Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Today I was looking for a song in the folder where I keep my music and I found this oldie but goodie. It is from the most comical train announcement I have ever heard in my life (except "blah blah blah blah football hooligans blah") and I got to hear it at least twice a day when I lived in Luxembourg. Basically it just says that if you need to get to this little city called Dudelange or Didiling (sp?) in German, where there apperently is a factory (usine(fr) or schmelz(de)) you must get a new ticket because you must change trains. I guess what gets me every time I hear it is how he says Didiling schmelz. I seriously just kills me. OH the joys of monolinguality.
Click below to listen for yourself
If you want to know more about the factory follow the link in this picture
Monday, January 29, 2007
Some of my blog-o-fans are really into bad animal movies like
- Snakes on a Plane
- Alligator II the Mutation
- Lake Placid
- Island Clams
- The Remake of Frogs!
This post is devoted to you animal carnage lovers out there
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Reminds me of a certain movie about a certain game where you are supposed to dodge balls.
Anyway in homage to boingboing.net and mythical creatures here is my own unicorn moment
Saturday, January 20, 2007
But it kinda seems that lots of crazy shit happens when I don't blog. This past week seemed to have some news that was just too much.
1. China space weapon test.
I really don't know what to think of this. It seems pretty scary that this capacity was tested but that fear is kinda mitigated by the fact that we have had this technology for years. But new tech on China's side isn't going to go unmatched by us. We will meet China's challenge to an space based pissing contest. Hell at least nuclear weapons are still prohibited from being used in space.
What are we doing? So the article that the title above links to (click here if you didnt read the article yet)may have its fair share or propaganda in it but may not be that far off. I guess my biggest questions questions I have are: 1. If a perpetual war is what we are going for, don't we already have it? How often do we need new enemies? If the answer is often, how do we reconcile it with the survival? Is it worth it if we lose everything we have but still kill the enemies? Or do we just lose everything?
*I am indebted to Meghan for some of these links. She is officially my internet sleuth. I extend her a tip of the hat
3. Colbert <3 O'Reilly (?)
Wait what? I don't have access to TV here but I hear that they were on each other's show. Was there feedback like when you make a video of a video or when you put a microphone into a speaker? Anyway I will have to procure a copy of these episodes and watch them
4. Chavez got his enabling act.
The Enabling Act of 1933 gave Hitler the power to rule by decree in Nazi Germany. Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela now has similar power. The reason for him getting absolute power over Venezuela is very different than Hitler's (Chavez wants to nationalize industry in Venezuela) but its no less scary. I think we have learned that it doesn't matter where you fall on the political spectrum, having too much power is bad.
5. The Weather.
I don't think I need to tell anyone about the crazy weather because it has been weird on both sides of the Atlantic for the past few weeks. But just so you know there were storm with around 70MPH winds blowing through Budapest last week. Apparently this is an example of a European Windstorm you can read all about this one on Wikipedia.
Let me open a brief parenthesis. I remember sometime last year I was listening to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, the NPR news quiz and the section called "Bluff The Listener" (The celebrity contestants each tell the person who called in a news story, they are all random but only one is real. The call-in listener has to correctly guess which is real to receive Carl Kasell's voice on their home answering machine. Back to the parenthesis, so the time I am recalling the true crazy news story was about the Adopt-a-Vortex program. So basically its how European's make up for the fact that they do not have a set schedule for naming storms, nor do they have just one type of storm they get to name. The A-a-V program lets people name the weather after themselves, or loved ones or even enemies for €199. The one thing they do have on the rest of the world is that they do not just name low pressure vortices but also high pressure vortices. So you can name a bight sunny day across Europe, or a killer freak thunderstorm after yourself. The storm that went across Europe last week was named Kyrill, after a Bulgarian man who's family donated to the program. I wish we had something like that at home. End parenthesis.
Apparently these were the same type of storms they had last August where three were killed. They don't get storms here often and the line of storms we had last week traveled across Europe. It seemed like people here were pretty scared.
I guess the moral of the story is I will post more often. Maybe thing will stay quiet if I am sitting around waiting to give my two cents to it.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
So in the first post I said that this guy
Wyatt was moving out. He is grazing in greener pastures either at the dorm here in Budapest or in Nebraska. I don’t know which, the jury is still out.
So we naturally had to find a replacement and I have to tell you I was pretty worried about getting a replacement because if we didn't find one we would have been screwed. Luck was on our side the day Jen found us a roommate on Craig’s List. What are the odds? No one here uses Craig’s List!
She managed to find us not just anyone, but a orchestra conductor. Well for truth’s sake apprentice orchestra conductor.
He is living here for two weeks a month and living in London for the other two, where he can do this thing called W-O-R-K (?). When he is here he is constantly under the gun of his own personal Donald so he can't hang out and make a ruckus like we usually do. He doesn’t want to hear those fateful words! So I have been waiting for an appropriate moment to introduce him to the blog, because we haven't been had a roomate bonding moment yet. It happened today.
That all changed today and I think Ben has officially become a member of this apartment. incidentally the apartment is now being called Jokai Ter(rorism) (this has nothing to do with Ben, or maybe it does). Before I go any further I may as well give you a picture of him.
So here is his intro story
and its quite a story
When we moved in here in September our kitchen was equipped with a nice looking but poorly secured cabinet. Its probably 9 feet high and 3 feet wide and the bottom section was a pull out pantry. Around the first time we bought a sack of potatoes we found out that if you put too much weight in the bottom of the pull-out drawer the whole cabinet falls down. Now Jen figured this out first and put a sign on the cabinet that said "FIGYELEM: This shit falls down!" which roughly translates to "WATCH OUT: This shit falls down." But if you are new to the cabinet it may mislead you. While it may seem that the drawer is not out far enough to make it fall, it sometimes creeps out and sneaks up on you. It did that to Ben.
So tonight we were eating dinner and Ben went into the kitchen to make some tea and then I heard what was the third loudest sound I heard in this apartment.
In case you are wondering the list goes like this
1. The neighbors hammering in their kitchen (which i share a wall with) at 9AM on a
2. The other neighbor listening to her TV
3. THE CABINET
The sound was the cabinet crashing down in the kitchen, taking a lot stuff out with it, including a trashy IKEA table we already ruined, a lot of food, and a mysterious coffee maker that we didn't know of before. Here are some pics of the it.
PUT YOU BELT ON MARKO!
Marko defending the kitchen with the broken table leg and a hammer
”Step aside Jen, we are MEN and we can fix it”
IN MEMORAL- We loved you cabinet ;(
So Ben, welcome to your Budapest home. We all have ruined our fair share of things so far so don;t feel bad. At least you didn't lock yourself in the bathroom and have to kick the door down like me
or break the bed like Kate (our house guest who also came from Australia).
and you don't need to ask me how the fake blood got on the wall
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Does this make sense to anyone? It is about White Dwarfs turning into some kind of diamond star. There was some disagreement here in Bp whether or not this was bs. I don't know but is seems interesting. The link is to the BBC article so it must be legit (?)
Sure they invented ballpoint pens, saftey matches, and the Rubik's Cube, but can they make a music video?
1st is from a young girl who goes by the name Cuki (sue-key [pronounced like the two 3-letter English words in this parenthesis])which is the diminutive of Cukor the Hungarian word for sugar. Vagyok is the first person singular of the verb to be. So basically she is saying "I am Sweetie." Watch the video.
Speak the Hungarian Rapper
2nd is Speak the Hungarian Rapper. He laments about "the war." I think that is the East-coast v. West-coast rap war of the mid 1990s but hell it may be about the War on Terror or World War Two for all I know. Here is the video.
Now the question is which one is taking itself completely serious and which one is tongue-and-cheek (at least a bit)?
Now go and read the article from Pestiside.hu. I will even give you the link again. I love what can turn into internet meme.
Friday, January 05, 2007
If you came looking for something called "special dounts" you have come to the wrong place
OK that was probably a flat out lie.
In Vienna Meghan and I went this place called Cafe Hawelka. It is the place you expect young Austrian intellectuals to sit around, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and lament over their county's forced neutrality. They are especially famous for some kind of special donuts that they only serve after 10PM. I know this because I went to Vienna with a friend Alberto two years ago and we went to Cafe Hawelka ONLY to get these special dounts. Needless to say that they are good, or at least their forced scarcity made them seem really good.
Meghan and I had two pretty funny conversations about these dounts.
First I was trying to tell her about said donuts and she just didn't seem to get it
Me: We have to go to this place called Cafe Hawelka, they have these special dounts and they only serve them after 10PM
Meghan: What makes them so special?
Me: I don't know but they are SPECIAL dounts
Meghan: What flavor are they?
Meghan: Yea but what does that mean?
Me: That they only serve them after 10PM.
I just have little memory of Cafe Hawelka other than that the donuts were "special." Alberto sometimes would become a crazy traveler sometimes. We ended up seeing so many parts of the city Lots more than you would think you could reasonably fit into 2 days and you would end up thinking that you saw everything but will remember none. In Veinna Alberto and I stayed in the worst hostel ever . It was a one room hostel with about 20 beds in it. Seriously what were we thinking staying in the Believe-It-Or-Not Hostel? We had it coming to us.
The second funny conversation was when I tried to order the 'special dounts.' I didn't want to sound like an idiot and ask for special dounts. My inferior German skills tell me I would say "Haben zie special donuts?" and then the waiter would have probably laughed in my face. So I opted for the more eloquent "Excuse me Sir, could we please have some of those pastries I have seen people ordering?"
It turns out they are made with a plum sauce, a special plum sauce, according to the waiter
Thursday, January 04, 2007
So you may or may not know (who am I kidding no one I don't know reads this) I have a girlfriend. Her name is Meghan and we have been going out for 5 years. She is beautiful, exciting, and a great kisser. She also has her own blog, I recommend it to you because its probably better than mine.I was lucky enough to spend the last 2 weeks with her here in Budapest and while she was here we took a trip to Vienna (Not Venice as my mother my have told you. We went there almost 2 years ago (Geez Mom get with the times :)).
In Vienna we gave up on most of the classical art museums and instead spend almost a full day in two modern art museums the KUNSTHALLE Wien, (which translates to The Art Hall of Vienna) and the MUMOK (or the Museaum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien. I wont and cant translate that.) The MUMOK had a really interesting exhibition on Erwin Wurm. He is big on criticizing what art is and how art is made. Many of his sculptures are interactive. He calls them 30 second sculptures and basically its an object or a few of them and some directions about what you are supposed to do with the objects. You create the sculpture for 30 seconds and therefore become the art.
Here are some examples and Meghan and I metamorphizing into art.
The directions basically say "Do what this guy is doing for 30 seconds"
This is me doing it (oh so gracefully)
and here is Meghan
There was a whole exhibit of drawings of people sitting and thinking of philosophers. Meghan participated in this one and this is a picture of Meghan grudgingly thinking of Spinoza, thank god it was only for 30 seconds. I don't think she is (would have been) on the best of term with him.
This one is called "The Idiot" so of course I was the one who completed the sculpture
Here is me doing it
The last one was probably the best. He took an orange lawn chair and screwed it to the wall and the duty of the sculptee is to fold themselves up in the lawn chair like so
or like this
Wurm also had two other really interesting sculptures one of a fat house that had a video inside on the inside of the house questioning if it was a house of a work of art
OK OK OK I will quit boring you with modern art, but one last thing. Going along with the concept of "Fat and Confused" he made a fat Porsche that confuses the term fat as in fancy or powerful or amazingly rich and fat as in fat.
Meghan got in some trouble trying to take a picture of this sculpture because it is not a 30 second sculpture and therefore they can make money off of post card sales
Check out my amazing placement in the picture. I am standing directly between the docent who yelled at Meghan for trying to take this picture a few min earlier and Meghan's lens! Docent 0, Stephen and Meghan 1 SCORE!!!
I'm writing a paper and things about the 1956 revolution keep striking me as interesting. If you are up to it, read this article. It is from the October 31, 1956 in the Manchester Guardian, the now paper more commonly called The Guardian.
This article's similarities with ones written today are interesting. A lot of the parts of this story is in the news today (or at least in the very recent history).
Take the coalition of the willing for example. The call for the an international brigade like in the Spanish civil war are almost like the calls for a coalition of the willing. Calls for international troops to come to the rescue of a people and to protect freedom everywhere. I know there are obvious differences like the international brigade were the communists but the coalition of the willing was decidedly not communist. But there are similarities. They seem kind of strange and maybe can tell a lot about now.
Is the coalition of the willing was just a modernized international brigade with different goals, different attitudes, and different tactics? possibly.
The picture is also striking. The same can be seen in the news. Compare this to the one in the Manchester Guardian. The one from Iraq is a city shot and things look just as bombed out as in 1956. I am struck because of the familiarity of the buildings. I see these buildings everyday and its hard to reconcile the images of the 1956 to today. It gives you perspective when you walk around the city because you know it was once the stage for a doomed battle for freedom.
This city rocks!