Harvey Robinson

Author Archives: Harvey Robinson

Escape From Greece

Panoramic view of the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. The theatre continues to be used for staging performances, including ancient Greek plays. Photo by Hansueli Krapf.

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VICE News

As one of the gateways to mainland Europe, Greece may be home to thousands of immigrants — but at the moment, it’s not a particularly happy one. Many spend their days trying to escape the xenophobia and erratic immigration policies that characterise Greece at a time of deep financial crisis. More often than not, the migrants look to the West — to countries like the UK or Germany — where they feel they will be able to lead richer, happier lives.

However, even if certain sections of Greek society would rather rid their country of immigrants, EU law means that’s easier said than done. What do you do when you’re trapped in a country that doesn’t want you?

VICE discovered that, for some, the latest route to a better life was on foot — on an increasingly well-worn path from Greece into Macedonia, Serbia and on into Hungary.

 

The Great Firewall of China

ChinaA composite satellite image of China.

 Question by Kurt: How does Internet work in China?
Can people in China get around “The Great Firewall of China?”

Best answer:

Answer by Bball77
China censors what their country can view on the Internet. If they find a website not up to their standards then they will block it. They do all of this based on a persons IP address which shows they are located in China. A way to get around this is to use a private proxy service that has servers outside of China which will show a US IP address where we are not censored when on the Internet. I know of people that have worked oversees in China that needed to access US websites and were unable to until they used a private proxy service. I’m not saying this always works but you have a pretty good chance that it will.

The only catch is that you need to get the service from outside of China before going there because once you are there, China has pretty much censored all proxy websites because they don’t want you to get around their censorship.

 

Hungary history question?

Budapest Museum

The Museum of Applied Arts, an Art Nouveau building designed by Ödön Lechner. Photo by Misibacsi from the Hungarian Wikipedia.

Question by Snowflake: Hungary history question.?
What was going on in Hungary around 1895-1910? Many of my relatives from Hungary came to America during this time and I am wondering what the political / social climate was like. What made leaving so appealing to so many of them? (specifically, by going to America)

Thank you so much for your help. It is genuinely appreciated…

Christina

Best answer:

Answer by ceewill
“Hungary’s population rose from 13 million to 20 million between 1850 and 1910. After 1867 Hungary’s feudal society gave way to a more complex society that included the magnates, lesser nobles, middle class, working class, and peasantry …

Some lesser-noble landowners survived the agrarian depression of the late nineteenth century and continued farming. Many others turned to the bureaucracy or to the professions …

The rise of a working class came naturally with industrial development. By 1900 Hungary’s mines and industries employed nearly 1.2 million people, representing 13 percent of the population. The government favored low wages to keep Hungarian products competitive on foreign markets and to prevent impoverished peasants from flocking to the city to find work. The government recognized the right to strike in 1884, but labor came under strong political pressure. In 1890 the Social Democratic Party was established and secretly formed alliances with the trade unions. The party soon enlisted one-third of Budapest’s workers. By 1900 the party and union rolls listed more than 200,000 hard-core members, making it the largest secular organization the country had ever known. The diet passed laws to improve the lives of industrial workers, including providing medical and accident insurance, but it refused to extend them voting rights, arguing that broadening the franchise would give too many non-Hungarians the vote and threaten Hungarian domination. After the Compromise of 1867, the Hungarian government also launched an education reform in an effort to create a skilled, literate labor force. As a result, the literacy rate had climbed to 80 percent by 1910. Literacy raised the expectations of workers in agriculture and industry and made them ripe for participation in movements for political and social change.

Hunyad Castle, Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania

Hunyad Castle, Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania. Photo by Todor Bozhinov.

The plight of the peasantry worsened drastically during the depression at the end of the nineteenth century. The rural population grew, and the size of the peasants’ farm plots shrank as land was divided up by successive generations. By 1900 almost half of the country’s landowners were scratching out a living from plots too small to meet basic needs, and many farm workers had no land at all. Many peasants chose to emigrate, and their departure rate reached approximately 50,000 annually in the 1870s and about 200,000 annually by 1907. The peasantry’s share of the population dropped from 72.5 percent in 1890 to 68.4 percent in 1900. The countryside also was characterized by unrest, to which the government reacted by sending in troops, banning all farm-labor organizations, and passing other repressive legislation.”

