Saturday, 24 December 2005

Sikken Voldsom Trængsel Og Alarm

(med syv strofer)

Sikken voldsom trængsel og alarm
Det er koldt og man må gå sig varm
Lygten tændes klokken fire alt
Det skal være aften med gevalt
Midt på gaden sælges træ'r og frugt
Se butikken, hvor den stråler smukt
Varer kan man få i tusindvis
Tænk Dem bare under indkøbspris
Pris, pris, pris, pris, pris, pris
Tænk Dem bare under indkøbs-
Pris, pris, pris, pris, pris, pris
Tænk Dem bare under indkøbspris

Håndværksmanden, han må holde her
Kunstneren har også sit besvær
Og hans værker spredes trindt omkring
Takket være Horneman og Bing
Man af kundskabsvæsnet dagligt ser
At poeterne bli'r fler' og fler'
Selv min lille bly, forfrosne fugl
Kvidrer med i dag, for det er jul
Jul, jul, jul, jul jul, jul
Kvidrer med i dag, for det er
Jul, jul, jul, jul jul, jul
Kvidrer med i dag, for det er jul

Pyntet smukt af en usynlig hånd
Står nu træet der med lys og bånd
Døren åbnes og man strømmer ind
Kredsen sluttes med begejstret sind
Børnene, de hoppe rask af sted
Bedstefader, han er også med
Lad os tage del i deres sang
Brødre, vi var også børn engang
Gang, gang, gang, gang, gang, gang
Brødre, vi var også børn en-
Gang, gang, gang, gang, gang, gang
Brødre, vi var også børn engang

Juleaften, o hvor er du sød
Så skal alle folk ha' risengrød
Æbleskiven bliver flittigt vendt
Gåsestegen er til bag'ren sendt
Bonden sidder tidligt ved sit fad
Sikken Guds velsignelse af mad
Lænkehunden selv får dobbelt sul
Den skal også vide det er jul
Jul, jul, jul, jul, jul, jul
Den skal også vide det er
Jul, jul, jul, jul, jul, jul
Den skal også vide det er jul

Når man ikke er en dovenkrop
Står man julemorgen tidligt op
Klokken kimer, gaden er så glat
Kirken lyser i den stille nat
Indenfor er sang og festlig fred
Og man føler sig så vel derved
Allerhelst når præk'nen ikke du'r
Thi så får man sig en lille lur
Lur, lur, lur, lur, lur, lur
Thi så får man sig en lille
Lur, lur, lur, lur, lur, lur
Thi så får man sig en lille lur

Op ad dagen går man byen rundt
trækker vejret lidt, det er så sundt
Alle folk er i den nye stads
Thi om aft'nen er der fint kalas
Gud velsigne den der først opfandt
Det at lege jul og give pant
Unge pige, lad os lege skjul
Giv mig kun et kys, det er jo jul
Jul, jul, jul, jul, jul, jul
Giv mig kun et kys, det er jo
Jul, jul, jul, jul, jul, jul
Giv mig kun et kys, det er jo jul

Du, som sendte os den skønne fest
Hvad der båder os, det ved du bedst
Dog jeg har det håb, at før jeg dør
Du ej nægter mig en vis favør
Drej kun Universet helt omkring
Vend kun op og ned på alle ting
Jorden med, thi den er falsk og hul
Rør blot ikke ved min gamle jul
Jul, jul, jul, jul, jul, jul
Rør blot ikke ved min gamle
Jul, jul, jul, jul, jul, jul
Rør blot ikke ved min gamle jul

Tekst af Peter Faber

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Bei diesem Wetter...

At least he got that one right

The 21st century World's three biggest groups of fools are smokers, people who do not know about music, and people who do not know about computers, according to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il.
Source: Article on

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Homo consumentis

«[J]e haïssais cette société, cette période, j'étais très deçu par ce que le monde attendait de moi, [...] comme homme, la façon dont la société me demandait de me comporter : seulement en consommateur.»
Bret Easton Ellis sur l'existence qu'il menait à New York à l'époque où il écrivait «American Psycho» (publié 1991)

Source: interview dans les Inrockuptibles

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Your Seduction Style: Au Natural

You rank up there with your seduction skills, though you might not know it.
That's because you're a natural at seduction. You don't realize your power!
The root of your natural seduction power: your innocence and optimism.

You're the type of person who happily plays around and creates a unique little world.
Little do you know that your personal paradise is so appealing that it sucks people in.
You find joy in everything - so is it any surprise that people find joy in you?

You bring back the inner child in everyone you meet with your sincere and spontaneous ways.
Your childlike (but not childish) behavior also inspires others to care for you.
As a result, those who you befriend and date tend to be incredibly loyal to you.
Your Eyes Should Be Brown

Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom

What's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart

Monday, 12 December 2005

Friday, 9 December 2005

L'amour est la liberté

«C'est si merveilleux d'aimer sans exiger rien de l'autre. [...]
L'amour est donc la liberté.»

Jiddu Krishnamurti

12 février 1982, entretien avec le Pr Maurice Wilkins à Brockwood Park, Bramdean, Hampshire, UK. Source: «De l'amour et de la solitude» ( traduit par Colette Joyeux; titre original «On Love And Loneliness» (Harper's San Francisco) ― Unfortunately I cannot find the original quotation in English on The Net.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

The beauty of love

'The beauty of love is that you never know when it hits. Or comes sneaking. All you need is an open mind towards it. 'Cause you can't protect yourself against it anyway, so why waste your energy and wrap yourself into a numb being that you do not wish to be!?! Love is a gift, and we get more chances than we dare to admit. We tend to only see the pain afterwards but fact is we cannot escape, and if we do, we most likely end up being even more hurt. Call me naive for all I care; I have chosen to see The World this way, for the alternative(s) seem like choosing to die rather than live.'
Bjørn Clasen

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

The simple truth about information

'Information is only useful when it can be understood.'
Muriel Cooper

Seen in the Design Museum.

Friday, 25 November 2005


'Auch aus Steinen, die einem in den Weg gelegt werden,
kann man schönes bauen.'


Den Eneste Ene...

'Man er konstant på jagt efter den eneste ene,
også når man tror, at man allerede har fundet den...'

Steffen Brandt

Kilde: Mere tv-2 om lidt...

Curtains or blinds?

Ode to a curtain
You are so beautiful and so tall,
protecting me from the outside invaders,
You hide me from the darkness,
and when I open the balcony door
you can dance with the wind.
I like your soft touch and
smooth look.
And when I feel sad I can wrap
myself into you and hide from the rest of
the world.

Anti-ode to the blinds
You rattle like the old men's teeth,
disharmony for my ears,
even the colour you are wrapped in became
pale when she came into touch with you,
when I touch you you are cold and life has
left you long ago.
You fight with the wind and
the darkness can still peep into my room
through your imperfect structure.

Milena Zuran 17/11-5

Sunday, 20 November 2005

The 100th post!

I thought I'd make some statistics in order to see what kinda stuff my blog actually contains. As it often happens when one tries to categorise, put things in limited, generalising boxes, I found no 'good' way of structuring the thing. Luckily, I'd say ― 'cause I guess this shows that my blog enjoys a great deal of diversity, which to me is a stamp of quality.

Just to get a vague idea, however, I've chosen to add it all up into far broader themes (when counting, I reached 32! And with a lot of borderline cases and overlaps). Happy Hundredth!

Culture: 30 posts
Politics: 19 posts
Personal: 16 posts
Philosophy: 12 posts
Science: 8 posts
Love (& Sex): 7 posts
(Other) fun: 4 posts
Travel: 3 posts
plus this post

Bjørn's Multilingual Blog contains posts in 11 different languages ― 9 posts are in more than one language ― though Luxembourgish and Dutch are not included so far.

English: 49 posts
Danish: 36 posts
German: 9 posts
French: 7 posts
Castellano: 2 posts
Swedish: 2 posts
Kölsch: 1 post
Latin: 1 post
Norwegian: 1 post
Polish: 1 post
Turkish: 1 post

I launched the blog on 7 January 2004. That is 684 days ago today, meaning that on average there is one post a week. The most active month has been September 2005 (11 posts), whereas August 2004 and December 2004 saw only one post each.

Some rediscovered highlights

The meaning of life
Shoe Souls
L'obligation d'un éditeur public
I believe
(Insomnia Gallery)
Deutsche Schimpfwörter

Sunday, 9 October 2005

Yes ― That's Me

Your World View

You strongly reject traditional values.
Above everything else, you value honesty.
For you, morality and truth are one and the same.

