Some Swiss like to ski naked

The Swiss are kind of like the red-headed bastard step-children of Germany. Kinda. Actually, that might be the Austrians. Anyway…..
From the New York Times:

In recent years, it has become fashionable for a growing number of Swiss and some foreigners to wander in the Alps clad in little more than hiking shoes and sun screen. Last summer, the number of nude hikers increased to such an extent that the hills often seemed alive with the sound of everything but the swish of trousers.
Mr. Hepenstrick, 54, is an architect who loves to hike in the altogether. In winter, he said, he has hiked for hours in temperatures well below freezing, though he does concede the need for a hat and gloves.

And a thimble, amirite?.

Obama Fingers!

We’ve talked about the use of American motifs used in German advertising and packaging before as well as the use of the use of Obama’s campaign slogan. Some smart marketing people decided to put them together.

A German frozen food company hopes to raise sales with a new product: Obama fingers. The tender, fried chicken bits come with a tasty curry sauce. The company says it was unaware of the possible racist overtones of the product.

Honestly, I didn’t think about the “possible rascist overtones” either. I was just wondering “WTF?” Other half-baked ideas include the German Obama doll. Seriously though, unless you grew up in America, how could you know that this might be considered a bad idea?

However, the best commercial to use the whole American marketing thing was Wagner for their line of American-Style Pizza:


But is he an excellent driver?

Is it possible to learn German in just days? Linguistic savant Daniel Tammet managed to do so in the course of a week. Using his own special technique, the 30-year-old, who has a mild form of autism, has learned to speak more than 10 languages.

Or you can do it my way by hanging out in Spelunken with drunks and other lowlifes that teach you real German.

Drunk German: Hey Ami, du kannst mich voll am Arsch lecken!
Me: Um, nö.

It’s Complicated

From the New York Times

Europe has more than its share of mass graves, a reflection of the extraordinary scale of violence of the previous century. But throughout the Continent the public is far more used to Germans as perpetrators rather than victims, and perhaps nowhere is that more true than in Germany itself.

One of the most touchy subjects of WWII is the direct aftermath. Like the article states, 12 million ethnic Germans were uprooted and send back to Germany after the war. A lot of them died on the way back, either from the cold or hunger or they were killed by the survivors of Nazi atrocities. It is a touchy subject. Germans are not allowed to be “the victims”. Up until the German reunification in 1990 when the German-Polish Border Treaty was signed, there were still German territorial claims east of the Oder-Niesse Line.

Here in Lüneburg there is museum called the Ostpreussisches Landesmuseum (East-Prussian Museum) where they preserve “the heritage of the German culture of the East.” They are not immune to controversy. Sometimes when they put on events, they stir up sore feelings between survivors and their descendants and other Germans. Sometimes it’s just weird things that causes a scandal. Last year there was an exhibition of old hunting trophies and such. Along with old hunting rifles and other equipment, there were mounted heads of deer and other animals that had been hunted in the East Prussia. Among them was a deer killed by Hermann Göring. It caused a problem because at first it was just there in the exhibit without any explanation or context about who hunted it. So naturally some people accused the museum of not taking seriously the crimes of Germany’s nazi past and there were protests and uproar. Then the museum had to redo the exhibit and put it in context.

So yeah, it’s complicated over here.