The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

June 2007 Archive


June 15, 2007

Recently in France, I saw a Simpsons DVD box and thought there was something wrong about it without being able to tell what it was.

The Simpsons in French

In the end, I brought it down to something as minor as the missing "s" at the end of "Simpsons", which is not at all incorrect, but simply what would happen if you translated "The Simpsons" into French.

Then briefly afterwards, I realized that the German version of the box would look even stranger, possibly even disturbing, to native speakers of English.

The Simpsons in German

Posted by Horst at 06:45 PM | Comments (10)


June 16, 2007

I admit here and now that one of the remnants of my teenage life in the 1980s is that I still like certain kinds of incense sticks. When I last went to the local incense stick shop to stock up on Shrinivas Sugandhalaya's "Geet Govind" and "Sriram" varieties, the shop assistant gave me a free sample package of "Aphrodesia" incense sticks with my purchase.

Aphrodesia incense sticks

All the way home, and for hours afterwards, I wondered if I had looked as if I needed them.

Posted by Horst at 08:09 PM | Comments (4)


June 17, 2007

E - F - F# - G - Ab - A - Bb - B - C - C# - D - Eb

Not all of them sounded nice, and the D and Eb weren't under particular control, but it's a nice progress compared to the two sounds from a few weeks ago.

Posted by Horst at 10:59 PM | Comments (1)


June 18, 2007

(1) The correct spelling: definitely
(2) The spelling most widely used on the Internet: definately
(3) The spelling that came out when I typed it a while ago, probably because I had seen (2) too often: defiantly
(4) The spelling used on a website that I visited today: defeniately

Posted by Horst at 07:50 PM | Comments (7)


June 19, 2007

I can't help but think that whoever is responsible for the design of the new tramways in Montpellier, France is also a big fan of the music of saxophonist Archie Shepp.

Archie Shepp album cover vs. tramway in Montpellier, France

Posted by Horst at 03:05 PM | Comments (2)


June 21, 2007

I herewith claim ownership of a term that I came up with yesterday, and it is mine and I own it and what it is too.

I call it the theory of the "New Seriousness". It's not really a new phenomenon, in fact it's been around for a while, it's just that nobody has named it yet. I became aware of it a while ago, but it is only since I have been directly suffering from its consequences that it seemed to become worthwhile to point it out, especially as more and more people seem to be suffering from it, too.

Basically, it amounts to this: if you are working for an institution, any institution really, people are expected to be serious about their jobs, and that seriousness is required because what the institution does is considered to be important.

The New Seriousness differs somewhat from the older, conventional seriousness. In this context employees are expected to be serious about their jobs because their bosses are considered to be important.

As I pointed out above, both kinds of seriousness have been around for a while; I still call the New Seriousness "New" because lately I've seen too many institutions shift from the former to the latter, and there seems to be a general trend in this respect.

Needless to say, these shifts have usually happened alongside with heavy repercussions for the employees and the customers. First of all, bosses who consider themselves important tend to replace employees who think otherwise with employees who think likewise, regardless of their qualification for the job. Second, the employees are no longer supposed to do their work so that it benefits the purpose of the institution but rather in such a way that it pleases their bosses. Ideally, these two should be identical, but the mere shift of focus along with the fact that more often than not they aren't, has in some cases led to a significant deterioration of the institution's services.

I'm not sure if placing personality before purpose is such a great thing, but it's happening everywhere and we're told that it's an economic necessity. However, the point is that if the purpose gets lost at some point, you're essentially selling bubbles of air, and at some point those bubbles will burst with a loud bang.

Posted by Horst at 08:32 AM | Comments (3)


June 24, 2007

Recently, a colleague at work gave me a bottle of Emotion. "Here," she said, "I got this for you."

Emotion, incidentally, is this drink they sell here. It is like water, only with some sugar and a choice of essential oils or flavors. The bottle she gave me was pear & balm flavour. The label said it was to have a soothing and calming effect.

I am allergic to pear, and I have a general dislike of sweetened drinks that pretend to be healthy when very obviously they are not. My blood pressure may be slightly above average, but I did not remember having acted in a way that may have necessitated a soothing and calming drink.

"Um," I said, looking at the bottle that she held out to me. Then I said, "Why?"

I suppose it's this kind of reaction that has some people believe that I am suffering from Asperger's and am positively unable to emotionally connect to other people. At any rate she looked at me in disbelief because I had very obviously given the wrong answer.

"You could say thank you," she said without answering my question.

This puzzled me to no end. There, in front of me, was a bottle full of stuff I didn't like, was likely allergic to, and had never even remotely asked for. And she was expecting me to take it and thank her for it?

It was a particularly hot day, so I decided to take the path of least resistance and take the bottle. I said, "Thank you, I guess."

I drank the Emotion later that day. It tasted pretty horrible, in a way that makes you wonder how they are able to sell such a product in the first place. However, the soothing and calming effect must have worked because despite my increasing disgust, I emptied the whole bottle. Luckily, it was artificial enough not to cause me any allergic reactions. Subsequently, I took a vow never to touch this kind of vile liquid ever again.

The next day, Mig blogged about his experience with Emotion, and from his story I gathered that my colleague had most likely got the Emotion free with her lunch sandwich and had probably given it to me because she wasn't too fond of pear & balm either.

It was one of these evil schemes that you just have to admire.

Posted by Horst at 04:36 PM | Comments (14)


June 26, 2007

Tried to discourage one of my students from reading through all the archives of this weblog today.

"It's the past. Things were different then. I tried to do different things, and I'm not interested in them anymore."

In fact, what's the point of keeping an archive of stupid things you said that you don't want anyone to read anyway? A few days ago I received a very cryptic comment on an anti-George Bush entry I had written over three years ago. I had totally forgotten about it and was rather surprised by all the anger and bitterness in my posting. But that aside, who the heck would care to read a dated article like that?

And probably think that it's still representative of who I am now. I should sever the links as soon as possible, before anything serious happens.

Posted by Horst at 11:00 PM | Comments (4)



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