Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Adobe Premiere

Finally got back to my movie editing interests.... Had some previous experience with Window Movie Maker, but Adobe Premiere came preinstalled with my new laptop. Less intuitive than WMM, but many more capabilities and much more advanced (still happy with WMM though). Explored Adobe Premiere making a short impression of the firework at the last day of Sail. The overlay of the Sail logo on the video is not possible with WMM. Subtitling is more troublesome than in WMM.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Amsterdam Sail '05

I went to see the fireworks at Sail '05. I strolled along the eastside wharf (my 'backyard' so to speak) for a while, to see the coulorfully lit sailing ships that have moored there. It was an enchanting experience; I never think of Amsterdam as centered about its harbour, but walking there realy provokes the feeling of a seafaring city.
The Sedof came only today -- two days after all the other tall ships arrived. It's famous because it is the world's longest sailing ship still in operation (127 meters long, if I'm well informed). It was German build in 1912 (if I remember correctly), but was taken as a war trophy by the Russians after the second world war. Frankly, I didn't find it as exciting as some of the other ships, but this picture was more or less sharp...
Sail '05 Amsterdam
Sail '05 Amsterdam - Replica of the Prins Willem, a 17th century Dutch East Indies Company (V.O.C.) trading ship 

Thursday, August 18, 2005

World population 1950-2050

You probably knew that China has the largest population in the world (1.3 billion), but did you know that India (now 1.1 billion) is prospected to have the largest population by 2034? China is prospected to have a population of   1.461 billion by then, while India is prospected to have a population of 1.466 billion. I was quite surprised to find out that the United States ranks third in largest population (296 million), as I thought Indonesia (242 million) would. Also surprising is that the Netherlands ranks 59th ( 16.4 million), ranked 34th in 1950 (10.1 million), but it will rank 76th by the year 2050 (a prospected 17.3 million inhabitants). I remember vividly, that when I was about five or six years of age, I was convinced that the Netherlands was the smallest country in the world... An 'oncle' (someone we met on a holiday in France) soon explained to me that Luxembourg (469,571 inhabitants) is much smaller, and even Belgium ( 10.4 million) is. The smallest population is fact found in Saint Pierre and Miquelon (7012 inhabitants--- can that be a self sustaining vital democratic "country"??), it ranks 227th. By the year 2050, the world's total population is prospected to count 9.2 billion people. Well, that's based on current growth rates, and of course we don't know how much the world will change in 45 years (just think of the tremendous changes over the last century). All these figures come from a special webpage of the US census bureau, and the latter has more interesting data freely accessible.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Big jobs that pay badly

Now it's official: I make lowsy earnings... According to an article on the CNN website today, academic research scientists work subject to " of the most disproportionate ratios of training to pay..."
Here's an excerpt of the article:

A career with one of the most disproportionate ratios of training to pay is that of academic research scientist.

A Ph.D. program and dissertation are requirements for the job, which can take between six and eight years to complete. (See correction.) Add to that several years in the postdoctoral phase of one's career to qualify for much coveted tenure-track positions.

During the postdoc phase, you are likely to teach, run a lab with experiments that require you to check in at all hours, publish research and write grants – for a salary that may not exceed $43,000.

The length of the postdoc career has doubled in the past 10 years, said Phil Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. "It's taking longer and longer to get there. You can't start a family. It's really tough."

And it's made tougher still by the fact that in many disciplines, there aren't nearly as many tenure-track positions as there are candidates.

So, to those who earn their MBAs in two years and snag six-figure jobs soon after graduation, your jobs may be hard, but maybe not quite as hard as you think.

Correction: An earlier version of this story understated the number of years it takes to get a PhD in the sciences. CNN/Money regrets the error.

Mmm... I guess I realy love my job...


Friday, August 12, 2005

Looking for a book?

Another of Google's good ideas... if you're looking for a book, and want to be able to have peek into the text, start looking here!