In town

Ich war am Nationalfeiertag in der Stadt, Leute und Sachen anschauen – glückliche Leute, die sich freuen, wenn sie Panzer sehen (und ich meine das ernst).

Es gab für die Kinder sogar Gasluftballons in Kampfjet-Form, für die Erwachsenen gab es:

Außerdem konnte man ins Kanzleramt, was auch von sehr vielen Besuchern genutzt wurde, es gab eine lange Schlange vor dem Eingang.

Auf dem Weg zu meinem nächsten Tagesziel habe ich ein wenig die Gebäude über Augenhöhe betrachtet.

Danach gab es bei der Privacy Week spannende Vorträge, z.B. Maximilian Schrems‘ detaillierte Erfahrungen mit Klagen gegen Facebook.

 

Die Nacht endete schließlich mit lieben Leuten in einem Lokal, welches unter einem mächtigen Minderwertigkeitskomplex leidet.

 

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I ventured into town on National Day to do some people watching – we truly are the lucky ones, people who have no reason to be afraid of seeing tanks.

Kids ran around holding balloons shaped like fighter jets, adults got to see the adult version:

People could tour the chancellery, and it was nice to see that many took this opportunity even when they had to queue at the entrance.

On the way to my next stop I paid attention to the upstairs a bit.

At Privacy Week people were already enjoying exiting talks, such as Maximilian Schrems presenting his detailed experience with suing Facebook.

 

Afterwards I met some lovely people I haven’t seen for a long time, and the night ended in a place with a tremendous inferiority complex.

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Savage

Last night we, the Amphi squad, took ourselves to see Gary Numan during his Savage tour – what a great concert and performance!

 

I was too preoccupied with dancing, so this is the only picture of the night – travelling home at night with a happy, blurry mind.

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I’ve been a fan of Tim Minchin’s songs for a while. Today a coworker sent me this inspirational speech he did in 2013, for a graduation ceremony.

My favourite quotes:

 

We didn’t evolve to be constantly content. Contented Australophithecus Afarensis got eaten before passing on their genes.

You are lucky to be here. You were incalculably lucky to be born, and incredibly lucky to be brought up by a nice family that helped you get educated and encouraged you to go to Uni. Or if you were born into a horrible family, that’s unlucky and you have my sympathy… but you were still lucky: lucky that you happened to be made of the sort of DNA that made the sort of brain which – when placed in a horrible childhood environment – would make decisions that meant you ended up, eventually, graduating Uni.

“There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise.

“A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.”

Science is not a body of knowledge nor a system of belief; it is just a term which describes humankind’s incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome.

“Don’t take for granted your education. Rejoice in what you learn, and spray it. “

“Be demonstrative and generous in your praise of those you admire. Send thank-you cards and give standing ovations. Be pro-stuff, not just anti-stuff.”

“I don’t care if you’re the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful.

 

Thank you, Tim Minchin!

What to watch (out for)

The books-to-TV series junkie in me is excited – first The Man in the High Castle, and now The Handmaid’s Tale is being adapted for the screen.

I’m still undecided on whether this is a good sign (important stories getting a wider audience) or a bad one (series writers and producers being prescient once more of bad things to happen to parts of humanity, courtesy of another part of humanity).
Then again – humans being each others’ worst enemy unfortunately isn’t a new concept, but has proven to be a beloved pastime repeated time and again throughout the centuries. Writers aspiring to conceive of a dystopian story just need to take their pick from the long list of atrocities people inflict on each other, add some technological bits or social elements that do not yet exist to cover their lazy writer asses – and done! All that remains for them to do is to cast Scarlett Johansson as the main protagonist!

 

Erm. This post escalated quickly.

To conclude on a hopeful note: for our sakes, I do hope we reach some sort of United Federation, Star Trek-style, sooner than later.

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Apart from posting the occasional blah about some sewing I did, and the scheduled Food shame post, there was really little motivation to talk.
I still try to support my sister and my mother, and I feel as if even more of all the little things that might have annoyed me before, are now of no consequence. Also I try to appreciate spending time with the people I like more – an important part of which is to never part in anger (and luckily there never have been any issues that would justify such behaviour).

In any case, maybe I’ll return to a more regular writing behaviour now, we’ll see.

I am sick => filler

It always amuses me when Tom and Lorenzo present the Miss Universe National costumes:

2010: one, two

2011: one, two

2012: part one, two, three

2013: part one, two, three

2014: part one, two, three, four

and when they scream their thoughts at fashion pictures from 2014 Golden Globuli like a crazy person on the subway.

 

tomandlorenzo: “WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK’S GOING ON HERE BUT WE THINK WE LIKE IT!”

Following his dreams

My brother-in-law has been dead for over a year now. He was 52 when he died of lung cancer. He had smoked for years and years as young adult, so that might have been the cause.

He and my sister were married for over 20 years, after they met at his workplace; she often took the tram he operated to reach her workplace, and he helped her (she is blind). They got a flat together, had two kids, then managed to fulfill their dream of buying a house to have more space. Later on they moved back to where he grew up, and built their own house nearby, completely made of wood. They were not even finished with the interior when he was diagnosed.

I remember him as a family man; he quit his job and stayed at home to help my sister, and he started selling the things he made as a self-trained wood worker. As soon they started living in a house, he always had his own work room filled with wood, machines, half-done figurines, and wood chips on the floor and the smell of cut wood everywhere. He was a do-it-yourselfer and fixed many things around their house, and he made beautifully carved furniture.

He had a short temper when he was younger, but he learned to control it, and I remember the many amiably discussions we had when I visited them – for example he had a thing for reading von Daeniken, about ancient astronaut theories and the like, and we would argue animatedly our respective points of view. He loved to motocycle and would often take me for a ride during summer. And he loved to cook and to have lots of people sitting around his kitchen table.

His family loved him very much, and he will be remembered.