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2005-11-25 17:00

In parentheses

It is Eric "Hobbyhorse" Hobsbawm!

(Only unrealistic dreamers can suggest that Louis XVI might have accepted defeat and immediately turned himself into a constitutional monarch, even if he had been a less negligible and stupid man, married to a less chicken-brained and irresponsible woman, and prepared to listen to less disastrous advisors.)

The Age of Revolution, p.82

Is that a "no", Perfessor?

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2005-11-25 14:28

Let's go to the hoppning!

{Refrain} [No kidding]
Let's go to the hop
Let's go to the hop, oh baby
Let's go to the hop, oh baby
Let's go to the hop
Ah, ah, let's go to the hop

At the Hop, Danny and the Juniors

While relationshipular constraints will be, um, constraining our watchage of the Vier Schanzen this year, there is after all the rest of the season and the mighty Winter 'Lympicks to look forward to. Bring it on, says us, bring it on without delay or retardation:

Mens Mika Kojonkoski prver gjre Janne Ahonen til storfavoritt, advarer Ahonen selv for Ljkelsy og det norske laget.

While [Norwegian team coach] Mika Kojonkoski tries to make Janne "The Manne" Ahonen as the strong favorite, Ahohen himself backs Ljkelsy and the Norwegish team.

We want "Soaring" Sigurd back, personally, after a difficult season last year adapting to the new BMI needed for optimal skilength.

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2005-11-25 10:03

http://piginawig.diaryland.com/051121.html#c

1. Unwrapped Candy Handy, Undandy in Ostricha :

The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that Austria can continue to ban sales of unwrapped chewing gum on grounds of public health.

[...]

Under a 1998 Austrian law, candy sold in vending machines must be wrapped. Georg Schwarz, a Canadian candy importer, was fined by the mayor of Salzburg for breaking the law. Schwarz appealed the fine on the grounds that his chewing gum was sold unwrapped in other European countries.

2. It's a prinsess!*

It is kronprinsess Mette-Marit of Norway! To whom it may or may not become a baby prinsess!

Det blir en liten prinsessa.
S tror de flesta norrmn som har slagit vad om knet p kungafamiljens kommande tillskott.

It becomes a little prinsess!
So believe most Norwegishes who have the sex of the royalfamily's new addition geguessed.

* offer void where applicable

3. What you say?

I said, WHAT YOU SAY?

Unscrupulous foreign travel operators are targeting British travellers and over-charging them for poor services because of their lack of language skills.

Three quarters of British tourists believe they miss out on interesting places and better deals because they only speak English, according to a survey by translation software company Translution.

We always get our surveys carried out by translation software companies, for sure, but we are slightly at a loss to know how our extensive knowledge of Zwedish would get us a better deal in Maree.

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2005-11-24 16:00

Civilisation as we know it, only earlier

It is an attempt to get some nice warm ale to go with the sound of leather on willow - what could be Britisher? Oh yes, failure:

With the impeccable timing of a Freddie Flintoff cover drive, the first day of 24-hour opening coincided with the final day of the gripping second test in Faisalabad.

So what better way to mark the occasion than to watch England's best-known early morning drinker take on Shoaib Akhtar & co in the comfort of a central London bar?

Inevitably, the attempt fails. It's a thought, though, for the next Ashes (in Upsidedownia) if not before.

One landlord said: "I don't think anyone is daft enough to open at this time - there just isn't the demand. We actually already have a licence to open at 10am, but we don't open until 12 because there is no point."

I wonder if Babylon was like that?

If New York is the city that never sleeps, London was still looking like the city that doesn't get out of bed until lunchtime.

Maybe we should pop to the MegaTesco to buy a little something just after midnight local time tomorrow.

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2005-11-24 12:19

Of bier and bedtimes

Slightly Belated in Blighty!

Des milliers de pubs anglais et gallois ont demand profiter d'une nouvelle loi leur permettant de rester ouverts plus tard dans la nuit, suscitant l'inquitude du monde mdical qui redoute une augmentation des problmes lis l'alcoolisme.

Thousands of English and Welsh pubs have asked to profite from a new law permitting them to open later in the nuit, sucitant the anxiety of the medical world which fears an augmentation of problems linked to the alcoholisme.

A more pressing question is: where in our excellent neighbourhood is going to have bothered, given that the licensing laws were abundantly disregarded anyway?

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2005-11-24 10:37

Tall Twinkletree, Slightly Previous

We hold that the very ancient and solemn winter festival of Twinkletree starts in December, which it isn't yet. The Portugueses, apparently, beg to differ:

Mange tusinde mennsker var p gaden i Lissabon i Portugal lrdag aften for at fejre at lysene blev tndt i Europas hjeste juletr.

Many thousand persons were in the streets of Lissabon in Portugal on Saturn's day evening to celebrate the lighting of the lights on Yoorp's tallest twinkletree.

It isn't, it is only fair to remark or observe, an actual tree-tree at all: it is a roughly tree-shaped thing or entity fashioned by person or persons unknown from tree-bits.

Meanwhile, Londontown's proper tree (which is by no means threft!) is on its way from Ooshloo:

A majestic fir tree from the forest outside Oslo began a sentimental journey to London on Friday, where it will do service as the city's Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square.

Majestic d'you see?

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2005-11-23 16:39

I, student!

It is the University of Openness and it has sent us a very excellent collection of stuff and other stuff for our new course, State, Economy and Nation!

It is only slightly like a Celebrity Reality Balloon Debate Contest in Max "Chuckles" Weber, Napoleon "Boney" Bonaparte and Count Otto "Absolutely!" von Bismarck have to eat worms and one of them gets voted off every week.

JS "Shandy" Mill gets my vote this and every week for the foreseeable, for sure. Off! Off! Off!

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2005-11-23 13:29

Proactive Personal Panopticisme!

It is Jonny Wilkinson, Engleesh rugby's favourite invalid!

He still tries to live by a strict code in which he imagines that every minute of his day is being recorded by a hidden video camera. He pretends that anything he does of which he is less than proud will be screened back to himself and the people he loves most. "I try to follow this ethos because when I go to bed every night I want to feel I've done absolutely all I can to move forward in my life. I need that intense self-scrutiny because setting goals, and chasing them, is crucial."

Setting goals and chasing them, Varied Reader. At the end of the day that's what it's all about, isn't it? I think Kant said something similar, or it may have been the Baby Jesus.

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2005-11-23 10:57

Case study

Learning, as we currently are, German via a very very very old-fashioned 1937 Teach Yourself book, we have now at last learned all about the cases of the definite article.

We like this very very very much - our German bedtime reading (which is a boy-teen Krimi which we can't actually read) remains just as impenetrable, except now we can easily tell when it is being impenetrable in the dative case.

That, Varied Reader, is what we call progress.

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2005-11-22 11:54

Har du sett min cykelnyckel?

Cyckelnyckel, cykelnyckel?

Cykelnyckel! It is two (2) crazy Zwedishes who cycled to Espain!

Cykelturen mellan Stockholm och Mlaga tog nio veckor. Mlet ndde de i slutet av oktober. Under resan har de upptckt vilka lnder som r bst fr cyklister.
-Frst och frmst Holland, dr cyklar alla. Sedan Tyskland och Frankrike. I Spanien dremot s verkar de helt ha glmt bort cyklisterna nr de projekterat vgar. Ibland tvingades vi ut p motorvgarna, berttar Ulf.

The cycletrip between Stockholm and Mlaga took nine (9) weeks. The goal was reached at the end of Oktober. During the journey they discovered which countries were best for cyclistes.
"Above all, the Netherlands, where everyone cycles. Then Germany and France. In Espain on the other hand, the seem to have completely forgotten cyclistes when they planned roads. Sometimes we were forced out on motorways", tells or relates Ulf.

They then flew home and locked their bicycles in the garage until spring which is fair enough, really.

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2005-11-22 10:21

How the Finnish got his silences

It is the EU budjet meeting!

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja: "As there is nothing new to discuss, I have got nothing new to say."

(Britain's presidency of the EU is now officially a fiasco, and it doesn't help in these such budget negociations that Tony "Baloney" Blair couldn't give up the UK's absurd "rebate" even if he wanted to.)

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2005-11-21 16:51

Der Winter is da!

We know, Varied Reader, what you're asking or enquiring: hat Winter Sden fest im Griff?

It has, it has!

Glatte Straen, viele Unflle: Schnee-Chaos in Bayern

Eiskratzen, Schneeschippen, spiegelglatte Straen: Der Winter ist da!

(Schnee-Chaos is of course German for snkaos, and Bayern is Bavaria where not very long ago we were ourself.)

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2005-11-21 13:19

It's criminal!

Someone somewhere hasn't got the memo that Englishings don't sell, not least at Harvill where Englished crime books that do sell must be a pleasant change.

There's been a foreign invasion in the crime world. In recent years publishers have been plundering the wealth of European crime writing to introduce authors as diverse as Sweden's Henning ["Hilarity"] Mankell and Sicily's Andrea Camilleri to British readers. This year four of the six books shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association's prestigious Gold Dagger for Fiction were novels in translation, with Arnaldur Indridason (Icelandic), Karin Fossum (Norwegian), Friedrich Glauser (Swiss) and Fred Vargas (French) on the list. Not everyone in the trade was happy with the shortlist, with Selina Walker, publishing director for crime and thrillers at Transworld, lamenting its narrowness in a vintage year that had included new novels by top sellers such as Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham. In the end though, Indridason won - and, if you haven't read them, his novels about the dark side of Reykjavik, featuring a detective with a drug-addicted daughter, are compelling. They are published by Harvill.

The blinkered blimps at the Crime Writers' Association, however, egged on by a new mystery sponsor, have retaliated by restricting the preistigious Golden Dagger for Fiction, in future, to works originally written in the silly Engleesh.

No biscuits for you, Associated Crime Writers!

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2005-11-21 09:53

More biscuits, Reverend?

Well done!

The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" is not science and does not belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs is "wrong" and is akin to mixing apples with oranges.

This is what comes of knowing some science, we suppose, and it is especially apt since the weasel-in-chief of this lamentable Creationisme Nouveau is himself a Catholic. As, rumour has it, is the Pope:

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI waded indirectly into the evolution debate by saying the universe was made by an "intelligent project" and criticizing those who in the name of science say its creation was without direction or order.

From now on he's formally known to us as Pope "No Biscuits" Benny.

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2005-11-18 18:04

Increasingly global teeth

Polish plumbers are bad, since they might come over here and take Our Boys' jobs. But Polish dentist are nice, since we can take our teeths to them without them posing the slightest risk to the honour of our wimmins or our benefit systems:

I rask takt etableras fretag som ordnar tandvrdsresor till steuropa Deras kunder r den snabbt vxande strmmen av patienter som vill f billig tandvrd och pengar ver till shopping och en kortsemester.

Companies organising toothcaretrips to Eastern Yoorp are being established at a brisk rate. Their customers are the quickly growing stream of patients who want cheap dental care and zlotys left over for shopping and a short holiday.

Given the choice between straight dealing and straight teeth, it's the toothypegs that have it, for sure.

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2005-11-18 14:32

Who will seek the search engines?

We just applied for a job as a bit-herder with Google.nl. It is impressively hard to find out for sure where Google.nl keeps its actual swervers, but it is not all that hard to find out for unsure, and where we found is exactly where we wish to spend our time in the not too distant.

We wonder though if we ("the successful applicant") will be sworn to secrecy in turn. (We're pretending it is a big secret already, of course.)

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2005-11-18 10:16

Yeah, right

We won't be doing our Christmas shoppning in Noo York this year, but not for the first time:

The Big Apple is about 11 per cent more expensive for British shoppers than it was last festive season because of slipping exchange rates, the broker HIFX said. But buying with the euro is about 2 per cent on last year.

And with Germany suffering an economic slump that has sent retail prices crashing, experts are advising bargain-hunters to shop in cities such as Hamburg, which has direct, low-cost flights from Scotland.

The increasing strength of the US dollar could spell the end of transatlantic shopping breaks, which have become a pre-Christmas ritual for tens of thousands of Britons in the past five years.

Also Hamburg is in Germany, where the bier is yummy and cheap and even the time is almost right.

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2005-11-17 18:39

Scandiwegian mutual intelligibility

Just between you and us, Varied Reader, we have applied for a job researching these such somethings. But as we sit here half-listening to NRK's Norwegish podcast, we struggle - after all these years - to tell it isn't Zwedish. (We don't understand it all, by any means but sadly the same is true of Zwedish.) Whereas Danish we still simply don't get.

Podcasts are cool though, isn't it?

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2005-11-17 14:53

Ooh my spicy brain!

We are attempting to combine C and Python. This is impressively hard: we are doing a lot of manual casting and we frankly don't understand our own code very well.

Also, and possibly relatedly, we have been cold on account of the cold, and seem to be coming down with a cold. (Form an orderly queue, astonished scientistes!)

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2005-11-17 10:37

"bojo-lay nu-voh", Mr Knippenberg?

That's not even close enough for rock'n'roll!

It's not a great wine. But Beaujolais nouveau (bojo-lay nu-voh) has one thing going for it that no other wine has: It's the wine worlds favorite ritual.

That's because of all the hoopla surrounding its annual release at one minute after midnight on the third Thursday in November, a date regulated by French law. In the years since the 1950s, when its fame started spreading, the release has evolved into a major excuse for parties, parades and tastings all over the world.

Made entirely from Gamay grapes grown in France's Beaujolais region, the wine is a light, fruity red that is fermented quickly - only 10 weeks from vine to bottle - and hastily shipped worldwide in time for Thursday night parties. About 65 million bottles will hit the shelves today.

Of course, these days it's shipped out in advance and most of the sales are in Asia after the overexpansion of capacity at the expense of quality and the annoying stunts alienated Yoorpean consumers.

Except us. We happen to like the bowzh, and we happen to like the ritual too.

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2005-11-16 17:10

Langwidge Games With Ludic Ludwig

It seems to us that a facing-page English/German edition of a book devoted to "langwidge games" involving restricted domains and especially vocabulary would make a very excellent pedagogical tool for the learner of German, for example us.

Is this not so? Or is there some other reason why Google finds no mention of such a technique or method?

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2005-11-16 15:08

Civilised licensing laws and their discontents

So Blighty was poised to finally roll back the insane First-World-War-inspired 23:00 closing time for public houses, and what did the coalition of tabloids and Tories do? Why, they whipped up a moral panic and tried to block it, of course:

As late as last year, police chiefs at their annual conference conceded that the new act would be "a welcome and civilised approach to drinking" for the vast majority, but warned that dealing with binge drinking was beyond police capability and the act could lead to more violence. Not much opposition was heard from the Conservative party, which liberalised afternoon drinking in the 1980s, until tabloid newspapers began a campaign of opposition to the new hours. Now there is widespread public opposition.

Stupid stupid stupid.

We'll be sure to have a quiet and civilised pint at 23:30 on November the 25th at the Tabloid and Tory. And then we'll see if we riot, but we never have under comparable circumstances in Abroad.

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2005-11-16 11:17

Two great names that name great together!

It is the new Danish kronkronprins! And it is also the Danish habit and custom of delaying the naming of bebisar until their formal dippning, which can be and often is whenever it is:

Selvom der absolut intet vil blive rbet om barnets navn, s er der ingen tvivl om, at der vil blive sagt Christian foran dbefonden i Christiansborg Slotskirke.

Evenif there absolutely won't become the call on the bebis's name, so is there no doubt that it will be said "Christian" before the dippningfont in Christianborgs Castlechurch.

They're always called Chris or Fred, kronprinses, and the current Kronprinsfred is a Fred (hence the name), so a Chris is a dead cert. But just in case it gets too confusing, they'll sneak a Fred in the undernames as well, and a Frenchy-French name in honour of the French Prinshenrik, its grandad.

(To our not inconsiderable irritation the "Bruce" lobby (in honour of the Kronprinsessmary's Strayan roots) appears to 've been sidelined.)

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2005-11-15 16:56

Foopball and other micronationalismes

(Pay attention: this may well be on the exam.)

In de meeste competitions of foopball, Engerlund, Wales, Scotland and All-Ireland compete separately, and that's the way everyone likes it. But that won't wash at the Lympicks, since the UK is represented by (deep breath) Team GB, which represents England, Wales, Scotland and any athletes from Northern Ireland as prefer to affiliate with it rather than Ireland (being, as they are, equally entitled to either, which is why it isn't team UK).

Now, with London hosting the Lympicks in oh-twelve, there is a wish on the part of the organisers for a home team to turn up even in the foopball, but there are fears from the individual home nations' FAs that this might compromise their future independence in other competitions, notwithstanding assurances that are certainly worth at least the paper they're written on. The Scots, in particular, are having nothing to do with it:

Plans for a Great Britain football team at the London 2012 Olympics will go ahead without any Scottish involvement.

The Scottish FA ruled out participation but have no objection to the other home nations forming sides for the men's and women's Olympic and Paralympic teams.

England and Northern Ireland are in favour, while the Welsh FA, having initially opposed the idea, are now deciding whether to reconsider.

Hours of fun! (We couldn't care less any which way about the outcome: Lympick foopball is a joke and we only support les bleus de Chelsea anyway.)

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2005-11-15 16:49

Foopball and other micronationalismes

(Pay attention: this may well be on the exam.)

In de meeste competitions of foopball, Engerlund, Wales, Scotland and All-Ireland compete separately, and that's the way everyone likes it. But that won't wash at the Lympicks, since the UK is represented by (deep breath) Team GB, which represents England, Wales, Scotland and any athletes from Northern Ireland as prefer to affiliate with it rather than Ireland (being, as they are, equally entitled to either, which is why it isn't team UK).

Now, with London hosting the Lympics in oh-twelve, there is a wish on the part of the organisers for a home team to turn up even in the foopball, but there are fears from the individual home nations' FAs that this might compromise their future independence in other competitions, notwithstanding assurances that are certainly worth at least the paper they're written on. The Scots, in particular, are having nothing to do with it:

Plans for a Great Britain football team at the London 2012 Olympics will go ahead without any Scottish involvement.

The Scottish FA ruled out participation but have no objection to the other home nations forming sides for the men's and women's Olympic and Paralympic teams.

England and Northern Ireland are in favour, while the Welsh FA, having initially opposed the idea, are now deciding whether to reconsider.

Hours of fun! (We couldn't care less any which way about the outcome: Lympick foopball is a joke and we only support les bleus de Chelsea anyway.)

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2005-11-15 14:37

Is that a snstorm up your sleeve or are you just having some dandruff issues?

There have been storms in 'Wegia, but they have been ordinary regnstorms and we discard them. But sn is at hand:

Och nu kommer snn.
-Mest vinterlikt blir det i de norra delarna, sger Lars Knutsson, meteorolog p SMHI i Norrkping.

And now sn is coming.
"It will be most winterly in nothern parts", says Lars Knutsson, meteorologiste at SMHI in Norrkping [Ping ping!].

Most winterly in the north, eh? What are the odds!

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2005-11-15 10:58

Hoorah!

Hoorah hoorah hoorah!

Nu r det ntligen dags. Aftonbladet ska brja med RSS

It's finally time. Aftonbladet is starting an RSS feed.

Hoorah!

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2005-11-14 15:43

Breaking news: Getting cold causes colds!

Scientistes have made a profound breakthrough in obviousstating (slightly bleeding):

Scientists say they have the first proof that there really is a link between getting cold and catching one.

[...]

Professor Ronald Eccles, director of the [Cardiff University Common Cold] centre, said the study had shown, for the first time, a scientific link between chilling and viral infection - something previously dismissed by other studies[!!!].

"When colds are circulating in the community, many people are mildly infected but show no symptoms," Prof Eccles said.

"If they become chilled, this causes a pronounced constriction of the blood vessels in the nose and shuts off the warm blood that supplies the white cells that fight infection. The reduced defences in the nose allow the virus to get stronger and common cold symptoms develop. Although the chilled subject believes they have 'caught a cold' what has, in fact, happened is that the dormant infection has taken hold."

That is what we call "catching a cold", Perfessor E. That's what catching a cold is!

Instead of sneering at our perfectly reasonable usages, how about an apology for the "previous dismiss"als, since everyone outside the medical profession knew this perfectly well all along?

We're not holding our breath, though, since the sidebar quote runs:

Mothers can now be confident in their advice to children to wrap up well in winter

Prof Ron Eccles, Common Cold Centre

We recommend you get over yourself with some urgency, Perfessor, and you might want to see if one of your many colleagues can do a rectocephalectomy while you're at it.

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2005-11-14 14:11

Smrgspost

1. Hola! indeed, prinsess!

- Jonas r mitt livs stora krlek, sger Madeleine i en unik intervju.

Fr frsta gngen berttar prinsessan Madeleine ppet om sin relation till Jonas Bergstrm; om sina knslor och om framtiden. Det gr hon i den spanska veckotidningen Hola.

"Jonas is the great love of my life", says prinsess Madeleine [of Zweden] in a unique interview.

For the first time prinsess Madeleine [of Zweden] tells of her relationship with Jonas Mountainstream; on her feelings and on the future. She does this in the Spanish weekmagazine Hola.

Which we now have to read, of course. It isn't easy being us!

2. Yoorpbladets go Interweb

The Graun's Interweb-friendly strategy has made it the left-bladet of choice for much of Anglophonia, since the FDR's many 'bladets are heroically spineless ("balanced") when it comes to, say, launching a war of aggression on a platform of transparent lies, or the systematic use of torture by the military/intelligence personnel or other such bleeding-heart teapot-tempests, whine whine whine, and this is now a significant revenue stream for Manchester's finest terror-appeasers and rule-change denialistes. Also:

Autre exemple rvlateur: celui d'El Mundo, deuxime tirage des quotidiens en Espagne aprs El Pais, mais dont le site internet est le plus consult (750.000 visiteurs uniques/jour) des journaux europens, devant Bild (Allemagne) et The Guardian, et vient au premier rang dans le monde hispanique.

Another revealing example: that of El Mundo, second by circulation in Espain after El Pais, but of which the Internet site is the most consulted of European newspapers (750,000 unique visitors/day) ahead of Bild (Germany) and the Grauniad, and which is top in the hispanophone world.

This is of course because nowhere near enough persons have had the rudimentary courtesy to learn Zwedish and read the mighty Aftonbladet, which's content is also all but entirely spread out on the internets like a lobster anaesthetised in a more than slightly warm bath.

3. A delicious pizza!

The most delicious in the Nord!

Det hr r Nordens godaste pizza.
Den r sprdgrddad, tckt med mozzarella, tryffel, tunnskivad oxfil, parmesanost och drivor av rucolasallad.

- En gourmetpizza, sger pizzamstaren Nebojsa Pavicevic, 41.

It has stuff and other stuff on it!

"Yum yum", says pizzamaster Nebojsa Pavicevic, 41, [the perpetrator].

One of the many things we did at the weekend, incidentally, was to get an octopot for making stovetop espressi ("espressos"), and we are very glad we did: it makes (with expensive Italian caff) the best caff we've had since we were last in Italy.

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2005-11-14 10:28

It isn't easy renouncing being a prinsess!

Ask (ex)-prinsess Sayako of Japanland:

The Emperor and Empress of Japan have ceremonially waved goodbye to their only daughter, who has chosen to renounce her title for love.

Princess Sayako, the daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, officially bade farewell to her parents on Saturday during complex and traditional rituals ahead of her wedding to a commoner. Tomorrow, she is to marry Yoshiki Kuroda, 40, a Tokyo town planner. The couple are old friends who became romantically involved after a party hosted by Princess Sayako's older brother two years ago.

It is so very Japan to have comple and traditional rituals for just such an eventuality, for sure.

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