Archive for the ‘darmstadt’ Category

Low price contest Berlin – Darmstadt.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

A single ticket for one of the public pools in Berlin is 4 €. However, they also offer an unbelievably great deal: 10 tickets for just 36 €! Isn’t that great? A single ticket for a public pool in Darmstadt is 2 € and 10 tickets for students are … tada! … 10 €! That’s a fair price.

With the price barrier being not existent here in Darmstadt I went swimming with Tina an hour ago. For the first time for several years I did some serious swimming. After 1200 meters strength and spirit left me though. And I did not manage to do the dolphin for more than 30 meters. Well, there we have a goal!

This wasn’t much of a contest so far, wasn’t it? Alas, typing is exhausting for the athlete.

Life in and around 603qm.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

After a longish wait the opening hour finally draws near: in 5 minutes I will hop over to the 603qm, where the Spätstück is waiting. Me hungry for food and lounging time.

Tanz in den Mai – Yoho!

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

Well, that was something. Friday night we went to the 603qm here in Darmstadt and participated in the Tanz in den Mai party. After a perfect, lazy Friday afternoon with soundchecks, sun, and an impromptu picknick with a few stray raindrops in the air the sounds of the event finally lured a few people from our post-graduate college and me to the place.

The evening opened with a live performance by Stahljustiz called Dance Baader, Dance. First, I just perceived the performance as a somewhat blatantly weird but still funny act, but when the kidnapped victim was portraied as a person, not just a victim, the atmosphere changed for me, and I actually got involved with the performance, giving up some of my distance as an observer.

Turbulenzia, the first band to enter the stage, did not really get me on the hook. Their songs did not have a real profile, were not straight enough, and did not seem to really let loose and rock.

Pornophonique has a new fan. Too bad I missed the opportunity to buy a T-Shirt, since they don’t sell them on their website. I am no music geek, but for me their sound was fresh, funny, and not too ironic. The mixture of gameboy, acoustic guitar, and C64 sounds was a new thing for me. Covering both Britney Spears and AC/DC is cool enough, but their own songs were even better. Sad, Sad Robot already entered my mind during their soundcheck in the afternoon. Felix Hauser is the Vince Clark of the Nintendo Age, while Kai Richter successfully took the difficult route between cute boy and rock’n’roller – together they made a great team on stage. For their future gigs I envision crying girls being carried away because they totally passed out.

Die Türen from Berlin were great. I was surprised that they were playing here in Darmstadt for this party. During the soundcheck I sat with my back to the stage and did not see that they were playing, wondering where and when I heard this cool sound before, asking the waiter if he knew the name of the band which we were hearing. Well, he pointed behind me and said it was them, playing live a few meters behind me. Call me Clint. They got the crowd moving! I just love it when a band is standing on stage, all of them frontally rocking, playing their guitars, everybody singing into their mikes and giving what they got. Which was a lot. Their tracks are very danceable, their German lyrics sometimes even irritatingly good Wenn Du willst, dass alles so bleibt, steh auf. Wenn Du willst, dass alles so bleibt, klatsch in die Hände. NDW meets breakbeat meets punkrock – great band with a website that sucks.

Man glaubt es nicht.

Tuesday, April 27th, 2004

Wie schwer es ist, ein Surf&Rail Ticket zu bekommen, wenn eine der Verbindungen zu den typischen Pendlerzeiten sein sollte. Doch heute ist’s mir gelungen! Ich bin also von Mittwoch bis nächste Woche Freitag in Darmstadt. Hoffen wir mal auf einen schönen ersten Mai in Südhessen…

Teaching v. 2.0.

Saturday, April 17th, 2004

I’ve just been told that I will most likely be able to again teach a class on the history of sociology at the TU Darmstadt in the wintersemester 2004/2005. Although I liked the way the last semester worked out (still have to grade the student’s papers), I was a bit unhappy with the format and the web presentation of the class. Recently, I read about moodle, an open source course management system which seems to have quite a lot of features that might be nice to use for a class. I will try to get myself acquainted with this software package over the course of this spring/summer, and see if and what parts I could actually use and how easy/hard it will be to implement this stuff.

Gilbert, malt and classic hits.

Monday, February 2nd, 2004

A short report of Saturday Night: The Sumpf is definitely a very pub-ish pub; with aged rockers working behind the bar, a nice selection of beers and whiskies (including a “malt of the week” for € 2.70 – which was a Bushmills in our case) and a relaxed clientele between 23 and 50, most of which were probably between 27 and 35. The music was excellent and quite diverse, as Saturday was an event featuring the Nathalie Bar. Steffen and I stayed until about two o’clock, then we checked out the 603qm which was already closed. We decided to go home and get some sleep. Alas, on my way home I rode past the Schloßkeller, another location which is related to the AStA of the TU Darmstadt. Well, there I stayed late and enjoyed the usual serving of “classic hits”. Sunday was a day of sleeping, relaxation and web site actualization for the post-graduate college’s homepage.

Darmstadt, office, home.

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

This weekend I will stay in Darmstadt. It has been a while since I did this the last time. It might have been during last year’s fall, and it seems to me that the weather must have been nice enough to go to the Biergarten and enjoy outdoor sociability. This weekend the program will have to be different. Much lounging in the common office of our Kolleg; tomorrow night will be spent with a few other collegiates in the Sumpf (engl. swamp or marsh) – an institution in Darmstadt’s pub landscape I was told. Perhaps I’ll report on this event. Other than that? Not much I guess. Some work on my project, perhaps an ethnographic field visit to the train station here in Darmstadt, some online gaming on the Avengers of Coramir server, perhaps a Linux install on one of the college’s machines here in our common office?

Baking bread.

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

Today I presented the provisionary first results of my fieldwork. The thing went reasonably well. The technological setup worked, the projector projected, the PowerBook booted, the external harddisk revolved and the video clips that I recorded at the Darmstädter Hauptbahnhof (main station) and cut during the last weeks stuttered over the screen. My trusty old Pismo Powerbook is a bit underpowered for this kind of high-quality DV movie material presentation, and I am hoping to be able to upgrade its processor during the semester break. Getting back to the point: what kind of video clips did I present though?
The first half of the session was to be about my involvement as a participant observer in the field, or, to be more precise, my impact as a DV camera wielding researcher on the people walking through the station. This went quite well and got a few laughs (I hope to be putting some of the sequences online as soon as I have figured out a way to hide the identity of some of the people that could be identified). The only thing that irritated me was that several people asked me what the sequences which I presented have to do with technology, since we are in a post-graduate college with the title “technology and society.” Well, as I said before I started the presentation, technology in the form of ticket selling machines would be the focus of the second part of the same presentation that they currently witness. Mpf.
I had less time for the second part than I would have liked. Quickly scratching trough the two remaining clips I wanted to demonstrate the first (micro-)sociological result of my work so far: it appears that ticket selling machines generate some ambiguity after the transaction should be finished, that is after the tickets have been printed. I will be analyzing this in more detail, but I want give you some kind of hint of what is happening. After people extract their tickets (which in itself is not always an easy process) it seem to be unclear if the interaction with the machine is actually finished. People turn to leave the machine but then look over their shoulders, even going back to the machine (sometimes in spite of displaying signs of being in a hurry) to check if the interaction is actually finished. Why is that? A possible explanation would be, that the machine does not obey the rules of personal interaction that demand a recognizable token of completion of the interaction and/or a closing remark similar to a verbal or gestual good bye.

What does all of this have to do with baking bread you might ask yours truly. Well, as I was sitting in the local train from Darmstadt to Frankfurt I found a nice introduction for the letter which I have to write to the DB AG (German Railway) representative who has to grant me the right to make further video recordings at train stations: As the mills of science grind slowly I can not yet offer you much. However, I have produced enough flour to bake a small roll for you. With more time in the field I will be able to produce enough flour to bake a bread. Perhaps we can even add a cake as dessert. I am not sure if this is the absolutely appropriate form to address these people. Whatever.

Mal wieder was zum hören.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

Heute hat der Deutschlandfunk einen weiteren Teil des Berichts über das Graduiertenkolleg ausgestrahlt. Ich habe die Chose aufgezeichnet und als MP3 auf den Server des Kollegs geschoben, so dass Ihr sie euch runterladen könnt.

Scandinavian camera and British story telling in L.A.

Friday, November 21st, 2003

I am getting accustomed to small movie theater screens again. Every time I go to see a movie in the Helia here in Darmstadt, I sit in the same theater, number six. It is small and uncomfortable, and, what is much worse, Marc and I accidentally toppled our popcorn bag very early in the beginning. Talk about leaving the seat blushing because of the sea of popcorn that surrounds you…
However, there are more exciting things to report: Thirteen is a very good movie. Story, camera, setting and acting are all very good. It might be described as a teenager/high school movie photographed in a Dogma-ish way, portraying a lower class social milieu in a new British movie style and set in Los Angeles. It has some very funny moments (especially the chicken scene), several sad/moving moments, and a lot of fast paced story telling to offer. The ending was better than I thought, too. Check out the trailer.

Naechste Sendung.

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Am kommenden Montag, dem 24. November, wird zwischen 14.35-15.00 Uhr der nächste Teil des Features über das Graduiertenkolleg ausgestrahlt. Ich werd versuchen, den Live-Stream wieder aufzunehmen und anschliessend ins Netz zu stellen.

From yuck to yeah.

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Lars and I have been to Pizza Hut for lunch today. We shared an x-tra cheesy crust spinach/philadelphia pizza. It was the opposite of delicious – neither crusty nor hot nor spicy nor interesting. It was a bland mixture of dough, sugar and fat, so that both Lars’s felt really bad after swallowing the stuff. To our relief we discoverd the 603 qm – the first really nice cafe/lounge that I have been to here in Darmstadt – to be open on Sundays. The prices are very fair (1 € per espresso) and the crowd relaxed and interesting. After drinking a good hot espresso and trying to look as relaxed and interesting as the others we happily made our way back to the Kraftwerk.

November 15th: corrected encoding for Euro sign

It’s about technology, isn’t it?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Many people would say that an institution that is concerned with technology and research should represent itself in a technologically adequate way. I agree. That is the explanation I like to present for what I did yesterday and the day before: changing the code of our post-graduate college’s website to be based on the current W3C standard and successor of HTML, XHTML version 1.1.

Another explanation would be: I want to avoid getting into my own project by doctoring around with other stuff…

Tomorrow I will be teaching.

Thursday, November 6th, 2003

Excitement starts to build up. Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. I will teach my first university level class. “Geschichte der Soziologie” (“History of Sociology” – es gibt auch einen Seminarplan). The class was originally offered by Sybille Frank alone and will now be split in two since there were almost one hundred people in it. I will do the class with one half, Mrs. Frank with the other. I guess it will be an interesting experience. Hopefully also a good one–

And yes, 8 a.m. is too early.

Back to school.

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

This week the real semester began here in Darmstadt. Yours truly will now be loitering around in the college’s office again and have more time and leisure to post stuff here in the blog. At least he hopes so.


Friday, October 17th, 2003

Dieses Mal hat es endlich geklappt – ich habe den aktuellen Beitrag des DLF aufgenommen und den Abschnitt über das Kolleg als MP3-Datei ins Netz gestellt. Viel Spaß beim Hören!

Neue Sendung des DLF.

Friday, October 17th, 2003

Der nächste Beitrag über unser Doktorandencamp wird heute um 14:35 Uhr ausgestrahlt. Es gibt auch einen Live-Stream des DLF. Ich werde versuchen, diese Sendung dann endlich mal aufzuzeichnen und als MP3 ins Netz zu stellen…

Am 16. Oktober geändert: Information bezüglich der benötigten Abspielsoftware korrigiert.

Nächste Sendung über das “Doktorandencamp”.

Thursday, October 16th, 2003

Donnerstag den 16. Oktober ab 14.05 Uhr wird die nächste Sendung ausgestrahlt. Wenn ich wieder zu Hause bin, poste ich auch das Link zum Livestream und zur Webseite von Campus&Karriere beim DLF.

Am 16. Oktober geändert: Fehler im HTML Code korrigiert.

Neuer Report des Deutschlandfunks.

Friday, September 26th, 2003

Gestern hat der Deutschlandfunk einen neuen Teil des Features über das Graduiertenkolleg (bzw. das ‘Doktoranden-Camp’) gesendet. Unter dem Titel Stress im Doktoranden-Camp wird über die neuesten Entwicklungen im Kolleg berichtet. Leider habe ich die Benachrichtigung über den Sendetermin erst zu spät bekommen und konnte den Live-Stream der Sendung nicht mehr aufzeichnen.

Neue Sendung im Deutschlandfunk in den nächsten Tagen.

Sunday, September 21st, 2003

Unser Reporter und Begleiter, der Journalist Ludger Fittkau, hat den Kollegiaten mitgeteilt, dass die nächste Sendung des DLF dieser Tage, voraussichtlich am Montag ausgestrahlt wird. Ich werde den genauen Sendetermin hier posten, sobald ich ihn weiß. Hier noch einmal der Link zur vergangenen Sendung “Besuch im Doktoranden-Camp“.