Eiffel Built More than a Tower

Still one of the most beautiful bridges in the world – Garabit Railway Viaduct.

As usual, click the image for a larger view, and more information. (Photo by Geertchaos) Earlier photos will show a river valley. A dam was built in 1959 to create the reservoir.

Specs on the bridge are as follows.

  • Location: St. Flour, Auvergne, France
  • Height: 407 feet / 124 meters
  • Span: 540 feet / 165 meters

Construction was completed in 1884, 5 years before the tower would be built.

The bridge is still in use as a railway viaduct, but with speed restrictions.

Until 11 September 2009, one regular passenger train each way passed daily over the viaduct: a Corail route from Clermont-Ferrand to Béziers. On that date, the viaduct closed after cracks were discovered in one of the foundation piles.[7] After a safety inspection, the Garabit viaduct reopened the following month, with a speed limit of 10 km/h (6 mph) for all traffic.

If you click the link at the top of this post, there are many photos of the bridge. It has stood for a long time, after all.

Back in December, I had a post on The Millau Viaduct, this bridge turned up in the comments.

Cecile Rol-Tanguy: French Resistance Fighter Passes Away

She died during the remembrance of the 75th anniversary of Germany’s surrender in WWII. She was 101. French Resistance hero Cecile Rol-Tanguy dies at age 101.

She joined the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) with her husband Henri.

She later recalled how she used their children’s strollers to transport messages, weapons and explosive material.

The greatest generation. Today we have a fit if our internet connection isn’t 100 Mbps.

Chechen Migrants Attack African Migrants in France

France: 50 Chechens storm migrant reception center and attack ‘African rivals’.

They were armed with bats, sticks, iron bars, and attacked in the middle of the night.

As the Chechens were leaving the facility, one of them stopped and struck Philippe over the head with an iron bar, injuring him seriously but not causing him to lose consciousness.

“He told me that I should be on their side and not on that of the Africans,” Philippe [the security guard at the reception center] recounted.

Only a couple of the attackers have been arrested, the rest fled before the police got there.

So why are a bunch of Chechen migrants attacking Africans? Hate is the only answer I can think of.

More Riots in Paris

Because if you disagree with someone, rioting is the 21st Century version of a reasoned response. Police arrest 54 protesters as major fire hits Paris’s Gare de Lyon station: Arsonists start blaze then clash with firefighters during protest against concert.

Riot police had been called to the area after opponents of the regime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started demonstrating against a concert by the singer Fally Ipupa.

The 42-year-old performer is a supporter of Congolese president Felix Tshilombo and there is a large opposition movement against him based in Paris.

The Daily Mail is too polite to say, but the rioters are Congolese immigrants.

And the crowds were trying to keep firefighters away from the fires. One picture is of a broken truck windshield, but they don’t say it is a firetruck.

So do riots in Paris even qualify as news anymore?

COVID-19: A Problem in Italy and Elsewhere

Because they had decided it wasn’t a problem. Italy: 50% rise in coronavirus cases.

Italy’s Civil Protection Authority reported the country now has 1,694 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 1,128 confirmed cases on Saturday. Thirty-four people have died.

In other locations…

In Paris, The Louvre remained closed Sunday, the museum said in a statement to CNN.

The Louvre said its closing wasn’t ordered by the government, which Saturday canceled all public gatherings of 5,000 people or more in confined spaces. That included the Paris Half Marathon on Sunday.

France has recorded 100 cases and two deaths.

And even farther afield. Iran’s coronavirus death toll jumps to 54, with 978 infected.

That puts the mortality rate in Iran at 5%, which is higher than the Chinese are willing to admit to.

Are you prepared to sit at home for 30 days, or more?

Paris Knife Attack

Gun Free Zone? Any bets? (Mine? Yes of course it is a defenseless-victim-zone. Europeans are too “civilized” for it to be any other way.) Paris knife attack: Four dead in Paris police HQ stabbing.

Three officers and an administrative assistant were stabbed to death at Paris police headquarters by an employee who went on a rampage after evading security with a ceramic knife.

The 45-year old, named by local media as Mickaël H, had worked for 20 years in the IT department of the police intelligence section in offices in Paris’ central île de la Cité

France clearly needs ceramic knife control, and pasta knife control, and rock control, and…

This article doesn’t say, but the NY Times mentioned that the IT staff is dealing with very low morale in Paris, because they aren’t cops and so they’re second-class citizens. But then the cops are also dealing with low morale, and they just had a demonstration 2 or 3 days ago, to voice their displeasure.

Police sources said the assailant, who was partially deaf and reportedly converted to Islam 18 months ago, was “in conflict” with his superiors.

Which is a fact presented without comment. And not just by me, both the NY Times and the London Telegraph also make no comments. Well the NYT quotes their source who did some backpedaling lest he be thought politically incorrect.

I would love to post this in Cops Behaving Badly, but one of the things that they are looking at revolves around the fact that he wasn’t a cop, and hence a 2nd-class citizen in the police department. Another disgruntled worker, a defense-free workplace, and a bunch of people saying that it can’t happen to them.

August 25th – 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Paris

I hate it when I miss important anniversaries. This one is August 25, 1944. Paris celebrates its liberation from Nazis, 75 years on.

Paris celebrated the American soldiers, French Resistance fighters and others who liberated the City of Light from Nazi occupation exactly 75 years ago on Sunday, unleashing an eruption of kissing, dancing, tears and gratitude.

Firefighters unfurled a huge French flag from the Eiffel Tower, recreating the moment when a French tricolor stitched together from sheets was hoisted atop the monument 75 years ago to replace the swastika flag that had flown for four years.

A Solar Road. What Could Go Wrong?

Color me shocked. France’s Wattway solar road proves to be a big, expensive failure. The term “abject failure” came up.

Do people with these dreams of solar everything have any idea how much stress is imposed by vehicles? I’m guessing, “No.”

The solar roadway is constructed from panels with a special silicon resin acting as the driving surface, and while its designer, a company called Colas, claimed it would stand up to a semi-truck, tractors seem to have been enough to cause the silicon layer to flake and crack, damaging the delicate solar panels underneath.

The Wattway is also loud. So loud, in fact, that the local government has been forced to limit traffic to just 70 kilometers per hour (around 43 miles per hour) to cut down on the sound. So, it seems like the Wattway is a failure at being a road, but how is it at generating solar energy?

Miserable.

The “shade” from cars driving on the road. Where it was placed, wasn’t a great solar location, and the flat nature of roads added up to less than expected performance.

The best quote is really from the Popular Mechanics article on the Wattway.

“If they really want this to work, they should first stop cars driving on it,” Marc Jedliczka, vice president of the Network for Energetic Transition (CLER), which promotes renewable energy

Stop driving on your solar “road.” That’s probably a Progressive dream. Or something.

The Yellow Vests Are Back At It In Paris

After a few weeks of low-level protests, this weekend is being described as a riot. Macron under attack as authorities fail to prevent vandalism on the Champs-Elysées.

Why is the Left so violent?

Demonstrators smashed nearly every shopfront on the Champs-Elysées, set fire to a bank and torched cars on the 18th consecutive Saturday of protests against Mr Macron’s business-friendly economic reforms.

They don’t want business to thrive, because they might have to work harder. Or something.

Macron is taking grief because he was out of the city skiing. Though why they are screaming at the president of the country and not the mayor and the chief of police is beyond me.

The Future Is Stupid

Because the sound effects are key. Meanwhile in … France, lightsaber dueling is now a recognized sport.

In an effort to engage young people and make exercise more attractive, the French Fencing Federation elevated lightsabers to the same status as foils, epees, and sabers. The federation’s officially sanctioned lightsaber duels last three minutes and use light-up lightsabers (sometimes with sound effects) paired with traditional fencing safety gear.

That will make all the difference to the coach-potato generation.

Anti-vaccine Family Gets to Spend Vacation in Quarantine

And (maybe) they will be credited with starting an epidemic. French boy suspected of reintroducing measles to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica had been measles-free for 5 years.

