Berlin-Neukölln is changing

Berlin-Neukölln: From problem child to clubbable prodigy?

12.12.2018

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. Read article

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Flight simulator at Frankfurt Airport. A flight simulator excuses laymen's shortcomings

Flight or plight? Thank God it’s just a simulator!

2.12.2018

The dream of flying is perhaps nearly as old as mankind itself. We do not know for how many casualties innumerable trial-and-error experiments are responsible. The myth of Daedalus, the sly old Greek and his boisterous son Icarus, became the stuff for serious text-book entries. With a merciless sun gradually sizzling away Icarus’s wings of wax, the poor devil plummeted right into the sea – having been robbed of life-saving aerodynamics. In reality, crash tests with astonishingly inventive contraptions operated by bright, adventurous minds formed a never-ending chain of often fatal accidents over the course of time. Thanks to the courage and relentless efforts of these pioneers, aircraft have become a fast, comfortable and comparatively safe means of transport. Read article

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The New Tree House at Luxury Safari Lodge Tongabezi in Zambia.

A global trend: Glamorous Camping = Glamping

25.11.2018

No tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll

In the history of man’s evolution, „up the tree – and quickly!“ seemed a splendid option when it came to escaping from all sorts of bloodthirsty evil inadvertently popping up from nowhere. In order not to be devoured, predominantly benign early humans, hunting and gathering relentlessly, just followed their instinct. Enabled by helpful tools shaped from stone, hammered from bronze or cast from iron in later ages, the long-hatched dream of a safe permanent dwelling high up a tree did come true. Second best to the cosiness of easily defendable caves, the properly fastened tree-house offered lofty shelter, an ideal lookout for invaders and food protection from voracious scavengers – whereby the odd poisonous snake or spider moving in unasked had to be tolerated.

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Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Iceland: Sleeping in a bubble

19.11.2018

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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Workers burning harmful waste at the Agobogbloshie dump in Ghana.

Electronic Waste: Intoxicating Agbogbloshie

15.11.2018

At breathtaking speed, our world is being inundated with ever more sophisticated electronic equipment. Used devices hardly a year or two old, are replaced with increasing frequency, to be cashed in or be thoughtlessly dumped for the next much fancier gadget. Most “outdated” models are added to a recycling bubble already stressed at the seams. Considering that resources are scarce and thus valuable, this sort of rotation system is still unrivaled. Yet, have you ever wondered how – and above all – where, your discarded cell phone, laptop or PC may have ended up eventually? It is estimated that more than half of the electronic waste from, e.g., the United States, is shipped to countries fairly ignorant of environmental issues - and there it is successfully buried in oblivion. Like for instance in China, India or Ghana in West Africa. A young company in Boston, Mass., sets an example of how fruitful sensible recycling can be.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes