hmpf: (Default)
1.) Job interview preparation update:

Have: black suit trousers, black suit jacket, white shirt.
Need: Decent haircut; good answers to questions. And a train ticket to Nuremberg.

2.) The Yes Men would like you to download, watch, and then seed their latest film via bittorrent:

http://vodo.net/yesmen (More info on the page.)

Consider it your (slightly) subversive deed of the day. ;-)
hmpf: (Default)
1.) If you're curious about the 24th of October, I was here (because I was in Stuttgart for a seminar that weekend):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/4040504650/in/set-72157622456565995/

(Admittedly, I didn't strip - I didn't have a swimsuit - so instead I just walked around and handed out flyers to passers-by.)

It was fun. But oh, wouldn't it be great if we could get...

2.) ... these kind of numbers?

3.) I'm going to Copenhagen in December, with Greenpeace footing the bill, in exchange for five or six days of behind-the-scenes work (kitchen help or something similar). This has the advantage of keeping me out of potential trouble while still allowing me to do something to support the protests. Also, yeah, zero cost for travel, accommodation and food is good.

4.) Even though most of my time will be spent doing unglamorous, invisible work, I *will* participate in the big demonstration on the 12th. Now, I'm not the confrontational sort - I wouldn't be going to Copenhagen to peel potatoes otherwise! *g* - but with the proposed new Danish anti-protest laws even just being near a completely legal demonstration can get you arrested and fined, or even put in jail for up to 40 days. Here's how you can help to keep me and other legitimate protesters out of jail:

If you're German: http://bewegung.taz.de/aktionen/http--www-taz-de-1-politik-europa-artikel-1-klima-demos-unerwuenscht/beschreibung#description

Internationally: http://danlaw.epetitions.net/

5.) Funny: I only just noticed that the new German cabinet, which isn't *that* new anymore, is pretty good on the diversity front. In fact, it's probably the most diverse cabinet we've ever had. Which is ironic, considering it's a conservative government.

Okay, so only five out of the fifteen members are women - but one of them is the Chancellor. And among the men there's a) an openly gay man, who has the second most powerful position after the Chancellor, b) an Asian-looking man, and c) a wheelchair user. So that's three minorities represented.

Of course, the presence of Westerwelle, Rösler and Schäuble is not quite the triumph of underprivileged minorities that it may look at first sight. Westerwelle was well-known and successful long before he came out; likewise, Schäuble only acquired his disability at a relatively late point in his political career. And Rösler is not only a member of the 'least hated' ethnic minority - agitators on the right often cite Asians as a positive example for successful and welcome immigration, especially compared to the large and increasingly openly maligned Turkish minority - but was also adopted into a German middle class family as a baby. Still, I'm pretty sure it's good for people's perception of what 'non-standard' [for 'standard' read: 'white, heterosexual, able-bodied men'] people can do to have these visibly 'different' people in the government. Even if there is little else that I can say to praise the new government.
hmpf: (Default)
but here's a *great* article I really need to share:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/how-to-destroy-almost-half-planet-for.html

That's a great point about economic projections as guidance for - in particular - environmental policy; one that needs to be made more often and more forcefully, I think.

PS on PG

Mar. 14th, 2009 05:27 pm
hmpf: (Default)
I have to say post-Midnight Oil Peter Garrett mystifies me. I cannot for a minute believe that he didn't believe passionately in the things he sang about for 25 years. If fame, wealth or groupies ;-) were what he was really after, there'd have been easier, less controversial ways to achieve all of that - even in the 80s, angry left-wing environmentalist rock was not a particularly likely ticket to success in the music business; you don't do that kind of thing (especially not for a staggering two and a half decades) if you don't believe in it. So what the heck happened to him, between then and now? What does he think he is achieving, now? Can he really not see that no tiny incremental gain he may make in what I can only assume are complicated political backroom trade-offs, really means a damn? And that we - that's the Big We, aka, All Life on Planet Earth - simply cannot afford compromise and political change at a snail's pace anymore (if we ever could)? Frankly, if it is political constraints and not honest conviction that's guiding his decisions, then one furious and very public resignation speech exposing those constraints for what they are would do the world more good than another I don't know how many years on the leash in office. I assume he doesn't want to harm his government, on the basis of the assumption that it's the lesser evil compared to a return of the conservatives. But, really, sometimes the lesser evil is evil enough. And if the instituted political process really is that broken, then we need our radicals outside of the political establishment, agitating, not inside biting their tongues. (Political agitation has a bad reputation, but it's really a necessary element of processes of political change.)

Granted, I don't know enough about Australian politics to really be able to judge how much hope there is for 'changing the system from within.' I guess I'm just generally skeptical of that concept.
hmpf: (fanatic)
No, he's not going to fix everything that's wrong with the world.

But at least now we have a chance that *maybe*, some things are going to get handled a *little* bit better.

May not be enough. We'll see. But it's a chance.

Baby milk

Sep. 23rd, 2008 07:07 pm
hmpf: (fanatic)
I'm leafing through my yellowed, brittle Guardian copies again. I've just found yet another article about the health problems caused by baby food companies aggressively encouraging poorly educated mothers in third world countries to give up breastfeeding in favour of feeding their babies formula (by making it appear as if formula is a safer, better, more 'modern' and 'scientific' way to feed your baby).

I remember reading essentially the same article in current newspapers this year or last year, or maybe this year *and* last year, so apparently these companies are still at it.

Someone remind me again why we allow something like that to go on for more than thirty years?

**

@ [livejournal.com profile] mikes_grrl: I found a debate between gay and straight readers about the 'appropriation' of the word 'gay' in the letter columns; apparently there was an article about gay rights in the February 28 edition (I currently have the March volume here, so I can't look it up immediately). Would you like me to check that out for you?
hmpf: (fanatic)
Some pages from Mohiro Kitoh's current manga series, Bokurano:

http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano1.jpg (That's the page that I have blu-tacked to the wall above my computer.)
http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano2.jpg
http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano3.jpg
http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano4.jpg
http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano5.jpg
http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano6.jpg
http://www.allabouthmpf.com/Bokurano7.jpg

I recently praised Kitoh here.

***

Protest news: today's demonstration was smaller but apparently more disruptive than the last. I left before it got 'exciting' - too much uni work to do - but just now I read that they've arrested some 300 students who'd been blocking a highway.
hmpf: (fanatic)
Actually, I'm not. Will be back (lurking or even posting, we'll see) when I have some energy left for that - probably late next week. (It's the problem with procrastination: when you finally *stop* procrastinating you have to put everything you have into the work you should have been doing while you were procrastinating.)

I'm fine, though. I think I even know how to do this bloody paper now. *If* there's enough time left...

***

I'd like to thank [livejournal.com profile] killabeez for introducing me to Liz Phair via a fanvid. I've recently managed to acquire Exile In Guyville and have been listening to it obsessively for several days now. Brilliant album.

I'd also like to thank [livejournal.com profile] aislingde for sort-of-introducing ;-) me to Naked Raven via a sort-of-anti-rec recently. ;-) Another great discovery I would never have made without the internet.

One of these days I have to post a list of bands and artists I like and ask you all to rec me something that may be compatible with my taste. I'm hungry for new music. ('New' as in 'new to me', not necessarily 'current'.)

***

Also... I seem to spend far too much time reading political stuff online recently. This is *partly* procrastination... but partly, perhaps even mostly, it's a - somewhat - urgent need to define my own political position. I am more and more coming to the conclusion, however, that before I can seriously think about criticising the-world-as-it-is, I need to understand *economics* better. Because most of what seems to be going wrong seems to be based in the economical system, and while having a queasy feeling about that system is a good enough motivation to start collecting information, and perhaps even to start protesting, it is not the same as having a proper political position. Or at least not one that's promising to be very useful. You can't argue properly if all you have to counter someone else's arguments is 'the current system makes me uncomfortable'...
hmpf: (fanatic)
here's one more bit of news. We've been demonstrating again, this time in Wiesbaden, the Hessian capital. There were about 8000 people there. I spent most of my three hours at the demo hanging around the group of archaeology students who were carrying this banner:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/captainbums/177104961/in/pool-49872511@N00/

The guy with the exclamation mark placard - you have to admire it: so simple yet versatile! *g* - has a bit part in one of my older fics. Also, his girlfriend is the only person I ever met in a RL context who knew what fanfic was *before* I explained it to her. She therefore got a slightly bigger part in the fic. *g* As you can see from her arcane knowledge and his placard, they both rock quite a bit.

Pics:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/49872511@N00/pool/

Protest info central:
http://www.uebergebuehr.de/

Next demo: Thursday, 6.7.2006; 13:00, Frankfurt:

http://hessen.uebergebuehr.de/de/aktuell/specials/frankfurt-6-juli-2006/

Dies ist eine bundesweite Demo! Also laßt Euch nicht davon abhalten, daß Ihr nicht in Hessen wohnt oder so! Jeder von Euch, der mitdemonstrieren möchte, kann bei mir übernachten (Isomatte und Schlafsack mitbringen!)

(And no, I don't really have time for this, either. I really, really don't. But I think it's important, so I try to find at least *some* time in my schedule for it.)

Stuff

Jun. 2nd, 2006 12:56 am
hmpf: (cop porn)
- From the Department of the Wonderfully Weird: They're playing an organ piece in a church in Halberstadt that will last 639 years because the composer wanted it to be played 'as slowly as possible': http://www.fr-aktuell.de/in_und_ausland/hintergrund/?sid=063f1b697374681c9bb3d27cc6628b24&em_cnt=895645 This has been going on for five years or so already.

- Student protests against university fees in Hesse (is that *seriously* the correct word for 'Hessen' in English?): http://www.flickr.com/groups/49872511@N00/pool/ (This is what I spent most of yesterday doing.)

- Today my computer decided to recognise its 1.67 GHz processor after a year and a half of insisting it was a 1.47 GHz processor. Just like that. I'm confused, but also pleased. Does that mean I will be able to vid faster now?

- And, because I already did a bit of politics here, here's some more: http://www.realclimate.org/

- ETA: before I posted this, the two top posts on my flist were titled "Opera v. Firefox" and "Cavemen v. Astronauts".

- ETA: apparently there was snow in some parts of Germany today. oO
hmpf: (fanatic)
1.) On Monday, my computer died. I panicked, called a friend who knows more about these things than I do, described the symptoms, and he said the hard drive was probably dead for good. I did try to restart the computer a number of times, but it always crashed before Windows finished starting up. So I went and ordered a new hard drive, a 300 GB internal Seagate Barracuda. Then, later that night, I tried to restart the computer again... and it worked, without a hitch. Clearly, it was a conspiracy to make me buy a new drive.

2.) Got my new hard drive today, so now I have 400 GB. *squeeee*! I can finally start to consider vidding Farscape! (Shame my CPU, graphics card and RAM are a bit old&small&slow, but I suppose that in time I can replace those, too. Just not all at once. Don't have *that* much money.)

3.) Thanks to the computer trouble and a busy week in other respects, I'm quite a bit behind on my LJ reading again. I managed to catch up with about half of my 200+ entries backlog tonight, but have to stop now, and may not get back to it before Sunday or Monday, by which time there will be, of course, a new Doctor Who reviews deluge. Ugh.

4.) This should make [livejournal.com profile] dunkle_feuer happy: I've started watching Ultraviolet, and so far I'm finding it quite enjoyable.

5.) My Shadowrun character (who is also a Farscape fan, because of course Farscape fandom will survive until the year 2063!) has decided to go retro and start a blog: http://alwaysapoint.livejournal.com. So far, I intend for it to be an experiment in hiding one story in another story, but as the term at uni looks very busy indeed I may find it difficult to keep updating. It certainly has the lowest priority of all my creative and fannish endeavours at the moment.

6.) Of which there are, in terms of relative priority:

1. Vidding
2. Translating
3. Writing
4. Giving feedback to authors and vidders, and updating my HL recs page
5. Discussing Life On Mars in [livejournal.com profile] lifein1973 and [livejournal.com profile] tunedinto1973
6. Producing some of that HL meta I promised months ago, as well as a con report or sorts for Leeds
7. Shadowrun meets Farscape fanfic experimental blog

7.) I went and demonstrated against the new university fees today. I mostly went out of a sense of duty, not out of any real hope of stopping the government from what they want to do - and because I happened to be going that way, anyway, to pick up my new hard drive. Yes, I know... there's something deeply ironic in going to a vaguely anti-capitalist demonstration because you need to go that way to shop... I did join up with them again after I'd done my geek shopping, though, and stayed for almost four hours. There were around 4000 students, a lot of police in riot gear, and some people throwing stuff. A lot of chanting of fairly stupid slogans, and vaguely tropical drumming. (I didn't chant. Not much one for chanting slogans. I'll be a face and a pair of feet in a crowd if you need me, but I won't be a voice chanting stupid stuff.) It's oddly fun to be walking slowly in a crowd on the tram rails and streets, stopping all traffic... but overall, the whole excercise mostly made me feel like I wanted to cry with some weird, mild-but-all-pervasive existential despair, because I can't see this turning into any kind of meaningful 'movement' or anything, and nobody seemed to have much of an idea beyond "paying money for 'being allowed' to go to uni to help the government balance their budget = bad", and a more general feeling of "we're unhappy with the general state of affairs". It's sad sad sad, yet I don't know what to do, either. Sometimes it just feels as if simply *everything* is wrong, and how do you go about changing *that*? ([livejournal.com profile] tiniago, we've had that conversation... *g*)

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