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Erik of Hazelfield

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About Erik of Hazelfield

  • Birthday 02/09/1984

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    The North

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  1. Something I’ve learned in my career is that it’s almost always possible to change stuff for the better of you speak to your boss. Drowning in work? Ask them to prioritise your tasks. A function or team of the company that never delivers? Bring it up. Give concrete examples. Small things like this rarely make a bad situation perfect overnight, but it can help. The caveat is that you have to do your part. If you get some priorities, make sure to really finish them. If your manager doesn’t listen or care - that’s your cue to look for a new job.
  2. I know that, of course, and I never claimed or believed that he invented those things. But he did come with a vision and he did put his money where his mouth was. He invested much of his PayPal fortune into SpaceX, which very nearly went bankrupt after a series of failed booster landings. He should also be fairly credited as the one who showed the world what an electric car can be - fast, beautiful and useful. Expensive, sure, but there’s a market for that. He insisted on building a network of fast chargers so that Tesla owners could travel across the US and Europe without problems. Those were good decisions that accelerated the adoption of electric cars by years if not decades (my guess).
  3. I used to think Elon Musk was cool, back when he stuck to making electric cars and sending rockets to space. As far fetched as his Mars plans were, I thought they were inspiring and thought provoking, in a sort of “yes we can” spirit. Everyone else seemed to come up with reasons why electric cars or reusable rockets couldn’t work - Elon attacked the core of the problem, and succeeded. In hindsight it may have been obvious, but like Columbus and his egg, Musk was the one who actually did it. He also seemed like a fun guy who added references to Spaceballs and David Bowie to his cars and rockets. Sending that Roadster to space was mad and beautiful. I mourn the loss of that man. He probably never existed in the first place, but in my mind he did. Now he’s behaving like a clown and a bully, and it seems like a mystery how he could ever have run a successful business. I even sort of hope his Mars plans fail, for the reasons cited. I’d rather stay on a ruined Earth than living under a guy like that on Mars.
  4. I happen to be a tad bit interested in American football, which is very unusual in Europe, so I've heard of the phrase "Hail Mary pass" from there. I don't think I've ever heard it used in any other context.
  5. Intimidating the West through terror bombings and nuclear threats indeed seems to be the strategy now for Russia. Weakening the resolve of the West so they stop providing guns to Ukraine and start applying political pressure to get them to accept a deal instead. I very much hope, and think, that it’s too late for that though. Germany are building several new LNG terminals to be able to receive large container ships of fossil gas from the US, Nigeria and other places. Norway are already supplying as much as they can. Europe is ridding themselves of the dependence on Russian gas at a record pace. The US never had it in the first place. The nuclear threat, while worrisome, will probably not work either. Most world leaders realise the risk of allowing nuclear blackmail to pay off. All we have to do is keep supplying Ukraine with all we got and hope they continue to win.
  6. Very likely. I have the same approach - when speaking English, I pronounce my name as the English “Eric”. No point in trying to push a pronunciation that no one can manage. The way I see it, I have an English name in much the same way as the pope is called Francis or Franciskus or Francisco depending on country. Did you ever cover the practice of translating royal names? That could be fun.
  7. I wouldn’t say the Swedish way of pronouncing Annika rhymes with Monica. It’s closer to Anne-Icka but it’s not really that either. The Swedish short “a” just doesn’t exist in the English language. At the beginning of this clip (00:09) you’ll hear it: Cool to hear about the impact she had on US girls’ names. I don’t think most Swedes understand just how big she was.
  8. A Swedish professor of defence is certain - the bridge exploded due to a truck carrying dynamite or similar civilian explosives. The driver would have been either unknowing or a suicide bomber. His motivation: 1) It’s a very powerful blast, from the looks of it at least 10 tons, up to 30. The fact that the fireball reaches the upper railway part of the bridge almost immediately indicates the power. 2) The smoke is white. Military explosives have an oxygen deficiency causing black smoke. It’s not strange if dynamite would be transported to the war. It can be used to clear obstacles, build foxholes etc. 3) The train was a target. It’s just too good to be a coincidence that a train carrying fuel would be hit. The truck must have overtaken it. It looks like diesel fuel pouring all over the bridge from the train. 4) No missile carries this amount of explosives, and the lower bridge would have protected the truck from an attack from the water. Link in Swedish: https://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/a/8JQMbr/explosionen-pa-krimbron-professorns-slutsatser
