Habe ich eigentlich einen Migrationshintergrund? — Das Quiz!
The Christmas Truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into “no man’s land”, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another.
On a snowy Wednesday morning in early February, a team of Red ethnographers is spread around a long table, thinking about food. The firm’s New York office is near the southern tip of Manhattan, high up in the old Standard Oil Building on what was once John D. Rockefeller’s floor. Far below, ships and barges steam down the Hudson into the Upper New York Bay; the famed Charging Bull statue is right outside the building. When Red moved in, Madsbjerg had the space painted entirely in black and white. “I don’t like colors much,” he says, almost apologetically. He’s 39, pale and thin, and on most days the red date numeral on his white-faced Rolex is the only splash of color on his person.
In London, at the age of 31, [Nancy Wake] became one of 39 women, and 430 men, recruited into the French Section of the British Special Operations Executive. She was trained in guerrilla fighting techniques and parachuted back into France in April 1944.
Nancy recalled later in life that her parachute had snagged in a tree. The French resistance fighter who freed her said he wished all trees bore “such beautiful fruit”. Nancy retorted: “Don’t give me that French shit.”
Boys in crisp white shirts and matching uniforms poured through a gate. One of them, a bright-eyed 10-year-old, pushed a miniature version of Peñalosa’s bicycle through the crowd. Suddenly I understood his haste. He had been rushing to pick up his son from school, like other parents were doing that very moment up and down the time zone. Here, in the heart of one of the meanest, poorest cities in the hemisphere, father and son would roll away from the school gate for a carefree ride across the metropolis. This was an unthinkable act in most modern cities. As the sun fell and the Andes caught fire, we arced our way along the wide-open avenues, then west along a highway built for bicycles. The kid raced ahead. At that point, I wasn’t sure about Peñalosa’s ideology. Who was to say that one way of moving was better than another? How could anyone know enough about the needs of the human soul to prescribe the ideal city for happiness?
But for a moment I forgot my questions. I let go of my handlebars and raised my arms in the air of the cooling breeze, and I remembered my own childhood of country roads, after-school wanderings, lazy rides and pure freedom. I felt fine. The city was mine. The journey began.
Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.
“Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”
“Do you go by anything else?”
“No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”
“Tazbee. All right. Alex?”
She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.
#1. “Oh, I Guess It’s Free!” (To a Cashier When Something Doesn’t Have a Price Tag or Won’t Scan)
Sometimes items don’t have prices. Sometimes scanners are dirty and they don’t tell you how much something is. When that happens, look out, because there is always a customer who knows exactly how to turn that minor inconvenience into comedy gold.
You see where I’m going with this? Of course you do. You read the numbered entry. But in any event, without fail, whenever someone needs a price check, some hilarious dude says …
"No price? It must be free!"
“We are both fanatical in terms of care and attention to things people don’t see immediately,” Ive said. “It’s like finishing the back of a drawer. Nobody’s going to see it, but you do it anyway. Products are a form of communication—they demonstrate your value system, what you care about.”
“You discover that very few people have the level of perfection we do. It is actually very sick,” Newson said. “It is neurotic.”
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
That Friday afternoon, resplendent in a lustrous violet button-down, Willms packed half a dozen friends into a private plane on a frosty Edmonton, Alberta, tarmac and jetted off to Las Vegas. En route, Willms uncorked a bottle of Dom Pérignon and passed it around so everyone could take a swig. Then came the shooters: for the men, Jack Daniel’s; for the women—three leggy brunettes and a statuesque blonde—Smirnoff with Red Bull. Soon enough, off came Willms’s shirt, as often happened on festive occasions. After landing in Las Vegas, the group piled into a titanic silver limo and made for the Encore, where they checked into an $8,000-a-night, 5,829-square-foot duplex suite—a favorite haunt of Prince Harry. For the next two days, Willms and his entourage danced atop nightclub tables, shopped at Tiffany, went for thrill rides, and caught an Usher concert, all before flying back to Alberta in time for work on Monday morning.
Of course, for an ascendant young tycoon like Willms, a flashy weekend in Vegas hardly registered as a noteworthy event. In those days, Willms spent quite a few of his off hours celebrating in grand style—carousing at the Playboy Mansion, racing Formula One cars—and with good reason. At only 22, without even a high-school diploma to his name, Willms had forged himself into a veritable e-commerce titan, with footholds in online auctions, health products, data services, and more. His company Just Think Media may have been the most successful Internet venture no one had ever heard of: in 2009, with just 20 employees, it earned more than $100 million in revenue.
