Oh Mirror Mirror

Recent days have brought destruction and devastation in much of Japan, recent weeks would add New Zealand, China and North Africa to that list. It’s possible for me to say that 2011 has seen already so many more things than would have been expected merely two months ago: Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt gone from power; open civil war in Libya; Christchurch devastated in a second earth-quake in less than a year; Japan’s north-eastern provinces destroyed in one of the largest earthquakes the world has seen and the following tsunami with now the possibility of a nuclear disaster on top of that.

Where else will this year lead us?
Saying anything definitive would be foolish given how the past months have demonstrated how nothing can be foreseen. If we did not guess what two months could bring, how can we say what nine will? Yet, from what we know we can still derive much.

What is interesting to think is whether it is really the events which are more plentiful than in past times or is it the extended coverage which gives us so much more detail. Only ten years ago knowledge of either Libya or Japan would have been low. There was something, but the development of the Internet over the last decade has completely transformed it. Two decades ago? A faint idea and TV broadcasts, nothing more. Four decades ago? TV, radio, newspapers. A century ago? Newspapers with outdated information, telegraph connections.

And yet, nothing that we actually learn of these events helps us in any way. It just creates an illusion that we know, for in no way can we know what is fully going on (yet, at least).

I have to add: That the earth-quake and tsunami hit Japan with the largest force is something that needs to be observed. Had it been any other place, we would be expecting casualties in the hundreds of thousands much like in 2004. Now, they might well reach that level but the approximations right now are kept at a few tens of thousands. It might all change, however, it is clear that the systems the Japanese have in place such as the city-wide warnings, automatic train-brakes, etc, are useful and helped saved countless lives.

It is only to be hoped that what happens to the nuclear reactors is not brought as a charge against the industry as a whole when again we have decades-old reactors which failed to act by their security mechanisms. If anything, it is a proof that we need more rapid modernization and quickly in the industry.

As said, we will see.

Languages: Japanese, Part IV

A few calculated days later so that I could make my post on a overdue time that’s not too long when I get back to the UK in April.

Previous “time-interval” goals:

  • カタカナ reading improvement : Yes.
  • ひらがな reading improvement : Yes.
  • one Cpt. per week from Heisig’s book on 漢字 (this means, Cpt’s 4, 5, 6 and 7) : Yes.
  • reading through that story which began so promisingly with “こんな夢を見た。” [Author: Natsume Soseki, Title: The First Night] : First two paragraphs.
  • listening to that same thing a few times over : A few, quite literally.
  • more music : Yes.

I can’t say I did too well, but it’s something. Demands too much concentration and I’ve started to use my other languages more for some odd reason (:P) so effort has been rather divided.

In any case, excuses are mere excuses (still useful).

Next “time-interval”:

  • Read [Author: Natsume Soseki, Title: The First Night]
  • Listen [Author: Natsume Soseki, Title: The First Night]
  • Re-check some chapters in that good book which I’ve temporarily lost sight of (grammar and usage)
  • More music//New artists

And let us continue!


 Now shall I walk
or shall I ride?
“Ride,” Pleasure said:
“Walk,” Joy replied.
~ W.H. Davies

Having seen two incredible days, and one more to come up now, I believe it reasonable if I post a few quotes I found pleasant that go with that best past-time in such wonderful weather, walking. Davies is already up there, and his ‘Leisure’ cannot be forgotten either (“When woods we pass…”).

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” — Raymond Inmon

I discovered yesterday that one of my modules is pretty shot up, given I’ll be unable to do 40% of it. Doesn’t matter very much though, at least until they won’t care when they look at results next winter. Yet, they somehow manage being awfully silly so I wouldn’t put anything past them.

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” — Aldous Huxley

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” — Wallace Stevens

“No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning. — Cyril Connolly

I really like these quotes. All of them. Those included that I did not post. I might post them some other day.  You never know what might happen (:P / :D).

Now, a walk!

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” — John Muir

Royal Roads and Insanity

‘There is no royal road to pomegrenades.’

I find that this paraphrasing of Euclidius is a fitting way to begin this entry. Simply because there isn’t. I theorize that it is impossible to eat more than 24 pomegranates in a day, and likely not more than 18 given you’d want to sleep as well.

That gives a hint of what I’ve been doing — just ate one.

