Geologist(s) and engineers in the German Parliament (Bundestag)

Christian Reinboth on Frischer Wind has collected data on the profession and educational background of the members of the German Parliament (Bundestag) and presents some statistical evaluation (sorry, German only). That's just an overview for now, and he's asking his readers what else could be extracted from the data base.

There are some interesting results when looking at the professions. As expected, law and economic sciences are strongly represented. But then:

The natural sciences are rather under-staffed: eight biologists, seven mathematicians, four physicist, zwo chemists and one geologist are found in the plenum – but also 17 physicians and 27 engineers.

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Central Intelligence and Media Centre?

Recently, I browsed the archive of Mathlog and found a nice article about the still not completely solved cryptographic puzzle sculpture “Kryptos” (sorry, German only; you may find more info on Wikipedia).

Sculpture “Kryptos” (CIA Headquarters, Langley, VA).  Foto: Jim Gillogly.

Sculpture “Kryptos” (CIA Headquarters, Langley, VA). Foto: Jim Gillogly.

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Where on Google Earth #274

It seems I'm back on track with playing WoGE, although not always successful. (For a description what this is, see below the fold. Previous WoGEs are collected on Felix Bossert's blog and in Ron Schott's KML.)

But this time I was lucky and found Felix Bossert's remake of WoGE 122, a close-up view of dunes in the Apure River region of Venezuela – now called WoGE 273. I think I only had a chance because the accidental double-post prevented both Ron Schott and Péter Luffi from taking part.

The last WoGE was quite like a painting, and so I want to continue with nice-looking images. Is this a close view of a metamorphic rock? Who knows…

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Rockslide at Hirschsprung in Obermaiselstein, Germany

On 14 January 2011 there was a rockslide at the “Hirschsprung” cleft near my home village of Obermaiselstein. I happened to visit Obermaiselstein a few weeks ago and had a look at it. These are some photos from 06.02.2011.

Rockslide at Hirschsprung cleft, Obermaiselstein, 2011. View from base of slope.

Rockslide at Hirschsprung cleft, Obermaiselstein, 2011. View from base of slope.

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In Parliament: Sigmar Gabriel about the minister of defence

In this whole gruesome affair about our beloved impostor, opposition leader Sigmar Gabriel made a interesting observation in his speech about the impending army reform (at 11'50" in this YouTube video; German of course):

There was no call to order by the president [of the Bundestag], not even all too loud uproar or protest on your side [i.e. the ruling party], when for the first time in the Parliament's history a minister in office has repeatedly been called liar, impostor, and fraudster. […]

You were not really upset and there was no call to order. Mrs Chancellor, what do you think why it was this way? Because everybody in this house knew that these are statements of fact.

Also I found out that the Chancellor used the phrase “no risk, no fun” (in English) when talking to the commanders about the reform. Sweet.

Where on Google Earth #270

For several months now I didn't get round to try solving WoGE puzzles (For a description what this is, see below the fold. Previous WoGEs are collected on Felix Bossert's blog and in Ron Schott's KML.) or was just too slow to find the current page on the web (and the location, of course). Now I'm back on track, hopefully.

Ole tried to slow down the rapid succession of WoGEs by zooming in a lot more than most previous posters with his WoGE #268. This seemed a success, at least people were desperately searching the planet for quite some time.

Felix Bossert liked this approach and presented another close-up view (WoGE #269), which I managed to solve rather quickly. This was by sheer luck: I had the Donauversinkung already prepared to be my next WoGE. 😉

Therefore, I needed a new location, and I've found something similar:

Where on Google Earth #270.

Where on Google Earth #270.

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Referendum on the disclosure of the contracts for the privatisation of the Berlin Water Supply

Today was the referendum for disclosing the contracts for the partial privatisation of the Berliner Wasserbetriebe (Berlin Water Supply, 49.9% of which belong to the companies Veolia and RWE), which was initiated by the organisation “Berliner Wassertisch”. It has been accepted according to the preliminary results (German page of the election supervisor).

Living in Cottbus, I'm not directly affected, but I am convinced that, if something as essential as the public water supply is privatised, the contracts and agreements have to be public and be prepared with the participation of the elected representatives.

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A stratigraphic chart for the Palm Pre

Some time ago, I've blogged about my stylesheets (CSS) with the colour codes of the International Stratigraphic Chart (ISC) of 2009. For some months now, I own a Palm Pre smartphone (which I am quite happy with) and thought that it would be quite handy) to have this chart on the phone. Of course, you can browse the web to look up stratigraphic units, but stand-alone apps are often nicer and quicker to work with, and independent of reception quality.

