Sunday, November 30, 2008

Some interesting facts about Cyprus (2)

Since 2000BCE Cypriots did business online always with a frappe-coffee at hand.


The Cypriot economy is based mainly on ethnically sensitive products such as Non-Specified (formerly Turkish) Delight, a gelatinous substance extracted from the Mediterranean sea-bed; International Harmony (formerly Turkish) coffee, a thick petroleum replacement invented by Cypriot scientists in the 1920s; and Cyprus potatoes, along with a variety of broccoli originating from South America.

The Cyprus economy depends also on British lads, that visit Cyprus holiday resorts for cheap beer and cigarettes. They tend to become stupendously drunk and lose their virginity to something that resembles a woman. This mainly occurs during summer in Ayia Napa (aka "The hooker of the mediteranean"). Ayia Napa, greek for Saint Napa, is the patron saint of munging and the Land Shark. Ayia Napa comes second worldwide only to Mykonos in number of gays, lesbians, drunks, devirginized women and heroin-users wandering the streets after 5:00 am. Welsh visitors seem to have a preference for the moufflon - the wild sheep particular to Cyprus. What the lads do not know is that the normal prices of cigarettes and alcohol in Cyprus are even cheaper than they think. Cypriot merchants take full advantage of theit self-created 500% tourist tax (also known as pushto ingleso tax)


Cypriot language mainly consists of grunts, tutting and superfluous hand gestures with a splash of a few Turkish phrases. Any foreigners trying to assimilate will only have crap English with a shit Cypriot accent talked to them because they suck. Kalamarades, who are mainly these wankers from Greece, really suck at understanding what Cypriots are saying.

End of part 2

Yes, this is for you, you motherf.ckers!!!

I hope those Turkish 'entrepreneurs' can read English, but I've my doubts..))

14 defining characteristics about Fascism and what about Turkey

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

And where do you think Turkey stands for these days?

Day opening - November 30

Johannes VERMEER 1632-1675
The love letter 1669-72
oil on canvas
44.0 x 38.5 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Johannes Vermeer is among the most prominent painters of the Delft school in the second half of the seventeenth century. Only thirty-six paintings are today accepted as his work, mainly interior scenes like this one. This painting is known as The love letter, which immediately indicates that there is more to be seen here than one might think at first glance. The key to the interpretation lies in the combination of two motifs: a woman with a letter in her hand and a painting depicting a ship at sea. In Vermeer's paintings, there is often a suggestion the viewer interrupts the main characters during some activity or other, in this case the handing over of a letter. The scene is a kind of snapshot in time – the lady is looking at her servant girl expectantly, perhaps wondering what is in the letter. Possibly the answer lies in the marine painting in the background, for in the seventeenth-century language of imagery the sea often stood for love, and ships for lovers, who come and go. The calm waters we see in this painting, and the maid's gentle smile, seem designed to reassure the viewer that the course of this lady's love will be smooth.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

After Mumbai: A post to make me see sense

Ever since 26 night, as the whole drama unfolded, I have become numb by slow but sure degrees. The hostages who came out, most of them amazingly clam, poised and appreciative of the hotel staff and the commandos, surprised me with their impeccable hold on themselves.
We had been joking about a 'strike' for sometime now, and a few days ago, I had imagined the place if there were an attack. I actually saw bodies lying scattered for a second, and that open-eyed nightmare / simulation sent a shrill down my spine. Now, as the hours passed into another set of bloody, helpless hours, precisely the same imagination of horror was taking place somewhere else...

Taj, Trident, Oberoi , CST... more...

In the past 2-3 days, some of my very beliefs, my way of thinking has come under a tremendous thump. For the first time in my short short life, have I questioned myself about the persistence to be liberal minded, secular, shun generalisations and be open- to all. I called up Baba in face of the turmoil I was facing and I could not possibly let grow. His words, simple and straightforward as they always are, have reigned in my stream of confusions significantly.

Terror is not the face of any religion, I still cajole myself to believe. I know, I know. 'Still cajole myself to' should be eliminated to sound correct, to represent a secular, broadminded chunk of mindset through this blog. But this space is free of any adages-personal or professional. And so I feel, it is my duty to my conscience to be honest here. For the first time, first unfortunate time, I am faltering from the beliefs I held so firmly. How could someone manage to do such a ghastly thing motivated by a war of faith? If faith, any faith it may be, can produce such brainwashed young men, I may well be on my way to become either an atheist or conversely, take deep deep refuge in the teachings and consequently, a deeper understanding of religion.
The other day Void had written this post, and I had replied there, my optimistic self, that hate is a counter-productive emotion. The problem is, counter-productive though it may be, incidents like these can very easily give vent to hate. Perhaps that’s what they exactly wanted. That's what Baba said. If you doubt your stance now, they will win. They wanted to spread a lot of hate. If you unwittingly fall prey, they will win. He said I am too small, too young and so I am likely to jump and take a anti-this or for-that stand. Even at 24, for him I will still be in the cradle. But at 59, you start seeing life very differently, don't you? A few years ago, in my college days with late evenings and long phone calls, my parents had this anxiety which they so elegantly controlled so that their concern might not come in the way of my discovering life for myself. Then, they said you just won't understand what we are scared of. Six years down the line, I now know what they meant. I must listen to him now.

I was toying with the idea of removing the Dhoop Kinare videos. I was angry hearing about the very evident Pak connection and my anger suddenly took a collective, desperate form. Till I called my father. I know he is right. Everything begins and ends with the moral fabric of an individual, he said. A trivial connection when cited with respect to such a massive, such a horrific attack. But brood over it and there’s so much truth in it. Hate is such an expensive, fatal emotion to invest in. It produces nothing but regret.

So however confused, however shaken that I may be, I am going to stick to my original line of thought. Terror is not the face of any one religion. People, as a whole, are good. I am going to repeat this to myself a hundred times over till I can say it one breath, with as much conviction I said this before the 26th. If I can't, as Baba said, they will win. We can't afford one more person added to the vicious cycle of hate. Writing this post really helped me frame my random mind. What have you been thinking since the 26th? Are you still the same?

Posted by Gauri Gharpure of Life Rules

Some interesting facts about Cyprus (1)

The island of Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros, 'Ours'; Turkish: Kıbrıs, 'Ours') is an extremely large and important island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, conveniently located close to its friendliest neighbours, Turkey, and the while also around 1.2 km west of a few other harmonious countries (Syria, Palestine, Pittsburgh, and Lebanon). Along with the USA, are the only superpowers to actually have WMDs.
In Cyprus, one can find the third-smallest Independent state in the world, after Monaco and Vatican City, The Principality of Paphos. The Great Tunnel of Cyprus, one of the largest in the World links Paphos to civilisation. In order to pass this Great Tunnel who might need passport, identity or even they can check you luggages!Helllloooo I am Lindsay Lohan:)

Cyprus is the centre of international peace and harmony. Apart from some minor political squabbles and ethnic pillow fights in the 1930s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the island has remained afloat and entirely in one piece since its establishment a long, long time ago.
The current president of Cyprus is Demitris Christofias, who is a bit of a communist.
Cyprus is divided by a line, which Cypriots usually like to call the green line, due to the invasion of Turkey in 1974, when they claimed to protect animal rights in Turkish Cyprus. Greek Cypriots protest this invasion to this date, stating they only wanted to see how many Turks they could fit in a hole. The occupied part of Cyprus depends on which side of the green line you're standing. The United Nations of the World and the Union of Europeans recognizes the Greek part of Cyprus as the Legal State, making Turks and Greenpeace really sad. The Turkish-Cypriot side, which is debatable if there are any Turkish-Cypriots left, as they have been outnumbered by actual Turks, Turkish troops, Turkish belly dancers and Turkish baths, is considered to be nasty; claiming a state, the so called Northern Republic of Cyprus, recognized only by the Turkey, the Seagull, the Eagles, and other Members of the Animal Kingdom, along with a terrorizing group, which especially frightens Greek kids - known as the Grey Wolves, an inbreed of Turkish transvestite belly dancers.