An unvaccinated French child who went on holiday with his parents to Costa Rica is suspected of reintroducing measles to the Central American country.

The 5-year-old boy and his parents entered the country on February 18, Costa Rica’s Health Ministry said.

Authorities have quarantined the boy in a hospital and are searching for people he may have come into contact with since his arrival.

I’m sure they are happy they bought into the “vaccines are scary” narrative.

Measles vaccine prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths worldwide from 2000 to 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It isn’t just France of course, all of Europe has seen a huge increase in the number of measles cases in 2018.

France and the “Yellow Vest” Uprising

I stopped reading The Local regularly some time ago. For a time they morphed into “Happy News” about Europe. But it may be they are rethinking that. In any event, the French edition (in English!) has what looks like a fairly thorough rundown of the state of the Mouvement des gilets jaunes protests/riots/uprising.

French President Macron tries to appease the people and fails. ‘Yellow vests’ slam Macron’s speech as ‘charade’ and vow to go back into battle.

“Nonsense,” “a charade”, “a bluff” and “a drop in the ocean,” were among the immediate reactions that greeted the head of state’s televised speech Monday evening announcing an increase in the minimum wage and a range of other financial measures.

Macron just doesn’t understand why the peasants don’t shut up and do exactly what the aristocrats tell them to do. (There is a lot of that attitude in Europe.)

Police are wearing down. French police warn the government: ‘We’re at breaking point’.

Working back-to-back days of long hours in hostile conditions, with breaks and meal times often cancelled, has left police officers exhausted according to Denis Jacob, the spokesman for national police union Alternative Police.

They’re asking for help, and not getting much.

This is probably a simplistic look, but it’s an attempt to let the people say what’s on their minds. In their own words: France’s yellow vests explain their grievances and goals

Protesters turning out across France on Saturday highlighted demands ranging from better support for pensioners to the downfall of capitalism.

The French economy is not very good, which is underpinning a lot of this. Of course the .gov meddling in the economy is a big part of that, and the solution of more meddling isn’t likely to help.

The Real “War on Christmas”

Hint: it isn’t about saying “Happy Holidays.” Deadly shooting in French city of Strasbourg.

A gunman opened fire near a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg, killing at least four people and injuring 11 others, local officials said on Tuesday evening.

Four dead, eleven wounded. The French are opening a “terrorism probe into the shooting.”

Germany has strengthened border controls into Strasbourg.

Strasbourg’s Christmas market is a popular tourist destination, drawing millions of visitors every year.

Antisemitism, and Cooking the Books on Crime Statistics in the EU

I can’t imagine why the authorities in Germany would want to shade the truth. Anti-Semitism in the EU: Jewish people consider leaving over safety concerns.

Some 90 percent of European Jews believe anti-Semitism has grown stronger — particularly in France — in recent years, according to a European Union survey published on Monday.

In Germany, the situation is bad and getting worse, and the .gov is either willfully ignorant of the facts or just lying.

Some 41 percent of Jews surveyed in Germany said that they’d experienced harassment from a person with “a Muslim extremist view.”

That result stands in stark contrast to last year’s German criminal statistics which said that 94 percent of reported anti-Semitic crimes were carried out by far-right perpetrators, reported the German daily Bild.

“According to police crime statistics, around 5 percent of anti-Semitic crimes are carried out by Muslims. We have to look into this major discrepancy in the statements about anti-Semitic experiences made by Jews,” Felix Klein, the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, told Bild.

The article has more on France and Poland.

And a separate article covers the United Kingdom. Four out of five British Jews believe anti-Semitism has infected UK politics. (Though the data is apparently drawn from the same survey as the DW article above.)

In particular the Labour Party under Corbyn struggled with many accusations.

Four out of five British Jews believe that anti-Semitism has infected British politics, the highest figure in the European Union, and almost a third are considering leaving the country, according to the world’s largest survey of Jewish people.

It’s Good to Help the Environment Until You Ask Them to Pay More

The French are unhappy that “going green” means they have to pay more for fuel. ‘Assaults, fights, stabbings’: More than 400 injured in France’s yellow vest protests.

