The Anonymous Widower

Gravitricity Sets Sights On South Africa To Test Green Energy Tech

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on ESI Africa, which describes itself as Africa’s Power Journal.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Disused mine shafts in South Africa have been identified as an ideal location to test UK-based energy start-up Gravitricity’s green energy technology.

The company announced plans to transform disused mine shafts into hi-tech green energy generation facilities through a system that uses gravity and massive weights.

This is surely a classic fit, as Africa has plenty of sun and some of the mine shafts in South Africa, like the TauTona mine are getting towards two miles deep.

A weight of 1,000 tonnes in a two mile deep shaft would store nearly nine MWh. By comparison, Dinorwig Power Station or Electric Mountain, has a capacity of 500 MWh.

But Electric Mountain was built in the 1970s, cost £425 million and took ten years to construct.


February 10, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Suffering From Mandela Fatigue

No matter what you thought of him and I liked him, the obsessive media coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela is now boring me stiff.

It was the same with Princess Diana’s tragic death.  We were on holiday at the time of the funeral in Northumberland and I deliberately chose to go and sit on the beach by myself on Holy Island, to get away from it all.

Death is a personal thing and we all have our own ways of coping with grief.

I just get on with life, as there is no other positive thing to do.

I shall go for a walk by the river, have some lunch and then bring my shopping home and watch the football all afternoon.

I dread to think what fuss, we’re going to see, when some of the great and good of this world die.  They’ll all be out to outdo South Africa’s borefest for Mandela.

December 15, 2013 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Jury Trials In South Africa

I was just listening to reports of the Oscar Pistorius case on the radio and was surprised to hear that there are no jury trials in South Africa. This explains, why much of the evidence against the athlete has been fully discussed in the media, as the case will be decided by a magistrate.

There’s more about juries in South Africa here. Juries were abolished in 1969, in the apartheid era.

February 18, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not Too Cold For The Penguins

I had gone to the London Zoo to see their penguins.

Surely, the Penguin Beach must be one of the best wild animal displays in the United Kingdom. The heron in one picture is a wild cheeky visitor according to this article in the Mail.

Although, I’m generally against a lot of wild animal displays, this one is rather different, in that a good proportion of the penguins were actually bred in the Zoo.

I’ve actually seen penguins in the wild twice; in the Galapagos Islands and South Africa. It has always surprised me that so many people go to Cape Town on holiday and never check out the penguins, that live all over that coast.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Yorkshire Would Be Eleventh In The Medal Table

Yorkshire Radio reporter, Jonathan Buchan calculated yesterday, that Britain’s largest county, Yorkshire would be eleventh in the Olympic medal table above Japan, South Africa and Australia.  Since then the Brownlee brothers have won a gold and a bronze medal, so they must have moved up a bit.

If they get a couple more, they might just edge above Germany. They’re probably well above Prussia already!

August 7, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 2 Comments

The Dominions Stick Together

In some ways it’s one of the best pieces of news for Africa in a long time, but the decision of the SKA organisation to site their new radio telescope in remote parts of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, is to be welcomed. The details are here on the BBC’s web site.

Milton Nkosi from the BBC says this about the project.

This decision will help to change the perception that Africa is a dark continent full of death and destruction and where little scientific research is carried out.

The telescope will deliver thousands of jobs and will showcase South Africa’s rich history in astronomy.

The SKA will have 3,000 antennas across a vast semi-desert part of South Africa known as the Karoo. The site is already home to seven massive Gregorian dish antennas that form part of the Karoo Array Telescope, or Kat7.

The only thing history tells us about it, is that the project will get bigger. And it will be joined by other large instruments.

May 25, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Saving Fish With Flies

A large amount of the fish caught in the sea ends up as animal feed.  The Sunday Times reports how in South Africa, a process has been developed to create chicken feed from maggots fed on blood from abattoirs.  Sounds gruesome!

But if it means we take less fish from the sea to feed animals, it’s surely better.

May 13, 2012 Posted by | Business, Food, News | , , , | Comments Off on Saving Fish With Flies

Indian Ocean Made Me Cry

I’m watching a new series on the BBC, called <Indian Ocean, where Simon Reeve circles the ocean of that name.

He started at the the Cape of Good Hope and of course he had to show the African Penguins that inhabit the coast.

Those penguins always make me cry as I remember a wonderful holiday C and I had there in one of the first winters of the new century.

She loved those penguins and I’ll always remember the day we saw them in Boulder.

April 22, 2012 Posted by | Travel, World | , , | Leave a comment

A South African Joke

The British tell Irish jokes, the Dutch tell some about Belgium and all the friends I’ve ever had from Zimbabwe have told jokes about stupid South Africans, usually of Boer ancestry.

Here‘s a true story about some South Africans who went to New Zealand for the rugby. Instead of booking a hotel in Eastbourne, a suburb of Wellington, they booked one in Eastbourne, by the sea in Sussex.

I suppose it could have been worse.  There’s another Eastbourne in County Durham, wghich is even further away. They could have watched the athletics yesterday and the Great North Run today, though.

September 18, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Selfish Who Ruin Our Wildlife

With the conviction of Jeffrey Lendrum yesterday, we locked up a dangerous enemy of peregrine falcons. If you think so what, look at this post, where I saw these wonderful birds on the cathedral in Brussels.

But the real criminals weren’t in the dock.  These are the middle men and the sheikhs in the Middle East, who feel they need to have our wild falcons for their sport. But it is not all gloom, as breeding programs are starting in places like Qatar.

I am not against falconry by any means, as I have enjoyed demonstrations at country shows and have met men, who use birds of prey to frighten pigeons away from airfields, to increase air safety.  Controlling a bird like that is a great skill and it is to be admired.

As a stud owner, you also have to take into account the part that birds of prey play in the control of rats, mice and rabbits.  We have a couple of pairs of harriers on the stud and they are fascinating to watch.  Sometimes, if you drive the lorry along the narrow lane, you’ll have one flying alongside, waiting for the vibrations to disturb a mouse in the verge. It is a magnificent sight and long may it be admired.

I did not see it, but one of the most amazing stories I heard of, concerned a golden eagle, that had been trained by a falconer.  He had been given it, after it had I think been stolen as a chick or something like that.  In any case, he had definitely acquired it legally and at the time, he was the only person licenced to fly a golden eagle.  Everybody who saw the bird, said they had never seen anything so spectacular.

So the bird after a bad start in life was giving pleasure to many.

You have to add to the selfish in the Middle East, who prey on our falcons, those adherents to Chinese medicine, who feel that rhino horn is a must.  It is! But only on the rhino!

I’ve seen rhino in the semi-wild in South Africa, and they are truly wonderful.

But even those in game-parks are now being poached for their horns.

That is disgraceful, as rhino should be here for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. The only solution is to convince the Chinese that some of their traditional medicine is just not acceptable to the rest of the world.

August 20, 2010 Posted by | News, Travel, World | , , | 1 Comment