The Anonymous Widower

Legible Brighton

Like London, Brighton has gone Legible with lots of liths. Legible Brighton is described here. The page contains this statement.

Research has shown that people are more likely to return to a city if they have found it easy to navigate their way around.

So why are some places, slow to follow the lead of London and Glasgow? Here’s one of Brighton’s liths.

One Of Brighton's Liths

One Of Brighton’s Liths

They are generally fairly simple, like most of London’s.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

How To Get A Free Plastic Carrier

I know they are still free in most of the UK, but sometimes I get a plastic bag from the supermarket, as they fit my waste bin well.

Today, when I got my copy of The Times, it was raining hard and I asked for a plastic carrier to keep it dry.

A Free Bag To Keep My Paper Dry

A Free Bag To Keep My Paper Dry

It worked well and I was able to get an unsoiled dry paper home.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Politicians Must Choose Their Friends Better

P.J. O’Rourke, who is no lover of politicians, once said.

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.

It is a test that should not just be applied to politicians, but to their friends and donors as well.

Today in the Times we have two stories about people wanting to influence politics.

The first is about the troubles of the Labour Party and their relationship with the Co-operative movement. It contains this classic quote from, a Tory MP; Brooks Newmark.

The toxic element of a great ethical institution like the Co-operative is the way the Labour Party has effectively infiltrated it and infected it because of the benefits they have been receiving from it. The only way the Labour Party could get a loan if it didn’t have the Co-operative Bank is from Wonga.

But then Ed Milliband got his own back on the Tories by complaining about some of their donors. But at least these donors, were using their own money, rather than that of members of the Co-operative movement.

Remember too, that the Liberal Democrats had a dalliance with Michael Brown.

And then there’s the story of Hotchpotch the cat who was left £10,000 by Malcolm Richards who was a large financial supporter of Ukip.

I can smell the fruitcakes.

Perhaps we need say a ten percent tax levied on every political donation.  The money could be used for philanthropic purposes, like looking after distressed catfolk.

 

November 20, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

To Australia Before Breakfast

The Royal Academy had a special show of their Australia exhibition for Friends from 08:30 to 10:00 this morning.

As my boiler is in the process of being changed and my house was extremely cold, I decided to go and took a 38 bus through the rain.

The exhibition was well worth a visit and for me, the paintings of the desert, brought back happy memories of an amazing holiday some years back, where I hired a light aircraft and flew us both round a lot of Eastern Australia.

But as there were few visitors, at that time in the morning, it was almost like your own private view.

This should be done more often.

Imagine being able to walk round an important gallery like that showing the Turners at the Tate Britain by yourself.

I don’t need to imagine, as I did that last night.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

The Engineer Who Fixed His Own Heart

This story from the BBC’s web site is almost beyond belief, but it is totally true.  Here’s the intro.

As an engineer, Tal Golesworthy is no stranger to taking things apart, figuring out what the trouble is and putting them back together with the problem solved.

But for more than 30 years, he lived with a life-threatening issue that was less easy to fix.

That is, until he took an idea from the garden, combined it with some basic procedures borrowed from the aeronautical industry and came up with a “beautifully simple” solution to treat his own heart condition.

He then managed to convince surgeons to put it into him.

That was nine years ago, and he’s still here!

Perhaps we need to train doctors more in simple engineering techniques.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Is This The Best A Bank Or Building Society Can Do?

The Guardian reports that the Leeds Building Society is offering a ten-year bond, which locks your money away for just four percent interest. The Guardian says this.

Leeds Building Society has launched the account, a fixed-rate savings bond offering a rate of interest that is eight times the Bank of England base rate and almost double the current rate of inflation. But it is not an account for money you may need in a hurry; customers have to agree to tie their money up for 10 years, until 31 December 2023, with no withdrawals of capital allowed during the term. And the minimum amount that can be put into the account is £10,000.

It certainly is not for me, as I get more than that, with the ability to retrieve my interest from Zopa.

But it does seem that no bank or building society, offers a better deal!

November 20, 2013 Posted by | Finance | , | 2 Comments

Was It The Scams Or The Begging Letters?

The sad news from the Mirror, that lottery winners Adrian and Gillian Bayford are splitting, probably proves that money can’t buy you happiness.

But I’ve never had so many scam e-mails about these winners, and they have been reported as having masses of begging letters, so were these crooks to blame for the breakup of their marriage?

C would have been laughing ironically this morning, as because the divorce is taking place in her old patch, she might have got a slice of the action.

But they will probably do what many do when they get divorced and go to a high-profile, very expensive solicitor in London, when they would get a better deal and service from a trusted local lawyer.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Are Electric Cars The Way Forward?

They may well be, but judging by the reports from California about Tessla, it would appear that they are a long way away. This report from the BBC talks about the fires the cars are suffering. This is the first two paragraphs.

Battery fires in Tesla Model S electric cars have prompted an investigation by the US government’s auto safety agency.

Fires broke out in two cars in the US after debris hit the undercarriage, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

But just as with the Boeing Dreamliner, the batteries don’t seem to be up to the job.

As an Electrical Engineer, I believe that electric cars will not be a feasible proposition, until batteries can store several times as much energy safely as they do today.

Electric buses, trams and possibly some trucks are more likely to be commonplace, as their pattern of frequent stops and heavier payloads, may mean that some form of economic electric storage is available soon. Even with hybrid buses, one of the major running costs is the need to replace the batteries every few years or so.

I will be surprised, if electric cards, are little more than what they have been for the last hundred years; an interesting curiosity.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment