Archive for the 'berlin' Category

meat mast

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

butchery goods

I had recently mentioned some practices in killing animals for meat production via socalled CO2 anesthesia. In this context it should be mentioned that there seem to exist also certain killing practices where the animal is not killed for consumption or disease prevention but in order to ensure something which some might interpret as “meat quality”.

There was recently an article in the german magazine Spiegel Online about a company here in Brandenburg which was in charge for duck mast. Activists had secretly filmed their practices. The breast of the specially fed ducks became so heavy that they partially couldn’t get back on their feet by themselves (warning: video behind the link). Moreover ducks which were not able to run fast and long enough (or which couldn’t get back on their feet by themselves) were slain with a pitchfork (warning: video behind the link). As the article says these marathon-slew practices seem to be illegal in Germany, but of course as one can see they seem to be not so easy to control, moreover there are countries where those practices seem to be legal.

As a matter of fact there seem to exist also cultural differences in mast practices. Like when I was working in Japan I met a woman from Bangladesh (a country which, as the reader probably knows, struggles with malnutrition and population growth), which did her Ph.D. on how to adjust nutrition for chickens in order to boost the size of chicken thighs, as apparently especially the thighs are very popular in Bangladesh. I didn’t ask her though about the use of tannery-scrap poultry feed because I didn’t know about this practice back then.

Lobetal – In food chains

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014



Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Title: “Kreative Mode beim Bedrockabgrundste-in”, oil on canvas, artist: Mudda Prahler

There was recently a post on Gamasutra with the title: Titanfall: Why Respawn is punishing cheaters. The computer game Titanfall is a First person shooter that can be played with a couple of people in one environment. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Players fight either on foot as free-running “Pilots” or inside agile mech-style walkers called “Titans” to complete team-based objectives[2][3] on a derelict and war-torn planet[4] as either the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) or the Militia.[5]

I don’t know Titanfall (In general I have been playing first person shooters rather rarely) but what apparently happened was that there where too many people cheating in the game.

In the post it isn’t really described what exactly is implied by cheating, but what I refer from the “punishment” announcement, I think what was happening was that some people used game bots and in particular socalled aimbots, which are software solutions which make shooting easier in such a game. From the Titanfall announcement:

You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck.

I was asking myself though wether this action is part of some viral marketing campaign. That is that some cheaters could think that it could be way cooler to “win the Wimbledon of aimbot contests” rather than the usual game. Given that Titanfall had however performance problems which as it seems where due to overloaded game servers and connections, it doesn’t though look as if this would improve with aimbot contests.

In this context:

In a citation about a report by a tech- and investment-advisory firm in the time article: The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy

In his report, Mills estimates that the ICT system now uses 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year. That’s about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation

The New York times article: Power, Pollution and the Internet remarks the following about e.g. US data centers:

Nationwide, data centers used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year, based on an analysis by Jonathan G. Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University who has been studying data center energy use for more than a decade. DatacenterDynamics, a London-based firm, derived similar figures.

A summary of the last IPCC report about climate change and global warming.


In Berlin there is currently the International games week Berlin.

Generation Z: Renoise

Sunday, February 16th, 2014


For Berliners and those who can afford to go to Berlin for a quick trip I would like to mention an absolute must see exhibition, namely the exhibition Generation Z: Renoise about the russian musical avantgarde in the 20s and later which is curated by L. Pchelkina, A. Smirnov, P. Aidu, K. Dudakov-Kashuro and E. Vorobyeva. The exhibition is unfortunately not as highly promoted as it should – given how fabulous it is! I hope that this post makes some more people visit it. It is definitely worth it! The exhibition is in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Kunstraum (unfortunately not so easy to find), it runs until Feb.23, 2014. It is free of entrance and open from 12:00-19:00 o clock.

The exhibition has the themes: Projectionism and Radio-ear, Revasavr, GIMN Institute, Theremin, Graphical Sound, Industrial Noise Machines, Amateur Noise Instruments and Destruction of Utopia. Below is a small excerpt from the respective themes. A lot of details can also be found in Andrei Smirnov’s book “Sound in Z“.


DIY spring reverb

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

A new video of one of Tims recent music projects (a video about the ladder filter is here). In the video he explains the construction of a spring reverb:

A detailed description on how to build the spring reverb can be found on the astlab page.

A soundtrack on soundcloud of how the spring reverb sounds:

Tim and a bit of his music projects will eventually appear in a new film by film maker Ekaterina Eremenko. That is we had a film team from Moscow here at home. But it is sofar not clear wether the material will be used.

Ekaterina Eremenko, who has also studied math, received recently much attention for her film colours of math (trailer) featuring amongst others the rather well-known mathematicians Cedric Villani, Anatoly Fomenko, Aaditya V. Rangan, Günter Ziegler, Maxim Kontsevitch and Jean-Michel Bismut.

I don’t know if this is a new trend but I found incidentally more recent films where features of the life of mathematicians are documented. Like at the website of the “Higher Algebra section” at Moscow State University I found interviews with V. N. Latyshev talking About academic mathematics (in russian) and about Reminiscences of A. A. Markov (in russian) made by Andrei Verovkin who features a whole series of interviews with scientists.

In this context a short note for those who are in or are planning to go to visit Berlin: There were/are currently music festivals for more modern music taking place in Berlin, which enhance the usual club life or on the more classical level regular events like e.g. the weekly series “Unerhörte Musik im BKA”. One was the Ultraschall Festival and one is the ctm festival, which is in cooperation with the festival for art and digital culture “transmediale”. The transmediale theme of this year is “afterglow:”

The conference takes afterglow as a metaphor for the present condition of digital culture, examining the geopolitical, infrastructural and bodily consequences of the excessive digitisation that has taken place over the course of the last three decades.

Have a good new year 2014!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

randform wishes all it’s readers happy holidays and a good new year 2014!

rest of a silvester rocket in a tree in the outskirts of Berlin

We preferred to stay in the outskirts of Berlin on New Years Eve. Even in the outskirts there is still enough fireworks. An aquaintance of us lost a couple of years one eye by just walking on new years eve on a street. If you still want to experience new years eve in Berlin then since there are no noise barriers and roofs against rockets and bangers on the street then our advise is to at least use some hearing protectors if that doesn’t give you too much head aches and safety glasses when moving around on the streets of Berlin on that time of the year.


Saturday, December 28th, 2013

mysterious stone* in our kitchen


About wood burning

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Waste disposal facility in Berlin. The german word “Entsorgung” means literally: getting rid of sorrows

John Baez has a new blog post about Europe using wood burning for energy generation. My comment to the blog post is rather detailled and it is also a comment to the currently ongoing debate in Berlin about how to organize its energy supply. This debate was initiated by the socalled Berliner Energietisch (unfortunately not yet in english) so I thought I should maybe post the comment also here.


Jugendsinfonieorchester at Helle Mitte, credit

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Randform Reader Uwe W. Herzog said

I really appreciate these efforts to bring the socalled “high culture” to the people. However classical music is a rather elitistic culture. That is classical music may eventually be a way to meet the cultural needs of a small upper class, but alone the statistics show: the broad population prefers pop music or Schlagers. It may however be interesting to lure the elite to Hellersdorf like in order to draw attention onto serious deficits in urban planning. Like I heard that Helle Mitte has difficulties in renting out all that shop area?


Jugendsinfonieorchester at Helle Mitte

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Excerpt of performance of Jugendsinfonieorchester Marzahn-Hellersdorf in Helle Mitte, Sept.2, 2013 in juggly Hendycam-Reelmode

In a comment concerning the voting system in Syria (I recently got again a bit interested in voting systems, maybe more later) it was mentioned that there were some problems with certain german groups which were against the set-up of a refugee home in my neighbourhood, which is intended to shelter also Syrians. The image in the above linked article by Deutsche Welle shows the square Alice-Salomon-Platz in Helle Mitte, Hellersdorf, Berlin. It should be mentioned that there are also nicer events at that square.

Like the company Wohntheke, which represents several real estate companies, which offer rentals in Marzahn-Hellersdorf had organized last sunday a party in the park adjacent to the square and engaged the Jugendsinfonieorchester Marzahn-Hellersdorf (see also randform post here and here) which belongs to the music school Marzahn-Hellersdorf to play there.

Thanks to the strong men who helped director Jobst Liebrecht to carry the heavy Timpanis back to the building!

related: Soheil Nasseri is giving tonight a solo piano concert in New York.