Though it does look a lot like a simple revenue-grab by the government.

Diesel is set to go up by seven cents a litre, and petrol by three cents. Diesel vehicle owners, still a majority in France, feel betrayed after decades of the state encouraging diesel engines.

I mean, how much is this tax going to actually change the conditions? Over time, maybe. But in the short run it will just mean that the .gov collects more in taxes.

The French Are Apparently Clueless About Phishing

And the Chinese are taking advantage. The word “naive” was used by French officials. Chinese spies fooled ‘hundreds’ of civil servants and executives, France reveals.

So phishing is a thing. You should be aware of it. Even if you are in France. And apparently it is especially a thing on LinkedIn.

According to a note leaked to Le Figaro newspaper by the DGSI and DGSE, the Gallic equivalent of MI5 and MI6, French businesses and state administration have been guilty of “culpable naivety” over the foreign spy threat via the popular online CV website despite clear warnings from UK intelligence as early as 2015.

And since they hold some of our secrets, it isn’t just French interests that are at risk.

Some 4,000 individuals have been targetted in recent months and “hundreds” have been bamboozled by offers of jobs or collaboration from fake LinkedIn accounts run by Chinese spies masquerading as “head hunters, consultants or think tanks”

Oh Those Crazy (1980s) Environmentalists

It turns out (as anyone with a brain-cell could have guessed) dumping tires in the ocean isn’t a good idea. France reverses car tyre sea sanctuary — an environmental flop.

Vallauris (France) (AFP) – What seemed a like a crazy idea turned out to be just that: a 1980s experiment that saw 25,000 car tyres dumped into the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean to create a sanctuary for sealife off the French coast is being cleaned up after it was found to be polluting.

Now France could have been forgiven, if they were the first idiots to try this. They weren’t.

In France, the idea of a “tyre reef” was tried only here, but a local academic working on the clean-up operation said authorities in other countries, particularly the United States, had tried the same failed idea.

“Repeating the same behavior and expecting a different outcome…”

France Takes a Page Out of the Old Soviet Union’s Playbook

If you don’t follow the party line, you must be crazy. Marine Le Pen ordered to undergo psychiatric tests for tweeting images of Isil atrocities.

Now you can disagree with Le Pen (or you could, if you knew who she was), but the fact that she disagrees with you about Islamic terror and ISIL, doesn’t make her crazy.

Ms Le Pen was stripped of her parliamentary immunity and then charged in March with “distributing violent images” for tweeting three gruesome pictures showing killings by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

Because we can’t talk about that. And the actual pictures are awful. But the facts should be discussed.

On Thursday she tweeted copies of a court document ordering her to undergo the evaluation before the case goes to trial, at which she faces the possibility of up to three years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£66,000)

You should just accept that the ruling elite knows what is good for you, and you should not make waves, or refuse to go along with the party line. If you refuse to, then you must be crazy and you will be dealt with accordingly.

“This regime is really starting to be frightening,” she wrote in a further post, suggesting that the case was part of a government plot to discredit her.

Right out of the Soviet Union’s playbook.

The British and the French Haven’t Been At War With Each Other Since 1815

If you don’t count the Vichy government, which was really a tool of Germany during WWII. French navy to intervene if ‘scallops wars’ dispute with Britain escalates.

Flares, rocks and even petrol bombs were flung at the British ships, with one shocked fisherman calling it a “scene out of Vietnam.”

A British fisherman called on the navy to be deployed to protect them.

And so France is also considering its navy to put an end to the clashes. Though I don’t think the British Royal Navy is going to get involved at this point. Who knows? Throwing bombs at other vessels could be considered an act of piracy.

The root of the conflict lies in the Baie de la Siene – a stretch just north of the Normandy coast famed for scallops. British fishermen are allowed to dredge for scallops in the bay under European Union law, but French law bans the practice for locals between May 15 and October 1, when they reproduce.

The War of the Scallops? Who can say. While 1815 is a long time ago, that pretty much marked the end the Second Hundred Years War. France and England have been at war a lot throughout history. (The difference between the British and the Americans is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, and the British think 100 miles is a long distance.)