After a dispute with her landlord, 23-year-old student Leonie Müller abandoned her apartment in Tübingen and started living on trains. On the first of May, Müller bought a BahnCard 100, a ticket which costs 4090€ and entitles her to unlimited travel on Germany's railway network for a year, and has been calling the trains home since then, living out of a backpack, washing her hair in the train bathroom, writing her papers whilst watching the scenery go past at 320kph, and periodically staying with friends and relatives across Germany. She has a blog (auf deutsch) and plans to write her undergraduate thesis on her experiences as a train nomad.
The Dead Zoo Gang "Over the last several years, millions of dollars worth of antique rhino horns have been stolen from natural history museum collections around the world. The only thing more unusual than the crimes is the theory about who is responsible: A handful of families from rural Ireland known as the Rathkeale Rovers." (Via)
As we know, RMS Titanic was on her ill-fated maiden voyage a century ago this week. Less well-known: the tender ship to Titanic and her sister Olympic was the SS Nomadic. The ship was built on Slipway No. 1 of Harland and Wolff Shipyards alongside the liners (Olympic and Titanic were built on slipways 2 and 3, respectively). The massive liners -- each nearly nine hundred feet long and measuring some 45,000 tons -- were too large to dock at Cherbourg, so Nomadic was used to ferry mail, passengers and cargo aboard at Cherbourg, the liners' last port of call before crossing the Atlantic. She saw service in both world wars, as a troop carrier in WWI and again as a troop transport, minelayer and coastal patrol vessel in WWII. After the second war, she returned to service as a tender for Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Decommissioned in 1968, Nomadic was converted into a floating restaurant in Paris. When the business failed around the turn of the century, her superstructure was torn down so she could be towed out to Le Havre. After her owner's death in 2005, she seemed destined for the scrapyard until a group of maritime history enthusiasts began raising funds to buy and restore her. The Northern Ireland government's Department for Social Development purchased the ship and brought her home to Belfast on a barge for restoration at Harland and Wolff, a company now mostly devoted to offshore renewable energy. And thus it is that century after Titanic and for almost certainly the last time ever, a White Star vessel is at the Harland and Wolff shipyards. [more inside]