Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

May 6, 2016

German Pedestrian Red Light Assistance

Distracted smartphone users are alerted when it is safe to cross the road, after a pilot traffic light system was launched in a German city. It embedded rows of LEDs into the pavement. They flash red when the crossing is closed to pedestrians. According to German television station, it became necessary after a 15-year-old girl, who was wearing earbuds and looking at her smartphone, was killed when she stepped in front of a tram.

"We have the additional lamps installed on two crossings that are especially frequented by the relevant target group," said the city's spokesperson.

The first two pavement traffic lights have been installed near the local university. They are aimed particularly at young people and commuters, who tend to be too consumed by their smartphones to look up at the conventional traffic lights system.

US lawmakers take a different approach and seek to ban texting while walking, because distracted walking leads to falls, and 9% "strike a motionless object."

Dec 18, 2015


(Literally Knocking Night or loosely, Knocking Day) In Germany on the four Thursdays before Christmas, children in rural parts of Southern Germany dress up in masks and go door to door chanting rhymes that always start with the word 'knock'. They make noises as the go from house to house, singing carols, cracking whips, clattering dishes, and ringing cowbells. This commotion is supposed to drive away evil spirits. Children offer or receive treats such as fruit, candy, or coins. Think of it as the opposite of Halloween trick or treat.

Jul 24, 2015

Top 10 Viewers of Shubsthoughts

The top ten countries viewing my blog this month, in order are: Russia, US, Germany, France, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Portugal, India, China. Thank you to all my new BFFs. I hope you continue to enjoy. Hey Soedinyonnye Shtaty Amerik watzup! 

Apr 3, 2015

The Easter Bunny

Today’s Easter Bunny grew out of religious practices in pre-Christian Germany. Eostra, a goddess of fertility and spring, was associated with the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproductive rate. The legend was subsequently merged with the Christian celebration of Jesus’ rebirth.

Jul 4, 2014

Ten Interesting Tidbits

The average child asks over four hundred questions each day. Makes it easy to understand why they learn so fast.
Of all the people in history that have reached age 65, half are still living.
The US is older than Germany. Germany became independent in 1871 and the US in 1776.
Two thirds of the people on earth have never seen snow.
A hummingbird weighs less than a US penny.
There are more empty houses in the US than homeless people.
The US FDA allows ten insects and thirty five fly eggs per eight ounces of raisins.
One in ten European babies were conceived on an IKEA bed.
A giraffe's tongue is twenty one inches long.
The Guinness Book of Records holds its own record as the book most stolen from public libraries.

Jan 24, 2014

Shubsthoughts Blogviews

The top ten viewers to my blog last month in order are:
United States
United Kingdom
Thank you to all my new best friends from Russia for being number one. Thank you to all the rest of my new friends from around the globe. Hope you enjoy the content.

Oct 11, 2013

Daylight Savings

It is getting to that time of year when we need to change our clocks again. (November 3 this year)  Benjamin Franklin  is often credited with the idea, but he only mentioned it in jest in a satirical essay.

The idea was never seriously pushed until 1895 when George Vernon Hudson, presented the idea as a way for people to have more daylight and consequently more leisure time after work. While there was interest in Hudson’s idea, it still didn’t catch on until 1916 when Germany adopted DST as a method to save fuel during World War I. Others, including the US and Great Britain, used DST during World War I and II, yet reverted to standard time during peace years. It wasn’t until about 40 years ago, during the energy crisis of the 1970s, that Daylight Savings Time was made permanent in many areas.

Much has been argued for and against Daylight Savings benefits. I side with the majority who think it is a waste of time and energy to change clocks twice a year. Likely more time is wasted discussing the matter than any real or imagined benefits from it.

Sep 6, 2013

Brussels Sprouts

If you hate the taste of Brussels sprouts it might be due to your DNA. Brussels sprouts are among the group of cabbages grown for edible buds. The leafy green vegetables are typically small, and look like miniature cabbages. The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have originated there.

In Europe, the largest producers are the Netherlands and Germany. Mexico tends to cultivate them in the Baja region from December through June.

Brussels sprouts have potent anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of the anticancer compounds, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss.

Many people seem to not like Brussels sprouts. Scientists explain that there is a mutated gene possessed by about half of the population that prevents a person from tasting the bitter-tasting chemical used to grow Brussels sprouts. If a person does not possess this gene they can taste the chemical, thus making them much more likely to dislike Brussels sprouts. Apparently, I do not have that gene.

Jun 14, 2013

Father's Day

Father's day is coming up this Sunday. In Germany along the River Elbe, a special Father’s Day tradition is upheld. It is the tradition of Christi Himmelfahrt.  The fathers pull wagons full of alcohol through the streets to celebrate their day. They fill a hand wagon, large enough for a few coolers and maybe small keg with locally crafted hefeweizen, Gew├╝rztraminer, and schnapps, then pass through the city into the forest, walking slowly until the sun has set and the wagon’s contents have been drained. For luck, they also carry bratwurst, mustard, pretzels, Ritter chocolate, and a small hookah.

It is an important tradition to specific places within Germany and will often get out of control with drunken mayhem. Father's day always coincides with Ascension Thursday, a holiday whens all the stores are closed. The men get their beer and later use their wagons to be dragged home after getting drunk. Happy Father’s Day to all the Germans and everyone else who knows how to party.

