Texan Geneticist in Eastern Germany
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I needed to post something to bump the picture of this fucker (below) off the cover of my blog when you first come to the site. It was making me ill. So here is a photo of Dresden I took on New Year's a few blocks from my flat:
FOX News knows...what the nation should be concerned about.
"we report...you decide" I mean, 4 days after the worst shooting in American history, the death of 32 young college students and professors, I guess FOX News has decided it's old news, we've had enough, let's move on to more important things, like, oh, what Alec Baldwin said to his 12 year-old daughter on a voice-mail message. That was the biggest headline on the FOX news webpage yesterday, when I grabbed 3 screenshots of the major news outlets.:
MSNBC and CNN chose to stick with the news of the largest gun massacre in US history, and the reaction of the shooter's family, even though we've been listening to this for 4 WHOLE days now. I mean, who wouldn't rather read "WHO's THE PIG?" about Alec Baldwin's tiff with his 12-yr old daughter and movie star mother Kim Bassinger. Fox even has a special video news section on this breaking news.
If you actually read this story and listen to the voicemail, you hear an angry father getting mad at his young daughter that apparently he has little control of. This is not shocking. He calls her a little pig. Fox news really seems to have an agenda here to really go after Baldwin. I mean, this was not abusive, this was a parent maybe going a bit over the top in enraged frustration with a rebelling teenage daughter of movie star parents. But that's not the point. The point is WHO CARES. IS this really national news?!?! I wonder if the fact that Baldwin regularly speaks out against the administration and FOX has seemed to take a personal interest, especially Sean Hannity, in having a little war with Baldwin, has anything to do with this.
It's pretty sad when your whole news organization takes this to such a level as to take a personal voicemail tape leaked by a bitter wife to the media, and bump a story like the shooting death of dozens of college students that has stunned a nation for a personal grudge with an activist hollywood actor with a giant headline "WHO's THE PIG?" Can't FOX TRY to have some dignity?
Aww nawww. NAWWWW. no. nooo. I just realized today that I'm going to be in Finland for a conference the weekend of Bunte Republik Neustadt. This is thouroughly depressing. I had already started looking forward to this. This conference better be fun. Which it won't. Or at least productive. gah. Here's a shot from last year. From by bedroom window. It's a 2.5 day party that is just. real. chill. good times. good food. crap I'm going to miss it.
Why oh why oh why, of all the planes in the military, of all the names to give planes, would you choose to mark your arrival in various middle eastern countries by emerging from deep inside the giant belly of the Spirit of Strom Thurmond? I mean, my God, it's like this administration is just trying to be as ridiculous as possible, just throwing things in everybody's faces, as if to say "are we that stupid, or is every move carefully calculated and we are actually this mean and insensitive? Take a guess, but you know what, it doesn't matter because you can't do a damn thing about it."
An now Dick Cheney, who probably isn't thought of as exactly the least xenophobic or racially tolerant American, arrives in the memory of the man who once said this.
It is surprising, as I would expect that only Americans really love ketchup, but Germans take it to a new level. It is not just for fries and burgers, but rather an all-in-one sauce/condiment/flavor supplement that goes with anything. Witness a snapshot I captured today at lunch (the name of the owner will remain anonymous at their request):
What we have here is a slice of pizza, rice, and some sliced cucumbers. On both the pizza and rice is ketchup. This is not very strange here. In fact, I have actually seen "Spaghetti with Ketchup" on a menu here. It can be pasta sauce, it can be steak sauce. I've seen it on turkey, I've seen it on fish.
Speaking of Ketchup, I found that your standard Heinz ketchup tastes different here. sweeter, maybe. And it feels so wrong, but they sell McDonald's brand ketchup in the stores, and I think it tastes better than the Heinz.
This was the first headline I saw this morning, actually first on the Fox news site. But this piece in the New York times is nice.
Kurt Vonnegut died.
I've only read one book of his to date, Slaughterhouse 5, given to me by my mother when I decided to move to Dresden. And it was good. I still want to read more of his stuff.
I've spent some considerable time trying to research exactly where in Dresden Vonnegut was during the firebombing. Curious to see from where he witnessed it, as he also describes somewhat in this novel. Surprisingly to me, there is very little info available on this. I thought maybe there would even be something around for tourists, surely American tourists coming to Dresden are curious about this too, right? There is hardly anything out there, even in all of the vast internet. And there are some false leads, too. For example, the Alter Schlachthof ("Old Slaughterhouse") on the north side of the Elbe, is NOT where Vonnegut was. But I was able to narrow down where he was to a complex of buildings that once housed slaughterhouses and now is also the site of the Dresden Messe, a kind of convention-center type thing. One article I found, that was in German, as far as I could tell said that, in fact, there is at least one underground slaughterhouse on the site still intact that was from that time. I couldn't find it though. I had even contemplated writing to Vonnegut to ask him if he could help me with this, but I figured he had much better ways to use his time. Although I read he had returned to Dresden much later in his life.
