Gap or loophole / Lücke

Some words have two different translations.

Lücke in German can mean a gap in a contract that shouldn’t be there – a gap.

It can also mean a situation that has been missed out by some legislation – tax laws, for example and can therefore be exploited – a loophole.

Mixing the two up in translation can be quite amusing.

Nick Freeman is an English solicitor with his own Wikipedia entry. He is famous for getting people off driving charges on technicalities and the press have called him Mr Loophole. He has now registered the name Mr Loophole as a trade mark. More in The Guardian.

Gap, conversely, is a clothing company.

(Via Geeklawyer, who credits the mysterious Blawg Review editor)

Food photography on the Web / Bilder von Nahrungsmitteln im Internet

I am green with envy at some of the photos in food blogs on the Web. Just consider Ideas in Food. Their food photos just got even better.

Thankfully we have readers who know more about photography than we do. After a recent flurry of emails we have made some adjustments and tweaks and now our pictures are truly popping. They make me smile. Applecheddarparsleytrufflesoup What is ironic is that the pictures we took just two and three days ago made me smile as I thought that they just could not get better. And still I sent out requests for honest feedback. Because I know that we have a lot to learn about photography. The response we received contained well thought out guidance and practical assistance for our photography and editing.

I think they might be more open about exactly what advice they got.

Then there’s a weird weblog by two Germans in Munich, delicious: days, directed at the American readership, where the style of the site is really what makes it (to rephrase McLuhan). I find their English exciting, too (and they know the right word for doughnuts in German).

Actually, it looks as if both use a shallow depth of field. I will have to try that. Unfortunately I’ve thrown my potato away. Here’s the best I could do – I don’t think any of these other bloggers will have accidentally grown potatoes in their kitchens:

Let’s try it again:

I’ll have to work on this. After all, I can’t afford one of those photos from German online cookbooks – which is just as well, because they don’t really whet the appetite. I’d better not have a screenshot of this blogger, either. (See ARD videoclip)

Tragic Life Stories / Buchkategorien

Chris Applegate shows several shelves of Tragic Life Stories in W. H. Smith in Chancery Lane.

The titles vary from the enigmatic – “Alone”, “Damaged” – to the downright exploitative – “Please Daddy, No”, “Ma, He Sold Me For a Few Cigarettes”. Regardless of how suggestive they are, they are all deliberate so. Incidentally, while most are autobiographies, one person, Torey Hayden (third shelf), seems to do a remarkable trade, making a living telling a series of accounts about other people’s blighted childhoods.

I seem to have missed out on reading these – I couldn’t manage Angela’s Ashes, and that even predated Dave Pelzer. But on the other hand I am attracted to books on mountain climbing accidents and ballet dancers – the couch potato’s relaxation?

Found via a comment under Ben Hammersley’s article on what has changed in London in the past five years.

Petition against nomination of Tony Blair as EU President / Petition gegen Nominierung von Tony Blair als EU-Präsident

The European Tribune, which seems to be a kind of online forum for leftish persons in and interested in the EU, but run by people connected with the Daily Kos weblog in the USA, has provided an online petition to prevent Tony Blair being nominated as EU President. See Financial Times article.

It needs 1 million signatures to get anywhere.

(Via Über-Setzer-Logbuch)

Chimpanzee not a human being / Schimpanse kein Mensch

This Austrian case was reported in Times Online today and has appeared all over the world:

But new ground was broken recently when the Supreme Court of Austria was asked to rule that Matthew Hiasl Pan is a person. That sounds easy enough for even an inexperienced lawyer. But the challenge was that Matthew is a chimpanzee.

An animal-rights group, VGT, had tried to have Matthew declared a person so that a lawyer could be appointed as his guardian when the shelter where the chimp had lived for 25 years closed. Donors had raised money for the chimp, but under Austrian law, only a person may benefit from a scheme such as VGT proposed.

The case failed at first instance and has now been either rejected or dismissed by the Austrian Supreme Court of Justice (English site). It sounds as if the plaintiff may take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.

When I was trying to research the credentials of this story, I had trouble finding Austrian sources. No wonder: of course his name is not Matthew, but Matthias.

Here we are, on the site of the Verein gegen Tierfabriken (the plaintiff):

Anfang Februar 2007 hatte der Obmann des Verein Gegen Tierfabriken VGT für den Schimpansen Matthias „Hiasl“ Pan, seinen persönlichen Freund, am zuständigen Bezirksgericht Mödling einen Sachwalter beantragt. Hiasl war illegal nach Österreich entführt worden, um hier für Tierversuche verwendet zu werden. Er fand Zuflucht im Wiener Tierschutzhaus. Durch die finanziellen Probleme des WTV mit Abschiebung bedroht, beantragte der VGT-Obmann die Besachwalterung, sodass Hiasl in seinem eigenen Interesse gerichtlich agieren und z.B. eine Abschiebung juridisch bekämpfen kann. Der Antrag wurde von 4 international anerkannten Fachleuten und Universitätsprofessoren in Biologie, Anthropologie und Rechtskunde durch Expertisen unterstützt.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, he may not be a human being, but there’s no call to translate a proper name! Otherwise we would hear more about Canute and Socken. (I gather some Nurembergers recently read an article in a Canadian paper headed ‘Her name is Flake’).

LATER NOTE: See comment – the question as to whether a chimpanzee could be treated as a human in this context was not even dealt with – what was important was that the applicant had no right to have a guardian appointed for another person. Here’s the OGH decision.