Rethinking evolution: Butterflies came first, flowers came second - Deutsche WelleThursday, March 15, 2018
Butterfly and moth fossils often remain unrecognized, because they are so rare, says Sonja Wedmann, paleontologist and research associate at the Messel pit near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Wedmann was not involved in the van de Schootbrugge / van Eldijk study. But she explains that because butterfly wings are good at repelling water "they tend to float on a lake instead of sinking to the ground." And that's why such particles tend to quickly decompose rather than fossilizing and remaining intact for millennia to come."Butterfly fossils are always something extraordinary," Wedmann tells DW.Moths and butterflies belong to the same animal order. Moths are simply not as colorfulThe concept of co-evolution on trialUntil now scientists believed that flowering plants evolved first, and were only then followed by butterflies and moths.It seems logical. But the Dutch group's new interpretation of the research suggests the theory is wrong: they say the feeders came first and the plants came second. It's a revolutionary thought that leads Sonja Wedmann to call the study "really special.""How flowering plants evolved from seed-producing plants is one of the big mysteries in evolution," says van de Schootbrugge, "and our discovery opens new doors to this mystery."While flowering plants didn't exist, butterflies and moths probably fed on some non-flowering, seed-producing plants, such as conifers.Maybe – and van de Schootbrugge stresses that it's just a maybe – these plants tried to lock in their nectar, which they need for reproduction, to stop the butterflies and moths feeding on it, and that's possibly how, or why, they evolved into something completely new: flowering plants.That certainly would be a revolution in evolution theory. It would show that – at least in evolution – not everything that appears logical is necessarily true. Where have all the butterflies gone?Delicate creaturesAcross the globe, butterflies are under threat. According to the German Wild Animal Foundation, the number of butterfly and moth species present in Germany has halved over the last 30 years. For diurnal butterflies, that decline is nearer 70 percent. This photo shows Colias hyale, which was selected as Germany's "butterfly of the year" in 2017.Where have all the butterflies gone?Sweet juiceButterflies adore the sweet sap from flowers and blossoms, and enjoy a broad palate. But plant diversity is dwindling, particularly in regions where intensive monoculture agriculture dominates, which leaves little choice for our beloved butterflies.Where have all the butterflies gone?Butterflies don't like pesticidesCrop protection products like herbicides and pesticides destroy biodiversity. Wild herbs, plants or flowers can't survive in areas with monoculture farming. In many parts of Germany, the scarce Swallowtail butterfly pictured here was once a common sight, but has now vanished from the landscape.div class="teaserContentWrap" read...http://www.dw.com/en/rethinking-evolution-butterflies-came-first-flowers-came-second/a-42110188
Christmasworld Announces Award Winners, Sees Increases in Visitors - Gifts & Decorative AccessoriesThursday, March 15, 2018
The further increase in visitor numbers and the higher level of internationality confirm that the world market is at home at Christmasworld in Frankfurt am Main. This completely underscores its role and power of attraction as the world’s leading trade fair for seasonal and festive decorations,” said Julia Uherek, group show director for Consumer Goods Fairs, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH.On the visitor side, the level of internationality rose from 59 to 63 percent, while remaining stable on the exhibitor side at a level of 78 percent. After Germany, the top European visitor nations were Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Poland. Large increases were also noted from the USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China, the Ukraine and Turkey.“Christmasworld is the most important fair in the year for us. We are extremely pleased because we have a very international audience here. Americans, Australians, South Americans, Russians, lots of Italians, and customers from all over Europe come here. The atmosphere in the trade is very positive; people are keen to order. Many order more than before,” said Helmut Schmidt, Weihnachtsland CEO.“There is no place in Europe other than Christmasworld where you can experience the latest trends of the season in such a compact and up-to-date space. The visit to Frankfurt is the most important date in the calendar for German and central European retailers," said Thomas Grothkopp, German Home and Office Association. "Additionally, Paperworld offers not only a huge spectrum of different products but also a high degree of internationality. The specialist trade benefits from this and from the range of products to be found at the concurrent Creativeworld."Visitors and Exhibitors Leave SatisfiedNinety-six percent of visitors said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the range of products and manufacturers, with the overall course of business, and that they achieved their g...http://www.giftsanddec.com/article/550590-christmasworld-announces-award-winners-sees-increases-visitors/
Chinese company buys ailing Frankfurt Hahn Airport - Deutsche WelleThursday, December 22, 2016
The European Commission also has to approve the state's continued involvement in the airport's operation.
The airport is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) away from Frankfurt am Main. Originally it served as a US military airbase before being converted to commercial use in 1993. Fraport, which operates the international flight hub Frankfurt Airport, sold its share to Rhineland-Palatinate in 2009 for a single euro.
The German state of Hessen, where Frankfurt am Main is located, owns the remaining shares of the airport, about 17 percent. It is already in the "home stretch" of negotiations with SYT about a buyout, which could take place within the coming weeks.
jtm/uhe (AFP, dpa, Reuers)
Changing Customer Demand Calls For New Retail Concepts - PerishableNews Thursday, December 22, 2016
FlorintPosted: Monday, November 28, 2016 at 4:10PM EST With the Floradecora trade fair for fresh flowers and ornamental plants, Christmasworld in Frankfurt am Main is branching out in completely new directions in line with the latest trends in the flower market and trade. This is the response of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH to changing consumer needs because, just like concept and lifestyle stores, which make shopping even easier and more enticing, convenience products are in. However, these developments call for new concepts. As Britta Tröster, Flower and Decorative Plant Product Manager of Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH (AMI), puts it, “Convenience products are also in demand in the plant sector. This is a really recent development and was not even a subject for discussion just five years ago.”
To meet this demand, nurseries are currently working on concepts catering for the new trend and offering, for example, standardised pots with arrangements of plants in matching colours that customers can hang from their balconies with no effort. Thus, Gärtnerei Löwer garden centre offered ‘Fan Pots’ with flowers in the Germ...http://www.perishablenews.com/index.php?article%3D0056887
Germany’s new Green divide - POLITICO.euSaturday, December 8, 2018
In one of Germanys most prosperous states, the Greens won 18 percent of the vote and became the second-largest party. It then achieved a similar feat in the neighboring state of Hesse, where it won 20 percent of the vote.
It remains to be seen whether the party will be able to cement its support and become the champion of Germanys cosmopolitan-liberal camp for years to come.
In early November, the Greens overtook the rapidly deflating SPD in nationwide opinion polls. One survey put the partys support at 24 percent, just three points below that of Chancellor Angela Merkels Christian Democratic Union. In a snap election, such a result would establish the Greens as Germanys largest left-wing force an enormous leap for the once marginal party. Buoyed by these recent successes, Greens from across Europe are gathering in Berlin this weekend to rev up their campaign for next May's European Parliament election.
In the minds of many German voters, the Greens have established themselves as the polar opposite of the AfD and those who adopt a similar rhetoric. I didnt have to think about it very long, it was crystal clear, says Doris Langer, 45, of her decision to vote Green in the Bavarian election. The communications specialist from Munich used to think of herself as largely apolitical and has voted for various center-left and center-right parties in the past.
But when Bavarias ruling Christian Social Union, the CDUs sister party, shifted rightward particularly on migration, a subject she cares about deeply Langer saw the Greens as her only option. They are the only ones who have a liberal refugee policy, she says. Merkels sentence from 2015, that ‘We can do it, the Greens are the only ones who take it seriously.
* * *
The Green surge could not have happened without the collapse of the SPD. In the birthplace of social democracy, the SPD held out longer than likeminded parties in other places in Europe. But its decline reaches back decades. In a way, social democracy became a victim of its own success.
The SPD is Germanys oldest existing party. Since taking on its current name in 1890, it has dipped below 20 percent in nationwide elections only once, in 1933; the party was banned by the new Nazi government shortly after.
After the war, the SPD became Germanys leading left-wing force, locked in a battle with the center-right Christian Democratic Union. After abandoning its Marxist tenets in 1959, drawing up plans to reform rather than abolish capitalism, the party gradually expanded beyond its working-class roots.
Reinvented, the party attracted centrist and middle-class voters, leading to a series of SPD victories in the 1970s. Back in opposition in the 1980s and 90s, the party led regional governments in several states. The SPD governed once more between 1998 and 2005, together with the Greens. (As junior coalition partners, the Greens were weaker and less influential than now; this seven-year period was their first and so far only time in power.)
But even in the SPDs 1970s heyday, its core base was already eroding. The structure of Germanys economy was changing, and with it the countrys workers.
