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Germany

Nowitzki's 'Wurst' Ad Has German Vegetarians All Riled Up

Dirk Nowitzki has earned himself some Facebook flack over a television commercial he did in his native Germany. Vegetarians are up in arms over the ad, in which the NBA all star makes an open plug for a national delicacy… sausage!

Dirk Nowitzki slam dunking a piece of sausage
Dirk Nowitzki slam dunking a piece of sausage


*NEWSBITES

Dirk Nowitzki has a new ad out for a German bank that has unleashed a furor on Facebook. The NBA champion's alleged faux pas: eating a healthy slice of sausage.

The ad for the Ing-DiBa bank shows the basketball star visiting a butcher shop while on a trip back to his native Germany. In the shop an elderly lady behind the counter gives Nowitzki a slice of wurst to sample. A propos of wurst-eating she asks him: "What did we always used to say?" she asks the 2.13 meter (7-foot) basketball whiz just as he is about to munch his sausage. "So you grow big and strong," Nowitzki replies.

First impressions of the ad are that it is folksy and nostalgic. But take a second look and that's when it hits. What is the butcher shop lady giving the player recently voted German Athlete of the Year? Wurst! Dead and ground-up animal! It was enough to unleash a barrage of complaints by vegetarians on the bank's Facebook page. The bank responded by appealing to followers to deal with the issue with the "greatest possible respect."

If only Nowitzki had stayed with his old ad, which showed him throwing coffee beans into glasses. Although – if you think about that… Don't coffee beans have feelings too?

Read the full article in German by Lars Wallrodt

Photo - Youtube

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Society

Star Trek And The Journey From Science Fiction To Pseudoscience

Fans of Star Trek live in a Golden Age where old and new series are readily available. As one hardcore Trekkie points out, the franchise is a reminder of the similarities and differences between pseudoscience and science fiction.

Image of holographic bodies standing next to each other in an office

Holographic figures of the same person standing beside each other.

Carlos Orsi

-Essay-

For my Trekkie part, I'm still a fan of the old ones: I still remember the disappointment when a Brazilian TV channel stopped airing the original series, and then there was a wait (sometimes years) until someone else decided to show it.

Living deep in São Paulo, Brazil in the 1990s, it was also torturous for me when “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” premiered on a station whose signal was very bad in my city.

I don't remember when I saw the original cast for the first time, but I remember that when Star Trek made the transition to the cinema in 1979, in Robert Wise's film, the protagonists James Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Montgomery Scott (James Doohan) and the Starship Enterprise were already old acquaintances.

And I was only eight years old. Nowadays, given the scarcity of time and attention that are the hallmarks of the contemporary world, I limit myself to following spinoffs Picard and Strange New Worlds and reviewing films made for cinema, from time to time.

So, when a cinema close to my house decided to show the 40th anniversary of The Wrath of Khan (originally released in 1982), I rushed to secure a ticket. And there in the middle of the film, I had a small epiphany: the Star Trek Universe is pseudoscientific!

This realization does not necessarily represent a problem: contrary to what many imagine, science fiction exists to make you think and have fun, not to prepare for a national test).

Yet in a franchise that has always made a lot of effort to maintain an aura of scientific bona fides (Isaac Asimov was a consultant on the first film, and the book The Physics of Star Trek has a preface by Stephen Hawking!), the finding was a bit of a shock.

And what made me jump out of the chair?

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