Daily Archives: January 31, 2001

January 31 2001

Conserving energy

Garret, Al and Dave Rogers talk about conserving energy. Remeber the ecological footprint calculator Craig pointed to? He calculated his footprint to be 75% of the average American. I calculated my to be one third of what the average American uses! And still my footprint is one and a half times the amount of the ‘average’ footprint that would allow each man on earth his or her fair share.

Although this is a small sample (I bet the Curmudgeon would not trust my statistics ), I see a tendency here. (Don’t get me wrong, Craig, I’m not saying you’re wasting engergy. On the contrary, there must be people in America who use the 25% you don’t use.)

My point is, it is easier to conserve energy in Europe, or at least in Germany. My impression is that Americans give a damn about how much energy their huge fridges and other household appliances use, while fridges in Europe have to fulfil certain standards and get ‘grades’ for their energy consumption. Houses in California are not insulated although it would help to keep out the heat in summer and the cold in winter. American cars use way too much gas, and everybody is driving big cars. Public transport is virtually non-existent outside the largest cities. People use planes for distances that I would cover by train.

So I think it would be a good idea to think about ways to conserve energy and about renewable energy sources – instead of sacrificing National Parks for being able to keep oil cheap.

Okay, and now go and calculate your ecological footprint and prove me wrong!

Last week in Den Haag… (Okay, it actually was last year.)


And once again Susan shares wonderful photos with us. This time it’s the Aloe blooming at the Arboretum.

Groundhog day

Nicht vergessen: Übermorgen ist Murmeltiertag! Der Spiegel schreibt dazu: …und wir sind schuld!

“… aus der Länge des Schattens, den Phil werfen wird, lässt sich … genau berechnen [wie lange es noch bis zum Frühlingsbeginn dauert]. Wobei in diesem Fall weniger mehr ist: Ein starker Schatten deutet auf einen langen Winter hin; ein völliges Fehlen eines Schattens kündigt den baldigen Frühling an.

Da liegt die Frage nahe, woher die Amerikaner diesen Schatten haben: Wer nun glaubt, auf etwas derart Beknacktes könnten nun wirklich nur Amerikaner kommen, der irrt. Denn das Städtchen Punxsutawney leitet seine nun schon mehr als 200-Jährige Tradition des ‘Groundhog-Days’ aus europäischen Traditionen ab. Und zwar nicht aus irgendwelchen, nein: ‘Die römischen Legionen brachten diese Tradition auf ihrem Vormarsch nach Norden zu den Teutonen, oder Deutschen.’ Wir sind Schuld!”

This year, you can watch the Groundhog Day ceremony live on the web for the first time! There’s going to be a webcast at Phil’s Digital Den!

Here is Groundhog.org, the official site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. And of course, Punxsutawney Phil has got his own web site, too.

The German magazine Der Spiegel (see the quote above) claims that the tradition dates back 2000 years. The Romans supposedly brought it to the Teutons, or Germans.

Quark, again!

kaesekuchen klein: Since Helena asked for it (on January 30, 2001), here is a recipe for Cheese cake with Quark! It’s called Käsekuchen in German, but since it doesn’t contain cheese (Käse), Quarkkuchen would be more appropriate. Anyway, here goes!

By the way, Helena bought Quark in Canada, and she thinks it’s called plain soft cheese, not curd cheese.