Chris Wood
Friday April 30th, 2010

Ruining Our World

The last 10,000 years have seen a fairly nice stable climate on Earth, during which the human race has expanded from one million to 7000 millions. This period is called the Holocene. We are now entering the Anthropocene, which due to humans will not be so comfortable. The “New scientist” of 27.02.2010 reported on a conference of 28 environment experts, concerning how close we are to ruining things completely. Besides climate, they considered eight other aspects. The following is a summary of their tentative conclusions, with some comments from me. It starts with the only positive case and finishes with the most urgent.

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Edwin Ederle
Thursday April 29th, 2010

(Deutsch) Autofahren 3

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Roland Dürre

Perpetual Motion ♫

Reading about and hearing of all the debt being paid for by new debt, I am reminded of the dragon that grew two new heads whenever a head was cut off his neck.

Another example that comes to mind is Baron Münchhausen. He told people that he just pulled himself up by his own braid whenever there was a real problem, thus getting both himself and his horse out of the dire situation. Baron Münchhausen, however, was called the baron of lies.

I also find it strange that our Federal Chancellor supposedly studied physics and even wrote a dissertational thesis therein. So how can she now try and build aPerpetual Motion (Perpetuum Mobile) of debts?  Shouldn’t she of all people know that this is impossible?

To make up for it, she tells stories that would suffice to make her live up to Münchhausen’s name. The rest of us, however, plummet down together into an abyss of debt and do not dare to pull the break, because we are afraid we might be given a good shaking in the process.

Somehow or other, all this cannot really be happening, can it? Now my hope is that I must be dreaming. Please, can someone pinch me?

(Translated by EG)

Wolfgang Ambros once felt like I do. So he wrote a song…

Zwickts Me

Here are my tweets of next week on

Blogging and Twittering – Wisdoms and Rules:

100506 A mastermind that does not twitter of blog is almost an atrocity. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

100507 Even on your way to get a cup of coffee, you might think of a good tweet or blog. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

100508 Bloggers and Twitterers – the democrats of our new age?  #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

100509 Around midnight, you might start asking yourself: do vampires also twitter and write blogs? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

100510 In twitter and among bloggers, there is also soon a separation of the wheat from the chaff. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

100511 It is also true for twittering and blogging: the hope dies last. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

100512 When twittering or blogging, do not be considerate of systemic or factual pressure. #Twitter #Blogging #Rule

There is a new tweet each day. See Twitter and “follow” RolandDuerre!



Markus Seidt
Wednesday April 28th, 2010

Letters From Vietnam #10 – Good News

… Thrice Good News! First and foremost: Francis Van Hoi is feeling better. He has been ill for several weeks, even too weak to send an email.

Now he is back in motion – and we are all very relieved. Here is his first “back to life” sign:

I am travelling in Thai Binh with Frau Hargens from Switzerland. At the moment, I am not yet completely recovered, am still suffering from a cough. Also, my lifestyle is not very healthy at all these days: food and sleep at irregular intervals, because in North Vietnam, people no longer eat as many vegetables as they used to. And what they eat is very salty. Drinking water is extremely expensive, almost like in Munich and there is no “Leberkäse”…

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Roland Dürre


I received the following “in-official comment” on my “courage” article from an anonymous reader:

I found your article on “courage” very interesting. The question that comes to mind is: what about all those people who only remain married for decades, because they “feel committed” to a decision once made? Incidentally, I know quite a few marriages of that sort.

Here is my answer:

With marriages, there are (again, I am simplifying it and just saying things in terms of general concepts) two alternative scenarios:

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Roland Dürre
Tuesday April 27th, 2010


Well, now it happened. An oil rig sunk after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. It was another one of those typical accidents that, in theory, cannot happen. And following the laws of statistics, it did happen.

Nonetheless, these days even the most remote regions of this planet are cleared for exploration if there is a chance of finding oil. Nobody thinks about the risk and cost. From the economical point of view, it will probably be profitable.

We do this regardless of us knowing that all we can do is move the end of the oil age a little bit further into the future. In Exchange, we are pumping more and more poisonous gasses into the atmosphere.
That hurts.

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Roland Dürre
Monday April 26th, 2010


Currently, there is again a general discussion about road or street charges even for passenger vehicles. In my opinion, the concept of tolls is a good one insofar as it makes sense to pay for the infrastructure costs and the environmental exploitation according to the extent of utilization.

To be sure, it would be less expensive and easier to, for instance, just let people pay higher taxes for petrol, instead of introducing the complicated data collection procedure necessary for the toll system. It would also be fairer, because a SUV or a luxury limousine should cost more than a small car.

As counter-argument against a higher petrol tax, we often hear that drivers from abroad would then not have to pay at all. – Well, that is not how I see it. It would be a nice gesture towards our guests. We would get a more positive image and thereby strengthen the industrial location Germany. Besides, most of the people coming from other countries will fill up their fuel reserves in Germany, anyway.

This article is, however, not about street toll. It is about the peeing fee (Biselmaut). It is, or rather has been, introduced in Germany on a wide scale. This article is an outcry against this special kind of toll!
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Roland Dürre
Sunday April 25th, 2010

Driving a Car 2

A friend of mine visits me regularly. He lives almost 300 kilometres from my home and always comes by himself, driving his car all the distance. Immediately after our meeting, he drives back home.

On arrival, the first thing he usually does is lament about the long drive, the hassle on the streets, the ignorance and mistakes of other drivers, the traffic jams caused by accidents, bad weather or frozen streets. And about all the time he wastes driving his car. You have to know that my friend is very successful. He is always busy and full of energy.

He could just as well go by train. The connection between his home and mine is a good one and takes hardly longer than the car ride. Going by train would make it possible for him to use the time for work or to relax. On top of this, it would also be cheaper.

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