“No country for old men”

I have to say, I was blown away – this film is just perfect. There are films, or books, that you enjoy watching, and you may even recall after a while, in a context of life event or something. And there are films, that come back to you, with vivid imagery, and with emotions and questions that are deeply rooted in your own existence.¬† This is definitely one of those good movies. The film soared to one of the best films I’ve seen, ever. A perfectly told story on fundamental existential questions, human existance, faith, desires and our own weaknesses. A picture of turbulent nature of human existence in the very non-human, unpredictable world.

There are many great reviews and analysis, and I’ve read few, for example this one and this one (both are brilliant).

I have not understood everything upon the first viewing, and may need to watch it more. Or read the screenplay/book. One question is who was Carson Wells (what or whom he represents). Some discussion about that I found here.

Let me ask you something. If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”

More quotes on IMDB.

I run 78km last week

I’m blessed in living on a picturesque hill (in Graz, Hilmteich), inside great forest, with an awesome hilly running trail, called Leechwald. The trail goes for 10km one way, and splits into other running trails (that I have not explored yet). I have started running 6 days a week, doing most of the days 10-15km, and a bit longer on weekends. Last weekend I’ve done 38km. Why?

One of my new years resolutions for this year is to take part in an ultra-marathon. I would like to do two things before I turn 40 – one is to take part in ultra-marathon. The other, to take part in Ironman competition. 2011 will be the 100km run. I know I am unable to do it, yet. I have taken part in 3 marathons over the last 2 years, and I know that at the end of 42km run, I’m done. 100km is 2.5x what my current limit is. But, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want to become someone I’m currently not. Someone, who can run 100km. The race is in August.

Coincidentally, my brother gave me a book, by McDougall “Born to run”. I recommend this book to anyone who has not yer read it. If I haven’t decided to run an ultra-marathon before, I would have surely decide to run one after reading this book. An great story about amazing, ofter weird individuals, who share something. Something that I believe we all used to share, but have lost through life in modern society. It is not even about running per se. It is about us, about what makes us humans. Something about the feeling of freedom, innocence and fulfillment and joy. And belonging.

Research culture in TU Graz

It has been two weeks since I settled in TU Graz. The Computer Graphics and Augmented reality research group is hosting me. What a treat. The institute is about 30 amazingly smart people. Everything is well thought out, and well organised.

The research meetings last for about 45 min, and have a typical agenda in a form: new people welcomed; overview of all ongoing research projects (each team leader talks about their project progress since the last meeting); teaching issues; upcoming publications and conferences; new hardware purchases (who bought what, and what might be useful for other members of the group); in-house software development (who is building what, and who else might find use for the software); system administration; upcoming social events. YES – this all in less then 45min – everything is brief, and down to the point.

Every publication  is jointly celebrated (wine, champagne or juice). Like today, we all have celebrated 2 accepted papers for CHI2011 Рawesome achievement for the authors.

There are papers reading group seminars, where a speaker talks about some papers that he/she read and might be of interest to the entire group. And, once a week there is more serious presentation to the institute by one or two speakers on some research topic that they have spent time on.

Graz itself is a very nice, relatively compact city, with mountains all around. The area I live in now, Himteich (next to currently frozen lake) has an awesome forest, with a great running track (I’ll write about it in a minute). Due to hospitality of my hosts, I’ve got an used bicycle that I use to commute to and from work (about 20min cycling each way).

Really fast internet, serenity of the accommodation, fantastic hosts and research institute. What else can I possibly want? Nothing. I miss my family though. And friends.

I’m going for the Trends in Computer Vision Symposium, in TU Vienna on Wednesday. Yay!