak til dette er at membran, påstøp/tykt lag med flise lim er løsnet fra underlaget. Vi tok opp en løs flis på badegulvet og under flisen var gulvet helt i oppløsning, vi plukket opp løse biter med avrettings masse / fliselim som knapt hang sammen med en råtnende membran duk. Det er ingen annen løsning enn å fjerne hele gulvet, for så og bygge opp ett nytt underlag for membran og fliser.

2. Vindu på soverom – hengsler må skiftes ut. Dersom dette ikke er mulig så bør hele vinduet skiftes.

3. Vindu på stue – dette er punktert og her må glass skiftes. Gjelder vindu lengst mot øst.
4. Kjeller bod – det ledes vann langs gulv og inn i bod. Vannet kommer fra ytterdør som er på utsiden av boden. Dette medfører fuktproblemer, på sikt også råteskader på bod vegger og inventar i bod. Løsning er og enten flytte bod til ett tørt sted i kjeller eller å utbedre inntrenging av vann. Det siste vil være det beste for fukt i denne del av kjeller vil forringe hele kjelleren.

Vår anbefaling er at selger av hus bringes på banen og det avtales tid for utbedring så snart som mulig. Spesielt baderom må utføres før konsekvenser blir enda større. Det må være klart for selger at alle kostnader vedrørende utbedring skal belastes selger.
Dersom ønskelig kan vi bistå med oppfølging av saken.

Til opplysing så kan vi også utføre analyser av lyd tekniske forhold, luft tekniske forhold, brann tekniske forhold og andre byggetekniske forhold vedrørende leilighet dersom dette er ett ønske fra din side. Eventuelle mangler og feil vil da kunne påberopes hos selger ettersom leiligheten er så godt som ny.

Når det nå har tatt fyren to måneder å få fingeren ut, så må han forvente slike eposter.

Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia

I’m a little more than one week into my trip and it seems like I have been travelling for a month. I guess it’s all the impressions that I have to process that makes it so, but it still feels weird. A little more than a week ago I was in rainy Bergen (which from the weather forecast I have seen isn’t so rainy anymore) and now I’m on Borneo.

Yesterday, I was on a hiking trip to a big cave-system, the Niah caves near Miri (where I am right now) and it was completely wonderful to see. It was pitch black in the caves and suddenly the sun shone through a hole in the cave ceiling and it looked like a laser beam shooting down.

As I am in the tropics, it wasn’t particularily pleasant to walk 8 km, I was soaked with sweat and on the last part of the trip it started raining. My shorts are barely dry 18 hours later, and the idea of bringing a spare pair of shorts never occured to me. What an idiot I can be.

Today, I’m going back to KL and we’re off to Perhentian islands on wednesday morning. We return to KL on friday night and then I’m off to Singapore for the last leg of my trip on saturday morning. I return to Europe on Monday night.

Malaysia

I am in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To be more precise, I am in Subang Jaya, a suburb situated between Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam in Selangor.

I am here visiting my ex-girlfriend who I have only seen once in the past ten years. I haven’t been here since december 1997 and even though you might think it shouldn’t have changed the geography much, it has.

The tall buildings have shot up and the open boulevards have been replaced by an overground metro-system which doesn’t add much to the landscape. The maybank building which was a landmark to look for everywhere is nearly impossible to see. I don’t recognize anything until I’m actually there and some building jogs my memory.

My original plan was to stay more than three weeks, but I came to realize that I don’t have that much to do here and even if I travel across the malayan peninsula, it’s not really big enough for a four week trip. I think I ordered the ticket in my heart broken state of late march and by late may that had turned itself upside down and there were other places I needed to be. So I have cut my holiday short, it will only be two weeks and then I go to Amsterdam.

I still get to see Melaka, Penang, Terengganu and Singapore. I think this will be a good holiday. I love the food here. You can get good asian food at any street corner. Today I had noodles for breakfast. I’m actually considering western food for lunch or dinner today. I’m not sure if there is a law against eating fish curry for dinner all week or not. If there is, I might be in trouble.

Dating, death and statistics – at what age is the dating pool largest?

A while ago I found this comic on xkcd.com:

The general idea is that your dating pool increases with age since large age differences turn less creepy the older you get.

If you date someone younger, the creepiness is defined as C = A/2 + 7, where A is your age and C is the lowest age at which you should date someone. For someone else dating you, their age must therefore be D = 2*A – 14, where A again, is your age, and D is the upper sociably acceptable age of someone you should date.

Therefore, your dating pool should be limited by the numbers C and D, but since C increases with 0.5 per year and D increases with 2 per year, the overall dating pool-size increases with 1.5 years for every year you grow older. (I am 34, therefore C = 24 and D = 54). In all calculations, half ages have been rounded down for maximum creepiness.

So, the dating pool increases, but at some point people start to die off, and the dating pool will start to decrease naturally. This opened up a profound question for me: At what age is the dating pool largest?

I made some calculations using the number of men living in Norway sorted by age (in one year intervals), carefully picked from the norwegian census bureau and combined with some fancy excel/maple magic

The model’s lower boundary is 14, simply because at that point A = C = D. The upper boundary is 70, set by me.

Observations:
The dating pool increases until you get to the age of 44, where it stalls and falls off as people start to die. At 70 the whole model seems to break down (the upper creepiness is larger than any known age for a human, 126). It shows that the dating pool of men grows until the age of around 45 where it naturally starts to decrease again, but not by much until your upper bound gets so large that people start to die off.

