Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Going for a Viking; Brief details; Masonic matters; Rubber bullets and a bendy Minister; & Garmin agony.

I've occasionally poked (gentle) fun at the Spanish practice of forming nouns from English gerunds - parkings, footings, joggings, liftings, etc. But it seems the English may have got there first. For Harar í viking means in Norse 'To go on a hike'. Or ' To go on an expedition'. Or, more correctly, I suppose, 'To go on an expedition with menace'. Out of which the English formed Viking to mean something like 'An invader disguised as a day-tripper'.

Talking of English . . . A new word seems to have entered the language, perhaps through the world of text messaging and tweets. It's 'deets', for 'details'. Be the first in your world to use it.

As I recall, Franco was obsessed with combatting, if not actually slaughtering, communists, socialists, Jews and masons. The last of these were banned during his time in power and imprisoned, tortured or exiled if they were found. So perhaps, it's not surprising that, even though the dictator went to his eternal reward/punishment in 1976, the masons have continued to kep themselves to themselves. But now the female half of the membership has come out in public and revealed member identities - in the cause of the protest against government plans to withdraw rights from women under a new abortion law. An interesting change in Spanish society but politics, as they say, makes for strange bedfellows. The Spanish masons, by the way, form a unitary movement, men and women. I don't have much experience of the masons but my impression is that there's normally a wide divide.

When Spain's Guardia Civil was accused of firing rubber bullets as South-Saharans trying to swim into the North African 'enclave' of Ceuta, the Interior Minister said the police had acted impeccably and angrily told the rest of the world to mind its own business. Well, 15 people died and the rest of the world was rather interested in this, including the EU that punts so much money Spain's way. So now the Minister has come over all conciliatory and admitted that rubber bullets should not have been fired. This contrition will presumably help him get the huge sums he's demanded from Brussels to help Spain deal with the tides of desperate men trying to climb over the razor wire into both Ceuta and Melilla. Or am I being too cynical?

Finally . . . I knew I never should have tried it . . . For 4-5 years - since not long after I bought it in the UK - my satnav(GPS) has only been giving me Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. Not the Europe-wide map it came with. On Sunday, I decided to pay for and download the latest Europe map. Suffice to say, things didn't go well and I still have the old Iberia map. And am 80 quid out of pocket, facing a long battle to rectify the situation. I should have gone with my instinct and left things alone. With age comes wisdom. Or should do. 

Update: I wrote to the Customer Service people yesterday. In English, of course. This morning I got a reply. It's long, technical and in Spanish. Presumably sent by a computer. Hey, ho. I will now resend my message, in Spanish, pretending I live in the UK. 


Perry said...


Two of my three sons & I are Freemasons. It was my privilege to initiate them as Entered Apprentices & take part in the workings to pass them to Fellowcrafts & raise them to Master Masons. As we are not a secret society, but a society with secrets, you may freely research our brotherhood & visit Grand Lodge at Great Queen Street.


Meanwhile, in another world.


Shindell is at odds with his erstwhile colleagues,including Hal Doiron.

Doiron was one of 40 ex NASA employees – including seven astronauts – who wrote in April 2012 to NASA administrator Charles Bolden protesting about the organization’s promotion of climate change alarmism, notably via its resident environmental activist James Hansen.

During his stint as head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Hansen tirelessly promoted Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. He retired last year to spend more time on environmental campaigning and has twice been arrested with former mermaid impersonator Darryl Hannah for his part in protests against surface coal mining and the Keystone XL pipe line. While still head of NASA GISS he once described trains carrying coal as “death trains” “no less gruesome than if they were carrying boxcars headed to crematoria and loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.” Many NASA employees and former employees found his views an embarrassment.

Doiron and his team now hope to set the record straight in a report called Bounding GHG Climate Sensitivity For Use In Regulatory Decisions.

Using calculations by George Stegemeier of the National Academy of Engineering, they estimated the total quantity of recoverable oil, gas and coal on the planet. They then used 163 years of real world temperature data to calculate Transient Climate Sensitivity (ie how much the world will warm as a result of the burning of all the carbon dioxide in the fossil fuel). The figure they came up with 1.2 degrees C which is considerably lower than the wilder claims of the IPCC, whose reports have suggested it could be as high as 4 degrees C or more.




Azra said...

I read this today and thought of you: