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Snow on snow – what can happen if you don’t get periodic thaws in winter


Original YT playout date: 17 February 2010
Duration: 4:47

This is an exercise in using the new Vado in a similar night setting to the way I’ve recently been using the old one. Low light is a challenge to any camera – will the new Vado still produce a more watchable image?

The discussion centres on how Warsaw, unlike Moscow, only shovels snow into heaps during winter and doesn’t transport it out of town or into parks or down to the Vistula. This isn’t a problem most winters as there is fall and thaw, fall and thaw every week or so, but we had snow on snow.

The scenario is that we now have more snow just sitting around in ridges and heaps, well compacted, that if a sudden thaw comes now the water has nowhere to go but subways, subterranean garages and people’s cellars. The city hasn’t cleared the access to drains properly and anybody with the normal power of observation can see that there’s a big risk of thaw flooding in Warsaw.

It’s now one month on from when I made this video and the situation has only got worse. Four weeks more subzero temperatures, and more snow falling on the old snow. Right now outside it’s about 30-40% worse than I’m showing on the video, and the closer we get to spring the closer we are to the scenario where everything thaws in a flash and we are all knee deep in water and floating dogs excrement. The city should be doing more, but if you know anyone in Warsaw or other similarly affected city, get them to remove their belongings in the next few weeks from any cellars that could be affected, and get them to clear snow away from drains, so that the meltwater has somewhere to run off, and not into their homes. Of course, when it happens it will be in all the media as a big surprise, but I’m telling you ahead of time, there’s no surprise about it. Use your eyes, mayors, councillors, and residents. If there’s a huge mountain of snow next to the entrance to your underground garage now, blocking the drain, you should be able to work out without too much difficulty where that water will be in a couple of weeks’ time.
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Diary of a New Decade #2 – 3rd January 2011


The Treaty of Rome signing ceremony, at the Pa...

The signing of the treaty of Rome on the Capitoline hill, Rome. The reincarnation of the Roman Empire under the selfsame people who signed in Philadelphia.

If all goes well, this will be another technological first for me – this time the first post written on and posted from a train.

Anyone who has spent any time on my You Tube channel will know that I have made a number of films on trains before. In point of fact, I have made films on this very route before, on more than one occasion.
But right now, as my Creative Vado got wrecked by my son before Christmas while my wife was in hospital getting her mitoxantrone, I don’t even carry a camera, although this phone also has one and produced the shots of our New Years Day meal that you can see a couple of posts ago on this very blog.

But that is not the same as a dedicated HD video camera. So I did order another Vado, especially as I had just bought a lens kit for it and a couple of other accessories. The problem is that Amazon won’t ship electric goods to Poland. As a US company, they couldn’t care less about the free movement of goods in the EU enshrined in the Treaty of Rome. They probably respect all their own constitutional stuff very well, but have no idea how insulting it is to Europeans to have our highest laws entirely disregarded by US corporations doing business here. So I would have had to buy the replacement camera from the online creative.pl store, where it costs more than twice as much as in the UK Amazon.

So I bought it from Amazon, and asked my parents to send it on. Hence the shipment time has been doubled. It should arrive any day now, though.

Back to this train journey – I am in one of those good trains, an Atrocity, or whatever it is they call them, but this one seems to be stopping in fields every ten minutes.this may have something too do with the snow, but this train came to Warsaw from Krakow and arrived right on time.

I am supposed to be going to Tczew for a stocktake. This is the sixth year I have done this stocktake at this place at this time. In the first four years I drove up by car and that would take a big effort. One of those years I found myself driving through the thickest blizzard I have been in outside Russia. And then finally I started to use the train and things got a lot safer. You can complain about delays, but at least you don’t usually end up dead as often as you do in a car when conditions are treacherous.

And one thing’s for certain: there’s no way I could have written this post while behind the wheel of a moving car!

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