My mother has always cut my hair, with only scissors and a comb, which is why i never was in a hair salon. And since late 2014, i cut it myself, because i got a electric hair cutter with an adjustable comb for different lengths, the Norelco 7100 Hair Clipper by Philips. It’s convenient and i have never known anything else. And when i look at the hair salon prices, it is totally worth investing in a electric hair cutter, at least for men with short hair. The only thing that makes trouble is the cleaning. All the hair on the floor requires a vacuum cleaner, and a bit of manual work around the bathtub drain.
In the last couple of days, i binge-watched three time-related TV series i liked: Frequency, Wayward Pines, and Timeless. The first two shows are not directly about time travel, and rather more about manipulating history, or fast-forwarding it. “Frequency” tells the story of a detective in 2016 who discovers that she can speak to her deceased father in 1996 via his old ham radio. She tries to save his life, but this changes the present unpredictably.
“Wayward Pines” is about people who go to sleep for 2000 years to survive the “abbies”. A doctor predicted that humans will evolve through a series of genetic mutations. And he wants to skip this violent time period, and chooses people with special qualities to rebuild mankind after they have woken up.
In “Timeless” a time machine gets stolen. And a history professor, a soldier, and an engineer are trying to get it back. But the thief wants to rewrite American history. And they learn that each of them are part of a much bigger plan by a mysterious organization that funded the development.
I watched the TV series “Outlander” too, but i skipped many parts, because it didn’t kept me interested enough. I like actress Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a nurse in 1945, who time-travels back to Scotland in 1743. The scenery, the costumes and the story are not that bad, but i’m just not in the mood for the eighteenth century.
Two days ago, i decided to get me a BitTorrent client “in the cloud” for a month again, just like last year. This way i can catch up with all the shows and movies i missed. Because the Amazon Prime Video Catalog is quite limited, and the cost of all series and movies would be too high otherwise.
I just saw the last episodes of the TV series “Person of Interest” and it made me cry. I watched it since 2011, and i love it, especially actress Amy Acker as hacker “Root” and actor Michael Emerson as software engineer “Harold Finch”. But i really like all characters in team “The Machine”. Because they make it complete. The story is about trust, purpose and friendship, wrapped in a contemporary battle between good and evil.
I can relate to Root and Harold, because i’m deep into technology as much as they are, and i like both of their views on the world. I enjoyed Person of Interest, because of the ideas, and they keep it interesting with a lot of care. There is not much more to ask for, because of everything i didn’t know i wanted.
I’m going to pick the final words i liked: “Everyone dies alone. But if you mean something to someone, if you help someone, or love someone, if even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really die. And maybe it isn’t the end at all.”
I like the idea of time travel since i watched the “Back to the Future” movies as a child. It made me love science fiction and it made me aware that there is a link between cause and effect. The present can influence the future. And this is why it was a pleasure to binge-watch TV series “Heroes” and “12 Monkeys”. I already saw all episodes of Heroes before, but this time i got to watch it in German.
After i decided to stop myself going crazy on Jessica Clements, i wasn’t able to make a clean cut. Instead i binge-watched her daily vlogs with Erik Conover, from a time when they were still a YouTube couple. I unsubscribed this kind of channels a long time ago, but i liked Jessica Clements enough to make it worthwhile.
I really enjoy actress Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in the TV series “Homeland”, because i can relate to her passion, paranoia, and obsession. Her mental state causes pain to her and those she loves, but it allows her to find the truth. She decides to go off her meds, because she knows it will give her the intense focus she needs to figure out who is trying to kill her.
Normally i don’t watch horror TV series a lot, but sometimes there is an exception to the rule, like with “The Strain”. Back then, when i was young, i watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because of Sarah Michelle Gellar. But The Strain has more to offer and is more mature. I only managed to watch it in the second attempt, because some scenes are quite creepy.
In 1999, i saw the movie “Notting Hill” several times, because of the love story with Julia Roberts as main character. I really liked how this regular guy got the chance to fall in love with that famous actress. After twists and turns, with some ups and downs, there was an happy end. I wanted it to happen again and again. Because it gave me hope, and the cinema is in walking distance, just a few minutes from our rented apartment in Bad Godesberg. I even bought it later on VHS tape. And the movie was probably the reason why i liked London so much in the first place.
But there was another woman that got my attention in 1999. Britney Spears came with “Born to Make You Happy” into my life and made me buy too many of her CD’s in hindsight. Watching music videos on TV was not enough. I had Britney Spears posters on the wall and i visited two of her concerts, in 2000 at Cologne and in 2004 at Oberhausen. Back then, my English was not that good, but i liked her music anyway. I even made a fan page with biography, news and pictures. But later she got messed up with the wrong people and i lost interest in her. It was still a great time, because it distracted me from the problems at school.
In late 2006, i started to study geography at the University of Bonn, and i had to pick two subsidiary subjects. I chose geology and urban planning. At some point, i had contact with “Computer Aided Design”, also known as CAD, and i decided to buy a digital graphic drawing tablet because of this. In February 2007, i got a Wacom Intuos 3 Tablet, and i still use it today. It’s more natural and much faster than a regular mouse. Years before, around 2002, i already had a 12000U Tablet by Aiptek Hyperpen, but it wasn’t practical.
Shortly after i got my first “real” computer by IBM in August 1998, i stopped using traditional pointing devices anyway, because of the Logitech Marble Trackball, which is more precise and takes less space. I even played “Counter-Strike Source” with a setup like this for a while. My first “junior” computer was a JC100/01 for children from 3 years, intended for playing and learning, made by Hartung Spiele Berlin, for a price of 179 Deutsche Mark. According to the packaging, one set of batteries lasts for around 200 hours, but i never got that far.