Opium overdose seems the only escape for some Afghan women

A girl in Tarin Kowt hospital who was brought in after taking an overdose of opium. Photo Hanneke Chin-A-Fo.

Some women in the Afghan province of Uruzgan are so unhappy with their arranged marriages that the only way out is to take an overdose of opium.

Bibi’s husband was too old and weak to work the land, but he would not allow her to get a job as a cleaner so that they could feed their seven children. He would beat her with a stick every time she tried to leave the house. Often, he would beat her unconscious. Bibi tells her story from a hospital in Tarin Kowt, one of the few places in Uruzgan where an Afghan woman can speak safely to a foreigner.

And there is moreee

Hüseyin Üzmez - Paedophile - Wanted

Üzmez, 76, a columnist at Turkey’s Islamist Vakit newspaper, is pleading not guilty to charges of sexually abusing a minor. His defence; "A girl who’s reached puberty, who’s having periods, is of age, according to our beliefs," Üzmez told Turkey's national television.
"As long as you have people in Turkey who say this is okay and who use Islam to justify it, it remains a big problem," says Amanda Akçakoca, an analyst at the European Policy Center in Brussels.

It was already obvious for me that Turkey can not protect its minorities: Armenians, Greeks, Alevi's, Kurds, but if you even can not defend 'your children of the Republic' what will be the end? It seems for me that in Islam ruled countries, Paedophilia is accepted while those pious people blame the West for hedonisme. If you're an Islamist you need two agenda's, one for your religious daily life and one for the world you're really living in.

Day opening - November 29

An Oriental 1635 oil on wood panel
72.0 x 54.5 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
In the early 1630s, shortly after settling in Amsterdam, Rembrandt painted a large number of portraits, most of them apparently intended for the open market. The models in these works are anonymous and are invariably clothed in fanciful costumes worked out in elaborate detail. This is a good example of such portraits, which were known as tronies. Rembrandt’s model here has been decked out to look like an oriental prince, and laden with costly jewels to emphasize his wealth and standing. In the sparkling highlights of the gold chain, the clasp and the necklace, Rembrandt displays his matchless technique.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Who were you in your last Life

This is fun:

Here a link to find out who you were in your Last Life.


I don't know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Turkey around the year 1550. Your profession was that of a farmer, weaver or tailor.
Your brief psychological profile in your past life:You always liked to travel and to investigate. You could have been a detective or a spy.
The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation: Your lesson is the development and expansion of your mental consciousness. Find a good teacher and spend a good part of your time and energy on learning from his wisdom.


“İki Dil Bir Bavul” (“On the Way to School”) a documentary

If Istanbul wants to be the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2010, a lot has to be changed.
The fact that the Ankara-based, fresh-faced directing duo Özgür Doğan and Orhan Eskiköy, had to find funds from abroad (EU, USA and the Netherlands) for their “İki Dil Bir Bavul” documentary because their financing plan were rejected by the fund of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, shows explicit that Turkey is not ready to host a multi ethnic cultural event. I personal witnessed that during the exhibition The Sultan's and The Ottoman Empire in Amsterdam 2006-2007 the Minister of Culture and Tourism wanted to scrap every sentence about Armenians and Greeks in the booklet which was given to the invitees of the opening of this exhibition. Otherwise Topkapi Palace would not help them out. Pure black mail and censorship.

Here the article of the documentary.

Some interesting facts about Arabic language (2)

The Arabic alphabet spread to nations as diverse as Sudan and Qan-al-da.

During the 8th Century, many people throughout the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern parts of the world also got tired of thinking too hard for their religion.
The prophet Oscar Wilde developed a new religion, that bore suspicious similarities to the basic broken gibberishness of Arabic.
Said Wilde, "How the hell can God be his own kid? That's just too much for me, dude."
The new religion spread rapidly, mostly by force, along the world's trade routes. The new religion, called Islamism also carried the Arabic language along with it.
By the end of the 13th Century, Arabic had become the preferred gibberish language of all brown people in the Old World.

Modern Arabic

Modern Arabic emerged during the 1920s, from a mixture of jazz music and scat poetry. Infused with a sense of minimalism, modern Arabic has been reduced in whole to one phrase, "Kus emmek"
This phrase can be widly used throughout the gibberish speaking world, and will correctly convey the need for everything from a backrub to rubbard pie.
It also strikes fear into the hearts of non-gibberish speaking peoples, who generally assume that since it has that harsh K sound in it, that it is probably a swear word.
Modern Arabic today is split into several separate languages, including Egyptianese, Sudanese, Saudi, Iraqi, Moroccan, Tunisian, Syrian, Liverpool folk, Derka-Derkastanian, and Palestinian. These 9 dialects can greatly differ resulting in totally separate languages, however, the students of all 9 dialects learn to speak and read Classical Arabic, the language written in the Qur'an.
One notable dialect of Arabic is depicted in the documentary Team America: World Police. This dialect is essentially the Brainfuck of natural languages, as it consists of combinations of only a handful of words, including 'jihad', 'derka', 'Muhammed', and 'Allah'. Though it may seem simple, the atomic nature of the language means that it takes many years to master. Because of the complexity of the combinations of words, the dialect is usually quite context-dependent.

Famous Arabic Speakers
Omar Sharif
King Columbine II of France

Day opening - November 28

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Some interesting facts about Arabic language (1)

“Look at that goofy scribbling! If that's a language then I'm fucking straight.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Arabic

Arabic is a language that falls within the Quote-Language group of languages. Commonly spoken by Jabba the Hutt and other assorted Arabs, these languages are noted by their unqiue lettering and pronunciation using squiggles and gibberish normally found only in Star Wars movies, leading many observers to exclaim, "Arabic, that's a quote 'language', ya say?" The main words that make up this language are durka durka, Muhammad, and jihad.

Origins of Arabic script

During the late 1980's, it became apparent to many scholars that traditional lettering and glyphic forms retained from early language such as Egyptesque and Romanese were insufficient to communicate the moonshine of Arabic.
The modern linguist known as Jimmy Carter after returning from a trip to The Museum of Daad told several of friends, "Look at this beautiful postcard. What, you can't read it? Well I assure you it's not the language of Iran! What ecnomical curls peace be upon us, it just might illustrate how pointless your existence is!"
Please note that : there are no vowels fil arabiya. These in fact were the ancient precursors to Marzipan, whereby words were eaten and shared by the noises of the gut. For example, gurgles. In an interesting aside, the inventors of Arabic, Noon and Bob Incorporated, went on to become leather tanners, dreaming of hot Dates!

