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Archive for April, 2017

3,310: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 6

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I feel like every time I sit down to write a blog post about a football game, the words “another day, another game” go through my head. In a few ways, though, this was nothing like another game. This game was, for more than just footballing reasons, exciting.

SV Babelsberg 03 versus FC Energie Cottbus at Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion. My third Babelsberg game. I had no strong plans to definitely go, but after talking with a Tennis fan the other night, he said it would be worth going. Energie Cottbus has some, er, interesting fans. They were in the 1. Bundesliga as recently as the 2008-09 season. Since reunification, they have spent six season in Germany’s top tier (2000-01 to 2002-03, and 2006-07 to 2008-09). Indeed, they are one of only five teams from the former East Germany to have played in the Bundesliga (the others: Dynamo Dresden, Hansa Rostock, VfB Leipzig, and currently RB Leipzig). After being relegated from the 1. Bundesliga in 2009, they spent five seasons in the 2. Bundesliga before being relegated to the 3. Bundesliga, where they spent two seasons. 2016-17 is their first season in the fourth tier Regionalliga Nordost. Before the game they were in second place, but only one team is promoted. There was a mathematical chance that they could still return to the third tier, but they’d need to beat Babelsberg and win their three other remaining games and hope FC Carl Zeiss Jena lose all their games.

Even for a game starting at 6pm, the train from Westkreuz down to Babelsberg was quite busy. For the two other games I’ve been to, there have only been a few people on the train who looked like they’d be going to the game. This time, it was a good twenty or thirty people, and this was more than an hour before kick-off. There were a few policemen on the platform at Wannsee station and some Energie fans, too. More cops at the Babelsberg station, and a fairly consistent presence along the route from the station to the stadium (they’re both on the same street, about a ten minute walk apart).

I’d stood behind the goal with the home team fans at the last two games, but I wanted to see what it was like with the louder fans in Block M – the Nordkurve – at least once. Compared to what we’re used to with English (and indeed Mexican) football, it’s strange to have the most hardcore fans standing on the side. And they stand on the side in an area nearest the visiting fans who are stood behind the other goal.

More good music before the game: Where Is My Mind?, something by the Ramones, Rock Lobster, Atomic. There was the Siouxsie and the Banshees version of The Passenger, too. For a big chunk of the time, it was like being at a late eighties student disco. The “Songs Since A Musical Accident” clock was reset to zero, though, when they played that Chumbawumba song. They also played Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang, but I feel there’s a whole blog post n its own to write about that song.

It was a cool crowd in Block M. Lots of tall young lads in black coats and hoodies (I saw one who had placed a small rectangular piece of gaffa tape over the North Face logo on the shoulder of his coat) and a bunch of people in their thirties and forties. Quite a lot of women. Some children. Fun for all the family, in fact. Especially if your idea of fun is chanting and singing songs and waving flags.

There were, I would guess, about 300ish visiting supporters. The majority of them seemed quite happy to support their team, but there was a non-insignificant amount, maybe 20-30%, whose goal seemed to be other things. Those were the dudes who stood at the side closest to the Babelsberg fans, shouting stuff, doing that man thing of having their arms wide open, like, “come on, then.”

Just before kick off, this song came over the speakers. Everyone in Block M gave it some hearty singing along. Flags were waved, and then some flares were waved too. I like seeing flares. It’s quite thrilling, isn’t it? And it was similarly thrilling to be there near it. A bright red core and tons of smoke all around.

After about half an hour, the visitors scored. You could see in their section that the evening wasn’t going to be without incident. A couple of times the stewards who stood on the other side of a fence from the fans looked like they had to keep the fans from coming over. And eventually it kicked off. Flares were thrown onto the field and in the direction of the Babelsberg fans. And some Cottbus fans got over the fence and onto the field. Here’s some footage from a local telly station:

The referee took the players off the field for about ten minutes while things were sorted out. Riot police were there quick sharp. They sprayed what I assume was pepper spray into parts of the Cottbus end.

There was a second delay when things kicked off again just after the start of the second half. After having flares thrown in their direction a few times, someone from the Babelsberg fans set one off in the Cottbus direction. There was a collective groan amongst the Babelsberg fans. That, and the way some of the fans at the front of the section were seeming to calm people down, to stop them also trying to get over the fence, was good to see. A bit of self-policing.

There were some Nazi salutes from the Cottbus fans. Someone had a flag that simply had the letter “H” and the number “8,” which could mean “hate” or I guess it could be a Nazi thing similar to the number “88.” Apparently, there was some chanting of “Arbeit Macht Frei” too which, really, for fuck’s sake…

It was pretty full in Block M. I knew that if I went for a wee, I’d likely not get back in, but needs are needs, and I needed. Of the sixteen previous games I’ve been to during this project, I’ve missed five goals while having a wee. And I missed another at game 17. The Babelsberg equaliser. I returned to Block N, the section covering the other half of that side of the field. Still busy but not as rocking as Block M.

Just after the 90 minute mark, Babelsberg scored. The referee blew the whistle, the game was over. Seemed he’d had enough, hardly any stoppage time at all. Babelsberg fans were happy, the players very happy. And me too.

I’ve never enjoyed the way that modern football has introduced that thing at the start of the games where teams line up for the cameras and the people in the fancy seats. It makes sense at national games where anthems are played, but for club football, it just stinks of marketing. But when a team scores in the last minute and the whole lot of them run over to where their hardcore fans are, that even things up a bit. The TV camera, sponsors, rich people can have the nice clean presentable moment at the start, but they’ll never be as close as the Babelsberg players and Nordkurve were on Friday night, the players jumping around with one of the Nordkurve banners.

There were a lot of police along the walk back to the train station. Seems like they’d organised things, blocked off and guarded side streets to make sure Cottbus fans didn’t get near the Babelsberg fans walking towards the train station. There was a minimal presence at the train station, so I assume they were holding the Cottbus fans back until they could be fairly sure Babelsberg fans and regular civilians were gone.

Feels weird saying it when there were nasty things going at times, but it was definitely one of the more enjoyable games I’ve been to in my life, but really, that was entirely due to the great atmosphere in Block M. Those Nordkurve people know how to make a football game a great experience and I feel lucky to have experienced it.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06, (26/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v FC Energie Cottbus, (28/4/17)

Written by Craig

April 30th, 2017 at 4:21 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,309: Embedding the week

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Come with us to our planet. Right wing arseholes do not exist on our planet. Life is good. Come.

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Please make your way to gate 13

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Kraftwerk Avenue

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Steal My Girl by One Direction

On this day
Beer and a dog, 30 April 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Aposematism

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Written by Craig

April 30th, 2017 at 1:49 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,308: Morning views

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Here we go, another week of morning views.

Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten Morgen

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Guten Morgen

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Previous morning views: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Let’s Get Lost by Carly Rae Jepsen

On this day
Rosario, 29 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Aphrodita

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 29th, 2017 at 12:45 am

Posted in Photos

3,307: My Minipops

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A few weeks ago I got an email, someone was kind enough to give me a heads up that there was someone out there doing embroidery work that looks a lot like my Minipops. And that this someone had their work featured in the T magazine section of the New York Times. I clicked. And this is what I found.

Hmmm.

I had a look around the Internet and found the below images on another article, where my influence is mentioned. Seems like someone thought they could copy my Minipops, and then when she had exhausted that resource, continue to copy my style. My Minipops in the left column, her work on the right.

So I emailed her. In her reply she acknowledged my influence, told me that she mentioned my influence to the Times, and that I am mentioned on her Web site (which I’ve had a good long look at, and can’t find that mention*), but went on to say that she comes “from the school of thinking that “art cannot be created or destroyed, only remixed.”” Which is convenient, isn’t it? Very convenient that your school of thinking allows you to piggyback off my idea, my work, my hours and hours and thousands of hours to get yourself a sugary write-up in the New York bloody Times and exhibitions in New York.

(* update 29 April: She added the press release that mentions my influence to her Web site at some point in the last day. Here’s a screenshot of her site from a couple of weeks ago, and another from this morning)

I wrote an email to the public editor of the NY Times. Someone else had also done that. They addressed the issue. Saving you a click, here’s what they wrote:

I realise I am biased in this matter, but the reasoning there is weak as fuck. The writer finds her art “charming” and she is “gaining momentum and attention.” Those are not good reasons. Well, they are, but they’re bad good reasons. It also seems like the artist, having told me she mentioned my influence, didn’t do that.

The New York gallery showing her work put a post about the NY Times piece on their Instagram. After someone else left a comment about this issue, they described my work as “her inspiration spring board.” I replied:

I had a look the next day to see if there were any other comments, but the post on their Instagram had been deleted. Interesting…

(I should note that I did some mental calculations after writing that comment: tens of thousands of hours is probably a bit of an exaggeration. I regret not doing those calculations before writing the comment. Ten thousand hours is probably about right, but not “tens.”)

The artist herself has turned off the comments section on any of her Instagram posts, too, that had comments left by other people about this particular topic.

Since then, I received an unsolicited second email from the artist. She is “aware of a vehement negative reaction to the piece that the NYT T/style magazine has just run about me,” and that it “must stem from a misunderstanding.”

Oh good, well at least it was only a misunderstanding, eh? And, apparently, “[i]f anything, it is an homage to your work.” She goes on to tell me other 8-bit imagery like “Nintendo, Atari” have also had an influence, which seems weird considering they all look like my drawings not like “Nintendo, Atari” stuff. In her more recent work she often puts characters next to each other and in the email seems to feel like this means she is doing something different.

There’s a lot more waffling on, self-justification. Y’know, I can understand this. It must be a pebble in the shoe of happiness to have this issue come up at this moment in your career. Doing some mental gymnastics to free yourself of guilt is what lots of us do at various points in our lives.

She finished her email like so:

“Never have I thought that what I was doing (beyond my first exploratory quilt) was anywhere near copying you. If, beyond this misunderstanding over images of this quilt, you still feel that I have copied you, such feelings are unmerited and unfortunate.”

So there we go, it was all a misunderstanding. It’s not an apology, so it can’t be considered a non-apology apology. But it’s along those lines, innit? Me feeling angry and annoyed by this person’s work is “unmerited and unfortunate.” Aw, well, if that’s how you feel, I’ll just stop, right? That’s not how this works.

So, yes, here we are. A heads up for you that this exists and I’m not cool with it. I feel like this person has created a career for herself off the back of my work. She may no longer be actively copying my work, but she’s still ripping the style, and would never have got to that place had it not been for copying my work in the first place. It feels wrong. I’m not happy about it. And I wanna be that pebble in her shoe. Minipops, these tiny pixelly versions of famous people, are mine. I’m proud of them and the many hours I put into them.

And for meta commentary, here’s a pixel drawing of an embroidered version of a pixel self portrait.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Best Song Ever by One Direction

On this day
Old drawings, 28 April 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Structural coloration

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 28th, 2017 at 3:02 am

Posted in Blah blah,Minipops

3,306: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 5

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Another Tennis Borussia game last night. The Charlottenburger Derby, in fact, versus Charlottenburger Hertha 06 who play their games about five kilometres northeast-ish of Tennis’s ground.

Before the game, though, I wanted to have a walk around the Internationales Congress Centrum. On my travels around the city recently, I’ve been past it on the (above ground) S-Bahn train and thought, “I should go there one day, take some photos.” Yesterday was that day. It’s a massive spaceship of a thing. Built in 1979, it’s main use over the years has been for conferences and such. (I saw Brian Wilson play there on his first Pet Sounds tour in 2002, which was a lovely lovely night.) Nowadays, it’s closed because they need to remove asbestos. But it’s been in use, housing Syrian refugees. I assume this means that the asbestos isn’t an immediate problem. I have to admit, my knowledge of asbestos doesn’t go much further than its name and that it’s not good for you to sprinkle on your chips.

Anyway, yes, I’ve been wanting to do a drawing of this place. I kinda figure it might look good in pixels. Did a bit of work on that today. Hopefully I can finish that over the weekend. In the meantime, here’s some photographs.

And here’s the nearby Funkturm (radio tower).

