Ropes I Know

November 8, 2008

Back again

Filed under: Life Universe and All the Rest, personal — Yeti @ 11:47

I have been seriously ill lately, but I’m recovering.

So, after this rather involuntary pause, this blog will be more active again. Planned for the immediate future is a short series on the pros and cons of religion (I decidedly don’t use the word “faith”, because it isn’t as strongly linked to fear as is religion).

Stay tuned …

September 3, 2008

Vacation Reading List

I have been on vacation for the last three weeks now, thus the decline in my posting frequency …

The first thing I usually do when I know that I have a few weeks to spare, is to go out and buy a heap of books (mind-fodder, munch, munch).

Following is the list I purchased two and a half weeks ago – in no particular order, if I get the time, I will comment on one or the other when I have read them (I’m already through some of them … they’re written in green, the one I’m reading at the moment is in red):

  • Bjorn Lomborg
    Cool It! The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global warming.
  • Michel Onfray
    Traité d’athéologie. Physique de la metaphysique.
    (Wir brauchen keinen Gott. Warum man jetzt Atheist sein muss.)

    (We Don’t Need A God. Why One Has to be an Atheist Now. – re-translation of the German title)
    (Treatise on an Atheology. Physics of the Metaphysics. – direct translation of the French title)
  • Ray Bradbury
    The Martian Chronicles
  • Philip K. Dick
    A Maze of Death
  • Harald Lesch and Harald Zaun
    Die kürzeste Geschichte allen Lebens
    (The Shortest History of All Life –
    translation of the German title)
  • Julia Friedrichs
    Gestatten: Elite – auf den Spuren der Mächtigen von morgen.
    (May I Introduce Myself: Elite – On The Trail of The Powerful of Tomorrow
    – translation of the German title)
  • Dietmar Wischmeyer
    Logbuch, Das Schwarzbuch der Bekloppten und Bescheuerten.
    (Logbook, The Black Book of The Nutty And The Crackbrained
    – translation of the German title)
  • Douglas Adams
    Mostly Harmless – Part Five of The Trilogy
    (Einmal Rupert und zurück
    – German title)
  • Elie Barnavi
    Les religions meurtrières.
    (Mörderische Religion – Eine Streitschrift
    – German title)
    (Murderous Religions – translation of the French title)
  • Manfred Geier
    Kants Welt – Eine Biographie
    (Kant’s World – A Biography
    – translation of the German title)

Yeah, I know, I read a lot, maybe too much at times …

August 8, 2008

Dead Mice – What Cats Do At Night

During the warmer months of this and last year (since I abandoned my rented apartment in the city in exchange for my own house in a rather smallish village …), my two cats (Simba and Karlo) typically were and are out of office every night. In the morning, just about a few milliseconds after I have filled their feeding dishes, they come flying through the open kitchen window, arriving for breakfast and then sleeping most of the day out of sheer sloth to recover from the hardship of their outdoor jobs. During the nights, they occasionally waltz in to report on how their business is going.

This means that, during the course of an average summer night, I have to dispose of several (mostly/almost) dead mice; shrews, field-mice and what-not (where does one dispose of dead mice, or what remains of them, respectively?). (more…)

July 26, 2008

A Poem To Cats

Filed under: Kittens, Life Universe and All the Rest — Tags: — Yeti @ 13:00

I’ll just post this “as is”. I wrote this – ahem – poem about three years ago (2005) when I got my second cat and just felt incredibly inspired …

Please note that this is my first and last and always poem I’ve ever written!

It is in German, I’ll try to translate it, but I guess it will lose all of – what? what has it got? – what it’s got in the process. It mostly consists of rhyme and beat – in and out of rhythm, but I didn’t care at that time, I just wanted to express my thoughts concerning my two cats. For now, I’ll just provide a translation that keeps the tenor (and beat) of it, but in no way rhymes or feels like the “real thing” …

Hope you enjoy … (more…)

May 31, 2008

Sense of Proportion

Filed under: Life Universe and All the Rest — Tags: , , — Yeti @ 9:37

(To keep the numbers memorable, I’ll shamelessly round them wherever I see fit …)

Our sun shines with an energy of about 4*10^26 W, that’s about 400 thousand trillion gigawatts. It achieves this by fusioning about 564 million tons (metric ones, that is …) of Hydrogen, resulting in 560 million tons of Helium ….

… per second.

This means that – and you really have to consider this hard to get to the point – 4 million tons of matter are transformed into pure energy. 4 million tons of matter-equivalent radiated off into space. Each and every second. For millions and billions of years. Since our sun has been shining, it has converted about 90 times the earth’s mass into pure energy.

(more…)

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