May 14, 2013

More About Laughter

Every time someone laughs around us, our brains must interpret what it means. As German scientists have discovered, it is more complex than we thought.

A joyful belly laugh is interpreted by the brain in a completely different way from a scornful titter or the giggle from someone being tickled, a group of scientists from T├╝bingen in south west Germany have found.

In experiments designed to help patients with chronic anxiety disorders, they found that positive non-verbal communication, such as a joyful laugh was processed by a different part of the brain from a negative, scornful snicker.

Laughing is one of the oldest forms of non-verbal communication and is also seen in rats and apes. It could be key to helping patients with psychiatric disorders, who often are unable to correctly interpret non-verbal communication.

Humans have developed several different forms of laughter, each of which can have a complex series of meanings and intentions behind them. “Laughing is a very strong signal in social interaction. If you are laughed at with joy you feel accepted. If you are the victim of scornful laughter, you feel shut out of the group,“ said Dr. Dirk Wildgruber.

In their experiments, Wildgruber and his team played various types of recorded laughter and measured how the sounds were interpreted in the brain. They found that giggles generated when someone is being tickled stimulates areas of the brain responsible for interpreting complex acoustic signals. Happy or scornful laughter, on the other hand, stimulates completely separate brain regions usually tasked with guessing the intentions of others. From there, the laughter kick-starts connections with different parts of the brain depending on the tone - negative or positive.

The next step will be to look into how people with psychological disturbances react to different laughter signals to find out which areas of the brain could be artificially stimulated to help them, said Wildgruber.

Mar 29, 2013


The Easter Bunny, at least as we know it today, first appeared in 16th century writings in Germany. In the 1700s, Pennsylvania Dutch settlers brought the tradition of the Easter Bunny with them to the US. Their children believed that if they were good, the Easter Bunny would come and lay eggs and treats into nests the children made out of upturned hats and bonnets.

It is believed that the tradition of hiding Easter eggs was first started in Southern Germany. While the legend of the Easter Bunny laying eggs in the grass had been around for sometime, the Germans decided to have children hunt for the eggs in hard to see places. Happy Easter!

Sep 21, 2012


September 22 is considered the beginning of Oktoberfest for 2012. The multi-week festival of beer, oompa music, and wurst always starts in late September. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture and has been held since 1810. Now Oktoberfests are celebrated in cities around the world.

The holiday started as a royal wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig, Beer must adhere to strict German Beer Purity laws (Reinheitsgebot) to be considered official Oktoberfest Beer.

Nov 29, 2011

Rocky Musical

 I don't even know why this deserves mentioning, but I can't help thinking how odd it is. Sylvester Stalone was in Germany for the announcement that he is producing a Rocky musical to be debuted in Hamburg next year. 

Why a musical and why Hamburg are the questions that make it so strange. It might be in case it bombs, we will never hear about it in the States. Of course, you did read it here.

Jul 8, 2011

What's in a Name Swastika

The swastika symbol has been around for thousands of years. early meaning from the word is translated as 'good to be' or 'well being'. It has long been popular in Eastern cultures and was a common decoration that often adorned postcards, coins, and buildings. During World War I, the swastika was found on the shoulder patches of the American 45th Division. American and Canadian Indians also used the symbol with various positive meanings.

Germany began using it during the 1800s because it had ancient Aryan/Indian origins, to represent a long Germanic/Aryan history (before Hitler). It is now outlawed in Germany.

In 1920, Hitler decided that the Nazi Party needed its own insignia and flag. The new flag had to be "a symbol of our own struggle" as well as "highly effective as a poster," from Mein Kampf. The symbol was turned on a 45 degree angle and took on a new meaning equated with hate, death, and murder. It became popularly used in his 1935 flag.

Budhists and Hindus continue to use it as a religious symbol. Since the Nazi use of the swastika, many are trying to differentiate the two meanings of the swastika by varying its direction, with the clockwise Nazi version to mean hate and death, and the counter-clockwise version to keep the ancient meaning of life and good-luck. Either way it will continue to evoke strong emotions.

Feb 18, 2011

Largest Picture in the World

It is almost the size of a football field. of course it was done by a German and it a panorama of Dresden, Germany. The site allows you to click on individual shots, like a statue, and the camera zooms in to show the detail.  LINK

Fascinating statistics: It was taken with a 400 mm lens camera and is a composite of 1,665 photos each about 21 megapixels in size. A robotic stand was used to capture the city in a rotation that took 172 minutes to complete. A  computer with 4 terabytes of hard disk space took 94 hours combine the individual photos together. Not sure why anyone would want to do such a thing, except for posterity or just so I might have something to share with you.

Nov 6, 2010

Adidas and Puma

German brother Adi and Rudolf Dassler founded their shoemaking firm in 1924. Twelve years later, Adi drove cross-country to Berlin, where he convinced Jesse Owens to wear his handmade running shoes in the Olympics. Owens won four gold medals, and the Dasslers’ white shoes became coveted by runners everywhere. But in 1948, after many years of feuding, the brothers split. Rudolph opened up a shop across the river and named his new enterprise Puma, while Adi renamed his company Adidas (the first three letters of his first and last names).