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Thursday Open Thread

by afew Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:41:33 AM EST

Ready for your contributions


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Rich, deep and fertile as good garden loam.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:42:42 AM EST
Dump your loads of fertilizer here.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:54:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not as an FNSEA demo. Those bastards still don't want to accept an EU directive on nitrates dating from... 1991!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:04:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and having already been off for three weeks, I'm a bit tired of the cold and damp spithole that is Paris from October to March.

So, I'm looking for somewhere dry to take a week or more off. Problem is, none of the places I've been are dry this time of year...

 Any suggestions, preferably with rail link? Can be cold, even very cold. Just dry.

by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:58:45 AM EST
Madrid!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:20:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't it raining down there?
by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:26:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just now, yes. But most days of the week it's sunny.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:32:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm...was definitely on top of the list, got the météo on the phone, but seeing it was raining.

Just was in Valencia, so can't go back...don't like Barça much either...better check with the Missus...

You gonna be around?

by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I sent you email.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me too.
by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:50:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Chad? (although there is no rail link...)

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 12:50:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for Ndjamena...mid-40's next week...way too hot!
by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 01:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(complain, complain, complain.)

You keep changing the specifications.  Are you in product development marketing?

;-)

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

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This being said, I sorta did say colder is better, even super cold. 45, that's  like 110f. Not sure how people live in that voluntarily.

I'd rather go to Thule! (But, I checked...it's really expensive...)

by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure how dry it is in Berchtesgaden, but if you were willing to be kind to our cat, we need someone to stay in our apartment from March 7 to 25 while we're in the USA.

'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 Jan 17th, 2013 at 01:12:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, have to be in Paris every other weekend.
by redstar on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 01:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmmmm

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 01:29:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Mrs Brown already loves you. How soon can you let me know? You're not getting my hopes up for nothing, are you?

'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 Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haha Colorado Springs would meet your requirements, but I'm not sure you can get here from Paris by rail...
by asdf on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am slowly surfacing, but am still feeling very fragile.

Worse, I seem to have lost confidence in my immune defence system. Despite my indifference to food hygiene, I have always been the healthiest person I know. Any friend who chided me that my lifestyle, eating habits, etc etc were bad for me was simply told that I was far healthier than they were and they knew it.

I didn't mind getting flu, it's a once a decade thing, but to suffer a relapse that was worse than the original illness has undermined some essential part of me. God I'm getting old

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 01:28:00 PM EST
Two strains of flu making the rounds and both are a bugger.  I've been fighting them since mid-November and it's only been in the last week that I've started to feel like I'm approaching normal.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:13:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, our household has had a similar pattern - in fact we're still fighting the second strain... I worry it is pushing the lady of the house towards pneumonia...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The second bout went into my lungs, giving me the opportunity to experience the preliminary stages of death by suffocation.  Increased my knowledge of the Human Condition, I'm sure.  

If I may ...

Don't screw around with this.  It's nasty.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:44:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, i'm beginning to feel a tightness in the lungs, Anything I should watch for ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 02:50:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and more importantly, what can I do about it ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To answer the first question, you have a major hard time breathing so it's kinda obvious.

Second question: go to a doctor.  Our local clinic sat me down with 20 minutes of respiratory treatment, wrote a prescription for an home use inhaler, and kicked me out the door.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you feeling better?  When stuff like this happens, I always remember that Jim Henson waited too late to go to the doctor/hospital.

'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 Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:31:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.  I'm at 90% and should be back to my usual onery self soon.

Thank you for asking.


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

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 07:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My neighbor who is about 77 years old had chronic chest congestion to the extent that I feared for his life. The VA provided him with a nebulizer and he used store bought water with a colloidal silver content in the nebulizer. A few weeks later he was free from ambulatory oxygen. I had recommended such a course the previous year, but it might have taken others to make the same recommendation for him to try it. Microscopic particles of silver have been shown to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi on contact. While it is not a particularly strong antiseptic, it does seem to be one to which they cannot develop an immunity.

Colloidal silver remains a treatment of choice in burn wards and was the standard for ear infections, etc. prior to the widespread availability of antibiotics. In those times its use was more problematic as it seemed more usual for ionic compounds to be present in quantity, which can lead to a condition that can result in blue skin. Properly made 'silver water' does not have ionic compounds of silver, only small clumps of 10-100 atoms that remain in solution due to Brownian motion.

An old friend from my grad school days had introduced me to colloidal silver and had described cures similar to that undergone by my neighbor, but I had not seen these personally. I have used it myself to my benefit, though the actions are not as sudden as those of a good antibiotic for which the target organism has not developed immunity.

