Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who would have thought this?

A little bit of stress goes a long way and can have far-reaching effects. Neuroscientists from the University of Washington have found that a single exposure to uncontrollable stress impairs decision making in rats for several days, making them unable to reliably seek out the larger of two rewards.
Well, who - when reading this - wouldn't come to think of all those stressed bankers & brokers, politicians & other stressed out decision makers.

And right. The article ends:
"Decision making, both large and small, is part of our lives. People are prone to make mistakes under stress. Look at what has been going on with the stock market. People are under huge amounts of stress and we have to question some of the decisions that are being made."
Science article here.
Some people might call the following nitpicking, thus just to make sure: This blogger would take up the cudgel on behalf of basic research, whenever politicians would refuse tax-funded (sic!) support, as long as there would not at least the invention of a teflon pan be guaranteed.

Still, sometimes, I am ... well, surprised when coming to learn that certain scientists, i.e. ladies and gentlemen who - to slightly a great degree make a tax-funded living* - after years, sometimes even decades of research would come to a result ...
... and here, esteemed readers, I do once again feel reminded of
a certain passage in Thoreau's Walden and particularly its last sentence: [...] which I seriously think a ready wit might write a twelvemonth or twelve years beforehand with sufficient accuracy.

* and may nobody tell me the very scientists whose exorbitant research result even made it into Science were able to acquire third-party funds for their "project". Please!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What man is learning from the past

"The five techniques consisted of hooding, sleep deprivation, white noise, a starvation diet, and standing for hours spreadeagled against a wall, 'leaning on their fingertips like the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle. The only sound that filled the room was a high-pitched throb, which the detainees liken to an air compressor. The noise literally drove them out of the minds.' These techniques were accompanied by continual harrassment, blows, insults, questioning. This treatment usually went on for six or seven days. [...] I spoke to a psychiatrist who had the thankless task of trying to rehabilitate some of the interrogation victims (at the behest of [...]), and he told me that they were 'broken men', most of whom did not survive into their fifties. [...]
After they arrested me, I was thrown into a lorry where I got a kicking. Then I was taken to another barracks where I got another kicking. They took me up in a helicopter and told me they were going to throw me out. I thought we were hundreds of feet up, but were only up a few feet. They sat Alsatians on me. My thigh was all torn, and they made me run in bare feet over broken glass.
H[...] was then subjected to the 'five techniques'. [...] "
Passage taken from a report about torture in - Guantanamo? No.
- Abu Ghraib? No.
- Kadyrovs private torture 'apartment'? No.

- Prisons in China, Nigeria, Syria, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam? No.

- Iran? No.

- Argentina (1976-1983)? No.
- Chile (1973-1990)? No.

- No, I am quoting from pages 126/127 of Tim Pat Coogan's The Troubles - Irelands Ordeal 1966-1995 and the Search for Peace, published by Hutchinson, 1995.


Just to assure that man is able to learn from the past / history - at least what depends doing to others what they would not wish to be done to themselves.

The peace of the night

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Death in a wine glass

Life is bloody short.
Thus let's die long, red and dry.
Rest in peace, green fly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

They are - am I ?

(hazel) nuts.

The answer I leave to my esteemed readers, as it is not impossible that I am a bit biased, but anyway: There will lots of nuts to be cracked in Seanhenge this year - either by its two-legged inhabitants and by the squirrels.

A bit too sentimental ...

... that I'd sing such a song for the loveliest of all daughters.
but anyway, here we go:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No poetic shooting star

When the other night
observing the perseids
I had but one wish.
Credit & Copyright: S. Kohle & B. Koch (Astron. I., U. Bonn)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How we [...] kill rats

Most visitors will not have come across the name Marina Abramović [please do not mind me offering this slightly lousy Wikepedia entry].
None of us can know all (great / remarkable) artists, hm?

When watching the following which is but a tiny part of her performance that 1997 brought/earned her a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, please let not attract yourself by some comments.
Think of what happened on the Balkan in the mid-90s. Think of Srebrenica. Think of ...

... think of what happened since, happens now and (hopefully not, but) probably will happen elsewhere on this planet ...


Ms Clinton goes Congo

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has demanded an end to widespread sexual abuse in war-ravaged eastern DR Congo, during a visit to the country.
Continued here.
Interesting, hm?
And horrible, alone if you imagine ...

