One problem less » Stories on the side we check a hassle off your list... Fri, 19 Aug 2011 09:38:50 +0000 en hourly 1 Long time no see … Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:56:59 +0000 One Problem Less You must have been wondering for how much longer you’ll be reminded that the year is now 2011, as there has been no new blog post since early January. I am sorry to have wasted your visit. The news is that One Problem Less will be a shop soon. I have been too busy discovering products and putting together the site that I have had not enough inspiration for any new stories.

So 2011 is the year of the shop opening. Please bear with us and be eager for the opening of the ultimate online shopping experience …

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Happy new year Sat, 01 Jan 2011 11:05:50 +0000 One Problem Less On this cool date 1.1.11 I wish you a healthy, happy and wonderfully productive 2011! Four times 1. I couldn’t resist browsing through some web sites on numerology to find something fun and meaningful (well, a meaning that suits my needs) about what this date could mean. I found something I liked. One numerologist said that “ONE is a masculine energy that strikes out on its own and pioneers what is new, original, and seething with energy”.

As One Problem Less is about new ideas (be they masculine or feminine), originality and energy we gladly accept this number as a positive omen that this year will bring innovation galore!

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What does “Wiki” stand for? Sat, 11 Dec 2010 21:31:28 +0000 One Problem Less Yesterday we were discussing the latest bit of news on WikiLeaks over lunch, when somebody asked “Where does the word “Wiki” come from? What does it mean?” Good question! And nobody knew the answer to it then and there. So this is the post-lunch-research blog post.

As we all know, a wiki is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, edit and change content. An open-source wisdom archive, so-to-say. The most famous version of that kind must be Wikipedia.  This collaborative format and its technology for organizing information on web sites, was developed by a guy named Ward Cunningham, who in 1995 launched the WikiWikiWeb.  The story goes that a trip to Hawaii inspired Cunningham to use that word for his invention. At the airport he was told to use the “wiki wiki bus”, a fast shuttle to the adjacent terminal. The wiki wiki bus inspired the naming of the  wikiwikiweb and the rest is history. You could also say that this is the story of how a Hawaiian word became a global idiom.

While we are at it, the latest news now is that former WikiLeaks German staffer Daniel Domscheit-Berg is launching is own kiss-and-tell site. He had become increasingly unhappy with Assange’s workings and defected from WikiLeaks in September.  Watching the global controversy built around the secret-spilling organization, he has taken a different approach with his own OpenLeak project. That is keep the anonymous submissions channel, ditch the controversial and resource-draining publishing piece altogether.

Along with several other former Wikileaks staffers, Domscheit-Berg plans to launch OpenLeaks next week. He gave interviews to US media stating the new site will allow leakers to anonymously submit information to a secure online dropbox. But unlike its parent site, it won’t publish that information itself. Instead, it will allow the source to designate any media or non-governmental organizations he or she chooses and have that information passed on for fact-checking, redaction and publication. That difference, argues Domscheit-Berg, will allow OpenLeaks to accomplish much of the transparency achieved by WikiLeaks, without drawing the same political fury and legal pressure.

However, neither “wiki” nor “open” leaks, are “wikis” in the true sense of the invention.

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The less ordinary Christmas markets Sun, 28 Nov 2010 23:49:09 +0000 One Problem Less There are a number of Christmas markets in Berlin which you may find interesting as they are less jingle bellsy and more unusual in terms of what they sell and how they are organised.

Holy Shit Shopping takes place on December 11-12 in two locations,  Spandauerstrasse 2 and Karl Liebknechtstrasse 9-10. 12-7pm. You will find artists, designers and all sorts of other creatives selling their goods to the sound of DJs and live acts.

Trendmafia is an indoor market which will be on on the first three weekends in December (4/5, 11/12, and 18/19). 1pm -8pm. Location is the Underground station Bernauer Straße in Mitte. As the name implies this is a market for up and coming designers in fashion, jewellery, and home accessories.

Weihnachtsrodeo wants to be the coolest of all the markets. As it takes place on the last weekend before Christmas this can be your last minute chance to get your gift shopping done in a fun atmosphere. The location is HAUS UNGARN in Karl-Liebknechtstrasse 9.

