173 Stations

And 166 of them are ugly as sin. That’s Berlin’s subway system for you, folks.

Station

But, hey. Beauty is in the eye of the Schwarzfahrer (“black rider” or fare dodger). So enjoy them already or something.

The city’s U-Bahn system also felt the impact of the Berlin Wall, which divided the city for nearly three decades. Many train lines pre-dated the Wall, so some of the West Berlin lines necessarily passed through East Berlin stations. These stations were closed and guarded, and became known as ghost stations. The guards were visible to the West Berlin passengers as the trains slowly moved through the dimly lit stations.  

Neanderthals Back In Germany

Neanderthals once populated the entire European continent. Around 45,000 years ago, Homo neanderthalensis was the predominant human species in Europe. They reached their population peak right before their population rapidly declined and they eventually became extinct.

Neanderthal

Or so it was thought until recently.

Ax

Precisely why this species will finally die out for good is still unclear. Perhaps it will be due to low genetic diversity, perhaps to the rise of Homo sapiens like the rest of us with real brains. This question will continue to occupy amateur scientists like myself for some time to come.

German Of The Day: Frontstadt

That means a city on the front or on the front-line. You know, like the Berlin of today?

Berlin

Or at least that’s what certain people here in town seem to think about it. Some are even calling it a failed state.

Take a deep breath here now. They don’t really mean that, of course, but in terms of an upcoming city election the situation here is pretty dramatic for a large number of Berliners who might want to vote. Due to the continued chaos at the various Bürgerämter (citizen’s offices) throughout the various districts of the city (unbelievable waiting times for appointments being the main problem here) it is estimated that some 280,000 new and newly-moved Berliners will not be able to register to vote in time. They are now being encouraged to contest the results of any election they were not able to take part in.

One election researcher says that the last time Germany experienced this kind of chaos was shortly after World War II.

Ein Wahlforscher sagt, dass es ein derartiges Chaos in Deutschland zuletzt kurz nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg gegeben habe. Berlin ist wieder Frontstadt, erfreulicherweise ohne Bombardements.

German Of The Day: Geschichtskompensatorische Moralüberhebung

A prime example of how Germans can just create cool new words/concepts at will, this means, I think, the morally overbearing attempt (by Germans) to compensate for their history. Think of this within the context of the current refugee crisis, if you please.

History

Germany’s new weight in the world is provocative but when German politicians attempt to deny its existence and try to flee instead back to their “dealing with the past”-policy (Vergangenheitspolitik) they irritate all the more.

Germany’s refugee policy is a textbook example of this German sickness (according to Heinrich August Winkler), a separate path (Sonderweg) par excellence. The federal government is now completely isolated, ergo its policy has also been refuted. And the motive behind this German madness lies in – what else? In its overbearing attempt to compensate for history.

Deutschlands neue Größe provoziert, doch wenn deutsche Politik diese neue Größe verleugnet und sich stattdessen in ihre Vergangenheitspolitik flüchtet, dann provoziert das noch mehr.

Die deutsche Flüchtlingspolitik ist für Heinrich August Winkler nun ein Lehrbuchfall deutscher Krankheit, ein Sonderweg quasi wie gemalt. Denn die Bundesregierung sei völlig isoliert, ergo auch widerlegt. Und das Motiv für diesen deutschen Irrsinn liege – wo sonst?! – in geschichtskompensatorischer Moralüberhebung.

PS: And who says the Left can’t have it’s cake and eat it, too?

Nazi Nuclear Bombs Found Underground Near Underground Nazi UFO Site

Near these, a Nazi gold train was also discovered. And the Amber Room. And the Loch Ness Monster.

Nazi

It too had been buried deep underground right next to the underground Nazi Time Tunnel device that helped Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan win World War II and occupy the dystopian alternative history-like America we all live in today, albeit in an underground fashion.

“Eventually, it will decompose, and we will have a second Chernobyl on our hands.”

I Can Smell The Coal In The Air Now

And hear the MiGs booming through the sound barrier high overhead. And see the Allied tanks rolling down Kaiserdamm.

Bmovie

The good old days? Not really. But kind of, I dunno, predictable?

Berlin in the 1980s was a time of wild parties and artistic creation – and a new documentary gathers the work of over 70 filmmakers to capture the essence of the city during that heady decade before the wall came down. BMovie, Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989 features unseen footage of musicians like Nick Cave and New Order. It was made by English musician Mark Reeder, who began by talking about bringing Joy Division to Berlin for their first gig

German Of The Day: Bollerwagen

That means handcarts. Handcarts filled with beer.

Booze

And if a handcart isn’t available on German Father’s Day (Ascension Day) then you can always use a baby buggy or a shopping cart to put your booze in.

Es ist kompliziert. Warum aus Christi Himmelfahrt auch der Vater- und Herrentag geworden ist, lässt sich nicht mehr so recht nachvollziehen. Es wird spekuliert, dass die Prozession der Jünger Jesu zu einem Berg als Vorbild für die Männer mit Bollerwagen dienten.

German Of The Day: Spießer

A Spießer is a fuddy-duddy. You know, like those fussy, old-fashioned and traditionalist folks who still insist on burning things down on May 1 in Germany?

Spießer

Incapable of learning any new tricks, and still living in a fantasy world based upon stories about some mythical, imaginary past that their Spießer grandparents and parents read to them as small children, they are no longer able to understand that nobody in today’s real world is interested in their outmoded tastes and manners anymore and, accordingly, becoming frustrated by the lack of attention they receive when resorting to violence, resort to violence.

Traditionsgemäß haben zum 1. Mai linke Gruppen in Berlin und Hamburg demonstriert.

Hysteria Half-Life Not Yet Reached In Germany

Nor will it be any time soon. It must be artificially maintained in order to justify the German Energiewende, you see.

Chernobyl

Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster, it has become clear that radioactivity might be less harmful than originally thought. Some researchers even believe it may be beneficial in small doses.

That is a surprising finding. Three decades ago, half of Western Europe was contaminated with weakly radioactive precipitation. The public at large was taught to view the ubiquitous radioactivity as particularly insidious.

But now, apparently not everything that gives off radiation is bad after all. The body seems to be able to cope with low doses of radon. “We are continuing to search for damage to the genome,” says Fournier, “but so far we aren’t seeing anything.”

Who would voluntarily breathe in radioactive gas? These days, there are people who do. They swear by the notorious noble gas radon, created by the decay of uranium: They inhale it deeply.

German Of The Day: Majestätsbeleidigung

That means a slight or an insult against a sovereign majesty-type person (lèse majesté).

Law

You know, the crime German comedian Jan Böhmermann recently committed against the Top Sultan What’s in Charge in Turkey? In the year 2016, I mean?

Anyways, this law, paragraph 103, is still on the books here in Germany and Hamburg’s justice minister has decided to go way out on the limb here and give it a shot and see if he could maybe sort of like get rid of this ridiculous piece of legislation already. It would be a big step forward into the unknown and all that, of course, but I, for one, am convinced that German civilization will be able to handle it.

Die Justizbehörde geht davon aus, dass das Gesetz noch vor der Sommerpause gestrichen werden könnte und das Verfahren gegen Böhmermann dann eingestellt werden müsste. Davon unberührt blieben jedoch Ermittlungen gegen Böhmermann wegen Beleidigung nach Paragraf 185 Strafgesetzbuch.