Before the game, I met up with a couple of Tennis fans, had a beer, chatted with more people. General friendly human behaviour, and about half an hour before the game sauntered, beers in hand, to the stadium. Good weather this time at the stadium, so some of the fans who were in the main stand the last time I was there returned to their favoured spot on the terrace.

It was a midweek game between two teams with nothing to play for, on the same night that Bayern München were playing Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup semi-final, so not really surprising that it was Tennis’s lowest attendance of the season, just 263.

CFC Hertha 06 took the lead in the 81st minute. Tennis tied it with a penalty in the 89th. And I was a bit worse for wear, to be honest. A few too many beers on an empty stomach. Didn’t stop me going for a few more beers and some schnapps, mind. Another fun time at a Tennis game. Hooray.

You can see this panoramaamamaaama bigger here.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 , (26/4/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Chanson d’Amour by Manhattan Transfer

On this day
Baños, 27 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Patterns in nature

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 27th, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,305: Pixels

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Here’s some more recent pixel drawings. I’m very much enjoying using pixels at the moment. There’s a reason this burst of activity has come about, and I will write about it in the next few days, but I need to be, um, in a certain frame of mind to write what may be a long post. I’ve been meaning to do it for about a week, but I’m not ready yet. Hopefully tomorrow or Friday.

So anyway, pixels. Here’s a self portrait as an air dancer:

Here’s something that is pixelly, but based on the idea of pixel as a defined shape. That defined shape here is a triangle in this instance:

Introspective by the Pet Shop Boys:

Bratwurst im brötchen:

Currywurst:

Kraftwurst:

Some Minipops: David Foster Wallace, Die Antwoord, Graeme Souness, and David Bowie and Mick Jagger.

And finally, a pixel drawing of an embroidered version of a Minipop self portrait:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Issues by Julia Michaels, again

On this day
Puebla, 26 April 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Fractal

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 26th, 2017 at 4:38 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,304: List of flags by colour combination

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Don’t recall why I was looking at this List of flags by colour combination page on Wikipedia, but when I did, oh man! How I enjoyed the contents section. I took screenshots of it, just in case it changes or disappears:

After that, it kinda felt necessary to visualise that contents section in some way, so I did this quickly:

A wee bit of artwork
I do enjoy a pretzel. So here’s a pixel pretzel. I drew this with the Pixaki iPad app. It’s a good app. And really nice if I wanna keep drawing but can’t be arsed to be sat at my desk. Which I’ve just realised should be the slogan for the iPad.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Issues by Julia Michaels

On this day
Bs As, 25 April 2008. I still think about Buenos Aires a lot. I really enjoyed my visit there. Could really do with another visit someday.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Area

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 25th, 2017 at 1:09 am

3,303: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 4

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After tweeting some photos from the Tennis Borussia game last weekend, a fan mentioned that there was an away game that was relatively easily-accessible. They were playing FC Strausberg. Strausberg is a small town in the state of Brandenberg about 30km east of Berlin, but still on the S-Bahn line. Considering I’d already expanded the Eleven Teams project to include a supplementary visit to another Brandenberg team on the S-Bahn (SV Babelsberg 03), it seemed entirely apt that I should go. (This extension to include S-Bahn-accessible teams* means that I will probably have to go and see SV Germania 90 Schöneiche at some point, too. They are in Schöneiche, also in Brandenberg, which I guess I should point out is a state that entirely surrounds the city-state of Berlin. Seeing them would properly seal the project and the supplementary project as done, without leaving any threads hanging.)

*Looking at how I’ve got to the fifteen games I’ve been to, two were in walking distance, one was via tram, one on the U-Bahn, ten via S-Bahn, and another via S-Bahn and bus.

The journey out to Strausberg was a bit longer than it should’ve been due to the line being closed at its eastern end for some reason: repairs, I assume. The last few stations on the line were via a replacement bus. All in all, it took about an hour and three-quarters door-to-door. As with all of these stadiums that I’ve never been to before, I took a screen shot of the location on Google Maps so I could see where I was heading. Needn’t really have bothered as there was a football fans’ trail of stickers on lampposts and such things from the S-Bahn station all the way to the ground.

The FC Strausberg stadium is called Energie Arena. Eight euros to get in. It’s a perfectly simple affair. A running track with worn-out markings and only one side of the ground has bleachers and areas to stand. But they do have a rather attractive little cabin for the stadium announcer. The team has a cool badge, though, with an ostrich kicking a ball. After getting a beer (€2.50), for the first time on this Berlin fußball journey, I went and stood in the part of the ground with the away supporters.

After last weekend’s Tennis game I had seen all the Berlin teams in the top five tiers. I mentioned that there were two teams which I kinda dug: Tennis Borussia Berlin and SV Babelsberg 03. Midweek, I went to another Babelsberg game, and stood there, while I enjoyed it and big respect to their fans and all that, I kinda knew that Tennis would be “my” Berlin team. Can’t say how or why that feeling came about. It just did.

It was sunny for a bit, then it hailed, then rained. Then got sunny again. And then rained again. The home team took the lead after about half an hour, and Tennis equalised just before half time. It was an average game. The home team didn’t have ballboys or girls, so the goalie had to go and retrieve wayward shots himself.

Just after half time I got chatting to the guy who contacted me on Twitter. I’d noticed two or three people that could’ve been the person I half-remembered from a thumbnail Twitter avatar, but was a bit too shy to ask any of them if they were the person. Thankfully, he was more outgoing than me, and we had a nice wee chat. Thoroughly pleasant fellow.

In the 76th minute, Tennis scored again. 1-2. And that’s how it ended. Attendance 169. My guess would be half of those were away fans. After the Tennis team had had a wee post-win huddle, they came over to the Tennis fans, applauded them, then walked along the front row and high-fived fans, which I’m fairly sure I’ve never seen before at a football game.

I chatted with a couple of other Tennis fans on the way back to the bus to get the S-Bahn back to Berlin. A very friendly bunch. I’ll be seeing those fans, that team again on Wednesday back at their home stadium.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)
FC Strausberg v Tennis Borussia Berlin, (23/4/17)

A wee bit of artwork
After the Bundesliga football diamonds last week, I decided to do football diamonds for the Eleven Berlin Teams Project:

And here’s some football-related Minipops. First, Brazilian legend Sócrates. Second, the Lincoln City manager and assistant manager, the Cowley brothers. Third, the starting XI from Lincoln City’s National League title-winning game vs. Macclesfield Town on Saturday. Fourth, Lionel Messi.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Green Light by Lorde

On this day
Flamingos through a hole in the window frame, 24 April 2012

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Square number

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 24th, 2017 at 11:18 am

3,302: Embedding the week

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Sometimes it snows in April

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Man-sized asparagus

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And this next thing goes to show there’s still a long way to go with women in sport. One moment ESPN Deportes is talking about a women’s team in Mexico, next minute they’re on about who is the hottest Real or Barça girlfriend:

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☁️🇩🇪☁️🌞☁️🇪🇺☁️

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Green Light by Lorde

On this day
Gatito, 23 April 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Square root

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 23rd, 2017 at 2:11 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,301: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen aus die Hauptstadt

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Guten Morgen

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Dearly beloved…

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Home by Joe Goddard

On this day
Really!?, 22 April 2010

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Imaginary unit

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 22nd, 2017 at 3:40 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,300: German Minipops Week

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Here’s the last bunch of German Minipops. I enjoyed doing this. Was nice to look at some old ones and do some new ones. It’s not gonna be something I do every week, but feels like something I could do every couple of months. So I’m pencilling in another week of specific nationality Minipops for mid-June.

🇩🇪🎾 Steffi Graf 🎾🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🎾 Boris Becker 🎾🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Helmut Kohl 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 DJ Hell 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪⚽️ Gerd Müller ⚽️🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Rosa Luxemburg 🇩🇪

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German Minipops Week
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Written by Craig

April 21st, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,299: German Minipops Week

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Day four of German Minipops Week.

🇩🇪🎤 Mia. 🎤🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🎤🕶 Heino 🕶🎤🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Karl Lagerfeld 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪⚽️ Christoph Daum ⚽️🇩🇪

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German Minipops Week
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Written by Craig

April 21st, 2017 at 4:52 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,298: Prince

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A Minipop of Prince for every year of his career, 1978 to 2016.

You can see it a bit bigger here.

For those of you keeping track, these are Minipops Nos. 1,264 to 1,302.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Big Brother UK TV Theme by Elementfour

On this day
Sine

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
21.04.16, 21 April 2016

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 21st, 2017 at 2:23 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops,Music

3,297: German Minipops Week

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Iiiiiiit’s Kraftwerk day!

🇩🇪🚊🎹 1977 🎹🚊🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🎹 1978 🎹🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🎹 1991 🎹🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🎹 2016 🎹🇩🇪

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And here’s something every German will recognise:

🇩🇪💩 Toi Toi 💩🇩🇪

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German Minipops Week
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Written by Craig

April 20th, 2017 at 3:30 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,296: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 3

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It was a weird weather day, we had a few snow flurries in the morning, but I didn’t really take full notice of what the temperature was like. I had nothing doing last night, so went down to Potsdam to see SV Babelsberg 03 v. Hertha BSC II. It was nippy. My hands were cold. No gloves, innit. I arrived a bit too early, a few minutes before the gates opened at 6pm. I did a wee sketch of the entrance while I waited.

While I was doing that, a dude came over to me, asked if I was going to the game (yes), do I have a ticket? (no) and that I could have his spare ticket for ten euros (they are eleven at the turnstiles). I bought his ticket. Pleasant chap. I finished up my little picture and went inside.

Some good songs over the PA last night: Atomic, Rehab, Sexuality by Billy Bragg. One of the lowest crowd of the season for Babelsberg, 1,482 (their average this season is about 1,900). In Germany, when there is also a midweek game between two weekend games, they call it an “Englische Woche,” english week.

The home team started out promisingly. Here’s an early free kick.

A bit of action from the game.

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But they conceded a goal when Fabian Eisele scored for the visitors in the 11th minute. I nipped to the toilet and then to get a beer just before half time. During that time, Fabian Eisele completed a hattrick with goals in the 41st and 45th minute. That’ll teach me.

Babelsberg got a goal back just before the end of the game, but the crowd at my end of the stadium was already thinning out. I think that’s the first time I’ve noticed anyone leaving early at these Berlin games. I mean, I’m sure it happens, I’ve just not noticed it before.

Back at the train station ready to come back to Berlin, there were a surprising amount of police there. About 20 coppers on the platform. It wasn’t as if Hertha BSC II brought a huge amount of fans. There must’ve been about 50 or 60 in their end of the ground. But the police were in full smile-free mode. Filming everyone who looked like a football fan, and making sure everyone got on the S-Bahn train, even pressing the button to close the doors once a group of seemingly totally calm lads had got on.

I did a drawing of my reflection in the window of the train door on the way back. Look!

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Hertha BSC II, (20/4/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Scared of the Dark by Steps

On this day
True anomaly

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
The boy who lost his milkshake (again), 20 April 2007

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
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Written by Craig

April 20th, 2017 at 3:24 am

Posted in Artwork,Photos,Sports

3,295: German Minipops Week

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Guten Morgen, lieblings. Day two of German Minipops Week.

🇩🇪 Albert Einstein 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Carsten Jancker 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Thomas Gottschalk 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Otto Rehhagel, manager of the breathtakingly exciting 👀 Greece team that won Euro 2004 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Die Ärzte. My memory is that they wore school uniforms for their MTV Unplugged thing 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🏀 Dirk Nowitzki 🏀🇩🇪

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German Minipops Week
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Written by Craig

April 19th, 2017 at 3:26 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,294: La Isla Bonita

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La Isla Bonita by Madonna was number one in the UK thirty years ago.

I assume that when Madonna was talking about a beautiful island, she wasn’t talking about the UK. Probably somewhere a bit warmer. According to Wikipedia, the instrumental of this song was offered to Michael Jackson first. Madonna ended up with it, and give it some lyrics and a melody. It also says that the San Pedro mentioned in the song is the San Pedro in Belize. Cool. I like Belize. Never been to San Pedro, though.

Not anywhere close to my top ten of favourite Madonna songs, but good enough, and way better than the awful version of Let It Be that it replaced at the top of the charts.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me
08/03/2017: Everything I Own
22/03/2017: Respectable
29/03/2017: Let It Be

A wee bit of artwork
Back in 2013, I did some drawings of little pixelly diamond-y fellas, all the home kits in English football, the Scottish Premier League, and Liga MX in Mexico. Finally got around to doing another one, this season’s 1. Bundesliga teams.

Other business
For obvious reasons, and just out of interest, I filled in this thingy, to see how in line with Labour I am.

The answer was, unsurprisingly: very.

A little bit annoyed that I’m 40% Conservative, though. That’s kinda gross.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Wow and Flutter by Stereolab.

On this day
Eyes, 19 April 2005

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Semi-major and semi-minor axes

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
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Written by Craig

April 19th, 2017 at 3:22 am

3,293: German Minipops Week

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Guten Morgen, lieblings.

All this week on Instagram and Twitter, I’m celebrating my creation (Minipops) and the country from where I am typing these word (Germany). Some old ones from the archive, and some new ones. I’ll add them on the blog too. Starting right about now:

🇩🇪 This week I'll be presenting Minipops of German people. Some from the Minipops archives, some brand new ones. Here's kuddly Karl Marx. 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 This week I'll be presenting Minipops of German people. Some from the Minipops archives, some brand new ones. Here's fashion designer Rudolph Mosshamer. 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 This week I'll be presenting Minipops of German people. Some from the Minipops archives, some brand new ones. Here's footballer Rudi Völler. 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Angela Merkel (I didn't realise until just now that I'd done her twice, as it were. Once in 2007, again in 2016.) 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Trio. My second favourite German band. 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Pope Benedict XVI 🇩🇪

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🇩🇪🏀 Detlef Schrempf 🏀🇩🇪

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🇩🇪 Gerhard Richter 🇩🇪

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German Minipops Week
Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Written by Craig

April 18th, 2017 at 4:20 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,292: Fußball in Berlin, parts 10 and 11

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So, the project is complete now. I went to two games over the weekend, both of them in the fifth tier of German football, the Oberliga Nord.

On Friday afternoon, it was an easy one to get to. Just a few stops on the S-Bahn and a ten minute stroll to see SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow at Hans-Zoschke-Stadion. It’s got another name right now, the name of a sponsor, but let’s just use its former name, for it was named after a resistance fighter killed by the Nazis in 1944.

It was eight euros to get in. Most of the stadium is grass-covered terrace, with a small section of seating in the middle of one side. At one end, there was a little bar. Outside the bar, a couple of stalls selling more beer (€2.50), sausages, and merchandise. I bought a pin for my collection to commemorate my Eleven Berlin Teams Project. The pin was €3.47. I liked the use of “47” there. (Photo of all of the pins from The Project teams at the bottom of this post.)

Beyond the trees at the other end of the stadium is where the Stasi headquarters used to be. This city, man, it’s got some history, and it’s kinda cool to have lived here for the best part of a decade and still see things I didn’t know about.

I saw a few people with clothing that referenced the two biggest teams in the city, Hertha BSC and Union Berlin. Lots of people in crowd seemed to know each other. I guess with these teams with smaller attendances (it was 349 that game) must foster that. It’d probably be quite lonely going to games alone like I’ve been doing, if you were going to the same stadium every time. People seemed happy there, which was nice to see. It was a decent enough game. The home side won 1-0. When they scored, they played Zombie Nation over the speakers.

After the game, walking back to the S-Bahn station, I had a nice feeling. A bit smiley. Just one game left.

And that one game was the next day. Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II. When I was planning the project, with possible dates for every team, there were only really three fixtures that stood out. For negative reasons, the Dynamo game, and for positive reasons, the 1. FC Union Berlin game and this Tennis Borussia Berlin game. I’d often thought, back in the day, that I should go and see Tennis Borussia play. Their fans are known for being lefty, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia. And they play in purple. Always a winner, a purple kit. Not sure why I never did that. Laziness, I guess. Not appreciating the city I lived it. And, probably more pertinently, not appreciating the joys of going to lower league football. If I wanted to see a game back then, it just felt natural to go to the Olympiastadion. More for the building that Hertha BSC, really.

