The Anonymous Widower

Coronavirus: New York Couples Can Now Tie The Knot Over Zoom

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an order allowing online marriages, as many weddings are cancelled under lockdown restrictions.

It sounds like a sensible idea to me.

When I first heard this story, I wondered if Zoom will be allowed for Quickie divorces?

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | 2 Comments

Will Innovative Engineering Solve The PPE Gown Problem?

In the early 1970s, I worked as a programmer for various consultancies, who were doing innovative engineering. In one, which could have been Cambridge Consultants, where I worked for perhaps three months. One guy told me about a project he was working on, that was the automatic assembly of clothing.

I know more than a bit about making clothes, as my mother taught me how to knit, crochet, sew and use a sewing machine. In the early years of our marriage, I used to make dresses for C and in one instance, I made her a long heavy-weight winter coat.

So I am surprised, that innovative engineering has not come together to make hospital gowns automatically!

Let’s hope that some engineers have seen the gap in the market, and as I write, are putting together a machine, where you put material in one end and get gowns out the other. Neatly folded of course!

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

Will COVID-19 Create A Boom In Sleeper Train Services?

I have regularly used the Caledonian Sleeper to go to Scotland, as it gets you there at an early hour in the morning and if you book the train, at the right time, the cost of a single First Class cabin can be about the same cost as a day First Class ticket and a night in a Premier Inn.

Look at this picture, that taken a few months ago, as I was leaving Euston on a Caledonian Sleeper to Edinburgh. It would be very easy to board the train without breaking the two-metre rule.

I believe sleeper trains will see an increase in passengers.

We may also see in increase in services. These posts detail various planned or possible services.

Note that the Caledonian Sleeper, the Swedes and the Austrians are investing in new rolling stock, so that won’t be a problem.

But perhaps the most interesting story, is described in Nightjet Plans Mini-Capsules For Private Travellers.

I can see a series of sleeper trains criss-crossing Europe, where everybody has their own mini-capsule. Perhaps, it will be called Ryantrain or easyTrain.

 

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Coronavirus Lockdown In Sweden: a New Take On Safe Shopping — No Assistants

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Sunday Times.

It could be the way, that convenience stores will be going! Even my local Marks and Spencer in Dalston, allows you to scan using an app, put the goods in your bag and just walk out!

I must try it, as it would mean that I would have to touch less equipment and won’t have to stand there like a wally, whilst the assistant verifies my age, after I have purchased low alcohol beer.

There could also be little robots like Daleks or R2-D2 wandering around, who you could ask questions, like “Where is the Adnams 0.5% low-alcohol beer?”. They would reply “Follow me!” and lead you to your next purchase.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Climate Change: ‘Bath Sponge’ Breakthrough Could Boost Cleaner Cars

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A new material developed, by scientists could give a significant boost to a new generation of hydrogen-powered cars.

The article is a must read and the development could make it a lot easy to store hydrogen in vehicles.

The problem is that hydrogen is extremely light and the article says this about storage.

In normal atmospheric pressure, to carry 1kg of hydrogen which might power your car for over 100km, you’d need a tank capable of holding around 11,000 litres.

That is rather large. This extract from the article describes the solution.

To get around this problem, the gas is stored at high pressure, around 700 bar, so cars can carry 4-5kg of the gas and travel up to 500km before refilling.

That level of pressure is around 300 times greater than in a car’s tyres, and necessitates specially made tanks, all of which add to the cost of the vehicles.

Now researchers believe they have developed an alternative method that would allow the storage of high volumes of hydrogen under much lower pressure.

The team have designed a highly porous new material, described as a metal-organic framework.

As ITM Power’s hydrogen filling stations can provide hydrogen at up to 350-700 bar, I’m sure that there could be a useful coming together, that will make hydrogen-powered vehicles more common.

Could for instance, the new material mean, that hydrogen becomes the fuel of choice for heavy trucks and railway locomotives?

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment