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Thursday, June 30, 2016
AFK, so Hiatus.here will now be a brief summer pause in blogging chez moi. But for your amusement, please consider the activities in the Houses of Parliament in Westminister as they negotiate the Brexit / deny reality.
And the reaction from Brussels :-
Meanwhile, from across the pond, Doug opined :-
Friday, June 24, 2016
OUTch :-(here are some very unhappy people this morning, and some happy ones. And now the press will go overboard reporting results, doing analyses, and generally trying to whip people into a frenzy, or at least show some interest. But the fat lady has sung. Maybe Susan Boyle?
So in a couple of years I have a decision to make. Because my UK passport expires in 2019; it's an EU UK passport which will become invalid when the Brexit finally happens. So, do I apply for a new non-EU UK passport with all the hassle about visas and residence permits for Germany? Or do I hope that Scotland goes independent and re-enters the EU within that timeframe? In which case I'd go for a Scottish passport. Or do I become a naturalised German, seeing as I've lived here for 40+ years already? Or just die first?
Choices, choices, but still a couple of years to decide :-)
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Can you see the stars?t is increasingly unlikely that you can, due to light-pollution :-(
A new report in "Science Advances" (doi:10.1126/sciadv.1600377) reports in this phenomenon, annoying not only to astronomers. A third of the world's population cannot even see the Milky Way (our own galaxy) from their own homes. In central Europe and the USA 99% of the inhabitants have some light-smog. If you want really dark skies here in Europe, you'd want to be in Scandanavia, the highlands of Scotland, or (nearest to me) parts of Meck-Pom in eastern Germany.
I happen to live in a valley, the hills to the north block out the light-smog of the city of Paderborn and my view south is reasonably dark; sufficient for an amateur's telescope anyway. Italy and South Korea have the worst light-smog. Canada, Australia and North Korea still have the darkest skies. Eastern USA, Holland, Singapore, Israel, Kuweit, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia? Fuggedaboudit!
Back in the 80s I was on a photosafari in South Africa and we trekked out onto the savanna one night (with armed guides) ostensibly to see lions etc at night. I spent most of the night looking up though, seeing the Milky Way in all its magnificent luminous glory, arching across the whole sky and lighting up the plains :-) Then when the MIR (russian space station) came over, I pointed up and cried out "Look out!". The rest of the group almost shat their pants, being unable to see where I was pointing ;-)
Ideally you should be able to see over 8,000 individual stars with the naked eye; friends in big cities tell me they can barely see five (that's 5, not 5000)!
What's the situation where you live, dear blogreaders?
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Weekend FAILs :-(he local newspaper reports incidents about which one just has to laugh, mostly funny but sometimes sad too.
Like the young girl, just got her driving licence, who, trying for a shortcut, illegally turned left into the no-entry end of a one way street and a hit a car coming the other way. It was a police car ;-)
Or the housebreaking thief, trying to escape from the police, who jumped into the canal and submerged himself but was nabbed when he came up for air ;-)
Or the supermarket shoplifter who stuffed his rücksack full and made a run for it - straight into the glass sliding door which didn't open quickly enough - knocking himself out in the process. Still unconcious when the cops arrived.
Or the mom who saw her kid fishing in the canal and asked what he was fishing for. He replied that he wasn't fishing, he was just testing her dress wristwatch to see if it was waterproof ;-)
Or yours truly who had popped over to Rainer's place on my motorcycle for sunday breakfast only to be caught in another thunderstorm on the way home as I emerged from the forest :-(
Monday, June 13, 2016
Stop'n'go staircase :-)everal years ago, I blogged about a very narrow street, in Horb I think it was. But Wikipedia tells me the world's narrowest street is in Reutlingen. At its narrowest it is just 31 cms (12.2 inches) wide! Personally, I'd call that a passageway; a street is for vehicular traffic surely? And you couldn't even ride a bicycle through there, let alone my motorcycle!
The "Spreuerhofstraße" in Reutlingen, shown on the left, is so narrow that fat people can't walk through it even sideways ;-)
But today I want to tell you about a "tidal-flow passageway" I found in Prague(CZ). Prague is the capital city of the Czeck Republic. The city is on 3 levels. At the top you have the castle and the cathedral (also worth a visit), illuminated a golden colour at night. And far down below, you have the Moldau river. The medieval buildings of the old (upper) town were built about 2 feet apart to stop any fires spreading from one building to another. These gaps were pedestrian passageways. Now there's just one left.
