Answers to Various & Previosly Posted
and other miscanellaneous facts of life
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Arts 1: The person depicted in Mona Lisa
is possibly Isabella, Duchess of Aragon. If one, however, compares
da Vinci's sketch of her with the painting, one finds that the features
do not match properly. Interestingly, a comparison
with da Vinci's self-portrait suggests that Mona Lisa's facial
proportions are actually his. Further reading: Scientific American,
April '95 issue.
Arts 2: A comprehensive archive of Austin
Osman Spare's (shown is a self-portrait) 'weird' works can be found
Biology 1: From Willy Kükenthal's 'poetry
book' Zoologisches Praktikum: 'Lips are nothing but muscular folds
Biology 2: Many dedicational scientific names
from Linnean times are probably patterned
after the names of ordinary people (there were not enough scientists to
name something after as all known organisms were adapted to Linnean nomenclature).
One can well imagine the high-brow scientist eager to raise a peasant who
just brought a hitherto undescribed specimen into the then-lofty realm
of scientific immortality: 'Brave man, I will name this bird after thee!'
- and the peasant just thinks 'oh, what the hell? A silver piece would
suit me better'.
Biology 3: There is the notion that most birds
are exceptionally stupid, compared to mammalian standards. Influencing
this might be the fact that most bird's heads bear shorter, less voluminous
plumage than their bodies, creating the illusion that they have a disproportionally
small skull (read: brain).
Biology 4: Peat moss is NOT the brother of
Biology 5: Comprehensive information on the
Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata)
can be found here.
Biology 6: The persons who probably know most
about the sense of taste of some animals are those who produce pet food.
Biology 7: Lactose intolerance is an example
how cultural evolution can become genetic evolution: If milk is not considered
food fit for adults in a culture, it is probable that, over time, the lactose-catabolizing
mechanisms will disappear, thus ridding the population of biochemical (read:
thermodynamical) dead wood.
Biology 8: Comparative gemetics (the 'molecular
clock') is a smart idea, but it tells less than it is supposed to: Pauling's
assumption that the rate of mutations is constant over a long time span
is wrong: The circumstances may prevent mutations to be successful except
a few, which will, as the overall frequency of mutations stays about
the same (save for recent anthropogenic influence) appear as considerably
lower mutation rate: an abortive mutation leaves no trace. A gene may be
mutated at an amazing rate in one organism, but it may be conserved in
another with different habits and metabolism living in a different environment:
The reptilian uricotelic nitrogen cycle has been retained in turtles,
whose ancestors formed one of the three groups of proto-reptilians (the
second being birds and 'true' reptilians, also
having the uricotelic metabolism). Mammals developed a vastly different
mechanism (excretion of urea vs. ureic acid), but the three groups separated
at about the same time. Only if one considers an ubiquitious proteine that
possesses a comparatively small active centre (thus ensuring that most
mutations will not affect its function) are somewhat precise phylogenetic
statements possible. The recent turn towards use of pseudogenes and intron
sequences instead of true coding sequences is also of doubtful use, as
long as we are not sure whether these sequences are truly 'nonsense', as
it is today claimed (if they were, why were they retained for that long,
as their deletion would free considerable biochemical resources?).
Biology 9: The species concept is only applicable
to a certain point of time: The early Homo sapiens (pre-Neanderthal)
could more probably than not have offspring with H. erectus. Today's
H. sapiens most probably could not. Thus, in their early days those
creatures that are now classified as H. sapiens were only a subspecies
to H. erectus.
Biology 10: The claim that Neanderthal Homo
sapiens were uncapable of distinct speech is doubtful, for until we
find a conserved specimen, we can only guess at what their speech apparatus
was like. Anyway, it seems not very probable that the older-Neanderthal
type humans were able to speak clearly, as spoken language did, as far
as we can guess, only then develope. About the speech capabilities of the
modern Neanderthal humans from the Middle East-North Africa area, we cannot
Biology 11: One could 'translate' a bee's color
perception to ours by, for example, training bees to find food on a sheet
of paper that reflects as exclusively as possible in the UV spectrum and
then test their response to paper in various colors, with no UV reflection.
If bees perceive UV as any color which we perceive, too, one could thus
find out which. If not, we know at least that there are colors in the world
which we know nothing of, nor probably ever will, for it is the brain that
makes the color, not the eyes.
Biology 12: The ancestors of spiders were the
first land-living arthropods, insects are the product of a second-wave
colonization. Some primitive spiders have book lungs, which resemble book
gills in a cavity with only a small opening, indicating that they still
require a high humidity to work properly (analogous to land crabs): today's
annelids, chelicerates, crustaceans and tracheates
did arise independently from a common ancestor, sharing similarities, but
adapting to land life independantly.
Biology 13: Reptiles are a polyphyletic group:
Actually, birds' closest living relatives are crocodiles,
then snakes and lizards. They form one group, the
Diapsida, that developed out of proto-reptilians, the tuatara (Sphenodon
punctatus) being the most primitive contemporary diapsid. The second,
Synapsida, is today's mammals (which, like birds, would never be
classified as reptiles) and the third, Testudinata, turtles.
See also Biology 8.
Biology 14: If one considers a shark
a fish, one might also view a whale as one: A whale
and a herring are more closely related than a
herring and a shark, being a good example of how during the development
of Osteichthyes and Chondrichthyes, which were always limited
to the water, basic similarities were conserved, as the environment, which
they ruled virtually unchallenged by other vertebrates, was conserved.
Lampreys, which are commonly considered
fishes, are an entirely different case: they qualify as vertebrates, but
Biology 15: Photons as carriers of information
could work by any protein being a light receptor pigment on a cellular
level, the quantity of photons of a defined wavelength (as might be produced
by a biochemical reaction), which equals a defined energy, triggering a
configuration change in, for example, a regulator proteine and thus activate
or deactivate it.
Biology 16: Insectivores except bats
did not reach Australia unless transported by humans, although mice
did. The reason might be that metabolism of carbohydrates (the main energy
source for rodents) has a more favorable energy balance than metabolism
of proteins (the main energy source of insectivores). When being drifted
across the ocean (the only way to reach Australia for land-living mammals),
maintaining a favorable energy balance is crucial.
Biology 17: The attempt to raise crop yields
by gengineering is bound to fail in the long run: The fact that horizontal
gene transfer occurs naturally (actually, by the same means used in the
laboratory, that is, Agrobacterium tumefaciens and viruses as vectors)
means that 'weeds' will acquire resistance in a comparatively short time,
and although both 'weeds' and crops will have to deal with an increased
stress of their energy balance and will persist or perish, it is a vain
hope that the crops will additionally yield a considerably large harvest.
Biology 18: As it turned out recently, the
embryo comparison plates by German biologist Ernst
Haeckel that show similarities between the embryos of various vertebrates
to be retained until late in the development, are a fake. Haeckel admitted
openly that he had distorted and altered the embryo parts' proportions
to suit his theory that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, the biogenetical
law, but obviously, no biologist wanted or dared to question Haeckel's
authority, even after most other Haeckelian theories had been dismissed
as rubbish. All that would have been necessary was a quick look through
the microscope, but nobody seems to have done even that. It remains to
hope that we now recognize that ontogeny does NOT recapitulate phylogeny
and that Haeckel was no great biologist, but a miserable fraud and a shame
for the life sciences.
Biology 19: Marlins (Tetrapturus
and Makaira spec.) possess an elongated upper jaw as part of
their near-perfect stramlined shape. Swordfishes' upper jaws are more elongated,
somewhat spoiling the streamline, but giving an advantage in hunting. This
is an exaple for recently split ways of further development of a morphological
Biology 20: Any virus is a possible by-product
of its host's metabolism that acqired some half-independent half-life:
The means to activate the viral genome are carried by the host, not by
Biology 21: The white coating on salami
peels is the harmless domesticated mold Penicilium nalgiovensis.
