Tag: BBC

Travellings: Deutschland #19

Today has been one hell of a Monday. Apart from a few amusing news articles and yet another language howler which resulted in more hysterics and thereby proving that I should not be left to fend for myself in a foreign country, let alone be asked to work with people, I think I can safely say that today is not my day – albeit with an equine theme.

The first thing that made me spit out my water (because I left the sodding tea bags at home) was the discovery of this article on the BBC about ear guaging, or how to stretch an ear piercing until you can pretty much fit small animals through it. Which was fine and seemed perfectly normal until I came across this phrase nestled innocently amongst its neighbours:

“American rapper Travie McCoy and American singer Adam Lambert are also stretching devotees. British fashion expert Gok Wan is also partial to large wooden ear plug adornments but it is not known if these are being used to stretch his lobe.”

I would like to draw your attention to the second sentence and point out, that yes, this article is still live on their website. That’s a bit cheeky, Beeb. Cheekier than I would expect you to be.

I then (fortunately after lunch) came across following article on The Register, which discusses the use of certain equine bodily fluids as aphrodisiacs in New Zealand.

I dread to think what this is going to look like for anyone looking at my browser history. I swear to God I came across it entirely by accident.

I was later asked if I knew if it was possible to connect a Mac monitor to a Windows PC as an additional monitor. I then asked which connections it had, except I wasn’t sure of the word I was looking for and ended up mis-pronouncing the word for plug.

So instead of saying “Stecker”, I said “Stecher”.

“Stecher” means stallion, but of the human-kind – or, as dict.cc described it: “für einen Mann mit hoher sexueller Leistungsbereitschaft”. You’ve got to love German; I mean, in which other language do you know can two and three letters have such a profound influence over the meaning of a word/phrase?

If the example above doesn’t illustrate my point enough, then please carry on reading:

“Verhältnis mit jdm haben” (to be involved with someone) and “Verhältnis zu jdm haben” (to be related to someone).

Small letters, big difference.

German language: 4, Becca: 0.

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Inane Whittering #12

So, long time, no post.

In my defence, at the beginning of October I was signed off of work for 3 weeks due to wrist problems. The assumed culprit was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Several doctor’s appointments, a course of electric shocks to test the nerves, an x-ray and ultrasound scans later, I finally know what’s wrong.

The Neurologist I saw had no idea what was up and simply said “Kind, die Nerven gehen nicht kaputt.” Naja, I could have told you that after having had electric currents run through them. The Orthopaedic specialist yesterday was far more amusing to deal with. After pushing and pulling my back about and remarking “Sie haben wirklich breiten Schultern – kräftig. Sie können auch ein Bissel mehr essen, aber außerdem ist alles in Ordnung.” (You have really broad shoulders – strong ones. You could also do with eating a bit more, but apart from that, everything’s fine), he decided to send me for an x-ray.

As per usual, it couldn’t be something straightforward. Oh, no – that would make things too easy. I have what’s called Ulna Minus, where the ulna (or die Elle, auf deutsch) in the wrist is too short. This results in a weaker, more flexible joint. The ultrasound then explained the mysterious pains and pins and needles I’ve been having. Ganglions are benign cysts or tumours and it turns out that I have some growing inbetween the nerves in my hand. And ridiculously low blood pressure doesn’t help either – at the time of the ultrasound, I had no radial pulse, which was a bit awkward.

So now I know that more corners were obviously cut when I was built in the factory, I can happily return to work and strengthen my wrists – the only real treatment option. (It’s also the reason why I’ve rekindled my knitting obsession – I last remember knitting when I was 6, so prepare for the ensuing hilarity and blog posts)

Which brings me back to why I’m writing this – computermabob people, I be needing your sage advice again.

I’ve been tasked with redesigning the website. That’s it. Re-structure it and generally make it more accessible. Oh, and somehow fit all the info on one screen without losing content and generally removing the need for scrolling.

Mission impossible? Bring it.

So, after having done some googling and referring back to documentation I remember using last year in Computers and Languages (see, Martin? I was paying attention) I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to build something vaguely tablet-friendly i.e. something with a form of horizontal scrolling. The beta version of the BBC website (only available for UK IP addresses, but I saw it whilst back in Blighty for a lightning-quick visit) was the inspiration, as is GMail’s slick new look, which works wonderfully on my little netbook.

My problem is once again the CMS – I’m supposed to be moving the entire site over to Typo3, which certainly gives me more freedom than our current CMS (there’s even an HTML view! /geekout) I need to work out if I can use javascript – if not, then I’m stuck.

Anyhow, my question is if anyone could recommend anything – I’m already looking at the tab widget that jQuery offers, but then came across this combination of CSS and Mootools which results in a horizontally sliding “follow the mouse” effect.

So, oh Wise Ones, what say ye?
Yay, nay or something inbetween?

Chrono-Syntactic Infandibulum Link #7

According to The Register, Amazon’s next version of the Kindle is to be an iPad rival using the Android OS but without the Android Marketplace.

Could be interesting. Although I would like to point out that I don’t agree with the article when it says that the device is locked down. I’ve managed to find and use OpenSource software that allows me to buy/download E-Books onto my harddrive, plug my Kindle into my computer and then do a bit of the ol’ drag ‘n’ drop to avoid stupidly high charges from Amazon.

Oh, and in other news, apparently Tony Blair is the godfather of one of Murdoch’s children.

That speaks volumes, although I can’t say I’m particularly surprised.

Inane Whittering #1.5

Half a whittering? My excuse is that I got back from my Berlin conference in the early hours of yesterday morning and my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is back with a vengeance.

Berlin was amazing. My first day was spent working on the welcome desk..
Really attractive shirts

And then we had networking sessions later that evening:
Work, food and alcohol..

…And all day Saturday:
Early Saturday morning after a night at the bar

Considering we had more than 300 delegates, I think it went quite well!

So that’s what I was doing all weekend.. I have, however, just found an article on the BBC about yet another flaw Microsoft have discovered with their software and hardware.

This is why we should be using alternatives more, rather than the default dinosaurs.. no?

Also, The Register has an interesting article on the latest update from Google about their GoogleDocs facility. I like the use of the word “netziens”, personally. *removes linguistic hat*

Right, once I’ve actually learnt something useful, I shall come back and try again. Carpet Tunnels permitting..

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