Confessions of a researchaholic

July 27, 2019

Digital graffiti experiment

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:33 am
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I like this wall painting at the north-west corner of the 8th and Hope street intersection, and decided to try a digital Banksy.
The wings are too low for their size and span, so anatomically the carrier needs to be very stout. (The original reference is a much taller and thinner person.)

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Digital street drawing

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July 22, 2019

Quick sketch of a hairstyle

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:00 pm
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I did a quick finger sketch of this passenger hairstyle over my moto x4 phone on the train.

Later I noticed that I traced too many hair strands, so I did a simplified version from memory, still with finger over the phone.
This one took me only a few seconds, versus the original one which took me a few minutes.

July 21, 2019

Quick sketch of a park bench napper

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:59 am
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He kept on moving around so was not exactly easy to draw.

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Quick sketch of a bench mapper

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July 20, 2019

Quick sketch during a Warhol film session

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:58 am
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The SF MOMA Warhol film session contains short films of mostly stationary faces, from which I had a lot of fun finger sketching over a phone.

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Warhol film

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July 19, 2019

Some recent sketches

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:56 am
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I start practicing finger drawing over a cell phone as it is the most convenient device to carry around, and I might not always have a large iPad or physical sketch book.
The combination of small phone screen and obscuring finger is challenging, but I believe it can be overcome with more practice.

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Quick sketch of a live drawing session

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Finger sketch on a moto x4

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Quick sketch of a referee

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July 18, 2019

Steichen on photography

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:55 am
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Edward Steichen, a Luxembourg-born photographer who spent most of his life in the US, said that photography is both easy and hard: easy for anyone to master, and hard because, unlike other additive art mediums that start from a blank, photography starts with all the information and one has to learn how to subtract.

July 13, 2019

Get in

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:14 pm
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I captured this great view from SF-MOMA, in which the wall says:

So you’ve gotten very close, you’ve shared a complete experience.
And the idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting anyway.
Never getting in is the most exciting, but after that, waiting to get in is the most exciting.

Don’t we all tend to be obsessed with what we cannot get in life: the dream job, the dream lover, the dream trip, which pop into reality when we finally have a chance to get in.

July 7, 2019

Luxembourg

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:11 pm
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This citadel city contains many museums, cultural heritages, and great views, all within walking distances.

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Quick sketch of a castle

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Re5113

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Quick sketch of a train cabin

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Quick sketch of an airplane passenger

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July 3, 2019

Mandatory charging versus voluntary tipping

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:27 pm
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While waiting for the bus to Luxembourg I walked around the Saarbrucken Hbf area, with many interesting sights, folks, shops, and outdoor sitting areas. Like some other parts of Germany (or Europe), one has to pay to use the washrooms in the train station and department stores.

I decided not to bow to any such extortion until I found a place with an old gentleman in nice suit stood by the door holding a tip tray without mandatory charges. I happily put down the same amount that would be required in other places.

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Interesting area around Saarbrucken Hbf

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Dagstuhl

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:03 pm
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## Location ##

Schloss Dagstuhl is located in Saarland near the German border with Luxembourg and France.
It is hard to reach from everywhere (2 hour train from Frankfurt airport plus 0.5 hour of taxi, even though I heard that driving from Luxembourg is about 1 hour).
But that is precisely the point: isolation can help focus and avoid distraction.
I was initially suspicious about the venue and participants of the seminar but was glad I tried it.
It was a very relaxing experience, and I got to know interesting people.

There is an old castle ruin at the top of a hill.
The main building is a newer castle with many compartments, including a small chapel, a chess room, a music room, a (pseudo) wine cellar, a dining hall, a cafeteria, and guest rooms, all connected by sometimes mysterious paths.
There is another new building with seminar rooms, guest rooms, and facilities like gym, sauna, and laundry.
I have taken some photos for visual reference:

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Dagstuhl

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Quick sketch of a castle ruin

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## Time ##

There are seminars all around the year.
The one I participated took place during the July 4 week, coincidence with the company shutdown.
So the trip is like a working vacation, and it feels quite relaxing (even with the travel hassles).

## Seminars ##

Seminars are organized by volunteering individuals who file reports at the end.
Dagstuhl is basically a non-profit with support from the government and donors.
The participants pay about 50 euro per night of lodging plus other food/wine consumption outside the provided meals.

There were 3 concurrent seminars:
real VR, graph theory, and a forschungsaufenthalt (research visit) of a single person.
All participants eat together so it is kind of fun to talk with these graph theory folks (mostly mathematicians), who liked to sit together scribble about problems to solve.
During a breakfast I heard one guy asked another: do you think people would be interested in my presentation of a proof?

One guy from the graph theory seminar asked me: since you guys are doing VR, why are you still coming physically here for the seminar?
I guess we will have to keep on coming to Dagstuhl physically until we have good enough solution for VR meetings.

## Meals ##

The meals are prepared onsite, with excellent quality.
Lunches and dinners have assigned seats, randomized to maximize the number of unique peers that each participant can dine with at the same table (the happy diner problem).
I think I learned more from random discussions than the seminars.

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