Archive for the ‘Science + Tech’ Category

Thunder and Lightning

There have beens several massive thunderstorms during the last week. Graz has been the city with the most rain/m^2 and the most lightning in styria.
Several thousand flashes hit Graz and the surrounding area during the last few nights.

Lightning over Graz 00
Lightning over Graz

Synthesizerpark @ Medienkunstlabor

A little delayed, but still worth mentioning, a few impressions of the Synthesizerpark Presentation during the SpringEight Festival.

Synthesizerpark Synthesizerpark Synthesizerpark Synthesizerpark

Countless Synthesizers from all decades, open for everyone to play. Loud and Fun!

This week: PolitCamp 2008!

BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants — often focusing on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats.
By “open-sourcing” the organizational process (=codifying it in a wiki and making that publicly available), BarCamp seems to have struck a chord. It quickly became a model for user generated conferences in other fields or for more specialized applications, ranging from WordCamp and PodCamp to Seattle Mind Camp, to name a few.

And Graz will feature the first PolitCamp… this week!


PolitiCamp will be a great opportunity to talk about the political dimensions of new communication infrastructures and to meet influential Austrian minds.

Don’t forget to check it out!


A clear statement concerning a specific operating system


(Street car line 7)

Media and Interaction Design

There is a new master programme for Meda and Interaction Design @ FH Joanneum in Graz.
There is still time to apply!

A degree in the master programme Media and Interaction Design provides various professional opportunities in the fields of all the creative industries. The main focus of this programme lies on the design of multi-media contents as well as of communication and interaction processes which help to convey multi-media contents to the user.

If you want to apply, please visit the website

Support Funkfeuer Graz!

FunkFeuer, which means “wireless fire” or “beacon”, is a particularly interesting case of community networking. It’s always tough for open source community networking groups to split attention between serving customers and developing code, and FunkFeuer is similar in this regard.
FunkFeuer Graz is trying to set up an open, free, community based wireless network. And they need your support!



EEG alpha oscillations during the performance of verbal creativity tasks: Differential effects of sex and verbal intelligence

Wow. Graz-based sex/intelligence research. Sounds interesting…Abstract:

Task-related power changes in the EEG alpha band were analyzed in 31 participants (17 males and 14 females) during performance of two verbal creativity tasks. Participants were confronted with verbal problems that are in need of explanation (insight problems) and utopian situations that will actually never happen. In both tasks they were instructed to generate as many but also as unusual, unique or original ideas as possible. To assess brain responses that come along with highly original ideas, individual responses were divided into more and less original ideas (within each participant). Creative problem solving was generally accompanied by lower levels of cortical arousal (i.e., increases in alpha power from a pre-stimulus reference to an activation interval). Additionally, more original (vs. less original) responses were associated with a stronger task-related alpha synchronization in posterior (particularly centroparietal) cortices. Task-related alpha power changes during creative problem solving were also moderated by verbal IQ and sex.


People in Graz: Vincent Rijmen

Vincent Rijmen is a Belgian cryptographer and one of the designers of the Rijndael, the Advanced Encryption Standard. Rijmen is also the co-designer of the WHIRLPOOL cryptographic hash function, and the block ciphers Anubis, KHAZAD, Square, NOEKEON and SHARK.

From 2001-2003, Rijmen was a visiting professor at Graz University of Technology. Since October 2004, Rijmen is a full professor at Graz University of Technology.


Graz to Venus

Venus Express is the first Venus exploration mission of the European Space Agency. It is currently in orbit around Venus and collecting scientific data. A Graz-based research team is heavily involved in the mission.

The Venus Express mission aims at a global investigation of Venus’ atmosphere and plasma environment from orbit and addresses several important aspects of the geology and surface physics. Reuse of the Mars Express bus is an excellent and appropriate opportunity to make a breakthrough in the Venus exploration.

The instruments developed for the Mars Express and Rosetta missions are very well suited for this task. IWF Graz is the Principal Investigator institute and participates in the mission by providing, together with TU Braunschweig and Imperial College London, the magnetometer VEX-MAG. In addition, IWF is Co-Investigator for the ion spectrometer ASPERA.


Link (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Link (Wikipedia)

Graz’s First gift to the World: Slow Motion

For the next seven days, the Metroblogging sites around the globe will be unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days (to see what the rest of the world is contributing, click here.


How fast and boring the world would be without it…
Imagine sport tv broadcastings, scientific documentary films, love tragedies and action movies without the superbe experience multiplier technique… slow motion.
The slow motion technology was invented in Graz by the Styrian pastor and physicist August Musger. He was a passionate cineast and invented a motion technique using a mirrored drum as a synchronizing mechanism. The technique was patented in 1904 and was presented in Graz on July 7, 1907 for the first time.
Graz and Styria is well know for its coziness – so it is a logic consequence that this technique was invented here…

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