Author Archives

Florian Jenn – Researcher at the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR).
Interest besides geology and science in general: various nonsense one encounters in life, and cooking, especially Thai.

High heels for better science

I have read about this, but hadn't watched it yet. I'd better left it at that – this video is really as bad as people say. 🙁 At least the role of the man is limited to passively ogling women…

Alumni statements on the BTU Cottbus


In the light of the plans of the ministry of science, research and culture to close the universities in the Lausitz and found a new one, and to counter the negative picture painted by the media, statements of BTU alumni have been collected on the Mittelbau wiki. However, these statements are all in German, as […]

The Kunst of Change

The magazine Forschung&Lehre (Research&Teaching) of the Deutscher Hochschulverband (German Association of University Professors and Lecturers) published a short interview with Prof. Kunst, who wasn't minister of research and science back then, in its colum „Zu Ende gedacht“ (Thought through to the end) on 8 August 2010. It contains these two gems: If I were minister […]

(Deutsch) Neuer HRK-Präsident zur Hochschul- und Forschungsfinanzierung

Prof. Horst Hippler (Foto: KIT/Harry Marx)

Deep waters

NASA Perpetual Ocean

From time to time, xkcd has quite nice and scientific illustrations; recently, for example, a to-scale and non-logarithmic represenation of lake, ocean, and borehole depths:

Is the state government sincere in its endeavors to improve the situation of the universities in the Lausitz?

Vor Beginn der Podiumsdiskussion im Audimax der BTU.


Buzzword Bingo

MWFK-Bingo (Vorschaubild)

Prolonged exposition to Mrs Kunst's (and others') drivel causes massive de-braining. Humour seems the only way to counteract the MWFK's phrase-making facility. Thus, and in preparation for next week's public debate, I have prepared a Buzzword Bingo card: Update 23.03.12: Now, I've set up a generator that produces always fresh bingo cards. For printing, there's […]

New blog on university politics

Since a few days, there's another personal blog by a BTU researcher about the current university politics and Mrs Kunst's (and the ministry's) structure plans: However, is in German only. Until now, it contains two critical articles (about too-fast implementation and about Mrs Kunst's math skills), but I hope he/she will write more! Update: […]

Demonstration and City Parliament meeting – a first summary

Hochschuldemo 19.03.12 – der Mob ;-)

I was surprised and delighted by how many people met for today's demonstration. At about 4pm, we gathered at BTU's Forum and then walked through town. The destination was the Stadthaus on Altmarkt, where the City Parliament (Stadtverordnetenversammlung, SVV) met for a special session on the future of the universities in the Lusatia region. There, […]

Minutes of the meeting of the Parliament's Comittee on Science, Research and Culture

Again, if you're interested in a translation, tell me.

Where on Google Earth #336

Where on Google Earth #336

I was able to find the last WoGE by Felix Bossert rather quickly. (I explained why in the comments there.) For a description what WoGE is, see below the fold. Previous WoGEs are collected by Felix on his blog and a KML file. Now I may come up with a new puzzle. Again I try […]

Honorary salary

Basiert auf Lightning-Icon von brsev (, CC-by-nc

Now, Mr Wulff, the just-in-time retired Federal President, has been granted the honorary salary (“Ehrensold”, currently 199000€ ≈ $265000 plus office and a car with driver). How very fitting that this is decided by the Office of the Federal President, the head of which has been appointed by Wulff himself. (Sorry, the newspaper articles are […]

EnergyMap: an interactive map and database on renewable energy in Germany

Logo des EnergyMap-Projekts

The EnergyMap project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie e.V. (German Society for Solar Energy) presents the data that is collected as a requirement of the Renewable Energy Act. Sadly, the site is in German only. I'll give some pointers and translations to the interesting areas. The energy map (Energiekarte) shows the distribution of various […]

Brandenburg's university budget will shrink

Brandenburg's unviersities will get less money in the next years, despite a slight increase in the ministry's budget. That's because pension and other costs will rise even more. That's a rather dark perspective, especially for the universities here in Lusatia (BTU and HL) which the ministry wants to merge. Again, if you're interested in a […]

Where on Google Earth #332

Where on Google Earth #332

For quite some time, I always was too slow to solve the WoGE puzzles, if I even managed to give a try at all. (For a description what WoGE is, see below the fold. Previous WoGEs are collected on Felix Bossert's blog and in Ron Schott's KML.) Matthew's WoGE 331 was rather difficult, especially since […]

Is research at the BTU Cottbus really that bad?

Given the current financial situation: no. 😉 This post in German is about recent discussions on the two universities in the Cottbus area, and their possible merger. Media frequently say the BTU's research performance is abysmal, which is has a grain of salt to it, but is mainly an exaggerated, out-of-context opinon of a recent […]

Happy new year!

I wish everyone who is still reading my blog after the long stretch of silence a happy new year!

Igneous cats!

Igneous cats.

I've seen this ages ago and finally found it again: the igneous cats, from mafic to felsic:

All my WoGEs

These are all the WoGEs I posted, nicely collected, without any hints (sometimes I give some clues in the introduction) and direct links to the JPEG file, so there is no danger of accidentally reading the solution. 😉 (This may be an advantage over the category archive.) This page is also linked in the sidebar […]

Corundum fibre materials

A company, the name of which I withhold because of the ongoing innovative product development, is currently testing their new product “corundum rapid abrasion paper” (c.r.a.p.) at our university. This paper has several special properties: The fabric can be produced to be equivalent to sand paper grit sizes of >120, but is considerably thinner. Thus, […]