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European Pancake Breakfast - May 21

by Izzy Sun May 21st, 2006 at 01:04:32 AM EST

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Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.

-Cicero


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The hoodie controversy continues:

Prince Charles has risked criticism by launching a heartfelt defence of 'hoodies', condemning the way young people struggling with difficult upbringings are turned into media stereotypes.

The Prince of Wales was speaking to television presenters Ant and Dec in the first joint interview with his sons, William and Harry, to mark the 30th birthday of the Prince's Trust, the charity that Charles set up to mentor and financially support the needy young.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 01:12:05 AM EST
<yaw drops>

Maybe Prince Charles isn't that much of an inbred upper-class basketcase after all...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:09:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The sad or perhaps odd thing about Charlie is that he basically appears to be an inbred upper-class basketcase who also happens to be a sensitive soul underneath it.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 09:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah...

BTW, welcome back! So the effect of that Bordeaux lasted least long on you? Or whee are the others?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 09:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some (I shall name no names) are in hiding in Paris after hearing news of the palace putsch carried out by envious underlings.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's not forget that Charlie has personal experience of being turned into a media stereotype because of his ears.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's Three Gorges dam nears completion

BEIJING -- At a time when many countries are questioning the benefits of damming their rivers to harness electricity, China's government has announced it is almost finished building the World's largest dam.

Called the Three Gorges, it is a project 13 years in the making. The dam has taken 25,000 workers, and more than 16 million cubic metres of concrete to complete.

As engineers, many of whom have devoted their entire careers to the site, gathered for a celebration this week, the final concrete on the massive structure was poured.

Spanning the mighty Yangtze, the world's third-largest river, the dam stretches 2309 metres, and rises to a height of 185 metres.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 01:15:39 AM EST
Another megalomaniac insanity has been finished.

Of course, both for purposes of electricity generation and flood defense, a dozen or more smaller dams on tributaries would have been more sensible. With the amount of silt carried by the Yangtze, this monstrosity will get into trouble in a few decades.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're more positive than I am. I was going for one decade. It's highly dependable on land use these days - and what I've been hearing is not so good.

And never mind the unknown effects of coastal erosion because of the loss of silt influx...

by Nomad on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:22:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As engineers, many of whom have devoted their entire careers to the site, gathered for a celebration

This is one of (many) problems inherent in megaprojects;  their scale and timeline calls for such career investment that you end up with whole subcultures (sometimes multigenerational) of techies and engineers who cannot afford -- emotionally or careerwise -- to admit for one minute that the whole thing might be a bad idea.  It is their whole life.  They form a tremendous bloc of inertia (or momentum in this case) and orthodoxy and denial, having invested so much of their lives and selves in the Project.  A change of course or conceptual model becomes simply unthinkable and critics of the Project become The Enemy, heretics, etc.  

This is the exact opposite of "let a thousand flowers bloom," or diverse innovative development where people can switch models, jobs, focus, emphasis, strategy fairly easily as ideas pan out or fail in the real world.  The Vogon Constructor Fleet mentality takes hold and the Project becomes a kind of deity or cult.  The concept of Investment Trap made concrete, as you might say.  I think Three Gorges will be remembered, if anyone's bothering to write history 50 years from now, as a colossal design disaster.  One that will make the Tupelov, the Columbia, the Edsel, and other famous oopses and turkeys look like very small potatoes.  Anyone want to place a small bet?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hilfiger "just kept smacking me," Axl says

NEW YORK -- It was a one-two encounter between Axl Rose and Tommy Hilfiger.

The rocker and designer capped a Thursday evening out at a new club called The Plumm in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood with midnight fisticuffs.

"There was an issue between the two of them," Plumm owner Noel Ashman told The Associated Press.

The scuffle reportedly started after the Guns N' Roses front man moved the drink of Hilfiger's girlfriend, Dee Ocleppo.

"I moved his girlfriend's drink so it wouldn't spill," Rose told the Los Angeles radio station KROQ on Friday. "It was the most surreal thing, I think, that's ever happened to me in my life."

According to the 44-year-old singer, Hilfiger, 55, smacked him in the arm and told him to put the drink back.

"He just kept smacking me," Rose said.

Attempts to reach Hilfiger or a representative were not immediately successful.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 01:24:07 AM EST
Greek Cypriots to vote for new parliament

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Over half a million Greek Cypriots are to elect a new parliament Sunday on this divided island - their first vote since rejecting a U.N. reunification plan.

