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Christmas Wednesday Open Thread

by Nomad Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 10:10:30 AM EST

For joyeux yarns


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Albert Hirschman, RIP (in French).

His book "Exit, Voice and Loyalty" was a major source for me when I wrote my PhD.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 10:32:02 AM EST
NYT obituary.

Respect.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:37:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like an interesting idea. However, I fear that often, when a company begins to lose sales cos their crappy products have suffered insufficient research, development and testing, the reaction of management is not to fix the fault, but to employ a bigger sales team to sell the same old shit just that bit harder.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 12:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is due to the fact that RD&T are regarded as a cost, revenue negative, wheras marketing and sales are considered revenue positive. Thus, in company politics, the latter always have priority

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 12:45:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe put your comment in the right place?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 03:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, it's really about Hirschman?

Good fucking grief

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 03:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, I followed the link JaP gave and read the review and the comments and responded.

I never claimed to know deep stuff about economics, never heard of the guy. So I just took what was there and said my piece.

sorry if I ain't Jake, he does other stuff. I'm just the fluff

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 03:45:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, if you read something and got that Hirschman was just an economist, you didn't read far.

If only the thing called Wikipedia?

Albert O. Hirschman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hirschman was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Carl and Hedwig Marcuse Hirschmann, and brother of Ursula Hirschmann.[2] After he had started studying in 1932 at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, he was educated at the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics and the University of Trieste, from which he received his doctorate in economics in 1938.[2]

Soon thereafter, Hirschman volunteered to fight on behalf of the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War. After France surrendered to the Nazis, he worked with Varian Fry to help many of Europe's leading artists and intellectuals to escape to the United States; Hirschman helped to lead them from occupied France to Spain through paths in the Pyrenees Mountains and then to Portugal.

Hirschman wasn't just a theorist, he was one of the last good guys out of the 20th century, like Stéphane Hessel.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:47:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you could have posted what you did without insulting Helen.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:03:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did post a link to the NYT obituary, which outlines Hirschman's life.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen commented on Exit, Voice and Loyalty. And reading the reviews on Amazon, it did strike me as outdated. It assumes rational decision-making for the company not just for upper managment. But then again it was written before the eighties.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 01:59:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I finished by understanding that was what she was commenting on. Or rather, just the Amazon blurb on it.

But y'know, why don't we all focus on the finger pointing at the moon?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hop everybody is happy and that Santa brought them, if not what they wanted, at least something they might need.

The river has receded and is now no longer living in our garden. But the ground is absolutely saturated, so any prolonged spell of rain is going to be interesting.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:34:31 AM EST
Santa got my computer out of the computer hospital where it's been recovering from some assortment of viruses, malware and so on.  A long week of being out of touch with the world!  
by ElaineinNM on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeez, i forgot to open my presents.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:57:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Though I will report this, nearly a month ago, Specs sent me a four meter long Advent rope, with stuff hanging off at intervals. Ranging from DVDs to organic choco, best Advent ever.

(Why do i never think to take a photo?)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 12:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heinz and I don't "do" presents; having each other, it would seem redundant.

I find it to be stressful to give and receive gifts on "supposed-to" occasions. It's a custom tailor made to create hurt feelings (they didn't like what I gave them / why would they give me THAT) and I wish special occasions could be marked by something else. That's what's so good about Thanksgiving, it's about family and food and being grateful instead of being about gifts.

That said, I love the scarf my mother in law knitted for me.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's new high speed inaugurated yesterday. Von Peking nach Guangzhou, 8 hours. apparently with first class.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 12:18:55 PM EST
Having seen TV footage, the first class looks very first class.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 12:30:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But with Proletariat color scheme.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 12:53:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bah humbug; screw first class.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, upgrade 2nd so there's no difference; all people are first class

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 02:51:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahhhhhh, that's better.


'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 03:20:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That IS why me titled this photo essay Comrade Comfort.  ;-)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:19:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but... dowdy. About thirty years behind the times aesthetically, like a first-generation TGV. But I cede to cultural relativism.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The seats look like egg shells. Be a high speed tamagotchi!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:52:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 01:39:50 PM EST


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 02:02:42 PM EST
This is the best intro to any TV programme ever



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 02:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anything can happen in the next half hour

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 02:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doing some research and have discovered three months of work is mostly shot to shit.

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

H'mmmm.

No.  That doesn't quite cover it.

THIS:

covers it.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:34:25 PM EST
Sheeeeh-yiiit

I'm sorry, that must really hurt

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:38:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frustrating is more like it.  I knew I had to do the research.  Projected it would take a couple of hours and the results could be folded into and covered in a couple of pages.  I had no suspicion just how much it would impact the whole project, not just the paper.  

Oh well.  That's the risk assumed when doing research: ya find stuff out.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 05:04:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frickin' bummer. I feel your pain.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 04:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 07:04:44 PM EST
Great pun.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 12:08:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seeking sartorial/climatological advice. Elder Daughter is heading off for the Finnish province of Greater Herringistan, and I'm trying to equip her accordingly.

