Friday, 31 August 2007

Some Things I Dislike About France

1The state of public toilets
2The dearth of post boxes
3The abundance of "calvaries": roadside crucifixes
4Few evangelical churches
5Shops shutting for 2 hours at lunch-time
6Having to pay for medical treatment
7Very public urinals
8Inadequate direction signs on roads

Some Things I Like About France

1Well-maintained, quiet roads
2Lots of cycle tracks
3Street markets selling local, seasonal produce
4Good, inexpensive wine
5Frequent (although basic) motorway stopping places
8Cheap(er) petrol
9Free car parks at tourist attractions
10Camp sites with individual, hedged pitches
11The plethora of boulangeries
12Patisseries (and their contents!)

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Manchester Earthquake

There are reports today that there was a small earthquake in Manchester this morning, measuring 2.2 on the Richter scale (2.2 ML).

This is not uncommon. The British Geological Survey—which operates a network of seismograph monitoring stations around the UK—says that it locates between 300 and 400 earthquakes per year above 1.5 ML. In a typical year, 40 events will have magnitudes greater than 2.0 ML and about 20 are felt by local residents.

This map, from the BGS, shows seismic activity in the Manchester area since 1777:

The BGS web site includes an interactive map that you can use to explore historical earthquake data.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

French English

It's been a while!

Seen on top of a water tower in Sallertaine, France ...