End of Part 1
[edit] Dirka Dirka
A dialect of Arabic. Rumour has it that Arabs often speak this.

Life rules: Mumbai attacks- A consolidated link list

Life rules: Mumbai attacks- A consolidated link list

Burqa ban extended to universities in the Netherlands

Two Afghan women wearing burqas.

Face-covering Islamic robes known as burqas and niqabs are to be banned from Holland's colleges and universities, education minister Ronald Plasterk said on Wednesday.

In September, Plasterk (Labour) said the ban will only apply to primary and secondary schools. Higher educational institutions would be able to take their own decisions because they work with adults, he said at the time.

But now the minister has agreed to parliament's wishes to extend the ban to higher education.
‘You must guarantee open communication… and be able to look one another in the eye. That also applies to higher education,’ Labour MP Margot Kraneveldt is reported as saying.


Only one or two female students are thought to actually cover their faces while attending classes. An estimated 100 women in the Netherlands wear the all-encompassing Islamic garment.
'The burqa and niqab are absurd, women-unfriendly and get in the way of integration,' Plasterk is quoted on Wednesday.
Announcing plans to ban burqas in schools in September, the minister said that teachers, parents and all visitors to schools, including suppliers making deliveries, will fall under the ban. Private Islamic schools will also have to comply. (often the most corrupt schools in the Netherlands; private schools receive the same amount of money through incentives, subsidies as public schools)

In February the cabinet said it would not bring in a general ban on burkas but did announce plans to forbid government civil servants from wearing them. At the time it said it expected local authorities to follow suit and extend the ban to council buildings and public transport.

Health minister Ab Klink is also looking at extending the ban to cover hospitals and health care staff. The new legislation is expected to be ready by mid-2009, which is a first step to halt the Orthodox Islamists in West Europe.

A women in Yemen wearing the niqab

Biking wit! 2

It was me in the previous story. My friend and I bought the bike in the store and refused the stolen one.

The picture above the article is made in 2006 on a sunny day in wintertime. If you have a look at it, you'll see two bicycles. One in the middle and one left. And the one on the left is the one we bought in the store. Sure -you think- there must be many of that kind in Holland. But that's the thing, it's a promotional bicycle for a brand so it's quite unlikely there are many of them around here...

I had no clue when placing the picture with the article, I only remembered having one with a bike and the canal in Utrecht. After a second look, I saw the second one and realised I photographed my own bike two years earlier... so I'm surprised!

(Sorry for all the I's, it's pure enthusiasm)

Day opening - November 27

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Biking wit!

Bike parked at the Oude Gracht, the main canal in Utrecht. Picture from own collection

In Holland there is a flourishing circulation system in bikes. One gets stolen; another is bought for a few euros from a shabby looking guy.

You can try to avoid this system and bolt your bike with at least two locks. But when you take the risk, it's likely you're pulled into this system sooner then you want to. On forehand you already think: “I should lock this bike better, but I’ll take the risk.” A few hours later you find yourself cursing and blaming for not listening to that tiny voice in the back of your head. The bike is gone without a trace and no one has seen a thing.

For a few days or maybe even weeks you keep an eye on every bike there is. But it’s not worth it. There are so many bikes scattered around the city that it’s a waste of time and energy. That bike is gone. Reporting the theft is no use because often it’s a bicycle alike so many. And honestly: it was one bought cheap, found somewhere, never returned or patched up so not really worth the effort anyway.

Now it’s time for a good one, to make a fresh start. One with lights that work, with decent breaks and a saddle that’s comfortable; but second hand since life is expensive enough already. After some nose about you’ve found a nice bike for a reasonable price. “Can I come back tomorrow to pick it up?” You ask the shopkeeper. "No problem," he replies.

With money in the pocket you walk up to the shop, excited to buy a new vehicle that gets you on the roll again since bikes are indispensable here. Only two metres before the entrance of the shop a chap comes up to you. “Do you want to buy a bicycle? Ten euros!” One second you hesitate. It's tempting since this is probably what happened to your previous bike and way less money than you're going to buy. But also knowing how someone else is feeling soon. With a last glance at the stolen bike you step into the shop, saying no to the crook and knowing that this is the Dutch bike circulation system.

A big blow for Bulgaria when it loses €520m EU funds

Bulgaria has lost €520m ($677m) of European Union funding for failing to crack down on fraud and corruption among officials appointed by the Socialist-led coalition government, the first time the European Commission has stripped a member state of funds in this way.
The EC said on Tuesday it would not renew the accreditation of two government agencies responsible for disbursing EU funds which have been under investigation by Olaf, the EU’s anti-fraud agency.

As a result Bulgaria – the EU’s poorest member-state – will lose €220m of pre-accession funding that still had to be allocated. The government will have to use funds from the budget to cover another €300m worth of contracts that were frozen by the Commission last July because of suspected fraud.

And there is morreeee

Some interesting facts about the Fall of Constantinople

The Fall of Constantinople refers to the battle where the Byzantine Empire lost the city of Constantinople and all of their shiny trinkets to the Ottoman Empire, bringing an end to the millennium-or-so-long Byzantine rule of the area, and also made for a great movie plot line and a successful line of action figures. The Ottomans rebuilt the city after the siege and invited the original denizens to move back, but they declined the offer, the most likely reason being either that they did not like the Turkish curtains that the Ottomans installed or they thought the Ottomans smelled bad. All of the Greek scholars who once made their home in Constantinople moved to Italy, taking their vast book collection and recipe for flat bread — the predecessor to pizza and all of its deliciousness — with them. Eventually, people did come back to the city after Mehmed placed a sign that said "Free beer inside" at the gate to the city.
Far from being the grand and magnificent city it once was, Constantinople was ravaged heavily by the bubonic plague and especially from being sacked during the Fourth Crusade just two centuries earlier. By the 15th century, Constantinople was nothing more than a few walled villages separated by large expanses of fields, and most of the fields were being eaten away by rabbits that were now running amok in the city. When the Ottoman army made it into the walls, they killed, cooked, and ate all the rabbits, and as an expression of gratitude, many of the villages gave themselves up willingly to the invaders.
Since he was the new ruler of Constantinople, Mehmed II believed that he was the new Roman Emperor. He named himself "Kayzer-i Rum", Turkish for "Roman Emperor Am I", but due to trademark disputes, he was nicknamed simply as "the Conqueror". Constantinople became the new capitol of the Ottoman Empire, but they renamed the city "Istanbul", as they believed it was more catchy and had more 'zing' than "Constantinople". Even though the Greek Orthodox Church remained intact, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque, and they replaced all the pictures of Jesus with cartoon pictures of Mohammed. This change of sponsors is now considered a poor marketing move by academics all around the world!
Many of the inhabitants fled the city and sailed to the Latin West, bringing with them Greek knowledge, literature, philosophy, and the recipe for flat bread. Within the next hundred years, the flat bread evolved and became the delicacy known as the sushi pizza.

