More Cabbage food 33/40

March 31, 2007 at 7:11 am | Posted in Film, Literature | 7 Comments
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I’ve decided to translate the rest of Döblin’s text Das Theater der kleinen Leute, although in installments. Here is the first part:

[S. 153] Der kleine Mann, die kleine Frau kennen keine Literatur, keine Entwicklung, keine Richtung. Sie pendeln abends durch die Straßen, stehen schwatzend unter den Eisenbahnbrücken, sehen sich einen gestürzten Gaul an; sie wollen gerührt, erregt, entsetzt sein; mit Gelächter losplatzen. Der stärkste Tobak steht bereit. Es handelt sich um die Erreichung von Folterkammern, Seetieren, eventuell um Beteiligung an Revolutionen.

Gegeben sind die Anatomietheater, Panoptika, Kinematographen. Sie pflegen das höchst Verwunderliche und durchaus Gräßliche. Die Güte der Darbietung steht in direkter Proportion zur Stärke der erzielten Gänsehaut. Der Besucher eines Panoptikums ist beim Eintritt im Zweifel, ob er erst einer grimassierenden kaiserlichen Familie seine Reverenz erweisen oder die Daumenschraube besichtigen soll, taumelt zwischen Ehrfurcht und Entsetzen. Da sieht er eine “Mundbirne”: “dieselbe wurde dem Delinquenten in den Mund gesteckt und dann auseinandergeschraubt; sie öffnete sich nach vier Seiten und dehnte den Mund so stark auseinander, daß die Unglücklichen nur winselnde Töne hervorzubringen imstande waren und denselben oft die Mundhöhlen zersprengt wurden”. Der Fremdling staunt einen schlottrigen Fürst Bismarck an, eine Riesenkartoffel; nimmt den aufgeschnittenen Leib eines weiblichen Störs zur Kenntnis, welcher Kaviar, die beliebte Delikatesse, produziert; sieht eine geistig umnachtete Mutter ihr eigenes Kind unter der Nr. 486 in einem Kessel sieden. Halbtot schleppt er sich vor einen Poenitenzkäfig aus der Gegend von Eisleben; wie einen Schlag trifft den Entsetzten noch am Schluß der Anblick der Württembergischen Stiefel; der Höhergebildete ist nämlich an den Füßen sehr empfindlich.

Der Situation ist er nicht gewachsen; schwer geht es ihm [S. 154] ein , daß diese Institute ein wechselndes Bild der fortschreitenden Kultur geben; und er trinkt ein Glas Bier zu zivilen Preisen.

Here is the translation of The ordinary people’s theatre

The ordinary man, the ordinary woman, don’t know any literature, no development, no direction. They commute through the streets at night, stand babbling beneath railway bridges, take a look at a toppled horse; they want to be touched, excited, horrified; burst with laughter. The strongest meat is made available. It is about reaching torture chambers, sea animals, possibly about participation in revolutions.

There are anatomy theatres, panoptica, cinematographs. They tend to the most astounding and the perfectly hideous. The quality of the presentation is in direct proportion to the strength of achieved goose bumps. Upon entering, the visitor of a panopticum is in doubt whether he must first show reverence to a grimacing imperial family or inspect the thumbscrew, staggering between awe and horror. There he sees a “mouth pear”: “the same was stuck into the mouth of the delinquent and then screwed apart; it opened in four directions and thus expanded the mouth to a degree that the unfortunates were merely able to produce whimpering sounds, and the same ones’ oral cavities were blasted.” The stranger marvels at a rickety Fürst Bismarck, a giant potato; takes note of the slivered body of a female sturgeon which produces caviar, the popular delicacy; sees a mentally deranged mother simmer her own child in a cauldron beneath No. 486. In agony he trudges to a penitentiary cage from the region near Eisleben; finally, the sight of the Wurttembergian boots hits the horrified like a hammer; the person of higher education, you see, has very sensitive feet.

He cannot cope with the situation; only with difficulty does he understand [p. 154] that these institutes offer a changing prospect of progressing culture; and he drinks a glass of beer at a moderate price.

