Shovel some snow

I heard the news today, oh Boy.... We've found the antidote: go and shovel snow

Whilst the police were cordonning off Schuman yesterday, a massive traffic infarctus unfolded in the Kingdom due to some foreseen-yet-massive snowfall (approx. 7cm... leading to the worst traffic jams in history - 500KM). The cops were standing by "hoping" for some demonstrators to show up, who were obviously held up elsewhere, waiting in vain for the cops to show some creativity in resolving traffic incidents. Get those demonstrators and cops to show solidarity by shoveling snow

Our dear PM was on the radio pledging to "have a structural solution" for the homeless....by the end of February (2010?) and then strutted his stuff to the airport to be told that all flying had been cancelled... and as a result he'd be better off shoveling snow so that the homeless have clean sidewalks!

The blaming-game on the Assassination of the Senne led the Brussels Minister to "leave the Copenhaguen summit in urgency (What was she doing there anyway?)... she'd be better off shoveling snow and debris at the treatment station

... and the kids and I were happily outside enjoying a bit of unstressing, "shoveling snow"...

For all your practical problems, a practical solution: shovel snow, it's relaxing, clears pathways, demonstrates solidarity, keeps you warm, gives your heart a workout, prepares the driveway to roll out without easy, back in touch with your inner child, enjoy the silence, listen to nature, smile at your neighbour, enjoy the flatout whiteness...... etc....


Wereld Toilet Dag (Haiku)

Our dear Prime Minister Van Rompuy may be named the First President of the European Union today, he's well known to be a proficient haiku-master. In honour of World Toilet Day,we posted the one below to his site!

En vandaag 2009-11-19 Wereldtoiletdag één speciaal over de 2,5 miljard mensen die aan open defecatie doen (ook "flying toilets" genoemd)

Leg een drol en spoel de chasj
Elders vliegt een zak

World Toilet Day 2009

Beste Stubru,
Bravo met het initiatief om op zoek te gaan naar Vlaanderen’s schoonste toilet, hierdoor vestigt u de aandacht op een van ’s werelds best bewaarde geheimen; the sanitation crisis

Als Scottex nu eens een daad van civiek gedrag zou doen door het bedrag aan toiletpapier te schenken aan het bouwen van beveiligde wc’s en latrines voor vrouwen en meisjes in een derde wereldland, dan zou mijn wereldtoiletdag al geslaagd zijn! (zie bijlage)
Indeed, 2,5 miljard mensen zijn verplicht om aan “open defecatie” te doen, waardoor ze niet alleen persoonlijk gevaar lopen (verkrachting etc…) maar waardoor ook de drinkwatervoorraden etc. vervuild worden. Gedenk de “flying toilets” in Kibera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_toilet) maar vandaag: inbijlage een aantal voorbeelden waarvan wij hopen dat ze in Vlaanderen althans zich niet meer voordoen.

Meer informatie op http://www.wsscc.org/ (WASH campagne: Water, Sanitation and Health)
U kan mij desgevallend altijd contacteren, maar waarom niet bellen naar PROTOS,Vlaanderens’ meest prominente NGO die er iets aan doet!

Achtingsvolle groeten


VanderKelen versus Van Ranst: an accusation of Soviet Medicine by a Populist rumor-spreader: 0-1

Belgian National Flu Commissioner Marc Van Ranst, widely regarded as a solid scientific, and widely recognized by the political and medical establishment as pulling off a great job re: the Mexican flu pandemic in Belgium, has had his ass kicked this morning by a commentator from populist newspaper 't Laatste Niuews.

In a reaction on what he thought about Belgian soccer players getting themselves vaccinated in the horizon period reserved for "at risk" populations, the Flu commissioner stated that he found this to be uncivil, totally unacceptable and threathening all the good work that had been done.

The journalist now accuses the Flu commisioner of practicing soviet medicine.

My comments: long live the stalinist doctors if they manage a pandemic of this scale and scr*w the commentators (and the soccer players): the soccer players have NO right to be the first in line (even if they were pulling off great stunts like winning world chamionships or something, NOT) and the commentators should focus on the defficiencies in soccer training for kids rather than defend an already tarnished national competition, unworthy of that name... Quit whining Vander Kelen, and go write something really useful.

