Just Out Of Cold War Storage

Demothball: to remove (naval or military equipment) from storage or reserve, usually for active duty; reactivate.

Leopard 2

Germany plans to bring 100 mothballed tanks back into service in what is widely seen as a response to rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

Die im Zuge der Neuausrichtung der Bundeswehr festgelegte Obergrenze von 225 Kampfpanzern Leopard 2 soll auf 320 erhöht werden.

Germans Don’t Frack Around

Germany is just about to make German fracking safer. In a country that doesn’t do any fracking in the first place, versteht sich (it’s understood). And they are going to make it safer by banning it altogether. Makes sense to me. When I concentrate really hard and try to think like a German, I mean (can’t do it for very long, though).

Fracking

The new draft law, which now goes to parliament for approval, will impose an outright ban on fracking for shale gas in the next few years and only allow scientific test drilling under strict conditions to assess the risks and environmental impact.

The law could allow commercial shale gas fracking in exceptional cases from 2019 but only after successful test drilling and the approval of a special committee.

Germany’s gas industry has warned restricting fracking could increase the country’s dependence on imported energy at a time when geopolitical concerns, particularly over Ukraine, are growing.

The BDI industry lobby group described the new conditions as “completely over the top”.

Last year, gas imports from Russia accounted for 37 percent of Germany’s supply. Only 12 percent of Germany’s needs were covered by its own reserves, down from almost a fifth a decade earlier.

Gun Never To Be Used In Combat Doesn’t Meet The Bundeswehr’s Tough Never To Be Used In Combat Standards

After several years of investigation, the German Bundeswehr has confirmed that the light profile of its Heckler & Koch G36 barrels are leading to accuracy problems in the field, Reuters reported. The rifle’s accuracy opens up after sustained fully-automatic fire, which heats up the barrel, causing the point of impact to shift.

G36

So like now the German defense ministry under defense minister Ursula von der Leyen is considering issuing a different rifle that will never be used in combat, either but will at least meet the Bundeswehr’s stringent never to be used in combat standards.

Noch soll das Gewehr, von dem die Bundeswehr knapp 180.000 Stück angeschafft hat, im Einsatz bleiben. Ministerin von der Leyen kündigte aber bereits an, man müsse nach den neuen Tests prüfen, ob die Truppe “auf mittlere Sicht mit einem anderen Sturmgewehr ausgerüstet werden muss”.

Psychosis Is A Waking Nightmare

And this guy’s just reached out and grabbed us.

Andreas Lubitz

He had to have been mad, right? Because if this was just another 28-year-old narcissist having a really bad day then heaven help us all. There is no end to those out there.

Der Copilot des Germanwings-Airbus soll einem Medienbericht zufolge in seiner Ausbildungszeit psychische Probleme gehabt haben.

Remember When Spain Was Down And Out?

Mercedes Benz seems happy enough building cars there now, for instance. Then you’ve got the current Greek government

Spain

The European Central Bank is predicting that Spain will be one of the economic drivers of Europe in 2015. Powered by a cheap euro and low interest, economic growth is predicted to rise by 2.3 percent this year. The Spanish government is expecting one million additional jobs for 2014 and 2015.

Along with Portugal and Ireland, Spain represents an example of how an economic crisis can be turned into an opportunity. These countries’ experiences show that a nation can recover its economic competitiveness through painful reform, even in a monetary union.

As a result, Spain — especially in the eyes of liberal economists — represents the counterpoint to Greece, which has gotten entangled in its national battle against economic relegation and is losing ever more time with its recriminations against the rest of the euro group.

German Solar Energy To Be Turned Off Tomorrow

It’s hard to say how long the grid will be down, though.

Eclipse

So what’s the big deal, exactly? The sun goes down every night, of course, and Germany is quite accustomed to cloudy days. (It gets about as much sunshine as Alaska.) The difference with a solar eclipse is the speed at which sunlight will disappear from, and then return to, the power system. All electric grids operate on the fundamental principle that supply and demand must always be in perfect equilibrium, second by second. That dynamic becomes complicated when so much of your power comes from a source like solar, over which grid operators have zero control. And it’s especially tricky when the fluctuation is so rapid and extreme.

“Eine Sonnenfinsternis gibt es doch jeden Abend.”

Uber And Out

Always remember: What is not expressly allowed in Germany is strictly forbidden.

Uber

A court in Frankfurt has ruled that the UberPop ride-hailing service may not operate anywhere in Germany for the simple reason that, uh, well, you ought to have an official permit to do so. To be the driver, I mean.

This is a big relief for everybody here because if people didn’t have to have official permits to use the service then anybody could just simply offer or choose to use the service on his or her own, without being regulated. One can’t have that here because this would make the people who would otherwise make the regulations and hand out the permits superfluous and also make taxi driving more competitive and even bring down prices for the consumer, without these prices being properly regulated first, I mean. There are a lot of bad implications here, people. So, like I said, strictly forbidden. Or verboten, if you prefer.

And besides, they spell Uber wrong.

„Ubers Geschäftsmodell basiert auf Rechtsbruch.“

How Repellent

To use “ultra-Ever Dry super-hydrophobic” water-repellent paint like that, I mean.

People living in Hamburg’s St. Pauli’s nightclub district are used to hordes of drunken tourists, crime and prostitution but many are fed up with late-night revelers who urinate on public and private buildings.

A local interest group has now applied a special water-repellent paint, also used in shipbuilding, on two especially frequented buildings in the renowned nightclub district near the port to deter ‘Wildpinkler’, as Germans call them.

Ultra-Ever Dry super-hydrophobic was developed by auto-makers Nissan. Its oleophobic nano-coating is water repellant, meaning that those revelers who urinate against it will end up soaking themselves.

And here you thought everybody over here was Sitzpinkler.

Never Forget That Apple Is Still Evil

Just like Google, Facebook, eBay, Amazon and all those other hi-tech folks (from US-Amerika).

Apple

But try not to notice that German suppliers raked in two billion euros from Apple last year alone. That would be indelicate or something.

German companies are supplying the glass for Apple’s future Campus 2 “mother ship” in Cupertino, for instance. Glass and Geld (money) don’t stink, I guess.

Apple hat im vergangenen Jahr rund zwei Milliarden Euro an Zulieferer aus Deutschland gezahlt, wie Konzernchef Tim Cook am Montag der Deutschen Presse-Agentur mitteilte. Cook besuchte in Gersthofen bei Augsburg den Glas-Spezialisten Seele, dessen Tochtergesellschaft Sedak die Frontscheiben des neuen Apple-Hauptquartiers in Cupertino liefert. Die eigentliche Fassade inklusive der Sedak-Glasscheiben stammt vom schwäbischen Stahl- und Glas-Spezialisten Josef Gartner aus dem benachbarten Gundelfingen an der Donau.

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