Day opening - November 26

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rotterdam port hit by economic slump

The Dutch port of Rotterdam, which employs 70,000 people, is being hit hard by the current economic slump. Containers are piled high in the main ECT shipping terminal, and the areas where new cars are parked are overflowing. Traditionally, the more containers remain in the port, the less actual trade there is.

The transshipment of raw materials for the metal and chemical industries is declining and the growth of container shipments has come to a standstill, Rotterdam mayor Ivo Opstelten said at a port authority meeting on Monday.

Rotterdam, located where the Rhine and Meuse rivers meet the North Sea, is the largest port in Europe. It is strategically important for the storage and transfer of crude oil, containers, ore and scrap metal.
The decline has accelerated since September when US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed.
Port authority president Hans Smits said in October that the harbour continues to perform "at a high level". Shipments through Rotterdam grew by 6.1 percent over the first three quarters of 2008, but fell in October.

Women’s violence in Turkey; a shocking report

It's shocking to read why men in Turkey are abusing women, besides the fact that that 88 percent of the nearly 20 percent of unemployed Turks are women.

And speaking with Ece Temelkuran, a left-wing journalist on the newspaper Milliyet in a hip café in Cihangir, the Soho of Istanbul. “I’m supposed to be the secular elite,” she says. “It is a joke. I can only be myself in five or six districts of this city and on the Aegean or south coasts. The harassment of women who don’t cover up is increasing. I get called a whore as I walk down the street. The confidence of the Islamic movement is shoring up lumpen sexism among Turkish men.”

Some reasons for violence against women:

“The woman’s not wanting to engage in sexual activity, the woman’s gaining weight, her inability to bear children or her not bearing a male child, the food she’s cooked being too salty, burnt, cold or not according to the man’s tastes, not doing a good job ironing his clothing, being late in answering the door when he’s come home and knocked, the woman’s getting ill or not getting better after getting ill, leaving the home without permission, a couple’s child being unsuccessful, the home’s heater not being turned on, a child not looking like its father, the woman’s wanting a divorce, the woman’s interference in the man’s relationship with another woman, the working woman’s not giving her husband her entire salary, the refusal of ‘berdel’ [a type of arranged marriage], the woman’s wanting to work, the man’s being unemployed, family financial difficulty, the man’s soccer team losing a match, being warned by his wife about his alcoholism or gambling addiction, an argument between men about ‘machismo.’”

Herreee the full article.

Dutch mayors call for growing marijuana

The Dutch government should licence the growing and supply of marijuana to the country’s 700 or so coffee shops that sell cannabis, according to a group of around 30 Dutch mayors. This is the conclusion of the ‘cannabis summit’ on Friday at which the mayors discussed the country’s policy on soft drugs.

The mayor of Eindhoven, Rob van Gijzel, said his city is prepared to run a ‘monitored pilot scheme’ to assess if a system of licenced growers reduces drugs-related crime.
On Sunday health minister Ab Klink said in a television interview that an experiment with licenced cannabis growers in Eindhoven would conflict with the coalition agreement but that he is prepared to look more closely at the plan and discuss it with the rest of the cabinet.

The summit in Almere was organised by the local authorities association and the city of Maastricht to discuss the Netherlands’ current policy of turning a blind eye to the sale of small quantities of marijuana in licenced cafes known as coffee shops.

Closing cafes

It follows a decision by the border towns of Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom to close all the coffee shops within their boundaries because of the nuisance caused by thousands of foreign tourists who flock to the towns to buy drugs.

Closing down coffee shops is not a solution to drugs tourism and will not change the fact that most marijuana is supplied by criminal gangs, the mayors said. ‘It will only lead to more crime,’ says Maastricht mayor Gerd Leers. ‘And do not believe that it will mean that people smoke less [cannabis].’

Venlo mayor Hubert Bruls called for the introduction of passes so that only Dutch nationals would be allowed to buy drugs in coffee shops: ‘That would get rid of 80 percent or 90 percent of the 6,000 customers a day which Venlo coffee shops attract’.

Coalition divided

The mayors’ plea for legal production has divided the coalition government. The Christian Democrats (CDA) and orthodox Christian ChristenUnie parties are opposed, saying such a move goes against the coalition agreement. But Labour has called for a parliamentary debate on the issue.
Even though the coalition agreement states that there would be no changes to the current policy on soft drugs, the call by the mayors, including those who are members of the CDA, cannot be ignored, Labour member of parliament Lea Bouwmeester said.

Day opening - November 25

Monday, November 24, 2008

Artist-Designed Credit Cards

Credit crunch? No problem--at least, that’s what Japanese bank Epos International thinks. Available through October 2009, these specially-commissioned Visa cards showcase the work of a hundred artists. There is a limit of 1,000 cards in each design available.

The project is a collaboration between Epos International, the venerable Japanese fashion store Marui Co. and design company Bleed. Designs range from graffiti to anime to, well, you name it. The one that looks like a chocolate bar is pretty clever.

Some interesting facts about Turkey (2)

Problems With the E.U.

The nonexistence of Turkey is becoming an increasing problem in Europe, as several mysterious letters from some imaginary construct calling itself the Turkish Foreign Ministry have been showing up in Brussels. When Turkey won Eurovision the people of Turkey rejoiced thinking they had won EU assession, not so embarrassingly. Sertab the singer at Eurovision thought that she had been chosen as the Queen of Europe.

On the contrary some skeptics believe that the Turkish laborers are over-skilled and will assume all the major positions in other E.U countries as well as poisoning the Europeans with the Kebab. The Turkeys in such a case will flock to pastures anew no longer needing Europe and they shall spread their wings and fly over to conquer the Americas.
At this point the EU is debating of emptying the complete Turkish country into Holland and Germany and transplanting the Dutch and the Germans to Turkey to make it wealthy and run like clock work before giving it back to the Turkish people. They decided against transplanting the Turkish people to the UK as the English could see Christmas coming very early as the population of turkeys will explode and will eat all of the turks before Christmas.

Relationships with Other Countries


Great Britain - They come to us for great holiday packages.
Russians - Turkish males' favourite nation.
Germany - We go there for a job and forget to come back home, however we do pop back home to say Hi after 9 Years when the German government finds we are illegal.


Greeks - Natural enemies
Armenians - Unnatural enemies
Communists - Unreasonable enemies
Kurds - enemies who live in our country
French People - our newest enemies
Americans - enemies because they don't give us money
Iranians - enemies because Iranian women wear black clothes
Chinese - They kicked our ass 1000 years ago
Cubans - Che Guevara is our enemy. We don't know why.
Germans - They didn't send us steel in World War One.
Jamaicans - Bob Marley smokes marijuana
English - English suck
Italians - They killed Mussolini
Arabians - People think Turks are same with Arabians; we aren't.
Orcs - They look very horrible
Jews - They are enemies because they are Jew.
Russians - enemies because they're communist.
Dominicans - enemies because we don't know where their country is
Scandinavian Nations - enemies because their girls are more beautiful than ours
Japanese People - enemies because of Sony Corporation
Rest of the world - enemies because they're not Turk! However we slightly like the Japanese.
Gay Males - enemies because they are not heterosexual males
Heterosexual Males - enemies because they're competing with each other for girls!
Turkish Cypriots - enemies because they're not Turkish enough!
Turks - We have a hatred for each other

Day opening - November 24

Slovakia - picture made by Michal Zaleski

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some interesting facts about Turkey (1)

Motto: "Avrupalıyız, yeminle! (We are Europeans, we swear!)"

Turkey (Arabic: آل طؤرکءییاه Al Turkiyyah) is a small country with a large population of about 74 million people. It was founded by two young Turks that led the Turkish army to victory in the First World War. They went to Turkey to complete their military service. From there on, they worked hard over 7 years and were finally promoted to lead the Turkish army. They wrote their names into the history books for being the first country to be led by two leaders. They were able to lead the Turks to victory in the war...

The inbreeding of Turks and Kurds have produced a sub-group known as the Turds, Turds are to be found almost everywhere in Turkey, especially in political and army circles which are currently awash with Turds of different colors.
Today Mustafa Kemal 'Ataturk', or 'Uncle Turker' is regarded as the father/Mother of Modern Turkey, providing that he is Turkey's real founder as he cooked up a turkey there.
Experts unequivockly agree that watching the movies Valley of the Wolves: Iraq and the documentary One night in Paris is the best guide to understanding this misunderstood, complex country.

The Ottoman Empire in decline

The Ottoman Empire was a member of the Axis of Evil during WWI.
The Utman peoples, despite their plagiarized advancements, could not keep up with Europe or with their over-fucked subjects, and lost more and more of their territory, until eventually, in World War 1, they lost all but their own country after choosing the Axis of Evil, after this, the DaveS took back Greece, Ukraine was taken back by Whores (also see Ukrainian girls), Romania was taken back by Dracula, Hungary was taken back by the hungry men, Buglgaria was taken by the Bastard Immigrants after threating to invade with a unskilled worker from Poland and Arabia was taken back by Allah, who then gave it to the British who then lent it to the Saudis to babysit.

End of part 1

Petition against Internet bans in Turkey

Yesterday, I received the following email:

Dear Friends,


Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 1000 signatures - please sign here:
Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.
Thank you!

It's also good to know what happens in the EU parliament:

The European Parliament has passed a proposal (571 in favor, 38 against) to treat Internet censorship by national governments as a trade barrier. The proposal was submitted by European Parliament member (MEP) Jules Maaten of the Dutch conservative VVD party. The adopted Maaten amendment calls on the European Commission, “to specifically deal with all restrictions to the provision of Internet and information society services by European companies in third countries as part of its external trade policy and to consider all unnecessary limitations to the provision of those services to be trade barriers.”
The proposal will now pass to the European Council. If adopted as a European Union (EU) law, the proposal could have an impact on future trade negotiations between the EU and governments engaged in Internet censorship. Read further herrreeee.

Day opening - November 23

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dutch air pollution among worst in Europe

Air pollution in the Netherlands is much worse than generally believed and the air has the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide and ammonia in Europe, according to the Dutch environmental group Stichting Natuur en Mileu.

The organisation bases its claim on a survey commissioned by the European Commission.
Holland also tops the list in terms of the damage caused by pollution to health, to agriculture and to nature, says the group.

The Netherlands will spend ‘just over one euro per citizen’ on combating the effects of environmental damage in the coming years, says the group.

But it pointed out that much more should be spent because in such a densely populated country as the Netherlands (484 people per square kilometre) costs can be kept relatively low. “The advantages of investments are 80 times higher than the costs,” says the environmental organisation.

Coffee shops in the Netherlands

Amsterdam is being forced to close 43 of its 228 cannabis-selling cafes to meet national regulations, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen announced at the presentation of a memorandum on the city's drugs policy.
The cafes, known as coffee shops, have to be closed down by the end of 2011 because they are less than 250 meters from a secondary school. The city currently has some 228 outlets selling marijuana under licence.

One of those set to vanish from Amsterdam is the famous Bulldog cafe on the city’s Leidseplein which is housed in a former police station and was opened over twenty years ago. It is too close to the city's prestigious Barlaeus high school.

Like the majority of mayors in towns where coffee shops sell cannabis, Cohen is happy with the existing policy on soft drugs but would like to see regulation of the whole cannabis trade. "I want an equal policy for soft drugs and alcohol," Cohen said.

Around 25 percent of tourists coming to Amsterdam visit a cannabis cafe, Cohen said. But these tourists cause much less of a nuisance than foreigners who drink alcohol, according to the mayor.
Cohen says too that the Netherlands should not be afraid of the reaction of other countries to its tolerant policy on soft drugs. Cohen: "Research shows that young people in Amsterdam don't use more soft drugs than their peers in France, which has a repressive drug policy."

Clinton Is Said to Accept Offer of Secretary of State Position

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to give up her Senate seat to become secretary of state in the Obama administration, making her the public face to the world for the man who dashed her own hopes for the presidency, confidants of Mrs. Clinton said Friday.

And there is morreee

Where Ska music comes from

Already months ago a friend of mine invited me to a concert of The Slackers. I had no clue of course what kind of band or music this was, but this friend always takes me to concerts and it always proves good value.

“This is brilliant music! One that's definately in my top-ten list,” he assured me. “No way, you’re going to the Slackers?!” Another friend screamed through the phone just before the concert. “They’re one of the best ska bands I know!” This sounds promising, doesn’t it?

And so it was. Ska usually isn't my kind of music, but this band had a good mixture of mellow and up-tempo ska. The sound was excellent since I could hear all the instruments playing, understand the lyrics and the rambling in between. It’s incredible how someone can talk for three minutes with empty words. But the music fulfilled the expectations raised earlier by my friends. It’s that band where young (a ten-year-old) and old (guess seventy five) come together and enjoy it as being one.

While trumpets, trombone and harmonica were blowing through the hall, I recognised more than just some romtidledom in these cheerful tunes. Some roots-reggae and even Frank Sinatra were present. These guys are good! It made me wonder: where does this music come from? So I asked my friend. “No, ska was before reggae, it’s the reggae that came forth from ska. Not otherwise.” He denied the Sinatra-sound, at first. But five minutes later he turned to me and said that indeed this music had the snappy brass band sound from the fifties. “But it must be from around the same period!”

I couldn’t tell and therefore it's worthy to do some investigation. So, after some internet research (I’m sorry, I study in a huge library and didn’t take some books at hand for this) I’m capable of giving a reasonable answer. Ska and reggae go hand in hand. My good friend was right though about reggae sprouting from ska music. It originates from Jamaica and up until ’66 the beats of ska didn't slow down. Influences from soul music from the US, mystic believes from Rastafarism and an extremely hot summer made the ska beats lower its pace and reggae was created.

And even the brass band was mentioned. European soldiers and sailors brought in this type of music. The Jamaican, with their good ears for music, started to use the musical instruments and rhythms so well known from brass music. So no actual Sinatra influences, but definitely the reverberation.

That's two thumbs up. One for the music and one for the good choice.

For those who are interested in more background, have a look at this site. It’s written with a good flow and to the point. Wikipedia tells a bit more about the construction of the music.

Slackers in action. Thanks to rodrigorichter

Day opening - November 22

Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Friday, November 21, 2008

New York, New York!

There are some cities you feel like you have been there before. There are some cities your feelings are indescribable. And there are other cities you are disappointed. New York is a one of a kind that you feel all 3 of them together and including this one: you are feeling that you are inside an American movie J

I know you are wondering about “disappointment” word. I was thinking there how many movies we have seen that New York in it? I don’t know the exact number but A LOT. After so many movies and brain washing about New York (or Manhattan), you expect amazing city with beautiful women wearing fashion clothes or seeing Sex and The City cast having a naughty chat in a coffee shop. Well, unfortunately not. Life is very stressful there as many metropolitan cities and people are running for catching things. I believe that only the tourists are enjoying the expensive city :) Broadway shows, the view of Empire State Building, boat tour around the Manhattan in the night, Museums (thanks to other cultures for historical materials), walking in the Soho or Central Park in a nice and sunny weekly day and so on…

To be continued …

The USA and Crime

“The US is actually better described as the world's cage match. Many religions come in, only one comes out!”

~ Cindy Satire on America

America's crime rates are very low - the States rank second in North America (north of the Mexican border). These rates, exemplary to the rest of the developed world, are thanks to America's level of personal safety, which is guaranteed by every citizen owning one or more guns. Therefore, the safest place in the USA is Texas. Detroit is also the safest city in America.
An alternative theory has been suggested by crazy scientists that had been drinking too much night. The theory states that: By creating laws, you create criminals, so by removing laws, you eliminate criminals. Therefore there is such a great opposition to gun control, as it will make everyone who owns a gun a criminal. However, this theory has been dismissed as being a freedom conspiracy to make the rest of the world look better.
American crime is very different from other nations, in that their are many different organized gangs that control the provincial lands. The Vice Lords, the 18th Street Gang, the Costra Nostra, the Jackson 5 and the Butthole Banditos are among the most powerful. These gangs are fiercely territorial and engage in such illicit activities such as armed robbery, extortion, voting, backyard liposuctions and manufacturing illegal sugarbabies. They control a vast majority of local governments through the sale of LSD and key lime pie.
The current president George W. Bush is expected to be sentenced to 798 years in a high-security prison shortly after his presidency is over.

Day opening - November 21

New Jersey Fall 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Misconceptions in Turkey about the EU

1) Turkey never applied for full EU membership before 1987. Turkey first applied, together with Greece, for associate membership in the European Economic Community in 1959, and on 12 September 1963 signed the "Agreement Creating An Association Between The Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community", also known as the Ankara Agreement. This agreement came into effect the following year on 12 December 1964.
On 14 April 1987, Turkey submitted its application for formal membership into the European Community. The European Commission responded in December 1989 by confirming Ankara’s eventual membership but also by deferring the matter to more favorable times, citing Turkey’s economic and political situation

2) Although 'accession negotiations' with Turkey were opened on 3 October 2005, according to the mutually agreed negotiating framework , these negotiations are "an open-ended process, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed". At the same time, analysts tend to point out that there has been no case in EU history where accession negotiations, once started, have not led to an offer of full membership.
But more important is; the term "negotiation" is slightly misleading, since, during the accession process, European law (ie the acquis) is to be adopted rather than negotiated.

3) Turkey often refer to the EU as a 'Christian Club'. This is nonsense; there are more Muslims living in the EU (17 million) than Czechs, and Finnish together. But is has to be said, that in some cases, relations between Europeans and Muslims are tense today. Intolerance of Islam by Europeans and reactionary tendencies of Muslims inflame social tensions.
Various debates have developed, especially over the past few years, focusing on the relation between Islamic values, the freedom of religion, and different western norms and values.
But what does Turkey wants from Europe if according to the latest Pew Global Attitudes Survey, Turkey has become one of the most xenophobic countries in the world. More than 70 per cent of Turkish citizens dislike both Christians and Jews.

When the accession talks were started, outside the immediate framework of the accession negotiations, Ankara promised also do its best to reconfigure European public opinion in its favour...the opposition occured.

Internet Addictions and Gaming Obsessions Causing Deaths

Internet addiction and gaming obsession are real problems in our technological age. In fact, these issues are such big problems that people are actually dropping dead. There are actually treatment centres being set up to deal with the growing problem if internet addiction - counselling and treatment including medication are being prescribed to help to curb this very serious addiction. But after 10 people in South Korea -- mostly teenagers and young adults -- died last year from game-addiction causes, including one man who collapsed in an Internet cafe after playing an online game for 50 hours with few breaks, some began to see a new technological threat.
China and S. Korea have special rehabs for internet addictions. The Netherlands started a couple of years ago with psychotherapy for people who could not handle their internet addiction.
Be aware!

Some interesting facts about Greek men and women

It is not uncommon for Greek men to refer to women as "anorgasmiki" (unable to have an orgasm) because Greek men can have an orgasm at any given moment and twice at no given moments.
Most women (and most men too) refer to (other) men as "malaka" (asshole, dick, jackass, wanker and also buddy, pal). It is cheesy, but becoming increasingly common, for women to use "malaka" to address other women. Studies haven't been conclusive but an increment in women's balls has been cited as a possible reason.

The typical Malakas driver throws bottles out of his vehicle's window without caring about a possible accident-inducing trajectory or environmental impact. The most appropriate word that describes this attitude is "Ellinaras" (big Greek jerk). This attitude doesn't necessary involve a vehicle. The "Ellinaras" will throw away anything available but useless to him/her wherever possible. Usually it is within 2-3 metres (6-9 feet for drunk Britons) from a designated area for that purpose (trash can, dump site, ashtray etc). In this context, this is the usual, short conversation between two smokers who cannot see the ashtray or bother to ask for one: "-So where's the ashtray? -Right underneath you jerk, the BIG one".

The Greek driver is always the best there is, whereas all the rest are just "malakes" (pl. of "malakas") and is an expert in fast driving, but only just. This can be verified by the geometric increase in the number of vehicle accidents every year, hence the favourite moto: "Going nowhere (but the tree) fast".

Greeks show a particular interest in social topics of the people they know, or don't, and they're masters in the art of Culture Making). The process is widely known as ξεκατίνιασμα (ksekatiniasma) in honour of the Greek actress Katina Paxinou, who is thought to be the first person ever to have collected and recorded the proper rules of conduct. After Pericles, of course.

There is also the race of "psonia" (bought off-ers). It is complicated but in basic principle it's the young people who believe they are better that everyone else and flaunt it. Similar (or better) to chavs. A psonara (the female) can be spotted on the streets of the rich suburb of Kiffisia with a bird's nest hair style, sipping on a Starbuck's frappuchino whereas a psonio (the male) is harder to spot. He has shoulder-length hair or hair-length shoulders, is gorgeous and knows it, very very loud and will hit on anything that moves. Of course, all Greek people use the term loosely for anyone who is annoying them at that moment. Just for the record, you are a psonio too.
Officially there is equality between the sexes, but women are actually paid less. About 40% of the Greek women are engaged in active employment despite their proper place being at home, taking care of the 'malaka'. Greek women are not liable for obligatory military service and they love it; more time spent in shopping! When divorcing, all belongings are equally split between man and woman as neither of them can come to any compromise.

