The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On eScooters!

Consider.

  • This article on the BBC is entitled Emily Hartridge: TV Presenter And YouTube Star Dies In Crash. It is an extremely sad tale and it has led to the inevitable call to ban electric scooters.
  • There is also this article on the BBC, which is entitled Iris Goldsmith: Teenage girl dies in ‘quad bike’ accident. This is another extremely sad tale and many are questioning, what a teenage girl was doing, riding a quadbike.
  • And then there’s this article on the BBC, Which is entitled Govia Thameslink Fined £1m Over Gatwick Express Window Death.

Young people and some older ones too, often do stupid things.

Many also crave danger and go mountaineering, riding on the tops of trains or jumping into rivers from a great height.

Doing things out of the ordinary is a natural reaction and is one of the reason, why humans are the most successful species on this planet.

I think the problem is the way we bring up children.

  • My parents let me do anything I wanted up to a point.
  • They also taught me lots of skills.
  • From about twelve, I used to cycle all over London.
  • I spent endless hours in my father’s print works doing things that would be frowned upon now, because they are too dangerous.

A couple of months ago, I was interviewed by a sixth-form girl student, in the volunteering I do at Barts Hospital in giving experience to prospective doctors.

She had lived in an over-protective environment and hardly left home on her own.

It was almost child abuse. She didn’t say, but I suspect she’d even been driven to and from school.

When it came to our own children, C and myself were fairly liberal and it was strange how, two became very street-wise and had the occasional scrapes, whereas the other was generally well-behaved.

Perhaps, we didn’t get everything right, but I like to think, we gave them a good appreciation of risk!

And that is one of the mot important things to learn in life, as often, those that ca’t assess risk, come to unfortunate ends.

I do feel my youngest son’s unhealthy lifestyle was a factor in his getting pancreatic cancer, especially if he was coeliac like me! But then he wouldn’t get tested!

His daughter though, seems to have a good appreciation of risk, but then if your father dies, you probably do!

To return to the eScooter, which is where this post started.

They Look Fun!

They certainly look fun and I constantly want to have a go on one.

Remember, I have crashed a twin-engined aeroplae and ridden horses in the Masai Mara.

At seventeen, I also sat on the back of a motorcycle, the wrong way round and went through the Mersey Tunnel.

Was I wearing a helmet? Of course not!

Are They Dangerous?

The risk depends on where they are used and how competent the rider is!

Ask any A & E doctor, what sport causes the most injuries and they’ll say something like rugby or horse-riding!

When A & E doctors start complaining about eScooters that will be the time for action.

Would Training Help?

Training isn’t the important thing.

However experience, especially that gained in a safe environment is important.

But to legislate that training should be mandatory will only have the reverse affect.

Conclusion

It’s a difficult problem, but we must teach everybody to appreciate risk.

When I joined ICI in 1969, I went on a formal Health and Safety course.

It has proven to be invaluable all my life an I haven’t worked on a chemical plant since 1970.

July 17, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Sky Ever Broadcast A Freeview Sports Channel?

Yesterday, Sky held the rights to both the Cricket World Cup Final and The British Grand Prix.

But in the end Sky shared the coverage of both events with Channel 4!

Now that both events have successfully concluded, Sky will have the details of the following.

  • Number of viewers.
  • Advertising revenue on both Sky and Channel 4.
  • Reaction from politicians, some of whom are not very pleased with Sky.

This will enable the company to decide, whether it is in the company’s interest to do it again.

  • I can also see a scenario, where if a Sky Freeview channel exists, that sports would want to do promotional deals to get their sport in front of viewers, by perhaps having the top level on satellite and lower levels on Freeview.
  • Sky uses a lot of repeats on its Sports Channels at Off Peak times.
  • Freeview technology will also be allowing more channels.
  • Sky must be a bit worried about competition from other broadcasters woth bottomless pockets.

I don’t think we can rule anything out, as Sky are an innovative and ambitious broadcaster.

 

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Battersea Power Station To Outshine Typical Tourist Attraction Sites In The UK

The title of this post is the same as this article in the New Straits Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Malaysia-owned Battersea Power Station project is expected to outshine many prime property developments in London after seeing a 36 per cent capital appreciation for units offered under its first phase.

The article goes on to give an interesting view on how Malaysian investors and tourists see London.

On Tourism

This is a paragraph.

It is expected that when it opens, 40 million people will visit Battersea Power Station annually.

That is around 109,000 visitors for every day of the year.

Will the Northern Line Extension and the roads cope?

On Investment

This is two paragraphs.

“London is never going to be cheap. Those who wanted to invest, better do it now. A lot of people from overseas have already started investing in London,” he added.

Mason said London would still remain attractive place for investors globally due to its higher capital returns for the property sector.

Londoners like me, don’t look on their City as an investment, but as an exciting and fulfilling place to live.

 

 

 

 

July 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 2 Comments

Carbon Capture From Cement Manufacturing Nears Market Readiness

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Fifth Estate.

In Climate Change: The Massive CO2 Emitter You May Not Know About, I talked about the carbon dioxide that is released, by the manufacture of cement, mainly referring to this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs of the BBC article.

Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet.

But, while cement – the key ingredient in concrete – has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint.

Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House.

However, the article on The Fifth Estate, raises hopes that new processes for making cement may reduce the carbon footprint of this important material.

This is the first paragraph of tThe Fifth Estate article.

A consortium led by Australian firm Calix is now well on the way to completing a pilot plant for its breakthrough technology that will capture carbon emissions from the manufacture of lime cement. Other projects with similar aims to reduce the global warming impact of construction with concrete are also racing to the marketplace.

It certainly looks like the Australians are doing something concrete about climate change!

 

 

July 9, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Kremlin Lets Women Drive The Trains

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in The Times on Friday.

This was the first two paragraphs.

For decades, Russian girls who have dreamt of becoming train drivers or mechanics or captaining a ship have been forced to abandon their ambitions.

Laws prohibiting women from physically demanding employment, or jobs that could harm their chances of bearing children, were introduced by the Soviet Union in 1974, and updated by President Putin in 2000.

No wonder Russia a basket case, as they are not making best use of their resources. As do countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria!

Remember, that during the Second World War, the Nazis didn’t let women work in the war effort.

I seem to remember they lost!

 

 

 

July 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wimbledon Comes To The City

I took these pictures in Spitalfields today.

Perhaps, we should do it more often!

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

William Hill Plans 700 Store Closures Putting 4,500 Jobs At Risk

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

This is the first three paragraphs.

Bookmaker William Hill has said it plans to close about 700 betting shops, which could lead to 4,500 job losses.

The firm said the move followed the government’s decision in April to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2.

Since then, the company added, it had seen “a significant fall” in gaming machine revenues.

So should we protect problem gamblers from themselves or those who work in betting shops?

I should add, that my late wife was a barrister specialising in family matters. She would say that many divorces were the result of at least one of the four main additions; alcohol, drugs, gambling and tobacco.

In my view, it was an enormous mistake to allow fixed odds betting terminals into betting shops in the first place.

Anybody with a modicum of sense or knowledge of the betting industry, knows of the problems gambling can create.

The terminals were introduced in 2001, when Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Gordon Brown was Chancellor.

As Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Phil Hammond and John McDonnell don’t look the sort to wager a lot of money on these machines, it will be interesting to see, who gets the blame for the job losses at William Hill and the additional job losses that will surely happen at other betting shop chains.

 

July 4, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | 4 Comments

Russia: Fire Kills 14 Sailors Aboard Navy Research Submersible

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

This is yet another major accident involving Russian submarines.

The Russian submarine safety record doesn’t appear to be good.

 

July 2, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Importance Of Libraries For Research

I went to a fund-raising event for Book Aid at the British Library on Monday evening.

The main purpose was to raise funds for the library in Mosul, which has been wrecked by IS.

The event made me think, about the number of times in the 1960s and 1970s, I used libraries for research.

  • My undergraduate thesis was about analogue computing and I used information about how Lord Kelvin and his elder brother; James, were developing and using mechanical analogue computers in the late 1800s, that I had found in the Liverpool University library.
  • A few years later, whilst working for ICI, I found that by properly searching Chemical Abstracts in their library, I could find the solution to difficult problems. Nowadays, you’d use the Internet!
  • When I developed Artemis, I needed methods to improve the performance of the software. Some I developed myself, but one particular algoithm used for linking datasets together was found in a paper, written in the 1960s in IBM’s library. In those days, getting the maximum performance from not very powerful computers was more difficult and the algorithm was important.
  • These days, with everything on the Internet I use libraries less. Although, I regularly visit Hackney’s Records Office near to where I live, to browse old images, reference books and maps.

Do we all underestimate the part books, play in our lives?

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Boris Need To Be Prime Minister For The Flat And The Money?

According to Camilla long in The Sunday Times, Boris is living n a flat in Camberwell and outside is his 1995 Toyota people carrier, sdorned with a few parking tickets.

It sounds to me, like the lifestyle of a loser, not that of someone, who aspires to lead the country.

Jeremy Hunt is shown on the Internet driving a clean Volkswagen estate, that appears to be a few years old.

So is Boris short of money, as he strives to win the most important election of his life?

There is also the small matter of his divorce from the barrister; Marina Wheeler.

Even if she is not a divorce specialist, then one of her friends will be an expert is making sure the wayward Boris is strewed, glued and tattooed.

Conclusion

Winning the election and the free flat and increased salary would do Boris just fine.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 5 Comments