Archive for 2003

Traveling. More traveling.

Sunday, December 21st, 2003

Dear readers, I have been abroad much this month, and I will continue on this track with a visit to Finland from the 27th until the 5th of January. Before that I probably won’t have much time either, being occupied with pre-christmas tasks…
I hope to post some pictures of my trips to Paris and Milano before Christmas, but I can’t promise anything in this regard.

My first multimedia presentation.

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

At the end of the last semester I gave an oral presentation in the seminar “Space, Place, Power” offered by Helmuth Berking and Martina Löw – today I put the presentation file that I used on this server in form of a QuickTime movie file. (Of course I made the presentation with Apple’s Keynote, not with Microsoft’s PowerPoint, therefore the export to QuickTime’s .mov format is no hassle; if you cannot install the QuickTime Player on your machine or .mov don’t work for some other reason you should contact me.) It may be a bit spartanic and not too informative without an audio commentary. However, I want to wait until the college gets the microphones we ordered recently before I record the audio. Otherwise I would have to rely on the internal microphone of my PowerBook or the tacky headset that I have at home and there would be a lot of noise in the recording. So, if you’re interested take a look at it, otherwise it might be wise to wait a bit until I have done the audio (at that point I might also use a different format such as .mp4 or some such thing). As soon as that is done I will reannounce it here and then post links to the file on my static pages concerning my dissertation.

The presentation itself was intended to be a methodological and theoretical statement or manifesto. It succeeded, and we had a very lively discussion in the seminar, which helped me to orient myself and my project.

Le premier fois.

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

This weekend I will be in Paris for the first time! I have driven along the highway around Paris (never have I been so concentrated as in these 40 minutes driving through Paris rush hour traffic) but I have never ever set foot on the city’s grounds. La terre française. The trip is sponsored by the post-graduate college and we will make exkursions to two sites: Le Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers et La Vilette.

Well, we might also visit one or two cafés on the way…

Big cast. Good cast.

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

It took a while but yesterday Kerstin and I saw Love Actually. After being bombarded with trailers for the last couple of weeks or even months it seemed inevitable not to go and watch this movie. Also, I really like many of the actors: Heike Makatsch was fun even in the olden days, Keira Knightley is quite thin but also quite charming, Colin Firth fit his character very well, and Alan Rickman is one of my all time favorite actors; even when he is not playing a bad guy such as the sheriff of Notthingham in Robin Hood – The Prince of Thieves. Ah, the sheriff’s death scene. One of the best deaths in film history… *ehem* back to topic
Not every one of the storylines ends happily, which I liked, and there are still enough happy endings and funny moments to make this movie be a worthwile pre-winter entertainment. And I love to listen to Portuguese.

Finally, a day for NWN again.

Saturday, November 29th, 2003

It has been about two weeks since I had time to play a bit online, and I am quite excited to meet my online gaming friends again. Yay! Hagen Elsternhorst is back!

People say they don’t like animated movies.

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

But when you take them along to watch Antz or, as I did last weekend, Finding Nemo, they like it nonetheless. Is this because they were erring on their preferences? I don’t think so. I think it is because these movies are really nice, even though they are co-produced by Disney. Finding Nemo has a rating of 8.3/10 at IMDb. This is a very high rating, and many better movies have a lower rating there, but it still speaks for the movie, which is really funny and quite wonderfully animated. The trailers do not show the best animations, they seem to focus on the funny shots. The story is perhaps not as good as the Woody Allenesque story in Antz, but it still works if you’re not too opposed to somewhat cheesy father-son relationship stories. The German dubbing was nice, though I would still like to see it with the original voices to be able to compare it (being a nosy ‘I don’t like dubbed movies’ kind of person wanting to distinguish himself from mere mortals).

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.

Conversation Analysis by yours truly.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

Finally, I have put my conversation analytic study online. It is called Sequential Analysis of Using a Knowledge Reservoir – Patient’s Files in Doctor-Patient Interactions. I look at videotaped interactions to see how the patient’s file as a material object is used in interactions between doctor and patient. I also want to see how power relations between these two agents are reproduced and challenged via the patient’s file. It sounds more complicated than it is.

Doing this analysis has been very important for me, as it is one of the reasons why I decided to make the analysis of videotaped interactions a central piece of my dissertation project.

Getting an RSS feed of my blog.

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

I reposted the link to the RSS feed of this site. With this link you can use the RSS client of your choice to be informed when a new entry for my blog has been written. You don’t use RSS yet and have no idea which client to use? For those of you using a Mac, I can recommend two freeware apps: SlashDock or NetNewsWire Lite. If you are a windows person, you might want to try Feedreader – it has been put on an internet software collection CD-ROM by the German computer magazine c’t and it is a sourceforge project, both being good recommendations. I have no information about RSS readers on Linux… :-(>

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.

Do the XHTML.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Hah. I did it. After reading an encouraging article in the c’t (issue number 23) two weeks ago, I decided to update my website to the XHTML 1.1 standard as recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium. I also changed my own pages to relative size definitions (no px sizes anymore, instead I am now using ems and percentages all over the place). I am quite proud of this. I did not update my start page since I really like the layout and I do not want de-table and change it yet…

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


Saturday, November 15th, 2003

I am back in Berlin again. This weekend my father is visiting, so I prolly won’t have time to post much. Instead, I will do things like eat excellent duck, like we did today (self-prepared, of course) and take a sip or two from a nice glass of Armangnac. Like it did before writing this post. Skål! Or better: Santé!

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…

Mehrwert zum Buch.

Monday, November 10th, 2003

Gestern Herr Lehmann im Kino geschaut. Der Film hält sich sehr nah an die Romanvorlage. Die Umsetzung ist gelungen. Wenn ich mir Herrn Lehmann auch nicht wie Christian Ulmen vorgestellt hätte, finde ich doch, dass er die Rolle gut spielt. Zu Beginn des Filmes hab ich mich mehrfach daran gestört, dass die Dialoge und das Spielen der DarstellerInnen manchmal sehr theaterhaft waren – nach einer Weile ist mir das jedoch nicht mehr negativ aufgefallen. Der schöne Leander ist halt ein Theatermann und das hat auch seine guten Seiten. (Wenn mir im Augenblick auch nicht einfällt, welche eigentlich. Aber man sdarf ja nicht schlecht über’s Theater schreiben.)

Sigourney and the slime.

Sunday, November 9th, 2003

I have not noticed anything new in the Director’s Cut of Alien, but it still has been worthwile to watch it. It has been the first time that I have seen this classic movie in a theater and I have to emphasize that this is the proper way to watch it. Check out these featured clips at

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.

Marc says: the music is good.

Sunday, November 2nd, 2003

There won’t be much debate about the soundtrack of Kill Bill. Even though it is unlikely that it will have as big an impact on party dance music as Pulp Fiction had, the soundtrack is very nice too (and in style similar to Pulp Fiction). Then, there is Uma Thurman, who is a good actor and, of course, extremely good-looking. The rest is more controversial: the amount of spilling of blood and cutting off of limbs in this movie is huge, and I am not sure that this actually pleases me. Some of the fighting scenes are somewhat close to Hero in the way they use color – but in my opinion Hero‘s aesthetics beat those of Tarantino’s movies by several leagues. What remains is a typical Tarantino product with some extra blood and a stylish Lucy Liu. Ah, almost forgot: you will find yourself reminded of Hable con ella in the beginning of the movie. Never knew that Tarantino is an Almodovar fan…

Citation cereals change.

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

I put a new quote into the citation cereal section to the right – the new one is in German and it is prose, not social science/philosophy as the old one was. Here’s the old one for those that didn’t read it yet:

“Suspicion has rendered us dumb. It is as if the hammer of the critique had rebounded and struck senseless the critic’s head!
“This [text] is also a revision of the critical spirit, a pause in the critique, a meditation on the urge for debunking, for the too quick attribution of the naive belief in others. The devotees are not dumb. It is not that critique is no longer needed, but rather that it has, of late, become too cheap.
“One could say, with more than a little dose of irony, that there has been a sort of miniaturization of critical efforts: what in the past centuries required the formidable effort of a Marx, a Nietzsche, a Benjamin, has become accessible for nothing […] You can now have your Baudrillard’s or your Bourdieu’s disillusion for a song, your Derridian deconstruction for a nickel. Conspiracy theory costs nothing to produce, disbelief is easy, debunking what is learned in 101 classes in critical theory.” (Bruno Latour 2002, Iconoclash)