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2005-07-29 15:50

If the sun won't come to the prinsess...

The prinsess can still go to the sun.

Frn partydrottning till solprinsessa.
Efter sina festntter kopplar prinsessan Madeleine nu av vid kungafamiljens medelhavsvilla.

From partyqueen to sunprinsess.
After partying all night, prinsess Madeleine relaxes at the royal family's Mediterranean villa.

Rather her than us, for sure. But apart from the diligently cultivated patina of exclusivity, isn't a holiday full of discos and beaches a bit, well, naff?


2005-07-29 13:00

Let's talk weather!

1. How's the weather, Hans?

Nicht so gut!

Heute das schwerste Unwetter des Jahres?

Today the worstest Storm of the Year?

2. Belgian tourisme is down, too

Les htels bruxellois s'attendent une mauvaise saison estivale. Depuis le dbut de la saison, le taux moyen d'occupation n'atteint pas les 50%. Le mois de juillet n'a pas non plus t exceptionnel la Cte.

Brussels hotels are expecting a bad holiday season. Since the start of the season the occupancy levels haven't reached 50%. The month of July wasn't great at the coast, either.

3. Er sommaren over?, muses a forlorn VG.

4. Efter regn kommer sol ("After the rain comes sun"), counter the eternal optimistes at Aftonbladet.


2005-07-29 09:55

Beer and Tact!

Two great tastes that taste especially great together, isn't it?

First, beer:

Students from the Information Technology University in Copenhagen are trying to help by releasing what they are calling the world's first open source beer recipe.

It is called Vores Oel [l, surely?], or Our Beer, and the recipe is proving to be a worldwide hit.

The idea behind the beer comes from open source software. This is software whose code is made publicly available for anyone to change and improve, provided that those changes and improvements are then shared in turn.

No, Beeboid, that is mostly the characteristic of the GNU GPL. There are lots of other less restrictivelicenses that qualify as "open source".

Anyway, now some nice tact:

An Italian beach etiquette guide that advises against topless bathing and consumingbeer on beaches has provoked a backlash from German holidaymakers and the newspaper Das Bild.

The guide has been issued by the Italian Union of Bathing Establishments (SIB). It consists of a series of "suggestions" for good behaviour on beaches, some of which critics allege are targeted at northern European holiday habits. As well as nudity and drinking, the tourists' habit of hanging clothes from seaside umbrellas is also frowned upon.

German touristes, isn't it? Is there no one who loves them?


2005-07-28 15:23


A colleague is retiring; we now have our very own copy of MacIntyre and White's German-English Mathematical Vocabulary; the German word for the day is Partialbruchzerlegung (f) ("decomposition into partial fractions").


2005-07-28 12:35

Verius Funnius (Non!)

Paris's Latin Quarter, now with Latin subtitles:

Tourists are having more trouble than they might finding their way around Paris this summer. In the capital's bustling Latin Quarter, an unidentified prankster has been pasting convincing translations over street signs in, rather appropriately, Latin.

What hilarious literalmindedness! But why?

The Latin Quarter originally took its name from university students who used Latin as their spoken language. In one breakaway church in the area - St Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, traditionalist Catholics are still able to hear mass in Latin. One theory is that the spoof street signs have been put up by militant Latinists from this church.

We're not sure whether we approve or disapprove of Latin: our Holy Empire is after all the Roman one, but our deadly rival the Pope and his shadowy network of priests and other ne'er-do-wells are noted Latinistes. We are quite sure we disapprove of vandalising nice street signs though; desist at once, pranksters!


2005-07-28 09:54

Things that there aren't, and where to buy them

There are no currently active Donald Duck comicses in Farese.

But there is a nice Farese bookshop, and they do ship abroad. Tell them Birgitte sent you.


2005-07-27 16:12

Behold our commitment to social justice!

It is fee-charging cash machines ("ATMs"), which are the bane of our life in a newly gentrifying area not yet sanitised enough for banks. (We do have plenty of off-licenses, betting shops and takeaway food, though.)

[A Treasury Select] committee expressed concern that fee-charging machines tended to be located in poorer areas of the UK, often in places where traditional High Street banks have left.

According to the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs), more than four out of 10 UK cash machines are now operated by independent firms, nearly all of which charge a fee for withdrawals.

But in its response to the committee's report, the government said that the vast majority of fee-charging ATMs were in locations where there had never been a free cash machine.

We, for one, would like to know how this fits in with the closure of many post office branches and the corresponding increase (we imagine) of payment of benefits to bank accounts. We think we'll ask our LibDem MP about this.


2005-07-27 11:36


And double bah! The hated Reds of Liverpool thwarted some nice Lithuanians in the League of Champions (first, admittedly, leg):

Liverpool came from behind to beat Kaunas in the Champions League second round qualifier first leg.

And triple bah that we didn't know it was happening.

And bah to the fourth power for this:

Italian club Genoa have been demoted from Serie A to the third division after the Italian Football League investigated claims of match-fixing.

And to the fifth that we couldn't even find the story on Google news.


2005-07-27 10:03

We still want Gordo, by the way

Not Tony "Baloney" Blair:

"September 11 for me was a wake-up call - a lot of the world woke up for a short time, then turned over and went back to sleep again", he says.

In the crazy post-causal world of Blair's insomnia, invading Iraq was and has remained an imporant part of the War on Terrrr. Have a nap, Mr Blair! You're just showing off because you're tired.


2005-07-27 23:12

Thought for the day

In the social sciences there are always several possible answers, so it matters little what answer you plump for - it is the quality of your justification that matters.

[DD100 Workbook 4, Bob Kelly]

From now on, we resolve that our answer will be "Belgium, man! Belgium!". Exactly why, though, will probably depend - at least in part - on the question.

(We're not complaining, for once; we're exulting! This is precisely why we like the social sciences!)

2005-07-26 16:50

Mmm... Thoughtcrime!

Thoughtcrime is bad! Persons are or may be thinking bad thoughts! We must lock 'em up without delay!

Under discussion are proposals to outlaw ``indirect incitement'' of terrorism, including praising those who carry out attacks, to counter extremist Islamist clerics accused of radicalizing disaffected Muslim youth in Britain.

Charles "Proper Charlie" Kennedy, leader of the only party with any respect for civil liberties, the politically negligible LibDems, what do you make of all that?

``We have to make sure that we go about this in a measured way and that we don't surrender basic civil liberties,'' Kennedy said.

Arf! Sit-up and beg, Charly-boy! Say "Sossages"!


2005-07-26 13:09

A Sketch of Comparitive Imperial Duckology

Thanks to our very excellent guests, we now have new Donald Duck comics in Danish, Norwegish, Wiking ("Icelandic") and Swedish. Better yet, the new Swedish Pocket is a clone of a Jumbobog we previously had in Danish, thus establishing that:

  • Danmark is ahead. (Danishes tempted to celebrate this priority are reminded that Danmark is closer to Germany, which we suspect of being the HQ of Germanic Duckage.)
  • The captions are translated other than by a Perl script ("computer program"), which would be how we would be tempted to do it;
  • Norwegish is straightforward for us to read;
  • Danish isn't;
  • Wiking you can forget about. Silly Wikings!

Since there probably aren't Yiddish Duck comics, we are left with only Faroese and Dutch editions to accumulate for a full set of those issued in our Imperial Germanic Domains, and we certainly have a plan for the Netherlands. (Thus: Go there; claim the territory for our glorious Empire; buy comics. Not necessarily in that order.)


2005-07-26 10:22

We have all the tact in the world

We have all the time in the world,
Time enough for life to unfold
All the precious things love has in store.
We have all the love in the world.
If that's all we have, you will find
We need nothing more.

[John Barry/Hal David]

Well, not quite all the tact. But there's a six-(6)-pack of beer at stake now, which is probably more than the island itself is worth:

Den danske regering protesterer til regeringen i Ottawa, fordi den canadiske forsvarsminister har besgt den omstridte Hans nord for Grnland. Canadas ambassadr forsvarer besget. Dansk Folkeparti kalder sagen pinlig.

The Danish government is protesting to the government [of an unspecified country, believed to be Canananada] in Ottawa, because the Canananadian defence minister has visited the disputed Hans Island north of Grnland. Canananada's ambassador is defending the visit. The Danish [Nasty] "Folk"party said [something it is beneath us to report].

You should certainly, our occasionally Danish correspondent Birgitte wishes to remark, contemplate the foto in this article.


2005-07-25 15:22

Tact, "Canada"-style

During a recent jolly game of "Guess the G8 member-states" it was, to no one's particular surprise, Cananananada that didn't get remembered.

In what we are currently treating as a desparate attempt to raise its international profile, the alleged country is apparently attempting to provoke a Falklands-style war with Danmark:

Denmark says it will send a protest letter to Canada over a cabinet minister's visit to an Arctic island off northwestern Greenland, which is claimed by both countries.

Canadian Defence Minister Bill Graham set foot on the 1.3-square-kilometre Hans Island last week, saying Canada has always regarded it as Canadian territory.

Denmark also claims the island, which is roughly 1,100 kilometres south of the North Pole.

We claim the island, and so does our wife! In any case, with substantial parts of Danmark's military currently busy bringing Peace and Democracy(TM) to Iraq, Canananada might even be in with a chance, but sadly we can't find any odds at online bookmakers.


2005-07-25 12:58


Genoa - our Italian cricket and foopball club of choice - is in the dock on charges of match-fixning:

The Serie A future of Genoa has been cast in doubt following charges which were brought before the club and relegated Serie B side Venezia.

It has been suggested that a sports trial will hear the case on July 26, with both clubs to protest their innocence.

A guilty finding would be likely to force the demotion of Genoa back to Serie B, only a matter of days after Torino and Messina lost their places in Italian football's top flight for insecure finances.

Turin ("Torino"), Messina and Genoa were the three (3) teams promoted, and it could yet be that none (0) of them makes the line-up for the forthcoming Serie A season.We shoulda oughta known that nothing in Italia is quite as simple as it seems, isn't it?


2005-07-25 11:31

Behold the power of sossage!

We (us and the McMootses) went to some nice cricket:

Gloucestershire, having lost Philip Weston first ball, recovered through Craig Spearman's 20-ball 31, and Matt Windows's more restrained 31, but having been usefully placed at 104 for three after 16 overs, their innings declined rapidly through a succession of reckless strokes.

It did, it did! But the Torygraph neglects to mention the Clifton sossage company's sponsorship of the big six (6) competition, which we assume Spearman won.

Shame about the rain, though but.


2005-07-25 20:02

Internet dejtning, slightly Swedish

It's the new sensation that's sweeping the nation!

Frn skmmigt till folkligt. Ntdejting r en snabbvxande industri och i Sverige omstter branschen minst 100 miljoner kronor. Varannan svensk singel letar efter krleken p internet.

From shameful to popular. Netdatening is a fast growing industry and in Sweden the business is worth 100 miljon kronors (about 10,593,067). One (1) in two (2) Swedish single is looking for love on the Internet.

Those Swedishes, isn't it? We prefer to focus on the admirable increase of liquidity in the krlek market rather than make many hilarious jokes about their unwillinngness to, like, talk to each other. We like, after all, a bit of liquidity ourselves.

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