Pigeion: impossible


Now Let's Kill that Fucking Band


Kevin Costner, last night in Gent, with his "true americana" "Kevin Costner & Modern West". Forget to take Stetson so didn't really mingle with the crowd...
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Go Back Up

Did you know that laptop theft, even from the most "so-called" secure places like a safe in a hotel room, is on the RAMPAGING RISE?
Did you realize that laptop theft is one of those classical cases where 1+1 equals more than 3? - at least to you, in terms of personal damage, and... even worse, to your employer or company?
Some estimate an average laptop, say from a mid-level manager, to contain up to 100.000€ of valuable data, that (you betcha) any hacker can extract, whether you have standard encryption or not...

Our advise: watch your machine! back it up: all the time - and get insurance in the form of weapons-grade encryption mechanisms and fire-proof redundant back-up systems.

Alternatively, you can just simply stop storing stuff, go out, sniff a breeze of automn and enjoy life without wires!

Further Reading: Study on 128 stolen from 29 companies: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/04/report-average-stolen-laptop-cost-is-50k-intel-buy-vpro.ars

$50,000 average cost as follows:

Laptop replacement cost: $1,582
Detection & escalation cost: $262
Forensics & investigation cost: $814
Data breach cost: $39,297
Intellectual property loss: $5,871
Lost productivity cost: $283
Other legal and regulatory costs: $1,117

Perhaps the most counterintuitive result from the study is that having a full backup of the lost or stolen laptop actually increases the average incident cost by almost 50 percent. The theory put forth for this by Ponemon is that "the backup makes it easier to confirm the loss of sensitive or confidential data (i.e., ignorance is bliss hypothesis)."


One Drop: this Sat 2009-10-10 @ 0200 - WATCH IT

Reading: King
Viewing: Terminator 3 - Salvation (oh yeah baby)
Listening to: Nine Inch Nails
Thinking: You've got the watch, we've got the time
Travelling: from Bangkok, to A'dam, to Geneva, to Paris & back home


The Essence of Summer


Reading: 378+ Emails
Viewing: Tuscany of the North
Listening to: "I gotta feeling" - Black Eyed Peas
Thinking: Starting a new "Extending My Own Date of Expiration" Campaign
Travelling: Paris today, Amsterdam, Geneva & Brazil later this semester
Last picture: See above: 3 Flag-Waving Kids
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Promoting Integrity at World Water Week


Reading: Paul Verhaegen - Omega Minor
Viewing: Black Dots in front of my eyes
Listening to: Black eyed Peas
Thinking: Gratefull for friendship
Travelling: from Stockholm to Duinbergen
Last picture: after Integrity Radio interview with Prijay Shah from the Water Integrity Network
Writing about Chakosj! - stay tuned
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Vive la Fête

Reading: Geert Mak - In Europa
Viewing: The English Patient
Listening to: Sigur Ros
Thinking: Bundestreue
Travelling: Lisbon, Paris, Duinbergen, Stockholm
Last picture: National Belgian Holiday in Maredsous


Cooking Time - Trein vol andijvie

The Age of Panic


Paris Metro, just after reading over the shoulder of an American Embassy worker that "serviceman in Normandy havee been quarantined following infection with H1N1".
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Van oud naar Nieuw


location: Gaasbeek / Kester
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Een magische avond in het Pajottenland


Reading: A most wanted man - LeCarré
Viewing: 28 weeks Later
Listening to: Daan -Manhay
Thinking: Politicsareoverrated
Travelling: Paris tomorrow, Italy next week, Portugal in July, Stockholm in August, Seaside-Duinbergen in August
Last picture: God moving over the face of the Pajottenland prairies (see above)
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Unethical investments: the case for buying stock in weapons manufacturers

War: check
Internal policing problems: check
Insecurity on the rise in Western Societies: check
Maffia on the rise: check (see Sicilian wind farms)
Pirates of the Somali coast line: check
Increased population pressure vs limited resources: double-check
"Steeds meer wapenbezit op school": check (DS, 2009(05-08)
"The need for non-lethal weapons is growing: effectivly stop a subject by pain, up until 100m...": check
Global growing insecurity: crashing stock, people loosing a fortune while some guys make a living out of it and...become targets...: check
Government laxness, democratic indecision: check
Growing war-mongering, destabilising regimes, unrest in former 'allied states': check

What the hell are we waiting for? Who could advise against investing in "non or less lethal weaponry"?

