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The Brutality of Experience

Brutal Baroque: An Ode To Midcentury Modern Churches: French photographer Fabrice Fouillet traveled across Europe photographing some of the most important examples of postwar churches, creating a catalogue of the spaces called Corpus Christi. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Dec 13, 2012 - 18 comments

Conservative politics, German-style

Jens Spahn is a parliamentarian in Germany's centre-right party, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and a committed Catholic. He is also gay, and has been openly so throughout his 11-year political career. While he does not focus specifically on gay issues, he advocates equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (including gay marriage, tax parity and adoption rights) from a conservative position. He does not regard this to be a contradiction.
posted by acb on Nov 24, 2012 - 32 comments

Prison of Debt Paralyzes West

Be it the United States or the European Union, most Western countries are so highly indebted today that the markets have a greater say in their policies than the people. Why are democratic countries so pathetic when it comes to managing their money sustainably? This clear, well-written essay in Der Speigel lays out the current debt crisis - along with current, proposed solutions - in an understandable manner. Not included among the so-far-proposed solutions is one other that has opened up a veritable financial market and debt Pandora's Box - i.e. a central bank debt jubilee.
posted by Vibrissae on Nov 19, 2012 - 118 comments

Memories of Amikejo

In the first decade of the 20th Century, a German Chief Justice was asked to hear the case of a man who had recently been found guilty according to a law code enacted in the last years of Napoleon's short-lived empire. No state in Europe still used that exact set of laws, but in one small part of the continent, there was an 850 acre plot of land which no state had claimed since the final defeat of Napoleon: Neutral Moresnet, also known as Kelmis, La Calamine or Amikejo. In To Govern, or Not to Govern: Prussia, Neutral Moresnet [pdf, click 'Download This Paper'] Steven Michael Press explains how Neutral Moresnet came to be, and how the Chief Justice ruled in the case. For more information, visit the Neutral Moresnet website. For an account by a visitor, read Unvisited Places of Old Europe by American travel writer Robert Shackleton [starts on page 157]. Finally, here's a podcast lecture by journalist and historian Neal Ascherson called Memories of Amikejo [iTunes link] reflecting on Neutral Moresnet's short existence and whether it tells us something about modern Europe. [Neutral Moresnet previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 24, 2012 - 21 comments

"Are we the baddies?"

Danish author Sven Hassel (Wikipedia, official site) has passed away at the age of 95. (Danish - Translation) Hassel fought for the Germans during WWII and became famous after publishing Legion of the Damned, a semi-autobiographical account of the war. He went on to write thirteen more books following the adventures of his convict battalion, incuding Wheels of Terror which in 1987 was made into the movie The Misfit Brigade staring Bruce Davison and David Patrick Kelly (clip). He will be remembered fondly by all who browsed the bookshelves of charity shops as young men.
posted by Artw on Sep 23, 2012 - 31 comments

A pong traffic light in Germany

A pong traffic light in Germany
posted by adrianspiegel on Sep 10, 2012 - 27 comments

Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels

The Big Three of EU Foreign Policy: Stefan Lehne on the contrasting roles of Germany, France and the UK.
posted by rollick on Aug 3, 2012 - 4 comments

Aurochs

Heavy Breeding. "In 1920, the brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, directors of the Berlin and Munich zoos, respectively, began a two-decade breeding experiment. Working with domestic cattle sought out for their 'primitive' characteristics, they attempted to recreate 'in appearance and behavior' the living likeness of the animals’ extinct wild ancestor: the aurochs. 'Once found everywhere in Germany,' according to Lutz Heck, by the end of the Middle Ages the aurochs had largely succumbed to climate change, overhunting, and competition from domestic breeds." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jul 21, 2012 - 31 comments

"The FDA recalled more than 60,000 tissue-derived products between 1994 and mid-2007."

"The business of recycling dead humans into medical implants is a little-known yet lucrative trade. But its practices have roused concerns about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities and the risks." After an eight month international investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published an extensive four-part exposé into the black market for cadavers and human tissue: Skin and Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 20, 2012 - 32 comments

The Pantone Merkel Chart

A Pantone chart of German chancellor Angela Merkel's many coloured jackets
posted by 0bvious on Jul 17, 2012 - 43 comments

"Maybe Monk Time is here at last."

You're a Monk, I'm a Monk, We're All Monks is a short video introduction to The Monks, a band founded in 1964 by five American soldiers in Germany. They put out only one album, the abrasive, noisy, minimalistic Black Monk Time in 1965, that sounded like nothing else at the time. They also dressed in all-black, shaved monkish tonsures in their hair and wore bits of rope as neckties. In 1966 they appeared on German TV shows Beat-Club and Beat, Beat, Beat, and played three songs on each, Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice, Monk Chant, Oh, How to Do Now, Complication, I Can't Get Over You and Cuckoo. Aaron Poehler interviewed The Monks and wrote about their history back in 1999. That same year they got back together to play at the Cavestomp festival. And here The Monks are being interviewed by a hand-puppet on public access television in Chicago. [The Monks previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 12, 2012 - 49 comments

You eat too fast, and I understand why your antidyspeptic pill-makers cover your walls, your forests even, with their advertisements.

