German Music: Pop Singer Max Giesinger

March 20, 2017
German Music, Learn German

max giesinger

We’ve all seen the talent shows on television where singers compete to be their country’s next big star. But even if you don’t end up winning the show, the exposure can be enough to propel your career. Take Max Giesinger, for example. The smooth and soulful pop singer only finished fourth in the debut season of The Voice of Germany. But he’s won plenty of awards and his songs have been in the music charts of the German-speaking world. Practice your German language skills and sing along with this month’s German music recommendation for German language learners: Max Giesinger!

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Going Dutch: Philadelphia Flower Show 2017

March 14, 2017
Travel

philadelphia flower show 2017 holland flowering the world

The Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) knocked it out of the park this year with the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show. Holland: Flowering the World is a people-pleasing theme. The florists and landscapers from around the region have beautifully executed the theme. If, like me, you love tulips then you simply won’t want to miss this year’s exhibition.

In recent years, the theme for the Flower Show has made things a bit difficult for the exhibitions. “The Movies” was inexplicably interpreted as Disney princesses. The National Park Service, while beautiful, wasn’t very floral. Simply put: people want to see flowers. They want to see colors. They want to anticipate spring. And if ten acres of blooming trees and flowers don’t get you in the mood for spring, then you’re just not trying.
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German Film: Frederick Lau

March 13, 2017
German Films, Learn German

frederick lau

Born and raised in the Steglitz neighborhood of Berlin, actor Frederick Lau is only in his mid-twenties but he’s been busy since getting into the film industry. His credits include movies, television shows, television films, and even music videos. You might already know him from his roles in English language films such as Die Gräfin or recent art house hit Victoria. (Although, admittedly, that latter film is a mixture of English and German.) In fact, he won a best actor award for portrayed Sonne in Victoria.

This month’s featured German film recommendations for German learners is Frederick Lau. Get to know him better while practicing your German language skills. Check out these three films starring Lau.

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Visit to: George Nakashima Workshop

March 9, 2017
Travel

george nakashima workshop

If you’re a fan of the American craft movement or a regular viewer of Antiques Roadshow, you might already be familiar with George Nakashima. You can find the furniture of the celebrated American architect and woodworker in countless homes and businesses. His groundbreaking designs are exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, over 200 pieces are in a Nelson Rockefeller home as well in Kentucky Knob, the home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for I. N. Hagan.

While the architect and woodworker died in 1990, his family continues his legacy. They run the Nakashima furniture business from the workshop he set up in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in the 1940s and 50s. Half the year, they offer tours of the wooded multi-acre estate that include experimental architecture, an inside look at their unique handmade solid-wood furniture and a real insight into the man, his history, his legacy and his family.

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Learn with German TV: 5 Soaps to Stream

March 3, 2017
German Films, Learn German

german tv soap operas lindenstrasse

Repetition, repetition, repetition. There is no better advice I can give to someone looking to learn a foreign language. For those looking to practice their listening skills, television soaps are ideal. Think about it. There are lots of episodes, including many that have a new episode every weekday. The regularity means you get invested in the characters and the storylines. But that means you have motivation to keep learning. The regularity also makes it a little easier to follow as the same words and phrases are likely to be reused.

Get practicing! Here are five German TV soaps you can stream at home or on the go.

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German Music: Punk Rock Trio Die Ärzte

February 20, 2017
German Music, Learn German

die ärzte. Fotocredit: Nela König

Punk rockers Die Ärzte have been known to call themselves the best band in Berlin and the best band in the world. While they might not be as well known internationally as their peers Die Toten Hosen, Die Ärzte have played an important part in the German punk scene. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of punk rock or not, check out Die Ärzte — this month’s music recommendation for German language learners.

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Hydroponic Tulips

February 17, 2017
Home & Garden

hydroponic tulips

How beautiful are these tulips that my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day? However, you might notice that those aren’t cut flowers. They’re tulips with bulbs still intact and sitting in water! These tulips are hydroponic.

After my marveling over the air-grown, substrateless epiphyte orchids at Longwood Gardens, it’s probably not too surprising that I’m a fan of hydroponic plants, too. Years ago, my husband and I used styrofoam coolers to try and grow hydroponic lettuce. We weren’t terribly successful but it’s a method of growing that has continued to intrigue me.

These tulips, from a company called Bloomaker, seem pretty ordinary. You can purchase them from the grocery store. But the bulbs are specially prepared for hydroponic growth. That means the bulbs must be very high quality and disease-free for dirtless growing.

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German Film: Actor Heiner Lauterbach

February 13, 2017
German Films, Learn German

heiner lauterbach

Heiner Lauterbach is a veteran. He has more than forty years in the film industry so it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s already crossed your path. The actor has an impressive array of television and films on his resume, not to mention theater. And his resume is growing regularly. Already this year, Lauterbach is in three films for the big and small screens. From comedy to drama, Heiner Lauterbach has done it all. This month’s featured German film recommendations for German learners is Heiner Lauterbach!

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Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens

February 9, 2017
Travel

orchids close up

It’s about this time of the year — halfway through winter and halfway to spring — when people start dreaming of warm locations and vacations on bright sandy beaches. But only just recently my fellow Pennsylvanian, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted a further six weeks of winter. However, I have found a loophole! A visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. The horticultural garden in suburban Philadelphia is currently exhibiting more than 4,500 orchids as part of Orchid Extravaganza. It’s a first taste of spring that really shouldn’t be missed!

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