Bibliographic details: Alfred Döblin: Das Theater der kleinen Leute. In: Das Theater. Volume 1, No. 8 (Decemver 1909), pp. 191-192. Cited from: Prolog vor dem Film: Nachdenken über ein neues Madium, 1909-1914. Edited and commented by Jörg Schweinitz. Leipzig: Reclam, 1992, pp. 153-155,

The Land of Meat and Honey 32/40

March 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Art, Food, Japanese, Lent | 1 Comment
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Yesterday I violated my self-imposed rules of Lent. But we were quick at coming up with an excuse, so I am not too worried about me ending up in hell:-)

But let me start at the beginning. Yesterday was another tough day – one tough day seems to be followed by another these days, because there are so many things happening or requiring attention at the moment. I needed to find film material for my character analysis tasks for my course Creative Writing for Film and that took longer than I thought. I needed films which establish the landmarks of the story in less than 10 minutes, and that wasn’t easily found. We have an excellent collection of DVDs in our library, but for inexplicable reasons, we still have movies that either don’t come in the original version or not with English subtitles. I needed English/English – that’s the best way of making sure my students understand, say, the ghetto slang of the kids in 8 mile. If you’re ever doing a similar exercise, start with First Blood a.k.a. Rambo, it’s excellent for that purpose.

I somehow managed to get everything done by 5pm, then hurried down to the station to catch the train to Br. My boyfriend had been pointed to a vernissage at the Kunsthaus (a good exhibition space, and a good example of what money can do in a culturally deprived region like this one). The vernissage was crap though. It was the official opening of the new billboards near the esplanade, and they truly featured word play such as “Teleer”, showing an empty plate (Teller= plate, leer = empty). And some really bad typography, e.g. the one with the gradient below. I can hardly believe how the artist could be so demented to have this line VANITAS tattooed across her cleavage, but she was. Is a badly designed billboard really worth it? Or a rotten croissant, reading Gipfel (a word for both croissants and summits). The only one I cared for a bit was the photograph of a disintegrating billboard, put to use as a new billboard.

Billboard Billboard Billboard Billboard

And two other more annoying ones that I am not even going to discuss. See for yourself, if you’re really interested.

We left the vernissage at the point where the curator wanted to instigate a dialog with the artists (a married couple), because none of us was too interested in learning what their thoughts might have been. Instead, we managed to sneak into the current exhibition for free, using the name of one of my students as a key who works there as a warden (warden is the word the dictionary advises, umm). Nice! We got to see Jeff Koons’ balloon dog and flowers made from chrome steel (and the asshole of his ex Ilona Staller), Damien Hirst’s latest pickled animal (the shark you’ll also see on Wikipedia), dust, hair and hemp seed on canvas by Gerhard Merz and the miniature versions of Marcel Duchamp’s most famous art works (here is a link to the exhibition, I don’t want another DMCA notice, and Koons and Hirst might be a bit anal about this). I had always wanted to see these miniatures, ever since I read the brief History of Portable Literature by Enrique Vila-Matas, which is actually a history of dada (and doesn’t seem to be available in English, I read it in German). It is not about paper backs, but about a portable existence which appears to be one of the objectives of dadaism. Making miniatures of your artworks was one of the ways to achieve that, at least according to Vila-Matas.

After the Kunsthaus, we were fairly hungry and considered customing a Running Sushi place, being only semi-convinced by the idea becaus it was quite pricey. But we (my boyfriend, his digs mate Daniel and I) then figured that, if we had already saved the money for the Kunsthaus (which would have been € 8 per head), we would have the right to afford it. Oh, and it was divine. I was completely no more in control of my Lent resolutions, and before I knew it my teeth sank into a special type of chicken nugget, made of chicken breast and a thin batter, with a crust of honey and sesame. A double no-no! When I realized my ‘mistake’, my boyfriend pointed out that I had also been fasting the past sundays, which wasn’t really required in the regular Lent timetable. In that sense, I had deserved this piece:-)

And from that point on, there was no holding back. I ate probably a dozen of those pieces, and for dessert, I picked three small plates of pudding (two chocolate, one vanilla) from the belt and something very similar to a Germknödel, a sweet dumpling, but with an unknown filling. What a feast! In a way, I still stuck to my guns though, as I didn’t have any other meat than the one I had almost accidentally eaten. I cannot wait for Easter to come now.

