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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Switching to tumblr...

I have been thinking about this back and forth: Now I switch to tumblr http://fromvienna.tumblr.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

You know you use a foreign language too often, if...

Some people say that you are able to use a foreign language if you start dreaming in it. I say that this is not important. It is important to see if you can still see the difference to your mother tongue.

I read a lot of english books, watch movies and tv series in english only and this is what happened to me: When trying to enter the bank to get to the ATM on sunday I came across the switch telling me "NOT FALL".

I did not understand this. It does not make any sense at all.

IMAG0394
It is still summer and not fall

If you know that I am a native Austrian and "NOT FALL" can be written "NOTFALL" and means emergency you will get to the point I have been. I did not recognize the meaning in the first place. My first thought was "Of course it is not fall, because it's still summer!".

So the semiosis got into a dilemma and wasn't unambiguously. My girlfriend is still believing I played a prank on her. Saussure, please help....

Friday, September 10, 2010

5 words that influence your live without letting you know it

I know. Mark Twain said:"Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do." I tend to use some of these words, because I love them. And they influence everybodys life. How?

Serendipity
...is when you find something you were not looking for. It is nearly Zen, but don't we all find most of the things when we don't look for them? Interestingly the act of finding is called searching as long as it is not successful.

Coand─â effect
...is defined as the tendency of a fluid to be attracted to a nearby surface. Just think of your tea or coffee running down the teapot or of milk you try to pour...  Now the thing has a name and now you can blame it. But you should also know, that there are some real world applications. So when you blame the effect, always be thankful when you see an aeroplane. Especially when you see it from the inside.

Mnemonics
I cannot remember what this word was all about. There was this rhyme which helped me remembering what that word means. I better look it up in the Wikipedia.

Onomatopoeia
...is a word that sounds or describes the thing it stands for. It is simple. When we are small, people point at pigs and say oink. I love the german expression "Lautmalerei", which literally means painting with sounds. So simple.

Simplicity
...is when you know the words above and you can use them if you have to. Often the 5 Dollar word makes a good shortcut or hints that you will need to know how to solve differential equations, but if you really have to say something, take out your purse open it and use these rusty 50 cents...

Could you please explain the latest xkcd?

Have you ever heard this sentence? I love xkcd. And I sometimes wonder what it is all about. I recently found the "making of" in the form of explain xkcd. Now you will have the possibility why xkcd is called xkcd...
via xkcd

For those of you not familiar with xkcd (hover of the comics on the xkcd site and read the tooltips.)

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