Tagged germany

Bearded Dragon Cam: why wouldn’t there be one?

In case you were wondering why there was no webcam devoted entirely to watching the activities of a single bearded dragon on a 24-7 basis, you can stop wondering. Why? Because that webcam now exists. That’s right, if you’re so bored you feel the need to watch a reptile that basically only moves to sleep, sun itself, and eat, you can do it. Thank you, the Internet, and thank you person in Germany who created this. If you hadn’t done it, someone else probably would’ve. But later on, most likely. Maybe even a year later.

Perish the thought.

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Berlin Portrait: A City Still Divided

A TV tower in Berlin in the former East Germany.
A TV tower in East Berlin.

Two years ago, in January of 2005, I was lucky enough to travel to Berlin for the purpose of writing a paper on East German punk rock. While there, I took a bunch of photos, mostly on the theme of the Wall, and the consequent division of the city, both phyisically and psychologically. Almost 20 years after that Wall came down, Berlin is still very much two cities-an Eastern metropolis quickly and ravenously consuming the trappings of Western consumerism, and a glittering Western icon and bastion of capitalism no longer surrounded by the dark threat of Communism.

A bus turnaround necessitated by the Wall.
Berlin Wall

Most people in the East speak two languages, as do their Western counterparts, but that language is Russian, not English. People my age remember the fall of the Wall vividly, as grandparents and other family members hitherto unreachable for over 30 years were suddenly a 10-minute subway ride away.

18 years ago, satellite dishes were illegal in this part of Berlin, as they carried only capitalist media.

Yet, in spite of the collapse of the physical divide, Berlin remains two cities, clearly demarcated by crumbling bits of the Wall and other fading symbols of the official separation. The unique feeling one gets in Berlin has stuck with me to this day. It is Germany’s most vibrant and cheerful city, yet the memory of its recent violent past still governs the countenances and attitudes of Berliners today. View the Flickr photostream from Berlin beginning here.
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