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Happy new year!

Dear readers (all two of you ;-)), I wish you a happy new year. Hopefully it won't be as foggy as this New Years Eve in Obermaiselstein

Silvester 2010, Großer Herrenberg (Obermaiselstein)

and also not as messy as this long-exposure experiment with falling camera

Soon I'll post something geological, I promise.

Stratigraphy stylesheet: now complete

In November 2008, I wrote my stratigraphy stylesheet, which contained colour codes for all units from the International Stratigraphic Chart (ISC) down to the period/system level. Later I added some Cenozoic and Mesozoic units of lower rank.

When I was ill during the last weekend and therefore sometimes rather bored, I completed the colour codes. I have added the new colours to the original stylesheet file.

As an example, I have prepared (or more honestly, made my computer do it) a HTML version of the International Stratigraphic Chart 2009.

Some gory details about how to get hold of stratigraphic colour codes below the fold.

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Blue Light

Blue light all around Cottbus – the Film Festival takes place next week!

Impressions from the “Day of Stones in the City” in Cottbus

Last Sunday, there was the “Day of Stones in the City” in various cities throughout Germany. Mr Wolfram Köbbel offered a walk through Cottbus to show the various stones used in the buildings and their history.

The original post in German is quite long, so I have not translated it completely yet. But perhaps some of my English-speaking readers might like to have at least a look at the pictures. If you're interested, just ask and I will extend the English text.

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Socialistic food

Considering such exuberant culinary delights, I could understand that some people want the GDR back. 😉

Wolfgang Polte: Unser Haushalt [Our Household]. Verlag für die Frau, Leipzig, 1971. Plate 53.

Wolfgang Polte: Unser Haushalt [Our Household]. Verlag für die Frau, Leipzig, 1971. Plate 53.

Thrust faults on the moon

It's nice that there is always something new to be learnt: the moon is covered with quite a lot of thrust faults, some of which could be “relatively young” (approx. 800 to 1000 million years). They are probably a result of a slight shrinking of the moon due to cooling.

I've found this at Bad Astronomy, who has a nice post about it.

Survey design

I've bought a “Bavaria Ticket Single” online. Afterwards, I was asked to take part in a little survey. Having time and being in a friendly mood, I agreed. But then, this rather weird questions pops up:


Are you traveling with the Bavaria Ticket Single alone or with several people?

  • alone
  • group of two
  • group of three
  • group of four
  • group of five

In case I didn't answer “alone”, would the Online Conductor visit me and make me pay the 40€ elevated transport fee?

Paramount educational goals

Being just a ordinary person, I sadly don't look deep into the legal foundations of life. Thus, I've only recently found out from a blog post on Astrodicticum simplex that Article 131, paragraph 2 of the Bavarian Constitution contains these paramount educational goals:

The paramount educational goals are reverence for God, respect for religious persuasion and the dignity of man, selfcontrol, the recognition of and readiness to undertake responsibility, helpfulness, receptiveness to everything which is beautiful, good and true, as well as a sense of responsibility for the natural world and the environment.

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Where on Google Earth #207

Quite exactly half a year after my last WoGE win, I finally managed to find one again: in the last WoGE, Simon (hosted by Jeromes Blog) has shown the mountain Tronfjell, a nice gabbro intrusion in the Norwegian Caledonides. I'd like to present a rather younger feature:

Where on Google Earth #207.

Where on Google Earth #207.

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Now translated: nice fold in southern Bavaria

This is just a pointer to an old post about a nice fold which I finally managed to translate.

Fold at Riedberg Pass, detail view.  Stick measure for scale, length 1 m.

Fold at Riedberg Pass, detail view. Stick measure for scale, length 1 m.

Follow this link or click on the image to find out more…

Touch bragging

Yeah, I feel fast now:

74 words

Typing Speed Test

And, opposed to German, I even didn't mistype anything; but I'm slower in English. Still, I rank 17535 of 252337, with 393 characters per minute.

Oh, sometimes the internet is full of pointless things. 😉

Graphical symbol search for LATEX

Sometimes, for some equation in LATEX, you need an obscure symbol; but you don't know how it's called. Might happen with over 5900 symbols to choose from. 😉 Without a name, searching the Comprehensive LATEX Symbol List can get a bit tedious.

In an older article (German only) at TEX and friends, I've found a useful website:

Detexify² LATEX handwritten symbol recognition by Daniel Kirsch

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