Archive | April, 2011

The wedding is a royal pain

29 Apr

A Fairytale Wedding? What Nonsense!

The wedding of William and Kate on Friday will be a joke, a hopelessly overhyped celebration of an absurdly undemocratic system, writes SPIEGEL London correspondent Marco Evers. He pities the bride for her imminent loss of freedom, and wonders why this eccentric nation continues to worship the Windsors.

The whole thing feels like an aberration of history.

It’s wrong if the head of state of a country can only come from one family. It’s wrong to furnish this clan with palaces, land and all manner of grants to spare its members the indignity of having to earn their keep and enable them to live in luxury. It is wrong to address the Windsors and, from next Friday the delightful Kate Middleton as well, as Your Royal Highness or even Your Majesty. It is wrong to see them as anything other than people made of flesh and blood, like you and I.

Millions of Britons know that. The Guardian newspaper wants to abolish the monarchy, as does the Independent and the Economist magazine. Many professors, film directors, writers, actors and politicians would like Britain to become a republic — but they remain in the minority which for years has been constant at around 18 percent of the population.

Cherie Blair, the difficult wife of the former Prime Minister Tony, once refused to curtsey in front of the old Mrs. Elizabeth Windsor, but the majority of Britons enjoy doing that, and much more, for Queen and Country. The Windsors are Europe’s most expensive royal family, but the people go on paying, without grumbling, at least as long as Queen Elizabeth remains alive. (…)

British soldiers are fighting for democracy in Afghanistan and Libya, and they fought for it in Iraq. But at home, they defend the absurdly undemocratic idea that nobody but a Windsor can be head of state. (…)

The pomp and ceremony surrounding the marriage of William and Kate is the latest expression of British eccentricity — but a large part of the world appears to be succumbing to it as well.

Yes, the carriages of gold and velvet look pretty, the bride’s train will be a sight to behold and Westminster Abbey is quite a spectacular backdrop for the ceremony. But is it really worth all the fuss? More than 10,000 journalists are descending on London. The German networks ARD, ZDF, Sat.1, RTL, n-tv and N24 will hardly be broadcasting anything else on Friday. Everyone is pretending that this spectacle is the most important and beautiful event on earth — but it is not. (…)

The whole thing feels even worse than just an aberration of history. It’s a joke.

Source.

Märchenhochzeit? Alles Quatsch!

Ist die Vermählung von William und Kate das schönste und wichtigste Großereignis auf Erden? Von wegen, meint der Londoner SPIEGEL-Korrespondent Marco Evers: Er empfindet die Trauung als völlig überschätztes Tamtam und das Königshaus Windsor als abstrus undemokratisch. Eine persönliche Abrechnung.

Das Ganze fühlt sich an wie ein Irrtum der Geschichte.

Es ist falsch, wenn nur eine Familie das Oberhaupt eines Staats stellen darf. Es ist falsch, diese Sippe mit Schlössern, Ländereien und Apanagen auszustatten, damit jeder der Ihren vor Arbeit bewahrt bleibe und im Luxus lebe. Es ist falsch, den Windsors und von Freitag an auch der reizenden Kate Middleton zu huldigen als “Eure Königliche Hoheit” oder gar als “Eure Majestät”. Falsch, sie als etwas anderes zu sehen denn als Menschen aus Fleisch und Blut, wie du und ich.

Das wissen auch Millionen Briten. Der “Guardian” will die Kronenträger abschaffen, ebenso der “Economist” und der “Independent”. Viele Professoren, Regisseure, Schriftsteller, Schauspieler und Politiker wünschen sich eine Republik – aber sie bleiben in Großbritannien eine Minderheit mit einem seit Jahren konstanten Anteil von etwa 18 Prozent.

Cherie Blair, die schwierige Frau des damaligen Premiers Tony, hat sich einst geweigert, im Angesicht der alten Mrs. Elizabeth Windsor den unterwürfigen Hofknicks aufzuführen, doch die große Mehrheit der Briten tut das gern, das und noch viel mehr, for Queen and Country. Die Windsors sind das teuerste Königshaus Europas, sie liegen dem Volk schwer auf der Tasche – doch das Volk zahlt, ohne zu murren, solange zumindest Elizabeth lebt. (…)

In Afghanistan kämpfen Briten gerade für Demokratie. In Libyen auch, ebenso zuvor im Irak. Nur daheim verteidigen sie die abstrus undemokratische Idee, dass allein ein Windsor Staatsoberhaupt werden kann. (…)

Das Tamtam um die Hochzeit von William und Kate ist nur die Zuspitzung der britischen Seltsamkeit – der jetzt aber auch noch ein großer Teil der Welt zu erliegen scheint.

Ja, die Kutschen in Gold und Samt sehen schön aus, die Schleppe der Braut wird beachtlich sein, und Westminster Abbey ist eine hübsche Traukirche. Aber ist der ganze Rummel angemessen? Mehr als 10.000 Journalisten fallen in London ein. ARD, ZDF, Sat.1, RTL, n-tv und N24 werden am Freitag kaum noch etwas anderes senden. Auch SPIEGEL ONLINE berichtet mit Liveticker und Livestream über die Hochzeit. Alle tun so, als sei dieses Spektakel das Wichtigste und Schönste auf Erden. (…)

Das Ganze fühlt sich nicht nur an wie ein Irrtum der Geschichte. Es ist ein Witz.

Source.


Schock – Kate und Williams Hochzeit bedeutungslos

Experten warnen: Die royale Hochzeit von Kate Middleton und Prinz William könnte einige Enttäuschungen bereit halten.

(…) Böse Vorahnungen

Ausgerechnet jetzt aber, wo die Aufregung allmählich ihren Siedepunkt erreicht, ist ein dunkler Schatten auf die Veranstaltung gefallen. Wie aus Hofkreisen laut wurde, könnte das große Medienereignis einige Enttäuschungen bereit halten.

Kate und William, so heißt es, werden nun doch nicht den Nahost-Konflikt beenden. Es sei auch nicht vorgesehen, dass das Paar die Mondoberfläche betrete. Während es noch widersprüchliche Informationen über das geplante Stopfen des japanischen Atomlecks gibt, gilt es als relativ sicher, dass die königliche Hochzeit den Hunger in der Welt beenden könnte. Oder zumindest den der geladenen Gäste.

Bei einigen unabhängigen Beobachtern hat sich inzwischen sogar die Meinung durchgesetzt, dass die Hochzeit von Kate und William komplett bedeutungslos für große Teile des Universums sein könnte. Allerdings widersprechen nicht nur Vertreter der Gedenkteller-Industrie energisch.

Führende Wissenschaftler gehen davon aus, dass Kates streng geheim gehaltenes Hochzeitskleid Krebs heilt, Gaddafi zum Abdanken zwingt und Knut wiederauferstehen lässt.

Source.

Piped Music:

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-bomb

God save the queen
She ain’t no human being
There is no future
In England’s dreaming

Don’t be told what you want
Don’t be told what you need
There’s no future, no future,
No future for you

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
‘Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there’s no future
How can there be sin
We’re the flowers in the dustbin
We’re the poison in your human machine
We’re the future, your future

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
We mean it man
And there is no future
In England’s dreaming

No future, no future,
No future for you
No future, no future,
No future for me

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A Certificate of Embarrassment

28 Apr

With sardonic resignation, President Obama, an eminently rational man, stared directly into political irrationality on Wednesday and released his birth certificateto history. More than halfway through his term, the president felt obliged to prove that he was a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office. It was a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life. (…)

People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones. Mr. Obama practically begged the public to set aside these distractions, expressing hope that his gesture would end the “silliness” and allow a national debate about budget priorities. It won’t, of course.

If there was ever any doubt about Mr. Obama’s citizenship, which there was not, the issue was settled years ago when Hawaii released his birth certificate. The fuller document that Mr. Obama had to request contains some extra information, including his parents’ signatures and the name of the hospital where he was born, but it was unnecessary to show his legitimacy.

So it will not quiet the most avid attackers. Several quickly questioned its authenticity. That’s because the birther question was never really about citizenship; it was simply a proxy for those who never accepted the president’s legitimacy, for a toxic mix of reasons involving ideology, deep political anger and, most insidious of all, race. (…)

Sarah Palin said the birth certificate issue was “fair game,” and the public was “rightfully” making it an issue. The House speaker, John Boehner, grudgingly said in February that he would take Mr. Obama “at his word” that he was a citizen, a suggestion that the proof was insufficient. He said, however, that it was not his job to end the nonsensical attacks. “The American people have the right to think what they want to think,” he said at the time. That signal was clearly received. Lawmakers in nearly a dozen states introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to release their full birth certificates.

It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious “other” would have been conducted against a white president. (…)

Finally, his taunting and the questions of television correspondents obliging Mr. Trump got on the president’s nerves. Mr. Obama was tactically smart to release the certificate and marginalize those who continue to keep the matter alive. It is tragic that American politics is fueled by such poisonous fire. Mr. Trump quickly moved on to a new fixation, questioning Mr. Obama’s academic credentials. Mr. Boehner, and other party leaders, have a new reason to call a halt to the politics of paranoia and intolerance.

