For Calculus-Haters

So, like all red-blooded cat owners, I’m checking icanhascheezburger.com for an update, and see this:

Funnypicturessoapscumcatsink

It’s an OK Lolcat, but I’ve seen better (here and here, for instance).  Haven’t we all known cats who love to — wait a minute, what’s that on the sink?  Laufen?  That’s German.  Teh odd Inturnets subkulcher of Lolcats have reeched Jurmminy?!!1! 

Hmm.  The English Wikipedia entry has yet to be translated into German (Hungarian and Spanish are covered, though).  To verify that this was in fact a German Lolcat picture, I looked up the brand "tofix" on the bottle in the background.  It’s an Austrian firm that specializes in toilet cleaners.  Their German-language website is here

Whenever I see a website like Tofix’s — nice, but not too sophisticated, pretty 2002-looking — I always look for a little Union Jack picture, for the English-language version.  A big company will hire professional translators for their fancy, Java-encrusted websites, leading to disappointingly competent translations.  But a smaller firm like Tofix will usually hire Ute, the quality control supervisor’s wife, who spent 3 years studying education in New Zealand.  And indeed, that’s what we have at the English-language website of Tofix/Rorax enterprises.  Here’s their mission statement:

Tofix has been the specialist for cleaning and hygiene in bathrooms and toilets. It offers powerful products appropriate for all cleaning requirements. It combats limescale and urinary calculus and is safe to use. The Tofix product range represents powerful cleaning and perfect cleanliness within no time.

In fact, they have a product called WC Urinary Calculus Remover that does nothing but remove urinary calculus.*

And, I say, not a moment too soon!

* I have some sympathy for the translator.  The word Ute was trying to translate, Urinstein, doesn’t even exist in English.  There’s no official entry for it on dict.leo.org, you are instead sent to a discussion forum containing the suggestions "urine scale" and "urinal cake" (which is clearly wrong).   Now "urine scale" is pretty close, but really, how often do you hear that?  I doubt a company in squeamish Anglo-Saxonia would put the word "urine" on the front of a toilet-cleaning product.  Not so in Germany.  We see here the renowned Central European earthiness at work.  In fact, you can buy a special stain remover (g) that promises to remove "blood," "sperm"and "pus" from your clothes.  Something for the serial killer on your gift list!

22 thoughts on “For Calculus-Haters

  1. Teh odd Inturnets subkulcher of Lolcats have reeched Jurmminy?!!1!

    You must not have been keeping atop of Germany’s premiere newsmagazine, which already covered this cultural milestone in January, on St. Sebastian’s day, no less. Under the category “Netzwelt” – still! But wait until the Feuilletons get wind of this, then a 144-page dissertation will not be far away.

  2. “Urinal cake” is something different, namely those small, pink cubes in public urinals that desinfect and deodorize and that leave a very peculiar smell when you whizz on them. They are called “Duftwürfel” in German, or, according to Wikipedia, “Klostein” (a word which I have never heard before) or, even better, “Urinalstein”. Now wouldn’t that be a tough one for a test in the Advanced German language class: explain the difference between “Urinstein” and “Urinalstein”!

  3. Hillarious! One wonders why there is no word for Urinstein in English though since at least the American culture is very sensitive towards anything germ related – I recall my girlfriend (back then when she moved to Germany), always avoiding any wet parts on the check-out belts at the supermarket thinking it was “chicken juice” – ever since “chicken juice” was one of my favourites to make fun of her on occasion.

  4. Of course, it would be Germany’s “premiere” (sic) magazine, a “cultural milestone” (that would be a cliché), which is “covered” (sic). Keep “atop” (sic) of your English, Mr. Koppehel, or better, write in German.

  5. Paul, I just notice that the 6 most recent comments were penned by none other than you. I recommend getting some booty, or a life, or possibly both. Do so forthwith. It helps and heals.

  6. Paul, you seem to have lost your temper. Though I’d much appreciate having somebody over here correcting my every comment (really, I mean it!), it’s not precisely good form, and I trust you to know it… That said, this applies much more so to Junger Gott’s overly attentive Blockwartmanieren. Not so divine, is it, ill-tempered young man? As for what our master voiced, I don’t object to good-natured humour, even of the urinsteined variety, particularly as it reflects the genius of our host’s loci of choice. Isn’t anal humour ein Meister aus Deutschland, too? Bartender, give that blogger a scotch on the rocks Duftsteins. Besides, I certainly prefer facetious bladder related trivia to Americanophobia, both of the devious and the explicit kind, that abounds over here more often than not with blogger and bloggees alike. As for other blogging agitprop dispensed, and Hope Popes hailed (to no avail), it’s not for me to throw the first stone, I’m afraid.

    Did somebody say agitprop? Fine, can do. Here’s some of the well-balanced sort that puts things into perspective. An Islamophobe rants on, ugh, Christophobia – how dares he? And why do I have to make that silly term up, unbeknownst to hallowed UN and EU commissions? Because Christians get raped and killed, while others get serially offended and do the killing, which might be a bit over the top but somehow sucks up all the empathy white guilt can muster? Because the serially offended do 99% of their killing unto themselves, so we shouldn’t get fussy over collateral damage? And what will our most Christian Hope Pope do about it? Hmmm… quite likely he will show due respect both to oppressors and oppressees, thus turning to well-balanced real diplomacy for a change.

  7. > fancy, Java-encrusted websites

    While we’re picking nits for no good reason, and to dispense some trivia of my own: 99% of fancy websites are actually JavaScript-encrusted – it not being Java‘s script, he he. In olden times, Netscape had a script hardly anyone used, so they decided to profit from Java’s (a programming language) 15 minutes of fame back in late Pleistocene, their concoction being largely unrelated. That said, both languages’ syntax is C-based, which to most modern programming languages is what Latin is to, say, Aranese, Occitan, or Walloon, snigger. No bell ringing? Think pasta, paella, or potpourri. Netscape’s gone, Java not doing well, at least not as intended, but JavaScript is alive and kickin’, ponder that.

    This is my third post today, so I better be off before our juvenile divine delinquent superintendent reports me to the authorities. Nitpicking done, over and out.

  8. Yes, Marek, I know what C is. I was a C-hacker for 8 years in the 80’s then moved on to C++. I’m kinda fond of it. Never really got into JavaScript, I do a bit of it but mostly Java with a little Ruby, Groovy, etc from time to time.

  9. @Marek:

    That said, this applies much more so to Junger Gott’s overly attentive Blockwartmanieren.

    Aber bitte dran denken: Der Gauleiter bin immer noch ich. Marek ist und bleibt natürlich Sonderbeauftragter des Führers zur Endlösung der Frage, welche Vergleiche erlaubt sind und welche nicht 😉

  10. Let’s come back to the point and add some hard facts:

    If the water for rinsing is very hard, CaCO3 reacts with urin acid and other ingredients of urine. So, urine scale (Urinstein) is more complex than limescale (Kesselstein), which mainly is Calcite. Urinstein consists of some more minerals; German wikipedia lists two:
    STRUVITE is an ammonium magnesium phosphate mineral with formula: (NH4)MgPO4•6(H2O). HYDROXYLAPATITE, also called hydroxyapatite, is a mineral. It is a naturally occurring form of calcium apatite with the formula Ca5(PO4)3(OH), but is usually written Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 to denote that the crystal unit cell comprises two molecules.

  11. Let’s come back to the point and add some hard facts:

    If the water for rinsing is very hard, CaCO3 reacts with urin acid and other ingredients of urine. So, urine scale (Urinstein) is more complex than limescale (Kesselstein), which mainly is Calcite. Urinstein consists of some more minerals; German wikipedia lists two:
    STRUVITE is an ammonium magnesium phosphate mineral with formula: (NH4)MgPO4•6(H2O). HYDROXYLAPATITE, also called hydroxyapatite, is a mineral. It is a naturally occurring form of calcium apatite with the formula Ca5(PO4)3(OH), but is usually written Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 to denote that the crystal unit cell comprises two molecules.