You hate to be thought of as weak or insecure.
You abhor hypocrisy and have troubles with authority.
You are impulsive and somewhat unpredictable.

Friday, 7 October 2005

Wise words from Václav

'The new European democracies that have emerged from the ruins of the Communist world are seeking membership in the European Union. Some have a chance of joining it sooner, others may become ready later on, but the process is bound to be long and arduous for all of them. It is not easy to make up for fifty years' delay. Nevertheless, it is evidently in the interests of the whole of Europe that these countries should progress towards membership in the Union, which has been a cornerstone of European integration. Throughout history, the price for any division of Europe has ultimately been paid by the whole continent. It follows that its unification is essential to the interests of all European countries.'
Václav Havel, 27 April 1995

Saturday, 24 September 2005

Studying to legitimise

'[W]hy am I studying? Well, the control of the legitimate power is so strong, that to adopt to the system of 'civilised' I force myself to do things, which the powerful require. Like this small studying of mine is actually a sign of capitalism having turned me into a portfolio-person. By training myself to survive better in the system I actually legitimise the system. Brilliant.'

Kirsi Tanski

De polske aner

Min farmors mor Johanne Emma Nitschke blev født den 11. november 1877 i Śląsk/Schlesien, nærmere betegnet i Nieder Herwigsdorf, som nu hedder Stypołów, en lille by ca. 100 km nordvest for Wrocław og vel en 20-30 km fra Polens nuværende grænse til Tyskland. Sognebyen var Freystadt (nu Kożuchów), den nærmeste større by Żagan, hvis tyske navn jeg ikke kan finde og min far ikke kan huske.

Emmas mor hed Johanne Rosina Schorsch. Faderen Reinhold var snedker. Familien flyttede til Berlin, inden Emma begyndte sin skolegang.

How many countries we've been to

A few months ago, we were a group of friends discussing travelling. The eternal subject came up: Who has been where. And man's weakness for numbers ignited the below list.
A such debate also causes discussions as to what is to be considered as a country. For example, Koen wanted Carpetland, Disneyland and heel veel Weiland to be taken into account but rejected Christophe's Plopsaland suggestion. And what about countries you have not actually been to but looked into across the border or in the horizon ― Christophe mentioned Algeria and Saudi Arabia; Bjørn mentioned Bolivia, Paraguay and the Soviet Union, the latter he has even 'seen' both from Finland and Norway)?
The list counts only countries one has physically been to, and at least overnight. This eliminates Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, and even Hong Kong and Switzerland from some people's list. As for what to consider as a separate country, it's a little more fuzzy. Places with a certain degree of independency such as Denmark's dependencies, the Acores, Sint-Maarten and even French Guyana have been counted, but not Rapa Nui/Easter Island or Zanzibar, as these have no particular autonomy and are geographically somehow connected to their ruling country. [Due to several comments on the Acores, it was after all not counted as a country.] Moreover, the UK is considered just one country though there are differennces between the 'competitors' as to how many of the lands they have been to.

Andorra Christophe
Austria Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Belgium Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Croatia Christophe - Koen
Cyprus Kris
Czech Republic (or the Czech part of Czechoslovakia) Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Bjørn
Denmark Noëlle - Christophe - Bjørn
Estonia Noëlle - Bjørn
Faroe Islands Noëlle - Bjørn
Finland Noëlle - Bjørn
France Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Germany Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Greece Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen
Hungary Christophe - Bjørn
Iceland Noëlle - Bjørn
Ireland Christophe - Bjørn
Italy Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Latvia Noëlle - Bjørn
Lithuania Noëlle - Bjørn
Luxembourg Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
The Netherlands Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Norway Noëlle - Bjørn
Poland Bjørn
Portugal Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Bjørn
Slovakia Koen
Slovenia Noëlle - Christophe - Bjørn
Spain Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn
Sweden Noëlle - Christophe - Bjørn
Switzerland Noëlle - Koen
United Kingdom Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen - Bjørn

Morocco Kris - Noëlle
South Africa Koen
Tanzania Kris
Tunisia Noëlle - Christophe - Koen

North America
Bahamas Koen
Canada Kris - Noëlle - Koen
Cuba Kris
Dominican Republic Kris - Christophe
Greenland Bjørn
Mexico Noëlle
Sint-Maarten Kris
USA Noëlle - Koen

South America
Argentina Noëlle - Bjørn
Brazil Noëlle - Bjørn
Chile Noëlle - Bjørn
Ecuador Kris
French Guyana Kris
Surinam Kris

Israel Christophe
Jordan Christophe - Koen
Thailand Kris
Turkey Kris - Noëlle - Christophe - Koen

Australia Koen
New Zealand Noëlle - Bjørn

Total (countries/continents)
Noëlle 33/6
Bjørn 29/4
Kris 24/5
Christophe 24/4
Koen 21/5

Friday, 23 September 2005


Je suis frigorifiée, j'ai mal partout.
Je rentre chez moi.
La salle 481 m'a tuée.


Wednesday, 21 September 2005

Tintin hedder Tintin, Haddock hedder Haddock, og Bjævermose hedder så… Bjævermose

PRESSEMEDDELELSE - København, den 20. september 2005

Som allerede annonceret i starten af måneden genudgiver Forlaget Carlsen hele Hergés klassiske tegneserie Tintins Oplevelser. Der er tale om et storstilet projekt med helt nye oversættelser af Niels Søndergaard, og det første bind udkommer i begyndelsen af november.

Tintins Oplevelser er en milepæl i europæisk tegneseriehistorie. For første gang på dansk og næsten en menneskealder efter seriens tilblivelse er det tanken med den nye, sammenhængende oversættelse at give seriens mange læsere mulighed for at opleve eller genopleve historierne i en version, der ligger tæt op ad Hergés oprindelige tanker og ideer med værket.

Den nye oversættelse vil således ikke alene være mere tidssvarende. Niels Søndergaards danske version vil også nærme sig forlægget i Hergés fransksprogede originalværk langt mere, end det har været tilfældet med de tidligere oversættelser til dansk.

Der har i den seneste tid været en del omtale af det store projekt – og ikke mindst af forlagets udmelding om, at seriens forsikringsagent, Max Bjævermose, ville få sit oprindelige danske navn Konstantin Strøm tilbage. Det er muligvis de færreste, der i dag er klar over det, men sådan hed han faktisk i de første danske oversættelser, og forlaget fandt, at navnet Strøm lå tættere på figurens oprindelige, fransksprogede navn Lampion, der kan oversættes til ”kulørt lampe”, altså en spasmager, der tager gas eller strøm på folk.

Serien har siden 1948 været oversat til dansk af flere forskellige oversættere, blandt hvilke Jørgen Sonnergaard i vore dage er den mest kendte. Jørgen Sonnergaard fandt blandt andet på navnet Max Bjævermose… og at dømme efter antallet af reaktioner fra seriens mange trofaste læsere skal Bjævermose på dansk også fortsat hedde Bjævermose!

Carlsen har besluttet at efterkomme dette stærke ønske fra de mange læsere, der direkte eller indirekte har henvendt sig til forlaget om sagen – heriblandt de nu over 1.000 medlemmer af den nyligt stiftede forening Folkebevægelsen For At Max Bjævermose Bliver Ved Med At Hedde Max Bjævermose. Forsikringsagenten vil således også i de nye oversættelser beholde det navn, han på dansk har haft i den seneste oversættelse af serien. Forlaget og Jørgen Sonnergaard har blandt andet i denne forbindelse indgået en aftale til begge parters fulde tilfredshed.

Beslutningen om fortsat at kalde Max Bjævermose for Max Bjævermose ændrer ikke i øvrigt på ideen med og grundlaget for nyoversættelserne og det seriøse arbejde, der p.t. lægges i det store projekt.

Forlaget Carlsen ser sammen med oversætteren Niels Søndergaard frem til at lade såvel kendere af serien som nye læsere stifte bekendtskab med den samlede genudgivelse af Tintins Oplevelser, som vi har store forventninger til.

Jens Trasborg

Friday, 9 September 2005

Endelig en god sag at støtte!

Min støtte-e lyder:

Selvfølgelig hedder Max Bjævermose Max Bjævermose

Dronning Margrethe er jo også kun en fiktiv figur, som er tegnet til mønter, frimærker og ugeblade. Og selvom hun er tegnet i flere udgaver, har ingen jo så meget som foreslået at ændre hendes navn.

