Bruce the Wandering Whale’s adventures in Amsterdam

PHOTO-supplied Whaleoil

Bruce the Wandering Whale in Amsterdam PHOTO-supplied Whaleoil

We arrived in Amsterdam on 19 September – for the main reason for the trip: my niece getting her PhD.

PHOTO supplied -Whaleoil

Amsterdam PHOTO supplied -Whaleoil

Rather than detail each and every day of our stay (three days), the following are the highlights.




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There is more to cheese than surrender monkeys eating it

Those cunning Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys, otherwise known as the French, have found another use for cheese, other than easing the hunger pangs?after a long day marching backwards.

Generating electricity from cheese could be the plot of an Asterix comic book, but that is exactly what is happening at a new power plant in the?French Alps.

A by-product of Beaufort cheese, skimmed whey, is converted into biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, at the plant in Albertville, in Savoie.

Bacteria are added to the whey to produce the gas, which is then used to generate electricity that is sold to the energy company EDF.

?Whey is our fuel,? said Fran?ois Decker of Valbio, the company that designed and built the power station, which opened in October. ?It?s quite simply the same as the ingredient in natural yoghurt.?

After full-fat milk is used to make Beaufort cheese, whey and cream are left over. The cream is taken to make ricotta cheese, butter and protein powder, which is used as a food supplement. ?? Read more »

Soon the surrender monkeys won?t have any cheese left to eat


The cheese eating surrender monkeys are in a spot of bother…someone is stealing their cheese.

Farmers in France are being driven crackers after thieves launched a string of raids to steal wheels of cheese.

With consumer demand high in the run-up to Christmas, criminal gangs have spotted a lucrative opportunity.

More than four tons of Comte cheese, worth at least ?40,000 ($65,855), were recently stolen from a renowned producer in eastern France near the Swiss border. The burglars cut through a barbed wire fence at night to enter the Napiot dairy in Goux-les-Usiers and loaded a truck with 100 90lb (41kg) “wheels” of the cheese which the family has been making since 1860.

A police source said: “The newspapers are calling it a record theft, but there have been at least two other thefts of similar quantities of cheese in recent times. The cheesemakers decided not to make their misfortune public.”

Comte, a hard cheese made exclusively with the milk of Montbeliarde or French Simmental cows, has a distinctive nutty, slightly sweet flavour and retails for ?10 to ?40 per kg, making it just as valuable to thieves as some jewellery or electrical goods. ?? Read more »


Easter Video of the Day

Next they will stop surrendering

? The Telegraph

Good grief Nicholas Sarkozy is stopping people eating cheese at the?Elys?e Palace. What are they going to do next? Stop surrendering?

It is an admission that is verging on sacrilegious for a French president. But Nicolas Sarkozy’s top chef has revealed that the French head of state has banned cheese from the table at the Elys?e Palace.

Charles de Gaulle once famously declared: “How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?”

The fitness mad?Mr Sarkozy?has chosen to remove the source of De Gaulle’s angst from his sight, according to presidential chef Bernard Vaussion, who is cooking for his fifth French head of state.

The?French?were famously dubbed “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” by irate US Republicans when they failed to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

But Mr Sarkozy has done away with the high-fat stuff altogether after meals, his chef explained, as “it was too much” for him.

His cheese aversion even threatened to spark a diplomatic incident last October, when he offended Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, by telling another EU leader that over dinner “she says she is on a diet and then helps herself to a second helping of cheese”.

TenderWatch – Another silly tender

Here is a ripper of a waste of money.

A tender for the delivery of a “South Asian Physical Activity and Nutrition promotion Services to the Auckland Metro Region”

Well fuck me, I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean or what it even entails but since I live in Howick I can tell you that the Asian community does very well thank you very much looking after itself. If you drive around Howick most mornings and especially on the weekend you will see literally thousands of Asians doing massed classes of Tai Chi on every available carpark. From the looks of the Wikipedia article on Tai Chi it looks like a South Asian Physical Activity and Nutrition programme has already been developed, been around for 1000’s of years and now just needs some posters explaining where the classes are held.

I don’t think they need a South Asian Physical Activity and Nutrition promotion Service for the Auckland Metro Region. More bloody waste that needs to be knocked on the head.

GETS Tender Watch Notification for Wednesday, 14 October 2009


SOEs told 'think like a business'

SOEs told ‘think like a business’State-owned enterprises should act as if they face part-privatisation in two to five years, Stock Exchange boss Mark Weldon says, prompting suggestions he is acting as a stalking horse for the Government. [Stuff Politics]

Mallard is doing a massive beat-up in his role as de facto Leader of labour over Mark”Speedo” Weldon’s comments to SOE heads about how they should act.

Speaking to SOE heads at a meeting at the Treasury, Mr Weldon said that as part of sharpening their performance they should “form a strategy based on the prospect of a partial listing in two to five years”.

“Whether or not such an event comes to pass is immaterial. It is the right question because, were such an event to occur, you would want to ensure the maximum return to your current shareholder from the sale of any stock.”

A clear plan to increase shareholder value in a defined period, and a clear mechanism for measuring that, such as a stock exchange listing “or analog” would be a catalyst for a good strategy from the board and its crisp execution by management. That would include identifying now “the story you would want to be able to tell, were you to be inviting direct investment by New Zealanders in two to five years”.

Those comments are as they should be. There seems little point in having SOE’s and the SOE model unless they act in that way. Otherwise they as may as well just be bloated government departments. I think Trevor is using this to further raise is profile before toppling the pro tem Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff.



Out of Ammo

Jammed between the cheese eating surrender monkeys and the tulip chompers, very little has come out of Belgium except marauding German armies, twice!

So now we have something else about Belgium we can all laugh at.

[quote]BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Two Belgian beer fans have launched a video game named ‘Place to Pee’, which allows players to slalom down ski slopes or kill aliens while relieving themselves at urinals.

Werner Dupont, a software developer, and Bart Geraets, an electrical engineer, got the idea while drinking Belgian trappist beers, they told Reuters Television at a local festival on Sunday.

“This thing had to be invented by Belgian people and that’s what we are,” they said.

The ‘Place to Pee’ booth is designed for two users at a time and offers two games — blowing up aliens in outer space or skiing down a virtual slope. Gamers hit their target by aiming at sensors positioned on either side of the urinal.

A specially designed paper cone allows women to play too, the inventors say.[/quote]