Btw, tomorrow is open day at my ‘educational company’, and I am going to offer a digital storytelling workshop and participate in a reading in a library. I am going to read Alfred Döblin, precisely from the very text I posted some days ago. I probably should translate the whole three pages for Cabbage, because the text is really brilliant!

My brother’s photographs 31/40

March 29, 2007 at 7:12 am | Posted in Photography | 4 Comments
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In terms of ‘career’ and ‘professional development’, my brother and I couldn’t be any more different. He’s just four years older than me but has been working for the past 19 years in a full time job. I am in my 4.5th year now of working full-time. I’m an English teacher (not justified to call me lecturer, although it says so on my card), he has been employed as cleaning staff for the past 15 years. But the photographs he takes keep amazing me. He has never had any form of training, and you can sometimes see that his take on framing, for instance, is very unconventional. Which contributes to the photos’ fascination. And the collages he comes up with are also absolutely independent. He only had five years of English at school and that was 20 years ago. This notwithstanding, he keeps writing me emails in English and knows how to use the language to describe his pictures. Today I’d just like to present some of the pictures on his flickr portfolio:












Post for Cabbage: Early cinema

March 28, 2007 at 11:13 am | Posted in Film | 8 Comments
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An excerpt from an essay by Alfred Döblin about the cinema – early cinema, as the text was written in 1909. Bibliographic details: Alfred Döblin: Das Theater der kleinen Leute. In: Das Theater. Volume 1, No. 8 (Decemver 1909), pp. 191-192. Cited from: Prolog vor dem Film: Nachdenken über ein neues Madium, 1909-1914. Edited and commented by Jörg Schweinitz. Leipzig: Reclam, 1992, pp. 153-155, here: p. 155.

Deutlich erhellt: der Kientopp ist ein vorzügliches Mittel gegen den Alkoholismus, schärfste Konkurrenz der Sechserdestillen; man achte, ob die Lebercirrhose und die Geburten epileptischer Kinder nicht in den nächsten zehn Jahren zurückgehen. Man nehme dem Volk und der Jugend nicht die Schundliteratur noch den Kientopp, sie brauchen die sehr blutige Kost ohne die breite Mehlpampe der volkstümlichen Literatur und die wässrigen Aufgüsse der Moral. Der Höhergebildete aber verläßt das Lokal, vor allem froh, dass das Kinema – schweigt.

An attempt at a translation:

Clearly illuminated: the cinema is an excellent remedy for alcoholism, the keenest competition of small distilleries; one should pay attention whether cirrhosis of the liver and the birth of epileptic children aren’t going to decrease over the next ten years. One should bereave the people and the youth of neither pulp fiction nor cinema, they need the very bloody fare without the common stodge of folklore literature and the dilute infusions of morality. The person of higher education, however, leaves the locale, above all glad that the cinema is – silent.

Kientopp is an early expression for small cinemas and came out of fashion with the introduction of bigger movie theatres that tried to imitate bourgeois theatre. Smoking and drinking was allowed, it was cheap and – to the horror of the self-proclaimed educators of society – men and women sat down together in the same darkened room.

A Sechserdestille isn’t exactly an illegal pub (I don’t think), but a small place where people went to get cheap and heavy booze.

You might know Alfred Döblin through his novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929). He wasn’t a naturalist, but is deemed the German equivalent of James Joyce. Nevertheless, and considering this piece above was written in 1909, it might be useful for your project. Schweinitz’s collection of early writings about film is a treasure trove really, but I don’t think translated into English. Maybe something similar exists, or the doyen of early cinema, Thomas Elsaesser has published something.

Maybe Jetsam has suggestions for improving my translation.

That’s how wars get started 30/40

March 28, 2007 at 6:48 am | Posted in Blogging, Bollywood, Friends, Teaching English, TEFL, Youtube | 10 Comments
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I’ve been a regular to the blogosphere since August 2006, and a regular blogger (one post per day, except when I am on vacation) for four months. This practice has fundamentally changed the boundaries of what I used to consider private and public. Things like using an IUD, for instance, I don’t think I would have wrote about on my first website, around 1998, over at tripod. (Btw, they used to call themselves “one of the leading personal publishing communities on the Web”, but have now hopped on the blog bus as well.) As I’ve probably written somewhere before, using a diary did never make much sense to me in the past – it just didn’t appeal to me to write something that isn’t addressed to someone. But who’s the address of blogging? Some individuals of course, both real life and blogosphere friends, although not immediately. Not in these same way as in writing (an email or letter) directly to them. The public? In a way. But with a difference. It’s as if blogging is also a way of getting reconciled with the world, with the things you’re doing, the problems you’re confronting. I suspect that this type of ‘public’ operates very much in a super-ego fashion – it would be worthwhile to examine this closer, but that’s actually not the topic I wanted to write about today.

