Sharienne Weidner

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Paper Airplane Machine Gun / Papierflieger-Maschinenpistole

5 Tips for German Language Learning

Learning a foreign language is difficult. You simply cannot cut corners. There’s no secret trick. But there are things you can do to work smarter and …

I'm learning German so I can go clubbing in Berlin

The Fifth Estate only really gets interesting when Assange and Domscheit-Berg head off to a gritty warehouse, neon lights pulsating out of its industrial windows, wobbling to the thumping techno. Inside what the viewer can assume to be the infamous Berghain nightclub, Assange and his bearded …

A book about Berlin techno reminded me why I'm learning German

I was given a book about Berlin for my birthday. It's about Berlin's dance music scene and what impact the budget airlines have had on the city's cultural tourism. It's in English, but has nonetheless turned out to be a great kick up the backside for my fated attempt to learn German.<p>My interest in …

5 Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn From German Soccer

On Sunday, Germany became the champion of the soccer world, winning the World Cup for the fourth time, defeating a rugged Argentina team with Lionel Messi as its star. Germany's surge through the tournament -- undefeated in seven games with only a tie with Ghana marring its record -- wasn't a …

In 1968, Stanley Kubrick Makes Predictions for 2001: Humanity Will Conquer Old Age, Watch 3D TV & Learn German in 20 Minutes

1968. Revolution was in the air and the future seemed bright. That year, Stanley Kubrick released his masterpiece <i>2001: A Space Odyssey</i> – a …

How I quadrupled the number of pupils taking German in my school

Award-winning modern languages teacher <b>Sara Davidson</b> explains why the most important language in Europe still has a cloud hanging over it<p><i>Sara Davidson is a German teacher and head of modern languages at Oundle School, Peterborough. While learning German is not always a</i> <i>popular choice among UK …

The Song Machine

The hitmakers behind Rihanna.<p>On a mild Monday afternoon in mid-January, Ester Dean, a songwriter and vocalist, arrived at Roc the Mic Studios, on West Twenty-seventh Street in Manhattan, for the first of five days of songwriting sessions. Her engineer, Aubry Delaine, whom she calls Big Juice, …

The Mark of a Masterpiece

The man who keeps finding famous fingerprints on uncelebrated works of art.<p>Every few weeks, photographs of old paintings arrive at Martin Kemp’s eighteenth-century house, outside Oxford, England. Many of the art works are so decayed that their once luminous colors have become washed out, their …

A Pickpocket’s Tale

The spectacular thefts of Apollo Robbins.<p>A few years ago, at a Las Vegas convention for magicians, Penn Jillette, of the act Penn and Teller, was introduced to a soft-spoken young man named Apollo Robbins, who has a reputation as a pickpocket of almost supernatural ability. Jillette, who ranks …

Slow Ideas

Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t?<p>Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century. The first public demonstration …

The Rubber Room

The battle over New York City’s worst teachers.<p>In a windowless room in a shabby office building at Seventh Avenue and Twenty-eighth Street, in Manhattan, a poster is taped to a wall, whose message could easily be the mission statement for a day-care center: “Children are fragile. Handle with care.” …

The Tweaker

The real genius of Steve Jobs.<p>Not long after Steve Jobs got married, in 1991, he moved with his wife to a nineteen-thirties, Cotswolds-style house in old Palo Alto. Jobs always found it difficult to furnish the places where he lived. His previous house had only a mattress, a table, and chairs. He …

Bay Watched

How San Francisco’s new entrepreneurial culture is changing the country.<p>The way to meet up with Johnny Hwin, one of the best-connected kids in San Francisco, is to stand at the garage door of a small repair shop in the iffy section of the Mission District and dial his cell phone until it stops …

Two-Hit Wonder

Jack Dorsey, of Twitter, is now making big money at Square—and is out to prove that he’s more than a lucky man.<p>Jack Dorsey, the tech entrepreneur, takes the No. 1 bus to work, and he likes to catch the 7:06. It carries him nearly from one side of San Francisco to the other—down California Street …

Cheap Words

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books?<p>Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, …

First Impressions

What does the world’s oldest art say about us?<p>During the Old Stone Age, between thirty-seven thousand and eleven thousand years ago, some of the most remarkable art ever conceived was etched or painted on the walls of caves in southern France and northern Spain. After a visit to Lascaux, in the …

Swingers

Bonobos are celebrated as peace-loving, matriarchal, and sexually liberated. Are they?<p>On a Saturday evening a few months ago, a fund-raiser was held in a downtown Manhattan yoga studio to benefit the bonobo, a species of African ape that is very similar to—but, some say, far nicer than—the …

The Interpreter

Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language?<p><i>Correction appended</i>.<p>One morning last July, in the rain forest of northwestern Brazil, Dan Everett, an American linguistics professor, and I stepped from the pontoon of a Cessna floatplane onto the beach bordering the Maici River, a …

The Hunt for El Chapo

How the world’s most notorious drug lord was captured.<p>One afternoon last December, an assassin on board a K.L.M. flight from Mexico City arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This was not a business trip: the killer, who was thirty-three, liked to travel, and often documented his journeys around …

The Pink Panthers

A tale of diamonds, thieves, and the Balkans.<p>On May 19, 2003, a man in his late twenties walked along New Bond Street, in London, and stopped outside the flagship store of Graff, which proudly claims to sell “the most fabulous jewels in the world.” The man, whose image, captured by surveillance …

The Story of a Suicide

Two college roommates, a webcam, and a tragedy.<p>Dharun Ravi grew up in Plainsboro, New Jersey, in a large, modern house with wide expanses of wood flooring and a swimming pool out back. Assertive and athletic, he used “<i>DHARUNISAWESOME</i>” as a computer password and played on an Ultimate Frisbee team. …

We Are Alive

Bruce Springsteen at sixty-two.<p>Nearly half a century ago, when Elvis Presley was filming “Harum Scarum” and “Help!” was on the charts, a moody, father-haunted, yet uncannily charismatic Shore rat named Bruce Springsteen was building a small reputation around central Jersey as a guitar player in a …

Battleground America

One nation, under the gun.<p>Just after seven-thirty on the morning of February 27th, a seventeen-year-old boy named T. J. Lane walked into the cafeteria at Chardon High School, about thirty miles outside Cleveland. It was a Monday, and the cafeteria was filled with kids, some eating breakfast, some …

The Mark

The F.B.I. needs informants, but what happens when they go too far?<p>Last January, Michael Grimm, a forty-year-old United States congressman from Staten Island, sat for an interview in his Washington office with Greta Van Susteren, of Fox News. Grimm, a freshman representative who had recently been …

Taken

Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?<p>On a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her …

Pixel Perfect

Pascal Dangin’s virtual reality.<p>For a charity auction a few years back, the photographer Patrick Demarchelier donated a private portrait session. The lot sold, for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to the wife of a very rich man. It was her wish to pose on the couple’s yacht. “I call her, I …

The Abyss

Music and amnesia.<p>In March of 1985, Clive Wearing, an eminent English musician and musicologist in his mid-forties, was struck by a brain infection—a herpes encephalitis—affecting especially the parts of his brain concerned with memory. He was left with a memory span of only seconds—the most …

The Possibilian

What a brush with death taught David Eagleman about the mysteries of time and the brain.<p>When David Eagleman was eight years old, he fell off a roof and kept on falling. Or so it seemed at the time. His family was living outside Albuquerque, in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There were only …

The Curse of Reading and Forgetting

Recently, a colleague mentioned that she had been rereading Richard Hughes’s “A High Wind in Jamaica,” which was first published in 1929 and is about a group of creepy little kids who become the unwanted wards of sad, listless pirates. She praised it, and her recommendation sent me to Amazon. The …