Early Powder at Zermatt December 2010

Skiing with Steve and Bruno Peita in Great Powder at Zermatt.
Most shots were taken on runs down from the Furggsattel Chair.


TEDx Brussels 2010 12 06: But who is going to save the world?

Quantum Microbiology/Biochemistry
These guys gave various pieces of information which lead us to believe that quantum mechanics has a great influence on the behavior of cells, and could play all kinds of important roles in the development of the hard to cure diseases. Most of it was either too abstract or too far from my understanding or both, which means that I sort of got it, but only sort of...

Autonomous Cars
This guy is an AI professor who's team won the Darpa Challenge once upon a time, i.e. to build a 100% autonomous vehicle and race it, and win. He later went on to lead the Google Autonomous car project. He also created Google's Streetview...

He spoke about his philosophy for problem solving:
  1. Listen,
  2. Decide,
  3. Do.
He also mentioned the term "pyramid of pain", referring to the idea of taking care of what hurts you most, first. Today, he is thinking about how to make car travel more efficient, e.g. better use of road space, more use of each vehicle, etc.

An interesting talk and an interesting guy, worth reading about.

Nerds: Who they are and why we need them

  • This child-psychologist talked about his concern in the rising anti-intellectualism in the USA, i.e. the idea that it's not cool to be smart, or to be a "nerd". He mentioned various TV series and anecdotes about his patients to underpin his argument, which was very interesting and compelling. He attributes fear of nerds by older generations as a manifestation of their own fear of not being adequate in the modern constantly evolving hi-tech world. Their fear of understanding less than their children would seem to drive them to hold the kids back...
  • Oh, don't forget a Nerd's not a Geek!
  • This talk was very profound.
One Laptop Per Child: there are 2 Million out there today.
  • Nicholas Negroponte
  • Mary Lou Jepsen
  • Walter Bender
  • "Am I doing something to change the world today"?
  • "Am I doing something that normal market forces will utlimately do anyhow? If so, then stop"!
  • Have children change the world.
  • Collaborative, autonomous learning => the child is the agent of change.
  • Teachers in Uruguay really excited about the OLPC's which were deployed to 100% of the kids in 18 months.
  • In Peru, the rural kids were first given the OLPC; they used it to educate their parents, and the entire village.
  • 25% of the children in the world are in India.
  • Display is the bottleneck
  • Factories (Fabs) are where it happens (Taiwan)
  • Understanding the Fab processes to be able to communicate with the people there to get the new ideas implemented
  • She's a real problem solver
  • LCD is the only game in town for the next 10 years, at least
  • The OLPC screen consumes 1 Watt; the machine stays charged for a week!
  • Linux, Sugar labs,
  • "In the kitchen, what do you put on the lowest, most accessible shelf"?
  • Free Software Culture!
  • Sugar (the OLPC OS) = Python,
  • A tool to make tools
  • Surround them with Mountains, create a very low floor and no ceiling, then step back
  • This presentation was particularly inspirational!

Every thing knows every thing
  • The idea of change described by an exponential function. At first the rate of change is low, and hardly anyone feels it. Then it becomes steep and those who weren't aware fall behind and turn their backs on it.
  • Relates to the fear of nerds talk.
  • The Internet of things: a network of things communicating amongst themselves, not involving humans...
  • Evolving from ownership to access (cf. zipcar)
  • William Gibson: "The future is already here, but not evenly distributed".
  • "It's never too late to pick up a new profession."
  • The exponential is expressed as the advanced collaboration phase, when every thing knows every other thing.
Drupal: Out of control management
  • Movember = Mustache November for charity.
  • 1.5% of the world's websites are built with Drupal
  • Premise is that you have to give up controlling if you want to let people create.
  • Create a culture of uncontrolled sharing
  • Give up control.
  • The free software workers spend their days in frustrating jobs. If you want them to work for you in the night, then you'd better be sure that you don't frustrate them or they will be gone...
  • Lead like a superhero:
    Jump in,
    Decisive Action,
    Jump out,
Interface Brain-Machine
  • Emotiv is a brain to computer interface.
  • We saw the demo.
  • It seemed to work - really interesting!
Resources of the bottom billion
  • High commodity prices will push the discovery of resources into the developing world: Africa, Afghanistan, etc.
  • Weak govts there lead to plundering of the natural resources, i.e. either only a few benefit or the future generations are robbed in favor of the present.
  • How to avoid plundering, i.e. how to prevent he 21st century from looking like the 19th?
  1. Public Geological Discovery information - no secrets about what's there.
  2. Tax the extraction
  3. Distribute the revenues over time, i.e. save 1/2 of the revenues for the future.
  4. Use the savings in local investment: create local capacity
    Invest in investing.
Building Starships
Living (3 lives)
35,000 jobs in Bangladesh
  • Bibi Russell is an ex-super model that created an industry in her native land and created 35 thousand jobs in weaving...
What will save the world?
  • 5 points to summarize the TEDx :
  1. The Individual vs. the Group: Brilliant individuals are not individualists because that would be stupid.
  2. We have to live attentively:
    "a turning point in history" is like the turning point in a swimming pool, it occurs regularly every 25meters...
    Be aware of small changes,
    TEDX was like telling good jokes amongst brilliant people.
  3. The future is easy to talk about because we can't be wrong,
    The past is hard to interpret.
  4. Self confidence vs. vanity and/or shyness
    Vanity kills creativity
  5. The Quality of the noble Art of Conversation:
    An emotional flavor in scientific topics and vice versa.
What will save the world?
- Profound lightness, not superficial seriousness...


New Little Heli!!

Some Pics of my first build: a TRex-250 SE


Félix sur le Saxophone - Mai 2010

Félix improvising and playing with some buddies!


Doing the right thing

Sea Shepherd Captain Peter Bethune understands the consequences that may face him for the courage he has displayed in defending endangered whales, i.e. jail in Japan as a political prisoner.

He told Captain Paul Watson:

“You don’t change the world by sitting on your ass and being afraid to do the right thing.”


Hors Piste - les 2 Alpes fév. 2010

Stage hors-piste de l'ESF aux 2 Alpes avec Etienne Drumain, merci à tous!


La Grave - Le Big LePowSki Feb 2010

Skiing at La Grave during the Big LePowSki 20 Feb 2010. Black Diamond Pro-skier Ptor Spricenieks and Cyril the mountain guide took me down a 2400m descent called "La Chirouze Droite"! This was the morning after a 50cm dump of fresh powder. Fantastique! Thank you for the honor!


How to Build a PC

Check out the Misc; section of my home page for a step-by-step guide:

how to build a Computer from individual components.

Let me know what you think!


Zermatt Jan 2010

Some shots from Great Skiing in Zermatt Jan 2010 including the famous moguls lesson by Bruno Peita!