This was taken from the Library of Congress Country Studies: Hungary. They regularly update the URLs of these studies making bookmarking them impossible, so it’s best that you search for the article with a search engine – it will be worth the effort as they are very comprehensive and authoritative articles.

 

Rocky Mountains From Space

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency photographed the Rocky Mountains from his vantage point in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station. He shared the image with his social media followers on Jan. 9, 2017, writing, “the Rocky mountains are a step too high – even for the clouds to cross.”

Image Credit: ESA/NASA

https://twitter.com/Thom_astro

Alternative Energy in Ireland

Ballylumford power station provides over half of Northern Ireland’s total generating capacity, and 17% of all-Ireland capacity. Photo by Anne Burgess.

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The Irish are currently pursuing energy independence and the further development of their robust economy through the implementation of research and development into alternative energy sources.

Ballywater_WindFarmBallywater WindFarm. Looking Northwestward out over the salt marsh at the back of Morriscastle caravan park in Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford at the 42 MW 21 turbine wind farm at Ballywater close to Cahore Point and lying between the villages of Ballygarret to the North and Kilmuckridge to the South. Taken on afternoon of Sunday 6th May 2007.

At the time of this writing, nearly 90% of Ireland’s energy needs are met through importation—the highest level of foreign product dependence in the nation’s entire history. This is a very precarious situation to be in, and the need for developing alternative energy sources in Ireland is sharply perceived. Ireland also seeks to conserve and rejuvenate its naturally beautiful environment and to clean up its atmosphere through the implementation of alternative energy supplies. The European Union has mandated a reduction in sulphuric and nitric oxide emissions for all member nations. Green energy is needed to meet these objectives. Hydroelectric power has been utilized in Ireland in some areas since the 1930s and has been very effective; however, more of it needs to be installed. Ireland also needs to harness the wave power of the Atlantic Ocean, which on its west coast is a potential energy supply that the nation has in great store.

Inishmaan_turbines

Wind turbines on Inishmaan, photo by Towel401.

Ireland actually has the potential to become an energy exporter, rather than a nation so heavily dependent on energy importation. This energy potential resides in Ireland’s substantial wind, ocean wave, and biomass-producing alternative energy potentials. Ireland could become a supplier of ocean wave-produced electricity and biomass-fueled energy to continental Europe and, as they say, “make a killing”. At the present time, Ireland is most closely focused on reaching the point where it can produce 15% of the nation’s electricity through wind farms, which the government has set as a national objective to be reached by 2010. But universities, research institutes, and government personnel in Ireland have been saying that the development of ocean wave energy technology would be a true driving force for the nation’s economy and one which would greatly help to make Ireland energy independent. A test site for developing wave ocean energy has been established in Ireland, less than two miles off the coast of An Spideal in County Galway Bay. This experimental ocean wave harnessing site is known as “Wavebob”. The most energetic waves in the world are located off the West coast of Ireland, says Ireland’s Marine Institute CEO Dr. Peter Heffernan. The technology to harness the power of the ocean is only just emerging and Ireland has the chance to become a market leader in this sector. David Taylor, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Initiative,or SEI, tells us that SEI is committed to innovation in the renewable energy sector. Wave energy is a promising new renewable energy resource which could one day make a significant contribution to Ireland’s electricity generation mix thereby further reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Padraig Walshe, the president of the Irish Farmers Association, tells us that with the closure of the sugar beet industry, an increasing amount of Irish land resources will become available for alternative uses, including bioenergy production. Today, renewable energy sources meet only 2% of Ireland’s total energy consumption. From a farming perspective, growing energy crops will only have a viable future if they provide an economic return on investment and labour, and if the prospect of this return is secure into the future. Currently the return from energy crops is marginal and is hampering the development of the industry. Biomass energies need to be further researched by Ireland.

