Freitag, 17. Juli 2015

Evgenij Primakov R.I.P

I'm sure nobody is getting their news from my almost-never updating blog, but as I've reviewed one of his books, I may as well report on his death, on June 29th, 2015. Here's a link to his obituary at the Economist, which sums up his life quite well. Да будет земля ему пухом.

Samstag, 10. Januar 2015

Decorative Hegel

Another webcomic link. But it's about philosophy, so that's OK.

Nisi aperuisses librum, quasi discipulus Hegeli fuisses.

Dienstag, 3. Juni 2014

Bad poetry

I do not understand poetry.
I do not understand poetry.
I understand prose.
You say what you want to say. You say it.
I understand song.
You have a melody and you sing it.
The words follow the melody.
But I do not understand poetry.
Why break the flow for the rythm?
Why break the rythm for the flow?
I do not understand poetry.
That's why my poems are bad.

Dienstag, 6. Mai 2014

All Options / Alle Optionen / Все Варианты

Вот почему я люблю Dinosaur Comics. Если хочется что-нибудь по-проще или по-умнее, послушайте это.
Click on the links. Don't doubt, have faith. If you're disappointed, let me know.
Deckt das wirklich alles ab? Für mich, hmmm... ziemlich viel. Klicken und gucken, meckern dürft ihr in den Kommentaren.

Sonntag, 5. Januar 2014

Chocolate museum / Schokoladenmuseum / Музей шоколада

On Friday I went to the Chocolate Museum in Cologne with my ladies.  Very nicely located on the Rhine, near the customs port, it informs about the production of chocolate, from the cocoa tree to the packaged chocolate, and about the history of cocoa and chocolate cultivation, production, and consumption, from its Mesoamerican beginnings to modern times. As befits a chocolate museum, it also has a café (with a view on the Rhine) serving hot chocolate and sweets, as well as the usual hot drinks and, during noontime, a small, but tasty, selection of hot dishes; it also has a shop selling chocolates and sweets. We spent about 3 hours there, including lunch at the café. As I'm the kind of person who looks at every exhibit and reads all the informatory signs, I was about 2/3 through the exhibition when my ladies finished, so I didn't see the exhibition on the 3rd floor, which, as my daughter told me, was about chocolate producers and brands.
It's a well-done exhibition, and has some nice attractions, like a hothouse with tropical plants, working machines producing chocolate that feed a chocolate fountain where you can taste said chocolate, a stand where you can design and buy your own chocolate bar, puzzles and games dispersed through the exhibition. We spent 80 € on that outing - 25 € for a family ticket, 40 € for food and drinks for three at the café, and 15 € for chocolates. I can recommend it as a place to spend an educational and fun afternoon, both for families as well as for adults.
Am letzten Freitag war ich mit meinen Damen im Schokoladenmuseum. Interessante Ausstellung und ein nettes Café mit Blick auf den Rhein und gutem Essen. Ich kann's empfehlen.
В пятницу мы с семьей посетили Музей шоколада в Кёльне. Там экспонаты объясняют происхождение и производство шоколада и историю распространения и употребления этого продукта. Имеются, конечно, и кафе (с видом на Рейн и вкусной едой) и магазин шоколада. Интересное место, стоящее посещения.   

Sonntag, 13. Oktober 2013

Childhood rides - Поездки детства – Autofahrten als Kind

A beautiful, slightly nostalgic entry in Boulet’s graphic blog, with an animation that doesn’t distract, but contributes to the athmosphere. Reminds me of many a travel by car with my parents and my brother.
Это вернёт Вас в детство, даже если оно не проходило в Франции.
Es gab bei uns keine Mautstellen damals und wir hatten keinen Toyota, aber sonst war es fast genauso, wie in diesem Eintrag in Boulets graphischem Blog. Ich liebe Nachtfahrten noch heute.

Mittwoch, 9. Oktober 2013


Last Saturday, inspired by several glowing reviews, we went to see “Gravity”. If you haven’t watched it yet, you probably at least have heard about it – George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are astronauts; when a shower of debris from a blown-up satellite destroys their station and space shuttle, they have to find a way to get back to Earth. By some reviews it has been billed as a ”new Science Fiction Classic”. So, does it measure up?
A nitpick first - can a film be Science Fiction just because it is set in space, even if what is shown is the contemporary workday environment of space missions? OK, there's a Chinese space station, but there don't seem to be any technologies that don't exist or aren't applied in space missions today, and the problem of space debris is already an acute problem, even if up to now no serious accidents have happened. But we can let that slide.
One important feature the reviews mention is that it’s a film where 3D is done right and used for more than gimmickry. I must admit that I cannot say anything about this, as due to my bad left eye I don’t have spatial vision and 3D glasses don’t work for me. But I can say that the film offers quite impressive views even in 2D.
The film offers lots of motion action, mostly trying to move towards an object and get a hold on it in order not to drift off into space, dodging space debris, and trying to get technology to work before debris, gravity, or lack of oxygen kill our protagonists. The film does that well, with the right tempo, but the film is not an end-to-end roller coaster – there are quieter scenes that concentrate on the background and fears of Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and her interactions with co-astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney). There was not a boring moment. So, the film is good entertainment. On the other hand, most of the thrill of the film comes from the motion and the suspense – will they make it back to Earth? Now that I know the outcome, the suspense is gone, and for me, there’s not much in the film that would reward a second or third viewing. Yes, there are some nice vistas of space, and a few emotional scenes well played by Bullock, but it’s not a film I’d want to watch over and over again, so “new SF Classic” it is not. But if you haven’t watched it yet, I can recommend going for the ride.