Thursday, May 29, 2014

A German Genius in Britain

I have to admit that I didn't know much about W. G. (Winfried Georg) "Max" Sebald until I read the interesting Wikipedia entry and listened to a BBC Radio 4 programme entitled "A German Genius in Britain" today. I didn't really manage to take it in properly (in parallel with translation work), so ought to listen again some time. The programme is 'catch-upable' (for 12 months from today) via BBC iPlayer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

British sense of humour

Yesterday I spoke to a gentleman (fellow heritage campaigner) who had been very poorly not long ago. Thankfully, his various conditions are currently under control, based on a complex and finely balanced mix of medication. When I asked him how he was, he said when he woke up in the morning he looked out of the window to check whether the hearse was there. He couldn't see it, so he decided to get up!

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to insert emoticons in blog posts?

The process of inserting emoticons in blog posts seems surprisingly cumbersome. This web page (thanks to Jonathan Calder for pointing it out) kind of works, but the icons are too large and therefore mess up the line spacing  :( as you can see.

In any case, I don't necessarily want/need animated emoticons. Simple/basic graphical emoticons would do nicely.

Another option would be automatic conversion of simple text-based emoticons such as :-) into graphics (this functionality has been available in Mozilla Thunderbird, for example, for years). Alas, obviously doesn't convert such text-based emoticons, as you can see.

The help system doesn't appear to offer any help in this regard, nor is an emoticon option available in the blog post toolbar – see below.

Any suggestions, anyone?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

I have to admit I had no idea about the history of Mother's Day (and why the date is different in Germany and the UK) until an article on the apostrophe in Mother's Day prompted me to do 'some research'.

It turns out that, according to Wikipedia, "the celebration of Mother's Day began in the United States in the early 20th century; it is not related to the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration".

The Wikipedia entry for Mothering Sunday sheds further light (or, dare I say it, perhaps confusion?) on the situation. Note the clear 'instruction' on that page: "Not to be confused with Mother's Day".