TWITTER | @martingruner
Det står en familie på gaten under meg, og prøver å få en blå undulat ned fra et tre. Jeg ser begynnelsen på et barndomstraume i øynene til den lille jenten. Undulaten sitter to meter fra mitt vindu. Nå fløy den.
The Funny Books
Bookslut reports that Vertigo Comics has started to employ the graphic novel stand-alone book as a greater part of their repetoire. And thank God for that.
The one big step that comics could make towards being taken seriously as an art form is precisely this. While the serially issued comic has greater opportunity for character development, etc., it also means that the main characters need to be extraordinary people to whom extraordinary things happen constantly. That makes it easier to fall back on the superheroish format.
I've had some amazing reading experiences with standalone graphic novels, and I think good examples here are two of the ones I liked most, both by Neil Gaiman: Signal to Noise and Violent Cases. These were both serially published in their original form, but were really better suited for standalone volumes. Reading them all at once created an incredible reading experience. They're stories about more-or-less ordinary people involved in an ordinary event, one battling cancer while writing his last movie script, the other trying to make sense of his childhood memories. They both create literary events, and use the unique capabilities of the graphic novel format to create something unique. They would not be possible in open-ended serial formats.
Hey, hadde det ikke vært en interessant øvelse i å avdekke retorikk å sammenligne utsagnene til folk under Muhammed-karikatursaken og antisemittismebeskyldningene mot Dagbladet? Hypotese: de samme personene som forsvarte ytringsfriheten under Muhammedsaken kommer til å aggressivt fordømme antisemittismen i denne saken. 10 poeng til førstemann som klarer å påvise det.
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
Otto von Bismarck, who grew up a quick bike ride from where I'm staying at the moment, once said "Laws are like sausages: if you want to respect them, you shouldn't watch them being made."
I've never been involved in legislation, but there's a sausagemaker in the bottom of this building and he sure is right.
He was a wellspring of great quotes, Bismarck. Here are some more, courtesy of WikiQuote:
There are heaps more. Go look. The last one reminds me of someone saying "we have saying een my country. It is better to have loved and lost than to engage in a full-scale war against Russia in the wintertime." I can't remember where or who, though.I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.
Politics is the art of the possible.
(Olof Palme started a book with that phrase.)
What we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.
The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.
I am so totally starting a band called Manly Pandas.
Writeboard looks like a really interesting web-based application. It's basically a place where you and anyone else can edit the same text online in distinct, constantly saved versions. Like a closed, simple wiki. Very cool for collaborative text work. I'm filled with ideas for what one could do with this. I heard a rumour Google is working on a similar app that does the same thing in real-time using Ajax.
I was sneaking a peek at this blog on communications (check it out. It has some interesting posts on public speaking), and I came across a quote I've heard a couple of times. It's by Eleanor Roosevelt. She said "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." And every time I've heard that, I've thought to myself "that's bullshit." Great minds are characterised precisely by an ability to correlate all these levels, and by remaining rooted in people. The smartest people I have ever met, have consistently all been people-persons. I think this line of thinking is embedded in how we think about thinking, though. Especially in academic circles. Which is just a roundabout way of saying the same thing as the cliche about academics being aloof and ivory-towerish.
Master thesis nitty-gritty
I'm working on my master's thesis, and I'm starting to get into a situation where I find that the current system I'm using for sources and references (an overly complicated endnote system) is not doing it for me, and I keep running into problems, so I'm considering options for a new system before I have to redo 100 pages of references. I've never really been very consistent with reference systems, and I've never really found one that I prefer over others.
Do you have any tips? What system did/do you use? Why does it/doesn't it work for you?
En gang til, i sakte gjengivelse:
Vedums relativisering av forholdene mellom sivilisasjon og barbari diagnostiserer et vesentlig problem i offentlig debatt, nemlig det evinnelige maset om nyanser. Jo visst kunne USA gjort mye annerledes, jo visst er det viktig å se nyanser. Men altfor ofte glemmer man det viktigste, essenser!
(Eirik Løkke, Morgenbladet, 21-27 juli 2006)
Man gleder seg
Forresten, er det kun meg som synes at denne setningen høres ut som en parodi på noe: "Det kommer nye diktsamlinger både fra Stein Mehren («Anrop fra en mørk stjerne») og Triztan Vindtorn («Jeg kan høre din hånd synge»)."Erling Aadland debuterer med prosadikt [på Aschehoug] i samlingen «Ditt uforglemmelige fravær». Diktene handler om livets filosofi og ritualer, om by og land, om vår tid, og om de spørsmål de gamle grekerne var opptatt av. Aadland (f. 1952) er professor i allmenn litteraturvitenskap ved universitetet i Bergen.
Gen X goes critical mass (ca. 2003)
I'm surprised that this ridiculously unlikely occurence didn't bring on the endtimes: William Gibson, Michael Stipe and Douglas Coupland meet by chance in a watch store in Tokyo. Thus, with the entire symbolic representations/ representators/ inventors/ poet laureates of Generation X all gathered together, I can only assume that some critical mass was achieved. In retrospect, this nodal point of history will come to be thought of either as the pinnacle of Gen X's power, from which all would go downhill. Or the beginning of their ultimate rise to a position of world domination.
Berlin update: I've been swimming, and I biked 20 kilometers today. And I read a long article by Derrida. The asphalt is still melting, and the booze is still ridiculously, tantalizingly cheap, but all you want is water and lots of it. I've drunk 4 litres a day since I got here, and I never stop being thirsty.
Here's an interesting blog post on something called the The Overton window. It's a political methodology that right-wing think tanks use to shift public discourse. It works, and the left could easily make it work for them too.
We're off to have breakfast in the park. It's a kazillion degrees here in Berlin.
Endelig fremme. Det er god stemning og høyt kvikksølv i Berlin. Materien flyter faktisk her. I strie strømmer. Sikkert pga den sinnsyke varmen. Og alle de kosmiske stråler: Jeg hadde ikke vært her tre timer en gang før jeg traff en bekjent fra Danmark.
I don't really like blonde jokes, but this one is hysterically funny.
In June of 1908, near the Tunguska river in Evenka, Siberia, 60 to 80 million trees over 2000 square km were flattened overnight by what was probably a huge explosion, referred to by scientists as the Tunguska Event. There were very few witnesses, and the event has never quite been explained (though most now assume that it was a porous meteor exploding in mid-air causing an enormous explosion known as an airburst). For some reason, very few people have heard of this.
Anyway, this morning I read this BBC report, claiming that a jewel in one of Tutankhamen's necklaces was actually glass that was older than the earlist Egyptian civilization. Now it seems that Tut's necklace was created from chunks of glass that have been found scattered over a remote region in Sahara.
The thing is, glass forms naturally in nature when silicate sand (what glass is made from) is exposed to extremely high temperatures. For instance, atomic bomb tests in deserts have produced a thin layer of glass on the ground. The most common creator of natural glass is a lightning strike, producing glass formations known as fulgurites. (I actually found what I'm pretty sure now was a fulgurite in a dune on a beach in Southern California in 1995. It was sandy, brownish-green, root-shaped, hollow and very brittle. I regret not trying to bring it home.)
Whatever created that glass in Sahara was way bigger and more intense than Hiroshima. So scientists now think that they have found evidence for at least two more Tunguska-like events. One in Sahara, which created the glassy rocks there, which went into Tutankhamen's necklace, and one in Southeast Asia (the place is not specified). Isn't that just tremendously interesting?
Jeg har usedvanlig lite lyst til å fly med Norwegian noensinne igjen. Idag var jeg centimeter fra å måtte betale 600 kroner for å få lov til å utsette min reise til Berlin en dag fordi deres fly ikke fikk meg dit det skulle når det skulle. Hrmph.
F#%!%$¤ hilarious. Funniest thing I've seen this week. And it also shows how bleeping words on tv is just completely [bleep]ing useless.
Back to work now.
World Jump Day
I just found out that today is world jump day. In about an hour and fiftyseven minutes, 600 million non-existing people are going to jump to attempt to change the world's orbit. Fortunately
a) It's fake, an art project.
b) It's impossible to do so.
To quote House of Pain:
I came to get down , I came to get down, So get out ya seats and jump around. Jump around. Jump around. Jump around. Jump up Jump up and get down. Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump Jump (everybody jump!) Jump Jump (etc.)
Ich bin ein Berliner
Jeg er i Berlin fra imorgen, den 20 juli, til den 10 august. Jeg kommer til å sitte der nede og skrive på min masteroppgave. Jeg har internett, så jeg regner med at jeg kommer til å oppdatere underveis.
Som en lille bonus, Hier haben sie hvordan ich hörer ut im deutsch:
Der Interviewer ist eine Spitze zuviel in der BBC Art der eingehenden Interviews, dessen extreme Version die vollständig Stumpfgegenstand Art des Interviews gesehen auf Hardtalk ist. Ich kann nicht dieses Erscheinen aufpassen, weil es keine Richtung gibt, die jedermann überhaupt eine Linie des Gedankens wird beenden gelassen, bevor sie durch einen Angriff unterbrochen werden. Er ist wie das Unterhaltungsäquivalent des Mittlerer Osten Friedensprozesses. Niemand denkt Sachen durch, sind sie gerade in der Position und im Vortäuschen zu debattieren verriegelt.
Yesterday, I listened to some radio interviews on BBC while working. In this way, I discovered that I'm not very good at working while paying attention to other people talking. But they were nice interviews. Spacious, conversational; covering a lot of ground. The interviewer is a bit too much in the BBC style of in-depth interviews, the extreme version of which is the completely blunt-object style of interview seen on Hardtalk. I can't watch that show, because there is no sense that anyone is ever allowed to finish a line of thought before they're interrupted by an attack. It's like the conversational equivalent of the Middle-East peace process. Nobody thinks things through, they're just locked in position and pretending to debate.
In this show, though, the only trouble manifests in too much of a desire to show off the interviewer's knowledge and a tendency to put long trains of thought into the interviewee's mouth. It's not too annoying, though. He's good at giving them a lot of room to breathe.
I've interviewed quite a few people over the years, when I was in the Student radio, and later working freelance doing literature material here and there. I think my biggest fault is that I'm too friendly with the person I'm interviewing. Don't ask difficult questions, try to keep the conversation going and smooth things over. But I have done a few that I'm proud of. Particularly a couple of interviews I did with Scandinavian jazz musicians like Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils-Petter Molvær and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (whom I interviewed just two months before he died). Those were not just nice interviews, but nice conversations with extremely friendly and interesting people.
It's something I'd like to get better at, but it's always been worked out so that just enough time passed between each interview that I've never gotten into the habit of it. It's still a slightly uncomfortable situation.
The ones I listened to yesterday were the Gyorgy Ligeti Interview, which made him seem like a really nice old man. And the one with Tom Stoppard. The rest are in the sidebar. All sorts of interesting people: Milos Forman, Frank Gehry, Michael Frayn, Edward Bond, etc.
It's the same as Iraq
While everyone was focusing on the fact that Bush said shit into a live mike (the constant excitement of ooh, even famous people swear) interesting snippets are maybe being missed.
Blair: What does [Kofi Annan] think? He thinks that if Lebanon turns out fine if you get a solution in (inaudible) that Iraq ends in the right way.
Bush: He's through.
Blair: He's (inaudible). That's what this whole thing is about. It's the same as Iraq.
There's an interesting profile of DJ Danger Mouse (1/2 of Gnarls Barkley, maker of the Grey Album) over at NY Times. It argues that he is a new kind of musical auteur. Something halfway between a DJ, a composer and a producer. It's an interesting argument. Like Brian Eno for the remix generation. Or Woody Allen for hip hop.
"Internet. The craze that is sweeping the nation"
Studentradioen i Bergen har begynt å digitalisere arkivet sitt, og graver opp gullkorn fra sine 24 år gamle arkiver. F.eks. kan man i en rapport fra det herrens år 1992 høre om "Internettet - et elektronisk hav av muligheter".