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 Jan 17th, 2013 at 09:50:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, it will sound like I'm kidding, or pressuring you to stay with the cat, but the air here is REALLY fresh and the water is wonderful and the floors are warm. I think it would be great for your health, and I can leave lots of healthy food in the freezer so you wouldn't have to cook too much.

I'm truly sorry to hear about your relapse. The thing that made me really feel old for the first time was having to wear glasses to read. It pulled the rug out from under me for awhile and it still works on me occasionally.

'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 Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
March 7th is 7 weeks away. If I am going to be down for 3 - 4 weeks then that narrows the decision time to nothing (it will take 3 days to get there).

And if I commit and have another problem, or worse, have a relapse while I'm there, with no idea how to get to a doctor and absolutely no german, you will simply have less time to organise something else. So, attractive tho' it is, I fear I must decline.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you change your mind at ANY time, let me know, 'cuz if we have arrangements that are easily changeable and could accommodate you instead, that's what we'd rather do.  Mainly, though, just feel 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 Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:48:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Algeria crisis forces Cameron to delay Europe speech | Reuters

(Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron postponed on Thursday a much-anticipated speech on Britain's future role in the European Union because of the hostage crisis at an Algerian gas plant where Britons are believed to be among those held.

Cameron warned people to expect "bad news" after Algerian forces launched an operation to free the hostages.

"The Algerian armed forces have now attacked this compound," Cameron told BBC TV. "It is a very dangerous, a very uncertain, a very fluid situation and I think we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news ahead."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:42:32 PM EST
D'oh !!! Our leaders still don't understand how asymmetric war works. He thought he was gonna grandstand on the back of Hollande and now finds he's ensnared in a mess

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Algeria confirms deaths in hostage rescue bid - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Algerian state television says four foreigners have been killed in the army's attempt to rescue hostages held at a gas plant in the east of the country.

Two of the victims were Britons and the other two Filipinos, the report said after the end of the operation was announced late on Thursday.

Communication Minister Mohamed Said said earlier that troops had been forced to act after talks with the kidnappers failed.

He said many fighters had been killed in the operation at the In Amenas gas field.

Earlier, a spokesman for the al-Qaeda-affiliated group holding the hostages at the In Amenas facility said 34 of the captives had been killed along with 15 kidnappers as a government helicopter attacked a convoy transporting hostages and their captors.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many dead in Algeria siege | Page 3 | Liveblog live blogging | Reuters.com
11 militants killed in Algeria hostage situation, source says
* Source: Among the dead militants are 3 Egyptians, 2 Algerians
* Source: 30 hostages, including 7 foreigners, are dead
* Source: Deceased hostages include 2 Japanese, 2 Britons, 1 French national
* APS: Algerian hostage situation at gas plant is over
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:33:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Horse DNA in burgers may have come from additives | Environment | The Guardian

The Tesco burgers that contained up to 29% equine DNA were likely to have been made with high-protein powders derived from horse rather than fresh meat, the Guardian has been told.

The main focus of efforts to trace the source of adulteration in the Tesco economy burgers has now shifted from the meat itself to additives used in the manufacturing process. The Irish processors ABP have pointed the finger at suppliers of the "beef ingredient products" it uses to make cheap burgers. The Tesco burgers were only 63% meat and 37% other ingredients.

Economy burgers are typically bulked out with additive mixes of concentrated proteins extracted from animal carcasses and offcuts.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:46:54 PM EST
Tesco burgers were the most popular as voted for in a Gallup poll.

My Lidl Pony

If you get an email pretending to be from the Health Protection Agency about horsemeat in tinned pork, IGNORE it: It's just SPAM

Tesco; tracing your meat from stable to table....

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 03:51:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tesco Veggieburgers (may contain Uniquorn) was another

Many years ago I worked for six weeks sorting out the paperwork for a supermarket subcontractor, after the person doing the paperwork had buggered off leaving several weeks undone. from that experience I find it very hard to believe that the supermarkets didn't know exactly what was going into their burgers, The firm i was working for made breakfast cereal and pasta, but every ingredient was contracted and detailed, and every few weeks there would bepeople from the supermarkets turn up and go through the details of what had gone into which, what suppliers had  supplied ingredients, we'd have the factory shut down for the day because they wanted to do a spot check for paperclips and drawing pins in the building. and this was for a product that isn't going to infect you with bacterial food poisoning. With a product that is and they stand to be sued, I can see that they'll be all over you like a rash

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 10:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is there any evidence of actual wrongdoing? I am reminded of the "red slime" phenomenon, it was all legal and above-board. Likely enough, they are entitled to bulk out the burgers with whalemeat or ground elephant tusks, as long as it contains animal protein.

