Friday, August 15, 2008

Safe Underwear

"Todesfalle Buestenhalter! Die Bundespolizei hat herausgefunden: Wenn ein boeser Bube in ebensolcher Absicht auf eine Polizistin schiesst, kann das trotz schusssicherer Weste schlimm enden. Weil die 'Durchschlagswucht' der Kugel die BH Schliesshaekchen gefaehrlich in die Polizistin druecken koennte.

Gefahr erkannt, Gefahr gebannt: Die Bundespolizei bruestet sich nun mit der Entwicklung eines Spezial-BH fuer ihre 3000 Beamtinnen. Es handelt sich im Grunde um einen stinknormalen Sport-BH, er hat also keine Verschluesse - dafuer einen grossen Aufdruck 'Polizei'. So strahlt die Polizistin auch halb bekleidet volle Autoritaet aus.

Das Beispiel muss Folgen haben. Fleckentarngas fuer Soldaten und feuerfeste Unterwaesche fuer die Feuerwehr ('Retten - Loeschen - Verbergen') muessen Grundausstattung sein. Und auch die Brieftraeger brauchen einen textilen Arbeitsschutz: hundebissdichte Unterhosen."

"Death trap bra! The Federal Police has found out that when a bad guy with bad intentions shoots at a police woman, the consequences can be bad in spite of bullet-proof vests. Because the force of the bullet can press the bra hooks dangerously into the police woman.

Danger spotted, danger banned: the Federal Police Force are now proudly introducing a special bra for their 3000 female officers. It's just an ordinary sports bra, i.e. it has no hooks, but it features in large print the word 'police'. So even if only partly dressed, the police woman still radiates full authority.

This example needs to be followed: stain camouflage gas for soldiers and fire proof underwear for the fire brigade should become standard equipment. And postmen also need textile work protection: dog-bite proof underpants."

Kai Gauselmann, Sichere Waesche, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, 8.8.2008

Tax-free shopping

Towel opportunities

We went for a coffee in the medieval town of Quedlinburg, to a unique café that occupies seven houses – not because the café is so big, but because the houses are so small. But that was not the only curiosity that caught my attention. When I went to the loo, washed my hands and pulled a paper towel out of the dispenser, I discovered to my surprise that it was densely printed with advertisements: for home design “creative, individual and tasteful”, hotel supplies “brilliant shine, stylish accessories, a hint of luxury”, for music lessons, real estate, car and bicycle parts and leisure parks; even jobs were advertised.

Café Roland, Breite Str. 2 – 6, 06484 Quedlingburg,

Found objects/ Halle, Germany

Found objects from the courtyard of the Frankeschen Stiftungen in Halle/Germany, where I visited the Kunst- und Naturalienkammer. Founded in 1698, this is the oldest still surviving Wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities) in Europe. In the textile cabinet there are fabric samples, shoes, a mosquito cap from Astrachan, a Turkish turban brought back from a battle in Belgrade, sewing thread made from twisted Siberian asbestos and animal sinews, dolls in regional dress with goitre which was very common in some areas because of a lack of iodine.I also saw a wig made from spun glass - good because it was fireproof so it would not catch fire when the wearer was writing by candlelight, but uncomfortable because tiny bits of glass would break off causing severe itching and rash.