Occasion for this intro is that I am going to use this blog today to write about a personal conflict I had with someone. This is definitely another step towards the blurring of the public and the private, or maybe even an attempt of making my concern heard by the super-ego that can accept or dismiss my request (following my half-baked theory above).

What is peculiar about this conflict is that, in our own minds, we both are right. It is an illustration of the great degree of subjectivity to which our perception of a situation is subjected. It explains why wars get started: both parties being trapped in their own little constructions of their world.

[…EDIT…]

I’ve changed my mind meanwhile. I am not going to write about this on the blog, at least not in the detailed way that I wanted to. It might be better, if you think of the death threats that some female bloggers are receiving these days. I’ve wondered in the past how Lenina’s ‘BF’ might respond to her posts about him, or his friends, which are not always favourable, but maybe he doesn’t know the address. Anyhow, explicit communication about this might only make the situation worse, as the person might read this blog and get offended (not a blogger….).

Although it would be a story worthwhile sharing, featuring dissent arising from using diverging terminology from different disciplines, misunderstanding and mistrust originating from wrong assumptions about the workings of technology, a clash of gendered behaviour, and a mutual pushing the buttons of each other’s inferiority complexes (I don’t know exactly which buttons exactly I pushed, but I know which of mine were activated: Never say something to a TEFL person that would make it appear as though you thought TEFL folk weren’t proper academics. They already think they are not, and being a TEFL person alone gives most of them a sense of failure. Most of them have turned to teaching English because it was their last exit to a regular income. More about the inferior complexes of TEFL people to be found at the English droid’s page.)

A brief excerpt of the actualized gendered behaviour (also suggesting that the argument arose via email):

masculine: “You are wrong. That’s my view. And I don’t believe you. I am not going to respond to anything you write about this from now on.”
feminine: keeping up the the communication via email nonetheless, trying to substantiate that she was falsely accused, animating the other side to respond…

This example of masculine behaviour, btw, reminds me of the character of the patriarch played by Amitabh Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (already mentioned a couple of times on this blog). The patriarch rejects his adoptive son for marrying the wrong woman and declares him a persona non grata. Talking about him is no longer condoned. Numerous attempts are made (mainly by women or characters with feminine connotations) to animate him to rekindle the communication about and with the son. But all attempts are brutishly silenced by the patriarch:

“I’ve said it. That’s it. Bas.

I think this post should end on a positive note nonetheless. There’s nothing better for that than a sequence from a Bollywood movie. I’ll pick one from the end of KKKG, when everybody is reunited in wedding and happiness, and the patriarch appeased.

God, I love this movie. I’m not normally a fan of Hritik Roshan, but I just love his little tongue in cheek dance in the first part of this scene.

I’m going to present at the Microlearning Conference!

March 27, 2007 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Microlearning, Plagiarism, success | 5 Comments
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Hey! This morning I got a notification that my proposal for the microlearning conference in Innsbruck has been accepted. I also got some very encouraging feedback from them – yay! yay! yay!

paper id 60: The Dark Side of the Force: The Issue of Microplagiarism in Microlearning
has been accepted.
——————————————————————————————————————
The review comments are following, please consider them carefully when preparing the final version of your paper.

*Very well written paper and easy to read.
*Being an academic myself I have seen this problem a number of times
of the last years.
*Something missing in my opinion from the paper is how the moral
side of the problem. How does students react if you tell them not to
copy. Do they still do it but more carefully?

*Also, the semantic web is mentioned several time as the solution
but readers that are not that familiar with that name might benefit
from a discussion of how the semantic web would solve the problem!!
I strongly urge you to ad this!!!

*Some more minor things:
– Please connect the figures into the text. I.e. write in the text
“see figure 2” etc.
– It is always nice to see the heading “conclusions” at the end of
the paper. I didn’t realize I was reading the conclusions until I
reached the references 🙂
– What does footnote 18 mean???
Good work!

——————————————————————————
P.S. Here is a link to the older post that contains the microplagiarism abstract

Post-lectem view on Pattern Recognition 29/40

March 27, 2007 at 7:35 am | Posted in Consumerism, Film, Globalization, Literature | 14 Comments
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Pattern RecignitionSo I’ve finished William Gibson’s Pattern recognition, but felt a bit let down by it in the end. SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t read the book yet but intend to read it in the near future you probably should stop reading here.

I immediately liked Gibson’s take on our branded world and the idea of the main character, Cayce Pollard, developing an allergy against brands and labels. In terms of coherence, it didn’t quite make sense to me though why she had developed such an obsession with The Buzz Rickson’s, a Japanese designer version of a classic US Airforce flying jacket. You might say that this critique is beside the point – it probably is, and I probably read this book too much like I’d read a film (btw, have the rights for a film been sold already? must find out), and I very picky about narrative structure. It’s not at all like that that I expect every movie to tell a perfectly linear story – but if a film adopts a fairly conventional style (of cinematography and editing), then I do expect the plot information to be coherent. And PR is also written fairly conventional, hence my expectations towards coherence.

Back to the Buzz Rickson’s: I admit that until 2 minutes ago, I assumed that the Buzz Rickson’s had entirely been made up. It isn’t. How sad. It is available for € 455 from History Preservation Associates, and I really don’t like it. I had made up my own idea idea of a Buzz Rickson’s which had a slight velvety touch and a dark petroleum tint (wherever I got that from). That’s what it looks like:

Buzz Rickson

Cayce’s lack of reaction towards this iconic jacket probably has to do with the fact that it’s a slightly tweaked, Japanese version – Cayce also isn’t allergic to Hello Kitty characters, and this makes sense because branding and culture are related. But other than you’d expect, she feels at home at Starbucks, although Starbucks looks the same and operates the same way anywhere in our globalized world. The character Damien asks her this very question, but Gibson offers no answer to it. You might say I am just nitpicking, but I’m just a bit disappointed because I had expected a certain epiphany or revelation regarding the exact nature of Cayce’s allergy. In the end, the allergy is gone, and Cayce worries briefly whether she’d be able to continue working in her professing, hunting cool, but that’s it for that. No one knows what triggered it, no one knows why it’s gone in the end.

The end of the novel reminded be of what “Robert McKee”, in an impersonation offered by Brian Cox in Adaptation, said about voice-over:

…and God help you if you use voiceover in your work, my friends. God help you! It’s flaccid, sloppy writing. Any idiot can write voice-over narration to explain the thoughts of a character. You must present the internal conflicts of your character in action.

Gibson’ voice-over are emails. Nobody knows in the end why the character Damien has to be shooting a documentary about a dig in Russia, where drunk fortune-hunters dig out WW2 treasures including a Stuka complete with mummified pilot. I thought the dig’s would have a function there, because the revelation of the identity of ‘the maker’ of the footage takes place in Russia, but Gibson doesn’t make use of Damien in that context. That leaves him with three story lines dangling loose after the revelation: The whereabouts of Damien, of Cayce’s Mom and of Voytek and his sister Magda, but instead of presenting the dénouement in action, all we get is a succession of emails (presented without subject line – I kind of resented that).

In an nutshell: While I enjoyed the read and eagerly followed in the footsteps of the main character through her marketing-imbued conspiracy, I was a but disappointed by the miserly secret that was to be uncovered. After that major build-up in which Gibson heavily drew on snippets of Baudrillard (having Cayce contemplate about Tommy Hilfiger clothes as simulacra of simulacra of simulacra), I was hoping for a bit more meat in the philosophical frying pan. And as conspiracy theories were one of its subtexts, I also hoped for a bringing together of all the plot lines that had been started.

I appreciate Cayce’s view on fashion though, while this might also seem to be completely beyond the point:-) Because she’s allergic to labels, she tries to give herself an ‘un-branded’ look, for instance takes her Levi’s jeans to a workshop to have the brand names on the buttons removed. Last week I went to one of those no-name fashion stores that flourish in suburban industry estates , and while most of the clothing there has the depressing appeal of poverty-chic (clothes that will fall apart in the wash quicker than you average H&M shirt), you can be lucky and find an absolute gem, something that looks completely underground-ish because it is so far removed from the available label styles but costs next to nothing. I bought a very odd looking T with a skull print (nothing special yet) for € 8, but the skulls were transparent (not quite sure whether intended or not) and a bit frillier than the rest, giving it a nice texture, particularly above the boobs;-) I like it particularly on top of a pink long sleeve – must post a picture some time…

Good news!

March 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Career | 4 Comments
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I’ll soon be out of here! I made a phone call to the Arbeiterkammer today [an official representation of employees – do we have anything like that in Germany, btw?] to inquire about my claim to unemployment benefits should I consider not to extend my contract. And I learned that, in this particular situation and being a German who has worked in Austria for 3 years, I’d receive benefits immediately, and for a period of up to 30 weeks. Finding a new job within that time frame cannot be that difficult, can it? Certainly not, considering that I’d be willing to do just about everything for as long as it wouldn’t be full-time. I’d rather work part-time and spent the rest of my time working on the half dozen of unfinished scripts that I have on my computer. The future’s bright – why didn’t I call them earlier?

Paranoia DIY 28/40

March 26, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in Network | 5 Comments
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Ever since I designed the End Guantanamo! banner, the traffic on my blogged has reached a new low: It’s been continually growing over the past month, but yesterday it dropped behind the mark last achieved 20 days ago. Could the CIA or FBI be blocking or slowing down access my blog? Do you think that Network Neutrality is attainable in a world where torture camps are run by a country that claims to be bringing freedom to the world? Even if I am just paranoid – give some thought to it!

End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 27/40

March 25, 2007 at 10:03 am | Posted in Blogging | 9 Comments
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I’m feeling a bit computered out these days, but that comes as no surprise. I’m doing almost everything on the computer, even the contemplative moments that I need for class preparations are spent on the computer. I also fill a great deal of my spare time with writing (blogging and other) or other arb thing to do on the computer . I’m beginning to grow tired of the sound of my lappy (although my boyfriend would probably claim the opposite;-) but my reclusion to the virtual certainly has a lot to do with my complete aversion to the place (as in: town, not in apartment) where I live. I’ve practically gone into hibernation, not even trying to settle in anymore (that wouldn’t be possible without a complete brainwash anyway:-) So soon I need to make up my mind as to what is going to get me out of here. Or how I am going to get myself out of here. It’s a bit of a daunting task – the one and not inconsiderable thing (considering this is capitalism) I have here is a fairly secure job which even allows me to save a little without having to scrimp. It’s like hibernating and putting on fat at the same time. But to which end? And putting on fat forever cannot be good for you either.

Main question is: Am I bold enough to leave without having secured a job for myself elsewhere? But securing a job and _then_ resigning is a bit complicated, as I cannot leave during the semester (unless I was keen on having to bail me out of my contract). And where should I/we go? There are several places under discussion, but final decision is pending (and hard to come up with anyway – eventually, we will go where the money/job is).

A bit of entertainment to brighten up these ruminating thoughts. I came across a website proclaiming itself to be the Pop Occulture Blog (through Oddun’s blog which has a nice pink design and pink is the colour of comfort). I don’t know really how to make sense of it and that’s the pleasant thing about it. The youtube videos are particularly worthwhile, having more to do with the mix than with the content. It’s got Neil Diamond, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and other luminaries, but also stuff like the bit below. Can somebody tell me whether this is an American accent the kid has? Because he seems to fit the stereotype of the growing to be obese American boy all too well. The furniture also reeks of a corresponding social level. Give the people some books! It’s just 17 seconds, but I’m utterly fascinated:-)

End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo End Guantanamo

TIME Inc. s*cks / Lose the right to your picture through adoption 28/40

March 24, 2007 at 9:43 am | Posted in TIME, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments
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I did partake in the the craze about Brangelina’s latest addition to their family by posting of a picture of Pham Quang, now know as Pax Thien. This morning I found an email in my mailbox and this notification on the post’s site:

This blog post has been marked private by WordPress.com staff in response to a DMCA notice. Please remove the Time Inc copyrighted image before making this post public again. Please see our DMCA process and contact us if you have concerns.

