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#112: Inflation, Fridays for us, Berlin gas?
Plus how Neptune was found in our now-bright night sky
Hey 20 Percent!
For the first time in my not-so-short life, I noticed inflation this week. I mean, really noticed it. I’ve been ICE-ing around Germany for a few days, eating out more than normal, and every time I’ve thought: That now costs €10? Really? And then I’d opt for something cheaper (usually soup).
Sure, when the euro was introduced there was a little blast of inflation but it seemed short-lived and was easily explained — everyone had been waiting for the new currency to print fresh menus and price lists. It was quickly forgotten.
But this one is here to stay and we’re curious — have you gotten one of those much-reported exorbitant gas bills? Or how has it affected you (beyond soup)? Send us a note at newsroom at 20percentberlin!
Otherwise have a good week! Feel free to throw us some love on our Patreon or, nearly as good, share us with your friends!
PS, our sponsor today is again Pretty Deadly Self Defense: more info and event recommends below!
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, September 23
New cases in one day: 1,526 (2,096 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,800 (+4 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 204.1 (206.2 Tuesday)
🟡7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 7.8 (7.7 Tuesday)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 3.6% (3.8% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
Protesting for our future (again)
Fridays for Future are back Friday with an expected 8,000 protesting for climate action starting at 12pm in Invalidenpark. The protest will then move through the government district. Author Marc-Uwe Kling, who wrote Qualityland as well as some good books known as the Kangaroo Chronicles, which were turned into a bad German movie, will speak and some band named Von Wegen Lisbeth will also play because every worthwhile Berlin protest resembles a street party. Keep it up FFF, hopefully the politicians will start listening.
Gas to become a public utility too?
Berlin is in talks to buy a 31.6% stake in gas company Gasag from Swedish utility Vattenfall, which is trying to leave Germany, according to Tagesspiegel. The city-state is also in talks to buy Vattenfall’s central heating network though it may link up with German utility Eon and its French rival Engie for that deal. Eon and Engie hold 36.9% and 31.6% of Gasag, respectively, as well and may be willing to let Berlin get a majority of Gasag in exchange for a stake in the heating company. Berlin has already bought back water provider Berliner Wasserbetriebe as well as our power grid to wrest basic utilities from capitalism’s grubby hands.
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World Car Free Day wasn’t
Berlin took part in World Car Free Day Thursday for the third time and Berlin traffic officials say it didn’t matter — traffic was as heavy as usual, according to RBB24. Maybe that’s because the city only closed 0.0008% of its road network and then only for four hours. Public transport in AB was also free but bus drivers said people still wanted to buy tickets.
Can Berlin enforce anything?
Berlin’s stores and over-sized ads continue to light up the night sky despite the new and C1-inspiring Kurzfristenergieversorgungssicherungsmaßnahmenverordnung, or short-term energy savings law, that prohibits night-time lighting. The problem? The law has no penalties, according to Tagesspiegel, and those that might be applied would take months and a bureaucratic nightmare because this is Germany. “The law has lots of letters but not much enforcement opportunity,” a spokesman told the paper.
On this day in 1846, German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovered Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, at the royal Berlin observatory. French astronomer Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrierlie had calculated the existence of Neptune based on the gravity at — yes — Uranus and wrote Galle to see if he could see the planet, which is five times bigger than our earth and has eight moons. The royal observatory was in what is now Besselpark near Checkpoint Charlie but was later moved to Potsdam because light pollution was a problem, even in the 19th century.
What to do this weekend?
I hate to pimp an event as commercial as Lollapalooza but sometimes corporate means great sounds, familiar hits and the right but probably too expensive beer. Besides, it reminds me of the ‘90s when Lollapalooza felt revolutionary, but then everything feels revolutionary when you’re young. Saturday and Sunday at Olympiastadion. Tix still available here.
Speaking of observatories
The Planetarium on Insulaner in Schöneberg is showing the Magic Flute Saturday night at 8pm. Planetariums have always been a unique place for weird experiences and it’s no different in Berlin. Check out all the other spacey things they do or get tix here.
And there’s also comedy (see below):
TOMORROW, Sept. 4 at Z-Bar Berlin! Last chance to get discounted online tickets here! Being in your 20s is glorious; being in your 30s is a joy. Being in your 40s sucks, because your 40s are when you realize all the things you’ve fucked up so far. In Middle Rage, Israeli comedian Nir Gottleid shares his feelings about turning 40 – and talks about the fun sides of depression, anxiety, cats, hate crimes, dating as a single old man, and the bitterness, rage and feeling of acceptance that can only come with a life exhaustively lived. For the first time in Berlin after a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 20 Percenter get 20 percent off! Use coupon code 40isthenew20percent here.
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