Sunday, December 21, 2008

An earthquake, a spider, the proposition and a question

Tuesday I was awoken by a sound like faraway thunder, except it came from deep within the earth. About half a second later, the entire room started shaking! I could hear the entire building creaking, and my bed was rocking hard enough to make it impossible for me to lie still. Slowly, the rocking faded until everything was quiet. I had just experienced an earthquake! In Denmark! We never get earthquakes! Well we do occasionally, but there are decades between the ones you can feel!
I quickly figured out what was happening, and by then I was enjoying it immensely as I knew enough about earthquakes to know that there wasn't any danger as we're too far from the edges of our tectonic plate. I've always wondered what it would be like, and I'm really excited about having felt a safe one!

This week I've had a lot of fun writing an article on the heteropoda maxima spider for Wikipedia. I created it from scratch since it didn't exist, and apparantly it turned out so well they decided to put it on the front page! I am very excited about this, and very proud. It's been so much fun researching this species, and I was impressed at how helpful people are when they recognize you're doing a good job. Finally, it was thrilling to see how the article was lifted out of my hands once it had been featured on the front page, as people with a better understanding of biology, and people more web-savvy than me, took the article to new heights.

The great thing is that it inspired me in many other ways too. I've always been a bit scared of collaboration when it comes to music and good ideas, mainly because of the stories I've heard about people getting their ideas stolen. Doing this article however, I realized how much fun it is collaborating with people, even when I get no official credit. From now on, my main priority is to have fun with what I'm doing, and do the very best I know how.

Eventually, i contacted Peter Jaeger, the guy who discovered the species back in 2001, and told him his spider would be on the front page. Unfortunately, he wasn't too happy about "promoting" it, as collectors are trying to purchase them as pets. I don't like that my work might promote this thought in some people, so I'll try to find a way of putting this info in the article.

Update: The day after posting this, I received this note on my user page in wikipedia:

Giant page views for Giant Huntsman
Your DYK for the Giant huntsman spider drew 29,300 page views while on DYK. That's the 5th most in the recorded history of DYK. Congratulations! Your hook as recorded onWikipedia:DYKBEST is set forth below. Cbl62 (talk) 07:13, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


Thursday I bought a movie called The Proposition . What a great film! It is a western set in Australia, and it's written by Nick Cave . Being a fan of his, I've been wanting to see it for a long time. Knowing his music though, I was afraid that his movie would be either
a) incredibly slow, or
b) sickeningly brutal.
It turned out to be neither. It's haunting, to say the least, but also very touching. harsh and gentle at the same time. The acting is inspired, and the camerawork, ambience and especially the soundtrack (which is written by Cave) is excellent in a surprisingly offbeat way.

I ordered a new camera about a month ago to replace the one that was stolen, but since they took so long sending it I cancelled my order and started looking for another. Seconds from ordering a brand new one, I received an email from a fellow diver who was selling his camera. Not only was it almost the exact same camera, but it was a LOT cheaper than what I was about to buy. And best of all, it came with an underwater case! So now you can expect great underwater photos, and maybe videos, along with standard "landlubber" pictures :)
I've also purchased a 16GB memorycard, so I don't expect to run out of memory at all.

Also, my dad equipped me with a small, powerful and sturdy flashlight. Perfect!

If the adventure biker meet in New Zealand happens, this lovely couple will be featured speakers. This is a couple who've spent the last twelve years riding around the world on a Harley Davidson, visiting every internationally recognized country in the world!

These crazy guys rode from Oslo to Indonesia on two 70 year old Nimbus motorbikes (from the days before rear suspension :/ ). Read the entertaining account of their trip (dubbed the "King Croesus Contempt for Death tour 2006") in danish or english . (The danish one is the best, as much of the humor has been lost in translation)
As if that wasn't not crazy enough, they're planning an even longer one for 2009!

For an exciting read, check out this post from Peter Cullens blog. He's riding with Mark Hammond in africa and almost went to prison!

I am considering changing my blog-posting habbits as I realized that these long posts must be tiring to read. How do you feel about them? Would you like shorter, more frequent updates (several times a week, maybe even daily), or these long, infrequent tirades?

Note: I removed the world clocks as they were big, ugly, and threw loud parties late in the night. You can use if you want to know what the time is where I'm at.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'll always remember

You gotta love it when your mother goes "now that's good music! Seriously, she did! She's the coolest mum in the world.

