Maybe if you're somewhere warm you can't relate to this story I'm about to share, but here in DC it's about 32 degrees and raining, which has made me scared shitless that I'm going to skid off the road at some point here. I was just in New York and Chicago in the past two weeks and lived in Michigan during the winter for four years, so I can also confirm that it is also balls to wall cold in those places as well. Now, I haven't been to Europe in the winter in quite some time, but based on what I know about latitudes and longitudes, I'm guessing the temperatures there are also pretty, pretty cold right now.
Which makes this article about the squabble between Russia's energy monopoly and Ukraine all the more ridiculous:
Fears of a deep chill spread across Europe yesterday after a row between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices cut supplies to the rest of the continent on a day of plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfalls. ...
Yesterday Russia stopped gas supplies through Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia. The government of Slovakia declared a national emergency; Austria and Italy reported falls of 90 per cent; France said Russian supplies had tailed off 70 per cent, and Germany also reported a decline although did not quantify it.
Folks in Europe are calling this "the new Cold War", hehe. I'm guessing the people joking about this still have heat. The reason this is a big deal for everyone, and not just Ukraine, is that Russia controls 1/5 of the gas supply in Europe and all of it comes through Ukraine. But with Ukraine so limited in its gas supply, it has now been forced to horde said gas for itself, meaning the EU is getting even less. I'm guessing farting isn't real big in Europe. I feel like that would the American solution if something like this happened. Some scientist would find a way to turn human farts into heat. But seriously, here's the real tragedy in all this:
The disruption has already forced two big fertiliser producers and a major brewery to stop production, and metals and pharmaceutical firms warned they may have to follow suit.
I thought the Russian loved their booze. And now they want to get rid of the drugs, too. Apparently Russian President/wannabe czar Vladimir Putin is doing this for business reasons since his country has been hit hard by the credit crunch as of late. Basically he wants as much money out of these negotiations. But he also really hates Ukraine because, well, Russia doesn't control them anymore. The European Union is planning to meet separately in the next few days with both Russia and Ukraine. If that doesn't work, there will likely be a three-way gas summit. Am I the only one who thought three-ways only solved problems in pornos?
Just pretend this is Vladimir Putin in one of those thick Russian accents: "We want more money, you Ukrainian bastards ... (pounds fist against whatever podium or table he's sitting behind) ... What about that internet money you've been hoarding? Give us some of that internet money!"