Biology 22: Maine Coon
cats, the world's largest house cats, are very docile animals; if they
were as vicious as house cats sometimes tend to be, they would qualify
as rather bad pets.
Biology 23: Most comprehensive information
on all whale and dolphin species (save one recently discovered Mesoplodon),
including the least-known ones, can be found in Anthony A. Martin's book
Das große Bestimmungsbuch der Wale und Delphine.
Biology 24: Swarms stretch in 3 dimensions,
packs in 2.
Biology 25: The major misconception in restaurative
ecology (the attempt to restore a region's potential natural vegetation)
is its inability to consider human influence a part of Nature: Restauration
ecology condemns the North American prairies as 'produced by human deforestation
of the native woodland', but fails to see that, although completely anthropogenic
in origin, the prairies have become an ecosystem in their own right and
that several species (e.g. the 'buffalo' or the
black-footed polecat) have adapted to living in this habitat to such an
extent that they cannot thrive in another.
Biology 26: A picture of Phyllobates
terribilis, the most poisonous frog of the world. While other species
used to poison arrowheads have to be roasted and their skin secretes fermented,
P. terribilis is used by rubbing the item to be poisoned over its
back while the frog is still alive.
Biology 27: The monkey viruses
Herpesvirus ateles and H. saimiri are examples of true
symbiotic viruses: While viruses in the lysogenic stage are called 'symbiotic'
sometimes, they are parasites, as they provide no constant benefit for
their hosts (Viruses that undergo the lytic cycle have sometimes to be
called parasitoids as they, unlike normal parasites, kill their host):
The Herpesvirus types do provide an advantage to their hosts, spider
monkeys and squirrel monkeys, respectively,
as they cause exceptionally malign lymphomas in non-host monkey species,
offsetting the increased energetical strain of the host by virus production.
Biology 28: Click here
or here to hear a recording of the cry of an arctic
loon (Gavia immer), here for a recording
of a wood lark (Lullula arborea)'s song
and here for a recording of the cry of a trumpeter
swan (Cygnus buccinator).
Biology 29: Discovered in 1971, Quetzalcoatlus
northropi (Nahuatl-Latin-English: 'Northrop's Feathered Serpent' after
the Aztec deity) is the largest pterosaurian and the largest flying animal
ever known today, with a wingspan of 11-12 meters and a weight of probably
85-95 kilograms. It is known from Big Bend, Texas', Javelina formation
(late Cretacean, c. 68 mio. years BC). View a picture of a reconstruction
here and a size comparison here.
Biology 30: The 'Bête
de Gévaudan', an infamous creature supposed to be a gigantic
wolf, a werewolf, a wolf-dog
hybrid, a demon, a punishment from God, a wolverine, hyena or baboon
or a previously unknown species, that haunted today's Lozère from
Jun., 1764 for 3 years (when it was shot) was identified by zoologist Franz
Jullien, who rediscovered its stuffed carcass, as a large striped hyena
Biology 31: The Entner-Doudoroff pathway is
a way of glucose catabolism alternative to glycolysis. However, it is only
found in some bacteria, as though it is possible to feed its products into
a clipped glycolysis pathway, the net yield would be 2 NAD(P)H+H+,
1 ATP and 1 H2O at the expense of 1 Pi vs. 2 NADH+H+,
2 ATP and 2 H2O at the expense of 2 Pi in glycolysis
for every molecule of glucose decomposed to 2 molecules of pyruvate. The
critical step is the employment of Pi which gets to 'secure'
an enole bond from flipping in the ketone configuration unitil the Pi
is detached, subsequently getting invested with enough energy to
form a P~P bond to ADP, yielding ATP. This sidestep in pyruvate production
is run by 2 molecules per molecule of glucose employed vs. one in the Entner-Doudoroff
pathway, where the other C3 body is turned directly into pyruvate
without further investment of Pi. The glycolosis of one molecule
of glucose to 2 pyruvates takes 15 steps vs. 10 in the EDP (each step being
one reaction of one molecule of educt), however, a miniumum of 10 enzymes
is required for both.
Biology 32: The problem with the wildcats in
Germany is not that 'their genes get ruined by housecats run wild'. Wildcats,
being considerably larger and tougher have a definite advantage except
in human care. A much larger problem is that the close season for wildcats
lasts the whole year in Germany, whereas most game-keepers are quite painstaking
in shooting every roaming housecat for the sake of their small game population.
It takes two, maybe three generations of interbreeding until the descendants
of house- and wildcats are hard enough to distinguish from the latter to
give any huntsman quite a headache whether to shoot or not. Human influence
has had a negative effect on the populations of many smaller vertebrates
in Central Europe, so that a much higher problem of whatever kind of Felis
sylvestris would constitute a major problem anyway.
Biology 33: The social structures of dogs have
been modified to a greater extent during domestification than those of
cats: a housecat would rarely recognize its owner as 'companion', a wolf
kept in captivity would maybe (though it's gonna be a hard time for the
owner) recognize its owner as an alpha individual just out of the
desire to have one, while a dog includes humans to quite a degree in what
it recognizes as 'its kind'.
Biology 34: One might introduce 'swine genetics'
(Ger.: 'Schweinegenetik') as a derogatory term amongst geneticists: 'You
got the protocols ready?' - 'Since yesterday - do you think we're doing
swine genetics here?'
Biology 35: Lion packs provide interesting
insight into the mechanisms of intraspecific rivality: male lions attack
every other lion, as other males dispute their females and other females
dispute their food sources, whereas female lions attack only other females:
male lions do not hunt, and if a wandering male comes across a female that
is in heat (in absence of the female's pack's male), odds are that they
Biology 36: If you have an anonymous group
of animals that is 'closed' to outsiders, its structure tends to be more
complex than in an 'open' anonymous group, as its members have no concept
of themselves as individuals, yet share a 'group identity', which is in
most cases (the simples way, yet complex enough) mediated by pheromones.
In individualized groups, however, the complexity works the other way around:
it requires a more complex mechanism to accept new members to a group from
'outside' than to bear in mind a listing of all current group members and
repel everyone who is not included.
Biology 37: Intelligence is the factor that
applies everywhere where simple sensoric filters cannot manage a sufficient
degree of patten recognition.
Biology 38: The problem with applying genetical
analyses to determine the degree of relationship is that it fails miserably
in microorganisms: their limited genome size and the fact that they are
in most cases unicellular means that the 'task load' imposed on their genome
requires a very high degree of (genetical) adaptation, subtly altering
the properties of their respective polypeptides (which are in most cases
common, albeit not identical, in organisms employing the same biochemical
pathways). Thus, the metabolism of two closely related species of bacteria
may be essentially similar, yet the genome may be vastly different: limited
(point etc) mutations render a polypeptide dysfunctional in few cases;
however, they tend to vastly alter its operational parameters, such as
temperature and pH optimum.
Biology 39: If the placozoans had a slogan,
it could run along the lines of: 'Terminal differentiation? Who cares!
- What? Organs? That supposed to be a joke?'
Biology 40: If you tell a geneticist about
a 'vector field', odds are that s/he wonders why anyone would want to dump
a load of adenoviruses or A. tumefaciens on valuable farmland.
Biology 41: It is somewhat disappointing that
we still talk about Crick's Dogma (the flow
of genetic information is ALWAYS DNA->RNA->polypeptide) as a dogma,
as it is well-known and accepted today that retroviral copying of RNA into
DNA was since long an essential factor of dispersal of genetic information.
Biology 42: One of the most important factors
in the development of higher organisms, even before the advent of cellular
compartimentation, was the expression of biochemical gradients, the definition
of something like direction ('forward', 'aft', 'top', 'bottom') in the
Biology 43: The most crucial step from amphibians
to reptiles was to contain larval development in a hard-shelled egg or
in a womb, ridding the larval stage (termed embryo from there on) of the
necessity to be an organism that is capable of autonomous function: a fish
or amphibian larva is far from developed, yet it has to be fully functional
after hatching. Most morphological structures are subject to far-reaching
change, but the CNS can't be degraded and rebuilt from scratch. Thus, from
reptiles onwards we have the time taken by the transformation of larval
to adult structures as additional development time for the CNS, whereas
a fish's or amphibian's CNS never can progress much over a larval (yet
sufficient) stage. It fits into the picture that neocortical structures,
which gave rise to the cerebrum, first appear in reptiles.
