Archive for Februar, 2009

Category: memo     Comments (1)    

English Language is DUMB

Just hit on a neat video created by the 103-year-old Ed Rondthaler. According to him, English spelling is dumb! He’s one of a number of people who advocate reform for English spelling, and looking at this video he’s produced it’s hard to disagree:

Additionally here is a sample of Richard Lederer’s famous article „English is a Crazy Language“. The full version is available on his site.

English is a Crazy Language

Let’s face it — English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese… One blouse, 2 blice?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a „slim chance“ and a „fat chance“ be the same, while a „wise man“ and „wise guy“ are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while „quite a lot“ and „quite a few“ are alike? How can the weather be „hot as hell“ one day and „cold as hell“ another?

Here is a good resource for learning English on your own. is a website which provides a variety of tools to learn English in a funny and self motivated manner throughout tests, quizzes, interesting articles, glossary of irregular verbs and more.

Category: Allgemein     Comments (0)    

Lawrence Lessig about Barack Obama on Charlie Rose TV-show

Prof. Lawrence Lessig has been on Charlie Roses TV-show giving a very interesting interview (see video embedded below). They spoke about Lessigs new book REMIX, his Change Congress Campaign, political issues and most interesting to me was their talk about Mr President Barack Obama, who was a former colleague of Lessig at University of Chicago a couple of years ago. Lessig speaks about his jealousy of Obama when they first met and he speaks about Obamas extraordinary abilities. Here is a part out of the interview transcript.

LAWRENCE LESSIG: I mean, there`s this image that he`s extraordinary, but they don`t understand really how extraordinary he is.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK, that`s exactly what I want to get at. Tell me what you mean by that, they do not understand how extraordinary he is.

LAWRENCE LESSIG: Yes, you know, I think that all of us who have had experience around politicians, you know, can respect them and admire the extraordinary hard work they do. There`s no doubt about that. But most of the time, you know, you dig and dig, and very quickly, you hit bottom. Like, there`s nothing more there. And what struck me — you know, maybe this is just the reality of getting to know somebody before you know them as a politician, but what struck me was when I first got to know him, he was an extraordinarily careful, deep thinker, and reflective and balanced, and, you know, he wasn`t on the left or wasn`t on the right about whatever issue.

It was — you know, he was thinking through every issue. And there wasn`t the pretense. There wasn`t any of that. And so knowing him like that, and then seeing him stay like that as he has become the most successful politician of our age, I think that what is distinctive about him is that he has a vision about how government can be changed to actually do something helpful, transformed.

I mean, you know one of the most important moments in the campaign he got in a lot of trouble for, I think, was in Nevada, in the primaries, where he talked about transformational presidencies. And it was an idea of identifying how to change the way Washington is working, and that`s what a transformational presidency does, as opposed to a presidency that just comes in and just keeps the trains running on time.

Lessig is/was an unofficial consultant and supporter to the Barack campaign and actively supporting Obama in the last couple of years. So Mr President had professional support while setting up the White House blog. It is awesome how Obama is participating on the new internet economy due to having a twitter account (which has been hacked) and that he fought to keep his Blackberry which was questioned at some point because of security reason.

Obama is using creative commons licenses for the White House blog as well as for his photo stream on under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA-License.


Obama also has a myspace account, a LinkedIn account and there might be more web based services he is using I even don’t know about.

Further they spoke about the economic crisis in the USA and about a new campaing named CHANGE CONGRESS Lessig is the co-founder of.


“Watch a video from co-founder Lawrence Lessig to learn more about the relationship between money and politics—and why it is such a fundamental problem for our democracy. Right now, special interests have more influence over our political system than regular folks because of our broken campaign finance laws. These special interests pump millions of dollars into congressional campaigns each cycle, and as a result, they block real change on issue after issue. Here at Change Congress, we believe that politicians should work for the people, not special interests. But it’s not enough to push politicians to stay out of the system of corruption—we have to reform the system itself. That’s why we support a hybrid of small-dollar donations and public financing, to keep big money out of politics ”

Lessing believes that what changes dramatically is TRUST in congress & government! And that transparency might enable the people to rebuild trust.

Charlie Roses last words are quite interesting: „A lot of people want Prof. Lessig to run for congress. He declined, maybe he’ll reform congress before he runs for it.“ Maybe it is the same with Lessig as with Obama who never thought that he would be President of the United States. For more talks or keynotes of Lessig just click here.

Here is the interview, go take some time and watch it yourself. Enjoy!

Category: Allgemein, Events     Comments (0)    


„On 12 February 2009 175+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.“


Here are some details to the Chicago Twestival click here to register.

DATE: 2/12/09

TIME: 6:30-8:30 pm

WHERE: Catalyst Ranch, 656 W Randolph, Chicago, IL

(West Loop near Randolph & Halsted)

COST: $10 donation at the door which includes beer, wine and networking!

DRESS: Casual to Business Casual

„This event is designed both for people in Social Media AND people interested in learning about social media. If you’re on Twitter you’ll get to meet your “friends” in a fun, social open networking session. If you’re wondering about Twitter you’ll have plenty of people to talk to about it!“

Category: Allgemein     Comments (1)    

Finally, FAROO is twittering

The great alternative search engine FAROO started twittering. I Just stumbeld on their following new blog post.

Now we are also twittering! Follow us on to stay informed or send a tweet @faroo_p2p to get in touch.

After integrating Twitter search into FAROO we thought we should give some content back ;-)

P.S. You may follow us also on

In 2007 I have written my diploma thesis with the title „Untersuchung zum Wachstum eines verteilten Index.

einer Peer-to-Peer-Web-Suchmaschine“ about Faroo; and this is the  english translation „Analysis of the growth of a decentralized Peer-to-Peer search engine index“.

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„Story of Stuff“

What is the Story of Stuff?

Open your eyes to the life cycle of the stuff we buy. Where does STUFF come from and what happens with STUFF when we throw it away.  This is what the Story of Stuff or SoS in short is about. Amazing work – go and see it yourself!

SoS - Story of Stuff

„From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.“

Spread the message about Story of Stuff it’s important to draw peoples attention to this topic make them aware of their everyday stuff consumption. There is a group on facebook you can join or post the video on your  blog, it is under a creative commons license.  I explained it in an earlier post on my blog.

The work above is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

They just launched Story of Stuff international page with 10 initial translations, more to come.

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