Archive for » October, 2012 «

Here are some things I would like to do before I kick the bucket (you know).

  1. plant a tree
  2. install a birdfeeder
  3. arrange and record 10 Beatles songs as jazz songs (you know, so they don’t sound as sappy as they do when performed by the Beatles)
  4. sing in front of a small audience (not karaoke)
  5. write a book about data and databases
  6. take the MCM exam (the Microsoft Master program for SQL Server certification)
  7. write a fiction book
  8. travel on a spaceship around the moon
  9. take pictures of a summer and winter sports events
  10. learn another language
  11. buy a house and get an0ther cat
  12. what else?
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The bird feeder I installed yesterday has been very popular in the neighborhood. Well, among the birds, mostly.

All kinds of birds have been snooping around all day, and I have been taking pictured from the kitchen window.

This comes to prove once again, of course, that nothing in the Universe comes without an agenda, no matter how hidden it it.

See, from the pint of view of the birds, some kind of goddess dropped the huge amount of food for them.

But in my reality, it is nothing more than a chubby guy egoistically dropping a bird feeder so he can take pictures of birds on his day off.

    

 

Anyhow, the feeling is great. I have been having this feeling of accomplishment for half a day now. It feels like I just got a medal (I would imagine, of course, since I have never gotten a medal), or like the feeling of a communist leader who has just been appointed to a top level position (I would also imagine this, since I haven’t been a communist leader, and I have never been appointed to any top positions either).

It is quite cool – even a big bird came and shook the tree a bit, but at the end got some seeds.

I actually managed to take a picture of a falling leaf. Quite skilled am I, right? :)

 

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Today I finally installed a bird feeder.  I have been thinking for a while to do it, had bought the device and a bag of seeds, but I was waiting for the beginning of the winter.

I installed it and there were no birds for an hour or two, but then some birds came and started eating the seeds.

So cooooooooooooooooool.

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This is an open letter which is to be addressed to the Danish TV2 channel, the Danish Queen and the Danish population. Well, I am sure the rest of the world can learn something from it too:

Dear leaders and country folk,

I am sending you this letter because recently I was unpleasantly shocked and disappointed by the plain public exhibition of racism and the inability to deal with problems of this sort in Denmark.

Let me explain: recently I saw reportage on TV2 News channel warning about the growing tendency of Danish cities to turn into ghettoes.

To state the obvious, this is no news. Every country nowadays is dealing with the same problem more or less. After all, we live in a ‘globalized’ world where the economy and the well-being of a country are dependent on migration and constant increase of the population count (to sustain consumption and the welfare system), as well solving the consequences of it in a timely manner – but this is a whole different topic.

What was shocking, actually, was the elaboration on the definition of a ‘ghetto’. Here is a picture of the definition, according to the TV2 News channel:

So, what outlines a ghetto is (according to the author of this reportage):

An area with population over 1000 with at least 2 out of the following 3 criteria:

  • Mere end 50% beboere fra ikke vestlige lande – more than 50% of the population is from non-western countries
  • Mere end 40% 18-64-årige ikke i arbejde / uddanelse – more than 40% of the population between 18 and 64 is unemployed or uneducated
  • Mere end 270 dömte kriminelle pr. 10,000 beboere – more than 270 convicted criminals per 10,000 inhabitants

Can you tell already why this seems to be a racist and a socially clumsy statement?

In the eyes of the author of this definition of ‘ghetto’ there is a clear distinction of western and non-western countries.

What is disturbing, however, is that if you have a city populated by ‘non-westerners’, the city is already half-way on the path to being a ghetto – by default. To get there, all you need is some crime OR unemployment / lack of education.

On the other hand, a city which has only westerners as inhabitants has a much longer way to go to become a ghetto – has to have crime AND unemployment / lack of education.

So, the logic dictates in this case that westerners are superior and more advanced as opposed to non-westerners.

Just out of curiosity, where do you draw the line of distinction between westerners and non-westerners? Do you rely on the antique iron curtain definition? Or are you talking about the Orient vs. the rest of Europe? (And since we have established already that the Earth is round, this gives us the perspective that if we go West for long enough, we will eventually get to the East. Right?)

Don’t get me wrong, but I will strongly recommend refining your definitions of direction: after all, in the past decade Eastern / Southern Europe has been catching up in its development with Western Europe. The gap between Eastern and Western countries was much bigger a decade ago, compared to present times. And Denmark is not an exception, I am afraid: the difference between the Danish villages and the south-east European villages is becoming more and more insignificant by the hour.

Let’s have another look at the criteria, however: what exactly makes the first point (‘more than 50% of the population is from non-western countries’) to become part of the criteria? Is it the worry that the non-western citizens are (usually) unemployed, uneducated or crime-inclined? Apparently not, since these faults are covered in the other two points.

Is it the worry that the non-westerners come from a different cultural (and maybe even religious?) background? And specifically the worry that this background does not fit in any way with the idea of a pure cultural and racial entity?

Well, if the latter is the case, then I must admit that Denmark smells like the early 1940s. (And as we all know, that story did not particularly go very well).

And finally, let me make a point here: I would suggest that you look at the statistics of the recent years and find out how much in tax money is contributed by non-westerners per year. Then look carefully into what would happen if this money was not coming in, and what the price of a single pizza would be if there were no non-westerners around.

I am a non-westerner myself, living in Northern Europe, and I am confident that I work harder than the average western folk; not by habit, but just because I have no other choice and no one else to rely on. And I pay as much taxes as the average westerner. And, not coincidentally, it seems that I tend to appreciate the Nordic environment much better than the average western folk.

So, by my own criteria, I consider myself a westerner (regardless of my ‘non-western’ sounding name and ‘non-western’ culture).

As a final suggestion, let me say that it would be a smart strategy for the future to reconsider this criteria sooner rather than later, and to start seeing the non-westerners as what they actually are – a valuable part of the country’s economy, instead of a constant source of problems.

It is hard to imagine that publicly distributing racist criteria like the one mentioned above will bring any positive results in an already shaky society.

Think about it.

Yours sincerely,

Someone who cares

 

 

 

 

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Here are a few pictures of a newborn snail and a spider. They were just chillin’ in the sun. :)

 

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