New Year's Eve

Luxembourg is definitely not a city that never sleeps. Au contraire. Therefore, it's always nice to find out that someone is still alive. And kicking (another cliché, or another French expression, and I’ll close this thing down). Mr. Paul Hammelmann, president of Luxembourguish Sécurité routiére, gave an interview to L’Essentiel defending the need for free public transportation in Luxembourg during New Year's Eve (click to read):

It all looks like a small domestic war between the government, the city administration, and probably CFL. In vdl.lu we learn that:

"Comme tous les ans à l'occasion des fêtes de fin d'année, le service des autobus municipaux interrompra ses courses comme suit:

  • Le mardi 1er janvier 2008 (Nouvel An) le service des lignes régulières ne commencera que vers 08h00."


"Le service nocturne des autobus «City Night Bus» de la Ville de Luxembourg circule suivant son horaire habituel les vendredi et samedis soirs.

Le City Night Bus circule sur les trois lignes suivantes:

  • CN1 P+R Bouillon - Gare Centrale - Centre E. Hamilius - Clausen - Cents et retour, toutes les 15 minutes entre 22.15 et 03.15 heures;
  • CN2 Centre E. Hamilius - Limpertsberg - Belair - Merl, toutes les 30 minutes entre 00.00 et 03:30 heures;
  • CN3 Centre E. Hamilius - Bonnevoie - Gasperich - Cessange, toutes les 30 minutes entre 00.00 et 03.30 heures.

Lors du réveillon du Nouvel An (St Sylvestre), dans la nuit du lundi 31/12/2007 au mardi 01/01/2008, le service est assuré jusqu'à 06h30 du matin (dernier départ Centre E. Hamilius)."

Good news. Now back to the interview: Where the hell do they find these journalists?

How can you use the word "paternalize" when talking to someone responsible for trying to save people's life? "Should we care for those who drink to much, or just let them kill themselves?" What?


Cars and girls * II

(I know I'm a lazy bastard, taking advantage of every comment to publish a new post, but I can't help it. It's not a bad thing and it gives the right visibility to those of my few readers who care to comment my posts.)
Just to make things clear: my last post was less about CO2 emissions and more about attitude.
Therefore, handsome 40 year old cars are exempt of any environmental concern (I know, I have a lot of soft spots).
Is it a Vitesse, GG?


Cars and girls

"New German-made cars sold in Europe in 2006 had higher carbon dioxide emissions on average than they did in 2005, according to a new study." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/)
BMW reduced new cars emissions, but Mercedes and Volkswagen (+ Audis, specially the black ones, Seats and Skoda, that use the same motors) didn't. I think everyone of us as one or two special words to designate Mercedes drivers (and no, I don't mean "handsome", Mr. CLS500); we can keep on using them, freely.
"It is ironic that the country that did so much to get a European consensus on new climate targets earlier this year is also home to the carmakers that are holding back progress on one of the most important ways of achieving them, said Jos Dings, director of T&E.
The failure to cut the weight of cars is one of the principal reasons why CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are not going down, he added."

This brings me back to my previous post about Mazda 2: it's nicer, cleaner and lighter then the previous model. And also safer: just got 5 stars in the Euroncap test.
I'm not endorsing the brand, just the trend. And by the way, avoid the diesels: you're never gonna drive enough kilometres to justify the extra price, and although emissions are lower, all the extra gunk is responsible for the bad quality of the air we breath and for the increase of respiratory diseases.


See the stars * II

From a comment to my previous post:
"Even if it's surley nice to have it built into Google Earth, there are 2 good programs for star-watching:

and Stellarium: http://www.stellarium.org/ ".

Thanks, Fireball!

If we can't buy it, let's copy it!

We all know Wikipedia. We all know Google. And we all know the probability of getting a Wikipedia page on top of a simple search in Google is very high. Well, that means money, a lot of money from advertisement, so Google (which is not a non-profit, free, community web service, like Wikipedia, altought there is same discussion about keeping this "clean" status: http://gondwanaland.com/mlog/2007/01/02/wikipedia-advertising/) decided to try to collect some of those potential dollars that are wasted every time someone clicks an ad-free Wikipedia link. Knol is born (beta and invitation-only, by now).
From Wikipedia, about Knol: "Some describe knol as a rival to encyclopedia sites such as Wikipedia, Scholarpedia, About.com and Helium.com. Others state that its differences complement Wikipedia; Wikipedia articles are written collectively and should adhere to the "neutral point of view" policy, while Knols highlight personal expertise by emphasizing authorship and can contain the personal opinions of the author."


As least now they can plan it freely, while eating a BigMac at a local McDonald's

The tradition of bride kidnapping, ala kachuu in Kyrgyz, was made illegal in Kyrgyzstan when the Soviet Union made efforts to transform marriage practices that limited women's freedom of choice, including child betrothals and arranged and kidnapped marriages.

Moscow frowned on the practice and did its best to stamp it out, but it has re-emerged since Kyrgyzstan became independent in 1991. The tradition is entirely illegal and is a somewhat distorted version of the old custom since it frequently involves coercion and rape.The frequency of kidnappings appears to have risen after independence and continues to be on the rise as an element of the reclamation of Kyrgyz identity after Soviet rule. There is little evidence that violations of the law against kidnapping are punished.


See the stars

In addition to browsing the Earth, Google Earth now allows you to view heavenly objects, including stars, constellations, galaxies, planets and the Earth's moon. (http://earth.google.com/sky/skyedu.html)


Tap water smelling and tasting sort of funny? Call the police!

«Police drivers searching the reservoir at Esch-sur-Sure discovered a body yesterday, but later discounted that it was that of missing student Tanja Greff.The remains of a man were found in a Ford Escort car in the mud near the Misèresbréck bridge shortly after midday.The man was identified and was reported missing in 1984. He was 46 at the time.» (in http://www.station.lu/)


It's official: Santa Claus («Kleeschen») is moving to Luxembourg!

«At a meeting of EU finance ministers in the small but prosperous duchy, Luxembourg refused to agree to a lifting of the tax advantages that have prompted iTunes, Skype, eBay, Santa Claus and other big Internet companies to set up shop there. That effectively blocked the package, because adoption of tax measures requires unanimous agreement by all 27 EU members.
Telecommunications companies, satellite broadcasters and other companies providing online services apply a value added, or sales, tax based on where the company is established, not where the customer is. That makes Luxembourg, where VAT on Internet-related sales is 15 percent, an attractive place to operate. In neighboring Germany, for example, the rate was raised to 19 percent this year.»


Our neighbors

I don't know how is this gonna end, but by now we can still laugh.

Hot in the city

«Since the month of July 2007, the City of Luxembourg has been offering Internet access to people on the move in the Upper City, with a laptop, a mobile phone or a PDA. From 1 December 2007 onwards, this offer will be available to people in the station district. The technical roll-out started at Place de la Gare and will be extended over the entire station district by the end of the 1st quarter 2008 at the latest. The network is expected to reach the entire City area in 2008.»


New Mazda 2

The new Mazda 2 is out there. It's fresh, it's stylish, and it has a lot of zoom-zoom. Forget its superdull boxy predecessor. With prices starting at 11 450 euros here in Luxembourg (Challenge 1300 cc, 75 bhp), you can expect to see a lot of them leaping around (maybe not in that nice froggy green...). I would recommend the 103 bhp 1.5 cc Sport (14 776 euros), but I guess most of the zoom-zoomers will prefer one of the diesels (1400 cc, 68 bhp, from 12 685 to 15 537 euros).