ER

untie the knot

Dear Reader,

After the Brexit referendum Glynsky and I debated a lot. We were equally surprised to learn, Glynsky was pro Brexit, and I was against. Not that I had a vote.

After a few arguments, which got quite heated, we agreed to disagree. The always wise Glynsky ended our debate with: “Nobody can predict the future.” I agreed, of course.

Ever since I have been following the news about Brexit. And with news I mean the facts, not the cacophony of opinions, wishes, dreaming, infighting, and inflated egos.

I watched the rising prices in the UK, the continuing losses of jobs, the 32% drop in M&A deals, the decline of real estate value, the downgrading of the UK credit rating by Moody’s. And Brexit hit close to home. Family members, working in the UK for international organizations, were told to look for other positions within their organizations, but outside the UK.

During our debates Glynsky said, the EU needs the UK as much as the UK needs the EU. When challenged, he referred to the EURO clearing and the bond market at London Stock Exchange, and the transatlantic cables to the US. He considered those “must haves” for the EU. That was roughly 15 months ago.

In the meantime the Deutsche Boerse in Frankfurt started offering lower commission on EURO clearing. And the EU started the process for a new law, requiring EURO clearing to happen within the EURO zone.

Plus, an insider told me, the German state of Hesse wants its own direct cable from NYC, across the Atlantic, through the rivers Rhine and Main, directly into Frankfurt.

I interpret these actions, more than anything else, that the EU is preparing for what is called a hard Brexit.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

ER

Subscriptions

Dear Reader,

Over the last couple of weeks DiaBlog gained an unusual number of new subscribers. As flattering as that might be, hundreds of subscriptions were left unconfirmed. Meaning, an email address subscribed to receive diablog posts, but the person owning that email address did not confirm the subscription, when asked to do so.

Our system requires confirmation, because anyone can fill out the subscription form, even a bot But only the person with access to the email inbox can confirm that subscription. That way we do not spam people.

As a precaution I deleted all subscriptions lacking confirmation.

Should you be affected, please subscribe again. And please make sure, you confirm your subscription. We prefer to have fewer subscribers, rather than spamming people.

Thanks in advance,

Engine Room

Philippa

New Senior’s Exam

You only need 4 correct out of 10 questions to pass.

1) How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI’s first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

 

Remember, you need only 4 correct answers to pass, but it’s not as easy as you may be thinking. I’ll come back tomorrow and give you the answers.

ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ
1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November
5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs
7) What was King George VI’s first name? Albert
8 ) What color is a purple finch? Crimson
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?  Orange (of course)
What do you mean, you failed?

 

Philippa

Poor ‘Ole O’Leary

Spare a thought for poor ‘ole Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair.

After arriving in a hotel in Manchester, he went to the bar and asked for a pint of Guinness.
The barman nodded and said, “That will be £1 please, Mr. O’Leary.”

Somewhat taken aback, O’Leary replied, “That’s very cheap,” and handed over his money.
“Well, we do try to stay ahead of the competition”, said the barman. “And we are serving free pints every Wednesday from 6 pm until 8 pm. We have the cheapest beer in England”.
“That is remarkable value”, Michael comments.
“I see you don’t seem to have a glass, so you’ll probably need one of ours. That will be £3 please.”
O’Leary scowled, but paid up.

He took his drink and walked towards a seat. “Ah, you want to sit down?” said the barman. “That’ll be an extra £2. You could have pre-booked the seat, and it would have only cost you £1.”
“I think you may be too big for the seat sir, can I ask you to sit in this frame please”.
Michael attempts to sit down but the frame is too small and when he can’t squeeze in, he complains “Nobody would fit in that little frame”.
“I’m afraid if you can’t fit in the frame you’ll have to pay an extra surcharge of £4 for your seat sir”.

O’Leary swore to himself, but paid up. “I see that you have brought your laptop with you” added the barman. “And since that wasn’t pre-booked either, that will be another £3.”
O’Leary was so incensed that he walked back to the bar, slammed his drink on the counter, and yelled, “This is ridiculous, I want to speak to the manager”.
“I see you want to use the counter,” says the barman, “that will be £2 please.”
O’Leary’s face was red with rage. “Do you know who I am?”
“Of course I do Mr. O’Leary.”

“I’ve had enough! What sort of a Hotel is this? I come in for a quiet drink and you treat me like this. I insist on speaking to a manager!”
“Here is his e-mail address, or if you wish, you can contact him between 9.00 am and 9.01am every morning, Monday to Tuesday at this free phone number. Calls are free, until they are answered, then there is a talking charge of only £1 per second, or part thereof”.
“I will never use this bar again”.

“OK sir, but do remember, we are the only hotel in England selling pints for £1

Philippa

The Øresund Bridge

The Øresund strait separates the Danish island Zealand from the southern Swedish province of Scania. Its width is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) at the narrowest point between Kronborg Castle at Helsingør in Denmark – but this couldn’t stop these Scandinavic countries. They designed a magnificent bridge that turns into a tunnel… let me explain.

The Øresund was designed by the Danish engineering firm COWI and the main architect was George K.S. Rotne, being operated jointly by both states. The Øresund Bridge runs nearly 8 kilometres (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island of Peberholm, which lies in the middle of the strait. The crossing of the strait is completed by a 4 km (2.5-mile) underwater tunnel, called the Drogden Tunnel, from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager.

The man-made island of Peberholm is quite spectacular in itself. It was constructed from material dredged from the seabed. The flora and fauna has been allowed to develop freely, and has now become a big point of interest for biologists. The Lund’s Botanical Association has identified more than 500 different species of plants, as well as a popular breeding ground for birds and a habitat for the rare green toad.

The Øresund Bridge is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, connection two of the most important centers in the region: the Danish capital of Copenhagen, and Sweden’s city of Malmö. It connects the road and rail networks of the Scandinavian Peninsula with those of Central and Western Europe.

The cable-stayed bridge has two 204 meter high pylons (almost 700 feet), supporting the bridge across the channel. Thanks to the bridge, an area that now houses 3.7 million people was allowed to develop economically and thrive.