Thursday, 31 August 2006

Discussion should be dialogue

'In discussions it is important to not necessarily want to be right, and to be able to say that someone's point of view is interesting even if you don't necessarily tend to agree. Discussions should not be competitions but dialogues. Exchanges. Inspirations. Enrichments (in the best case).'
Bjørn Clasen

En... øh... original sammenligning

»Den samfundspolitiske debat p.t. er lige så frugtbar som flueknepperi på Nordpolen juleaften, hvor er al glæden?«
Jytte Hilden i en ellers ganske velskrevet og optimistisk artikel på om tidens og fremtidens ældre og yngre

Optische Illusionen 'mal interaktiv

Hier bei FOCUS Online können Sie sich interaktiv davon überzeugen, inwieweit optische Illusionen mit Ihrem Gehirn spielt.

Sechs Klassiker unter Illusionen sind erklärt. Es dauert nicht lange, macht Spass ― und man lernt was davon!

From stotin to stork

Pictures of Slovenia's Euro Coinage

As of today, pictures of Slovenia's euro coins can be viewed at, the central web site for the implementation of the euro campaign. The campaign is run by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Bank of Slovenia in collaboration with partner institutions.

Images of the national side of new euro coins are available at both the Slovenian ( and English ( web sites. The images are also available in print format.

Slovenian euro coins are being minted by the Mint of Finland. The mint was selected by the Bank of Slovenia via an international public tender in which all twenty-two mints of the EU member states were invited to participate. Five mints submitted entries and, in line with the tender's requirements, the Bank of Slovenia commissioned the Mint of Finland to produce the 234 million Slovenian euro coins.

Ljubljana, 30 August 2006 ― Press release from the
Government PR and Media Office and the Bank of Slovenia

Wednesday, 30 August 2006


»Pornofrit Miljø er flere gange tidligere blevet kontaktet af pornoproducenter, der blandt andet ville have foreningen til at udvælge mindre stødende covere.«
Kilde: artikel i Ekstra Bladet

Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Lad os spare på marinen

VOR FREDELIGE nation er ved at udvikle sig til en vældig krigskarl. Der er opstået en mani med, at hver gang krigsgale magter rundt om i verden fyrer løs på hinanden, skal der anbringes nogle danskere mellem dem som freds-skabere.

VI HAR 430 mand i Irak, hvor danskerne har problemer med bare at passe på sig selv. Vi har 290 mand i det sydlige Afghanistan, hvor de er under daglige voldsomme angreb af Taleban-styrker. Den løbende udskiftning af disse tropper stiller så store krav til forsvaret, at det kun med det yderste af neglene kan overkomme opgaverne.

IKKE DESTO mindre har regeringen nu til hensigt at sende et orlogsfartøj til farvandet ud for Libanon, hvor det skal forestille at hjælpe styrker fra Libanons hær og de første spæde FN-tropper med at holde israelere og Hizbollah-krigere fra hinandens struber.

PROJEKTET har unægtelig et skær af komik over sig. Man tænker tilbage på de glade dage, da kongeriget sendte ubåden Sælen til assistance i ørkenkrigen i Irak. Ingen har nogen sinde kunnet forklare, hvad den gjorde af gavn - inden den gamle skude måtte hjælpes hjem til Korsør i bugen på et fragtskib.

DANMARK er i forvejen det land, der bidrager med flest udstationerede soldater pr. million indbyggere. Vi har ingen grund til at sætte nye rekorder i militær opofrelse.
Det virker langt mere fornuftigt at sende hjælp, som nytter noget. F.eks. det personale fra Beredskabsstyrelsen, som prøver at rydde op i den vældige forurening med 15.000 ton fuelolie, som forurener libanesiske kyster efter israelske bombninger af depottanke.

DANMARK udretter rigeligt. F.eks. er vi i forhold til indbyggertallet verdens næststørste leverandør af udviklingshjælp. Så lad os nu til en afveksling spare på kræfterne - i stedet for at sløse med penge til tomme demonstrationer.
Kort sagt: Lad marinen blive hjemme.

Kilde: Leder i Ekstra Bladet 25/8-6

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

Life is Right Now (livet er Lige Nu)

What follows is my translation of the quotation I think says most about life. It's part of a song called 'Lige Nu' ('Right Now'), saying in metaphoric but clear words that you are responsible for your own life, that it is never too late to change it, and that it has to be lived now.

But time is running and now I'm sitting here
dreaming about how wonderful it would be
to leave behind my luggage in a bullet-proof locker
throw the key over my shoulder and go completely wild

Disappear in a dust cloud and then reassemble
as a complete person on top of his existence
and I know perfectly well which way to take
that's forward, babe, without looking back

But time is sliding, it is now that we must move forward
we have to kiss the stars, it is now that we have to move
the limits for what one can, and ought to, do
all that nonsense they have made us think people like us cannot do

(Steffen Brandt)

The original words

Men tiden iler og nu sidder jeg her
og drømmer om hvor dejligt det kunne være
sådan at efterlade bagagen i en skudsikker boks
kaste nøglen over skulderen og gå fuldstændig amok

Forsvinde i en støvsky og samles igen
som et helt menneske med styr på tilværelsen
og jeg ved udmærket godt hvilken vej vi skal tage
det er fremad, babe, uden at se os tilbage

Men tiden skrider, det er nu vi skal rykke
vi skal op at kysse stjerner, det er nu vi skal flytte
grænserne for hvad man kan og hvad man bør
alt det bavl de har bildt os ind, sådan nogen som os ikke kan gøre

(Steffen Brandt)

Another football shirt
― from the other end of the ranking

The Internet opens up a new kind of creative space and feeling of, or urge for, freedom in people. And you stumble over the most amazing, or weird, things sometimes. I wanted to look up why the Danish football team formerly known as 'NFA' is now called 'LFA', so I searched on the latter on Yahoo! (yes, that still exists, and for example their image and video searches are far better than Gooooooooooooooooogle's), and among the top results was a slightly, but only slightly, different LFA...

...Namely the Lovely Football Association. Lovely? Yeah, Lovely. It's a country. Well, a self-proclaimed one but aren't all countries sort of self-proclaimed?

Speaking of proclaiming: On the country's website, there is a referendum on the question whether or not to have a king. As a republican (don't worry, not in the USAmerican sense of the word but in the 'c'mon-this-is-the-21st-century-monarchies-are-so-before-last-millennium'
kind of way), I of course strongly encourage you to place a 'no' vote. Especially since those royalists are actually in the lead.

Oh, and to see what I mean by the title of this post, have a look here. Those lovely people sure are in for it.


Monday, 21 August 2006


That would, according to Brazilname, be my name if... if I was selected for Brazil's national team. Yours?

Tuesday, 8 August 2006


With a friend and with my brother, I sometimes compare the number of countries we each have been to. This generates discussions such as 'what is to be considered a country' and 'what are the criteria for being able to say you have been to a place'.

The website you reach by clicking on the map below does not really answer the first question ― an ideal solution would be to talk places instead of countries ― but its notion of 'visited' countries makes the second issue pretty clear in my opinion. For example, you can visit a country without staying there overnight. But if you just pass through, you don't really visit, even if you stop for a snack or so.

In lack of a realistic (online) solution to the first problem, I decided to create and blog my personal map of visited countries anyway. I'm at 33 so far...

...which contributes ― just ― to qualify me for membership of the Travellers Guild of Denmark (De Berejstes Klub).

As the guild also has a somewhat more exhaustive list of countries and territories, a.o. including countries that are now history, I even reach 37 ― the Acores, Galápagos, Northern Ireland and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) being the four additional territories. One may of course discuss whether or not to count these.

Also, the guild operates with a 24-hour rule, which in my case would remove San Marino and the Vatican from the list. Again: Subject for discussion.

So... Happy discussing, and especially: Happy travelling!

article updated on 18 August

Monday, 7 August 2006

Britain's first square-shaped melons

Square-shaped watermelons are to be sold in the UK.

Tesco plans to sell the melons imported from Brazil.

Boxes are placed around the growing fuit which naturally swells to fill the shape.

Tesco exotic fruit buyer Damien Sutherland: "We"ve seen samples of these watermelons and they literally stop you in their tracks because they are so eye-catching.

"These square melons will make it easier than ever to eat because they can be served in long strips rather than in the crescent shape."

They will go on sale in stores from October for under £5.

Source: article on Ananova

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Ballet for livet

Hvilket medium vil du bruge til din selvbiografi?
»En ballet, den skal opleves og kan ikke gemmes, ligesom livet«.
Lasse Karlsson

Die Falkland-Inseln
— eine selbstgeöffnete Wunde Argentiniens

Diese Felsinseln, hauptsächlich von Vögel bewohnt, liegen isoliert in südostlicher Richtung von der Küste Südamerikas, und man muss es schon wirklich wollen um dorthin zu reisen. Sie gehören zum Vereinigten Königreich. In Argentinen sieht man aber überall Propaganda die "las Malvinas" ― so der Name auf Südamerika-spanisch ― als offener Wunde im Bewusstsein der Argentinier beibehalten soll.

Die Welt hat dazu einen interessanten Artikel veröffenlicht.

Volleyball 'mal umgekehrt

Bei einer Recherche im Internet bin ich zufällig auf einem Sport gestossen, der "Prellball" heisst. Ehrlich gesagt hatte ich nie davon gehört, was meiner Neugier geweckt hat. Es scheint sich um ein deutscher Sport zu handeln, der, soweit ich den Regeln verstehe, sowas wie einer "umgekehrten" Form von Volleyball ist.

Prellball ist eine Mannschaftssportart und zählt zu den sogenannten Rückschlagspielen.

Auf einem Spielfeld, das in der Mitte durch ein Netz in 40 cm Höhe geteilt ist, stehen sich zwei Mannschaften gegenüber. jedes Team besteht aus vier Spielerinnen oder Spielern, die im Nachfolgenden kurz nur Spieler genannt werden.

Jede Mannschaft hat die Aufgabe, den Ball mit der Faust oder dem Unterarm so auf den Boden des Eigenfeldes zu prellen, daß er über das Netz ins Gegenfeld gelangt.

Dabei ist jeder Spieler bemüht, den Ball so gekonnt zu spielen, daß die Annahme dem Gegner erschwert wird. Der Ball darf nach jedem Spielerkontakt nur einmal auf den Boden aufprellen und muß spätestens nach der dritten Berührung wieder über das Netz gelangen.

Jeder Spieler darf den Ball nur einmal prellen. Weder der Ball noch die Spieler dürfen das Netz berühren. Bei jedem Fehler der einen Mannschaft wird der anderen ein Gutpunkt angeschrieben. Angabe hat die Mannschaft, die den Fehler begangen hat.

Quelle: Kleine Prellballkunde beim Fachgebiet Prellball der Deutschen Turnerbund

Saturday, 5 August 2006

Jeg kan stadig

For første gang i umindelige tider gav jeg mig pludselig til at skrive en musikanmeldelse. To endda. Her er de.

Kunstner: Marybell Katastrophy

Sang: Hidden Agenda
Min første association var en epo-555-agtig lyd, men med færre detaljer. Hvilket ikke nødvendig vis er en negativ ting.

Over den næsten Amiga 500-agtige electronica flyder så en både kyndig, smuk og sensuelt sexet kvindestemme. Ja, flyder. Lige tilpas ― ikke svævende og slet ikke druknende, men flydende.

For sin genre er det absolut et trin, der kan bygges på. Talentet er der. Musikbegejstringen ligeså; den kan høres.

Men efter min mening skal der alligevel et krydderi mere på. Måske er det lidt variation, der savnes i sangen, måske lidt pondus, lidt gåpåmod. Et lille, men vitalt pift, som vil hæve den over standarden for elektromusik.

Bestemt en gruppe, man kan holde øre med...

Sang: Big Big Bear
Jeg er hård, jeg ved det. Igen er lyden der hos Marybell, og ikke mindst stemmen. Men jeg synes stadig, at biddet mangler. Noget, der lokker mig til at ville høre mere. Noget fylde og dybde.

Faktisk ER sjælen der, ingen tvivl om det. Men den river mig ikke med, den får mig blot til at lytte, ikke føle.

Kræng dig ud, Marybell. Lad det, der er inden i dig, flyde ud over teknikken, som i symbiose. Så kan du skabe noget musik, der TALER til folk. For talentet, det har du.

Persian: the name of the language

See this photo? It's a calligraphy of a Persian poem from my favorite poet, Sohrab Sepehri. I'll tell you about him one of these days......

But what language is this? It may look like Arabic to some of you, since the alphabet is almost the same. But Persian and Arabic are different languages written with the same alphabet. You can simply think of French and German that almost have the same alphabet but are absolutely not the same.

I use the name "Persian" language. but am I right? Is it the correct name of the language? I can explain it in a simple way. Just look at the sentences below and tell me which group of sentences is correct in your point of view:

Group A:

1. He speaks français (Il parle French).
2. She speaks Deutsch (Sie spricht German).
3. They speak español (Hablan Spanish).

Group B:

1. He speaks French (Il parle français).
2. She speaks German (Sie spricht Deutsch).
3. They speak Spanish (Hablan español).

If you think that the sentences in Group A is correct, or you think that both groups are equally fine, please write to me and tell my your reasoning. I'll be very happy to hear that.

Otherwise, if you think that Group B is the good group, we share the same opinion. Now let me show you the same comparison regarding Persian language:

Group A:

* I speak فارسی [pronounce: farsi] (حرف می‌زنم Persian من [pronounce: mæn pershiën hærf mi-zænæm])

Group B:

* I speak Persian ( من فارسی حرف می‌زنم [pronounce: mæn farsi hærf mi-zænæm])

I think it is clear now that "Persian" in the name of the language in English (in French it is "Persan," in German "Persisch," in Dutch "Perzisch," in Italian "Persiano," etcetera). On the other hand "فارسی" [pronounce: farsi] is the name of the language in Persian (local name). It's easy to see the connection between the local name and the international name of the language. Persian is derived from Pars (the ethnicity of the royal family of the first Persian Empire). فارسی (pronounce: farsi) is also derived from Pars; it is actually the Arabized version of Parsi, an adjective meaning "related to Pars."

You may hear that many people use the local name of Persian language when they speak English or other Western languages. It's just a mistake that became popular after 1979, when many Persians immigrated to Western countries, and started using the local name. This mistake is now so popular that even Microsoft used the local name of Persian language in its programs! But not everybody made that mistake. Mac OS X (the operating system of Apple computers), for example, worked out all different languages so professionally, and you can see the correct name of the language there.

By the way, I should tell you about my Mac Book Pro! I got it immediately when it came to the market, and I use it almost everyday. And I love it almost every day!

OK, let me finish what I started in this post. Next time, you face somebody using the local name of Persian language, or read it in a newspaper or a magazine, make a comment on that! You can show how professional you are!

by Fakhredin