Archive for the ‘news’ Category



How confident are you that terrorist attacks will never happen where you live?

I am pretty confident about Berlin, especially since most of the the issues listed on the global incident map detail activities which are anti-nuclear related, but I guess you really never know.

Browsing around the global incident map, I not sure whether I find it more troubleling that someone takes the time to assemble what they call threats into a system – after all all anti-nuclear activity is classified as a threat/incident – and mash it up with a bit of Google Maps to give it that Web 2.0 touch. Or if I see the actual threats listed as a potential danger.

So maybe the information overkill makes one more vulnerable indeed. Because we worry too much, whereas if we didn’t know about anything, it would probably only strike us when it happens. And luckily the chances for anything to happen are pretty small.

Also to be noted and worth one or more thoughs: a general terror-phobia along with islam-phobia are probably one of the larger threats right now and both are not listed on the global incident map.

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Shooter: 1, SEK: 0

I was perplexed when I saw the news today where it looked like reporters almost ran into the house with the (the German ATF). The news reminded me of embeded journalism in Iraq or an ridiculous American TV show called COPS.

Anyway, the shooter – member of a rod and gun club – shot two of those SEK police men when they tried to come into his house.

The scenery on TV was pretty weird because the operation seemed to have failed, or continued longer than expected and the reporter kept asking the police press people if it failed and they kept denying and saying the operation was still work in progress.

Now flavour this fuck-up with a know-it-all-neighbour who commented that the suspect his friend was just a bit anti-social, maybe had some weird habits but was also very nice. Gee wiz! If that’s his only friend I can almost see why he believes his life came to an end when his wife left him a while back.

In the end, the shooter committed suicide.

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Designmai 2007


Same game, different year? Some might think, but this year it’s not same.

Designmai 2007 will feature events at a 100 different locations around the city. The center of the festival will be Designmai Forum – it hosts an exhibition dedicated to a special topic and a conference (which was set up in in collaboration with the Potsdam Einstein Forum). The Forum will explore the relationship between digital technology and design. The following aspects will be focused on: digital crafts, generated shapes, instant production and smart products.

More at their website.

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School shooting in Virginia

This is so sensational and very sad – apparently someone killed 21 and wounded 29 students in a shooting earlier in VA today. I always wonder how this can happen – which means that it’s probably not the right moment to bring up a gun debate, but this is where it’s taking us.

Tom of Metroblogging D.C. reports on it and is keeping everyone updated.

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Happy Birthday, Moviemento!


is located at Kottbusser Damm in Kreuzberg and Berlin’s oldest movie theatre.

The oldest because it’s as old as one century – a 100 years. Movie enthusiasts are encouraged to check out the special program (PDF) for the celebrations.

glad it’s warming up outside

because it looks like there will soon be a bit more action on the streets of Pankow, Wedding, Neuk├Âlln and Hohensch├Ânhausen.

Wolf Biermann


Seit dem 27. März, 2007 heute ist der 115. Ehrenbürger der Stadt Berlin. Herzlichen Glückwunsch dazu!

Mit der Ehrenbürgerschaft erhält Biermann die bedeutenste Auszeichnung Berlins. Die Ehrenbürgerschaft wird vom Senat zusammen mit dem Abgeordnetenhaus an Personen verliehen, die sich besonders um die Stadt Berlin verdient gemacht haben. Vorschläge erbringen das Abgeordnetenhaus, Mitglieder des Senats, die Bezirksämter und die Bezirksverordnetenversammlungen.

Bei der Verleihung erhält der Ehrenbürger eine vom Regierenden Bürgermeister und vom Präsidenten des Abgeordnetenhauses unterschriebene Urkunde. Auf dieser sind ihre Verdienste festgehalten. Ehrenbürger dürfen sich von einem Künstler ihrer Wahl für die Galerie der Ehrenbürger im Abgeordnetenhaus porträtieren lassen.

Sollte der Ehrenbürger bedürftig sein oder in Zukunft werden, steht ihm eine Ehrenversorgung zu.

Nach Verleihung der Ehrenbürgerschaft lädt der Senat den Bürger zu Bekanntmachungen und Feierlichkeiten als Ehrengast ein. Außerdem bekommen Ehrenbürger kostenlos eine Jahreskarte der Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) – der m.E. größte Vorteil den diese Auszeichnung mit sich bringt – und das Amtsblatt Berlins.

Last but not least übernimmt das Land Berlin die Kosten für das Begräbnis eines in einem Ehrengrab auf einem Berliner Friedhof.

Eine Liste der anderen 114 Ehrenbürger findet man bei Interesse hier.

(Foto by Landesarchiv)

Smoking fines

A follow-up to the smoking discussion.

Starting January 2008, Berlin wants to enforce strict laws on smokers in the city. From then on smoking in restaurents and bars will be only allowed in seperate rooms where you get no service. So in order to smoke you go in the next room – or maybe outside? – and stay there with the others and then come back to your brew or Schnitzel.

Places violating the policies could be finded up to 1,000 EUR. Smokers caught could get fined up to 100 EUR.

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World Day for Water

Did you know that today is the (international) ?

I know the description sounds a bit clumsy, but this is for real. The U.N. created this day in 1992 to remind everyone of the effective use of water – especially in countries (most likely outside of Europe and North America) where water is not understood as a matter of course and life depends on the effecient use of the resource.

To celebrate the Day of Water, Berlin features water in two physical conditions – rain and snow. That’s right. After celebrating spring, we are back to winter.


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The Top 11 Underground Systems

Virgin Vacations recently published a list of the Top 11 Underground systems from around the world. Berlin didn’t make it to the list – probably because our underground system does not cover the entire part of the city, even though it is replaced with a great system of metro trams and metro buses where it is not available.

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