Just Like That Japanese Reactor

Not quite as dramatic, granted, but just like how Fukushima took down the nuclear power industry in Germany, all it takes is a collapsed highway bridge in Italy to suddenly put Germany’s bridge infrastructure in full tilt crisis mode. You gotta worry about something, after all.

Bridges

The latest reminder of the risks of aging infrastructure came Tuesday, when a highway bridge in Italy collapsed, killing at least 35 people. Germany is also exposed. Its once-envied network of roads, bridges and railways are decaying due to decades of underspending. The country has fallen to 15th in road quality behind Oman and Portugal, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings.

Autobahnbrücken in Deutschland – Jede achte Brücke in schlechtem Zustand.

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No Fake News Here

It’s called “miscommunication.”

Miscommunication

This week, two individuals became the focus of global celebration following an unlikely and joyous confluence of circumstances.

The viral story went that two elderly men escaped their care facility to attend a metal festival in northern Germany (or, as one headline put it: “Elderly Men Escape Retirement Home to Go RAGE!!”).

Except they weren’t, and they didn’t.

The two men, as it turns out, are 58 and 59 years old and had escaped “a home for people with mental health issues,” according to the Associated Press, before traveling to Wacken, a city roughly 50 miles north of Hamburg. They arrived there at the same time that the Wacken Open Air music festival — referred to as the world’s largest for metal — was happening.

If they can’t or won’t get the facts straight on a harmless little story like this then imagine what kind of fairy tale twisting must be going with the more politicized stuff.

World Ending Again

In Germany.

Heat

In a country where everyone is always complaining about the lack of sunshine, several consecutive months of heat and sunshine (in other countries referred to as “the summer”) have led the alarmist fringe of the population (that’s roughly 97% of the population) to the scientific conclusion that they now find themselves smack dab in the middle of a major “state of meteorological emergency” and are all going to die even before the sky gets the chance to fall down. If only the gray skies and rain would come back so they could bitch and moan about that again! As nature intended.

What makes summer 2018 an exception is the unusually long period of heat. Such a persistent period of fine weather, with lots of sunshine and little rain, occurs on average once every 10 years at most in the country. And given the lack of rain, it’s not the heat that’s the problem, but the drought — especially in northern and eastern Germany, where there has been virtually no rainfall in some places since May.

This may be due to climate change, but it may also be unrelated. Germany has also experienced extreme droughts in previous years. In 1992, for example, when wheat withered away in the fields, wells dried up and priests prayed for rain at church services. Or in 1971, when forest fires flared up in many places across the country. Or in 1947, when even drinking water became scarce.

“Somebody is always complaining. It’s sheer nonsense.”

Germans Sitting Too Much – In Drafts

Whether at work or in front of the TV, Germans spend around 7.5 hours per day sitting, a study has found.

Draft

But worse still, much of that time these Germans are sitting in deadly German drafts (see German oddity 14).

14. A real German is a faithful practitioner of “Stoßlüftung” or inrush airing. This is when someone quickly rips several windows wide open for a few minutes to let some fresh, preferably ice-cold arctic air into what had been your warm and cozy apartment or office up until then. When it comes to leaving windows open for a longer period of time, however, Germans are clearly divided into two distinct ideological groups. The first group is the “shut the window right this minute because there’s a draft” faction (Germans are terrified of drafts). The second group is the “open the window again immediately because it smells like the cat house at the zoo” faction. Strangely, these two groups appear to be equally distributed in homes and offices across the nation so the fun with windows never stops here.

Fresh air or deathly drafts? Germans’ belief in the myth that breezes make you sick is completely overblown.

The Short Answer Is No

Not without nuclear energy.

If Germany Can’t Quit Coal, Can Anyone Else?

Coal

It would seem like a major step toward Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent of 1990 totals by 2020. But German utilities just can’t seem to quit burning coal. Some power plants are switching to cheaper imported black coal from the United States, Russia, or Colombia. And at the same time, Germany is also digging more lignite, or brown coal. Lignite is 50 percent water and yields much less energy than the shiny black anthracite. But lignite is easy to bulldoze from massive strip mines that dot Germany’s northwest and eastern border with Poland. Among Europe’s power plants, Germany’s brown coal stations constitute six out of 10 of the worst polluters.

“It’s like organizing your own funeral.”

 

Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”

“Explosive Narcissism And Vulgar Capitalism”

Are bad things, I guess. What the people over at Spiegel Online really want is vulgar narcissism and explosive capitalism, I assume.

Trump

I could only read a paragraph or two of this little gem because… I dunno. Try reading it yourself and see. But the just of it is, I believe, that Donald Trump is really, really bad and it’s high time for Europe to start doing more for itself. Knock yourself out on that one, folks.

More than half of Germans think Europe can defend itself without military backing from the United States, a poll showed on Monday, less than two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said he could withdraw support.

Germans Not Only Fear Donald Trump More Than Vlad Putin

According to an unreleased secret poll yet in my possession…

Trump

Over ninety-seven percent of Germans asked also fear Donald Trump more than Joseph Stalin, Caligula, Jack the Ripper, Freddy Krueger, Jaws (does he, like, actually have a name?) and Chuck Norris. Combined. To name just a few.

The United States may be Germany’s No. 1 ally, but two-thirds of Germans think that the US president is more dangerous than his Russian counterpart. That’s not surprising when you look at Germany’s political priorities.

“Vor einem US-Präsidenten Donald Trump habe ich definitiv mehr Angst als vor Putin.”

Social Democrats Using The F-Word Again

You know, Fascism? As in everybody I don’t agree with is Hitler?

Schulz

Whenever other folks see things differently than they do (this time it’s Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini who is hard on migration) the Enlighted Left get all excited and squirrly. German Social Democrats are no different here.

This time it was Martin Schulz (remember the Schulz Effect?) who did the name-calling, labelling Salvini’s views “near-Fascism.” Italians and Fascism fit particularly well together, see? Today’s Italian politicians, is the implication, are “radical authoritarian ultranationals, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.” Like breath in and out slowly a few times and take a chill pill already, Martin.

„Was wir erleben, ist eine Brutalisierung der politischen Sprache, bei der jede Form der Solidarität, des Respekts und der Würde zerstört wird. Das bedeutet das Ende der Demokratie.“

German Of The Day: Aktionskunst

That means performance art. And in one of the stupidist performances seen to date in Berlin, Greenpeace activists painted the streets around the Siegessäule (Victory Column) yellow. Greenpeace went yellow, in other words.

Greenpeace

They stole this idea from the ancient Egyptions, I believe, as they also worshipped the sun (it kind of looks like the sun, see?). The yellow paint, I think, representing, uh, sunlight or something and thus symbolizing, well, how the hell am I supposed to know what this symbolizes? Wait, I’ve got it now. It symbolizes just how awful coal-firng power plants can be for sun-worshiping Greenpeace Germans (yellow or not) and the rest of humanity for that matter and that they need to be shut down immediately or something. Big medicine, folks. Why didn’t somebody think of doing this before?

Die Berliner Polizei ermittelt gegen Aktivisten der Umweltorganisation Greenpeace – zum einen wegen gefährlichen Eingriffs in den Straßenverkehr, zum anderen wegen eines Verstoßes gegen das Versammlungsgesetz. Greenpeace hatte am Dienstagmorgen um 7.30 Uhr auf dem Großen Stern in Tiergarten gelbe Farbe ausgekippt, insgesamt 3500 Liter.