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

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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

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

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

Tipp No. 145: “Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Lemon and Parmesan Cheese” (Summer Recipe)

Food, Tipps
Barbecue Season! Do you like to try a new summer salad recipe?

Ingredients

  • 5 small zucchini, trimmed and peeled into ribbons
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Instructions (Prep Time: 15 min)

1. Toss the zucchini ribbons, salt and pepper, olive oil and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning. Once coated arrange them on a serving platter.
2. Top the zucchini ribbons with Parmesan cheese shavings, mint and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Quote No. 3: “Real Patriots” – by Carl Sagan

Insights, Tipps

“Real patriots ask questions.”
(Carl Sagan)

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astro-biologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. He is best known for his work as a science popularizer and communicator. His best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued the now accepted hypothesis that the high surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to and calculated using the greenhouse effect.

Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He wrote many popular science books, such as The Dragons of EdenBroca’s Brain and Pale Blue Dot, and narrated and co-wrote the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The most widely watched series in the history of American public television, Cosmos has been seen by at least 500 million people across 60 different countries. The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. He also wrote the science fiction novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name. His papers, containing 595,000 items, are archived at The Library of Congress.

Sagan advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Sagan and his works received numerous awards and honors, including the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book The Dragons of Eden, and, regarding Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, two Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award, and the Hugo Award. He married three times and had five children. After suffering from myelodysplasia, Sagan died of pneumonia at the age of 62, on December 20, 1996.

Postcard No. 2: Sylt – The Queen of the North Sea

Reisen, Sports, Tipps, Travel
d-sylt-stage-mobil

Hello,

Most people abroad think Germany is all about Bavaria, Alpes, Castles and Oktoberfest…That`s a pity because Germany is much more versatile.

Look at the North Frisian Island “SYLT” in the very North of Germany close to the Danish border for instance.

The island is well-known for its unique shape and its 40-km-long (25-mile) sandy beach that has a number of surf schools and also a nude section.

Sylt is also popular for second home owners, and many German celebrities who own vacation homes on “the island”. Thus, many of the wonderful, traditional Frisian-style houses with thatched roofs are owned by wealthy people now.

Sylt is frequently covered by the media in connection with its exposed situation in the North Sea and its ongoing loss of land during storm tides. Since 1927, Sylt has been connected to the mainland by the Hindenburgdamm causeway (today with a railway line on top).

Thanks to this Hindenburgdamm, the entire Island was turned into a Fortress during WWII. below the beautiful dunes at the shore, you can still find a few hidden bunkers.

In the past, the wealth of Sylt was dependent on fishing, whaling and oyster breeding. Today, Sylt and its healthy climate is a popular, sophisticated tourist destination for visitors with a more generuous holiday budget.

Sylt is an atrractive windsurfing & kite-surfing destination. The international Windsurf World Cup Sylt, established in 1984, is annually held at Westerland’s beach front.
Sailing, beach volleyball, horseback riding and golfing are also very popular.
Furthermore, the Island offers a wide range of Wellness & Spa packages.
Frequently, there is the opportunity to attend concerts, readings, arts seminars and exhibitions.
The visitors are also invited to make a trip to the seal sandbanks or to join a guided tour through the intertidal mudflat.

Of course, Sylt is famous for ist seafood (Lobster & oysters) but offers also all kind of alternative cuisines. The Island gives home to a number of high-class restaurants.

The Must-See on Sylt is the “Sansibar” Restaurant & Party Location (with an excellent cuisine) in the dunes that includes a fashion, souvenir & gift, wine shop – and runs also an online shop today.

sansibar
Sylt

Sylt is definetely worth a trip. Even in the high Season, you will find “your beach”. Except of Westerland (Capitol City) you won`t find many “construction sins” (ugly new Buildings). Sylt never supported mass tourism. This attitude might be snobbish but admittedly has got ist positive side effects…

Sylt offers relaxed life quality in all facettes.

Tipp No. 143: Bavarian Beer Garden Sausage Salad (Recipe)

Food, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

Bavarian Wurstsalat is a traditional summer dish or to be more precisely for beer garden season but also barbecues at home. Like of potato salad, there are more than 1001 variants of Wurstsalat available. Common denominators are sliced sausages, cheese and pickles. 

INGREDIENTS

(4 servings, time for prep: 10 min.)

  • 4 cups ring bologna, finely sliced, 300g
  • 2 cups Emmental cheese, finely sliced, 200g
  • 1 cup pickles, finely sliced, 100g
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp brine from the pickles
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • parsely
  • 2-3 Onions in rings for decoration
  • Optional: 4 diced hard boiled eggs
  • Optional: 8 planed garden radish …or radish for decoration (instead of radish you can add chive too)
  • Optional: diced red and yellow pepper
  • Rye-Bread and / or soft pretzels with butter (optional: spread chive over the buttered side of the bread / soft pretzel)

Note: There are sausage salad variants without any cheese too.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine sliced ring bologna, Emmental cheese, and pickles in a big bowl.
  2. In a small bowl combine vinegar, sunflower oil, water, and brine from the pickles. Add to the big bowl.
  3. Combine everything and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 3 hours.
  5. Garnish with parsley and onions rings (optional) and serve with rustic bread.
  6. Enjoy some beer garden feeling, Prost!

Tipp No. 28: “TEXTILE INSTALLATIONS” (meeting today`s “Fast Fashion” Trend) by the Finish Artist Kaarina Kaikkonen

arts, Kunst, Tipps
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ABOUT KAARINA KAIKKONEN

Born in Iisalmi, Finland 1952 | Lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

Kaarina Kaikkonen, one of our most internationally recognized sculptors and artists, is known for shaping urban landscapes and emphasizing community through her installations. In her works, one can find references to current themes of humanity’s place in their own time, and of basic needs that always exist regardless of environment or culture. Old clothes contain the former user’s presence, which wraps around Kaikkonen’s story and places the viewer before something new and unknown, but at the same time exceedingly familiar and intimate.

The impressive installations made out of mens’ jackets and shirts are well known both in Finland and globally such as in the US, Cuba, Canada, Japan and Great Britain. Her first installation was on display in Helsinki in 1988. In Finland, one of her most famous works is the ‘Way’ -installation, which she built on the steps of Helsinki Cathedral in 2000. Her pieces can be found in several collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki City Art Museum, and Espoo Museum of Modern Art of EMMA.

Kaikkonen studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts School and was awarded the National Visual Arts Prize in 1989, the Finland Prize of Art in 2001, and in 2013 the Order of the Lion of Finland awarded her Knight, First Class. Kaikkonen has also received international awards such as Public Prize in Den Haag Sculptuur in the Netherlands in 2004 and Honorable Mention at the Cairo 11th Biennale in Egypt in 2009.

Galerie Forsblom has been representing Kaarina Kaikkonen since 2008.

web: http://www.galerieforsblom.com/