The Mother Of All Refugee Shelters?

Tempelhof airport, the iconic structure that once oversaw the Berlin air lift in the 1950s, may be re-invented as a refugee shelter. The overstretched city administration did not deny it was considering the option.

Refugee

Berlin may have finally found a use for Tempelhof airport, the vast, iconic building that ceased operation in 2008, but has only been put to temporary use since. The city administration is considering turning the iconic structure – scene of the Berlin air lift during the Cold War and once described by architect Sir Norman Foster as the “mother of all airports” – into one of the biggest refugee shelters in Europe.

Weird Science

More German environmental backwardness in action. Or would it be better to call it genetic illiteracy?

So much for Europe’s efforts to put the junk science surrounding genetically modified (GMO) food to rest. Berlin this week signaled it will prohibit cultivation of GMO crops in Germany, even if the crops have been approved by EU scientific bodies and despite an attempt by Brussels to legalize them.

Science

Sure enough, neither environmentalists nor German politicians have come up with a justification for Berlin’s looming ban other than, well, because. Supporters cheer the move as an expression of “food democracy” in a country where opposition to GMOs is widespread and the government faced intense pressure to ban them…

Back in reality, EU scientific and food-safety authorities have repeatedly cleared various GMO crops for human and animal consumption. The process often takes months to complete, and in 95% of cases EU regulators ask producers for more evidence before greenlighting GMOs, so it’s hardly a rubber stamp.

German Of The Day: König Kunde

That sounds a bit like King Kong but actually means king customer or the customer is king, if you prefer. And it’s nice to be the king, as you well know.

Uncle Sam

For decades, France was the single biggest importer of German goods. But that’s changed now. The United States has taken the pole position among clients for “Made in Germany” goods for the first time.

Seit dem Jahr 1961 kauft kein Land so viele deutsche Produkte wie Frankreich. Das hat sich nun geändert. Und auch damit zu tun, dass Amerika wieder mehr auf die Industrie setzt.

PS: But thank goodness Germany still has its trade with ten foot tall China, too.

 

Top Speed Ever: 26 Percent

Wind energy is inexhaustible, right? Well, not really. The talk about it is, though.

Wind

Researchers now tell us that when it comes to wind parks, due to a saturation effect, the upper limit for natural wind energy produced is one watt per square meter – not the seven watts per square meter as we had been told about before now. This means that a maximum of 26 percent of natural wind energy can be turned into energy here. “The more wind turbines I install, the less energy is produced by the individual turbines.”

“Wind turbines remove kinetic energy from the atmospheric flow, which reduces wind speeds and limits generation rates of large wind farms. These interactions can be approximated using a vertical kinetic energy (VKE) flux method, which predicts that the maximum power generation potential is 26% of the instantaneous downward transport of kinetic energy using the preturbine climatology.”

Maximal 26 Prozent der natürlichen Windenergie lassen sich für Strom nutzen.

German Sommerloch Update: Office Chairs Incorrectly Adjusted For Many Employees

Especially for the ones still on their Sommerloch summer vacations, I bet.

Sommerloch

Sitting for long periods strains the spine. Many desk workers therefore complain about backache. Correctly adjusting the office chair can prevent these complaints, however.

„In vielen Betrieben gibt es gute Stühle, aber die Beschäftigten haben sich damit noch nie befasst.“

German Of The Day: Erschlagen

That means to strike dead. But it can also mean to be overwhelmed by something. In this case, it will be the sheer number of Wim Wenders movies, retrospectives, documentaries, exhibitions, etc. that we will now be overwhelmed with (he’s turning 70 next week).

By the way, this place down here doesn’t exist anymore. At least not in this form.

Himmel

I’d wish him a happy birthday now but that is absolutely positively not done in Germany. Brings bad luck or something.

70 Things We Love About Wim Wenders 15. Wenders tried for a time to marry German “brood-brood” with American “just do it.” A beautiful child sprang from this union: “Paris, Texas.”

German ISIS Defectors Explain How Terrorist Lifestyle Was Actually Somewhat Disappointing

Clearly not the sharpest knives in the drawer, two Germans who fought for ISIS in Syria are standing trial back home and are now prepared to give “deep insights” into the life of foreign fighters in Islamic State.

ISIS

One of the very first deep insights appears to be that life as an ISIS terrorist really, really, really sucks. Who would have thought that?

Although facing a potential jail term of 10 to 20 years, the IS defector called Ebrahim B. claimed to have gone through such horrible atrocities during three months in the Islamic State that “for him jail in Germany is preferable to freedom in Syria.”

“Journalism Isn’t Treason”

That’s very true. But that’s not the issue here. Go ask folks like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange and they’ll tell you. We now live in an age where treason isn’t treason, either.

Treason

The case centres on the Netzpolitik.org (Net politics) blog, which earlier this year published documents on plans by Germany’s domestic security agency to expand its Internet surveillance.

“The freedom of the press and of expression is a valuable asset. But this freedom, including on the Internet, is not limitless. It does not absolve journalists of the duty to comply with the law.”

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