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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Past & The Present

I am German. I was born decades after World War II. I grew up around the world, which early on gave me an idea of what most people thought of Germans. Being taunted with unflattering names by other kids was one way I found out, another clear message came via movies and television. From the terrorists in Die Hard to the kidnappers in The Big Lebowski the bad guys were always German.
This changed after 9/11. Not completely (how many times the war was evoke when analyzing German soccer this summer, I stopped counting), but mostly.
Now every Muslim is suspect.
But let's get back to my ethnicity. I am German, which means that I was educated about the Holocaust and World War II starting in elementary school. Germany history is not something that Germans (nor should we) can escape.
So when I hear suggestions of seizing 45-51 Park Place I become alarmed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Someone once said to me, that they don't put anything on their skin that they would not eat.
The skin is our largest organ. So to me it makes sense to be careful of what cosmetics to use. I rarely wear make-up. So that is one of the check list. But I do wear sunscreen and use moisturizers. My plan is to switch to grape seed oil or olive oil instead of body lotion (even though I wonder if that affects one's blood work too).
And any other cosmetics I use I will investigate at www.ewg.org first.
My dental hygienist is always surprised when I tell him that I don't use mouthwash. I tell him that I just don't like all the ingredients in it. I am not at all against progress or modern medicine. But I also think we don't know everything and in the mean time it is best to use some caution and avoid substances that are not essential and that we might not fully understand.
You should not drive yourself crazy, but one should be aware. At least that is what I think.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

20 Million

Thinking of Pakistan today. It is hard to comprehend that as many as 20 Million people might have been displaced by the recent floods. You can read more about U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's recent visit to the disaster area at: www.nytimes.com.