Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category.

Beständige Neugier

Dank des Internets hat man es heute einfacher, seinen Wissensdurst zu befriedigen. Als ich vor vielen Jahren in der Schule ein Referat über Quastenflosser halten sollte, war die Recherche mühsam und nicht sehr ergiebig. Seit kleinauf hatte ich viel Zeit in der Stadtbücherei verbracht. Sachbücher über Quastenflosser waren aber rar. Außerdem hatte ich von Literaturrecherche noch herzlich wenig Ahnung, so dass ich am Ende einen bestenfalls mittelmäßigen Vortrag hielt. Ich hatte aber trotzdem einen ersten Schritt getan hin zur selbstständigen Informationsbeschaffung.

Nicht zuletzt durch Wikipedia ist jede Menge Wissen nur wenige Klicks weit weg. Außer einem Internetzugang braucht es aber eben auch die Fähigkeit, Informationen zu suchen, zu filtern und zu verdauen. Von meinem damaligen Referat weiß ich nahezu nichts mehr. Ich weiß inzwischen aber, wie man mit einem Bibliothekskatalog umgeht, wie man einen Index benutzt und wie man die Glaubwürdigkeit von Quellen beurteilen kann. So etwas lernt man insbesondere durch Schulaufgaben wie eben Quastenflosser-Referate.

Es braucht aber noch mehr als Möglichkeit und Fähigkeit: Es braucht Neugier. Was bringen die größten Enzyklopädien, wenn man sich lediglich für das Fernsehprogramm des heutigen Abends interessiert? Was bringt eine schnelle Auffassungsgabe, wenn man lieber in einem Computerspiel Zombies niedermetzelt? Es braucht Neugier!

Aber wie kann man Leute dazu bringen, dass sie auf ihr eigenes Unwissen nicht immer nur mit einem Schulterzucken reagieren? Wie kann man Leute dafür begeistern, nach dem Warum zu fragen? Es hilft sicher, wenn man in jungen Jahren im Fernsehen Löwenzahn und Die Sendung mit der Maus anschaut, statt immer nur Sportschau und Knight Rider. Natürlich beginnt es aber schon früher. Zum Leidwesen aller Eltern neigen kleine Kinder dazu, das Unbekannte erforschen zu wollen. Dieser Drang hilft beim Überleben, weil man dabei lernt und später seiner Umwelt nicht unwissend und somit hilflos ausgeliefert ist.

Wenn man dann irgendwann an den Punkt kommt, an dem klar wird, dass es den Weihnachtsmann nicht gibt, geraten auch andere Ansichten ins Wanken. Man so leicht nihilistisch werden, aber ich halte eine beständige Neugier (wie es im xkcd-Comic so schön dargestellt wird) für viel schöner. Oft ist es auch überraschend und lustig, wenn man diffuses Halbwissen näher beleuchtet und Fragen wie “Wie viele Castor-Behälter befinden sich in Gorleben im Salzstock?” oder “Ist die FDP für eine Freigabe von Cannabis zu medizinischen Zwecken?” nachspürt.

Song Fu Recap and Death Metal Outlook

A little while ago I contributed some backing vocals to the song “Big Red Nose” by Mick Bordet. Please check out his Song Fu page for the song and further information on the why and when. There you can also find the detailed results of the first three rounds of Song Fu #3. I ended up 8th, which isn’t that bad at all, I think. Thanks for voting! It’s now up to Molly to defeat Paul and Storm. (Or for the latter to show that all the food and touring didn’t hamper their creative juices.)

If you haven’t check out the most recent round, I urge you to rectify this at once. I highly recommend the entries by Edric Haleen, Mike Lombardo, Molly Lewis, and Hank Green. They all make sense at the end, I promise!

In terms of non-Fu music news, the death metal my brother and I have been working on is close to being released. A homepage and demo songs are scheduled for early May.

It All Makes Sense At The End

This is an attempt to play true, slow metal with soaring vocals and a guitar solo. Not that I’m a good singer or guitarist. Although I used the song for the April Fools’ Day at Vampster.com, it was originally written for the 3rd round of Song Fu #3 at QuickStopEntertainment.com. Still, the video hopefully augments the message and, well, the recipe. So please consider going there and voting for me/my song if you’re into metal or just enjoyed the video.

Download the song: mp3 (more music)

Seek the mother of a calf
And steal some of her milk
Take two cups and a half
Make sure they are filled
Take the feathered’s unborn
And crack open their shell
Take all that’s inside
And pour it into the cauldron
Pour it into the cauldron
Pour it into the cauldron

Seek the wheat in the valley
Defying the wind alone
Cut it down without mercy
And grind it with a stone
Separate it from the chaff
Obtain a snow-white powder
Take enough to fill two cups
And pour it into the cauldron
Pour it into the cauldron
Pour it into the cauldron

Stir it! Stir it! Stir it! Stir it!

Now take some of the thick mass and some oil
And pour it into the frying pan
Into the frying pan
Heat up the frying pan
Heat up the frying pan
Devour them all
Satanic pancakes

(words and music by Johannes Schult)

Hank Green rocks, too

Hank Green is so much more suited for this world than I am. Not only are his entries for the current Song Fu challenge great. His recent plea for more vegetarianism is so eloquent and so appropriate that I have nothing of importance to add. He also mentions a Piper Perabo movie (not in a favorable way, but I’ve yet to see it, so I’ll remain silent for now) and advocates logarithmic age, which I think is a brilliant idea (though maybe I’m biased because as a statistician I already use way too many logarithms).