Litt i samme ånd kan vi nevne rapporten the Growing Phenomenon Called the Internet og Ted Stevens' geniale series-of-tubes metafor for internettet. Jon Stewart har mer. Jon?
Now featuring a greater ability to reflect light
"Sandpaper is a form of paper where an abrasive material has been fixed to its surface; it is part of the "coated abrasives" family of abrasive products. It is used to remove small amounts of material from surfaces, either to make them smoother (painting and wood finishing), to remove a layer of material (e.g. old paint), or sometimes to make the surface rougher (e.g. as a preparation to gluing)."
Hva skjer hvis man innfører sammensatte ord a la norsk på engelsk? Til å begynne med får man iallefall en hel del ubrukelige domenenavn.
Feel like throwing a hugely expensive object around? Try Camera tossing for fun & profit.
And in order to help me do the design, I'm using this nifty little gizmo called Pixel Rulerv. 3.1. It helps you measure the exact pixel length on screen. Just so I have some idea of what length I want for my sidebars and so forth.
[commence the coconut-like sound of coconuts]
By the by, I've said this before, but I'm really sorry I never get around to renewing the Winter 06 design. I'm always either vacationing or too busy doing Actual Work, and when I do work on a design, I find that I have forgotten almost everything I learned in the first design, and will now have to relearn it. But in my copious spare time, I am doing some work right now on a design. It involves the colors grey, white and orange, and is based on the Holy Grail layout in this article. If you're interested in getting to know CSS positioning, I can recommend working through this piece of code.
I could make the mandatory Monty Python joke about unladen African/European swallows now, and I could even have tied that into the Norwegian saying "one swallow doesn't make it summer" referring to the persistence of my winter design. But I couldn't really find an elegant way of making the connection, and anyway I started this post in English. You'll have to go without the joke. But I'm just telling you it would have been great. It would have had you rolling in the aisles.
Here's more on the Big Here/Long Now-thing - an article by Brian Eno on it.
Head-exploding goodness: Imagining the Tenth Dimension. It's a flash animation that helps you with abstract concepts for imagining ten-dimensional space-time. It's actually very pedagogic, and more fun than it sounds like. A lot of it is difficult, but if you sit through it, there's a summary in the tenth dimension which is quite helpful.
The 2006 winners of the Lyttle Lytton Contest have been announced. There are a few good ones this year, though not as spectacular as previous years. The spectacularly fine-tuned rhythmical ineptness of the following two sentences:
"Cries of "Ahoy!" broke the turgid silence of the golf course; the Cap'n approached."
"I woke up shuddering; my soul was now dead inside."
were what make me laugh hardest, I think.
You know, even though The Long Now Foundation is very hippie-esque and the idea was cooked up in the head of a guy who used to play synthezisers in make-up in a band with Bryan Ferry (I mean, really) I have to say that if we could pull it off, being able to think in terms of the Long Now is probably the single smartest thing we, as a species, can do. Witness this article in the LA Times, called "If only gay sex caused global warming". It seems very on-point.
Det store her
"Det store her" er en paralell til det "lange nå", som Long Now Foundation prøver å innføre. Her er en side som snakker om det, og gir en 30 år gammel test for å sjekke din egen bevissthet om det store her og stedet man bor. Den prøver å teste i hvor stor grad man er involvert og til stede i den regionen man bor i.
De siste par årene har jeg blitt mer og mer bevisst på at min selverklærte postmoderne stedsløshet til tross for at min nasjonale identitet er nesten ikke-eksisterende, faktisk bygger oppå en sterk lokal forankring og tilstedeværelse i Bergen.
Barn har ofte en helt utrolig kunnskap om sitt eget nabolag, som man mister når man flytter og siden aldri får tilbake fordi det å leke og derved konstant bevege seg gjennom og bruke et strøk er en måte å erhverve seg kunnskap på som man aldri opplever igjen med mindre man f.eks. går på jakt eller jobber lokalt. Nå til dags er sove- og jobbested langt fra hverandre, og på den måten får man aldri den kunnskapen.
Her er testen. Mine svar følger under. Jeg har ikke sjekket riktigheten av disse, så hvis du vet om noe som er galt, så må du si fra.
(Jeg antar at jeg er i min leilighet i Bergen, hvilket jeg ikke er. I must be crazy.)
30 questions to elevate your awareness (and literacy) of the greater place in which you live:
1) Point north.
Dette kan jeg gjøre hvor som helst i Bergensområdet. Jeg er en sånn person som ikke føler seg helt til stede et sted før jeg vet hvor nord er.
2) What time is sunset today?
Det ville jeg ha basert på lyset, så det kan jeg ikke svare på. Akkurat nå er jeg i Bodø, der svaret er ALDRI.
3) Trace the water you drink from rainfall to your tap.
Regnet faller ned i byfjellene og renner derfra til Svartediket eller Skomakerdiket eller det vannet ovenfor Skredderdalen. Derfra renner det til filtreringsstasjonen enten i Fjellveien eller ved foten av Svartediksdemningen og derfra igjennom rørsystemet i Bergen Sentrum til min bygning.
4) When you flush, where do the solids go? What happens to the waste water?
Dette vet jeg faktisk ikke, men jeg vet hvor de forlater bygningen min. Jeg antar at de på et eller annet vis pumpes ut av byen gjennom kloakken, filtreres og dumpes i havet. Jeg vet overraskende lite om dette, men jeg vet at det i år 315 e.kr var ca. 150 offentlige latriner betalt med skattepenger i gamle Roma. Hurra for de humanistiske fag.
5) How many feet above sea level are you?
Ca. 20 m.
6) What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom here?
7) How far do you have to travel before you reach a different watershed? Can you draw the boundaries of yours?
Ca. en times gange til toppen av byfjellene. Og ja, tror jeg.
8) Is the soil under your feet, more clay, sand, rock or silt?
Stein, stein, stein.
9) Before your tribe lived here, what did the previous inhabitants eat and how did they sustain themselves?
Fisk. De fisket. Og så handlet de med fisk.
10) Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available.
Jordbær, bringebær og bygg om sommeren; ymse sopp, f.eks. kantarell og steinsopp om høsten.
11) From what direction do storms generally come?
Egentlig hvor som helst unntatt øst. Særlig nord og sørvest.
12) Where does your garbage go?
13) How many people live in your watershed?
En kvart million, evt. pluss Åsane og Bønes etc.
14) Who uses the paper/plastic you recycle from your neighborhood?
Papiret reiser til Sverige og blir til papir, kartong og papp. Plastikken vet jeg ikke.
15) Point to where the sun sets on the equinox. How about sunrise on the summer solstice?
Midten av Askøy, cirka, og over midten av Fløyfjellet.
16) Where is the nearest earthquake fault? When did it last move?
Det finnes en liten sprekk utenfor Øygarden en plass. Det var visst et lite skjelv for ikke så fryktelig lenge siden, men jeg husker at min far ristet av stolen i Fosswinckels gate utpå høsten 1988.
17) Right here, how deep do you have to drill before you reach water?
Det kommer jo helt an på. Ikke så mye mer enn 15 meter, iallefall, hvis det er noe vann i jorden. Tipper jeg.
18) Which (if any) geological features in your watershed are, or were, especially respected by your community, or considered sacred, now or in the past?
Det var vel ikke så mye geologien folk respekterte før, som det var naturen. Men nå til dags har jo alle et nært forhold til de 7 fjell (bortsett fra at vi aldri helt blir enige om hvilke som er de 7 fjell).
19) How many days is the growing season here (from frost to frost)?
Begynnelsen av april til siste tredjedel av september, kanskje? 160 dager?
20) Name five birds that live here. Which are migratory and which stay put?
Havmåke, kråke, skjære, due, svale. Svalen tar vett til seg om høsten.
21) What was the total rainfall here last year?
Hei, jeg heter Noah.
22) Where does the pollution in your air come from?
23) If you live near the ocean, when is high tide today?
Eeeh, rundt klokken 19? Vilt gjett.
24) What primary geological processes or events shaped the land here?
Isbreer og det store krønsj som dannet fjellmassivet midt i Norge.