Visiting Ireland

 

 

Bologna, ITALY: Tortellini Lessons

CHRISTMAS was many weeks away, but the smell of holiday tortellini was already in the air. On a rainy October evening, several young men from the Ducati motorcycle plant in Bologna traded their work clothes for paper caps and white aprons in a rustic country inn. Wooden tables laid with large maple boards, bowls of flour and fresh eggs lined one wall of the dining room. By ANN WILSON LLOYD

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Bologna_from_Asinelli_tower

San Petronio, Piazza Maggiore and Palazzo d’Accursio, photo taken from the top of Torre degli Asinelli, Bologna, Italy. Photo by the great Luca Volpi.

 Eating Italian Food in Italy

 

 

 

Young Swedes Flock to Newly Rich Norway for Work

Long a poor cousin in Scandinavia, Norway has surpassed Sweden to become one of the richest countries in the world — to the point where it has become a magnet for young Swedes ready to work hard to make quick money, and lots of it. ”When I was young, Swedes had whiter teeth, clearer skin, Abba and Bjorn Borg. We had lots of fish, and not much else. By IVAR EKMAN

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Reine in Lofoten, Norway

The village of Reine in Lofoten, Norway, photo by Petr Šmerkl, Wikipedia.

 

by Morten Rustad

This is a travel guide to Norway showing the top 10 places you must see if you’re visiting. These tips are from the perspective of a photographer, but the places are perfectly fine to visit if you’re a regular traveller as well.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around in Norway almost contently for the past few years as a time-lapse photographer. That has given me extensive knowledge of what Norway has to offer, also outside the most touristic places. This list includes some true hidden gems you might not have heard of before.

Norway is a fantastic country, and this list could’ve been much, much longer. But these are my favorites, and I’m sure you’ll love them too.

The full list:
1. Senja
1. Varangerhalvøya
1. Femundsmarka
4. Loenvatnet
5. Valdres
6. Hardanger
7. Helgeland
8. Lofoten
9. Nærøyfjorden
10. Jettegrytene i Nissedal

For more pictures of my adventures, visit my Instagram @morten.rustad https://www.instagram.com/morten.rustad/

All photos and videos in the video are taken by me. Some of them are produced in cooperation with Turbin Film http://www.turbinfilm.no

 

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Buying French Homes

The country known as France offers investors a great opportunity to benefit from the ever increasing property values. France is very fortunate to have a stable housing market, which will continue to stay that way for years and years to come. The low property prices are always an attraction to the area, with strong growth and prospects to keep the overseas home buyer coming back for more. For anyone interested in overseas real estate – France offers plenty of benefits.

France Loir-et-Cher Château de Chambord

The Château de Chambord is one of the many French royal residences of the Loire Valley that are not for sell. Photographie prise par GIRAUD Patrick.

The property in France is easy to access, with many ways to reach the shores. In most cases, you can get there easily for a very cheap price. As many know, France is famous for their transport system, which includes high speed trains that travel to most of the regions. There are also ferries that cover the area, including low cost flights as well. Once you buy a home in France, you’ll quickly become accustomed to the lifestyle there.

A lot of people who decide to buy a home in France, do so because of the surroundings. Buying a home in France is more than just the house, as you’ll get a chance to experience the finer things in life. France has several romantic attractions, which makes it perfect for married couples looking to spend their life together. Throw in some great drinks and relaxation, and France has all of your activities covered – along with a beautiful and spectacular house.

Mont Saint-Michel

The Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most visited sites of France, photo by b3rny.

Unlike other regions throughout the world, France has one of the most established legal processes, one that has been proven time and time again over the years. Locals view the legal system as safe, as it helps for those who are interested in French property. As you can tell, French real estate is very different from that of the United States.

Although there are many locations overseas that you can invest in, France is actually preferred to be one of the best. France is known as a nation of renters, with plenty of real estate available for purchase. If you choose to rent out your property, buying in France will pretty much mean that you won’t have any problems renting. There are always people looking for vacation rentals and such in the area, making it perfect for investors or those looking for a second income.

Unlike other real estate locations, France offers you mountain snow complete with maritime living. France is a massive region, with plenty of houses to choose from. If you’ve been looking for overseas real estate, France is a location you can’t go wrong with. There is always something to do here, and plenty of things to see. As a second home or as a way of life – France represents an amazing and cultivating lifestyle that you simply must see to believe.

http://photosearth.com/france/

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