Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Posts, Spam

Well, email-posting is not as good as it appeared to be - I hate having no control over layout and whatnot. Therefore posting might be spotty over weekends, until I get a reliable internet-connection.

When I looked in the mail on thursday I was delighted to find a thick cardboard envelope. I was pretty sure that it would be my permit de sejour, which would mean that I would be getting a new toy, namely a new mobile (for which you need the damn permit).

Etymological interlude:
In Austria and Germany a mobile phone is called Handy, leading to no end of confusion for the anglophones when unsuspecting German speakers visit. I had always thought that Handy came from handy, but I had a look around the internet the other day, and found out that the terms origins are more interesting, and older than I thought. When the first portable radio transceivers came up, they were the size of backpacks. But you could walk around with them, and talk at the same time, so they were termed walkie-talkies by American soldiers. Consequently, the first hand-held units in the forties were called handie-talkies . Originally, this term was a play of words, and probably came out of the pidgin english spoken by American troops in Hawaii, but for German speakers (who learned it the occupying Americans after World War II, the "Handie" in Handie-Talkie seemed to be a substantive, and not an adjective. The term seems to have fallen into disuse later on. However, people remembered, and when the first cell networks for hand-held units evolved out of the car-phone networks, the term was reused.

Alas, the envelope (without sender marked on the outside) proved to be spam-mail by the supermarket chain Migros. This brings me (finally!) to the reason for this blarticle: How the hell did Migros get my address? I have been here barely five weeks, and have given my address to: The EPFL, the Swiss government, the Swiss rail, my bank and one telecom provider. One of them has to have sold me out. I think I will write an email to Migros and ask who, although I do not expect an answer.

Since I have to have at least one photo per post, here is a photo of the cathedral of Lausanne. I really do like the old town here - I feel delightfully medieval going through it. Also, there are not too many cars...

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