Unethical Investments

I was struck earlier this weeking reading an interview with a hard-driving, cool-rocking CEO in his late 40ies: questioned about his wheels he answered: "driving a VW 4x4with a heavy engine, and seeing it as my contribution to fighting climate change..." The guy obviously is meant to hit some tree with an attitude somewhere somehow soon. In the meantime, he's allowed to spread his misbelief that he's helping the "planet" by advancing the date by which we, as humanoids, become extinct, that is...the unhappy majority unable to be boarding some Virgin Galactic flight soon.

I was thinking: does the guy have kids? If yes, what kind of legacy does he want to leave for them? Is it a lack of transgenerational solidarity to drive a SUV, or...are you advancing the cause of Mother Earth by helping to extinguish some of the most polluting creatures she's ever created?

You can hardly expect dinosaurs to be held accountable for global warming: all of them farting at the same time would not contribute anything in terms of Kyoto gasses - because -strangely - animal and human produced bodily gasses and emissions do not count...

So, let's all start driving 4x4s instead of these UGLY planet-saving cars. Or bike (just as I did today, to get cost item#3 in daycare)...and get killed by a hysteric 4x4 driving mom with an attitude.

So: instead of free-riding: buy HEAVY Cars (while they last) or invest in some tyre-blowing equipment and armory (take a look at http://www.fnherstal.com/)


Only in Belgium: Veroordeelde oplichter krijgt job bij Financiën terug

Nog een chance dat de rechtbanken goed werken!

donderdag 30 april 2009Bron: BELGA Auteur: jbs
Bron: De Standaard

Een in 2006 door de rechtbank veroordeelde oplichter heeft zijn job als afdelingshoofd bij het departement btw van de federale overheidsdienst (FOD) Financiën teruggekregen. De Raad van State oordeelde namelijk dat het ministerie van Financiën te lang gewacht heeft om de man te ontslaan.
A.M. werd drie jaar geleden veroordeeld tot een voorwaardelijke gevangenisstraf van acht maanden omdat hij verschillende btw-plichtigen had afgeperst. De feiten dateren van eind 2002.

Het ministerie van Financiën bracht M. er in augustus 2008 van op de hoogte dat hij van ambstwege ontslagen werd. Te laat, oordeelt de Raad van State nu. M. kreeg daarop zijn job als btw-controleur terug.



De Morgen online treft wel een paar keer doel vandaag: een overzicht

"1 op 10 Vlaamse verkozenen 'erft' zitje" - té gek om uitgevonden te zijn, only in Belgium?

"Waalse politici op 'missie' kiezen hazenpad op luchthaven" - écht Boonsiaans tafereel moet dat geweest zijn!

"Guantanamo-gevangene slaagt erin Al Jazeera te bellen" - Obama-style?

"Britten denken nóg meer aan voetbal dan aan seks" - wat nog maar eens bewijst wat voor een idioot gedoe voetbal eigenlijk wel is. Over de geaardheid van voetballiefhebbers zelf zullen we het verder niet hebben


Bring Back the Rhubarb

Rhubarb gardening made easy: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/rhubarb_in_the.php?dcitc=weekly_nl


a new take on puericulture

Now this a truth worth reading. Carl Honoré, in praise of slow food, slow sex, slow education: http://www.carlhonore.com/?page=1

"Just look at Finland. By any yardstick, it has one of most successful education systems in the world. Competition for teacher training is fierce in Finland, and those who make the cut study for five years before qualifying. Yes, five years.

Finnish teachers are so well trained that the nation holds them in high regard and trusts them to do well by its children. That means instead of dealing with endless inspections, assessments and bureaucracy, they can get down to the most important job of all: teaching."


The Age of Stupid

“We could have saved ourselves, but we didn’t. It’s amazing. What state of mind were we in, to face extinction and simply shrug it off?” - http://www.ageofstupid.net/the_film

Reading: The Black Swan - (****)
Listening to: Viva la Vida II - Coldplay
Thinking: see above
Travelling: on Bike

Battle in Seattle - trailer


Water Rights & Wrongs

A young People's Summary of the 2006 Landmark Human Development Report

"Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty, and the global water crisis"


USA - Under Construction


Reading: L.P.Boon - De Kapellekesbaan
Viewing: RocknRolla!
Listening to: Kid Rock
Thinking: "Oscar Wilde: A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life"
Travelling: From Austria to Washington and from Brussels to Istanbul
Last picture: Obama's White House
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Get off my Lawn!

I've always known it!

Recent research indicates that the dirtier you let their kids play: i.e. the less you worry about desinfection and getting in contact with animals etc... - the more tuned up there immune systems become resulting in higher and lifelong protection for your offspring! don't believe me, but the NYT