Other Than Bars…

Clubs, discotheques, theaters, opera houses, museums, casinos, trade fairs, zoos, arcades, betting offices, brothels, churches and fifty or sixty other places for social and anti-social interaction, lots of other stuff in Germany is still open. Sort of. For now.

Corona

Corona ain’t no big deal here either.

Die Bundesregierung vereinbarte am Montag mit den Ministerpräsidenten der Länder, dass zahlreiche Geschäfte und Einrichtungen geschlossen werden sollen.

But Don’t Panic

When it comes to the coronavirus, Angela Merkel tells her fellow Germans.

Merkel

The population has no immunity, she points out. There is no therapy. 60 to 70% of you will be infected with it. BUT DON’T PANIC!!!

So, there. I said it. Now it’s back to the bunker for me. You promised.

The German daily Bild recently slammed her for what it called “the corona chaos,” claiming “No appearances, no speech, no leadership in the crisis.”

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Reuters reported, was later asked about Merkel’s comments. “I don’t want to comment on the situation in Germany, although I believe that such statements rather cause panic,” he said. “In any case, we have adopted strong measures for such worst-case scenarios to be out of the question.”

German Of The Day: Hamsterschlacht

You already know about Hamsterkauf (panic buying). Now the Germans have upped the ante and are doing “the battle of the hamsters.”

Hamsterschlacht

Aldi customers are getting up early in the morning to get in line so they can fight each other  to purchase disinfectant. Only three products per customer may be purchased, however (doesn’t sound like much of a hamster battle to me). Everybody’s doing it these days. It’s that coronavirus kinda feeling!

Sie stehen dicht an dicht. Dutzende Kunden warten morgens an einer Aldi-Filiale auf die Eröffnung des Ladens. Der Grund: Desinfektionsmittel!

German Of The Day: Hamsterkauf

“Hamster buying” means hoarding or panic buying.

Hamster

You know. Like in oh my God we’re all gonna die?

Germans taking part in coronavirus panic-hoarding are doing a “Hamsterkauf” – There are even empty supermarket shelves in Germany amid the coronavirus outbreak, and of course there’s a German word to describe the act of panic hoarding.

The word Hamsterkauf, a noun made up of [the German words for] “hoarding” (hamstern) and “buy” (kaufen) has been trending on social media as people share photos of store shelves cleared out of food and other household items. The word “hamstern” comes from the hamster, which stores food in its cheeks.

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.

Write This Down

Let’s do some science and write this down.

Insects

New study suggests insect populations have declined by 75% over 3 decades…

A new scientific study has found “dramatic” and “alarming” declines in insect populations in areas in Germany, which researchers say could have far-reaching consequences for the world’s crop production and natural ecosystems.

The science will consist of getting back to me in a year or two, maybe three, if we’re all still around, that is, and reminding me to check into the current numbers about the status of this dramatic decline. You know, just to see how dramatic the dramatic decline was after all? This clearly has the ozone hole, acid rain, Waldsterben (dying forests), BSE (mad cow disease), bird flu, SARS, Elektrosmog (mobile phone radiation), killer bee invasion, drowning polar bears, Ebola pandemic, creepy clowns, chemtrails, creepy clown chemtrails, C02, C02, C02 and Area freakin’ 51 written all over it. If you know what I mean. And you do.

“There’s no reason to think this isn’t happening everywhere.”

This Doll Must Die

Don’t EVER let anybody tell you that Germans are lasch (feeble) when it comes to threats posed to them by foreign intelligence snoops.

Cayla

Forget about not caring about Putin & Co., forget about spinning your wheels ridiculously with your NSA spying affair. We’ve got a real live (sort of) freakin’ wi-fi-connected Internet doll on the loose and we’re all going to die if we don’t kill her first. OK. So we don’t know who she’s working for yet. But still.

A German government watchdog has ordered parents to destroy an internet-connected doll for fear it could be used as a surveillance device. According to a report from BBC News, the German Federal Network Agency said the doll (which contains a microphone and speaker) was equivalent to a “concealed transmitting device” and therefore prohibited under German telecom law…

“My Friend Cayla” uses a microphone to listen to questions, sending this audio over Wi-Fi to a third-party company (Nuance) that converts it to text. This is then used to search the internet, allowing the doll to answer basic questions, like “What’s a baby kangaroo called?”

Why would anybody want to know what a baby kangaroo is called, huh?

And this is just the beginning, too. These wi-fi-thingies will soon be everywhere. “It doesn’t matter what that object is — it could be an ashtray or a fire alarm.” Damn right. So after you’ve finished strangling this doll toss everything else out of the window while you’re at it. Just in case. They’re out to get us, people. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Whoever they are. Bad dolly!

At what point did we enter this Philip K. Dick novel, anyway?

Storm Xaver So Horrific That The First Christmas Markets Are Actually Being Closed!

Supersturm! Angst everywhere! People are running for shelter wherever you look. Berlin has been closed for business. Germany is shuddering with fear. And all of this due to global warming. Or something.

Sturm

If we must die now, let us do so in an orderly manner and close the Christmas markets first. Then we can head home and die there in dignity. Where it’s safer. After the Tagesschau.

LEIPZIG SCHLIESST WEGEN „XAVER“ JETZT SOGAR DEN WEIHNACHTSMARKT!

Der Spiegel: Republicans End Amerika As We Know It

Uh, that’s bad, right?

Republicans

America’s Republicans have emerged again as a crazed mob. The conservatives have stubbornly voted for the shutdown and against their own leadership. In doing so, they are only thinking of their own careers and not about their party.

Wow. That’s kind of touching. I honestly had no idea that Der Spiegel was so concerned about the Republican Party up until now.

Amerikas Republikaner erscheinen mal wieder wie ein wildgewordener Haufen. Die Konservativen stimmen stur für den Shutdown und gegen die eigene Führung. Dabei denken sie nur an ihre Karriere und nicht an die Partei.

The Perfect Alarm

I mean storm. Germany doesn’t even need a wake-up call. But they are always appreciated anyway. The ink was hardly dry on the latest alarming expert IPCC report about “higher seas” (is ink even used anymore?) before German experts here were suddenly quite certain that investments of hundreds of millions of euros will be needed in this country for massive costal protection measures like “super dikes” and other cool stuff like that.

Unwetter

“It is extremely likely” that these investments will just be a meager beginning too, I’m sure. After all, as all Germans know, scary storm tides just keep getting worse and worse here, right?

And WE ALL KNOW that there will be even scarier storm tides crashing in over the German coast in the weeks and months to come because, well, this here IPCC report thingy needs some more handfest (tangible) confirmation. That Germany has always had a Sturmflutsaison (storm tide season) and monster storms throughout recorded history will be of no interest here.

Sound like Fukishima all over again? It should. This is Fukishma all over again. Only different, because the big storm tide hasn’t happened yet.

I think I’m going to go out and get my potable water and canned goods now.

“In der Regel waren die Deiche in den vergangenen Jahren in einem guten bis sehr guten Zustand. Damit das auch künftig so bleibt, werden im Land derzeit einige alte Deiche durch Superdeiche ersetzt.”