Today a Greek woman may keep her maiden name when marrying and some do just to spite their husband. Greek women only give birth to half as many children, as they did before World War 2; this is probably a master plan of Zionists and Freemasons to reduce the number of Einsteins that have gained the monopoly in the world mind market and that caused many to argue and stop the exports. Arranged marriages are encouraged by law as is the payment of a dowry, so both actually apply but none will talk about it.

The average life expectancy for Greek women is 917 years. For men it's 80 because they can only stand the women for 80 years.
If you're bored/curious/hungry enough to enter a taverna alone, don't expect to be served in a long amount of time. In Greece it's very unlikely that someone eats alone. One is usually waiting for someone or else why leave the flat in the first place? For the waiter it will be very impolite to ask for the order before all the guests have arrived. Though this has changed in the major tourist places, and especially for tourists (who are ridicoulously easy to be spotted), but you can still find such behavior in villages most notably in the island of Crete and pretty much in most other islands.

In Greece you must adapt to GMT but in this case GMT stands (or often sits) for "Greek Mostly Time". The Greek people have a very different attitude to time. When the bus is scheduled to come 10:30 it will come between 10 and 11, depending on the traffic, how many people the driver has met and felt he should talk with, and many other small things. Or a local might tell you that the bus will arrive AFTER 4 pm! Then he hasn't promised too much. The Greek people don't live by the clock. The Greeks also have a different opinion about when it's morning, afternoon and evening. You say Good Morning until 12. If you have agreed to meet in the 'afternoon', the earliest meant by this will be 6:00 pm! In Greece, the evening meal begins no earlier than 9:00 pm. Also no one will think anything of it if you phone at 10.00pm at night.

However, 'siesta' time, between 3 pm and pm is held to be sacred. During a siesta, though, it is very unpopular (often bordering to dangerous and suicidal) to disturb someone. So it's not an oxymoron to hear loud shouts/screams/curses during siesta. These come from people who value this sacred time and they are addressed at the other 'malakes' who don't and who themselves engage in all sorts of activies which they cannot find another time but this to practice, such as drilling, hammering, furniture rearrangement, high-speed motorcycle drive-by's (no shooting though) etc.

Greeks enjoy the fine art of dance. If you tease them for it, they will promptly curse you out in Greek to show their intellectual superiority, then castrate and decapitate you, just to prove a point.

New political party in Australia

Interesting, they established in Australia a new political party: Australian Sex Party.
One of their goals is to unblock sites.
He, in the Netherlands we have a Party for Animals with two seats in the parliament...

Day opening - November 20

Charles Bridge, Prague: Bridge for Lovers. Fall 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That's that

You know my dear readers, I’m stuck. After a period of growth, development, prosperity and high social activities it’s over. Not for always, it’s a period people say. I’m capable of functioning in life. I prepare beautiful dishes for myself, I’m able to get out of bed at seven thirty. My room is clean, my clothes are washed and my cat has food. Schoolwork isn’t a problem either because writing a profile about South Africa isn’t the hardest thing to do.

It’s not the daily routine, it’s the inspiration for writing, it’s inspiration for living. Those two things go hand in hand in my life.

And of course it sounds ridiculous. How can someone be stuck after a beautiful trip through South-East Asia? Well, I don’t know. I simply don’t know. So, that’s what I write about now, not knowing and that’s what you now know as well.

That’s it and that’s all.

To finish it with a bit of colour...

European Court limits rights to student grants

European students who want to follow a course in a different European Union country must be able to prove that they have lived in that country for at least five years in order to receive grants, the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday.

Read the ruling by the European Court of Justice

The ruling sets a limit to the rights of EU students applying for grants in other member states.
In April 2005 the court said that students should be “integrated to a certain degree” in the country in which they want to study and receive a grant.

Various EU states, including the Netherlands, have pressed the court to be more specific and asked for a qualifying period of five years to prevent "grant tourism".
In its ruling on Tuesday, the European Court of Justice confirmed that to be eligible for a student grant, applicants must have resided in the country for five years.

The prior case was brought to court by a German national, Jacqueline Förster, who came to study in the Netherlands in 2000. She received student grants from the Dutch authorities until 2003 when the payments were halted.
She was also asked to repay the sums she had already received. Föster, who has since graduated and now works in the Netherlands, took the issue to court, claiming it was discriminatory.

Students under the age of 30 in the Netherlands are entitled to hundreds of euros a month (depending on whether they live with their parents) for the duration of a four-year course. They also get free public transport.

Some interesting facts about Greece

“I have no doubt, if there is God, he is a Greek!”
~ Hulk Hogan Bart Simpson Elisha Cuthbert Bill Bennett

“And then Isnogood gave this land to his favoured people, the Turks; with a little help from a baklava supply for life”
~ Hagrid Courtney Love Bill Bailey Jennifer Aniston on the above
“In Soviet Greece, baklava would eat YOU!”
~ Stalin on the above
Greece is the most southern country in Europe (until they include Israel in it, it's in the Eurovision song contest after all so why not take it from there?) or the most northern country in Africa (a famous quote from a famous comedian-actor-football team owner-mayor, not all at the same time though: "Greece is the only African country with white people". It's funny in Greek so back off. Of course that was before the Nigerian import) or the most western country in Asia, cause, like... Greeks have invented the western civilisation and brought the light to all those cavemen people in the rest of the known countries at the time (Some still prefer the caves though, better climate, warm in winter, breezy in the summer and best hide for extra-family activities. There are no lights which makes excuses very easy to come by, i.e. "Sorry I thought she was my girfriend").
Alexatistaos is from Greece and said in an interview "Greece is Turkey they are a united country with a common interest" ALexatistaos has a strong patriotic feeling towards is yanoto.
Given that (the invention not the battle!), everyone should be very careful when addressing any issue for any matter at any time regarding any Greeks. Should trouble arise, the Greeks can at any point in time, even in the past (the future is uncertain), switch off the lights and throw whoever responsible back in the dark ages, the ancient times, the palaiolithic era, the bigger the issue the furthest the time-slot. A perfect example that clearly demonstrates such consequences are the Chinese. They never had a rift with the Greeks and now they're the no.1 power. But of course the Greek hand is always close to the switch, so they're aware and tread careful.
Greek culture

It is well known that the Greeks invented two things, civilization and ouzo. It is rarely mentioned that by now, the first one is on life support in the hospital but the second one is increasing in popularity. Early designers could have become famous for the scale and repose of their civic architecture but they didn't think their ideas were worth Parthenon.
Their national dish is moussaka which has some interesting ingredients, however it is served in your hands, because all their plates are broken on Turkish heads.
SueTube Wars: Greece vs. Turkey

Greeks and Turks seem to fight over everything in general, while the most popular topics seem to be football, yoghurt and baklava, a dessert so filled with sugar that it might turn deadly when consumed in large amounts. Because both nations well know they'll get really, really bored if they don't fight with each other on any platform possible, the national sport of both countries have lately been posting stupid videos on SueTube, which mainly consist of curses constructed in really bad grammar. The traditional theme of the videos is generally mothers (from each side) getting gangbanged, and surprisingly, goat fucking. No-one knows how interspecies sex can be that big of an insult, but it apparently is a taboo for the youth of both nations, especially when greeks are pretty much offended by it when they do it more regularly in private.
SueTube fights are held every week between teams of, say, Stavraetos666 and YoungTurkishWolf696969, and the game is continued until one of the teams' leader officially call emo.
The last major conflict occurred in 1989 when the two countries fought over a small pebble that a tourist dropped over the side of a ferry in the Aegean sea. Within minutes, a team of Turkish naval commandos had establish a small but significant presence on the pebble, raising fears in Thessaloniki that soon all pebbles would be seized by tiny little Turk soldiers. The Greek response was to increase domestic corruption, drink frappe and moan about everything so eventually the fuss died down.
Tomorrow: Greek men and women (yes, they really exist)

No Latin lovers

It's a bona fide scandal. Britain's Greek and Latin aficionados are outraged at a decision by some local authorities to veto the use of some Latin words and phrases - including bona fide, ad lib, et cetera and eg - in official documents.

