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Thread: Short Leave of Absence

  1. #1 Short Leave of Absence 
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Dear All,

    as another year draws to a close it is time for me to acknowledge just how tired and burned out I am at the moment. You can only work two jobs, look after a family, and moderate two forums ( not to mention participate on several more ) for so long, before it all catches up with you eventually. For me that time has now come, so I have decided to take a few days off to regain my strength and reconnect with myself. I will head into the mountains and the wilderness, where it is just myself, the elements, and the great wide open spaces; this has become somewhat of an annual ritual for me, and I am finding it extraordinarily wholesome to just simply be away from the never-ending rat race, and take some time to recover the physical and mental energy needed to do it all over again for another year.

    I will return some time next week, hopefully with recharged batteries, and perhaps with a slightly different outlook on and approach to things.

    Happy New Year to you all,
    Markus


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  3. #2  
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    Have a good one.


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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    All the best on your journey to the mountains, Markus. If you do any photography while on your retreat, it would be wonderful if you have something to share when you return.
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  5. #4  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Have a good time.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Where are you hiking? I'll meet you up there and ask you scientific inquiries and bug you with spam.
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  7. #6  
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    Under the hills, and over the hills you will travel, to wherever your journey may take you.
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  9. #8  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    I will head into the mountains and the wilderness, where it is just myself, the elements, and the great wide open spaces; this has become somewhat of an annual ritual for me
    My advice is to make it biannual.

    Enjoy your trip into mother nature's womb!
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  10. #9  
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    Enjoy Markus. Let the hair down and enjoy dabbling the toes in a babbling brook :-))
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Dear All,

    as another year draws to a close it is time for me to acknowledge just how tired and burned out I am at the moment. You can only work two jobs, look after a family, and moderate two forums ( not to mention participate on several more ) for so long, before it all catches up with you eventually. For me that time has now come, so I have decided to take a few days off to regain my strength and reconnect with myself. I will head into the mountains and the wilderness, where it is just myself, the elements, and the great wide open spaces; this has become somewhat of an annual ritual for me, and I am finding it extraordinarily wholesome to just simply be away from the never-ending rat race, and take some time to recover the physical and mental energy needed to do it all over again for another year.

    I will return some time next week, hopefully with recharged batteries, and perhaps with a slightly different outlook on and approach to things.

    Happy New Year to you all,
    Markus
    I think the world of you Markus!! Take your time to regenerate and you shall be missed every single moment!.....


    *cough*

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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    For me that time has now come, so I have decided to take a few days off to regain my strength and reconnect with myself. I will head into the mountains and the wilderness, where it is just myself, the elements, and the great wide open spaces; this has become somewhat of an annual ritual for me, and I am finding it extraordinarily wholesome to just simply be away from the never-ending rat race, and take some time to recover the physical and mental energy needed to do it all over again for another year.

    I will return some time next week, hopefully with recharged batteries, and perhaps with a slightly different outlook on and approach to things.
    You're executing a heist of Flick's Doctor Who plushies before I am aren't you!?!

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  13. #12  
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    Have a good one Markus enjoy your reboot.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Dear All,

    as another year draws to a close it is time for me to acknowledge just how tired and burned out I am at the moment. You can only work two jobs, look after a family, and moderate two forums ( not to mention participate on several more ) for so long, before it all catches up with you eventually. For me that time has now come, so I have decided to take a few days off to regain my strength and reconnect with myself. I will head into the mountains and the wilderness, where it is just myself, the elements, and the great wide open spaces; this has become somewhat of an annual ritual for me, and I am finding it extraordinarily wholesome to just simply be away from the never-ending rat race, and take some time to recover the physical and mental energy needed to do it all over again for another year.

    I will return some time next week, hopefully with recharged batteries, and perhaps with a slightly different outlook on and approach to things.

    Happy New Year to you all,
    Markus
    I just love doing that stuff, except I go for about 3 extended trips to my cabin a year. Hoping the weather cooperates and that you enjoy yourself. Time to get selfish if only for a week and look after your own wellbeing. Happy new year and good luck.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  15. #14  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Enjoy Markus! You certainly deserve it. Come back whenever you're ready.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  16. #15  
    Forum Masters Degree Tranquille's Avatar
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    Have a great unwinding time Markus

    And Happy New Year!
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  17. #16  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the lovely messages, and Happy New Year to all of you !

    Yes, I am back now. It was a good break, and it was needed really badly. I was just so burned out that I was no longer in a fit condition to be productive, neither here as a moderator nor in real life in my job(s) and family. The solitude of the mountains and the sea has done wonders for me ( as it always does ), and I am much much better now, and ready to re-imerse myself in daily life.

    While the trip into the mountains has become somewhat of a yearly thing for me, this time around I have pushed the envelope a little and completely left behind the roads, tracks and marked trails that I usually frequent, and just headed cross-country into the wilderness - map-and-compass style. The sheer beauty and tranquility of being away from everybody and everything is immensely healing for both body and soul, and it really allows me to reconnect with myself, and get rid of all the bad stuff that accumulates in one's mind over time. People think me mad for doing this in the middle of the winter, but in my mind it is the most beautiful and stunning time of the year; besides, the winters here are nothing like what the continental US & Canada experience at the moment, so there's no real issue. To me there is no such thing as bad weather, there's only wrong clothing

    Over the last few days I also realised that I do not want to go on the way I did last year, so I have decided to make some small changes. Most of these involve my personal and work life, but I also want to change my approach to my online presence somewhat. I have gotten now to a stage where the old "doing battle with cranks" or "refuting push gravity" ( e.g.) just no longer seems important or worthwhile to me - so, going forward, I will reduce the amount of time I spent on doing that. I will instead attempt to focus more on being someone who shares the knowledge he has, while at the same time trying to further and broaden that knowledge and understanding. The occasional crank battle will remain, but I will from now on try to make a point of retaining the freedom of not having to have the last word in every conversation, and of being able to sometimes just walk away and leave people to their delusions once it becomes clear that they aren't prepared to learn. I must admit that this is something I often had difficulty with in the past.

    Which brings me to another point, best illustrated with a short anecdote from two days ago : as I came down a ( particularly steep and snow-covered ) mountain, I had to cross an overgrown and very swampy piece of marshland at the bottom of a hill. I put my foot into what I thought was just another one of hundreds upon hundreds of weed-covered puddles of water, normally just ankle-shallow, not even thinking twice about it. Well, it turned out that this particular puddle was a waist-deep mudhole - and before I knew it I had to hike the rest of the way completely soaked, freezing cold, and really quite miserable ( luckily I was at least able to retrieve my boot !! ). This has happened to a guy who has something like 25 years of hillwalking and hiking experience, yet all it took to get me was a harmless-looking puddle of water. This little episode was amusing only because I was within easy reach of my car - getting soaked in freezing temperatures can easily turn into a life-threatening situation if it happens to you far away from civilisation in really inclement weather conditions.

    What has this to do with this forum ? Well, in the last year or so I was getting awfully confident in the areas of physics that are my speciality, and I mean that in a negative way, as in : a bit too over-confident and arrogant so far as my own understanding was concerned. It took a particular member on here, KJW, to point out to me in a number of posts and replies that my understandings of GR and its maths were flawed and/or lacking in a number of aspects, which is something I am infinitely grateful for, because that is the best and most effective way to learn and improve yourself. KJW hence deserves a special mention - I am indebted to you. In the upcoming year I will thus first finish the textbook I am currently working on ( Gravitation by MTW ), but will then scale down a little and go back to some of the basics, being differential geometry and tensor calculus. I am ready to admit to myself now that I am really not altogether so very sure and confident in a lot of the finer details of the maths involved in GR; also, sometimes while being on this forum I present maths that I have not 100% mastered myself. As such, it is much like the little incident described above - a puddle of water can trip up a guy with 25 years of hiking experience, and so can aspects of poorly-understood areas of mathematics trip up someone who self-studies from textbooks, and becomes over-confident in thinking that his understanding is flawless. Despite what some of you may think, mathematics don't come easy to me at all, so it is important to have the basics hammered down. That will be my project for the next while.

    One other thing - you may have noticed that I have changed my profile picture and my avatar. That is really me, in that picture. I have also added my real location, which is something I no longer see any point in keeping secret. I have today been promoted to Administrator of the Facebook "Special & General Relativity" discussion group, so anyone with a little bit of cop-on would easily be able to find out my location anyway. From now on I am on here as who I really am - me.

    Lastly, I let you in on another little secret - some of you may have seen my "Merry Christmas" thread, and the texts and videos I put on there. Season's greetings was of course one of the purposes of starting that thread, but it also illustrates that there's more to me than just science. I think many of you would picture me as a strictly rational and completely logic kind of person, perhaps a bit like Spock in Star Trek. However, that is not really true at all. I believe that our universe, the universe we experience, will never be completely described by logic and science alone. No symbol, no law, no formulae will ever be able to describe the wonder in your child's eyes on Christmas morning; being deeply moved by a particularly emotional piece of music or poetry; the indescribable beauty of a sunrise on snow-covered mountains; the serenity and solitude of a star-lit sky somewhere in the remote desert. These are all part of who we are, they make up our universe, and make us human. All of these things are very important to me - I seek to understand how and why the universe and us humans work in their very foundations, and that search takes me far and beyond mere maths and science. I never speak of the other aspects only because this is a science forum, so those things have no place here. That does not mean they don't play a role for me - far from it.

