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In Germany, New Year’s Eve is called Silvester. It's a huge event with special foods, public and private fireworks all over the place, a lot of Sekt (champagne) and assorted alcohol inside and on the street, and some traditions very particular to Germany. As a cult thing for many, the evening traditionally starts with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn9vPG8s4ss - an obscure, old 1963 sketch that somehow became a German tradition for Silvester night. (Possibly even more fun with some alcohol already in your system . :D) 

Many German New Year’s traditions can be traced back to the pagan Rauhnächte practices of heathen Germanic tribes, which took place in late December and early January. Instead of recognizing a single day as the winter solstice, the tribes observed 12 Rauhnächte. Bringing very little sun to the northern regions, these 12 nights were considered days outside of time, when the solar and lunar years were allowed to re-synchronise. Silvester took place right in the middle of it and was the night of the god Wotan’s wild hunt, a time of particular commotion and celebration. 

Germany celebrates Silvester with fireworks, champagne, and boisterous social gatherings. Making noise is key - music, fireworks, firecrackers, drums, whip-cracking, and banging kitchen utensils has been driving away evil spirits since the days of the old Teutons. One of the most famous German firework displays happens in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate. Private celebrations and house parties with all kinds of fireworks in the streets and gardens are also common. Since this happens everywhere and there’s a party mood and public drinking all around, some foreign visitors describe Germany on New Year’s Eve as a war zone… ;) On the flip side, when we travel elsewhere where Silvester isn’t as happening as in Germany, we  usually wonder why there’s no one partying and shooting off fireworks in the streets. The Rauhnächte were also a time when the future for the New Year could be divined. Silvester in Germany still calls for oracles in the form of party games. Another current tradition involves Krapfen (jelly-filled freshly baked donuts), cake, and champagne at midnight. Parties often last to the daylight hours. For good luck in the new year, acquaintances may give good luck charms to each other in the form of ladybugs, four-leafed clovers, horseshoes, and marzipan pigs.

So Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr to all and have fun tonight! :)

Siemens 'committed to London' whatever the outcome of Brexit talks

Bosses at German engineering giant Siemens - one of Britain’s biggest foreign employers - today pledged the company was “committed to London in the long-term” whatever the eventual outcome of Brexit talks.

Speaking at an event in Berlin to promote trade links between London and Germany, Juergen Maier, Siemens’ UK chief said “London and the UK remains an important market for Siemens and is a good place to do business.

“We will continue to apply our expertise in technology and engineering to the challenges that face cities, particularly urban transit and air quality.

“London remains a leading centre for innovation and technology and we see many opportunities for collaboration on talent, digitalisation and investment in the years ahead.”

Siemens has 13 manufacturing sites and employs 15,000 people across Britain and invested £30 million on The Crystal, a building in the Royal Victoria Dock highlighting the most advanced techniques and materials for constructing sustainable buildings.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the world’s greatest commercial centre but retaining our place at the top is always tough.

"This commitment by Siemens helps send the message loud and clear that London remains open to talent, investment and ideas.

"Our connections on the continent have never been more important and, regardless of Brexit, we will continue to work closely together to our mutual benefit.”

The commitment from Siemens came as deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal published new research showing that London and Berlin are Europe’s two leading cities for technology investment.

According to data published by London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional agency, London tech firms have raised £5.4 billion since 2011, while Berlin tech companies have raised £3.3 billion – more than any other European tech hub including Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam.

At the event the Deputy Mayor urged German businesses to follow the lead of Berlin tech companies that have already established a presence in London including online-streaming music service SoundCloud, ecommerce fashion retailer Zolando and web-based fresh food delivery service, Hello Fresh.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo launched at Rs 1.93 crore in India

German luxury carmaker Porsche has launched the second generation of the sporty four-door, four-seater, family Grand Tourer, the Panamera in India at Rs 1.93 crore, ex-showroom Mumbai. The new Panamera for India comes only with Turbo mill and three iterations – Turbo (Rs 1.93 crore), Turbo Sport Turismo (Rs 1.97 crore) and Turbo Executive (Rs 2.05 crore).

Porsche had introduced the new Panamera globally last year at an event in Berlin, Germany, while the long wheelbase Turbo Executive was debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2016.

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The second-generation Panamera is based on Volkswagen Group’s new MSB platform, which is developed by Porsche. The new platform that uses aluminium has resulted in a nearly 70kg weight loss over the predecessor. The car is nearly 35mm longer and wider and taller by nearly 5mm. The wheelbase has been stretched by 30mm than the model it replaces.

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All three variants are powered by a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine, which produces 542bhp of power and 770Nm of torque mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox (PDK II). Despite having the same engine, the variants have a different 0-100kmph time. Panamera Turbo requires 3.7 seconds to hit 100kmph, while the Turbo Executive and Turbo Sport Turismo need 3.9 seconds and 3.8 seconds, respectively.

An optional port Chrono Package will bring down the 0-100kmph time by 0.2 seconds. All three models will keep on accelerating till top speed of 306kmph.

The second-generation of the Panamera has an evolved design from the previous model without major changes to the basic silhouette. The car looks sharper with the addition of LED headlamps in the front. The prominent character lines on the sloping bonnet add mass. The newly designed rear features horizontal LED taillamps, sculpted boot lid, and muscular rear bumper with the quad exhaust system.

The new Panamera also boasts of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) via WLAN to provide access to the radio, media, navigation system, and other vehicle functions. The interior also gets smartphone-like user interfaces and configurable LED screens, along with the new 12.3-inch touchscreen.

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[ @fxckybucky // please to meet you, won’t you guess my name? ]

It’s been months since she’s done any kind of hero-ing, or vigilante-ing, or anything for that matter. She’s kept a low profile after the events of Berlin she decided to throw in the towel— no more stealing no more justice serving, just going back to Aurora Peyton Owens the average girl. Life’s been quite nice, sweet neighbours and a relatively nice little loft, a cushy job not a boatload of money but not too little either. She’s happy and it’s wonderful not having to worry about fighting crime.

On a relatively quiet weekend morning she was back to her place after picking up breakfast. Lost within her own mind she doesn’t realize until she’s collide into someone. She stumbles back and looks up with an apologetic smile. “I am so sor—…Bucky?”