Spent the 1. Mai with friends at an alpine thermal spa getting my Wellness on. The good vibes lasted all day and through most of the first half of a stress-laden technical rehearsal, after which they wilted and died under the heat of the spotlights. But it was certainly good while it lasted.
Arts: The Telegraph (UK) has a nice feature article on the fine old tradition of finding ways to insert worldly fare into the church service music. I myself remember noticing a subtly modulated “Happy Birthday” being snuck into some post-communion incidental music, in honor of a particular chorister, back in the day.
Sports: Champions League in a nutshell for the uninitiated: this year, both semifinal match-ups consisted of a German team (Bayern, Borussia Dortmund) playing a Spanish team (Barcelona, Real Madrid respectively), and both German teams moved on to the finals. FC Bayern is the Yankees of German Fußball (wads of money and they win a lot), Dortmund almost went under from financial problems a few years ago (in fact, Bayern helped bail them out and keep them afloat.) The finale takes place May 25 in Wembley Stadium, be prepared for a lot of “German invasion” commentary on social media.
Education: When schoolkids have no clue, they get creative. Some of the best examples of pupils defacing their textbooks and exam papers, often in a last-ditch attempt for extra credit in creativity. My personal favorite is Nr 18, “Neandertallica”, but many of them are brilliant.
Travel: Andrew at German Joys recently linked to this video of a streetcar ride through East Berlin before Reunification. As it so happens, the Beau made money during his university years in East Berlin by driving trams — and so all this looked very familiar to him, it could very easily have been him in the video (it’s not).
History: According to this article in Live Science, the genetic make-up of the people living in Europe changed dramatically for as of yet unknown reasons about 4,500 years ago. Before that time Europeans shared their genetic heritage with people in Turkey and the Middle-East, and at some point after that, they no longer did. This just might be in line with what happened at the Goldbichl sacrificial burning site in Tirol — constant use until about 2000-1500 BC, then a few centuries of nothing, and then used again when the Raetians turned up.