Last night I went to choir practice for the first time in over a year. Mentioning the fact on twitter naturally led to the question what we do, so I went on youtube to see if they had a few examples of the music we like. Turns out they had, and not just of the music, but also of us performing.
A word of caution: These are random recordings that don’t show us at our best; although I really don’t think youtube is right to link to Jimmy’s Infantile Spasms in the related videos column.
In 2009, a few of us went to Milan to take part in a festival called Politicanto. It was great fun and we met a lot of wonderful people there.
In Vienna, every Friday the 13th is celebrated in it’s own unique way. It’s about having fun, but it’s also a political statement, taking back the public space and making parts of society visible that tends to stay hidden.
@kevay and I spent another pleasant afternoon at the zoo. I have no illusions as to how much I suck at photography, but maybe you would like to have a peek anyway.
As usual, all images are available under a Creative Commons License
I spent the days between Christmas and the New Year in Berlin. The weather was horrible, so I stayed indoors most of the time. That gave me ample opportunity to play with the new camera I got for Christmas in an environment with which I’m as yet totally unfamiliar.
Now that it is getting dark earlier and earlier, I figured I could shoot a few pictures of Vienna by night. I plan to do a few more of these sessions, especially because I love this light and the wonderful contrasts. And it’s an additional benefit that, with an exposure of several seconds, you cannot see people walking through the picture.
Following a half-hearted recommendation by Stephen Fry I started to play http://www.freerice.com today. It’s one of the more compelling ideas I have seen lately, largely because it’s so simple: Play a quiz. For every answer you get right, 10 grains of rice will be donated through the UN World Food Program. Easy, if not very much. The whole thing is funded through advertising on the site, which seems to be lacking totally.
The site has been around since 2007, so don’t expect any to turn up soon.
Now, how much are 10 grains of rice? I’ve counted somewhat around 315 grains of rice in one teaspoon. To get to 100g, I needed sixteen of those teaspoons. I did my math and found out that you needed some 25,000 grains of rice to feed a person for a day. So, don’t expect that your making a big difference. Still, a small difference is way better than nothing.
And it’s entertaining. You can choose from a number of subjects; arts, chemistry, geograph, math. And several languages. My favourite is the English Vocabulary quiz. I soon found out how much I have yet to learn. It’s no so much the words of Latin or French origin. We have a lot of those in German, and mostly they mean the same. No, what really gets to me is the high number of rarely used or colloquial English words you just don’t learn in school.
And it’s educational value is raised by the fact that you are presented those questions you answered wrong again a little later. So, even though I’m aware it’s no more that slacktivism, I’m going to continue playing.
The Viennese are world-renowned for their sort of macabre disposition. My siblings and I felt very Viennese last wekend, so we decided to visit the Kapuzinergruft (Imperial Crypt), where most members of the Habsburg family are buried. Well, not exactly buried, really. More like exhibited.