Berlin-Neukölln is changing

Berlin-Neukölln: From problem child to clubbable prodigy?

2.12.2016

It is presumed to be the most colourful, multinational and omnicultural of Berlin’s districts: Neukölln, whose reputation – up to the recent past – could be considered controversial at best. Predominantly low-income (German) residents alongside a high rate of immigrants touching the 40 per cent mark have been benefiting from affordable rents and trying to make ends meet remote from posh Berlin areas. Different beliefs; traditions; habits; tongues; skins or dress codes hailing from alien ethnic backgrounds not seldom ignited the precarious potential for social conflicts. Better-off Berliners and visitors to the city alike preferred to stay at a safe distance for a reason. Yet, by avoiding the confrontation with an often bleak reality, they simultaneously missed out on glamour of a quality only thriving in microcosms such as Neukölln.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

18.11.2016

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes
Rusty wire cage. Are we caged in our personality?

TED Talk. Brian Little: Who are you really?

17.11.2016

„One of the most influential approaches in personality science is known as trait psychology, and it aligns you along five dimensions which are normally distributed, and that describe universally held aspects of difference between people. They spell out the acronym OCEAN. So, ‘O’ stands for ‘open to experience’ versus those who are more closed. ‘C’ stands for conscientiousness’ in contrast to those with a more lackadaisical approach to life. ‘E’ — ‘extroversion’ in contrast to more introverted people. ‘A’ — ‘agreeable individuals’ in contrast to those decidedly not agreeable. And ‘N’ — ‘neurotic individuals’ in contrast to those who are more stable.“

Brian Little’s intriguing talk is highly entertaining – and it reminds us that we cannot lick the outside of our own elbow. :-)

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Iceland: Sleeping in a bubble

4.11.2016

When mystical veils of polar lights are wafting across northern skies in unknown shades of green, observers from near and far are eager to come and watch the stunning spectacle. A great many people have the Aurora Borealis on their bucket list of things to do at least once in a lifetime. Witnessing the awesome natural miracle when in Iceland can happen in the most comfortable of ways: by dreamily lying on one’s back underneath the transparent skin of an unconventional „hotel“ room in the shape of a bubble. Glamping under a canopy of stars means freedom and shelter at the same time.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Niagara Falls: Delicious horror beyond Halloween

Niagara Falls Canada: Halloween 24/7

30.10.2016

The Niagara Falls represent one of the most impressive wonders of nature of our day and rightfully enjoy their reputation as an untamed – and untamable – site of awesome beauty. Reason enough for Hollywood movie-makers to choose this dramatic setting as their filming location for ‘Niagara‘, in which screen goddess Marilyn Monroe is put through a bloodcurdling cinematic ordeal. In her role as Rose, she suffers nerve-racking distress induced by husband Joseph Cotton who, alias intimidating George, hatches an evil plan while carrying an eerie look on his face throughout the creepy thriller. George vanishes and is believed dead, but he reappears. Shrouded in a misty waterfall spray and in the assumed privacy of the Rainbow Tower, he brutally strangles Rose to death. But there is a witness…
Fictional Hollywood stories aside: what comes now is REAL! The Nightmares Fear Factory is ‘the scariest and best haunted-house attraction in Niagara Falls Canada’.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes