SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

I have started to read a new book, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard. She takes quite a good approach and starts at 63 BC with Cicero accusing Catiline of conspiring against Rome (Second Catiline conspiracy), in one of the most popular political speeches.

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ETH Graduation Ceremony

The last chapter, the very last on my way to PhD – the ceremonial handover of the certificate. The Scherrer lecture hall was decorated festively, as were the new doctors. The ETH Big Band performed with a brassy ensemble, blaring jubilation. Every one of us then would walk there, receiving the certificate from the rector. A few words, smiling towards the photographer, again to the rector, “all the best on your way”. The same procedure for about 150 persons, non-stop certificates. Believe me, it’s nothing special. I had to return to my company in the evening, finishing something, caught in my new job.

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Doctoral examination – passed!

After a little bit more than four years of research, this day saw my doctoral examination. It certainly wasn’t my best presentation, but I made it through and passed the exam. My presentation lasted about 40 minutes, the questions and answers another 20 minutes. After one hour we were all asked to leave the room and only the professors remained in there to discuss my fate. After an endless time of fifteen minutes, I was called in the room and notified of the successful outcome. So it’s over now. I feel relieved and very glad. I feel thankful towards the many people who supported me in this time, many of them were present at my defence talk.

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Cortona Speakers

In early September, I will again go to the Cortona week, which is offered by ETH Zurich. Now the list of lecture and workshop contributors seems complete and we – the participants – were asked to moderate sessions. So I went through the list of presenters to see, if any of these persons was particularly interesting for me. And I found interesting persons, but far too many of them. I will introduce four persons to give you an idea about the diversity of persons and topics in this one week in Cortona. Read more →

Barcelona revisited

I did spend three days in Barcelona last November. After a somewhat busy December, I now begin to rediscover the photos I took in these days. The main attraction for me were the buildings of Antonio Gaudi, the well-known Spanish architect. And amongst these buildings, the Sagrada Familia is probably most popular, despite of or due to being unfinished to this day. But even more impressive than the unfinished church are some stone works in front of the building. Read more →

Back to Zurich

After one month of traveling to various places I have returned safely to my home base Zurich. The basic difference between here and there was the weather, although this is difficult to judge if you are just at one place.

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Photographers Site

After spending weeks with scanning my Spain negatives I am taking aim to get a digital camera. The internet us full of technical advice, but reading some articles on this site really put things in perspective. In the end the equipment you use is secondary, your eye and imagination do matter far more. So I don’t need to read endless tests and dig into specifications, I will just get one of those new neat cameras and focus on making nice photographs. Read more →

John Boorman – In my Country

This movie really touched me. There were just so many ideas that came into my mind. But most important was of course to listen to the stories of the victims of Apartheid, to see how much grief had been accumulated over the years and that there was at least the possibility to find some way of reconciliation. This was the main story and it was good to be told. But there were some more personal things concerning this movie that I would like to mention.

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First days in Zurich

I have arrived. The move worked fine, thanks to many nice people that helped me with it. Most of all my father who drove the whole distance together with me, returning by plane the next morning. Many hands helped loading and unloading, it was just awesome.

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Adjustment in Zurich

In one week I will be introduced to the technical details of the research project. The control program is done completely in SimuLink, all the elements of the user interface were created by LabView. The advantage of both programs is that you can think in structures and don’t have to look through thousands of code lines. But despite of that the project is quite huge and therefore it is not that easy to get all that at the first glimpse. Read more →