Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Word of the Month: Der Wackelkandidat

Word of the Month: Index

June 3 is the deadline for the managers of the 32 national teams qualified for this year’s soccer World Cup in Brazil to name the 23 players that will represent their country during the competition. At this late stage in the preparations, most of those players are typically known, but a few are still Wackelkandidaten. Wackeln means "to totter" or "to shake," and a Wackelkandidat (that's the singular) is a “shaky candidate,” someone who is in the running for an office or position and has a chance to win, but whose success is by no means guaranteed.

As far as the German World Cup team is concerned, most experts agree that about 19-20 players “have the ticket” for Brazil as of now—the rest will come from a pool of ca. 7-8 Wackelkandidaten, and their fate is being passionately discussed by fans and in the media.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Animal Portraits

My third self-published book, Animal Portraits, presents a collection of animal photos. But unlike a field guide or a zoology book, the collection does not try to help readers identify the species to which an animal belongs by showing as many characteristic features as possible. Instead, the photos should be seen as portraits in the way we view portraits of people, as representations of individuals capable of feelings and possessed of an inner life.

As someone who has owned and loves pets, I have no doubt that animals have feelings and distinct personalities. I hope that at least some of my pictures convey this sense also to the reader, and I do not apologize for any anthropomorhism someone may detect in my approach: There is a mounting body of research supporting what I have felt for a long time, and I hope my photos will encourage readers to think along the same lines.

Kindle editionPrint-on-demand paperback edition