  12. No kitten in a sink is innocent enough not to incite one of MM’s verbal crusades. Why not posting empty entries so we all can enjoy MM’s associative machinery running wild in its purest form?

  13. Like some other continental cultures, germans are fundamentally a peasant culture with far less influence from the aristocracy than the english for example. Thus it comes as no suprise that they extol the peasant virtues of cleanliness, are direct in speech, are not embarrassed about sex since they see/saw it (in historical memory at least) done every day by animals in the back paddock, and have robust manners. Think of any US farm girls you know, same thing. Some of you should read a little Elias and Bourdieau, and get your f*cking hands dirty.

  14. “promises to remove “blood,” “sperm”and “pus””

    “Something for the serial killer on your gift list!”

    Or Bill Clinton. A gift for Monica, maybe?

  15. For the record, as Basti gets uppity: I think Junger Gott is a Bazi, not a Nazi. When dishing out, it’s about going over the top or staying below – I mostly chose the former. Though pun business is fun business, you often take no prisoners. I trust JG, the sod, to have taken the snub lightly.

    > Oli: No kitten in a sink is innocent enough not to incite one of MM’s verbal crusades. Why not posting empty entries
    > so we all can enjoy MM’s associative machinery running wild in its purest form?
    >> Alex: LOL oli ^^

    A minion’s revolt?! Well, it get’s him a LOL-kitten’s praise, so maybe it’s worth it. The open thread is a hallowed tradition I wouldn’t object to for sure. Alas, our shrewd boss will know better. That said, the silly pix show is a start.

  16. Yes, M.M. Meister aus Deutschland, Todesfuge, und so weiter und so fort.

    I was on conversing terms with the Meister in a barn yesterday, when I and a butcher slaughtered four sheep. Boom of a bolt pistol, then a very quick slice of the main neck arteries. A shower of blood into the gutter. A shuddering and quivering of flesh for a minute or two. Then silence.

  17. “Like some other continental cultures, germans are fundamentally a peasant culture with far less influence from the aristocracy than the english for example. Thus it comes as no suprise that they extol the peasant virtues of cleanliness, are direct in speech, are not embarrassed about sex since they see/saw it (in historical memory at least) done every day by animals in the back paddock, and have robust manners. Think of any US farm girls you know, same thing. Some of you should read a little Elias and Bourdieau, and get your f*cking hands dirty.”

    What are you up to, Greggo? I’m the resident troll here.

    A peasant culture? No. Cleanly? Not always. Direct in speech? Often not, especially when German civil servants are speaking. Not embarrassed about sex? True, and I welcome it. Robust manners? Usually rather polite, the exception being Germans behind the wheels of high-end BMW’s.

    A peasant culture. Hmm. I’ve heard this sort of specious theorizing before.
    Spengler? Churchill in one of his darker moments?

  18. “I recommend getting some booty, or a life, or possibly both. Do so forthwith. It helps and heals.”

    Not articulate enough for a young god. Elaboration required.

    “Booty.” What a lovely term. “Booty” as in pirate loot, “booty” as in “shake dat booty,” or simply “crap”? Ah. I get it. You must mean….

    I assure you I do get some. I wouldn’t call it “booty,” though. I’m past the juvenile stage of associating in my mind plunder and sex, past the stage of cutting notches into my bedpost with every new sexual conquest.

    There is a little flame between me and my love, a flame we tend with much patience and loving kindness. It is precious to me, but not precious as booty is.

  19. What this search engine must do is to track how often a particular case is cited to by other decisions. Perhaps there is some weighting given to cases and case citations from higher courts such as the U.S. Supreme Court. I would hope that more recent citations might also be given more weight. I imagine Westlaw and Lexis, which also have figured out how to automatically identify a case citation in a document and to link it with the original authority (see this post on West KM), could have done something like this, but thus far they have to do so.

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