Biology 44: Although humankind has a record
of extirpations unparalleled by any other known species, Homo sapiens
is a species on the survival of which not many other species depend except
the ubiquituous parasites. Krill, however, although small and unconspicuous,
would cause a major ecological catastrophe in nearly all cool-water marine
ecosystems if it suddenly died out. We may be rather destructive, but the
overall ecological dependance on humankind is comparatively low.
Biology 45: The HeLa cell line was derived
from a cervix carcinoma of one Henrietta Lacks from Baltimore, aged 31,
in 1951. H. Lacks died of cancer 8 months later. Her carcinoma cells, first
cultured by George and Margaret Gey of John Hopkins University, up to today
show no signs of aging, making them a very versatile cytological tool.
Biology 46: The Hershey-Chase experiment of
1952, in which bacteriophages' DNA/RNA had been labelled with radioactive
phosphorus and their envelope/capsid proteines were labelled with radioactive
sulphur to prove that the envelope/capsid remains outside the host cell
during infection (the genetic material thus being shown to be DNA/RNA)
would yield inconclusive results with the M13 phage: Its main capsid proteine
g8p is taken up into the cell, where it is stored to be utilized later
in the capsid of the phage's next generation. Thus, radioactivity of both
the nucleic acids and the proteines would seem to occur from within the
Biology 47: Nasuti are a specialized 'soldier'
caste of Nasutitermes spec. termites. Their defensive properties
consist of a median dorsal head rostrum through which the sticky and sometimes
poisonous secretions of the frontal gland, which is extremely well-developed
in nasuti, are ejected. Their jaws, on the opposite, are small to vestigial.
Biology 48: Foulbrood is a bacterial disease
of honey bee larvae. Infection with Streptococcus pluton, S.
apis or Bacillus alvei results in European foulbrood, the larva
turning yellow with the gut shining white through the skin, as seen here.
The died larvae or pupae dry to an irregular, twisted
scale. American foulbrood, caused by Bacillus larvae, is much
more virulent. Here, infected larvae become a café-au-lait
color and turn into a sticky mass that can be drawn out in strings.
The dried scales lie outstretched on the bottom of the cell, as seen here.
Biology 49: The claim that 'we have taken over
the shaping of human evolution' is not true. Homo sapiens is truly
one of the species that has a far-reaching influence on abiotic environmental
factors, but we're shaping our evolution not significantly more than any
other species is shaping theirs, for we have no knowledge whatsoever of
the laws that guide it.
Biology 50: The reason for the irregular, elongated
shape of erythrocytes found in acute sickle cell anemia is that sickle
cell hemoglobine (HbS) possesses a groove caused by the exchange of glutamate
by valine at position 6 of the hemoglobine ß
chain. A bulge on the deoxygenated hemoglobine fits into this groove, causing
hemoglobine polymer filaments to form which distort the cell's shape and
are unable to bind oxygen.
Biology 51: One of the most important step
on the way from reptiles to birds was the development
of a sophisticated form of acoustical communication.
Biology 52: Vertebrates as a group are interestingly
not defined by the possession of vertebrae: Lampreys
are vertebrates, but they have no bone at all, only some hardened cartilage
to stabilize the suction mouth. What constitutes a vertebrate is the possession
of centralized sensory organs (eyes, nose etc) and a general sophistication
of their intestines. Both things are not found in other chordates.
Biology 53: The fattest house cat ever was
supposedly 'Himmy' from Cairns, Australia, who, at his death at the age
of 10 in 1986, weighed 46lbs 15 oz (21.3 kg). Another cat named 'Poppa'
came very close to 'Himmy''s record. He was a male tabby from Newport,
UK and weighed 44lbs 8 oz (20.19 kg) a year before he died in 1985. 'Tiger'
a part-Persian, weighed over 42lbs (over 19 kg). This
is Milo, 40 pounds (18.1 kg). I do not know if this
cat is one of the above, but it looks pretty fat, too. This
unidentified-yet cat supposedly weighs 48lbs, challenging hard 'Himmy''s
Biology 54: The probably loudest noises produced
by a single specimen of any aminal without help of tools, as compared to
the aminal's body mass, are the calls of certain cicada species: The African
cicada Brevisana brevipes produces a calling song with a mean sound
pressure level of 106.7 decibels at a distance of 50 cm. The North American
species Tibicen walkeri and T. resh produce an alarm call
with a mean sound pressure level of 105.9 dB(50 cm). B. brevipes'
dry weight is only 0.3 grams, resulting in a sound output of 355.667 dB/gram
dry weight. The cicada species Pyena semiclara, Diceroprocta
apache and Cyclochila australasiae produce calling songs rated
at 106.2 (first two) and 105.7 dB, respectively. Tacua speciosa
and Pomponia imperatoria, Southeast Asian cicadas, produce sounds
which are reported to be deafening. However, their exact noise output has
not yet been measured and they have dry weights of about 1.5 and 2.0 g,
Commercials 1: Sznikörsz - When you're
Computers 1: There is a bug in all older Intel
Pentium CPUs that inevitably crashes the computer when a series of assembler
commands are executed that make no sense as such. This is a further reason
to dump the Active-X standard that enables
your computer to execute programs or machine language commands on Web pages
without a possibility for user interference. Then again, all this might
be deliberate. At least, it is a golden opportunity for freelance cypherpunks
to give a big-time kick butt to the mightiest companies on both today's
hardware and software market.
Computers 2: The BHP-Virus, named after
the Bayerische Hacker-Post (obviously the 'zine of its creators,
a Bavarian hacker group), first appeared on Sept. 10th, 1988. It was the
sole C 64 virus. As it was neither hard-reset-proof,
nor able to circumvent the (physical) write protection, this boot sector
virus' only danger was that it might (rather accidentally) corrupt data.
Computers 3: It is unfortunate that Corel
corporation products are that widespread; they are, although capable,
a real pain in the ass to work with and the .cdr format is not or may not
be accepted by any other program.
Computers 4: Advanced vector-oriented drawing
programs or picture editors tend to emulate pixel-oriented ones in certain
features, such as drawing circles. Anyone who ever tried drawing concentric
circles with both knows why. Internally, however, such programs work with
vector algorithms to prevent the annoying alias effect of pixel-oriented
Computers 5: The major problem of translation
programs, interestingly mainly the good ones, is that their advanced
algorithms choose the most likely meaning of a given word under given circumstances.
Irony, sarcasm, puns and other cases of non- or anti-literal word use will
make them fail miserably.
Computers 6: It is somewhat annoying to the
discerning PC user that Windows 95 and Win98
are stuffed with 'idiot-safe' features that don't work right, blatant commercials,
good ideas either gone stale or stolen elsewhere, not to mention a wide
range of bugs and security leaks; that, in short, these OS' seem to be
written in a major lapse into carelessness or idiocy. However, given the
fact that a lot of their users are either blissfully ignorant of what's
going on inside their CPU as long as the latest games (office software,
sound tools, Internet Explorer plugins) don't crash too often or just too
happy if good old Papa Microsoft comes along, takes them by the hand and
leads them into the lollypop-colored Computer Wonderland, this just works
out fine. One other thing: Who'd honestly pay money for an OS that crashes
fatally at its first big-time commercial presentation?
Computer 7: There was a 64er
computer magazine 'Games' special issue in the late 80s featuring a
floppy disk with 10 semi-professional games. Amongst them was a game where
one had to clear colored pads with a colored bouncing ball (similar to
Arkanoid type games, but without bat
and open frame). Some years later, the same game was sold in a slightly
more up-to-date (Amiga?) full-price version made by the Aachen area company
Kingsoft. It received a lot of praise for its innovative game idea.