Jeg har i øvrigt tilladt mig at lægge Seriejournalens banner med henvisning på min weblog: Håber, det er i orden!


De bedste hilsener
Bjørn Clasen

Oversætter/bearbejder/finansiør/udgiver af »Er Du Tintinolog?«(som stadig er på lager!!)

Thursday, 8 September 2005

From B4 404

The Danish search engine (and much more) Jubii has dug out this graphic for when a page is not found. Nice idea — and nostalgy from those times when the number of channels to choose from was two- or even one-digit, and only few of them broadcast between 1 a.m. and 5 p.m.
It makes a surprising and original desktop wallpaper as well; simply click'n'save — low resolution just looks more genuine in this case.

Sunday, 4 September 2005

Art discovery

Yesterday when strolling in Luxembourg City, I passed Galerie Schortgen and decided to go in as it has been a long time, and as some of the exhibited works looked interesting. In general, I am not a big admirer of naturalism but those paintings by Yves Thos astonished me. They are portraits of women ― but no, that is not the reason. It is more this wonderful light that Thos gets into every single colour, giving each portrait a captivating atmosphere that makes it radiate something erotic even.
The painting below called Toilette du chat is not exhibited at Schortgen but taken from Espace Thos.

I intended to add something about another artist called Max Mehring whose engaging paintings, in which a bright blue dominates, are also exhibited in Schortgen... but the Max Mehrings I find on The Net are a fictious journalist from a novel, a football player, and an athlete. Pity. But enjoy Thos.

Friday, 2 September 2005

"Wie man seine Klasse vor einer Deutschprüfung rettet"

Dieses Gedicht habe ich für eine Deutschstunde geschrieben ― es muss in 1988 oder vielleicht 1989 gewesen sein, denn es war in der "1.y"-Gymnasienklasse; ich war also 15 oder 16...

Um sieben bin ich wach;
Im Bett gibt's ein Gekrach;
Nochmals von dir geträumt:
Du hast mich eingeschäumt!

Ich geh' dann schnell noch baden
Und sing' die Serenaden,
Speziell für dich geschrieben;
Jetzt ist es zehn nach sieben.

Ich hab' mich schnell frottiert;
Jetzt bin ich auch "pressiert";
Beginn' mich anzuziehen:
Muss um halb schon fliehen!

Ich guck' Mal 'rein ins Spiegel:
Frisur sitzt wie ein Igel;
Ich will mich nicht rasieren;
DAS muss dich doch verwirren!?!

Ich esse ein Paar Stückchen
Und spür' bei jedem Schlückchen
Die süße rote Lippen:
Es bringt mich fast zum Kippen!

Und in der Schule will ich fragen
Ob du mich liebst, willst du mich haben?
Doch dazu wird es niemals kommen,
Denn ich bin schüchtern, ganz vollkommen...

Dann plötzlich seh' ich dich;
Zuerst bemerkst du nichts;
Dann guckst du ― ich werd' rot;
Ich wünscht' ich hätte Mut!

Jetzt sitze ich zu Hause
Und trink' mich voll in Brause;
Schon wieder ging 'nen Tag,
Und ich hab' nicht gefragt...

Ich habe Liebeskummer;
Hätt' ich bloß deine Nummer!
Gedicht ist jetzt zu Ende;
'Ne DREIZEHN gern ich fände!

(13 ist die höchste Note in Dänemark).


Your Mood Ring is Dark Green


Thursday, 1 September 2005

Improvised fun

Suri. Japanese dish consisting of fish, fish, some fish, and in the Northern Regions a bit of fish too. Tastes fishy and, when eaten regularaly except for breakfast, makes you live 7.4 years longer on average.
A marketing and export attempt in the mid-80s failed badly when French media reported that it actually contained mouse meat. Though never confirmed, it ruined suri's reputation in the Occidental world.
Suri was also Emperor Harakiri and his wife Vachekiri's favourite dish.
Encyclopædia Britanniclasen, 2005 ed.

Friday, 12 August 2005

La Moustache — l'enfermement?

Il y a quelques semaines, j'ai regardé le film «La Moustache» au ciné. Un de ces films qui te semble de traîner un peu, d'être lourd et difficile à comprendre, et que tu critique pour cela quand tu sors de la salle... Mais auquel tu ne peux pas t'empêcher à réfléchir après tout. Voici mon interprétation.

La moustache est un métaphore pour la manque de liberté... Autrement dit, quand il l'enlève, c'est qu'il a (enfin) le courage — une de ces phénomènes qui vient souvent spontanément — d'au moins essayer de se libérer. Au lieu de continuer à jouer le rôle auquel son entourage s'est habitué et lequel celui-ci attend de lui, il tente enfin, et tout à coup, de montrer qui il est au fin fond.

La tragédie est justement que son entourage refuse de le voir autrement. Lui, il croit bien faire, car il est plus lui, il suit ses propres sentiments — mais la réaction (ou plutôt manque de réaction) de son entourage le rend confus et mal assuré, alors qu'il devrait être plus assuré que jamais puisqu'il a fait un pas vers sa vraie personnalité.

Et c'est là que sa propre existence est mise en cause. Il ne se retrouve plus, car lui seul voit les repères qu'il croit avoir retrouvé mais qui restent invisibles pour son entourage qui ne les a jamais connus.

L'aller-retour répété avec le bateau est une façon d'essayer de se rassurer en trouvant quelque chose qui lui donne confiance — justement la répétition, une chose sûre. Le choc revient le jour où le bateau ne part pas..... peut-être parce que dans ce monde rien n'est certain. À chacun d'entre nous de voir si l'on considère le fait que la femme «réapparait» tout à coup comme une faiblesse chez lui (tragédie?), ou plutôt comme une sorte de victoire (qu'il retrouve sa confiance?). Peut-être que quand sa femme lui propose qu'il enlève sa moustache, c'est un métaphore signifiant que son entourage accepte qu'il a changé parce qu'il l'a fait dans un sens qui fait qu'il se sent mieux...?

Pas facile de décrire ses philosophies en français..... :-)

Merci à Jacqueline pour les liens suivants:
Nord-Cinéma — critiques (lisez surtout la quatrième, de Jul)
Site officiel du film
Critique du livre sur Krinein

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Discovering Brassaï

'Just as night birds and nocturnal animals bring a forest to life when its daytime fauna fall silent and go to ground, so night in a large city brings out of its den an entire population that lives its life completely under cover of darkness.'
Brassaï ― Source: 'In the Dark ― Photography for night owls'

Looking in a book about surrealist artists in Paris, several photos taken by Brassaï caught my interest. It turns out he is very famous, and quite a few of his wonderful black-and-white works can be found on The Net; I've included a couple of examples.
Read more about this great photographer

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

An introduction to noise at work

I have often giggled at the titles we come across in different kinds of texts from the European Union. After 'the intitiative Violence At School' and the training course 'Moral Harrassment' (aren't there some negations missing?...), the EU now introduces noise at work!
In case that intrigues you, do order the free-of-charge information sheet with the title [drum roll] 'An Introduction To Noise At Work' on EU Bookshop.

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Denne her er faktisk go'

'Tænk hvis livet var et spil og du var en terning?!
Så ville folk kysse dig....rulle dig rundt på bordet og håbe du gav sex!!'


Monday, 1 August 2005

The Baltic states — Grains of wheat

'We were like three grains of wheat which, after the conspiracy by Stalin and Hitler, were to be ground up in the mill of history.'
Vytautas Landsbergis, former chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania
in an address to the participants of the international conference related to the 10th anniversary of the barricades in the Baltic states — 'The January Barricades as a Form of National Resistance Against a Totalitarian Regime and Lessons that were Learned' — January 2001

Thursday, 21 July 2005

Central Europe's importance

'Europe's entire traceable history has taught us that this continent is a single political entity, with Central Europe as its centre. This is where wars have always begun and ended; no wars have bypassed this region. Without a stable and peaceful Central Europe, there will be no such thing in Europe as a whole, either.'
Václav Havel, May 1996

Monday, 18 July 2005


'Weit entfernt, die Liebe nicht zu schätzen, sind wir heute eher Fundamentalisten des Gefühls. Wir setzen alles, aber auch alles, auf diesen sich leicht wie Salmiakgeist verflüchtigenden Zustand. Wo die Liebe nicht mehr ist, verlassen wir den Friedhof der Emotionen. Die Liebe ist sozusagen der Schlachtruf der Moderne geworden. Weder Konventionen noch ökonomische Rücksichten, religiöse Skrupel oder soziale Ängste halten uns davor zurück, das Ufer der Lieblosigkeit zu verlassen und erneut das Traumboot der Liebe zu besteigen.'

Mathias Jung in 'BindungsAngst ― Die Strategie des Selbstboykotts'

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Europe: The Moment Of Truth

Tony Blair gave his praised speech to the European Parliament nearly a month ago ― what's good about me taking so long to find the, in my opinion, best extracts, is that you can now have it refreshed.
The speech is taken from the brilliant and interesting official 10 Downing Street website but I have modified the extracts slightly to match Blair's actual words.

'This is a mindset I have fought against all my political life. Ideals survive through change. They die through inertia in the face of challenge.


This is a union of values, of solidarity between nations and people, of not just a common market in which we trade but a common political space in which we live as citizens.

It always will be.

I believe in Europe as a political project. I believe in Europe with a strong and caring social dimension. I would never accept a Europe that was simply an economic market.

To say that this is the issue is to escape the real debate and hide in the comfort zone of the things we have always said to each other in times of difficulty.

This is not some division between the Europe necessary to succeed economically and social Europe. Political Europe and economic Europe do not live in separate rooms.

The purpose of social Europe and economic Europe should be to sustain each other.

The purpose of political Europe should be to promote the democratic and effective institutions to develop policy in these two spheres and across the board where we want and need to cooperate in our mutual interest.

But the purpose of political leadership is to get the policies right for today's world.

For 50 years European leaders have done that. We talk of crisis. Let us first talk of achievement. When the war ended, Europe was in ruins. Today the European Union stands as a monument to political achievement. Almost 50 years of peace, 50 years of prosperity, 50 years of progress. Think of it and let us all be grateful for it and be proud of what has happened in Europe in these past 50 years.

The broad sweep of history is on the side of the European Union. Countries round the world are coming together today because in collective cooperation they increase individual strength. Until the second half of the 20th Century, for centuries European nations individually had dominated the world, colonised large parts of it, fought wars against each other for world supremacy.

And then out of the carnage of the Second World War, political leaders had the vision to realise those days were gone. Today's world does not diminish that vision. It demonstrates its prescience. The United States is the world's only super power. But China and India in a few decades will be the world's largest economies, each of them with populations three times that of the whole of the European Union. The idea of Europe, united and working together, is essential today for our nations to be strong enough to keep our place in this world.

But now, almost 50 years on, we have to renew. And there is no shame in that. All institutions must do it. And we can. But only if we remarry the European ideals we believe in with the modern world we live in.


This is not a time to accuse those who want Europe to change of betraying Europe. It is a time to recognise that only by change will Europe recover its strength, its relevance, its idealism and therefore its support amongst the people.

And as ever I'm afraid the people are ahead of the politicians. We always think as a political class that people, unconcerned with the daily obsession of politics, may not understand it, may not see its subtleties and its complexities. Ultimately, people always see politics more clearly than us. Precisely because they are not daily obsessed with it.

The issue, therefore, is not about the idea of the European Union. It is about modernisation. It is about policy. It is not a debate about how to abandon Europe but how to make it do what it was set up to do: improve the lives of people. And right now, they aren't convinced. Consider this.


Just reflect. The Laeken Declaration which launched the Constitution was designed, and I quote: "to bring Europe closer to the people". Did it? The Lisbon agenda was launched in the year 2000 with the ambition of making Europe, and I quote: "the most competitive place to do business in the world by 2010". We are half way through that period. Has it succeeded?

I have sat through Council Conclusions after Council Conclusions describing how we are "reconnecting Europe to the people". But are we?

It is time to give ourselves a reality check. To receive the wake-up call. The people are blowing the trumpets round the city walls. Are we listening? Have we the political will to go out and meet them so that they regard our leadership, collectively, as part of the solution and not part of the problem?

This is the context in which the Budget debate should be set. People say: we need the Budget to restore Europe's credibility. Of course we do. But it should be the right Budget. It shouldn't be abstracted from the debate about Europe's crisis. It should be part of the answer to it.


The purpose of our social model should be to enhance our ability to compete, to help our people cope with globalisation, to let them embrace its opportunities and avoid the dangers. Of course we need a social Europe. But it has to be a social Europe that works.


Such a Europe ― its economy in the process of being modernised, its security enhanced by clear action within our borders and beyond ― would be a confident Europe. It would be a Europe confident enough to see enlargement not as a threat, as if membership were a zero sum game in which old members lose as new members gain, but an extraordinary, historic opportunity to build a greater and more powerful union. Because be under no illusion: if we stop enlargement or shut out its natural consequences, it wouldn't, in the end, save one job, keep one firm in business, prevent one delocalisation. For a time it might but not for long.


There is only one thing I ask: don't let us kid ourselves that this debate is unnecessary; that if only we assume 'business as usual', people will sooner or later relent and acquiesce in Europe as it is, not as they want it to be. In my time as Prime Minister, I have found that the hard part is not taking the decision, it is spotting when it has to be taken. It is understanding the difference between the challenges that have to be managed and those that have to be confronted and overcome. This is such a moment of decision for Europe.

The people of Europe are speaking to us. They are posing the questions. And they are wanting our leadership. And it is time we gave it to them.'

Monday, 11 July 2005

Diesel vs benzin

Mine to sidste biler (ud af foreløbig tre i alt) er/var dieselbiler. Derfor sker det ikke sjældent, at jeg diskuterer med andre bilejere, hvad der er det 'bedste'. Nedenstående er fra en faktabox fra en artikel på
Subscript i de kemiske formler er mine tilføjelser — Politiken har ikke gjort sig den umage at finde html-taggen, som ellers er både enkel og logisk: 'sub'. Hvad der dog, i hvert fald med mit kendskab til html, ikke lader til at være muligt på Blogger, er at beholde den samme linjeafstand efter en linje med subscript. Jeg undskylder derfor layoutet!
Hyperlinket til Miljøstyrelsens netsted er også min tilføjelse, ligesom trekløveret er fra samme.

Hvor meget forurener din bil?
Der er fordele og ulemper ved både benzinbiler og dieselbiler. Her følger en gennemgang af de forskellige bilers forurening.

Allerførst er det nødvendigt at skelne mellem to slags forureninger: Der er sundhedsskadelig forurening med f.eks. partikler og såkaldte NOx'er. Og der er er CO2-forurening, som går ud over atmosfæren og klimaet.

BENZINBILER forurener med NOx'er - eller kvælstofoxider, som det hedder med et andet ord. NOx'er har en række sundhedsskadelige effekter, men siden introduktionen og kravet om katalysatorer på motoren er udledningen kraftigt reduceret. I dag forurener en benzinbil stort set kun i den korte periode mellem motoren tændes og katalysatoren er varm.

Benzinbiler udleder på den anden side mere CO2- end dieselbilen, da den kører kortere på literen. Der er en direkte sammenhæng mellem, hvor langt biler kører på literen, og hvor meget de CO2-forurener.

DIESELBILER forurener fem gange så meget med NOx'er som benzinbiler og har desuden partikeludledning. Men hvor dieselbilen, som teknologien er i dag, er skidt for sundheden, så er den god for klimaet, fordi den kører længere på literen og derfor genererer mindre CO2.

Alt tyder på, at dieselbiler inden for ganske få år, som konsekvens af EU's endnu skrappere miljøkrav, vil få reduceret udledningen af NOx'er og partikler endnu mere.

VINDEREN er altså på kort sigt benzinbilen med cifrene 2-1. Den vinder på mindre sundhedsskadelig forurening, mens dieselbilen får et enkelt point for at udlede mindst CO2. På sigt vil dieselbilen imidlertid blive bedst.

Den endegyldige vinder skal gerne blive sundheden og klimaet - og det går, trods alt, den rigtige vej: Siden de første EU-miljøkrav blev indført i starten af 90'erne er bilforureningen reduceret med cirka 85 procent.

Kilde: Specialkonsulent Erik Iversen ansat ved Miljøstyrelsens Industri- og transportenhed.

Thursday, 30 June 2005


Ąš ā mūļťīľîńģűął ēñťįťy wé śħôůļď bè ąbļė ťô wřīťę ņāméš įñ ąť ļęåśť ťħê őffįćįāļ ļąńġųåģéš čôřřēċťļy, āņď åłšő přįñť ąłļ ďīąćřįťīčś ċøřřèćťły. Ťħåť’š yęť ąņôťħęř ďįśťîńčťïøñ fřóm ťħė ŮŚőfĀ.