At the moment, i have three input devices on my “Alex desk” table from Ikea, a Wacom Intuos Tablet, a Cherry Strait Keyboard, and a Logitech T650 Touchpad. I’m left-handed, and that’s why it’s arranged that way. I do not draw a lot on the computer anymore, but i still edit photos and create graphics sometimes, while i sit on my “Markus Swivel” chair by Ikea. FYI, in January 2003, i got my first SETI@home certificate for completing 100 workunits, and in July the same year, my second for 250.
I loved to make photos ever since i can remember. But film-based cameras were expensive during their active lives. This is why i had a lot to catch up on in 2000, when i got my first digital camera, a Kodak DC3800 with 2.1 megapixels. It was the beginning of many more cameras in my career. First i used them at school to make photos and videos for presentations. And later as photojournalist i documented history being written.
In 2005, i got my first DSLR camera, a Canon EOS 350D with 8 megapixels. It has enabled me to capture a wider range of situations. It gave me access to events and humans i would not have seen in real life otherwise. At that time not many people had a DSLR camera, so i was special and ahead of my time. It was a quite unique moment, because there was hardly any competition, unlike these days. And this is why i have made steps from photography towards videography in the last years.
- 2000: Kodak DC3800 (2.1MP)
- 2003: Canon PowerShot A20 (2.1MP)
- 2004: Canon PowerShot A85 (4MP)
- 2005: Canon EOS 350D (8MP)
- 2009: Canon EOS 7D (17.9MP)
- 2011: Canon EOS 5D Mark II (21.1MP)
- 2012: GoPro Hero2
- 2014: Canon PowerShot ELPH-150 IS
- 2014: GoPro Hero3 White
- 2014: Sony DSC-RX100 III
- 2015: GoPro Hero4 Silver
- 2016: Sony DSC-RX100 IV
Between 2011 and 2012, i had over 800.000 video views, and made over 700 USD through YouTube and Google Adsense. But at some point, they decided to disable the monetization of one of my channels without a way to defend myself. I still uploaded origami tutorials like nothing happened, but then i switched to another style of videos, to put myself in the foreground, instead of just my hands. Because if i don’t get paid, at least i want to be recognized as an hard working artist.
I was verified as partner and i had no copyright or community guidelines strikes either. But their algorithms didn’t like me and i was just another YouTuber. I still had the channel, but i couldn’t make any money out of it. In some way, Google forced me to go one step further because of this. Now all i wanted was recognition through video views. My last hundred origami tutorials are influenced by this and i’m starring as main character. Something i would not have done otherwise. Since then, i gave up on YouTube and Google as a way to earn money, and use them only to host my videos for free.
I just read a German article about my generation and i try to summarize it here: “Generation Y” has left its youth behind and is now getting into the professional life. Every generation has its own taste and interests. In 1975 people still met physically at social places. In 1995, teenagers at least talked to each other via mobile phones.
In many large cities in Germany the share of immigrants under 40 years old is over 40 percent. Just look at the German national soccer team. It is an expression of the change, which will affect the next generation. Generation Y, born between 1980-1994, is currently getting into higher positions in companies. In a phase of decreasing numbers of children my generation was born with participation, support and appreciation.
The mixture of constant praise and the awareness that nothing is given in life, lead to ambition. In an increasingly fast-paced time happiness is more important than ever. And if something does not work, it’s time for a change. The many possibilities are making it not always easy to choose the “right” path.
The childhood of the “Millennials” is generally regarded as the most peaceful time in Germany. Because of the “Baby boomer” parents, my generation developed a kind of ambition “to get ahead” in order to receive praise and appreciation, just like in the childhood. We want to be successful and “good”, but not at any price.
The early integration into family decision-making processes made us attaching great importance to transparency, community, and decision-making on the same eye level. Generation Y wants to make a contribution to the society, without being too noisy. The revolution so far has been socially quiet, on the internet as “Generation Facebook”, through a culture full of experiences, inconspicuous and with each other instead of “against each other”.
A large part of my trail of thousand origami cranes is recorded in video with a Canon PowerShot ELPH-150 as first-person point of view camera and a GoPro Hero4 Silver as third-person point of view camera. Most of the time i use a Walimex Table Tripod to hold the Canon. For the GoPro i use a custom stand made from Lego bricks to get a really low angle. I cover the logos with black tape, because i don’t get paid for this.
I have three replacement batteries for each camera and charge them with a battery pack while i’m out there folding my origami cranes. I need to do it like this, because if everything is perfect, i can fold over hundred cranes a day, which drains the batteries. This is why i get around 700 cranes after a week of travel. The original size of the paper i use is A4, but i cut it down to A6 to make it fit.
Before i go to a city, i use Google Maps with satellite view turned on. I look for benches and other things where i can sit down to fold my origami cranes. Most of the time, i’m walking to the places, unless it’s in London or Hong Kong, where the Tube or the MTR is the first choice to get around. This way i get to see a lot and discover things i have not seen through my research.
After a day of folding origami cranes, i backup all the files from both SanDisk Memory Cards to two Samsung SSDs. I use a Lenovo Thinkpad 8 Windows Tablet with a Inateck USB Hub attached to copy the videos and check the file integrity via MD5 hashing algorithm. This is a lot of effort to keep it all safe, but worth it. At home i use custom code to organize everything and feed it into Windows Movie Maker as the last step before uploading it to YouTube.