Nothing new since my last post, really. Travel preparations have been sparse latetely, as I feel pretty much done. It feels like such a long wait until January 11. I'm starting to get a little sad about leaving my friends and family for six whole months. It's gonna be an adventure, but it's also gonna be pretty lonely...
Also, these last two weeks have been a bit turbulent emotionally. I screwed things up with a girl I liked, and now I'm paying for it. Things are looking up a bit though, and for the first time in almost two weeks I've attacked my planning with enthusiasm. Can't wait to get on that bike!

So instead of the usual post, I've decided to share a poem I've written as I'm kinda fond of it. I wrote it for Hedda after she left Copenhagen. It captured my feelings at the time quite well I think.

I'll always remember
that icy November
I woke with you there by my side.
Two angels with roses
was there, and a dosis
of wine that would last through the night.

As snow started falling
I heard myself calling
your name to the tinkling ice.
Your body so slender,
your kisses so tender,
as I held you close to me, tight.

When winter descended
we played and pretended,
engrossed in our bold battle plans.
Like children we stuttered,
we teased and we fluttered
while battling dawn's slow advance.

I'll always remember
that fateful November
when dawn came and stole you away.
one beautiful morning
with tears, as a warning
of loss at the breaking of day.

But all who remember
that gentle November
still know it was ours to claim.
two lovers who challenged
the dawn, and reclaimed
that night we made love in your name.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How can anyone hate mondays?!?

What a monday! First, the loan goes through, then I reserve my ticket, and then my estate broker calls me to tell me he's sold the apartment! Thankfully, I hadn't signed the loan yet :)
I can pay for my own trip! And I save 21.000 DKK on rent while I'm away! And I can buy a motorcycle when I get home! And still have enough money to invest 100.000 in stocks! And I'm 1/4 of a way to being a millionaire! And... WOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!

On top of that, the mini-laptop (HP Compaq nc4010) and small pair of binoculars I've been waiting for arrived at my home Monday. Both were a real bargain, as they easily exceed my expectations. The pc is slick and fast, with nothing but windows and anti virus installed. Perfect! The binoculars are even smaller than I'd hoped, and even more rugged. (love that word. I think my chest gets more hairy every time I say it. Rugged rugged rugged rugged)

As I said, my ticket is reserved, and the date is set in stone. The route looks like this:

[Copenhagen, Denmark] - [London, UK] - [Hong Kong, Hong Kong] - [Sydney, Australia] - [Christchurch, New Zealand]
Then, after three months in NZ:
[Auckland, New Zealand] - [Melbourne, Australia]
From here, I'll book a plane to Adelaide as the ticket wasn't flexible if I booked Adelaide from the travel company. for some obscure reason.
Then, after three months in Australia:
[Cairns, Australia] - [Singapore, Singapore]
Ten days in Singapore, then:
[Frankfurt, Germany] - [Copenhagen, Denmark]
just in time for the Nakke Festival , unless I decide to extend my ticket.

I'll go into more details about specific times etc. when the date approaches.

Last week I posted a link for the Google map I've made. For more awesomeness, click the link "View in Google Earth" in the top right corner (requires Google Earth ). If you turn on the terrain feature, you can marvel at the digital beauty of the mountains, glaciers, and coastlines of New Zealand.

After viewing my trip in Google Earth the other day, I started wondering how far New Zealand really is from Denmark. It turns out that it's really quite close to being on the other side of the world entirely!

(find your current position in the black map, and the red upside-down map is what's on the other side of the world for you)

It certainly couldn't be much closer. I hadn't realized this since I've only been studying maps, not globes. When viewing my map in Google Earth, try double-clicking the Home placemark. When it's settled, double-click Christchurch and watch it go! It almost feels like those Indiana Jones air-transit scenes.

Click here for a more detailed map of antipodal positions (fancy-talk for other-side-of-the-world positions).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

I believe in my dreams, and lo and behold, working towards those dreams just opened up an abundance of new opportunities!

Flying an airplane has been a long-time dream of mine, and looking through my Lonely Planet guidebook, I found a bunch of people crazy enough to let me do it! The best part? It only costs around 100$ per flight! I think I'll have three.

I registered and posted on the HUBB forum, an adventure-biker website, announcing my trip and asking if anyone wanted to ride with me for part of it. Already, I've spoken with several people interested in helping me. Particularly one guy in Adelaide who's offered to pick me up from the airport, let me stay at his place for a couple of nights, and help buy and fix up a ride. Awesome! What a great way to meet the locals.

