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« November 2003   Desember 2003   Januar 2004 »
26. Desember 2003  
Christmas!

Click to enlargeMy son, Thomas, came over from Dublin on the 24th to stay with me for a week and celebrate Christmas and New Years eve at home. This Christmas Eve we had the traditional christmas dinner at my nephew Wilhelm's home in Skedsmo together with his wife Siw, their two daughters Marthine and Amalie, my sister Turid and her husband Kaare and my mother.

It was a memorable night, excellent food and happy children. The pictures will be posted soon. Stay in touch! See the pictures.

On Christmas Day we had lunch at my sister's and my grandchildren Ronny and Ida was there with us. My youngest daughter unfortunately was not able to attend; she's got the flu. Get well soon, Synne!

Seems that christmas time is the only time of the year that families really can get together and relax and enjoy themselves without the stress that characterize the rest of the year.

This afternoon, my daughter Synne and her husband Erik invited me to watch "The Return of the King" together with a couple of their friends. I've read the book (some 30 years back) and seen the two previous movies. So this will be the end of living thru that particular experience to see what I visualized in my mind. The two first films was very impressive, let's hope the climax will be just as good as they were. I really look forward to it!

Personal [13:17]   TrackBack (0)


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24. Desember 2003  
DVD-Jon aquitted

DVD-JonCOURT OF APPEALS:

John Lech Johansen, alias DVD-Jon, was aquitted on all counts in Borgating Court of Appeals Monday afternoon.

kokrim, the central unit for investigating and prosecuting economic and environmental crimes, started to investigate Johansen after he published a program on the Internet which made it possible to break the built-in scrabbling code CSS on DVDs.

Johansen was first arrested in January 2000 when he was 16 years old, and it is today four years since the police first confiscated Johansens computer.

The trial, which got a lot of publicity both in Norwegian and International media, ended with the acquittal of Johansen in Oslo County Court in January 2003.

The case was appealed to Borgating, and the case started December 2 of this year.

Via Nettavisen, News in English.

Internet [01:10]   TrackBack (0)


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21. Desember 2003  
Reopening

Retroinfo is up!

Retropixels will be reopened in january, 2004. I promise!


19. Desember 2003  
Christmas approaching


Northern Light

It's a dreadful time of the year to be living up north. It's dark when you leave for work and dark when you go home. There's no snow in Oslo right now and it's getting colder. Fortunately we live below the arctic circle so at least we have some daylight during the day. Above it, they have the polar night. But the winter solstice is not far away, so the light (hopefully) will return.

And the Northern Light is particularly visible at this time of the year.

As of this friday afternoon, I'm on vacation and won't be back at work until 5. january, 2004. Puuuhh!

My son, Thomas, is coming over from Dublin on Christmas Eve and will stay until 1. january. That will be nice.

Maybe you ought to contemplate this during the holidays.

This ad for Miller Lite is worth seeing: Dominoes. (Via Big Action.)

But remember, people who drink Lite beer doesn't like the taste of beer. They just like to pee a lot.

There are lot of people out there who don't like president Bush very much. And Bushflash.com even has a song about it.

I put up a text on Words.

Personal [12:47]   TrackBack (0)


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17. Desember 2003  
Spooky mystery at Bergen Museum

Shabti PsamtikAncient Egyptian shabti - funerary figures that represent servants in the afterlife - are causing unease for those working at Bergen Museum. Professor Henrik von Achen says colleagues don't like working there at night, and the figures appear to be moving in their glass cases, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

(Norwegian newspaper) BT reporters toured the museum one dark evening and found the Egyptian exhibit disguised a few creepy tales.

"They have behaved strangely since we took them up out of the cellar in 2001," said museum guard Richard Saure. He was the first to notice that small stone figurines, whose job was to work for the dead, were not like other relics.

"They were neatly packed in a case when we brought them up. When we came to work the day after, they were lying all over the place, except for two - two false shabtis," Saure said.

"The exhibition opened in May 2001. Since then these small figurines have moved. Some of them have turned 90 degrees. They stand in glass cases that are sealed and locked but you can see it in the trails in the dust," Saure said.

"I'm a skeptic, but I have to believe what I see. I don't understand this. If it is because of vibrations in the floor, like some claim, why don't other objects move?" the guard wondered.

Professor von Achen has nothing to add to dampen the mystery.

"Someone has made them and laid them in a grave. Now they are out of the grave's darkness. What do they bring? If we ask, maybe they answer, that is the magic of the museum," von Achen said.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

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16. Desember 2003  
Norwegian troops remain in Iraq

Foreign minister Jan PetersenNorway is going to contribute to the international stabilizing force in Iraq until the summer, said Jan Petersen, Norwegian foreign minister, during the meeting at Norwegian Parliament Monday.

The Norwegian contribution will remain on the same level as it is today, and the foreign minister stressed that the Norwegian troops in Iraq does not give Norway status as an occupational power in Iraq, according to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB).

Furthermore, the foreign minister stated that Norway is going to contribute in a larger degree to the reestablishment of a civilian police force and border police in Afghanistan. He stressed that Norwegian troops would remain in the country for a longer period of time.

slaug Haga, head of the Agricultural Party (Sp), said she is very critical to the foreign ministers account, and she stated that Norway should not be present in Iraq at all.

The foreign minister could have highlighted more problems than he did in his account, it was not very analytical, Hage said to NTB in statement Monday night. He could at least have contributed with attempts to analyse other problems like for example military efforts suitable to fight terrorism.

Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress Party (Frp), said he was not particularly pleased with Petersens account, and he stated that the level for Norways military participation abroad has been reached, according to NTB.

Hagen claimed that the Norwegian military is about to become troops of a type of mercenaries which are sent around in the world.

Kristin Halvorsen, head of the Socialist Left Party (SV), was not either particularly pleased with the foreign ministers account.

The presentation only gives an overview over what we are doing today, and a little about what is going to happen in the future, Halvorsen said to NTB. Its shocking that we dont have a clearer political idea of what we wish to do.


15. Desember 2003  
Keiko secretly buried on shore

Keiko

Celebrity whale Keiko was laid to rest after darkness fell on Sunday, in a grave on land near the Norwegian bay where he spent the last months of his life. The burial took place during the night to keep it as private an affair as possible.

Now Keiko will forever be a part of the scenic bay in northwestern Norway where he spent his last year.

Dead whales are usually towed out to open sea, and some even had feared Keiko would be slaughtered. But the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation, which had backed unsuccessful efforts to return Keiko to the wild, wanted Keiko buried on land.

Norwegian authorities went along with the request. "We evaluated several alternatives, but agreed that this was the best thing to do, given the circumstances," said Olav Lekve of the public agency regulating fishing in Norway (Fiskeridirektoratet).

"Normal practice is to sink dead sea mammals in open sea, but this is a special situation," Lekve said.

He added that local authorities in Halsa Township, who govern the area around Keiko's recent home in Taknes Bay, were consulted and agreed as well.

The township experienced a surge in tourism after Keiko surfaced in a nearby fjord last year, and it's speculated that a monument will be erected in the area to honor Keiko's unusual life.

"We're very glad that the directorate listened to our wishes," said Frank Haavik, one of Keiko's minders.

Keiko was first captured off Iceland as a youngster and spent the next 20 years in captivity, performing in various aquatic parks in Mexico and the US. He literally sprang to fame in the movie "Free Willy," and thousands of people donated money towards efforts to return him to the wild.

Keiko never took to the idea, however. He did manage to swim to Norway on his own after he was released last summer, but he found his way to a local fjord and continued to prefer human companionship, delighting residents with his antics.

He suddenly fell ill late last week and died Friday evening of suspected pneumonia. The whale was believed to be 26 years old.

Via Aftenposten News in English


14. Desember 2003  
Party, party!

Friday, we had a christmas party at my place in Tostrups gate, with all my colleagues. It was very successful and you can see the pictures here.

Personal [21:31]   TrackBack (0)


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11. Desember 2003  
Student Finds Largest Known Prime Number

I remember when I saw my company's first IBM mainframe, a 370 model 155. It had the most glorious control panel ever seen! We could sit and stare at all the lights blinking and numbers rapidly shifting and was deeply impressed by technology's progress. And it was fast, real fast. At least in those days it was. But we knew it was only calculating, although we actually could produce something meaningful from those calulations.

