Friday, August 31, 2007

Sore feet

I guess you could see it coming - my feet are sore! Dancing all week since I arrived on Saturday, walking all day every day sightseeing NY, wearing new dance shoes for the whole evening Tuesday, using every last bit of energy for dancing at Club Cache on Wednesday, starting the NYSC survival challenge training Thursday, and then again a night of dancing!
Now I seriously consider one of those foot massages from the small chinese nail-spa-massage shops.

Edie 'The Salsa Freak' has experienced nearly any kind of foot, knee and hip pain in connection with dancing. Read her great tips on how to prevent and aid your sore dancing feet:
Sore feet solutions from Edie, The Salsa Freak

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pre-party cruise

Tuesday evening the congress pre-party started as a cruise on the Circle Line. While the sun faded and the city lit up, we cruised on the Hudson round Manhattan. On the passenger deck the salsa band Ocho y Mas! played a great salsa beat all through the trip and the passengers enjoyed the challenge of dancing on a tilting carpeted floor. In the breaks between dancing we could see the Manhattan skyline and a close up look at the Statue of Liberty by night. Afterwards the party continued at the Link Lounge, hosted by Marlon Int'l.

Fun fact: today I tried my first ever coffee containing beverage at Starbucks - a Pumpkin Spice Frappucino.

Photo courtesy:

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taj Lounge

Taking it easy, strolling slowly through a street market in the afternoon, shopping useless items and souvenirs, ... and dancing all night long!

The NYC salsa congress has arranged for a whole week of pre-congress parties with entry free of charge for congress full pass holders. Saturday the party was at the Harlem YMCA, Sunday it was Piel Canelas Sunday social, and yesterday the party was on at Session 73. However, yesterday was also the After Work Salsa Mondays at the Taj Lounge with DJ Henry Knowles and live salsa band and show by Ismael and Shani. I went there to enjoy the music and the exotic lounge, and the dancing of course, before I went of to join my fellow congress participants at Session 73.

Tip of the day: Henry Knowles is an amazing DJ!

Photo courtesy: Taj Lounge

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Arrived in NY

What a bummer to arrive before the hostel check-in opens (I _really_ need a shower after the eight hour flight). And the weather here is extremely hot - 29 degrees feels like a day for ice creams and non-stop ice tea.

Meanwhile in Copenhagen: The Copenhagen Cooking Festival

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Theorieexamen geslaagd

Hooray, that was the first milestone in getting my drivers license! I passed the theory exam today - no problem.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Clever scam

I got a pretty clever scam email the other day, advertising for a website with native art of some sorts. The tone was like a personal invitation, no misspellings, and plausible names for the organisations involved. The only thing that gave it away was that it was not addressed to me.

Today I saw a clever scam website. They pretend to do a competition for amateur photographers, maximum of one photo per contestant. They promise a grand prize and official publication of all winning photos. From the upload page there is nothing strange, other than that there are no links to e.g. winning photos. I knew immediately it was a scam when I saw the root page of the site, where they ask you how much money you want them to send you if you fill in the form(!!!). Of course every contestant is declared a winner, and you can buy (!) a plaque with your name on it and a (bad quality) book containing all winning photos, that is every crappy photo that was uploaded to their site.

Beware of similar scams and when in doubt, just do a few minutes googling the website or organisation name before giving away your email address or even worse: sending them money.

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Elvis week

This week it is the 30th anniversary of the death of The King, Elvis Presley. All around the world people are paying homage to Elvis, and in Memphis the whole week is annually celebrated as Elvis week, only this year it is even larger than usual due to the 30th anniversary.

Quote Philip: "Elvis is great!"

Illustration courtesy: De

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Subprime mortgage financial crisis

So the panic is breaking out. House prices falling, stock prices collapsing, let's see how far it goes...

Illustration courtesy: Subprime mortgage financial crisis - Wikipedia

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Salsa anticorrelation

Yesterday Radek introduced me to a new concept: anticorrelated abilities. Think of the ability to be really good in languages or really good in math. Radeks hypothesis is that the co-occurence of these two abilities is smaller than expected by chance if the abilities were independent. To illustrate his point he told me that he has observed multiple examples of anticorrelation between being a good salsa dancer and the ability to ride a bike well...
This is of course just a hypothesis, and I do not have any examples myself to strengthen or disprove it, but I must say that I am delighted to be introduced to such a interestingly new point of view on salsa.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Redefining the gene

In a paper appearing in the June 2007 special ENCODE issue of Genome Research, Gerstein et al. update the definition of a gene while elaborating on the complexity of gene regulation that has been discovered in recent years. I love this comparison to computer operating systems (OS):
"The execution of the genomic OS does not have as neat a quality as this idea of repetitive calls to a discrete subroutine in a normal computer OS. However, the framework of describing the genome as executed code still has some merit. That is, one can still understand gene transcription in terms of parallel threads of execution, with the caveat that these threads do not follow canonical, modular subroutine structure. Rather, threads of execution are intertwined in a rather "higgledy-piggledy" fashion, very much like what would be described as a sloppy, unstructured computer program code with lots of GOTO statements zipping in and out of loops and other constructs."

Read the full paper in Genome Research
Illustration courtesy:

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The coriolis myth

You may have heard, or you might even have been taught by your physics teacher, that the coriolis force is the rotational force that makes water rotate down the drain in one direction on the northern hemisphere and in the other direction in the southern hemisphere. However, I am sorry to tell you, it is a myth.
There is indeed a coriolis effect, and it does indeed affect particles in opposite direction on either hemisphere, but it is not strong enough to make the water run down the drain in a particular direction. The direction in which the water poured into the tub, the shape of the tub, and even small perturbance by objects in the tub all have a larger effect on the direction of rotation.

Read more about:
The Coriolis Effect - by wikipedia
Bad Coriolis - by Bad Meteorology
Does the water go down the drain...? - by Everyday Mysteries

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