Sunday, 27 July 2008

Radioactivity



Something is not totally clear to me! What I don’t grasp is how safe nuclear power is. On the July 7-14 issue of Newsweek France is praised for developing technologies that allow to use nuclear power as a chief source of electricity,


As far as environment is concerned that is said to be good because involves a very low emission of greenhouse gas. On a political and economic level, that is said to be good as well for reducing dependence on oil and its suppliers. The whole thing grows confusing when France and USA are compared. USA are blamed for not investing as much as France in this industry, and not having a long-range planning about nuclear power. The point is that I can see why they don’t have it when I read that nuclear waste has to be “buried only for a thousand years” in a “geological repository”.


In my opinion, politicians must be far seeing, but when the span they take into consideration is 1000 years, well it simply sounds unrealistic, and a little irresponsible if one thinks that the object of this plan is radioactive material. Moreover, in the two weeks between now and the time that article was published, there have been some rumours of radioactive leakages form French nuclear reactors and contaminated workers...

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Customer service

Sometimes working in customer service reminds me of an episode of Little Britain. In a shop specialized in paintings a customer gets in and asks for a painting showing a disappointed horse. The shop-keeper shows him a bunch of paintings with horses apparently demonstrating all the same attitude (if one can speak of attitude when it comes to horses) but the customer does not get satisfied. In each horse, he discovers plenty of emotions but not disappointment. After making the shop-keeper crazy, he leaves the premises without buying anything and with a bit of a smile on his face. The same goes for coffee places. Poor baristas are asked incredible sorts of drinks, say double short wet latte extra hot (please make it 200 degree) with skimmed milk and cream and caramel drizzle on top; or venti dry cappuccino with half pump of sugar free hazelnut and soy milk weak. Thing is, that if they were pleased with having their complicated requests accomplished it would be great but often it is not the case. So this sort of customers after lifting the lids, with eyes wide open comes back to the bar and shouts at the unlucky barista that "the cappuccino is not thaaat dry, there is too much milk!... do you know what dry means? I asked for extra hot and this is not extra hot! it's just 180 degree...and... I have been waiting too long...I want my money back" And no matter how the entire staff, from baristas to the manager apologize, this nice customer just wants to be refund and then leaves with a roll of eyes. Sad but true.



Sunday, 20 July 2008

make the desert bloom







I admit that so far I have been thinking that being green stands for having time and being rich. I was partly wrong! After reading a special issue on environment in the Newsweek of last week, I was somehow surprised. These articles are based on a study done by the staff ( (Yale’s Center for Environmental Policy and Columbia’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network) working on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), a comprehensive assessment of the world’s environmental challenges and how individual countries are responding to them.
EPI is an index of the world’s most and least green nations, and as one might expect the ranking of a nation depends, to some degree, on the advantages and accident of circumstance.
What a surprise indeed when the study points out that regardless of circumstance any nation can better itself.
Actually, Tanzania, because of its attention to regulating development ranks ahead of the richer United Arab Emirates. Well done!

Friday, 18 July 2008

control

Yesterday I watched an interesting movie. Control (dir. Antony Corbijn).

It’s about the British band Joy Division and in particular is the story of its singer Ian Curtis, how he joined the band and how he "left it".

What the movie conveys is a meditation upon the fragile boundaries of human self control. Illness causes the loss of control on our bodies. Expectations of the people who we are close to, and unpredicted events of life can cause the loss of control upon our mind, which results in the loss of the self in a daily chaos. Curtis is a poet and he sings his poetry through the music of Joy Division. He is happily married with Debbie and everything seems to go great until he found himself stricken from epilepsy. The ongoing fits from the illness, the lack of money, the passion for singing, the expectation of his band mates, the problem with his wife and his girlfriend brought him to commit suicide at 23 years old.




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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Wanted


17-7-2008

Days ago big national newspapers celebrated the birth of twins Brangelina. Did anyone see any Star... or at least one of the Holy Kings? Anyway, Alleluia!