Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Night Tidbits

* I got a survey from TK (my health insurance) in the mail today. They wanted to know what I thought about their insurance. I figure all the Germans who respond will have complaints because they've never experienced Blue Cross Blue Shield, so I happily marked my satisfaction in every category and returned it right away. :)

* I saw these strange things at the Rewe today and bought them out of sheer curiosity. I never heard of "Viking rolls" before. I don't know what I was expecting, but they weren't it! The white stuff is a thick marzipan layer, and there's (white? yellow?) cake inside! It looked like layers instead of a roll, but it could just be squished from all the processing.

* Cancer is no amusing matter, but I have to say that I love the German equivalent of "malignant neoplasm" - bösartige Neubildung. In my mind I'm translating it more like "scary-type new formation" - I guess that could be what the Latin basis of the English words really mean anyway, but it just doesn't have the same impact. In medicine, German generally has a lot of its own words for diseases and other terms which in English mostly come from Latin. Chemistry seems to be the opposite, though! Where English has its own terms for some elements that cause disconnect with the periodic table abbreviations (potassium, for example), German's version comes from Latin (potassium = Kalium - K on the periodic table!).

* Has anyone been following the Amy Bishop case? Most crime news doesn't hold my attention for more than a day but this one seriously disturbed me so I've kept reading. I wasn't impressed with her lawyer saying some BS in the news the other day along the lines of her "Harvard mentality" being a factor. Excuse me? Is this guy trying to say that graduating Harvard can induce you to feel entitlement on a level that leads to shooting up your colleagues? I wasn't cringing alone. Alas in that search I also found plenty of people who really believe there's something inherently wrong with anyone who's gone to Harvard.

* A preview of what else I need to get posting about:


  1. Yeah, I'm also totally appalled by the Amy Bishop case, and definitely see it as another example of why gun access needs to be stricter. It should not be that easy to go around murdering people because you're stressed...

  2. I read that this is not her first killing. She killed her brother (accidentaly). She also complained about an ice cream truck being in her neighborhood. It wasn't fair--her children were lactose intolerant. Wonder how they feel about murder?

  3. What bothers me about the coverage is the time spend discussing, and dismissing, her worth to science. Who cares! It seems like some people (aka some academics) can't stand the idea that there are good scientists who aren't also wise and benevolent.


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