Saturday, September 28, 2002

Weekend Fun
I played miniature golf for the second time in my life today. Ingolstadt Fair (&copy 2002 by J. Beck)Even Steffi and me haven't both been champions, but it was fun anyway. I needed 57 shots for the 18-hole golf course.

In the late afternoon we went to the Ingolstadt fair which is roughly the same as the Oktoberfest in Munich, just a lot smaller. It's party time in South Germany right now, there are fairs in a lot of places. The Oktoberfest is the biggest and most famous but not the only one here. Two years ago I missed the chance to go to Munich, the next year I've been in Korea. So I guess this year will probably be the last time living that close to the bigest fairy on earth. And I may use it. I MAY, I'm not sure right now. Actuallly, I don't really think it's that good as people tell. The one here in Ingolstadt has the same fun rides, the same luncheonettes, the same beer tents etc.. The only difference is the smaller size and price here.

I played a game called camel derby with Steffi, and won. I chose a coupon so that I can return next week and win two more games to get something nice. Well, I've to finish now, Julia, Kai and Christoph are coming to watch some DVDs...and drink...and...whatever.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Bush's authority
The German-American relationship isn't at its best at the moment. Schröder shouldn't have talked too much during the election campaign. Even I agree that we shouldn't follow the US into war, the total exclusion of this thread was not very clever and helped Saddam in a way. Additionally, our ex-ministre of justice should have also been a bit more diplomatically and honest. But things can't be changed now. The damage is done.

Actually I don't feel that pessimistic about is as the press does. There is no strong anti-Americanism in Germany. We like the American country and its "cultural" exports like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Hollywood movies etc. We also like the US as a travel destination or work place. - It's not Anti-Americanism, it's of an Anti-Bushism. The new ultra-conservative government with its "you're my friend or you're my enemy"-attitude is not our style. Friends can have different opinions and even we owe a lot to the US, that does not mean we have to follow their orders.

I remember the days when I was praying for the Democrats to win the election. Well, Al Gore got the most votes but Bush the better lawyers. I have been in Korea at that time and could see firsthand how Bush destroyed the new and succesful sunshine policy of (the South Korean) president Kim Dae-Jung by putting North Korea on his "axis-of-evil"-list. Contacts between the two countries flew in pieces immediately. If anybody isn't able to act diplomatically on sensitive issues, than it is Bush. His conception of a relationship is quite one-sided. It's a misconception, in my opinion.

Moreover Germany's chancelor isn't the only one critizising Bush's Iraq-policy, even he may be the most prominent one. But Chirac in France, the opposition in the UK, the former US vice-president Gore and, not to forget, almost all nations in the middle East, strongly oppose a war without an approval from the UN. Not even his own dog seems to follow his instructions as can be seen on the pic (see the German comment to the pic at :)
Not everyone is following Bush (&copy 2002 Associated Press AP)

If you're on the topic, see also the editorial "The German Problem" from William Safire in the New York Times (free registration required). A good article about the irregularities of the 2000 US president election can be found at "More evidence Bush stole the election" by Bill Press. By the way, the inquiries on that election stopped at September 11 last year when the illegitimate president "united" the country.
The Korean way of auctioning
Koreans like animations. It's the most effective way to get attention on the web. The problem is if there are too many of them on one site, the result may disappear and the site may get annoying.

I think that's why doesn't allow gif-files in the gallery listings. Everyone would compete in having the most eye-catching animated pic. On Korea's biggest auction site,, it is allowed. The result can be seen on the left which was a pic for a dvd-player auction. Not that bad in my opinion. Compare for yourself by following the two links to the respective dvd-categories of and Personally, I like the Korean style more.

By the way, is also an ebay company. When I was studying in Korea last March, the CEO of ebay, Meg Whitman, came to Seoul and held a presentation at Ewha Woman University (next to Sogang University which I attented). She spoke to us about the ebay marketing strategy and her expansion plans in Asia. As we could later read in the news, the purpose of the visit has not been giving lectures but purchasing Korea's biggest auction site,

Friday, September 20, 2002

I got a mail from Holland yesterday from another Jolle explaining two new meanings of the name to me. So I got three up to now. Anybody out there with another suggestion? Please write me!
What Jolle means (&copy 2002 by Johannes Beck)

Thursday, September 19, 2002

News on Korea
Here are my news sources I read from time to time to stay up-to-date on what's happening in Korea. The best on for an introduction is The Economist with its abundant country data and statistics. The CNN special about the reconciliation process is also worth seeing. They have also have the best search engine on daily news. The 2 Korean newspapers, the Herald and the Times, give you a very nice insight on what the Koreans are focused on at the moment. This is sometimes quite different from the selection of news that reaches Europe.

To explore the country with a more touristic attitude you'll better visit the Government homepage, the brilliant city homepages (e.g. Seoul, Busan) or the KNTO (Korea National Tourist Organisation).

  • The Korea Herald
    Big English language newspaper in Korea

  • The Korea Times
    The other big English newspaper in Korea

  • The Economist (Country Briefing South Korea)
    One of the best and most reliable information available; factsheets, economic data, forecasts, news, links; includes news from North Korea as well

  • CNN (Korea Special)
    CNN's Korea special about the reconciliation; also provides a link to a big source of daily news on Korea

  • Korean Government
    Features everything from daily news to tourist information

  • Korean Cities (Seoul | Busan)
    All big Koran cities can be reached by the internet site of the structure  ""

  • KNTO
    The Korea National Tourist Organisation homepage (8 languages)
Our cup
For the WFI-Team members. Unfortunately we just got one cup, so here's a digital version. A higher resolution version (1.4MB, 2000 x 3000 pixel) is also available. I can also make a pic with you and the cup together if you pass by. :)
Get a high resolution version (2000 x 3000 pixel, 1.4MB)

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

The Geisenfeld Experience
The 24-hour-run in Geisenfeld is over and my legs recovered already. Stefan cheering at the start / 24-h-run Geisenfeld (&copy 2002 by Johannes Beck)We started with 10 people, the smallest team in the field. Overall it have been 29 teams with 727 runners, an average team size of about 25 people. So our chances of finishing on the top were quite small.

Arnd, Caro and Philipp started the race on Friday from 5:30 to 8pm. From 8 to midnight Klaus, Kai, Stefan and Steffi were running. At that point we had a good feeling and we thought a top ten place is within reach. But, as we got to know later, at that point we’ve been already the third last. The others are so fast. They rotate every 2 laps and have a lot more woman, children and old people who get an extra point lap by lap.

At midnight I started running. I wanted to run a marathon distance for the first time and til 2 o’clock it went quite well. I had already 24 km. But then the hammer hit hard. I was freezing like hell. The temperature lowered to 6°C and I had opted for shorts and t-shirt, a wrong decision. Every lap I passed the hot showers and my motivation rapidly decreased, especially when I realized I wouldn’t make the 42 km in under four hours. At 3 am, Stefan and Kai, the 2 other scheduled runners for the night shift, came back to the track. Stefan took over and I took my towel and went to the hot showers on my scooter. My legs hurt, I couldn’t move much. I didn’t knew before how many muscles you have in your legs, but nowJolle sleeping Saturday morning / 24-h-run Geisenfeld (&copy 2002 by Johannes Beck) I could feel every single one. A little later hot water rinsed down my body, but I was still shivering. I showered for about 20 minutes, eating chocolate and energy bars, before I went back to the track. Stefan had run for an hour followed by Kai. Klaus, the enthusiastic motor cyclist who works at Audi’s product definition department, was scheduled to come at 6 in the morning. This was the point with the least motivation in the race, because we were all tired, cold and urgently needed a pair of fresh legs. Cause I didn’t stretch my muscles after the last run, I had big problems even to walk right now. I needed half a lap to regain my ability to put one feet in front of the other without cursing this run loudly.

We rotated til quarter to seven when Klaus was coming back. Kai, Stefan and me didn’t sleep at all the night and we were all totally burned out. Not just that we all ran far too much this night. No, the outlook for the day was not that good. We had just 3 fit runners to come for sure today, Johannes, Philipp and Tim. But the race still lasts over 10 hours. That meant a lot more running for us. Kai couldn’t run anymore, and Stefan and me got a bit worried. Later, when Philipp and Johannes were running and the sun came out, I slept for a while on the bench, wrapped in a big blanket, dreaming about a hot tub, a massage and new legs. Because Philipp had to leave a little after 9am and Johannes around 11, we ordered (kindly asked) Steffi and Caro to come asap.

Klaus and Stefan bridged the time til the arrival of the two. A little later Tim was also coming and doing a phantastic 2 ½ hour run. So Stefan, Caro, Steffi and me had just an hour more to run til Arnd was coming. He helped us by taking over the last hour. Our doubts in the morning were proved wrong. We finished the 24 hours with just 10 people, running a total distance of 258.4 km (152 laps à 1.7km). Arnd and Tim after the run, with the cup in front / 24-h-run Geisenfeld (&copy 2002 by Johannes Beck)Everyone of us performed better than expected and most even better than they thought they can. Johannes ran 11.7 km, Caro and Steffi 13.6 km, Philip 18.7 km, Kai 20.4 km, Tim 22.1 km, Arnd 32.3 km, Klaus 34 km, Stefan 44.2 km and me 47.6 km.