But why stop there? Two days ago, a friend suggested looking at the site. This site is a portal which connects travellers who need a place to stay, with people (often travellers themselves) who has a spare couch for a night or two. The site is not just about cheap accommodation, it's about bringing people together, understanding foreign cultures, and building friendships across continents. I looked up Christchurch, a city slightly smaller than Copenhagen, and found no less than 120 people who were offering their couch or bed to travellers. I want to use this site as much as possible on my trip, sleeping at hostels only when couchsurfing isn't possible. It's going to save me a lot of money and, even more importantly, it sounds like a grand adventure in itself! Now that's a great way to meet the locals!

I was a bit concerned about how I would go about about blogging while down there. Sitting at an internet café for 2-3 hours a couple of times a week would be an expensive waste of time. That's why i bought myself a tiny little laptop. It measures only 22*27*3, fitting snugly in my daypack, and I got it for a good price. It's arriving Monday, and I can't wait.

Speaking of Monday, my bank will have finished looking through my papers and will (hopefully, but I'm not really doubting it) greenlight the loan. That means that I buy my ticket Monday!

I soon have all the important stuff I need for the trip. My brother gave me a very nice backpack for my birthday, and I bought myself a very cheap, yet very rugged, rucksack. A cheap set of binoculars await pickup at the post-office, my mini-laptop arrives Monday, and my digital camera arrives sometime next week.

Finally, the route for the first leg of my trip, covering the south island of New Zealand, is done. I've taken the time to make it into a google map as this makes it easier for me to get a good overview during planning, and it's a great way to let you browse the route. Many of the placemarks only have short notes about what I want to see, but I'll try to give them more sense later. Additionally, when I'm down there, I'll update the placemarks with links to blogposts covering that specific part of the route. I love google!

The placemarks are colorcoded:
RED: absolute must see! The cities I arrive in/leave from will also be marked in red.
BLUE: Interesting. I'm going here.
TURQUOISE: Could be interesting. I'll visit here if time permits.
GREEN: Lord of the rings shooting locations. I'm a geek, I know.
The placemarks are arranged chronologycally.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Picking up steam

Compensating for last weeks short post, here's the longest one yet.

Having learned from previous mistakes, I now write my blog drafts in Google Docs, copy pasting the finished post. Docs work great, allowing me to save my documents on the net and pick it up again from any computer I find myself at. and it has autosave.

Now that I know I'm leaving on time, everything's been a lot easier. I'm now spending most of my free time planning my route, and I'm having a blast!

I called up the Australian embassy in Copenhagen yesterday, asking about how to register the bike in my name and if there was anything else I needed to know about bike ownership in Australia. I was fortunate enough to get through to a very enthusiastic young lady who happened to have done the same trip, except she started in New Zealand and did it in a car. She went in January as well, and she adviced me to go to New Zealand first because of the seasons. Starting in New Zealand, I'll have the summer there which is great since NZ can be chilly during winter. Also, I won't get to Cairns and the sub-tropical part of Queensland until AFTER the wet-season, which was always a bit of a worry for me since the prospect of riding in the rain isn't exactly thrilling.

i've decided not to ship the bike, but to sell it in Auckland and buy a new one in Adelaide. There are several reasons:

  1. Shipping it by boat is unreliable, and may take a lot longer than expected
  2. Shipping by plane is very expensive
  3. I'd have to pay a toll for importing it to Australia
  4. Bikes are cheap in fall, which is when I'll hit Adelaide.

Ive found a great forum for adventure riders. I posted about my trip, and already two guys expressed an interest in joining me for small parts of the trip. It would be great with some company, as I suppose it can get a bit lonely out there.
Also, there's a gathering near Christchurch on february 20, 21 and 22, which couldn't be more convenient for me. This is a great opportunity to meet other adventure riders and learn from them! It depends on the cost though, and whether I'll go back to Christchurch or just want to push on.

It's weird. Even with all the planning going on, I very rarely sit down and really think about this trip. How it's going to be, all the adventures, the prospect of six months away from home, all the new people, the alien sorroundings. Once in a while it hits me. I'm doing this! It's really happening! I'm going!
Then I imagine myself stopping my bike in some forest in the tropical part of Queensland. No particular reason. I'm hearing the engine die out. The sounds of the jungle overtakes me. I see the road snaking out of sight in front and behind. I taste the hot, moist air. Feel the softness of the seat. I lean back against my bagage. I'm completely alone. Those moments are some of my most serene. I get goosebumps just writing about it!
Then, I dive right back into the planning. God this is fun!

