Jan. 14th, 2006 06:36 pm
I am a goddess! )

Also, [ profile] jonthedull linked an interesting site of somebody comparing the USA to Germany. I wouldn't agree with everything, but many things make sense. [ profile] wolflady26 and [ profile] linnapaw might find it interesting, seeing as they have the exact opposite experience. (Being American and living in Germany as opposed to being German and living in the USA)

Noah's arc

Aug. 14th, 2004 12:46 pm
Talking about the olive as symbol of peace with [ profile] magsspiritwings, thisimage flashed to my mind.
The Great Flood as a gigantic world war, Noah's arc the only save haven. And the dove he sent out and that came back with the olive in its beak telling him that the war was over and that people could come out and try to rebuild civilization.
I don't know where that came from, it was just in my mind suddenly.


Aug. 13th, 2004 11:25 pm
The Olympian torch is burning again. In former times, whole Hellas would have kept peace for the time of the Olympic games. To demand world peace while the torch is burning would be too much to ask. But watching the opening ceremonies gave me the idea that there might be hope yet.
202 teams were gathered there. I didn't say 202 nations, as there were some teams without an officially acknowledged state.
Palestine has an own team, as has Taiwan. (It's called Chinese Taipei, and they aren't allowed to use their flag an anthem, but they are still there.)
Corea, again, has come with only one team for both states. Hongkong still has an own team, which surprised me quite a bit.
Serbia and Montenegro were, for the first time, one team.
Apart from Greece, I think the most applause and standing ovations were given to Iraq, finally being allowed at the Olympic Games again.
It is also interesting to see all these small states. Have you ever heard of Nauru? Or Timor-Leste? Some teams had only one athlete, but several officials. Looks really interesting walking in.
The event was great. They had a lot of fireworks, starting with the 5 rings burning. They had the stadium filled with water for a while. The coreography was very interesting, bridging the antique Olympia to today and remembering what Greece gave to the world, from sciences to politics.
It was definitely worth watching. Even for people who don't care much about sports.
Some study - I've clicked the window away already and don't feel like looking it up again, so I can't link it - found out that Germans have more One night stands than anybody else in the world, more people paying for sex (with little boys in Thailand, I suppose. The study didn't say.) When asked whether they had sex with partners at least ten years older or ten years younger than themselves, again the Germans had the highest percentage of "yes". In both categories.
They never ask me when doing these surveys. WOuld spoil their results, so it might be good that they don't. Anyway, after reading through [ profile] theferrett's musings on sexdrive and on sex and q-tips, I felt like posting this.
And the song I'm listening to right now seemed to fit, too. *gg*
A German magazine had an interesting article on happiness and what makes people happy. (I checked, but it isn't online. For those with access to German magazines, it's in the Focus of this week.)
Too much choice is as bad as too little. And money and goods don't make happy. Religions and philosophy have told that over and over, but apparently it has been scientifically proven by now.
They had the example of one man who, at a rather young age, had reached the American dream. He had a lot of money, a huge house with all the right furniture and everything, and he just broke down. The doctors couldn't really find out what was wrong, but he decided that the problem was simply this: being busy making money and buying things, he had lost himself on the way. So he sold his house and most of the things he owned and moved to Portland, Maine. The article said something about how remote and quit that place is. Apparently, whoever wrote that has never been further north than Portland, never been to Bangor, much less Presque Isle. But I guess compared with New York or Los Angeles, Portland is remote and quit. There were other examples, too. Professors who decided to work only eight days a months as freelance advisors. (from what I hear from my sister at the university in Berlin, profesors don't work much more than eight days a month anyway, but well...)
There was a test were you could find out what type of person you are. My mom scored really low, meaning she doesn't care about things at all. Which is true, really. She is the kind of person who thinks money is nice to have, but if you don't have much of it, then you'll just live without and buy less. My father, on the other hand, defines himself and everybody around him with one single category: money. As my Mom had more influence on my upbringing, I scored in the lower middle. Nothing special. But it is good to know that I won't break down if I can't buy my clothes from Armani (do they make women's clothes? If not, just put in any other fancy designer) or drive a Mercedes. I would like to do these things. (Not the Mercedes, I'd love to have a Maybach), but I can live without them. I do take quite some time to decide, and I can spend several minutes chosing toothpaste. But if I have very little money, I will be able to chose the cheapest without getting a nervous breakdown.
Incidently, there is only about 5 Euros on my bank account. Fortunately, the month is almost over.

