The Anonymous Widower

Legal & General Has Acquired One Of The Last Major Crossrail Development Sites

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on City AM.

There have been several stories like this is recent months and I think it shows how Crossrail will generate new housing an business developments across London.

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Better Phone Battery Invented By Accident

The title of this post, is the same as that as an article in today’s copy of The Times.

Discussing phone batteries this is said.

Now researchers think they may have found a remedy – a new form of carbon that could double lithium battery capacity, increase the number of charging cycles and significantly reduce the risk of explosion.

Reading the article, it could be that the researchers at Lancaster University may have found the Holy Grail of battery technology.

The Times even gives OSPC-1, as they’ve called the carbon., a leading article.

There’s more on OSPC-1 in this news item on the Lancaster University web site, which is entitled New Carbon Could Signal Step-Change For The World’s Most Popular Batteries.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Who Remembers Sides-to-Middle?

Last night, I put my feet through a bed-sheet, creating a large hole.

I suspect, it was probably past its throw away date, but it got me thinking!

My mother would have cut the sheet in half, put the two good sides together and sewed them securely with her reliable 1930s-built Singer.

She used to call it Sides-to-Middle!

This sheet was a fitted one, which didn’t exist in the 1950s and 1960s!

So I doubt, it would have been possible anyway!

 

June 18, 2018 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments

These Dreaded Glasses Are Starting To Appear In Hotels

In my hotel in Novara, I didn’t get a proper glass or even a hard plastic one, like those I use at home.

I got one of these design crimes!

Consider.

  • They are single-use plastic of the worst kind.
  • They are difficult to open with my gammy hand.
  • When I opened one in Germany I destroyed the glass.

But the worst thing, is that they are unstable and one tipped over in Novara and ruined my paper, in which I was doing the sudoku.

Ban them!

June 3, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Where The Queen Gets Her Energy

Yesterday’s edition of Countryfile on BBC1, was entitled Royal Special: Windsor.

In the program, they shows how Windsor Castle and the surrounding estate, use an Archimedes screw in the River Thames to generate electricity.

I found this video on the Internet.

There is also this document on the Internet.

It may look crazy, but after reading the document, it would appear to be cost effective.

This Google Map gives aerial view of the weir and the installed screws.

The two screws are installed in two sections of the weir at the right end.

It may look crazy, but after reading the document, it would appear to be cost effective.

  • At peak flow the two units generate a total of 320kW/hour.
  • There is a six year return on investment.
  • The design life is fifteen years..
  • The owner of the generators has a forty year lease on the site.

I suspect, we could see more units like this!

 

May 28, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gravitricity Gets An Imperial Seal Of Approval

This article on Renewable Energy Magazine is entitled Gravitricity Technology Turns Mine Shafts into Low Cost Power Storage Systems.

This is the first paragraph.

A report by independent analysts at Imperial College London has found that Scotland-based Gravitricity’s gravity-fed energy storage system may offer a better long-term cost of energy storage than batteries or other alternatives – particularly in grid balancing and rapid frequency response services.

I am starting to believe that Gravitricity’s simple, but patented system has a future.

The Imperial report says the system has the following advantages.

  • More affordable than batteries.
  • Long life.
  • No long term degredation.

The main requirement is a shaft, which can be newly sunk or an old mine shaft.

Hopefully, reusing old mine shafts, must save costs and remove hazards from the landscape.

No-one can say the system isn’t extremely scientifically green.

I have some thoughts.

Eco-Developments

Could clever design allow a mine shaft to be both capped and turned into an energy storage system?

Perhaps then housing or other developments could be built over the top, thus converting an area unsuitable for anything into something more valuable. with built in energy storage.

More Efficient Motor-Generators

One of the keys to efficient operation of a Gravitricity system is efficient motor-generators.

These are also key to efficient regenerative braking on trains, trams and other vehicles.

So is enough research going into development of efficient motor-generators?

May 22, 2018 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

In Bruges

I thought that I was passing the city, I should take a pit-stop in Bruges, with perhaps a gluten-free breakfast.

If you go to most cities in Germany, there is always a handy tourist office at the station.

As I didn’t know the city, I needed information on how to get from the station to the centre, which was a twenty minute walk.

If it hadn’t been for a helpful local man, who spoke impeccable English, I wouldn’t have found out that the buses were convenient, but you had to buy the tickets from the paper shop inside the station.

In addition, there wasn’t any visible staff at the station.

How tourist-friendly is that for a welcome to one of the most important sites in Belgium?

My gluten-free breakfast wasn’t very good either!

It came with ordinary bread and only the tea was good.

My argument is that if you advertise gluten-free, then make sure you can do it properly.

Finding a bus back to the station wasn’t easy to cap it all.

Conclusion

Don’t expect to turn up in Bruges on a train and spend a pleasant hour or two before moving on.

Unlike many cities in The Netherlands, Germany and Italy, the information lets you down.

 

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Millicent And Ursula Prepare To Go Tunnelling

I went to the Tideway Open Day today to see Millicent and Ursula before they go tunnelling.

Other than the names on the sides, you will notice that Millicent has less teeth on the business end, than her friend.

This is because Millicent will be going West from the site near Battersea Power station and Ursula will be going East.

As the geology is more challenging to the East, Ursula has more teeth.

Some points to note!

  • Millicent was named after Dame Millicent Fawcett.
  • Ursula was named after Audrey ‘Ursula’ Smith.
  • Both machines will have a statue of Saint Barbara, who is the patron saint of miners and tunnellers.
  • These machines are larger than those of Crossrail.
  • A documentary is being made for television about the tunnel.

There’s more on Millicent and Ursula on the Tideway we site.

 

May 13, 2018 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Square Comes Full Circle For Grosvenor Estate

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the Business section of today’s copy of The Times.

It describes the history of Grosvenor Square and its relationship to the Grosvenor family.

There has been an American presence in the square since 1785, but with the moving of the American Embassy to Nine Elms earlier this year, the need for security measures has  decreased and control of the square has  returned to the Grosvenor Estate.

These are the last two paragraphs of the article.

After a public consultation, Grosvenor is seeking ideas from urban designers, architects and artists to “recreate a place fit for the 21st century”.

Craig McWilliam, chief executive, said that Grosvenor Britain and Ireland wanted to create “a haven where locals and visitors can enjoy the best of the city”.

Donald Trump has stated that moving to Nine Elms is crazy, but London will gain immensely from that move.

May 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Does Talk Radio Make Telephone Fraudsters Go Away?

At the moment, I’m being plagued by telephone fraudsters. What they are up to, I don’t know, but I get around five a day, if I’m sitting by my computer writing.

I usually have my television switched to Radio 5 or something like the News on BBC1, when they call and I find it strange that if I don’t switch the sound on the television off, by the time I get the phone to my ear, the line is dead.

The fraudster seems to hear the noise of the talking and feels they may be wasting their time.

But it never seems to fail!

It reminds me of a story told me by a farmer, who was breeding free-range organic chickens for one of the major supermarket groups.

The local foxes were a problem, until someone suggested that he wire an old radio up to a car battery and put it on Radio 5 all night at a lowish level. It appeared the calm voices of Doton Adebayo and Rhod Sharp convinced the foxes there were people around and he was losing fewer chickens to the foxes.

 

May 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments