Thursday, December 25, 2008


Not really using canned vegetables often, I now have a reason to not use them at all. I needed some beans for cooking and ended up with a stone in the food. Holy crap. I cannot image the bad production criteria that let a stone get into the can.

Talking of food:
Awesome bentos. I love such a creative and aesthetic use of food. That's the kind of attention to detail and dedication that creates a great food culture

And another video on an important topic: Act Now


In Linz gibt es gerade die Ausstellung "Kulturhauptstadt des Führers" im Schlossmuseum. Die Aussstellung ist in verschiedene Schwerpunkte aufgeteilt (Architektur, Kunst, Literatur, Theater) und beleuchtet die Pläne, die Hitler für Linz hatte, und inwieweit diese umgesetzt wurden. Der Kunst-Bereich ist äußerst umfangreich und beinhaltet zahlreiche Bilder aus der Zeit der 30er und 40er. Man wird förmlich von der Kunst erschlagen. Die Ausstellung ist sehr empfehlenswert, da informativ (in erdrückendem Ausmaß), und brachte mir als Linzer einiges näher, wovon ich vorher nur wenig Ahnung hatte, auch wenn mir persönlich der Architektur-Teil ist leider etwas zu kurz gekommen (obwohl er auch umfangreich ist; da er für mich aber der interessanteste Bereich war, hätte ich mir gerne noch mehr gewünscht).
Die Ausstellung liefert auch kleine Einblicke in die Kindheits- und Jugendhintergründe und ich dachte mir öfters, dass deutlich wird, welche innerliche Verhärtung jemand erlebt, der immer wieder enttäuscht wird (Wiederholungsprüfungen in der Schule, mehrfaches Versagen in der Realschule, zweifache Ablehnung der Kunstuni, etc.). Mit 15 hatte er schon deutliche Umbaupläne für Linz. Derart gerichtete frühe "Ambitionen" indizieren doch, dass die Person schon jung sehr unzufrieden gewesen sein muss.


Am dritten Adventwochenende gab's auch einen mittelalterlichen Weihnachtsmarkt am Froschberg in Linz, auf den ich kurz zur Ablenkung vom Lernmarathon geschaut habe. Er war sehr klein mit wenigen Händlern, aber ich hatte eh nicht vor lange zu bleiben. Hängen geblieben bin ich dann doch, und zwar bei den lieben Menschen vom Mjöllnir Clan, die mich etwas über die Wikinger aufgeklärt haben und mir gleichzeitig ein bisschen linguistisches Fachwissen vermittelten, das mir bei meiner Prüfung in der darauf folgenden Woche geholfen hat. Ich bedanke mich herzlich und verneige mein Haupt ob der Liebe und Arbeit, die die niederösterreichischen Wikinger ins Handwerk stecken. Hat mich tief beeindruckt. Für mich ist jetzt auch nachvollziehbarer, was die Wikinger-Darstellung so reizvoll macht. Mal sehen, was das neue Mittelalter-Jahr bringen wird.


To finish off:
Here is an awesome song and video (ending song of the game Portal). It was, of course, written by the awesome Jonathan Coulton.


This year's Christmas card. Had planned to make real cards and send them off, but ran out of time. Thus, the cheap version.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I learned from my thesis

Some concepts I came across while writing....

Religious transcendence.
In Christianity: transcending life and death.
In Buddhism: transcendence between the enlightened and unenlightened being.
Jean-Paul Satre: transcending the ego; meaning: allowing others to influence you.

engl. emancipation
* Befreiung
* Emanzipation
* Gleichberechtigung
(Nope, I was not aware of all these meanings.)

And some absolutely fantastic quotes from May Kendall's and Andrew Lang's That Very Mab (while I love Fiona Macleod's "The Annir-Coille" deeply, and of all texts for my thesis it is still my favourite one, when it comes to socio-political satire nothing can beat That Very Mab):

"[...] we are being educated up to a very high point. It saves people the trouble of thinking for themselves, certainly; they can always get all their thoughts now, ready made, on every kind of subject, and at extremely low prices. They only have to make up their minds what to take, and generally they take the cheapest. There is a great demand for cheap thought just now, especially when it is advertised as being of superior quality."

"[...] education is compulsory. Eating is
not compulsory; you may starve, you must learn."

"[...] it is part of their religion to walk as fast as they can, not only through Cheapside but through life. The one who can walk fastest, and knock down the greatest number of other people, gets a prize."

"Even the dynamiters themselves don't appear to have gone into the whole logic of it. I suppose that they are tired of only blowing things up on paper, and they are people who have a great objection to things in general. They complain that they can't get justice from the universe in its present state of preservation, and therefore they are going to blow as much of it as possible into what they call
smithereens, and try to get justice from the smithereens. It is a new scheme they have hit upon, a kind of scientific experiment. The theory appears to be, that justice is the product of Nihilism plus public buildings blown up by dynamite, and that the more public buildings they blow up the more justice they will obtain."


But the most important thing I learned from my thesis - stress, and that it's not really worth it. To continue with the quotes:

All the e-mails I get these days start with sorry but I've been busy, and I don't understand how we can be so busy and then have nothing to say to each other.
- Jon McGregor, "if nobody speaks of remarkable things"

We're taught that being busy and occupied means being industrious and hardworking. To me, however, it feels like a loss of the quality of life. The last few weeks, I've been so glad I'm doing Kendo, because it gave me the opportunity to get out and away from work and hit people. And, sometimes, that's just what you gotta do.

Ahem. But to stick to the truth, it's not the hitting-people thing that I needed. It's the part about getting away and emptying my mind. 'tis good that Kendo exists in my life.


It "only" took nine sessions of live-drawing and repeated urges from the supervisor for me to try out a different medium. Charcoal. It's actually quite cool and fun. I think I end up with better results for the 10-minute poses than with graphite. The longer poses still yield in nicer pictures with graphite.