Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Love Immigrant is Defecting

... to Wordpress. Please bear with me while this transition takes place.. and in the meantime, I've posted my favorite Halloween music for your enjoyment.. be back soon!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Al Gore Makes History..

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to

Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Think that's odd, do you?

Alfred Nobel was a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, author and pacifist. He was born in Stockholm in 1833 to an influential Swedish family. His father, Immanuel, was an engineer and inventor, and responsible for the construction of several buildings and bridges in Sweden. His mother was from a wealthy family, although Immanuel Nobel was forced into bankruptcy some years after Alfred's birth. This early financial misfortune, however, did not prevent him from becoming a pioneer of arms manufacture and a designer of steam engines, which in turn, re-established his finances.

In 1842, Immanuel Nobel moved his family to St. Petersburg, where Alfred and his brothers received a first-class education. By the age of 17, Alfred Nobel was fluent in Swedish, Russian, English, German and French. He studied chemistry in several countries, and in Paris met the young Italian chemist (Ascanio Sobrero), who invented nitroglycerin, a highly explosive and unstable liquid.

Alfred and his brother, Emil, were interested in putting the chemical to practical use. After their return to Sweden in 1863, they began experiments using it as an explosive in construction work. Emil and several others were killed in an explosion in 1864, but Alfred was not discouraged from his interest in nitroglycerin. He found that when mixed with diatomaceous earth (kieselguhr), nitroglycerin formed a more stable paste that, when dried, could be formed into rods and used as explosive material. In 1867, he patented the material under the name Dynamite. He also invented the blasting cap used to detonate the dynamite by lighting a fuse.

By 1865, Alfred Nobel's factory near Hamburg, was exporting dynamite to other European countries, America and Australia, and over the years he founded many different companies in over 2o countries. By the time he died in 1896, he held 355 patents.

But he was also very interested in social and peace-related issues, and had a great interest in literature. The Nobel prizes became an extension and fulfillment of his lifetime interests. After his death, his will instructed that his fortune be used for Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace.

Albert Einstein once said of Alfred Nobel, that "(he) invented an explosive more powerful than any then known -- an exceedingly effective means of destruction. To atone for this 'accomplishment' and to relieve his conscience, he instituted his award for the promotion of peace."

Whether Alfred Nobel really felt that way, neither we nor Einstein could really know for sure. But the Nobel Foundation has since become a world-renowned organization, and a lasting legacy for all humanity... and Alfred Nobel's fortune has been used ever since, in the advancement of peace and scientific discovery.. a fortune, oddly enough, founded on explosives!

Which brings us to the 2007 Peace Prize winners...

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the person(s) who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

Albert Gore and the IPCC won the prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".

They are promoting fraternity between nations on one issue.
Global Warming.

The IPCC has been working on global warming for years, but it took Al Gore's interest in the issue, and his ability to break down their statistics into layman's terms, that their message began filtering to the masses. He has visited countries around the globe, talking about climate change and its effects on Mother Earth (and her inhabitants). His movie, An Inconvenient Truth, has also been seen around the world, and has made quite an impact in our awareness of climate change. After all, knowledge is power, and knowing is a useful catalyst for action.

Al's work, and the work of the IPCC, is that of the urgent messenger.. and the message is what global warming means for our planet... what the future will bring if we don't act now... all of us are affected.. our present.. and our future for generations to come. We are seeing those changes happening before our eyes right now... only now, we have the light of understanding to recognize it.. thanks to the Peace Prize winners.

This Prize will give Al and the IPCC a greater platform from which to continue their work.. even greater than winning the Oscar. The Nobel Committee's choice was a good one.. a thoughtful one.. and an appropriate one.. especially since turning the tide of global warming is the goal.. much like Alfred Nobel's goal.. to do something that benefits all humanity... and I don't think that's odd at all..

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Don't Know Why I Didn't Say It Sooner..

This week on my regular blog reading list, I read at least two Ex-pat blogs devoted to the movies. What really kicked me in the ass, was that Eurotrippen listed the movies she wanted to see, but figured she wouldn't, because of the lack of English speaking movies and/or access to them in Deutschland.

So I sent her a reply to tell her about

I've known about it for awhile.. call it a blonde moment, but it never even occurred to me to share it with everyone. Damn. Sorry.

This site is totally free. The movies are uploaded by users and can be viewed on your computer. Some of them have great quality. Some of them don't. It's a crap shoot.. but hey, it's a definite alternative to spending money for a movie ticket or waiting for the DVD.

The site does upload new movies regularly. I have watched several great movies on the site, and recommend it if you want a dose of

Here are some of the currently available titles:

300, 28 Days Later, 40 Year Old Virgin, American Pie Wedding, American Pie 5, Astronaut Farmer, Atonement, Behind Enemy Lines, Blades of Glory, Blow, Bourne Ultimatum, The Core, Crash, Day After Tomorrow, The Descent, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Death Sentence, Disturbia, Elektra, E.T., Evan Almighty, Fantastic 4, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fight Club, Firewall, Flight 93, Fracture, Gladiator, Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix, Ice Age, iRobot, King Kong, Knocked Up, Live Free or Die Hard, The Last Mimzy, The Lady in the Water, The Lives of Others, LOTR I II III, Napolean Dynamite, Notes on a Scandal, The Number 23, Next, Oceans 13, The Painted Veil, Pan's Labyrinth, Pirates: Dead Man's Chest, Planet of the Apes, Ratatouille, Room 1408, Saving Private Ryan, Saw I II III, Shrek II III, Spiderman I II III, Superbad, The Simpsons Movie, Smokin' Aces, The Secret, Sicko, Traffic, The World Trade Center, This is England, We Are Marshall, War, Xmen II III, Zodiac..

If you're interested, check out the site. Sorry, I don't know why I didn't say it sooner..

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh, yeah.. Arrr!

My pirate name is:

Captain Anne Read

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even through many pirates have a reputation for not being the brightest souls on earth, you defy the sterotypes. You've got taste and education. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Back to One (Squared)

So.. the fun begins. Right after my last post, the keyboard on my new laptop went south again. Damnit!

Thankfully we have a 12 month guarantee, although what that means in a German world, I don't know.. Michael is in the process of seeing what to do about this small disaster .. and for him it IS a disaster. He cannot stand it when something isn't right, and feels compelled to fix anything that isn't working. (Maybe thats the East German in him, but I secretly think he has the heart of a tinker)

I've had to put it out of his line of vision to keep him from trying to fix it himself. He got a little miffed when I told him to leave it alone. I explained that if he messes with it, then the guarantee could be voided and we would be stuck with a fubar laptop. I think he understands, but its killing him..hehe.

My feeling right now is, if the company won't replace the laptop, then we return it and get our money back. Laptops are a dime a dozen, and we can find several more for the same price we've paid already.. so we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, we're back using one computer.. damnit!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ich liebe es..

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My Clemson Tigers are now 3-0! Yesterday they beat Furman University 38-10. This follows the ass-whipping they gave Florida State on 3 September (24-18) and the punishment handed to Louisiana-Monroe last weekend (49-26).

The Bowden Bowl (vs. FSU) was the first game of the year this season, and once again we achieved victory, which is no small thing to a Clemson fan.. beating Daddy Bowden is always a solid orange endeavor, and is a personal vendetta, since we hate anything stamped with a Florida label.. especially Papa's team!

Granted, LA-Monroe is non-conference and was an expected win, but Furman usually has a good football program, and they did out-rush us yesterday and sacked our QB five times, although our passing game seems to be spot-on..

Now our offense needs to get to work! Running game needs improvement too! The schedule only gets tougher from here. Even with a couple of stars like James Davis and Cullen Harper, we shouldn't leave room for errors in the coming weeks..

Next week they play NC State - then they face GA Tech, VA Tech, Maryland, and Boston College.. and lastly, our arch-rivals, the USC Gamecocks (who at this point are also undefeated).

In my family, college football is a way of life.. I'm really missing getting to watch the games this year, whether from the stands at Death Valley or from my sister's living room sofa (where we do indoor tailgating!), but at least I can keep up with the scores..

And the rivalry banter still flows across the internet between my sister (who is a die-hard Gamecocks fan) and me.. We're a house divided when it comes to football, but united in our love of the game.

So, Go Tigers!

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PS - Sissy, if you're reading this, the Gamecocks still suck! :)