Culture 1: 'The Mousetrap' is the London variant
of fake hula dances and other 'native' performances.
Design 1: Father Christmas was depicted as
a bishop or a wizardly elf for centuries.
In 1863, then-not-yet famous cartoonist Thomas Nast designed a Civil War
propaganda cartoon which showed a fat Father Christmas clad in stars-and-stripes
bringing gifts to Union troops. Over time, Santa Claus was depicted as
big and fat rather than small and thin. His
clothing, however, remained a dark wool or fur coat.
In 1931, artist Haddon Sundblom devised the red-and-white
garb for a Coca Cola ad campaign that was
launched to boost the company's winter sales. This image sticks
Drugs 1: A slogan about the late 90s' drugs
in Germany: 'Pillen, Pappen, Pep, Pilze, Peace, Poppen, Pizza, Prost!'.
Drugs 2: The common fear attacks under alcohol
intoxication, termed 'abstürzen' in German, are rather a kind of 'horror
trip'. As alcohol is legal and accepted as a drug, this is not automatically
Drugs 3: Knaster, homegrown hemp containing
seeds smoked by the poorer German populace as a tobacco surrogate in the
last centuries reputedly tastes a lot like tobacco, courtesy of the burning
Drugs 4: If someone tells you that he/she has
'thrips' on his/her pot plants, don't bother calling the police or asking
if you can get some.
Economy 1: One could well establish the term
'Flocken' (flakes) for 'amount of local currency'.
Economy 2: 'Jizzlobber' is the name of the
job that consists of cleaning the ejaculate away in sex video cabins.
Economy 3: Microsoft's last ad campaign in
Germany, though looking somewhat kluged together, targets a lucrative group
of consumers: one can assume that a company like MS does not invest large
sums into a nationwide campaign that it does not expect to pay out.
Economy 4: As some might have thought, Coca
Cola's German refreshment window campaign was probalbly the
worst intellectual insult in the field of commercials ever. It featured
a circualr hole in the bottle's label through which one could see the inside
of the other label if the bottle was about two-thirds empty. Written on
the other label were droll slogans that tried to suggest the consumption
of more Coke, like 'Ihr wollt mehr Erfrischung - einfach austrinken!' ('You
want more refreshment - just empty up!'). Those that thought that commercial
campaigns could not be any dumber fond themselves disappointed: Coca Cola's
follow-up campaing consists of the same 'window' and the additional statements
'World Cup '98' and 'Soccer desirous, soccer
hungry, Coca Cola thirsty', the 'hidden' slogan being replaced by a
picture titled 'Fan with megaphone' - a fake that obvious and pathetic
it makes you cry. Obviously, someone realized that and after some time,
this 'fan picture' became part of a Coka Cola raffle where those (supposedly
3) lucky people who found something 'different' than this picture would
win a trip to the '98 soccer world cup there to attempt to score goals
against a world cup goalie. Due to the fact that the World Cup lasts only
some weeks, a new variation was employed afterwards, reverting to the basic
'refreshment window', this time surrounded
by an ice cube, and a 'hidden' traffic sign
style drawing of a coke bottle with the caption 'Thirsty?'. This time,
you'd be able to win not some piffly France trip, but, lo and behold, one
of 5 Porsche Boxsters and 50 Porsche mountain bikes.
Food 1: Abate Fetel is a brand of pear.
Food 2: The 'Siberian steppe
root Eleutherococcus' in the Puschkin Black Sun drink
is Siberian 'ginseng' (Eleutherococcus
senticosis), known from herbal medicine. If applied, it reputedly
sharpens one's senses and enhances metabolic activity.
Food 3: The gin tonic originates in British
colonial officials in India blending their malaria prophylactic quinine
water with gin and lemon to make it more British. The word 'tonic'
in the drink's name reminds of this: 'tonic' is an old word meaning 'remedy'.
Today's gin tonic does not, however, contain enough quinine to be of medical
use, even if most strains of Plasmodium hadn't become resistant
against quinine treatment by now.
Food 4: A mixture of 1/3 cherry juice poured
on 2/3 Batida de Coco may be called 'Blood on the Snow'.
Food 5: The plentitude of Chinese dishes (of
all subgroups) combined with the fact that China was a country much plagued
by famines for centuries suggest a very pragmatic view on nourishment:
'Food' would be what would be both edible and nutritious, no further questions
asked. Thus, the Chinese are probably the culture that has the largest
number of foodstuffs that aren't considered food elsewhere.
Food 6: The Bifidobacterium bifidum
(formerly Lactobacillus bifidus) contained in some 'probiotic' yoghurts
sold in Germany has, if any, an adverse effect on health: It sometimes
causes digestion problems and often tooth caries by its metabolism products
lactic and acetic acid.
Food 7: If the gut for sausages
consists that much feces that it makes up more than 2% of the sausages'
weight, German food law demands it to be declared as an ingredient.
Food 8: Coca Cola
syrup consists of 7 components: 1) Sugar (or rather corn syrup) 2) Caramel
3) Caffeine 4) Phosphoric acid 5) Coca leaf extract (decocainized) + cola
nut extract 6) Flavoring: Oil of orange, lemon, lime, nutmeg, cinnamon,
coriander, neroli (alcoholic solution) 7) Vanilla extract. Anyone trying
to sell copied Coca Cola wholesale better have good lawyers, however.
Food 9: The (according to this page's author)
best okra curry
recipe he found thus far. If you think you've got a better one, feel
free to send it (see bottom of the page).
Food 10: Here
you find a table of the world's leading 7 producers and grinders of cocoa
beans as per '97/'98 estimate.
Food 11: Food like the Flubber ice sold
by McDonald's (soft ice with cold, lumpy, sickly green, woodruff-flavored
sauce) should be, in case the term junk food is to be retained for
fries, burgers etc., termed trash food to
express that they are already one step further.
Food 12: Here
you'll find a comprehensive listing of Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipes.
If you can provide another, mail it to the address at the bottom of this
Geography 1: The name of the Rockies section
called 'S.H. Mountains' does not stand for 'Short Horn Mountains' but for
'Shithouse Mountains', as the angular peaks reminded the settlers of latrines.
The name became abbreviated after a short time, however.
History 1: The Russian Tsars were, strictly
speaking, successors to the Western Asian part of Genghis
Khan's Mongol Empire.
History 2: Under the reign of Motecuzoma
II Xocoyotzin, Aztec nobles were allowed to take as many wives as they
liked, the emperor himself reputedly having 2000. According to contemporary
sources, this led to the phenomenon that ordinary citizens often could
not find wives, because in many regions they were transferred to a noble's
court immediately after puberty.
History 3: The resistance of the Russian nobility
against Peter the Great's 'beard tax' (an
attempt to displace the un-westernish long beards in Russia) was based
upon their assumption that God was in fact an old guy with a long
beard, and that thus the removal of one's beard would be a symbolic detachment
History 4: The Roman-built sewer systems in
then-Roman cities were built and maintained by sewer specialists, which
were trained only in Rome and maybe some other big cities in Southern Europe,
and then transferred to their respective locations of work. After the fall
of the Roman Empire, this system of centralized training was not possible
any more and thus, the sewer systems fell into decay.
History 5: Probably one of the worst awards
for long-standing Colonial duty in the mid-18th century British Empire
was a patch of land in Australia: Your closest European neighbors living
roughly 200 miles away makes life rather tough, and if 'your closest European
neighbors' are a convict settlement, it doesn't make things any better.
History 6: Considering the fact that the country
which has had the most grave internal problems with Jews since WWII is
Israel, something seems to have gone horribly wrong.
