May 6, 2012 archive

Greece is the Word

Greek Voters Punish 2 Main Parties for Economic Collapse


Published: May 6, 2012

The parliamentary elections were the first time that Greece’s foreign loan agreement had been put to a democratic test, and the outcome appeared clear: a rejection of the terms of the bailout and a fragmentation of the vote so severe that the front-runner is expected to have extreme difficulty in forming a government, let alone one that can either enforce or renegotiate the terms of the bailout.

In the upper middle-class Psychiko neighborhood in Athens, many supporters of the Socialist party, known here as Pasok, said they had voted for radical-left Syriza for the first time, in protest. “I voted in anger,” said Evangelia Grillaki, 65, a retired florist. “We feel 1,000 percent betrayed. The only people who voted for Pasok are either jerks or vested interests.”

The biggest winner in the elections appeared to be Syriza, a coalition of leftist parties founded in 2004, which included splinter groups from Greece’s more hard-line Communist Party. Its campaign slogan was “They chose without us, we’re moving on without them,” and it appeared to receive the bulk of the Socialist protest vote. Led by Alexis Tsipras, an energetic 38-year-old, the party is in favor of Greece remaining in the euro zone and the European Union but has opposed the loan agreement.

Funny how it is that when regular voters are allowed to express their opinion of Bankster Bailouts they overwhelmingly reject them and the Plutocrat Pandering Politicians who are complicit in their criminality.

Fire them all.


Bonafide Hero: Captain Duck Dodgers is the series finale and originally aired November 11, 2005.

Since I started posting these episodes slightly over 39 weeks ago many of them have been pulled for whatever reason which I think is a shame.

At some point I may attempt to put together this collection again, but I’ll try to find some other long format content for the immediate future.  As always your suggestions are welcome, hope you enjoyed the show.

On This Day In History May 6

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

May 6 is the 126th day of the year (127th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 239 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1994, English Channel tunnel opens.

In a ceremony presided over by England’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.

The channel tunnel, or “Chunnel,” connects Folkstone, England, with Sangatte, France, 31 miles away.  The Chunnel cut travel time between England and France to a swift 35 minutes and eventually between London and Paris to two-and-a-half hours.

As the world’s longest undersea tunnel, the Chunnel runs under water for 23 miles, with an average depth of 150 feet below the seabed. Each day, about 30,000 people, 6,000 cars and 3,500 trucks journey through the Chunnel on passenger, shuttle and freight trains.

Millions of tons of earth were moved to build the two rail tunnels–one for northbound and one for southbound traffic–and one service tunnel.   Fifteen thousand people were employed at the peak of construction.  Ten people were killed during construction.

Proposals and attempts

In 1802, French mining engineer Albert Mathieu put forward a proposal to tunnel under the English Channel, with illumination from oil lamps, horse-drawn coaches, and an artificial island mid-Channel for changing horses.

In the 1830s, Frenchman Aimé Thomé de Gamond performed the first geological and hydrographical surveys on the Channel, between Calais and Dover. Thomé de Gamond explored several schemes and, in 1856, he presented a proposal to Napoleon III for a mined railway tunnel from Cap Gris-Nez to Eastwater Point with a port/airshaft on the Varne sandbank at a cost of 170 million francs, or less than £7 million.

In 1865, a deputation led by George Ward Hunt proposed the idea of a tunnel to the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day, William Ewart Gladstone.

After 1867, William Low and Sir John Clarke Hawkshaw promoted ideas, but none were implemented. An official Anglo-French protocol was established in 1876 for a cross-Channel railway tunnel. In 1881, British railway entrepreneur Sir William Watkin and French Suez Canal contractor Alexandre Lavalley were in the Anglo-French Submarine Railway Company that conducted exploratory work on both sides of the Channel. On the English side a 2.13-metre (7 ft) diameter Beaumont-English boring machine dug a 1,893-metre (6,211 ft) pilot tunnel from Shakespeare Cliff. On the French side, a similar machine dug 1,669 m (5,476 ft) from Sangatte. The project was abandoned in May 1882, owing to British political and press campaigns advocating that a tunnel would compromise Britain’s national defences. These early works were encountered more than a century later during the TML project.

In 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George repeatedly brought up the idea of a Channel tunnel as a way of reassuring France about British willingness to defend against another German attack. The French did not take the idea seriously and nothing came of Lloyd George’s proposal.

