Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Friday Open Thread

by afew Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 11:54:07 AM EST

Last one of these too


Display:
Till next week.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 11:54:29 AM EST
The Christmas holidays throw my timekeeping right out, I thought it was still Thursday.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 12:08:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if I hadn't put up a new open thread, it still would be.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 12:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
flandersnews.be: "Nuclear energy no longer acceptable" says nuclear chief

The departing head of Belgium's nuclear watchdog Willy De Roovere has courted controversy by making a remarkable pronouncement as he prepares to leave the industry. Mr De Roovere says that he does not think that the risks linked to nuclear energy are acceptable today.

Willy De Roovere worked for Electrabel, Belgium's main energy generator for many years before he went on to head the FANC, the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, the nuclear industry's watchdog. He leaves the FANC at the end of the year.

2012 has been an important year for the nuclear industry both at home and abroad. Minute cracks were uncovered in the nuclear reactors at Doel and Tihange and two reactors were taken out of service. In January the FANC is expected to advise the government that the reactors that have stood idle for over six months can be restarted.

Against the backdrop of the Fukushima disaster in Japan Mr De Roovere makes a number of remarkable pronouncement for a man who has spent most of his working life in the nuclear sector: "We have to live with the fact that there is always some risk attached to nuclear energy. We should also ask ourselves whether this risk is acceptable for our society. I believe today that it is no longer acceptable."

"When we see the risk of nuclear energy, then I would prefer other forms of energy, but the issue must be debated: if we drop nuclear and China does not, then of course this will have an economic impact."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:06:18 PM EST
It would have been nice if he'd said this earlier. mind you, he probably had a pension to protect

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Should we really care about him, or the fact that someone at his level is saying this?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:44:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh no, I take your point entirely. But someone who points out the futility of their life's work in their resignation speech is going to achieve a lot less less than someone who is in a position to act on that realisation.

I guess my cynicism comes from a feeling that we're a few years past the point where gestures alone are laudable. The world is going to hell and everyone is just wringing their hands


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:01:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question of extensions for existing nuclear reactors, and investment in new ones, is current. So I don't think it's too late for this kind of public statement.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 02:01:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you, I too take the more optimistic view that comments like this made by someone like him are useful. I don't really care about his motives, and better late than never. But I don't think one has to be cynical about his timing; it seems he has had to reassess his views and it's been a fairly long process, probably starting when he changed roles in 2006:

"A private company puts mainly its priorities on the high risks it could be involved in. At FANC-AFCN all risks, even the smallest ones need to be addressed because otherwise parliamentary questions will push you to do something about those smaller risk items. Perception that people might have is also an element to be considered by the FANC-AFCN."

Then recent events have also caused him to reassess his views and his comments come as a major report by the FANC-AFCN is about to be published:

"Design was made sometimes 30 or 40 years ago, when the conditions were quite different from now. Thinking about the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, we will now have a lot of conditions for new plants and also for the existing plants related to the required robustness against terrorist attacks. After the Fukushima event, we try to add extra protections not taking into account probabilities anymore. Initial design was mainly linked to probabilities. If the probability of an occurrence was low, then nothing was required about protecting against that. Nowadays, after the Fukushima event or the Twin Towers attack, the philosophy has changed. We assume a probability equal to one, we focus on what could happen to the plant and see whether we will be able to sustain cooling and avoid a big problem impacting people and the environment."

...
Fukushima was a consequence of electricity grid and cooling losses. As a result, the purpose of the Stress Tests is not to look at the damages done at a nuclear power station by an aircraft crash but is more focused on the effect of such events (natural or man-made) on the internal electricity grid or cooling systems. In other terms, the purpose is to keep cooling systems operational even if the reactor building has been significantly damaged. The Stress Tests report was given by the operators to the FANC-AFCN on 28st of October and the agency will comment and make the report definitive on December 31st of this year. There will finally be a Peer Review process at the European level during the first four months of 2012."

http://www.bnsorg.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147:willy-deroovere&ca tid=37:interviews&Itemid=109



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:53:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Free at last!

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 Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same response as to Helen above.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:45:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a nice one when talking to people who have had an overdose of conventional wisdom, expert opinion, and so on. See what happens when the producers of such conventional wisdom are free at last. Quite useful an argument.
by Katrin on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 05:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it looks like the new jap premier is touting nukes again...

amnesia, it's the new black(out).