How bizarre. Can they claim that? Technically, I did not take their picture at all, but simply entered the URL of _their_ picture in the image tag. I suppose they wouldn’t complain about me providing a text link to their website – technically, there is hardly any difference between the two methods. The image tag retrieves the image from their server to display on my website, the link opens their page first before it displays the image. If they don’t want such a thing to happen, they should develop a script that generates the images in such a way on their site that one cannot easily retrieve their URL.

Furthermore, I entered a total of two links (!) to their website. In academia, that would be properly referenced and no copyright theft. In doing so, I also generated traffic to their website, for free – but they obviously have no understanding of the workings of the web 2.0.

And generally, isn’t it questionable whether_they_have the rights to Pham’s picture? The individual automatically has the right to his/her picture – this only changes once somebody becomes a person of public interest. Does being adopted by a celebrity automatically mean that you lose the rights to your picture, that you become a public persona? I’m highly critical of that.

Anyhow, the conclusion of that is: No more links to TIME Inc. publications. They s*ck anyway.

Today is the 28th day of Lent.
Time to close down Guantanamo.
Add a banner to your blog too.

End Guantanamo

“End Guantanamo” banner for your blog!

March 23, 2007 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Blogging, Guantanamo, Politics | 21 Comments
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What’s happening in Guantanamo is unacceptable up and down. I don’t believe in signing petitions anymore, but I am going to try now to give my message, End Guantanamo!, a new visual ID.

While allegations of torture happening in Guantanamo have become rife, I didn’t want to go down the gory path of design. Instead, I opted for a minimalist style, more akin to the pictograms developed by Otl Aicher for the Olympic games in 1972.

You can help spread the message – download the image below, mail it, print it, put it on your blog! Leave a comment with email address if you’d like to have a copy of the Photoshop and Illustrator files.

End Guantanamo

You may download this image (right mouse click on the image and then download it) or link to it. You’ll find different sizes on my Flickr page if you click on the image or this link. You do not have to give me credit. It is licensed under a Creative Commons license, requesting attribution, but you don’t have to do that – CC just doesn’t offer licenses without attribution. You may not use it for commercial purposes and what ever you do with the image, you should also allow others to do with it. You may NOT use it if you intend to deride its message.

Here is an explanation how to put an image in your sidebar: Add a text widget to your WP sidebar, paste this code into it, then save:

<a href=”https://anaj.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/end-guantanamo-banner-for-your-blog/”><img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/431652089_d3d9717a21_o.jpg&#8221; border=”0″/></a>

Just a brief “Hello World” post 27/40

March 23, 2007 at 5:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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There is something in the pipeline that its more interesting than this post, but that needs a few more hours of work done on it. I’m also tired, mainly because I went to bed after midnight and still managed to get up at 7am everyday of this week that is now finally over. Tiiiiiiiiiiiired. Just slept a bit. Gotta do some housework now and then wait for my boyfriend. He’ll need to explain something to me that I need to know to do what I want to do, but which would take too long for me to learn through ‘trial and error’. Later…

My Lent Countdown is All Screwed up 26/40

March 22, 2007 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Food, Lent | 4 Comments
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According to today’s Lent count down 30/40, I would stop fasting in ten days from now. I realized, however, that we are still 17 days from Easter Sunday. How to account for that? I did a bit of research and then found at that it was decided during the Synod of Benevent in 1019 that thou shalt not fast on Sundays… oh noooooooo! Sacrifice made for nothing:-) I am not going to change my policy now though. Nevertheless, I need to adjust my countdown: Back to 26/40.

😦

Interested in a tick screensaver?

March 22, 2007 at 8:54 am | Posted in Nature | 4 Comments
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Woah! In an hour from now, I’ll be getting my anti-tick shot – Austria is making a big effort in extincting related diseases (in particular meningitis). My German vaccination certificates booklet doesn’t contain a page for the anti-tick shot, so I wanted to download one from Zecken.at (Zecken = ticks). Didn’t find one there, but what I found was a tick screensaver. A very inclusive offer: They’ve got screen savers for PC _and_ for Mac. A tempting offer for you? Go there.

Tick Ticks Tick

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