Source

President Barack Obama released the birth certificate and what hast Trump to say about it? Not only that he is very proud of himself  (“….because I have accomplished something that nobody else…”) but that the certificate should be inspected to ensure its authenticity! He added, however, “…it is rather amazing that all of the sudden…” (???) the document surfaces. And he even went on saying that he hoped Obama would also release his educational records. The man is just unbelievable. Sounds so egomaniac, irrational and arbitrary that it’s almost Charlie Sheen stuff.

You can also watch the video in better quylity here.

Piped music:

Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You!

27 Apr

NOBODY calls me anymore — and that’s just fine. With the exception of immediate family members, who mostly phone to discuss medical symptoms and arrange child care,  (…), people just don’t call.

It’s at the point where when the phone does ring — and it’s not my mom, dad, husband or baby sitter — my first thought is: “What’s happened? What’s wrong?” My second thought is: “Isn’t it weird to just call like that? Out of the blue? With no e-mailed warning?” (…)

In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone — land line, mobile, voice mail and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.

“I literally never use the phone,” Jonathan Adler, the interior designer, told me. (Alas, by phone, but it had to be.) “Sometimes I call my mother on the way to work because she’ll be happy to chitty chat. But I just can’t think of anyone else who’d want to talk to me.” Then again, he doesn’t want to be called, either.  (…)

“I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,’ ” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’ ” Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward. “Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now,” Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners, said by way of opening our phone conversation. “I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people.” (…)

Even at work, where people once managed to look busy by wearing a headset or constantly parrying calls back and forth via a harried assistant, the offices are silent. (…)  And in today’s nearly door-free workplaces, unless everyone is on the phone, calls are disruptive and, in a tight warren of cubicles, distressingly public. (…)

“When I walk around the office, nobody is on the phone,” said Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president and publisher at HarperCollins. The nature of the rare business call has also changed. (…) “But now they tend to be things that are very focused. And almost everyone e-mails first and asks, ‘Is it O.K. if I call?’ ” “You pretty much call people on the phone when you don’t understand their e-mail,” he said. (…) Phone call appointments have become common in the workplace. Without them, there’s no guarantee your call will be returned. “Only people I’ve ruthlessly hounded call me back,” said Mary Roach, author of “Packing for Mars.” (…)

Whereas people once received and made calls with friends on a regular basis, we now coordinate such events via e-mail or text. When college roommates used to call (at least two reunions ago), I would welcome their vaguely familiar voices. Now, were one of them to call on a Tuesday evening, my first reaction would be alarm. Phone calls from anyone other than immediate family tend to signal bad news.

Receiving calls on the cellphone can be a particular annoyance. First, there’s the assumption that you’re carrying the thing at all times. For those in homes with stairs, the cellphone siren can send a person scrambling up and down flights of steps in desperate pursuit. Having the cellphone in hand doesn’t necessarily lessen the burden. After all, someone might actually be using the phone: someone who is in the middle of scrolling through a Facebook photo album. Someone who is playing Cut the Rope. Someone who is in the process of painstakingly touch-tapping an important e-mail.

For the most part, assiduous commenting on a friend’s Facebook updates and periodically e-mailing promises to “catch up by phone soon” substitute for actual conversation. With friends who merit face time, arrangements are carried out via electronic transmission. (…)

Many people don’t even know how their voice mail works. “I’ve lost that skill,” Ms. Birnbach said. “I have no idea how to check it,” Ms. David admitted. “I can stay in a hotel for three days with that little red light blinking and never listen. I figure, if someone needs to reach me, they’ll e-mail.”

“When the telephone first appeared, there were all kinds of etiquette issues over whom to call and who should answer and how,” Dr. Fischer, a sociology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told me when finally reached by phone. Among the upper classes, for example, it was thought that the butler should answer calls. For a long time, inviting a person to dinner by telephone was beyond the pale; later, the rules softened and it was O.K. to call to ask someone to lunch.

Telephones were first sold exclusively for business purposes and only later as a kind of practical device for the home. Husbands could phone wives when traveling on business, and wives could order their groceries delivered. Almost immediately, however, people began using the telephone for social interactions. “The phone companies tried to stop that for about 30 years because it was considered improper usage,” Dr. Fischer said.

We may be returning to the phone’s original intentions — and impact. “I can tell you exactly the last time someone picked up the phone when I called,” Mary Roach said. “It was two months ago and I said: ‘Whoa! You answered your phone!’ It was a P.R. person. She said, ‘Yeah, I like to answer the phone.’ ” Both were startled to be voice-to-voice with another unknown, unseen human being.

Source.