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 07:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps he isn't free at last? We will see if the pressure from protesting activists and the renewables industry is strong enough to make him do a U-turn a la Merkel. But one thing we do know: they all know that nukes are too dangerous a technology and when they are free at last, they even say so.
by Katrin on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 04:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I now have a new phone. I have finally abandoned the dinosaur era of phone tech and am now in the neanderthal period.

the small differences are driving me crazy, when I'm doing a message everything is in the wrong place. and I transferred half my contacts manually because of some glitch. When i'd finished i realised what the problem was and could have solved it quite easily....Doh !!!!!

now the colour on the telly is playing up and so have to get a new one. thank god for the sales

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:17:26 PM EST
Our mobile is a phone.  It doesn't take pictures, allow texting, play games, solve word problems, cruise the internet, watch movies, download the Encyclopedia Britannica, translate English into Urdu, fax, operate as a camcorder, take messages, autodial, autocorrect, autobroadcast, keep track of appointments, act as an event reminder, or attempt to solve any problems created by owning the damn thing.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 01:43:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I do find texting useful. In fact, for ET meetups with so many different phone tariffs from so many different nationalities, it's invaluable.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget that it is a blackout proof alarm clock.  Answered from my smartphone.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is explains a great deal! rofl

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:01:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's a fax?

;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 10:03:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Santa Claus brought my SO an iPhone, and she loves it. I'm quite surprised, because she's not a technophile, but the ability to navigate an unfamiliar town, post to Facebook, read new novels, e-mail her mother, text her son, and call her daughter adds up to a revolution in her life. It is really quite something to see...
by asdf on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 01:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I decided some time back that, however useful, I can't justify the monthly line rental for such capability.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 03:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are so many disconnections in our society that reconnecting in a different way via a private virtual network of family, friends, colleagues and information is indeed liberating. Love, like water, finds its way around obstacles. And I'm not saying that as middle class hippie - love in all its forms means empathy. Empathy brings a sense of belonging. Belonging brings responsibility (perhaps empathy IS responsibility?). And responsibility tries to fix problems.

All our problems are down to sociopaths down through the ages.

Here endeth the Gospel of Sven the Oversimplifier.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 04:55:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just don't rely too heavily on the Maps app, apparently.  You'll set off for Grand Junction and wind up at a gas station in northern Uganda, from what I hear.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 10:09:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still having zero problems with it. Depends where you live, like with Google maps. You need to keep your wits about you with any mapping solution.

I can never work out how why people think the media is accurate outside their realm of expertise when they know how crap it is on matters they have knowledge of.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 10:36:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, I'm just going for the easy Apple maps joke.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 01:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from a different angle, in the early morning light.



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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:01:52 PM EST
that's a great picture.

I always like the effect you get of sunlight caught low on catenary wires in hazy autumn light, but I've not got the camera smarts to catch it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:03:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
!!!...

Lots more at the link:

Man Walks All Day to Create Massive Snow Patterns (Part 2)

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:04:54 PM EST

Clearly Beck is part of a huge conspiracy to deny that extra-terrestrial beings create crop circles :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 07:03:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, tut mir Leid, but Beck is actually an Alien. All good aliens have snowshoes.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 08:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FRANK SINATRA'S HAUNTING, BEAUTIFUL (DEPRESSING!) `LOST' MASTERPIECE, `WATERTOWN'

Listen to a masterwork by a Mob accessory. And read how Watertown came to be.


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 02:49:54 PM EST
More than that, Danke. Didn't know.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:51:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When faced with such depressing, powerful "adulthood," me tends to revert. Und so...

They were Kings, They knew it, with Grace.

PS. You all are aware i've met a fair amount of famous people in my dissolute life, and even kissed a few, but i never met a Beatle. I did have a carpenter friend who worked on John's apartment, but he never took me up there to see the White Room Piano. (yeah ok, Ringo shook my hand once, and thanked me for coming, but that was thirty years later, when i was beginning to wise up. Still...)

Mr. Sinatra, i'll see your drunken attempt at Berlin, and raise you some Spirit.

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, when methinks about how we change culture, i become irrationally dumb. When i see this (blast from the past), me knows exactly what's necessary... and it ain't graphs or data.

The second set of three songs set it all in motion.

And then there's another geezer's music, a few months ago.

"finding my religion, i might be a pagan"
"i used to dig picasso, then the big tech giant turned him into wallpaper."

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

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 06:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooooh, i've bookmarked that, thanks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 04:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:46:10 PM EST


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 at 03:57:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our 3rd flash mob Saturday, DECEMBER 29, 2012!!
2 pm
Old Town Plaza Park, Albuquerque, NM
Abq area lets show our support and round dance in old town ,
Share event with all your friends!
SINGERS & DANCERS!!!

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 04:20:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]