Well, and certainly you remember this passage:
The BBC's Will Ross, in Nairobi, says perpetrators go unpunished and that sexual attacks have increased since January, when a government offensive [emphasis mine] was launched against rebels linked to Rwanda's genocide.

What the BBC (-man) does not tell you will find in a Washington Post article under following headline:

Congo's Rape Epidemic Worsens During U.S.-Backed Military Operation

Sic! U.S.-Backed Military Operation.

Or should it rather read:

U.S. Mercenary-backed ...] ?


[...] Blackwater-Led ...] ?

Anyway, here is Stephanie McCrummen's article, upon which I stumbled after having stumbled upon The Angry Arab.

Related post:

As I see it

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some of the next

Who will be the next? I asked about three weeks ago.

Well, one week after the murder of Natalya Estemirova, the body of Andrei Kulagin was found in Karelia.

Another week later on Spiegel international online one could read (more) about The Triumph of Fear in Russia;

And there might have been some more 'the next', of which we will probably not come to know.

Today, in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, another journalist - Malik Akhmedilov - was shot in his car; and in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, one day after they had been kidnapped Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, Umar Dzhabrailov, have been found in a car's boot - with gunshot wounds to their heads and chests.

Zarema Sadulayeva headed Save the Generation, a group that for several years worked with Unicef and Western [and Russian*] aid organisations to provide prosthetic limbs, surgical operations and counseling for victims of the terror in Chechnya.

Rights groups such as Memorial blame the forces of the Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, for abductions, killings and torture.

So do I, adding but two names: Medvedev and Putin.

And I am tired to ask Who will be the next? ...

The peace of the night.

* somehow, to mention this in most Western media would simply be forgotten ...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Between the Moons

The poetry of earth is never dead:
This does not lack of correctness, Mr Keats.

How cometh?

Poets who took their dwelling six feet under centuries ago, wouldn't write poems, hm?

They have written them. Great poems amongst. Yes. Great poetry.

And, centuries later, generations later still there are people who admire those dead poets' skills, their depth & wisdom, their humour & prudence.

Right so.

And nice. Especially for publishers.
No copyright (owner).
Dead poets wouldn't claim royalties, hm?
All one has to do is to keep them alive - the Novalis, Emerson, Homer, Rumi, Hafis, Dafydd ap Gwilym, Petrarca, Byron, Shelley [did I forget to mention any? ha ha ha].
Great poetry. And cheap, hm?!


I confess:

The authors of the vast majority of books in my shelves are dead.

Strange, isn't it? :) Hm ...

The more glad I am that once - about two years ago by clicking
a link I stumbled upon or - is it more precise to write? - let myself stumble upon a living poet. :)

My first reaction: Interesting.

With hindsight, interesting too: Reading the comments (Oh, this is absolutely gorgeous; ah, so wonderful; ah ... oh ... uh ) let me think of followers worshipping their guru, and thus it needed another coincidence (?) to visit this very blog again, seven or ten months later.

And - step by step - haiga by taiga this ignoramus got more intrigued.

Yes. :)

Sometimes I'd (even) leave a comment.

And yes:

I'd always leave a comment (since) were I able to perpetually invent new superlatives. :)

[Did I ever mention I do not like superlatives? ... Well, when willfully exaggerating ... ]

Come to your mission! I hear some readers think.

Alright! Here we go.
Those who'd know my sidebar will anyway know.

Know that I can't get enough of her (poetry). :)

In case you did not know Janice Thomson, yet, voilà, form your opinion here and here and here.

And? ... Good, hm?

Now, like the hunchbacked and :) dead genius I could say/write:

If you own two trousers
sell one, and
buy this book.

Check your wardrobe! Certainly, there are some more trousers (or skirts) you would not miss when being sold.
Sell them all. Order several books. They'll make some exquisite poetic gifts.
Where to order your books? Here.

And then - enjoy.
Afterwards, I am - almost :) - sure, like me you will be looking forward to Volume II by this very vivid poet / painter / photographer.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I see it in your eyes, bee

.... and I wonder what you saw in mine.

click to enlarge

Some dahlias these days

What a silly post, some haply visitors might think. How boring.

Well, that's part of Seanhenge, and thus of Omnium. ... :)

... and a daily pleasure for my eyes.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

And if this were my last day ...


... I'd like to plant an apple tree.

Kohlrabi for the Poor Mouth

After all, only :) 100 days after I promised Jams O'Donnel Esq. to grow some Kohlrabi more, just for him:

Here you are Jams: Bon appetit!

