all change…

Dear diablog,

Engine Room has made a couple of his (usual) acidic comments on the World Cup – and they were fairly accurate. I did try to add a little comedy on it last week.

Oh well, in four years time it all (unless common sense prevails and Mr. Blatter wasn’t paid to much in bribes) moves to Qatar.

One thing that will be very much missed, as Philippa



 points out, are the South American Weather Casters




whom we understand are to be replaced by…


Continue reading “all change…”

Going somewhere vs Getting somewhere

Dear Reader,

Sorry for my silence over the last days, I had to go somewhere and had no internet.

OK, let me correct that, I had slow internet. How slow? 500 kilobytes download. That is 1% of the download speed our Saint Glynsky has, 50 megabytes, and what I am accustomed to by now as well. The last time I was with a 500 KB connection must have been 15 years ago.

But back to the issue at hand. We all at diablog travel quite a lot and frequently. Rich Glynsky goes places for pleasure, poor Smiles and I for business mostly. Believe me, I would not voluntarily be at a place without or with slow internet as mentioned above.

What inspired this post though, was Glynsky’s comment on my post about free travel in the Schengen area of Europe and how the Brits aren’t getting it.

For me, traveling includes the part of going there. Thus, I love traveling by car. And that was what I was referring to in my post. Road trips are just brilliant as you know from those posts. You get to see places, even more so when avoiding highways. You stumble upon nice places. You meet new people. Road trips are all about serendipity. Like aimlessly browsing the internets.

And in the whole of the USA, of course, you travel freely by car. The security theater happens at airports, for the idiotic, unjust reasons.

Glynskys comment shows, for him traveling seems to mean getting somewhere by plane. There is nothing wrong with flying. But that is only half of traveling, in my humble opinion. You get to a place quickly and conveniently and safely. But you miss everything that lies between your starting point and your destination. I would not want to miss all of that. At least I want to get a glimpse.

Traveling done right takes time. Yet it broadens one’s horizon and often enough includes great experiences. Getting somewhere by plane – as Smiles will confirm – is great for business. But it teaches you only half of it.

Keep traveling and avoid just getting there.

Engine Room


drivel can be a form of incontinence…

Dear diablog,

Engine Room saw fit to publish an extremely idiotic rant at the British (actually he aimed it at only the English for some reason – probably because he now realises that traffic is only from Scotland!) without, in my opinion, thinking about it much – maybe still recovering from his confrontation with UK immigration.

Philippa was singled out for attention, apparently a first class moron – well, that’s a novel way of encouraging comment.

The topic can be contentious and I can certainly not claim to be an expert, but I thought it worth more investigation.

The whole issue can be clouded by, mainly, the blessed political correctness problem – ie, everyone skirts what they want to say for fear of being reported/arrested/labelled. Sadly, the morons with views like Engine Room play on a supposed need to a) be all touchy feely and not upset anyone and b) fail to want to grasp the nettle or just descend into abuse.

Opening facts (no real reason for those listed other than they give possible comparisons):

Countries by area/population:

  • UK 245,000 sq km (of which Scotland 78,000 – worth mentioning as it may not form part of UK soon). 63 million (5.2 million)
  • France 674,000 sq km, 65 million
  • Germany 357,000 sq km, 82 million
  • Italy 301,000 sq km, 61 million
  • Denmark 43,000 sq km, 6 million

Ratio population:area:

  • UK 257 people per sq km (67 people per sq km)
  • France 96 people per sq km
  • Germany 229 people per sq km
  • Italy 202 people per sq km
  • Denmark 139 people per sq km

Now look at this.


Continue reading “drivel can be a form of incontinence…”

Open Maps at the New York Public Library

Dear Reader,

As we at diablog were discussing immigration in the comments of this post, I thought it might be a good time to point you towards somewhere interesting.

Two months ago, the NY Public Library started publishing all its maps. For free. As in free beer. You can start exploring here:

Open Access Maps at NYPL

And what has that to do with immigration?

NYC is the number one spot when it comes to immigration. We are called the melting pot. We have a statue dedicated to liberty, with the famous lines on a bronze plaque:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

No other place has seen more immigrants, than Ellis Island and NYC. And through the maps you can see, where they lived first. And where they are now.

Continue reading “Open Maps at the New York Public Library”

An English misconception

Dear Reader,

It always amuses me, when the English are caught up in their island mentality even more, then we are. Perfect example, Phillipa’s last comment here. Phillipa writes:

The EU never did illiminate passports and since 9/11 we all have to suffer indignation and frustration due to a few crazy people.

Let me answer this quickly.

Since the Lisbon treaty, traveling freely within the EU is a human as well as constitutional right. I know, you Brits never managed to give yourself a constitution. Thus, the concept might be somewhat of an intellectual challenge for some.

So, what has the EU accomplished? Within the Schengen area

you travel without any border controls. Do you see the two countries not getting it? They’re somewhat on the left. Otherwise, you can travel from the most Northern city, Hammerfest in Norway, all the way to Sicily, Glyn’s favorite, without showing a passport. Actually, you will have a hard time even noticing, when going from one country into another. And the same is true, when traveling from Portugal in the West all the way to the Baltic states in the East. You can travel thousands of miles without being bothered.

And Philippa goes on:

Still there is a lot more to do in keeping out those we don’t want here and needs to start now.

Like to all nutters in the US complaining about immigration I say: Make up your friggin’ mind.

You want to take advantage of people, who were raised and educated elsewhere. You want to take advantage of their knowledge, ambition and work. Like the UK at the moment, advertising that you need (!) to hire 40,000 to 60,000 nurses. And at the same time you want to tell foreigners to get out of your not-so-beautiful country?

One has to be a first class moron, to not suffer from the cognitive dissonance.

Stay sane,

Engine Room