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Duesseldorf, Germany
Recent Activity
Schadenfreude is neither edifying nor wholesome. But there's something satisfying seeing German politicians getting the sort of self-righteous condemnation most German journalists routinely spatter on the rulers of certain other nations: Angela Merkel is the most monstrous western European leader... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at German Joys
Ann Jones, who lives in Norway, presents a list of questions she's constantly asked about America that will be drearily familiar to any expat in Europe. The main issue is why the US doesn't yet have universal healthcare. She praises... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at German Joys
More coverage you probably won't see in German: ATHENS -- Alexis Panagiorgios used to run a small tailor shop in Psirri, a neighborhood of Athens. Now he lives in a carboard box on a street. 'People used to have money.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at German Joys
"During the Kamakura period, Zen received its warmest reception among the warrior class -- the samurai. According to a popular saying of the time: 'Tendai is for the imperial court, Shingon for the nobility, Zen is for the warrior class,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at German Joys
Legendary abbot Fu Schnickens ran into the gathering hall, ascended the Throne of Wisdom, rang the Bell of Insight, and spake thusly to the disciples: "Hats." He then went on, speaking louder and louder: "Tiny hats. Tiny moist hats. Tiny... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at German Joys
Meet Paul Nungesser, a German exchange student at Columbia University in New York: Speaking carefully, with a slightly formal bearing and an accent so faint that it can be hard to place, Mr. Nungesser, who is from Germany, says he... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at German Joys
Not many posts recently, because I've been in Japan for the holidays, admiring Shinto shrines, being harangued by right-wing soundtrucks, ogling Harajuku cuties, and all the rest. Browsing the bookstalls in Jimbocho, the used-book district of Tokyo, I came across... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2014 at German Joys
Another reason air-conditioning is a blessing: A new study just released by the National Bureau for Economic Research [argues]that it is warmer temperatures that may be the real economic cost [of global warming]. The paper, by Tatyana Deryugina of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at German Joys
The Final Episode Of Serial from Funny Or Die If you haven't been following 'Serial', the podast from Chicago Public Radio, you should. It's like nothing you've ever heard before. Go to the podcast website and listen to the episodes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at German Joys
I found this notecard on the sidewalk a few weeks ago and have been puzzling over it ever since. I recognize a few words in the body and the sentence at the end ("Alles nur eine Frage der Form?") but... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at German Joys
So, the comments are in (thanks!), and the consensus seems to be that there's no special focus on campus sexual assault in Germany because (1) Most German universities don't have traditional campuses or an insular 'campus culture' like American universities;... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2014 at German Joys
There's been a recent increase in odd political messages being posted in the halls the university. I presume these folks are attempting to reach the 'leaders of tomorrow' and may not be aware of the Internets. In the name of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at German Joys
Given my interest in public opinion and constitutional law, I've been following the so-called University of Virginia rape story with considerable interest. Briefly put, here's what happened: On November 19, the US pop-culture magazine Rolling Stone publishes an explosive story... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at German Joys
A little blatant self-promotion here. Katharine Whittemore in the Boston Globe just began a round-up of seven books about capital punishment and life sentences with this punchy, but essentially accurate, abstract of my book's argument: Why has Europe ended the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at German Joys
One of my favorite podcasts is Chicago Public Radio's Love and Radio, and it's things like this interview with Mathias Rust (in English) that have earned my love. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at German Joys
"What most people call conscience is one-fifth fear of others, one-fifth fear of gods and idols, one-fifth prejudice, one-fifth vanity, and one-fifth habit." -- Arthur Schophenhauer, On the Basis of Morality, § 13 (my very loose translation). Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at German Joys
The New York Times looks at art seizures by the Stasi: Between 1973 and 1989 the East German police, known as the Stasi, seized more than 200,000 objects in hundreds of raids, according to experts and official archives. As part... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at German Joys
Language learner mistakes: My own contribution to this genre happened in 2004-ish, when I went to a camera store and told the guy behind the counter that I needed 'eine Speichelkarte'.* * As the video shows, explaining the mistake is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at German Joys
Andrew Gimson, a former Berlin correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, has written a solid little article on the 'Conservative Home' website about the main misconceptions his countrymen have about Germany (h/t MTW): 1. Angela Merkel The British have no idea... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2014 at German Joys
Probably the finest Canadian song praising the Communist Party of Albania you will hear today (h/t RM): I wonder if there are any English-language songs praising East Germany? If you're interested in the internecine squabbles of Canadian Marxist splinter parties... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at German Joys
Rod Dreher, a conservative American commentator, can hardly believe his eyes when he reads about the German church tax (Kirchensteuer): In Germany, as in a number of other European countries, if you are a member of a church or mainstream... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2014 at German Joys
Over the weekend I set out for the Neander Valley, where the first Neanderthal skeleton was found. It's also an ultra-pleasant hiking destination, complete with babbling brooks, succulent green meadows, winding forest pathways, mildly dramatic shale rock formations, and quaint... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at German Joys
Thomas Rogers, a writer living in Berlin, takes to the pages of the New Republic to describe the oddity of 'Wetten, Dass...?' and the crappiness of German TV in general: ...[T]he mediocrity of [German] TV—and “Wetten Dass..?” in particular—is currently... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at German Joys