Friday, April 27, 2007

Father confesses to killing son

Interesting because this happened just down the river from me and I heard all the ambulances blowing by Monday
44-year-old Patrice G. from Saint-Ghislain was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for the voluntary premeditated manslaughter of his 8-year-old son on the rocks of Freyr on Monday afternoon. The man was scheduled to be transferred to Sint-Gillis this afternoon.

"The father of the boy has confessed. He said that he wanted to commit suicide with his son because he had not been granted more access to the child," the public prosecutor in Dinant said during a press conference.
The man planned to throw himself from the rocks in Freyr. He had often been to the location when serving as a soldier in the 1980s.
He did not have time to find the right path however because he noticed that police were after him. So he hid for a moment and pushed his son from the steep incline that led to the rocks. He then went to the child and struck him with a stone because he saw that he was still alive.
Then he jumped into a ravine holding the child, the prosecutor said.
Patrice G. disappeared with his son on Monday afternoon. He told the child's mother that he wanted to kill both himself and his son. The mother alerted police.

Google to headquarter in Belgium

The Francophone financial daily "L'Echo de la Bourse" reports that the American-owned internet search engine Google is investing 250 million euros in its site at Baudour, near Mons, in Hainaut province.
Google first opened its offices at Baudour in 2005. The company currently employs five people there.
Much of the work for Google's Belgian site is still done in the Netherlands. Google now wants the site to become its new European business centre. The investment should create around 120 jobs in an area of high unemployment. The company has an estimated value of 48.8 billion euros.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cartoon Sculpture

A cartoon sculpture of Agent 15, a cartoon character by Herge, of Tin Tin fame. The sculpture is by Tom Frantzen, a Brussels artist. The boy coming out of the pavement is a 'Vaartkapoen', the name given to young men who used to work in the sewers. Later the name became a gang logo with the 'bad boys' of Molenbeek, where this sculpture is.

A Good STUDS Description

Although it looks like she has abandoned her blog after moving back to the US, I thought this couple gave a pretty good description of STUDS

Americans with Odd German Names

The largest ethnic group in the U.S. is Germans. However, they all came to the U.S. generations ago, and have since completely assimilated, to the extent that many don't even know they're German.
The country teems with Knapps, Schroeders, Schneiders (sometimes Anglicized to Snyder or Snider), among others. If you have a German name like me, this website lets you check the geographic distribution of names all over the U.S.; you can see how common Dallmann's are, for instance.

Majority in Brussels are not native Belgian

No less than 56.5 percent of the population of Brussels is of foreign origin. In 1961 that figure was just 7.3 percent.
"That is an impressive and unique development from a European, or even a world perspective," says sociologist Jan Hertogen.
According to his calculations 28.5 percent of Brussels residents held a foreign nationality in 1991. In addition to that, 4.5 percent were naturalised or new Belgians. The number of foreigners stabilised at 26.3 percent in 2005, but the number of new Belgians grew to 30.2 percent.