The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

February 18th, 2010

Came across this movie tonight somewhat by accident. Very cool!

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

This witty and original film is about the open spaces of cities and why some of them work for people while others don’t. Beginning at New York’s Seagram Plaza, one of the most used open areas in the city, the film proceeds to analyze why this space is so popular and how other urban oases, both in New York and elsewhere, measure up. Based on direct observation of what people actually do, the film presents a remarkably engaging and informative tour of the urban landscape and looks at how it can be made more hospitable to those who live in it.

You can buy it here for $95 or watch it in full on Youtube (part one through six):

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2GfOhFZkY8
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aioLKJfxQV4
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_nw8HJ2yAE
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFT_DakPk1Y
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIOteCQHJmk
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA0Vqr770Zs

Here’s part one:

Soy Rebelde (Jeanette, 1971)

February 15th, 2010

Yo soy rebelde porque el mundo me ha hecho así
porque nadie me ha tratado con amor
porque nadie me ha querido nunca oir

Yo soy rebelde porque siempre sin razón
me negaron todo aquello que pedí
y me dieron solamente incomprensión

Y quisiera ser como el niño aquel
como el hombre aquel que es feliz
Y quisiera dar lo que hay en mí
todo a cambio de una amistad

Y soñar y vivir
y olvidar el rencor
y cantar y reir
y sentir sólo amor

Yo soy rebelde porque el mundo me ha hecho así
porque nadie me ha tratado con amor
porque nadie me ha querido nunca oir

Y quisiera ser como el niño aquel
como el hombre aquel que es feliz
Y quisiera dar lo que hay en mí
todo a cambio de una amistad

Y soñar y vivir
y olvidar el rencor
y cantar y reir
y sentir sólo amor

lalalalalala…
lalalalalala…
lalalalalala…

Performed by Jeanette, composer Manuel Alejandro.

German expressions for those OMG moments

December 31st, 2009

Here’s a little end-of-year krautsourcing experiment. I’m looking for a list of German phrases that express a certain kind of surprise, disbelief, irritation, annoyance or sometimes appreciation and compliment. When saying them out loud, they can or may occasionally be accompanied by a slap on the knee or standing one arm akimbo or other gestures (e.g. two hands raised to the head if it’s really bad).

Here’s a few examples (note that even though technically some of these may be questions the intonation tends to be that of a statement or exclamation, hence no question mark):

  • Ja, gibt’s denn sowas.
  • Ja, ist es denn die Möglichkeit.
  • Haste nicht gesehen!
  • Leck mich am Arsch!
  • Ja, do legs di nieda! (Bavarian, sp?)
  • Heilig’s Blechle! (Swabian)
  • Das schlägt dem Fass den Boden aus!
  • Das ist doch wirklich das allerletzte!
  • Da wird doch der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt!
  • Heiliges Kanonenrohr!

You get the gist.

Thing is, the junior finds these absolutely, completely hilarious and has the best of times when he hears them. He can’t seem to get enough and I’m quickly running out of variations.

Please help me expand this list. Let me know: what do you use when something like that just happened? What do your parents or grandparents use? Don’t be shy, some of these can get quite expletive. Give a little background (like region), too, if you feel like it.

Happy New Year!

Update

More expressions that fall into this category (rhythm and melody wise):

  • Sapperlot!
  • Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn!
  • Mannomann!
  • Ach du liebe Güte!
  • Ich fass es nich’
  • Ich glaub, mich tritt ein Pferd
  • Zapperlot!
  • Ach du grüne Neune!
  • Grundgütiger!
  • Du meine Güte!
  • Jetzt schlägt’s Dreizehn
  • Ach, du ahnst es nicht!

Update 2

More good ones…

  • Leck mich in de täsch! (Rhineland)
  • Ich glaub, mein Schwein pfeift.
  • Mich laust der Affe!
  • Heiliger Bimbam!

The Song Stays With A Man (Edita Piekha, 1964)

December 26th, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, Edita Piekha:

Remember, this is just a couple years after the Cuban Missile Crisis almost led the world to nuclear holocaust. We should be so glad that has been averted (so far, at least); otherwise, how would we ever know about cute songs like this one?

I’m going to Hollywood!

October 20th, 2009

Ok, not quite. But doing a daily TV talk show from Oracle OpenWorld 2009 this year was tons of fun (remember, that’s where I work). There’s something about live video that’s really fresh, definitely something we will explore further.

Here’s the program site in case you’re interested. If you were among the millions who tuned in, here’s a good place to give feedback. Thanks!

Loma Prieta

October 18th, 2009

20 years ago yesterday, I was watching MTV. Then the house started shaking (I jotted down a few more details of this memorable incident in this 2006 post).

Here’s a recording of ABC7 News’ live coverage immediately following the quake.

allowscriptaccess="always" allownetworking="all" allowfullscreen="true"
src="http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/static/flash/embeddedPlayer/swf/otvEmLoader.swf?version=&station=kgo&section=&mediaId=7041531&cdnRoot=http://cdn.abclocal.go.com&webRoot=http://abclocal.go.com&site=">

Only a matter of time until the next one hits.

Un Sorriso (Milva, 1969)

October 4th, 2009

Love this song. And the video.

Memorable railroad moments: The Pacific Surfliner

September 24th, 2009

Yesterday, I had the chance to further explore the US railroad network by taking the train from San Diego, CA to Anaheim, CA. It’s a two-hour ride along the beautiful Pacific Coast. Here’s a short video I took near San Clemente, CA. Enjoy!

Pacific Surfliner from Tim Bonnemann on Vimeo.

Blueprint for the next successful political party in Germany

August 31st, 2009

It’s not easy to get excited about German politics these days. In fact, most Germans I talk to have grown pretty frustrated over the years with the way politics is organized.

By and large, the political parties lack agility and drive, their platforms don’t seem to grasp the big picture challenges the country is facing and their personnel is either exhausted or lacks credibility (or both). There are no stars around anymore, and I dare you to try to remember the last time a political idea, concept or proposal made you go “wow!”

So, what if you were to re-engineer a political party in Germany today? Here’s a quick sketch, probably highly flawed, of five principles that I believe could make almost any party fairly popular within a few years.

Blueprint for the next successful political party in Germany

A market with so many unhappy customers will be a huge opportunity for whoever manages to figure out how to do things differently, politically speaking.

Just sayin’…

August 3, 1989

August 5th, 2009

August 3, 1989

20 years ago I entered the US for the first time. John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, traveling TWA, on my way to California. I would spend the 1989/90 school year as a foreign exchange student in the San Francisco Bay Area, by far one of the best things I’ve ever done.