Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Windy cities and hot air!

The wind woke me up in the night. I had to shut the window so that I could get back to sleep. A young friend of mine has been posting on Facebook that he wants the wind to get strong enough for them to shut down public transport so he can go home early. Do they even do that? Does high wind mean buses and trams and trains around Manchester have to stop running? I thought that was just snow!

We retired people, who do not have to worry about getting to and from work, whether on public transport or in private cars, took ourselves out for a walk in the wind. It might be windy but it has been gloriously sunny, although very cold. (No sign of the promised snow as yet!) The wind turbines have been clattering away nineteen to the dozen.

Meanwhile the Netherlands have been boasting about being the first country to run 100% of its electric trains on wind energy. Clever people these Dutch! I think they may be among the few European countries who do not seem to subsidise their railways through profit from running ours. Maybe we should invite them to take over.

Of course, some of the people who have posted the news about the Dutch use of wind energy have received some negative comments, such as this one:

 "Yea, I'm afraid I must burst this bubble. But the train connection in the east of the Netherlands is run by Syntus and Arriva, and considering there is no network there when it comes to the electricity (it is simply not there yet), I can tell this is BS. (between Zevenaar and Winterswijk + between Ede-Wageningen and Amersfoort is definitely on petrol).

Also Dutch trains are notoriously late with s***e service and expensive.

This story is feelgood lies that we only wished was true."

Maybe such commenters should read the whole thing. It doesn't say 100% of trains but 100% of ELECTRIC trains!

Stop and think before you react! A lesson to be taken to heart by all sorts of people.

On the other side of the world, we have an outgoing president making reasoned and reasonable speeches of farewell. Here's an excerpt from a news report:

 “In 10 days the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy,” Obama said. That elicited some boos, but he pressed on: “The peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next.” Now there was applause. “I committed to president-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me.”

And at the same time an incoming president has been saying that the intelligence services are rubbish and that, of course, the Russians have nothing on him. Apparently he still believes Putin is his big buddy!

And Hollywood is mounting a defence of Meryl Streep. Robert De Niro sent her a letter:

"Meryl –

What you said was great. It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.

You, with your elegance and intelligence, have a powerful voice – one that inspires others to speak up as they should so their voices will be heard too. It is so important that we ALL speak up.

We love you.


And George Clooney has been responding to somebody's tweets: "Aren’t you supposed to be running the country?”

He's trying to talk sense to people:

“We have to get back to talking and telling the truth, understanding that not everybody is an enemy, and that not all people who voted for Donald Trump are bigots – not even the overwhelming number of people who voted for Donald Trump? They’re disenfranchised, they’re mad, they’re losing their jobs.”

Our politicians need to learn some sense too. We have to be careful not to be blown away by it all.

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