Glimmstängel

The glowing (white) stalk. Another word for a cigarette.

(GLIM stengle.)

Incendies vs. départs de feu

ASN.fr published a French nuclear safety agency report saying approximately 100 fires broke out in electricity-generating French nuclear power stations last year, mostly caused by electrical problems. The report carefully differentiated between incendies, major fires, and départs de feu, mere fire outbreaks, at French nuclear power plants.

Leuchtfeuer: Richtfeuer: Oberfeuer, Mittelfeuer, Unterfeuer; Leitfeuer: Molenfeuer, Einfahrtsfeuer; Quermarkenfeuer; Torfeuer, Uferfeuer

“Light fires,” beautiful lighthouse signal lights used to guide ships in darkness or other low-visibility conditions. There’s a bewildering but quite satisfying variety in German.

  • Guide fire (Leitfeuer): single lights used in a sectors system to communicate safe passages to ships; can use color, blinking rhythm, &c. (LIGHT foy ah.)
  • Jetty fire (Molenfeuer), entryway fire (Einfahrtsfeuer): a guide light on the end of a harbor’s wall or breakwater. (MOLE en foy ah,   EYE n fah rtsfoy ah.)
  • Crossways fire (Quermarkenfeuer): sector lights perpendicular to the channel. As in the Leitfeuer system, the middle sector is the safe passage and the outer sectors indicate a course correction is necessary. (KVER mark en foy ah.)
  • Directional fires (Richtfeuer) mark navigable channels with a top fire (Oberfeuer) and bottom fire (Unterfeuer) and—more rarely—a center fire (Mittelfeuer), aligned so that to ships in the channel they appear directly behind one another. (RICHHT foy ah, OH berr foy ah, OON terr foy ah, MITT ellll foy ah.)
  • Gate fire (Torfeuer), bank fire (Uferfeuer): lights along a riverbank.

(LOY chh t foy ah.)

 

Brandschutzanlage

“Fire protection system,” fire safety system. The most expensive failure at Berlin’s new airport, blamed for over a trillion euros in unplanned costs and delays of more than a year. It seems the Willy Brandt airport’s architects decided traditional smoke extraction systems, in the form of vents and fans hung under the airport’s ceilings, where smoke actually rises to, would put too many ugly ducts in view. They decided to run the smoke extraction system under the airport’s flooring, necessitating extra-powerful fans and kilometers of conduits for the extra cabling required. But apparently construction proceeded too rapidly while these design decisions were being taken, and communication with the construction side was poor, because the in-floor smoke extraction system was built without conduits for all its cables. The airport’s floors are now being torn up to create these. A new top manager has been brought in, with experience from large projects at Frankfurt/Main airport. He says things are going to work out fine.

A similar jaw-dropping story happened when the well-known Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe high-speed train station was built.

(BROND shoots on log eh.)

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