Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Black Square

So, from now on The Black Square, famous painting by  Kazimir Malevich is officially racist.
Study with an X-ray allowed to reconstruct writing on the painting made by the author and which was considered lost.
The Black Square painting consists of two layers, white ground and black paint on top of it. Researchers found that on top of white layer Malevich did put a big sign, which was erased latter.
So the sign was "Битва негров ночью", what translates as "Battle of negroes at night".
Meduza report

And as I found here, Malevich was not the only one who came up with such a "creative" idea.
Here is quote from Dmitry Romendik article:
Malevich was not the first artist to experiment with squares and the colour black. In 1617, English doctor, astrologist and philosopher Robert Fludd created his work The Great Darkness. In 1843, the French artist Bertall entitled his completely dark piece Vue de La Hogue (effet de nuit).
Paul Gustave Dore used a black square to illustrate the dark age of the Russian history. There is also "Negroes Fighting in a Tunnel at Night” by Paul Bilhaud, which is also quite similar to Malevich's "Black Square.” Finally, in 1893, French journalist and writer Alphonse Allais came up with a black horizontal rectangle entitled "Negroes Fighting in a Cave.”
Only thing though,  we have to admit that Malevich's version is more concise.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris attacks

Curiosity Rover spots Earth from the Martian surface. 

I just wanna share this. In tragic days like one we have now. When I see what ideology can do with people and turn them into. In day like that I want to be with Curiosity... far.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Placebo relativity

NATURE reports: Potential pain treatments are struggling to prove their worth over a rising placebo effect seen in US trials.
So placebo getting more effective and only in US, which is most probably another outcome of overpriced health care system.

One of things I'm curious to see here is there any correlation between placebo effect and faithfulness. Many cults harness placebo effect in their rituals, so I think it is reasonable to suggest that effect will stronger on believers. So, if they want to keep existing system it might be reasonable to select atheists and agnostics for future trials.

It was kind of obvious that you can manipulate the effect of treatment by changing conditions you put patient in. But now when we know the actual statistics, it gives us some base to influence placebo effect by manipulating conditions in which treatment is administered. From certain perspective it's a negative outcome.
For example, if your drug has subtle effect, all you need to do is to put your patients in dirty chip hospital with crunky nurses.


Friday, October 9, 2015


It was all over the news for the last few days. Scientists from LA  got even closer to understanding that sexual orientation is some sort of  wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff.

Interesting question though, will it increase the effectiveness of that particular test in future if parents know that they child has 70% chance to be gay? Basically, if parents, given positive results for their newborn, it will create a certain bias, which in result can increase amount of gays within group of people who tested positive after birth. Or it can go other way around.

Another thing I can see from that kind of study is that for some people it might be easier to come out of the closet. Considering in majority's perception genetics is something that is set in stone and nothing you can do about it, so they will just "accept their nature".

P.S. Whenever I see research like this one, always ask myself, where do they get so many identical twins. Is there are twin farms somewhere. Shouldn't it already  be a book published, something like "Effective Twin Farming: beginners guide" or "Twin Farming for dumb: how your useless children can contribute to future of mankind".

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Free Will

So me and Greg, we had a very interesting discussion about free will.
Lets say that free will it is a mathematical function in your brain, f(X), which is decision you make and X is an array of input. 
IF YOU ALREADY FEEL BORED, skip the rest, go to the video below.

Of course we call it a free will, if we go from the idea that this function unrestricted and gives you best possible solution. But in reality f(X) will always be restricted by the environment. The first and foremost restriction is an input X. No matter how we try our decisions will always depend on information we get to initiate decision making. Other people trying to manipulate us to do something by giving us only that input information which supposed to lead us to "right" decision. Even nature does that. 

But here is an interesting thought, how would this function work if it was absolutely unrestricted? Basically how does absolute Free Will looks like?

It is impossible to see, but we can try to imagine it at least. Lets assume that we have spherical person in vacuum. It is an ideal person in ideal environment, where f(X) cannot be restricted at all. In other words absolute Free Will. But there's comes another moment, f(X) cannot work without X, input. In real world your decisions are predictable, limited and not as free as you may think because you have limited information about any particular event, about which you have to make a decision. So returning to our ideal person in vacuum, for it we have to have an ideal input, X should become an array of all possible information, which allows you to make unrestricted, absolute free, ideal and unbiased decision.
The question is how would it look like? You have spherical person in vacuum with absolute free will and all possible information in the world. What kind of answer you can get?

And, funny enough, whatever question you ask to that kind of person in that situation the answer will be always the same: Absolutely random. This is another non existing matter, there is no such thing as absolute randomness. Even though there is such thing as random generator, they will never give you ideal random answer, because they always influenced by environment. How? Because no matter how you try your "random" answer will always depend on initial input that random generator function gets, which cannot be absolutely random. 

So basically, what we coming to is that f(X) is indistinguishable from random generator function given the ideal circumstances. And the only reason we think that our free will is not random is because our input is limited, which allows us to make a weighted decision. But more information we have more random our decisions are.

This whole idea is not purely philosophical, it is widely used in computer science these days, know as heuristic algorithms.
Here's sexplanation:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Some thoughts about Bill C-24

Perspectives: As a foreigner myself, I'm expected to be, but I'm not really concerned about that Bill. Reasons are simple, I don't think it will last long and conservatives won't be able to abuse it. Bill C-24 is obviously discriminatory and chances for it to be under constant political pressure I consider really high. At the same time, some novelties introduced by C-24 most probably will stay with us for a long time. First of all two-tier citizenship. I think "liberals" may change rules so that it will be slightly harder to take someone's passport (just to satisfy voters), but the whole thing will stay in place, naturalized Canadians will have more chances to loose their citizenship. Why do I think that? Because when asked "do you think is it a good idea to strip from citizenship person who went to fight for ISIS?" majority will answer "Yes".   And another thing is opposition won't be able to take back powers given to Foreign Minister (at least most of them).
But It is all my speculations, I don not perceive Canadian politics well enough yet.

General thoughts: When it comes to citizenship laws conservatives are always lean toward to eliminate dual citizenships, usually under the souse of national security and patriotism. Countries like Germany, for example, do not allow dual citizenship, it means that if you found eligible, to obtain German passport you have get rid of all other citizenships and you have to demonstrate hard evidence of that. Usually by bringing an actual paper from your former Country(s) of citizenship declaring that you are no longer a citizen. 
So if you look at Bill C-24 from that perspective it actually pretty liberal. It allows you to have second passport, the only thing is that you get a certain risk of loosing Canadian one.  If you don't like that risk, all you have to do is obtain papers saying that you no longer a citizen of your homeland country or any other. If you posses only Canadian passport they cannot kick you out, because it makes you become stateless. And government can't do that because of UN’s 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

One thing I'm totally against in that Bill is phrase about "eligible to obtain another nationality". Because when it comes to foreign born spouses and parents you are too, in many cases, become eligible for their country's citizenship even though you born in Canada and your parents are Canadian. Even if you commit a treason, they have to deal with you as with any other canadian criminal, not expel you to your spouse's homeland. So this rule is completely useless, but puts on the hook lots of Canadians.

To conclude: Basically speaking Bill C-24 is a mild and very liberal version of single citizenship law. In that case it is kind of compromise between two sides of the story.

Some silly thoughts: I guess while C-24 is in place politicians should address the crowd like "My fellow Canadians and "Canadians".
And funny thing is that you can actually call C-24 an antisemitic. And here is why. If you are Jew, no matter where you were born, it means that you are eligible to obtain Israeli citizenship under Law of Return. So, under Bill C-24, all Jews automatically become second class citizens. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Russian communists

Good article about why left and right organizations in the West support war in Ukraine and love Putin. Can't agree more.

Comment to this video: "As long as there are nut cases, Russia will never stand alone".
From my side I can add one thing, those western leftists didn't understand that in Russia and Ukraine communist means conservative. Post-soviet communists love Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Jesus, traditional values and future for the white children. They hate capital, USA, democracy, gays and stand against abortions.  From the perspective of western politician they are pure national-socialists.

Monday, April 13, 2015


It was my first time on pacific shore. Surprisingly landscape looked like of a northern type. Small plants, lots of rocks, not much of a soil. But if you look closer flora and fauna are very different, lots of succulents with fancy flowers, lizards and all sorts of molluscs.
Weather was a bit chill, about 18C, but still comparing to minus in Ottawa it was perfect. While I was on my way to Asilomar I was anticipating to go swimming in ocean, but it turn out to be too stormy for that and I wasn't ready to give up myself to Neptune. Only people who were perfectly fine with the weather were some hardcore windsurfers.
And luckily I met couple of friends from Ottawa, Sean and Salima. Thanks to them I was able to travel a lot around the area.

On our last day visited Point lobos national park. That morning I was suffering from huge hangover, so I couldn't completely enjoy it.

And considering how many close-ups I made, I should have take macro lens.

These are last two days of my journey to west coast. Half of the first day, Sunday 22nd, we spent driving along ocean shore on our way to San-Francisco. Morning was in Monterey. Nothing particularly interesting about this place. Main attraction is aquarium, but we didn't go. For the rest it's just a quiet, relatively rich, southern town. Here I should point out that partly my judgement clouded by severe hangover after conference closing party. So most of the morning I felt like walking dead. I got to my senses only after nice lunch latter afternoon. Restaurant had nice patio with view on ocean and great seafood (I will never post a photo of my food!!!).
Few words about retail. They don't have chip cards, you have to swipe it and waiter gives you receipt you have to sign. But before that he spent quite a time trying split our table bill on 4 parts. He took a pen and started ask who ate what. I guess it happened because it was good fancy restaurant, in some chip shithole they would left to do this math to us.
On the way, before we got to SanFran, we stopped to see old light house. Next to it is the shittiest motel I ever saw. I don't know if anybody would want to stay there unless you escaped a prison. Toilet is just a hole in the ground and no way to wash your hands.
In the evening I checked in hotel, felt so nice and fresh already, hangover vanished, ready to dink again. So I went to see old Russian fried and eat some sushi. My hotel was on Market st. which was filled with homeless people. I thought that I'm, like born and raised big-city-dweller, got used to that kind of landscape. But comparing to what I got used to those people was particularly interactive and lively. When night comes they completely modify environment of the street to themselves. All you see there are small tents made of big plastic bags and boxes, and piles some hardly identifiable scrub here and there. You quickly learn not to kick it by accident, because with good chance somebody is under it.

Next day I mostly spent traveling around the city. By afternoon I realised that hobos mostly live on Market street and completely avoid Chinatown. I've seen not a lot, though by its appearance city is nothing special, only Chinatown was interesting and bright, so I made lots of shots in there.
At the evening I met Reg M. Hilarie. And I should say it was the most amazing time throughout the whole trip. Thank you Reg, I'm so happy that we met, we had the greatest evening in Castro district. I didn't have time to sleep and why to bother, I had only one evening in SanFran, so I better spend it as much as I can.

The End

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


When I saw this year Oscar nominees I was overwhelmed with sad feelings. Because to me Interstellar was the best movie of the year and it did get only few funny technical nominations.So, point is that it didn't get anything for actual content and the whole idea behind it. If Oscar, by any means represents, the opinion of general public, it is clear to me that majority of viewers (including jury) either misunderstood it or didn't understand at all. Too long I guess, but I don't want to go to discuss modern people's inability to process long chunks of information at once.

Here is just basic overview on ideas and good features of Interstellar which make it so great.

Coolest things of all is that they managed to cover in the movie three huge topics of science fiction and didn't screw it up. These are "apocalyptic Earth", "Deep space exploration" and " Singularity".

