This is not a new article as it is from December 2014 but I keep refering to it, so I think you should read it right now:
A popular saying goes that programmers are machines that turn caffeine into code.
And sure enough, ask a random programmer when they do their best work and there’s a high chance they will admit to a lot of late nights. Some earlier, some later. A popular trend is to get up at 4am and get some work done before the day’s craziness begins. Others like going to bed at 4am.
Everytime I deal with German literature I remember this scene from Big Bang Theory:
Raj: I can’t wait to ask Stan Lee why he insists on giving all his characters first and last names that start with the same letter.
Leonard: Oh, come on, why would you do that?
Raj: Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Stephen Strange, Otto Octavius, Silver Surfer, Peter Parker, oh, and worst of all, J. Jonah Jameson, Jr.
I wonder if Stan Lee, American comic book writer and inventor of some of the greated comic super heroes of all time, also invented the most famous writers in German language:
Heinrich Heine, Günter Grass, Rainer Rilke, Herman Hesse, Bertold Brecht, oh, and worst of all, Achim von Arnim.
What a journey! In the first (and impressive) episode of the brand new SyFy series "The Magicians" a character is reciting a German poem (48:22). Well, at least this is supposed to be the case, as a matter of fact I was not sure if this is German, some historical slavian fantasy estonian or just made up sounds. But then, there were some sentences that could be understood: "Die Quantenstufe? Wer sagt, dass alle verschwinden müssen? Wer weiße moglikerweise der Flug der Vogels der sie verletzte überreste? Unde möglikerweise überleben Blumen" Apparently, this was a quote from a famous German poet and wizard named "Rachkach." ... Well. I never heard this name before, nor was I sure if this was a name at all. A famous german poet with an interest in occultism? Goethe comes to mind, but in English it is generally pronounced more like "Go-theee" so I could not find a link to "Rachkach".
Google was not helpful for the first 20 minutes. I found a source, indeed, but it was a cambridge master thesis with the topic "Christ Among Them: Incarnation and Renaissance in Medieval Italian Culture" by Edoardo Mungiello from 2008. But, reading this, the German is not better here, maybe it is a product by Google Translate:
Wer sagt, daß alle verschwinden müssen? Weir weiß, möglicherweise
der Flug des Vogels verwunden Sie des Remains und möglicherweise
überleben Blumen Liebskosungen in uns, In ihrem Boden.
Es is nicht die Geste, die dauert, aber es kleidet Sie wieder in der
Goldrüstung - von Brust zu knie- Und die Schacht war – ein Engel
trägt ihn nach Ihnen so rein.
—Was Überlebt, Rainer Maria Rilke.
But, at least, a name, or make that two: The author seems to be the Austrian poetrist Rainer Maria Rilke, english possibly pronounced as Rachkach, and he is indeed one of the most famous poets of the German language (and indeed with a profound interest in occultism). And the poem seems to be "Was überlebt". But after searching this for 20 other minutes: There seems to be no poem with this name by Rilke. So how could this be? Two sources with several years distance between them, both quoting the same miswritten poem - and nothing else? Maybe it was a backtranslation from English to a supposed-to-be German - so I tried searching for Rilke poems with keywords like Goldrüstung or Engel or Blume or Vogelflug. Nothing. So, maybe this is not by Rilke at all, so I tried searching for German poems in general with these keywords. Nothing. ... Well. Maybe... it is... an English poem, mistaken for a German one? So I googled "What survives" and "Rilke" - and tadaa: Here it is.
Who says that all must vanish?
Who knows, perhaps the flight
of the bird you wound remains,
and perhaps flowers survive
caresses in us, in their ground.
It isn't the gesture that lasts,
but it dresses you again in gold
armor --from breast to knees--
and the battle was so pure
an Angel wears it after you.
Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by A. Poulin
The comments on this site helped me with the rest: Apparently, Rilke wrote several hundreds of his poems in French. This one was beautifully translated by the american poet Alfred Poulin and seems to be quite popular in the English speaking world. So, well, this is the original version:
Qui te dit que tout disparaisse?
De l'oiseau que tu blesses,
Qui sait s'il ne reste le vol?
Et peut-être les fleurs des caresses
Survivent à nous, de leur sol.
Ce n'est pas le geste qui dure,
Mais il nous revêt de l'armure
D'or, des flancs aux genoux,
Et tant la bataille fut pure,
qu'un Ange la porte après vous.
That was hard work to find it and I am quite surprised it was. But as a favor for you English speaking guys I will translate the french poem to correct and somewhat nice German now -so you can quote it in your favorite language in the next tv series - I try to keep the wording similar to the quasi canonical translation I found two sources for...
Wer sagt uns, dass alles verschwinden wird?
Wer weiß, ob des Vogels Flug
bestehen bleibt, wenn Du ihn verletzt,
und vielleicht überleben die Blumen
die Liebkosungen in uns, in ihrem Boden.
Es ist nicht die Geste, die dauert
jedoch, sie kleidet Dich erneut in Harnisch,
golden von der Brust bis zu den Knien,
und die Schlacht war so rein
Dass ein Engel sie nach Dir trug.
Rainer Maria Rilke (übersetzt von Daniel Stein)
And another great source:
The World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) is a large database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages gathered from descriptive materials (such as reference grammars) by a team of 55 authors.
Everyone who speaks a language, speaks it with an accent. A particular accent essentially reflects a person's linguistic background. When people listen to someone speak with a different accent from their own, they notice the difference, and they may even make certain biased social judgments about the speaker.
The speech accent archive is established to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds.
The world leading data forensics company DriveSavers extracted data from 200 Gene Roddenberry floppy disks with no functional computer that can read the file format. Wow, I really wonder what might be on those disks:
When Gene Roddenberry’s computer died, it took with it the only method of accessing some 200 floppy disks of his unpublished work. Here’s how this tech mystery was solved.
I could comment this encounter but this is needless. The obvious: Discussion and discourse depend on the willingess to exchange by the debatants.
Last week, I did my best to engineer a public conversation with Chomsky about the ethics of war, terrorism, state surveillance, and related topics. As readers of the following email exchange will discover, I failed. I’ve decided to publish this private correspondence, with Chomsky’s permission, as a cautionary tale. Clearly, he and I have drawn different lessons from what was, unfortunately, an unpleasant and fruitless encounter. I will let readers draw lessons of their own.