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2004-05-22 helgen! (utc+1)

Why I am so very weekend bonus!

[My mum has broadband now, so there's even more computer to fix what fun! But probably all my readers already know very well how to swear in the Engleesh, so I shall spare you considerable details.]

Toppstory on VG today is an exciting new Swedish word that the Norwegish people have just learnt:

Svensk TV felte en ndels dom over Mrtha Louises pkledning under bryllupet i Madrid: Grslig! Det betyr p norsk: Stygt! Smaklst!

Swedish TV gave a ruthless judgement on [Norwegish prinsess Mrtha Louise's dress during the Madrig wedding: Grslig! Which means in Norwegish: Stygt[?]! Tasteless!

Funnily enough, grslig came up in Swedish class this week also, and the consensus there was along the lines of "terrible" or "horrible".

Personally, I am very fond of prinsess M-L of Norway, and I think it was very wise of her to pick a dress that would draw attention away from her hat.

Also, I read the (ridiculously short and spaciously typeset) Heidegger pamphlet on the train, in a mixture of English, German and Belgian premium lager ("Stella Artois") yum yum, and frankly I liked the lager better. The idea that this pompous oafish Nazi was one of the great philosophers goes a long way to explaining the appeal of the opposite view, for sure.

2004-05-21 tea (utc+1)


I was shocked - shocked I tell you! - to find that Oxfam wished me to fork out 9.99 GBP for a copy of Martin "Heigh-ho!" Heidegger's What is philosophy?, even if it is a 1956 parallel text edition. I bought it anyway, though, because think of all the starving childrens in Africa, and anyway I liked the end of the introduction:

Our translation is offered only as a guide to the reading of the German text. Heidegger's thought cannot be reproduced in any other language. We hope that in offering the translation we create the idea that we are presenting a substitute for the German text; we present only a vehicle for its comprehension.

And besides they use the "Being"/"being" translation for "l'tre"/"l'tant", which is always good for a laugh:

Das Sein des Seienden beruht in der Seiendheit.

The Being of being rests in the Beingness.

You can get it out with a used tea-bag soaked in lemon juice, though, isn't it?

Meanwhile Chris and the Timb'rites are shocked about the atrocities currently being sponsored by the Sudanese government in Darfur. Things there are very bad. Very very bad. Getting on for Rwanda bad, and there isn't much worse than that can be got.

Sadly, however, applying the standard sub-Saharan atrocity discount (SSAD) coefficient, this has slightly less moral urgency than a kitten stuck up a tree in Ongar, Essex (poor little kitty!), and Western governments and media are reacting accordingly.

Fashion is a cruel mistress, Varied Reader, and this is by no means less true of geopolitics than it is of T-shirts.


2004-05-21 12:11

Why I am so very beburdened

I have moved office today, to a nice cool office, which involves much packing and carrying and unpacking. (This is the approved order, from which I have not deviated.)

I have with me a cassette course in Latvia, which I need to return to the Library down the hill, and I have also an assortment of somethings appropriate to a weekend trip to the ancestral residence in the outskirts of the London, off to which I will be setting after work today.

I am not, however, encumbered by any fridge magnets of Kronprinsfleep of the Spain and his lovely Letizia (I've seen the Hello! Knudellabrllop photos, and she and her dress and especially she in her dress were pretty stunning).

Des magnets l'effigie du prince espagnol Felipe de Borbon et de sa fiance Letizia Ortiz, dans un magasin de souvenirs mercredi Madrid. Le couple convolera samedi 22 mai dans la cathdrale de la Almudna Madrid. Le mariage princier promet d'tre trs rentable pour l'Espagne, selon une tude publie par la chambre de Commerce et d'industrie de Madrid. Le mariage du prince sera comme une vitrine de la marque Espagne qui dmontrera, une fois de plus, que les mariages royaux sont une excellente promotion pour la ville qui les accueille, rapportent les experts en tourisme.

