Life in Tokyo and Brussels

Life in Tokyo and Brussels

Week 449 - March 13, 2016

LifePosted by michael Wed, March 16, 2016 05:12:57

It took 2,5 months and not 30 days, but today we finalised the 30 days of Yoga course we followed on YouTube. The average of 2 sessions a week is something we can keep up with, but more is difficult taking into account the running I also want to do, and simply the family life we also want to have of course.

We enjoyed the sessions (most of the time) and are getting ready for a new set of 30 days. The yoga helps us to relax and improves our flexibility and core strength.

And for the moment I can use relaxing sessions. There is a lot of stress currently at work so 30 min of Yoga at night are welcome.

On Wednesday we caught Alex for the first time with a very elaborate lie. For some time now we notice that he is not enjoying his fencing classes on Wednesday afternoon so much as he did in the beginning of the year. And this week he told my parents that the teacher had called Marina to inform her that he was ill and that the classes were cancelled. This was clearly not true but shows how little he enjoys going. We will likely inform the teacher he will not go anymore; there is no point in forcing him to do something he does not like.

Matías is not yet actively lying; but given how he acts and challenges us already at his young age we expect some interesting challenges in the future. Many weeks ago i commented on the fact that Matías was a bit difficult to handle. But recently he is a lovable, happy and joyful boy again.

Last week I mentioned that we got results from tests of Alex at school that were not very good. We met with the teacher this week and she told us that the test was indeed not good and that she was a bit surprised as well. She was not too worried about this and told us that since the test (that was done a couple of weeks ago already) she already had noticed improvements. And she recommended us to simply keep on exercising at home. With this things will evolve just fine. So it's something to monitor but not worry about.

This week we also had a moment of stress when we learned that Abuelo was taken to the hospital this week. He went for a regular check with his cardiologist who immediately forwarded him to the hospital because of a way to high blood pressure. We are now a couple of days further and everything is back to normal. Abuelo however still is in the hospital for a couple more days for some extra observation.

Our weekend was not stressful at all. For the first time this year we enjoyed a spring-like weekend with a lot of time outdoors with the whole family: a visit to the Zoo in Antwerp on Saturday; a walk in the fields and a visit to a working watermill in the Pajottenland (east of Brussels). In the watermill Alex and Matías got an explanation of how the mill is used to make flour and could help in the preparation and sifting of the flour. When Alex told the miller that at school they would learn about different types of bread next week, he got some of the flour he sifted to take to school.

On a completly different level, this week marked an important milestone in computer science. For the first time ever a computer (with Artificial Intelligence SW) won 3 consecutive games of Go against the best player in the world. For many years now computers are better at playing chess then humans. With chess however a lot of processing power is sufficient to calculate the moves that optimise the chances of winning at every move. But for Go, it seems that there are more combinations possible in the game than the amount of atoms in the universe, making it impossible (even for a super powerfult computer) to simply calculate the winning moves. So, a more complex method of artificial intelligence is needed. Until recently it was expected that it would take more than a decade longer for a computer to succeed in winning. But the engineers at Google succeeded. The big question now is: what's next... (or as I read in an article in Wired magazine on the topic: "Many years ago a computer already succeeded in winning a game of chess. Machines have conquered the last games. Now comes the real world."

Let me end this week with a thought for the victims of the Japanese Earthquake of March 11, 2011 (now exactly 5 years ago).

The pictures of this week are here.