Taking it slowly … on TV

When I lived in Europe, one of my favorite TV shows was called Trains, Trains, Trains. It featured video of German trains. No narration. No music. Just being in a train while it moved along its route. The perspective was from the motorman’s seat and you’re just watching the track ahead as the train moved on. Sometimes it was a streetcar.

It was very soothing.

I couldn’t find anything like it when I got back to the states. Then I got the Pluto TV app and saw that one of the feeds on it was for something called Slow TV. That’s from Norway. Here’s how it works:

So, let’s take a ride. See you in about 7 hours:

Comparing nations’ capitals: Washington, D.C. vs. Amsterdam

dc-vs-amsterdam.0-1

Possession of marijuana has been legal in D.C. since last Thursday. Coffee shops have been selling pot in Amsterdam since the 1970s. But within the past couple of years, Dutch authorities have been working on laws to allow the sale of weed only to residents of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. And in D.C. sales aren’t legal at all.

So, overall, Amsterdam has D.C. beat in every regard. (I’m biased, because Amsterdam is my favorite city in the world.) Oh, the chart was put together by the Dutch Embassy.

For more information, click here.

In the wake of Charlie Hebdo

TMW2015-01-14colorOK, so how will the psychopaths on the right turn this into an anti-Obama screed?

Several leading Republicans criticized the Obama administration for not having a more prominent presence at the rally.

“The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous. The attack on Paris, just like previous assaults on Israel and other allies, is an attack on our shared values,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) wrote in a Time op-ed.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on “CBS This Morning” that it was a “mistake” not to send a higher-ranking U.S. official to the Paris rally.

“I understand that when the president travels, he brings with him a security and communications package which is intense. And I understand you drop that into the middle of something like this, it could be disruptive,” Rubio said. “There’s a plethora of people they could have sent. I think in hindsight I hope that they would have done it differently.”

Yeah, because we all know how much the right wing loves to support everything about France. This past summer, I was at a national monument where I heard a true American tell his kids to eat their “Freedom Fries.” (I’m really not kidding.)

I’m sure the French are upset that Obama didn’t join the rally:

During the rally, most French hardly seemed to notice the absence of a prominent U.S. representative. And many had felt ambivalent about the presence of global leaders in the first place, given the dubious human rights records of some who attended and the desire of participants to make the march about the unity of the French people, rather than about politics.

“I consider these heads of state to be taking part in my march,” said Thierry, a 56-year-old painter, who declined to give his last name because of fears of terrorism. “I’m not taking part in theirs.”