“TeBe” play at Mommsenstadion, in the former West of the city. Quite close to the main bus station if you’ve ever arrived in Berlin that way. There’s a nice wee walk from the local S-Bahn station through a bit of a park. It’s another one of those stadiums with one grandstand, lots of terracing, and a running track. Six of the eleven teams in the project play at stadiums with running tracks. And over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten a bit used to their presence. Still not as good as a football-specific stadium, but, y’know.

It was a shitty day. Quite a lot of rain. Plus, Easter Saturday seemed to have affected the attendance. It was the lowest home attendance of the season for TeBe, just 285. They have averaged 439 this season, which is the highest average attendance in the league. The stadium was bullt in 1930 and renovated in the Fifties. And the entrance (€8 to get in) and main stand are very attractive.

The vibe in there was good from the off. You could see it people’s face, their manner. Nice people. The speakers played Method Man, Susanne Vega, and the Pixies. The place where one could buy sausages had a vegetarian option. There were sparrows flying around, perching on the fence between the grandstand and the field. Like they knew it was a nice place to hang out.

The atmosphere of a small crowd on a rainy day was very much aided by TeBe getting off to a cracking start. It was 1-0 after four minutes, 2-0 after six. I drank a few beers (€3), had a walk around, and yeh, this place is nice, I like it here. I was glad that the schedule of The Project had this game as the last one. As I walked away from the stadium, I could hear the PA playing “Caravan of Love” by the Housemartins.

So there we are. The Project is done. It’s been an absolute joy. Going to places I’ve never been before, train stations I’ve never used, seeing fans of lower league teams. Doing this was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, I think.

I’m quite sure I’ll go to some more games before the season is over. I’ve got used to having football in my life regularly. Indeed, including the two non-canonical games, and not including the Hertha BSC game (part of The Project, but I’d not thought of doing the Project until three weeks after going to that game), I’ve seen a game every 2.4 days on average. Excluding non-canonical games, I saw three wins, three draws, and five defeats for the home teams. 3.6 goals per game.

Every team has more games going on between now and the end of the season, but there are some that are more attractive than others. I’d happily go to another Union game, but probably won’t. They’re pushing for promotion (third place, two points off automatic promotion with five games left in the season), so tickets are hard to get, and me buying a ticket is taking a ticket away from a real fan for whom those games mean a whole lot more than they would mean to me. I want to see two other teams again, though.

In the modern world of sports, I find it increasingly difficult to separate my politics from sport. It’s wrong that citizens pay for new stadiums when teams and their owners make huge profits. I don’t wanna support teams that have shitty owners. That thing of sport being something to get away from your normal life, I think I can only really do that in my brain if there’s not a kernel of annoyance there. There were times in the last couple of seasons going to see my local football team (Cruz Azul) and my local baseball team (Diablos Rojos) in Mexico City when the owners have done shitty things, and it’s like a splash of piss in the beer of enjoyment.

So I’ll spend my money at Tennis Borussia Berlin or SV Babelsberg 03 games in the next few weeks. The teams with the cool lefty fans. One of those two teams will undoubtedly become “my” team at some point. Right now, though, I’m happy to dig both of them and make the most of the remaining weeks of the football season.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)
SV Lichtenberg 47 v SV Victoria Seelow, (14/4/17)
Tennis Borussia Berlin v FC Hansa Rostock II, (15/4/17)

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)

Other business
Another good Word podcast recently with Tessa Niles and Gina Foster about backing vocalists. Worth a listen if that’s your sort of thing.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Only You by Yazoo

On this day
The Supergrass biopic was on telly last night, 18 April 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Earth radius

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 18th, 2017 at 3:56 am

Posted in Sports

3,291: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Morgen

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Morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Nobody’s Diary by Yazoo

On this day
Biscuits, 15 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Unit of length

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

April 15th, 2017 at 3:24 am

Posted in Photos