The Vatican has recently announced that new LED lights are
to be installed in the Sistine Chapel. There are benefits all round: the new
lights will produce less heat than traditional light bulbs so that it will be
possible to better illuminate the chapel and we will all get a better view of
the magnificent art. The Vatican will save on its air-conditioning bill because
of the reduced heat. Moreover, the LED is cheaper and the Vatican will save 60%
of the lighting costs.
Installing the new system will cost 1.9 million Euro and here’s
the rub: for some reason the wise men in Brussels have decided to subsidise the
(non-member and cash rich) Vatican with €870,000 EU money for this project.
Bringing in hell, as in what-the-hell, is unlikely to shock
the Vatican. They are used to more exciting sins than an occasional mentioning
of hell. Not even what-the-f*** will cause a stir.
Could the explanation be the granting of an umbrella
absolution to the corrupt apparatus of the European Union? But the Vatican, I
imagine, would have charged more than 870,000 Euros for that service.
Or are EU officials just like the girl-who-can’t say-no? You
apply for a grant and get one. In that case, how about one for me?
Facebook is not only about people showing off their own or their children's bodies.
Yesterday, a Facebook “friend” of mine, informed his “friends” that he
would be going to an event at a kneipe, a sort of a pub, in the NeuKölln district of Berlin. The thing is - I hardly know the chap, my Facebook friend - and he would not have emailed me or phoned me to alert me to the fact that he was going to that specific event. But, it sounded interesting and I went there too.
And it was worth it, despite the fact that I came out after two hours smelling of ten thousand cigarettes. They were all at it, rolling one cigarette after the other and it was just pure boring tobacco. Evidently the laws about smoking in public spaces are not very
strictly adhered to.
It was a sort of a talk-show, in
which Peter Wensierski, an
interesting and charismatic Spiegel
journalist, spoke about the years in which he reported from the former DDR
A man I just met at a dinner party told me that half of
Berlin’s real estate was now in Jewish hands. I tried to suggest that this was
somewhat exaggerated but he was certain of it. Since unification, he told me,
they have bought packages of tens of thousands of flats in the city.
“I have no problem with it”, he hastened to add, fearing
that I might think him an anti-Semite. “On the contrary, they are clever, they
have a good nose for it”, he explained and “I try to follow the market to also
do a deal now and then and it is useful to know what they are doing.”
Different party – different people, similar sentiment: a
German academic in her forties, who has spent a couple of years in the USA,
told me that Jewish academics look after each other. I questioned her statement
and she was “certain” that if a Jewish researcher has his or her grant cut, his
Jewish friends will help him out for a while, out of their own budgets, until things
are sorted. “No”, she said “not forever, but for a year or two.”