  9. Thanks for sharing! Those prices seem very well deserved and their discoveries are both interesting and useful.
  10. Glad to hear that, Helena. I’m permanently off the dating market, as previously reported. Our son is seven months old now, he’s the cutest thing in the universe, and the three of us have moved into a new house. Life is great. I just need to get my shit together and plan an epic proposal.
  11. NATO membership would be logical. After all, we’re dealing with a country that has shown blatant disregard for previously signed treaties, let alone international law and diplomatic relations. How can Ukraine trust Russia to uphold their part of any peace deal when Russia openly declared parts of Ukraine as Russian and denies Ukraine’s right to exist as a nation? One way is that they don’t, with the result being an arms race between Ukraine and Russia. The other solution is some sort of externally enforced peace, with guarantees of military aid being offered if Russia would attack again. NATO is the easiest way to accomplish this because it already exists and has a thought out framework of operation. The pre-war idea that Russia feels threatened by NATO and that expansion of NATO to the East is a violation of the Cold War era power balance seems to me like a less than compelling argument at this point. Since it’s only a defensive alliance no one should be threatened by it. One idea I’ve been toying with is that the whole world could be a member of NATO, including Russia. That way any country wanting to attack another would face the combined armies of the rest of the world. Why not? (There are probably a million reasons why not, please share if you have any!)
  12. Sure, we (or rather my dear compatriots) did vote for a particularly nasty brand of right-wingers. But calling it a backsliding of democracy is, well, maybe not so accurate. From the looks of it, the nationalist party won’t even be part of the government. Even if I was saddened by the results, the people voted and they’ll get what they voted for. That is democracy. Some of the nationalists have made some noise about reforming public service but that’s about as much backsliding of democracy as I can see.
  13. Living in Sweden, heating is not optional. Fortunately my new house has a geothermal heat pump which is one of the more efficient solutions. Coupled with additional insulation in the attic and triple-glazed windows, it’ll be ok even if the electricity bills will be high this winter. I’m thinking about installing solar panels on the roof to further reduce the electricity costs. The ROI is faster than ever.
  14. To be clear, I agree with most of the things you just said. I don’t have any trouble understanding why the Chinese would see their government as superior to democracy (which is, after all, the topic of the thread). Economic growth, nationalism and propaganda is a recipe for popularity for any government, even if it throws some minorities under the bus. Insert your favourite example here. I just cringe when people who live in real democracies defend the idea that China is no worse than the Western democracies, because that implies economical growth is all there is and that human rights like freedom of speech, the right to choose your government, tolerance for other political views and so on don’t matter. And that’s where I disagree. Case in point.
  15. I disagree with some of the posters here implying, directly or indirectly, that China has a good system of governance, can learn nothing from the Western democracies, is no worse than the US, or some combination of the above. That is a load of horseshit. China is one of the world’s most repressive states. It has an imperialist agenda, commits cultural genocide in Tibet and Xinjiang, uses forced labour and concentration camps in the latter, violates the agreement to keep Hong Kong free, threatens to go to war against Taiwan, follows a ridiculous zero-tolerance covid policy, has no freedom of speech, has a horrible environmental record, tries (and succeeds) to export their censorship abroad (Hollywood movies don’t criticise China nowadays for fear of being shut out from the Chinese market), kidnaps other countries’ citizens, spies on its own people, spies on foreign people and companies, refuses to acknowledge its role in the Tiananmen square massacre, has an increasingly megalomaniacal leader who wants to stay for life, and so on and so forth. Despite all of its recent success and the country’s richness in history, culture and geography, China’s system of government is a cesspool of lies, corruption, arrogance, misguided pride, bullying and disregard for human rights. How anyone can have any trouble acknowledging the superiority of democracy over this abomination of a governmental system is beyond me.
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