More and more day light

Days very quickly get longer now. This is at 7:15am:

Unlike New Zealand, there is a lot of time between first light appearing and actual sun rise. It will take until 8:01 before the sun will actually rise. But in just another month the sun will have risen at 7:15am. Every day we gain 4 minutes of day light.

Two quotes of the day

Found at Lindsay Mitchell:

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Found at clusterstock:

The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity in the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale

~ Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the U.S.A.

 

Prins Willem Alexander op Antarctica

De prins zal ondertussen wel weer in het vaderland zijn. Op zijn weblog konden we zijn avonturen volgen. Het gewone volk mocht echter geen commentaar plaatsen. Het was het gewone twee-richtingsverkeer: belastinggeld naar de prins, en speeches terug. Het commentaar daarom maar hier. Op 6 februari schreef de prins:

Rothera station, sinds begin jaren 90 in gebruik door BAS, ligt aan de westkant van het Antarctisch schiereiland, één van de drie hotspots op de wereld (de andere zijn noord Siberië en noord Canada/Alaska), waar de gemiddelde temperatuur over de afgelopen 50 jaar met 3 graden Celsius is gestegen.

Laten we dit eens goed lezen: vanwege global warming, globale opwarming, gaat de prins naar één van de drie plekken op aarde die warmer worden. Als eenvoudige burger zou je denken dat als je over global warming praat, het overal warmer wordt, dus dat je ook gewoon in Nederland de effecten kan bestuderen. Maar nee, er zijn maar drie plekken op deze aarde die opwarmen. Dus zo globaal is die opwarming niet moet de prins toegeven.

Het tweede wat hier mis mee is dat het op Antarctica nu juist kouder wordt. Slechts op een punt, ja, het westelijk schiereiland, wordt het warmer. Aan de oostkant wordt het nu juist kouder. Als kranten het over het opwarmen van Antarctica hebben moet je altijd goed opletten. Als ze het correct doen, zullen ze het over het Westen van Antarctica hebben, de Antarctic Peninsula. In het oosten wordt het nu juist kouder.

Dus naar de plek waar het opwarmt, ga je heen om de opwarming te bestuderen zoals de prins vervolgt:

De plek dus om de gevolgen van die opwarming op de omgeving te bestuderen.

En inderdaad, hieronder ziet men Willem Alexander bij het bestuderen van de global warming. Met een 1000x vergroting is global warming inderdaad goed te zien:

Ja, ik kan global warming nu duidelijk zien

Maar alle grapjes terzijde, waarom niet naar de oostkant om de gevolgen van de afkoeling op de omgeving te bestuderen? Dat veroorzaakt ongetwijfeld minder nieuws. En als prins kan je natuurlijk ook niet tegen de heersende menigte ingaan.

Dutch MP not allowed to enter England

It seems overseas there's more notice of the fact that England has refused an elected Dutch MP entrance:

GEERT WILDERS BANNED FROM BRITAIN: “This is the first time ever that a parliamentarian from one EU country has been forbidden entry to another.”

The reason according to the letter from the British embassy:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Secretary of State is of the view that your presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society. The Secretary of State is satisfied that your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK.

Translation: muslims will riot if you enter Brittain, and we can no longer control them.

As long perceived by American conservatives, and some Europeans, Europe lives in the age of self-censure. Do to the real or perceived reaction, governments will do anything at the moment to keep harmony. And not just governments. People are bowing out of politics because of threats to their family. Secular women have started to wear scarves in certain areas.

I can't help but see a parallel with how Christianity was treated: starting in the 60s anything and everything could be said about God and Christians. Everything was possible, under the disguise of free speech. In the mean time a religion was imported, that will not allow anything to be said.

Political debates

Interestingly, Auke is in a class with quite some interest in politics. And a person in his class is even reading a libertarian blog vrijspreker.nl (Dutch).

You don't see that a lot, most political discussion in Holland is to the left of the US Democratic Party, even among those they believe they are on the right of the political spectrum, simply because they have never heard anything else.

In New Zealand the debate is broader,. and one of my favorite politicians is Sir Roger Douglas. In a recent speech he said:

Sir Roger said New Zealand needed lower spending and lower taxes.

Unless both measures are adopted our children will have to pay back the borrowed money, and interest, in the future, he said.

"The Government is now mortgaging our children for the next round of spending increases."

Citizens have become more concerned with "dividing the pie rather than growing it" and politicians "merely mirror the sentiment" of voters.

His solution

He wants a tax system where an individual's first $30,000 would be tax-free, above that they would be taxed at a flat rate. ... The flip-side is that individuals would have to foot the bill for their own retirement, healthcare and insurance.

Oma is 65

Last Saturday Ida's mother, Oma Mulderij reached her 65th birthday. She got 65 roses from opa:

The following picture should not be looked at when hungry:

Visit to Thomas and Aagje Naberman - de Boer

On January 31 we visited my sister. They live a few kilometres from the Belgium border. In the afternoon we had a walk in the nearby forest:

And here AnneRoos with her niece:

In the long rong the stock market always goes up

In the long rong the stock market always goes up. Yeah right, as they say in New Zealand. If you had invested in shares in January 1999, your return would have be -2.6%:

Until now, the worst 10-year period, by that measure, was the period that ended September 1974, with a compound annual decline of 4.3 percent...