Not that I imagine she'll spend many hours in the great outdoors in the coming months, but there'll be lots of waiting for buses between flat and campus and town etc...

Indispensable items of attire? Beginners' errors to avoid?

I'm thinking merino wool undergarments. But what sort of gloves? Headgear? Suggestions?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 04:58:15 AM EST
these warm undergarments are not very practical if you are going from point A to point B as you get very warm when you are inside.  they are more useful if you are spending lots of time outdoors as in cross country  skiing.

layers are your friends.  long, long coats and warm boots also.  hats are obligatory as you lose 30% of your heat through your head.  

by stevesim on Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 05:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, we have had some interesting temperatures over the holidays with a train on the Luleå-Narvik line being forced to turn back to Luleå as temperatures below -35 C apparently causes problems. That said I think it is the 0 to -20 C intervall she should prepare for. Make that 0 to -15 C but more humid (so about the same coldness) in the south.

As a general rule you need to cover everything except the face (and for colder temperatures, the more of the face you can cover, the better big scares that you can pull up a bit is good) and layers is best. Something that appears to surprise southerners is how cold your hands can get despite wearing a warm jacket. But if it is windy and a bit of snow is falling or blowing around anything not covered with windproof clothes will start hurting even if you are shoveling snow and working up a sweat.

There are essentially two schools on dressing for the cold. One is to go for warm undergarments under your indoors clothes, the other is to use layers on top of your indoor clothes. It is warm inside so it depends a bit on how warm you like to be vs how much you resent looking like the Michelin man. A warm wintercoat is often less then a problem then the legs. I find silk long johns to be a bit of a compromise in that they protect from some cold yet are not so warm indoors. Still, that means you need a pair of täckbyxor for colder temperatures.

Täckbyxor. No idea what they are called in any other language.

Hands - two layers are good here too. Cotton or silk inside and then something warm that is also wind and water resistant.

Head - Warm, windproof and covering the ears. A hood on the coat makes a stylish optional second layer.

Feet - warm shoes with space for warm stockings are good. Decent waterproofing is a must as snow in certain temperatures sticks and melts.

But one of the most important adjustments is social. If you schedule to meet someone, if at all possible meet indoors. If you do meet outdoors, be punctual and count on Nordics to be punctual. Don't ever plan to meet non-Nordics outside.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:11:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Täckbyxor. Look like ski pants to me. Might be very useful, as you can take them off on arrival. Perhaps even wear a short skirt underneath, who knows?

Don't ever plan to meet non-Nordics outside.

That sounds like a good-sense survival tip! People from the south. So unreliable.

Under-gloves I had thought of, silk perhaps. Warm stockings, check. A hat, for sure, but I wouldn't dare buy one without her consent. Imagine a lovely warm thing that she wouldn't be seen dead in...

We're going shopping together tonight.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:40:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Täckbyxor. No idea what they are called in any other language.

They're called "snow pants" in American.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everything I've read recommends buying winter footwear in Finland.  Also wearing shoes in someone's residence is a big No-No so she'll need a pair of indoor only footwear.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 12:52:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greater Herringistan province? Here, in Finland? Never heard of it, but perhaps Sven has. Googling it was of no use. I thought your Elder Daughter was going to the old Finnish capital of Turku?

I agree with everything a swedish kind of death had to say about winter gear/garments, and yes, I would call those ski pants, or ski overalls. They also come as just plain pants, without the built-in elastic suspenders. Rukka is a Finnish manufacturer that makes a fine pair of ski pants if you want to look for them after you arrive. The pants are wind and somewhat rain proof, but not completely. They do keep you warm.

As for what clothes to get, a lot depends on your age and desired comfort level. These days, I choose comfort (meaning being warm) over style ... by a long shot. But it wasn't always that way. What I see young women wearing a lot are tights, skinny jeans and knee-high length boots--regardless of the temps outside. Clothes that I would absolutely freeze to death in these days, but when you're young somehow the cold air doesn't penetrate.

Oh, one more essential: don't forget the skin creme, which puts a layer of protection  between your skin and the weather when it gets really, really cold. Here, you can ask for a product called "Vitalis." The product is very similar to the American product Vaseline. It's a shame it's petroleum-based, but it does work really well. There might be a green alternative, but so far I haven't figured out what it is.

Silk undergarments do keep you nice and warm. Surely a matter of personal preference, but I'd be quick to choose silk over the wool.

Hope your Eldest really enjoys her visit to Finland!

by sgr2 on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:07:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're looking for the cheapest solution and don't mind smelling like sheep you can use lanolin straight out of the tub.  There are various lanolin based products out there that claim to have "solved" the Odour du mouton problem.  I do not know if they have and if they work as well as the original.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, leather boots when it is slushy outside --  leather is really not very water resistant for long in such conditions, so look for boots with a man made fabric over the foot area, and leather up higher if you insist on it.

But warm and dry boots are really important, even if it's not so cold.

by stevesim on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:26:21 AM EST


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