Anniversary 4 (4 Me): “Life Ends Despite Increasing Energy”

I published my first post on this blog on March 24, 2012. Back then its title and tagline were: Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything Physics versus engineering off-the-wall geek humor versus existential questions IT versus the real thing corporate world’s strangeness versus small business entrepreneur’s microcosmos knowledge worker’s connectedness versus striving…

Travelling Like Spam Poetry

We have an anniversary. In the summer of 2005, the Chief Engineer and I set out to visit every Austrian village whose names started with the letter Z. It was a straight-forward idea given that we lived in a z-village. Our universe of websites contains the virtual equivalent – z-village.net, a German website chronicling the…

Anatomy of a Decision (1)

Four years ago I tried something new – I took a decision and started communicating it (some half-baked version of it) without having worked out a detailed plan. One year later I started this blog, reflecting on the journey and this decision. So I celebrate the 4 years anniversary with shameless, self-indulgent nostalgia – reblogging…

Being Creative with What Is Available

This is a quote from Simon Dale’s website who has built several eco-friendly ‘Hobbit’ houses. It reminded me of the cave house built into lava bubbles by Lanzarote’s most famous artist César Manrique: Being creative with what is available has an appeal beyond economical necessities. As a teenage hobby astronomer I built a mounting for…

On Learning

Some years ago I was busy with projects that required a lot of travelling but I also needed to stay up-to-date with latest product features and technologies. When a new operating system was released a colleague asked how I could do that – without having time for attending trainings. Without giving that too much thought, and having my…

I Am Too Googleable!

What a letdown. I wanted to report on near completion of The Website Resurrection Project – but I had a mind-altering experience. On the upside, I am not afraid of identity theft or surveillance anymore. My dentist had to cancel an appointment the day before. I showed up some minutes before the appointed time. The…

Blog Cleanup – Raking the Virtual Zen Garden Again

I am proud owner of a full season of Monk on DVD, and as a child nobody ever had to tell me to tidy up my room. I indulged not only in cleaning my Lego(*) world with a fine paint brush but I rather re-organized all my belongings in Feng-Shui-meets-OCD-style quite often. (*) Lego is…

On Science Communication

In a parallel universe I might work as a science communicator. Having completed my PhD in applied physics I wrote a bunch of job applications, one of them being a bit eccentric: I applied at the Austrian national public service broadcaster. (According to Wikipedia Austria was the last country in continental Europe after Albania to…

Stargate: Succumb to the Power of the Ritual

Thanks for your prayers, voodoo magic, encouraging tweets or other tweaking the fabric of our multiverse: Yesterday I have passed my final exams and defence – I did very well, and I am a Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Systems now. As the sensationalist title indicates I tried to play it cool but finally…

So-Called Zen Capitalism and Random Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

In this blog and in the comments’ section of other blogs I have repeatedly ridiculed: management consultants, new age-y self help literature and simple-minded soft skills trainers. Let alone all other life-forms in the lower left quadrant of the verbal skills vs. quant skills diagram. Now it is time that I give you a chance…

On Writing or: What Do I Need to Smoke to Understand Your Websites?

This is a verbatim quote. (“This” refers to the second part of the title. The first one is a lame reference to Stephen King, of course). It is a question asked by a former colleague some years ago who had been exposed to my proto-blog websites for the first time. These websites are subject to…

Trading in IT Security for Heat Pumps? Seriously?

Astute analysts of science, technology and the world at large noticed that my resume reads like a character from The Big Bang Theory. After all, an important tag used with this blog is cliché, and I am dead serious about theory and practice of combining literally anything. [Edit in 2016: At the time of writing this post,…

2012: The Year We Make Contact

What happened? I started blogging here in March. My posts evolved from lengthy walls of text to geeky stuff. Thanks to my readers who follow this blog despite the strange combination of topics covered. But I know: Resistance is futile. I have halted pseudo-blogging to my ancient non-blog sites for some months, but resumed it  to write…

Almost There: Celebrating a Special Day

No, this does neither refer to the End of the World tomorrow(*), nor to Christmas, nor to the End of the Year. (*) In 8 minutes in my time zone. Since I have alluded to a ‘leap of faith’ and ‘passing through worm holes’ here or here I owe you a sequel. In a sense it is also a prequel. I…

Website Resurrection: Status Report

It’s nearly EOY (end of calendar year) in corporate lingo, and thus it is time to prepare the last reports and try to meet some deadlines set by top management for political reasons. Corporate thinking is in my bones so I need to apply this approach to my personal Website Resurrection Project. I registered three personal…

The Dark Side Was Strong in Me

Once in a communication skills training I learned: For each of us there is a topic / a question / a phrase that will turn us raging mad or leave us in despair, or both. The point the trainer wanted to make, of course, was to use your combatant’s topics to your advantage. There are mild variants: Topics you…

Physicist, Philosopher, and Engineer

The headline indicates that I am going to tell one of this old jokes: A physicist, a philosopher and an engineer meet … This is in fact correct, but in an extremely subtle way. As the title of this blog and the pseudo-intellectual summary in the left pane should imply I am of course considering myself…

Reconcile All This (Goals of This Blog)

I have now blogged since more than half a year and I have pseudo-blogged since about 10 years, but I have never stated any goals explicitly. Fueled by my Website Resurrection Project I will do so now, running the risk to be able to hold myself accountable for achieving these goals. Despite the title of…

I Did Normal Science

Finally I am reading one of the most influential books on science: Thomas Kuhn – The Structure of Scientific Resolutions. I should have done so earlier, actually the book should be part of any science major’s undergraduate curriculum. Naive as I was, I had expected to work on solving earth-shattering problems in physics, or at…

Anatomy of a Decision (1)

About a year ago I have taken a decision, and I am now taking a leap of faith. This blog is gravitating about this decision, and I am writing now about a journey that began a while back. I am finally working on plan A again, after I had been quite successful in pursuing plan…

My Blog Name Corresponds to a Mistyped Term

I am aware of this. Therefore, it will never be indexed correctly. Google will consider me one of those typo URL hijackers – or whatever the technical term is for people who own domains like micorsoft dot com where they host these web sites that only contain a bunch of other URLs. Elkement is a…

Real Physicists Do Not Read Popular Science Books

At least this is what I believed for quite a while. Now I think I was wrong – not only for the reason that also real scientists might enjoy light entertainment or stay informed about their colleagues’ science outreach activities. First of all, I am not even sure if I still qualify as a real…

Clandestine Blogging

Currently, I have not linked my blog anywhere, and I avoid creating too much outgoing links. The blog is public and nobody is aware of it. I had even planned to blog at a hidden – fully private – blog for a while, although my postings are not that confidential. Reasons being: I am using…

Why Do You Want to Become an Engineer?

There is this cartoon that explains why one would aspire to become an engineer. It appeals to the Bill-Gates-junior-type geek who wants to build cool stuff, rather than musing about the foundations of “stuff”. I sympathize with all of these three roles, also with the philosopher. I have also been inclined to philosophy, and I…

From Early Adopter to Lazy Laggard

Applying the Technology Adoption Life-cycle model to my internet usage pattern, I categorize myself as a Laggard or a member of the Late Majority. The beginning was more promising: I used e-mail since the early 1990s, and I set up my first web site in 1997. At the dawn of the new millennium, I owned…