For the current period, the total return was negative, at minus 2.6 percent a year, even before factoring in inflation.

Remember that next time the government sets up, and manages, another pension fund:

Taking inflation and dividends into account, an investor who put money into the market any time after the end of 1996, and held on, now has less value than when he or she started.

Second Skype phone doesn't work either

It' just unbelievable. Using Skype is just being on the bleeding edge. The first phone we bought admittedly cheap, was the Xtender Dual DECT phone. That product was just garbage, comparable to the quality of a child's toy. Half of the keys don't work most of the time. And you need to have your computer turned on, and logged into Skype, to make it work.

After a few increasingly stronger voiced emails we were promised a refund, we didn't even have to send the phone back.

Thursday I bought another phone, the RTX 3088. It arrived Friday evening. Quality is better, and you don't need a computer. Unfortunately plugging in the base station into the ADSL router didn't work. A hardware issue I'm afraid. So have to call support Monday, and probably need to swap it. It's just unbelievable.

We're a long way from replacingn our phones by the Internet I'm afraid.

UPDATE: works now.

How much is 1 trillion?

Tim Blair came up with a new comparison how much 1 trillion is:

In the US, Barack Obama’s stimulus plan equates to nearly $1 million for every day since the birth of Jesus Christ.

Yes, I did not just copy the numbers, I'm not a journalist: 365 days times 2000 years = 730,000 days. So actually it's slightly more than $1 million per day.

What does 2.5 million look like?

According to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Mexican police have found 2.5 million dollars in a house where they also found 200 kilograms drugs:

english

We were wondering why our kids don't get extremely high marks for their english. I begin to understand at least one of the reasons. Obviously translating dutch words and phrases into english and vice versa is very difficult. Another thing they found out is that they have to stick to the chapter and learn everything by heart. If the question in the test is as following: translate " engels is mijn moedertaal (english is my first language - english is my mother tongue - english is my native language -and maybe even more translations can be used) If, according to their textbook, it has to be 'first language', all the other options are marked wrong!!

Last week I took a book from 6 VWO (year 13) home. I would llike to use it for my english communication lesson -and it is useful with lots of dialogues and questions. I might have to talk to the english teachers thought, the book needs a slight revision in my opinion.

Uitslag krijgen - To come out in a rash.......

Wees stil - Keep your mouth shut......

The word 'the' or 'a' is often used where you won't use it in the english language. E.g. Have you got a travel insurance.

A couple of more things, but overall not too bad.

 

Weather station Harry

Let's hope Dutch minister of science has some time to look at weatherstation Harry, which recently has become famous. Here two photos from 2006, first one is on arrival. As you can see Harry is hardly visible:

These people came here to dig out the weather station. Supposedly it is melting all around on Antarctica, so a weather station buried under metres of snow is quite a sight (yes, I'm sarcastic). Here what the weather station looks like after it had been raised on top of the snow again:

What is the problem with a weather station burried under metres of snow?

Why is this important? Well, as anyone skilled in cold weather survival can tell you, snow makes an excellent insulator and an excellent reflector. Snow's trapped air insulative properties is why building a snow cave to survive in is a good idea. So is it any wonder then that a snowdrift buried temperature sensor, or a temperature sensor being lowered to near the surface by rising snow, would not read the temperature of the free near surface atmosphere accurately?

And:

This regular burial and digging out of stations brings the whole network of AWS [Automatic Weather Station] stations to be used as sensitive climate measurement stations into question.

King James still most popular translation

It came as a complete suprise to me, but it seems the King James, the Authorised Version, is still the most popular Bible translation:

The chart above tracks what translation people are using/searching for in Google searches.

Fair value accounting

Jesus Huerta de Soto, professor of economics at the Complutense University of Madrid, andprominent promotor of classical liberalism, explains that one of the reasons for the current economic crisis is the abandomnent of prudent accounting practice. What has happened is that assets are no longer valued by their historical value (what did they cost), but by so-called fair value (what could you get for it today) :

To be specific, acceptance of the International Accounting Standards (IAS) and their incorporation into law in different countries (in Spain via the new General Accounting Plan, in effect as of January 1, 2008) have meant the abandonment of the traditional principle of prudence and its replacement by the principle of fair value in the assessment of the value of balance-sheet assets, particularly financial assets.

In this abandonment of the traditional principle of prudence, a highly influential role has been played by stock brokers, analysts, investment banks (fortunately now on their way to extinction), and in general all parties interested in "inflating" book values in order to bring them closer to supposedly more "objective" stock-market values, which in the past rose continually in an economic process of financial euphoria.

In fact, during the years of the "speculative bubble," this process was characterized by a feedback loop: rising stock-market values were immediately entered into the books, and then such accounting entries were sought as justification for further artificial increases in the prices of assets listed on the stock market.

In this wild race to abandon traditional accounting principles and replace them with others more "in line with the times," it became common to evaluate companies based on unorthodox suppositions and purely subjective criteria that in the new standards replace the only truly objective criterion (that of historical cost).

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