Thursday, 21 April 2011

Happy Maundy Thursday!

Apparently, the word Maundy is derived from Gospel of John (13:34), where Jesus is cited with ...

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos

which translates to...

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you

Thursday, 7 January 2010


The German term null stands for both zero and looser (in the figurative sense). So please read the following with both meanings in mind (puns are just not translatable).

Hugo, a colleague of mine, has the pastime of reading math textbooks. Recently he was studying one on Fourier transform, in which there was a chapter on zero-padding - the method of of extending a signal (or spectrum) with zeros.

The author's first recommendation is: A lot of zeros are good!. He also noted: This rule is also obeyed in business and politics.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


  1. Deeply moved or delighted; enraptured: listened to the speaker with rapt admiration.
  2. Deeply absorbed; engrossed: was rapt in thought all evening.

Word history:
One might be surprised to learn that rapt, a word used in describing states of deep delight or absorption, has a relative with an entirely different emotive force-rape. Now most often used to mean "to force someone to submit to sexual acts," rape once had a much broader application, as it meant "to seize, carry off." In fact, it was often used in positive and nonviolent contexts. From the Middle English period, we have examples of its being used to mean "to carry off to heaven from earth," as in "the visions of seynt poul wan [when] he was rapt in to paradys." As this quotation shows, rapt started out as the past participle of rape. As time went on, rapt became restricted to mental or emotional states, while rape developed a new past participle, raped, and became limited to criminal or violent acts. Source

Saturday, 10 October 2009


I serendipitously came across trouble last night when having some drinks at el Lokal, where I asked Toño to bring me a Saft from the bar.

If you are under the impression that I was in trouble, you are wrong. Because I got exactly what I wanted: an unfiltered cider. The French call this Cidre Trouble. But why they use a French term under the Swiss German brand Burehöfler, I honestly don't know.


I did not actually came serendipitously across the term Saft, I grew up with it.

Most German speaking people think Saft is a juice or sap. This is so completely wrong! Saft is cider, alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Or at least it is, where I grew up. However, when I here in Zürich order a Saft I get a OJ, this is just so wrong. When will they learn?

This is my father's production line to make Saft.


I serendipitously came across the word peninsula when I serendipitously came across the Marx Brothers. That discovery started in 1989 in Syria...

... were I met a famous Swiss actress. Unfortunately I forgot her name*, however, after my return I went to a production of her company which was based on Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, a situation comedy radio show starring two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico. This was my first encounter ever with the Marx Brothers.

I have this habit to buy the playbill, and there I found the reference to this book, on which the play was based:

The book is bilingual. There is both the original and the German interpretation. This really helped, then not all lines really worked in German. It was a page turner.

I then went to a film shop in town where I found two records from the Marx Brothers. After I read them and heard them I finally went to the public library to borrow their first film on video. I had to invite myself to friend because I did neither have got a telly nor a VCR. But it was worth the trouble. That is how I came across the term peninsula.

Nevertheless, I still not satisfied. Since, I still haven't spent a night at the Peninsula.

* my mind does not do names & phone numbers

Monday, 28 September 2009


I came serendipitously across Larmoyanz in a post by MartininBroda in which he writes about the latest book by German author Sibylle Berg. Martin used there this pretentious term which I woud translate with lachrymosity. We all like, once in a while, to wallow in lachrymosity. Don't we?