Insight No. 100: “Your Opinion – Your Vote.” +++ European Elections 23rd – 26th May 2019 +++ Europe Matters!

arts, Creatures, Food, humor, Insights, Movie, Nature, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel, Uncategorized
Left vs Right ….is there any centre left?

I am sure, all of you have got an opinion.

Thus, please participate in the European elections 2019.

These EU elections (23rd – 26th May 2019; in Germany: 26th May 2019) will set the course for the future of European nations and the European Union.

Basic decisions will be made in the following 5 years…
Considering the dispute about the future scope of cooperation within the EU covering topics like: trade & customs union, freedom of movement, inclusion in terms of common social standards & workers rights, joint foreign policy, harmonized asylum / migration policy, EU armed forces, tax law, joint R&D and digital transformation, climate change issues, further EU East expansion etc., everybody should participate. Europe matters.

Of course, the EU needs to be reformed asap. Do you really want stakeholders to do it, you cannot support?

Even in the event that you want an EU exit, you have to vote. Fastest way to destroy the EU is to foster a Dexit, by the way. Maybe, a complete liquidation of the EU will provide the opportunity to create a better EU version, who knows? Okay, I do not want to become polemic and speculative. Whatever you prefer, vote!

Facing growing extremism, nationalism and emotional tensions between EU-hostile right-wing and left-wing parties like a “tug of war” across Europe, everybody has to show his/her colors in my view.
Otherwise, non-voters should be silent and should not complain anymore.

Sorry, I couldn`t resist….
A good sense of humor is the superior stress management tool….let`s love & hate each other passionately.

Shared No. 110: First e-Book “Seasons Of Friendship” — by the illustrator & author John Spiers (Blog: My Life With Gracie)

Cartoons, Creatures, humor, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Psychologie, psychology, Tipps, Zen

Heart-warming wisdom and charming dialogues between Gracie and her feathered sisters and their loving human father John Spiers …

“Seasons of Friendship” is the very first book with beautifully illustrated stories from John`s tiny urban coop.
The perfect giveaway to express your appreciation not only to your friends but also to others who might become your friends soon…
And do not forget to be your own best friend too!

All royalties from the first publication “Seasons Of Friendship” until the end of the year will be given to the women’s group at St. John’s Church in Portsmouth / USA, as agreed with John`s big-hearted Buff Orpington hens Gracie and Bessie.

For more details about the e-book “Seasons of Friendship” (Barnes & Noble), cuteness & kindness overload and food for thoughts, feel free to visit John Spiers Blog: “My Life With Gracie”

You can learn a lot from a chicken, especially when it’s a chicken like Gracie! Timid and shy, Gracie stayed mostly to herself and away from the other young chicks. Without her best friend, Bessie, she may never have survived those difficult first weeks. The stories in this collection take place over a single year […]

“Seasons Of Friendship” — My Life With Gracie
Group Portrait of John`s chicken family
including fluffy Blanche (middle row, left side), who unfortunately passed away Eastern.
We will miss you!
Amelia & Bessie

Tipp No. 87: “Europe According To” – Funny Maps of Europe by Yanko Tsvetkov (Bulgaria)

arts, humor, Insights, Kunst, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Reisen, Travel

Now that the question of European “unity” is debatable, the red line between reality and satire becomes even thinner. Exactly this “core of truth” is the reason why Yanko`s maps are so funny.

In my view, it would make sense to add China`s perspective. I already thought about the idea to do this job on my own. A dialogue with my Chinese colleagues to exchamge prejudices in a friendly atmosphere might be fun… And what`s about India` s view on Europe?

Europe according to England / UK
Europe according to France
Europe according to Germany
Europe according to Switzerland
Italy
Greece
Spain
Poland
Turkey (Note: If Turkey belongs to Europe at all is controversial)
Russia
USA

YANKOV TSVETKOV

The official stereotype lab of Yanko Tsvetkov, a bestselling author, prolific cartographer, and leading international bigotry professional with a taste for salacious political incorrectness and unconventional historical studies. Opinions are not his own, he’s merely a curator …..According to himself.

Please, have a look at international bestseller “The “Atlas of Prejudice” by Yankov too if you are interested in more stereotypes: https://atlasofprejudice.com/

Postcard No. 6: “The Spreewald” – Time-out at the Gates of Berlin (Germany)

Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
Boote im Spreewald

Hello to all of you,

Did you know that you can escape from the hustle & bustle of Berlin easily and quickly? The SPREEWALD (German for ‘Spree Forest’; in Lower Sorbian: Błota, i.e. ‘the Swamps’) might be your final resort located about 100 km South-East of Berlin.

The picturesque Spreewald in Brandenburg was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1991. Actually, about 18,000 species of flora and fauna have been counted.

It is well-known for its unique, traditional irrigation system, consisting of more than 200 small canals (called Fließe; total length: 1,300 km) within the 484-square-kilometre (187 sq mi) area. The landscape was shaped during the ice-age. Alder forests on wetlands and pine forests on sandy dry areas are characteristic for the region. Grasslands and fields can be found as well.

About 50,000 people live in the biosphere reserve (1998). Many of the People Living in the Spreewald are descendants of the first settlers in the Spreewald region, the Slavic tribes of the Sorbs/Wends. They have preserved their traditional language, customs and clothing to this day. In Lübbenau, there is a Special Museum that introduces the old culture of this minority. An open air Museum in Lehde showcases an entire reconstructed traditional Spreewald Village.

