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2005-02-18 15:41

Rinkipinka trararrrara Big Show!

It is glorious Radio Catalonia, whose glories consist in:

  • Being Radio Catalonia in Catalan
  • Using Real Audio, with no stupid pop-up player window to frustrate non IE users
  • Having people talk very animatedly in an obviously Romance langwidge I don't know, interspersed (once to date) by exceptionally bad singing and (quite often) a machine going "boing".

(We are some of the way to making our Catalan survival kit, so we thought it might be nice to hear some, you see.)

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2005-02-18 pre-samwidge (zulu)

Constitute me harder!

The year is 50 B.C. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely... One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invadors.

Traditional Asterix Preamble

The year is in fact 2005, the Romans are the EU and the indomitable village is Catalunya, but apart from that...

Spain is referending this Sunday, and some of the sillier Cataloonies are missing the big picture

Catalonia is fiercely protective of its own identity. Outside the cathedral in Barcelona, young and old gather every Sunday to dance the traditional round dance they call the Sardana.

One of the young men is wearing a T-shirt saying, "Me, Spanish? I'm Catalan!"

As a rule of thumb, Varied Reader, if your ideological committments lead you not to shun and utterly neglect folk dancing, there is a serious risk that you have gone astray.

And the Cataloonies have done just this: wishing to evade the heavy yoke of Spain, they seek to seek an independent Catalunatic state within a federal Yoorp by voting to reject the EU constitution, since it doesn't grant any official status to their ancient and glorious tongue.

This isn't a case of cutting off their nose to spite their face so much as disembowelling themselves to cure a tummy-ache: it is without question the stupidest political gesture I have seen proposed in connection with the EU constitution, and I live in Blighty. Stop it, which is to say, at once, silly Catalunatics!

[Tops Asterix in translation site!]

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2005-02-18 10:09

Why I so very limited

Apparently, an hour is my upper bound for OU homework, in which time I can write about two-hundred (200) words.

They think we should be doing about sixteen (16) hours a week, so I'm relying heavily on the fact that I'm not exactly new to study to keep up. More interesting will be when we get full-sized essays to write: 2000 words is a lot (10) of 200s. (I'm writing on paper, using the loose-as-a-goose scribble and savage technique I developed writing on computers; it's a mass of crossings out and overscribblnings. Looks wicked cool if you ask me.)

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2005-02-17 15:53

Theogeography!

It is the new sensation that's sweeping the internation!

97 procent av polackerna sger sig vara troende jmfrt med bara 37 procent av tjeckerna.

97 percent of Polishes say they believe [in God] compared with only 37 percent of Czechs.

Polandland isn't getting off of my "avoid" list anytime soon with figures like that, for sure. But whence such figures in the first place?

[Tidskriften] Det Bsta har ltit nationellt ansedda opinionsinstitut genomfra utfrgningen i 14 lnder: [...].

The periodical The Best has commissioned nationally-respected opinion surveyors carry out the survey in 14 lands: [enumeration snipped].

The report is from London, but we've never heard of such a 'bladet in silly England. Anyone recognise it?

UPDATE: It is the Reader's Digest! Thanks, Simon!

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2005-02-17 12:30

Why I am so unromantique

It is Americain(e)s arranging ever more overstated ways of popping the question of marital relations! And it is vair vair stupide:

Comme le note joyeusement un clbre avocat spcialis dans les divorces, "plus la demande en mariage est thtrale et romantique, plus le divorce est prompt et disput !"

As a famous divorce lawyer gleefully notes, "the more theatrical and romantic the proposal, the sooner and messier the divorce!"

There was a bloke on rec.travel.europe asking or enquiring where to propose during a trip to Venise and we were like totally "Noooooooooo!", at least in our head(s).

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2005-02-17 10:29

'Sessor are doin' it for themselves

It is Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin, but only in my head!

It is also a nice Aftonbladet feature on prinsesses doin' various its for themselves, illustrated with a fine foto of kronprinsess Vickan of Sweden in her militaryservicecamouflagegear.

Skaffar girlpower, for sure!

And the most excellent of 'bladets has even a powerprinsesspicturespecial, linked from that page [1] and an "Are YOU a powerprinsess?" quiz. (Wasted on us - we aspire to Prinshenrik status at most.)

All of which has been onbrought by the feministe slant to prinsess Madde (of Sweden)'s arthistory dissertation:

Prinsessan Madeleine hyllar drottning Victoria i sin c-uppsats i konstvetenskap.
- Hon skriver med ett feministiskt perspektiv, sger konstnren Ernst Billgren.

Prinsess Madeleine lauds queen Victoria [of Sweden] in her c-uppsats in arthistory.
"She writes from a feminist perspective", says artiste Ernst Billgren.

It is certainly handy to be able to use your family's sommarhome as the basis for an arthistory project, isn't it?

[1] Don't miss this one, whatever you do. It has Mette-Marit in a boiler suit and Kronprinsmary gingerly admiring a large gun!

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2005-02-16 15:33

While waiting for a file to download

The thing about France's Die Welt, and many other 'bladets, is that a given article is only available free within a limited period of time. Which means that saving a link to one's own 'bladet may well leave the mustard uncut. (Oh, incidentally, that uncut mustard!)

What is needed, for those of us who may want to whip one out at some future who-knows-when is a kind of web cache specifically for such somethings. (We will cheerfully neglect the legalities or otherwises of this, for sure.)

But vanilla web caches do not distinguish between important 'bladet articles that you wish to archive for future use, and the usual random drivel that sloshes through your browser as you voyage or journey through the internets: a new purpose-built web-cache is required.

So far I've put together about fifty (50) lines of Python, using the anydbm (storing) urllib (fetching), sgmllib (parsing) and BaseHTTPServer (serving) modules, and I am now a good somewhat of the way there. Python, kids: use Python!

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2005-02-16 13:05

Shall we pingvin?

"I said it in Hebrew--I said it in Dutch--
  I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
  That English is what you speak!"

[From The Huntning of the Snark, of course]

Yes, it those Bremerhaven pingvins again! But while we've done it in Norwegish and Swedish, it is today time for the up-Frenched version, courtesy of Die Welt. First a vignette:

Intrigus de voir trois couples de manchots mles devenir insparables, puis, faute d'oeufs, tenter de faire clore des pierres, ils ont cherch vrifier si ces oiseaux taient homosexuels, ou s'ils s'taient accoupls entre eux par manque de femelles.

Intrigued by three pairs of male pingouins become inseparable, and then try to hatch stones for want of eggs, they have tried to find out whether these birds were homosexual, or if they had paired up among themselves for want of females.

Objection, M'Lud! This anthropomorphising of pingvin "intent" is most prejudicial!

And then a reference:

[L]e naturaliste amricain Bruce Bagemihl [...] recensait dans Biological Exuberance - ouvrage chaudement accueilli par la communaut gay lors de sa parution aux Etats-Unis, en 1999 - plus de 300 espces d'animaux pouvant entretenir des relations homosexuelles.

The American naturalist Bruce Bagemihl survey more than 300 species of animal capable of maintaining homosexual relations in Biological Exuberance - a work warmly welcomed by the gay community on its publication in the USA in 1999.

(The next block in our OU course is on identities and the such like, and sooner or later we'll be up against Judith "The Bottlebank" Butler and frankly smuggling pingvins into the debate is about the only aspect we're looking forward to.)

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2005-02-16 10:10

Monday Review of Stuff

It is Farinelli the CD!

How to make a sound-alike castrato when these days all the boys have their bits? With the white heat of technology, what else? Take Derek Lee Ragin's contre-tnor (we like contre-tnor, which is more of a yelp than a bellow) and Ewa Mallas-Godlewska's soprano (we are not for of sopranic shreiknings in general, but still) and add a dose of the boffins from IRCAM, light the touchpaper of blueness and retire to a safe distance:

L'empreinte vocale de chaque artiste a donc en quelque sorte, t "photographie", les frquencies constitutive de chaque voix tant identifi voyelle par voyelle. Cette "fusion des timbres"par les techniques de traitement numrique des sons donne aujourd'hui use voix indite et hors porte des performances humaines actuelles sans tomber dans la pige de la voix sythtique.

The vocals [sic] "print"of each performer has thus, in a sense, been "photographed", the constituent frequencies of each one being identified and analysed vowel [sic]. This "fusion of timbres"by digital sound treatment has created a totally new voice surpassing the possibilities of current human performances while avoiding the trap of the synthesised voice.

And very fantastique it is too. This Frankencyborg "Farinelli" is the Van Halen of eighteenth-century Italian operatechnics: what is, we be beseech or implore you, Varied Reader, or could possibly be not to like?

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2005-02-15 17:20

How much kaos could a snkaos cause if a snkaos could cause kaos?

That's not a very hypothetical situation, you will promptly remark or observe, but so much the better for our questionanswernings. We may begin by reproaching Google News for not speaking 'Wegian. (No biscuit, Google News!) They have stria, das Schwitzyland and Germania in German; it would delight us - and surely Danmark also - for them to bundle Scandiwegia (inc. Swedophone Finnland) as an undifferentiated lump.

Making, under the circumstances, the best we can of a bad job, we resort instead to German and ask (or enquire) Wieviel Scheechaos ["snkaos"] gibt es?

Ergebnisse 1 - 10 von ungefhr 431 fr schneechaos.

But how much, you might legitimately wonder or muse, of this Schneechaos is the sort of premium Swedish snkaos on the back of which this 'bladet's reputation rests?

Ergebnisse 1 - 1 von 1 fr schneechaos schweden.

See? Expressen is talking it all up about some admittedly very regrettable snkaos trafficdeceasenings, but then goes on to plead or entreat:

Hur har du drabbats av snkaoset? Skriv till [Expressen] och bertta!

Have you been hit by the snkaos? Write [to Expressen] and tell us!

Why not write instead to a German 'bladet, since they seem to be doing more not knowing about these such things.

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2005-02-15 13:03

Living the dream, slightly medium rare

In central London's most densely-touristed regions there are often Aberdeen Steak Houses to be found, resplendently bedecked with red-plush-seated booths themselves just as resplendently bedecked with touristes.

We have wanted - we have wanted so badly! - for decades to visit or frequent such a red-awninged establishment! We shun, disconsider and utterly disclaim interest in their upstart green-awninged rivals, the "Scotch" Steak Houses: it is Aberdeen and only Aberdeen to which we aspire!

So, given that the Dowager Countess away and the chteau was deserted and we were not waited-on hand nor were we waited-on foot, we resolved to take ourselves out for Sunday luncheon at such a somewhere.

Alone, since in our many saunternings in London we are most often accompanied by foodistes such as are given to sekking sustenance in establishments slightly too smart to let us in unbooked, or else by perons in command of their senses who would observe instantly that such somewheres exist only to fleece touristes and the simple-minded.

But we left London long-enough ago to pass for a touriste, and besides our mind is far from complex, and our resources can stand a little fleecening.

Which is certainly just as well, because parting fools ("customers") from their money is very much the order of business chez Aberdeen. For examples: a cover-charge, unheard of elsewhere in London, of 90p; overpriced steak; and brutally hard selling of the frankly astonishingly-priced accessories, none of which are included (a modest bowl of chips ("fries") with plenty to be modest about? Two quid to you, sir or madam).

And while the steak itself was good but not great, nor even within aspiring distance of greatness, and we notched up a bill of thirty (30) quid with tip while eschewing either starters or desserts, we had, it is only fair to say, a totally fantastic time: we were fulfilling a cherished dream, and when persons tell you, as they often tell us, to live your dreams, they do not - and with good reason - say much of anything about the sensibleness of your dreams.

We were not offered, as others subsequently seated were, the intimate seclusion of upstairs. Nor did we wish for it: we had a ringside view of the inside-out goldfish of the world, from which personfish in abundance gawped in at us.

It was busyish when we arrived, at about 14:00, and it was busyish when we left, after 15:00. It was also, we add for completeness, dusyish during our stay. (We were just off Piccadilly Circus, and the second and smaller one towards, since the first and bigger one was full up.)

And we sat on our plush red seat in a window booth, reading Rilke, more content with life and lunchning, possibly, than ever before (although we have often eaten better, cheaper food in better company, for sure).

If we never go back - which is by no means to say that we would put it past us - we are nonetheless very glad to have been.

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2005-02-15 09:30

Searchloggnings

1. Des von Bladet.

We get a few of these, but we never use our name without linking here, so we are slightly mystified to be also searched for.

2. Heidegger fat ugly nazi

That we are the top Google match for this gives us intense pleasure, for sure.

3. Define apathy and use it in a sentence

Make up your own joke; we can't be bothered.

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2005-02-14 samwidge (zulu)

Smrgspost

It is more on the gaypingvincouplesag!

The sultry penguinesses being despatched to address the situation (it is only, you see, that they need the eggs) are from Sweden, as it happens.

ven bland Kolmrdens pingviner frekommer bde lesbiska och bgpar.
-Vi vet inte varfr, men det hnder ibland. De r som vi mnniskor, en del fredrar ngon av samma kn, sger Thomas Lind p Kolmrdens djurpark.

Lesbian and gay couples occur among Kolmrdens pingvins, too.

"We don't know why, but it happens sometimes", says Thomas Lind of Kolmrden zoo, "They are like persons, some prefer someone of the same sex."

What sort of "knowing why" could one wish for that is not simply this?

2. Les Bleus!

We watched the end of the England-France thugfoopball match in the pub at Paddington station, cheering (very quietly) for les bleus. Hoorah!

Huit ans aprs sa dernire victoire Twickenham, le XV de France a ralis un exploit retentissant en s'imposant, dimanche 13 fvrier, en Angleterre (18-17), conservant toutes ses chances de raliser un deuxime Grand Chelem conscutif dans le Tournoi des six nations de rugby. Vainqueur miraculeux de l'Ecosse (16-9) le 5 fvrier, le XV de France s'est mtamorphos en l'espace de huit jours pour l'emporter, grce surtout la botte de Dimitri Yachvili, auteur de tous les points de son quipe, mais aussi grce un pack souverain, et un "coaching" efficace.

Eight (8) years after there last victory at Twickenham, the French XV realised a retentissent exploit in prevailing 18-17 in England on Sunday 13 February, keeping hopes alive of a second consecutive Big Chelem in the Six (6) Nations tournament. Miraculous victors over Scotland (16-9) on the 5 February, the French team transformed itself in a week to win, thanks above all to the boot of Dimitri Yachvili, scorer of all the team's points, but also thanks to a supreme pack and an efficacious coachning.

To say nothing, which is very flattering, of England's Wilkinson-free kicknings, which were for the most part barely in the general direction.

3. Oh no, not again!

("Neeej, inte nu igen...")

It is, of course, snkaos!

Mnga trafikolyckor efter snkaos i Sydsverige

Many trafficunhappinesses after snkaos in south Sweden.

Is that a romantique gesture in your candlelight, south Sweden, or are you just having a snkaospowerfailure?

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2005-02-14 09:42

On the Feast of Saint Valentine

Let us be florid and cumbersome, canzoni,
Since we have nothing in particular to say
And no one in particular to say it to.

Ach! These crowds - all these crowds! -
And we among them all alone,
An isolated, unescorted mote
In February's Leibsjahrzeitlich sunbeam!

Reflect, for example and for not the first time,
On Yorkshire wovels in "punk" and "club" -
Becoming, in a Berlineuse
with a seat at the Stammisch table;
But later, a children and husband at home
And sobbnings, and two (2) legs outstretched
Past your glumly faithful friend in the Ladies'

We've other tales, but let this one (1) suffice;
We're lonely, and it isn't very nice.

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2005-02-11 16:03

The Friday Flickning

We have indulged in a flickning through Amssimil's Le Nouveau nerlandais sans peine, and we are impressed!

We grind what is left of our teeths every time some silly English phrase book talks of a "phonetic language", but the Frenchy-French are not so stupide:

La grammaire est relativement rduite; l'orthographe, presque phontique, tient en quelques rgles.

It is the spelling which is phontique, silly Englishes! The spelling or orthographie!

And it all seems jolly well thought out and everything. It's just a shame that Dutchy-Double-Dutch isn't high on our list of langwidges to learn in the immediate, really.

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2005-02-11 12:22

How is the geometry going, you ask or enquire?

It is still going very badly. Luckily, I am lunching with a reformed general relativiste tomorrow, and relativistes are very good at differential geometry, and my whining skills are such as to get the job done, preferably by somebody else.

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2005-02-11 10:39

Towards a Turkish tomorrow!

It is Turkey! It is, though, relocated to London!

This exhibition explores the art and culture of the Turks from Inner Asia to the Bosphorus over a thousand year period between 600 and 1600 AD. Their journey incorporated many different centres of power and artistic traditions. The story begins with the Uighurs, a nomadic people of Central Asia and China, and ends with the Ottoman Empire from the reign of Mehmet II to Suleyman the Magnificent including the fall of Byzantium and the spread of Ottoman rule to include Mecca and Medina.

We remain slightly puzzled that an upholstered sofa or divan without arms or a back could establish much of an empire, even in the Balkans, but our thirst for knowledge will surely be sated and then some tomorrow.

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2005-02-10 18:23

Geometrize me harder!

It is differential geometry and it is hard!

I have three (3) books concerned largely with differential geometry, and I have not yet succeeded even in being able to translate their statements and remarks between the various notations they like to use, nor with random stuff off of the Interweb.

It is said (admittedly by Ezra Pound) that among the troubadoobs of Provence - oh those troubadoobs of old Provence! - it was considered plagiarisme to borrow another man's meter.

It is suspected (admittedly by me) that differential geometers feel much the same way about notation.

And I have just wasted ("spent") a great deal of time contemplating the commutativity or otherwise of covariant derivatives. (They are guaranteed to commute precisely in spaces of zero curvature, if you're wondering.)

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2005-02-10 16:06

Why I am so very unconstitutional

Breaking somewhat with tradition, we contemplate the impending prinsesshood of Camilla Prickly-Pear and its constitutional implications.

We are tired - so very tired! - of hearing persons reason that prinses should be treated just like anyone else and allowed to marry who they like and dress as comedy Nazis if they feel like it.

It is a silly argument and essentially a republican one: if prinses are just like everyone else, what is the deal with the Public Gravy and the Your Majesty mallarkey?

Prins Charles already can marry anyone he likes. What he can't do is marry certain kinds of anyone and also continue to be heir to the throne. Neither, incidentally, can I or anyone else, so he isn't being singled out unfairly here.

So there.

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2005-02-10 12:24

Smrgspost

1. Dioxins considered as unyummy

It is Renato Panizzon, head of the dermatologie unit at the Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV)! And he has some somethings to say about dioxin poisoning, one of the occupational hazards of Ukrainian politiques:

La chloracne spectaculaire dont souffre Viktor Iouchtchenko n'est qu'une des manifestations de son empoisonnement svre la TCCDD (2,3,7,8-ttrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine), la dioxine la plus toxique que l'on connaisse.

The spectacular chloracne which Viktor Yushchenko has is only one of the manifestations of his severe poisoning with TCCDD (2,3,7,8-ttrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine), the most poisonous dioxin known.

2,3,7,8-ttrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine?! The cads!

2. That'll thrassle 'em!

It is Norway! Where The Kids are texting in their many dialects! In some countries we could name, including one in which, by an accident of birth soon to be corrected, we happen to reside, this would be a source of outrage, but langwidge politics in Norway is different:

Og Norsk sprkrd gnir seg i hendene.

- Det er svrt hyggelig at ungdom velger skrive tekstmeldinger p dialekt. ha dialektvariasjon gjr oss til et sterkere sprksamfunn, sier direktr Sylfest Lomheim til VG.

And the Norwegish langwidgecouncil is rubbing its hands.

"It is wicked cool that The Kids choose to write textmessages in dialect. Having dialektvariation makes us a stronger speechcommunity, innit?", direktr Sylfest Lomheim told VG.

3. Birds do it!

It is gay penguincouples in Germany!

Etter at fem pingvinpar i Bremerhaven Zoo hadde forskt pare seg i revis, uten f barn, ble det i fjor tatt DNA-prver av parene.

Testen viste at tre av de fem parene var hanner som levde i et homoseksuelt forhold.

After five penguincouples in Bremerhaven Zoo had paired up for a year without to have childrens, DNA tests of the couples were done last year.

The tests showed that three of the five existing couples were living in homosexual relationships.

The problem of supporting bigotted opinions with appeals to Nature, it seems to us, is that Nature may have neglected to read the script. (This is unlikely to bother any bigots, of course, since they are by no means typically preoccupied with evidence.)

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2005-02-10 10:10

Ikeakaos!

Ikea is of course very exciting - where else can you get salty liquorice and herrings in mustardsauce in this benighted land? - but still:

En person knivhggs, flera klmdes och mnga drabbades av vrmeslag nr den nya Ikeaaffren ppnade i Edmonton norr om London vid midnatt natten till torsdagen.

One person was knifestabbed, several crushed and many struck with heatstroke when the new Ikeashop opened in Edmonton in north London at midnight on IV-day ("Thursday").

Heatstroke, Englishes? Is there no limit to your silliness? Up to know we have always considered ourselves a Londoner at heart; from now on we declare ourselves to be ethnically a Berliner. Still, it could 've been worse:

Nr mbelvaruhuset ppnade i tv stder i Saudiarabien i september trampades tre mnniskor ihjl och 17 personer skadades i trngseln.

When the furnitureshop opened in two (2) cities in Saudiarabia in September, three (3) people were trampled to death and 17 persons injured in the crush.

(We are very taken, incidentally, with the word blljusmyndigheterna "the blue light [=emergency] authorities".)

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2005-02-09 16:48

Ich bin keine Berliner, hlas!

Aidan Kehoe, occasional guestbladeteer, sci.lang regular and Neu Berliner remarks:

Okay, so Berlin so far is unreservedly fantastic.

(Wistful sigh.)

And re our Berlinfilmbleg Anna K says:

'Himmel ber Berlin' has, well, lots of Berlin. For more Berlin (and much else), try also the excellent new film 'Head On' ('Gegen die Wand'). Then there are films like 'Das Versprechen' (_all_ about Berlin), 'Rosenstrasse' (1940s Berlin), and, well, there's one more but I can't think of the title, will email later.

MM adds:

Sonnenallee is also in a Berlin that no longer exists - East Berlin near the Wall before it fell. I don't like Lola Rennt. There is older stuff - a film of the 1930s (1929?) novel Berlin Alexanderplatz, by Dblin.

and passes on a Berlinfimlistning.

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2005-02-09 13:57

Well done that wimmin!

It is Ellen MacArthur and she has sat in a boat for a very long time which is nonetheless the shortest such very long time in the world EVAR!

While she was a-sitting in this such boat, as she was for quite some time, one of the Radio Foopball ("Five") personnel was moved to remark that this feat put the achievements of other sportspersons in perspective.

We can only agree: other sportspersons, unlike Ms MacArthur, generally engage in entertaining activities that the public will pay good money to see, and quite right too. Speaking of which, the cricket's on, or will be in the weather improves.

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2005-02-09 oomehead (zulu)

Hexameter, hexameter, hexameter!

We are of the opinion that Mr Rilke's Duinesque Elogies are written in hexameter. We like hexameter! We learn it from a book:

- Han ska skriva hexameter! Hexameter! Inte rimma.
- Vad menar du, hexameter, sa pappan.
- Ja shr: Tamta-ratam-tarara-tara-tam-tam-tamtara-tam-tam, frklarade Emma.

"He must write hexameter! Hexameter! Not rhyme!"
"What do you mean, hexameter," said Moominpappa.
"Like this: Tamta-ratam-tarara-tara-tam-tam-tamtara-tam-tam", explained Emma.

Farlig midsommar/Moominsummer Madness, Tove Jansson (but our translation since the official Englishing does something else and I don't have it here anyway).

That's Swedish rules hexameters, of course, were it really does have to end "tamtara-tam-tam":

HERCULES arla stod upp en morgon i frsta sin ungdom
fuller av ngst och twijk huru han sitt lefwerne bria
Skulle draf han Prijs kunde vinna medh tijden och hra.

(This was before Sweden discovered spelling, of course.)

We don't know exactly what the score is with Tsky-Tysk hexameters, but we already find them more sympa than Alexandrines, to say nothing, which would certainly exhaust our competence, of Spanish scansion.

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2005-02-09 10:12

Why I am so very hungover

I had some yummy cow in the pub to line my stomach, but I don't think it could 've been that. I'm not so sure about the kebab on the way home, not least because I don't remember very much about it.

There weren't any pancakes (O, those yummy slender cakes, sacred to great Pan himself! Yet again, a glorious Pagan festival - this time a bacchanalia of cakes, golden syrup and bottled lemon juices - usurped by the Jesusistes. Have they no shame, we ask or enquire; have they no decency?) at all. Semlor, also, were lacking to the point of absence.

It couldn't have been the l, could it?

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2005-02-08 17:33

Monday Review of Stuff

It is Tdliche Schnee! We have now moved ourselves up to the second level of Langenscheits easy readning materials in German as a foreign langwidge which after all it is.

In this episode private detective Helmut Mller gratuitously forsakes Berlin, where he lives, for Garmisch-Patacaketin, where a couple of murders spontaneously outbreak for his solving pleasure.

Sadly the cast list at the beginning contains not insubstantial spoilers; happily we consulted the dictionary but little and seldom during the mysterious unfoldnings.

At over a fiver for under fifty (50) pages you would not mistake these such pamphlets for bargains any time soon, but they do do the job. More Berlin, next time, though, please!

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2005-02-08 11:41

Monday Review of Stuff

It is Run, Lola, Run!

(I lack a telly, of course, but I have lent myself my work laptop and taken it home to watch DVDs, which are like videos only better.)

When we were young there was a programme on telly called Challenge Anneka in which the eponymous Anneka was challenged (hence the name) to perform a feat or challenge against the clock. About half of the point of it, so far as we could tell, was that this such Anneka would trot vigorously about, while her jiggling pertnesses were filmed from behind.

We think of Run, Lola, Run as a kind of gonzo remake of this idea, except that it is an actual fillum, so Lola's jiggling pertnesses are filmed from a variety of angles, including cartoon.

We will not discuss the plot, and we will certainly not spoil the central conceit. Instead, we will remark that the moments that especially caused our heart to lurch were those where we recognised the Berlinness of the setting, which is Berlin. We have so very not got over Berlin, it turns out, and it stole every scene it was in, pertnesses a-jiggle or otherwise.

Recommendations for other films starring Berlin are certainly sought. (We're just ordering Goodbye Lenin! from Mr Amazon's new Jersey-based emporium as we write, of course.)

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2005-02-08 09:37

On the Nature of God

Unfathomable; capricious; irrelevant: we defy the most meticulous theologian to persuade us these are interestingly different.

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2005-02-07 14:44

Yurovizhnuppwarmnings, ideal fr Disco

Let there be much rejoicing at those which are chosen and fervent anticipation of those choosenings yet to come!

Slovenia, Polandland, Estonia, Andorra, Belarus: we salute you all! Monaco, we do not especially salute since its chosen song remains unpublished.

We rejoice also at this time in the return of the Prodigal Hungroonians:

Hungary returns to Eurovision after a 7 year absence and will select its 2005 entry in a national final at a date and venue to be announced.

And we look particularly forward to Lebanon's debut in the contest. Even with the Swedish groop Alcazar having defected from representing Blighty at the last minute, it remains a cosmopolitanly post-nationaliste contest, and quite right too:

The Estonian four piece all girl group Vanilla Ninja will represent Switzerland in Kyiv.

They can hardly be worse than Cline Dion, isn't it?

We also enjoyed this observation:

However following Ich Troje's attempt to represent two countries in Riga, no artist or group can perform for two countries in the same contest.

We remember Ich Troje ("I, Jumper") well: they represented Polandland with a song called "Keine Grenzen" ("No Borders") which's title and chorus were in German. How very apt, indeed.

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2005-02-07 12:37

For shame, Danmark 3M!

I have some Post-It(tm) Notes! And the packaging has some translations, and they are far from good! For example,

  • Sjlvhftande
    noteringsblock

There isn't any such Swedish word as "sjlvhftande" ("selfadheesive"), nor is it at all likely there could be. Double "" just doesn't happen. Or,

  • Selvklebende
  • avtagbar notatblockk

Danish or Norwegish? Well, neither: "ckk" is by no means a starter. "Notatblok" looks Danish; "notatblokk" looks Norwegish; "Notatblockk" looks like a crass error: Google confirms all these guesses.

The question which surges to our mind, though, is just how do such mistakes come to be made? Anyone who knew anything about the langwidges couldn't make them, and anyone who didn't would presumably rely heavily on dictionaries, which wouldn't either.

It's cute when French or Estonian hotels mangle their Englishes, certainly, but it is shoddy to the point of rudeness when a multinational allows such a wretched job of work as this to be associated with a product which is, after all, hardly new.

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2005-02-07 10:34

Clothnings

The last time I bought clothnings was in Berlin, because even if you never know for certain when you will meet the Berlineuse of your dreams, during a trip to Berlin is surely a better bet than most. And as it turned out I am very fond of German fashion, and I have worn these those such clothnings extensively ever since.

And so this weekend I had special occasion to wish, as I not infrequently do wholly unprovoked, that I were in Berlin, as I set about my shoppnings. But why such shoppnings, you ask or enquire? Simple: my Berlin shoes have been outworn - three months is about par for shoes for me since I tend to walk in them, which the manufacturers clearly did not expect or intend.

And also it is my first tutorial at the University of Openness tonight, and, if the online conference is anything to go by, the presence of me and the tutor will more than fulfil the maleness quota, and who is to say that none of the many wimmins will be of the eligible variety? An online conferenceuse recently bemoaned the absence of eligible blokage in her first tutorial, after all...


In other news, I've just been handed a volume of Mr Rilke's finest Duino-flavoured wibblings, which's frontispiece claims them bilingually to be:

AUS DEM BESITZ DER FRSTIN MARIE VON THURN UND TAXIS-HOHENLOHE.

THE PROPERTY OF PRINCESS MARIE VON THURN UND TAXIS-HOHENLOHE

Hoorah!

(This is the Leishman and Spender version: if you can't trust poetrytranslationrecommendations from random persons on the Interweb - in this case, mysterious reader MMcM - what can you trust, eh?)

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