Piped Music:

More Vintage – Facebook Manners and You

26 Apr

This short movie was produced by Big Fuel, a marketing and communications New Yorker agency, and shows the “do’s” and “don’ts” of bad behavior related to Facebook break-ups in vintage style.

“Facebook Manners And You” was the official 2009 Webby Award Honoree for Best Writing and Comedy in the “Individual Short or Episode” category – and has garnered over 1 million views on YouTube.

Everything Ages Fast…

26 Apr

Gorgeous ads done by Moma Propaganda, an advertising agency in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They created them for their client Maximidia Seminars as part of a campaign titled “Everything Ages Fast.”

Check the Moma website, it’s awesome!

Piped Music:

Bruno Bisang: Supermodels auf Polaroid

26 Apr

Der Modefotograf Bruno Bisang hat nicht nur mit den ganz großen der Modelwelt zusammengearbeitet wie Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks oder Monica Bellucci. Bisang ist auch Fan von Polaroid-Fotos. Und so hat er am Set nicht selten auch auf den Auslöser seiner Sofortbildkamera gedrückt. Diese Bilder werden jetzt in einer Kölner Galerie gezeigt.

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Aufgewachsen in Ascona

Bruno Bisang wurde 1952 geboren und verbrachte den größten Teil seiner Jugend in dem Städtchen Ascona im italienischsprachigen Teil der Schweiz. Mit neunzehn Jahren besuchte er die Fotografieklasse der Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich und absolvierte anschließend eine Fotografenlehre.

Seit 1979 ist Bruno Bisang als freier Fotograf tätig, zunächst in Zürich, dann eine Zeit lang in Mailand und München. Heute arbeitet er abwechselnd in Mailand, New York, Paris und Zürich.

Bruno Bisang. Polaworld
Galerie Kaune, Sudendorf
bis 26. Mai 2011
dienstags bis samstags 13 – 18 Uhr
Zeughausstrasse 13
50667 Köln

Source: tonight.de

 

Frohe Ostern! Happy Eastern! Felices Pascuas!

24 Apr

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Source:

www.preussundpreuss.com

www.faz.net

Some interesting revelations about Twitter

20 Apr

Yahoo and Cornell University did a big research project on Twitter, trying to figure out “Who Says What to Whom on Twitter.”

Here’s what they figured out:

Twitter is a media platform, not a social network. “First, we find that although audience attention has indeed fragmented among a wider pool of content producers than classical models of mass media, attention remains highly concentrated, where roughly 0.05% of the population accounts for almost half of all attention.”

Twitter is clique-y. “Within the population of elite users, moreover, attention is highly homophilous, with celebrities following celebrities, media following media, and bloggers following bloggers.”

Twittter is the Evening News broadcast: full of stories reported elsewhere, brought to your attention by a personality you trust. “Second, we find considerable support for the two-step flow of information—almost half the information that originates from the media passes to the masses indirectly via a diffuse intermediate layer of opinion leaders, who although classified as ordinary users, are more connected and more exposed to the media than their followers.”

News stories don’t last long on Twitter. Laga Gaga sticks around forever. “We also find that different types of content exhibit very different lifespans. In particular, media-originated URLs are disproportionately represented among short-lived URLs while those originated by bloggers tend to be overrepresented among long-lived URLs. Finally, we find that the longest-lived URLs are dominated by content such as videos and music, which are continually being rediscovered by Twitter users and appear to persist indefinitely.”

Source: businessinsider.com

More about the Twitter elite:

Apparently 50% of the tweets made on the social networking site (in an eight month sample period) were produced by an “elite group” of 20,000 users.

The research authors noted that they used Twitter lists to pick out these elite users, “specifically celebrities, bloggers, and representatives of media outlets and other formal organizations, and ordinary users.”

The authors stated: “Based on this classification… a striking concentration of attention on Twitter – roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users – where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed.”

The study reckons these 20,000 elite tweeters make up less than 0.05% of the social network’s population – a lot less, by our reckoning (although the data was sampled a while back, most of it from the second half of 2009).

Still, whatever the exact figure, there’s clearly a huge concentration of tweeting done by a very vocal and minuscule minority.

Source: techwatch.co.uk

Find the whole study here: Who Says What to Whom on Twitter

But somehow the vital connection is made…

20 Apr

If you find yourself tweeting from the shower and updating Facebook while doing 85 on the freeway, we created this graphic to save your life.

Found here.

Piped music:

Carpe Diem!

13 Apr

Aunque usted no lo crea, la primavera llegó a Hamburgo!  Believe or not: spring has finally arrived!

Ich wünsche euch einen sonnigen Tag!

Piped music: