A nice Berlin graffito

Berlin graffiti

  Somebody has gone about town putting highly literate graffiti on the stones of Berlin -- at least along one branch of the River Spree near the Museumsinsel.  There are quotes from Brecht, Yeats, Goethe, and many others. I like the one above, by an author that I didn't recognize:  "The people who make the world worse never take a day off." And some of them, it seems to me, are especially active online.  Posted from Berlin, G … [Read more...]

Rampant sexism in Berlin? Coupled with a condemnatory look at Amerika

The office of the German chancellor

  I learned yesterday that Berliners refer to the Bundeskanzleramt, the office of the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, as "Angela's Waschmaschine." This is plainly a demeaning and sexist allusion to the gender of the current occupant of that office, Angela Merkel. And that's not all.  They call the headquarters of her political party "Angela's Bügeleisen" (her "iron"). I can imagine the howls of radical feminists in A … [Read more...]

A Thursday in and around Berlin

Hueguenot church in Berlin

  We spent some of today simply riding around Berlin on a bus, having a look at the city as a whole.  We passed by such places as "Checkpoint Charlie," the former headquarters of Hermann Göring's Luftwaffe, the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the enormous "Tiergarten," and so forth. We paid a visit to the Friedrichstadtkirche, the church built on the Gendarmenmarkt for the exiled French Huguenots, and were pleased to hear a performance of an organ piece by Di … [Read more...]

Do atoms “know” whether or not they’re being observed?

Always struck me as weird.

  "My own suspicion," wrote the British geneticist and evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane (d. 1964), "is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose." "If you think you understand quantum mechanics," the late Nobel Physics laureate Richard Feynman is said to have quipped, "you don't understand quantum mechanics." Have a go at this o … [Read more...]

What is most terrible?

Goethe profile

  "Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action."  (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)  Posted from Berlin, Germany    … [Read more...]

NPR: Brandon Flowers’s Killer Mormon Faith

Hungarian photo of Brandon Flowers

  An interesting interview on National Public Radio: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/26/409671982/desired-effect-reveals-how-important-family-is-to-rocker-brandon-flowers  Posted from Berlin, Germany    … [Read more...]

“Sons of Nones”

Berliner Dom by Abendlicht

  What lesson should we learn from the fact that a record number of Americans, especially among the youth, declare themselves "nones" when asked to what religion they belong? How should those of us react who don't feel like celebrating this trend, if it's real? Here are some brief reflections on the subject: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/05/sons-of-nones  Posted from Berlin, Germany    … [Read more...]

“Joseph Smith’s vision of the 3 degrees of glory was a gift from God”

Brueghel the Younger, picture of creation

  This week's Thursday column for the Deseret News is now up: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865629532/This-vision-was-a-gift-from-God.html  Posted from Berlin, Germany    … [Read more...]