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WP's Marginal Notes


Everything looks rose-colored

1986 some days after Ukrainian nuclear power plant Chernobyl had over-fulfilled its 5-years-plan by far the German Minister of the Interior at that time, Zimmermann, said in front of the press:

We don't know what has happened, [...] but there is no menace.
[...] In German nuclear power plants something like this cannot happen.

Why not like this: »There is no menace and it is decreasing hour by hour. Moreover precautions have been doubled.« (In stead of one red warning flasher now there are two ;-)
Anyway: Why concentrating the nuclear wastes in certain permanent repositories and not homogenously spilling them all over the world?


through the glasses of a politician

At the reunion of Germany, 1989/1990, former Chancellor Kohl spoke about »flourish regions« the new five eastern states would develop to. Really he has been right: How nice daisies and dandelions bloom in the wall gaps of transacted industrial regions.

In this context I have to remember the fleet building program of Emperor Wilhelm II: »Germany's future lies on the water...« And yet it went really downstream.


Errors of the other ones

The weak Greecs! We are happy enough here in Germany that nobody looks over our shoulders in a similar accurate manner.


Splendid Isolation

After Great Britain under Prime Minister Cameron has refused to EU's policy of cuts it is just a rumor that England intends to flood the Channel Tunnel in next future.


Enquire the other perspective

Applause will not be unusual, when the tourist bomber rolls to stop after the landing. Although it's said flying would be the safest kind of travelling. But have you ever heard cheering in the much more dangerous traffic, when a bus has reached the bus stop? Or in a train?


or no perspective?

Haven't you the strong impression, too, that the folks calculating the data of the economic and the share price development obviously are the same who are responsible for the weather forecast?


Ensign »Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger« (Engl.: ~ Free way for free citizens)

Dead end freeway
To nowhere,
but very fast

Reducing the democratic fundamentals to reckless full throttle on the German Autobahn (Engl.: freeway; superhighway without crossings and without speed limit) is misunderstood too often as »Free death for free citizens«.

(Well, it should be »Road clear for suicide«. But then the play on words wouldn't work ;-)

By the way on the Autobahn one notices that Germany is a football nation: »Hold on tight to your opponent!«

I have a suggestion for improving the new driver license with by EU limited validity of 15 years. Why not integrating a chip like in prepaid cards? When the value is debited by motoring fines the driving license turns void.


and the car manufacturers

In the mean time the voluntary self-limitation of the automotive industry crumbles. 250 km/h (155 mph) aren't sufficient enough. Actually they have already realized that the demand of dead drivers for new cars tends to be nil. What else are the increasing amount of airbags in a car for (in the meantime more than a dozen)? What comes next, the ejection seat or, like in the movie Demolition Man, the complete foaming out?


Electrical Bahn is coming

To demonstrate the acceptance of the new installed S-Bahn (Engl.: city-railway) line in the mid-1980s complete fast train sets were arranged at a platform in Nuremberg Main Station, their doors were locked and then the empty trains were carried ahead almost 16 km (~ 10 miles) somewhere in the wilderness. There they waited for the S-Bahn which brought the passengers along. These entered the meanwhile unlocked fast train to continue their trip. One can imagine the commuters' enthusiasm waiting in Nuremberg 40 minutes in the cold for the S-Bahn watching the railway staff locking the fast train, the same one they were allowed to enter afterwards.


but does not get started

Fact in the 1990s: Due to overloaded high-speed InterCity trains on the South-North main branch Munich-Nuremberg-Hamburg, many passengers had to stay (and stand) in the corridors partly for hours, the trains were SHORTENED by two wagons in order to decrease the demand by reducing attraction.

And present in summer 2010? - Bogus claim: ICE is labeled outside and sauna is inside!
Besides it is just a nasty rumor that the Bahn has special groups available who in view of occasion quickly throw trees onto rails and overhead wiring in order to be able to pass off delays as force majeure.


Enjoy the native cuisine

During a business dinner with various international sales representatives the following dialogue happened with the Spanish colleague.

Carlos [...] I like some German dishes. Especially - I don't remember the exact term - fermented vegetables.

WP [Quietly thinking] Fermented??? Have we really spoiled or foul food here then? Perhaps rotten? Or should it mean something laid in alcohol? ...

Carlos It is a delicacy, a typical special.

WP ??? Well, hm, ..., sauerkraut?

