Why The Dutch ride Bikes

Go as far as you can see; when you
get there, you’ll be able to see farther.
J. P. Morgan

“Lagos trade documentary series”

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10 Things Germans Do Better Than Americans

“Here are 10 things Germans do better than Americans. Germany and the US are both pretty cool countries, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same across the board. 

Number 10. Engineering. Much of it comes down to training. Germany’s vocational system continues to thrive and offers learning opportunities that combine practical application and theory. Among the most sought after programs is a 3-year apprenticeship with the multi-industry innovator Siemens.

Number 9. Beer Gardens. Makeshift sidewalk cafes are plentiful in the US, but actual expansive, dedicated areas where people can sit in large groups and in some cases even bring their own food are quite rare. In Germany, on the other hand, they’re a regular thing.

Number 8. Soccer. As you may know, the 2014 World Cup title went to the German team. It’s expected that their winning streak will continue as the current team has been playing together at various levels for about 10 years, and is now well prepared for world domination.

Number 7. College Fees. The typical college graduate in Germany leaves school with no educational debt. As of October 2014, every public higher learning institution in the country is tuition-free, even for students from abroad.

Number 6. Trains. Sure, Amtrack will get you from one US locale to another, but it’s going to take a while. Thanks to high-speed rail, Germans can travel from city to city in a fraction of the time. The typical train moves at around 180 miles per hour, but express services with fewer stops are available should the regular pace not be quite quick enough.

Number 5. Sundays. It’s a serious day of rest for just about everybody, including people who work in retail. By law, stores in most areas remain closed all day long. There are a few exceptions, but those shopping places are primarily in airports and train stations.

Number 4. Paid Vacation. Employers in Germany are required to not only give workers a minimum of 24 days off a year, they have to pay them for the time away. There are no such mandates in the US, and 25% of the American workforce doesn’t even get one.

Number 3. Healthcare. In addition to healthcare coverage in Europe being generally more comprehensive, the prices of procedures are often significantly lower. For example, in 2007 numbers, a hip replacement performed in Germany cost roughly half of what it did in the US.

Number 2. Castles. One of the greatest things about countries that were architecturally active during medieval times are the amazing castles we see today. Often perched high on mountaintops, their presence lends a fairy-tale feel to the countryside.

Number 1. Driving. Considering many stretches of the Autobahn have no speed limit and analysis shows that fast driving results in more accidents, one would expect Germans to be involved way more fatal crashes than Americans. Yet, they’re not. In 2012 Germany had less than half the number the US did.

What’s your favorite thing about Germany?

(Go to their channel, it’s Americans doing this comparison with several countries.)

A Japanese bullet train just topped records at 374 mph.

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai)’s maglev train — short for magnetic levitation, meaning a train that moves along by magnets and “hovers” four inches above the train’s rail-less path — reached a top speed of 374 mph for 10.8 seconds. The fastest train in America, comes pathetically no where close.

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

The doors are closing, perhaps on your baby carriage. You should be concerned about your baby because the doors do not have such concerns. The doors know no empathy. They will not listen to you. They are sheets of hard metal and I control them.

All doors are closing. You might be an earl, but it doesn’t matter. Your noble birth cannot save you from these doors. Your bejewelled scepter can’t stop these doors. Just try and see what happens.

Continue reading.

Photograph by Gueorgui Pinkhassov/Magnum