Ah, the unintended consequences of Brexit.
Forget the fish rotting on the docks and the emptying of supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland. One of the least expected consequences may be that Dutch customs officers are confiscating sandwiches from drivers as they enter from Britain. The new rules don’t allow anyone to import meat or dairy products from Britain. Or–in case you need a fuller list–fruit, vegetables, or fish. I’m not sure what that leaves. Is chewing gum made from organic substances?
One driver asked if he could give up his sandwich fillings but keep the bread.
No, the customs official said. “Welcome to the Brexit, sir. I’m sorry.”
Another unintended consequence is that truckers now need a permit to enter Kent if they’re planning to go on to Europe.
Yes, Kent’s still part of Britain. But the system avoids pile-ups at the channel ports, or at least it’s meant to. Who know what unintended consequences it’ll have. The permit’s called a Kent access permit, or kermit. If truckers don’t have one, they’re liable for a £300 fine and they’ll be turned back.
The good news is that they can keep their sandwiches until they cross the channel.
With the price of bitcoins soaring, two people have been in the papers lately over lost coins.
One is a computer engineer in Wales who managed to throw away a hard drive “containing,” as the paper put it, bitcoins worth £200 million.
Yeah, it could happen to anyone.
He’s offered the local government £50 million if they’ll dig it out. Assuming of course that they find it. And if it still works. He says there’s a good chance he could rescue the data. The local government–called the council in British–says it would cost millions of pounds to dig up the landfill, it would have a huge environmental impact, and anyway their licensing permit doesn’t allow them to do that.
It also says it’s told him all this before.
He started mining bitcoins in 2009, when they were worth nothing much and when mining them was something you did on the computer, not physically in the local dump. He says he has an international hedge fund “willing to put up anywhere between £2.5m to £3.5m to do a professional search operation of the landfill.”
The council still doesn’t sound interested.
The other bitcoin owner is from San Francisco and hasn’t lost his computer but he has lost the password that would let him get at $250 million worth of bitcoins. He was given 7002 of them as payment for making–yes I do hear the irony–a video on how bitcoins worked, and I’m sure he included a snippet that said, “Don’t lose your password.” But no one listens to themselves, do they? You have to at least cross state lines to be an expert. He stored his bitcoins safely in an IronKey wallet, wrote the password on a piece of paper, had a nice cup of coffee, went on with his life, then discovered that he’d lost the paper.
When he got the coins, they were worth somewhere between $2 and $6 each. The price has gone wild during the pandemic, though, and at one point they were worth $40,000 each. They will have gone up since then. Or down. Or possibly sideways. Bitcoin’s a cryptocurrency. It can defy the laws of gravity and economics if it wants to.
He’s tried eight passwords. If he tries two more wrong ones, he might as well try searching a dump in Wales.
Around the world, some $140 billion worth of bitcoins are either lost or locked away from their would-be owners, or so says Chainanalysis, which somehow knows these things.
The government wants to introduce legislation to protect statues from being removed by “baying mobs” “on a whim.”
Yeah, they really do talk that way. Or write that way, anyhow, since the quote’s from an article by the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, who’s just brimming over with understanding of the communities he–
Okay, I don’t actually know what a communities secretary’s supposed to do in relation to all those communities the country’s made up of.
The statue of Edward Colston, which was dumped in the Bristol harbor last year, wasn’t pulled off its plinth on a whim. People had spent years trying to get rid of it through respectable avenues, and they’d gotten nowhere. Pull it down, though, and somehow the picture changes.
Jenrick mentioned an attempt to erase part of the nation’s history “at the hand of the flash mob, or by the decree of a ‘cultural committee’ of town hall militants and woke worthies.” I’d be interested to know what he had to say when the statues of Saddam Hussein were being pulled down with the help of Britain’s ally, the U.S. I seem to remember the papers in general greeting that as liberation, not an attempt to erase history.