Carlos In fact, that's it.


in international affairs

A former colleague told me the following true story:
A Chinese delegation had come to Nuremberg for a visit. The company settled here hoped for starting intensive business relations. Part of the framing program was a sightseeing tour including a business lunch in elevated atmosphere. Something had went totally wrong during the planning. Thus the responsible person had no choice but had to accept »Saure Zipfel«*, a Franconian simple fare, as sole dish. The Chinese guests didn't betray something smiling due to their Asian mentality. Of course, the host, however, was scattered to pieces. Nevertheless one came into business.
Some time later another Chinese delegation made an appointment. During the preparation phase a very polite letter arrived asking, whether it would be possible and not causing too much trouble to serve these extraordinary white sausages again. The colleagues would rave about them to everyone all the time.

* Literally translated: sour tips; pork sausages stewed (not roasted!) in onion decoction, spiced with juniper berries and leaves.


Episode with cleaning lady

21 meters empty corridor between laboratory and administration building. At the opposite side the door opens. A Vietnamese(?) cleaning lady approaches.

13 meters: How to greet her? If she doesn't understand German, it will be somehow unkind to shout a »Guten Tag« [Engl.: how do you do] against her and she cannot respond a word. One need not feast on others' handicaps. But I cannot talk Vietnamese, thus in English or in French? Oh how good I am - or just in Latin »Salve regina pulvis«. How disgustingly arrogant!

8 meters: Thus ignoring her, presenting a busy face, eyes absent-minded focused on eternity. But this looks priggish and we are in Germany. Not that she thinks or even fears I am hostile to foreigners or even something worse.

5 meters: Should I nod my head smiling? She could misunderstand it as sexism. Where the sex-tourists fly to always? Well, it's Thailand, isn't it?

3 meters: »Hello« is somehow too personal, we never met before. At first sight it could seem to be condescending.

2 meters: So should I nod my head, with a stern face? What the heck should I do?

1 meter: She starts to smile and says »Griiss Goood«.
[~ Engl.: Ho-dii (Howdy)].
Relieved I return the greeting.

1 meter further I laugh about making life more complicate as it is.


and another clean story

Visit in the electronics laboratory of the research and development institute. Nobody in the room. Nervous, almost run down a student worker in the corridor. He thinks the engineers are still in the canteen downstairs. In the staircase voices, giggle, clatter. Three scientists are helping with enthusiasm the cleaning lady changing the dust bag of her vacuum cleaner.


Earnest safety instruction in the semiconductor lab

You can just have two looks in this laser. One with your left and one with your right eye.


by the philanthropist

Caution, something stupid has already happened. The laboratory assistant has spattered the acid. Well, her wounds will heal, but my jacket is ruined.



Town sign München (Munich), Hirschbach Opf.
Frank and free?

Our hope US President Obama -

We are fully committed to peace. Where our bombs hit there is peace. Definitely!

- increases his club of opponents. Just from the beginning the archconservatives were out of sorts with him and now he is highly critical of the secret services. Why I'm just anxiously thinking of JFK?



In contrast the Bavarian party CSU got rid of tiresome Franconians like Beckstein and Pauli and meanwhile with the attempt of a defused smoking law and the Wachstumsbeschleunigungsgesetz (Engl.: growth acceleration law) the »South Bavarian Mafia« in Munich has come to terms with its clients.
But the Upper-Frankonian sword of Damocles »Prince Charming« Guttenberg continues to swing... In all directions!


Each of these managers is our fortune

Do you appreciate managers, too, whose main business seems to be forwarding e-mails »to all« without making any decision by their own? And whose motto is »Prefer delegating instead of disgracing«.

And those living their basic management principle: »I don't know what I want, but just start your work!«.

Not to mention those, who state all the time: »Always look forward, never backward!« Probably in order not to see the devastation they have left behind. Often combined with the bad habit as far as possible settling all by phone without leaving a usable trace, which could turn against them.

A typical version of their remark »Why you didn't say anything, when you weren't asked?« you also should know well enough.

Their analytic model: When 10 000 Egyptians need ten years to build a pyramid, then 100 000 Egyptians need one year. 100 Million Egyptians then ...
Paired with the consequence - then when the project is just close to fail important milestones - to demand in »short term« more people to involve, as if it is dealing with picking potatoes.

Isn't it a shame how much longer they can philosophize about the suitable choice of the mineral water or of the alloy wheels for the wide base tires of their company vehicles than to take care of the adequate measuring equipment and working appliances supply of the company?

The management in front of the employee meeting: »Last year we stood at the brink of an abysmal disaster, but this year we are a big step further.« [...]
»Now we are out of the wood.« [But on the tray ready for shooting?] »Chin up!« [To make it easier for the Grim Reaper?] »The sun laughs about us again!« [Not only the sun...]

Famous last words: »Captain, we have to slow down, the icebergs come closer and closer!« »You must be joking - we just need faster pumps only!«


but poverty isn't a shame

All the time we asked for folks who make the work. Now we have got managers. Perhaps we should have expressed it more carefully, because we should have needed guys who do their work.


Eminent, planning is important

One-Way Street contra Detour
Way out

Sign Mittel-Unterpöllitz
Exact siting

Isn't it strange when they transfigure their aimlessness to »flexibility«?


but not all

A planning error first of all requires that there has been a plan at all.


Elementary - why simple,

In those times the technicians were asked men were sent to the moon and returned safe. Nowadays in the age of managers and controllers it is causing problems to operate the driverless underground between Nuremberg and Fürth (or Buda and Pest or New and York ;-).


when it could be done complicated?

Millions were spent in the 1980s for the freeway travel guide system around Nuremberg Due to obvious reasons in the meantime collapsible »Out of Order« signs made of durable metal are screwed to the masts.
In periods when the freeway oracle works with regular accuracy the speed is limited to 120 km/h (75 mph) during the rush hour, as if a timer is working in the background. This function, however, one could have realized with some simple traffic signs for some thousand Euro as well. But that would have been too easy for politicians and managers.
In 2008 the signal bridges were completely replaced by new LED modules. They are less consumptive. Well, operating! (The out of order signs have still remained.)


Eternally the power supplies will sing

Isn't it odd that many appliances aren't really off when they are switched off? So the stereo system continues softly humming, the set top box upon the TV set shows household watch no seventeen and the PC printer even does not offer an off switch at all and delights us with its fancy play of various lights in its stand-by mode. Unused socket power packs heat the air all the time anyway. It is possible that power consumption over the year in stand-by exceeds that of on mode. Just take a TV with 50 W for three hours a day in on mode and 9 W in stand-by.
Any hope the EuP energy saving directive of the EC, 2005/32/EC, will bring a remedy here? And what does it say to digital photo frames?


And recycling is better than avoiding

The WEEE and the RoHS directives of the EC should rule recycling of electric and electronic wastes. Obviously not their reduction. Because gadgets like blinking key rings and squeaking electronic greeting cards, thus things already being trash when just in working condition, are exempted. They end up in the household waste.


Everyday Truman Show

It does not really need a spotlight to drop down from the sky right before one's feet... But aren't there days in the company sometimes you hope somebody comes up to your desk and announces with a smiling face: »Just kidding! Candid camera, now you are on TV!«


and the company in the course of seasons

Spring fatigue - summer influenza - autumn depression - hibernation.

All the time your boss lead you to believe that you are here on sufferance. Until you want more than two weeks holidays at a stretch...


Emission: Dr. Schäuble or

The Ex-Minister of the Interior's bill for shooting down airliners by fighter aircrafts in case of a possible terror attack is just out of focus for the time. Perhaps, however, isn't there a chance to use anti-tank helicopters in order to blast ghost drivers off the freehway?


how I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Federal Spy Ware

Thanks to the untiring efforts of Dr. Schäuble data of private persons will be stored at a secure place soon. After a severe harddisk failure it's clear who will offer help. Then the bothersome individual data backup will be obsolete. Already now there is no need for writing a diary, because the connection data and locations are logged on stock.
Excellent, finally a good thing to spend the tax receipts for.

The German Minister of the Interior warns: Privacy harms your security!

The remote forensic program »SpyBot63RMANY« supports your security.
Please log in as administrator and deactivate firewall and anti virus program. Then start your browser and type in »http://www.bmi.bund.de/download« in its address line. You will be led to the installation program. In the next future neither interrupt your Internet dial up nor switch off your PC.

Additional cost may arise. Harmless smaller incompatibilities may happen, e.g. a click in your telephone line during a call. In case of an extremely improbable loss of data you will find help at »http://www.bundespolizei.de/restore«.
Thank you for your co-operation.

Thus when a striking inconspicuous gray BMW with a sticker on I Pullach frequently parks in your street it is time to check the security settings of your WLAN.


Enjoy the brave new world

German Ex-Chancellor Gerd Schröder had already appealed the »fun society« to end the »Geiz ist geil« (Engl.: stingy is randy) mentality and has reminded it of the civil duty for consumption.

An unbelievable stupidity to let people play difficult games without increasing consumption by that. Madness!

(Aldous Huxley in Brave new World)

Chronic German Ex-Minister of Public Health Ulla Schmidt has succeeded in punishing childless couples and singles in the governmental health insurance.

She had two names for it, one was »think of our baby« and the other one »fulfill our duty to the party«.

(George Orwell in 1984)

Let's watch that we won't be »ausge-Merkel-t« (Engl.: consumptive; according to Chancellor Angela Merkel) in a couple of years.


in digital

Have you already thought about where digital media, DRM and the repression of own, copy-free media and books will possibly lead to in the end? What sounded anyhow too complicated in 1984 - collecting already distributed print media again and again to fake them according to the current situation - becomes now very simple.

By the way: One has no troubles to read some hundred years old books. Is, however, your PC able to handle a few years old 3½ inch or even a 5¼ inch floppy? (And together with digital dementia some problems are solved automatically ;-)


Endeavor to come clear with IT

Authentic Windows 2000 error message
Self-defense - till the bitter end and on... (A reboot is always good.)

It is told that the computer capacity of the first Space Shuttle generation was equal to that of a C64. Just imagine what was installed in the moon rocket Saturn V.

Publicity shows us we need gigahertz monsters with multi-cores to surf, to mail and perhaps just to play some games. And in front of what device you are sitting now?


but obey IT all the time?

I appreciate paper and pencil. They boot faster and keep their data.
(Besides: A newspaper at the toilet offers a second chance. But a notebook or a Smart Phone?)

After three weeks of holiday you switch on your PC and it seems to downloads half of the internet as update.

Not to forget: God notices everything - but Google photographs more and Facebook knows more.



Hundreds or even thousands of officers control telephone and email traffic and what else in order to stop dangerous terrorists. With increasing number of emails, SMSsen, ... with contents like »Aunt Mary is well« there is just something cooking.
Of course, there is no time left to prevent ten thousand tons of contaminated foods to reach the market.


in politics

Due to the terror menace one wanders through the airport in stockings, in one hand the shoes, in the other hand the belt, looking for a dustbin in order to throw away liquids exceeding the 100 ml limit (the so-called Bin-Laden-Shuffle-Dance). It won't last long until nudism flights will come.
On the other hand alone in Germany tens of thousands die in roads traffic each year, but scorching and alcohol are continuously played down. And not to mention the nicotine junkies.


Exciting reality in movies

Do you dare to park backing up between two cars, just after watching a typical action movie? Since many directors want to make us believe that cars and houses blow up in gigantic explosions due to smallest causes.
At the end of a long TV evening: »Well, I await the next three explosions then I'll go to bed.« Or according to Ponkie from the Münchner Abendzeitung: »Only action provides satisfaction.«
Just try to light a drop of diesel or even benzine with a match. You will be surprised.


and in the public

Again and again TV watchers complain about the rude language and fecal-expressions used in crime serials and their influence on children. They, however, don't loose just a single thought about using severe crimes for entertainment and about the partly excessive exposition of violence.


Erroneous president

It had to be clear from the beginning ant latest during the election marathon Wulff was not the right choice for German President. But if all politicians with more skeletons in their closets stand down from their offices the parliament will remain rather empty. Not to mention the journalists.


and the free press

It is purest cynicism, however, to glorify his attacked opponent the BILD of all newspapers as shining example and preserver of the freedom of press.


Education by media

It is to appreciate when especially private TV stations show that the overrating of multi sockets can be hazardous. But is it really necessary that the reporters to flare off them by applying more than 5 500 W, although the fuse in the switch cabinet would not even allow more than 3 680 W?
Expertise and sense for reality left out anyway - just think of the repeating search for feces bacteria in households and foods. (By the way serious studies have shown their lowest density in WC.) I am eager to hear them warn from the atomic bomb in the water tap. Because anyhow there is hydrogen in the water as well.
Also strange, when they slam a small vehicle or an e-mobile due to lack of capability to speed, but refuse to judge the SUV in the city cruising for a parking space or reversing into a parking space.


57 Channels And Nothin' On

(Bruce Springsteen) How much confidence in advertising-financed media concerning critical and independent covering one can spend? Especially then when obviously the information source only consists of a sole manufacturer or lobby without questioning why just this information was provided. Or when even there is a conflict of interests.


