Blog 2019

2019-12-21 Star Wars

Trump launches Space Force:  now it is unambiguously clear we have a madman at the helm of what was once an enlightened and leading nation.  It seems the only course of action is to ignore him.  We need peace, cooperation, not conquering the high ground and amassing weapons.  The war is about saving the planet!

2019-10-27 “Appropriate”

In 1991 I had a fierce discussion, though not quite a dispute, with Tim Berners-Lee about some minor incident.  He thought what I had done “inappropriate”.  Reflecting on the discussion later, my conclusion was that the word “inappropriate” was a polite euphemism.  Never since have I used that word.  Instead I search for the correct, straight word.  “Appropriate” and “inappropriate” are on my list of “bad words”. And I also found that most of the time using “inappropriate” is simply hypocrisy.  It's because the user does not want to say bluntly what is on their mind.

Today that word came in the news about Brexit:  in a text about EU-UK common social, environmental and labour standards, the word “adequate” was replaced by “appropriate”, and “inappropriate” was also used in a warning.  It seems I was right.  Distrust anything with these words in it.

2019-10-27 People Smuggling

Let's assume that what I read in the news is correct:  a number of people died inside a lorry while trying to get to the UK.  They had mobile phones.  They called their families in Asia. Roaming plans?  GSM signal goes through the walls of the lorry?  And they did not call an emergency number, but just wailed that they could not breathe? What planet are we on?

2019-09-26 Postal Rates

Why did we not know international postal rates have been skewed for a while?  Clearly there are changes in the status of many countries, correcting rates to take that into account is good.  But it could have been done at the regular UPU meetings which deal with those problems anyway, bullying does not put people in a good mood, it may raise tensions even between otherwise civilised groups.

Allowing certain countries to set their own rates is not good:  that's the destruction again fo multilateral agreements and a free-for-all trend.

The limits on import volumes should not be by absolute weight but weight per inhabitant:  the US wins again and the EU loses again?

2019-09-06 Good for consumers

An incandescent (“classic”) light bulb of 100W that lasts 2000 hours and costs 1€ is used in a light fixture over a time of 14'000 hours. It will therefore need to be replaced 7 times, costing 7€.  In that time it will have used 100×14kWh = 1400kWh of energy, at 0.2€/kWh that is 280€. Total cost: 287€ (not counting overhead in time and travel for replacements).
A LED bulb giving the same amount of light costs 12€ but does not need to be replaced over 14'000 hours.  It uses 12W and thus will have used 12×14kWh = 168kWh of energy at 0.2€/kWh or 34€. Total cost: 46€.
So clear that incandescent is much better for the consumer, since they pay only 1€ instead of 12€.

2019-09-06 Seven metres

There has been about 1ºC warming since 1950.  Greenland's ice is melting.  There is a likelyhood that it slides into the ocean even well before it all melts because of lubrication from below.  That would cause a rise in sea levels of a calculated 7m.

Why are we bothering about fixing the maximum rise at 1.5º or 2º if the catastrophe is already happening at 1º ?

That's counting without Antarctica.

2019-08-21 Watch your real estate

“A lot of things could be done” like trading some US territory for Greenland.  Watch out guys!  He is willing to sell you!

2019-07-27 Californians get your country back!

Do a Calexit!  Don't let the bureaucrats in Washington decide laws that you do not want!  Trump will make an “amazing” trade deal with you when you regain your independence!  No multi-lateralism with other States of the Union!  If you want to enact your own pollution laws, do so!

2019-07-25 New UK PM

Wondering…  Is blond hair a prerequisite now for leading a country?

2019-07-24 Thunberg shunned at French parliament

I had not written any opinions since the beginningof 2019, but now I must.

Greta Thunberg made a speech at the French parliament, but was attacked by delegates from the right.  This is not good.  This happens at the same time that obviously we are here in a heatwave without precedent, most definitely aggravated by global warming.  It seems there is no alternative but confrontation, since these deniers do not want to examine the evidence.  Physical violence coming soon?