Saturday, January 24, 2004

off to France in a couple of hours... should have a laptop sorted early next month. I'll endevour to publish my diary of the trip then.

Back the week after next!

Declan @ 1:23 am


    Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Soft 'D'

Phonetically, very close to an 'L' but not as pointy sounding.
a) The tongue does not caressing the top of your mouth and back of your teeth.
b) Rather let it come to a crashing halt at the back of your bottom teeth.
c) The result should be a soft, 'blaeh' sound - apparently like a sea otter.

Danish is apparently alongside Dutch as the 'worst sounding' language in the world thanks to the soft 'd' and harsh 'r.'

Update: I was told by a Dane in my college that it's between 'th' and 'l' in English...

Declan @ 3:28 am


    Monday, January 05, 2004

Happy Belated New Year

Well the hiatus adds a hint of irony to my new title, but .. hey.
London was everything I expected - a seething juxtaposition of old and new architecture, cultures, lifestyles. New office towers across the road from the Tower of London; the Tate Modern's colonization of industrial space; poor neighbourhoods just a block away from porsche neighbourhoods.

I stayed in Battersea. It reminded me of the inner city aspirational suburbs of Sydney. You'd pass a sports betting office and a 'cheque cashing office' on the way to the station. Grubby matresses would slouch next to beat up 10 year old computers on footpaths. You'd cross the road to avoid a street fight.

It's an expensive town if you're not careful. Transport is particularly steep. My first impressions of Copenhagen are that it's as bad if not worse. Yet, for some reason, mobile phone costs here are less than half that of Australia...

Update (as promised): Thus far, the Danes I've encountered have been modest and pragmatic. They have a saying here. 'If it's understated, it's good.'

Costs have been prohibitive, particularly as far as food goes. The language is going to take some time to master. The pronunciation and rhythm are quite unique, however the grammar is more simple than German (my second language).

The one thing I can say for the students here is that they know how to party. The bar in my college closes at 4am ...

I'm still recovering from the weekend...

Declan @ 7:39 am


    Sunday, December 28, 2003

Flying to London in a couple of hours.

... intermittent blogging over the coming couple of weeks.

Declan @ 6:27 pm


Xmas in the Inner West

Someone stole the wreath from our door in the wee hours of Boxing Day. What's next? Uprooting flowers from the front garden?

Declan @ 2:18 am


    Thursday, December 25, 2003

Tuesday is a winner.
C Monks announces the best of 2003

Declan @ 11:46 pm


Merry Thursday Everybody

and I'm on the verge of being kicked off my very first blog server! Apparently I've offended the administration by pulling him up on wild assertions.

Declan @ 11:06 pm


    Wednesday, December 24, 2003

"Parwdon me sir, but I'm wooking for a wabbit"

It's good to know that Google caters for all languages and cultural nuances

Declan @ 10:59 pm


It was a four day business trip. He wanted to write me a cheque as a deposit and he didn't have an email address.


Declan @ 12:50 am


... only left to write

***rant warning***
I've been reading Naomi Klein's Fences and Windows lately. She states in the preface that No Logo was a thesis driven project and this is basically just a motley collection of writings 'from the front lines of the globalisation debates.' There's only one piece which captured my attention - one which made a serious attempt to outline solutions to the current state of affairs.
I'll start by outlining her take on these globalisation protests. Basically there are two sides. There are the evil institutions like the World Bank and IMF. They, along with Corporate [America - mostly] are screwing the world through painful extraction of profits from the most unethical of methods. Up against these are the motley collection of good hearted and pure spirited protestors who, despite their differing aims are part of a global revolution to undermine the all consuming corporeality of Capitalist expansion.

These arguments have been waged inversely on the other side of the political divide - attempts to skew the moral terrain of the arguments with accusations of ideological shortcomings with the poor and needy batted around like political footballs.

Both these books have a utopian vision of the future where the world's problems will be solved via a networking of people through high technology. For Drissen, this means engaging in full bio-technical solutions - the end of nature as we know it. For Klein, we see glimmers of many Gemeinschafts as a decentralised, high tech network - a mutated natural society.

Just as with the 'players', the margins are also subsumed into the binaries in these solutions. A friend of mine was in Genoa in 2001 and, despite his noble aims of Peacefully drawing plight to the vast inequalities and ethical dilemmas of free market virulence, was beaten and tear gassed after the protest sites were highjacked by anarchist groups dressed in black suits, army boots and balaclavas. Acknowledging the vast differences in objectives of the groups at these protests would surely strengthen the case for the left. Just as the voice conservative right is highjacked by yobbos, thugs and nazis; the left too is often a contradictory collection of dreamers, hippies and anarchists. Surely separating the people you want to be there from the people who are is common sense?

Klein's contributions to the debate on globalisation can't be ignored, but her specious solutions and false dichotomies most certainly can be.

Declan @ 12:47 am


    Saturday, December 20, 2003

Taylorism vs. Trademarks

McLanguage Meets the Dictionary. by Dennis Baron
"Shredded wheat, thermos, and zipper all began as trademarked terms that morphed into everyday words as well. Manufacturers want the names of their products on everybody's lips, but they don't want those names to become everybody's property..."

(via aldaily)

Declan @ 7:37 pm


"Please, please, please let Bush get caught with a dead girl or live boy before November 2004"
-Smack the Weasal (via. venus im pelz)

That would be one definite route to the unelectable

Declan @ 7:05 pm


Here's a classy newbie from Toothpaste for Dinner

The best sardonic-cum-surreal comics this side of the North Pole...

Declan @ 6:55 pm


Get with the program

Ok so the number of people STILL looking for Paris Hilton's porn movie is a little worrying. I mean, like, that was soooo 3 weeks ago!

Declan @ 6:49 pm


    Friday, December 19, 2003

For the remainder of Friday

High fire danger. Hot day.

Sydney: Chance late shower or thunderstorm. 35

Get me out of here!

Declan @ 12:13 pm


I got a digital camera yesterday.
Here's a sample of the wares:

King Street
cocktails anyone?

Declan @ 12:43 am


    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Maybe I could try that telemarketing scam over there

Seems like prison has an upside in Denmark (via Houshusband)

Declan @ 2:23 pm


fresh off the email
Queer Eye for the Dictator Guy

Declan @ 11:58 am


    Tuesday, December 16, 2003

At last Saddam can be added to America's list of great evil guys known for their beards:

Update: Robotjohnny has a tres amusing slant on the capture.

Props to Niall too

Declan @ 12:42 am


Is he completely Unelectable ? Or just plain unelectable I'd probably go with unelectable.

vive la Googlebomb revolution

Declan @ 12:05 am


    Sunday, December 14, 2003

I've been trying to tie up a straw dog over at - a wonderful collective of tech-related women (including the gorgeous Jill Walker)

His fluffy misogynistic rhetoric is often quaint and amusing; however, his complete inability to grapple constructively with my points presents a rather gloomy outlook for feminism.

One of the more recent comments has been from the initial post-er - Caternia. She calls for everyone to 'ignore Julius.' This begs the question, why? Will he go away? (why not ban his i.p.? He contends that he's merely presenting contrarian perspectives, but there's more at stake here. This is a vision of the future via a vision of the past.

Declan @ 9:56 pm


    Saturday, December 13, 2003

The language barrier with customers generally doesn't pose a problem. (Anyone who ventures from continental Europe usually has enough English to get by fine, it's another story with the northern Asians though) So, perhaps, it's a little ironic that a pommy couple misheard 'nice tats' for 'nice tits.' I think he was pretty close adding a physical element to my rock splitting headache/hangover.

Declan @ 8:31 pm


    Friday, December 12, 2003

yesterday it was too damn hot and humid to do substantial, now it's just too damn wet.

I don't think I could live in the tropics.

Declan @ 10:59 am


Word of the day: fauxmosexual

Declan @ 1:07 am


Top 20 definitions of blogging

Declan @ 1:00 am


fleeting musings on culture, science, academia and society from a Sociology student in Copenhagen