Earth's message in a bottle

The Voyager space probe and others were used to send image based and acoustic messages to possible extraterrestrial intelligent life forms. Now there are concerns whether it was the right decision to catch the aliens' attention and even to firmly invite them.


Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life on this planet.

(Freely adapting Captain James T. Kirk, U.S.S. Enterprise.) With SETI we listen on radio signatures from aliens. Well, if they do the same and receive our TV broadcast there will be no danger that they hold us worth a visit.
Sitting as »motor pool« for a visit in the hospital, for several hours of waiting in the background the afternoon TV program was running with all those horrible naggers you can think of. After that I was almost ready for hospital, too. This electric mental enfeeblement sucks!


Experience democracy

Isn't it strange, when the radio moderator calls for voting, whether the winter shouldn't find its end soon, the local sports team should win the championship or the summer is too hot or too wet, and dozens of hearers ring up?



Free elections, but almost no one is going there anymore.


Election research

Just a little bit.

Mini van

Even just before closing the polling stations the election research institutes present their computer prediction. Including decimal places. Scientific correct error bars, however, are not shown up to now. Not yet.


and exploring whales

Almost the whole civilized world obeys the whaling ban. Just Japan refuses. It pursues »research«. Well, perhaps it is checked which sauce fits best to whale meat.

And BP additionally revolutionizes commercial production of sardines in oil with its project Open Pipeline 1.0.



Recently more and more (pseudo) off-road vehicles are to be found in German streets. Although the country is developed very well. Obviously the owners just want to express their solidarity with nature. Because only a few of these city tanks really make it off road. The sole thing they get under their tires perhaps is the weed in the pavement gaps of the local supermarket. That much understanding for environmental protection is worth an appreciation. Probably for long therefore the reduction in motor vehicle tax for these in parts regular monster trucks.


all the time

Command for today, April 1st 2005:

In accordance with the insignia of the peace and ecological party Die Grünen/Bündnis 90 and to emphasis these aims for public swearing ins of all arms from now on a sun flower is to carry in the rifle G3 or G36. In short barrel fist weapons a flower of choice, but uniform for each unit. In large caliber barrel weapons, particularly in artillery, tank and navy cannons, it is to renounce generally in order to offer birds willing to brood an opportunity for nesting places.


Eternal Catholic Church is not behind the times

Since Galilei not even 500 years have passed, and already it is taken into consideration that the earth may turn around the sun.


but is religious

And a priest, who in the year 2010 celebrates the Lord's Supper together with Protestants, is not burned, but only excommunicated.


Excesses of the Old Romans

Inquisition tribunal
Re-directed? - Maybe A.D. 1307
the camera battery was flat!?

We cannot definitely understand why in the Colosseum thousands of hilarious spectators could watch gladiators killing each other and people being torn to pieces by beasts.


we nowadays, however, are much more civilized

Millions of television viewers watch live the bombardment of a big city during weeks while the »nicest« explosions are even celebrated by banner waving journalists.

Additionally the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel bless us with massive lousy and obtrusive informicals about the beauty of our weapons.
The weapon systems get more and more intelligent, but the fraction of civilian victims, however, grows bigger and bigger.
Especially I have noticed that in German news there is more and more reported about wounded civilians and not of injured ones.

Various TV cameras mercilessly aim on accidents and disasters to be spread all over the world with relish.

Thanks to his color TV - all - he does perfectly see.

(Rainhard Fendrich in his song Es lebe der Sport; Engl.: Long live sports)


Entanglement in the Hindu Kush

The USA fight against international terrorism in the Near East. They just have the means and the power for that and are looking for an adequate opponent.
Germany does it just at its front-door. One could reach the certain neighborhood countries in the even by tank directly. And money for tanking is already there.
Everybody as he like it.


the other ones fight against terrorism in Liechtenstein and Switzerland

Anyhow the German secret service BND or the government could place to these countries' account all their expenditure and the expense of the CDs with the data of tax fugitives. Because the BND has just saved the private data of German citizens and prevented them from falling in wrong hands...
In the replay, now with Switzerland as field warehouse, government politicians campaign for not buying the CD to avoid making the state »susceptible to blackmail«. Obviously they are in fear of their party donators could be involved... Wouldn't it be nice to organize a fund-raising campaign, buy the CD privately and present it the Federal Republic of Germany?

They endanger our free and democratic fundamental order, our values and everything what we love. Isn't it justified then to strike back with all sharpness? To strike back the rating agencies.


Just another opportunity:
No War in Troy!





©WP (1998 -) 2012
Update: V8.4, 2012-03-02