And an onlooker might say I’ve been going insane, bit by bit. Starting from ironing at 4 AM (before sleep), continuing with being extremely happy over the fact that I’m living with a Romanian (amongst others) next year, and placing the Broad in the middle of the Grampians when I walked down to Suffolk.

It is amazing though. Everything is.

I thought of rewatching a masterpiece. Haven’t completely decided on it yet though.

“Blood and Oil”

Today I walked in the dark cold forest. I went to one of the finest places I know here. I regret that it is a cloudy day. The moon could have made it an amazing sight. It was still great, but it could have been better.

It can always be better? Perhaps. Perhaps. And no. There will be something that is the apex of greatness. I do not know when, I do not know what it will be. I do know that it will be magnificent.

I have looked into the eyes of Muammar Qaddafi. If the people succeed against him, he has indeed lost the Mandate of Heaven.


I gave out good advice today. I wish I followed the advice that I so readily share. I know it’s correct, I know it’s the way I should do things. Yet, I find it easier to say so to others than to do it myself. A pity it is that single topic which always fails me.

I have imagined I’ll reread this all again someday. I do not know when. I do know it will be a great read, an interesting read. I hope I’ll be able to listen to all of the music pieces while I read it to make it even better.

Lest we forget…

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
— ‘The Ode of Remembrance’, L. Binyon

So I thought that it might be worth to name those names which I know I should not forget. If I know I am not to forget them, why write them down? Because I am afraid that my mind, in its everlasting wish to make itself more important than it is, would like to pretend that others do not deserve what they do.

In the case of the following people, what they deserve is only good.

I have also tried to list the reasons why. The reasons might seem less significant whenever I am to reread this, but the significance was very real for me at some point.

Sander Kolosov — He told me, in a way that I knew those words were truth, "usaldusväärne". It meant so much to me then. Then? Sometime in the summer of 2010, when I paid a long-time debt to him that he had forgotten.

Madeleine Starks — She reminded me of what I had forgotten once more. She made me realize what I had been lacking. Motivation. I knew, I solved the problem. Laziness is to be abhorred. I wish it wasn’t that easy to forget. I hope I remember now.

Triin Vask — For teaching the concept of honesty. For reminding me I had forgotten what honesty should be about.

Hanna-Liisa Vilu — She saved my face. There’s nothing more to it. [I am reminded of the quote by J. Clavell: ‘I dinna ken who you are, but thank you for saving my face.’


So, based on the internet and my probability coursework, I am a reliability engineer. Why? 😛 That’s what my coursework says. Said. Cause I got it done. When I had expected not to.

Motivation is an odd thing. Find it where you least expect it.

But the best things in life… they either don’t ask for motivation, or you’re already motivated for them. And that keeps the engine working. Even though it’s not very reliable.

Memories of Summer

Beautiful weather for the 24th of February. It seems like summer. And Estonia is frozen. It seems fitting. It might even be that any other way would be wrong. I cannot be sure. 

I am reminded of the summers when I read outside at "home". There is no photograph of that… yet, the image is clear in my mind.

Hmmh. I say, a photograph… I hear, しゃしん…

A Passing Moment

 It is an amazing feeling to sit in my room, looking outside at the drizzling rain while listening to good music and reading about the exploits of men of steel and the cowardice of those who were afraid to do their duty. Svanstrom’s ‘A Short History of Sweden’ is the book I’m handling at this current moment in the hopes of finding reference to a very obscure military manouver. It is most interesting.

Why should I bother with Probability? Or RSF coursework? Indeed, if I can deal with topics that are interesting and fun to read about then ArcGIS proves to be no good alternative… at least on this moment.

It is worth mentioning that the rain stopped for the exact time that it was supposed to be dry. Odd. Now I hear it again, falling slowly against the roof and windows.

And I’ll continue my reading…

The Kindle (and its Possibilities)

 So, recently I’ve been trying to make an informed decision about the Amazon Kindle 3. It’s been tough, but I think I’ve managed to make one.

However, with searching for information about it I also managed to come upon a rather decent amount of self-publishers (including a man named JA Konrath who has a very interesting blog, which I recommend!) that are making a decent profit out of their avantures on the Kindle. So, I’ve been taking a look at that side as well (KDP: Kindle Digital Publishing, for anyone interested) for both myself (future) and possible AE functions. Which incidentally means I went and checked what’s happening on AE.

Significant? Only if the idea turns out to be a good one. 😉


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