Central Snark


LIFE ever so fragile… by Snuppy
Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 7:29am
Filed under: friends, Teh Penguin

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I envy not in any moods
The captive void of noble rage,
The linnet born within the cage,
That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter’d by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest,
The heart that never plighted troth
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;
Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson-

This poem, and particularly this tiny section of it, has helped me through many a difficult trial. Every one of us has to deal with sadnesses and loses at one time or another.

In the wake of loss, we are haunted by things we might never understand. And would answers provide solace in the end? What we do have is memories of tenderness. There is comfort in the knowledge that not even shadows can extinguish the glow of warmth.  May that feeling make you breathe, hold you close, and give you peace whenever you experience trying times.

~Penguin out!

NOTE from Lampsha:  Those are among some of the most beautiful words ever written, Penguin.  They are indeed.  I just wanted to update everyone that Neva’s brother-in-law passed away Monday evening.  This is her dear dear sister Terri’s husband.  He has been a very special part of their family for many years and it is of course, a deep and very sad loss to them.  She will be away from TheSnark for a spell but will never be far from our hearts.  Love and good thoughts to her family. 



Imagine! by Snuppy
Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 6:59am
Filed under: Teh Penguin

Ok, so today is John’s Lennon’s birthday (yesterday for you readers today!) and it almost escaped me, if it weren’t for a little island in the Atlantic ocean. Yep, Iceland has done it again and this time with style.

For no reason conceivable to me, Yoko Ono decided a year ago that she would erect some kinda Peace Tower in John’s honor on a tiny island just outside of Reykjavik. How did this happen you might ask! I have no clue, I don’t think John Lennon ever stepped foot on this mass of lava rock, nor did he ever mention us in song or writing, unless he imagined coming here via a little yellow floating device. He had a big imagination…apparently!

(the video only starts with that song, lots of interesting Icelandic stuff in there later!)

Now, I don’t mean disrespect to the artist himself…I think that would get me in all sorts of trouble I wouldn’t care contemplating. But for me Yoko Ono will always remain the woman who split up the Beatles. I also have to admit, and I am aware I could be wrong, that she might be bathing a little too much in her husband’s fame. Granted, there always seems to be some peace-related cause she seems to be pursuing.

While I drove home from work, I took a little extra route via the shores of that island and saw the blue light in the dark sky. Quite pretty really. The tower is a 40 stories-tall beam of light that will radiate from a wishing well bearing the words “imagine peace” in 24 languages. The plan is for the tower to be lit each year between Oct.9th (John’s birthday) and it is supposed to be aglow- I can only presume with love- until the 8th of December. That, plus major Icelandic holidays. I can’t help but wonder if we will be allowed to turn on the Peace Tower to commemorate the great battle of Knjufskollsjarkli.

“This is the biggest birthday present I gave to John,” she told The Associated Press last month. “He’s very, very happy about it, I know.”
Ono said she chose Iceland, the world’s northernmost country, because it is a very eco-friendly country that relies on geothermal energy.
“It’s so beautiful,” she said. “There’s a certain strangeness to it. I would like to say it’s magical.”

Around 20 o’clock this evening the couple’s son, Sean Lennon; Beatles drummer Ringo Starr; and band-mate George Harrison’s widow, Olivia joined the ceremony. And you know what, I’ll make my peace with it, it could have been worse…her present for him this year could have been a new solo-CD!

~Penguin Out!

personal note: warm thoughts and hugs to son of Snups and Bobo and Morgan’s mom!

It is only a matter of time, until an album gets published by someone who surfs at Humor-Blogs.



A Modern-Day Sphinx! by Snuppy
Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 6:13am
Filed under: Teh Penguin

I know people don’t like to listen to others complain. A joke to lighten the mood or a cute, little anecdote about something involving somebody making an arse of himself is usually prefered. Not gonna happen today!

Geography has become my enemy. I don’t know what they did, but I am inclined to blame tectonic plates. Something brought me to this island and last spring I decided to enroll into university once again. Who made me? Society! And by society, I mean my mom!

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Anyhoo…practical nursing it is gonna be and these are the main books for the next three months. Add to that a decent amount of articles, usually with numbers and charts, that some lonely professor deems an interesting inside. If you wanna get a real high grade, buy the professor’s newly-published book about “Species segmentation in areotropical melting niches!”, link that to brain surgery and you are golden!

It’s Human Anatomy that is bugging me the most. See, most of you know I am German and I can point to my heart, lungs and toes without problems. Now, at some point I learned the major body parts in English…but God strike me down if I know where the zygomatic bones are located. Well, I could look it up. True enough! Now my problem is that I have to learn the Icelandic varient of the human anatomy as well, and that isn’t funny when decent words like “lower arm” turns into “framhandleggur”. But the story doesn’t end here. Since we are in the medical profession, we sorta need to know the Latin words as well, in this case it would be “Antebrachium”. Now let’s look at what these words have in common…keep looking… that’s right…Nada!

