Train strike, changes in the Mer de Glace and Orange whatday

Today is gloomy; low cloud and drizzle. Probably, there is a little snow falling on the mountains higher up but I doubt there is enough to make a difference to the skiing. Yesterday was cold with bright sun and Mrs D and I had a wonderful day at Domaine de Balme (or Le Tour as I still think of it). We drove there because currently there is an ongoing strike by railway workers. The train service in the valley is severely disrupted. I am not sure what the strike is about, but it has been going on for over a week. Perhaps it is in protest over the public spending cuts in France, because there been have other strikes about this recently.

I have been visiting the Chamonix valley for about 20 years and have noticed the retreat of several glaciers. This was brought to my notice again when I read that the Mer de Glace has decreased in height by about 50 metres in each of the last 2 decades.

Français : Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (Haute-Savoie -...

Image via Wikipedia

The article said 50m is roughly equivalent to the height of a 15 storey building which seems about right to me. I find this truly frightening perhaps even more so because I think there is nothing that can be done about it. If you want more information I recommend the blog

http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/mer-de-glace-glacier-retreat-a-receding-sea/

Whilst looking into changes in glaciers, I found that the height of Mont Blanc has been measured by gps since 2001. Since then, it was at its highest in September 2007 at 4810.90m. In September 2009 it had decreased to 4810.45m and the peak had moved 28m towards Italy.

I have an Orange mobile account in the UK and sometimes make use of the “Orange Wednesdays two for one” cinema offer. In France, I have an Orange broadband account and was recently pleased to learn that the same cinema promotion is available here, except it is on Tuesdays in France. I thought this was typically French, doing something exactly the same, but making it their own by changing one item. But I may be wrong, because I have found out that the 2 for 1 offer by Orange is available in several countries and often on different days. Austria, Kenya and the Dominican Republic are on Thursday. Switzerland joins France by being on Tuesday. While Romania, Luxembourg and Poland join Britain on Wednesday. Armenians seem to be able to take advantage of the offer any day of the week. I wonder how these differences came about. Perhaps there are deeply established national characteristics determining cinema attendance.

Finally, here’s what I think is a really innovative technical application used to make a car commercial

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