Cyprus has been divided between a Greek-Cypriot south and Turkish occupied north since 1974, when Turkey invaded following an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Sunday's election for the 56-seat legislature is the first since Greek Cypriots rejected - and Turkish Cypriots backed - a U.N. peace plan in 2004.

The U.N. plan had envisaged the reunification of the island as a federation of two politically equal states under a weak central government. One state would be for the 750,000 Greek Cypriots, the other for the estimated 180,000 Turks and Turkish Cypriots.

More than 500,000 registered voters are expected to vote Sunday, with 487 candidates taking part.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 01:27:17 AM EST
Cannes director urges CCTV debate

The British director of CCTV movie Red Road has said the future of 24-hour surveillance of society needs to be debated.

Andrea Arnold is in Cannes with her first feature film, which is in competition for the Palme d'Or.

The film focuses on a Glasgow council official who monitors the city's CCTV network helping to crack down on crime.

Arnold said: "You can see why it is there but we should consider what it means for our future."

The depiction of a city under almost constant and blanket surveillance surprised some non-British film critics and shocked others.

Britain reportedly has 4.2 million cameras, 20% of the world's CCTV, and one camera for every 14 people.



Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 02:02:50 AM EST

The fair choice for climate change

This week and next, government representatives attend UN talks in Bonn looking for the next step forward on climate change. In The Green Room this week, Aubrey Meyer argues that the effective and fair model they need already exists.

The impact of climate change, it is generally agreed, will land hardest on the poor. So perhaps it is time to listen to what people from the poorest continent, Africa, are asking for.

At the climate negotiations in Bonn this week, the Africa Group of Nations has called for the adoption of a concept called Contraction and Convergence - C&C, in the jargon.

They first made their call a decade ago. And with 12 million Africans currently facing drought and famine linked to climate, they have good reason to assert that C&C is right, that it is urgently needed, and ask: "For how long must Africa suffer at the hands of others?"

Contraction and Convergence is the only long-term framework for regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which does not make carbon dioxide production a luxury that only rich nations can afford. It creates the social equity which Africa needs, and the carbon reductions which are in all our interests.

Another initiative I was hardly aware of. Great article in itself. This is a pic of their proposed plan in carbond reductions:

by Nomad on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:12:11 AM EST
Forgot the link to the BBC article. I still must feel woozy from my yesterday. BTW, Izzy, great job on your revolution while the gnomes were hanging out on the Seine.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4994296.stm

by Nomad on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also today: Montenegrin vote on independence.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 04:13:10 AM EST
Times: Markets `are like 1987 crash'

CONDITIONS in the financial markets are eerily similar to those that precipitated the "Black Monday" stock market crash of October 1987, according to leading City analysts.

A report by Barclays Capital says the run-up to the 1987 crash was characterised by a widening US current-account deficit, weak dollar, fears of rising inflation, a fading boom in American house prices, and the appointment of a new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

All have been happening in recent months, with market nerves on edge last week over fears of higher inflation and a tumbling dollar, and the perception of mixed messages on interest rates from Ben Bernanke, the new Fed chairman.

"We are very uncomfortable about predicting financial crises, but we cannot help but see a certain similarity between the current economic and market conditions and the environment that led to the stock-market crash of October 1987," said David Woo, head of global foreign-exchange strategy at Barclays Capital.

Apart from the similarities in economic conditions, during the run-up to the 1987 crash there was a sharp rise in share prices worldwide and weakness in bond markets, Woo pointed out. "Market patterns leading to the crash of 1987 resemble the markets today," he said.

by lauramp on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 05:29:04 AM EST
Discord over 'protest' Eurovision vote.

"Hard Rock Hallelujah" may have triumphed over "Never Let You Go" but, for some Russians, Eurovision was a scandal.

"I will never believe that the song by the Finnish group Lordi was better and stronger as a song than ours," he said. "I think that Russia was the winner and the voting was a protest vote, to some extent, but it was unclear what the protest was for."

Ok, that's just funny...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 11:24:49 AM EST
Oh my... they should team up with Terry Wogan...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 11:34:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The sense is that the contest was more about circus performers, clowns and pyrotechnic effects, and not a song contest," Yuri Aktsyuta, a top music producer at Channel One, said in televised comments.

Well duh!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 11:37:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the majority seems to think otherwise:

Not all Russians were critical of the results, however; 80 percent of people responding to an unscientific poll by Ekho Moskvyi said Bilan's second-place finish was a success.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 11:38:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, just checked on my memory: Russia too gave 8 points (third place) for Lordi in both the semifinal and the final, and IIRC Russia had a jury vote not telephone voting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 21st, 2006 at 11:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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