I fully support that we have a universal dead language to be able to communicate about the “still alive” and about what part of the eponychium we should take, but in order to understand the Icelandic exam questions, I will have to learn something riveting as “Eyrnamergskitlar” as well. And it hurts my throat to pronounce this stuff, my laptop and papers are always drenched with fluids spitting forth from my mouth and my head hurts. I feel so sorry for myself, it is difficult to breathe. *dramatic sob*

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Yet here I sit, my magic markers neatly arranged, my color-coded and cross-referenced folders open, inviting me to engulf into another chapter. And I gladly accept the challenge. Apart from the laughter in my head when I am hearing another noise of spitting sounds, silly pre-aspirated breaths and phoneme violations to produce the word “spleen” in Icelandic; I am having a ball. There is an Icelandic and Latin word for that too, you betcha!

So, I guess although I feel like a clog wearing, sushi eating, reggae listening confused German most days, globalization has its advantages: I get to bitch about it here for all of you to read. I feel better now, thanks for listening.

~Penguin out!

Careful, or you’ll lose yourself in laughter at Humor-blogs.com.



You better believe it… by Snuppy
Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 7:54am
Filed under: ponderings, Teh Penguin

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I said I would continue my weekly input into the Snark under the condition that I could go on about school as much as I like. Since I sorta like you lot, I try to pick out the fun stuff and regurgitate it here for your convenience. Today I learned about the eye and how the sense of sight works, apart from seeing dead people, of course!

To demonstrate I need you to do something for me. Just go with it for a second. Follow my instructions and really give it a go. Some time ago our very own CYM did a wonderful post about visual illusions, and when Snuppy has nothing better to do I encourage her to put a link, right about HERE!
For those of you who have already done this, there is hot chocolate and cake in the back, now be quiet!

Stare at the blue dots while you count slowly to 30.

Then close your eyes and tilt your head back. A circle of light will slowly appear. Keep looking at it.

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Did you see it, if you are not impressed, you did it wrong. Do it again. If you smiled and wondered what just happened, please proceed :

Try this again, but look at a white wall after 30 seconds.

Do you still see it?

Now enquiring minds would like to know how to explain this. An obliging Penguin will attempt an answer, with the help of textbook and the web…naturally…yes, I was born in Germany but I haven’t found a relative link to Einstein yet, so why pretend?!

Most people see an ‘apparition’ of a man. When you look at a white wall, the image appears much bigger.

Staring at the bright white areas of the picture tires out some of the light-sensitive detectors in your retina (at the back of your eye).

When you then closed your eyes – or looked at a white wall – you see a negative after-image. The areas that were white now look black.

Being the good researcher that I am, I used my Mom and let her do this as well, as I observed her closely. I encouraged her to tell me what was happening while she visualized. She said: “I see hearts, two of them…wait…oh bugger, are you kiddin’ me? Jesus Christ!”

~Penguin Out

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It’ll be a miracle if you don’t laugh your as… er, head off at Humor-blogs.com.



When Things get Chemical… by Snuppy
Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 7:54am
Filed under: funny..., Teh Penguin

citrus.jpegOh yes, school has started full throttle and the surprises just keep on coming. When I researched my schedule for this semester, “Chemistry, 6 lessons a week” greeted me and I went into automatic shut down. Images from High School started to announce themselves: teachers with glasses, wearing tweed jackets with suede elbow patches; in particular. Some memories are better kept in your deepest subconscious.

To prepare for the course I read the assigned chapters and read a bit up on Chemistry in general. In the joke department, that is! Here are a few of my favorites.

Q: What do you do when you find a dead chemist?
A: Barium!

Q: What happens when electrons lose their energy?
A: They get Bohr’ed.

Little Willie was a chemist.
Little Willie is no more.
For what he thought was H2O,
Was H2SO4.

And while that is everything a teacher is looking for in his student, I decided to give him a chance.

ball and sticksThe teacher had me from the get-go. The first picture we got to see was something like this and usually that would have been my stimulus for panic, anxiety and sweating…until he told me that this is Vitamin C and such a model was referred to as a ball-and-sticks diagram. BALL and STICKS! I am pretty sure my giggle was barely audible to anyone but my immediate neighbors, whose English wasn’t good enough to get the joke…but after I explained and drew a little sketch, certain facial muscles started to move. Remember, teamwork is essential: it allows you to blame someone else!

Despite my childish inclinations, I became really interested in the lecture though. Did you know that as early as 1742 lemon juice was known to prevent scurvy, a debilitating disease that often plagued long-distance sailors. But not until 1933 was the healthful component in lemon juice identified as vitamin C. Once a structure is known, organic chemists try to synthesize the compound in the laboratory. Vitamin C is now much cheaper to synthesize from glucose than to extract it from natural sources.

What does that mean to you? Well, many people still believe “natural” is better and gobble down an orange. Certainly it is better to eat an orange than taking a vitamin tablet, the difference lies in the many other substances present in the food. The Vitamin C, however, is exactly the same. Isn’t it great to rely on Chemistry for problem solving? After all, they have all the solutions!

~Penguin out!

Don’t ever lick the spoon, rather head on over to HUMOR-BLOGS, where there are alkynes of unique substances floating about.



I am going back to school… by Snuppy
Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 8:18am
Filed under: Teh Penguin

uoi.jpegIn exactly 9 hours and I can’t fall asleep. Nurse Practitioning, here I come. University of Iceland. I feel teleported right back into childhood before a new school year starts. My folders are marked, my pencil case’s sorted and the first chapter of every book is read, high-lighted and summarized. Yes, I was a good student, always. *dares everybody to use another term*

I loved going to school, even as a little girl. Well, except for the boys…they were weird. Little Steven used to run after me during breaks, lift up my skirt and say: “Lid up, water’s boiling!” Or that stupid Heinrich, who used to stick his pencil into my back whenever he sat behind me and when I’d turn around he’d grin like he had had too much sunshine.

Once, one of them took my nature booklet from my table and they started to throw it between them and I tried to catch it, but they were taller than me…so I kicked the nearest boy…he yelped…the teacher came and pulled me by the ear into a corner where I had to stand for the entire class, my hands balled into fists… I also went home with a note, something about aggressive behavior. My nature booklet was never subject for throwing exercises again.

I always got along well with my teachers, though. And silly little boys didn’t spoil masculinity for me, at all. When I was 14 I had my first crush on my history teacher. Boy, he sucked at teaching…didn’t learn much about Napoleon, but that teacher sure marched all over my mind. He always wore black, emptied his pockets before every class and then words left his mouth, all I ever catched was that “Did you know that something really boring happened to somebody really ugly, in the Middle Ages?!” I eventually banned him from my mind when I turned 16.

Then at university, I changed course. I developed a crush on a fantastic teacher and his subject. Linguistics. Many nights were spent feverishly scanning over his handouts of sentence negation and sub-clause movement. I got a perfect grade in each of his courses. I know what you are thinking: to get over him I got under him…nope…he was driving his car on the other side of the road. He’ll always remain the teacher that inspired me the most. I still love Linguistics and check out a book every now and then for a bit of light reading.

This time around all my teachers are female. Any development of a crush would involve a major life-style choice. In case it happens though…I’ll be able to take my pulse and know the right medication to keep my blood pressure down.

Wish me luck… with the studies, of course!

~ Penguin out

We have a crush on everyone at Humor-blogs.com.



How stupid are we? by Snuppy
Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 7:27am
Filed under: funny..., Teh Penguin

Sometimes I see things and they just annoy the hell out of me. When I was in Germany last month I saw for the first time this very popular “Boys are stupid…throw rocks at them!” merchandise. Girls were walking around in those t-shirts, having a key chain with similar dim messages dangling from their pants. A huge smile of “I am so above you!” gleaming on their faces. Are you thinking? And if you are, I would get my neuro-transmitters checked!

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Not only is this offensive to boys, imagine the message would target the other gender! A boy running along in a t-shirt stating: “Girls are air-headed … give them a bag to hyperventilate or cover their head!” the world would be in uproar.

Even worse, this particular message makes girl seem silly. Just because boys are stupid (and we all know they can be at times), we’ll resort to throw rocks at them? How childish is that? Beam me right back to kinder garden, Scotty! Aren’t we supposed to be climbing up the ladder of intelligence, not plunge down it?
Last but not least, I -as a woman-certainly don’t feel more empowered by putting down the other gender! Picking on someone else to make yourself feel upgraded is so last year….or the year before that.

And I am not blaming those easy-to-impress teenage girls, we all can journey back and remember our own foolishness at times, but these “lines” were designed by, dare I say it, people past their 30’s.

Grow up, will ye?

Where silliness is concerned Iceland is never far behind …here is the latest, most stupid thing I saw here, just a few days ago!

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Fresh Mountain Air. There are no words, so I’ll let the backside of this can speak for itself!

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Fresh Mountain Air in a can…sold to tourists! I realize that a while ago people thought bottled water wouldn’t make it and we have been proven wrong. But this? I am picturing a scuba diver with a line of these cans tied to him while diving. Another head image at the moment is a bunch of people in hospitals attached to these cans rather than say, oxygen masks. Neat!

Should we suggest to add flavor? How about citrus or a papaya- aloe vera blend with a hint of jasmine? We all know how good that stuff is for you…

Enough with the silliness…let’s put caned air back where it belongs: Space Balls!

~Penguin out!

If you really need to giggle though (and I hear a high level of canned oxygen can do that to you) evaporate over to HUMOR-BLOGS!