Paris: The stage of a glamorous Montmartre Show.

Paris. Montmartre – a Sphere of its own Right

8.03.2018

The Making of a Bohemian Microcosm

Montmartre evolved following a massive urban reconstruction and relocation scheme initiated by a great man of the 19th century: Napoleon III. Together with his ambitious town planning prefect Baron Haussmann, he aimed at creating a mundane Paris of dazzling allure and wanted it to become „the most beautiful city of Europe“ – not without granting spacious plots of land in prime locations to Haussmann, his many friends and financial supporters. By rigorously stomping unsightly areas into the ground and by replacing humble housing by posh manorial edifices and narrow crooked alleyways by grandiose and airy boulevards and squares, Paris’s face was substantially lifted and embellished – albeit at the expense of the less privileged population, who became early victims of gentrification.

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Reading time: about 6 minutes
The Olympic Symbol

The Olympic Symbol: Rings connecting the World

9.02.2018

When a commodity is taken for granted, it usually does not receive much attention. Unfairly so. Yet, especially the reliable components in our lives ready to be harvested at random if needed, deserve some limelight once in a while. The Olympic Symbol, for instance, has accompanied us since we were children. But do we know who thought it up and what it actually means – apart from being the familiar logo of a prestigious international sports event?

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
ICEHOTEL

Made of Ice: A truly unique Hotel

2.01.2018

Isn’t „unique“ a fantastic word to work with? Considering that it defines this one singular, outstanding idea, object or place, hardly a description could be more adequate. The ICEHOTEL in northern Sweden does not claim to be the one and only specimen of its kind. What renders it solitary is that it is redesigned and skillfully recreated every winter afresh – from scratch. 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, embedded in an untouched environment dotted with thousands of pristine lakes and crossed by wild rivers, lies Jukkasjärvi. Every year, the remote village witnesses a fascinating spectacle repeating itself.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Thank you, benefactors

Apostil: Thank you, Benefactors

20.10.2017

Striking it rich only once in a life-time? Ha! Millions of dollars and euros are bestowed on me every single day by email! Just like that! By total strangers such as you. So, it’s about time for me to say thank-you. To you, „Dr. Tobruqui al Benghazi“, high ranking official of Libya (95 million USD), to „Pandle Swallow“, trusted attorney of the Ivory-Coast business mogul who perished together with his family in a fire disaster (50m), to „John Christopher“ from the US lottery (450,000m), to „Daniel Kroklokwafz“ and „Xin Pling Chi“ from Hong Kong (500,000m each), to Barrister „Franz Mlojeek“ for reminding me of 15m USD lying dormant at a Royal Bank somewhere, to „Dr. Giles Comtrade“ from the “World Bank” saying that my idling 1,8m USD are waiting to be claimed, and to „Garda Giardino“ for letting me know that “United Nations” grants me 500,000 USD, for what merit I’m not sure. I do deserve it, though. It’s absolutely impossible to give credit to the many hundreds of you who have made my well-being your creed. 

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Lindau Puppet Opera: Swanlake Pas De Deux. Christian Flemming

Lindau/Germany: Why Opera-goers adore Puppets on Strings

3.10.2017

When shapely legs are swung high during the meticulously rehearsed Swan Lake performance, they are not made of flesh and blood. Nor, in fact, are any of the lissome corporal parts belonging to the remarkable cast exerting themselves on the miniature stage of the Lindau Marionette Opera (House): they are puppets on strings choreographed and directed with an expertise and finesse that leaves every audience open-mouthed with bafflement. And that doesn’t just account for the ballet troupe bobbing their tutus in tune with Tchaikovsky’s legendary piece of distinguished classical music: there’s Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Strauss, Bizet and Humperdinck on the programme as well.

Yet, how is it accomplished that rigid images sculpted from wood seem to display credible emotions? Carving features adaptable enough to augment the illusion of changing mien is the craftsmanship their creators are excelling at.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes