Archive for January, 2012


Posted in default on January 29th, 2012 at 17:20:51

Some things I learned about Berlin this trip:

  • Berlin isn’t really home to as large of a ‘classical German’ attitude as I would have assumed. Instead, it is (as far as I understand it) pretty much hippyville for Germany. Things like the fact that everyone ignores no-smoking laws — Berlin much more so than anywhere else in Germany. The hipster attitude: same. The silly love of 80’s music… well, I don’t know much about that. (I do know that I’ve not seen posters for Journey concerts anywhere else in the US…)
  • Oranienburger is part of the red-light district of Berlin — This is the first time I’ve ever been propositioned by two prostitutes in 10 minutes!

(Oh, also, I did some work.)

German Learning

Posted in default on January 13th, 2012 at 23:18:54

БогородицаThis week, Jess pointed out to me “An Invisible Woman Taught Me German“, a story in Slate about German Language learning via the Deutsche Welle organization.

My favorite quote: “It’s basically a Teutonic Scooby-Doo, with overt sexual tension among the young mystery-solvers. They investigate weird occurrences like crop circles, Beethoven’s ghost, and a Hamburg shark. (As in Scooby-Doo, you’ll see the ending from 1.6 km away.) When they get stumped, they query their talking computer Compu, who has impossibly advanced speech recognition, yet for some reason still whirrs and clicks like a 1970s adding machine. Sometimes a spooky talking owl named Eulalia lends a hand, flapping in on a cloud of horror movie sound effects.”

How can you beat that for foreign language learning?

Macbook Air: Loving It

Posted in default on January 1st, 2012 at 22:32:17

Overall, I’m loving the Air.

The laptop is small — so small it took me a couple days to adjust. But overall, it has everything I want or need, and I couldn’t ask for anything else. Most importantly, it has working wireless in my office — when the wireless in the office works at all, which comes-and-goes at best.

I may hate freedom, but I sure do love nifty hardware.