Monthly Archive for January, 2006

Vlogging Commences


This is an attempt to see how WordPress and Google Video work together. Looks o.k., doesn’t it? I think I’ll add a few more over the time. This video is the first one I took just a few hours after Jun’s birth.

Prejudice Map Expanded

A telling 11 days after CA, Spiegel Online reports about the prejudice map.

Kushibo, a regular reader and commentator at CA who said that national pride would be the #1 stereotype mentioned about Koreans, made me curious enough to find it out myself… this is the top ten I got, using the same modus operandi (results can differ since the web changes every second):

  1. “The Koreans are known for solving for low cost, and the Americans? Nah, they’re petrol heads.”
  2. “Avi, the North Koreans are known for playing hard and nasty on the soccer field.”
  3. “Koreans are known for liking their food very very very hot and spicy..yuMm!”
  4. “North Koreans are known for bluffing and running there mouths off to get attention.”
  5. “The Koreans are known for wanting everything yesterday!”
  6. “Typically, the Koreans are known for churning out low-cost cars from basic platforms and exporting them globally.”
  7. “Koreans are known for hiding their age well.”
  8. “Koreans are known for their boat-shaped shoes.”
  9. “Koreans are known for separating their family members, such as separating the sexes and the young from the old.”
  10. “Koreans are known for their negotiating skills, and they often do not look for absolutes, as most things are subject to change.”

Surprisingly, nothing about national pride, but cars, food and soccer.

100 Days

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Since spontaneous crib death was rampant in earlier centuries, Koreans started to celebrate the life (and survival) of every Korean baby that made it through the rough first 100 days. Nowadays, with the wonders of modern medicine and overall improvement of life conditions, the custom lost its original reason, but the celebration remained. Today, Jun is 100 days old, so, according to Korean tradition we prepared a rich table with rice, miyokguk (???), and fruits for Samshinhalmoni (?????). She’s the Korean version of the western storck you want to propitiate so your offspring can live happy ever after (the first 100 days). Actually, there’s supposed to be baekseolgi (???), a variation of steamed rice on the table, but the store where we ordered it, Kims Asia Shop at Stresemannstrasse, happened to forgot our order and had only a cheap excuse why they didn’t make it. Speaking of cheap, they’re one of the cheapest stores for Asian food in Düsseldorf, but you really have to be careful what you buy since they tend to overwrite the expiration date on their products. Jun slept though most of his 100th day, and I was so fortunate to get to eat everything we prepared for Samshinhalmoni. Oh happy day…

For the record, I didn’t get him the kitschy outfit, but he’s almost outgrown it anyway. At his fourth regular examination (U4) – the day before – the doctor said that with his 65cm and 6,850g he’s ambitiously scratching at the upper limit for normal growth.

Dubbed By …

For movie enthusiasts, this is a valuable website: Many popular actors and actresses from movies and television series are listed, together with their German counterpart dubbing artists, their profiles including a filmography, a picture and – most interesting for Germans and non-Germans alike – a short sample in German (mp3/ram). Almost all foreign movies are dubbed, so everybody can watch movies without having to read subtitles. It is odd to see Michael Douglas’ “2nd” face, but every German who hears this voice knows it’s Michael Douglas speaking. Nobody knows Volker Brandt’s face, a fate he shares with all his fellow artists. On another note, dubbing artists over time “accumulate” actors, i.e. there’s only one dubbing artist for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Dennis Quaid, Nick Nolte, Dan Akroyd, Christopher Lambert, John Cleese, Michael York, Adriano Celentano, Terence Hill and Rutger Hauer. If you want to know who that unbelievable multitalent is who replaces all of those actors all by himself, take a look:

popular dubbing artists in Germany

Not a patch on those dubbing artists, but I prefer the original voice and language in 99% of the cases. Play on words and subtle humor is easily lost, although sometimes the original text can even be improved by a not too faithful translation. Wikipedia even mentiones the Hungarian version of the Flintstones to have the entire text in rhymes.

