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Prompt slightly modified.
sister_luck: (Default)
There is this one thing people always talk about in relation to shocking historical events: Where were you when you found out? When the horror struck, when you gradually became aware that this was not some the usual small accident but a significant event?

Solingen )
sister_luck: (television)
Go and watch this:

http://www.tape.tv/vid/389311

(You will probably have to go through an ad for the newest oh-so-brilliant-not-I-phone mobile. Sorry!)

Then tell me whether that's a clever homage or a cheap rip-off. Tocotronic, the German band with intellectual sensibilities, doesn't do much for me, which is mostly due to its reputation. They are being sold as clever, and all I hear is sixties guitars with German lyrics. Or it's the singer's voice, I don't know. This song is catchy enough, not quite as monotonous as some of the other songs I remember.

The video, touted on SPON as paying homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, certainly copies several iconic shots - the red leather jacket seems familiar, too. What does it mean though? I just don't get it.
sister_luck: (Default)
I can't believe that another week has gone! I was so very close to forgetting about a language link.

But a visit to Languagehat has provided me with a link to an NPR (that is America's public radio station) story about the word random - you can listen or read a written version here. What I took from it: It's not only okay to use random outside of its mathematical context, the mathematical meaning wasn't even first! Also, Jesse Sheidlower, the editor at large for the Oxford English Dictionary, is purple-haired. Not new to me, but worth repeating: "Life, like language, evolves."

Word of the week: Selfie to mean a self-portrait taken by a mobile phone camera. Found this in a story about Justin Bieber who made the mistake of taking a picture of himself with a mobile phone that some random girl threw on stage during a concert. Guess what? Cue more mobile phones being thrown at him. Video evidence here.
sister_luck: (oops)
In my wanderings around the internet I stumbled across the case of an American school teacher who was suspended for three days (two without pay) for playing a YouTube video in class. It appears the school's administration and the school district were unhappy because it was a hiphop song about marriage equality and they don't approve. Well, I think that's stupid, and even the school district knows that so they got the teacher on a technicality: She showed the video without pre-screening it herself (which can be problematic if you cannot trust the student who suggests a clip) and because she didn't "submit a completed form about the proposed clip to a building administrator for approval" as required by the staff handbook.
Paperwork about every material I use in class? I'd go crazy and it would seriously cramp my teaching style. Colleagues out there: Is this policy where you teach? How much freedom do you have in selecting material and how much influence do you have on the curriculum?
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I love the song, but I really do not enjoy being on the receiving end of the described behaviour. The lyrics actually manage to expose the hollowness of being against everything for no reason while staying absolutely authentic to that teenage feeling of opposition. Somehow the song also shows how difficult it is for the target of this rebellion to react to it appropriately, without losing one's temper and one's integrity.
sister_luck: (television)
I don't have time for a write-up, but here's a quick comment:

The Russian singer was a creep.
"I'm gonna get you. I know you want me to."
I felt threatened.


Did you watch?
Any comments on the whole thing?

Kids' TV.

May. 6th, 2011 07:22 pm
sister_luck: (television)
When I said I don't watch any television any more I've been lying to you. It's not true.
Actually, I've become quite an expert on television for pre-school kids, especially the programmes shown on Nick Jr. which means they're either American or British and we get them dubbed in German. So, content-wise there are a lot of things that don't quite fit culturally and language-wise, most of the jokes and word-play fall by the wayside, like in one episode where a character was asked to be the ring-bearer at a wedding and thought this involved a bear costume - we don't really do ring-bearers and while English ringbear and German Ringbär sound similar, the person carrying a ring is a Ringträger, so the joke didn't work that well. (They did keep the English word, so it made some sense.)

I've developed opinions on different series and have found a favourite, too. I don't care much for Dora and Diego - here it's of course not English with some Spanish, it's German with some English - nor for Kai Lan - which is broadcast in German with the odd Chinese phrase thrown in. I think that the language learning aspect is mostly negligible and the pseudo-interactive bits I find rather annoying, but the little one enjoys watching anyway.

I don't like most of the participatory stuff except for getting the kids to sing and dance. Answering questions or repeating words seems silly. Do older kids actually comply?

Little Bill is very cute and has a perfect family - and it's so very obvious that this is about providing appropriate role-models for African-American kids.

I detest Fifi and the Flowertots. There is so much wrong with it, I don't know where to start.

At first, I thought the Wonderpets with all the weird singing and music were terribly annoying, but I've grown to love them. I think I have to hunt youtube for the originals. There is stuff for the adults as well - like when the Wonderpets travel to Vegas and save the Rat Pack, three rats clearly modelled on Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis jr. and Dean Martin.

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