The Spreewald is a popular tourist destination that offers two aqua parcs including Wellness & spa and Fitness facilities in the area. The Spreewald is also known throughout Germany for the production of natural organic products like pickles, cucumbers, mustard, herbs etc..

You can explore this fascinating nature by doing idyllic boat trips in traditional punts or by yourself with a canoe. By land you can discover this beautiful countryside on a walking tour or by bike.

THE SPREEWALD – A TIME-OUT AT THE GATES OF BERLIN.

spreeeee

Poem No. 175: “Childhood” – by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)

Gedichte, poems

It would be good to give much thought, before
you try to find words for something so lost,
for those long childhood afternoons you knew
that vanished so completely -and why?

We’re still reminded-: sometimes by a rain,
but we can no longer say what it means;
life was never again so filled with meeting,
with reunion and with passing on

as back then, when nothing happened to us
except what happens to things and creatures:
we lived their world as something human,
and became filled to the brim with figures.

And became as lonely as a shepherd
and as overburdened by vast distances,
and summoned and stirred as from far away,
and slowly, like a long new thread,
introduced into that picture-sequence
where now having to go on bewilders us. 

Poem No. 174: “Growth” – by Walterrean Salley

poems, Gedichte
banyan tree

Getting taller every day, 
Blossoming along the way.
More of beauty, and less hype; 
Developing your unique type.

Note the flowers for example: 
Seeds planted in the soil
Neither grow, nor develop
Without a bit of toil.

Whether a child maturing, 
Or a parent full of pride, 
An enterprise—just begun, 
Or a business venturing wide, 

For every little effort
Mid verdant strides each day, 
There’ll be growing pains
All along the way. 

Insight No. 99: “Maria 2.0 – Church Strike of Catholic Women in Germany”

Insights, Oddities
"We have got enough duties. Now, we want to get more rights!" 
(cit. Ursula Brintrup)
Maria 2.0 Poster
Vigil in front of the Catholic cathedral in Münster

Last week, angry women have been on a strike all over Germany. They laid down their Catholic honor posts and didn`t enter any church for one week to outline their claim for the abolishment of the mandatory celibacy, the complete clearing up of all molestation cases and unrestricted access to all functions, offices and posts across all hierarchies including priestly offices in the church. Many bishops have criticized this movement that originally started in Münster and spread across Germany quickly.

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode: “The impatience of many women must be perceived.”

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode supported the initiative “Maria 2.0″. He is the head of the women commission of the German Bishop Conference. He outlined that the impatience of the women must be perceived. The women are deeply hurt because they do not feel accepted in the Catholic church, as it should be considering their engagement.”

The two big women Catholic associations KDFB and KFD are supporting the agenda of “Maria 2.0” (Note: excluding the growing claim for subjection of the Catholic Church under the worldly law framework) as well as hundreds of other associations and entire rural and urban church communities across Germany. In particular in Hamburg, Berlin and Freiburg the movement “Maria 2.0” experienced huge solidarity.

Maria 2.0 is regarded as a starting shot.

Church of England General Synod
Poll among German Catholics:
1st chart: Marriage of Catholic priests
2nd chart: Women as Catholic priests
3rd chart: New marriage of divorced people

Interestingly, I couldn`t find any statistics about the number of Catholic women voluntary working for the German churches. Sorry.

Continuously shrinking number of church members

Of the 82,7 mio. people, who are living in Germany, about 54% are members of Christian churches.

  • The number of Protestants decreased by 390.000 members in 2017 resulting in 21,5 mio remaining members in total (- 1,8 %).
  • The number of Catholics shrinked by 270.000 members in 2017 according to the DBK resulting in 23,3 mio members in total.

In 2016, in total 530.000 members left the 2 Christian churches.

Church representatives state that the demographic change but also the spirit of the time is responsible for the continued shrinking of the Christian churches in Germany. Religion is increasingly regarded as a private affair only. Individualization, religious pluralism and the era of global changes might have an impact on the attractiveness of the churches.

Despite of the loss of members both churches received record numbers of church taxes (2017: in total € 11,6 bn).

Tipp No. 146: “Shrimp Garden Packs” (Recipe)

Food, Tipps
Oven- or BBQ Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced into half moons (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 small yellow squash, ends trimmed, sliced into quarters (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped into chunks and separated
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn
  • 1 1/4 lbs. large (21/25) raw shrimp, peeled and deviened
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste, optional) or chili or sambal oelek
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving
  • garlic (optional)

Instructions

Prep Time: 20 min; Cooking Time: 12 min

  1. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut 8 sheets of 12 by 14-inch heavy duty aluminum foil. Use two sheets of foil per packet.
  3. To a large mixing bowl add zucchini, squash, tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, corn and shrimp.
  4. Drizzle over olive oil then sprinkle over garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, paprika, celery seed, thyme and cayenne pepper.
  5. Toss mixture well to evenly coat.
  6. Layer two sheets of foil per packet, with the first sheet of foil laying in opposite direction of the second. Divide mixture among double lined foil adding it to the center in a rectangular shape.
  7. Wrap up sides of first sheet of foil and roll edges several times to seal, then place second sheet going opposite length and wrap while rolling edges to seal.
  8. Grill until shrimp is cooked through, about 12 – 14 minutes, while filliping packets over to opposite side once halfway through grilling.
  9. Carefully open packets as steam will escape. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon juice for spritzing.
  10. Serve with rice, Asian noodles or white bread / Baguette