History 7: Chilianwala (or Chillian Wallah)
is a Pakistani village in the Punjab province, 28 miles WNW from Gujrat
on the river Jhelum. On Jan 13th, 1849, a fierce battle was fought there
between British forces commanded by Lord Gough and Sikhs under Sher Singh
in which the British overcame Sher Singh's forces but retreated after losing
almost a whole regiment. At the site of the battle, today called Katalgark,
an obelisc was erected in commemoration of the event with inscriptions
in English, Persian, Urdu and Gurmuthi.
Information Theory 1: Considering physical
dimensions, paper as a carrier of information is two-dimension (length
and width), while a tape is one-dimensional (time).
Information Theory 2: The Turing test is no
applicable way to determine the 'sentinence' of a supposed AI: First, it
only measures human-style intelligence (but such would be demanded by AI
developers anyway), second, the principle by which it works is faulty:
According to Turing, a 'machine' would be intelligent if a human could
not tell it from a human in a blind test (both the 'machine' and the comparison
human linked to the tester via computer terminal). Whichever seems more
'human' to the tester in a 'conversation' would be the 'human', but if
both were indistinguishable, the 'machine' would display human-like intelligence.
In reality, this test does not work as the channels of communication between
test subject and tester are degraded (reduced to the exchange of written
information) to such an extent that no objective measurement of any human-like
intelligence save in this single field not ruled out by the circumstances
(exchange of written information) can be performed.
Information Theory 3: Language as a mean of
transmitting information has to be conservative: information can only be
transported reliably by it if neither an abrupt change of meaning or an
abrupt change of the word as such in a limited, yet nonetheless sizable
area of usage does occur often.
Information Theory 4: The major advantage of
printed books compared to online media is that they are configurable freely
and by every reader anew, that its '(hyper)links' are not fixed when a
document is publicized in this form.
Internet 1: The '# appears as <NAME>'
message frequently encountered in IRC is the joining message of a MS Comic
Chat user that informs the Comic Chat of other users of the newcomer's
Internet 2: It is interesting to note that
the common Euro-US Web page style focuses much more on 'infotainment' than
Law 1: Did you know that it is perfectly legal
for bouncers in Germany to expel 'foreign-ish'
looking and disabled persons from clubs and discotheques?
Law 2: Having to bathe once per day in old,
slightly fermenting bong water for ten years would
be a punishment for a weedhead that at least comes close to torture.
Law 3: The verdicts of the Nazi legal system
been declared injustice in Germany as late as Jun 19th, 1998.
Linguistics 1: The Latin Alphabet is sorted
in that particular order because the old Semitic Alphabets, from which
the order of letters stems, were pictograms sorted per topic.
Linguistics 2: The German word 'Standbild'
is actually the translated form of 'Statue', which itself is Germanized
from the Latin 'statua'.
Linguistics 3: 'Moderately disturbing' would
be a nice understatement to describe things like the fallout after a global
thermonuclear war; the fallout after a limited thermonuclear war
would then be called 'slightly disturbing'.
Linguistics 4: The term 'shooting star', considered
in Germany to mean 'promising newcomer', does actually imply failure: a
shooting star is something with a rather short lifespan.
Linguistics 5: 'Koitalgynoid' would be an applicable
German scientific term for 'inflatable sex doll'.
Linguistics 6: The German 'Steckenpferd' and
the English 'hobby' mean the same, and it is commonly believed that the
German word is older (at least in German use) and that the two arose independently.
However, 'hobby' is derived from a sentence in a novel 'every man has his
hobby horse', the German translation of which was, true to the word, 'jeder
Mann hat sein Steckenpferd'. Thus, 'hobby' (as abbreviation of 'hobby horse')
and 'Steckenpferd' arose from exactly the same origin (the word for a kid's
toy) that underwent the same change of meaning at roughly the same time.
Linguistics 7: It might pay to introduce the
neologism 'iebel!' as analogous to the German exclamation 'übel!',
but with added emphasis.
Linguistics 8: Attention! Attention! This
is No-Bullshit Department speaking! is a good phrase if you think that
what you want to say is an important and grave matter.
Linguistics 9: 'Whiscous'
(German: 'whiskös') describes something (e.g. food) which is in
some respects like cat food.
Linguistics 10: New adjectives describe aspects
of a noun that were not covered previously.
Linguistics 11: 'to fire somebody' derives
from the pre-anglo-saxon habit of burning the home of a banished person
so that there was no reason for that individual to stay.
Linguistics 12: The Southern German/Austrian
expression fesch (stylish) is derived from fashionable.
Linguistics 13: If you have a rather unusual
and complicated family name, you can get an overview on latin letter phonetic
transcriptions of several foreign languages if you can divulge the nationalities
of phone operators of food taxi services and consider the way your name
is misspelt on the tab.
Linguistics 14: 'Psychotropic' is quite an
appropriate word to describe any mind-altering quality.
Linguistics 15: The term 'fan' is an abbreviation
of '(sports) fanatic'.
Linguistics 16: One could claim that, for example,
the Third Reich's attempts to gain intelligence by parapsychological means,
was true espionage (or rather ESP-ionage).
Linguistics 17: Gene technics is the applied
science, gene technology the theoretical one.
Linguistics 18: The German verb verballhornen
(to bowdlerize) is dervied from the name of one Johan Balhorn or Ballhorn
(1528-1603), a book printer from Lubeck, wo tried, in the late 16th century,
to improve the style of one of his re-editions by reworking it, but, in
this process, distorted the meaning.
Linguistics 19: English is not only the language
in which one can truly claim that somebody 'found his peace in his trousers',
but as well the language in which the same sentence can mean 'you can use
it for smoking a hash pipe' and 'you can use it to give yourself a blow
Literature 1: The spaceship Nostromo
in Alien derived its name from the title of a novel by Joseph
Literature 2: Jaroslav
Hašek was a bohemian author, true to every sense of the word.
Literature 3: Die
Feuerzangenbowle (shown is a scene from the 1944 movie) is a school-set
variant of student association novels.
Literature 4: Steven W. Rimmer's novel The
Order deals with the Order of the Knight Templars, aka 'The Order'
(their medieval nickname). One should be aware to get the author's name
right; there's another novel with the same name by a different author,
which is possibly the most infamous Nazi apologetic novel set in the US.
Literature 5: The authors of Bruce
Alberts et al's Molecular Biology of the Cell present
themselves on this picture from their
book, crossing Abbey Road, in the vicinity
of which the book was written, on their way to lunch in an imitation of
the famous Beatles Abbey
Road LP cover, accurate to the
point that biology professor Martin Raff (third from left) of London University
college wears no shoes, just as Paul McCartney (second from left) did before.
Mathematics 1: The smallest number greater
0 is 1 divided by 0.99999999.... minus 1.
Medicine 1: A large number af persons suffering
from mental disorders were subject to organ removal, especially castration,
in the 1920s, as mental disorders were then explained as the result of
infections, somatic dysfunctions or 'hormonal instabilities'.
Medicine 2: Dr. Antonio
de Egas Moniz, who invented lobotomy surgery, refrained from practicing
it after seeing the results and was shocked to see it adapted as a means
of therapy.This did not prevent his rather untimely death by getting slain
by a former patient of him.
Medicine 3: Leprosy does not directly cause
rot of body parts. It does, however, kill off sensory neurons, prohibiting
the experience of pain when tissue is destroyed, thus providing a fertile
soil for microorganisms that cause gangrena etc.
Medicine 4: An alternative to resistance-causing
antibiotica, of which we have currently not enough to combat a major outbreak
of a multiple-resistant-bacterial disease, one could tailor antibodies
that disable toxic metabolical products of pathogenous bacteria (which,
in most instances, are alone responsible for the disease) and leave the
job of mopping up the bacteria to the immune system, which has been tailored
to outsmart bacterial defenses since tens of thousands of years. This method
would, however, not work with virus diseases, because a virus rigs your
metabolical pathways to replicate itself instead of poisoning your system.
Medicine 5: Click here
to view a picture of a trichobezoar.
