Category: Germany

Christmas Decor: Christmas Tree

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Artificial trees at John Lewis Photo by JMorton

Christmas Decor: Christmas Tree

It is widely believe that the Christmas tree started in Germany. Early Christians would bring in decorated trees inside their houses.

Apparently it was Martin Luther, credited for Protestant Reformation, who first decorated the Christmas tree with candles.

It is said that one winter evening, Martin Luther was deep in thought about his sermon when he  happen to look up and saw the lights of twinkling stars reflected between branches of trees.

Martin was in absolute awe.

He brought in a tree in his house and wired the branches to hold in the lit candles so his family can see what he saw and so admired.

That was the beginning of Christmas light.

…..
Every year, Oslo in Norway gifts the British people with a huge Christmas tree which is erected at Trafalgar Square. Oslo has been presenting the UK with a Christmas tree since 1947 as a show of their gratitude to the British during World Ward II.

If you happen to be near Trafalgar Square, the decorated tree can be seen from the beginning of December to the 6th of January.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Recipe: Stollen

Stollen

Stollen

Stollen is a traditional German cake.  It is a fruit cake made from chopped dried fruits, usually eaten during the Christmas season, when it is called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. (Wikipedia)

Christmas Recipe: Stollen

Ingredients:

325g strong white bread flour

7g sachet easy-blend yeast

45 golden caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

45g melted butter

100ml warm milk

100g soft dried apricots

100g raisins and sultanas mix

50g dried cherries

4 tbsp orange liqueur

100g pistachio nuts

60g dried cranberries

100 white chocolate, chopped

3 tsp icing sugar

Preparation:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and sugar.

Add the beaten egg, butter and milk.

Mix these together and when a ball had formed, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough had turned smooth and elastic.

Put in a bowl and cover with cling film and let it stand under room temperature for at least an hour, to give the dough a chance to double its size.

Now, put the apricots and the orange liqueur into a pan and warm for a couple of minutes so the apricots absorb the liqueur.  Transfer into a bowl to cool.

Using a food processor, blitz the pistachios until finely ground, then add the cranberries, white chocolate, sultanas and raisins as well as the cherries and the apricot mix. Blend lightly for a few second just to combine.

Put these in a cling film and pat it into a roll, measuring 10 inches long and then put in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade.

Meanwhile, roll out the bread dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a rectangular shape measuring 11 by 7 inches.

Put the apricot mix on top of the dough.

Brush the edges with water.

Begin to fold the dough over the apricot stuffing.  This should look like a Swiss roll or a log.

Be sure to press the edges to seal.

Transfer the log into a baking sheet and put in the preheated oven for half an hour or until the log has risen a bit more and had turned golden.

Cool on a wire rack and then dust generously with the icing sugar.

Enjoy and have a lovely, smashing Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Combustible Cow Farts (Flatulence) Blows Up Cowshed!

Here is a story to hopefully make you smile and banish those Monday blues. 🙂

Most of us are aware that cows and other grazing cattle produce a lot of methane gas, a greenhouse gas and highly combustible too!

At a cowshed in Rasdorf, Germany 90 cows produced so much methane gas that it caught fire and blew up the shed

farting-cow

The gas had steadily built up in the structure and was ignited on Monday when ‘a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames,’ the police said in a statement.

It is estimated that cow made methane produced is 500 litres (liters) (about 132 gallons) a day. A large volume of methane, comparable to the pollution produced by a car in a day.

Luckily only one cow suffered minor injuries but the shed now needs a new roof 😉

Congratulations to Angela Merkel

Global Granary would like to congratulate Angela Merkel in winning a third term as  Chancellor of Germany with her  Christian Democratic Union  (CDU) party. She is a fair, safe pair of hands and has been outstanding in guiding Germany particularly in Europe.  She  must now form a new ruling coalition, with the Social Democrats (SPD) seen as likely partners.  Mrs Merkel is reminiscent of our indomitable Iron Lady, former Prime Minster and much missed  Margaret  Thatcher.

Angela_Merkel_(2008)

Congratulations, Julia Plecher

Bravo Julia. I salute you. I know how it feels to run on high heels. I do it all the time, crossing a busy dual carriageway, or running for the bus. It makes you heart race, beat like a drum and pump like a steam engine. LOL  The adrenalin is working overdrive and your brain is in constant worry that you might break a leg in the middle of the motorway. Ouchhh!!! Or much worst break a heel.

You are a hero, Julia. Your Guiness record is for women who have to walk and run errands on high heels.

18 years old, Julia Plecher of Ruchersdorf, Germany ran 100 metres in 14.531 seconds which earned her a world record as well as the Guiness world record.

To understand the record, let’s compare Julia’s record to Usain Bolt. Usain world record is 9.8 seconds.

ahhhh

Julia has this to advise to ladies and some men who wear high heels.

“You need shoes which ideally are closed in the front because you run on the front part of the foot. You have to be careful not to slip out. I think sandals would not be too appropriate.”

The 18-year-old Julia Plecher with start number 88 wins on Saturday in Berlin, the "Stiletto Run" Glamour magazine

   

The winner Plecher (right) secured a voucher worth 10 000 euros. Photo: AP

Julia Plecher at the finish line after 14.2 seconds.

 The 100 participants came from all over Germany in order to run 100 meters on high heels and the stilettos had to be at least three inches high and up to 1.5 cm wide.

Dr Rudolph Virchow

 

Dr Rudolph Virchow

On the Modern Times and the Living Past 

                     The other friend of Rizal I hardly knew

                                            By

                                      Jose Sison Luzadas

                                          Delray Beach, FL

                                         Rudolph Virchow

            Dr. Rudolf Virchow

                                                                          Source:internet

If there was one man other than Ferdinand Blumentrtitt who by just delivering an obituary boasted so much credibility on who Rizal was, is no one but this famous German pathologist. Besides, he also a world renown anthropologist, public health activist, prehistorian, biologist and politician. He is referred to as the “Father of Pathology,” and founded the field of Social Medicine. More famous too because it was he who put an end to the search in the quest for the “missing link”!

His name is Dr. Rudolf Virchow whom Rizal met when Blumentritt introduced him. Dr. Rudolf Virchow who at that time was a member of the German parliament and president of the Berlin Society delivered his obituary to Dr. Jose Rizal during a meeting of paleontologists, pathologists, archeologists and other members of the Berlin Society to which Rizal was a member. It happened in 1897, one year after Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan on December 30, 1896.

 

 An excerpt from the obituary runs;

“In the penetrating psychological analysis of the man by Mr. Blumentritt there is mention of Rizal’s sensitivity as an artist, Mr. Blumentritt being the possessor of three terracotta statues: 1) Prometheus Bound, 2) “The Victory of Death Over Life” and 3) The Triumph of the Intellect over Death.

We are losing in Rizal not only a faithful friend of Germany and German scholarship but also the only man with sufficient knowledge and resolution to open a way for modern thought into that far-off island world.”

 

Rizal demonstrated as multi talented man not just in medicine and literature but also what Rudolf Virchow described “sensitivity as an ARTIST”.

The three pieces of artwork mentioned were originally made from terracotta. They are (1) Prometheus Bound, (2) The Triumph of Intellect over Death and (3) Victory of death over Life.

In the first artwork, Rizal showed his interest in Greek mythology by using a mythical hero, Prometheus whose hands were tied to a rock with an eagle as guard, watching at the same time devouring his liver as punishment.

If we go back to Greek mythology, Prometheus was of one the Gods in Mount Olympus with whom  the BIG Chief, Zeus ordered him to be shackled in the rock with the eagle guarding to prevent his escape.

  Prometheus has nothing but pity and sympathy to man because man was created as slave, born to be stupid, obedient and has no facility to reason out. 

One day when Zeus was sleeping Prometheus stole a fire and gave it man. Thus putting an end to man’s stupidity.

 

By receiving the fire, man is now equipped with “knowledge”, “intelligence” and “independence”.  Angry for having been deceived and sold out by a lesser god, Zeus exacted his revenge against Prometheus.  Rizal’s sculpture shows Prometheus with both hands tied to big rock, receiving his punishment from an eagle assigned to eat his liver the whole day while guarding until evening comes when it  goes home. Overnight the livers grow again and it became a by routine until Prometheus was finally rescued by Herakles or Hercules.

The use of the mythic hero Prometheus has special meaning to explain Rizal’s philosophy. Did he not say in the NOLI that he is going to remove the veil of ignorance to open the minds of his countrymen through education?

Therefore symbols like Light, Torch and Fire could mean Knowledge, Learning, enlightened education, awakening, liberation and emancipation. 

Let’s go back to our elementary and high school years when we are required to use a “NOTE BOOK” for writing and homework? In the cover page made from “manila paper” there is a picture of a TORCH and around it is boldly printed “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER” or “ANG KARUNUNGAN AY TANGLAW”.

The second Rizal artwork illustrates “The Triumph of Intellect Over Death”.  Rizal used the symbolic TORCH or LIGHT to wipe out ignorance, superstition and darkness.

A close look at the third artwork demonstrates how sensitive Rizal was on the grim reality of death when mortal life is extinguished.  “The Victory of Death over Life” as the title he gave reflects the popular theme when the evil forces of darkness gain upper hand from the forces of good and righteousness.

 

Depicting the interplay of life and death is still popular theme among writers, dramatists, poets, philosophers and composers from the Renaissance to the present.

 

German Sayings & Proverbs

Brandenburg Gate, Germany

Brandenburg Gate, Germany

german_facts

German Sayings & Proverbs

~~
A bade thing that does no harm is the same as a good one that does no good.
– Germany
~~
A single penny fairly got is worth a thousand that are not.
– German

A sponge sucks itself full, but when it has to yield anything one has to squeeze it.
– Germany

At a round table, every seat is first.
– Germany
~~~
Before God and the bus driver we are all equal.
– Germany
~~~
Better ask twice than go wrong once.
– German Proverb

Both legs in the stocks or only one is all the same.
– German Proverb

Better silent than stupid.
– German

Black cows give white milk.
– Germany

~~~
Every work revenges itself on its master.
– Germany
~~~
For the diligent, a week has seven days; for the slothful, seven tomorrows.
– Germany
~~~
God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.
– German Proverb

Health is rightly appreciated only when we are sick.
—German Proverb.

He that is well does not know how rich he is.
Better a healthy beggar, than a sick king.
—German Proverb.
…..
Invalids live longest.
– German
~~~
It is better to turn back than to go astray.
—From the German.
~~~
Let everyone sweep before their own door.
– Germany

Let every pedlar carry his own pack.
– Germany
~~~
Love takes away the sight and matrimony restores it.
– Germany
~~~
Lovers have much to relate – but it is always the same thing.
– German Proverb

~~~
Many speak a word which if it were a florin they would put back in their purse.
– Germany
~~~
Never give advice unless asked.
– German Proverb

~~~
No one knows the weight of another’s burden.
—German.
~~~
No tree falls on the first stroke.
– Germany
~~~
Nothing should be done in a hurry except catching fleas.
– Germany
~~~
No one can blow and swallow at the same time.
– German Proverb
~~~
Old bird are hard to pluck.
– German
~~~
One bird in the dish is better than a hundred in the air.
– Germany
~~~
One rotten egg spoils the whole pudding.
– German Proverb

~~~
Promise is a bridge of words, unsafe to walk across.
– Germany
~~~
The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.
– Germany

Those who have only one bow should be content with one fiddle.
– Germany

Truth is the daughter of time.
– Germany

Two things make one either greater or smaller, praise and shadows.
– German Proverb

~~~
When the fox preaches, look to your geese.
– German

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost, when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
– German

What greater crime than loss of time.
– Germany

Where everyone goes, the grass never grows.
Germany

~~~
Without a friend the world is but a wilderness.
—German.

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