Monday, April 30, 2007


As you can see on this photo my friend and me were in Edinburgh for the weekend. Although we spent most of our time in the Royal Museum of Scotland -after all we went there to attend a lecture series- we had a glimpse of Edinburgh and her most important highlights, like the castle

We also enjoyed the cherry blossoms in the Meadows, a park we had to cross to go to the museum

Unwanted by-products

Photo from

Sorry for the slightly disturbing photo (but there are worse). My friend is an emo - which is ok for me. But sometimes it is very difficult for her to deal with mankind's cruelties. While being in Edinburgh there was a teaser for a documentary on BBC television that showed male calves shot dead and disposed of as 'unwanted by-products' for the dairy industry. This is her response to it, which I don't want to withhold from you:

dear friends:

those of you who know me are aware that i don't make a practice of sending political emails, forwards or anything of that ilk because they are annoying! i'm making an exception in this case because i have recently become aware of something so shocking that i can't understand how it has not come to my attention sooner. i have researched this and know it to be true.

dairy cows are forcibly impregnated once per year in order to keep their milk flowing. the calves (known officially as "unwanted by-products") are removed from them at birth or aborted. the females are either kept for future use as dairy cows or killed. the males are either sold to veal farms of killed. these people are shooting baby calves in the forehead by the hundreds of thousands every year in every country. can you picture a baby calf being shot in the head as it's looking into the eyes of thes shooter? can you imagine what the shooter tells him/herself in order to validate this? does this person then go home to his/her family and look his/her own children in the eyes?

as if it's not enough that the dairy association has been misleading us by telling us that milk provides an important source of calcium (it actually leaches calcium from human bones, causing high incidents of osteoporosis), but all along they are slaughtering babies. i feel like i've been completely duped. this industry purports to have as its sole concern the welfare and health of its consumers, while in reality they are lying, causing untold harm to our health, and torturing and murdering innocent creatures.

this happens on organic farms as well (except at a few "low-stress" farms). the situation on dairy farms is much, much worse than on meat-bearing cattle farms. PLEASE consider soy products instead. i won't be a wretch and include some of the pictures that i have seen. i'm sure you can conjure the image for yourselves. it's caused me much distress and sleeplessness in the past few days since it came to my attention (the bbc is airing a program about it and trailers including graphic images are being frequently shown on tv). i don't want to inflict that on any of you, but i wanted you to know.

miss b.

She is right in every point. If you don't believe it check this out:

or any other webpage dealing with this topic.

But before you all turn vegan now I want to warn you, because this is not as easygoing as being an ovo-lacto vegetarian. It has consequences healthwise (you have to learn much more about human nutrition than you ever wanted to, just to be sure you will stay healthy on the long run) and socially. It is relatively easy being a vegetarian. But living with carnivores around you becomes much more difficult when a vegan. Just think of going out for dinner with your friends. Vegan restaurants are rare and mixed ones even rarer. University life sometimes doesn't allow you to shop and cook healthy vegan food and eating on campus will become difficult. At any rate your friends will consider you as a freak. Being vegan is only for the strong-hearted and highly commited individuals among us animal lovers.

That wasn't meant to discourage you. If you are up to it definitely go for it, but be sure to know what you are doing. Read thoroughly through these webpages for example:

The British Vegan Society

The American Vegan Society

or the corresponding German Vegan site

"When a human kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why should man then expect mercy from God? It's unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give.
Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1986

A lot of Singer's Books deal with vegetarianism and are a worth a read. Check out where there is a list with his works. This is a good starter (buy it at - a little bit of product placement for my favourite bookshop:) )

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Dolche Vita on the UoR Campus
I'm back in Reading and can enjoy my fair-trade americano in my favourite cafetería, the dol.che vita on the main campus. It's also my favourite place for learning Japanese vocabulary. Although Mathilde says I'm going there because the boyz from the evening shift are so hot.

Friday, April 20, 2007

O-Hanami in Heidelberg

These are Heidelberg's cherry blossoms. I made the photo today at our science library.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Part 4 and last part on this blog (so bear with me non-sims-players)

But Damen has got a new best friend now. This is Damen with his best friend Kilea. He loves to cook for him. Well, there is really nothing else to do. With too much money and no job that seems to be interesting enough to free him from his boredom.

How degenerated can man become?

This is from BBC News (

Pig fat to be turned into diesel

Pigs will now not only be for eating but powering cars too
A solution for the world's energy crisis may come in the form of a pig.
American oil company ConocoPhillips and Tyson Foods, the world's biggest meat producer, have announced that they will produce diesel from pork fat.
Cows and chickens will also be transformed to power motor vehicles.

And because it's Karla's birthday part 3 as add-on! Happy Birthday Karla!

much deeper!

A Sims special exclusively for poor Karla who hasn't even got the time to play Sims 1 (part 2)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Sims special exclusively for poor Karla who hasn't even got the time to play Sims 1 (part 1)

Damen with his girl-friend May-Lin. It all began when he wanted to take her away from his best friend Willy ... just for fun. Now he isn't his best friend anymore and things with May-Lin got deeper than he wanted:

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Beth, you wanted to see the HHR. Actually, it looks a bit like the car I'm driving at the moment. But the colour is different!!!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dolmen and roses

Talking about dolmen.... here is a sorrow example of a dolmen from Valverde.

Only few dolmen are excavated or otherwise preserved. The pottery sherds are lying on the surface because agricultural and probably other vehicles are milling their way through these ancient grave yards. Portugal's archaeology must be in desparate need of money; it's a shame because there are probably enough young but jobless archaeologists like elsewhere.

Looking at the bright side: Nature was flowering everywhere. Maybe I missed the O-Hanami this year but we certainly saw other trees in flower like this rosaceae species.

I think it is a Cydonia oblonga (quince or Quitte in German). Although the leaves seamed softer than the one we have in Germany. Therefore I don't bet my life on it. If anyone can specify it with certainty - let me know.

Friday, April 13, 2007


I'm back from Portugal! It was not overwhelming but quite nice. One day we rented a car and went to see the hinterland of Lisbon, i.e. the area around Évora. Actually we visited dolmen, menhir and stone circles. Must have been a pretty hard day for my guys, but hell, a little bit of culture can't hurt too much.

These photos are from the largest stone circle in Portugal, the cromeleque of Almendres [almendresch]:

It was also the worst reconstructed stone circle (at least I sincerely hope so). Not so much as one standing stone was at it's original place which was marked (hopefully) by archaeologists. However, some had nice cup-and-ring marks on it,

Others even had Neolithic adorants (= stick figures with upraised arms) pecked into it,

Ok, ok this one is missing the arms, but still a nice neolithic figure. One had three circles of a later date incised , probably medieval, since they were made with a metal tool,

I hope you like my pics :)

Monday, April 02, 2007


On Saturday we had a Birthday in our family and went to Strasbourg. We had Dinner at the Tiger Wok:

If you spend a day in Strasbourg and want a Wok experience different from our Cedar Halls try this one, it really is great with a large buffet full of fresh ingredients from cat tongues (made from rice, not cats!) to fresh water chestnuts from which you can choose. All prepared in front of your eyes.

Here is the link - just in case: