The Anonymous Widower

Good And Bad Doctors

I’m listening to a program on BBC Radio 5 called How Do You Cope?, which is discussing doctors. And what makes a good one!

I am reminded of the story of the birth of our first son.

He was born in a London teaching hospital and delivered by a student doctor, who obviously didn’t do a bad job and made no mistakes.

The next time I saw  C, she told me, that she’d had a visit from the Professor, who asked after her and her experience.

He told her, that the doctor was a problem for the Medical School, in that they felt he had shown the ability to make a very good surgeon, as he had the right attitude and physical skills.  But he was having difficulty in passing exams.

I sometimes wonder, if that would-be doctor became a brilliant surgeon or left the medical profession early.

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Was Gordon Brown Partially Responsible For Labour’s Defeat In The 2019 General Election?

When automatic enrolment into pensions came in, I was very much in favour, as I feel everybody should have a pension.

There is a section called Automatic Enrolment in the Wikipedia entry called Pensions in the United Kingdom.

If you read the section, this is the last paragraph.

Between the introduction of auto enrolment and April 2016, “the overall proportion of eligible employees saving into a workplace pension increased from 55% to 78%” with the largest increases found in the private sector.

Consider.

  • When I started work in the 1960s, the average man and the few women on the factory floor weren’t very well educated. But now, they are much more likely to have a few good qualifications.
  • Most too will be computer-savvy to a level, that would have been unimaginable to their forerunners in the 1960s.
  • Newpapers too, from the Sun and the Mirror to the Times, \guardian, Telegraph and FT, now offer easy-to-read financial advice to help everyone manage their money better.

Many working people today have a pension, that although some didn’t want it, they probably feel could be a help in retirement.

So did Labour’s reckless or ambitious spending plans, frighten many of their traditional supporters?

They certainly frightened me!

Would the election result have been different, if Gordon Brown  hadn’t started the modern pension with the Pensions Act of 2008 and had left well enough alone?

As my quote said earlier in 2016, just over three-quarters of eligible employees are saving into a workplace pension.

Some may have been subscribing for over ten years now and they will feel protective of that amount pf money!

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Finance | , , , | 2 Comments

Will The Queen Be Amused?

The picture shows another terrible bus livery in dark colours.

Try spotting one of these in the distance with dodgy eyesight!

There seems to be a design competition, to see who can design the most camouflaged bus!

When I first saw this bus, I thought it was advertising Crown’s new paint for the Army!

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Top Class Service With A Smile

I only went into this busy Leon on Tottenham Court Road for a hot chocolate and a gluten-free cake.

As it takes a minute to make a hot chocolate, the young lady at the counter, suggested I sit down and she’d bring it over.

Which she did with a smile.

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Food | , , | 2 Comments

I’m Not Dreaming Of A Wet Christmas

I took these pictures yesterday, close to my house.

I have a feeling that a Wet Chistmas, is what we’ll get in London.

December 22, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Eco-Friendly Party Bag Wrapping

I usually do the party bags for Christmas Day and these pictures show how I wrap the goodies.

Note.

  1. The cotton drawstring bags come from The Clever Baggers.
  2. I found the little plastic pots called Mini Bites in Robert Dyas.
  3. The Mini Bites have a screw lid, which is easier to open than most packaging.

They have lots of reusable possibilities.

  • Last night, I found that the capacity of one Mini-Bite is ideal for frozen peas for one.
  • I keep shoes in the cotton bags.
  • I shall be using a Mini Bite to hold a selection of my daily pills.
  • As the pictures show, they hold a sensible portion of nuts, sweets or chocolate.
  • Are they a daily pack of forbidden foods, like chocolate and sweets?

We need more packaging ideas like these!

 

December 22, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

See Fist-Fighting Mice On The London Underground

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

An extraordinary picture is being shown.

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Collateral Effects Of Electric Aircraft

The Times today has an article which is entitled Cost-Cutting And Crew Shortages Will Force Pilots To Fly Solo.

The title says it all and it may well happen.

Although, the pilots and their unions will resist it.

I remember in the 1980s, Air UK, used to fly Embraer Bandeirante aircraft between Norwich and Stavanger with just a single fully qualified pilot.

However, the flight attendant was a qualified private pilot, who had sufficient training to take over, if the pilot were to be incapacitated for some reason.

I fairly sure that nothing ever went seriously wrong.

The article in The Times doesn’t mention electric aircraft, but I got to thinking, they will have collateral effects on aviation.

A Proposed Electric Aircraft

The nearest aircraft to a recognisable airliner so far proposed is the Wright Electric Jet.

This description of the aircraft is from Wikipedia.

The aircraft is to run on batteries and handle flights of under 300 miles. It will feature high aspect-ratio wings for energy efficient flight, distributed electric propulsion and swappable battery packs with advanced cell chemistry.

The aircraft was being developed with easyJet, who now seem to be talking to Airbus.

I find the talking to Airbus significant.

  • The aerospace giant have long experience with aerodynamics, composite structures and advanced flight controls and avionics to build a strong lightweight airliner.
  • They have a significant share of the small airliner market.
  • They have a worldwide support organisation.

The only thing that electric airliners lack, is an efficient electric propulsion system. But they are on friendly terms with companies like Rolls-Toyce, who are developing suitable products.

The Wikipedia entry for Wright Electric  says that they are aiming to develop an electric airliner with these characteristics.

  • Single aisle
  • 120 seats
  • Fifty percent less noise
  • Ten percent lower costs.

I would suspect, that Airbus are working towards a similar set of objectives.

Note,

  1. The aircraft will have long narrow wings with a high aspect-ratio.
  2. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a long fuselage with four abreast seating.
  3. The airliner would have to fit existing jetways, taxiways and stands at airports.

I don’t think that the design of the aircraft is too challenging, but battery charging and the engines will be more so.

The Collateral Effects

Electric airlines will have various effects on flying, airports and the environment.

Low Noise Could Allow More Airports To Be Served

This probably goes without saving.

Alternative Airport Design

But I also wonder, if it could lead to some innovative one-runway designs of airports, that were used solely by electric aircraft.

  • There would be short taxiways to save energy.
  • The terminal might be half-way along the runway.
  • There would be a source of zero-carbon energy nearby.
  • The airport could be near a city or town centre, perhaps served by a tram system to cut carbon emissions.

I also wonder whether an airport only served by electric planes would attract passengers.

More Airports Would Mean More Routes

Again this probably goes without saying.

More Routes Would Mean More People Flying

But this would not be at the expense of extra carbon emissions for the actual flying.

More Routes Would Mean More Pilots

So perhaps the predictions and fears of the article in The Times are well founded?

Efficient Battery Charging Would Be Needed

Wright Electric have said that they will swap full batteries for the empty ones in the plane, which I assume would be checked and charged at a convenient location.

The fastest way to recharge a battery is to connect it to some form of low-impedance energy storage like batteries or supercapacitors.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see airports, that had electric routes had adequate and sophisticated electrical storage, which would be charged using renewable sources like hydro, solar, wave and wind,

The storage could even be built underneath the apron or aircraft stand.

Aircraft Would Drive Battery Technology To New Levels Of Efficiency

Aircraft will need lightweight efficient batteries.

This will mean that some of the world’s best battery technologists will receive the funds and the backing to create new and more efficient batteries.

As battery technology gets more efficient and more affordable, this will mean that other applications like zero-carbon heavy trucks, railway locomotives and energy storage of renewable power, will become more affordable as well.

Conclusion

We may have the ultimate contradiction.

More flying, more routes, less noise and no extra carbon emissions.

 

December 22, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments