What Do You Mean A Man Dressed As Santa Claus?

A man dressed as Santa Claus poses with his ‘helpers’ who are busy answering children’s letters in the Santa Claus post office in the Eastern German town of Himmelpfort (Heaven’s Gate) on November 10, 2011. Children can send their Christmas wish lists to Himmelpfort from around the world and receive a reply from Santa. In 2010, the post office here received 285.000 letters in 17 languages.

Merry Christmas and stuff like that.

Too Much Sun, Son

Now if we could only learn to harness the power of falling solar energy company stocks…

Solar Millennium AG plunged by a record in Frankfurt trading after becoming the second publicly traded German solar company to file for insolvency.

Let’s face it, people: The sun and Germany just don’t mix.

Solar Millennium war ein grüner Börsenstar. Beim Solarkraftwerk-Hersteller klang immer alles nach Weltrettung, ständig ging es um die Zukunft der Menschheit. Seit Donnerstag ist das Unternehmen pleite und es wird klar: Viele hundert Millionen Euro sind weg. Es droht einer der größten Anlageskandale der Geschichte. 

Damned If You Don’t

Remember long, long ago when the US messed up so awfully and needed so desperately to get out of Iraq as soon as possible (I’m talking the German view here, folks)?

Well, now the big American mistake is that they just left. Everything is falling apart again already and it’s all our fault, again already.

The Germans should know what they’re talking about here this time, though. US troops are still in their country and have been since 1945.

Kaum haben die letzten US-Truppen den Irak verlassen, brechen im Land alte Konflikte auf.

This Just In: Britain Distrusts Germany

Wow, talk about a news item.

This must be the scoop of the century. Are Woodward and Bernstein back? Did the CIA finally do something right? Where on earth do Spiegel journalists uncover such unexpected and volatile information?

Always remember, folks: If it’s not in the Spiegel, it didn’t happen.

“Welcome to the Fourth Reich”

Phase Out vs. Cash In

“Fukushima changed my attitude towards nuclear energy,” she said.

Now, though, it would appear that German industry is relying on government assistance to pursue the construction of nuclear power plants abroad.

Four applications for government export guarantees on nuclear power plant projects are currently under consideration. Known as Hermes guarantees, the program protects German companies from non-payment on overseas deals. The four projects are located in Finland, Great Britain, China and India.

“The nuclear phaseout must also apply to export guarantees.”

Malfunction Is Better Than No Function At All

When Berlin’s entire S-Bahn commuter train system isn’t down and out due to power outages, ice and snow (yet to come this year) or just plain good old fashioned traditional mismanagement, Berliners are asked to show understanding for S-Bahn train drivers who call in sick en masse, about 10 percent of the workforce at the moment.

They don’t do substitute train drivers, I guess, and that 10 percent is enough to cause massive delays on a number of lines here and tens of thousands of commuters to come in late to work, should those folks not have had enough sense to call in sick too, I mean. It’s been about three days now. S-Bahn drivers are sick here, alright. Sick of working. Merry Christmas to you too, pal(s).

“Unsere Personaldecke ist eben nicht hundertprozentig gedeckt, da machen sich krankheitsbedingte Ausfälle sofort bemerkbar.”

PS: Or maybe these guys have just been hitting the Little Red Riding Hood too heavy this week.

Have A Wonderful Stresstest

As you may have noticed, Germans are always stressed out about stuff, even stuff that isn’t particularly stressful. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the Society for German Language has just chosen “Stresstest” to be the German word of the year (you didn’t know it was a German word, did you).

You name it, the Germans have stress tested it this year (or have been stress tested by it). Whether banks, nuclear power plants, train stations in Stuttgart, rained out summers or having patience with the euro (not), this term has become a “firm component of everyday language.”

I don’t see what all the fuss is about, though. Ain’t nothing new. I remember when they used to call stress test life.

Der ursprünglich aus der Medizin entlehnte Begriff sei im Laufe des Jahres “auffällig oft” verwendet worden.

Nix Flashmob Here, Buddy

As Wikipedia informs us, a flash mob (or flashmob) “is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, artistic expression.”

Well, Munich officials clearly aren’t in the mood for entertainment, satire or artistic expression these days (it is Christmas season here after all, bah, humbug) and are threatening with 1000 euro fines anyone who decides to follow a Facebook flashmob call to stand still at the city’s famous Marienplatz for five full minutes this coming Saturday.

It’s pretty clear that they don’t want the flashmob to interfere with the Christmas mob because this could lead to mob warfare and we all know who would win that one, right? Man do I ever pity the flashmobbing fool who gets in the way of those folks.

Uns geht es nicht um das Stehenbleiben, sondern um Blockaden.

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