While planning the trip, I'm working on a personalized map on google maps. I'll post a link here when I feel it's interesting enough. Optimally, I'll be updating it even as I'm riding the trip, linking each placemark to specific blog-posts.
At home I have two big wall maps of Australia and New Zealand where I sketch out my route. It gives me a good sense of the relative distances (except I constantly underestimate them - Tasmania alone is about the same size as my entire home country!). When I leave I'll hand them to my mum so she can follow my trip.

I regrettably realized that I'm going to miss the Roskilde festival next year. It's a shame, but I'm sure I won't feel too bad about it once I'm down under. It would have been perfect though, coming home just in time for the festival, but it would cut my plans short by two to four weeks.

I've always been fascinated by the underwater world, and by Squid and Octopuses in particular.
Octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates in the world. Remarkably, two thirds of its neurons are positioned, not in the brain, but in the arms.
Also, they're super squishy.
Wikipedia has a great article on octopi, and an entire separate article on cephalopod intelligence, but all the text in the world just can't do them enough credit. Unfortunately, no-one can be... told, how awesome they are. You have to see it for yourself.

And then, of course, there's the mysterious and horrifying Giant Squid. Known to exist for centuries, this elusive and mysterious creature was first photographed alive in 2004, and caught on video in 2006 (a small female). I've known about them for a long time, and I clearly remember my exitement when I heard that they'd been documented alive.
Their distribution is wide, with specimens found in every ocean. Disconcertingly, many have been found off the coasts of New Zealand...

And as if that wasn't enough, the Colossal Squid is even bigger...

PS.: To my complete surprise, I just found out that the largest Colossal Squid ever captured is going on display on the 13th of December at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa! I'm soooo going to see that!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cleared for take-off

Great news! I spoke with the bank yesterday, and they've agreed to lend me 100.000 DKK for the trip. This loan will be easily repaid once the apartment is sold, so no worries. Sponsors or no, I'm going to Australia on the 12th of January!

Thursday I visited a friend of mine who's a fair bit older than me. Around 10 years i think. He wen't to Australia (and many, many other places) when he was around my age, and he lived for practically nothing. This encouraged me, as I've been worried about the budget for the trip. He had a lot of great stories and good (as well as bad) advice. He's always very entertaining, and very inspiring.

I don't remember if I told you, but at the moment I work at the Danish Maritime Safety Administration. I work there as a janitor, which means I get to talk to all the people in all the departments. I have a good rapport with most of them, and one of them had a brilliant idea for transporting the bike to NZ. He suggested talking to Mærsk (a global container shipping company based right here in Copenhagen) to see if I could get some work on a cargo ship going from australia to NZ. I'm very keen about this idea, and the only problem I see is how much NZ customs are gonna charge me, and whether I need an australian work permit.

I've found some pictures of old-time adventure riders. Man, these guys are crazy! I've never heard of anyone else doing jumps on a Harley. Here they are for your entertainment:
Note to parents: Don't worry about my trip, if these guys survived, I'll survive :)  (my father's present for me on my birthday was a first aid kit...)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On pressure and chopping wood

So there I was last night, having spend around 2 hours on this post, and firefox crashes on me. I was screaming obscenities. What happened to autosave!?! Here comes a new, probably shorter and rushed version. On the bright side, you're also getting one more days worth of experiences.

I feel I've been gaping over more than I can swallow recently, with regards to this trip. I've felt stressed out - mainly because I'm afraid my apartment won't be sold in time. So, I thought, let's find sponsors! Many sponsors! Big sponsors!!! Why not do a tv-show!?!
In 2½ months? Wow, pressure! Too much I've realized. Perfection is an ugly thing.
I'm going to pursue sponsors, but if I don't get any, that won't bring me down. I have a few ideas that might really turn into something, but I'm not ready to talk too much about them just yet. That would be too much pressure!
Don't get me wrong however, if someone wants to do a tv-show with me, I'd be more than happy to!

It's been a great couple of weeks though. I took last week off, and Hedda was here from Thursday to Monday, which was amazing. We went to the aquarium, the zoo, the planetarium/IMAX cinema, and of course, spent a lot of time alone together. We have, however, decided not to see each other again as lovers, as none of us feel fulfilled by a long-distance relationship. Great girl though, it'll be a lucky guy who ends up with her!

On sunday, my bag got stolen. I was horrified since it had everything: my new digital camera, climbing shoes, two books, 500DKR in cash, clothes for 4 days, deoderants, and shaver. Fortunately, it didn't contain anything that couldn't be replaced, and fortunately, my insurance covers everything.

At work today we had a lecture by Torben Wiese which was a great experience. The subject was "break the habits". He was very inspiring and very entertaining to boot. In the end I split a board of wood with my palm in front of everyone! I've been feeling like He-Man ever since...

Later this afternoon, I'm visiting a friend to help him take out the battery from his motorcycle. I asked him if I could look at the bike as if it was for sale and I was interested in buying it, and he got very excited. He's only had it for half a year, so this is a great way for him to learn about it too. I printed this guide and I'll be taking it with me.

I have a lot to look forward to these next couple of days. Tomorrow I'm climbing, and Saturday me and my friends are having a Boys Night Out (tm). We start off with a movie (Max Payne, rotten reviews, but it has guns!), then an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet, and then we hit the town. My goal for the evening is to shout more.

Ooh! And yesterday I had my international drivers license made out. Yay!

As I logged on to my Google Analytics page, I was very excited to find that people are reading my blog! People I don't know! This guy , for example! This thrills me tremendously...

I've been looking around for blogs about travelling, and travelling by motorbike especially. So far I've found two good ones: Ride Far by Mark Hammond - a guy who's currently riding through Africa - and Introducing Fylix by a girl with no name apparently. She named her bike though...

If you know of any other good stuff out there, please let me know!

PS: I've promised you pictures and videos. My computer's been out cold for months, and I'm writing from a crappy god-knows-how-old laptop (which is probably the reason for aforementioned browser crash), so I won't be able to put them up until my brother trusts me with his PC. Not today though, he's in his room with a girl with his door locked. Apparently my new hair wasn't interesting enough to let me in.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Information overload

In my last post I told you I'd gotten into contact with this guy who'd done a trip similar to mine. Well, I've mailed him, and he turned out to be a real wellspring of information. He sent me one of the longest mails I've received in my life with detailed answers to every question I'd asked him. It's been about 10 years since he made his trip though, so some things will have changed (like, Internet access and prices in general, gas in particular). Gas in Australia is a bit more than half the danish price, which I'm very pleased to hear as it might save me as much as 2000 USD.
He was kind enough to give me a few links to used bike market pages, insurance info, and backpacker sites.

Before talking to him I was pretty nervous about this motorcycle thing, what with my complete lack of experience and all. Now, however, I'm completely psyched about it! I just can't wait!

I'm a bit worried that the apartment won't sell in time for me leaving on January 12th, but I think I might be leaving anyhow. I just can't wait to get out there! I'm gonna look into sponsorships. I have a friend who's an elite athlete who knows a thing or two about how to get sponsors, and I'm gonna ask her for advice. Any little thing would help, and it'd be a fun challenge doing this for "more than myself". Who knows? Maybe one day you'll see me on National geographic!

I got to see my friend's little daughter last weekend. She's very small, and very beautiful. They're not too sure about what to name her, but last I heard they were going to call her Fri (which means free in danish). Beautiful name if you ask me.

I'm thinking about performing at an open-mic night this Wednesday. I was there last week, but didn't summon the courage. The place is really crowded each night, so it'll be a completely different experience for me. I'm scared senseless.

Wait. This is interesting.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Many things

A lot has happened these last two weeks! Some bad, some good.

The bad stuff was mainly just too much worrying about the trip, girls, and my music. The good stuff far outweighs it though.

Climbing is great and I'm getting better. A friend took a few pictures, but I don't have them available for upload yet. I'll post them soonish.

I played my own songs three times: one open-mic night, one small concert for friends and family, and once on request from a group of friends. Awesome!

The open-mic night was on an impulse, masterminded by a beautiful friend of mine, Sophie Woods, whose concert I attended the night before. Each musician got to play one song, then the other artists had a go, and because not many people was there, everyone who wanted to got to play three songs. I wanted to. The first one didn't go too well. I was really nervous (performing my own songs for an audience for the first time!), and I worried too much. The second song went much better, and by the time I was done with the third, even I was pleased with the result.
Sophie (whose real name is Anne-Stine) was kind enough to film two of my songs, and I'll post them when I get them converted to a smaller size. Which is, again, soonish.
The next Thursday I played a small concert for friends and family at a friend's house. I was still a bit nervous when I started, but that quickly passed. People responded really well, and it felt great doing it!

