Friday, September 27, 2019

Aviation History

In case you were wondering, this is where Antoine de Sainte-Exupery was born on June 29, 1900. Aviation pioneer and author, this house is on a street in Lyon, France now named for him. He disappeared on a mission in 1944. The remains of his aircraft were found in April 2004.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Paris News

Over here I've been watching the France24 English channel and BBC. Fox News is usually not available. Obviously, you get a different twist to the news.

For example, we get Brexit news all the time, even down to a real time live feed about the UK Supreme Court deciding on the suspension of Parliament.

Another thing is, all reporters talk about global warming like it is proven fact with no attempt to provide a second opinion. Greta has been in the news almost continuously. BBC reported the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy as proof of sea level rise and they have stories about a small island off Bangladesh that is disappearing with no scientific explanation about alternatives like coastal erosion or subsidence.

We get a lot of news about Africa.  Did you know that there is ongoing strife between French speaking and English Speaking Cameroon? And I was really glad to see Mugabe finally put in the ground as we heard about his funeral every day.

And if you are interested in rugby, Japan beat Russia in the first game of the World Cup. Who da thought?

We get very little about Trump or the Democrats and I'm almost glad about that.

Interestingly, there was almost no coverage of the violence that erupted in Paris during the global warming march yesterday although 7000 French riot police shot tear gas and there were 100 arrests.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Paris News

Today, Friday the 13th, was a transportation worker strike. Most Metro and Bus lines were shut down. The workers were striking over Pres Macron's plan to consolidate the some 42 retirement plans to save money. The workers were not happy but in true French style, the one day strike was on a Friday so some people could plan a three day weekend.

In sports, the US team lost in the quarter finals of the basketball world cup. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!!!! An American Team lost in America's sport????? Worse, they lost to France. Mon Dieu! And what the heck is the world cup????? Turns out there is an International Basketball Federation (FIBA) A quick look showed me that several of the players on the French team were American. I guess it's a way for young NBA players to keep in shape in the off season. I bet that didn't make the local sports for you!

And three women have come forward with claims against Jeff Epstein in France. Seems he had a swanky apartment on Ave Foch (the street where the Gestapo had their HQ) and is therefore subject to French law.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

News from Across the Pond

We are usually tuned into BBC and France 24 English channel. The news is all about Brexit and Boris Johnson. The Parliament is pushing back on the "no deal" Brexit but a deadline of Oct 31 is fast approaching.

In French news, I see that the family of a man who died during sex with a strange while on a business trip is entitled to death benefits. The court ruled that his death was a workplace accident. This sets a precedent that a person is covered by company insurance even during his personal time if he's travelling on business. You might think this is a rare event, but I can assure that it happened on a project when I was working in Seoul, South Korea. Just one of the things they don't teach you in college.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Toll Revolt Update

I posted earlier about the people of Mobile, AL revolting against the proposed toll bridge over Mobile Bay. Pushback was so bad that the ALDOT removed the project from their Transportation  Improvement Plan for 2020 - 2023 which essentially kills the project. If it's not in the plan, they can't ask for federal dollars. The story is here.

Crossing the Pond

My wife and I are getting ready for an extended trip to Paris and Lyon this month. We watched Dorian closely and at one point I had a Plan B in place when we thought it might get into the Gulf. I had a rental car and a hotel reservation and we were going to drive to Atlanta. That looks like it won't be necessary now but the Boy Scout in me said "Be Prepared".

So, posts for the next month or so will have a European focus and we'll check on the status of the Yellow Vests. I'll also check in on the new Musee de la Liberation - a new museum about the liberation of the city in 1945. I may also go see the largest collection of Citroen automobiles. It will be good to visit old friends and enjoy the City of Light.

Thank you, Dietrich von Choltitz, for disobeying the order to destroy the city.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Head Count

Two murderers were beheaded in Saudi Arabia last month, a low for the Kingdom. Their year to date total is now 135.

Franklin Expedition and HMS Terror

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out in search of the northwest passage and never came back. The expedition disappeared without a trace. His ships have been found and his flagship was the subject of a recent diving expedition. Parks Canada produced a video of the dive showing how remarkably intact the ship is. The link is here as I couldn't embed the video.