This particularly interesting one leads from the street called U luzického semináre down towards the river Moldau. It zick-zacks around like an alpine road and you cannot see one end from the other. This led to tourists puffing and panting on the way up encountering others on the way down; the passage is so narrow they couldn't pass one another :-(
The city administrators came up with an ingenious solution to this problem. The crooked staircase now has pedestrian traffic-lights at each end, timed to allow the "puffers and panters" on the way up to get there before the others can start down :-) Just don't stop on the stairs to admire the river view :-)
It was worth taking these stairs because they lead to the terrace of the Certovka restaurant, which was well worth the visit; both the food and the view were spectacular :-) Follow that link and look at exterior-photo number 6, it shows you the passageway/staircase as seen from the restaurant terrace at night. For obvious reasons we'd parked our motorcycles at the top.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
I'm semi-gross!ow it's official, I'm semi-gross! No thanks to yet another birthday this morning, I am now semi-gross ;-) Several readers may think I'm gross already, but actually I'm only half as old as they think. Getting weaker, yes, but mostly in good health, that's the main thing.
Celebrating with friends because SWMBO is off on a polar expedition, counting the polar bears on Spitzbergen. If she gets good photos, I'll be showing you some when she gets back home. In the mean-time, I'm the dogsitter, as she will be when I'm off riding the Wild Atlantic Way soon.
Photo cropped from one taken by my good biker friend Frank on 26/5/2016.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Mama, laud him!oncientious objector (=draft objector) Cassius Clay, who renamed himself Muhammad Ali, died on friday after a long fight against Parkinson's disease, which had had him on the ropes for many a year. (The photo shows him on the ropes, having been knocked down by Henry Cooper, a UK boxer.) The USA jailed him for refusing to fight in Vietnam, something they did not do to draft dodgers Bush, Cheney, Clinton, Romney, Trump et al :-(
He made a comeback in his boxing career after having his title removed for draft objection :-)
My cleverer readers may have noted that "Mama, laud him!" is an anagram of "Muhammad Ali". RIP.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Rain stopped play :-(ver the long Corpus Christi weekend our motorcycle club took a trip (planned far ahead) to the Eifel hills, staying in Ahrweiler. Unfortunately the weather was not totally cooperative :-(
Germany has been suffering under Elvira, the mother of all deluges of biblical proportions, and we got caught in one of the downpours on friday afternoon. As much rain in an hour as we normally get in a whole month! :-(
I have never gotten so soaked in over a half century of motorcycling. We were about 40 miles from our hotel when the storm broke. So we donned our rain gear and pressed on (perhaps we should have sought shelter for 4 hours then proceeded; my bad decision). I took the high roads back though, because roads through steep & narrow valleys were getting washed out. Poor old Dieter got really soaked through, because he had stored his rain gear in Frank's saddlebags, not having any himself. Then he had also chosen to ride in a different group from Frank. How thoughtless is that?
We just had to cope with several inches of water on the roads (yes, the photo below shows a road, not a river!), hoping to see where the road leads!
But other locations were hit worse : in the narrower valleys some roads were washed away (and so closed to traffic). The torrents tore up the asphalt, trees and even knocked houses down. Cars were washed away. As the rain subsided, valley roads were left blocked by rubble up to 20 feet high. No way through!
Luckily, it was dry in Ahrweiler and our hotel had drying facilities, so our clothes were dried out overnight. Needless to say, on the saturday and for the way home on sunday, those with smartphones consulted the rain-radar web-pages on the weather-sites in some detail. So yes, we did manage to get home in the dry by navigating a path between two rain fronts parallel to our route :-) Nobody has caught a cold afaik, so that's OK then :-)
Climate change is real, folks :-(
AFK, so Hiatus.
Can you see the stars?
Weekend FAILs :-(
Mama, laud him!
Rain stopped play :-(
On academic standards
The impossible barber
Heavy Metal Naked Girls
Going to Church ;-)
Iron Curtain Museum
71 years after WW2
For my US readers :-)
Castles for Carol :-)
Ain Bulldog Blog
Finding life hard?
Not Always Right
Rants from t'Rookery
Spork in the drawer
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This blog is getting really unmanagable, so I've taken the first 12 years' archives offline. My blog, my random decision. Tough shit; YOLO.
ENGLISH : I am not responsible for the contents or form of any external page to which this website links. I specifically do not adopt their content, nor do I make it mine.
DEUTSCH : Für alle Seiten, die auf dieser Website verlinkt sind, möchte ich betonen, dass ich keinerlei Einfluss auf deren Gestaltung und Inhalte habe. Deshalb distanziere ich mich ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten und mache mir ihren Inhalt nicht zu eigen.
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Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it’s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
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