The Force Awakens

Spoiler Alert: don’t read further if you haven’t watched that movie (Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens) yet and don’t want to know anything about its content yet.

Yesterday I have been in a movie cinema after a long while, probably some years, to watch the new Star Wars movie.

"" by Jeff Krause.

Nicely done and entertaining, but when I left the theatre I realized I have seen this movie before in 1977. The story is absolutely the same: a person doing some meaningless job on a desert planet to simply survive is discovered to become a powerful hero to fight evil forces. Those evil forces have built a mighty weapon capable to take out an entire solar system ( not just a single planet as in episode 4 ) and the rebels need to come up with a keen plan and maneuver to get into its heart and take it out. And there is this father-sun conflict which ends in a fight one has to loose: father on one side, sun on the other side; this time the other way around. And of course: light sabre fights.

As I have read Disney has bought the original story from George Lukas and apparently changed it to make what they call a retro movie.

People like change ? Not always. Apparently they have been quiet successful to produce a movie meeting expectations, not by coming up with something new.

Aren’t we all Zombies nowadays ?

OK, Halloween is coming up and one or the other of us will turn into a Zombie for one or a few days.
But looking at this comic strip from "Reality Check" makes me think: aren’t we all Zombies nowadays, brain-less marionettes as victims of all the mobile and connected gadgets we carry with us each day ? Look at the people at the bus station, in restaurants, at the airport, at home during dinner, and you probably get what I mean.

Yesterday I have been reading an article in Geo about a camp in China where internet-addicted kids are jailed to return to a normal life thru drill and intentional boredom. Scary, sort of ! But seems to work for many to start learning making real friends, playing real games, focus on things that matter.
Found a similar article in The Telegraph: "Inside the Chinese boot camp treating Internet addiction"

The Paradox Of Our Age

Some people always talk

Every morning when my wife and I are having breakfast we see two woman from the neighborhood walking their dogs. When they pass by our house it is always the same woman talking while the other one is listening. Every single day !
Many years ago I had a boss who was talking forever. When he called me into his office I always knew it would take 2 hours and during these 2 hours he would be talking and I would be listening. In rare situations when I made it to talk I saw him yawning after a short while. His eyes seemed to turn to his inner part, it looked like his brain was shutting off.
Shouldn’t communication between people consist of a somewhat balanced amount of talking and listening ? Why do some people always talk ?

How do you celebrate Christmas ?

Yesterday my wife and I visited my grandma in the home of the aged where she lives now. They had an interesting session there where one lady was telling about the different ways people celebrate Christmas in different cultures.
We Germans, she said, seem to take Christmas quiet serious. May be true. In other countries in Africa or South America Christmas seems to be a quiet happy fest.
Different cultures have very different traditions how to celebrate, and also different traditional meals and habits for the holidays around Dec. 24th.
In the household of my mother we have a woman from Poland. While carp is supposed to be a traditional Polish Christmas dinner as we learned yesterday she actually is always cooking a soup of beetroot with some sort of filled noodles, called Pierogi. Very delicious ! They also have the nice tradition to pass around a large baked wafer from which everyone breaks apart a little piece to give to someone else; a nice way to symbolize charity, may be the true sense of Christmas.

So folks, since we are hopefully a multi-cultural community here: let us know how you celebrate Christmas every year. What are you special traditions, habits and meals during those festive days at the end of the year ?

My favorites for week 9, 2011

Big GrinSomething to laugh: my favorite comic strip of the weekabout modern times

Modern times … nice one from Moderately Confused. 

NerdSomething to watch: my favorite video clip of the weekabout eggs in the ice age

Have you seen already the preview for Ice Age 4 ? Looks promising again, I must say. Anyway, below seems to be a scene from the casting for Ice Age 1 …

  Something to enjoy: my favorite photo  on flickr under a Common Creative licenseabout Monaco

Greetings from Monaco by Rodrigo Soldon from Rio de Janeiro…

Principauté de Monaco
"Principauté de Monaco" by Rodrigo_Soldon.
Principauté de Monaco
"Principauté de Monaco" by Rodrigo_Soldon.

My favorites for week 8, 2011

Big GrinSomething to laugh: my favorite comic strip of the weekabout cubicle landscapes

  One of the many reasons why I love Dilbert comics is that they very often are about the pleasure to work in these modern cubicle landscapes our employers have crafted for us. Well, I only go there if I have to, otherwise I stay at home. Why should I go through this morning commute madness ( actually not so bad in my case; just a 20 minute car ride into Mainz, a medium size town in Germany ) just to get to a place where I actually can not work efficiently ?

Anyway, here is another nice one about this topic:

NerdSomething to watch: my favorite video clip of the weekabout an amazing Guitarist

Thinking outside the box might mean to use a tool in a very different way than people do usually. Watch Erik Mongrain playing his guitar in a very different way …

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xerqg
Amazing Guitarist

  Something to enjoy: my favorite photo  on flickr under a Common Creative licenseabout a crater in Death Valley.

Little Hebe Crater
"Little Hebe Crater" by stevelyon.

Apparently the Little Hebe Crater must be somewhere in the Death Valley Area, as I assumed when looking at this photo by Steve Lyon, and as I confirmed through Wikipedia. I must have missed it when I was there in 1995. May be next time. You can’t see everythng when travelling…

Surprise Something to surprise: my favorite "I really didn’t know this" of the weekabout facebook

  Did you know that

  • Facebook has 642 726 020 users world wide,
  • most Facebook users come from the US, where 49 % of the population have joined this social network,
  • Germany is on rank 11 with 16 million users, that is 19 % of all Germans
  • in the US the majority of Facebook users are female.

Source: These statistics are available here on socialbakers.

Something to talk about: my favorite quote of the weekabout language

Language is the source of misunderstandings.

Especially human language ! Watson did a great job last week to deal with this and win the Jeopardy! Challenge. In case you missed it you may want to head to my stream of IBM related videos on youtube and find there 6 10-minute video clips showing how the 20-minutes show episodes went last week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, or you may just want to watch this nice 10-minute summary. A collection of articles about Watson I have collected here as a Goodle Bookmarks List.