Sunday, December 05, 2004

St. Nicholas.

Today many Dutch families are celebrating St. Nicholas evening (Sinterklaasavond in Dutch). This includes Bjørn and his family. The tradition starts a few weeks earlier, where they draw names blindly to determine who's going to take care of which present. The objective, then, is to create a surprise around the present and write a poem to go with it, all in secret. In a few hours the mythical St. Nicholas will pass their home and somebody will be knocking the door very loudly. This is where they come out to find the surprises they made, as if St. Nicholas left them there. Nobody actually believes this anymore of course, but they all believed St. Nicholas existed when they were young.

This shows partly that you can make children believe almost anything, even that some old man keeps visiting the Netherlands from Spain, later leaving presents on everybody's doorstep on the same evening and go back to Spain. When St. Nicholas actually knocks the door and enters the house, to the children that's him and of course he exists because they can see him right there. This early in life, there is not much to relate this to, and you have hardly any idea about scale, distance or time. Good thing we all eventually come to our senses, though some people come to their senses more than others.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Egg Joke.

Today the FMF organized both an egg throwing event and a retro LAN party. Needless to say, Bjørn was present at both.

The goal of the egg throwing event was to get an egg to survive a 30m fall, as quick as possible, and land within a 2x2m square. Team Egg Joke, formed by Bjørn and Bart, managed to get the egg down pretty quick and it survived both trials. The problem however, was getting the egg to the jury, a slow process the first time and too quick the second time (the egg missed the bucket with water in front of the jury and broke...). They did win some steamed eggs and egg cookies, meant to comfort their unfortunate mess up. Go FMF!

The retro LAN was great. Bjørn spent the gist of it playing Tetrinet, a nice version of Tetris that you can play over a LAN and a lot of funny 3 second games on a Game Cube in some kind of Wario dancing Feaver frenzy thing. Nintendo is certainly doing something right there.

But is Bjørn ignoring his obligations as a student? I certainly hope he gets his attention back to those scientific articles tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Everybody else is doing it.

Everybody seems to be keeping a blog these days, and today a friend persuaded Bjørn to start doing his own. Bjørn is 23 as of now, maybe it's a good age to start writing a blog, we'll see.

Bjørn thinks he doesn't have a lot to tell everybody and the chicken that might pass his blog. However, he has been working on several small RPG projects with friends and family, is hosting a website for independent RPG developers, is working on a Java tile map editor and has big plans (he calls them dreams) to produce the next big thing in free massive multiplayer gaming. So I say this guy is bound to have something interesting to tell the rest of us!