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Random Alert! German Facts and How Do You Use the Internet?

There are lots of things I’ve been wondering about and don’t want to write a full post about. So I’m just going to put them here and call it a random day.

Random Facts about Germany

  • Almost every student brings a large (1.5L) bottle of water (sparkling or still) or Apfelschorle, or a regular size bottle of Coke or Mezzo Mix (a personal fave), or these little coffee drinks that come pre-packaged in a cardboard cup with a peel-off aluminum top, sort of like a yogurt cup has, to class (sorry, don’t remember what they’re called, so I can’t provide a link). I would estimate that the number is as high as 90%.
  • Almost every student brings a pencil case to class. Usually, they are cylindrical, like this one, but many have metal pencil boxes. Many are designed by famous brands like Roxy, Puma, and Stabilo. Students carry pens, pencils, white out pens, erasers, highlighters, and Tintenkiller in their pencil cases. Again, this is true of probably 90% of students.
  • Most plastic bottles and all beer bottles are recyclable for money (Pfand or “pfahnt”). In fact, you pay the amount when you buy the product, then you get it back when you return the empty bottle. Most 0.5L bottles are €0.15 cents, 1.5L bottles are usually €0.25, and beer bottles are usually €0.08. Most grocery stores have a machine that reads the barcode on all your bottles and give you a receipt with your refund amount that you can then use in the store.
  • All glass (other than those beer bottles) should be recycled in one of many weißgrünbraun glass recycling stations littered around town. And I mean literally all around town. There are two just on my way to school. There’s one around the corner from where we live. I think you’d be hard pressed to go half a mile without passing one.
  • Just as common are large bins in which you can place your Altkleider (“ahlt-kly-der”–the second syllable rhymes with “pie”–or “old clothes”). They are all beige, and in Hessen they seem to be sponsored by Die Johanniter. No driving across town to Goodwill; Just stop by one of the bins on your way to work, school, or the grocery store. It’s so easy!

Random Questions About the Internet

Password Security

I have two levels of passwords I use. For important sites that are either sensitive (Gmail, BoA, eBay, and PayPal) or susceptible to hacking (MySpace and Facebook), I use a password that earns a 100% score at PasswordMeter.com. It was specifically designed to earn that score and is relatively new, as I just learned about that site recently. I change it about every three months.

For all other sites (Wikipedia and whatever random site requires me to register–this week it’s 100Words.com), I use a weaker password I’ve been using for about a year. These get changed about once every two years it seems. My current weaker password earns a paltry 38% at PasswordMeter.com, and my previous one 48%.

Rob laughed when I showed him my current 100% password and bet I’d never be able to remember it (he was wrong!). And that made me curious: How secure do other people make their passwords? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Frequently Visited Sites

How do you access the sites you visit daily? Do you type the URLs? Do you use browser bookmarks? Long ago, probably when I was 19 or so, I made a link page. It was a table that had probably 40 cells that stayed open in my browser all the time. Here‘s my current iteration. Although I’m not 100% happy with it, it is ultra easy to add links to since it’s a Google Spreadsheet. I just read about Only2Clicks.com today on Lifehacker and haven’t even had the chance to check it out yet.

I’ve never seen anyone else with something like this, and I find it to be a huge convenience: no more remembering URLs when I’m away from my home computer. Easy to open a new window with the mouse, since you mostly browse teh Internets with your mouse. So how do you do it? Leave your methods in the comment section.


6 thoughts on “Random Alert! German Facts and How Do You Use the Internet?

  1. Lorraine

    03 Jun on 2008 at 18:00

    @Linden: Yeah, I really wish I would have known what to look for while I was there. I think it might have been interesting to collect examples…not that my suitcase could have held them!

  2. Linden

    03 Jun on 2008 at 17:30

    @lorraine: Thanks! That is an interesting article. One thing, though. Some toothpaste does come in boxes, although most of it doesn’t. Now that I’ve read that article, lots more of the interesting packaging I’ve seen here makes sense.

  3. Linden

    01 Jun on 2008 at 7:10

    @daniel: Ha ha. Nope, just curious about how secure other people are. :)

    Glad to hear it’s easy to make clothing donations in Tulsa!

    @lorraine: I know! When I first typed in one of my MSU passwords–you know, since they changed the password requirements, they’re trickier–and it was much weaker than I thought it would be!

    I agree. It is time America gets serious about recycling. It can be easy, but the American gov just isn’t dedicated enough to make it easy for Americans. (The link didn’t work! I even tried a Google “site:” search. :( )

  4. Lorraine

    31 May on 2008 at 15:15

    Hmm…I never knew that my passwords were so weak! Thanks for the link to that…I may have to revamp them. I have a horrible memory though, so I tend to not change them as often as I should.

    In regards to the Germans and their recyclable ways, Design Observer had a good article on their Gruene Punkt sustainability/recycling system. I wish we had something similar in the states.

  5. Daniel

    31 May on 2008 at 11:17

    so you’re trying to get people to tell you about their passwords? I would be suspicious of anyone else. For important sites like my bank and credit card sites, I use ultra secure but easy to remember (for me). Everything else I use easy ones. You’d be able to log in to almost all my other accounts using the password you set for my gmail account when you set it up.

    The salvation army has tons of bins setup in the Tulsa metro area for dropping stuff off too. No running to goodwill here either! :)