World Mask Week

This week (August 7 – August 14) is World Mask Week.

Wearing a mask is the best tool we currently have to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and break the chain of infections.

By wearing a mask, I protect others from infection, in case I carry the virus.

Does this in any way infringe on my freedom or any constitutional rights that I have? Not at all – wearing a mask is about being a decent and considerate person.

Even the Google doodle dons a mask. And so can you!

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(Google doodle, Android, 8/5/20)

Anti-Sexist Social Club

Thursday last week I attended a great online meeting, organized by the Anti-Sexist Social Club and Next Gen Men; people from all over the world were attending.

Although I miss attending discussions in person, there’s a massive opportunity in remote events – I would not have been able to participate, had it taken place in New York.

During the event, Jackson Bird was reading from his memoir, Sorted, and Dane Woodland was reading from his collection of poems, transVersing.

The event focused on what we can do in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to be more inclusive and less sexist; all proceeds went to The Okra Project.

Many thanks to the organizers and their skillful moderation – I learned a lot, and I look forward to many more such events!

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(Sorted, Audio Book – I support Jackson on Patreon)

Sleeper trains

In the current climate (pun intended), traveling by train is the most ecological alternative.

Austrian Railways have understood this and are offering sleeper trains from Germany to Austria. Leaving Cologne in the evening, you arrive at Vienna central station early in the morning, with a full day ahead for meetings or sightseeing.

Swedish Railways have just announced plans for an overnight Stockholm to Brussels train, which would add a much needed East-West connection.

Alas, Deutsche Bundesbahn seems to ignore the opportunity.

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(NJ 40421 to Vienna, 8/1/20)

Corona & Weight

So far, knock on wood, I have been able to (almost) maintain my weight during the Corona pandemic.
Although we’re not under lockdown anymore, I spend most of my days indoors at my desk – there’s no commute, no shopping, no going out to the cinema, no meeting with friends.
The one app that helps me maintain a healthy dose of exercise is Pokémon Go. A virtual buddy helps me to socially distance while playing, and the gamification works well, compelling me to walk long distances every day.  And there’s no end in sight, neither for the pandemic nor for the game.
So – thank you, Niantic!

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(Shiny Gastly, Community Day, 7/19/20)

Coal

Our government recently passed a law that guarantees several large corporations, such as RWE and LEAG, the right to mine lignite until 2038. It also awards them huge compensation for shutting down money-losing plants.

There’s no need for coal-firing plants to generate electricity – it’s even not commercially viable anymore.

Instead of protecting the environment and its people, our government subsidizes a couple of big companies and violates the Paris accord.

We’ll ask the EU for help.

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(Getting ready, 7/10/20)

XFCE

A couple of weeks ago, I built myself a second desktop workstation, based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and the XFCE desktop environment.

The workstation is fanless, with a low-power CPU. And fast!

I am so happy with my new setup’s performance and usability; if it weren’t for Microsoft Office, I’d switch for good.

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(Desktop, 7/13/20)

Patreon

I love the arts. And I try to create. But, I’m artistically challenged.

To make up for this, I support creators on Patreon. Here’s my current lineup (in historical order):

  • Jackson Bird (Instagram, YouTube) – one of the bravest voices in the struggle for trans rights
  • Abdulaziz Yusufjanov (Instagram, YouTube) – vlogging from Colorado, with a unique visual style and excellent storytelling
  • Ethan Lusby (Instagram, YouTube) – vlogging his journey in a van across the US

If you haven’t subscribed to them yet, do it today – they make great content and are fun to watch!

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Final act

This weekend I was finally able to close the estate of my late parents and hand the keys of my childhood family home to the new owners.

May it bring joy and happiness to them!

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