Medicine 6: It is a good thing that, traditionally,
women name ships. Imagine the former President
of the USA trying to name CVN-76 after himself and having forgotten
his own name - a sight that most of us probably would choose rather not
Military 1: It happened in Austria that a soldier
went to bed stone drunk and awoke rather sober after a night of heavy sleep,
only to discover that his companions had, apparently drunk, too, considered
it a good joke to deploy a quite large number of thumbtacks in his bed
the evening before.
Military 2: Immediately after the invasion
of Poland, Hitler ordered Reichsluftwaffe
training units to be repainted in camouflage colors and to be flown all
over Germany to give the populace the impression of a much larger air force
than it acually was.
Military 3: The roundel of the Finnish Air
Force (SIL) was until the end of WWII in Europe, a blue-swastika-on-white
(hakaristi), as seen on this V. L. Myrsky.
It was introduced because it was the personal emblem, lucky charm and reminder
of Oriental expeditions of the family of the Swedish Count Erik von Rosen,
who founded the SIL on Mar 6th, 1918 with his donation of a Thulin (Morane-Saulnier
L) Parasol aircraft to Finnish Civil War White forces. This aircraft wore
the hakaristi on and under both wings painted on white linen, which
was subsequently adopted as the SIL's roundel. After WWII, bearing a swastika
emblem was definitely no symbol of political reason or just good taste,
so the roundel was changed into the white-blue-white version worn today,
as seen on this F/A-18C.
Movies 1: When Captain Mancuso says 'Central
Intelligence Agency, now there's a contradiction in terms.' in Hunt
for Red October, it refers to the abbreviation of the linguistic term
for 'Contradiction in terms', contradictio in adiecto, which is,
of course, CIA.
Movies 2: The Finnish taxidriver from Night
on Earth is played by Matti Pellonpää, who appeared, amongst
others, in Child in the Photograph (Wolken ziehen vorüber)
and in the Leningrad Cowboys... movies. His customers are played
by Kari Väänänen, also appearing in Leningrad Cowboys...,
Sakari Kuosmanen who appeared in Leningrad Cowboys go America and
Movies 3: John Scott did the movie scores to,
amongst others, The Hostage Tower and The
Final Countdown, both 1980 action movies.
Movies 4: The text of the fake GDR national
anthem in Top Secret goes 'Hail, Hail, East Germany/Land of wine
and grape/Land where you'll regret/Any try to escape/No matter if you tunnel
under/Or take a running jump at the wall/Forget it, the guards will kill
you/If the electrified fence doesn't first.' It is a parody of the
Shorewood (Wisconsin) High School Hymn.
Movies 5: The helicopter scene in the Rambo
parody in UHF depicts George's
mental image of his drive to the Channel 8 HQ: the helicopter sports the
same rear view mirror with the same lucky charms like George's car.
Movies 6: The restaurant-style music in the
first sequence in Amazon Women on the Moon features clanging of
Movies 7: If James Bond's opponents had acted
like humans established with a minimum amount of cerebral capability, Bond
would have been killed after the fifth movie, if not earlier, but at least
we would have been spared George Lazenby's so-called 'play-acting'.
Movies 8: The day on which 'everything has
been tried' (Strange Days) will be preceded by the day on which
there will be a brand-new brand of chocolate bars 'New! With delicious
cat feces taste!'. People will, however, love it - as any other innovative
taste would be worse.
Movies 9: UHF
was never perceived on a large scale as having a 'political' message or
implication, partly because 'Weird Al' Yankovich's
image was one of being a complete nerd.
Movies 10: Acción Mutante might
be called 'a no-questions-asked movie'. Not that you could expect answers,
Movies 11: A provisional
script of Hynkel's speech in The Great
Movies 12: Two persons sit around and talk
about branding, scarring, piercing etc. Suddenly, one jumps up and screams
in horror: 'The Insect Men are coming! The Insect Men are coming!'. Says
the other: 'You think that's the next stage of body mods?' - 'No... that
was just a spontaneous outbreak of B-movie.'
Movies 13: The full name of Biggus Dickus'
wife in Life of Brian is 'Incontinentia Buttocks' (Ger.: 'Incontinentia
Movies 14: The book that Vincent Vega reads
while sitting on the tiolet in the Honey Bunny scene in Pulp
Fiction is 'Modesty Blaise' by Peter O'Donnell.
Movies 15: Mirindas asesinas, done in
1991, is the first (short and b/w) movie by Alejandro 'Alex' de la Iglesia.
It goes about a guy who comes into a bar in which there´s only one
other customer and asks the bartender to serve him a Mirinda orangeade,
but refuses to pay for it, arguing that the bartender had never warned
him that he would have to; when the bartender insists, the man takes out
a rifle and kills him. Then he asks the other customer to keep serving
him more Mirindas, and thus the other man sees himself forced to replace
the bartender, for fear of what the killer will do to him if he doesn´t.
Movies 15: Now that all the technical gadgets
that were sorely missed by the special effects crew for the TV series are
available, a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie is scheduled for production,
to be due in 2000. Written by Douglas Adams
himself and directed by M. Jay Roach, it will be a Roger Birnbaum production
for Caravan Pictures. Distribution will be done by Hollywood Pictures.
Stay tuned for further developments.
Movies 16: The first screening of Alex de la
Iglesia's third (full-blown) movie, Perdita Durango, in Germany
took place on Aug 14th, 1998, in Cologne's Residenz cinema as part
of the annual Fantasy Filmfest.
Movies 17: The start and end credits music
in Acción Mutante as well
as the end credits music and the Satannica concert in El
Día de la Bestia, both Alex de la Iglesia movies, are done
by the Spanish band Def Con Dos. Click
here for the lyrics of 'Acción Mutante'
and here for the lyrics of 'El Día
De La Bestia'.
Music 1: Reggae veteran talk: ''74 in Kingston?
Man, that's when they had just gotten the first eight track audio mixers
Music 2: Ich mach' dich tot by the German
band Richthofen is a typical example of a 3rd-rate attempt to jump
on the Rammstein bandwagon.
Music 3: A decantate would best be performed
by a choir micturating on stage.
Music 4: Lee 'Scratch' Perry blew resinuous
marihuana smoke over his master tapes while recording to improve the sound
Music 5: The probably dumbest fans of music
with a 'political' claim are the U.S. punks: They allowed that the White
Supremacy skinheads stole their battle-cry: 'Oi!'.
Music 6: U2 did
not name themselves directly after the U.S. spy plane,
they merely liked the sound of its type code.
Music 7: The B-52s,
however, choose their name as a reference to the 'bomber'
hairdos of the female band members.
Music 8: Bravo magazine featured a photo
story about two Israeli pop metal singers (fakes, initially, but later
a miserable excuse for a band was created for them, Gil eventually embarking
on a solo career). Unfortunately, Bravo would not have featured
them if an article on the boys would have read: 'These
two sweet boys are Gil and Tal. They play in the yiddish folk band
Music 9: The 'hemp parameters' in 'Legalize
it' by Peter Tosh are: 1) NAMES tamjee, the weed, marijuana, ganja. 2)
CONSUMERS: singers, players of instrument, doctors, nurses, judges, lawyers.
3) MEDICAL PROPERTIES (GOOD AGAINST): the flu, asthma, tuberculosis, numara
thrombosis. 4) HEMP LOVERS: birds eat it, ants love it, fowls eat it, cooks
love to bake with it.
