Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime

...where we're working in a mine
for our robot overlords
-- did I say 'overlords'?
I meant, 'protectors'!

Jonathan Coulton and Tom Ellsworth present a hilarious piece of science-fictionish Christmas cheer with a twist, and the potential to become a cult classic (if it isn't already). Watch & enjoy... and a Merry Christmas to y'all, too!

P.S.: Soylent Green is p...[message redacted]!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


to nix = to cancel, to refuse - another of those great Germanisms, just like the ever-popular "blitzkrieg", "weltschmerz", "angst" and such (look 'em up in your ALD, I'm not kidding!)
This piece of vocabulary is often used in business relations - hence, obviously, this license plate on a Mercedes I encountered a while back in London - Highgate.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

An E-Mail from Al Gore

What I took for SPAM at first turned out to be for real. If only I knew how he got his hands on my "official" (school) e-mail address and even knows my first name. Kinda creepy.
Still, this sounds interesting:

Current, the media company I co-founded six years ago with my partner Joel Hyatt, just last week launched a new web site that integrates television and the Web in an unprecedented way. It provides, as never before, a platform for citizens to make the media their own.

One of the features I'm most excited about on is called Viewpoints. Viewpoints is a virtual town hall where you can share your opinions, in video, about the issues that matter in the 2008 election: from global warming to government eavesdropping, and many more.

This digital town hall is already bustling, and you can find viewpoints from me and from a lot of people, including the candidates running for President. Come and listen to their positions and, more importantly, tell them and the rest of the world what you think!

Since Viewpoints is the only place on the Web where you can easily share your view in video, my hope is that you'll take this opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the pundits on TV and help contribute to a new platform for public discourse. All it takes is a webcam and 60 seconds.

And, since we'll be taking the most popular and most compelling viewpoints and airing them on Current TV -- now available in 52 million homes around the world -- you may very well get your voice heard on our global TV network.

I look forward to seeing and hearing you on, as we deepen the discussion on these important topics:

Thank you,

Al Gore

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

This is not a vacuum cleaner

Can't you see it says Radio Shack, not Hoover?

I wanted to spare you the "...but it still sucks" punchline, but I really can't resist the temptation, because of the double meaning working in two languages, albeit in a different way. Non-German speakers: "saugen", the literal translation of "to suck", can be used as a slang word for downloading data ("leeching"), which is, of course, what this precursor of the modem ("acoustic coupler") could be used for. Darn slow though it was...

Monday, September 24, 2007

What Not To Do

A little reminder:
Never, never ever, use " when..." in vocabulary definitions.
I mean it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Holidays

No need to say more, I suppose. Most of you've earned them, so I hope you enjoy them ;) CU next term.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007 the news again

Am I annoying you? I sure hope not ;) This is what Coburg's Neue Presse has to say about the upcoming "Schultheatertage":

(Sorry, German again. I definitely should pay more attention to this blog really being an English-language one.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

More E.T. (again) ;)

As some of you might know, I've started an English students' drama group at "my" school (Gymnasium Alexandrinum, Coburg). We call ourselves "E.T." (for "English Theater") & will be performing our student-written play entitled "Hard To Be" one more time on July 10th @ the Reithalle location of the Landestheater Coburg as a part of this year's "Schultheatertage". We'll be very glad to welcome you there as well if you happen to be around!
Although they got a few facts wrong (one of which being that my "z.A." status has been a thing of the past since March 1st - wink wink, nudge, nudge), try the Landestheater's web page for a bit more info:
...or have a look at where you'll find a few articles on the group in German (inter alia).
Thanks to Franziska ("Lynnie, dead and looking it"), E.T. also have a website of their own now. You can find it at

Saturday, June 16, 2007

All work & no play

...make Jack a dull boy.
As some of you know, I have a little collection of 80s videogames at home and while I don't advocate the more extreme forms of electronic gaming, I don't condemn the thing as such. What I really don't like is the amount of money that you still have to spend on a decent machine. Well, if you - like me - happen to have a little piece of webspace of your own, you might try this little competition another blogger has started:
Playstation 3™ competition
A Gutschein Blog competition, sponsored by PISCATUS fishing shop

(Even if your name isn't Jack.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gorilla Banana

Those were the days... Believe it or not (and some of my students probably didn't when I told them recently), there actually was a dot matrix computer printer called the Gorilla Banana back in the 80s. I never owned one myself but found it in a list of available printer drivers in a Commodore 64 program. Back then I thought it was a joke, but now I've found out it wasn't. Have a look yourselves (Click to enlarge).

Monday, May 07, 2007

OK, gimme...

Inspired by Coburg's very own Vesteblick blog:

My blog is worth $1,693.62.
How much is your blog worth?

P.S.: I'm not selling. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Picking up a baton from JochenEnglish: As you know, not only can words and whole languages become obsolete, but new words ("neologisms") keep popping up, sometimes thanks to the creativity of a single person ;) "Digistraction" is one I think has a great future ahead of it, because the very fact of me sitting here typing this might be counted as such already: The distraction potential of the new media and the web in particular, making people "wilf" - itself a neologism, or rather acrostichon, made up of the first letters of the term "(what) was I looking for" and designating aimless surfing of the web, following one link after another and, eventually, not knowing what time it is and how the heck you ever got to the website you're reading at 2:30 am.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Professor Stephen Hawking

As promised, here are two links to some videos and speech samples. I'm told that professor Hawking has switched to a new software called NeoSpeech, so you might want to check out their website as well.
BTW: Yes, he really was on Star Trek.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


No, I'm not talking about a newcomer to a Gaulish village we all know (I'd have to spell it with an "x", anyway) ;) If you really want to get into idiomatic expressions, here is a page that lists a humble 1,977 of them:

To round it off, an exhaustive (or should that read "exhausting"?) dictionary of phrasal verbs:

If, after careful, long and arduous studies, you feel you're ready to be tested on them, try this page:

Mind you: I don't expect y'all to know all of these by the end of the term. 50% will do. (Just kidding.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Life's A Show

Well, I'm not sure I should be saying that ;) Anyway, if you watched last year's E.T. play ("Hard To Be" by Nicole Jauernig), you should be familiar with this song on YouTube:

I still like Nicole's and my rendition better, naturally :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Speech Accent Archive

English is spoken all over the world - not necessarily all natives, but nevertheless...
You might already have noticed, for example, how strange a Welsh accent sounds (7c: remember that listening comprehension exercise?) to somebody who isn't used to it. This website will give you access to a great number of different speech samples, with speakers from literally all walks of life (and, more importantly, places) reading the very same text in their very own accent. Enjoy! ;)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Special Thanks To...

You might just think that this "E.T." group has a special place in my heart because I keep mentioning it here. Well, of course it does! Anyway, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to y'all who went on without me (being sick) last weekend & gave a terrific performance (so I've heard) in front of the few viewers who had found their way to the Alex' postponed "Bazaar". You really are the greatest :)