Hintergründig

“Backgrounded,” simply providing background or written with knowledge of background to fit into the larger world outside the text; yet dictionaries say this translates into English as deep, profound, cryptic, enigmatic, ulterior. Also subtle.

(HIN tah GRIN dichh.)

Das Feuilleton fährt fort

The Feuilleton
Goes on and on.

In a charming discussion of the state of the section of German newspapers that falls somewhere “between the people’s education and corporate publishing,” Süddeutsche Zeitung said this traditionally has been understood as a part of the paper that contained “cultural interest, alert/awake/astute contemporary-ism*” and “literarily inspired writing that simultaneously has lightness and sharpness/focus.”

The principle of the feuilleton is spreading, said Süddeutsche, into diverse areas that include sportswriting and fashion reporting. “Only with special, original, witty, backgrounded texts will you make progress against the tempo of the internet.”

* German’s delatinized calque for contemporary is “time comrade,” and so the nouned Zeitgenossenschaft is a bit of a play that reads as a time association, time confraternity or time cooperative.

(Doss   fight ɔ̃   faired   FOTT.)

Mehr Licht!

What Goethe said.

44%

The amount of incoming solar radiation that might currently be convertable into electricity, in laboratory experiments.

Solar panels on the nonmilitary market produce electricity with ~14% to ~19% efficiency, said Spiegel.de. Conventional silicium solar panels can’t convert more than 34% of incoming sunlight into electricity. In 2012, Cambridge University researchers said they’d developed a new approach that could improve that by making electricity out of nonvisible light, such as heat. Their two-part system’s components each converted a different section of the spectrum of solar radiation. At least one of the two components is in the form of nanoparticles. The idea of “printing” solar panels that consist of a mix of small particles each specializing in conversion of different light wavelengths is a thrilling one.

(Fee ah oont fee ah tsig   prote CENT.)

Leuchtfeuer: Richtfeuer: Oberfeuer, Mittelfeuer, Unterfeuer; Leitfeuer: Molenfeuer, Einfahrtsfeuer; Quermarkenfeuer; Torfeuer, Uferfeuer

“Light fires,” beautiful lighthouse signal lights used to guide ships in darkness or other low-visibility conditions. There’s a bewildering but quite satisfying variety in German.

  • Guide fire (Leitfeuer): single lights used in a sectors system to communicate safe passages to ships; can use color, blinking rhythm, &c. (LIGHT foy ah.)
  • Jetty fire (Molenfeuer), entryway fire (Einfahrtsfeuer): a guide light on the end of a harbor’s wall or breakwater. (MOLE en foy ah,   EYE n fah rtsfoy ah.)
  • Crossways fire (Quermarkenfeuer): sector lights perpendicular to the channel. As in the Leitfeuer system, the middle sector is the safe passage and the outer sectors indicate a course correction is necessary. (KVER mark en foy ah.)
  • Directional fires (Richtfeuer) mark navigable channels with a top fire (Oberfeuer) and bottom fire (Unterfeuer) and—more rarely—a center fire (Mittelfeuer), aligned so that to ships in the channel they appear directly behind one another. (RICHHT foy ah, OH berr foy ah, OON terr foy ah, MITT ellll foy ah.)
  • Gate fire (Torfeuer), bank fire (Uferfeuer): lights along a riverbank.

(LOY chh t foy ah.)

 

Knallfrosch

“Bang frog,” a firecracker that is usually green and jumps in the air.

(KNOLL frrroshe.)

Gleißend

Poetic way to say glittering, glistening, dazzling.

(GLEYE ssend.)

Kaustik

“Caustics.” In optics, caustics are the light reflections rippling on the bottom of a swimming pool.

(Cow STEEK.)

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