The train seating algorithm

The train seating algorithm is not something invented by me nor anybody else. It is a common thing, and we are all doing it unconsciously. Let me explain.

Now, first off, for those of you who do not know what an algorithm is, I will explain it to you… NOT! Look it up in Wikipedia yourself.

When you board a train, you wanna sit by yourself if possible, right? Voilà, you’ve already used the train seating algorithm! But sometimes you cannot sit by yourself, because the train is crowded. This is what you do then: (divided into three steps)

(click on images for enlarged view)

Why did I spend so much time drawing this? Because it’s fun to look at people in the train doing exactly that. We are human after all.

Try not to follow the algorithm next time you ride the train. It goes against your instinct. If you sit next to a stranger in an otherwise empty train, he/she will probably react irritated.

Of course this algorithm does not apply when you find a friend and want to sit next to him/her. Also, this algorithm suggests that you like window seats better than aisle seats, and also does not integrate the fact that some people don’t like riding backwards. By the way, you may replace “scary” with “smelly”, “disturbing”, “gross” or anything else you don’t like.

UPDATE: I do not claim completeness of this algorithm! For example riding backwards, as I already mentioned, and the ability to conquer a compartment by farting, as my friend and reader Jan pointed out, are not featured. If you have a more complete version of the algorithm, post it, or post your suggestions.

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Pitcairn Island — The Middle of Nowhere

I stumbled upon this Wiki Article about the Pitcairn Islands as I was looking through the list of country calling codes, trying to find out where my sister sent me a text message from (somewhere central america). There are 3 places with no calling code: Antarctica, Kerguelen Archipelago and Pitcairn Island.

If you’re looking for freedom and a place where (almost) nobody and nothing will disturb your peace, this is it.

Pitcairn is literally in the middle of nowhere. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean to be correct. There are exactly 48 people living on this island, which has an area of 4.6 km² (1.7 mi²), that’s about the size of Central Park, and there’s no harbour or airport and no landline telephone or TV. There is, however, “one Government-sponsored satellite internet connection”. But apart from that, the islanders are pretty much on their own.

I imagine this place to be very peaceful. No loud city noises, no traffic, and water everywhere you look. I guess that’s why they call it the Pacific Ocean. And hey, I could totally see myself living there. They have internet after all ^^

Find out more about the island here and here and here.

She doesn't like LA

Claudia has stranded at the airport of Los Angeles. She was looking forward to being in Las Vegas soon, but because of delayed flights (and we all know how much we all hate delayed flights) she is now in LAX instead of LVS.

Quote: “I’m so bummed out.”

My thoughts are with her. Personally, I like strolling around at airports, but not waiting unable to do anything but hearing the boring music on your iPod you’ve listened to over and over again.

New York, San Jose, San Francisco

OK, let’s start from the beginning.
I arrived in New York on Thursday, finally got to see my angel Claudia again. We spent a wonderful weekend together, went upstate New York to Beacon with the train, hung around in Grand Central, went to Radio City Music Hall to see Margaret Cho, and went shopping together (yes, I let my girlfriend dress me and have to admit I look different now, but change is good, right?).
On Monday I continued to San Jose, where I met my fellow soon-to-be-coworkers, and checked into the hotel. Well, it’s not a hotel, it’s more like an appartment. I’ll upload some pictures later.
We had the whole Tuesday off, so Dorian and I went to San Francisco for the afternoon and evening, met other Swiss people and had a quick glance at some parts of the city. We’ll make have more on one of the weekends.
And now I’m sitting in Infinite Loop 1, Cupertino, Apple headquarters, and am we’re waiting for a certain Nancy to arrive and take us on an introductory tour. Booooooring! But at least I got the WordPress iPhone app installed and free WiFi.

USA here I come

OK folks, I think it’s time to inform you about my visit to the US of A in October.

Here’s the plan: I’m flying to New York next Thursday to visit a very special person and finally see her again. Most of you know who I’m talking about. I’m gonna spend the weekend there (and I’m really really really really excited about that!!!^^).

After that, I’ll continue my journey on Monday and fly to San Francisco. I’ll stay there for 5 weeks. Again, most of you already know what I’m talking about. Those of you who don’t: it’s related to my new job. Wait and see 😉