Anybody Can Land On A Comet

10 years and 6.5 billion kilometers later (give or take a few inches)…

The spaceship Rosetta’s landing probe Philae will be landing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Tomorrow. We hope.

The comet is currently hurtling through space at 24,600 miles per hour and its nucleus is only 2.5 miles wide. Scientists compare the task to a fly trying to land on a speeding bullet.

PS: Why couldn’t they have scheduled this thing to land on 11.11 at 11 o’clock 11 in the morning?

German Balloonists Forced To Land In A Place Called Nebraska

They rose to 13,000 feet as they crossed into Kansas…

Balloonists

Ah, Nebraska weather — known killer of Sunday golf rounds, lazy days at Branched Oak Lake and a German couple’s hopes of winning an international ballooning competition.

Strangely, when asked about their ordeal later, the Germans said it was “nice.”

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

I Had No Idea Germany Used To Be This Fat

But that’s why places like the British Museum have exhibitions like this, I guess.

Map

Germany – memories of a nation. A 600-year history in objects. You know, objects like these:

VW

Uh, why don’t they have exhibitions like this here in Berlin?

This exhibition will examine elements of German history from the past 600 years in the context of the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago.

German Doves Demand Pigeon Deployment

As expected and secretly hoped for, the proposal to send German military-surveillance drones to monitor the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine has run into a thicket of legal problems.

Drones

To pacify Moscow and the German doves opposed to the deployment, German pigeon drones will now be used instead.

France and Germany said they would consider providing drones. But their request to send armed teams as well to safeguard the drone operators could run into resistance at the OSCE, a civilian organization that includes Russia, which would have to agree to the plan.

Update: Why Germans Always Pay Cash?

Because they can. Take cash-stuffed German mega-companies, for instance.

Cash

They’re buying everything they can find in US-Amerika these days that hasn’t been tied down.

In recent days, two multibillion-dollar deals were announced. On Sunday, the German engineering conglomerate Siemens announced a $7.6 billion acquisition of the Dresser-Rand Group, the United States oil products company. And on Monday morning, Merck of Germany, the chemical and drug giant, said it would pay $17 billion for Sigma-Aldrich, an American life sciences company.

PS: Remember when Japan was going to take over the United States? No, I guess you wouldn’t remember that. Never mind.

Since When Does Ukraine Have A Graffiti Problem?

German drones could soon fly over eastern Ukraine? I thought they were only used for patrolling railyards by night to fight graffiti spraying terrorists here in Germany.

Drone

Or to harass the Bundeskanzlerin in Dresden. Or to terrify passengers on commercial airplanes trying to land in Kabul. Hey, practice makes perfect, I guess.

France and Germany are preparing to send their unmanned aircraft as part of the ongoing OSCE mission. The first soldiers from those countries arrived in Ukraine Tuesday to evaluate the conditions on the ground.

Uber And Out

It’s new, it promotes competition, it has something to do with the Internetz and it’s American. It just has to be verboten.

Taxis

The ride-hailing service Uber is about to have a head-on collision with Germany’s taxis and legal system. A court in Frankfurt has banned Uber’s most popular service from operating in the country until a hearing this year on whether it unfairly competes with local taxis.

It’s like this: Whatever is not expressly permitted in this country is strictly forbidden.

Es würden gegen Entgelt Personen befördert, „ohne im Besitz einer Genehmigung nach dem Personenbeförderungsgesetz zu sein.“

PS: Or maybe everyone’s pissed because they spelled Uber wrong?

Germany Increases Pressure On Russia By Selling It An Oil Company

Berlin is set to approve the sale of one of Germany’s largest oil producers to a Russian consortium, in a move that may undercut U.S. and E.U. sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for its role in stoking the conflict in Ukraine.

Oil

Der Verkauf galt wegen der Rolle Russlands in der Ukraine-Krise als politisch umstritten. Die Bundesregierung hat bei derartigen Transaktionen ein Mitspracherecht nach dem Außenwirtschaftsgesetz.

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

Somebody said that once, not all to0 long ago, after some NSA Aufregung (excitement) about something somewhere. I forget where. But I couldn’t agree more. So, uh, where’s the outrage now?

Turkey

Now that Germany’s intelligence agency BND has revealed that NATO ally Turkey is one of five countries it is spying on, I mean.

Outrage won’t be necessary this time, I guess. It appears that Germany is finally coming clean and ready to admit to the world that Turkey has officially reached non-friend status so spying in this case is allowed.

Hey, what goes around comes around.

The news reports (of NSA spying in Germany) outraged Germans, leading to favorable attitudes about the United States falling to their lowest levels in years and creating a public and private sense of mistrust. Merkel has repeatedly called the U.S. spy program a breach of trust and noted that “friends don’t spy on friends.”

German Intelligence Failed To Find Anything Intelligent While Wiretapping Hillary Clinton’s Telephone Conversation

According to a report today in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German intelligence service BND listened in on at least one telephone call involving former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was still in office.

Hillary

Not only was the eavesdropping “purely accidental,” an unidentified source told the newspaper, but the conversation was also “one of the stupidest, most inane and brain-dead phone conversations I as a spy have ever had to endure. It got so bad I had to start banging my head against the wall and broke off the connection after three minutes. Laber, laber, laber! It’s like her brain is in neutral or something. And they can’t fire me for this either now because I quit!”

Deutsche Regierungskreise bestreiten allerdings, dass es eine systematische Spionage des BND gegen die USA gibt. Vielmehr sei das Gespräch, das Clinton in ihrer Amtszeit aus einer US-Regierungsmaschine heraus geführt habe, nur zufällig aufgefangen worden.

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