Some magnets [there's a photo] of the likeness of Kronprinsfleep of Borbon and his fiance Letizia Ortiz, in a souvenir shop in Madrid on Wednesday. The couple will wed on Saturday 22 May in Almudna cathedral in Madrid. The princely marriage promises to be very profitable for the Spain, according to some dreary breadheads. "It's a great marketing opportunity, and as a marketing opportunity it's great!" said a dreary breadhead. "If this doesn't put Spain on the touriste map, nothing will. Sorry, what Olympic bid?"

Breadheads, pah!


2004-05-21 morning (utc+1)

Slavoj! Zizek!, Slovenian! Intellectual! Extraordinaire!

Heartthrob or headcase? Lacanian luminary or beardy basket-case? Gentlepersons of gender or otherwise, I give you "Slaverin'" Slavoj Zizek!

On his methodology!

"Every three years I write a research proposal. Then I subdivide it into three one-sentence paragraphs, which I call my yearly projects. At the end of each year I change the research proposal's future-tense verbs into the past tense and then call it my final report," he explains.

With the Ljubljana Lacanians!

[The Ljubljana Lacanians] used [their publishing] outlets to perpetrate several literary hoaxes. Articles in [their journal] Problemi, were frequently written under pseudonyms or left unsigned, in parodic imitation of Stalinist practice. Zizek once wrote a pseudonymous review attacking one of his own books on Lacan. [...] With the regime's aversion to Lacan on the rise, Zizek sensed a wonderful opportunity for mischief; writing in a widely read academic journal, Anthropos, under an assumed name, he published a deliberately clumsy attack on an imaginary book that allegedly detailed why Lacan's theories were wrong. The next day bookstores across Ljubljana received requests for the title.

On His Analysis!

"It was my strict rule, my sole ethical principle, to lie consistently: to invent all symptoms , fabricate all dreams," he reports of his treatment. "It was obsessional neurosis in its absolute purest form. Because you never knew how long it would last, I was always prepared for at least two sessions. I have this incredible fear of what I might discover if I really went into analysis. What if I lost my frenetic theoretical desire? What if I turned into a common person?"

On his kinks!

"For me, shopping is like masturbating in public," he says

(He has his wife do that. Speaking of whom:)

His (Second) Wife,Renata Salecl!

Her first book, Discipline as a Condition of Freedom (which was recently staged as a ballet), was a Foucault-inspired analysis of communist Yugoslavia. "Nobody believed in the rules, but they nevertheless kept following them obediently, and I wanted to know why," she explains.

On teaching in America (1)!

At the first meeting of each course, he announces that all students will get an A and should write a final paper only if they want to. "I terrorize them by creating a situation where they have no excuse for giving me a paper unless they think it is really good. This scares them so much, that out of forty students, I will get only a few papers," he says. "And I get away with this because they attribute it to my 'European eccentricity.'"

On teaching in America (2)!

"I understand I have to take questions during my lectures, since this is America and everybody is allowed to talk about everything. But when it comes to office hours, I have perfected a whole set of strategies for how to block this," he says with a smirk. "The real trick, however, is to minimize their access to me and simultaneously appear to be even more democratic!" Initially, Zizek scheduled office hours immediately before class so that students could not run on indefinitely. Then he came up with the idea of requiring them to submit a written question in advance, on the assumption that most would be too lazy to do it (they were).

On his secret dream!

"Do not forget that with me everything is the opposite of what it seems," he says. "Deep down I am very conservative; I just play at this subversive stuff. My most secret dream is to write an old-fashioned, multivolume theological tract on Lacanian theory in the style of Aquinas. I would examine each of Lacan's theories in a completely dogmatic way, considering the arguments for and against each statement and then offering a commentary. I would be happiest if I could be a monk in my cell, with nothing to do but write my Summa Lacaniana."

On tea!

"We must have the most fanatically precise English tea," Zizek insists, gesticulating dramatically in the style of a European dictator. "Everything must be exactly the way the English do it: clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, scones. It must be the most radically English experience possible!"

(I love that bit.)


2004-05-20 tea (utc+1)

Alexandria, slightly librarian

I have a Pavlovian reaction to the phrase Library of Alexandria which is largely uncontaminated by knowledge of its history. So my first reaction on hearing that it had been discovered was to update my mental file on the matter with the information that it had been lost.

And then found, hurrah!

Alexandria was a tiny fishing village on the Nile delta called Rhakotis when Alexander the Great chose it as the site of the new capital of his empire.

It became Egypt's capital in 320BC and soon became the most powerful and influential city in the region. Its rulers built a massive lighthouse at Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the famed [See? See?] Library of Alexandria.

It was at the university that Archimedes invented the screw-shaped fluid pump still in use today, that Euclid invented the rules of geometry and the astronomer Eratosthenes calculated the diameter of Earth.

"Invented the rules of geometry" is a very odd way to summarise Euclid's achievements, but this is after all the journalisme and anyway the fabled lost Library of Alexandria! I could hardly be more excited if I had known it was missing! Also at the BBC:

Ptolemy wrote the Almagest at Alexandria. It was the most influential scientific book about the nature of the Universe for 1,500 years.

The library was later destroyed, possibly by Julius Caesar who had it burned as part of his campaign to conquer the city.

Bad Caesar! No biscuit!



2004-05-20 12:31


What I look for in a woman: An Abridgment:

IT WAS a sale that stunned the art world. When the daughter of a billionaire press baron outbid an oil dynasty heiress for lot 56, the 2 million pricetag for two gilded urns forged during the reign of Louis XV could have been a steal. [...]

Taylor Thomson, the daughter of the Canadian press baron Lord Thomson of Fleet, [...]

Ms Thomson had claimed she was not an experienced collector and relied heavily on Christie's for advice. She says she believed she had bought museum-quality pieces until a conversation with the leading French dealer almost four years later.

(The BBC's picture doesn't do her justice, being all squished and that, but the Torygraph link will rot, and anyway it's the Torygraph, isn't it?)

Sigh. If it wasn't for the litigious streak...

2. Kristi himmelfrdsdag

And, since 1924, Folknykterhetens dag (Temperance day), so no sneaky l-guzzling, Swedishes!

3. lstreik update!

The BBC has joined in:

With all production now at a halt, Norway cannot even import from neighbours Sweden or Denmark, because its truck drivers are also on strike.
Arild Oliversen, a union spokesman, told the BBC's World Business Report that he expected to win, but that the strike could take months.

If I were a wine-seller in a port town in Norway (ahh, Bergen!) I would be a happy man today. Months!


2004-05-20 morning! (utc+1)

Why I am so civically dutiful

A council by-election is being held today in my ward. I got the ballot card a while back, but it was only last night I got around to locating my polling station on the map. It was right in the fold of my A to Z, and the street name only just begins in the square given in the index, but my Will to Democracy is strong!

The address was further unencumbered by number, since it referred to an industrial estate and industrial estates transcend the petty enumerative impulses to which your limited perceptions are in thrall. The road is long, but my Will to Democracy is strong!

The polling station opens between 0800 and 2100, local time, and it is Swedish class tonight which also ends at 2100 and I often leave for work before 0800, but my Will to Democracy is after all strong!

Having left the house at 0750, I proceed in a pollwardly direction (as best as I can) with my polling card and A to Z to hand. At about 0757 I locate the polling station, and seeing persons loitering in a capacity that looks voluntarily official, I saunter in, through the lobby, and penetrate into the Sanctum Sanctorum. There is democracy afoot, and I will that it should be thus! Strongly!

A man who clearly wishes it wasn't decides that it is nonetheless his duty to very politely inform me that it is but 0758 and a bit, and would I please clear off and vacate the premises? My Will to Democracy has overflowed, in its strength, the boundaries of what is allowed or permissible!

I return to the outside, and loiter purposefully. Willfully! A minute passes, and a bit of another minute. The prospect of being told that it is still only 0759 and a bit by the Duly Appointed Timepiece of Democracy lends resoluteness to my loitering. I can wait until 0802 by my watch, if I have to: my Will to Democracy is, after all, strong!

The man comes to the doorway, and waves to me the wave of destiny. It! Is! Time! I brush past the woman seated outside, pausing only to let her write down the number she wishes to write down from my polling card. (There is a slight delay while she figures out which one that is.) I sweep in, if not quite at the head of a Glorious Phalanx of the Willfully Democratic (there are no other punters) then at least a proud (and strong!) advance party.

I vote! My Will* will not be denied!

I can't wait for the Yoorpean elections. I think I might write to the parties and ask for their manifestoes: my Will to Democracy is strong, but it is also scrupulous.

* That would be my Will to Democracy. Do try to keep up, won't you?


2004-05-19 13:54

We like sheep; have gone astray

The Gettier problems, isn't it? Today we have Chris von Timber bringing them up in the context of students' media acquired habit of dismissing hypothetical questions are unworthy of consideration. (Does a philosophy student who refuses to consider hypothetical questions deserve to get a degree? Discuss.)

I first noticed this phenomenon a few years ago, when sitting-in on a lecture my then-colleague Patrick Greenough. Patrick was running through some Gettier problems and had reached a familiar example involving a dog cunningly disguised as a sheep in a field (a real sheep being just out of sight behind a fold in the land).

The Gettier problems are designed to call into question the theory that knowledge is "justified true belief". The one here involves a person, P, seeing the dog in sheep's clothing and concluding that there is a sheep in the field. So P's belief is justified (albeit by misleading evidence) and true (although the confirming evidence is not accessible to P). So does P know that there is a sheep in the field or not?

We are not the first to think that the causal relationship between the belief and the evidence which would demonstrate it to be true is in question here, having been anticipated by one Alvin Goldman; we may be the first to hold that we have thus reduced it to a problem we have previously refused to consider soluble. ("Causality", indeed!) In any case, working as a computer programmer in a maths department has inspired in me (yes yes, non-causally) a profound loathing of reasoned argument, so I will instead assail the alleged problem with some nice sarcasm:

Although we don't know what knowledge is, we nonetheless imagine the scenario from a position of omniscience: We know that the sheep that is out of sight (of P) has not just died of stupidity. (Note that despite the confusing, but traditional, terminology a dead sheep is not in fact a sheep, stricto sensu.) We know that the sheep hasn't just quantumed tunnelled to Australia; that it is not a pseudo-sheep whose every molecule is chirally-inverted and will thus not be able to breed with true sheep (thus forfeiting membership of the species Sheepus sheepus of which all sheeps are members. It is also unable to digest the hypothetical grass and will soon die a tragic hypothetical death, how sad); it is certainly not, we also know, the outward and visible signs of sheephood unknowably shorn of sheep-in-itself; nor is it two or more distinct but physically indistinguishable sheep being teleported alternately into and out of position at a frequency above any we can detect, let alone measure, by a prankster from a technologically more advanced civilisation, or a projection - indistinguishable, to our limited perceptions, from an ordinary sheep - into our universe of a 17-dimensional hypersheep by the infinitely inscrutable Medium Lobster. Nor are we dealing here with a deduction from the propositions "There is a sheep in the field or Q" and "not Q" in a calculus where we have erroneously assumed the Law of Excluded Middle holds, or the first (inevitable) failure of our sheep-identification strategy since graduation from Mr Quine's celebrated sheep spotting school. Nor, of course, is it a sheepoid zombie that walks like a sheep, quacks like a sheep but is in fact dpourvu of the qualia necessary for truly agentive sheephood.

Isn't it great being omniscient, even if only hypothetically? We can tell the difference between beliefs founded on compelling evidence ("justified" beliefs) and true knowledge and whereas P may think he or she knows there's a sheep in the field (do I not know P's gender or sex? Perhaps I simply do not care to reveal it!) we know better and there is no better than that that can be known for we know not only that which is true but why also why it is true!

We have deduced, in other words, that so-called "knowledge" based solely on evidence and not backed up by omniscience is no substitute for the real thing. Neo-scholastique, did I say? Neo-scholastique, for sure.

(The 'Pedia says that "it would not be an overstatement to call the Gettier problem the single most important problem in contemporary Analytic epistemology", incidentally.)


2004-05-19 morning (utc+1)


1. lstreik!

By ancient tradition, Norwegish brewers celebrate the start of the summer drinking season by going on strike:

Produksjon og utkjring av l, mineralvann og kildevann ved 12 bryggerier og kildevannsprodusenter over hele landet stanser onsdag morgen nr 2.560 bryggeriansatte gr ut i streik.

Production and distribution of l, mineral water and spring water from 12 breweries and springwaterproducers across the whole country will halt on Wednesday morning when 2,560 brewery workers go on strike.

I'm all for labour relations and negociated settlements and all that, but surely this is a case if ever there was one for imposing martial law? Or at the very least using army personnel and vehicles to brew and distribute l, like they used to do with ambulances in the UK when they were striking. (Mineral and/or spring water we do not classify as basic human needs.)

2. Robo-Knudella

Perhaps there are republicain(e)s behind this claim that the lovely new kronprinsess Knudella of Danmark is in fact a robot:

You should have seen us watching the wedding on Friday. It was coffee and lamingtons until the cows came home, I can tell you. We were particularly thrilled when we realised that the arm-waving controls had crossed with the wardrobe selection chips so that when the arm was waving, the wedding dress didn't ride up into the armpit.

Lamingtons, you ask or enquire? "Lamingtons are sponge, cut up into squares, sometimes with jam and cream but always rolled in chocolate and dessicated coconut", and they have a good claim to be the glorious National Cake of Australia, yum yum.

[via Upside-Down Anna Louise, tack]

3. It'll all be over by Christmas, isn't it?

Folk hamstrer sr-frimrket af kronprinseparret, men det er der slet ikke grund til det, for Post Danmark lover, der er frimrker med de nygifte i hvert fald indtil jul.

Persons are hoarding the special stamps of the kronprinspar, but there really isn't any need to, since Post Danmark promises that there'll be stamps featuring the newly weds at least until Twinkletree ("Christmas").

Hoard l, Danish persons - look what happened in Norway! Commemorative l if you like, but stock those cellars and stock them not lower than the brim.


2004-05-18 17:17

Why I am so very contingent

I do not especially believe in causality*, but what could I possibly offer as an explanation of this? What could be made of any statement of the form "I do not believe in causality because..."?

* Except when I do, but that is beyond the scope of this post.


2004-05-18 15:05

Danish Detrituses ("Detriti")

What costume, you ask or enquire, shall the poor girl wear to all tomorrow's parties? Well, not this hand-me-down dress from who knows where, for sure:

Fra Kristi Himmelfartsdag udstilles kronprinsesse Marys brudekjole i Amalienborgmuseet sammen med de tre foregende kronprinsessers brudekjoler: Dronningen Margrethe II, Dronning Ingrid og Dronning Alexandrine.

From Ascension day ("Christ's Heavenjourneyday") [whenever that is] kronprinsess Knudella's wedding frock will be displayed at Amelieborg museum together with the three previous kronprinsess's bridal frocks: Queen Margrethe II, Queen Ingrid and Queen Alexandrine [complete with fully-articulated caesura!].

That's some pretty fancy detritus, for sure, but there's common-or-garden detritus aplenty, also, if not galore:

Hele dagen har vi samlet genstande ind: flag, kroner, balloner - kbt trjer med Bevar Kongehuset, koalabjrne m.v. Mellem kl. 18 og 19 indsamlede vi affald fra pladsen foran Frue Kirke og p Rdhuspladsen i Kbenhavn, ligesom vi har fulgt oprydningen af byens gader og strder samt tv-folkenes nedpakning af udstyr.

All day we collected up items: flags, crowns [do they mean silly hats, or do they actually mean kroner the money?], balloons - bought jumpers with Keep the Royals!, koala bears m.v.[? I hate inscrutable 'Wegian abbvs]. Between 18 and 19 o'clocks we collected rubbish from the square in front of Frue Kirke [where the wedding was] and the Townhallsquare in Shoppingharbour. We also followed the up-cleaning of the town's streets and lanes as well as the TV-persons packing up of their kit.

Ephemera for ever!, isn't it?

[linkage via Citoyenne B.]


2004-05-18 samwidge (utc+1)


1. Balkong!

P mammas arm debuterte prinsesse Ingrid Alexandra p slottsbalkongen 17. mai. N venter mange r med vinking for vr fremtidige dronning.

In mummy's arms kronkronprinsess Ingrid made her debut on the castle balkong on [Norway's national day] 17 May. Many years of waving lie ahead of the future queen.

2. Of kronprinsessor and weddings

Ha, fooled you! It's kronprinsess Vickan of Sweden and her not-especially forbidden love for a simple peasant gym-owner. But will they wed and if so when will the nuptuations be trumpeted from, as is no less than they deserve, from the rooftops? An anonymised friend is alleged to think the cards are thing which it is on in reporting Vickan's post-Knudellabrllop mood:

- Hon har sjlv skrattat och sagt att det r hennes tur nu, berttar vnnen.

She herself laughed and said it's her turn now, the friend tells or narrates.

But is Daniel ready for a role as Sweden's Prinshenrik? As Danmark's Prinshenrik, the prins Henrik (hence the name), could tell him, it's no bed of roses living a life of state-funded luxury without any significant responsibilities. (Bless him.)

3. Wedding wovels:

Princess Mary [Knudella]'s polished vowels, long pauses and Nordic lilt are in stark contrast to the fast, nasal patter of her Tasmania-dwelling sisters. But Australians should not be hurt or surprised by the transformation. It's a common phenomenon linguists dub "communication accommodation".

Cynthia Gallois, director of the Centre for Social Research in Communication at the University of Queensland, said the change reflected Mary's strong desire to be embraced by the Danes. And an Aussie flavour to her native tongue might return as she becomes more proficient in the notoriously difficult Danish language, rather than having to be understood in English.

I'm sure many persons wishing to be embraced by Danes will be relieved that the lack of an Australian accent is not in itself a handicap such as to thwart the fulfillment of this desire. What educational bladets there are if you know where to look, for sure!

[via David; other stories via Anna Louise, tak.]


2004-05-18 morning (utc+1)


1. Phew!

Se og Hr vil komme i salg som normalt tirsdag til tross for trykkeristreiken. Kjendisbladet ble mandag og natt til tirsdag trykket i all hemmelighet i Sverige.

Se og Hr will go on sale as normal on Thursday, despite the printing strike. The celebritybladet has been secretly printed in Sweden on Monday and will be nightly till Thursday.

Norwegish Se og Hr is one of the things it offends us greatly that we cannot readily obtain in the UK, along with Danish Se og Hr and Svensk Damtidning, but we would not wish for the Norwegish also to be deprived of their many celebrity gossips.

In particular, this is the Dansk Kronprinsparbryllup edition, and would therefore be especially disastrous to miss.

2. Hurra!

I was bequeathed a pile of back-issues of Svensk Damtidning last week at Swedish class, hoorah! With this and a slim volume of Husserl, my grasp of Swedish can surely not come on other than apace.

3. Hur str kursen? ("What is the exchange rate?")

2,6 mio. s Mary og Frederik sige ja ("2.6 million saw Knudella and Kronprinsfred say yes.")

That's a lot in Danishes, is it?

4. Why I am so very geolinguistique

I acquired at the weekend a Spanish/Catalan phrasebook that was clearly originally designed to tie in with the Barcelona olympics and was subsequently subjected to a fairly desultory Englishing. Whence:

I'm going to watch the opening ceremony on television.
Jo mirar per la televisi la cerimnia inaugural.
Yo ver/mirar la ceremonia inaugural en la televisin.

There are only slightly injured persons.
Noms lic ha ferits lleus.
Slo hay heridos leves.

Without being indiscreet, are you married?
Si non s una indescrecci, vost e's casat/casada?
Si non es una indescrecin, esta usted casado/casada?

I like beer/ale.
M'agrada la cervesa.
Me gusta la cerveza.

All of which is vair vair nice, but we have saved the best for last:

Do you speak English, French or German?
Parla angls, francs o alemany?
Habla usted ingls, francs o alemn?

That just cracks me up. Hoorah for the Cataloonies, for sure.


2004-05-17 tea (utc+1)

Tact and TV commentary

Did permatanned prinsess Madeleine steal the show at Knudella's party?

Det var solbrnda lillasyster Madeleine som blndade gsterna.
Nr den yngsta prinsessan gjorde entr utbrt ett vilt jubel bland fotograferna.
Madeleine sg smickrad ut, log lite generat och viskade till Victoria innan tjejerna glatt gick vidare.
En dansk tv-kommentator kunde inte hlla sig:
- Hon r s vacker, s skn, helt underbar, utbrast han entusiastiskt i direktsndning.

It was sun-tanned prinsess Madeleine who dazzled the guests.
When the youngest prinsess made her entrance a wild jubilation out-broke among fotographers.
Madeleine looked flattered, smiled slightly embarrassedly and whispered to [kronprinsess] Victoria before walking on. A Danish TV-commentator couldn't restrain himself: "She is so beautiful, so lovely, quite wonderful", he burst out enthusiastically on the direct sendning.

I don't know if Danmarkland has an equivalent to the UKish knighthood, but if there is I can think of one Danish TV-commentateur who won't be getting one any time soon.

In the interests of balance, then, we should also mention Aftonbladet's frock review gave Madde a mere three (out of five), compared to Knudella's four. (The only fives, incidentally, went to the Spanish kronprinsess-to-be, who's getting hitched next weekend and queen Sylvia of Sweden.)


2004-05-17 samwidge (utc+1)


1. Sn kidding!

Glm vrmen - ingen sommar i sikte.
I Dalarna och Vrmland kan det till och med sna i helgen.
- Det hr r inte normalt, sger SMHI.

Forget the warm - there's no summer in sight.
In Dalarna ("the dales") and Vrmland it might even sn at the weekend.
"This isn't normal", says SMHI [the Met Office].

If there's any unseasonal snkaos, we will of course keep you informed.

2. Yurovizhn Debrief

Knut Anders Srum fikk bare tre (svenske) peng i Istanbul. Sveriges Lena Philipsson gikk nesten til topps og endte p femte. Srum mener han vet hvorfor Sverige fikk s mange flere poeng.

Jeg liker Lena som artist men hun hadde kort kjole og gned seg mot mikrofonstativet. Da har man tydeligvis strre sjanse for vinne. Og det er ingenting jeg kan gjre, sier Srum til den svenske avisen Aftonbladet.

[Norwegish contestant] Knut Anders Srum got just three (Swedish) points in Istanbul. Sweden's Lena Ph almost reached the top and finished fifth. Srum says he knows why Sweden got so many more points.

I like Lena as an artiste but she had a short skirt on and rubbed herself against the microfon stand. That certainly improves your chances of winning. And there is nothing I can do, said Srum to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Tragically, Knut Anders Srum has a rare medical condition that makes him allergic to microfon stands, and especially rubbing against them.

3. 17 mai!

We are all proudly parading through the streets in our tradional Norwegish folk costumery at this bladet, except in so far as we are not.

And while we wait for the SMHI's sn to turn up, what could be nicer to cool off with than some Norwegish snfriskparfait? Parfait!


2004-05-17 09:37


1. Balkong!

Da parret endelig kom frem p balkonen p Amalienborg, blev de hyldet af flere end 20.000 mennesker. Der blev vinket med bde det danske og det australske flag.

When the couple finally came out onto the balcony at Amelienborg, they were greated by more than 20 000 persons waving both Danish and Australian flags.

Now there's just the happily ever after, isn't it?

2. Yurovizhn

Not, I feel, a vintage year - the centre of gravity of the contestants was further east than in the past, and there was plenty of codd exoticism in many of the alleged songs. Under the circumstances it was fair enough to award it to the scantily clad gyratrice representing the Ukraine, even if she did forget to bring a song.

3. Foopball

Perhaps, Varied Reader, you do not especially follow the English premiere league foopball competition, although this hardly seems likely. If not, you may not have heard that the London club Chelsea has been acquired by a Russian billionaire (about whom they can't prove a thing) and lavishly stocked with the most expensive mercenaries world foopball has to offer.

This kind of cynically rootless cosmopolitanism is of course a deep insult to the traditional (and very glorious) proletarian roots of the beautiful game, and is therefore to be vigorously applauded.

I have, as you will surely have anticipated, become a Chelsea supporter, and I have every intention of being a fair-weather one.


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