God of Bingo

Check out the second round of Song Fu 3 over at QuickstopEntertainment.com. The task was to write a song using exactly 10 different words in the lyrics. I came up with a fanboy song about Jimmi Simpson. It’s called “God of Bingo” and was obviously inspired by Jimmi’s role in D.E.B.S. If you loved the movie as much as I did (or just like little punk rock songs), please consider voting for me/my song.

Download the song: mp3 (more music)

Jimmi Simpson is awesome
Jimmi Simpson rocks
Jimmi is the God of bingo
Jimmi Simpson rocks

Jimmi Simpson is awesome
Jimmi Simpson rocks
Jimmi is the God of bingo – bingo
Jimmi Simpson rocks

Jimmi Simpson is God
Jimmi Simpson is God
Jimmi Simpson is God
Jimmi Simpson, Jimmi Simpson
Jimmi Simpson is God

Jimmi Simpson is awesome – awesome
Jimmi Simpson rocks – he rocks
Jimmi is the God of bingo – bingo
Jimmi Simpson rocks

(words and music by Johannes Schult)

A Mallful of Brains

Check out the first round of Song Fu 3 over at QuickstopEntertainment.com! The task was to write a happy song. I came up with a song about a happy zombie. It’s called “A Mallful of Brains” and contains plenty of happiness (e.g., ukulele, brains). It’s the very last song on the page, so don’t despair while scrolling down. If you like zombies (or just like the song), please consider voting for me/my song.

Download the song: mp3 (more music)

Today on my way to work I met Sarah from next door
She drooled and took my hand and jerked me to the floor
I tried to get back up, still dizzy from the fall
Suddenly I felt hungry, so we headed for the mall
Because there is nothing like a mallful of brains
There is nothing like a mallful of brains

I looked across the street to the diner by the mall
A sign said ‘all you can eat,’ so I tried to eat them all
Later on my friend Mike came by to grab a drink
I took a little bite of him and then went to see my shrink
Because there is nothing like a mallful of brains
There is nothing like a mallful of brains

I really like to eat brains
I really like to eat brains
I really like to eat brains
I really like…
Brains, a mallful of brains
Brains, a mallful of brains
Brains, a mallful of brains
Brains, a mallful of brains

Mmh, eyeballs!

(words and music by Johannes Schult)

This Year’s Last Post

The blogging well is running dry. Don’t expect any more updates this year. I’m going to be too busy to become a better person. Or at least a better version of me. I’ll be back as soon as I have found something to say. Meanwhile, have fun and be good!

Paul and Storm Watch (week 1)

So I sang “I would give 12$ to sing a song with Paul and Storm.” And I mean it. Sure, I don’t expect them to accept this offer. They have to make a living; they have families; they’re busy stalking Joss Whedan, anyway. In other words, I am to them what they are to Paul McCartney. Still, with fervent dedication and an iron will I might at least achieve a little recognition from the dynamic duo itself (themselves?).

Paul and Storm, please notice me; no, acknowledge me.

Until they decide to oblige this humble request I will keep “Paul and Storm Watch” (every Wednesday). When they called for minions I was tempted to join the mob; picture me in front of a pale wall with a hand-written sing in my hand that says “Hostage Minion of Paul and Storm since \today.” But I don’t want them to indulge in pictures of people with too much time on their hands. I want them to work; I want them to sing; I want them to be mischievous. I gladly paid to download their albums, but I see no reason to make podcast-related donation. For the time being, my attention has to suffice as consideration. I mean, I still think they (Paul) should at least have made a clever, witty song when they tried to get Felicia Day‘s attention. They could have even offered to give her 12$ to sing a song with them. But they just talked – and Jonathan Coulton had her sing with him on stage.

Toilet Session 2008 (part 4), Heteroscedasticity Cover Artwork

My new solo album Heteroscedasticity will be out on Sunday, 19th October 2008 – only six days from now! I locked myself in the bathroom and played some of my songs to celebrate the album release. The first (or rather the last) out of four parts is now online. It shows me playing Judy Mary Jane on the ukulele. (Not that I had rehearsed the song more than once.)

Honestly, I have mixed feeling about posting it directly in the site, because I have always been an advocate of avoiding Flash. Well, here it is; goodbye to you, dear integrity. Speaking of selling out, I included a bunch of older tunes you probably already know. But who knows – maybe some new fans discover my music just now. Anyway, there will be more videos coming soon. And on Sunday the album itself will be launched. Here is the cover artwork.

Jutze - Heteroscedasticity (Cover Artwork)

Practical tips for statisticians (part 4)

While the first three parts where actually bogus and solely for entertainment purposes, the following two recommendations are serious, possibly helpful for non-statisticians, too – and actually free.

  • A very helpful software tool for data entry is EpiData. If you are working with manual data input (e.g., questionnaire data) you should definitely check it out – unless, of course, you already know (and use) it.
  • The Firefox extension is Zotero is capable of collecting, managing, and citing research sources. It rivals common citation software, not only because it is free, but also because it is very easy to handle. I got to know Zotero just two days ago – thanks to Biddy for the hint – and felt at home with its usage in a matter of minutes.