25) Name three wild species that were not found here 500 years ago. Name one exotic species that has appeared in the last 5 years.
Regnbueørret er den eneste jeg kommer på.
26) What minerals are found in the ground here that are (or were) economically valuable?
Ikke så mye av den slags som jeg vet om.
27) Where does your electric power come from and how is it generated?
Vannkraft, hovedsaklig. Litt vind, kanskje?
28) After the rain runs off your roof, where does it go?
Den blir kanalisert i rør gjennom balkongene på bygningen min, og ned i avløp som ender i gaten, derfra ned i avløpsrister, til avløpskanaler som munner ut i havet.
29) Where is the nearest wilderness? When was the last time a fire burned through it?
Hele veien rundt. It's the beauty of Norway. Det brant f.eks. storbrann på Sotra forleden. Selv var jeg vitne til en storbrann på Sandviksfjellet for fire-fem år siden.
30) How many days till the moon is full?
The Bigger Here Bonus Questions:
31) What species once found here are known to have gone extinct?
Fenrisulv, midgardsorm, æse.
32) What other cities or landscape features on the planet share your latitude?
Grønland, Sibir, Nord-Canada, Alaska og Beringstredet.
33) What was the dominant land cover plant here 10,000 years ago?
For 10.000 år siden var det vel strengt tatt istid her i gården, var det ikke?
34) Name two places on different continents that have similar sunshine/rainfall/wind and temperature patterns to here.
Seattle og Tokyo.
KHiB får nybygg
At least 130 people have died in a a coordinated terror attack on Mumbai in India.
Prediction: this event will be covered significantly less by CNN than the 7/7 bombings in London.
No mercy! Sweet Jesus
No mercy from turbulent indigo
Nå er vi tilbake i Bodø etter en herlig bryllupsfest 3 dager til ende i Vesterålen og turer til Andøya og gjennom Lofoten.
Masse fotos i Flickr og han Øystein har masse bilder borte på Flickrkontoen sin her og her og her. Noen fine bilder av Ragnfrid og jeg i finstasen her og her. We clean up nicely, som de sier.
Øystein Vidnes og jeg sitter på en trapp som går rett ned i fjorden utenfor ICA i Stamsund og går på nettet på et usikret nettverk i nabolaget. Rett ved siden av oss står Ragnfrids Powermac. Hun selv har gått for å snakke med en gammel bekjent som kom kjørende forbi og så oss med våre tre små laptops sittende på vei ned i sjøen midt ute i Stamsund sentrum. Jeg tror dette er det rareste stedet jeg noengang har hatt trådløst.
Lofoten er sykt. Sykt! Fjellene går rett ned i havet. Vi bor på en rorbu midt ute i et nedlagt industriområde.
Fra Sykkelstyret: DEMONSTRER! Israel har gjenokkupert Gaza og arrestert flere titalts palestinske folkevalgte og regj.medl.Vis dinprotest i morgen , lørdag kl.12.30 på Torgalm. Spre!
Jeg er på vei ut døren. Gå og rop noen irriterende slagord for meg. Cya.
North of the polar circle, baby
New photos in Flickr by yours truly. Some premiere pictures after Henning von G-B's play, and some other stuff.
But the order of the day, in the immortal words of Robert Plant, is:
Put it another way: we're going north to yet another wedding, but we're doing some road tripping as well. We'll be gone until the 15th of July (Julius Caesar was born in July. What are the odds!? Born on the 12th, as a matter of fact). Internet access is probably sporadic at best, so don't expect too much. But we'll be back with more after these messages.Babe. Baby baby I'm a-gonna leave you, uh-yeah.
I'm gonna leave you when thuh ...sum-mer-ti-ime
leave you ...when the summer comes a-ro-o-lin' huh yeah
Uuuuuhhrr leave you when the summer comes aro-o-u-uund.
If you need to reach me, try my
cell-phone: +47 986 20 468
or send me an email (I'll get it eventually)
at martin dot g dot larsen at student dot uib dot no
And now: shut the computer off and go outside, silly. It's a beautiful day.
Kafka is cropping up everywhere, these days.