The Autostadt is a visitor attraction adjacent to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, with a prime focus on automobiles. It features a museum, pavilions for the Volkswagen Group’s major brands (VW owns Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti) and two incredible Car Towers.
Each tower is a 60 meter/200 ft tall glass silo used as storage for new Volkswagens. The two towers are connected to the Volkswagen factory by a 700 metre underground tunnel. When cars arrive at the towers they are carried up at a speed of 1.5 metres per second. When purchasing a car from Volkswagen (the main brand only, not the sub-brands) in select European countries, it is optional if the customer wants it delivered to the dealership where it was bought or if the customer wants to travel to Autostadt to pick it up. If the latter is chosen, the Autostadt supplies the customer with free entrance, meal tickets and a variety of events building up to the point where the customer can follow on screen as the automatic elevator picks up the selected car in one of the silos. The car is then transported out to the customer without having driven a single meter, and the odometer is thus on “0”. [Source]
The two Car Towers (AutoTurme) can be explored in an air-conditioned panoramic glass lift. These glazed, highrise garages, each housing 400 new vehicles, are the heart of vehicle delivery at the Autostadt. Inside, patented technology helps transport the new Volkswagen vehicles in and out of their parking bays at a speed of two metres per second.
In the panoramic glass lift a guide adjusts the tempo to halfspeed and the tower discovery begins. You are taken to the observation deck on the 20th floor. From here you have a view of the largest car manufacturer in Europe, the town of Wolfsburg and southeastern Lower Saxony. [Source]
Germany is poised to make a major scientific breakthrough in the field of nuclear fusion. Its Wendelstein 7-X (W7X) experimental fusion reactor is about to be injected with hydrogen, where scientists will hope to turn it into a sustained, super-hot plasma. If successful, it will be a world first, and it is beingstreamed livefrom 1:45 p.m. GMT (8:45 a.m. EST).
Ignition is expected at 2:35 p.m. GMT (9:35 a.m. EST). We’ve provided the live stream below for you to watch.
The fusion reactor, which aims to replicate the conditions deep inside our Sun, will be switched on by German chancellor Angela Merkel who herself has a doctorate in physics. Although workable nuclear fusion is likely to be several decades away, this experiment represents a key stepping stone towards this goal. Controlled nuclear fusion a clean, near-perpetualsource of energy would revolutionize the world.
Horrific news out of Germany where we’re seeing reports that a woman was killed when a man “born in Germany” but with “Iranian citizenship” pushed her in front of a subway train in Berlin.
From the AP report posted on ABC News’ website:
Passengers reportedly apprehended the man after the incident:
How about a little more information about the “stranger” who was born in Germany but is also a citizen of Iran?
Our friends at Mashable bring us this special Mercedes-Benz F-Cell commercial. The car runs on hydrogen that powers fuel cells, and has literally no emissions. That means it’s ‘invisible’ to the environment.
To showcase this positive characteristic, Mercedes made a special F-Cell B-Class car covered with cameras and lights that would portray what’s on the other side. In a sense, making it cloaked, or invisible. Read more on Mashable.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel got a surprise beer shower thanks to a clumsy waiter at the Political Ash Wednesday event in the northern town of Demmin. The waiter managed to drop five glasses of beer on the neck and the back of the Chancellor. Merkel took the involuntary beer show with a smile, not sure if the waiter was smiling after the talk with his boss:
via Say OMG
In this beautiful photo by Dietmar Rabich, we see the stunning Autumn colours in a nature walk near the hamlet BÃ¶rnste, Kirchspiel, DÃ¼lmen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
We’ve all been hearing that milk is good for us all of our lives. It is essential for building quality bones, but did you know it also can make high quality fabric? Anke Domaske has beauty and brains on her mind. She’s a biologist and fashion designer in Germany that has created milk yarn – real yarn made from milk that would be thrown out anyways. Now that’s really going green.
The modern city-dweller forever has their mind buried in their smartphone and theirearbuds tightly squished into their ears, half unaware of the world outside their game of Candy Crush.
In light of this, tramcrossings in Augsburg, Germany, have special traffic lights for these smartphone zombies, or sombies as theyre called in German. The citys administration recently installed rows of LED lights into the sidewalks of two crossings, which flash red when a tram is approaching.
Le Local reports that Tobias Harms,from the Augsburg city administration,told The Augsburger Allgemeine: We realized that the normal traffic light isnt in the line of sight of many pedestrians these days. So we decided to have an additional set of lights the more we have, the more people are likely to notice them.
Not everyone in the city is convinced the idea is necessary or worth taxpayers’ money. But then again, according to research by the Wall Street Journal, cases of hospitalization from accidents obtained while pedestrians were distracted using their phones increased 10-fold between 2006 and 2014.
Have you ever wanted to go to the water park, but didn’t want the sun shining on your back? Then this in-door water park film maker Casey Neistat found in Germany is for you. The Tropical Islands resort is the largest water park in the world and is all contained in a huge blimp hangar. Casey and his son enjoyed the unique park until late into the evening.