The councils say Latin is no longer widely understood. But classicists say axing Latin phrases is an attack on the foundations of English.
"Think of the number of words from Latin that are now part of the English language: alias, alibi, exit, terminus," said Peter Jones, an academic and founder of the charity Friends of Classics. "Are they going to cut out those words?"

"The English language is a hybrid animal that has adopted any number of words and phrases from other languages which have become a part of English," he added on November 3. "To deny the hybrid nature of the English language is almost like ethnic cleansing of English."

The council in Bournemouth, a town of 170,000 on England's south coast, has a "plain language" policy that lists 19 Latin words and phrases to be avoided, and suggests replacements. The council recommends "improvised" instead of ad hoc, and says "genuine" could replace bona fide.
Salisbury City Council in southern England also advises staff to avoid ad hoc and et cetera, as well as French phrases like "in lieu" and "fait accompli."

The Plain English Campaign, which has been fighting official jargon for 30 years, supported the moves.
"We are talking about public documents where people need to read, understand and take action that may affect their lives," spokeswoman Marie Clair said. "This is information that everybody needs to know about, regardless of their level of education."
Latin and ancient Greek were once considered the cornerstones of a first-class education. But the languages are no longer widely taught in Britain. Friends of Classics says Latin is taught in only 15 percent of state schools - a modest increase from a few years ago.

But Latin's backers say thousands of common English words have Latin roots, and argue that the replacement phrases can be even more difficult to understand. To some ears "existing condition" is less harmonious than "status quo," and "the other way round" less snappy than "vice versa."
Linguistic controversies are nothing new in Britain, cradle of the English language, where people have strong opinions on what constitutes proper usage.
In recent years, officials have moved to avoid language that gives offense to ethnic minorities, disabled people and other groups.

Day opening - November 19

Jotunheimen National Park, Norway

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Netherlands are not opening its borders for Romanian and Bulgarian employees

The Netherlands will not open its borders to people from Romania and Bulgaria who do not have a work permit from next January as earlier planned.

Although there is a shortage of educated and skilled ICT people, and middle and lower educated people, Social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner has delayed the move – until July 1 2009 at least – because of the financial crisis and pending more action to weed out illegal employment agencies.

But Donner also said he wants action to solve the shortage of farm and bulb field workers, the sector where eastern Europeans traditionally work.

The country’s major cities have been urging Donner for a delay in opening the borders, arguing that they need more time to make sure they can cope with the expected influx of foreign workers. Rotterdam council in particular has complained that eastern Europeans, especially Poles, are forming new ghettos in some parts of the city.

Members of parliament have also been calling for a delay.

There are an estimated 100,000 eastern Europeans working in the Netherlands, mostly from Poland.

Day opening - November 18

Wisconsin Autumn 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Black economy saves Greece in short term

Economic Crisis? What economic crisis?
Seriously, I don't see it. This weekend I was busy getting trampled on by thousands of shoppers in the Mall, and the week before that, trampled on at IKEA. Meanwhile the TV, especially CNN is forecasting doom and gloom as Europe enters recession and pundits predict a drastic downturn in consumer spending. So as I was being whacked by other peoples shopping bags, all i could think of was, 'Hey, where's the recession everyone is talking about?'
Then I remembered that I was in Greece, and everything I learnt in economics doesn't hold.
Greece's huge black economy, estimated at 40% of the total economy, means that for the time being, people are sheltered from the big hit being felt in other European countries. While this is good news for the consumer, it is bad news for the long term and the Government. Since coming to power the government has made it easier for traditional tax-dodgers to evade tax, while passing on the burden to the one-fifth of the work force that is stuck with the bill. This has left the government in a weak position.

Greetings from Vassili in Athens

Some interesting facts about the Netherlands

“Look, the marihauna is just a tourist trap allright?.”
~ The Dutch on being considered high all the time.

The Netherlands is a fictional land from Peter Pan located in the far west of Europe, It is a Germanic state no matter how many Dutch themselves wish to believe otherwise.They are also the first country who were moronic enough to vote for Harry Potter as their president. It has been manufacturing wooden shoes and windmills for the world-market ever since the Dutch noticed they had ocean-front property, and realized that they could make money off of it. In fact the Dutch can be considered the most Capitalist race in existance, often buying and selling anything: From weed to their own children. The Dutch themselves are also famous for making the Major Germanic Evolution of switching from Beer as their primary energy source to Marijuana.
The People of the Netherlands are known as the Dutch, they are a very Germanic people with Germanic characteristics and German names. However they refuse to be known as Germans. Even though they display most of the common characteristics. (They hate the French.)they all were orange because they just got out of jail.
Because the Limburgians are exterminating the Dutch and because of the giant immigration numbers almost every citizen of the Netherlands is Muslim.

The Dutch themselves have for some reason or another fallen in love with the color orange, and make it a point to cover anything possible in that color (Traffic lights, Tanks, and foreigners.), you are often not considered dutch at all if you don't have at least 4 things in the color Orange on you at all times. The Dutch being the only Germans not to have embraced Red as the true color of a Reich. The Dutch are also unique out of all Germans in that their main energy source is not the blood of their enemies and beer, but Blood and Marijuana.
World Domination Plans
In August 1966, psychic and former mafia correspondent Luigi "Oh no, not again" Brachtzachztatchtull had a revelation that the Netherlands will take over the world. However, for decades, Brachtzachztatchtull's prophecy was disgregarded by other prophets as an elaborate hoax designed to brew anti-Dutch sentiments among Chilean penguins. It was not until July 17, 2006, that Brachtzachztatchtull's prophecy was comfirmed to be fact true by the Netherlands' prime minister, Jahhn Pyotyr Baelkiineondi. In the official press statement, Baelkiineondi declared, "we, the Netherlands, in fact do have plans for world domination, and all those other countries don't stand a chance." The world domination plans have not fully been put into action yet, but are scheduled to start in June 2009. By December 12, the Netherlands plan to control every corner of the world. Including Antarctica.
The new empire will be called The Netherlandss, with the additional S to distinguish it from the former country. Baelkiineondi made a press statement on September 4 concerning the outline for world domiantion plans, and the structure of the new government. Baelkiineondi stated that all this information is "strictly top secret and classified." He subsequtnly issued another press statement on September 5, which simply says, "Oops."
Tomorrow: The Turds of Turkije