If you’ve used the Internet at all in the past six years, your cursor has probably lingered over ads for Willms’s Web sites more times than you’d suspect. His pitches generally fit in nicely with what have become the classics of the dubious-ad genre: tropes like photos of comely newscasters alongside fake headlines such as “Shocking Diet Secrets Exposed!”; too-good-to-be-true stories of a “local mom” who “earns $629/day working from home”; clusters of text links for miracle teeth whiteners and “loopholes” entitling you to government grants; and most notorious of all, eye-grabbing animations of disappearing “belly fat” coupled with a tagline promising the same results if you follow “1 weird old trick.”
Looking back, John Aldridge knew it was a stupid move. When you’re alone on the deck of a lobster boat in the middle of the night, 40 miles off the tip of Long Island, you don’t take chances. But he had work to do: He needed to start pumping water into the Anna Mary’s holding tanks to chill, so that when he and his partner, Anthony Sosinski, reached their first string of traps a few miles farther south, the water would be cold enough to keep the lobsters alive for the return trip. In order to get to the tanks, he had to open a metal hatch on the deck. And the hatch was covered by two 35-gallon Coleman coolers, giant plastic insulated ice chests that he and Sosinski filled before leaving the dock in Montauk harbor seven hours earlier. The coolers, full, weighed about 200 pounds, and the only way for Aldridge to move them alone was to snag a box hook onto the plastic handle of the bottom one, brace his legs, lean back and pull with all his might.
And then the handle snapped.
During protracted wars in the 1980s and ‘90s, the government didn’t have a system in place to register births. Because identification cards and driver’s licenses weren’t standard in this impoverished nation, families saw no reason to record the exact dates. Government paperwork asked only for an approximate birthday on the Islamic calendar.
But when the United States and its NATO allies arrived, they brought with them a flurry of job opportunities, visa applications and websites that all required a specific birthday on the Roman calendar.
“Those of us who don’t know when we were born selected January first. It was very easy to remember.” […]
In the digital age, the collective birthday has become something of an inside joke here, as young Afghans send each other messages to celebrate. […]
Young Afghans in particular have coalesced proudly around it — a modern celebration that is also an implicit acknowledgment of their country’s troubles.
The country’s famous actors, such as Basir Mujahid, its athletes, such as cricket player Hasti Gul Abid, and its politicians, such as Mohammad Daud Daud, the former police chief of northern Afghanistan, all publicly celebrate their birthdays on Jan. 1.
Many Afghans, particularly the young, digitally savvy generation, remain curious about their true birthdays. But their parents don’t offer much clarity, or at least enough to warrant a change.
“I’m not sure,” said Hussain. “I think it was some time in the spring.”
I know that I’ve enraged people because I’ve heard them call me an asshole. “Look at that asshole,” they say. And I always sort of agree.[…]
When I wear [Google Glass] at work, co-workers sometimes call me an asshole.
My co-workers at WIRED, where we’re bravely facing the future, find it weird.
People stop by and cyber-bully me at my standing treadmill desk.
Do you know what it takes to get a professional nerd to call you a nerd? I do. (Hint: It’s Glass.)
The commercial starts with Bumbly, Blondie and Creepy riding up a ski lift. Creepy’s wrist buzzes, and he takes the call — on speaker, of course.
“Yeah, how’s it going over there?” asks an overeager, three-line voice actor. “It’s incredible,” Creepy replies. “Oh, I’m so jealous! Have fun!” voice actor yells.
Despite the brevity of the call, Creepy executes two sideways, “you know I’m talking to a computer on my wrist, right?” glances at Blondie, whose script clearly tells her to look intrigued.
Sensing his chance, Creepy moves in for the kill quickly.
“Here, give me your number,” Creepy commands. “Just say it,” he coaxes.
And, of course, she complies.
While she’s coughing up her digits, Bumbly — yes, he’s still there — attempts to sneak the number into his own cell phone, only to drop it off the ski lift. (Haha! What a LOSER! If only he had a Galaxy Gear!)
Next up, Creepy follows Blondie down the bunny slopes, taking pictures of her from all angles instead of worrying about his own snowboarding technique. (He doesn’t even have to try! ‘Cause Samsung!)
Blondie, of course, drops her phone, and Creepy’s watch is able to locate it on the floor right next to them. (WHOA! Technology!) ”Wow!” Blondie actually says.
“Thought you’d like this Napa red,” Creepy says in a way that someone who doesn’t understand wine at all would say. “Best of its year,” he makes up.