Another interesting thing onTV today was a show on MTV. Usually, I'm not too happy with the fact that a station that calls itself Music television has so little music in the program,but this show was interestin if a little voyeuristic (is that a word that exists in English?).
It was about a few people joining a summer camp for fat people. America surely holds the record of fat people, but Germany is following close and gaining ground. I just read about this clinic for kids where they come to lose weight. If a 14 year old weighs more than a small horse, than it's not only the kids fault. Where are the parents? Aren't they supposed to keep an eye on their kids and look what they eat? And if they don't do that, don't they realize something's wrong when a skirt for their daughter looks more like the tent for a small circus? The problem is that right now, the kid might be "only" fat, but in a few years, they will have both psychological and health problems. The youngest person with the type 2 diabetes, the type ususally elderly people get, is 9. If he's lucky,losing weight and exercising will help. But he'll be ill for the rest of his life. And if it isn't diabetes, these kids have rheuma, breathing problems, aching joints and bones - and all because nobody cared enough to take care of their eating and exercising habits. What the parents do to their children should be treated as a crime. If you let a child starve, that's considered worthy of a severe penalty. But if you ruin the child's health and entire future, that should be OK? That just doesn't seem right.
MAybe in a few years, these kids will start sueing their parents. But most likely, they'll just sue McDonalds and Burger King and the guys who produce candy bars. Hey, they just produce and sell the stuff. They don't force you to eat it!


Jul. 16th, 2004 10:27 pm
This has been way too much for my poor brain.
Afer watching The man ho fell to eartch yesterday and still thnking a lot about it, today I saw the MoMA exibit in Berlin. It was really cool, because we went there to celebrate the official part of my sister's marriage, and she knew somebody who left our names at the VIP desk, so we didn't have to wait in line but could walk right in, and still pay no more than the people who queue there for hours. Yeah, so maybe that's not fair, but as the saying goes in Germany: connections only harm the people who don't have any.
So seeing these beautiful - at least for the most part - pictures and sculptures, and having the film fresh in my mind, left me tired and exhausted.
There were some weird pictures in the exhibition, though. I don't really care for Picasso, no matter how famous he is. And some of themodern American painters are a little too strange for me. What's a white canvas entitled "twin" doing in an art exhibit? I have this theory that some critics and painters collaborate in trying to get as much money for nothing as possible from stupid rich people who believe anything somebody with a famous name tells them. Maybe I should make a series of pictures called "Siberian Winter" - they'd be all white. (OK, that's not my idea. It's been used in one Inspector Jury novel by Martha Grimes. Read it to know what the white paintings are all about...)
An explanatory note on the marriage thing: In Germany, you need to be married officially, that is, by a town clerk or similar person. Even if you want to marry in church, you can do that afterwards. So the official part of my sister's wedding was today, the "real" wedding will be next weekend in our hometown with family and friends. Yuck. I had quite enough of my family toay, thank you very much...
I feel very good today.
I actually did some of the housework I talked about yesterday. I cleaned my room and the bathroom, got rid of a million spiders (except for Sammy, who has become my pet spider and has the right to live in the bathroom), put all my clean and dirty clothes away - that kind of stuff.
I also played with our neighbors' cat and her little kitty.
Yesterday, I finished another of the books I have to read to prepare for my exam. So I could start a new one today and am already reading the second chapter.
And I learned about Willy Wonka. Or at least I learned that he exists and that it is essential to know about him. My being German is an excuse for my lack of education, but not a very good one. So I'll try to find the movie or the book or anything.
The whole thing started with an entry in the libraries community - something about shnozberries. I guess all of the Americans will now go Oh, of course, shnozberries, while everybody else will probably have that same blank look on their faces as I had. But I will find out about shnozberries! I wonder how many other movies or books are essential to American kids and probably never made it to my bookshelves. If I seriously plan to emigrate to the USA, I have to find out what shapes the minds of American kids. I feel that this is necessary to understand the adults. No matter how old we are, whatever you liked to read or watch in your childhood leaves a stamp on your life. When I was a kid, I liked to read the stories by Else Ury. (Just checked the Library of Congress catalogue, no English titles listed there, maybe she never was translated.) She had this series for girls, telling the life story of a girl from age 6 or so up to being a grandmother. As it was written somewhere around WWI, it's quite different from today's children's stories. But the whole series has been reprinted in the 90s. Or actually, all but one book. That one dealt with the World War and isn't considered politically correct today, I guess.
Ironically, while Else Ury was a very patriotic German, if I remember correctly, the Nazis put her into a concentration camp. Maybe she was Jewish, I'm not sure.
Another of these books is "Der Trotzkopf" by Emmy von Rhoden (again, LoC only has the German version, no translation). That one starts with the sentence "Papa, Papa, Diana hat Junge" (dad, dad, Diana - which is a dog - has puppies). For me, this sentence always brings to mind the whole story and some memories I have connected with reading it.
So now I go and find Willy Wonka and see what that is all about.



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