1. Pripyat in Ukraine, near the Chernobyl power plant, was abandoned after the disaster in 1986.
When the Chernobyl was built in 1970, many of the facility’s staff were housed in the nearby city of Pripyat. Around 50,000 people once lived here, spread across 160 buildings that had contained a total of 13,400 apartments.
Trees and shrubs are the only things left living there, as structures continue to decay and crumble.
2. Pripyat’s Hospital No. 126 consists of five large buildings, each of them six storeys high.
3. After the town was abandoned, doctors left medical equipment, beds, bottles, babies’ cribs and other equipment to rust.
4. The town had three indoor swimming pools, two sports stadiums, 35 playgrounds, 15 primary schools, five secondary schools and a technical college.
5. There are several kindergartens in Pripyat, still full of toys and with beds still made, among the gas masks that were designed to protect the children in the case of a chemical attack or disaster.
6. Pripyat’s Luna Park, with its Ferris wheel and bumper cars, was scheduled to open as a part of the May Day celebrations in 1986.
But the Chernobyl disaster happened days before its opening. However, people did make use of it in the hours before an official evacuation was ordered.
7. A tuberculosis hospital in Russia lies empty.
In the captions in her book, photgrapher Rebecca Litchfield says of these hospitals throughout the USSR: “Even in the realm of health, the state would seek to control and monitor its citizens, and use surgeries, clinics and hospitals to further their political aims, even to the extent of deploying spies alongside medical staff.”
8. The trip to Russia to take these photographs wasn’t a simple affair.
“Not many explorers travel to Russia,” says Litchfield in the publicity material for the book. “Where the rules are very different, locations are heavily guarded and a strong military presence exists everywhere. There are serious consequences for getting caught.
“We managed to stay hidden for all of the trip, we maximised our stealthiness, ducking and diving into bushes and sneaking past sleeping security. But on day three our good fortune ran out as we visited a top secret radar installation. After walking through the forest, mosquitos attacking us from all directions, we saw the radar and made our way towards it, but just metres away suddenly we were joined by military and they weren’t happy..”
9. But she says she’s not trying to make any political points about the Communist era.
“I refrain from having personal opinions about the era and try to remain relatively neutral,” she says. “Whilst the period had bad times, the people living in the communities still got on with life and also had good times, it was not a period of pure black and white and so my aim of the book was to just capture it as it was now.”
10. Many Soviet-era cinemas lie abandoned throughout Russia.
Litchfield says: “Cinema was quickly seized upon under Communism and nowhere more so than in the Soviet Union as an important tool for political education and indoctrination.
“Soviet filmmakers, such as Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, remain amongst the most influential directors of all time; largely by virtue of their pioneering use of ‘montage’ techniques.”
11. Poland is also full of abandoned buildings from the Communist era – such as this hospital.
12. Skrunda was a secret town in Latvia, housing a Soviet radar station designed to monitor all of Western Europe.
13. Although its location was kept secret, eventually it became a residential town with 60 buildings, including a gym, a school and a theatre.
As Litchfield explains in the book, however: “Once Latvia had gained back its independence, the Soviets were given four years to dismantle the radars. The entire town was sold at auction for just 17,000 Lats (around £20,000) but as of 2013 nothing has yet been done with the site.”
15. Latvia has several abandoned radio telescopes, such the two left at Irbene, Cold War relics from a time when intercepting Western satellite signals was a top priority.
There were originally six telescopes but four were dismantled and the remaining two incapacitated.
16. The entire area was once forbidden – people needed to seek special permission to visit Irbene and its surrounding towns.
“Irbene was so secretive in fact, that the public only found out about it when the site was officially revealed in 1993; long after the Soviets had left,” says Litchfield.
17. This is the swimming pool at the Soviet Union’s headquarters in Germany. Trains ran daily from here and Moscow.
18. It was built by the Germans but took over by Russia on 20 April 1945, with fighting leaving some 120 dead.
19. There were 800 people living here by 1953 and as many as 30,000 soliders and 75,000 civilians in the surrounding area.
The Russians left behind weapons, ammunition, bomb parts and chemical waste when they left.
20. This mural still stares out from the wall of a Soviet pilot school in what was the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany.
21. Milovice in the Czech Republic has been a military site since the early 1990s, in the hands of Czechoslovakia, Germany and then the Soviets, who took control in 1968.
Hundreds of families lived here but its buildings have been stripped to their core. After the Velvet Revolution of the 1980s, Russian forces started to leave. So quickly did they leave in 1991 that live ammunition was buried across the site, making the deserted town now potentially very dangerous.
22. The Soviet monument at Mount Buzludzha is the largest of its kind in Bulgaria.
This is where Bulgarian Socialists first began meeting in secret in 1891 and where Bulgarian forces battled Turkish forces. It was funded by voluntary donations and features marble and glass. Pictured is the huge amphitheatre, with its mural depicting Soviet and Bulgarian history.
23. The structure was abandoned in 1989 and then gifted to the state in 1991. It’s been stripped of its valuable materials.
24. There was once a tower 70 metres tall, topped with a huge star made of red glass, designed to be three times bigger than the star at the Kremlin.
Like all these structures, it now lies gathering ice, rust and dust.