Facts in numbers:

The highest dating pool is at the age of 44 where just over 69 % of the male population is dateable. The mean dateable population is: 0.493 with a standard deviation of 0.200

I fitted the data to a polynomial of fourth degree in Maple and found a maximum at 47.3 years of age.

If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d try to fit this to some kind of curve and calculate a maximum with standard deviation and everything. I’d also consider doing the chart for women, but I can’t see much of a point since the curve will probably take the same shape with a larger tail since the average age of death for women is higher.

In addition, the data shows all men, not just singles, while this conforms more to reality (people do fuck around while married), it is in violation of certain social norms. I leave it to the reader to consider the importance of this. It would also be interesting to see such a chart based on statistics from a country with a higher death rate (average age of around 30 or so), but I am uncertain if such is available. I leave it to future statistics nerds to figure that out.

Download the data and plots here.

Feel free to perform similar statistics with more elegance for your own country.

meme, because I can’t be bothered to post anything substantial

You get three words. No more, no less.

Stolen from masokiss

1. Where is your cell phone?
in the kitchen

2. Your girlfriend/boyfriend/hubby?
is not applicable

3. Your hair?
is very short

4. Where is your father?
probably at home

6. Your favourite things to do?
moving my body

7. Your dream last night?
can not remember (I sound like a robot now)

8. Your favourite drink?
is certainly champagne

9. Your dream car?
some cool hybrid

10. The room you’re in?
is very small

12. Your fears?

14. Who did you hang out with last night?
with friends online

15. What aren’t you good at?
probably many things

16. Muffins?
yes, thank you

17. One of your wish list items?
blu-ray video thingy

19. The last thing you did?
should not tell

20. What are you wearing?
not very much

22. Your pets?
do not exist

23. Your computer?

24. Your life?
improving every day

25. Your mood?
a slight pensiveness

26. Missing?
that special someone 😛

27. What are you thinking about right now?
i am tired

28. Your car?
does not exist

29. Your work?
too darn much

30. Your summer?
better than last

32. Your favorite color(s)?
cyan magenta yellow

33. When is the last time you laughed?
some hours ago

34. Last time you cried?
yesterday, most certainly

34. School?
where I work

35. Personal mantra?
the heart sutra

Change

This summer I decided I needed a change. I found out I had the choice of either changing my job, getting a new apartment, moving to a different place or getting a girlfriend (or any combination of choices).

During the autumn I started looking at apartments with some friends. I really had a lot of fun but it felt a little useless if I couldn’t bid, so I went to talk to the bank and I managed to get them to agree to lend me 1,5 million kroner for an apartment. After that I went looked at about ten apartments until I found one that I felt was pleasant to look at and didn’t compromise too much on things that I thought was important. Since there is a slight slump in the real estate market in Norway, I managed to get it slightly cheaper than the asking price and was rather pleased with that.

The apartment is the same size as the one I have now, the living room is about the same size, but the kitchen is larger and can be used as a kind of workspace as well. The bedroom is small but as it will be used for nightly activities, I don’t think that will be much of a problem.

I am so happy to be moving. I like my apartment, but in some senses there are too many memories connected to I’d like to get rid of. I will miss the view of the church, but not the strange neighbours.

I am moving in less than two weeks and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve already packed half my stuff but there’s still tons of things to do and throw away. I’ll be really pleased when this is done.

An old story, still surfacing.

I have been “dating” a girl, from time to time, for the past months. Nothing serious has ever happened and at some point last week I lost faith. I had seen her with this terribly hunky guy who is a salsa instructor and I thought, well, if she just dates salsa instructors, I’m giving her up. I can’t compete with that.

So, anyway, I go dancing tonight and I notice a girl there who I met some time ago while dancing, but she disappeared and never surfaced until tonight. I’ve been meaning to ask her out but it hasn’t worked out since I meet her like once a month.

Anyway, I sit there chatting and the other girl comes over, sits close to me, listens to my conversations, seems like she is trying to grab my attention. I am busy with conversation with the other girl, so I try to juggle my attention with both people and to avoid that, I introduce her. So, since I only meet this girl every month or so, I take the chance of asking her out, so I ask her for coffee (I need to change that catchphrase – it never works, even though coffee is not a big deal in my book, apparently it is in theirs GAAAH!) and she answers “When will I have time for coffee?” to which I reply “Surely, you must have 30 minutes for coffee some day”, she thinks for a while, looks at her friend beside her while smiling, suggest we go dancing some day. She doesn’t have time this week, but she is available the next thursday. I say that it’s fine, but at the same point I’m thinking she will never show up, so I don’t even bother asking about the number.

I get up to leave and I go to pick up my jacket and I see the other girl sitting at the bar chatting. I walk over to say bye and she says “I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow”, I reply “You mean, the three minutes we have available when your course ends and mine begins?” to which she replies “yes” and adds that she’ll see me at the dancing on thursday. The whole thing gets an extra dimension if I tell you that I hit on her best friend on saturday. I didn’t succeed, but it was pretty direct. I presume she has been told. I wonder what the hell she is thinking of.

You try to give up on someone and they come running after you but when you catch interest they run away. There’s a lesson to be learnt here, and the lesson is: give up understanding people.