Cyprus Solar Required…hot water on every building, PV on some.

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Cyprus skyline from our apartment.

Every building has a simple ‘convection’ style hot water heater on the roof…every single building.

You can see them here…the big white tanks are the cold water resevouir, the dark rectangular collector panel sits below and feeds the smaller hot water vessel just above it.

Convection powers the heater;  as water is heated in the collector it rises to the top, which draws water from the closed loop with the tank….no pumps.  

Islands, perhaps are more cognizant of the need to conserve, as the fact of fuel importation is absolute….but the USA is behind this ‘3rd-world’ nation, which partially accounts for the USA extraordinary appetite for energy.

Of course, this is not something that the individual should have to work out:  the options for Solar Hot water are complicated by climate, cost, etc….but here in Cyprus, at least, this has been codified and successfully reduces the fuel use for domestic hot water to nearly zero.

Another win for 3rd world Cyprus.

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Here is a nice pic of the waterfront in Pathos …the water is warm enough to swim in today.

Carl Jung …the road to war…

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Carl Jung, 1945

“Loss of the instinct of self-preservation can be measured in terms of dependence on the state… . Dependence on the State means that everybody relies on everybody else (=State) instead of on himself. Every man hangs on to the next and enjoys a false feeling of security, for one is still hanging in the air even when hanging in the company of ten thousand other people. The only difference is that one is no longer aware of one’s own insecurity. The increasing dependence on the State is anything but a healthy symptom; it means that the whole nation is in a fair way to becoming a herd of sheep, constantly relying on a shepherd to drive them into good pastures. […] The steady growth of the Welfare State is no doubt a very fine thing from one point of view, but from another it is a doubtful blessing, as it robs people of their individual responsibility and turns them into infants and sheep. […] …once a man is cut off from the nourishing roots of instinct, he becomes the shuttle-cock of every wind that blows. He is then no better than a sick animal, demoralized and degenerate, and nothing short of a catastrophe can bring him back to health.”

It is not important which political agency we choose for our master;  once we, as a majority, fall into the trap of dependency, we are not just ‘ripe’ for the picking, but cannot avoid the harvest. Our muscles have atrophied;  we cannot carry ourselves and cannot resist our herdsmen..since Eisenhower, perhaps…all the same, all seeking to guide us, rather than to strengthen  us as individuals.

but no matter the intentions of either party, the only thing that can be done with sheep is to  herd them.

And the herd will not awaken until a calamity strikes them…not misfortune, but calamity.

We have gotten what we asked for:  a ‘protection’ of American interests (oil, commerce, supremacy) leading inexorably towards conflict with others who seek the same things.  This war is an outgrowth of our competition for the acquisition and distribution of resources.  It has naturally stratified upon Civilizational lines.  Xenophobia is Archetypal and cannot be avoided.

We have asked our government to protect us, to give us security, a ‘fair share’ and all of us have aspired to reach the ‘top of the heap’…so we have been led into a War of Civilizations….long, long before the current administration came to save us by isolating us.

 

To add to Nietzsche’s infamous quote;

“God is dead.”  In his place rise  Supermen, to rule themselves as men would do, without the mercy of the Gods.  JP.

 

 

 

 

Child Drinkers Rampant; Cyprus

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Our local liquor store owner says there is no legal drinking age in Cyprus, but that if a 12 year old wants vodka, he only sells him a very small bottle.  Of course.  Small person, small bottle.

I have asked a policeman;  he states drinking age is 17. He said it is a grey area, and some say it is 16.  The government web page gives it as 18, but this is clearly only De Jure.

The policeman said that no-one would complain of a child having  wine with dinner, out with family.  This is normal, he said, and unless there is drunkenness, the police have no issue.

 

Police statistics on Cypriot Drug abuse are counter-intuitive, considering the easy access children have to booze.

For the entire country, not counting Cannabis related offenses, there were only 164 police cases involving drugs.**

7 Heroin, 60 cocaine, 7 Ecstasy, the rest listed as ‘other’….which has to include Oxycontin, Meth, Crack, etc.

That’s for 1,100,000 people:  164 drug-crime arrests.

Compare to Los Angeles, CA with 4 million people and 70,000 Drug-crime arrests (plus an additional 60,000 admitted to treatment).

That should give you an idea….the rate of drug arest in:

Cyprus is        1  : 6700 

For LA it is     1 : 57.

You never see a drug addict out, even very late at night.  No-where.

You never see the young drug-dealer hanging out next to liquor stores, bus stations, parks….nowhere, even in the poorest districts.

In the ‘bars’ …most people drink coffee, not booze, whether in bar or restaurant.  You never see a drunk Cypriot.  Never.  Coffee,  Back-gammon, cards, conversation…smiles.  That’s it.

 

And Cyprus is only 100 miles off the coast of Turkey, notorious for Heroin production. Cyprus, with only 7 patrol boats and a couple of airplanes, does not seem to have a problem at the borders….if drugs are getting in, they don’t stop long.

That said, it is also true that the Cypriot Police are very active re drugs….a simple call to the police alleging that a person was in possession of drugs resulted in the police finding and jailing the miscreant.

In another case, a ‘moderate’ amount of drug possession for sale resulted in a rather long sentence…“Limassol criminal court Wednesday jailed a 33-year-old man for 13 years after he was found guilty of importing, possessing, using and intending to supply 33 kilos of cannabis and one and a half kilos of cocaine. The man had been put under surveillance by the drug squad on June 22 last year, following a tip off.”                                                    http://cyprus-mail.com/tag/drugs/

I will ask about, but at first blush, it seems that the social/political structure here, in total, does not tend to promote drug use, alcohol abuse, or other criminal acts.  At least I am assuming it is the social structure.

Unless we assume the USA has the ‘best’ social/political structure.  Which it has to have, of course.  No doubt there.  The best.  No question.  Nope. Zip.  Nada.  Absolutely better than some backward island in the Med.  Gotta be.

I mean really.  Who sells Vodka to Children?

** I leave Cannabis out if the tally,  as it is legal in much of the US, and where not legal, enforcement is thin.  But there are 800 Cannabis related arrests in Cyprus per year, for reference.

The only gun allowed here is a single-shot shotgun…

 

…and there is no gun violence in Cyprus.One might think that the lack of guns is the reason….

….Except that everyone has a government -issued Heckler and Kosh G3 machine gun at home.

So that amounts to maybe as many machine guns as there are Cypriot adults. Not every adult…just the ones that served in the military…there are 60,000 adults in the Reserves. That’s a lotta machine guns

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It is true that each machine gunner is only given 50 bullets, a nearly ‘Barney Fife’ allotment, considering a cyclic rate for the H&K M3 of around 550 rounds per minute (RMP.) That’s about ten seconds worth of ammunition. Not a lot.

But then, enough, since you don’t fire a machine gun like you see in the movies….you just press off a quick burst, maybe two, no more than three rounds…so that 50 bullets will last for maybe 25 bursts.

That’s about what a modern pistol carries….21 rounds in a Glock, weapon of choice of Bangers and Butt-heads and Cops everywhere in the USA.

But there you are: you can’t have a gun here. Forbidden. Unless you pass 14 pleasant months in the Cypriot National Guard. Then you can have only the gun they give you. It’s a beauty, but it isn’t really concealable. And service is mandatory, no matter your religion or origin. Only Turks are not drafted.

60,000 H&K G3 machine guns….no gun violence.

Israel is the same, but different…there people actually Carry their machine guns around with them. Petrol Jr Jr says he saw even teenage girls with M-16s strapped to them, where an American kid would sport a backpack. I want to know how many bullets she had.

So we might go there ….turns out that from Cyprus, it is a cool $20 USD to fly to Tel Aviv. A quick bus ride to Jerusalem. Hotels are cheap too…and although at first blush, considering what I have read in the American Press, it sounds like a very dangerous place. But with so many Israelis sporting machine guns…I rather think it may be safer than Tucson. Certainly safer than Bakersfield, Chicago, Compton, Atlanta, and LA.. Oh my.

Jr Jr insists, that Israel is populated by as many Muslims as Jews…that a lot of those ex-soldiers lugging around a government issued M-16 are Muslim Israelis. That there are daily incursions into Israel by ‘terrorists’ *….but that they don’t last long once they start trying to kill, due to the ubiquity of the M-16 toting civilians.

Since the closure of Barnum and Bailey’s Circus this year, this may be ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’. We will let you know.

*Terrorist’: a person, who by means of a rational common to dogma and dopes alike, finds it acceptable to attack and kill only helpless, unarmed humans, unless they can attack from ambush or afar. This particular type of coward is always marked by a devout political or religious fervor. A secular humanist, therefore, is nearly proof against this mental abstraction by virtue of his lack of commitment to god and country.

http://www.sigmalive.com/en/news/local/147892/cypriot-national-guardsman-posts-g3-rifle-for-sale-online

 

