hurricane katrina a tool of devine expression?…or: fundamentalist rohrschach tests

this weekend i got the latest issue of the wittenburg door magazine newsletter (the world's pretty much only religious satire magazine) and the folks at the wittenburg door had hit on this WLTX-TV (columbia, sc, us) story about hurricane katrina causing a drywall miracle:

[…] Members of the Triumph Learning and Worship Center for Life in Saraland, Alabama, want to share what they're calling a miracle. The church was flooded by Hurricane Katrina; causing some drywall in the building to buckle into an image that church members believe is an image of Jesus on the cross. The church hung a picture frame up around the mark. People line up every day to touch it, and several people claim they've been healed. […]

definitely one of the "{jesus|maria} on a slice of toast" variants. in a way, these seems like a rohrschach test for the christian fundamentalists. almost as meaningless…in fact, i wonder what would happen if those folks ever stumbled across a set of real rohrschach test cards… anyhow, i just loved the comment by the wittenburg door folks:

Well, Jesus WAS a carpenter, after all. He probably feels right at home …

god must be having lots of laughs

head of an angel…

during the week i had come across a poster advertizing the "fest der farbe" exhibition at the zürich kunsthaus and it looked like an interesting exhibition — it's raining, so, in the afternoon we went by bus, tram, & tram to the kunsthaus…and joined the queue. we eventually make it into the exhibition (i get bounced once for not having put my rucksack into one of the downstairs lockers, and barely avoid getting bounced at the second attempt to get in: the french speaking curator–bouncer spots my camera and explains with a stern voice in frenched german that one is not allowed to take any pictures — which i promise not to do) and it is an interesting exhibition. as the title already alludes to, it's an exhibition focusing on color. starting at the impressionists and working its way to the 1960s, 1970s. the first half is made up mostly of impressionist paintings and the beginnings of abstract art. the picture that dorothee and i both like best is alexandra exeter's farbdynamik 1916–1918. needless to say, that there's no postcard or poster of her painting on sale anywhere. also, as it turns out, not a lot about her to be found in the internet — the only titbit we can locate is that she was part of the 1910s/1920s avant garde in russia. the second half of the exhibition more or less rapidly deteriorates into art for the well-off chattering classes: more or less randomly splattered blotches of color on various kinds of backgrounds. if the artists couldn't think of an original name they seemed to call it head of an angel (i counted four or so, none of which had any discernable motif. in contrast to last year's monet's gardens exhibition we are done with fest der farbe in a little over one hour. it's still raining outside.

p.s.: by sheer coincidence i found out that the kunsthaus folks seems to have had an 'e' to spare and turned alexandra exter into alexandra exeter…and her name really is aleksandra ekster

porridge, part II

well…that recipe worked: a rather nice porridge, even though our oatmeal (coop's "bio-haferflöckli" — i wonder what the non-diminutive variant would look like: giant oatmeal flakes?) is probably not up to spec. i had started off with the full recipe, but as soon as i had a full cup measure of oatmeal in the saucepan i realized that there were only two of us and that we didn't intend to live on porridge the whole day. so:

  • ½ cup of oatmeal
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt, and
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup of cream

mix the oatmeal and water in a saucepan, heat it until it's barely cooking, stirring every so often and cook at low heat for 5min. then add the sugar and the salt. turn the heat off and cover with a lid until you are ready to serve: add the cream before serving and stir it in briskly (always wanted to use that word ). serve in warm bowls. add brown sugar according to taste (i.e., none or quite a bit).

serves 2.

we added chopped apples (doro) and dried plumes (me).


for some strange, unfathomable reason we have a craving for porridge this weekend. so i’m researching porridge recipes after getting up this morning (it’s our 19th wedding anniversary today and we are having a lie-in ) — i start off with wikipedia’s entry on porridge, get to wikipedia’s oatmeal porridge page, and, following the links, end up on the golden spurtle world porridge making championship web page. we settle for duncan hilditch’s porridge recipe:

Porridge V

Recipe: Duncan Hilditch, Chef/Proprietor of the Ecclefechan Bistro, Carrbridge. Current World Porridge Making Champion.

Take one cup of oatmeal and put into a saucepan with four cups of cold water. Stir gently over a medium heat until it reaches simmering point, lower the heat and continue to stir – to avoid any lumps – for five minutes. Add half a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of sugar, and half a cup of buttermilk or cream. Give a final good stir and serve in a warm bowl.

© 2005 Carrbridge Community Council

let’s see how that one will turn out…

reenabling tinymce buttons in wordpress

the builtin richtext editor in wordpress actually is an earlier version of the moxiecode’s tinyMCE javascript editor with quite a number of buttons disabled. having used raj prasad’s editormonkey plugin for the last couple of weeks, i was looking for a simpler way of integrating tinyMCE — only to find out that wordpress 2.+ had it builtin in the first place only, as i said with a number of buttons and plugins disabled, among them the table plugin and the smilie (aka emotions) plugin…oh, and the reason i was interested in tinyMCE was the WPG2 wordpress–gallery plugin that allows me to include photos from my ever growing photo collection directly into wordpress posts, which, you guessed it, didn’t work too well together with editormonkey (in fact, it didn’t work at all).

a bit of googling aroundresearch led me to assaf arkin’s avanced-wysiwyg plugin which did the job just fine (local copy available here, the download link on site seems to be broken).

adding back in the smilies was a bit more tricky, just dumping in the current tinyMCE plugin did not do the trick … it turns out version 1.45 of tinyMCE is the version used in wordpress 2.0.2. taking the “emotions” plugin from that one does the job. happy camper

tickets to london!

after a rather late breakfast (some people have lunch at that time, not us ) it is time to go “downtown” to the station and try and get the train tickets for our UK vacations in may & june. suprisingly enough we don’t see any sign of a tinguely sculpture being assembled from old bikes at the station … perhaps they had a similarly slow start to the day as we did? … but we are “rewarded” with a rather long queue for the ticket counters inside. we patiently wait our time and just hope that we’ll get one of the more intelligent customer service people — which we do. and he really is good at his job (although deutsche bahn apparently just “upgraded” their software and everything was changed again [they seem to do these “upgrades” every couple of months—almost as bad as i am with my constant “fine tuning” of our linux thinkpads]) and we get the best deal for our tickets to london!


picture of today: a crocus flower (actually, according to wikipedia a crocus vernus ‘pickwick’) i found on my way to the bakery.