In 1955, defence arguments were accepted to be irrelevant because of the dominance of air power; thus, both the British and French governments supported technical and geological surveys. Construction work commenced on both sides of the Channel in 1974, a government-funded project using twin tunnels on either side of a service tunnel, with capability for car shuttle wagons. In January 1975, to the dismay of the French partners, the British government cancelled the project. The government had changed to the Labour Party and there was uncertainty about EEC membership, cost estimates had ballooned to 200% and the national economy was troubled. By this time the British Priestly tunnel boring machine was ready and the Ministry of Transport was able to do a 300 m (980 ft) experimental drive. This short tunnel would however be reused as the starting and access point for tunnelling operations from the British side.

In 1979, the “Mouse-hole Project” was suggested when the Conservatives came to power in Britain. The concept was a single-track rail tunnel with a service tunnel, but without shuttle terminals. The British government took no interest in funding the project, but Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said she had no objection to a privately funded project. In 1981 British and French leaders Margaret Thatcher and François Mitterrand agreed to set up a working group to look into a privately funded project, and in April 1985 promoters were formally invited to submit scheme proposals. Four submissions were shortlisted:

   a rail proposal based on the 1975 scheme presented by Channel Tunnel Group/France-Manche (CTG/F-M),

   Eurobridge: a 4.5 km (2.8 mi) span suspension bridge with a roadway in an enclosed tube

   Euroroute: a 21 km (13 mi) tunnel between artificial islands approached by bridges, and

   Channel Expressway: large diameter road tunnels with mid-channel ventilation towers.

The cross-Channel ferry industry protested under the name “Flexilink”. In 1975 there was no campaign protesting against a fixed link, with one of the largest ferry operators (Sealink) being state-owned. Flexilink continued rousing opposition throughout 1986 and 1987. Public opinion strongly favoured a drive-through tunnel, but ventilation issues, concerns about accident management, and fear of driver mesmerisation led to the only shortlisted rail submission, CTG/F-M, being awarded the project.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Hundreds of pelicans die; stay away from beaches, Peru urges


By Reuters

LIMA, Peru – Peru’s government declared a health alert along its northern coastline on Saturday and urged residents and tourists alike to stay away from long stretches of beach, as it investigates the unexplained deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans.

At least 1,200 birds, mostly pelicans, washed up dead along a stretch of Peru’s northern Pacific coastline in recent weeks, health officials said, after an estimated 800 dolphins died in the same area in recent months.

The Health Ministry recommended staying away from beaches, though stopped short of a ban, and called on health officials to use gloves, masks and other protective gear when collecting dead birds.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Fairtrade: Is it really fair?

Japan nuke-free for first time since ’70

France set for crucial presidential run-off

Hunger intifada? Palestinian prisoners wield new-old tool against Israel.

With Chen Guangcheng news on Twitter, China’s censors lost control

Late Night Karaoke

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Adding Mussel to Your Meal


   I always associated high omega-3 content with fatty cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, but it turns out that there are 1,472 milligrams of omega-3s in 6 ounces of mussels (the approximate amount of meat you get from a pound in the shell), only 400 milligrams less than the same amount of salmon.

   Farmed mussels are a much more ocean-friendly seafood choice than farmed salmon…. Look for mussels that are shiny and black, and somewhat heavy for their size. When you get them home, take them out of the wrapping immediately, give them a quick rinse and put them in a big bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and refrigerate until you’re ready to clean and cook them.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Curry-Laced Moules à la Marinière With Fresh Peas

These are classic wine-steamed mussels, but the broth is seasoned with a little curry powder.

Oven-Roasted Mussels With Fresh Spinach

Mussels don’t have to be steamed. They will pop open in a hot, dry cast iron skillet, on a grill or in the oven.

Spicy Spanish Mussels

Inspired by a tapas bar in Valencia, this dish is made special by the crunchy almond and hazelnut picada added after the mussels are steamed.

Mussel Risotto

Brown rice can be added for a mixed-grains risotto.

Mussel Pizza

A dish typical of seaside towns in Italy or the south of France.

Open Thread: What We Now Know

Now We Know: Sen. Brown’s daughter benefits from insurance extension

Up host Chris Hayes summarizes the week of news after Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown was called out for including his 23-year-old daughter on his health insurance – a provision made possible through the “Affordable Care Act” that Brown nearly derailed.

Tell us what you have learned this week.

Open Thread

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