img class="wp-image-981725 size-ev-full-width"...https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-green-party-haidhausen-munich-elections-social-democrats-spd-is-the-new-red/
Elvis Presley traffic lights appear in German town of Friedberg - DW (English)Saturday, December 8, 2018
Why is he there? Presley had a strong connection with Friedberg, a town of around 28,000 inhabitants, located 26 kilometers (16 miles) north of Frankfurt in the state of Hesse. Read more: Without Africans in North America, we would never have had Elvis Presley He was stationed there from October 1958 until March 1960 while serving as a soldier in the US Army. He lived in nearby Bad Nauheim. Elvis Presley in his US Army uniform while stationed in Friedberg It was there he met his future wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he married after a seven-year relationship. Both towns are keen to make sure no one forgets "the King," who died in 1977, or their connections to him. While Friedberg first switched on the new traffic lights on Wednesday, Bad Nauheim holds the 'European Elvis Festival' and is planning a bronze statue of him. Flowers and pictures of Elvis left at his memorial in Bad Nauheim Bad Nauheim has long been a site of pilgrimage for Elvis' fans, and people lay candles, flowers and gifts for him. A little more action According to Götz, it took three months for the police to give the go-ahead and then a local graphic designer to send his ideas to the manufacturer. However, the work appears to have paid off, with the Wetterauer Zeitung reporting positive reviews. "Good idea," "witty," "something a little different," were some of the reactions. One person added, "I did wonder about it, but as always I crossed on green." Following a trend Transforming traffic lights has become something of a trend in Germany. The most famous are the Ampelmännchen in Berlin. Created in 1961 in what was then East Berlin, they now appear all over the united capital. The city of Augsburg now has the Kasperl puppet character in a pointed hat, Mainz has its own Mainzelmännchen, Bonn has Beethoven traffic lights...https://www.dw.com/en/elvis-presley-traffic-lights-appear-in-german-town-of-friedberg/a-46610723
Flower-Power für BayernWednesday, October 17, 2018
Ouml;ko-Partei - und das längst nicht nur in Bayern. Ein Blick in die bundesweiten Umfragen: Auf Bundesebene bis zu 18 Prozent, nach nur 8,9 Prozent bei der Bundestagswahl im Herbst; in Hessen, wo Ende Oktober gewählt wird, 18 Prozent; in Nordrhein-Westfalen, wo sie letzten Sommer mit 6,4 Prozent aus der Regierung flogen, 17 Prozent. Längst werden die Grünen als mögliche neue Volkspartei gehandelt. Und immer wieder wird der Erfolg vor allem einem zugeschrieben - Shootingstar Robert Habeck, 49, Parteichef und Publikumsmagnet.
Der Schleswig-Holsteiner tourt seit Tagen durch Bayern und veröffentlicht im Netz nicht nur Bilder von sich beim Bügeln und beim Fitnesstraining, sondern vor allem von vielen Menschen, die zu seinen Veranstaltungen kommen, reden und zuhören wollen. Was in Bayern passiere sei eine „Frischluftzufuhr für die Demokratie, schreibt er, und meint damit, dass die Alleinherrschaft der CSU wackelt.
Für Habeck und Co-Parteichefin Annalena Baerbock ist diese Wahl wichtig, denn es ist die erste, seit die beiden im Januar auf Cem Özdemir und Simone Peter folgten. Seitdem arbeiten sie daran, den Grünen ein harmonisches, optimistisches, fröhliches Image zu verpassen. Scheinbar mit Erfolg, jedenfalls sehen die Umfragen danach aus. Dass mit Dieselkrise, Klimawandel und Braunkohle-Streit Ökothemen Hochkonjunktur haben, dürfte ihnen dabei zugute kommen.
„Die neue SPD, „die neue Volkspartei - solche Labels werden den Grünen nun schon eine Weile verpasst. Das Spitzenpersonal genießt das offensichtlich, der schlimme Kater nach dem Platzen der Jamaika-Verhandlungen im Bund mit Union und FDP ist überstanden. Aber wenn es in Bayern wirklich glänzend läuft, könnte das auch Probleme bringen - Koalitionsverhandlungen der beiden Lieblingsfeinde CSU und Grüne hätten es in sich. Ausgeschlossen sind sie trotzdem nicht, wenn es für CSU und Freie Wähler - eventuell n...https://www.sz-online.de/nachrichten/flower-power-fuer-bayern-4029228.html
Germany's Greens flourish while mainstream rivals flounderWednesday, October 17, 2018
Bavaria's state election on Sunday. It is polling strongly ahead in the election scheduled in neighboring Hesse two weeks later.
The Greens have clear policies on central issues, including an emphasis on fighting climate change and a largely liberal approach to migration.
The party also has a pragmatic approach and become a partner to parties from the center-right to the hard left in nine of Germany's 16 state governments.
Nationally, some recent polls have shown them level with the Social Democrats, traditionally Germany's main center-left party.
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2018 file photo the new party leaders Robert Habeck, right, and Annalena Baerbock make their way on stage at the party convention of the Green party in Hannover, northern Germany. While other German mainstream parties flounder in polls and struggle to find an answer to a far-right challenge, the Greens have gone from strength to strength over the last year. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2018 file photo bucket wheels dig for coal near the Hambach Forest near Dueren, Germany. While other German mainstream parties flounder in polls and struggle to find an answer to a far-right challenge, the Greens have gone from strength to strength over the last year. They stand for climate protection and a largely liberal approach to migration. (AP Photo/Martin...https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6268489/Germanys-Greens-flourish-mainstream-rivals-flounder.html