After showering and eating noodles we had to wait too long until the results were presented. It seems that they calculated everything by hand. Had anybody told them of this miraculous software called Excel? The other teams were enjoying the time, but we, especially Stefan, Kai and me, were just tired and wanted to go home. Anyway, after some hours we cheared loud for our expected last place. We got a cup and an ice cream voucher. Moreover we haven’t been that bad as the result might say, because we were not the team with the fewest km. There was a team I just call „Fleischwürste“ who had 2 laps less. But because they had more woman in the team, they've got more points and finished second last leading with the small margin of just 13 points. The team with the most kilometres ran 207 laps, but also didn’t win. With just 2 women in the team we must have ran at least 204 laps to just reach the top ten. You can’t win this race without women, children or old people. A team with 27 woman ran just 3 laps more than us and finished ninth. I think this is the only place on earth were men are discriminated :)

But this race was not about winning. It was about finishing and experience your real abilities. Your body can do more than your mind thinks it can. Regarding that it was a nice event. I’ve made some photos which I’ll upload later. See the results at the Geisenfeld run homepage (click on "Teilnehmer").

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Edmund Stoiber's Bavarian legacy
There is a brilliant, unemotional article in The Economist's (7th Sept edition) Europe section about the German elections. It's relatively short but very informative. They look closer on Stoiber and analyze what he wants and what he might be able to do, looking at his his past achievements in Bavaria. They conclude that "Mr Stoiber might well be prepared to do more than he is at present willing to reveal. But there is nothing in his record to suggest that he would be any more of a radical reformer than Mr Schroder." You need to subscribe or pay-per-view to see the article or use a database like ProQuest. Maybe it'll be free to access by next week when the new print edition comes out. / 16.Sept: Now it's available.
Yippi yeh!
Got my result for the exam in an economics class. It's a medium one but I'm happy cause I thought I'd fail. Well, that would have been very unlucky, if I would have failed the last exam I wrote. The other result of the eCRM class is still not out, but I'm sure I've passed, so this must have been it. Just my thesis is still missing. Therefor I better go back to work!
Team Logo
Our team logo is finished and the t-shirts will be printed tomorrow. The weather report is absolutely brilliant for the weekend. We'll have fun!!!

Birthday Party
Tuesday evening I made a small grill session with a few friends at Kai's flat. That's all, just in case you wondered what I did on my 25th birthday. I don't regard birthdays as important days. Christmas is much more important as it has a special athmosphere. The year is almost over, the family gathers together, it's warm inside and cold outside...

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Beer for Cycling
Sunday morning was the day of final judgement. Some time ago I made bet with Kai that I can cycle the 25 km from Gerolfing (near Ingolstadt) to Eichstaett in less than 1 hour. To make it short: I won! I needed 46 min which is an average speed of over 31 km per hour. My benefit was a crate of beer, so i don't know if it was my own power or the reward that drove me that fast. Anyway, in the afternoon Kai, Astrid and me went water-skiing to relax a bit.

Saturday, September 7, 2002

WFI - White Feet Ingolstadt
Yesterday I registered our team for the 24-hour-run in Geisenfeld which is near Ingolstadt. Our team now has 10 members: Steffi, Caro, Kai, Christoph, Philip, Stefan, Arnd, Tim, Kaan and me. Moreover we'll get 2 others who are still looking for a team. That makes us 12 runners who have to run in average 2 hours.

We call ourselves the WFI - Weiße Füße (White Feet) Ingolstadt, cause most of us are coming from the Ingolstadt Business School which name is WFI. Not that funny? Maybe, but the other options have been "Inkognito" and "Shpedoinkle" and "Stumblestones Ingolstadt". So it can't be that bad either.

Friday, September 6, 2002

Fuck the German tv
Germany won against Spain and will play the semifinal agains Argentina on Saturday 8 pm German local time (GMT +1h). What a thing. But we won't see it live in tv, because the stateowned channel ARD who holds the broadcasting rights decided to show the match only after it is finished. Don't ask me why they bought the rights and payed tax payers money for it. Absolutely stupid. First they didn't even wanted to show any match of the world championships, even most of them were around midnight in German time and at this hour the tv program is normally a big pot of shit.

