Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Dear MR. Silva,

I am writing to give you an update on the disruptions Eurostar experienced last week. First of all, I would like to offer my most heartfelt apology to all of our customers who were inconvenienced as a result of events last week.

I fully appreciate that this situation, particularly for those travellers involved in Friday and Saturday's train failures, was very difficult and I would like to assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that this kind of incident will not happen again.

Thankfully we managed to get all passengers who needed to travel for Christmas to their destinations and our service has now returned to normal.

Although you may have seen many reports in the media about the problems we experienced I would like to explain exactly what happened in this unprecedented event.

As I am sure you have heard by now, this situation was caused primarily by the extremely cold weather in Northern France and the amount of snow and ice that our trains gathered running along the high speed line. Some of this snow penetrated into the power cars. Once in the tunnel, where the temperature is much warmer, this snow melted and the resulting water and condensation caused a number of electrical systems to fail.

We have of course experienced cold weather in previous years and have an extensive winterisation programme that was fully applied to our fleet again this year. This did not however prove sufficient to protect our trains on this occasion.

We have had isolated incidents in the tunnel before but it is unprecedented to have five trains full of passengers all breakdown at the same time, and it was this that caused the emergency recovery procedures to breakdown.

As you may have heard, our Board has launched an Independent Review into exactly what occurred, so that we can learn from the mistakes and ensure that we never subject our customers to this kind of disruption in the future. The panel leading this Review want to understand traveller experiences in detail and would like to invite any passengers involved to send their accounts to:

As soon as we have the results from this review and the recommendations that are made, we will share them with you.

We have started with rigour our own internal inquiry and subsequent improvement plan to ensure that with immediate effect we are taking measures to ensure any future disruption is handled in the way that you would expect.

I wish you all the best over the festive period and look forward to welcoming you on board again in the New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Brown
Chief Executive Officer

Público - Aplicar a nova ortografia em 2010 é uma precipitação?

Público - Aplicar a nova ortografia em 2010 é uma precipitação?

Para além dos argumentos apresentados por outros, uma enorme vantagem da grafia do Português Europeu/Africano é a semelhança com outras línguas como o Francês, Inglês ou Espanhol. O facto de mantermos a origem da palavra na grafia é fonte de riqueza linguística e cultural. Nós Portugueses facilmente nos adaptamos a outros línguas pela riqueza da nossa língua que contém a génese da palavra. Castrar a nossa língua é um crime contra a nossa cultura e sociedade. Parem com pedidos de referendos ridículos e façam um a esta questão! Ou será que sabem a resposta e por isso não perguntam?...

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Ou quando a montanha pariu um rato...

I first would like to show what the newspapers say:
PT: Diário de Notícias
FR: Le Figaro

When this conference started I said it would end up close to nothing, people called me a pessimist. I answered saying I was being realistic. You know what? I was right...

I do not care if it is global warming, global freezing, or global stupidity. It is clear that we are living in a away that does not take into account that resources are not infinite. Warmer, colder... that's not the point: it is changing, and changing faster than ever.
It is wrong to try to demonstrate that is the CO2, or other pollution to cause it, it is a very difficult scientific task. Lets focus on what is clear, and what is clear is that we're consuming the planet without limits and without considering that resources are limited - I fail to understand how people do not see that we only have ONE planet. It is time to thing at this scale, because it is the scale we're consuming.

I'm not a radical.
I do not defend going back to the dark ages of diseases, starving, or dying for no reason. I'm in favour of being responsible. When I was a child I remember being on the local Carnaval dressed like a fish because my home-town river was dead (or almost). It is not yet solved, but now that we've started treating what we send to the river before, it is now cleaner and fish are enjoying themselves again. This is the level of things we can do.
Lets reduce, recycle and reuse - for serious! This is up to us, but governments have to make it easy! Not travelling for km before finding a centre, it needs to at our houses as they come for other type of residues.
Then, industrially speaking... This is where it is difficult for sure. Not that there are no technical solutions, because there are, but because there more expensive. And we've to be "competitive" apparently... Well, have we?! In terms of EU, we should have extremely high import taxes from polluting countries and/or industries. Problems to export because of retaliation? Well, that's where we'll need to be pragmatic and accept we should focus on our internal EU market (or "green-world" countries).
It is now time for this! Before it was military, political, economical unions; now we need the environment union! Those old borders no longer apply, the world changed. Our values need to endorse the green way of living, otherwise we're lost.
If we export less I recognise we'll have unemployment problems, I'm not stupid (or so I hope). However, I see on this an advantage... (don't shoot me! yet...) Usually, those that massively export are companies where the profits are not distributed anyway, and there is no actual benefit for those working. It is then possible to balance profit and employment, but I do not know how for now - I don't have time to solve all the world problems :)
I believe we may have to go back to a less globalised world, by splitting it again, but with different criteria - environmental friendly criteria.

How do we solve the poor and rich issues?... It is not because you're poor that you're rich, and vice-versa. Actually, the principles I defend, would allow for larger import from some poor countries, since they do not have the industry to pollute. So, I think it is the right way. Note that by consequence I also defend that we would have to apply taxes on EU products since they may come from polluting technologies.

Anyway, it is up to us! We've to decide on buying green, even when that may cost more. It is up to money at the end unfortunately, so we've a word to say...

Now, for the idiots in Copenhagen... I do not think we can achieve a global agreement, that is way I never believed in this conference.
Countries come from so many different contexts and goals that it is just not possible. That is why we need to think in a piecewise solution. For example, in our case, it would be an EU level. Than we could try to do it with the USA, and so on... This is the only way. And by giving the message that this huge economical blocks were only buying green, the poor countries would adapt themselves and produce green to survive. I probably defend that it may be a good idea to provide funding for the poor countries, but not in the way it was agreed, because that is just to buy pollution quotas. If a part of the taxes on "green import" were graven back to poor countries, that sounds like a proper solution.

Lets use the fact that the EU exists and make it stronger in the world with this kind of brave decisions. It is not by always hiding and not willing to take the lead that we'll get there. The USA are to unstable to make serious political agreements, their president may change everything after years, and that is reality. The EU has plenty of problems, but the way it is organised does allow for higher political stability in an international level. Lets use it and be brave, we've just been cowards so far!
And this is why we need a strong EU, and this is why the UK need to stop their ridiculous position where they do not face reality: they are part of Europe and the EU. The X century is gone for a while now...

Lets be brave please! Time is running out!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Ministério da Educação não avança com acordo ortográfico no próximo ano - Educação - PUBLICO.PT

Estratégia 1: esquecer que este erro monumental e anedótico existe
Estratégia 2: assumir como são parvos e anular a parvoíce

Mais uns para fuzilar...

Ministério da Educação não avança com acordo ortográfico no próximo ano - Educação - PUBLICO.PT

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Red Bull Air Race: assinado acordo para realização da prova no rio Tejo - Local - PUBLICO.PT

R I D Í C U L O!

Só dão argumentos a radicais para dividir um país que sempre foi unido. Já não tenho paciência para estes parolos, por favor fuzilem estes parvos como parte da selecção natural.

Red Bull Air Race: assinado acordo para realização da prova no rio Tejo - Local - PUBLICO.PT

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ryanair: catch it, kill it, bin it!

This is the latest Ryanair aberration: Pay by card

I won't go into the details of how much I hate this company. People will answer that it is less expensive... Is it? Not really! Just put everything together, and I'm not including the price of the respect you deserve as a person.

Do I fly with it? Yes. When the flight times are better or a significant price different exists (rare). Do I like it? I hate it so so so so so so much...

So, I'll put my criteria to chose Ryanair even higher - basically I'll try do avoid it as much as I can.

I hope they'll go bankrupt one day!