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Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ topic

The Tediously Slow Life of an Inanimate Object

The reason we don’t see rocks running around and living their lives, is because—unlike us—they have millions of years at their disposal to contemplate their next move.

So now you know.

The Breakup of Belgium

Or: Fifteen Ways to Crack an Egg

Every few months, the media feels inclined to warn us of the impending break up of Belgium. And these news reports have been steadily feeding us for what? The past hundred years?

It is said that Belgium is, not only the only failed nation state in the world that actually works, but that it is also an accident of history. It’s not hard to imagine why. Consider this: In the summer of 1830, after a night of heavy drinking at the opera, some blokes woke up the next morning, not only discovering that they had acquired a set of cool new tattoos, but that they had also in-avertedly created a new country.

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Missing Socks and Washing Machines: Vessels of Inter-Dimensional Travel

I have long held the belief that washing machines can on occasion become accidental portals, which in turn allows travel to other dimensions. It would explain the missing sock phenomena which states that given enough time, you’ll end up with just one half of each pair.

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The Men’s Guide to Color Theory

Color theory applied to lingerie

A few days ago, a color conspiracy, enacted by women, swept over the social webs to raise awareness and at the same time, pull one over on us men. So now more than ever seems like the appropriate moment to publish an excerpt from the longest ‘short’ story I’ve ever written, but decided not to complete. (I happen to be working on something more important right now). Never the less, rather than leaving this to collect dust, I’ve decided to share with you these little wisdoms and what fascinating things the colors of lingerie have to reveal:

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A Travel Map based on Time

A time travel map with cities relative to Brussels

I’ve always had this nagging feeling that certain places, even though they are physically quite close, always seemed to be so far away. Further even than distant places, simply because they are more time consuming to reach thanks to a lack of direct highways or too many traffic lights along the way.

So while the shortest route between two points may be a straight line, the quickest route on the other hand is determined by the fastest mode of transportation at your disposal. To illustrate this, I created a time travel map that positions cities relative to Brussels based on how long it takes to reach them using only public transportation.

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Lost Highway: Explained

Patricia Arquette as Renee in Lost Highway

As the ending credits of Lost Highway swept over the cinema screen, I was left behind in a state of total perplexity.  Instinctively, I knew I had witnessed one of the greatest movies of all time. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what I had just been watching for the past two hours. It was the first time a film had ever evoked such a bewildered feeling out of me.  I had to know why.

The dialogs were in English, but the film conventions used were foreign. Subtitles were nonexistent. It was a film that would take many viewings to figure out, though many claimed the film could not be explained. That it was nothing more than one long dream sequence from a twisted brain that made absolutely no sense. I never really believed that. And I’m glad I didn’t.

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TEDx and the European Parliament

The European Parliament building complex in Brussels

As one Belgian – the first European to do so – handed over the command of the ISS back to the Americans, and will be returning to earth shortly after a six month stint in space; another Belgian was handing in his government back to the king, so he can prepare to become the first president of Europe in January.

And I would, for the first time, be visiting the European Parliament in Brussels. As this event pales in comparison to what my fellow countrymen have lately achieved, don’t expect to find my little excursion mentioned in any history book; not even as a small obscure footnote on page 527 or other. But I was there for a reason though. The TEDx Brussels event, also a first, was being held there, an independent spin-off the TED events that have brought world inspiration since… well, since its inception. While the official TED event is by invitation only, they do post videos online of some of their most inspirational speakers and their ideas about the world. Definitely worth a visit if you haven’t heard of it yet.

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How to test your time machine actually works.

The problem with time travel is you never know where you'll end up

One might think that time travel is difficult at best and impossible at worst, but it’s not. It’s actually quite easy to accomplish. The most widely used method of time travel today is called growing old. We do it all the time.

The Dangers of Time Travel

If on the other hand, you want to travel back in time, that’s a whole different challenge. So let us assume we’re going to build a time machine that will let us do just that. How do we test it to make sure it works? Unless of course you want to be the guinea pig and risk ending up in a time or place that might not be so hospitable to your fragile existence. You wouldn’t be the first time traveler to end up frozen in the middle of space, due to the small oversight of earths moving trajectory around the sun, and the relative motion of the solar system within mind puzzling accelerated expansion of the larger universe. But let us not worry about that for now.

One theory states that even if a time machine were built, you would still not be able to time travel to an age prior to the existence of your workable machine. It was proposed as a reason why time travelers have not come back from the future so far, for lack of a vessel present in this day and age to do so. It also prevents you from going back in time and killing yourself before you were able to actually build your time machine, thus making it impossible to travel back in time to kill yourself in the first place, and creating a temporal rupture in the fabric of the space time continuum that could possibly destroy the entire universe. In other words, before we can bump into other time travelers or create utterly destructive paradoxes, we first have to build a time machine.

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The Box

Cemeron Diaz starring in The Box

Recently – and not knowing what to expect or what I was about to watch – I went to see The Box. It’s one of those films you’ll either love, or hate. It’s from the same director that brought us Donnie Darko, the movie that brought us the wonderful Mad World cover.

The Box starts with a simple premise. A family is presented a mysterious box with a large red button. They are given a day to decide whether to press it or not. If they do, they will receive a suitcase with one million dollars, tax free. But – and there is always a but – someone whom they do not know will be killed. If on the other hand they decline to press the button by the time the offer expires, the box will be taken away, reprogrammed and sent to someone else.

Given this choice, what would you do?

If this has peaked your interest, stop reading here and go and watch it. Otherwise, I have to warn you that the rest of the post contains spoilers.

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Imagining a New Color – Part I

A rainbow Over the Mongolian Hills

Introduction

Is it possible to imagine a truly new and distinct color? A color that cannot be derived from any of the existing colors we already know?

I’ve tried, and to date, I’ve failed. But I haven’t quite given up yet. And so the goal of this article is to detail my quest in search of this unknown and illusive new color. To do so, we must delve into the world of colors and learn how we perceive them all around us. But first, I want to make clear what it is I’m trying to do.

I want a new color.

I’m not talking about discovering a new tint of red, or giving name to a peculiar shade called ocean-green-berry-blue. No, what I want is an entirely new primary color. Let me clarify:

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