Sunday, January 7, 2018

Something I meant to post in December because I find it fascinating

It is nothing of consequence, except historically. December 13 marked the anniversary of the 1939 battle between the German pocket battleship Graf Spee and British warships Exeter, Ajax and Achilles off of coast of Uruguay. The Graf Spee knocked the Ajax and Achilles out of the fight, but was damaged enough to force it to flee to the neutral port of Uruguay. Uruguay gave the ship 72 hours to leave the neutral port -- not enough time to conduct repairs -- and so the captain sailed the warship out into the River Plate and scuttled it. It was a big deal for both sides, though in different ways. It was a first early triumph for the British, and a blow to the German surface fleet, leading to increased reliance on U-boats. Ironically, the Graf Spee outgunned its three British opponents and likely could have won the fight had it not chosen to flee.

Here is the Graf Spee, sinking after its captain scuttled her:

OK, frolic and detour concluded.

Traffic comment

Eff You topped 200,000 visits a little while ago, but the top 10 visiting countries hasn't changed much in the last couple years. Sweden bumped the U.K. out of the number 10 spot a couple years ago, and since then, no changes have taken place.

Not in the order, anyway. The top five remain U.S., Russia, Germany, Denmark and France. But in the last year or so, Denmark has pulled closer to Germany -- about 2,500 visits behind now, rather than the 3,000 visits Denmark was behind Germany at about this time last year. Denmark also has opened the gap between itself and France. The French, of course, are cheese-eating surrender monkeys, so it doesn't surprise me to see them losing. But Denmark is kicking ass.

I suppose the fact that my European correspondent is Danish has a little to do with this, but there are clearly other Danes involved in the effort. Still looking for more content from my European correspondent, by the way (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Anyway, tiny Denmark, land of exploding wind turbines, rocks. They haven't been this dominant since they took over England in 1013.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Faroe Islands? Wow.

I've had some interesting visitors in the last few days. Brunei came to Eff You, as did Slovenia. I think both were second-time visitors, as a I have first-time-visitor posts for both but don't remember seeing them before this. Anyway, nice to have you guys come by again. Enjoy your stay.

But we also have a true first-time visitor: The Faroe Islands. The only reason I know where the Faroe Islands are is too geekishly embarrassing to relate here. A man has to have some pride, after all.

In any event, you should know that, like Greenland, the Faroe Islands and an autonomous country under the auspices of the Kingdom of Denmark. They are located about halfway between Iceland and Norway, with a population of about 50,000.

From 1035 until 1814, the Faroes belonged to Norway. For reasons that escape me, in 1814 the Treaty of Kiel gave control over the islands to Denmark, along with Greenland and Iceland. The Faroes have been self-governing since 1948 -- much like Greenland, I think, although I will defer to my Danish readers on this -- but are still part of the Kingdom of Iceland Denmark. [Corrected: Ed.] I still don't understand how Iceland slipped away from Denmark.

Anyway, there are 18 major islands in the Faroes and a buttload of littler islands. The climate is classified as subpolar oceanic, which means cold as fuck, although the Gulf Stream creates a warming influence that leads to milder winters and cool summers. The islands are windy, cloudy and cool, with more than 200 rain or snow days per year. The sun never fucking shines.

The economy relies primarily upon fishing. That is not always a good thing, apparently. Still, it is a pretty place:

With lots of sheep:

And rugged coastlines:

Having said all that, welcome to Eff You, Faroe Islands. Come back soon, and bring your friends.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Need a post? Kitty!

Hell, what else have I got at this hour? Mrs. Wolves loves it when the kitties show curly paws:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Apple apparently believes its own global-warming bullshit

Apple recently opened a store in Chicago -- cold, snowy, wintry Chicago -- that is not what you might call well-designed for winter weather:
Chicago’s new Apple store can’t seem to handle the frigid temperatures which have been hitting many parts of the country.
Photos captured outside the flagship store—which opened its doors to the public on October 20—show large icicles hanging from the roof, surrounded by caution tape, with signs that read “CAUTION—Watch for Falling Snow and Ice.”
Apparently, the building doesn’t have any gutters, therefore there’s nowhere for the snow to fall, Fortune reports. This has resulted in the closure of both a public walkway and courtyard.
 I guess at this point snow was supposed to be a thing of the past. Maybe the folks at Apple read The Guardian.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The heat wave continues

Temperature hit 19 today. Supposed to be single-digits tonight, though. For those of you on the metric system, that means "really fucking cold." Our zero is a lot colder than yours. Just sayin'. Anyway, given the high temperature today, this seems appropriate:

The Marines put out their favorite pictures of 2017

Worth a look at the slideshow here.

OK, here's a teaser: