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German states save on prisons, prison guards up in arms

September 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

Undesired effects of cost cutting: Prisoners riot in understaffed prisons; illegal mobile telephone use in prison runs rampant despite the existence of technical and legal means for its suppression. Keep reading →

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Clarion Stockholm

June 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Clarion Stockholm
hotel reviewed by Gary Levinson

Tip: when at the Clarion Stockholm, ask for Mimmi at the reception desk. Here’s our story:

During our stay at the Clarion Stockholm (end of April 2009), the young man who checked us in was courteous. When we asked however, Keep reading →

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Ferrari Styling, exterior and interior

April 13th, 2009 · No Comments

Renowned collector and enthusiast Bruce Barr speaks with Gary Levinson

About the Testarossa:
Bruce Barr: Your feelings about the interior… is exactly as mine with regard to the Testarossa.  Keep reading →

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Travel; Berlin – Excursion: Barnim

June 24th, 2008 · No Comments

Travel; Berlin – Excursion: Barnim

From the western point of view, Berlin used to be an island, surrounded by a transit zone. That changed almost 20 years ago, and since the “Wende” (German for “turnaround”) – the opening of the Berlin Wall – there are many areas nearby worth visiting, either just for a day trip, or for several days.

One of these areas is Barnim. Barnim is a district to the northeast of Berlin, in the northeastern section of the German state of Brandenburg. Its geographical features were craved out by the glaciers during the ice age, and its name dates back to the 13th century, when “Barnim” was used to designate a large forest region used by the nobility as hunting grounds. Keep reading →

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The German Business Setting: Price Competition; by Gary Levinson

April 14th, 2007 · No Comments

People in Germany are extremely interested in low prices. Michael O’Leary chief executive of the low-cost airline Ryanair once said about air travel: “People are willing to crawl over broken glass for low fares”, and that’s how it is: people in Germany will do their utmost to save money. This was dramatically brought home on one of the five Sundays (see the article “Opening Hours”) that German stores are allowed to be open. To entice people into their store the local Plus supermarket (Tengelmann) offered 10% off all purchases. In spite of the weather being horrific, the store was full of people, spending away, who came out to save money. Keep reading →

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Germany Today: 9/11 and its effect on the Berlin S-Bahn (suburban trains); by Gary Levinson

April 14th, 2007 · No Comments

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 had a significant effect, not only in the USA with its retrenchment behind more tightly enforced borders, but also on the world as a whole, and on the basic trends of design in the world, and specifically on the design of the Berlin S-Bahn (suburban trains) stations.

Whatever way the War on Terror turns out, the terrorists have already succeeded in having a gross negative impact on western civilization. Since that date, people in many countires have felt exposed, and have wanted to put up barriers, to erect defences. The spirit, the Zeitgeist, of global design shifted from one of openness, and readiness to communicate, to one of protected-ness and a don’t-move-or-I’ll-shoot mentality.

How does this apply to the suburban trains in Berlin? Keep reading →

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