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30 November 2011

File Under: No Longer Deliciously Grim

The DDR built Berlin's Funkturm tower to get million Euro make-over.

But the TV tower, a favourite with tourists for its East German kitsch and revolving restaurant at the top, will remain open while the work is carried out

It may no longer be deliciously grim, but should remain DDR-kitchy and wierd.
“The last big renovation was 15 years ago. But the expectations of the guests have increased. We will now create a smarter atmosphere and provide more comfort,”

29 November 2011

Prison Luuuurve, and the Women Who Can't Resist Them

Queue the hideously bad music:
Are you a lady looking for love? Have you found relationships with men who haven’t done time in federal prison to be lacking a certain je ne sais quoi? Does the idea of being with a guy who has an elastic view of securities laws do anything for you? Then girlfriends, you are in for a treat. Roy Ageloff, a “former millionaire trader” who is finishing up an 11 year sentence for running a “vast pump and dump manipulation,” is schedule to be sprung free on Dec. 11, 2013 and he hopes you’ll be waiting for him. Interested?
He'll be shooing them away with a stick with this kind of world-class slickness.
Unfortunately, I’ve temporarily been dethroned of my crown.
Granted, he's working it without his wingman, who actually past English Comp.

28 November 2011

Why am I Reminded of Devo?

Of cave paintings and the punk esthete: one writer is celebrating the human ability to give some of us an excuse for not progressing.

I had known of the Sex Pistols' association with 6 Denmark Street for a while, but a chance remark on a BBC 6 Music programme led to the discovery that the Pistols, and in particular John Lydon, had left a substantial body of graffiti there and that, surprisingly, it had survived. The findings are described in the latest volume of the academic journal Antiquity, published earlier this week.

The graffiti that fellow archaeologist John Schofield (of the University of York) and I recorded in an upper room at the back of a vintage guitar shop include both accomplished caricatures of Malcolm McLaren, Nancy Spungen and John Ritchie (aka Sid Vicious) and other items that record the use of the building by 4" be 2" (a band formed by Lydon's brother Jimmy), and later as the home of two members of Bananarama. But the importance of the site goes beyond the eye-catching graffiti.

Behold, the onetime shame and pride of Akron, Ohio

21 November 2011

„ Ausweis, bitte !!! ”

Of course Germans will get hysterical, (it's a national sport,) but what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
A German manager with Mercedes-Benz is free after being arrested for not having a driver’s license with him under Alabama’s new law targeting illegal immigrants, authorities said Friday, in an otherwise routine case that drew the attention of Gov. Robert Bentley.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson told The Associated Press an officer stopped a rental vehicle for not having a tag Wednesday night and asked the driver for his license. The man only had a German identification card, so he was arrested and taken to police headquarters, Anderson said.
We'll let their prejudices about what happens in a Police Headquarters be their guide, even though it likely involves, basically nothing.

Either way, it had to compare favorably to a long tradition of near-colo-rectal exams it would take to get throught something called the "Bürgeramt für Migration und Fluchtung", especially "back in da day"

17 November 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\11B

What Are the Bees Telling Us?

Less than you think, outside of "activist-speak" pedantry:

“We have to wake up early enough to make a change,” said biochemist and beekeeper David Heaf, in the documentary.
After all, what modern cause is complete without refereing to some dead malthusian who can't clarify his argument after it's been wtong for the past 88 years of "mechanization"?

Experts in the film see bees as a barometer of the health of the world. Queen of The Sun refers to Austrian scientist Rudolf Steiner who predicted the collapse of honeybees in 1923. “The mechanization of beekeeping and industrialization will eventually destroy beekeeping,” Steiner predicted.
The notable chappie cited also had this sort of science to his credit:

He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher. At the beginning of the 20th century, he founded a spiritual movement, Anthroposophy, as an esoteric philosophy growing out of European transcendentalism and with links to Theosophy.
But he couldn't transcend his propensity to throw spaghetti at the wall, despite his considerable career.