Observations: An American in Cyprus

So far, this is what I have learned about our Island Paradise:
Food costs much less (it ain’t as perfectly formed, ie: fruits, veg but is tastier). 
Meat is very cheap….and very fresh.  (I am currently quite vexed:  why is it so much more in the USA !  We have Mega Farms, distribution systems…Costco!  This place is cheaper than Costco by half and all that at Mom-and-Pop stores !)
Lamb Chops:  $3 a pound.
Dozen Eggs:  $1 Euro
Bread, the good kind:  $57 cents
Turkey breast, lunch meat style:  $2 a pound
Roast beef, lunch meat style:  $1.50 a pound
Manufactured items:  don’t know yet.
But the necessities are cheap.  And good.
Even the restaurants CAN BE cheap….we get dinners big enough to split for 8 bucks….regularly.
Gas is $1.25 a liter…but the place is medieval in street plan…so generally, you walk or bus…so gas is not an issue, nor are cars.  
The Beach and water are as good as it gets…better than any USA beach….blue, clear water, warm enough to swim in NOW…I am going once the rain passes…we have had 4 days warmish, 1 day rain, today blustery.
The people are very friendly once they know you are.
Until you show a smile and a bit of fun they are dour, you talk to them and they come to life….all smiles, all helpful.
They do not care about ‘little money’…that is to say, if the charges are $21.10 Euro….they will take a $20 and refuse the rest….close enough.  Certainly they NEVER want the dime or quarter….
If you compliment their wares, they will often give you something as a small gift.
The restaurants and coffee shops do not bring your check.  Ever.  You have to ask for it or go pay….they do not hover about and ask if you need anything…and so you can linger for hours…for the charge of one cuppa ($1 Euro, maybe $2 for an Americano or Drip, 12 ounce).  My Companion painted for 2 hours yesterday, in a glass-sheltered outdoor Cafe, under electric heaters, facing the Beach.  On the beach.  Light rain in occasional bursts….wind in spurts….Cypriots all there smoking and relaxing…a 3/4 full house all day.
The police are very casual.  Park where you can….drive where you like.  No reckless drivers…none….you cannot speed on these streets;  you will get into at least a scrape.  Only Taxis are rockets….somehow allowed, permitted by everyone.
The Greek women are lovely;  a special Spartan, angular look…the men….I have not noticed if there are any men.  I hear there are.  Rumors.  I wouldn’t know.  I have very large hands, fingers.  You know what that means.  Women are the greatest…I have all the greatest women, except for the Bitches….
Damn….there it goes again…..I have to stay off Trump’s Twitter:  it is hypnotic.

Turks to the North

“Cyprum dividitur in duas partes: in meridie Graeci, Turcae ab aquilone”.  Julius Caesar.

This is because in 1974 the Greeks tried to annex Cyprus back to Greece…and since Cyprus is only about a hundred miles from Turkey, the Turks sent troops to occupy the island…they still sit hunkered down in the North. This all, of course, is because when Turks and Greeks get too close to one-another, there is always bloodshed, as they react as matter and antimatter.  They simply cannot exist in the same space and time.  This is a well known scientific fact.

There is a Demilitarized Zone that divides the North from the South, preventing the mixing of these two races…a place of greater danger than even the Berlin Wall, we surmised.

So yesterday, taking our lives into our hands in the name of Journalism, we crept up the the DMZ, that barricaded line between the North and the South.  Mindless of our safety, we took this photograph to bring to you the awful truth about the Turkish Occupation of this beautiful island.

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Behind the Cafe’s umbrellas and tables, you can clearly see the pile of Sandbags and old 50 gallon oil drums which ensure the safety of the Greek Cypriots from the fierce Turkish invaders.  The wall of Sandbags is nearly 60 inches tall and the old oil drums have traces of materials on them known to the State of California to cause cancer in lab rats.  This is ridiculous, of course, as Turks are immune to such toxins, as everyone knows.

We were unable to get closer to the wall, as there was a Gyro shop right there next to the line and we were famished from the exertions spent getting us so close to the war zone.  Plus, we were in need of another Turkish coffee, our caffeine levels having plunged dangerously low…I was close to suffering a spontaneous nap right there, next to the Turkish line !  My compatriots would have had to carry me back to safety !

It was a near thing.  But worth the effort to bring this stark image to light.

The safety of the Greeks in the South depend on this border security, and although we were pleased with the emplacements in the photo, we did notice that some people, probably Turks, were crossing over the checkpoint into Greek Cyprus and eating with us at the Gyro Bar.  I think they were infiltrators.  Clever.  Fortunately, we saw that an equal number of Greeks were crossing into the Turkish North to serve the Greek interest, seemingly fearless for their own safety.  Heroes, true Greeks.

If we had not been bloated from the huge portions of Gyros, we might have been tempted to toast the bravery of the Greeks, but then our only companions at the Gyro bar were the Turkish Spies, so we thought better of it and slunk away un-noticed.

Dii a Turcis deféndat !