Archive for the 'English' Category

Thorough Lab Journal

Friday, August 31st, 2007

“Damn. There’s that one parameter to the experiment I’d need to know now and I didn’t write it down. Somehow, this happens all the time.”

“Hmm. That has never been a problem for me…”

“Really? Is your Lab Journal that thorough?

“Maybe I just don’t care enough about my experiments…”

Thourough Lab Journal

TeX: makeatletter and makeatother

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Ever wondered why some TeX macros have to be put between the makeatletter and makeatother commands? Like this one:


which allows to keep the footnote counter from being reseted with each chapter, which would be the default behaviour in the book and report document classes.

Radhakrishnan gives an excellent, detailed explanation from which I’d like to quote: (more…)

Severus Snape: Harry, I am your father.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Despite my small joke regarding Harry Potter, I’m bit of a fan of the series myself and will have the new book delivered on the day of it’s release.

While talking with friends about the forthcoming final Harry Potter book, I came up with a sentence we will most likely not read in it (it would, however, be a surprise equal to the one that inspired it).

Severus Snape: Harry, I am your father.

Harry Potter dies on page 572

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

On July 21, 2007, the 7th – and final – Harry Potter book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be released to the eager public. Speculations are running wild if the author, J.K. Rowling, will send her protagonist Harry Potter to face his death in the last book of the series…

Remember that shirts people were wearing about one hour after the previous Harry Potter was released? Those spoiler shirts read “Dumbledore dies on page 556″…

This time, be the first to spread the news!

Harry Potter dies on page 572! (This is just a guess, though.)

Of course I have not the faintest idea on which of the 608 pages Harry has to die – or if he will die at all*. But I’m pretty sure that this will – right until July 20 – not spoil the fun wearing the “Harry Potter dies on page 572” t-shirt before the release.
And, hey, maybe this wild guess is even correct… and how much foresight would that attribute to the wearer of the shirt after July 21?

*Therefore, the text on the shirt and in this posting comes with no warranty whatsoever.

Bare ITO and just Aluminium?

Friday, July 6th, 2007

…the configuration ITO/[organic semiconductor]/Al, which is typical(…) [for] light-emitting diodes.

My ass.


Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

“So you’re working with organic semiconductors… why are they called ‘organic’?”

“Oh, that’s just because ‘irreproducible crap’ was already taken.”


Calvin on science and related stuff

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

The recent conversation reminded me of some more great quotes from Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes that are more or less related to science, empirical work or writing (theses), or can at least well be used in that context. All of the following was “said” by Calvin:

That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.

How can something seem so plausible at the time and so idiotic in retrospect?

Reality continues to ruin my life.

What on earth am I doing here on this beautfiful day?! This is the only life I’ve got!!

I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure reasoning, and inhibit clarity.

Once you become informed, you start seeing complexities and shades of gray. You realize that nothing is as clear and simple as it first appears.

Curiosity is the essence of the scientific mind.

I figure the last two (or three ;-) would be decent quotes to start my PhD thesis with.

Microcal Origin EPS graphics in LaTeX-created PDF with clean fonts

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

If you’re writing a document with LaTeX and you want to include graphs you made with Microcal Origin, you propably want to export your graph from Origin as an EPS file, so that you’ve got a nicely scaleable vector figure to start with when creating your DVI, PS or finally PDF. In case you just lost half an hour wondering why your graph looks just great in the PDF except for the text: Make sure to chose “Use Built-In fonts” in Origin’s EPS-Export-Options, and the text in your graph will look splendid in the final PDF as well.

(Note: This might not work or maybe even matter for any other kind of system/setup than the one I’m currently working with, but it just worked for me so I rather share the finding.)

[Update:] Forget the above. Especially if (you’re working with my system and) you want German umlauts included, something that didn’t work for me when using the “built-in fonts” option. Just export with the “substitution table” or the “outline” option and get an Adobe Reader 6 (or newer) or GSview, which will show all of the EPS graphic in the PDF document just fine, regardless of the option chosen in Origin. Of course you’ll have to get over the fact that your PDF won’t be truly backwards compatible with e.g. Adobe Reader 4. Which seems to have been causing my problem in the beginning – I had Adobe Reader 4 installed.
Wasn’t the whole idea of PDF that it was supposed to just look the same on every system and for every viewer and so on? :-/

The User Deserves It

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The following is taken from btxbst.doc, an documentation/template for a Latex bibliography style. The full context and what the stuff means in detail isn’t that important, I just find the author’s stance, well, let’s say, remarkable:

If the state is still before.all then nothing was produced for this entry, so the result will look bad, but the user deserves it.

This integer is mine!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

4B 0E 81 F6 9F 43 FD FB 17 6C F0 A3 57 85 DE EB

That’s an integer number given in the hexadecimal system. Don’t even think about copying and publishing it somewhere, you would violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
However, why not get your very own integer?

Or just follow that link and read the given background information to find out what this post is all about. It makes for a good laugh and/or shake of the head.

(Actually, the number is not really “mine”, since I don’t own it, but nevertheless it’s unlawful for you to post it anywhere.)

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