Monday, August 03, 2009

In between

Time flies.
It's exactly one month ago that I commented on this post by Nevin:
"The tiniest aliments are enough
to prove that most members
of the so-called stronger sex actually are wimps.

I know this, 'cause I am a ... man."

Some days later, for almost one week my back kept telling me that I had obviously done something silly for a man in my age - still can't imagine, what :) - hardly couldn't move, and even when sitting moveless my back hurt.

And, just I had started to again enjoy the pleasure one ought to feel when nothing causes pain, one morning I woke up and - walking was great fun.
Checking the sole of my left foot I detected a knob.
Fortunately, after four or five lousy days it had disappeared, and (almost) everything was fine again.
Trying to think of a reason for this knob, I remembered that one day (when picking cherries) I had for hours been standing on the ladder.

Well, and right now, whilst sitting here with prettily scratched forearms (all the thanks I got for weeding and putting mown grass around the sunflowers and courgettes), I am glad that my all over pricked colourful shinbones are not asking for an extensive scratch.

So much for wimps.

This afternoon, reading the advance reading copy of Roberto Bolaño's "2666" which Hanser will publish on September 7th, I came to think of all the posts I have in the pipeline.

So, whilst having a cigarette and a coffee on balcony, I started to list:

- Answering comments;
- Update Dr. Mukwege / Congo;
- Update Order 81
- Update murders of (Russian) journalists / human rights activists
- Iran / Venezuela / South Africa (not always U.S. of A. are to blaim)
- Albinos in Africa [compare with Roma/gypsies - Jams O'Don
nell on occasion of the Zigeunernacht, ran both a remarkable and harrowing series of six posts beginning here -; Jews; homosexuals (f.e. Russia, Tel Aviv)
- Orthodox Jews are allowed to throw stones etc. on Sabbath :)
- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartetts (Stan)
- commending other posts (perhaps a revival of Wordy Wednesday?)
- Lady J's book
- Cheney, Obama - torture
- Kohlrabi - Jams
- Uighurs / China / dissidents (are Uighurs the better people?)

- Bush - Cheney - Dostum
- Belfast Telegraph - Informers
- Impressions de Seanhenge - flowers / plants
- cherry-drunken birds & butterflies
- Zaha Hadid - architect - born in Iraq
- Krisctina Morrei (Jobbik) - Hungarian fascists
- photos of horrible deads - publishing them or not?
- Monsanto - girl - vulture

Herewith a small sheet of paper was filled on both sides.

Plus 103 drafts.
Plus x other topics.

Not to mention these:
- German politics / politics / life in Germany
- The (personal) dreams I want to make come true;
- hiatus;
- The end of Omnium

- - - -

Presently I doubt that there will be a (voluntary) end of Omnium; as you know Omnium is everything and - everywhere. :)

- - - -

No irony and/or arrogance; I hope readers - and you who read until here are certainly qualified to be called a reader :) - would (try to) understand.


Sometimes I do regret that I started blogging in English.

As far as I do know myself ( here are following several atrributes not mentioned - ha ha ha), I shall not stop blogging (in English), though, before I am sure Omnium (which is everything) is said.

On the other site: I can never be sure of what I am doing.

Can you?

The peace of the night.


Ah ... just to make sure: This post was not written due to a drink I made of this very Angel trumpet in Seanhenge ...

Click to enlarge

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Pax vobiscum, "God's bankers"

A German Catholic bank had to apologize after it was revealed it invested money in a firm that makes contraceptives, as well as in defense and tobacco companies.
Full article here.
Well, at least those old enough to vaguely remember the name Roberto Calvi won't be surprised.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Any time I see ...

May I introduce you ...

to Dr Denis Mukwege?

Bye, berries and cherries

most delicious black currants

Josta (cross breed of black currant and gooseberry),

red currants,


and cherries*:

Until next year when (hopefully) there will be some more ... as
we planted some more red&black currants, goose- and blackberries

* No, dear readers, again I did not fall off the ladder. :)

Another august beginning ...

the first sunflower in Seanhenge.
Click to enlarge.

Interestingly, when the sun is standing in the west,
the sunflowers in Seanhenge
would look eastwards.

Which is why this very photograph
has the effect it has.
Do I need tell that very often
when being here I am longing to be there?

Anyway ... wishing everyone
an august August.