Būť įņ Ċômmīśśïôñ ęń ďīřēćť #355 Čômmśšïóņëřś Grybauskaitė āñď Špidla āš wėļł ąš ņôw řêťįřēď Ďįřėċťôř óf Ćômmůńįčāťīõñ (!) Niels Jørgen Thøgersen’ś ņąmēš åľļ ċõñťąįń mīšťāķēš. Ťħąť įš å śħąmė.

If we cannot manage, an alternative could be to adapt the Latvian system, i.e. to transscribe all proper names according to phonetic rules of the language you write in.

Bjørn Clasen [Byern Kla’sn]
Publications Office [Pobblikaysiens Orfis]

Published on IntraComm — the intranet of the European Commission.
'Commission en direct' is the internal weekly newspaper for EU employees.
Links are added for the purpose of the blog version.

Monday, 27 June 2005

The World's shortest personality test

You are happy, driven, and status conscious.
You want everyone to know how successful you are.
Very logical, you see life as a game of strategy.

A bit of a loner, you prefer to depend on yourself.
You always keep your cool and your composure.
You are a born leader and business person.

Friday, 24 June 2005

Precz z garniturami ― Down with suits!

Premier Japonii Junichiro Koizumi zaapelował do milionów urzędników, aby podczas tegorocznego lata przychodzili do pracy w mniej oficialnych strojach. Zdaniem szefa rządu, zaowocuje to nie tylko lepszą wydajnością pracy, ale i pozwoli zaoszczędzić energię poprzez przykręcenie klimatyzacji. Jak na prawdziwego przywódcę przystało, nakazał wszystkim ministrom swojego rządu, aby świecili przykładem dla reszty kraju i w upalne dni pojawiali się w prac ubrani w T-shirty.
Źródło: Kaleidoscope (Magazyn pokładowy PLL LOT SA), maj 2005

The Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, has appealed to millions of officials in the country to go to work in less official clothes this summer. According to the head of the government, apart from work output improving as a result, it would also allow the country to save energy consumed on air conditioning. As befits a true leader, he ordered all ministers in his government to set an example for the rest of the country, and turn up at work on particularly hot days dressed in T-shirts.
Source: Kaleidoscope (LOT Polish Airlines in-flight magazine), May 2005

Tuesday, 21 June 2005


Skønt den ikke passer med årstiden,
tager vi en sidste Daniel Helldén-komposition.

Solen brænder rød og hed
og høsten den bli'r fin.
Bom bom tromme tromme
slå på tamburin.

Farfar samler æbler op
og fodrer gårdens svin.

Mormor vander blomsterne
bag stuens blå gardin.

Karlen kører kornet ind
og nynner melodi'n.

Spillemand! Spil op til dansen,
stem din violin.

Festen står i laderne
med sang og dans og vin.
Bom bom tromme tromme
slå på tamburin.

Fra Daniel Helldén: 'Musikhæfte 2'
(Musikhøjskolens Forlag, Egtved 1969)

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Generationen, der ikke kan blive voksen

De er tit blevet beskyldt for at være forkælede, men kravene til ungdommen er større end nogensinde. Det kan spænde ben for voksenlivet.

Læs denne interessante artikel på

Wednesday, 15 June 2005


Interviewer: Votre spiritualité, vous la définiriez comment?
Jean-Claude Van Damme: Elle est très simple... Elle est faite de oui, non... elle est faite de... Oh, look at that girl, so beautiful!

Monday, 6 June 2005

Find joy in life — VWVagabonds

You quit your job...
And leave your comfortable house...
along with your predictable life...
For what?

This is the story of a Latin woman, her gringo husband, a 1970's claustrophobic hippie van, and the whole wide world.

Amanda & Richard Ligato decided to leave their hum-drum everyday routine and set out on an adventure of a lifetime. Leaving behind all the mind numbing comforts of home and the security of the familiar they embarked on a three year overland trip with the goal of discovering first-hand how others find joy in life. The experience changed them forever.

Read about their achievements on — inventive name by the way — these are, in my opinion, some of the persons to admire on This Planet.

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Polish politics

'Don't drink too little!'
Rafał Dutkiewicz, Mayor of Wrocław,
to some guests during the reception after the European Summit of Regions & Cities

EU-forfatningen: kunstig europæisk fællesskabsfølelse

»EU har efter min mening udviklet sig fra at være et fornuftigt, pragmatisk samarbejde om praktiske spørgsmål til at være et stort, forkromet, ideologisk projekt med tankepoliti og forsøg på at skabe en kunstig europæisk fællesskabsfølelse«.
Bent Jensen, historiker og borgerlig samfundsdebattør
Kilde: artikel på

Sunday, 15 May 2005

Whatever happened to Christiane F.?

Most people who went to school in the 80s have seen the film and/or read the book about the tragic teenagehood of this Berlin girl. I stumbled over this website, which not only answers the above question but is also interesting in as much as it is in no less than seven languages!

Friday, 13 May 2005

La guerre des frites

Une sombre histoire de frites met en péril les célébrations du 175e anniversaire de la Belgique. Une gigantesque journée moules-frites, avec dégustation à volonté, doit se tenir début septembre place Sainte-Catherine, à Bruxelles. Au menu : des moules – hollandaises – et des frites – canadiennes. Un scandale, pour l’Union nationale des frituristes (Unafri), bien décidée à sauver la fierté nationale. Les marchands de frites s’engagent à servir gracieusement 15 000 cornets de frites – mais de la vraie, de la belge –, soit 5 000 kilos de pommes de terre. Pour acheter et éplucher ces tonnes de patates, ils demandent 7 000 euros aux pouvoirs publics, écrit De Morgen. La Flandre accepte de débloquer 3 500 euros, mais le gouvernement wallon refuse de payer sa quote-part si la moitié des pommes de terre ne sont pas wallonnes. L’association des frituristes s’est fendue d’un communiqué apaisant. “Les frites ne sont ni flamandes ni wallonnes, elles sont belges !” clame son site Internet. Pas question, toutefois, de jeter de l’huile sur le feu : l’Unafri a promis d’utiliser autant de patates du Nord que de patates du Sud, et a écrit au président du Parti socialiste (francophone), Elio Di Rupo, pour qu’il mette fin à cette guerre des frites.

Source: Courrier international

Thursday, 12 May 2005

Never drive faster than your Angels can fly

I saw this one on a sticker at the back of a car this morning.
It leaves space for interpretation. I like it.

Friday, 29 April 2005

Our different roles in life

'Some are a melody and some are the beat.'
from the lyrics to the classic Alphaville ballad 'Forever Young'

Thursday, 28 April 2005

The duty to tell

'As well as doing their job, I think it is part of everyone's job to explain what they are doing. The public pays our salaries and for the running of this place and, in my view, everyone has the duty to tell and to be available to the outside public. I know people are very busy and that in some areas we are very understaffed; but what does it help if the world out there doesn't know that!'
Niels Jørgen Thøgersen
recently retired Director of Communication, Media and Services
European Commission

Monday, 18 April 2005

Service d'hygiène au travail

Hilde, la cheffe
faisant le tour des bureaux
tombait sur un morgo medve (*)
qui mormonnait sans cesse:
— il y a trop de bruit ici et...
sans mon pot de miel je ne peux plus travailler!
Il ronronnait et pleurnichait
jusqu'à ce que les perceuses
— fatiguées de l'écouter —
se sont mises à produire
une mélodie pour le séduire...

Tünde Valkovszki, 22/2-5

(*) brizzly bear; mon prénom veut dire «ours»

Sunday, 17 April 2005

Dreams give life...

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
— William Shakespeare

Estamos hechos de la misma materia que los sueños y nuestra pequeña vida termina durmiendo.
— William Shakespeare

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
— Victor Hugo

No hay nada mejor que un sueño para crear el futuro.
— Víctor Hugo

These quotations are taken from in's website. 'in' is the Chilean airline company LAN's magazine. Both the magazine and its website are far more interesting, better written and translated, and with more beautiful photos than any other airline magazine I know.

Den nyuppfunna essensen Eroticin

Hvilken overraskelse! Jeg måtte jo lige se, om jeg kunne finde noget om Daniel Helldén, når nu jeg har lagt flere af hans tekster på min blog. Det viser sig, at han var en driftig herre, som komponerede meget mere end børnesange... blandt andet stykket 'Eroticin'...

