Metafilter's own JF Ptak
has an interesting post
on the Life magazine issue of March 2nd, 1942, readers of which were confronted by some startling maps detailing possible Axis invasion strategies for North America. There was invasion down the St. Lawrence valley
, there was invasion via Trinidad
, via Bermuda
, full frontal west coast
, and down the west coast
as well - note the mapping of the large "fifth columns". As Ptak notes, maps such as these with huge arrows pointed menancingly at the American homeland were very much not the norm of the day. [more inside]
posted by Rumple
on Jan 3, 2010 -
A digital clock
made of wood and operated by 70 workers for one continuous 24-hour period. "Even though the workers are trying hard to construct every single minute, they are constantly on the verge of failing."
posted by freshwater_pr0n
on Dec 27, 2009 -
"Heads were skinned and muscles removed from the brain case in order to remove the skullcap. Incisions and scrapes on jaws indicate that tongues were cut out." "Scrape marks inside the broken ends of limb bones indicate that marrow was removed." "Whatever actually happened at Herxheim, facial bones were smashed beyond recognition." - Neolithic mass canibalism in southern Germany
posted by Artw
on Dec 5, 2009 -
Germany is, for the first time, trying a non-citizen
for crimes committed as part of the Holocaust. John Demjanjuk, originally from Ukraine, is an 89-year-old man, retired US auto factory worker, and former US citizen who has been deported and charged with 27,900 murders
for the part he may have played in World War II. This is the second time
Demjanjuk has been tried. [more inside]
posted by brina
on Nov 30, 2009 -
Twenty years ago this month, the nearly 700 mile border between East and West Germany started to disappear. "The fence is long gone, and the no-man's land where it stood now is part of Europe's biggest nature preserve. The once-deadly border area is alive with songbirds nesting in crumbling watchtowers, foxes hiding in weedy fortifications and animals not seen here for years, such as elk and lynx. But one species is boycotting the reunified animal kingdom: red deer
." According to the Bavarian National Forest Park Service, scientists
[link in German] have recorded nearly 11,000 GPS locations for 'Ahornia," a red deer who appears to never enter the Czech Republic.
posted by webhund
on Nov 4, 2009 -
On September 10th, to celebrate their initiation week, 172 communications students at the University of Quebec at Montreal decided to put on a show
. After weeks of preparation, the costumed and prop-wielding crowd enacted an exuberant, complex, and flawlessly-choreographed performance
of the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" that sprawled through the campus's multi-story Judith Jasmin Pavilion... and they did it all in one continuous take
(on their second
try). The feat is just the most recent example of "lipdubbing
" -- a video phenomenon where a single camera moves through a crowd of highly coordinated lip-syncers in a single seamless take, with the original recording dubbed over the finished product. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2009 -
September 22, 1939:
In the Polish city of Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, in Belarus), "a monumental military parade took place.... What is unusual is that the parade was held not by the Polish army, but by the soviet Red Army and the Nazi German Wehrmacht – together
." The excellent blog Poemas del río Wang
(which usually features gorgeous illustrations from books) provides historical context, many photos, posters, and cartoons, even a five-minute official German newsreel (the parade takes up the first half). The event itself is a historical footnote, but in Russia, with the "cult of the victory of Soviet people and of the Soviet state in WWII," the very idea of it was anathema and it was denied until last year. [more inside]
posted by languagehat
on Sep 27, 2009 -
Suvorov’s argument is simple. Stalin cleverly lured Hitler into war by offering to divide Poland. This act, Stalin knew, would prompt Britain and France to declare war on Germany. Stalin expected to pick up the pieces.
- Eric Margolis [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 14, 2009 -
"Two hundred and fifty men were taken one day, another 250 the next, and a layer of earth was thrown in between," a policeman told a parliamentary inquiry in 1947. "They weren't all executed in a single night, but rather in stages." Often enough the condemned men were given a pick and shovel, and made to dig their own graves.
The perpetrators didn't have many scruples. After all, they were sure they had high-level military backing...."The general told us, 'The fewer of them that remain, the fewer enemies we'll have.'"
Czech Town Divided over How to Commemorate 1945 Massacre [more inside]
posted by orthogonality
on Sep 6, 2009 -
ran a series of articles looking at the state of high-speed rail travel today. France intends to double its length of track over the next decade
, and China is planning a massive rail-building programme
, including a high-speed line which will halve the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai to 4 hours. In Germany
, domestic air travel is rapidly going extinct, and Spain's network has made day trips between Madrid and Barcelona a possibility
. The USA, which has long neglected its rail network, is planning up to 10 high-speed lines
. Meanwhile, Britain's only high-speed line goes to France, but there is talk of a 250mph line from London to Birmingham and beyond
, possibly by the early 2020s. Meanwhile, the CEO of France's rail operator, SNCF, weighs in on what the UK should do
posted by acb
on Aug 7, 2009 -
Used as postcards and for advertising, phono postcards
were a single-sided phonograph record stuck on a card with a hole punched through. The Weco
cards stand out with their use of photography (with the clothes sometimes painted on) and see-through vinyl.
posted by tellurian
on Jul 29, 2009 -
Though the B-2 Spirit
is perhaps the best-known of the flying wing
designs, its creation came almost 50 years after the earliest attempts at creating fixed-wing aircraft with no definite fuselage. The first prototypes of Frenchman Charles Fauvel's flying wings
followed the patent on his formula for the flying wing in 1929. Jack Northrop's newly formed Northrop Aircraft Co. created the first flying wing for the United States in 1940, dubbed Northrom N-1M "Jeep"
. But it was the Horten Brothers
, German aircraft pilots and enthusiasts, who created the first fully-functional stealth flying wing: the Horten Ho IX
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 24, 2009 -
As of tomorrow a law will be in effect in Germany
that allows the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation to block websites without any judicial approval. Both big parties voted favorably today - even in the face of protest
and the most successful online petition in Germany so far. And while the original law states that only child pornography can be censored this way, politicians and music industry execs are already calling for the blocking of first person shooters
and copyright-infringing content
. (Last two links in German) [more inside]
posted by dominik
on Jun 18, 2009 -
1946—2006. Short articles chronicling North Rhine-Westphalia. The site has one rather large shortcoming though, the video clips cannot be accessed (only available on VHS within the State!).
posted by tellurian
on May 12, 2009 -
A German researcher accidentally jabbed her finger with a hypodermic loaded with the deadly Ebola virus
. 48 hours later, she was injected with an untested, experimental vaccine
, developed by an international team of virologists and biologists. Though she may never have been infected, she was certainly in danger; in 2004, a similar incident caused the death of a Russian scientist
at a former Soviet biological weapons lab.
posted by permafrost
on Mar 29, 2009 -
Inventor of the Döner has died.
As anybody who has been drunk at 2 a.m. in Germany knows, the Döner
is a staple of German fast-food cuisine. Although similar dishes have been around for a while, the modern version is believed to be invented in 1971 in West Berlin by Mahmut Aygün. From there it spread to many other cities and countries
in Europe and beyond
. Mahmut Aygün died at the age of 87 last month in Berlin. [more inside]
posted by chillmost
on Feb 23, 2009 -
Starting on Thursday Dec 4, 2008, Wikimedia Commons will witness a massive upload of new images. We are anticipating about 100,000 files from a donation from the German Federal Archive. These images are mostly related to the history of Germany (including the German Democratic Republic) and are part of a cooperation between Wikimedia Germany and the Federal Archive...
posted by jim in austin
on Dec 7, 2008 -
Join Devin Friedman at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a city of broken men.
During the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
in Germany has blossomed into the hub of one of the most amazing and miraculous wartime medical systems in modern history. Each week sees 14 flights into and out of the medical center, delivering dozens of war wounded from the battlefield and back out to the more specialized care centers back stateside; the rapidity of care and transit from the war fronts to stable medical care has decreased the mortality of serious wartime military injuries to just ten percent, from the high-20s/low-30s of previous wars. This is an incredibly nice look at the Landstuhl system from the perspective of a single planeload of injured soldiers.
posted by delfuego
on Nov 17, 2008 -