Getting going is always a pain. You stumble out with your bike through the narrow train door, hurry back in for your bags, get out, close the door and before you turn around, the train is already on its way. The air outside is different and your dreamy, hazy mind can’t tell if it’s chilly because you’re sleepy or because it really is cold, what it’s going to be like riding, what kind of terrain awaits you, so you guesstimate how to dress. You hang your bags on the bike, set up the lights, camera and cycling computer, turn left and right for the 3rd time checking where the exit from the station is and push off…for about 20 metres or so, until you realise you haven’t put your hose clamp on. Then again after 50 metres, stopping to eat a few bites of the first of the sandwiches, to have something to go on for the next hour. And so you start again, only to realise shortly that your gloves are too thin, so you stop again to dig out warmer ones, to check once more the order of villages you plan to pass through, count the number of times the road will cross the train tracks before you take the shortcut you had in mind…it occurs to you it’d be a good idea to stop at a petrol station somewhere to check your tire pressure, but it’s no good: it’s pitch black, not even 5 AM, nothing will open for hours, the tyres’ll have to wait. Probably for the best, too: (more…)
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Great news, everyone! Almost completely out of the blue (if you’ll pardon the pun), Air France workers have decided to take a radical step to preserve our environment and energy resources. Apparently, 20-30% of all Air France flights will not be flying today! The pretext is a mundane one – unions fighting for better working conditions, yada, yada, yada… – but there’s no fooling us and the actual, direct, hard consequences clearly show the main effects of the strike. Given a couple of numbers (Air France operates 1500 flights per day with approximately 100 passengers per flight, loosely assuming an average medium haul flight to be 3000 km, some 40 kWh of energy used per passenger per 100 km and 15 kWh of electric energy per day per household), we can conclude that Air France pilots’ grand gesture saved approximately 50 GWh of energy by keeping their planes on the ground. How much is that? Approximately sufficient for an entire month of electricity for all households in a city like Rijeka, home to about 130.000 inhabitants!
And let’s not forget the effect on climate change! Assuming (more…)
That Far East megalopolises like Beijing, Shanghai and New Delhi suffer under extreme pollution for years and that millions die as a results is, sadly, no news. In contrast, Europe has always somehow acted as if it is “more civilised than that”, but this is proving to be just a façade and one that is rapidly falling apart.
In those warm summer afternoons, when it’s 35 °C+ outside, a failed PSU is a treasure, not junk: a silent, 12V fan and a mouldable metal case which easily turns into a fan stand. 😀
I had first encountered foreign languages as a preschooler, watching TV, I guess. In retrospect, I don’t really know why it is that I “knew” English when I started learning it at school at 9 years of age: it was just kind of there…I have fond memories of my English teacher, though, and I still remember some of the lessons like they were yesterday: “I’m Bill. This is Jill. We’re friends. Hello, Jill!”, “It’s raining cats and dogs!” …and so on.
Still, because I had somehow gotten a grasp on English informally, effortlessly and without really noticing, it didn’t (and still doesn’t) fit very well into the usual categories: I consider it neither a foreign, nor a native language, but something in-between.
Now German – that’s a foreign language! I started learning (more…)