At the beginning we introduced into the world of dusty Earth. Human civilization more and more gets buried in sand. Apocalyptic-earth part shows us disastrous condition in which people did put themselves. And this disaster is not collapsing climate, the disaster is degradation of curiosity, the most unique feature which allowed us to evolve and move forward, was thrown away at the first signs of real threat. This part metaphorically shows us our present time, where people became closer to the ground and more "realistic" about life. We are not allowing curiosity and dreams enter our world and guide us into the future. People convinced themselves to stop looking into the sky and decided to look into the ground. To do that they started to destroy their history and all achievements of previous generations. It's like they think that Gods are mad at them, so they have to stop all wrongdoing. Reasoning was simple and straightforward: technology brought us disasters, so we need to get rid of technology and do farming. Because everything was fine when people were only farming. But with time it becomes more and more obvious that the whole thing doesn't work. The more those future people get closer to the ground, the more they realize that they basically digged their own grave.

I don't really have much to say about space exploration part. The main thing I guess was that it felt natural. Even though authors didn't use much of special effects, which you would think "natural" for space movies. Instead they tried to make it look as realistic as possible. And  I think it did work. 

When it comes to make something popular about Singularity, you have to make it good, it is a total mine field. It's like popular quantum physics, very few people can explain it so that majority will understand. Singularity and space-time are least explored areas in cinematography, even though there is already tons of sci-fi books discussing the matter. By the end of the movie, authors give us some idea about what future of humanity may look like, which is basically all humans leave their physical body and ascend in astral, figuratively speaking. Or will be substituted by AI.  And if you think about it, among those three subjects of Interstellar this one is least fantastic one. Once we will get computers capable of supporting fully functioning human consciousness, there is not that far from time when those beings start to live their own live, leaving physical humans as previous evolutionary step. Another challenge was how to show space-time. For  that authors found very elegant approach by showing time-space at one particular place. And here is where special effects came really handy and were properly used. Explaining multidimensional space it is always tough challenge for teachers and scientists. But showing it in the movie was almost impossible task. So, in my humble opinion, you will hardly be able to find better presentation of that topic in any other movies before.

And last thing is of course robots. The whole presentation is so unusual and so great. Every time I was looking at them I had constant feeling of cognitive dissonance. Usually when they make robot voice, they make it sound like somebody talks through a metal pipe or compiling prerecorded sounds, and either they look like humans or appear just like camera on the wall. But here robots absolutely practical in design, like camera on the wall, but surprisingly mobile. And they have perfect human voice. So dissonance feeling comes when you see a metal box with the screen starts to talk like a human, and you understand that there inside is conscious being, person. And you completely finished when it starts moving and running.

So in conclusion, Interstellar definitely deserves a place in gold collection of science fiction movies.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Keep hoping that this winter will be good. In all possible directions. especially for my research.

Monday, February 9, 2015


It always seemed strange, but as  I noticed people involved in design have some special feelings toward fonts. I looks like they feel sort of an exaltation when they see good font. And making new font it's like painting a  face of Jesus. Everything must according to rules and if you brake them all design community will banish you.

What I'm trying to say is that who cares about those metal pieces when fornt itself already digitised.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


This is so cool. Completely destroyed my stereotype about archers. Now I can understand why guy like Robin Hood was so cool at his time.

Russian right wing

This is a archetypical representation of Russian far-right (in particular those guys who fight with Ukraine).

What you can see on the pic above is a hybrid. Nazi skinhead turned in to ultraorthodoxe christian.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Sun

The most beautiful image of the sun I have seen so far.
"Processed image of SDO multiwavelength blend from Jan. 19, 2015, the date of the spacecraft's 100th millionth image release. Credit: NASA/SDO"

"On Jan. 19, 2015, at 12:49 p.m. EST, an instrument on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured its 100 millionth image of the sun. The instrument is the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, or AIA, which gathers uses four telescopes working parallel to gather eight images of the sun – cycling through 10 different wavelengths -- every 12 seconds." Continue...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Photos of the Year 2014

Maybe it's a bit late, but who cares.
Collection of my favourite photos from last year.