Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by taking a tour to a country that plays a role in the forty sixth episode of our favourite family The Simpsons, German.
In the forty sixth episode of The Simpsons, Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk (Season 03, Episode 11), Mr. Burns sells the Nuclear Power Plant to a pair of German businessmen for $100 million.
To learn more about his new bosses, Homer asks Lisa about Germany:
Homer: “Do you know anything about Germany?”
Lisa: “Well, it’s a country in Europe.”
Homer: “Good. I’m learning.”
Lisa: “An economic power of the world.”
Homer: “Because we send them money?”
Lisa: “No. They’re efficient and punctual, with a strong work ethic.”
Much to Homer’s chagrin, his lack of efficiency, punctuality, and work ethic lead to him being fired. Disappointed, he goes to Moe’s to drink away his woes. When Mr. Burns and Smithers come in to Moe’s, none of the patrons are intimidated by Mr. Burns. Realizing he has no power anymore, Mr. Burns plans to beg the Germans to sell the plant back to him. But when the Germans admit that they too are desperate to sell, Mr. Burns takes over negotiations and buys back his plant for half the price.
But besides what Lisa told Homer about the Germans, let’s learn a little bit more info on Germany:
The Federal Republic of Germany is located in Central and Western Europe. It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west. It’s capital and largest city is Berlin. Other notable cities include Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, and Stuttgart.
The country is home to an estimated 83 million citizens (making it the largest member of the European Union). The country is the 62nd largest in terms of surface area at 357,022 km2 (137,847 square miles). Their official and national language is German. The official currency is the Euro (EUR). Germany is a member of the European Union.
The overall life expectancy at birth is 81.2 years; 78.8 years for males and 83.6 years for females (all three higher than Morocco’s 76.1 years; 73.0 years for males and 79.3 years for females from Musings 42 and Albania’s 78.5 years; 75.8 years for males and 81.4 years for females from Musings 11). The country’s total fertility rate is 1.60 (much lower than Morocco’s 2.59 children born per woman and higher than Albania’s 1.51).
Germany’s predominant religion is Christianity. 66.8% of the population is Christian, 27.9% are atheist or irreligious, 5.2% are Muslims and 0.1% are Jews.
The flag of Germany is made of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours – black, red, and gold.
While fossil records show humans in Germany over 600,000 years ago, Germany has undergone five formations in the past 150 years. The first unification was on January 18, 1871. The monarchy was abolished on November 9, 1918. Nazi Germany was formed on March 23, 1933. Germany was then split into West-East divisions on May 23, 1949. This was most recently followed by reunification of West Germany and East Germany on October 3, 1990.
German cuisine has bread as a staple. German bakeries produce about 600 main types of bread and 1,200 types of pastries and rolls. Germany also produces over a fifth of cheese in Europe (22%). And of course, Germany is known for almost 1,500 varieties of sausage, including Bratwursts and Weisswursts; and a variety of beers.
The most popular sport in Germany is Football (aka Soccer). With more than 7 million official members, the German Football Association is the largest single-sport organization worldwide. The German top football league (the Bundesliga), attracts the second highest average attendance of all professional sports leagues in the world. The German men’s national football team has won the FIFA World Cup four times (in 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014), second only to Brazil’s five championships.
Germany is also known for motorsports, with local manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche often manufacturing winning vehicles. Germany has competed in nearly every Summer and Winter Olympics; and has won the third most medals ever.
Of the thousands of notable German personalities, a few include physicist Albert Einstein, physicist Werner Karl Heisenberg, composer Ludwig van Beethoven, composer Johann Sebastian Bach, composer Johannes Brahms, mathematician Charles Gauss, philosopher Karl Marx, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, actress Diane Kruger, actor Christopher Waltz, director Roland Emmerich, model Heidi Klum, model Claudia Schiffer, fashion designer Hugo Boss, basketball great Dirk Nowitzki, racing great Michael Schumacher, tennis great Steffi Graf, tennis great Boris Becker, fairy tale writers Brothers Grimm, and businessman Frederick Trump (patriarch of the Trump family and grandfather of US President Donald Trump).
Now that we’ve learned more about Germany, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
What’s your favourite Simpsons country connection? What about your favourite Simpsons nuclear plant episode? Have you ever been to Germany? Have you ever been to a chocolate haven? Have you ever been to a nuclear power plant? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.