Monday, May 25, 2015

In the News IV

Other than the usual news about past, present, and pending train driver strikes, kindergarten personnel strikes, bus driver strikes, postal worker strikes, and injuries and deaths due to traffic accidents, there hasn't been a lot of stuff to report that you folks haven't heard about yourselves. For this thread I like to find unique blurbs that make me think, "Huh. Well that's new."

These are the stories that caught my eye recently.

High Dining

Did you know that a town in the Schwabenland - Baiersbronn - has more chefs with Michelin stars factoring for population than any other place in Germany? One of these star chefs has recently created several menus for Lufthansa! His name is Harald Wohlfahrt, he is one of Germany's best chefs, and apparently the New York Times counts him as one of the ten best chefs in the world*. He runs the Traube in Tonbach, and although M and I have been to Baiersbronn a few times, we have not yet eaten there. 

Passengers flying long distance with Lufthansa in May and June can enjoy his creations, which should be a real treat!

The only catch is that you have to fly first class.

*Kienzle, Ulrich. Ulrich Kienzle und die Siebzehn Schwaben. Sagas.edition, Stuttgart, 2012. Page 52.

Schwarzwälder-Bote WOM; 8. May, 2015

20 Year Anniversary: Stuttgarter Roßbolla

The "Stuagerder Roßbolla" is a tasty treat whose name translates to Stuttgart Road Apples, or Stuttgart Horse Turds. This should surprise no one who knows that another Swabian sweet is called Nonnenfürzle (little nuns' farts) and thick Swabian noodles are called Buabaspitzle (little boys' tips). These Roßbolla - chocolate-covered candies made of nougat, vanilla flavoring, hazelnuts, and more chocolate - were created  in 1995 by a Swabian confectionary and were intended to remember the days when steaming piles of horse dung were scattered all over Stuttgart's streets.

Ah....the memories.

23. May, 2015

Wanted: Executioners

Lately in Saudi Arabia there have been so many death sentences handed out (85 so far this year - almost as many as in the whole of 2014) that the country's six executioners are overwhelmed by the work load. The kingdom has advertised in its online job portal for eight men who are interested in being commissioned in the name of the religion to carry out the growing number of beheadings and chopping off of hands and/or legs in accordance with the Scharia laws. About half of those executed were foreigners, and about 40% of the executions were the result of drug offences.

No special qualifications are required of applicants (except, I guess, the willingness and ability to chop off another human being's head or limbs).
20. May, 2015

Dirty Germans??

According to a recent study, these days Germans are spending 2.5 fewer hours cleaning every week than they did ten years ago. While I have to doubt this is also the case in the Schwabenland, the question is whether German homes are dirtier or if there is some other meaning behind this strangeness. Four theories were offered.
  1. Demographics: Perhaps the older generation spent more time cleaning, and since Oma is now in her 80s, she's spending less time with the Putzlappen (cleaning rag) and more time resting. Plausible.
  2. Technology: The average German is more modern than his reputation. Max Mustermann* has bought a vacuum cleaner robot and he mows his lawn on Saturdays with a remote control mower. Among those who have money to burn, perhaps.
  3. Cleaning Agencies: Modern Germans just don't have the time anymore, so they hire someone to clean their homes. Unlikely in the Schwabenland, but plausible elsewhere.
  4. Young Helpers: A new generation of cleaning freaks is taking the work load off the older generation. When teenagers get bored with their smart phones and tablets, they grab the Putzlappen and help out their parents. Uh...possible, but unlikely.
It can't possibly be that German homes are dirtier, can it? If that's the case, I haven't seen the evidence. But, as former Schlagerstar Roberto Blanco crooned back in the 80s, "Ein bisschen Schmutz darf sein!" ("a little dirt is allowed!").

*Max Mustermann is the German name for Mr. Anybody - like John Doe in the U.S..
20. May, 2015

And thus endeth another installment of "In the News".


  1. I have actually seen one of those lawn mowing robots on an actual lawn in Germany, so it's not impossible that people also have the vacuuming ones.

    1. I actually had one of those lawn mowing robots in the States, and it was pretty ridiculous. It was funny to see people's faces when they walked by... The lawn is never completely or neatly mowed, though, and eventually it ate the kids' badminton net. I can imagine the vacuum cleaner works the same way - sure, it drives itself around and sucks dust, but no room is ever spotless.

  2. Yeah you have to be careful with the set up of those things. Unless you have a clear path for it to follow you could run into problems. Not to mention their vast expense makes them a target for thieves....