I don't mean to make light of the departed, but rather make light of people who will grasp at everything and anything. In this case, to prop up the fact that science already knows to be related to a mold, and that the bee population has been growing since it's decimation.

16 November 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\11A

So, a Giant Asteroid is Heading for Earth…Again…

Or rather not "not-headed" in a especially scary non-way as previous asteroids headed for earth which weren't.
Like, between the moon and the Earth close. PC gamers may remember the last time this happened, in 1995. Back then, it was the asteroid Attila, and unlike YU55 - which should pass by harmlessly - it was headed straight for us.
Funny how they always get to that "gamer" level of plausibility and detail.

15 November 2011

Let's Just Call This "Mullets Anonymous"

Henry goes incognito:
I got my hair cut into a mullet. Not to be funny, not to joke around, but to mesh with the local fashion. Yes, that´s right folks, while the mullet has been marginalized in the US, it has never seen better days here in Argentina.
I Have a Mullet says one now-mulleted expatriate. But the resemblance to coloquial german life doesn't stop with "the dudes" as it were:
I am currently living in Mendoza, where the mullet is not terribly common. However, a quick trip to Buenos Aires will reveal the mullet´s widespread popularity. Porteños, residents of Buenos Aires, have an acute taste for cosmopolitan fashion. The mullet is not antithetical to this. People sport the latest designer fashions plus a mullet. Every so often you might spot someone in a business suit, confidently rocking the mullet.

11 November 2011

One Forgotten Legacy of the First World War

One forgotten legacy of the First World War is the shabby treatment given to an innocent breed of dog: the humble and extremely endearing and affectionate Dachshund.
First introduced to America in the late '70s and registered by the American Kennel Club in 1885, dachshunds hit their all-time low in popularity during World War I when, along with everything else associated with Teutonic origin, they were suspected of treason or at least dangerous thoughts. The public disapproval of the breed reached such intensity that, along with sauerkraut (which overnight became "liberty cabbage"), the dachshund officially changed its name, calling itself "badger dog" for a few years.
Silly as it seems these days, this sort of collateral demonization was normal before WW2.
I've always had a soft spot for the little guys, and I always will.
A week after World War II was declared, the Dachshund Club of America—national association of dachshund owners—received reports that dachshunds were being stoned in the streets and kicked and that many were having tin cans tied to their tails. Determined that their breed should not again suffer as it had during the first world war, the breeders' club successfully carried on a vigorous public relations campaign directed at editors and cartoonists in particular. Their efforts were aided considerably by such dachshunds as John Chaff's Zep v Waldbach which, as a war dog in the Italian and North African campaigns, reached hero status after uncovering, along with another dachshund, over 600 enemy mines.
The popularity of the breed was kept up throughout the hostilities and at war's end the dachshund began its climb to its present eminence. There are now about 100,000 registered dachshunds in the U.S. and they rank fifth in registration after beagles, boxers, cockers and Chihuahuas. In 1926, by comparison, there were only 23 dachshunds registered in this country.
One of man's shame that we should learn from is this kind of pointless hostile tranferance.

04 November 2011

The Tale of a Number Station

Station UVB-76 / MDZhB started out as a Soviet military/intelligence number station. Glasnost and defunding have laid it bare. Interstingly enough, it has a fanbase that uncludes radio DXers and club-track remixers:
Today, the Buzzer’s fan base includes Kremlinologists, anarchists, hackers, installation artists, people who believe in extraterrestrials, a former Lithuanian minister of communications, and someone in Virginia who goes by the moniker Room641A, a reference to the alleged nerve center of a National Security Agency intercept facility at an AT&T office in San Francisco. (“I am interested in ‘listening,’” Room641A tells me by email. “All forms of it.”) All of them are mesmerized by this bewildering signal—now mostly buzzing, once again. They can’t help but ponder the significance of it, wondering about the purpose behind the pattern. No one knows for sure, which is both the worst and the best part of it.

The station's output is being relayed over teh internet by a dedicated enthusiast. It can be heard here.