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feeling all ostalgic

Listening to the BBC’s Newshour this morning, I got a heavy 20 minute dose of the Berlin Wall.  Sandwiched in between the remembering/reflecting on the wall and an analysis of the fall of communism was a brief report on people’s nostalgia for all things East German.  Apparently this nostalgia, more properly known as Ostalgie, is a hot topic to discuss.  Much like people of my generation reminisce about the introduction of New Coke, jelly shoes, and shows on Nickelodeon, many people who grew up in East Germany have fond/not so fond memories of products they grew up, cars that they drove, etc and extends even to new boutique hotels featuring “charming” Soviet design.

The 2002 movie “Good Bye, Lenin!” takes this to the extreme when a son recreates the world of East Germany for his mother who had fallen into a coma right before the fall of the GDR and whose doctors don’t think that she could stand the shock of a new world order.  Jokes about pickles and Trabants abound much like the memories of the Berliners interviewed in the BBC piece.

20 years later and the memories of mustard haven’t quite faded.


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camels on the loose

When I first heard a report about this on the radio today, I wondered why Australia would choose to cull its cattle herds in such a strange manner.  Surely there is a market for cows?  Maybe you could eat the meat?  Maybe their hides would make good boots?  Perhaps people need decorative skulls to paint?  Anyway, I eventually realized that the reporter was actually talking about camels, which is still puzzling but in a completely different way.

From my cursory studies of the Land Down Under and from my annual viewing of the Austalian Open, I am familiar with some of the continent’s fauna–koalas, kangaroos, dingos, and even the wombat.  I, however, never remember being told that Australia hosts about 1 million camels and that this particular population is causing great environmental distress as well as possible emotional distress for the people that encounter its wrath when the camel focuses its rage on their homes and persons.

Anyway, following in Alaska’s footsteps of dealing with wolves, Australia is planning to control its herds of camels (Do they move in herds?  Packs?  Mobs?) through sharpshooters taking out some of the animals from the comfort of a helicopter.  Cruel?  The most realistic option?  I don’t even pretend to know.  I do know, however, that after watching Bear Grylls playing house with a camel in the Sahara I would never want to encounter one on any continent.

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catlike reflexes

I once got a cockroach with a Rachel Ray magazine, but I think President Obama has me beat.

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the hypothetical becomes real

What would you do if you found $6 million?  These New Zealanders apparently didn’t have to think twice.

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busy times in Florida–or not

If you haven’t been keeping up with the rumors about congressmen and alligators in Florida, Stephen Colbert breaks it down for you.

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news quiz time again

4 out of 5 ain’t bad especially when you had only heard about one of the five stories.   Are you a good guesser?  Are you?

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quiz time

Dismal news week for me.  Shame I don’t know anything about hockey…

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