This story about the student who, with a little help from his friends, found the largest prime number ever, reminded me of those days. I will admit that I don't understand the scientific signicance of the discovery. But wasn't this why computers originally was invented? To crunch numbers? So is it a big deal or not?

Read the story in BBC News!

Science [09:34]   TrackBack (0)


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10. Desember 2003  
The Nobel Peace Prize

Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi receiving the Nobel Peace Prize from committee leader Ole Danbolt Mjoes at the ceremony in Oslo's City Hall.Nobel Peace Prize winner Ebadi Shirin had a hectic Wednesday, first taking part in the Save the Children celebration of the prize with Crown Princess Mette-Marit outside Oslo's city hall before rushing to an audience at the palace an hour before the prize ceremony.

Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi receiving the Nobel Peace Prize from committee leader Ole Danbolt Mjoes at the ceremony in Oslo's City Hall.

Ebadi met Queen Sonja, acting regent Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. The busy schedule on Nobel award day also affected the royals, with the crown princess missing a photo session at the palace before the audience with Ebadi.

Ebadi told the French newspaper Le Figaro that she had decided to give the peace prize of SEK 10 million (USD 1.37 million) to human rights groups, particularly those championing the rights of children, journalists, prisoners of conscience and jailed students, in her homeland Iran.

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Volcanic eruption inspired Munch

Munch's the ScreamAmerican researchers claim to have found the answer to the blood-red sky in Edvard Munch's famous painting "the Scream." The inspiration came from a volcanic eruption in Indonesia in 1883.

In the first detailed analysis to find of the source of inspiration for Munch to paint the world famous painting "the Scream," researchers at Texas State University state that they found the place where Munch stood when he saw the bright red sky.

In the analysis which was published Tuesday in the magazine Sky & Telescope, Professor Donald Olson and his colleagues claim that a volcanic mass was admitted out into the atmosphere from a large volcanic eruption on the island of Krakatoa in Indonesia. It created a bright red light in the sky over Europe from November 1883 to February 1884, and it was this light Munch saw when he was inspired to paint "the Scream."

In his diary, Munch wrote that he got the inspiration to paint the picture from an experience he had outside Kristiania (now Oslo) at sunset:

"Suddenly, the sky turned blood-red, clouds as blood and flames hang over the blue-black fjord and town. I was standing alone, trembling with fear. I sensed a grate, infinite scream pass through nature."

Read the story in Nettavisen, News in English.


8. Desember 2003  
End of an era

It looks like the end for amp and deck. Hi-fi separates, once the must-have home entertainment accessory, have all but died a death.

As consumers flock to digital stereos, which can store music downloads and play DVDs and mini-discs as well as the traditional CD, tape and radio, Pioneer - the king of separates - is phasing out single-format players and speakers.

"Stack systems with one box for radio, one for tapes, one for CDs and then a record player on top have disappeared," said John Bamford, Pioneer GB's product manager.

"We make some stereo amps but there is no demand for them. We sell 1,000 surround-sound amplifiers for every stereo amp."

He added: "I imagine we'll stop selling them completely within the next three years."

Read the story in the Independent.


4. Desember 2003  
Funny?

Found this statement in Textism:

Q. How do you spot an extroverted Norwegian?
A. He's staring at your shoes.

Although this may be true, remember that norwegians like to think of themselves as the conscience of the world. That's why we don't dare to stare the world in the eyes.

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2. Desember 2003  
DVD-Jon pleads not guilty

DVD JonFor the second time this year Jon Lech Johansen told Norwegian authorities that he pleaded not guilty to violating the copyright protection of DVD films by helping to create a software utility that allowed users to make backup copies of such films. Johansen continues to argue that he only helped people use what they had legally purchased.

In January this year an Oslo court acquitted Johansen, 20, on all counts, and found no proof for the prosecutions case that the program DeCSS, which decodes DVD films, had been used for anything other than the copying of legally purchased films.

Eight working days have been set aside for the appeals trial, which is overseen by three professional judges and four lay assessors, two of whom have technical expertise relevant to the case.

In Norway, the laymen act as assistant judges and have a vote to cast towards the verdict and so are more than expert counsel.

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