Ferry Pier Sinks in Istanbul

It was a rather bizarre series of events. A floating ferry dock on the European side of Istanbul became unhinged, began to list, and then sank during a particularly violent storm over the past weekend. Usually it is the boats themselves that are at the center of ferry disasters (like the tragic accident in the Philippines earlier this year), not ferry terminals, which are, theoretically, firmly attached to land.

The pier at the port of Karakoy began to sway dangerously during the storm. Everyone on the dock was evacuated before it broke free and sank into the Bosporus (the strait that divides the two sides of Istanbul). Though Karakoy is a major ferry crossing, it is not the only way to get from the European side of the city to the Asian side. There are other ferry crossings (though these will be a bit more crowded until Karakoy is rebuilt and reopened). There are also private ferries and, of course, the two massive bridges that span the Bosporus. The sinking shouldn’t hinder anyone’s Istanbul vacation plans…though it might make them think twice before stepping onto a ferry dock.

[Related Story and Video]

Toilet Paper? So Twentieth Century.

Paging through the September issue of Backpacker Magazine, “The Global Warming Issue”, I came across all kinds of advertisements catering to the global warming hype. Gotta love capitalism at work!

One of them especially caught my eye (so much for not being affected by ads): an invention which helps “washowipe” your way to a greener planet. Kind of like a toilet bowl and a bidet in one. Yes, this toilet bowl “stream of water” allegedly helps reduce the toilet paper usage by 50%, saving 27 million trees, 1.5 billion gallons of oil and 15 trillion watts hr of energy.

What about saving water? They don’t say.

However, a website testimonial says: “My wife and I use it daily. I frequently make out of town business trips. It is very difficult for me to use toilet paper during these trips.” A.D. Palo Alto, California.

I saw something similar in China, I think. There was no toilet paper, just a stream of. water. Oh wait, that was actually urine. Now that I think about it, that was totally eco-friendly!