We've settled on an estate agent, and we've just signed the papers today. He seems like a good, down-to-earth guy, and we're confident he'll do a good job. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can confirm that departure date :)

I've had a lot of worries about my trip this last week, so I decided to find someone who'd done something similar and then interrogate him on how he did it. Particularly the bike-speciffic questions, like what should I buy, for how much, how much should I expect to use on gas, how about ensurance, and so on. A few days ago,  fate was kind enough to drop an e-mail adress for a guy who's done this kind of trip. I'm going to call him this weekend.

Oh, and I purchased the rice boy comic-book. It's that good!

I nearly forgot!!
One of my close friends became a dad about a week ago! He's the first in my group of friends to get a kid, so it's really exciting! Now he's the proud father of a beautiful little girl. I haven't seen her yet because I'm a bad person, but I hope to remedy that this weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A motorcycle is made, almost entirely, from empty space.


Me: Can we drive the bikes home ourselves?
Instructor: Sure, just... drive carefully.
Me: Sure thing
(5 minutes later)
Me: Woooooooo!!!

I can't wait to sit on a bike again! After conversations with several people "in the know", I've decided not to buy one in Denmark until I return from Australia, though. The money I'd save by buying it in autumn would be spent on storage and insurance anyhow.

Currently, my two biggest concerns about the trip are:

Selling my apartment
We had an estate agent out on wednesday, and he was confident he'd be able to sell it at full price. I hope he can do it quickly too! He was recomended to me because he sold another one in my area in three weeks. I've got my fingers crossed!

Finding, ferrying, and selling a bike in Oceania
I have no clue about the used motorcycle market in Adelaide.
I have no clue if it's convenient to ship it to New Zealand, or whether I should sell it and buy another one there.
I have no clue about the used motorcycle market in New Zealand.
I have no clue about how to sell it in either place.
I'm gonna mail my aussie contacts and see if they can help me get some information.

This thursday I'm playing a small private concert for a few people, showcasing some of the songs I've been working on. This is gonna be exciting, as most of them I haven't played for anyone before. At least one professional musician will be there, so I'm a bit nervous about it. I think I have some good material though, I just hope I can convince them of that!

This is an old one (like, decades old, but really well made considering.) but it is worth a watch anyway. Always nice to get your mind blown away by the awesomeness of the universe. This universe is so empty that the average amount of mass is pretty much zero. Funny that we find ourselves important when in reality we are no more than a byproduct of the big bang. One guy put it beautifully, except he was refferring to people, not mass:

It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.

For the nitpickers (Everyone else stay away, I'm about to go off on a rant!):
He made an error in his understanding of infinity though. Something less than one infinity can still be infinite in itself.
How many whole numbers exists (positive and negative)? An infinite amount.

How many whole positive numbers exist? Half as many as above, but still an infinite amount.
There are degrees of infinity, but all of them are still infinite. Bubbles of infinity within infinity.
The point still remains, though, that the average amount of mass in the universe for any given space is practically zero. Even inside the atoms of relatively dense material like uranium! This really makes my mind hurt, though, so I take some comfort in the fact that all the empty space is filled with energy. That way, I don't have to feel alone.
Hello, neutrino

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Disease, cameras and Rice Boy

I am sick of being sick! Friday I came down with the fever, and practically every other ailment I could think of, and I'm still in bed today, bored out of my skull. This will be a short post due to my lack of desire for writing about snot, mucus, and the weird deliriums of fevered dreams.

Wednesday I went climbing for the first time. Fun! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to go while being sick, but I've bought a pair of climbing shoes and joined a beginners climbing class. Finally I'm getting some good excersize, and I have a lot of fun doing it. It's extremely tough on my measly forearms and fingermuscles, but that'll be evened out in a few weeks of practice.

I started shopping for my trip!
For starters, I've bought a nice digital camera, the Canon Digital Ixus 860 IS, so the quality of pictures on this blog should be improving (hopefully). Speaking of photography, a good friend of mine can do magic with his camera

Oh! And my drivers test is tomorrow! Nerves? You betcha!

I have been enjoying the evocative tale of Rice Boy. So should you! (click the little red image) It's without a doubt one of the best comics I've ever read!

If you're into gaming, you should give the long-awaited Spore a spin. I played it for a few hours and had a lot of fun being god!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Norway and CERN

If you're not into Norway or physics, this post will bore you. Since I've been spending four days in Norway, and two days recovering from jetlag(! explained below), there is nothing new to report on my australia trip. Except I bought a map to get a sense of my route. Yay!

Oslo was a blast! I was a bit nervous about seeing Hedda again, but we had an amazing weekend! The first thing that struck me about Oslo is that no matter where you look, you can see mountains in the distance. I immediately wanted to get to higher ground, so we went to see the ski-jump at Holmenkolle to get a good view of the city. Oslo is a very small city (and that's coming from a guy from Copenhagen!), and the wonderful thing about it is that you can't really decide what's city and what's country side. There's cliffs and nature everywhere!

Friday evening we went to town with some of Hedda's friends. I had a lot of fun explaining how Norway used to be under the danish crown back when we were a great nation, and they had a lot of fun explaining how we danes have had our asses handed to us ever since.
Alcohol is expensive in Norway, which means they drink incredibly slowly. We still managed to get quite drunk though, and the next day was very slow. Wonderful, but very slow.

I think these were taken saturday. As you can see, we were both tired...

I just realized I desperately need a haircut.

Sunday we went to the Fram museum on an impulse (instead of kon-tiki). Oslo is on the banks of the Oslo fjord, which means they have all these pretty little islands, and we had to take a ferry to get to the museum. Inside stood the amazing ship Fram in its entirety, along with a lot of maps, items and text about the polar expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and others.
That evening we had a very nice dinner at a restaurant.
Hedda escorted me to the airport where we found out that my plain was delayed at least 2½ hours. Since it was late (I had planned to be home around midnight), we said our goodbyes there and Hedda took the train home. I found my gate (not wanting to repeat the experience from wednesday where I was called to the gate in copenhagen) and sat down with a book. I can be very patient when I have to, so I didn't mind and I never can sleep when I'm flying. I'm not afraid though, on the contrary! I'm too excited! Flying is one of the things I love doing most, and I don't think I'll ever get used to it.
Anyway, the plane took off at 1:20 and I was on my way home. One thing I hadn't thought about is that the metro from the airport doesn't run at that time of night, so I had to wait until 3:45 before getting on a train to the Copenhagen central station. By then even some of the nightbusses, the one I needed among them, had stopped going, and my head wasn't on my pillow until 5:10. Thankfully, my boss took pity and gave me monday off.

CERN and the LHC
Scientists at CERN will send the first beam through the LHC today! No collisions though, so you can disregard all the talk in the media about the world ending. It won't end until after the 21st of october where the particle accelerator is officially unveiled. Don't worry though, you won't even notice it!
All jokes aside, this is a very exciting day for phycisists, and by extension, me.

You're wondering what the accelerator is for? Finding the Higgs boson of course! Still confused? Here's a wonderful TED presentation by charismatic physicist Brian Cox:

How does it work? Here's an in-depth and precise explanation, but you have to be quick if you wanna catch all the lyrics:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Busy weekend! We cleaned up the apartment, and it's really shining now! We had a potential buyer yesterday, and with the apartment looking this good, I'm confident we'll sell it at full price soon.

Tomorrow evening I'm going to Norway to visit the beautiful Hedda Johannesen of Roskilde fame. I'll be staying there for four days, arriving home around midnight sunday. Glee!

Anyways, Australia!

What concerns me most right now is how to find, buy and sell a motorcycle when I'm down there. And if I go to New Zealand (which I think I will) do I buy a seperate one for that trip? Or is it possible to freight one from Australia to NZ.
I also need to find out about how to repair a motorcycle. I'm gonna go to the library to see if they have any books on the subject. Also, I need to find out what kind of tools I should bring, and if I should buy them down there.
Ooh! And i set a date! The current plan is to leave on the 12th of january. It all depends on selling the apartment though. The sooner it's sold, the sooner I can confirm the date.

Bike :
The technical-riding course this Saturday went like a breeze, even though my brake lengths could be shorter. I'll have to practice that. The best part was learning to lift a sidecar from the road, balancing on two wheels with the sidecar "hovering" in the air. It was quite heavy, requiring good arm-strength for extended driving.
Last week I wrote that I wouldn't buy a bike before I left, but having checked the used motorcycle market I'm not so sure anymore... Should I decide to buy one, I'll have to bring someone with me who knows about motorcycles to tell me whether I'm getting a good deal or being ripped off. In the end, we'll have to wait and see, but I will put pictures up if/when I buy one :)

In other news: Google just announced they're working on a new webbrowser! Knowing the general quality of google products, this is exciting stuff! I love firefox, but it is a bit slow, and it has a tendency to crash if you use it for too long in one sitting (something about the cache being overloaded). Check the link to google's blog on the left. The beta goes live right about now, if I remember correctly.

If you're not reading not-included, you're not living. It's weird in a cute sort of way, and the current page features an army of hooded snipers on dinosaurs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


When I started this blog last week, I feared that one of two things might happen:

a) I'd be a perfectionist about it, and never write anything 'cause it just wasn't good enough and no-one would be buggered to read it, or
b) I'd love hearing myself talk so much that I'd go on and on about stuff that's only interesting to me, and no-one would be buggered to read it.

That's why i focus on the trip. I'll make it a priority to post here at least once a week as long as I'm still in the planning stages. After that I'll try to post as often as possible, but honestly, it's anyone's guess what kind of god-forsaken land I'll find myself in. At least with my navigation skills. But by then there'll be pictures!

The state of things:

The Planning:

I don't think it's really hit me yet how big an undertaking this is. After watching the first episode of The Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor et al., I'm stumped by how thorough their planning is! Of course, theirs was a much longer journey than what I'm attempting, and through a much rougher terrain and more diverse cultures. On one hand, it got me worried about how much I have taken upon myself. On the other, it really got me pumped for adventure! On the third(!), I started thinking that this would be a fun thing to do with a mate. I like traveling alone, but it does get a bit lonely sometimes, and I'm sure I'd have a great time with a friend too.

I am currently taking my license for the motorbike. I passed my theory exam last Monday (the 18th) and I was on the freeway for the first time this sunday. It took some nerve, but what a rush! The five hour technical course is this saturday, and then I'm only 2 road lessons away from my road exam on September 15th.
I had considered buying a motorbike this autumn for use in Denmark before and after the trip, but I think I'm gonna wait 'til I come home, when I have a better idea of my financial situation.

I am making a list of what I need for the journey. A lot of the stuff I don't own yet (even some basics), and I'm still looking into what I need (like, do I need a tent or will I be staying at hostels? How many tools and spare parts do I need?). This is my list of needs so far:

Rucksack, ca. 60 liters
A good digital camera.
Small binoculars
Proper sleeping bag, 3 seasons I reckon
Maybe new shoes
First-aid kit
New diving mask and snorkel

Last week, I made a list of some of the adventures I want to try. Unfortunately, my mum read the blog. "you're not going to dive with sharks are you?!? That's dangerous!". And driving a motorbike up through Australia isn't? Anyway, just for her, I've updated the list:

I'll climb!
I'll rappel!
I'll parachute!
I'll dive!
I'll dig for treasure!
I'll be having an adventure!
With sharks!
Big sharks!
Big, man-eating sharks!
With friggin' lasers on their heads!
I'll be doing it on a fucking motorbike!!!

I'm really looking forward to doing all these things on a motorbike.

PS.: Of course, if you think you can help in any way, even with just a helpful hint, or if you have ideas for the trip, I'll be happy to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The beginning

I'm going to australia! On a motorcycle! This is my blog about it!

the current plan involves flying to Adelaide sometime in the beginning of january. From there I'll travel southeast via the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne, then Sydney, and from there north to Brisbane and Cairns. Then maybe New Zealand, but the jury's still out on that one.

I'll climb!
I'll rappel!
I'll parachute!
I'll dive!
With sharks!
I'll dig for treasure!
I'll be having an adventure!
I'll be doing it on a fucking motorbike!!!

All in all I'll be gone for 3-6 months depending on whether I opt to go to New Zealand or not.

I'm starting my blog in advance because
a) I'm excited.
b) I may need some help preparing.
c) I get lonely sometimes.

There are quite a few things I need to take care of before I leave. I need to find someone who knows something about motorcycles. Preferably someone who's travelled on one and knows what I need to look out for. I also have to find out where and how I can buy one down there. I also have to find out about what else I need to find out about. My head hurts.

Wikipedia has some good things to say about blogs:

Therapeutic Benefits

Scientists have long known the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences. Blogs provide another convenient avenue for writing about personal experiences. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients and even speeds healing after surgery.
Phew! Good thing I started blogging young!

I'll go to sleep now, as I have to be up in, like, 6 hours. But my sleep is improved!