Saturday, 31 July 2010

Traffic Jams

Traffic queues were not unusual when I commuted between Newport, South Wales and Worcester back in the 1990s. And the company supplying the traffic cones for the road works had the strap line on their vans "Jam makers since 19.."

Although many parts of Austria I have visited have little traffic compared to the UK, I did experience delays ion the motorway after leaving the airport at Salzburg and there are some bottle-necks which create problems in the peak holiday periods when half of Germany seems to want to travel through Austria to get to Italy or the Adriatic. I was reminded of that today when I saw a report saying:
Die Schlange vor dem Tauerntunnel maß am späten Vormittag beinahe 35 Kilometer.

A five hour queue on a motorway is no fun! I was caught like that on the M5 a few years ago and was awfully glad to have plenty of water in the car. For the report in click on Stau-Gau auf der Tauernautobahn  The Kurier website also reports on more problems for holiday makers -  Urlauber stecken in Griecheland fest reports on the problems of getting fuel because of a strike by lorry drivers.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Internet Radio

Yesterday was the big day when I finally finished work. Ich bin jetzt in Ruhestand. Thanks to very generous colleagues I now have a PURE Evoke Flow, a radio that not only tunes into DAB digital radio but enables me to listen to internet radio without having to switch on my PC. I can now choose from over 1900 German language radio stations and listen to podcasts anywhere in the house. The internet radio connects to to give access to thousands of radio stations. Even if you don't have an internet radio you can still use thelounge which has good filters on its database to let you pick out what interests you.

When it came to downloading the manual, I also chose to download the Bedienungsanleitung so I can learn some more German. Here's some of what it says Über die PURE Lounge

Um Ihren EVOKE Flow mit all seinen Funktionen und Besonderheiten nutzen zu können, verbinden Sie ihn mit der PURE Lounge (, Ihrem Online-Gateway zu einer immensen Auswahl an Audioinhalten aus dem Internet. Die PURE Lounge bietet Tausende von Radiosendern, Podcasts und Listen-Again-Programmen, die Sie bequem von Wohnzimmer, Badezimmer, Garten, Garage − oder wo auch immer Sie sich in Reichweite Ihres Netzwerks befinden - aus hören können.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Loveparade Tragedy

The tragic loss of life and the many injuries from the crush in the tunnel leading to and from the venue in Duisburg leaves many questions open, particularly about whether it was avoidable given better crowd management or better policing. This is all too reminiscent of the Hillsborough tragedy in Britain.

N24 has the headline 19 Tote und viele offene Fragen and sets out some of the questions that need to be answered. Stern reports Alle 19 Toten sind identifiziert and has links to other reports. has Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt nach der Tragödie with links to video material.

Until recently, I co-ordinated two teams of clergy who were available to respond to major incidents like this and through that I gained insights into how the blue light and other agencies operate in England when something like this happens. I would be interested to find out what arrangements exist in Germany for a planned response to major incidents. Very often incidents affect families and friends from across the world. Not all those who died at Duisberg came from Germany and even some of those who had homes in Germany originated elsewhere. Please pray for the bereaved and the injured and their families.