He had a brief appearance on the Daily Show with John Stewart recently, and while the 6 minute interview was nothing worth linking to, it was interesting to see him "in person", see his cynical humor at work. Now I feel actually I'm motivated to go back, find some of Vonnegut's interviews, pick up some more books, re-read Slaughterhouse 5. It's one not to miss, an particularly interesting for those living in Dresden.
The Pope: Just another Leftist Moonbat buying into the liberal media.
In his Easter address, the pope said "nothing positive" is happening in Iraq. This will surely enrage the good folks in places such as Little Green Footballs and The Gateway Pundit, who regularly criticize the lefty-driven mass media for not telling us all about all the great and positive things happening in Iraq, while focusing on the day-to-day run-of-the-mill bad stuff, like hundreds of innocent people dying every week.
I would like somebody to ask Bush, or Tony Snow, or Dick Cheney, if they disagree with the Pope when he says that nothing good is happening in Iraq.
One of my favorite cakes since I was little was German Chocolate Cake. I always assumed, as the name implied, that it was some variation on a German dessert. But living in Germany, I could not find a single German that was familiar with this cake. (of course they probably wouldn't call it German chocolate cake - like when I asked a friend if he got some good chinese food when he was in China - he was like "yeah, but there they just call it "food") Of course the internet comes to the rescue and settles my confusion - German chocolate cake gets it's name from the type of chocolate bar originally used in the recipe, which was named after Sam German, an Englishman, in the 1800s. But the cake first appears in Texas in 1952 in a newspaper recipe submitted my a Dallas housewife. Score another one for Texas.
By the way, a popular cake in both the US and Germany that IS German is the Schwärzwalder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Chocolate Cake), of which I was recently treated to a large piece homemade by a real German.
If somehow you haven't yet heard of or visited Conservapedia, by all means, check it out. The idea behind it is that Wikipedia has an ultra-left leaning bias, and does not properly recognize or give credit to Christian and American beliefs/values. That Wikipedia has been also hijacked my liberal agenda-promoting editors that will not allow such things to be posted. Conservapedia's goal is to be unbiased. Conservapedia is still in its infancy, as evidenced by clicking the "random page" button, which most likely brings you to a page with a one- or two-sentence entry. But it may also stay there. Occasionally you do come across some real jems, which make visiting Conservapedia "fun", or, at least, kind of entertaining. For example, there is an entry for Unicorn. Did you know that the existence of unicorns is "controversial"? There is even a drawing of a Unicorn skeleton, and clicking on it details that it represents the remains of a unicorn that perished in the great flood. Which also brings me to the entry for kangaroo. Unfortunately, the statement that kangaroos originated in the middle east has been removed. But you can still see the reasoning in the "origins" section - how else could the kangaroo made it on and off of Noah's Ark? (Interesting side note, there is a link to this very question"How did animals get from the Ark to places such as Australia?" - apparently the criticism that Noah could not have possibly traveled the world collecting animals is put to rest by the answer that he didn't have to - God caused the animals to come to Noah.) There is a outline of decent length on the origins of the kangaroo. Three paragraphs relating to God's creation of the kangaroo and it's trip on Noah's Ark, and then two sentences on "other" theories, one on the Aboriginal theory that kangaroos were "sung" into existence by their ancestors, and the second on the evolutionary theory that kangaroos evolved from another animal that lived millions of years ago. The aboriginal theory is mentioned first.
If you look up Evolution, there is a lengthy entry, apparently discussing various aspects of the theory of evolution. There are 117 citations/references throughout. However, when you look closely, more than half of these are from the following sources: answersingenesis.com (35) creationontheweb.com (9) creationscience.com (6) creationism.org (4) adam.com (3) allaboutcreation.com (2) creationresearch.com (1) and the best, evolutionisdead.com (1)
Clearly, these are the foremost authorities on Evolution.
Lastly, as a nod to the conservative American flavor of conservapedia, without the religious aspect, see the conservapedia entry for Heath Evans, a player in the national football league, and a relatively obscure one at that. I happened upon it from the random search. His entry contains 491 words. I then looked up Sigmund Freud and Charles Dickens, out of curiosity. Freud garners 212 words, and there isn't even an entry for Dickens. To be fair (or, rather, liberal-biased), I compared Wikipedia's entries for the three above: Heath Evans 437 words, Sigmund Freud 9064 words, Charles Dickens 6047 words
Update: Also check out the entry for Beta Decay The only reference is "Wile, Dr. Jay L. Exploring Creation With Physical Science. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 1999, 2000"