Not a blog about the science or practice of travel through books, but perhaps rather about science, practice and travel through books.

Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Obiora-case

I’ve been thinking about writing about this case for a long time. Obiora died in 2006 when the Norwegian police tried to arrest him. Obiora was unarmed, and the involved police officers have been criticized for using unnecessary violence. As a side note, they have had in total 14 violence-related complaints filed against them. The case was investigated by the Special Unit for Police Affairs, but was abandoned on May 4, 2007 concluding that in the case of three officers there was insufficient evidence to pursue an indictment.

Now there exists plans to take the case to the European Court on Human Rights. Lawyer Abid Raja has found that the case bears similarities with the French Saoud-case (No. 9375/02), where a young man suffered death after have being held face down to the ground by French police officers for over thirty minutes. The Strasbourg court held unanimiusly that there had been a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and 6 (right to a fair hearing) of the Convention.

The Supporting Group for Obiora arranges a fundraising for the up-coming trial. They have already collected more than 100.000 NOK, but need at least twice. Their bank account no. is 7878.06.19510, according to Klassekampen 27th June.

Answer that phone

When I see ads like this I’m glad I live in Norway after all:

There is also a hilarious parody around. But wait, is the White House the only place the phone is calling at night..? It’s also calling at the lab

"Green cars"

More and more ads nowadays contain the word “green”. The world has woken up, environmental-friendly products sell, and advertisers understand that. Which is all good. But “green cars”? What is a green car?

Manfred Braunl, head of marketing in Germany for BMW, says that rather than try to impress TV viewers with ads about new fuel-saving technologies BMW is experimenting with “metaphorical” ads that aim to put viewers in a positive mood about the company and its approach to reducing fuel consumption (via Environmental leader).

And most green car ads are highly metaphorical. If a car company has developed one car that is “greener” than the others, they use this for all it’s worth to promote themself as a green and idealistic company. Like this ad for Toyota Prius.

But the good news is that there are reactions on these ads. Some days ago, Friends of the Earth told Saab to stop portraying its cars as environmentally friendlys or face legal action for misleading advertising.

In Norway, the producers of the electric car Buddy complained about these ads in April last year. What I didn’t know before today what that new guidelines were set into force in Norway in October that states that no car can be called “green”, “clean” or “environmentally friendly”. “Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others,” Bente Oeverli, a senior official at the office of the state-run Consumer Ombudsman, told Reuters.

Green car

Where is Turkey going?

Don’t block the blog

It may seem like banning internet sites is in the wind. Now Turkey do it too. To weeks ago, the creationist Adnan Oktar filed a court order where he claimed that a number of blogs on WordPress were libellous to him and that the whole site should be banned. And he won!

An interesting point is that the order was carried out almost immediately, because there’s in practice only one broadband-firm in Turkey. This shows the need for several internet providers in a country – and for responsible internet providers. My internet provider here in Sweden, Bredband2, clearly states that they won’t give away personal details or accept to bee cencored.We might take that for granted here, but why should we? Every internet provider should state this.

Wordpress.com blocked

Norway Can Solve the Global Energy Crisis

… but we won’t 😦

I’ve already written about the advantages of using thorium as a nuclear fuel. There has been quite a bit research on this topic in CERN in the nineties. The next step now is to build a prototype-reactor, but unfortunately EU hasn’t been willing to fund this.

So who could fund this? Professor in physics at the University of Bergen, Egil Lillestøl, suggests Norway. We have one of the largest known thorium-resources in the world, we already are a big energy-supplier (of natural gas) and we do have a lot of money. Egil says the prototype-reactor will cost 4.4 mrd NOK, which is only 400 million NOK more than the Norwegian government just decided to spend on handling CO2 from our new natural gas power plants.

Of course this is a big investment, and even though the possible profit (both economic and ecological) is enormous, this is many years ahead in time. However, it seems obvious that thorium should be on the agenda in Norway? We should at least arrange a conference to have a look at the possibilites of thorium?

Unfortunately, the politicians don’t quite agree with this. The only party mentioning thorium is FRP, a populistic party that I really don’t like to identify with. Well, one should be able to distinguish between case and ideology sometimes.. I do applaud FRP for submitting an interpellation to the Norwegian parliament on the thorium-topic this week. Unfortunately, none of the other partys showed interest, even for arranging a conference on thorium to discuss the possibillities.

¡Felicitaciones a Michelle Bachelet!

Congratulations Chile!

Hands up in the air

AP celebrated and the Palestinians celebrated. On the internet-edition of the swedish newspaper Expressen, the two happy newsarticles occured next to each other in an artistic way tonight:

Fra Expressen