»Framförallt har han komponerat och arrangerat för kör, men han har även skrivit många verk för blockflöjt samt åtskillig musik för barn. Dessutom finns på verklistan bl a en Klarinettkvintett, en Sonatin för stråktrio och ett större verk för piano: 12 Klaverstudier över ett tema av Anton Webern. En särställning intar “Eroticin“, (“en liten estradopera“ av Alf Henrikson) , beställd av Akademiska Kören i Göteborg (1984). Här avslöjas byråingenjörers, direktörers och ministrars egennytta och egoism, när de tar ställning till den nyuppfunna essensen “eroticin“.«

Kilde: Biografi på Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrås netsted.

Lille grå gås

Nej, der er ikke tale om et smædeskrift mod en ældre medborger af det smukke køn, men derimod om endnu en af de lystige sange fra min første skoletid. Så vidt jeg husker, var jeg en af de 'mørkeblå biller' ― dog spillede jeg ikke 'guldbasun', men xylofon. Tror jeg nok.

Lille grå gås
Lån mig dine vinger
Straks de mig bringer
Til alfernes høj

Sagte sange
Strømmer fra de lange
Sale og gange
I alfernes høj

Grønklædte drenge
De spiller på guldstrenge
Fine små piger
De spiller på guldgiger

Græshopper grønne
De slår guldharper skønne
Mørkeblå biller
På guldbasuner spiller

Blidt klinger alfesang
De klare toner triller
Lette som fnug
Som perler af dug

Fra Daniel Helldén: 'Musikhæfte 2' (Musikhøjskolens Forlag, Egtved 1969)

Friday, 15 April 2005

Klippe får

Endnu lidt nostalgi fra musikmappegemmerne. En måske noget banal tekst, men melodien er dejligt frejdig. Taget fra Daniel Helldén: 'Musikhæfte 2' (Musikhøjskolens Forlag, Egtved 1969) ― en sangbog, som vi brugte hos fru Romanini, min klasselærer fra første til tredje, dvs. fra 1979 til 1982.

Kom, skal vi klippe fåret i dag
Klippe det ja ― klippe det ja
Så skal vi strikke strømper til far
Svinge os glad i dansen
Sur, sur, sur, sur, sur, sur
Rokken den går, garnet vi får
Sur, sur, sur, sur, sur, sur
Svinge os glad i dansen

Kom, skal vi karte ulden i dag
Karte den ja ― karte den ja
Så skal vi strikke vanter til mor
Svinge os glad i dansen

Kom, skal vi spinde garnet i dag
Spinde det ja ― spinde det ja
Så skal vi strikke sokker til bror
Svinge os glad i dansen

Kom, skal vi væve tøjet i dag
Væve det ja ― væve det ja
Så skal vi til at sy vore klæ'r
Svinge os glad i dansen
Dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk
Væven den slår, skyttelen går
Dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk
Svinge os glad i dansen

Thursday, 31 March 2005

Nostalgic idealism

The other day I was tidying up a (paper, that is) folder containing song lyrics and notes. I stumbled over some lyrics I wrote back in '87 at the age of 14 or earlier. Paul McCartney also wrote his first song 'I Lost My Little Girl' at that age by the way.

The lyrics were written for the melody of the song 'Varsovie' (that means 'Warsaw' and is a song about Lech Wałęsa and Solidarność — I guess the title 'Gdańsk' did not fit the rhythm...), which was the B side of French singer Didier Barbelivien's single 'Elsa'.

I even sent a letter to Mr Barbelivien through the record company in order to ask some kind of permission for these new lyrics, and I included a direct translation of the lyrics into French. Never got any answer.

But anyway, here it is, first in Danish, then in my more or less direct translation into English. Who said teenage idealism? Still, it remains an issue...

Hjælp Vor Jord

Hvorfor ska' vi altid hør' så meg't om krig og vold?
Og hva' mon der sker, når atomuret, det slår tolv?
Er vi nærmer' end vi tror på staternes skudhold?
De' på vej' at gøre Jorden kedelig og kold!

Der må gøres noget for at redde vor planet!
Hvis vi bare vil, så ka' vi redde vores æt!
Lad os alle hjælpes ad mod al rivalitet!
Så begynd nu, mens tid er, før værre ting er sket!

Hjælp vor Jord,
Hjælp dig selv,
Bar' et ord
Hen mod kvæld.

Kæmp for fred,
Mens tid er,
Og bli' ved,
Til fred bli'r!
Og bli' ved,
Til fred bli'r!

Help Our Earth

Why do we always have to hear so much about war and violence?
And [I wonder] what will happen when the nuclear clock strikes twelve?
Are we closer than we think to the shooting range of the states?
They're on their way to make Earth boring and cold!

Something has to be done to save our planet!
If just we want to, we can save our race!
Let us all help each other against all rivalry!
So [let us] begin now, before it is too late, before worse things happen!

Help our Earth,
Help yourself,
Just one word
Before nightfall.

Fight for peace,
While you can,
And keep on,
Till peace comes!
And keep on,
Till peace stays!

Monday, 14 March 2005

Sloganistisk selvtillidsboost

Nævn et karakteristisk og positivt træk ved personen, der sendte dig dette.
Bjørn - menneske frem for alt
Dét var sgu sødt!! Dèn tillader jeg mig i al beskedenhed at lægge ud på min weblog! Tak!!! [til Jette Blok]

Friday, 4 March 2005

'Bit of Latin

Satius est supervacua scire quam nihil.

Hvad er der oppe, Doktor?

Hvor bor du?
I Rollengergronn, Luxembourg.

Hvilken bog læser du for tiden?
Ingen. Har travlt med at læse rejsebrochurer for at finde ud af, om vi skal til Kamtjatka, Costa Rica, Botswana eller noget helt nittende til efteråret. Men tager den bog, Caspar forærede mig i fødselsdagsgave ('Thomas Ripenseren' af Anne Marie Ejrnæs — godt for en gangs skyld at læse dansk litteratur), med, når vi daffer til Slovenien i morgen. Derefter står der tre og venter på hylden, og endnu to, som jeg snart bestiller på Nettet. Det skulle række året ud...

Hvilken cd ligger i dit anlæg?
'Just Enough Education To Perform' med Stereophonics (Hurra! De udgiver et nyt album 14/3!)... men den er netop færdig, så nu lægger jeg 'Mislyde' med Miss B. Haven i.

Hvilke interessante nyheder har du læst, hørt eller set i dag?
Jeg er som sædvanlig begyndt dagen på, og det mest interessante var vel historien om de kroatiske sømænd, der har påsejlet Storebæltsbroen på vej fra Svendborg til Finland (!).

Hm... får sjældent læst blade. I stedet surfer jeg indimellem på Blogger ved at klikke på henvisningen 'Next blog' fra

Grundet tidens vejr vil jeg faktisk svare noget nyt denne gang: Den kolde vinterluft.

Hvad skal du lave i aften?
Det ved jeg ikke. Foreløbig skal jeg igennem de mest hastende af hastesagerne, inden jeg er væk i en uge. Men måske tager vi i biffen, hvis der går noget, vi begge gider at se. I øvrigt synes jeg, at der er for få film med Christina Ricci.

Jeg har ikke tænkt over det før — men det er nok en kats spinden. Selvom jeg mest er til hunde.

Grøn. Men det kommer an på til hvad — fx er jeg ikke glad for grønne bananer.

Hvor mange gange når telefonen at ringe, inden du tager den?
Jeg har display på min arbejdstelefon og kan finde på slet ikke at tage den. Men da telefonlyde, klassiske som polyfoniske, let irriterer mig, tager jeg den ellers så hurtigt som muligt.

Hvad skal dit barn hedde/hedder dit barn?
Den tid, den glæde. Man ved vel først, hvad der passer til et barn, når man ser barnet!

De(n) vigtigste 'ting' i verden?

Yndlingsmad for tiden?
De gulerødder, der ligger på mit bord, ser da lækre ud...

Elsker du at køre stærkt?
Hvis forholdene er til det, ja. Og med høj musik.

Hvad stemmer du den 27. september?
Jeg ender nok med at stemme ja. Ikke pga. indholdet af den såkaldte forfatning, men pga. den grundlæggende europæiske ide.

Skriv et citat, du godt kan lide.
There is no path. We make the path by walking.
(Antonio Machado)

Hvilket mærke var din første bil?
En Ford Escort, lortelilla og med automatgear, fra 1978. Faktisk var kun halvdelen af den min — den anden halvdel var min svigerindes.

Smart Forfour eller en fra BMW's Z-serie.

Hvis du kunne møde en kendt person (død eller levende), hvem skulle det så være?
Det er en hemmelighed.

Hahaha... vand, gerne fra vandhanen.

Hvilken film (ja, dvd og vhs gælder også) har du senest set?
En finsk film, som jeg har glemt titlen på. Men den handler om en kvinde, der finder kærligheden der, hvor hun ikke regnede med at finde den. Velkendt historie, men sjovt at se en finsk film med dialog.

Hvad lavede du, lige inden du modtog dette e-brev?
Komponerede et e-kort til en, der har fødselsdag i dag. Spørg mig nu ikke, hvad jeg BURDE have været i gang med.

Hvis du kunne vælge hvilken som helst profession, hvad skulle det så være?
Et eller andet kreativt, fx leve af at rejse og måske skrive om det, eller blot åbne en ikkerygercafe.

Hvilken enkeltting har du senest brugt mindst 500 kroner på?
Det må jeg indrømme, at jeg ikke kan huske. Muligvis en årlig forsikringspræmie blandt alle decemberregningerne.

Har du nogensinde været forelsket?
You bet.

I biffen eller lejer du en video/dvd?
Mest biffen — men vi låner den del dvd'er i videoklubben på det seneste. Og for nylg fik jeg for første gang i umindelige tider genset et afnsit af Fawlty Towers (Halløj På Badehotellet).

Hvilken fjernsynsudsendelse så du mest som barn?
Sesamstrasse. Og fredagskrimi med resten af familien.

Hvad er der under din seng?
En slags skuffe. Tom. Skal på genbrugspladsen.

88. Men det er ikke noget, jeg går vildt op i.

Hvilken sport ser du helst på tv?
Jeg ser faktisk kun fjernsyn, når der er en stor fodboldturnering, og Danmark er med.

Nævn et karakteristisk og positivt træk ved personen, der sendte dig

Karen er underholdende på sin egen diskrete måde.

Hvem/hvad kan gøre dig lykkelig?
Det kan man vist dybest set kun selv.

Hvem svarer mindst sandsynligt på denne mail?
Christina Ricci.

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

The new certification procedure

(certified as stark, raving mad…)

[The European Commission seems to do everything wrong in its attempts to motivate its employees, or even acknowledge their work. And this at the tax-payers' expense.

In this article, I have added a few explanations in square brackets, as I think it is important also for people who are not familiar with the EU institutions to know what is going on.]

If you can remember that far back, one of the main promises of the [Staff] Reform was to have one linear career system for all staff. Another broken promise (let’s face it, what’s one more…) as we find that there are in reality two career systems – there is still "them" (A grades or [managers, or so-called 'administrators']) and "us" (B, C, D grades or ['assistants']). It followed that it would be much easier to access higher grades and this is what we expected from the new procedures. However, the certification procedure is an example of how the twisted minds of the D[irectorate-]G[eneral for Personnel and] Admin[istration] work. Whereas before, with a certain number of years experience in a certain category, we were all free to try our luck in an internal competition, the new certification procedure will effectively block 90% of all B officials from ever even being considered.

So what are the conditions and how does the procedure work? Well, first of all, if you have a university diploma, you must have at least 3 years seniority in the B*5 [salary category] or above, and otherwise 5 years seniority. You then have to indicate in your C[areer]D[evelopment]R[eview] that you wish to be considered for certification and your head of unit must support your request, state that you have the potential to take on the functions of an administrator and indicate any tasks you already do that could be considered those of a grade A official.

All applications go to DG Admin who then selects the most "worthy" candidates. These lucky few (120 candidates at most per year, i.e. +/- 3 per DG) will then follow 400 hours of training (and this although DG Admin has not yet fixed the syllabus), at the end of which they then have to sit an exam. From these 120 candidates, only 80 can pass and they then have to apply (and be accepted) for an "AD[ministrator]" post.

So what advantages does this new certification procedure offer in comparison with the old internal competition procedure? As far as we can see, none whatsoever!

First of all, you need to have the support of your head of unit. If s/he doesn’t want to lose one or several members of his staff for 400 hours a year, or simply doesn’t like you, there is very little likelihood that he/she will support your request. This condition of admission is completely subjective and goes against every democratic principle! This clearly is not an improvement on the old system of internal competitions which were open to all staff if they had the necessary grade and seniority.

As to the selection criteria of DG Admin, it would seem that officially professional experience acquired in the institutions, level of professional training and merit marks for the last three CDR are the most important. However, unofficially it would seem that level of education previous to entry in the Institutions would also be taken into account, i.e. don’t even bother to apply if you haven’t the minimum of a university degree (doctorate would of course be appreciated!).

Following 400 hours of training in a year is not an option for most women with children. Also, 400 hours of training implies twice or three times that much study at home. For most women with children, this is not an option! The old system of internal competition implied a certain amount of preparation a month or two before the exam, but not a whole year of stress! There is no advantage for staff and even a serious disadvantage for working mothers! This new certification procedure clearly proves that the "4th Action Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men at the European Commission 2004-2008" is just a lot of hot air and that the Commission has every intention to continue as a male-dominated bastion.

As for transparency, you can forget it! The new certification procedure is the ideal opportunity for each head of unit, director or director general to promote his or her particular favourite – "long live nepotism at the Commission" is the message that DG Admin is signalling with this new procedure!

One can only wonder how much this certified madness will cost. The cost for the number of person-days lost if 120 officials follow 400 hours of training amounts to +/- 1.320.000 €. Then dreaming up the content of the course (a lot of imagination is necessary here!), giving the courses and preparing course material for 400 hours (in which languages?), if provided by an external firm, amounts to a conservative estimate of 500.000 €. After this, of course, the tests (written and oral) still have to be developed and the competition for the 120 candidates has to be organised, marked etc. All in all, for 2005 this certification procedure could cost a total of almost 2.000.000 €. As if this wasn’t expensive enough, the Institutions in all their wisdom have seen fit to invent a European Administration School (EAS) to manage this programme. It is amazing (if not scandalous) that in a year when most officials have been financially hit by the Reform, DG Admin does not seem to be suffering from a lack of budget (perhaps they are paying this from the funds originally foreseen for the European School, financing school trips, education allowance…).

However, there is still time to react. This procedure will now be discussed with unions and with your support there is, hopefully, still time to change this certified discriminatory procedure. So let us know your thoughts….

Last minute: It gets better and better! We have just heard from one of our colleagues that during his CDR, his head of unit informed him that in order to be considered for the certification procedure, he will have to assume new and complex tasks which will be added to his objectives. If he carries out these new tasks successfully, he MAY then be CONSIDERED for the certification procedure – however he then still has no guarantee of participating in the training!!! Is this new procedure just a ploy on the part of the Commission in order to increase our productivity with no corresponding increase in pay???

P.S. Did you know that whilst the Reform cut the salaries of most staff, the hierarchy was laughing all the way to the bank? Indeed, see Annexe XIII, Article 7 of the new Staff Regulations below:

"4. An official in grades A*10 to A*16 and AD 10 to 16 respectively who is on 30 April 2004 head of unit, director or director-general, or is subsequently appointed head of unit, director or director general and has performed his new duties satisfactorily during the first nine months, shall be entitled to an increase in the basic monthly salary corresponding to the percentage between the first and the second step in each grade as set out in the tables in Article 2(1) and Article 8(1) of this Annex."

Source: Note distributed to staff on 25 February 2005
by Action & Défense - Luxembourg

Monday, 28 February 2005

Principio de todo

Today the Sun is shining, the sky is completely 'dégagé' (as they say in the outskirts of Dunkerque, or Duinkerken as it's called in het nederlands), which gives it that very special whiteish-greenish blue shade, and even though the temperature is something like minus 10, there is an awakening freshness to the whole thing.
I have decided this will be a good day. The Sun and its allies shouldn't be the only ones to spread joy and light.
If you want some symbolism, then... it's the last day of February... so I choose Ushuaia's slogan... 'Fin del Mundo — Principio de todo'... 'The end of the World — The beginning of everything'.
Have a wonderful day.

Beginning is one place I've been before
Watching the sunrise on the silver shores
Setting me free again leading the way
It will be a good day

Sometimes I forget

How mighty this earth
Astounding winter skies
Truth is in birth
Peace that it brings to me, my naked eyes
Be a good day

(from the Yessong 'It Will Be A Good Day (The River)')

Tuesday, 22 February 2005


I Danmark taler man dansk
I Norge taler man norsk
I Frankrig taler man fransk
— Og i Luxembourg taler man lusk.

(min yngste nevø Birk Trollebø, 4½ år, 18/12-4)

Wednesday, 9 February 2005


The moon is closer to the sun than I am to anyone.
from Nada Surf: '80 Windows'

Friday, 28 January 2005

Mindre kaffe, ikke mindre sex

»Husstandspenetrationen — altså antallet af hjem, hvor man drikker kaffe — er faldet fra 96,4 procent i 1990 til 89,1 procent i 2003.«
fra faktaboks i artiklen 'Minister i pinlig kaffesag', 28/1-5

Thursday, 27 January 2005

Maskinpopfilosofi anno 1980

Folket og kun folket
Er drivkraften
I skabelsen af verdens historie
Kliché: 'Masselinjen', fra albummet 'Supertanker'

Friday, 21 January 2005

Any advice for Aidya?

Aidya is a nice name, isn't it? Wonder how it's pronounced. Anyway, take a look at her blog 'aidya's attic' that I stumbled over just now (even though I should be working for Europe, I know). And write her some helpful or at least supportive comment, 'cause she seems to be going through a tough time, and nobody should. Thank you.

Thursday, 20 January 2005

The state should serve the people

[T]here is a value which ranks higher than the state. This value is humanity. The state, as is well known, is here to serve the people, not the other way round. If a person serves his or her state such service should go only as far as is necessary for the state to do a good service to all its citizens. Human rights rank above the rights of states. Human liberties constitute a higher value than state sovereignty. In terms of international law, the provisions that protect the unique human being should take precedence over the provisions that protect the state.
Václav Havel, 29 April 1999

Thursday, 13 January 2005

C³ slår sin sejr fast

På Turmel-bordet vandt C³ tidligt tirsdag morgen sin tredje sejr i træk og fjerde i alt og slutter dermed 2004-serien af TriviTrojkaTurneringen øverst på sejrsskamlen.

Sejrscifrene mod B og Agg. blev denne gang 6-5-4. De to udfordrere vandt også samlet henholdsvis sølv og bronze.

2004-Serien blev først afsluttet nu pga. en lang spillepause hen over sommeren og efteråret og siden titelkandidaten B's lange juleferie.

B forvirrede i øvrigt sine modspillere — og sig selv — ved denne gang at medbringe Millennium-udgaven af Trivial Pursuit-spillet, hvis emnekategorier ikke er umiddelbart gennemskuelige. Derfor eksperimenterede de tre konkurrenter sig lidt igennem farverne, og missede alle især i spillets første fase flere ostetilbud.

Værten Agg. diskede op med lækker vegetarmad og lagde i øvrigt hårdt ud som sædvanlig, men måtte i en ellers jævn dyst se sig passeret af sine modspillere.

Vi ser frem til 2005-serien, der indledes gad-vide-hvornår på Rollengergronns berygtede glasbord, hvor hidtil kun C³ har vundet. Det er blevet diskuteret, hvorvidt der på forsøgsbasis skal serveres budding i løbet af serien, men muligheden er så at sige blevet fejet af bordet af sundhedshensyn.

Friday, 7 January 2005

Rød front

Jeg bryder mig ikke meget om røde skjorter, men det er helt klart min yndlingsfarve til tomater!
Caspar Curdt-Christiansen

Monday, 3 January 2005

Opdatering af livet

Fik igen et af disse opdaterings'kæde'breve i min indbakke. Her er mine svar.

1. Hvor bor du?
I Rolléngergronn, Luxembourg.

2. Hvilken bog læser du lige nu?
Faktisk ikke nogen. Købte og læste 'A Brief History Of Chile' i ferien og opgav tre Foucault-bøger undervejs. Er dog i gang med at dechifrere et nummer af det chilenske humortegneserieblad 'Condorito'. MED ordbog.

3. Hvilken kunstner/album ligger i dit anlæg?
Lige nu: Rammstein: »Reise, Reise« (pudsigt nok!).

4. Hvilket motiv har du på din musemåtte?
Jeg bruger ikke måtte.

5. Hvad er dit foretrukne brætspil?
Det er nok Trivial Pursuit, trods dets irriterende mange fejl.

6. Favoritblad(e)?
Hm. »Q«. Ikke det danske kvindeblad, men det britiske musikblad.

7. Favoritduft(e)?
Om sommeren, lige efter det har regnet.

8. Værste lugt?

9. Yndlingslyd?
Foruden visse musikpassager er det vel havets brusen.

10. Værste følelse i verden?

11. Hvad er det første, du tænker på, når du vågner om morgenen?
At stå op. Det gør jeg så.

12. Yndlingsfarve?
Grøn og sort.

13. Hvor mange gange når telefonen at ringe, inden du tager den?

14. Hvis du af en eller anden grund skulle skifte for eller efternavn, hvad skulle det så være til?
Noget med nogle z'er og/eller x'er. Fx Bonantz; det hed en af mine forfædre til efternavn.

15. Hvad skal dit barn hedde/hedder dit barn?
Det får du at se, hvis jeg får nogen.

16. De(n) vigtigste "ting" i verden?
Forståelse. Og hvad det medfører.

17. Favoritmad lige nu?
Ceviche (peruviansk/chilensk specialitet; rå fisk eller andre havdyr marineret i citronsaft m.m. —

18. Elsker du at køre stærkt?
Ja, hvis forholdene er til det, og jeg ikke overskrider hastighedsbegrænsningen.

19. Sover du med et tøjdyr — og har det et navn?
Ikke længere.

20. Tordenvejr — flot eller skræmmende?
Dette spørgsmål bør i øvrigt snart skiftes ud (nu har vi set det). Hvad med: 'Hvad tænkte du på, lige inden du modtog dette e-brev?'

21. Hvilket mærke var din første bil?
En lilla Ford Escort fra 1978. Med automatgear. Efter 10 minutters opvarmning kunne den køre 90 ned ad bakke i medvind.

22. Drømmebil?

23. Hvis du kunne vælge at møde en bestemt person (død eller levende), hvem?
Woody Allen.

24. Favoritdrink/alkohol?
En velskænket Guinness, men da jeg ikke har drukket alkohol i et år, må jeg hellere sige: vand.

25. Hvad er dit stjernetegn?
I 'vesterlandsk' astrologi: Vandmanden, i kinesisk er det Oksen.

26. Spiser du stilken på broccoli?
Det tror jeg nok. Jeg gør i hvert fald på blomkål.

27. Hvis du kunne vælge hvilken som helst profession, hvad skulle det så være?
Noget kreativt. Fx at leve af at rejse, og skrive om det.

28. Hund eller kat?

29. Hvis du kunne farve håret i hvilken som helst farve, hvilken skulle det være?
Findes der en orange tone, der passer til mine øjne? Mit pc-tapet p.t. er en kvindelig agent med orange hår.

30. Har du nogensinde været forelsket?
Who hasn't?!

31. Er glasset halvtomt eller halvfuldt?
Halvfuldt. Undtagen, hvis du er i gang med at drikke noget, der smager fælt.
Også dét spørgsmål kunne trænge til en mere varieret opfrisker. Fx 'I hvilken forbindelse har du oplevet den største glæde i 2004?'

32. I biffen eller lejer du en video/DVD?
Bif. Så 'Birth' i weekenden. Kan ikke anbefales.

33. Yndlingsfilm?
'Annie Hall'.

34. Hvor mange fingre på tastaturet?

35. Hvad er der under din seng?
En tom skuffe af en slags.

36. Favorittal?
8. Det er étcifret og udstråler harmoni.

37. Hvilken sport ser du helst på tv?
Fodbold. Og kvindetennis, alt efter hvem der spiller.

38. Nævn et karakteristisk og positivt træk ved personen, der sendte dig mailen?
Niels er et charmerende og roligt menneske, som siger hvad han mener.

39. Ord/vending du bruger (for) tit?
Jeg afslutter ikke mine sætninger — tæller dét?

40. Hvad kan gøre dig lykkelig?
Følelsen at være værdsat af et menneske, jeg holder af.

41. Hvem tror du der mest sandsynligt svarer først?
Nu har jeg ikke lige sat navne i 'To'-feltet endnu, men det kunne ligne Lasse at svare hurtigt...

42. Hvem svarer mindst sandsynligt?
Se ovenfor.

Godt nytår!