Another reason why this is a special day, is because of
the wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima.
Just before I had to leave with Annabel to the swimming
pool, we saw a glimb of them on television. Later, when
I was in the city I saw (without sound) the minister
speak out the blessing over them with his hands on their
heads. Later on, I saw some more in the Old Church in
the center of the city where they had put on some TV screens.
In the evening, we watched some programs showing all the
highlights of the day.
Li-Xia, wanted some pictures to
be taken because it might be some time before we will meet
her mother again after she
has returned to China. We arrived around three o'clock at
the studio, which was a little hidden. It almost looked
like we stepped into a barn. There was some hay standing
around as part of one of the set-ups. It was also rather
dark. The photographer was still busy with some others when
we arrived. We were offered some tea, and then the photographer
needed some time to make a set-up for us. When he was almost
ready, Andy started to wave goodbye,
which means that he wanted to go away. When we were ready
to take the photographs, he was not in the mood and became
very active. But this did not seem to bother the photographer.
He said, it was simply the matter of pushing the button
at the right time. After some pictures, he asked if he could
try to calm Andy down. He held Andy's legs and arms closely
tight to his body, and explained that by doing this you can
change the breathing rithm of the child. I faintly got some
déjà-vue feeling that I had seen someone do
this before. After some more pictures, we decide to take
a little break, to let Andy go outside. After the break we
took another series of pictures. Again Andy was moving
wildly, but the photographer said that we would be surprised
about how many pictures would have turned out okay.
The final picture.
On September 28, last year, I put one
in a pot with some earth from the garden. I kept it in
our living room for about two weeks, but it did not do anything.
I decided to put it in the shed in the back garden during
the winter. About two weeks ago, I brought
it inside again. Then, when I looked this morning, it had sprouted
and had grown just above the edge of the pot.
Today, I took pictures of my colleagues as part of the introduction of to
our new colleagues. (Someone also took a picture of me.)
Next Thursday, we will move to the new
office of Improve in Hengelo. I took the pictures before
the "Telic Arrow" which is painted on the wall of our
This morning we heard over the new that there was a
fire with a wood trading and processing company in Warmond.
Our fear that it could be a customer of us, turned out to
be true. The fire had started around half past three in one
of the store houses. At dawn four store houses were on fire.
About a hunderd fire fighters were working on the fire which
could be seen from a large distance. The even made use of a
nearby ferry to fight the fire from the water side. The owner
of the company estimates the total damage between 15 and 20
milion euro. Around ten o'clock the fire was under control.
In the past weeks we have been preparing for
Slowly all desks became empty, and instead of this stacks
of boxes appeared. Today is the big day of the move. The
coming weeks some of us will be busy with unpacking the
boxes. Besides my computer and monitor, all my belongings
fitted in a single box. Around noon, I arrived in the new
office, but my things had not arrived yet. I did bring
my Toshiba T1900S laptop,
so there were some things I could do. Like writing this.
By the end of the day, everything had arrived, and I
managed to get my desk organized.
While, I was scratching a thin, but strong, layer of ice from
the window screens of the car, there was a little bird
in a nearby tree singing a song. In the past weeks we have
had had clouded weather with almost every day some rain.
Now we are in a high pressure area, which means a clear
sky and lower temperatures.
I was a little afraid that the wild water course would
be closed, but when I went swimming with Annabel,
I found out that it was open, and that it was even nice to take.
Because, I like the part outside the most, I had to climb
out of the water, walk a few meters, and jump in again at
the other side.
Without doubt we do have a mind. Our mind is located in our brain.
The mind is a function of our brain, implying that without brain
there is no mind, much like a computer program cannot execute
without a computer. But do we also have a spirit, something that
functions outside the realm of the physical body, and could thus
exist outside the brain. Or in other words are spirit and mind
truely different things? This question is not easy to be answered.
The general scientific position is that spirit and mind are just
different words for basically the same thing. In other words, it
states that the spirit cannot exist without a brain. In the same
manner, consciousness (the awareness of existence), is believed
to be a function of the brain. From this view point there is nothing
after death. When we die, our brain simply stops functioning, and
so there is no longer a mind, nor a spirit, nor any form of
consciousness. Just like a computer program stops running when there
is a power failure.
This idea is not very pleasant, and that is why many people believe
there is something after death. And there are also many people who
do not believe that consciousness is purely a function of the brain.
There are great similarities between a brain and a computer. Both
are capable of processing external signals and give a proper response
to these signals. If we do not have a spirit, it would be possible
to just emulate our brain with a computer. At the moment, this is
not possible, but in the future such a moment will come. But how
complex should a computer become, before it would get a consciousness
like we clearly have. (Actually, it is scientifical impossible to
proof that something (human, animal, or machine) does have consciousness
as we experience it ourself. Yes, it is indeed not possible to be absolutely
sure that your family members are indeed conscious as you experience
it yourself. And although it may sound wierd, certain people with
autistic related problems, have great problems believing that others
are conscious as they are.)
There are no scientific proofs that we do have spirit. There have
be numerious accounts of so-called "out-of-body" experiences.
These are experiences where people see themselves from outside their
body. If such experiences are true, then this would be a strong
indication that we indeed do have a spirit which exists outside our
physical body. To me it is obvious that many of the "out-of-body"
experiences (especially those induced by drugs, and those
experienced during lucid-dreaming) are fake. Our brain is indeed
capable of producing very real-life like things, which are not
real at all. But some "out-of-body" experiences, especially
occuring during a Near-Death Experience (NDE) appear to be real.
In literature there are many accounts of people whoes brains did
not show any electrical activity describe how they saw hospital
personal trying to save their life from a "out-of-body" point of
view, and that they could recount striking details of what happened.
One such account was just recently published in a paper
called Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest:
a prospective study in the Netherlands, which was publised in
The Lancet issue 9298. See a description of this in the Washington Post
article Near Proof for Near-Death by
Around ten o'clock in the morning, we heard the strong
sound of hail stiking against the windows. Within minutes
the streets became white with a layer of hail.
Later during the day, there were some more hail showers,
and sometimes some wet snow,
which melted almost immediately when hittig the ground.
Around half past three in the middle of the night, I
noticed that it was rather light outside. When I peeked
through the curtains in our bedroom, I discovered that
my guess that there would be snow, was true. It was not
much. There was only a little snow on the streets. Some
more on the car. By nine, most of the snow was gone.
I am in rather philosophical day-dreaming mood today. All
the time I find myself thinking about all kinds of things
that are not really directly related to the current problem
which I have to solve. I just concluded that I should remove
the "Caps Lock" key from my keyboard. At least twenty times
a day, I press this key by accident, while I hardly ever
use this key for which it was designed. It is typical one
of those artifacts from the past, when we used typewriters.
Nowadays, programs automatically convert to capitals when
needed, or otherwise, you have buttons or menu options for
achieving the same effect. I am considering physically
removing the "Caps Lock" key from the keyboard. I searched
the MSDN Library to see if there is any means to disable
the "Caps Lock" key. To my surprise, I found many
bugs related to this key. I also found the rather funny
"How the Busman's Holiday Turned into the Skunkworks"
by Victor Stone
who left Microsoft
April 2001. I did not find a way to disable of the
"Caps Lock" key in Windows. You can make it make sound
and have it disabled when you press the shift key (because
that it what happens on certain types of type writers).
(Later, I discovered that some keyboard
drivers allow you to disable the Caps-lock
key from the keyboard setting menu.)