Thursday, 21 February 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Undo

If you could un-invent something, what would it be? Discuss why, potential repercussions or a possible alternative.

Gösgen through the train window

There are many items which I would love to un-invent, but mostly hanging together with my personal likes and dislikes. Guess what? Fifteen years ago I smoked about fifteen cigarettes a day. I was addicted, but one fine day I did “cold turkey” and stopped and have not touched one since. Apart from the fact that it is an expensive past time, it is not healthy either. Gone are the days when I awoke in the morning with an aching throat, with a craving for tobacco. I really did it. Life would have been so much easier if the South Americans did not discover how to light a leaf and draw it into their lungs (I think it was the Aztecs) If Francis Drake, the english seafarer, had not decided to take a consignment of tobacco on his ship back to England Europe would today be nicotine free. I can hear all those smokers saying how narrow minded I am and it is their business if they smoke or not. Of course, they are right, but I am now at the stage where I would like to see it banned. Smoke gets in my eyes, my nose and discolours the windows and furniture. I try to be tolerant, but have now given up. An alternative I do not know and it does not interest me. Try chewing gum or smoking an electic cigarette – one way or the other it is no longer my problem.

Actually I have a list of things which are not really necessary to every day life. I lay in the sun if I want to get a tan, so who invented the sun studios? I can cook, I learned to cook, so why do I have to buy all this precooked rubbish that is being sold. The latest is that all the meat products, frozen or pre-cooked, seem to contain horse. Basically even if they did not, I ask myself what else would they contain? Lasagna and spaghetti bolognese is not rocket science, so make it yourself. Ok, not everyone is a cook, but then avoid it and eat something else. Even a hamburger is just minced meat with spice, flattened and fried. Not that I am against MacDonalds, I appreciate them myself. If you want to complain about the fast food, then reduce it and try making it yourself. It works.

There also seem to be tons of cream on the market for a better skin, reducing wrinkles or whatever. Do we really need it? I am sure it is not worth the money we pay for it, so as far as I am concerned, that could go as well.

My photo above is of our local nuclear power plant in Gösgen. I took it from a moving train, so not so clear. We are lucky in Switzerland to have only five of these and perhaps also lucky that our Government has now decided to phase them out by 2034, the decision caused by the problems Japan had after their last earthquake. Our plants are in quite good condition, although no longer new. One of the oldest is near Bern, Mühleberg, and that will be the first to go by 2019 according to what I have read. I would welcome this idea, but it is not as easy as we think. Of course we are all sitting on a slow time bomb, playing with nuclear energy, but what do we have to replace it. Coal, Oil, sun collectors – all very expensive and we can all be prepared to pay double for our future energy consumption. Not only that, but Switzerland is a small country with a population of seven million inhabitants, thus we only have five of these power plants. We are surrounded by a few other countries, one of which is France.

Vive la France and all the nuclear power plants that are spaced out along the Swiss borders. France have no intention whatsoever to do away with this means of energy. I love the French, love their food, love the language, but I do not love their energy politics. If Switzerland succeed in finding an alternative for their nuclear energy, I do not think that France will even start to search for a solution. They are happy with their nuclear power and if there might be a “small” accident, we will probably never hear about it. We will just measure the increasing radio activity in our atmosphere. If the wind is blowing in the right direction, it might even be that Switzerland will get the main part and the French can carry cooking their wonderful food with no problem and producing their super wine made from grapes growing on radioactive free hillsides because it might just be that the Swiss wine will start glowing, infected with radio activity.

So now I have said my piece. I am sure there are many other useless inventions, but at the moment they just do not come into my mind: any suggestions?


  1. I think you covered most of mine there!!! With maybe the exception of the ready-meals. Yes, I can cook, but after a day in my job, I really don't want to be bothered messing around with ingredients. I'm happy to throw something in the microwave. I think this horsemeat thing has been blow up out of all proportion.

    1. I quite like horsemeat. Very lean and tasty. I can buy it in my supermarket from the butcher, no problem. Problem is that if it is supposed to be something else, then something is wrong somewhere. Otherwise I don't have problems with eating horse. I eat pig, cow, lamb so why not horse. If I was Hong wong living in an isolated valley somewhere in the middle of China, I would probably eat dog and cat as well.

  2. I like ready meals. I was enlightened that one was on a recall list here for possible glass. It made me want those less. Good write.

  3. I never smoked but was married to a smoker at one time. It's definitely a bad addiction.