Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

99 percent of bottles in Germany get returned

October 26, 2021

Germany seems to have the best system to recycle bottles. What’s holding other countries back? A DW video reported by Aditi Rajagopal.

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German Robot Grills Sausage

August 2, 2016

German Robot Grills Sausage
German engineers have built a robot that grills brätwurst because of course they would. The FZI Research Center for IT at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology hooked a robotic arm to a laptop to create BratWurst Bot, which grills, flips, and plates sausages.
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Paris: Football and Heartache

November 17, 2015

Paris: Football and Heartache

Last Friday evening in Paris, 80,000 people watched France play Germany in a friendly soccer match at the Stade de France. Spectators included French President François Hollande and his guests, relatives of people who died in a German plane crash in the French Alps in March. 15 minutes into the game, President Hollande left to take a phone call and learned that a loud noise outside the stadium was caused when a man, stopped as he tried to enter the packed Stade de France, exploded his suicide vest. M. Hollande consulted the Interior Minister and a sports official and decided to keep the news from other spectators, avoiding panic and mass injuries. Elsewhere in Paris, as the game continued, over a hundred people were shot to death as they sat in cafes and restaurants and at a concert.

While French midfielder Lassana Diarra ran up and down the pitch his cousin Asta Diakite was killed in one of the fusillades. “She was like a big sister to me,” he later tweeted. His teammate on Les Bleus, striker Antoine Griezmann, later learned that his sister was one of the hostages who escaped from the Bataclan theater, where 89 people died. Neither man learned about their family members until hours later, early Saturday morning.

By the second half most spectators had learned about the terror attacks through social media, and players on both teams were informed at end of the match and asked to remain in the heavily guarded stadium instead of venturing onto the streets. Mattresses were found, and players and coaches slept at the Stade de France until a team bus arrived for Germany’s Die Mannschaft at about 2 AM.

Oh, France beat Germany 2 to 0.

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Dieselgate: Volkswagen or Bosch?

October 7, 2015

11 million Volkswagen diesel cars, 500,000 of them in the USA, have emissions-test-cheating software that allows them to produce lower emissions when tested by regulators and higher-performance dirty exhaust while they’re actually on the road. Now that WV has been caught, EPA is acting accordingly. Volkswagen engineers were certainly involved, but the Wolfsburg firm may not be the only one snared in Dieselgate. Most VW electronic equipment and software is built by Robert Bosch GmbH:

“It isn’t clear whether Bosch provided Volkswagen with the software at the heart of the scandal, or whether any of the Bosch-built components interacted with the software.

‘How these components are calibrated and integrated into complete vehicle systems is the responsibility of each auto maker,’ the Stuttgart-based company said.

Still, questions over how the software worked and who was responsible for installing it have spilled over to include Bosch.

German newspapers have reported that Bosch told Volkswagen in a 2007 letter that the use of Bosch-made software to manipulate car emissions was illegal. Volkswagen declined to comment Friday on the reports.”

— “Bosch Could Get Drawn Into Volkswagen Emissions Litigation,” Robert Wall, Wall Street Journal

So if Bosch knew VW was hacking their software, why didn’t they tell the authorities? Worse: Did Bosch tell the German government, which took no action other than suppressing the information?

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Germany: Wurst Crime Ever

July 20, 2014

Germany: Wurst Crime Ever

Germany’s anti-trust agency (Bundeskartellamt) has fined 21 sausage manufacturers and 33 individuals $460 million for illegal price-fixing over two decades.  Gott im Himmel!

The ring is alleged to have met in Hamburg’s luxurious Hotel Atlantic. Wonder what they ate?

Sausages are central to the German identity, second only to beer. In related German crime news, thieves in the city of Krefeld broke into a warehouse and stole 300,000 liters (80,000 gallons) of beer. Ten truckloads. Worth $3 million. Right before Germany’s big World Cup celebration party.

More:

“German sausage makers in meaty fine over price-fixing,” BBC News

“Bundeskartellamt imposes fines on sausage manufacturers,” press release

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Technology Shields German Government from Spies

July 17, 2014

Technology Shields German Government frrom Spies

“German politicians are considering a return to using manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US surveillance scandal.

The head of the Bundestag’s parliamentary inquiry into NSA activity in Germany said in an interview with the Morgenmagazin TV programme that he and his colleagues were seriously thinking of ditching email completely.”

More:

“Germany ‘may revert to typewriters’ to counter hi-tech espionage,” Philip Oltermann, The Guardian

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Mirabile Dictu! Germany Wins the World Cup!

July 13, 2014

Mirabile Dictu! Germany Wins the World Cup!

Die deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft, the German national football team, has won the 2014 World Cup, defeating Argentina 1 – 0.

At the Vatican, Argentina’s Pope Francis will now retire and Germany’s Pope Benedict XVI will return to the Papal throne for the next four years. Consult L’Osservatore Romano for details.

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Mundus Calicem: Battle of the Popes!

July 13, 2014

Mundus Calicem: Battle of the Popes!

The big Sunday news: Today’s World Cup Final is a match between Argentina, home of His holiness Pope Francis, and Germany, home of retired Pope Benedict XVI. Good Lord!

More:

“World Cup final? No, it’s battle of the Popes,” Sophie Gadd and Martin Belam, Daily Mirror

“World Cup 2014: Battle of the Popes,” Terry Elkady, Global News

“World Cup: Germany, Argentina each have pope in corner,” Eric J. Lyman, USA Today

“World Cup final: It’s Pope versus Pope,” Daniel Burke, CNN Belief

“Who has God on their side? Popes to battle it out in World Cup final,” Carey Lodge, Christian Today

Note: The referee? Italian, naturalmente.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cow Farts

February 8, 2014

Cow Farts

Have you heard that story of how methane from the flatulence of 90 German cows caused their dairy barn to explode? It’s probably bullcrap.

“While it’s true that cows can produce 250 to 500 liters of methane per day — mostly through burps that vent their fermenting cud — it’s unlikely that flatulence alone concentrated to the point of being flammable. The more likely suspect behind the methane, says a second report from Humnfelder Zeitung, is the common slurry farmers make from cow manure and urine for fertilizer applications. The soupy mixture puts out high levels of methane that can concentrate more easily than farts and burps, which tend to dissipate much more quickly in a ventilated dairy barn, just as it would in a car with a cracked window.

 ‘The cow itself has little to do with the risk of a methane explosion. This is only a danger when dealing with manure,’ said Dr. Hubery Beier, executive director of the local farmer’s association for Rasdorf.”

— “Media Laps Up Bunk Story on Exploding German Cow Farts,” Sam Brasch, Modern Farmer

Related:

“The Taxonomy of Cow Farts,” Christopher Taylor, Catalogue of Organisms

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Kristallnacht

November 9, 2013

Kristallnacht

On November 9, 1938 Germany and Austria saw their worst pogrom in centuries. Streets were littered with glass shards from the shattered windows of stores with Jewish owners on what became called Kristallnacht, the night of crystal.  Synagogues were burned, Jewish shops and homes ransacked, a thousand German Jews beaten and killed, 30,000 rounded up and sent to isolation centers. The nations of the world did what most German Christians did: Nothing. Today Germans marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

More:

“Kristallnacht still casts a long shadow on Europe,” Abraham Cooper, Washington Post blog

“Kristallnacht,” America and the Holocaust, PBS

“Bearing Witness To Nazis’ Life-Shattering Kristallnacht,” Esme Nicholson, NPR

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