update: Of course, I had to choose Volker Brandt as an example… he’s a dubbing artist, alright, but beside that known for parts in TV, movies and theaters – his face is not as unknown as I wrote. (thx, Dennis)

Defying Gravity

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It’s a peculiar feeling – on the one hand, you think, I knew this would happen sooner or later, on the other hand, it’s a huge surprise. As you can see on the picture, Jun is coming into his own. This afternoon he was holding his head up for the first time – but I wasn’t there! I had to work from 2 p.m. until late into the night, and I can only hope this is the last progress I’ll miss. Of course, there’ll be numerous other occasions where he’ll master the next step and I won’t be present. Note to myself: over 60% of all 400 pictures and videos I took so far (I know, I know, 400…) are blurred and darker pictures have so much noise, I desperately need a new camera. Any recommendations?

Continue reading ‘Defying Gravity’

NationMaster.com Becomes Free

Great news – one of the best sites for statistics on the net, Nationmaster.com, opens its doors wide open. It beats the CIA Factbook by far.

NationMaster.com Becomes Entirely Free

related: Factbites is an alternative search machine that combines encyclopedia with a search form. better than Google for encyclopedia-style content is what they say – I’m impressed so far.

Upgrading Headaches

It seems like WordPress 2.0 and Gallery2 don’t like each other. None of the links to individual pages work, not the archive nor the category links, so at the moment, the main page is all you can get. There’re good news though, I’ve resolved most of the quirks the blog had. I’m slowly expanding the gallery section, and now you can also leave comments for individual photos. There’s more, but I’ll rather wait until I get it working 100% before I write about it.

Korean Birthdays

My kid has been born 80 days ago – but he is actually “two years old”. Sounds paradox? In Korea, children are “one year old” when they’re born, so that’s the first (calender) “year”. The second one comes from New Years Eve, since we have a new year, he just turned two. He looks younger though. ;-) Wikipedia explains it better than I could.

Jun now tries to imitate us when we talk to him, although it all sounds like aguuh, but I could be wrong, perhaps there are nuances I don’t hear. Anyway, there’s another couple that brings up their kid trilingually (Japanese, Polish and German), and it works out well, so there’re no worries about that anymore. His grip is getting stronger every day and his milk intake is at stunning 150-180ml every three or four hours, which accumulates to one sixth of his body weight! If I drank as much, I’d have to drown myself in 10 liters.

Funny encounter today: We were shopping at the Königsallee, when suddenly an old man approached me and asked with a startled face where did you get this baby from?. -It belongs to me, was the only answer I could come up passing by… this was the only time where people reacted in an odd way, everybody else is smiling and polite when they see a father with his baby in a carrier.

Düsseldorf Goes WiMAX

Düsseldorf is one of about a dozen cities worldwide that build up a WiMAX network. There’s a public presentation on the 25th:

Standortvorteil Regionale Funknetze -WiMAX und die Digitale Stadt der Zukunft
25. Januar 2006, 12:00 – 16:30 Uhr
Rathaus der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
Marktplatz 2, 40213 Düsseldorf

If you want to join the event, send in your registration within the next two days.

state capital Düsseldorf – WiMAX-Event in Düsseldorf’s city hall

Kill Bill's Browser

13 good reasons to switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox:

Kill Bill’s Browser – Switch to Firefox

related (haven’t checked whether it’s real or a hoax, but the idea is great): Explorerdestroyer

Children of the Secret State

After reading Hyok Kang’s This is paradise!, here’re even more intense impressions about the inhumane conditions in North Korea (hat tip: Occidentalism), a discovery channel documentary:
North Korea – Children of the Secret State – I have no words for the content, just tears.

More by Renk, a Japan-based group which is committed to spread information about the last Stalinist totalitarian dictatorship.

p.s.: If you live in Korea or a handful of other countries I unfortunately can’t specify further, you’ll recieve the following message when trying to access the video: Currently, the playback feature of Google Video isn’t available in your country. If this is the case, there’s a workaround.

Happy New Year: 2006

Happy New Year