Archive for the 'History' Category

The Quiet German – a portrait of Angela Merkel

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Very lucid, well-written story by Gorge Packer in the New Yorker about the German chancellor: German politics was entering a new era. As the country became more “normal,” it no longer needed domineering father figures as leaders. “Merkel was lucky to live in a period when macho was in decline,” Ulrich said. “The men didn’t […]

The Fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Today is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – one of the most important historic events in my generation’s lifetime. Ironically, this watershed event was precipitated by a simple, clerical error. To me, the events of November 9, 1989 are profoundly German: a tired, overwhelmed official –  Günter Schabowski –  reads […]

1954. 1974. 1990. 2014!

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Deutschland ist Weltmeister!!! ★★★★ What a game! Zum ersten Mal triumphiert ein europäisches Team in der Neuen Welt!

Marcel Reich-Ranicki, 1920 – 2013

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Germany has lost a feisty, thoughtful voice today. Marcel Reich Ranicki was the most respected literature critic in Germany and a fearless and honest voice for the survivors of the Holocaust. His love for literature and poetry inspired generations of readers and he relentlessly challenged German authors to advance their craft and create great works […]

Offroading on the moon

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Amazing footage from Apollo 16

Sailrocket is on a roll

Monday, November 19th, 2012

More records from Larsen’s Sailrocket: yesterday, they smashed the Nautical Mile Record at 55.32 knots and improved their own 500-Meter record from Friday with a 59.38 knot average speed (all subject to ratification by the WSSRC). Sailrocket is on a roll! Just watch – they will crack the 60 knots average. They already hit a […]

The fastest sailboat in the world

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

On Nov. 16, 2012, Vestas Sailrocket II became the fastest sailboat in  the world, when skipper Paul Larsen raced it along a 500 Meter stretch in Walvis Bay, Namibia, at an average speed of 59.23 knots (109.6 KpH or 68.1 MpH) and top speeds of 63 knots. (Subject to WSSRC ratification) Check out the video:

Four more years …

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

… looks like it. UPDATE: Romney concedes the election

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, 1935-2012

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

“A well designed product does not require decorations” Ferdinand Alexander Porsche gave us one of the most beautiful cars, and one of the most enduring automotive legacies – the Porsche 911. He passed away today at the age of 76.

Germany’s new President elected

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Today, Joachim Gauck was elected the 11th President of the Federal Republic of Germany. The non-partisan consensus candidate of the five mainstream parties (SPD, Green Party, CDU, CSU and FDP) was elected by a majority of 991 votes out of 1228 votes cast in the Federal Convention. In the previous Federal Convention in 2010, Joachim […]

The Cardiff Giant

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Turns out P. T. Barnum never did say “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute” … this is the crazy story of the Cardiff Giant From 1866 until 1868 Mr. George Hull, of Binghamton, New York studied archeology and paleontology. Over this period of time Hull contemplated how to pull off a hoax. It seems that […]

Obama visits Buchenwald

Friday, June 5th, 2009

President Obama today visited the former Nazi death camp Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany. From what I’ve read he was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since Eisenhower, who was the commander of the Allied Forces when Buchenwald was liberated. Obama’s great uncle was one of the soldiers who helped liberate Buchenwald. I think Obama should […]

Barack Obama – 44th President of the USA

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Presidential Oaths of Office Inaugural Address below the fold …

An odd thing that happened in an odd place

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Ping-pong balls are useful. Historic evidence: A Japanese freighter had been torpedoed during WWII and it’s at the bottom of Tokyo Harbor with a large hole in her hull. A team of engineers was called together to solve the problem of raising the wounded vessel to the surface. One of the engineers tackling this puzzle […]

Remembering Miriam Makeba

Monday, November 10th, 2008

One of Africa’s great voices was lost last night. Miriam Makeba died in Italy, shortly after a concert. Makeba gave a powerful voice to her people during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The South African government revoked her citizenship in 1963, but in the following years she was given honorary citizenship by 10 […]

Everil “Peg” Michel, 1908 – 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Laura’s grandmother Peg was born on December 6, 1908 in Trevor, Wisconsin – the same year Bette Davis was born (April 5) and Henry Ford produced his first Model T automobile. She was the daughter of Wayne and Lillian (Frank) Bush. Peg died on December 17, 2007 peacefully in her sleep at a retirement home in […]

Schießbefehl

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Forty six years ago today, the East German Stalinist regime began fortifying the border across Germany. They built one of the most infamous borders ever: the Berlin Wall. During the 28 years that followed, an estimated 260 people were killed in attempts to cross into West Germany. The Stalinists always denied that the regime gave […]

Blown up

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Beautiful, melancholic video of the demolition of the Durham Hotel, Durham, North Carolina, in 1975. video by Billie Mann

Justice?

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Yesterday’s execution of Saddam Hussein by hanging brings to a violent end a violent life, and raises many more questions than it answers. What impact will the execution have on the civil war in Iraq andthe suffering of the Iraqis? Why execute him on one of Islam’s most sacred holidays, Eid ul-Adha? Some argue that […]

Happy Hannukkah

Friday, December 15th, 2006

Happy Hannukkah! Frohes Lichterfest! Get your dreidels out and fry some latkes: Today at sundown Jews began to celebrate the eight days of Hannukkah. The holiday was called Hanukkah meaning “dedication” because it marks the re-dedication of the Temple after its desecration under Antiochus IV. Spiritually, Hanukkah commemorates the Miracle of the Oil. According to […]