In 1891 author and lecturer ”Max O’Rell” (being the pen name of one Léon Paul Blouet) published an amusing account of his travels through the States and Eastern Canada - "A Frenchman In America" - that, along with the charming illustrations, reflect on then popular national stereotypes and character and is presented on Project Gutenberg in its entirely. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Jul 7, 2012 - 16 comments

"During the proceedings, the prosecutor took the time to mention that no other printer in the world could do what Kuhl had done."

Hans-Jurgen Kuhl was able to create "shockingly perfect" copies of the American $100 bill by using his artistic talents to conquer the various security features present in the bill.
posted by reenum on Jul 4, 2012 - 28 comments

Two Particularly Wonderful Mashups for Your Morning

Mashup-Germany - "The Day the Music Died" (YouTube/Soundcloud) and "Hey Jude, I'll Be There".
posted by WCityMike on Jul 3, 2012 - 13 comments

Circumcision in Germany is now illegal

A German court has ruled that male circumcision is "bodily harm" and that a child's right to "physical integrity" trumps parental or religious rights. Jews and Muslims have reacted strongly to the decision, with some going as far to allege anti-Semitism. Intactivists are generally pleased.
posted by mrgrimm on Jun 27, 2012 - 493 comments

For Everything Else, There is MarxCard

The German bank Sparkasse Chemnitz recently launched a Karl Marx credit card. It needs a tagline.
posted by vidur on Jun 17, 2012 - 53 comments

Animated Histories of European Football

In advance of Euro 2012, the Guardian has made animated histories of six of the competitors: England, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Germany and France. (Autoplay video in last six links.)
posted by hoyland on Jun 6, 2012 - 21 comments

The Party’s Over!

Missing Foundation was an underground industrial band formed in Hamburg, Germany in 1984 and year later, in 1985, the band relocated to New York City. Formed by Pete Missing along with two members of KMFDM and Florian Langmaack they were known for their destructive shows. They were active in 1988 riot in Tompkins Square Park (attempting to start another one in 1993) and lighting the stage of CBGBs on fire and destroying their sound system. Other members include Vern Toulon, the father of kid-punk band Old Skull. One of the indelible and lasting marks of the group was their logo: inverted martini over a three pronged tally along with slogans such as "1988 - 1933" and "Your House Is Mine". The slogans were illusions to what founder Peter Missing described as society verge of collapse and that a police state was imminent. The years representative of the year the Nazi's overtook the Weimar Republic. The logo symbolized the bands personal slogan of "the party's over". Founder Peter Missing now lives in Berlin and his artwork has exhibited at The Whitney, The Getty, MOMA after riding out some tough times in the mid-aughts.
posted by wcfields on May 25, 2012 - 19 comments

Women's lib... in space!

Star Maidens was an obscure and pretty much forgotten British/German low budget (they borrowed sets from Space 1999 ) science fiction televsion series from 1975... On the planet Medusa where the women (naturally all hot) rule over the men, two of the later inferior species escape (including Gareth 'Blake' Thomas!) to the 'paradise' of Earth [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 4, 2012 - 13 comments

Dream Pictures: hand-tinted glass travelogue slides by Branson DeCou

Moscow of 1931 is a collection of hand-tinted lantern slides by Branson DeCou, an American photographer and travelogue lecturer who traveled the world for 30 years before his death in 1941. You can view more of the DeCou corpus online at the Branson Decou Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz where they've been attempting to sort, preserve, identify and digitize 10,000 DeCou slides received in 1971, a gift referred to the university chancellor by photographer Ansel Adams. [more inside]
posted by taz on Apr 14, 2012 - 16 comments

The attack of the dot-clones

How Three Germans Are Cloning the Web
"Launched out of a loft in New York City’s Garment District last June, Fab had sales of $20 million in its first six months and is on track to earn $100 million in 2012....Six months after Fab launched, it was knocked off. An e-commerce design site called Bamarang opened for business in Germany, the U.K., France, Australia, and Brazil...
Bamarang is the creation of Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer, a trio of German brothers who have a wildly successful business model: Find a promising Internet business, in the U.S., and clone it internationally. Since starting their first dot-clone in 1999, a German version of EBay, they’ve duplicated Airbnb, eHarmony, Pinterest, and other high-profile businesses. In total, they’ve launched more than 100 companies."
[SLYBloombergBusinessweek]
posted by FirstMateKate on Mar 16, 2012 - 51 comments

Professors have status and responsibility?

Taking their position of status and responsibility into account, Germany's Constitutional Court has ruled that German university professors are underpaid. [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Feb 14, 2012 - 46 comments

flower power

One of the last surviving members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of rebellious teenagers from western Germany who formed a resistance network against the Nazis, has died aged 82: Jean Jülich [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou on Feb 7, 2012 - 19 comments

Nazi Propaganda

During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., I was reeducated in the power of branding — especially as applied to poster design — at the special exhibition, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, which demonstrates how the Nazi party used carefully crafted messages, advertising and design techniques, and then-new technologies (radio, television, film) to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany. (related)
posted by Trurl on Feb 2, 2012 - 28 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

History doesn't always repeat itself; sometimes it rhymes

Germany celebrates a leader who was instrumental in bringing her power and glory as well as being responsible for carving up Poland [more inside]
posted by Renoroc on Jan 25, 2012 - 25 comments

The Lucas Cranach Art Archive

"The Cranach Digital Archive is an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (c.1472 - 1553) and his workshop. The repository presently provides information on more than 400 paintings including c.5000 images and documents from 19 partner institutions."
posted by peacay on Jan 18, 2012 - 4 comments

Julius Neubronner: apothecary, inventor, and a pioneer of amateur film and (pigeon) photography

Julius Neubronner, born in Germany in 1852, was the son of Wilhelm Neubronner. Wilhelm carried on the family-run pharmacy and had introduced rapid medicine delivery by way of carrier pigeon (Google books). Julius continued the family practice, including pigeon-delivery. As a young boy, Julius was interested in the then-newly invented cameras, and his hobby and his career merged when a once-punctual pigeon took was waylaid a month. Interested to find the source of the delay, Julius placed a miniature camera on the pigeon to see where it went. The effort was successful, and he improved upon the design, patenting a panoramic pigeon-carried camera that resulted in novel photos. Julius is also distinguished as an early German experimenter in amateur silent film. His recordings, including daily life, historic events, and film magic, were restored in 1996 (Google Quickview; original PDF).
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 9, 2012 - 15 comments

Fußball ist kein Tennis

During the month of December, 1. FC Union Berlin raised money to finance a new stand in its stadium by selling shares in the stadium to fans, under the slogan We're selling our soul. But not to just anyone! (YT--German). This is the second phase of renovation at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, to bring it up to 2. Bundesliga standards. Much of the work on the first phase was done by the fans themselves (DW video--English). [more inside]
posted by hoyland on Jan 2, 2012 - 9 comments

Class War: Low Wages and Beggar Thy Neighbor

A presentation by Dr. Heiner Flassbeck, a former deputy secretary in the German Ministry of Finance and currently chief economist the UN agency for World Trade and Development in Geneva. He talks about EMU and interest rates, and then links it all to class war and America.
posted by marienbad on Dec 13, 2011 - 8 comments

German bagpipes, y'all

I've been enjoying listening to this German guy playing the German bagpipes. That is, the Hümmelchen. Check out the cool tuning maneuver at the 0:57 mark of this clip for some hot Hümmelchen tuning action! And here he employs a groovy canned beat. Ya! He also dabbles in the Irish pipes, and loans out his workshop on occasion as a spot for some of the locals to get a little wild. Oh, and, of course, he also plays the Rauschpfeife. Yes, the Rauschpfeife. Hören!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 1, 2011 - 16 comments

The Great War

It's the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month where I am right now, so I present to you Europeana, a project collecting memorabilia and stories from the period of the Great War (1914-1918).
posted by unliteral on Nov 10, 2011 - 30 comments

Rise and Fall of a Condom Empire

Julius Fromm, a “quintessential ‘entrepreneurial proletariat’”, and a modest man with minimal education, sought a career alternative to making cigarettes and began taking evening classes in rubber chemistry around 1912. Julius Fromm then hit upon the idea of making condoms. The early condoms from the eighteenth century were generally made of animal intestines, and were used primarily by wealthy men – like Giacomo Casanova, who referred to them as “English riding coats” . . .
The Great Rubber Robbery: How Julius Fromm’s Condom Empire Fell to the Nazis. via 3 quarks daily
posted by Rumple on Nov 9, 2011 - 2 comments

"Bundestrojaner"

Chaos Computer Club analyzes government malware The Chaos Computer Club got their hands on something they think is the fabled “Bundestrojaner” – the software the German government is using for computer surveillance. F-Secure announced they’ll add that software to their list of malware.
posted by dominik on Oct 8, 2011 - 19 comments

1936 Berlin in Farbe

Color footage of 1936 Berlin, in what appears to be a promotional film for the city before the 1936 Olympics. (SLYT)
posted by naturalog on Sep 26, 2011 - 70 comments

How WIDE is your love?

The Smallest Hotel in the World [autoplay of 'La Traviata'].    So here's the story: it's 1728 and you live in Amberg, a little Bavarian town somewhere north of Munich. You and your lady friend really, really want to get married, but there is a little snag; the council laws permit only homeowners to marry, and you're still stuck renting a place. But all is not lost! You pick up a little strip of empty land between two other buildings - just 2.5 meters wide. You run up a quick wall on the front, another on the back, slap a roof on top, and presto - you're a homeowner. The council falls for it, and allows you to get married. [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 on Sep 24, 2011 - 28 comments

A History of Violence

Bethesda Softworks [the current owner of id Software] argued that the game's crude graphics had been surpassed by many modern titles and, as a result, the violence it depicted had far less of an impact.

As of 1 September, Germany has lifted it's 17-year ban on sales of DOOM ((previously)though not regarding the physical media) to minors. DOOM II, which contains several swastika-laden levels from Wolfenstein (previously), however, will still remain verboten.
posted by obscurator on Sep 3, 2011 - 34 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

Awesome times in East Germany

Secret Spy Photos from East Germany Revealed! All kinds of awesome from the time that the Berlin Wall fell. [coral cache]
posted by Eekacat on Aug 19, 2011 - 14 comments

End of the line for the euro: a novel

Starting last month, the French daily Le Monde has been publishing an economic thriller in series, called Terminus pour L' Euro (in French) (The End of the Line for the Euro). The series is behind a subscription wall, but Presseurope has started republishing the series in ten languages, including English...
The story narrates the events of summer 2012, as Germany decides to leave the Euro and what follows. It has caused a stir in France, as rumors about the true identity of the author (who signs the series as Philae, after an island in Egypt apparently) continue to circulate, and some think he is the French agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire. Some say that the rumors that led to the precipitous fall in French banks' stock a few days ago, were due to misunderstanding the fictional character of the story...
Real rumors that Germany threatened to leave the Euro last year, were dismissed by its Chancellor, yet as the eurozone crisis develops, no one is certain any more that the series is simply fiction and not a possible, real scenario, advocated by many...
posted by talos on Aug 13, 2011 - 24 comments

Anti-Nazi t-shirt hacking

250 lucky attendees to a right-wing concert in Germany were given free souvenir t-shirts with the slogan "Hardcore rebels” and a skull and nationalist flags. [more inside]
posted by mojohand on Aug 10, 2011 - 49 comments

It’s the Economy, Dummkopf!

"For the Germans the euro isn’t just a currency. It’s a device for flushing the past—another Holocaust Memorial. " Vanity Fair's Michael Lewis checks in with Europe's savior.
posted by shii on Aug 10, 2011 - 64 comments

The last man to have been imprisoned in a concentration camp for being homosexual under the Nazis has died, his obituary is more interesting than that sounds.

Last gay concentration camp inmate dies.
posted by maiamaia on Aug 9, 2011 - 28 comments

Europe on fifteen hundred yuan a day.

Evan Osnos joins a tour group from China as they traverse Europe. In the front row of the bus, Li stood facing the group with a microphone in hand, a posture he would retain for most of our waking hours in the days ahead. In the life of a Chinese tourist, guides play an especially prominent role—translator, raconteur, and field marshal—and Li projected a calm, seasoned air. He often referred to himself in the third person—Guide Li—and he prided himself on efficiency. “Everyone, our watches should be synchronized,” he said. “It is now 7:16 P.M.” He implored us to be five minutes early for every departure. “We flew all the way here,” he said. “Let’s make the most of it.” [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Jul 28, 2011 - 71 comments

Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen 1912-2011

Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen, son of Charles, last monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, died on July 4 at the age of 98. [more inside]
posted by dhens on Jul 5, 2011 - 24 comments

Despite economic success, fear and angst prevail over Germany

Germany’s season of angst: why a prosperous nation is turning on itself [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jun 25, 2011 - 52 comments

Germans should remember...

Albrecht Ritschl (web site / papers) of the London School of Economics says Germans should remember their status as postwar debtors when offering advice to Greece.
posted by - on Jun 25, 2011 - 20 comments

Uncle Adolf's Holiday Camp

"A vacation complex along the Baltic coast with 10,000 sea-view rooms in eight identical six-story blocks of steel-reinforced concrete, each one the length of five football fields." Built to last but never finished, Prora has been largely unknown until recently, as Germans debate its future use or demolition. [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Jun 22, 2011 - 31 comments

Ancient people on the move in the news

Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks, and Kon-Tiki explorer was partly right – Polynesians had South American roots. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 19, 2011 - 51 comments

things

"We have assembled objects in the form of a human figure, objects of all types that we found here each day and selected for their form and color, to obtain a familial nucleus that is the unity through which the individual forms itself and develops its ability to live and realize itself in the world." Artworks by Dario Tironi. via iGNANT
posted by unliteral on Jun 8, 2011 - 4 comments

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