    So now I am looking forward to spending another year with all of you, being part of this community, and hopefully contributing something worthwhile in the process
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    All the best on your journey to the mountains, Markus. If you do any photography while on your retreat, it would be wonderful if you have something to share when you return.
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  19. #18  
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  23. #22  
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  25. #24  
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  27. #26  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Looks nice.
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  28. #27  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Sorry, I am really not sure why the picture in post 22 is sideways. The original is in portrait format, but the camera was set that way, and it shows fine everywhere else. Seems to have something to do with the forum software.
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  29. #28  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Sorry, I am really not sure why the picture in post 22 is sideways. The original is in portrait format, but the camera was set that way, and it shows fine everywhere else. Seems to have something to do with the forum software.
    Getting this picture to stand up straight was a challenge, and no it wasn't the forum software. I had to actually rotate it so that the sky was to the left so that when I posted it, it reorient itself with the sky in the up position. In the process I saw the term Lossless rotation, which I have not seen before. All I can say is my thumbnail would show the picture one way and then when I expanded it to the full size picture it would be rotated 90o to the right. Anyway have a good fun trip.

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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I think many of you would picture me as a strictly rational and completely logic kind of person, perhaps a bit like Spock in Star Trek. ... [snip] ... the indescribable beauty of a sunrise on snow-covered mountains; the serenity and solitude of a star-lit sky somewhere in the remote desert.
    I agree.
    I sometimes think that the reflected photons from my surroundings that do manage to impinge on my optic nerves create images of a generally pleasing nature.
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  31. #30  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Welcome back
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  32. #31  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    I hope you had a wonderful "Walk about"...be sure to bring your staff along.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Sorry, I am really not sure why the picture in post 22 is sideways. The original is in portrait format, but the camera was set that way, and it shows fine everywhere else. Seems to have something to do with the forum software.
    It's ok...my orthopedic surgeon is going to try to put my head back to up and down from being sideways trying to see that picture! *laughing*

    WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME BACK!! You are just a sweetheart and I have major missed you and your kindness and wisdom.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Welcome back Markus. The vistas you've posted remind me of the years I lived in British Columbia, very similar in nature. Nothing like experiencing a natural high, something for which I'm sure there is a scientific explanation for. I still have my thinking cap on and I will continue to maintain the layperson's view, so I hope you don't mind it when I fire off a question or two.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Very happy to have you back Markus, I call you the Guru, I have a lot of confidence in your answers to my questions. I am always positive you are going to tell me all you know and don't know. So come sit with us again my friend, so we can enjoy your company and discuss science and life.
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    I was thinking of taking some time off. Yet, had to admit that I'm scrutinizing others' as if they were experts at everything. Not quite fitting to think that way.

    Even moderators can go insane, like this guy A New, Universal, Empirical Principle For Devolution Theory

    Unrelated cause I didn't feel like bringing up names. Plus there's talk of a machete!
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    Even moderators can go insane
    Absolutely. Moderators are just human like everyone else, and sometimes they snap and/or go overboard. I think it is very helpful to go on a self-imposed retreat every so often - it gives us the opportunity to take a step back and evaluate what it is we are doing here, what we want to be doing here, and why there sometimes is a difference between the two.
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    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
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    I need to take a 'walkabout' in the Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader's locker room. If I'm not back in a week...send paramedics.
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    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    I need to take a 'walkabout' in the Dallas Cowboy's cheerleader's locker room. If I'm not back in a week...send paramedics.
    To the jail cell?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    He'll need to be revived...all that anatomy!
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
    i didn't know non-humans were allowed to have husbands
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
    i didn't know non-humans were allowed to have husbands
    I think you just have to apply for a 'Non-Resident License.'
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
    So what is he doing with you that non humans cannot do? Hmmmm, you always have something interesting up your sleeves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
    i didn't know non-humans were allowed to have husbands
    I'm special.
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  46. #45  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
    So what is he doing with you that non humans cannot do? Hmmmm, you always have something interesting up your sleeves.
    I can't tell you that or I'd have to kill you.

    (They say that in the movies all the time.)
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  47. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I am not human. Ask my husband.!!
    So what is he doing with you that non humans cannot do? Hmmmm, you always have something interesting up your sleeves.
    I can't tell you that or I'd have to kill you.

    (They say that in the movies all the time.)
    You are turning out like a fish, slippery and slidy, the only way to back you up is by draining the water out of the tank. I think you had better keep that secret, because I love my life too much to swap it for knowledge I might regret, although I might not be able to regret it if you killed me.
    babe likes this.
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