Monday, November 30, 2015

Italy to close hundreds of small mosques to fight Islamic extremism

According to this article, the Italian government intends to close down clandestine mosques in the country as part of the fight against terrorism, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced Friday.

"In Italy, we have four mosques and over 800 places of Muslim worship," said Alfano.

"We are going to close the clandestine and unregulated places, not to hamper the religion but so that it can be practiced in places which are in order," he added in comments published by the local press.

In this it will be following Egypt which is reported to have closed 27,000 mosques of under 80 sq metres (860 sq ft) for the same reason.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Velosolex cycling poster, Switzerland, 1950

India is the world's worst air polluter

And it's going to get worse: the annual quantity of coal burned is expected to triple in the next 15 years.

Just one of several articles on the web about this subject:

India may be lagging behind China on several economic indicators but when it comes to environmental degradation, the country has definitely outsmarted its giant neighbour.

Of the world’s top 20 polluted cities, 13 are in India compared to just three in China [the list below gives 14 in India, none in China]. Air pollution slashes life expectancy by 3.2 years for the 660 million Indians who live in cities, including Delhi. In China, the corresponding dip is marginally lower at three years.

non-Indian cites:  Karachi, Peshawar, Rawalpindi (Pakistan), Doha (Qatar), Khorramabad (Iran), Igdir (Turkey)
The Ganga and Yamuna are ranked among the world’s 10 most polluted rivers. China has just one. An evaluation in February ranked Vapi in Gujarat and Sukinda in Odisha among the 10 most environmentally-degraded zones in the world. China had no entries on the list.

The two nations have seen furious economic growth in the past decade fuelling a rapid rise in pollution. China leads the world in carbon emissions and India is in third position. But one important difference between the two emerging economies lies in China’s ability to manage the impact of breakneck economic growth on its environment much better than India. The effect of China’s success is most visible in its air and water, both of which have a direct bearing on public health.

Another article which compares India, China, Europe and America

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Powered by a 7-liter V8 engine, the 505-hp Z06 was the fastest Corvette the company has produced. (fairly safe for workplaces)

Indonesian D52 class Mikado

A total of 100 were supplied by Krupp after WW2; they looked similar to the DRG Baureihe 41.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Finnish carrot postcard

See earlier posts.

2001 Pontiac Aztek

The first model year.  It was made until 2005 when its commercial failure saw it dropped.

a little Portuguese puzzle

In fact it is a pocket size calendar; the puzzle is why it was produced in Portugal and what that picture is supposed to be.  A sort of hybrid between an NZR J series and a K series steam engine with a green hue (they were black), and none of either series dated from 1900.

An item considered for, but not used in the book New Zealand Railway Memorabilia.

bull train at Palmerston North, 1954

Along with Taranaki, Waikato is one of NZ's prime dairy farming regions. This is an NZR photo of Ka 944 at the head of a train of cars taking Waikato Rugby Union supporters south on 27 August 1954 to hopefully witness their team win the Ranfurly Shield.  Palmerston North was one of NZR's legendary 'Refreshment Stops'.

Union Pacific 'Challenger' near the Hermosa tunnel, Wyoming, 1956

On the famous Sherman Hill route. Hermosa Tunnel is at an elevation of 7,960 ft (2,430 metres).  Some info here