Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Riding my first ambulance

Last Sunday evening, my wife and I had our own little 'special adventure'.

At about 1:45 at night, she woke me up groaning from serious pains. I thought she was going into labor (over 2 months early), but according to her it weren't really contractions. Furthermore, her whole body started to cramp up, she was getting sick, and she felt like she was going to pass out.

I immediately called an ambulance to take us to the hospital. At around 3, we arrived at there, and she was immediately attached to a monitor, which recorded her contractions (by then, they actually were).

By the time the questions and monitoring and paperwork were done, we were finally allowed to try and sleep a little. However, with the pains my wife still occasionally felt (although much less severe), and me being given a sofa to sleep in, we didn't get much of it.

In the morning, there were some more questions and monitoring, while we were waiting for the doctor to come in and decide whether or not we were allowed to go home, or stay for a couple of days. At about noon, we got the word that we could go, so I phoned my wife's mother to ask her to come pick us up. More waiting.

She took us to her place, cooked us some food, let us sleep on the couch and in the evening dropped us off again at our place.

Looking back at it, it was kind of a surreal experience: woken up in the middle of the night, to ride an ambulance (with siren, running through red lights) to the hospital, where we had to wait and wait and wait, to finally be sent home again. In the end, everything was back as it was before (except for extreme tiredness, and some extra hospital bills to expect).

We're both hoping never to have to go through all this again, even though it all turned out okay in the end. Except, of course, for giving birth itself, which we agreed with our new baby would not happen before Octobre. It was sealed with a kick.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Come one, come all! Hear ye, hear ye!

The first screenshots and ingame movie trailer of Larian Studios' new game 'Divinity 2 - Ego Draconis' are released and can be seen in this article from

Also, Larian Studios is looking for playtesters. If you live close to Oudenaarde, Belgium and are willing to spend an afternoon trying out the new game, be sure to sign up!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Brain Teaser Paradise

A nice little discovery in the obscure shadows of the internet: the website of Vegard Hanssens.

Among a few interesting math applications (such as fractals and birth primes), he's got a number of challenging puzzles on there as well. Each puzzle type has a huge database of specific puzzles, and for each one you have the option to solve it online, print it out, or let it solve itself. I suggest to go check it out.

My personal favorites are the hashi and arukone puzzles.

Friday, August 1, 2008

'Giant leap' in cheap, environment-friendly power

Some researchers at MIT have discovered a way to store energy from solar power, which was until now not possible.

The fact that solar energy was not available when the sun doesn't shine, was apparently the only reason why we couldn't completely rely on it yet.

Until now, because a simple setup of neutral pH water with a special catalyst in room-temperature (inspired by photosynthesis - the way plants get their energy from the sun) will enable us to store any surplus power the sun freely gives us. And it's totally carbon-free, which means no more mining for fossil fuels and no more toxic exhausts.

And did you know that the energy of one hour of the sunlight reflected on our planet is enough to provide the entire earth with power for one year? I didn't.