Friday, February 25, 2011

Lunch in the land of additives

This was my lunch yesterday.

Yet again I was consulting in Ludwigshafen. With its main industry there I guess it may be referred to as the land of additives, although the range of chemicals produced covers much more than just additives to food and feed.

Looking at the food on my tray I have the feeling that additives were not playing a big role. In fact, I think I should be able to copy the dishes myself from natural sources and spices. The meal was very tasty, and it refuelled us so that we could continue our work efficiently.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kefir, orange and tomato

I am a great fan of Kefir, on its own or mixed with orange juice. This last combination became drinkable for my kids when I started referring to it as "sjørøvermelk", that is "pirate milk". I mix it half and half, and these days other kids from the neigborhood may be observed in our house enjoying this refreshing drink.

Well, earlier this month I had the pleasure of visiting one of the Portoguese processors of tomato. Their product may be a key ingredient in the ketchup you use, and it may also result in tomato juice. Anyway, I was told that mixing tomato and orange juice also was a nice drink. So I had to try.

The picture shows these two drinks. Many people may not like the thought of these combinations, but I am willing to experiment from time to time. And sure, mixing tomato and orange juice is definitely an alternative when you want to surprise friends at a summer breakfast.

And of course, freshly pressed juice is far better than cartooned. But that is something to look forward to when I am really in for a treat!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The color of PI

Last Saturday I had the fortune to visit the new home of the Department of Informatics @ University of Oslo, as my oldest son was attending a programming course organized by Forskerfabrikken.

Forskerfabrikken is a private initiative to remedy the deficiencies in science education in the public schooling system in Norway. Both my kids have benefited from this initiative, and eventually my oldest accepted to attend a programming course together with a classmate. He considers both myself and his mother to be nerds as we are trained in programming, but with the course he is at least getting a taste of this tool that has the potential of changing the way kids think, if only they get the chance.

So what about this picture. Well, it's me in the foreground and a piece of art by Beret Aksnes in the background. This decorative element shows PI with each digit represented by one of ten colors.

A very successful combination of art and science in my mind.

And I got to see the inside of this new building. It is scheduled to be handed over to the university after the summer, 13 years after I left my job as associate professor there. When we moved into the then new, neighboring building in 1988 it quickly turned out to be crowded. Apparently it takes close to forever to build public building in Norway. But now it is there - I have had a sneak preview - and I am happy on the department's behalf.