bookmark_borderThe drama queen

Drama queen
Originally uploaded by viralbus.

Charlotte really can be a drama queen sometimes. Today we were going for a walk along the river, and we stopped at a sunny spot where there were a couple of big thingies to sit on.

However, there weren’t enough for all of us, so she had to share hers with Marcel. She occupied two thirds of it, but she still accused him of pushing her, and she subsequently burst into tears.

bookmark_borderRyanair’s blind spot

I was looking at Ryanair’s destination map today, and it suddenly occurred to me that while they fly to lots of destinations all over Europe, and some areas are covered very densely, it seems they have a kind of black spot in an enormous area covering eastern France, southern Germany, Switzerland, some of Austria and the western part of the Czech Republic. Sure, they fly to Friedrichshafen and Karlsruhe, but only from very few airports.

Why is this? Are the airports too expensive in this area? Or are there too many competitors?

bookmark_borderAn SNP-Conservative coalition?

Recent opinion polls for the elections to the Scottish Parliament in about a month’s time indicate that it might be possible for the SNP to form a government with either the LibDems or the Conservatives. Because the Conservatives are so widely reviled in Scotland, it seems to me that most people assume the SNP will have to form a government with the LibDems.

However, the LibDems know that, and it seems to me they’re planning to sell themselves very dearly indeed, the veto on a referendum on independence being but one example.

On the other hand, the Conservatives are not in a good position to make ultimate demands, and they have a strong need to put a lot of distance to the Thatcher era. If I was David Cameron, I’d tell them to offer the SNP anything to get into government, so long as they get some ministerial posts and are free to campaign for a No in the referendum.

There are many unknowns in this game, but I do wonder whether Salmond will be driven into bed with the Tories by necessity.

bookmark_borderEsperanto lingvistisk set

Esperanto Park_005
Originally uploaded by Fajro.

Måske burde jeg skrive lidt mere om, hvordan John Wells’ Esperanto lingvistisk set ændrede mit liv.

Jeg opdagede esperanto som teenager (jeg var vel omkring 13, vil jeg tro), og lærte sproget på basis af bøger, jeg lånte på biblioteket i Viborg (jeg kan anbefale Esperanto laŭ metodo Friis, også kendt som Esperanto laŭ naturmetodo). En eller anden (min far? min mormor?) gav mig derfor John Wells’ bog i dansk oversættelse.

På dette tidspunkt vidste jeg intet om lingvistik, lydskrift og grammatik, jeg kendte intet til videnskabelig litteratur med litteraturreferencer og den slags, og mit kendskab til esperanto, engelsk og de andre sprog, der omtales i bogen, var slet ikke godt nok til at forstå alle hans pointer.

Men jeg elskede bogen – jeg må have læst den mindst ti-tyve gange. Jeg lærte uhyggeligt mange ting ved at læse den. Fx opdagede jeg, at min engelskudtale måtte være forkert, da den ikke passede med hans transkriptioner. Min far gav mig senere John Lyons’ Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics, og fra det øjeblik var jeg dømt til at studere lingvistik.

Så hvis jeg aldrig havde fået John Wells’ bog havde jeg måske aldrig fået lært mig selv grundlæggende grammatik og lydskrift, og så var jeg måske aldrig blevet glad for at lære sprog, og jeg var måske endt op som ensidig computernørd. 😉

bookmark_borderImmigration to an independent Scotland

I read an article in The Herald today about how Scottish people tend to be more welcoming towards immigrants than English people do. That made me think about immigration here in general.

When I moved here five years ago, one of the things I noticed at first was how few immigrants there are here, compared to large Danish cities (not to mention London or some of the other truly multinational places). I believe the reason for this is that the number of refugees and immigrants are decided for the UK as a whole, and most of them decide to live in England.

However, in an independent Scotland, people who got a residence permit for Scotland wouldn’t automatically be allowed to move to England, so I consider it likely it would lead to higher immigrant numbers here, especially since Scotland needs more immigration to maintain its population, which means that it’s less likely that policies will be very strict compared to England’s.

I personally think this is likely to be a good thing (I definitely miss the Turkish greengrocers and pizzerias!), but I’m not sure that’s true for all the passive supporters of the SNP (I think the leadership and the active members are more likely to be progressive in this regard). Will some people get a shock about the real consequences of independence? 😉