Music 10: About his rantings against 'police
and niggers', 'immigrants and faggots' as well as 'radicals and racists'
in 'One in a Million', Axl
Rose has to say: 'I went back and forth from Indiana eight times my
first year in Hollywood. I wrote [this song] about being dropped off at
the bus station and everything that was going on... the black guys trying
to sell you drugs is where the line 'Police and niggers, get out of my
way' comes from. I've seen these huge black dudes pull bowie-knives on
people for their boom boxes and shit. It's ugly... When I say 'I'm just
a small town white boy' I'm just saying I'm no better than anyone else
I've described. I'm just trying to get through life, that's all.'. Furthermore,
at their L.A. show on Oct 18th, '89, where he was criticized by Living
Color singer Vernon Reid, he addressed the audience as follows: '...If
you got a problem and you think I'm a racist, shove your head up your FUCKIN'
Persons 1 : 'Typhoid Mary' was Mary Mallon
(b. Ireland, 1870(?), d. Nov. 11th, 1938, NYC) who, as a cook, infected
51 people with typhoid during her lifetime, 3 of which died. She was herself
immune to typhoid; health authorities tried, most of the time unsuccessfully,
to place her under quarantine, which was imposed on her more harshly than
usual or necessary.
Persons 2: Image files of King
Kalakaua, King Kamehameha I the Great,
Queen Lili'oukalani and Governor
Sanford Dole of Hawai'i.
Persons 3: 'John Doe #XXX' is the name given
to unidentified male corpses by U.S. forensics.
Persons 4: King Carlos II of Spain was the
last of the Spanish Habsburgs. Due to the fact that inbreeding was a rather
frequent habit with his precedessors, he probably was the most terminal
case in world's royalty. Read more about him here
and view a picture (described by contemporaries as 'very palliative') of
Persons 5: It has recently been proved by mtDNA
analysis that virtually without doubt Martin Bormann,
missing presumed dead Nazi second-in-command, died around midnight, May
2nd, 1945. His skeleton, remains of a cyanide ampul still stuck between
the teeth, was found in late 1972 during earthworks in Berlin.
Persons 6: Philip Glass admires Glenn
Gould as someone who was 'an innovator in terms of both interpretation
and recording technique'.
Physics 1: 'In a jiffy' refers to an old English
unit: 1 jiffy = 1/100 second. One moment, however, likewise being an old
English unit, equalled 90 seconds.
Physics 2: A physicist stands with his or her
beloved at the edge of a wood, overlooking a meadow, the sun is setting,
crickets chirping in the grass. It would be a good physicist if (s)he is
able to notice if the crickets chirp redundantly, and an even better one
if (s)he is able to make a remark about that which will not spoil the moment
for any of them.
Physics 3: In today's physics, the applied
science is the servant and moneymaker of the theoretical one: Since the
turn of the century, the effort put into a physical theory was that vast
that other physicists were required to prove or disprove it. Over time,
theoretical physics gained the upper hand, as applied physics had run somewhat
dry after some thousand years of work and as it was faster to develope
new theories than to veri- or falsify them. Today, physical theories sometimes
include no possibility for proof or disproof under today's technical possibilities,
while applied physics does not much more than frantically trying to keep
up with the theories, to develope new experimental methods and spinning
off enough money for both to carry on.
Physics 4: A major problem with today's attempts
to create nanotechnology is that, lacking knowledge like the GUT that would
make us able to link microscopic causes with macroscopic effects, there
is no real solution to the problem that a nanomachine has, in most cases,
to be constructed along different lines that a normal one: for example,
combustion engines in nanotechnology are a bad idea as the usually negligible
oxydation of the material can prove destructive if your engine casing is
only several molecules thick.
Physics 5: The concept of 'absolute' height
of a tone as it is used in music sciences even today is to no degree based
upon fact: There is neither a sound that is composed out of pure, unmodulated
sine waves, nor is there absolute, aperiodic noise. One should rather state
that the more irregular and the faster the absolute heigth of any tone
is modulated, the stronger is the noise character of that particular tone.
Physics 6: The main problem with the GUT is
that in a complex or even fractal universe the most inconspicuous (for
us as observers) law of nature may have far-reaching consequences. Physicists
believe that we have found all fundamental laws of nature (els they wouldn't
attempt to establish the GUT), but their lack of success in putting together
macro- and microcosmos to a unity seems to indicate that they have missed
something more significant than an Einsteinian
Politics 1: Did you know that Roberto
Blanco, black singer, is a member of Bavaria's right-wing CSU
Politics 2: The head of the governmental investigation
committee on neo-Nazi activities in the German army is CSU
extremist Kurt Rossmanith, who, by court decision,
may be termed 'Nazi fan' and calls Nazi colonel general Eduard Dietl a
'democrat' and an 'example for the Federal German army'.
Politics 3: It is an often-forgotten fact that
the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Manfred
Kanther, is a member of a extreme right student's association.
Politics 4: Under the (stricter) old bugging
laws, 6428 telephones were bugged in Germany in 1996, compared to short
of 1200 in the USA in the same time.
Politics 5: The right to become a German citizen
is regulated by the ius sanguinis, the 'law of the Blood', which
states that in order to be a German citizen one has to be of German ancestry
and cultural heritage. No matter how much the German state owes to a foreign
resident, that person will not be granted citizen rights until he or she
proves to be completely Germanized.
Politics 6: The only sociological group who
was under all circumstances protected from bugging under the new German
bugging law as proposed at first were politicians, that is, those that
ultimately decide under which circumstances bugging is instituted. It should
also be noted that the new law is to be applied in case of suspicion (that
is, in case of any evidence, fake, hearsay or true, if the authorities
in charge deem it sufficient) and that the catalog of crimes on which it
may be applied is expandable by a 50% majority in the Bundestag.
Politics 7: Manfred Kanther
(see Politics 3) opposes the construction of a German memorial for
Politics 8: The head of the Bavarian dairy
product company Müller is not, as some assume, a member of the extremist
Republikaner party, but of the CSU,
where he has high-ranking connections, which might explain why he was only
forced to comply with sewage treatment laws after his factory caused several
major-scale fish die-offs.
Politics 9: Bielefeld
University, constructed in the early 70s, is designed
in such a way that a police force would be able to clear every building
in 10 minutes or less if it is occupied by protesters.
Politics 10: The decision whether a former-Eastern-Bloc
citizen whose ancestors were Germans may acquire German citizenship is
based on whether the candidate possesses 'consciousness to be ethnic German'
(volksdeutsches Bewußtsein), the criterion being a remnant
of Nazi Germany where it was used to determine which inhabitants of occupied
Eastern Europe were liable for citizenship and which for slavery.
Politics 11: On Jul 25th, 1978, a bomb detonated
at the wall of Celle prison. This was blamed on the Rote Armee Fraktion
left-wing terrorist group which supposedly wanted to liberate a member
inmate. In late Apr, 86, however, it turned out that the bombing was ordered
by the Lower Saxony CDU premier Ernst
Albrecht, supported by the FRG government and executed by experts of
the German anti-terror squad GSG-9 jointly with the Lower Saxony Secret
Service (Verfassungsschutz) to gain support for the ongoing anti-terrorist
campaign. In this light, the RAF's denial of responsibility for
several '70s bombings in German rail stations, claiming that 'the RAF's
bombs are not directed against the people' seem somewhat believable at
least. In mid-1998, the Celle blast site ('Celler Loch') was removed due
to reconstruction works, restored and erected as a memorial 'to take heed
of lawlessness committed by the state' at the prison's perimeter fence.
Here's a cartoon drawing of Ernst Albrecht,
bearing a bomb button and carrying the Verfassungsschutz rat on
Psychology 1: 'Umbilicus universi' is a nice
way to describe utter megalomania.
Psychology 2: Imagine you're sitting in the
subway, hearing the traffic controller's intercom
messages: '(static) 83 to 9, current position? (static)' and suddenly it
goes '(static) Symphony to Leader Echo Forces: Operation Bright Lightning
will commence in 10 seconds. 9. 8. 7...'
Psychology 3: If you have an actor that plays
an important rôle that s/he h/erself considers 'fitting' for a whole
season or more and analyze the play-acting, discarding those elements that
are constantly improvised anew as well as those that are preset by the
script you'll get a somewhat fuzzy image of the depicted person as seen
by the actor.
Religion 1: Some words by the Catholic cardinal
Meisner (Cologne), a high-ranking official of the Ecclesitas: 'The
Church views the soldier as a last opportunity to banish and bind the Evil
in Man, lest it breaks out and brings grief and death into the world.'
(Jan. 21st, 1993) 'To a soldier that praises God may the responsibility
for another person's life and death passed with a good conscience, for
they are guaranteed as if it were by God's Holiness.' (Jan. 30th, 1996)
'Who could think of discriminating soldiers that are also Worshippers as
murderers. No, in a Worshipper's hands are arms secure from misuse.' (Jan.
Religion 2: The Christian belief is a philosophy
that is directly responsible for more murder, torture, suppression, censorship
and genocide than all other single religions, philosophies and beliefs,
according to today's data.
Religion 3: The Pontiff is the only messenger
between God and Man in Catholicism, yet from the Script alone (yet not
from the Ecclesitas), everyone might fulfill this rôle, Thus,
the Pontiff may determine at whim the interpretation of God's words, simply
because no-one chooses to verify it. Thus, one can state that in Catholicism,
the Pontiff terrorizes God.
Religion 4: In the 5th form Protestant school
book Kursbuch Religion, there is a discussion task: A teacher gives
the task to draw an image of God and a boy refuses, referring to the Second
Commandment. The subject of the discussion is to be whether the boy is
right and the implied outcome is that he isn't - another way to strengthen
dependance on an educational authority.
Religion 5: It seems probable that the number
of the beast in fact refers to Emperor Nero,
as is is also said to be 616 instead of 666: Depending on whether you take
the words 'Emperor Nero' in Greek or in Latin before numbering the respective
alphabet's letters and calculate the words' numbers, you'll end up with
either 666 or 616.
Rhetoric 1: A good way to confuse one's opponent
would be to reply in a way that is completely logical considering alone
what was last said by him or her, but as illogical as possible considering
the context of the whole conversation, thus forcing a change in the subject
of the conversation without apparent reason.
Role-Playing Games 1: The start and end credits'
background music in Strange Days is that kind of music that exec
kids in Shadowrun dance to when going 'slummin''.
Science 1: Logology would be the analogous
word to the -logy sciences that refers to a new science that analyzes scientific
methods and ways of scientific thinking in different cultures and ages
('the philosophy of science' and then some).
Science 2: Wilhelm
Reich's theory of light as carrier of information in humans was badly
devised: He imagined photons carrying information to the brain analogous
to electric impulses being carried by the CNS, which was, from a biochemical
point of view, a clever idea, but from a physical one something that could
easily be disproved.
Science 3: It may well be that biology will,
over time, not split into a theoretical and an applied science as physics
did: In physics, we have the 'roof' of mathematics that joins all the science's
areas (hence the run for the GUT), in biology, it maybe is more likely
that we will have a large number of interconnected specialists on one gene
or proteine family, one cell type, one batch of species etc.
Sexuality 1: 'Gender identity disorder of childhood'
is sometimes, even today, used as a justification to 'cure' homosexuality
in an adolescent.
Sexuality 2: If there were Werewolves
of the kind that first transform at the onset of puberty during full moon,
there might be an interesting sexual neurosis: A werewolf growing up in
a WASP-style society where it is teached that masturbation will cause hairy
palms and general 'devolution', accidentally first masturbating during
full moon and being, catalyzed by the emotional and hormonal upheaval,
subsequently transformed into wolf form, may well develope very strange
sexual habits centered on the lunar cycle.
Sexuality 3: Quite an exotic paraphilia would
be to teach your parrot how to humiliate you, SS officer style, while you
crouch before it and masturbate.
Sexuality 4: Click here
to view a comprehensive listing of the gay 'flag' (handkerchief-in-trouser
Sexuality 5: Dental dams or 'female condoms'
for women's HIV protection may be bought ready-to
use, or can, following these instructions,
simply be made from standard condoms. As their
material is the same as in condoms (albeit you'd rather not want to take
extra-thin ones), the sensual effect is not as bad as you might think.
Sociology 1: The word 'subculture' is actually
in no way derogatory, as it means 'cultural group within a cultural group'.
Sociology 2: A way to determine the sexual
role model in an old-ages society would be, given that it had a religion
with several anthropomorphic gods, to sum up which roles and ideas are
embodied by goddesses and which by male gods.
Sociology 3: In a society where there is the
habit of sacrificing virgins, having sex as early as possible will become
a positive factor in social evolution.
Sociology 4: It is interesting to observe that
persons who don't know each other greet each other (commonly with a nod,
as if to acknowledge the other's presence) when meeting during a walk in
the woods or the like, but not in suroundings where a large number of people
Sociology 5: In the so-called lower middle
class in Germany, Internet access is a status symbol.
Sociology 6: The reason why the sons of British
nobility are in most cases circumcised is that in Victorian times there
was a 'colonial-style' craze in Britain (cf. Food 3). As members
of the British Army serving in the Colonies were circumcised as a measure
of hygienics, it became fashionable in Britain itself to circumcise male
offspring. British nobility retain this tradition until now.
Sociology 7: If you walk along a deserted city
road at night and suddenly two police cars shoot past you at hellish speed,
sirens blaring, lights flashing, you are in most instances heavily tempted
to think something along the lines of 'Good boys, protecting us innocent
citizens' or 'Well, there you go. Happy crime-hunting.' or 'Piss off, dirty
slaves of Capital! Stop pestering us innocent citizens!', while it might
as well be that two bored police car crews just try to ease up a tiresome
night patrol by having a little obstacle race.
Sociology 8: A hierarchy is a nifty tool of
protection for the moral principles out of which it arose: the chain of
responsibility runs the same direction as the chain of command, making
it more difficult for anyone to actively oppose the ethics behind it, as
the person(s) ultimately responsible for devising the legislature (in the
loosest sense) out of the ethics is/are commonly found in a position rather
high up in the hierarchy, which provides a wide range of measures to deal
with any questioning of personal or official ethics.
Sociology 9: Instead of 'people', one could
use the term 'ethnocultural entity', which is not near as much sullied
by political theory.
Sociology 10: It is somewhat astounding that
political correctness is a mechanism more often than not employed
by persons or institutions that consider themselves 'left-wing'. As p.c.
is a means of censorship for thoughts or mental images, it may well be
applied by everyone who sees it as fitting. Cf. the p.c. term Afro-American,
which, due to some U.S. White Supremacy groups, states that 'niggers' belong
to Africa, though it was not originally intended to express such a thing.
Sociology 11: The major problem of social science
is unpredictability: Behavior can seem nothing but absurd as long as (if
you put it the physical way) the overall entropy increases or (if you put
it the biological way) as long as the species as a whole has a net benefit.
Thus, to every behavior a 'maximum-use rule-out' applies.
Technics 1: Machine
telegraphs must have been invented by people who were at least indifferent
to if not actually favoring the stupid ringing sound the telegraphs make
- they could have let them sound differently, after all!
Technics 2: It is a general misconception that
the Swedish traffic security test failed miserably by Mercedes-Benz A class
is called moose test. There is a moose test in Sweden, which involves
crashing a car into a suspended bundle of cables, simulating the impact
of a moose's body, as the high-legged mooses will not, unlike a deer or
roe, smash your car's hood in a crash, but come through the windshield
and crush you under its bulk. Fatal crashes with mooses are common in Sweden,
thus every Swedish-manufactured car will have to pass the moose test (that's
why Saabs have such a long hood). The test failed
by the A class is called child test in sweden, as it simulates a
driver's violent evasion attempt when a kid runs suddenly into the car's
Television 1: The Star Trek (Classic)
sequel Patterns of Force was never screened in German television
as part of the series. Its 'Nazi planet' content was deemed unsuitable
for German TV and this sequel was excluded from the package when the German
TV rights for ST:C were acquired. It is, however, available on video
in a dubbed German version, yet as all other sequels were dubbed en
bloc, you'll notice that all the characters in the German version of
PoF have other voices than in any other sequel.
Television 2: 'Captain, we've got a time loop
behind this door.' Beaten-up Riker to Captain
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