But then fans and some politicians protested and they decided to show at least the matches with German participation, presumably hoping that these won't be that many. But our team was much better than expected and now we're in the semifinals. Isn't that enough? Instead of showing us a world championship semifinal the first German tv channel will show a qualification soccer match for the European championships 2004. All right, it is also interesting, but there are 14 other state-owned tv channels in Germany, 10 regional and 4 nationwide ones. All of them could show the live match, but instead we're getting about six f...... music festivals, a report about old the German chancelors, stories from Ground Zero and lot of other boring shows I've never even heard of.

Well, I think this sucks, it really sucks. I don't know who is responsible for such a waste of taxpayers money. There is just one thing that makes up for this. It's that the Americans also won't see their semifinal match, cause they have been thrown out of tournament by the Yugoslavian team last night. Over and out!

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Two more records for my record
A sensational intermediate round ended today night at the Basketball World Championshis. Sport history has been written. Argentina defeated the US team which is been traded as the favorite for the title, almost unbelievable. But the second record is even better for me, Germany reached the quarter finals for the first time ever defeating Russia with a grandious 103 to 85. Tomorrow we'll be playing against Spain and if we win, a medal is so near, huahh!

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Foreign minister in Ingolstadt
Today Joschka Fischer, our foreign minister and most important person in the Green party, visited Ingolstadt on his election campaign tour. I was expecting Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister (&copy by Laurence Chaperon) >>> Link to Chaperons Websitea truly polemic and demagogic speech, and I haven't been proved completely wrong. Badmouting the opponents and blandishing his own policies is the first lesson to learn for every politician. Avoiding factual arguments is the second.

Joschka did learn the lessons well. And he slagged the conservatives around Stoiber down for more than 15 minutes. But then, to my delight, he changed his style and summarized his major policies, telling his goals in reforming the tax system, in phasing out of nuclear energy, in reforming the agricultural sector and so on. Well, he didn't stop dealing side blows at times. But at least this wasn't the major part of his speech.

The audience here in Bavaria was quite enthusiastic. Just when he spoke of the need of integration and the Eastern enlargement of the EU nobody applauded. The market place stayed deadly silent. He tried to explain it more and more, shifting the focus not to economic but security gains, but that didn't help much. It seems that Bavarians care a shit about the EU. It even seems that they don't care a shit about Germany. They are Bavarians. Anyway, I was satisfied with what I saw. And for me Fischer is the most charismatic person in German politics at the moment.
September 11 photo
I found an Sept 11 photo of Manhattan on the NASA site, too. From the TV cameras the fire and smoke looked so huge, and the damage was definitely big. But if you see it in the perspective of the city, it looks like a small incident. Incredible. You can also have a high resolution picture (4.2 megapixel, 2.26 MB, JPEG).
Satellite view of Manhattan on Sept 11 (&copy 2001 by NASA - Visible Earth)

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Visible Earth by NASA
I found a nice site today from the NASA. It's a database with satellite photos and animations from all around the world. You can browse or search by countries, by regions and many other categories. Chiese dust storm over Korean peninsula (&copy by NASA - Visible Earth)The quality of the photos is exellent. They always have a low and very high resolution versions.

You can find pictures of big fires anywhere in the world, and also recent shots from the floods in Germany. Overall they have more than 3700 pics. Koreans should be pleased to find more than enough evidence against China and Mongolia, from where giant dust clouds spread over the region from time to time. It's a big issue in Korea, as these clouds are believed to contain toxic particles from China's bustling industry. Experts approve the fact, but it is definitely not that toxic like some Korean believe when they tell you to use an umbrella in rain because the dust is coming down on your head and the hair will be damaged.

Anyway, check out the pics at: NASA - Visible Earth (Country Index / Korea / Germany).

Well, at the moment, the people will definitely not think about dust storms, as the worst typhoon in 4 decades has hit the peninsula at the last weekend. Here some early numbers from the Korea Times: 138 dead, many more missing, property damage over 1 trillion won (800 million Euro), 70 000 people evacuated, 28 000 houses swamped, over 200 roads and bridges damaged. And these are not the final figures from the 15th typhoon this year called Rusa. See the whole article from the Korea Times.

At last I want to wish these 15 North Korean refugees, which escaped to the German embassy in China, the best. Hopefully they are allowed to leave the country to anywhere except North Korea. It's a shame how China handles this problem and how they treat reporters on that issue.
Package from Korea
Got a package from Korea today including some newspapers frmo the times of the World Cup. It's nice to read the Korea Times again, after more than one year of abstinence. Korean English newspapers have their special style. I'm looking forward to read them in the next days. Thanks Yoojung.