Handmade Supermarket is another last chance market for your xmas shopping. On December 18-19 from noon to 8pm in Eisenbahnstrase 42 Berlin-Kreuzberg.

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Rudolph is in town Wed, 24 Nov 2010 20:18:05 +0000 One Problem Less The somewhat bizarre idea of reindeer pulling a corpulent man in a beard on a flying sleigh was dreamt up by American poet Clement C. Moore in the poem “A night before Christmas” created for his children. Rudolph was not one of those eight reindeer, but was the subsequent creation of writer Robert May, who was commissioned to write a Christmas story for the US department store Montgomery Ward, in 1939. In the first year alone, 2.5 million copies were given away to shoppers and Rudolph took his first, flat-footed steps to fame. The rest is history …

A small herd of hairy reindeer is now on show at SOMA, the current exhibition at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof. You might think the reason for this is the Christmas season. Nope, that is not it. No jingle bells or Santas to bee seen. The story surrounding the exhibition instead is magic mushrooms, Siberian nomads, reindeer and their relationship with canary birds. It is all very amusing and confusing at the same time. I didn’t get it, but the animals seemed happy enough to be away from the cold from where they originally come from. Here they are putting on a lazy show in a warm museum accompanied  by canaries in four giant cages. Seems ok from a reindeer point of view. If the animals seem out of place, the installation of gigantic mushrooms does indeed remind one of contemporary art as we know it. However, the 12 reindeer don’t seem to mind the lack of real nature and the birds are chirping away, but to add to the total bewilderment of what is on display, just check out the the boxes with mice on the side of the reindeer enclosure as well as the refrigerators with mushrooms …

So far so good for artist Carsten Höller’s latest creation. Here comes the scoop. Are you looking for a present for someone who has absolutely everything? If that’s your problem, this is your solution. For € 1000 you and a sleeping partner of your choice  - or that couple, who you may owe an outrageous gift – can stay the night with the birds and the deer. Yes you can! This would be your bed in the middle of what used to be a train station before it became a museum (and a zoo). The point is to visit the museum at night and enjoy the smell of deer as you are trying to fall asleep. Oh, and the use of a designer bathroom custom built for the purpose of this event is also part of the deal. Breakfast will be catered by Berlin”s Hotel Intercontinental.

Interested? Bookings can be made through The show will be on until February 6th 2011.

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The cook, the poet, her recipes and twitter Sun, 07 Nov 2010 17:01:40 +0000 One Problem Less What looks like an encrypted message from an enigma machine is a tweeted recipe. The decoded version is as follows:

(1) Mix ¼ cup of vegetable oil, 1 diced butternut squash and 1 diced potato (peeled or not, as you prefer), 1 diced leek, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon of paprika.
(2) Next, roast uncovered in an oven preheated to 350°F for 1 hour (checking the oven occasionally is never a bad idea.)
(3) Puree with 3 cups of water. Heat and serve sprinkled with 1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds, and 1 tablespoon of toasted sunflower seeds.

This is from Eat Tweat. A twitter cook, by Maureen Evans. I had read a small mention about it in this week’s DIE ZEIT and was immediately intrigued. The book contains over a thousand recipes and each one conforms to the 140-character limit that users on Twitter are limited to when writing their tweets. The book evolved from Evans’ Twitter stream @cookbook. I looked into the preview version of it on Amazon and ordered it.

To tweet is to compress. Tweets either inform or annoy. And there is a lot of rubbish on Twitter, but when these distillations of information are well done, contain useful facts or instructions, and help to solve a problem, then I do find them simply great. Anyone who twitters knows how difficult it is to compress a message that has any useful information into 140 characters! A good tweet is like mastering the art of bonsai, the art of Soduku and the art of communication all at once.

For someone to have made it her mission to compile this vast amount of eatable ideas is an amazing achievement. This work seems like a splendid innovation in both the grammar and culinary department. Of course these encrypted recipes only really make sense if you get the decoded version as well, which you do by the way. For me the fun with this book will be to get better at tweeting while putting together a meal.

My verdict before even receiving my own copy: this is a great gift idea, a way to learn to be concise, and learn new recipes.

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Kick-start this winter season in Berlin Sat, 30 Oct 2010 13:58:39 +0000 One Problem Less If Berliners have a problem, than it is the fact that there are no mountains anywhere near them. Hey, but that is not a problem anymore! Today they kick-start their winter season right in the heart of town at the ultra modern Potsdamer Platz.

It is quite impossible these days to image this area of Berlin as a piece of no-man’s-land with watch towers, barb wire and land mines as it was during the days of the former GDR. It has become a bustling neighborhood, with high rises full of offices and private apartments, a train station, shops etc. With a small ski run and snow, I find these historical days of horror even harder to picture. Why would anyone want to slide down a patch of snow in the middle of a hustling city? Because its fun! As of today until January 1st 2011 our local dare dare devils can steer a sledge down this hill.  It is all about looking forward, humor and problem-solving abilities, isn’t it??

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One Problem less – a bit less serious Wed, 06 Oct 2010 14:36:08 +0000 One Problem Less Do you know what this is? (Forgive the poor quality of the photos – I only had my mobile at hand)

You could say that it is a thingy with ice cream left on the sofa.

Yes, but not quite. This is a real problem saver – the safe-a-seat-for-yourself-problem-solver.

This mock-up spilt ice cream thingy deters people who want to take your place on the sofa and I think it is very funny. It looks so much like the real thing –  soft, sticky ice cream – which no one wants on their clothing, that they won’t take your seat!

I saw this at my friend Tina, who had bought it from a street vendor in New York. Now I want one too. Please, all dear readers from New York, look around and when you see one, get me one – PLEEASE…

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Window Farms – you won’t find a cooler hothouse Mon, 13 Sep 2010 13:21:10 +0000 One Problem Less Fresh salad and herbs growing from used plastic bottles hanging from your window? Correct. This is an inexpensive construction made of  water bottles, suspended upside-down from a fishing line holding plants growing in a bed of clay pellets. I must admit this is as wacky an idea as it is a fascinating invention. This is as nature and fresh groceries loving, do-it-yourself as it can get. The result not only looks interesting, it seems to work! Window farms have been used to grow not only lettuce and kitchen herbs, but also strawberries, cherry tomatoes, peppers and bak choi. Root veggies like onions, potatoes, carrots can not grow on the window farm as they need earth.

Gardening enthusiasts are cheering for  the Window Farms Project which is sprouting around the world like the herbs they grow in their homes. There are several hundred registered users at Window farmers use recycled 1.5 liter water bottles, clay pellets, plastic tubing and a simple fish tank air pump to built their hanging gardens. Once more it has been the power of the Web, which not only rallied indoor farmers from around the globe to take upon window-farming, but also crowd-sourced research and development to built on the initial construction and technology and improve it.

The project started as an experiment by US artists Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray, who teamed up to develop a DIY system for creating a “suspended, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield light-augmented” vertical home garden for urban dwellers with no access to soil. Their goal was to enable anyone to start a conservatory to farm food right in their very own window. They also were driven by the dream to produce food that hade been grown without additives and pesticides and had been harvested locally to avoid premature harvesting as well as costly and air polluting transportation. The first window farm was showcased in New York in 2009 and after enlisting a few dozen enthusiasts building their own farms, an ever growing international community has flourished ever since.

Vegetables and herbs grow with the help of nutrients added to the water, sunlight, and/ or CFL bulbs to supplement natural light as well with a little electricity for the water pump and the artificial light if needed— but no soil. The Window Farms Web site provides instructions on how to put together a system that grows three plants. You can also order the kit if you wanted to get going straight away.

This video is a good introduction to the project Youtube video.

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The love Bülow Wed, 08 Sep 2010 20:48:11 +0000 One Problem Less Imagine my surprise when I saw my family name on telly. The love Bülow.

A Berlin rap band that is gaining quite a following. Well, for the love of us Bülows, get famous the love Bülow ….!

Check out their videos

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