The upside of any such controversy is that it creates public pressure for greater transparency on what people eat. Most people have a sort of blind faith that anything they can buy in the supermarket must be "OK", and it's always good to shake that.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 03:32:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the wrongdoing is that they're sold as beefburgers and so, under British law, selling horse meat is a breach of the Trades Descriptions act.

Also, for Brits, there's a yuk factor about eating horse

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 04:45:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess I don't really see what the underlying problem is, besides a question of the supply chain not being as advertised. What's wrong with eating horsemeat burgers?

OMG they don't have cloven hooves! Seriously?

by asdf on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:49:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem for me is:

afew:

bulked out with additive mixes of concentrated proteins extracted from animal carcasses and offcuts.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 04:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. The punchline is that it would have been fine as long as it the extracts and offcuts were from cow carcasses.

I (lazily) wonder, what are the EU regulations on this, and are the UK's slacker?

Obviously, the government department responsible for enforcing the regulations has been downsized into ineffectiveness, so the manufacturers are asked to kindly respect them out of sheer virtue.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:52:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently it only got caught because the Irish food safety set-up is (appropriately) psychotic. Almost no where else in the EU would this testing have happened.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:04:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Over here we call that "hot dogs."
by asdf on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 10:29:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which is problematic on religious grounds.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of our home grown whack-a-loons are going off the rails:

Were an angry group of disenfranchised citizens to target in a strategic manner the substations leading to a city or geographic area--say, Albany, for example--they could put the area in the dark for as long as it took to bring the substations back online. Were they committed enough, and spread their attacks out over a wide enough area, perhaps mixing in a few tens of dozens of the residential transformers found every few hundred yards along city streets, they could overwhelm the utility companies ability to repair the damage being caused or law enforcement's ability to stop them...

How many days with partial power or no power, how many nights in the dark, would it take before the local economy collapsed in the targeted area? Insurgents could cripple a city, region, or state, without ever firing a bullet at another human being.

Progressives seeking to undermine the Constitution seem to think they hold all the cards. I would warn them that they are not remotely prepared for what will happen if they attempt to cross Constitutional boundaries and natural rights.

It could be a cold, dark winter.

Tread carefully.

No link because I don't want to give them the hits.

"An angry group of disenfranchised citizens" = TeaBagging Right Wing gun nuts.

"Attempt to cross Constitutional boundaries and natural rights" = bring regulations of owning a gun up to equal the regulations of owning a car.

"Tread carefully" = do as we say or we'll start committing acts of terrorism.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:50:54 PM EST
So, I presume the FBI should be knocking on their doors soon?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 04:58:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect some of these groups are well infiltrated.  Others, I'm not as confident.  Very small groups can do a ton of damage, as McVeigh proved in 1995.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:09:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As we learned from the German Verfassungsschutz groups can still cause considerable damage even when one in four works for the state.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 08:32:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question of neighborhood-scale power generation is valid.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/01/16/guest-post-towards-a-distributed-intellige nt-electric-grid/

The "microgrid" concept is exactly that, where you have a mix of solar and batteries shared amongst a group of houses with little connection to the main grid.

I don't see what this has to do with progressives versus the Tea Party preppers, though...

by asdf on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 11:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My first reaction is that these people are delusional : if "angry citizens" tried that stunt, responsible citizens could stop them.

Then I get to the punch line : armed angry citizens.

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

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 03:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Still a crap strategy as far as guerilla figthing goes. Are they going to leave the lines to themselves and supporters and make it very easy to pick them out for law enforcement or destroy for everyone undermining their own public support?

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 Jan 18th, 2013 at 04:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone hear about fanbox.com?

It's something like facebook but it promises that people can make money from the place. I think it's a big rip-off but my friend won't believe it.  

I "earned" 44$ in the last 2 weeks by simply liking someone's post and I really don't believe in free money.

From what I've read, no one seems to be able to collect their money and I am not surprised.

by stevesim on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 05:05:18 PM EST
well from a brief look at what people are saying about it, it's a combination spamming scheme (you give them your email and password, it spams your address book) and advance fee fraud system, where you have to give them cash for several months before you can claim your earnings, and nobody gets their earnings. apparently theyve run the same scheme before under another name till they got shut down

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 10:26:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
anyone have local figures for a) national homicide rates and b) the number of those that involve guns for the countries where you are (I have US and UK already, but more examples would be handy)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2013 at 10:17:37 PM EST
Here's the best I could find on gun deaths.

 This looks pretty helpful, too.

This gives the intentional homicide rate of countries.

Hope this helps.

'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 Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A) about 100 a year since the 60ies (giving a relative decline as the population has increased).

B) in 2001-4 in average 17 per year. In comparision, about 140 suicides with guns a year in the same period.

There are about 80 000 deaths a year in Sweden.

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 Jan 18th, 2013 at 05:15:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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