“Street sweeper.” The Gassen are the charming little narrow alleys, las calles, in medieval towns. Terry Pratchett joked that some of them faithfully reproduce the paths cows used to take to the river.

A Gassenfeger is a television show that’s so interesting people magically melt away from the town’s parks and picturesque little byways when it’s about to be broadcast, drifting instead into neighborhood pubs and living rooms.

(GOSS en fae gah.)


Media competency, one of many areas speakers celebrating
Safer Internet Day on 10 Feb 2014 said should be strengthened in children and young people by increasing discussions, by what sounds like awesome classes already being taught in some schools, by working together with state broadcasting corporations, by strengthening data protection laws and by improving consumer protection laws, said ARD, the new families minister Manuela Schwesig (S.P.D.) and the new justice minister & consumer protection minister Heiko Maas (S.P.D.).

(MAY dee en com pet TENCE.)

Kommentariat annotiert

The Commentariat is annotating.

The new marginalia commenting and the documented discussions it produces could turn ebooks into new social media silos, as online discussion moves to new places.

When online newspaper articles, blog posts and, now, ebook comments too, migrate from end notes to text-specific marginalia, new software visualizations could display online conversations as if in 3D, letting readers spot sapling/mangrove forest discussions at a glance and swoop along topic threads as if they were roller coaster tracks branching sideways off what used to be 2D text. Might make it easier to follow a discussion for some of us and for others be thoroughly distracting.

Non-anonymous I.D.’s could be taken from Twitter. Reddit tools could be useful as well. In addition to rating and flagging each other’s texts, commenters could tag their own comments, helping address and organize them.

(COM en tar ee OTT   on oh TEE at.)


“Care for the soul.” The CyprusAID combination food bank distribution and free outdoor concert on 01 Apr 2013 was mostly to bring people together and show that they are cared for, that they’re not facing these problems alone.

(ZAY len ZORG ah.)


“Blocking minority.” If, for example, Bersani’s (center-left) coalition gains control of Italy’s House but Berlusconi’s (center-right-f’tang-f’tang-biscuit-barrel) coalition wins enough votes in the Senate, Italy will be ungovernable because Bunga-Bunga will have the ability to block legislation. Hopefully, Bersani and Monti, perhaps even with television comedian Grillo’s help, will gain enough seats to call for another election, which will be blessed with better turnout. Spiegel-Online ventured to note that the new parliament might consider passing some electoral reforms before the new election, to stabilize the Italian government and make Italian politicians seem more reliable to voters.

(SHPERRRM ee nore ee tate.)

Neue Geilis

“The new horny ones,” an abbreviation for die Neuen Geistlichen Lieder, “the new spiritual songs,” modern hymns created by and for German Catholics between the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and the new German Catholic hymnbook being published this year. From an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

(NOY eh   GYLE eez.)


Former rebel East-German pastor, then after reunification the head of the office maintaining and investigating the Stasi archives, now Bundespräsident, Joachim Gauck is carefully and sympathetically using his symbolic role as Germany’s president to put some good suggestions in motion. The F.A.Z. reported that Gauck said in a recent interview with the “Real Change”-type newspaper straßenfeger that he considers the President of Germany “as a type of translator between operative politics and the burghers” and that he would listen to burghers’ questions and concerns and then debate them with M.P.’s; candidly, he saw that “he can also motivate people by inviting them or giving them awards,” and he wanted to open up the presidential palace and encourage discourse. On 20 Feb 2013 the Bundespräsidential web page announced that Gauck wanted to create and drive forward public discussion via “new types of events for dialog with burghers” that will be held at the presidential palace of Bellevue, to be called the “Bellevue Forum.”

The Bellevue Forum series began Friday, 22 Feb 2013, with a touching, rousing, humble, insightful speech about Europe at Bellevue Palace before about 200 invited international guests. In the text of the speech Gauck talked about values, European Union design features that have to be corrected, the complexity of solutions to complicated problems, and practical suggestions that included creating a common European television/internet channel—like the wonderful German-French Arte, plus C-Span—to broadcast news stories from around Europe. Television highlights of the 22 Feb speech focussed on the warmth of how he reached out to people of other nationalities and faiths, how he said that to Germans more Europe does not mean a German Europe but instead a European Germany (which sounds much less lonely!), and particularly how he spoke to the UK:

Dear people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, dear new British citizens! We would like you to stay with us! We need your experience as the oldest parliamentary democracy, we need your traditions, your pragmatism and your courage! During the Second World War, your efforts helped to save our Europe – and it is also your Europe. Let us continue to engage in discussion on how to move towards the European res publica, for we will only be able to master future challenges if we work together. More Europe cannot mean a Europe without you!

The speech concluded with a manifesto:

  1. Do not be indifferent!
  2. Do not be lazy!
  3. Recognize your ability to make a contribution!

(Bell VÜ   fore OOM.)

Tag des sicheren Internets

“Safer Internet Day,” 5 February. The 2013 theme was “Connect with Respect.” This is sponsored by the European Union’s Safer Internet Program.

(TOCHH   dess   ZICHH er en  INternets.)

Erfahrung, Entdeckung, Gestaltung

“Experience, discovery, creation.” Gerald Hüther researches brains in Göttingen and talked about (non-extreme cases of) ADHD recently on ZDF heute journal. He emphasized that children are in a development process and said they require experience, that not getting enough of the right experiences and too much of the wrong experiences can lead to ADHD symptoms. “There may never have been a time when children had so few opportunities to show what they can do, to work together with others to solve tasks and problems.” He said in schools that are getting it right “children learn to set off together and discover things or create things or, even more important, to work together to handle/take care of something [sich um etwas kümmern]. Children want to be important. Boys especially. I think that’s why boys have more problems with ADHD, because in contemporary society they scarcely have any opportunities left to simply show that they can do things, that they are important.” When asked to suggest solutions for parents who might not be able to send their children to the most ideal schools, Hüther said one thing caregivers can do is think about what they can undertake together with children, “not so much hobbies as working together with children to handle/take care of something/fix an issue. Going together with children on expeditions of discovery, creating together with the children. Kids who are in the Scouts have lower incidences of ADHD. Kids who live in rural areas where there’s lots to do, where they can work with others to take care of something, have lower rates of ADHD.”

(Er FAR oong,   ent DECK oong,   ge SHTOLT oong.)

Lauter als die Hölle

Louder than hell. Motto of the annual festival that the village of Wacken says is the world’s largest open air heavy metal concert. According to this report, Wacken villagers let metal fans from around the world camp in their lawns and gardens, saying they enjoy the international visitors and good cheer and that the 80,000 headbangers behave well on the whole. Bringing new beer buddies to Schleswig-Holstein is also not a problem, probably not ever.

There’s a thoughtful Arte documentary on YouTube about backgrounds to the Wacken festival called “Brass Band Meets Heavy Metal.”

(L ow! terrr   alss   dee   HÖ lah.)

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(Eh f OW!.)

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