Friday, December 15, 2006

Briefly considered links


War of the Worlds in Belgium, anyone?
The BBC loses out to Al-Jazeera.
Want to read total paranoia about climate change. Try this Blog of Note. I can't help feeling that the title is perfectly chosen, but not quite what the author has in mind (it's called A Few Things Ill Considered).
Kofi Annan's real retirement speech (not).
A photocatalytic, air-pollution reducing cement!
Could there be a link between these and this elephant? I think we should be told.
The president of Somalia is not hopeful.
Things are not happening in Pakistan.

4 comments:

Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Canker,
I live in Holland only a few miles from the Belgium border in fact my wife worked in Belgium for many years. I myself studied Animation and have a professional diploma in Animation from a Belgium college. They are nice people great fun with an impish sense of humour. Flemish is in fact nothing more than a dialect of Dutch. The only trouble is that the two language groups have great difficulty getting on with each other. The Fleming in the north resented the dominance of the south during the later part of the 19th century and the early part of the last century, when the industrial part of the country was in the walloonian (French speaking part of Belgium). This has changed in the last 60 years with the demise of the Coal and steel industries, and the rise in the modern high tech industries in the Flemish part. The resentment is in fact rising because the Flemings see themselves paying for a white elephant as the Walloon part in a net consumer of state taxes. This is not helped by the influx of immigrants who follow the Religion of Peace, and tensions are rising especially in the Muslim ghettos of Antwerp and Brussels. This is about par for the course, and it will die down very quickly. This has been going on since the establishment of Belgium in 1839 . This popped up on the radar, what wasn't mentioned is that the Flemming are now taking down all dual language signs on the roads and replacing them with Flemish only signs, which should be quiet interesting, especially for Foreigners traveling through Belgium. I find it quiet amusing traveling from Tongeren which is in the Flemish part of Belgium and reading road signs that tell me I have only got a few kilometers to go before I get to Luik but can be quiet confusing when you have gone only a few kilometers to find signs directing me to Liege if you don't know that they are one and the same. I found the link very interesting and had a good chuckle, by the way your site gets better and better. I read it every day.

Deep regards

Yorkshire Miner

Canker said...

Yorkshireminer,
Thanks for the comment and praise.

I'm intrigued by the Flemish taking down all the dual-language signs. Does this cause chaos or are the Walloons quite capable of reading the Flemish?

Yorkshireminer said...

Dear Canker,
they are more than capable of understanding each other, both languages are taught in the schools, they have to by law. The only problem is that they don't like doing it. I speak Dutch with a a strong accent and I go to Luik/Liege quiet alot, they have a great Sunday market. I always tell them that I am Dutch or English and I have never had a problem. The other thing here is that in the triangle Maasticht Liege/Luik Achen, these are three town within a radius of about 20 miles each speak there own language Dutch French and German. Since the opening of the borders more and more people travel to the different towns so the sales people have over the years are usually fluent in all languages, and there are usually no problems. The language problem is very complicated as the various dialects change very quickly over a short distance. my wife speaks four languages fluently, her local dialect Dutch German English in that order and she gets by in French. She slips effortlessly from one language to the other. I watched her the other day talking to her mother in the limburg dialect answering the phone while talking to our doctor in German who lives just over the border from us as we are only 20 yards from the German border and our Doctor is German and talking too a customer in High Dutch and keeping up a conversation with me in English. Friends who have visited us have a hard time understanding what is going on as I talk only english to our son who depending upon his mood will answer either in English or Dutch and my wife talks only Dutch to him. I only speak Dutch to the Germans over the border who always answer in German which I understand, surprisingly it doesn't seem to cause any problems. If you understand that you are a better man than me Gunga Din.

Deep regards


Yorkshireminer


By the way I assume the two beautiful children you used to illustate one of your articles are your work, if so congratulations ugly bulls always have pretty calves

Canker said...

Yorkshireminer,
Thanks for the extra information. I'm always deeply impressed by people who speak several languages fluently. It seems to me that they must use their brains quite differently to me.

The children are, alas, not my own, although I would maintain that my two are just as pretty.
I dare not put up too much information about me since some of my (less-close) colleagues would undoubtedly agitate to get me fired if they knew some of the views I express here (PC is alive and well in most British universities).