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Here’s why Grumpy Cat is in Berlin – and absolutely hates it

One of the most recognizable gloomy faces of the internet is making her debut in the hip German capital, but there will be no smiling selfies for this crabby kitty.

Here's why Grumpy Cat is in Berlin - and absolutely hates it
Grumpy Cat. Photo: DPA.

Grumpy Cat – actually named Tardar Sauce – is set to star in a calendar for German car manufacturer Opel, alongside the equally pouty Georgia May Jagger, the daughter of the famous Rolling Stone.

The calendar is being launched in Berlin with a series of events on Friday and Caturday – oops, Saturday – which will include DJs, dancing, and only naturally, a giant replica of Grumpy Cat.

Die Welt reported that party guests will be served drinks out of milk bottles and cookies from bowls while grumpy clowns will hand out balloons with the cat's famous saying “I had fun once, it was awful”.

Grumpy Cat herself wrote on Twitter this week to express her enthusiasm – or lack thereof.

The four-year-old Tardar Sauce gained international notoriety in 2012 when her picture was posted to social news site Reddit, and she was instantly turned into a meme.

Her displeased demeanor is said to be due to her underbite and feline dwarfism.

Since becoming an internet sensation, Grumpy Cat has collected nearly 9 million Facebook fans, more than 600,000 Twitter followers, a pet food sponsorship and her own line of merchandise.

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world. 

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