German Of The Day: Bildungsurlaub

That means educational or vocational training leave. You know, like that yoga course you took for your job?

Yoga

What? Your boss freaked out at the suggestion? Well, everybody does it here in Berlin. Yoga to go with the times, people.

A yoga course can be considered vocational training, a Berlin court has ruled, paving the way to doing the “Downward-facing Dog” or “Greet the Sun” on company time in Germany’s capital.

The state labour court for Berlin-Brandenburg has ruled a worker has the right to paid leave so they can attend a five-day adult education course entitled “Yoga I – successful and relaxed at work with yoga and meditation”.

The judge ruled that under Berlin’s Educational Leave Act, even a yoga course fulfills the far-reaching criteria of “professional development” which would promote an individual’s “adaptability and self-assertion”.

“Yoga I – erfolgreich und entspannt im Beruf mit Yoga und Meditation.”

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German Of The Day: Enteignung

That means confiscation or dispossession. You know, like confiscating private property?

Greens

And the German Greens hold this to be denkbar – another cool German word meaning conceivable or possible.

After all, the world must be fair and if rising property rents in cities like Berlin – caused by city governments like Berlin (Social Democrats and Greens for decades) – are creating hardship for the 85 percent (!) of Berliners who don’t own property – the government does everything it can to discourage owning property here – then the government that created this mess will simply confiscate the private property of those currently developing new housing and… And what? Give it to the poor? Been there, done that. We all know how that turns out. And who foots the bill. Robin Hoodlums never learn. They have no intention of learning.

Thousands took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday in protest against rising property rents and called for properties of large-scale landlords with more than 3,000 houses to be taken over by the government.

“Das Grundgesetz sieht Enteignungen zum Allgemeinwohl ausdrücklich vor.”

German Of The Day: Litfaßsäule

That means advertising column.

Pillar

Take a good look. They won’t be around much longer. They’re going to a better place – the same place the LPs, dial phones, typewriters and carrier pigeons went.

They have been an integral part of the city’s furniture for so long, Berliners admit to taking them for granted.

But concrete advertising pillars, known as Litfaßsäule – or Litfaß columns – after the man who invented them, around 3,000 of which dot the German capital, are under threat. A low-key, grassroots protest has sprung up in an effort to save them from destruction and sparked a trend involving writing messages on the pillars, as well as poems and heart felt tributes.

It takes two or three people to group hug a Litfaßsäule, and that has also become another way of highlighting the reluctance to let them go.

“I’m certainly still more drawn to a catchy poster on the Litfaßsäule, than I am to something that flashes up on my mobile phone which I’m likely to swipe away in annoyance.”

How Could It Not?

Not win, I mean. This is the Berlin Film Festival, after all.

Berlinale

Argentine LGBTQ Sci-Fi Film Wins Berlin Festival’s Teddy Award.

That’s the Berlinale for you. If it’s not about LGBTQ Sci-Fi films it’s about politics. Or should I say other forms of politics?

Santiago Loza’s Brief Story From the Green Planet, an odd genre-mixer involving a trio of LGBTQ friends who discover an actual alien sleeping in the house of one of their late grandmother’s, won the Teddy Award for best LGBTQ film screening at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival has always been a political stage for filmmakers, and the 69th edition is no exception.

Let’s Celebrate Together In Berlin!

The German foreign affairs ministry sent representatives to Iran’s embassy in Berlin yesterday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran

Iran is just a regular old country after all and Germany is everybody’s darling so, what’s the big deal? OK, the mullahs have been known to dabble in international terror now and again. And maybe that part about Tehran urging the destruction of Israel (the Jewish state) is a little over the top but Germans would never urge that kind of thing on their own, directly, so take a chill pill already. Keeping up good business, I mean, diplomatic relations is never a bad idea.

Doch warum schickte die Bundesregierung einen Vertreter zur Revolutionsfeier eines Terrorregimes in dessen Botschaft?

How Sexist Or Something

The Berlin International Film Festival will sign the 50/50 by 2020 gender parity pledge,

Gender

So, like, let me get this straight. You are ASSuming that there are only TWO genders or what, Herr Dieter Kosslick with the dopey hat? You’re going to get letters, pal. Some might have explosives in them, too.

At first I thought they meant 50/50 with regard to the quality of the films they show here at the Berlinale. You know, 50 percent crappy and the other 50 percent really crappy? But I was way off, as usual.

The 50/50 by 2020 pledge does not mandate gender quotas, but calls for festivals to strive for gender parity in top management and for them to publish figures on the gender of the directors of films submitted every year.

Even I Can See That These Are Fakes

A. HitPer? Never heard of him.

Hitper

Three watercolour paintings attributed to the former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler have been seized by German police.

The works were up for sale at the Kloss auction house in Berlin, but taken on suspicions of forgery, police say.

“Wir verwahren uns mit aller Entschiedenheit dagegen, dass uns von unberufener Seite eine Nähe zum nationalsozialistischen Gedankengut allein deswegen unterstellt wird, weil wir – ähnlich wie andere Auktionshäuser weltweit, gerade auch in Deutschland – Gegenstände aus dem Nachlass Hitlers versteigern.”

No Nukes, No Coal, No Agribusiness…

No plastic, no non-refundable bottles and cans, no speeding

Agribusiness

No meat, no new economy, no tourism, no gentrification, no toxic masculinity, no defense spending, no borders? Hell no. But that’s just the tip of the German ICEBERG OF NO. Let’s call it the German NICEBERG. Germans think positive, you see, and want to move ahead, progressively, into the future. After all the no’s are said and done – and that might take some time yet, mind you – whatever’s left, well, that’s the brave new future.

Thousands of farmers from across Germany and their supporters protested at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate on Saturday, calling for climate-friendly agriculture and healthy food.

“We are fed up with the agricultural industry.”

We’re Prepared To Fend Off Cyber Attacks From Russia And China

But nobody told us here at Germany’s Cyber Defense Command that we would also have to be on our toes for a twenty-year-old student  living with his parents in Hesse.

Hacker

Now it’s a whole new ballgame. We’ll need a lot more personnel. And way lots more funding (tax payer money). Government in action over here is pretty much like government in action back home, folks. You hardly notice when it’s here. You hardly notice when it’s gone.

German authorities on Tuesday said a 20-year-old hacker had confessed to stealing and leaking private data from hundreds of politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, because he was “annoyed” by some of their public statements.

The young German, who is still studying and lives with his parents, was detained after police searched the family home in the western state of Hesse on Sunday.

“The accused said he published the data because he had been annoyed by certain statements made by those affected.”

If You Want Fast Internet Speed Go To Poland

This is Germany. Things are more complicated here. Einfach kompliziert (simply complicated). If things weren’t simply complicated this would be another country.

Germany

That’s what makes things like the German government’s recent announcement to invest a few peanuts in artificial intelligence so humorous. They can’t even create the conditions for fast Internet speeds here and they think they will be able to compete with the likes of US-Amerika and China? And just in case you haven’t noticed, their data security defenses aren’t exactly world class, either. It’s complicated here, like I said. Simply complicated.

Germany is Europe’s largest economy, but business leaders warn it is in danger of losing its edge because of sluggish Internet connections. While other countries are thinking about whether to upgrade their cellphone systems to 5G, Germany is still grappling with 3G.

A report by Germany’s Federal Network Agency last year showed that 29 percent of German Internet users reported Internet speeds of less than half of what was promised by service providers.

“In Germany, you will find almost everywhere copper cable that’s not capable to go faster than 250 megabits per second. “The average reality is about 50 megabits per second. That’s quite poor.”