Under the Hill

so tired…

Archive for December 2008

Dinner for One

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“Dinner for One” is a rather obscure comedy sketch written by British author Laurie Wylie for theatre in the 1920s. In 1963 German regional public TV-station NDR made a recording of the piece for broadcast with Freddie Frinton and May Warden. In English actually, as everything English was kind of hip back then, even though people would not have called it that way. As the German audience was supposed not to know enough of English to actually understand the whole of it, it was produced with a little introduction in German explaining what exactly would happen on screen in the following 15 minutes. Not really the best way to keep the suspense up, but who did ever say Germans knew how humor works?

90-year old Miss Sophie (whose family name is omitted for the sake of decency) is having a birthday dinner with her four best friends/suitors. Unfortunately all of them are dead already, the last one of them died 25 years ago. So trusty butler James has to take their place toasting to the host. And while he does so he becomes increasingly sloshed. Hilarity ensues. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

31. December 2008 at 5:57 pm

Elegant Brit

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desktopI lately have been using a rather special theme as my desktop environment on all of my computers. And even on different instances of the same computer’s operating system (I am using Linux Ubuntu).

The theme is called Elegant Brit, and in my opinion (and obviously that of many other people) it is one of the most beautyful and simplistic styles I have ever seen as a desktop theme.

It mostly is made out of sharp edges, lots of black with white borders, giving high contrast and easy readability, and some primary colors in not too bright shades thrown in. The appropriate icons are simplified and reduced to their basic symbolism. A clean, yet nice to use theme for Linux.

Unfortunately it also isn’t really done yet. Or better: Right now it is just an collection of some stylistically fitting parts put together by some nice persons on the web. All those parts were put together with the same kind of style in mind, but there are some arguments about what parts exactly should be used together… Nevertheless, with some small tweaks my Gnome and XFCE (and even Open- and Fluxbox) desktops started to look amazingly un-Ubuntoid and far more stylish than usual.

Elegant Brit on GNOME-Look [link]

Elegant Brit on Google Code [link]

And in addition: Everlong Designs has some free WordPress themes inspired by the Elegant Brit design

Elegant Brit WordPress Designs [link]

Written by G. Neuner

31. December 2008 at 4:02 pm

Feedburner is Google owned now?!

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I kind of missed out on that when it happened, obviously. But I just burned this blog’s feed in Feedburner and while I was at it, I had to notice that this nice little company from Chicago is not really a nice little company from Chicago anymore, but another part of the giant Google machine.

Yes, you can give me points for missing out the obvious… But I really did not notice this until a few minutes ago. I mean, I have been using Feedburner for years, with three other Blogs. But it always worked and so I forgot about it quickly.

At one point in the past I wouldn’t actually have minded something like that too much. Then Google came and bought more and more things which I considered nice gimmicks or useful services on the net.

Do I see a problem with that?

Well, maybe. It is annoying that all my data (and with Google it is literally all my data) are in the hands of one company. Call me paranoid, but I don’t like that. Most likely nothing will ever come out of that, but I still have a bad feeling about that. I mean seriously, look at what they did to DejaNews

Written by G. Neuner

31. December 2008 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Internet

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Chromatic Photographs from World War I

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hans-hildenbrand-trenches1The first forays into what later would be called “embedded journalism” were made in World War I, when some photographers were commissioned to travel and work with certain platoons on both sides. Interestingly enough, even in this time there were some of them who were using chromatic photography, which leads to a far more plastic look into the reality of this war.

As with all the b/w photos of this war we nevertheless have to take this perceived realism with a grain of salt. Photography was a far more tedious process than it is today,  so all the colored photos which are available from this time were staged. Otherwise the photographer would not even have been able to capture the scene, as the film needed a longershutter time than those of today.

That said,  even other photos and movies from the war often were staged for similar reasons. It was a war after all, and it was hard to make photos and films when there were bullets whistling all around you and you had to move all your bulky equipment around.

German news magazine Spiegel has a fascinating gallery about that on it’s English-language page, as well as a longer article at it’s historical subpage einestages:

Photos on spiegel.de [link], Article (in German) on einestages.de [link]

Written by G. Neuner

29. December 2008 at 2:42 pm

Posted in History

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happysad – nostress

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Video from Polish band happysad (written like that), this wonderful song is about the detachment of people, family and lovers from each other in our decadent, modern times. I really like the video’s visuals which harken back to all those easier times when cars in movies were driving even when the driver had his head somewhere completely else…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

29. December 2008 at 1:22 am

Posted in Music

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Related Posts

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I am amazed! I am astounded!

When I checked up upon the article I posted last, I noticed a small area under the article showing a automatically created list of similar articles on other blogs.Can that be? I thought and checked the provided link. And yes, it could be! It is a service which connects related blog posts with each other.

As I was only blogging in German before, and they don’t offer that feature in other languages than English yet, this was definitely new to me. But I actually am pleasantly surprised at. This is one of those really nice features which make blogging really enjoyable: the ability to really read up on different takes towards one topic and get more information on the same topic more easily.

Written by G. Neuner

27. December 2008 at 9:37 pm

Posted in Blogging

Tagged with , , ,

Connecting odd ends with Pidgin

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Pidgin is actually one of the most comfortable and feature-rich Instant Messengers around. Still, there are some things missing. I think there always would be something lacking, as trying to get to please all possible people with just one program is close to the plight of Sisyphos. Still, the open architecture of the orgram llows for people to create own replacements for things they believe to need. Still, there are some amazing toys around because of that. And while there still is no support for Audio/Video-features like there is in other clients (that would be my favourite), they are working on it. (At least it looks like that).

There are a few interesting plugins for the application around, but concerning the usability I find these the best of the lot:

1. The Skype plugin

Skype lately has become one of the most important instant messenger as well as the VoIP Client. Unfortunately it has had some problems in all his incarnations until now. Connections are regularily lost, or off really bad quality, even when both parties have a perfect connection, the interface is unintuitive,  and, what counts even more when using multi-client messenger like Pidgin, it doesn’t work inside any other client than it’s own. Which leaves me running it as the only other client next to Pidgin, a waste of precious memory and difficult to navigate when taking to different people at the same time. The Plugin by Eion Robb doesn’t get rid of that either, Skype still must be running in the background for it to work, but at least you can switch between chat-windows now without having to first call up another program from the taskbar. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by G. Neuner

27. December 2008 at 7:42 pm